The Big Bang Theory

Season 9 Episode 6:

The Helium Insufficiency

In the midst of a nation-wide helium shortage, Sheldon and Leonard take desperate measures to get the supplies they need. Also, Penny and Bernadette download a dating app on Amy's phone to try and find her a new man.
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About The Big Bang Theory:

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom centered on 4 friends living in Pasadena, California. Experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter, theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicists Raj Koothrappali are academically smart but not socially. They each work at Caltech university in different departments. Things change when Leonard and Sheldon (who are flat mates) get a new neighbor named Penny. Penny is a waitress, with plans of becoming an actress. She joins the group, teaching them how to be more social outside of their comfort bubble. Each character goes through changes of jobs, relationships, achievements such as going to space and working with their heroes Stephan Hawking and Professor Proton.

Leonard immediately falls for the beautiful Penny. This relationship is one of the biggest draws into the show. The relationship at the beginning is a ‘will they/ won’t they?’ situation, having been compared to the Rachel/ Ross relationship of Friends. Penny is oblivious to Leonard’s feelings until he is not available. Their romance led to another romance as Penny matches Howard with her friend, Bernadette, a fellow waitress studying for a PhD. They eventually marry and become parents to two children. Sheldon, at the insistence of Raj and Howard, becomes involved with Amy Farrah Fowler through online dating.

The show’s breakout character is Sheldon Cooper. Described as a living ‘C3P-Wee Herman’ by Howard, Sheldon is awkward, selfish and claims to be better than other humans as he doesn’t partake in illogical activities such as relationships. However, he probably has some of the most childish traits out of the gang. One running gag is that the others talk to Sheldon as a child when he is having a tantrum or failing to understand social cues. However, as the show progresses, Sheldon becomes more humane. Through his brotherly dynamic with Leonard and Penny, his romance with Amy Farrah Fowler (a biological scientist) beginning in season 3, and his rivalry with Howard, Sheldon grows out of some of his undesirable traits.

Many of the most popular gags in the show are from other’s interaction with Sheldon. Some examples are the roommate agreement favoring Sheldon, his specific spot on the couch, him struggling with sarcasm and irony, as well as changing the Wi-Fi password to insult Penny. Other gags are Howard’s mother screaming something embarrassing, Raj’s inability to talk to women and the closeness between Raj and Howard akin to a gay couple.

The show began in 2007 and has made many references to ‘nerd’ culture, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, DC Extended Universe and Star Trek. Because of this, there have also been many famous guest stars. One of the fan favorites is Sheldon’s rivalry with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation) for canceling a meet and greet. Another fan favorite is Professor Proton, the boy’s childhood scientist. His comedic timing with Sheldon and Leonard was funny. Others such as Adam West, Leonard Nimoy, and Carrie Fisher also appear throughout various episodes. The series has won 4 Emmys though its 12-year run and has been renowned as one of the best sitcoms of the 2010s era. 

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