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The Big Bang Theory Watch: The Benefactor Factor

Sometimes, it’s us versus the world. Unfortunately for our nerds on The Big Bang Theory, this is their unending reality. It’s them versus each other. Them versus everyone else. Them versus the writers of the show. It’s an odd, little paradigm, and we have the weekly privilege of watching them battle with the qualms of life.

Since the show’s inception, Leonard has been our personal nexus; as the protagonist, he has taken the responsibility of being a passive observer, allowing us to see the world through his eyes. His arcs have maintained the series’ main attention, but the writers have never been able to do much with them. Slowly succumbing to Sheldon’s shadow, Leonard has regretfully become a little uninteresting. Because of this travesty, episodes that strongly feature him always feel just right.

For instance, tonight’s “The Benefactor Factor” just felt good with Leonard at the helm, and to make matters better, we got to see him overcome his typically low odds of succeeding. His story didn’t fall into a category of uniqueness, but its representation of what these characters are capable of certainly had magnitude.

At a benefit dinner for the university, Leonard humbly impresses a wealthy benefactor who just so happens to be a cougar. Unknowingly, he woos her into donating money and having sex. Neither of these results emitted that much surprise, but Johnny Galecki’s bright portrayal of a naive geek beared great joy. His characteristic aloofness usually brings down the show’s demeanor, but tonight his genuine innocence proved just how endearing he can be at times.

The consequence of his deviant behavior managed to maintain some playful humor. Coming back to this apartment in the morning after his rumpus of a night, he gets probed into a corner by Penny and Sheldon. Sheldon finds Leonard’s prostitution honorable as it will allow him to play with new gadgetry that the university will be receiving from the money that’s being donated. Penny, on the other hand, just seems to be entertained with the idea that Leonard spent the night with a much older woman. Once being a part of his daily routine, she must find some joy in the fact that he’s doing something peculiar and fun, even if it is with someone else.

The Big Bang Theory has been fickle this year. It’s either been relentlessly tough or quite gentle on its characters. These inconsistencies are starting to demonstrate just what kind of a show it will become. Unfortunately, it isn’t meeting its expectations that season two had projected, and I’m fine with that. Much like its characters, this show is up against several staggering odds. After the Emmys and the Golden Globes awarded Jim Parsons for his portrayal of Sheldon, several viewers are more critical of the artistic quality. The show must satiate the geeky palette that belongs to those that watch the show because they feel just like its characters. Lastly, episodes have moved to Thursday this year, going against the popular lineup over on NBC. With all these odds against it, The Big Bang Theory has stuck with its basic principles, and for that alone, I applaud.