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Review: "Big Bang" Go Boom

BigBang.jpgIt seems as though CBS has lost its "Class" -- in more ways than one. After touting last year's freshman comedy, "The Class," as the second coming of "Friends," the network cancelled the ratings-challenged, character-heavy comedy.

This year, nerds are in, with NBC's "Chuck" and "The IT Crowd" (which may already be cancelled as well). The CBS entry (and "Class" replacement) is "The Big Bang Theory."

There are plenty of nerd jokes to be had. I'm not talking about "Revenge of the Nerds"-type nerd jokes, either. These are the kind that may have you reaching for an encyclopedia.

Sure the show does interject a lot of jokes that may go over the average IQ's brain cavity, but keep in mind that the show's opening scene takes place in a sperm bank.

This is where we are first introduced to our two nerdy main characters, Leonard ("Roseanne's" Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), where they are making a -- ahem -- deposit. While for some, sperm bank may be instant comedy, the funniest part about this scenario is that the money was to be used for the duo's need for more Internet speed. That is, until Sheldon becomes overcome with guilt and asks for a refund.

Upon arriving home, the two discover that their 200-pound transvestite neighbor has been replaced with significantly smaller Penny ("8 Simple Rules" cutie Kaley Cuoco). Laughter ensues -- or at least laugh track ensues.

Sheldon's apparent OCD seems to be fodder for funny, as well as his endless need to show off his geekiness. All of that is interrupted by Penny's weeping over her boyfriend, and her apparent need to take a shower in their apartment. I know this is TV, but doesn't this scenario have "hidden web cam scandal" written all over it? I mean, they are geniuses after all. How hard would that be to install and conceal?

One thing they couldn't hide -- a flub. Sheldon brings up Leonard's Darth Vadar/Luke Skywalker shampoo/conditioner combo, but when we are treated to an actual peek into the shower, all I saw was Clairol Herbal Essences. Obvious product placement, or do most geeks actually have "luscious" hair?

And yes, in TV land, 30 minutes is almost a lifetime, but in the span of about 5 minutes, our characters meet, the lead female takes a shower in front of them, and then asks the two guys to retrieve her TV from her beefy ex-boyfriend. I'd say that's the equivalent of pushing the welcome wagon off a cliff.

Being that Leonard is smitten (and apparently very horny), he agrees to retrieve her belongings while she entertains the other two over Indian food and juice boxes.

Penny's ex, who looks like he could wrestle for the WWE, not only decides to keep the TV, but he claims both of the boys' pants as well.

It's good to see Galecki back on TV, and I think he's worthy of headlining a show -- just not this one. I love the nerds; I just don't like lame jokes. And while the whole can-geek-get-girl idea might be good for a few episodes, it appears as though Galecki's Leonard might already be losing interest as well, since Sara Gilbert will soon guest star as his love interest.

"The Big Bang Theory" comes from the minds that brought us "Two and a Half Men," a mega-hit for CBS. I couldn't have called that one, so it's hard to say whether or not this stands a chance.

"The Big Bang Theory" premieres Monday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. (EST) on CBS. Can't wait for the carnage? The entire pilot episode is currently streaming on Yahoo! TV and iTunes. -- Rachel Cericola

Photo: ©2007 Warner Bros. Television

Posted by Rachel Cericola on September 23, 2007 1:07 PM
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