As The Big Bang Theory inches to the seventh season’s close, I’m glad that the writers have decided to continue with Sheldon’s struggle of determining what to do now that string theory seems like a bust. An opening scene of him trying to pick a new field gives some early laughs and when the credits rolled it started to hit me of just how far this show has come, and how far it still has to go.
The Big Bang Theory has never been a show about the big over arching plots that plenty of other shows possess. For all intents and purposes The Big Bang Theory is a sitcom through and through. And like any sitcom that gets passed five seasons or so, it needs to evolve to stay fresh and funny. Now BBT is sort of an exception because no matter what they do, people are going to watch it. I think for it to stay critically interesting, though, some things will need to change a bit. I don’t know what these changes should be exactly, but I hope that with its guaranteed three seasons on deck, that the show runners are going to do something more with all that time.
I bring this up because the whole spirit of this episode, as you probably guessed from the title, is that we never really know what the future holds. Not scientists, not psychics, or actors or writers or anyone. The future is our to create and to change, and I think this episode was surprisingly self aware in that aspect. Sheldon and Penny both have big changes happening in their lives. Not to mention Raj, who finally has a somewhat normal relationship going. Penny is in the midst of filming her movie, while Sheldon ponders continuously (and vocally) about his career dilemma. The main plot of the episode involves Sheldon and Penny finding out that their significant others are sometimes tired of hearing about their problems.
We, as the audience, can relate to this heavily. After seven years, averaging over 20 episodes a year, it starts to get difficult to keep things new and exciting. Whether or not the show is prepared to change is still yet to be seen, but my gut is telling me that BBT isn’t going to simply ride the wave of success into a few mediocre final seasons. If what I am hearing is true, the tenth season will be the show’s finale. With that in mind, the writers will have plenty to work with in approaching the show’s inevitable end game.
“The Anything Can Happen Recurrence” was a beautifully realized episode for me. Even if the secondary story of Raj and Howard watching House of a 1000 Corpses wasn’t as interesting or insightful, it offered up some hilarious moments and a keen reminder of my own experiences watching that particular film. Raj is finally getting into a normal relationship, which I am incredibly happy about since he has been getting dumped on for most of the season. I expect some turbulence to erupt there at some point, but seeing Raj happy and with a woman was a rare treat we only see when he’s with the gang. Since anything can happen, I’m most interested in what will end up happening in this story over the next few episodes.
We only have 3 episodes left with no more breaks and I find myself surprisingly apprehensive about what will happen. It’s a strange feeling but a good one. I hope the last three episodes finish this season out strong.