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A Step Up From Series 5 But Not Quite Gold
on 5 April 2013
The Big Bang Theory continues into its sixth season and for the most part, its a positive one. Howard and Bernadette being married adds a new flavor, there are less awkward Amy/Penny ideas thrown in (Series 5 painting for example) and the whole Penny/Leonard will they?/won't they? has settled down so other elements of the series can be focused upon. It's still funny, there's some great episodes and ideas thrown in, Episode 8: The 43 peculiarity has more of an old-style Big Bang feel with the five core members going it alone and it benefits.
Several new dynamics also help the series avoid a pattern of diminishing returns. Howard in space provides some of the funniest scenes in the season for a start. Among the best additions to the series come in two new characters, Sheldon's assistant Alex who has won some of the fanbase over as a better match with Leonard than Penny - but that's later. The other who comes in at the latter end of the season is Raj's girlfriend Lucy. Lucy is one of the most interesting characters shown so far, socially awkward, timid but well-meaning and the two have quite poignant scenes together as they both have social anxiety issues. Combine that with some very creative episodes such as The Bakersfield Expedition where the guys are stranded on the way to Comic Con, The Closet Reconfiguration which hits a new level of depth concerning a letter from Howard's anonymous father. and others.
But Series 6 also has its problems. The dynamic between Penny and Leonard is not only tired and getting increasingly dull, but the relationship is one more spurned by jealously (Penny considers breaking up with him and then competition arrives in the form of Alex and she's interested). Also the writing is getting more dull as "shock" stuff is used such as loads of sex (not on screen but implied) and low cut dresses. Big Bang Theory is probably going to go on and on until its been milked rather than go out on a high. Whilst not as bad as Series 5 which felt like the TV equivalent of a sell-out album, Series 6 does feel at times to be shifting into a less creative direction and feels like some wise changes would work out.