The Big Bang Theory Season 9 Episode 1 Review: “The Matrimonial Momentum”

Big Bang Theory

Friends, the fall television season is back with a vengeance. Instead of covering a brand new series whose fate will remain up in the air, I decided to go for an old favorite. The Big Bang Theory is a long-running, game-changing comedy series that continues to keep things fresh. New comedies now aspire to become “the next Big Bang Theory.” The beginning of Season 9 has already put it in league with great comedies like Cheers, Friends, and Frasier. Love it or hate it, this show is going down in history.

This week, on the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory: Leonard and Penny get married despite their car conversation, and it’s streamed live on the internet for their friends. Sheldon (in a shocking development) does not handle his split with Amy well.

I know that critics like myself have mixed feelings about TBBT. But, like the other great sitcoms I mentioned above, what really sets Big Bang apart is its characters. They’re real. They’re raw and vulnerable. Over eight full seasons, episodes may lose some of what made the show great, but this week’s premiere is a wonderful reminder of why The Big Bang Theory is still on television and why it remains so popular.

Jim Parsons, for instance. He didn’t get nominated for an Emmy this year, but I’ll be shocked if this episode didn’t put him right back in the running. Sheldon is a wonderful character, because on the one hand, he represents this show’s entire shtick. On the other hand, however, he’s proven to be a vulnerable character who has shown immense growth over the last eight years. To see him go through a break-up for the only time in his whole life is wonderfully fascinating.

I really appreciate the Leonard and Penny relationship, too. This is something else that’s been around for a long time, so the creative team has to come up with a way to keep them fresh. However, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, obviously. Everything has changed for these two and yet, nothing has. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting are sorely underrated as actors, making Leonard and Penny feel as raw as two people you could find on Humans of New York. If this were a cheesy sitcom, they would’ve gotten married and lived happily ever after, but I am so glad that there is more to it than that. This is shaping up to be a really fascinating journey.

I would’ve liked to see more of the rest of the cast. The ensemble element is a true strength of The Big Bang Theory, but the supporting characters played an important part in what served as a reset of sorts to this world. This solid episode was championed by the beginnings of transformation of its three lead characters, and it was an important story to the show as a whole going forward. I look forward to seeing how it transforms the rest of the characters.

As with most comedies I review, here are some of my favorite quotes/moments from the episode:

  • “Cause there’s a lot of gorgeous blondes out there that don’t believe they can land a short nearsighted scientist let’s give them hope.”- Leonard, on why they should live stream the wedding
  • I loved the comparison between a woman needing “time” and the length of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Pure gold.
  • “We have the rest of our lives to dredge up stuff from the past and fight about it.” – Leonard, describing marriage in a nutshell
  • “Is that the song from Toy Story?”- The Minister, at Penny’s vows. And yes, it was the song from Toy Story. Leonard loves that movie.

The Big Bang Theory got its ninth season off to a very promising start, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the rest of it brings. I hope to see more Kevin Sussman, Amy find out about the ring, and a reconciliation between Leonard and Penny. But hey, I’m open-minded!

What did you guys think of the premiere? Did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments!

The Big Bang Theory airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS. 

[Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS ]

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