For some reason or another, the University keeps assigning Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) a guest lecturing position. Given his presentation, it’s hard to tell if Sheldon is more mocking to doctoral students or the rest of the gang, but I guess that might be the joke. Either way, it’s hard not to laugh when one student tweets in the middle of the lecture: “Listening to Dr. Cooper makes me want to start cutting myself again.”
Oblivious to this, Sheldon returns to the apartment content in a job well done only to have the gang collectively point out a list of comments on the internet that say otherwise. Though initially stoic, Sheldon gives in and asks Penny (Kaley Cuoco) for acting advise to help him put on better presentations. Meanwhile, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) feels self conscious because he’s unattractive and wishes to have more sex appeal (like a labradoodle). When Howard’s (Simon Helberg) girlfriend Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) tells him that he is a sexy guy, he begins having fantasies about her.
While I love the interactions between Penny and Sheldon a lot, the series has done this dynamic too many times before for it to be original (The Work Song Nanocluster for instance). Despite this, a few good moments shined out in this story, including Penny agreeing to help in exchange for a quick $40, Sheldon’s screenplay, and his momentary psychological breakdown. It’s always great to see callbacks to Sheldon’s early childhood. Although it’s funny seeing Sheldon as the crazy, almost robot-like person that he is, these moments make him more real. Does it matter that it’s based on the concept of Spock taking him away as a kid so he can escape bullies and save the future? Nope.
Sheldon aside, if anything shined in this episode, however, it was Raj’s daydreams about Bernadette. Raj being single while the friends around him get girlfriends has been a pretty common theme like the Penny-Sheldon mash up, but this episode tackled it in hilarious fashion. One of my favorite moments involve Howard getting a fellowship in Israel for two years at the “Whites-Men” Institute in Israel with Raj needing to fulfill all of Bernadette’s sexual needs (most of them regular, the rest of them kind of messed up). The other involves Howard being hit by a truck and Raj has to look after her sexually: “I guess I have no choice but to make sweet guilt-free love to you over and over again for the rest of my life”. The end of the arch doesn’t have a resolution per se, but it does have a mock Bollywood-style dance to express what goes on Raj’s head. It’s the best resolution anyone could really ask for.
Although this episode didn’t make any headway on the Penny-Leonard storyline or show any continuity from the last episode, “The Love Car Displacement”, it did a much better job as far as funnier jokes and character moments go. I’m impressed with the way this show can still make used conventions interesting and different after three seasons. I may not be happy with Penny and Leonard’s relationship status in the show, but I like the fact that the writers are keeping the drama fresh enough that it goes hand in hand with the comedy when the story driven episodes come up.