The Big Bang Theory
The gang kicked off the season with Howard (Simon Helburg) still in space (Yay, he’s my least favourite of the bunch) and the others on dates – yes, even Sheldon (Jim Parsons). I’m not sure that I am really enjoying how much of an unfeeling automaton they are making Sheldon into these days, but I’m glad that Amy is a great foil for him and Mayim Bialik does a great job with her scenes. While this show is still hilarious and enjoyable, it’s becoming more like another one of those multi-couple dating sitcoms. Where’s the geekery? Where’s the nerdiness (and it needs to be about more than just how they are so lucky to have the women that they do because if they didn’t, God knows when they would ever find someone to love them… they’re such nerds)? Also, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) tagging along on the fateful date was humourous, but enough with how pathetically lonely he is, and how he can’t speak to beautiful women. The therapy needs to start working. How can someone really be so psychologically crippled?
How I Met Your Mother
This is another series where all the main characters are in a relationship (see above for how I feel that’s kind of dull). Nevertheless, I like that there are more ladies on the show, so there could be a little girls vs. guys showdown in the second episode where Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) wants Quinn (Becki Newton) to sign a ridiculous pre-nup. How are they going to reconcile Barney as a cartoon lothario to Barney who gets married to Robin (Cobie Smulders). They had done a pretty good job in the past at having him fall in love (which is serious) while maintaining his trademark jokiness and laffability (which are broadly comic). We know that all these other relationships are doomed because we know who everyone ends up with, but it’s still kind of fun to have more characters around. We also get another glimpse at the stupid yellow umbrella of Ted’s (Josh Radnor’s) future Mrs. Do any of us expect to have a surprise reveal? No. We all expect that we won’t meet the “mother” until the end of the final episode. I’m surprised that they haven’t just let the future-kids go. Making them sit through eight seasons of this meandering tale is child abuse! (But at least they never age. Bonus!)
Opening of the season takes Bart and the fam to NYC, but it seems kind of pointless (good thing animated characters don’t incur any budget issues with having to have an episode on location). Why would Bart really go all the way to NYC just to attempt a reunion with his ex-girlfriend (Isn’t he 10 years old? It’s actually kind of creepy.) Sadly, I still don’t laugh much when watching this show anymore. 24 seasons is just too much. Nevertheless, I hope the Halloween episode can turn things around.
The opening this season wasn’t the best ever (which is odd considering they did a hit and run, not returning with the second episode for a few weeks). On one hand, the episode was sad because Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) decide not to adopt any more. However, it’s exciting that Gloria (Sofia Vergara) has a bun in her oven. (Too bad they aren’t having kids together.) The episode was a little bit off kilter by having Phil (Ty Burrell) take Jay (Ed O’Neill) out with Jay’s buddies for his 65th birthday. I think the show is at its best when they are interacting with each other in a family setting. I don’t really want to see more of Chaz Palmentiri and Ernie Hudson. Also, the story of Lily (Aubrey Anderson Emmons) demanding that Cam and Mitchell get her a cat seems ludicrous. I know it was meant to bring them to a realization about their own repressed feelings of loss over their failed attempts at adoption, but still… Nevertheless, I have absolutely no doubt that this series is going to get even better.