After Charlie Sheen’s audio rant against Chuck Lorre, the creator of “Two and a Half Men,” CBS called a halt to production on this season’s episodes, taking a bite from the network’s stable of comedy shows. Lorre must be feeling the pressure to keep the laughs coming “The Big Bang Theory,” another jewel in Lorre’s television crown.
At the start of the 2010/2011 season, CBS moved the comedy about two physicists and their hot neighbor from the safety of Monday night to a new berth on Thursday. In hindsight, that was an incredibly brilliant move. “The Big Bang Theory” became a strong anchor on that night, serving as a safe lead-in for the new William Shatner sitcom “$h*! My Dad Says.” According to a recent press release from CBS , “The Big Bang Theory” also shows ratings gains from week to week.
So is there any danger of Jim Parsons, who plays delightfully rude Sheldon Cooper, pulling a Sheen with CBS or Chuck Lorre Productions? Will Parsons, who earned both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the role, demand more screen time, money or other perks? Probably not, since in television interviews, Parsons comes across as a more mild-mannered version of Sheldon Cooper and frequently joins his castmates at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Now that the dust is settling on the eruption of Mount St. Sheen, Chuck Lorre may, however, want to revisit that quaint Pasadena apartment building that serves as home base for Sheldon, roommate Leonard and their neighbor Penny. “The Big Bang Theory” seems to have lost a few comic steps along the way, looking more and more like a nerdier version of “Friends.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the show is getting into some very familiar territory.
Leonard and Penny, for instance, are turning into a 21st-Century version of Ross and Rachel. In the current story arc, Leonard has extinguished his burning torch for Penny and is happily dating the sister of his co-worker Raj. Despite constant reassurances that she is happy that Leonard has moved on, Penny has broken down in tears over her broken relationship. Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon’s female equivalent, even turned her tears into a science experiment.
The whole Amy Farrah Fowler/Sheldon match-up also is losing the spark it once had. Sheldon has been talking to Amy more and more on his cellphone or video chatting with her on his laptop, threatening to “minimize her window” when he gets angry. Amy also has a stronger libido than Sheldon, even describing how she uses her electric toothbrush in new ways during ” The Toast Derivation ” episode.
Amy also has developed a mean streak, even calling her ‘besty’ (best friend) Penny ‘needy’ several times during “The Toast Derivation.” Sheldon’s pompous nature has taken a more cruel turn as of late, even after sharing an apartment with the relatively social Leonard for 8 years. Recent episodes show Sheldon as outwardly cruel to both Penny and Leonard. His behavior has changed from funny and cute to borderline annoying.
For this season, “Two and a Half Man” is a closed case, but Chuck Lorre and his writers may need to do some basic maintenance over in their Pasadena property to keep everyone happy.