The Big Bang Theory, "The Thespian Catalyst": going Bollywood

Quick Take: The Big Bang Theory, "The Thespian Catalyst"
"Cute is for bunny-rabbits. I want to be something with sex appeal -- like a Labradoodle." - Raj

Raj's Bollywood dance number

Review: The Big Bang Theory, "The Thespian Catalyst"
(S0514) Sheldon tries to teach a class and fails miserably, which leads him to go to Penny for acting lessons so he can better act like he cares about his students. In his typical Sheldon-ness, he doesn't listen much, condescends and is kind of a jerk to her the whole time, but then they decide to run a scene from Sheldon's Star Trek fan fiction that he's turned into a one-act play. Penny brings Sheldon out of his comfort zone, and has him play the part of his mother, while she plays Spock, and something goes a little bonkers inside him.

Meanwhile, Raj has hit some sort of emotional and hormonal high point and starts daydreaming about ways to get permission to take over Howard's role in his relationship with Bernadette. It's very cute, even if it means that through the entire episode, Raj is staring off into space and not really interacting with anyone.

This is not quite a Raj episode, but it's close, and it turns out to be both a little creepy and pretty cute, which pretty much sums up Raj. He's not good with the ladies, and when even a little attention is directed at him, his imagination runs with it. And you know what? Most shows could be improved with a fancy Bollywood dance number at the end -- especially ones where one of the characters is Indian. It could have come across a little... culturally insensitive, or a little stereotyped, but it really doesn't. It's feasible that Raj's brain would go Bollywood. And it wasn't as if all his daydreams were like that. Plus, it's practically a given in certain branches of geek culture that things will go Bollywood eventually.

And if this turns out to be the start of Raj dealing with his girl-phobia and getting a girlfriend of his own, I'm all on board! 

More thoughts on "The Thespian Catalyst":

  •  "Mommy, I love you, don't let Mr Spock take me away to the future!" - Sheldon. When he has a meltdown, he really melts down, huh?
  • Sheldon was his usual jerky self this ep, but he wasn't as bad as he sometimes is, and he and Penny really do play off each other well... even if it drives her to drink almost every time.
  • One of the things I like about watching this show via DVD is one of the things that's aggravating watching week-to-week: The meandering of the storyline. When you're watching a whole season at once, meandering is compressed and it's easier to keep track of plot-threads, but when it's week to week, it feels like they take forever to get back to things. How long before Raj deals with his need to get a date? Who knows!
  • Video: The Big Bang Theory, "The Thespian Catalyst"
    Bolly Koothrapali...

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow!

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