TV Club: The Big Bang Theory: “The Colonization Application”

The best episodes of The Big Bang Theory are the ones that treat the characters like real people. They avoid some of the more predominant and predictable sitcom beats in favor of a more nuanced approach to storytelling. Meaningful character work, the kind that engages with a show’s past and allows conflicts and resolutions to appear organically, is what makes episodes like “The Champagne Reflection” or “The Anxiety Optimization” stand out in a 22-episode season. Those episodes work because they feel lived-in, because the narrative beats feel natural to the characters and the world they occupy. An episode like tonight’s “The Colonization Application” is what the show looks like at its worst. While there’s nothing overly cynical or off-putting in the episode, the storylines are bland and predictable, where the characters aren’t unique individuals, but rather just vessels for stale punchlines.

The episode kicks off harmlessly …

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