Friday, August 19, 2016

Emmy Episodes: The Big Bang Theory

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

The Big Bang Theory: Season 9, Episode 11 “The Opening Night Excitation” (B+)
Nominated for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Bob Newhart)

I always enjoyed watching this show most of all come Emmy time, and it’s a sad fact that only two episodes are contending this year. Sure, I know that I could go back and just start watching the whole show again or just watch selected episodes, but all hope of that died when I got put off by negative references to blogs and “Battlestar Galactica” back when the pilot first aired in 2007. I’m not sure how much the quality of the show has really changed, but none of the series regulars are nominated for the first time since the show’s first season. This episode is the submission of Emmy veteran Bob Newhart, marking his eighth nomination and his third for this role. He won in 2013 for his first appearance, and now he’s back as a hallucination who bears a striking resemblance to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Tying this episode in with the premiere of the new “Star Wars” movie, an event that coincides with Amy’s birthday, is very fun, and there’s no denying that Newhart is an entertaining part of it, grumbling about how Sheldon has brought him back to life to give him counsel and listen to his shocking lack of self-awareness when it comes to what his priorities in his relationship should be. It’s probably on par with his previous appearances, but it doesn’t strike me as an Emmy-worthy performance. The episode as a whole is a blast, and Wil Wheaton defiantly walking in to boos in full “Star Trek” garb was one particular highlight.

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