Fall TV 2014RecapReviewTV

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Review/Recap: “The Prom Equivalency”

Sam Rivman ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Prom Equivalency." Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.
Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting in The Big Bang Theory episode “The Prom Equivalency.” Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

It may have taken eight episodes, but season eight of The Big Bang Theory is finally shaping up. The first half of the season was utterly unimpressive. For awhile, it felt as though the writers had finally lost their edge. However, “The Prom Equivalency” proved that the first seven episodes of the eight season were just bumps in the road of greatness for The Big Bang Theory.

The most important aspect of “The Prom Equivalency” that had been ignored for the first part of season eight was that the humor was focused once again around humorous situations rather than squabbling between couples. The comedy in this episode was lighthearted and on point.

At the start of the episode, the girls decide to throw their very own prom. Upon doing so, Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) poke fun at Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) reputation of being sexually loose in high school. The banter between them was well timed and witty, and set a positive tone for the episode early on. By far the funniest occurrence in the episode as well as in the entire season so far was when Stewart’s (Kevin Sussman) date to the prom is revealed to be Howard’s (Simon Helberg) second cousin.

Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Prom Equivalency." Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.
Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory episode “The Prom Equivalency.” Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

Yes, that’s right, the infamous second cousin that Howard had sex with  previously. The moment of that reveal was hilarious, albeit the constant quarreling between Howard and Stewart has become a bit stale. While most of the petty squabbling has been resolved, Howard and Stewart can’t stop fighting over Howard’s mother, which is leading to a bit too much tension between them. The Big Bang Theory’s best approach has always been to keep the characters’ friendships strong, and it would be unreasonable to see that trend end here.

The episode was also heartwarming, with a huge reveal towards the end to make viewers cry as well as laugh. When Penny and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) arrive on the rooftop for their impromptu prom, they share a dance since Leonard had nobody to dance with at his prom. Their dance was both tender and even a bit comical, as Penny fails to convince Leonard that she would have danced with him had she been at his prom in high school.

Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Prom Equivalency." Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.
Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory episode “The Prom Equivalency.” Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

The show is infinitely more pleasurable to watch when Penny and Leonard show that they care for each other rather than clawing at each others throats. The biggest emotional reveal of the season occurs in “The Prom Equivalency” as well. Amy is about to tell Sheldon that she loves him, when Sheldon actually says it first! Never in a million years would Sheldon have ever been expected to say such a thing in the past, which shows incredible character growth. Amy is so surprised that she actually has a panic attack, which keeps the mood from getting too sappy.

If The Big Bang Theory can just dust themselves off from the first half of season eight and continue on the path that “The Prom Equivalency” set forth, the rest of season eight should be absolutely incredible. There was very little to complain about, as this week’s episode was one of the show’ best in a very long time.

Overall Episode Grade: A

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