‘The Big Bang Theory’: Will Anything Really Change?

'Big Bang Theory' season finale

The Season 8 finale of The Big Bang Theory has been hyped as the cliffhanger episode that brings major changes to the show’s major relationships. Interviews with the show’s executive producer Steven Molaro have teased Amy pushing Sheldon to the tipping point or Sheldon pushing Leonard and Penny to set a wedding date, or both.

In his most recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Molaro said “a lot of stuff goes down,” referring to the roommates’ relationships, as well as Raj and Emily.

But will anything really change on The Big Bang Theory? At least one critic thinks not.

Writing for Postmedia, Jim Slotek said a Big Bang Theory episode in Season 8 is pretty much the same as one in Season 2. That slow change, where nothing really does, means the show is as effective in syndication as when new episodes hit the air.

“I’m still confident that I could miss Thursday’s finale of ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ plus the first six episodes of season 9, turn it back on and feel like nothing had changed.”

Slotek said the show still makes him laugh, and the changes that have occurred are significant, such as Penny’s new job as a pharmaceutical rep. The slow evolution of Sheldon and Amy’s relationship, due to come to a head in the finale, has also worked, in Slotek’s opinion.

Another critic, John Doyle of the Globe and Mail, is far less kind. He claims the show is no longer funny.

“‘Big Bang’ has deteriorated this season into a repetitive, groan-inducing bore… The sparkle is gone. The cleverness of the jokes has evaporated.”

According to Doyle, the original dynamic that consisted of scientists and their blonde bombshell neighbor, and the resulting “science jokes and the guys’ fear of Penny’s blonde sexiness and adorability,” has been replaced with a relationship show. Doyle said he would not miss The Big Bang Theory if it was cancelled.

While EW teases there will be “several threads hanging” after Thursday’s episode, everyone knows the show has at least two more seasons to go. Last year’s cliffhanger consisted of Sheldon running away from Pasadena because of the number of changes around him. In the premiere episode of Season 8, he came home.

Although last week’s episode, which featured the first meeting of Sheldon and Leonard’s mothers, was the lowest-rated of the season with 13.85 million viewers, The Big Bang Theory is still a wildly popular sitcom. Its average number of viewers for Season 8 was 16.21 million people.

The cliffhanger season finale of The Big Bang Theory gets started at 8 p.m. Thursday on CBS.

[Image courtesy of The Big Bang Theory / CBS]