Did we like it?
Leonard and Sheldon: Two 20-something nerdy physicists who share an apartment across the hallway from the newly single, gorgeous and not very bright Penny. Most of the laughs spring from their nerdish behaviour and complete ineptness with women. So far, so stereotypical. However, whilst not a belly laugh or groundbreaking comedy such as Arrested Development, this is still pretty funny, and straddles the gap between Frasier and Friends. Though we can’t see it having anything like those shows longevity.
What was good about it?
• When Leonard and Sheldon first meet Penny, Leonard remarks that she is a significant improvement over their previous neighbour. Sheldon’s response gets the first big laugh of the show, “A 200lb transvestite with a skin condition? Yes, she is.”
• Their nerd credentials are constantly established throughout the show. When Leonard points out that they’ve already watched their DVD’s of Battlestar Galactica, Season 2. Sheldon replies, “Not with commentaries!”
• As the most socially inept of the guys, Sheldon gets some great lines. After we meet the flatmates at an abortive visit to a ‘High IQ Sperm Clinic’, when Penny asks “What do you do for fun around here?” “Well, this morning we tried masturbating for money…” creased us up.
• As Penny disappears into her apartment, Leonard wistfully declares, “Our babies will be smart and beautiful.” “Not to mention imaginary…” replies Sheldon.
• The guys two best friends, Howard (who mistakenly thinks he has a chance with Penny) and Rajesh (who is too nervous to even talk to women) are even more socially inept, and there’s definitely more comic potential to be mined here.
• Having agreed to retrieve Penny’s TV from her (huge) ex-boyfriend, Leonard and Sheldon return without the TV. And without their trousers.
What was bad about it?
• The basic premise shares some real similarities with The IT Crowd. Are the lawyers watching?
• All the characters are pretty much caricatures.