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'Big Bang Theory' recap: Vicious gossip is so underrated

April 7, 2011 | 10:31 pm


While Charlie Sheen was entertaining you with some sort of male menopausal meltdown, “The Big Bang Theory” became America’s No. 1 sitcom. Not the best, just the favorite. But Thursday’s satisfying episode shows why Bang has found a steady following.

Titled “The Herb Garden Germination,” this show probably featured the best ensemble work of the season. It’s a complicated little storyline that manages to work seamlessly: The rumor mill is afire with word that Bernadette is going to dump Howard. Howard stirs things up by announcing his plans to propose to her. Fascinated by the role of rumors in their circle of friends, Sheldon and Amy plant a few juicy ones. Somehow, the writers are able to tie it all together in a breezy story that ends with surprise and a really sweet proposal. You think surprise is vital to good story telling? This episode shows exactly why.

This ep also shows why Bang is most successful when it deals with friendship and character rather than some far-flung plotting. I’ll bet this storyline didn’t exactly fall into place, but it came out looking effortless. There’s hardly a wasted moment. Every cast member has a chance to shine. Series MVP Jim Parsons is less jitterbuggy than usual, and much more watchable. All in all, a fine week for America’s new king of sitcoms.

Favorite line:

Sheldon: “I had an unusual experience with Amy the other night.”

Leonard: “How could you tell?”

--Chris Erskine

Photo: Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) in April 7 episode that deals with love and gossip. Credit: Justina Mintz/CBS