‘Big Bang Theory': How Will Coitus Change Amy and Sheldon?
‘Big Bang Theory’s’ Sheldon and Amy Are Finally Having Sex! 10 TV Couples Who Kept Us Waiting.
The proton torpedo has been fired. It was masterful timing, really, that helped The Big Bang Theory execute an episode that contained a moment fans will be talking about for seasons to come.
In the early days of “The Big Bang Theory,” series co-creator Chuck Lorre spoke about the Sheldon character being asexual – or really, just choosing not to participate in the rituals of dating and mating, preoccupied as he was with science and related pastimes, from science fiction to comic books. On one hand, the CBS comedy provided closure for one of its most highly hyped story lines as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and longtime girlfriend Amy (Mayim Bialik) finally lost their virginity to each other. So the long-awaited, much-ballyhooed consummation of his unorthodox relationship with Amy is either an intriguing evolution or a betrayal of the show’s roots and byproduct of “What do we do to keep things fresh in Season 9?” desperation, depending on one’s point of view. On the other, the entire episode was about “Star Wars.” In fact, the show — currently the most-watched sitcom in the country — started by comparing what would be more important: “Star Wars” or sex.
Consider it the Chuck Lorre, multi-cam laugh-track version of Donna Martin finally getting laid. (Tori Spelling managed to hold out for seven seasons and 206 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210. Sheldon and his pals had tickets to see the opening night of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”; however, as Penny (Kaley Cuoco) pointed out, Amy’s birthday fell on the same night.
One of Sheldon’s main qualities, in fact, is his almost complete lack of empathy, his sizable brain so preoccupied with scientific formulae and fictional minutia as to scarcely have enough room to fret about anyone else’s feelings. Take that, Mayim Bialik.) In the run of TV’s most-watched comedy, it was an event big enough to warrant a press announcement weeks ago, alerting fans of the must-see “event.” Truth be told, in a series that has been on for nine seasons and seen its characters date, bone, marry, break-up, and reunite in every exhausting configuration, it’s quite remarkable that Sheldon and Amy’s first time in “The Opening Night Excitation” felt the way first-times really should feel: special. After a chat with friendly ghost/spiritual adviser Professor Proton (Bob Newhart, dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi), Sheldon recognized that he had to celebrate with Amy. Perhaps that’s why the revelation that he was thinking about proposing – right before Amy, hurt once too often, broke up with him – came a bit out of left field.
Whether they were hindered by previous relationships or by the ever-important search for extraterrestrial life, here are the pairs who took “will they or won’t they” to the extreme. At the start of Thursday’s episode — which, as you know, is also the first night the public can see The Force Awakens — Sheldon is prompted to forego his own opening night outing with the guys to celebrate Amy’s birthday.
The truth is out there as to whether the two became FBI special agents with benefits, but it was implied that they both dropped their suits in this season 7 episode. As she put it: “After he stopped giggling, he seemed pretty sure of himself.” It all led up to the big scene, which played out with lots of typical jokes. (Sheldon: “I’m sorry, this is a litigious society.
Much of that has to do with the gifts of Parsons and Bialik, who have turned their fragile characters into a modern-day “David and Lisa,” having grown to love each other, however improbably, in spite of their respective quirks. I’m going to need verbal consent.”) Then, you saw the couple in bed together before and after — it’s broadcast TV, obviously, so none of the actual action. Those qualities came through in the Dec. 17 episode, which (in the most unconvincing wrinkle) saw Sheldon give up his ticket to the “Star Wars” opening in order to spend Amy’s birthday with her, receiving disembodied advice from the spectral TV personality, Arthur (Bob Newhart, now 86, and brilliant as always), who has become his Obi-Wan Kenobi. “Amy’s birthday present will be my genitals,” Sheldon concluded, in an almost clinical manner. (For his part, Arthur wondered why he was never fortunate enough to appear in Angie Dickinson’s bedroom.) Yet the actual moment (OK, just before the actual moment), juxtaposed with the anticipation surrounding “The Force Awakens,” proved sweet, and almost equally funny.
Sheldon ends up deciding to skip opening night and the guys end up going with Wil Wheaton, who dresses up in a Star Trek uniform to represent the “home team.” Well, he’s willing. The laughs multiplied, moreover, through the near-orgasmic reaction of Sheldon’s friends in the theater, capturing the more extreme quadrants of “Star Wars” fandom – offset by “Star Trek” alum Wil Wheaton joining them to help let some of the air out of the festivities.
Before they were on a break, they had fans breathlessly sipping cappuccinos and waiting for them to finally hook up, which happened in Ross’ (David Schwimmer) museum once various other suitors (we still love you, Paolo) were in the past. At a Hollywood Radio and Television Society event on Dec. 14, Lorre addressed the evolution of the characters, noting how he couldn’t have imagined Sheldon’s arc would lead in this direction. It’s one of three “gift” ideas he has. (One of his other ideas involves Amy getting a chance to play with the symphony and the other was a trip to a festival that Amy would attend alone.) They struggle with how much to tell her about the surprise but end up spilling the beans after making one too many hints that leave Amy suspicious. (Friends don’t just randomly invite you to get a bikini wax on your birthday.) When the time comes, she lights candles and the rest unravels rather sweetly. It’s still hard to believe that the two were able to keep their hands off each other while spending an entire summer on his boat between seasons 3 and 4.
He has three ideas: Penny and Bernadette are floored that Sheldon is actually going to be intimate with Amy and overwhelmed that he wants to do it to show her how important she is in his life. Practically speaking, with CBS’ other comedies hardly setting the world on fire, the network has a strong incentive to keep this show as its anchor, meaning “Big Bang’s” future likely hinges on whether (or really, when) the cast will grow tired enough of doing it to be willing to walk away from those Carl Sagan-like checks.
But somehow, Joey (Katie Holmes) kept demurring, and they waited to do the deed until more than halfway through season 4, when things finally heated up during their wintry cabin trip. And to the writers’ credit, it’s certainly riskier to explore these relationship-driven dimensions than just another “The guys go to the comic-book store” episode. After countless furtive glances in the workplace, the two pals finally became more than just coworkers after starting a relationship in the season 3 finale.
That said, there’s a long history of sitcom characters hooking up mostly out of sheer creative exhaustion – having run out of things to talk about – and ruining shows in the process. Before the deed happens, Amy and Sheldon are given a quiet scene together, in which they are adorably nervous. “I’m really nervous,” Amy says. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Which couple had the stronger on-the-job chemistry: Bones’ FBI agent and forensic anthropologist, or Castle’s mystery novelist and homicide detective? This pair clicked a lot faster than Seth (Adam Brody) and Summer (Rachel Bilson) did, yet the toy horse–loving couple ended up in bed a lot sooner than the bad boy from Chino and his former debutante paramour.
And how was Amy and Sheldon’s first time? “Well I enjoyed that more than I thought I would,” Sheldon says post-coital, the camera panning to Amy and her sex hair. Luke (Scott Patterson) learned it was a good idea to hang on to the horoscope Lorelai (Lauren Graham) gave him, as their first date ended up with her wearing his shirt as she greeted the breakfast crowd at the diner the next morning. But what makes this series so interesting isn’t so much the way it deals with those questions, but the greater will-they/won’t-they that drives the series.
Well, it’s more of a will-he/won’t-he: Will Sheldon become more of a human, capable of feeling a full range of emotion and engaging intimately with his loved ones, or won’t he be able to reach that space—of love? His trepidatious tip-toeing into a world of human experience he probably thought he wasn’t even capable of has been the best kind of comedic fodder for the series as it wears on: the kind that is rooted in heart. When showing glints of “normalcy,” an ill-suited word in this case but one that might represent the kind of emotional and social interaction Sheldon is working toward, it’s forever humorous to watch how quickly he’s able to pull out (so to speak) from connection or intimacy at the drop of a hat. “I look forward to your next birthday when we do it again,” he hilariously tells Amy after admitting he enjoyed having sex more than he expected to. After years and years of baby steps, Sheldon finally took the initiative to kiss Amy without prompting, invite her to a slumber party under a living room fort, and admit without hesitation that he loved her. The idea that Sheldon comes to terms with his physical feelings regarding Amy, especially during a point in time when nerd culture is at the peak of its dorkdom, is absolutely satisfying.
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