The TV show The Big Bang Theory is one of those topics that seems to engender opinions in the geek community only on the extremes: I know a lot of people who can’t stand it, and a lot of people who love it, but very few in between. I happen to be among those who love it, so am very pleased that CBS will air the show’s 100th episode tonight.
I had the pleasure of chatting with some of the stars, guest stars, and executives from the show last month when they gathered to celebrate the 100th episode’s taping. Everyone was pretty tight-lipped about the episode’s plot, but Bill Prady — the show’s co-creator and executive producer (who incidentally got his start writing for the Muppets) — said it was largely about Leonard and Penny revisiting the history of their (non-)relationship, and would include references to the show’s very first episode. (In fact, you can spot such a reference in the promo video above, if you look carefully.) He also intimated that there would be some kind of twist to the episode, but that’s about all he would say about it.
The most interesting thing I learned about the way the show works from the event was that they have no specific long-term plans. Prady told me he couldn’t tell me what their plans were for the rest of the season because they had paused in the midst of writing episode 101 to go to the party, and they hadn’t planned anything beyond that. Of course, there are some things they know will happen, like Howard and Bernadette getting married, but Prady and the other executives either really had no idea or were very good at pretending so when I asked how they were going to handle Howard getting married without having his mother appear on-screen.
I did also get a chance to speak with honorary GeekDad Wil Wheaton, who has made several appearances on the show as an evil version of himself. He admitted that he was a little disappointed that in his most recent appearance the writers toned down Evil Wil’s evilness, because as anyone who’s ever acted in anything knows, villains are so much fun to play. Even in my outsider position, it was obvious that Wheaton loves and is loved by everyone on the show, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more of Evil (or Not Quite So Evil) Wil Wheaton in the future. (Wheaton is definitely not in the 100th episode, incidentally.)
The 100th episode of The Big Bang Theory airs tonight on CBS at 8:00pm ET/PT. I know I’ll be watching, and I hope you will be, too.