On TV: Review of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 8 premier

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The Big Bang Theory” | Season 8, Episodes 1 and 2: “The Locomotion Interruption” and “The Junior Professor Solution” | Date: Sept. 21, 2014


The comedy website Cracked spewed some vitriol on “The Big Bang Theory,” with the critic call the popular situation comedy “a goddamned terrible show.”

That seems a harsh and ill-considered. Certainly the troubled nerds and their beautiful women meme is well-worn into its eighth season. But Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper is one of the great television characters of the 21st century.

When last we saw Sheldon, he was overwhelmed by all the change in his life. He decided to take a train trip to clear his head. We see him in a train station, no pants and one shoe, the victim of a robbery. He babbles incoherently about various scientific theories until he finally calls Leonard (Johnny Galecki) from a police station.

Watching Parsons vamp is a pleasure, even if the other plotlines in the season’s first two episode are rather placid. Long-mocked Howard (Simon Helberg) decided to take a physics course from Sheldon to work toward his TV. They fight about who is smarter.

Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) helps Penny (Kaley Cuoco) get a job as a pharmaceutical representative. Bernadette is put off by Penny’s apparent laziness. Penny is annoyed by Bernadette’s bossyness. Both women confide in Amy (Mayim Bialik), who is delighted to play  her friends anxieties off one another simply for the attention.

“The Big Bang Theory” is the highest-rated show on television. Is it the best? No. But it is enjoyable, largely on the strength of Parsons’ work. It’s also not the worst show on TV. It’s entertaining, which is all that we can ask from a sitcom and much more than most deliver.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Ghostbusters’ vs. ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’

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6 P.M. THE GHOST & MRS. MUIR — COMEDY: Tired of the machinations of the mercurial and pompous poltergeist  Daniel Gregg (Edward Mulhare), Mrs. Muir (Hope Lange) calls in the Ghostbusters to trap the ghost of the 19th century sea captain. But will she find the smarmy advances of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) any less terrifying?

Twisted TV Listings: Dukes of Hazzard vs. Knight Rider vs. The A-Team vs. The Incredible Hulk

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7:00 P.M. DUKES OF HAZZARD VS. KNIGHT RIDER VS. THE A-TEAM VS. THE INCREDIBLE HULK — ACTION: In this star studded spectacular, the Foundation for Law and Government dispatches Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) to finally bring in the A-Team.

A lead takes Michael to a small Georgia county outside Atlanta, where Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best) catches KITT in a speed trap in a small Georgia town, Michael is forced to perform German pop songs at the Boar’s Nest.

Meanwhile, the Dukes, tired of being harassed by Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and the corrupt Hazzard County politicians and law enforcement hire the Hannibal Smith (George Peppard) and the A-Team to put them out of business permanently.

In the ensuing confrontation with Hogg and his subordinates, B.A. Baracas (Mr. T) tosses Roscoe over the bar, the scofflaw sheriff bumps into new busboy David Bananarama, secretly Dr. David Banner (Bill Bixby), physician and scientist, seeking a cure for the monster that dwells within him known as the Hulk (Lou Ferrigno).

Banner “hulks out,” smashes the General Lee and tosses the A-Team’s Murdock (Dwight Schultz) so high in the air the mentally unstable decorated Vietnam pilot is now afraid to fly just like B.A.

The Hulk threatens to destroy all of Hazzard with his rage. KITT tries to intervene, but Hulk holds up the super car’s real wheels until it runs out of gas. Michael pleads into his wrist communicator for help from mechanic Bonnie (Patricia McPherson), but she’s making out with local greasemonkey Cooter (Ben Jones) in the front seat of his tow truck.

Only when the Hulk spies Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) does his rampage slake. Can her oh-so-short shorts soothe the savage beast that threatens them all before the a convoy that includes the military police, investigative reporter Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) and that semi truck with the boring English guy (Edward Mulhare) shows up?

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.’ takes on the ‘hurt locker’

6:00 P.M. GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C. — COMEDY: After ticking off Gunnery Sgt. Vince Carter (Frank Sutton) one too many times, Gomer (Jim Nabors) is assigned to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team in Afghanistan. Will this finally mean the end for the Mayberry, N.C., native?

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Looney Tunes’ Wilie E. Coyote hunt for the Road Runner finally ends

7:00 A.M. LOONEY TUNES — CARTOON: Wilie E. Coyote’s unslaked pursuit of the Road Runner ends when Acme finally cuts off his line of credit for overdue fees and he’s forced to declare bankruptcy.

Twisted TV Listings: A very special ‘I Love Lucy’

7:OO P.M. I LOVE LUCY — COMEDY: Lucy (Lucille Ball) learns the one funny thing she ever did on this show — eat a bunch of candy coming off a conveyor belt too quickly for her and Ethel (Vivian Vance) to put in boxes — likely gave her Type II diabetes and will result in her losing a foot in this very special episode.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘ESPN: Outside the Lines’ discovers why Jeter quit

7 p.m. OUTSIDE THE LINES — SPORTS TALK: In-depth interview reveals Derek Jeter decided to retire to play final season without A-Rod in the locker room and be gone before that jerk gets back from his yearlong suspension.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Say Anything 2014′

8 p.m. SAY ANYTHING — Movie: A kid from the wrong side of the tracks, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), is arrested for stalking and disturbing the peace and quiet after playing a Peter Gabriel song from a boombox while harassing the valedictorian of his class Diane Court (Ione Skye) who wants nothing to do with the creepy wanna-be kickboxer.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Honeymooners’ discover life on the moon

7 p.m. THE HONEYMOONERS — Comedy: Apollo astronauts are surprised to find Mrs. Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) standing on the moon with a black eye saying, “Well, Ralph always said he would send me here.”

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Star Trek’ confronts scourge of racism

6 p.m. STAR TREK – Sci-Fi: Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) find themselves in hot water after Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) files a hostile work environment charge with Starfleet human resources, citing McCoy’s constant racist references to Spock’s green blood and pointed ears and Kirk’s goading for Spock to turn his back on his cultural heritage of suppressing his emotion.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘Say a Anything 2: The Reunion’

SAY ANYTHING 2: THE REUNION (2013): It turns out Diane Court’s (Ione Skye) dad was right: Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) was just a distraction. Diane takes up her father’s criminal ways. Twenty-five years after she dumped Dobler in London, Diane is running financial the biggest scheme since Bernie Madoff. And it’s up to U.S. Treasury Agent Lloyd Dobler to bring her down. Will he put the love of his life behind bars? ACTION, ADVENTURE, ROMANCE. RATED TV-MA for strong language, sexual situations, drug use and gun violence. 98 minutes.

Twisted TV Listings: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas 2013′

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS 2013: Charlie Brown and the gang are heartbroken when school district cancels the school play because the parents of the one atheist kid in school complains about the religious nature of a nativity play. Lucy Van Pelt is detained by state authorities for practicing psychiatry without a license. The local fire department shuts down Snoopy’s light display because of fire code violations. Environmental activists protest Charlie Brown as aiding in the deforestation by selecting a sickly sapling for his Christmas tree.