By the time many sitcoms have reached their fifth season, the characters have started to exaggerate into caricature, as the writers begin to run out of genuine stories to tell about them. Plots grow more outlandish and/or trivial; quirks of personality become more over-the-top; and new characters are introduced in the hope that they'll freshen things up, while others languish from under-use.
Half of this week's The Big Bang Theory -- the half in which Sheldon spent almost the entire episode at odds with a bird perched on his windowsill -- teetered mighty close to that unfortunate TV trap, but ultimately managed to jump over it. The other half of the show, however -- the half in which Leonard and Penny went out together on a not-a-date date (i.e. there was no sex at the end of the night) -- was one of my favorite Leonard-and-Penny episodes in a long time, precisely because the characters remained firmly, recognizably human, and the writers proved there are still plenty of stories left to tell about these two. Read More...http://tvrecaps.ew.com/recap/big-bang-theory-s5-ep9-sheldon-hates-birds/