The Big Bang Theory ‘The 2003 Approximation’ Review: Nostalgia Trip

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WARNING: This review contains spoilers

I mentioned last week that Leonard moving to Penny’s would be a conflict sooner or later, but I didn’t expect it to be this soon. ‘The 2003 Approximation’ is a nostalgia trip for the series as Sheldon realizes he has now developed feelings and he fears abandonment from his friends.

We already knew that Leonard moving out would be very hard for Sheldon. Not only is Leonard his best friend, but he also hates change. And, as we saw in this episode, it’s quite unlikely that Sheldon will find another roomie that is as tolerant as Leonard. On top of that, Sheldon is still recovering from Amy, which makes things even worse.

The 2003 Approximation - The Big Bang Theor y- The Daily Fandom

This leads Sheldon to visit Bernadette for some advice. When was the last time we saw a scene of these two together? Sadly, this conversation was a bit useless as it didn’t lead to anything: Stuart refuses being Sheldon’s roommate, which I found to be a shame. We would have solved two problems at once and it would have also been fun to see the Sheldon/Stuart dynamic. However, Stuart isn’t really a part of the gang and it would be a bit weird to see him as a regular so I understand why the writers decided not to do it.

I couldn’t help but feel quite sad and nostalgic when Leonard signed the contract. To be honest, when he hesitated to sign I almost thought that he would not move away, hence unfolding another argument with Penny. Fortunately, that did not happen. This episode gave us a lot of character development for Sheldon, though.

“You and Leonard and Penny, you all poisoned me with emotions. I was like the Tin Man, perfectly content until the evil wizard gave him a heart”. (Sheldon to Amy)

All this confusion causes Sheldon to reboot back to 2003, before he lived with Leonard. What is actually going on with Sheldon is that he is having those fears we all have when we see our friends moving on with their lives and we begin to fear that the friendship is not going to last forever. I even got reminded of the endings of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and How I Met Your Mother (although I don’t think TBBT compares to those two (yet)).

The 2003 Approximation - The Big Bang Theor y- The Daily Fandom

The other part of the story was focused on Howard and Raj starting a geeky band to play in Stuart’s comicbook store. It was nice to see Howard and Raj doing his goofy things again. We also saw Emily, who doesn’t really enjoy the music because “you can’t dance to it”. Raj’s dance to prove her wrong was easily the funniest thing in the episode. And hey, say what you want but I found that song to be kind of catchy and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sung in next year’s San Diego Comic Con (if the cast attends the con, of course).

(Side-note, I noticed they changed some transitions from scene to scene which I have to say EW! For a moment I thought we were being introduced to a flashback. Don’t do it again, please).

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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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