Now that I’ve posted on what I loved from last week’s Big Bang Theory, I have to note what I didn’t love. It’s not a huge deal, really, but I was bothered by the discrepancies in last week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory (season 5, episode 12 “The Shiny Trinket Maneuver”). Howard becomes concerned when his fiance, Bernadette, says she doesn’t like kids and doesn’t know how to handle them. She’s quite firm in her refusal and does in fact demonstrate poor parenting skills when handling the kids at the magic show. Bernadette explained that her mom was always working, so she had to take care of her younger siblings. Howard thinks it will be better when they have their own kids, but Bernadette isn’t convinced:
When it’s our kid that has ruined my body and kept me up all night and I have no career and no future and nothing to be happy about for the next twenty years, sure, that will be completely different!
Now let’s jump back to season 3, episode 14 – “The Einstein Approximation”. Bernadette handles fussy, whiny, sleep-deprived Sheldon flawlessly. When asked how she did it, Bernadette points out that her mother used to run an illegal daycare in their basement.
Bernadette: Okay, Sheldon, what happens to our neuro-receptors when we don’t get enough REM sleep?
Sheldon: They lose their sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine.
Bernadette: Which leads to…?
Sheldon: Impaired cognitive function.
Bernadette: Right. [firmly, pointing at his bedroom] So march in there, brush your teeth and go to bed!
Sheldon: [in a childish manner] …But I don’t wanna go to bed.
Bernadette: [firmly] I’m gonna count to three. One…
Sheldon: [exasperated] Oh, all right! [leaves]
Leonard: [shocked] That was amazing how you handled him.
Bernadette: I know how to deal with stubborn children. My mother used to run an illegal daycare center in our basement.
There have been other episodes wherein Bernadette handles Sheldon in a very maternal – and effective – manner. She helps him get over his fear of birds, for example, and she convinces him to take all of the ladies dancing. I fully expected to hear a Bernie version of “Soft Kitty” sometime soon!
So now Bernadette’s entire background is different? Just for the conflict between her and Howard? I guess it bothers me because it seems like an obvious contradiction that could have been easily avoided. Just make her be bitchy and snap at the kids because she’s no good at lying and therefore not great with magic. Or have her be worried about losing her career/body/free time, but don’t make her a hardcore kid hater, damn. Her sweet side – and her delight at all of Howard’s odd little quirks – are what I like most about her!
I also don’t enjoy the storyline of her treating Howard like he’s the boy toy to her sugar mama. I guess I think these plots would play out better with, say, Leonard and Pria, or Leonard and Penny, or even Raj and some girl who he manages to date. Like maybe his deaf girlfriend that was mentioned like twice and then never discussed again?