The Big Bang Theory - Season 8
The eighth season of The Big Bang Theory was confirmed on March 12, 2014, after a 3-season deal with CBS which renewed the series through its tenth season, meaning that it would run until at least 2017. The Big Bang Theory started on Mondays, in front of The Millers until October 20, due to the NFL's Thursday Night Football. It moved back to Thursdays on October 30, 2014 before Mom. The season premiere aired on September 22, 2014. The main focus of the season is on Penny's new career and the death of Howard's mother, Debbie Wolowitz.
The Big Bang Theory - Season 8
On August 4, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco each signed a three-year contract for one million dollars for each episode. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have also signed contracts for three seasons for more than $750,000 per episode. There were some contract issues between Galecki, Cuoco, and Parsons; however, these issues have been resolved.
Carol Ann Susi, the voice of the never-seen Mrs. Wolowitz, died of cancer at age 62 on November 11, 2014. In the season's fifteenth episode, "The Comic Book Store Regeneration", Howard Wolowitz receives a phone call that his mother died while visiting family in Florida.
In February 2014, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves confirmed an eighth season, when announcing that the first part of the new season would air on a different night, due to CBS acquiring the rights to Thursday Night Football games. In May 2014, CBS announced at its annual upfront presentation, that the series would begin its eighth season on Mondays, before returning to the Thursday slot it has held since 2010 on October 30, once the football games end.
Production for the season was expected to begin on July 30, 2014, however the start was delayed due to the five main cast members' desire to renegotiate new contracts, with Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco seeking approximately $1 million per episode, as well as more backend money. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar negotiated together, separate from Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco's negotiations. Production was officially delayed on July 30, due to the contract negotiations, and was rescheduled for August 6, 2014. On August 4, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco signed new contracts, worth $1 million per episode for three years, with the possibility to extend for a fourth year. The deals also include larger pieces of the show, signing bonuses, production deals and advances towards the back-end. The following day, Helberg and Nayyar renegotiated their contracts, giving them a per-episode pay in the "mid six-figure range", up from around $100,000 per episode they each received in years prior. The first table read for season 8 took place on August 6.
The first episode of season 8, "The Locomotion Interruption", first aired in the US on September 22, 2014. In Australia, season 8 premiered on October 13, 2014. In the UK, "The Locomotion Interruption" first aired on October 23, 2014.
After Penny gets a company car, she sells the one that Leonard gave her months ago and gives him the money. It bothers Leonard and leads to a conflict between the two. They later share a dinner with Howard and Bernadette to seek their counsel on marriage and finances, but this in turn leads to an argument between Bernadette and Howard over money since Bernadette earns more than Howard. Leonard and Penny decide to use it as an example of what not to do in their marriage and finish having sex on the money. Bernadette and Howard eventually make up as well. Raj and Sheldon see a chance to study dark matter by participating in experiments conducted in a salt mine. To test themselves, they crawl into a hot, sweaty steam pipe tunnel in the university basement with Amy waiting above ground. Sheldon fights several phobias including fear of enclosed places. He also reveals his fear that his new research will fail him like string theory did. Raj consoles him by relating his own fear when he first left India. When some rats show up, a panicked Sheldon quickly abandons Raj, who later excoriates Sheldon for doing so. Their simulation lasts eleven minutes, longer than Amy's estimates.
Leonard has a revelation about Superfluid vacuum and presents his theory to Sheldon who approves. Sheldon writes a paper on their work and they post an online paper together. It is well received except for one troll who makes disparaging comments. Sheldon challenges this person, but panics when he tries to video call him. Leonard and Sheldon decide to stand up for themselves and are stunned when their harasser is revealed as Professor Stephen Hawking who actually liked their paper and had only commented negatively out of boredom. Meanwhile at Penny's apartment the girls spend the night embarrassing each other, first by watching the terrible gorilla movie that was Penny's last acting job, then Penny finds some video footage of a younger Bernadette in a beauty pageant, and finally Bernadette reveals Amy's romantic fan fiction of Little House on the Prairie theme about her and Sheldon: this backfires when they become invested in the story. Leonard also enjoys Penny reading the fanfic to him, but stops before a sex scene.
Barry Kripke stops by to thank Amy for helping him with her ideas on string theory, which bothers Sheldon because she never helped him out when he was working on it. He complains to Penny who tells him to "let it go". Instead, Sheldon reveals that Amy was secretly performing experiments on Penny and Leonard and comparing the results with those of a chimpanzee, infuriating Penny. Leonard and Raj run into Nathan Fillion at a deli, but he denies he is an actor so he can eat in peace. Later, he admits who he is and offers to take a picture with them. Raj, who now doubts whether he is the real Nathan Fillion, asks questions to verify his identity and annoys him. Stuart has opened his newly-renovated comic book store, which impresses everyone except Howard who finds him using some of his mother's furniture. However, all arguments end when Howard gets a call from Florida where his mother is visiting, and receives news that she died in her sleep. Everyone, including Sheldon who knows how it feels to lose a family member, goes to comfort Howard. After he and Bernadette leave for Florida, the rest of the gang remember and toast Mrs. Wolowitz, with Leonard calling her "a loving mother to all of us".
The eighth season received positive reviews. MaryAnn Sleasman of TV.com praised character developments, and wrote that "there's a lot to be excited about with regard to this coming season" with some of the central characters more comfortable around each other.Emily Gould of Salon criticized the humor, writing that "I watched all seven episodes that had aired so far this season and didn't so much as expel air forcefully from my nose in response to any of the jokes". Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club also criticized the humor, writing that "A lot of the jokes are tired and the plotlines are standard sitcom material, but if it's worked for seven seasons, why switch it up now?"
Maybe we need one of these in order to make Emily click, pairing her off with Howard for example, but, until then, she might be better off as an unseen presence, only mentioned in passing as she has been for much of season eight so far.
The astrophysicist hit it off with Raj, but was immediately dismissed by Sheldon, who holds him responsible for Pluto's demotion as a planet. He'll be back on the 12th season premiere when he gets into a Twitter fight with Raj.
Wyatt comes to visit his daughter on season four's ninth episode and is thrilled about Penny dating someone with a college degree. The only problem is that they're not together anymore. Wyatt just doesn't know that.
Previously, Smith's voice was heard on season eight, episode 20 of the show. Smith calls into a podcast taping about Penny's ape movie with Wheaton. It turns out Smith is one of the few people who enjoyed the movie and he invites Penny to audition for a role in "Clerks 3."
Penny started sporting a really short hairdo during The Big Bang Theory season 8 for a very good reason. Kaley Cuoco's character was among the original five players in the CBS sitcom when it premiered in 2007. Her looks evolved over the years, but she always wore her blonde hair long. So, fans were understandably surprised when she debuted a pixie cut in 2014.
The drastic change in Penny's appearance circa 2014 was motivated by Kaley Cuoco's other project at that time. The actress needed to cut her hair for her role as Katy in Burning Bodhi, an independent film directed and written by Matthew McDuffie. The movie was released in 2015, so its production coincided with The Big Bang Theory season 8, as well as the season 9 premiere featuring Penny and Leonard's wedding. In-universe, the sitcom didn't really address why she chose to chop her luscious blonde hair.
The character's appearance in the show has actually been controversial, especially in retrospect. In earlier seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Penny was consistently objectified, which was reflected in the way she was dressed. Cuoco, herself, recently opened up about this, saying that she was original "the cute girl next door next to the nerds," and how she was dressed for the part, sporting "booty shorts and Juicy Couture zip-ups." Unfortunately, the character was also judged for her active social life and outgoing personality. Sheldon (Jim Parsons), in particular, liked to chastise her for her dating choices, usually implying that she's too easy. However, as time went on, she started being more vocal about the way Penny was presented. Instead of her revealing wardrobe, she started sporting long-sleeve shirts and loafers. By the end of The Big Bang Theory, she's both a fulfilled career woman and a first-time mom-to-be.
Towards the end of The Big Bang Theory, Penny was no longer viewed as a sex object. The fact that she was allowed to sport a pixie cut haircut in season 8 was a testament to the evolution of how the show utilized her character. Now, Cuoco is focused on her new project, starring in The Flight Attendant which has been an instant hit for HBO Max. The role has earned her Critics Choice, SAG, and Golden Globe nominations, potentially with more to come with season 2 now in production. 041b061a72