As a fan of "Big Bang" since the pilot first aired, I've seen the show go through its ups and downs over the last five seasons. While each episode has always managed to make me laugh out loud at least a few times, there are definitely things I wish the writers would quit doing. I sat down to watch tonight's season premiere with hopes that A. Penny and Leonard would finally make some progress in their ridiculous on again, off again relationship and actually decide where they're at with each other, and B. Raj would finally get a real storyline again, after spinning his wheels for a large portion of the last two seasons. Sadly, only one of those problems appears to be solved, and not in the way I'd prefer.
Now, don't get me wrong, there were some terrific moments in the episode as usual. Amy's line about how she would react to a hypothetical mid-coitus proposal from Sheldon ("I'd latch on to him with my ovaries and never let him go.") was the best of the bunch, but Sheldon pulling out Peter Parker's speech from the Spider-Man films to sound romantic was another great one, as were the reactions of the cosmonaut to Howard's on-shuttle relationship woes.
Unfortunately, the show seems to be stuck in complete auto-pilot storyline wise. Sheldon continues to make zero attempts to connect with Amy, leaving me at a loss as to why she puts up with him. Leonard and Penny are still in the same rut, with Penny's refusal to commit to Leonard (despite her constantly pining for him whenever they're apart) or even tell him she loves him making her seem more and more unlikable. We get it Penny, you're out of his league, that doesn't mean you have to treat him like dirt and take his affection for granted. I didn't like it when J.D. treated Elliot like that on Scrubs, and I don't like it anymore now. At this point, I'd rather they just not be a couple, as I seem to like both characters more when they're apart.
As for Raj, it seems that he and Stuart from the comic book store are going to strike up a friendship. While I like Stuart, there is really no good reason why Raj is the only character to never get a real love interest. I mean, is he gay? They've hinted at that possibility since the beginning of the series, and I would have no issue with that being the case, but I really wish the writers would just do something, anything with him already. Kunal Nayyar is too comedically talented to continue being wasted like this.
Final Thought: It was pretty funny as a standalone episode, but in the long run, it advanced nothing. Not even by sitcom standards.