The Wife:

Even though I put off watching it for quite some time, I’ve got to say that “The Work Song Nanocluster” was actually pretty delightful. I like the Penny-Sheldon friendship, and seeing the two of them work side-by-side with their glue guns singing sea shanties was priceless. Even better? All of Penny’s boys getting involved to help grow her business and attracting the growing customer base of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of New Jersey. The plot itself is basically just a coathanger for jokes, so let me list the things I found funny:

  • Secret Agent Lazer Obsticle Chess – pretty much the only way I’d ever want to play chess.
  • Howard’s yellow and green outfit – which I would consider wearing to an A’s game on Retro Jersey Giveaway Day.
  • “Penny, I’m a physicist. I have a working knowledge of the entire universe and all that it contains. ” – Sheldon
  • Moisture-induced glitter clump is a common stripper problem.
  • “Dateline could use it to attract predators.” – Howard, regarding Leonard’s design for Penny’s PennyBlossom website, which looks like a 12-year-old girl would have created it.
  • “If I wanted to spend my Saturday nights doing this, I could have stayed in India.” – Raj, because jokes about child labor are funnier coming from people from those countries.
  • “Coffee is out of the question; I promised my mother when I moved to L.A. I wouldn’t start doing drugs.” – Sheldon
  • Speaking of which, Sheldon on a caffeine high is like anyone else on speed. He pretty much sounds like one of Doc Jensen’s crazier Lost blogs in his caffeinated ramblings.
  • “Sorry guys, but Secret Agent Lazer Obstacle Lunch is just stupid.” – Leonard
Oh, good, youre childless. Nice to meet you.

Oh, good, you're childless. Nice to meet you.

As delightful as the joke-coathanger of “The Work Song Nancluster” was, it was followed by something much less delightful with “The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition,” in which a new neighbor moves into the apartment above Leonard and Sheldon’s and she’s – gasp – a hot actress, just like Penny. (Only Alicia is classically hot, not cute like Kaley Cuoco, and actually books national commercials and roles on CSI playing dead hookers.) Penny is instantly on guard because the boys are now dropping everything to help Alicia the way they once did to Penny. But Penny isn’t so much jealous of the attention Alicia is getting as she is fiercely protective of her boys.

I didn’t find this episode as amusing as the essentially throwaway “Work Song,” but I did love seeing just how important these geeks have become to Penny and how integral their friendship is to her life. Sure, it’s nice that they can install her printer, but unlike Alicia, she’s not using them. She may have, at first, but Penny actually loves and cares about these guys and is not happy to see someone abusing their kindness and need for attention. She’s sort of a Wendy to their Lost Boys, and I found her defense of them very sweet. It’s also nice to see how much they mean to her and how they’ve changed her over the two years that they’ve know her when she tries to explain to Alicia that the boys can’t tell she’s using them because when they get around a pretty girl, their shields go down. You know, like on Star Trek. Seriously, the look on Penny’s face and the dramatic pause after realizing what just came out of her mouth was completely the best moment of this episode. Not only was it funny, but it was extremely telling for the character.

In short, I didn’t think this episode was that funny, but I think it was really meaningful for Penny. And I’m glad to see such a great showcase of how she’s changed because of her relationship with the boys – and, of course, to see how willing she is to wrestle a bitch who wants to hurt her friends.

Other funny:

  • Sheldon’s new neighbor test was pretty great, as was his assessment of Alicia: “Alicia is non-musical, childless and pro-rug.”
  • “You have to imagine me with a giant squid head.” – Sheldon
  • “Your characterization of their behavior as typical is demonstratively fallacious.” – Sheldon

The Husband:

The only thing that really worked in “The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition” was my own brain, as I enjoy seeing Valerie Azlynn in anything. While she has made some waves as a bit part actress on such shows as HIMYM, films like Bewitched (and apparently, on an ep of CSI: NY, where we have to assume she played a dead hooker) and was a regular on the bizarre and more-amusing-than-funny failed 2007-2008 show Welcome to the Captain (with Dollhouse’s Fran Franz), she will always be the cute bachelorette on the second season of Spike’s gloriously funny and out-of-its-mind Joe Schmoe Show. Currently, there are still no plans to release the classic second season of this show on DVD, which is a complete shame. Send a letter to Spike and demand it, lest you miss out on one of the funniest shows of the last ten years.