The Big Bang Theory Amy and Sheldon computer

The Big Bang Theory Review: The Novelization Correlation (Season 11 Episode 15)

Reviews, The Big Bang Theory

On The Big Bang Theory Season 11 Episode 15, “The Novelization Correlation,” Sheldon learns something new about the way in which Amy and his friends act around him while Penny suspects that the cold, mean female character of Leonard’s novel is based on her.

The Big Bang Theory Penny and Leonard
“The Novelization Correlation” — Pictured: Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki).  Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Let’s get the less interesting stuff out of the way first after which I can focus on the good things about “The Novelization Correlation.”

To be completely honest, Leonard’s book sounds like garbage. That is probably the point because I can’t really imagine this storyline featuring Leonard as an author dragging out for too long.

He, naturally, has based the main character of his novel on himself and paired him up with a cold, eye-rolling blond female character he can’t get enough of. It is so cliché and so tropey that it could almost work in that “it is so bad that it is good” way, but it doesn’t.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Novelization Correlation"
“The Novelization Correlation” — Pictured: Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg). Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.

The dramatizations featuring a key scene from Leonard’s book, a mysterious murder, are actually kind of fun to watch if you think of them as a result of Leonard’s imagination while he writes. They are super dramatic, over-the-top, and extremely ridiculous, but for some reason, it is not difficult for me to imagine Leonard coming up with such scenes in his mind while he writes.

It is kind of sweet, in some sense, how he for a while seems to think that he has come up with something good. 

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Though it could be flattering to have someone base a character on you, in that situation you would likely want that person to cast you in a positive light. The way Leonard has written about Ilsa, a blond eye-rolling and mean character with a striking resemblance to Penny does not really show her in a positive light.

Yes, Penny can be kind of snarky, but she also has a good sense of humor, a patient way to deal with Sheldon, and so on. 

The Big Bang Theory - Kaley Cuoco as Penny - red sweatshirt
“The Novelization Correlation” — Pictured: Penny (Kaley Cuoco).  Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.

I would imagine seeing someone you love writing about you that way would not be very flattering. And while it is revealed by the end of the episode that Leonard might have been writing about his mother, after all, the scenes before that bring up interesting questions about the ways in which Leonard sees Penny.

I doubt these questions will be further discussed in the upcoming episodes, but perhaps they give avid viewers like myself something to think about.

The Big Bang Theory "The Novelization Correlation" -- Pictured: Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik)
“The Novelization Correlation” — Pictured: Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).  Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Finally, it is time to get to the good stuff!

Just a few days ago while browsing Pinterest I came across this pie chart which listed reasons for why people love The Big Bang TheoryThings like the nerd culture or relationships got small slices while Sheldon got the biggest slice.

I kind of chuckled at the pie chart back then and continued with my scrolling, but as I was watching “The Novelization Correlation” it instantly popped into my mind because in many ways that pie chart tells the truth for me as a viewer.

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I love the nerd culture references and find the relationships interesting, but at the end of the day, it is really Sheldon who keeps me hooked on this show.

As The Big Bang Theory prepares for the likely wedding episode, a lot of screentime has been spent on focusing on the ways in which Sheldon is growing and changing as a person. As he learns that both Amy and his friends have been stopping themselves from doing or saying certain things just to make sure that he doesn’t get upset he realizes that something has to change.

He does not want anyone, especially Amy, to bend over backward just to please him.

This is MAJOR! M-A-J-O-R!

Though it is likely that Sheldon will slide back to his old ways in the future, just seeing him making this realization feels monumental.

Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory
“The Novelization Correlation” — Pictured: Will Wheaton (himself).  Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2018 WBEI. All rights reserved.

As an advocate of getting women out there doing the things they do best, I loved the fact that Amy decides to go on Wil Wheaton’s show to inspire young girls to get interested in science. While the scene with Amy could have been a bit longer, just bringing up this issue on the episode feels like a partial win.

With more scenes focused on Amy and Sheldon and fewer scenes focused on Leonard’s garbage novel, “The Novelization Correlation” could potentially have been an even stronger episode. As it is, though, it is still entertaining and includes a few laugh-out-scene, like Sheldon hate-watching Wil Wheaton’s show, that ought to put a smile on your face.

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What did you think of this episode of The Big Bang Theory? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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[Total: 1    Average: 3/5]


The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Milka Väinämö

Milka is a Master of Arts with degrees in Film, Theatre, and Media Studies. She is obsessed with American sitcoms, ice hockey, pizza, coffee, and all things true crime. Her favorite shows include Parks and Recreation, The Office, Community, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, and The Gilmore Girls.

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