The highlights didn’t end there, with Mark Hamill gamely making a cameo as himself, drafted into officiating the ceremony; and Wil Wheaton back, lending dual “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” sizzle to this much-ballyhooed event.
To their credit, producer Chuck Lorre and his creative brain trust weren’t coy about the wedding. Rather, Sheldon and Amy got so caught up in a theoretical breakthrough that they had to be coaxed to the altar, before realizing there would be plenty of time for such pursuits later.
The term “very special episode” is a cliche, a throwback to TV’s old days. But Thursday’s “Big Bang Theory” did indeed feel like an occasion, showcasing the cast’s enviable chemistry — a group capable of eliciting laughs throughout the ensemble — and then augmenting that with all the high-profile guests.
While there have been creative hiccups along the way, that dynamic underscores how the show has actually improved thanks to the ascendance of its female characters, compared to the early days, when it was the four guys and Penny (Kaley Cuoco). In that respect, the show has matured along with its characters as they enter new phases in their lives (marriage, parenthood), if, thankfully, not too much.
“Young Sheldon” has mirrored that template, closing the season with episodes that showcase Annie Potts, a fabulous addition as Sheldon’s cranky but caring grandma.
“Big Bang” is heading into what most assume will be its final year, having reached the “Friends”-like stage where the decision resides with a cast that — having reaped millions from the program’s success — is probably ready to move on.
In TV terms, nobody could call such an ending premature. Yet the strength of the finale demonstrated that the show’s continuing quality has perhaps been underappreciated in its later seasons, making the formula look deceptively simple. That’s why whenever the finish comes, this multi-camera sitcom — likely one of the last true big-tent hits of that magnitude — will be rightly missed.