Emmy Episode Analysis: Jim Parsons (‘The Big Bang Theory’) breaks up with science

Jim Parsons is on the hunt for his fourth Best Comedy Actor Emmy for playing Dr. Sheldon Cooper in CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.” He previously won this category in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Including his nomination this year for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “The Normal Heart,” this is his seventh career nomination.

Jim Parsons ‘astounded’ at Emmys for ‘Big Bang’
and ‘intensity’ of ‘The Normal Heart’ (Exclusive Video)

SYNOPSIS: Parsons’s episode submission, “The Relationship Diremption,” opens with Sheldon wondering if he has wasted his life; many sciences are having huge breakthroughs, but his field of study, string theory, hasn’t achieved any major advances. The next morning, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) reassures Sheldon by telling him that what he’s going through is like how her past relationships have ended.

Sheldon takes that advice to heart, and after reading through several issues of “Cosmo,” he decides to approach ending his study of string theory as if it were a breakup. He begins gathering his belongings related to string theory to throw away and even changes his hairstyle, which Amy (Mayim Bialik) thinks is too sexy for him.

Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik on ‘Big Bang Theory’ kiss with Jim Parsons (Exclusive Video)

To celebrate the new chapter of his life, Penny proposes a toast, but Sheldon gets drunk and needs Amy to help him back to his room. The next morning, Sheldon awakes to discover that while he was drunk he had read parts of a textbook on geology, a field he’d dismissed as “the Kardashians of science,” and had drunk-dialed Stephen Hawking several times. Sheldon considers the previous night’s embarrassment, and we cut to Hawking’s office, where we hear the drunken messages Sheldon left for the famous physicist.

Can Jim Parsons join the company of Carroll O’Connor (“All in the Family”) and Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”) as only the third man to win Best Comedy Actor four times for the same role? Let’s look at the pros and cons:


Sheldon gets drunk, as he did in his winning episodes in 2010 and 2013. Plus, his performance has by far the most laughs of all the nominees in this category.

There’s definitely empathy for Sheldon in this episode. You feel for him as he decides to leave behind the field of study that he has devoted most of his life to.

The comedy branch loves repeat winners. In the past 25 years we’ve seen Kelsey Grammer, Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”), Helen Hunt (“Mad About You”), John Lithgow (“3rd Rock From the Sun”), David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”), Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”), and Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) win three or more trophies.


If Emmy voters are aware of history, they might want to spread the wealth rather than give Parsons a fourth.

The judging panel may feel Parsons has been sufficiently rewarded for playing these neuroses.

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Parsons is currently in first place in our predictions with odds of 27/20. Do you agree with our assessment of the Comedy Actor race? Make your predictions below.

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