The 10th season of The Big Bang Theory comes to a close tonight as Amy heads off to Princeton, and Sheldon’s former admirer, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki, returns with a clear agenda in mind. Then there’s Penny and Leonard, who have found themselves more at odds than not during the course of the season. Are they truly meant to be? Or will life send them in separate directions? And what about Howard and Bernadette now that they’re back at work following Halley’s birth? With so much to discuss, we went straight to Big Bang executive producer Steve Molaro to fill us in on what to expect tonight (hint: it’s a shocker!)—and what’s to come in season 11.
Glamour: Let’s start with the youngest member of the cast: Baby Halley. Will we ever see her?
Steve Molaro: The plan has always been that she is essentially Mrs. Wolowitz 2.0, so I’m going to say no because she will be the off-screen voice [like] Mrs. Wolowitz. We got tiny glimpses of Mrs. Wolowitz over the years, so maybe somewhere down the line there might be tiny glimpses [of Halley], but the plan is for her to function as Mrs. Wolowitz did—as a comedic off-screen voice.
Glamour: Except I really want to see her…
Steve: Well, she’s just going to look like a baby. You’re going to be like, “She just looks like a baby.”
Glamour: But what if the show goes for another five seasons?
Steve: [Laughs] Well, if that happens, you and I might have a different conversation five years from now.
Glamour: How will Bernadette and Howard change as they raise a toddler? Will we see a shift in their characters?
Steve: I think all seven characters have grown and shifted so much over the years. Those two—especially Howard in season one—was this sex-crazed woman-chasing and failing horndog who met Bernadette and kinda calmed down on the women front. He became an astronaut and a dad, so I think more growth as human beings is certainly in the cards for them, in whatever small increments feel right. I think it was great to watch Bernadette go through her pregnancy, and I really liked that we touched on some of the sides of pregnancy that you don’t often hear about in sitcoms. [For instance], whether she really wanted children when it felt like to her, everybody else felt like they were born to be a mom and she didn’t even care what color room the baby’s room was going to be. [She thought] there was something wrong with her. You also had her struggles with going back to work, so I think it’s provided some really nice story fodder for the two of them.
Glamour: Let’s move on to Penny and Leonard. Are they meant to be?
Steve: What do you feel?
Glamour: I don’t think they’re meant to be long-term. That’s my feeling right now.
Steve: They are different people, and they were always different people. Sometimes they click really well, and sometimes…like in most marriages, that honeymoon phase ends and the reality of it all sinks in. I think they need to keep working at it, like most people in marriages do. And where it goes from there, we shall see.
Glamour: Were you trying to foreshadow anything because in the last few episodes Raj and Sheldon mentioned divorce or how they’re not meant to be. Should viewers read into that?
Steve: I wouldn’t. I think that’s just the nature of the guys teasing each other. I certainly would not call that foreshadowing on our part. I think they felt Penny was out of Leonard’s league since episode one of Big Bang Theory, so I wouldn’t read much more into that, as far as those jokes go. As far as what lies ahead for Leonard and Penny, I don’t know.
Glamour: We obviously know the problems they have, but why do you think they’re good for each other?
Steve: They bring the best out of each other. Looking back over the years of the show, they’ve helped each other grow and filled needs for each other. Leonard lacked all confidence and socially was not the greatest. Penny, I think, was more shallow—when you first met Penny, she would never be interested in a guy like Leonard—but I think they help raise each other up. Leonard is a more confident person now. Penny is more confident in other ways as well. She sees the goodness in a person like Leonard, where in the past, she might have been judging people on a more physical basis. I think they just made each other better and helped each other mature nicely.
Glamour: Sheldon and Amy ended in a very good place at the end of last week’s episode. What is in store for them now that Dr. Nowitzki returns?
Steve: Sheldon is now experiencing life, really, on his own for the first time as far as living in an apartment by himself while being in a long-distance relationship with Amy. He’s doing OK and hanging out with his friends, and then Ramona Nowitzki comes back from the past to go after Sheldon one more time.
Glamour: What was behind the decision in last week’s episode to have Sheldon suddenly turn into Mr. Rico Suave and want to have frenzied lovemaking with Amy?
Steve: When she was going to leave, it helped him start to realize how much he does care about her and their relationship, and in a rare, spontaneous moment, he wanted to express that physically with her.
Glamour: How much did you guys, as writers, struggle with that decision? That was a pretty big break in precedent for a couple that only has sex once a year up until now.
Steve: You know, it’s an interesting thing. We go back and forth about that. We’ve gotten a lot of mileage and a lot of charm, I think, out of their lack of a physical relationship and the once a year on her birthday thing, but they’re human beings also, and we continue to watch their slow evolution. It’s kinda funny that they were physical for the second time in a year, and that’s outrageous and groundbreaking. So he did it for a second time. He doesn’t not like being physical with her. I think it’s overwhelming for him, and it has a lot to do with him being sensitive to the world around him. It can be a lot, and she knows that. So while hopefully unexpected, I think it makes sense. It’s understandable at this point in their relationship. That’s not saying they’re going to be jumping in bed from now on.
Glamour: Will Amy really be away for three months? Is that the plan so far as you guys have it?
Steve: Yes. She’s going away to take this opportunity at Princeton.
Glamour: Lastly, let’s talk Raj. What do you hope to see happen for him next season?
Steve: I love Raj. I think he’s a beautiful character. Kunal is fantastic. I want Raj to be happy. I want him to find happiness in himself. Does that mean finding another person? I don’t know. Maybe he can have great success in work. Sometimes we get caught up so much in the relationships here that we forget that these are actually functioning, brilliant scientists who are really good at what they do. So whether it’s in the relationship side, or on the professional front, I hope Raj can have some success, somehow.
The season 10 of The Big Bang Theory airs tonight on CBS at 8 P.M.