The Big Bang Theory
Is love in the air for Raj on The Big Bang Theory?
Now that Raj (Kunal Nayyar) can finally talk to women without the aid of alcohol, the possibilities seem endless. Guess again. "He's not doing well!" Nayyar tells TVGuide.com of Raj's romantic exploits on Season 7, which premieres Thursday (8/7c, CBS). "He hasn't been able to talk to women for a long time, so he's going to put his foot in his mouth a lot."
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Of course, it could just be that Raj still has his eye — and heart — on one lady in particular: Lucy (Kate Micucci), his socially awkward girlfriend who dumped him in the season finale. Micucci will return for an episode in November, but does that mean they'll rekindle their romance? Get the scoop on what's ahead for the gang's sole single guy and his couple of couples friends.
Raj still won't be over Lucy when the season premiere opens. "You see Raj mopey in the beginning because he's not with Lucy. Howard snaps him out of his funk," Simon Helberg says, adding that "it's about time" that Raj got over his select mutism. "Howard doesn't have to be a wingman anymore in the same way." That doesn't mean Raj doesn't need any help wooing the ladies.
"He tries [but he has] no different methods; he can just talk," Nayyar says. "He tries online dating with Stuart [Kevin Sussman]. ... I think he is desperate to find love, and part of me hopes he finds love because I love that character and I want him to be happy."
Whether that will be with Lucy remains to be seen. "I'd love to have her back. I know the writers and producers love her, and the audience loves her," he says.
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki)
With Leonard still on his research trip in the premiere, the couple will be giving long-distance a try. But like they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. "I think he deals with it quite well. He misses Penny obviously," Galecki says. "Coming back to Sheldon [Jim Parsons] is a whole different story. ... He survives [the trip]. It's not what I assumed where he's going to be very depressed without his friends. He thrives on that boat."
Leonard won't be MIA for too long — he'll return in the second episode of the one-hour premiere with a new outlook on life. "I think it's a little rough when he's gone and it's a little nice when he comes home," executive producer Bill Prady says. "I think he's so excited to see Penny that it maybe has an impact on other relationships in his life that he doesn't quite think through."
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Howard and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch)
The couple will still be happily wed, while dealing with typical "marital stuff," but don't count on seeing any baby Wolowitzes any time soon. "It's not in the near future," Helberg says. "That would be a huge change to the show. I think they still have to mature as a couple together." Yeah, especially since Howard ODs on estrogen cream in the second episode. Might that have something to do with his overbearing mother?
Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon
There won't be any Amy and Sheldon action (no pun intended) in the first episode, as Amy and Bernadette head off on a road trip, while Sheldon and Penny bond in the midst of Leonard's absence. After that though, look for the couple to move forward as glacially as they did before. "I've always looked at that relationship as the Irresistible Force and the Immovable Object," Prady says. "It is baffling to me that she is capable of moving him forward in the relationship and yet somehow slowly, inch by inch, she seems to. So I think that dynamic will continue."
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But might they make some progress like they did in last season's pitch-perfect Dungeons & Dragons episode? "Amy is always is looking for more in that relationship," Prady teases.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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