‘The Big Bang Theory’

Friends had recommended this show for a couple of years, saying I’d like the chronicles of the oblivious, brainy (and bird-phobic) Dr. Sheldon Cooper and his quirky pals. Once I settled in to watch, I found they were right — I’m hooked, thanks to the lightning-fast patter, the constant “Star Wars”/“Star Trek” references (the episode where Sheldon [Jim Parsons, above] gets a life-size cutout of Zachary Quinto, instead of Leonard Nimoy, as Spock was a sidesplitter) and the good-natured treatment of science and romance colliding in Southern California. 8 p.m. Thursdays on CBS; repeats on TBS.

Melissa Davis, Weekend Plus editor

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Seattle Marimba Quartet

Pleasurably eclectic and smoothly virtuosic, “Singing Wood” — the debut CD by Seattle Marimba Quartet — is a true listening delight. SMQ tackles classical, jazz and Latin repertoire with equal aplomb. Their Ravel (a transcription of his string quartet’s second movement) has a velvety rumble-rustle to it. Their Saint-Saëns (“Aquarium” from “Carnival of the Animals”) is dreamy. Their Bach is brisk, and their Piazzolla is slinky. Seductive stuff!

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer


‘A Royal Affair’

“Amour,” the film that’s sure to win the Academy Award for best foreign-language film next month, arrives in Seattle Friday, at the Egyptian. But there’s a lesser-known film nominated in the category that’s also well worth a look, now back for a week at the Crest (through Thursday). “A Royal Affair,” written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel, illuminates a story from late 18th-century Danish history about a mad king, his beautiful young wife and the court physician who became her lover. It’s a tragic love story, beautifully told.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic