Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Bang Theory, "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary": You should be nicer to Hwil Hweaton

Quick spoilers for last night's "Big Bang Theory" coming up just as soon as I put on my yarmulke...

For the second week in a row, the Raj/Sheldon pairing paid good comic dividends, with Raj first enjoying Sheldon's superhuman card-counting powers and desire for vengeance on Wil Wheaton(*), then freaking out when Wheaton so successfully conned Sheldon in the final round. And so long as they had Raj point out that Acting Ensign Crusher wasn't part of "Wrath of Khan," it gave the writers license to keep putting Ricardo Montalban dialogue into Jim Parson's mouth.

(*) Wheaton, as you might expect, has a post on his blog about the episode, and I remain impressed by how this guy has gotten the Trekkers to do a complete 180 on him. Wesley Crusher was one of the most-despised characters in all of sci-fi fandom, but by embracing that hatred - and admitting that he, too, wasn't particularly fond of the part he was playing - and being whip-smart and funny about it all, Wheaton's now one of the more beloved alums from any of the "Star Trek" series. Well-played, Mr. Crusher.

Meanwhile, the Penny/Leonard/Howard subplot was one of the better Wolowitz stories of late, in that he wasn't a complete ass throughout. It's all too easy for the "Big Bang" writers to make Howard be an oblivious sleazebag, and/or a pathetic mama's boy, and to make him the butt of every joke - he's definitely the character most often standing on the wrong side of the line between Laughing With and Laughing At - and so it was nice to see a Howard story where he was still bumbling, but trying to be on his best behavior and failing (for a while) through no fault of his own.

Also, Kaley Cuoco nailed the moment where a post-coital Leonard starts trying to tell Penny about the deal he cut with Howard, and where Penny's mind understandably goes to the worst case scenario.

Finally, even though they no longer air back-to-back, I still tend to watch "How I Met Your Mother" consecutively with "Big Bang Theory" through the magic of DVRs, and it feels like the stylistic contrast between the two shows has never been greater. "HIMYM," as always, is packing 20 pounds of story into a 10-pound bag, with a whole lot of scenes and flashbacks and cutaways, where "BBT" seems far more streamlined, less interested in plot than in creating simple situations on which to hang a lot of punchlines. Neither approach is better than the other, and last night both shows were quite funny, but am I the only one who feels the two shows are heading in opposite directions in terms of density?

What did everybody else think?

51 comments:

SirFuller said...

Cool Hwhip

Anonymous said...

I actually have been disappointed with the character development on HIMYM. Particularly, I have been put off by how silly Marshall and Lily have become. The hilarious photo-montages notwithstanding, Marshall has turned into a complete ninny and Lily--who used to be fairly shrewd--is monomaniacal and oblivious.

Big bang has never cared much about character changes, so I agree it works best when conflicting neuroses are forced to interact.

Craig Ranapia said...

but by embracing that hatred - and admitting that he, too, wasn't particularly fond of the part he was playing - and being whip-smart and funny about it all,

Um, I don't think Wheaton "embraced the hatred" -- at least not the hatred coming from the kinds of people who need to have boundaries established with cattle prods and court-ordered therapy. What really impresses me about about WW is that given some of the crap thrown in his direction over the years, he's entitled to be a damn sight more bitter than he actually is.

LoopyChew said...

Count me in as one of the Wheatonites. I'm not a die-hard follower of his, but things like his speech at Penny Arcade Expo '08 has well easily put him on my good meter. (I also want to watch his episode of Leverage at some point. Due time, due time.) Watching him play douchebag-self (in a Fruit F***er tee, too! I wonder if that was his, or if they put him in it) was hilarious.

I wonder if Wolowitz's girl is going to be a recurring character. I thought they were adorable together, even if they obviously don't work out in the long run. Or maybe, JUST maybe, he converts her to geek or she him to non-geek.

Penny and Leonard in bed was hilarious, and perfectly written. I'm glad the two of them are working out together.

Nicole said...

I have a KHAAAAAAAN! shirt so of course I loved the Wheaton subplot.

Michael said...

Last night's episode was the funniest of the season for me and a lot of that came down to Wil Wheaton.

Sheldon's story about wanting to meet Wil and then having his dreams destroyed when he didn't show up at Dixie Con set up a perfect showdown later in the story. And it's a pleasure to see Wheaton almost channeling his inner William Shatner in playing a complete and total douche to Sheldon in the final moments.

I'd love to see Wheaton have some kind of recurring role on the show as the nemesis to Sheldon.

erin said...

I'm at the point that whenever Jim Parsons opens his mouth, I laugh. Which is good for me when I watch the show! His hatred for Wil Wheaton (and his Khan references) were comedy gold, and even though I knew the dead grandma bit was a set-up, I appreciated the change in demeanor when he thought Sheldon was mourning WW's Mee-maw. Poor Sheldon...thwarted again!

Matt said...

I hated with the fire of a thousand suns the BBT pilot, but, somewhere along the way, making Penny at least marginally less dumb and making the jokes a little less "laugh at the silly geeks!" made the show not merely watchable, but solid. I'm not sure there's been character growth or change on a long term level, but there has been change.

And Wheaton almost always raises the game of everyone involved--he's had several fun small parts this year, such as his turn on "Leverage" and the recurring role on "The Guild."

LoopyChew said...

Matt, I just want to say that I agreed with you about the pilot for BBT--I couldn't stand it and didn't bother with the show at all for a long while. One of my friends told me how much better it got, and I'm glad they did!

srpad said...

I loved this one. It was fun seeing a douche-y Will Wheaton. It felt sort of like the NPH version of himself in the Harold and Kumar movies but G rated. I hope he comes back.

I must admit I am torn when it comes to Sheldon. He is the funniest part of a funny show but they are pretty much at the point where you have to wonder why the others put up with him. Do they soften him a bit (and risk making him less funny) to make his friendship more realistic or just make people scratch their heads and wonder why the others haven't killed him yet. Tough call.

Eric said...

Loved this episode, and I too am amazed at Wil Wheaton's transformation from the days of alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die into beloved Internet icon (in my own eyes, too.)

I didn't start watching BBT until the tail end of last season, so I missed most of the growing pains. My only real complaint with the show is the laugh track, which I find much more intrusive than on any other show I watch.

srpad said...

I wanted to add after reading some new comments above mine, I also dismissed the show because the ads for the pilot seemed lame. I ended up catching the show because of its time slot and liked it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oh, I despised the BBT pilot. Absolutely hated it. While I still don't love the show, it amazes me that I enjoy it as often as I do, given its beginnings.

Henry said...

For some reason, I associate Wheaton now with the bad guy character he plays while sometimes guest-starring on The Guild. The bluff he puts on Sheldon at the end is pretty similar to where The Guild character would go in terms of douche-y behavior. But still hilarious.

And I loved the fact that Wheaton, of course, would know what Sheldon was saying to him in Klingon. I must have re-wound that part a dozen times and it still made me laugh every time.

Not much to say about the Penny/Leonard subplot again, but at least the subplot kept up with the Raj-Sheldon subplot. I liked that Howard and his date found common ground through mutual dislike of their overbearing parents.

I love that the show just embraces geekdom in general. It works so well for all of us who are total geeks, like myself.

Kensington said...

HIMYM is losing me this year, however dense it has become, to the extent that I've not yet even watched last night's episode. TBBT, in contrast, is always the first show I seek out on Monday nights.

My only complaint at the moment with TBBT, and it's probably minor, is that I wish Kaley Cuoco would find more to enjoy and appreciate about her geeky neighbors. It would be so much more interesting to me if her default choice wasn't to belittle and separate herself from the things that interest them.

She's been living across the hall from them for 2 years now; you'd think that more of their world would have rubbed off on her by now, and not just in a way that disturbs her.

It wouldn't be unrealistic, either. I had a Pennyesque girlfriend back in the 90s who fell in love with my Preacher and Ultimate Spider-Man comic books because, although she came into our relationship with zero interest in such things, she could recognize good writing and a good story when she found them.

I long to see Penny discover that she enjoys a geek game or nerd TV show, and not just in the one-off way she got into World of Warcraft.

It would be a natural extension of her relationship, just as Leonard has grown slightly more "normal" through her influence.

I understand that a large part of comedy comes from the conflict between the cultures, but after 2+ years, I think there's room for more nuance.

Karen said...

And I loved the fact that Wheaton, of course, would know what Sheldon was saying to him in Klingon.

Yes! I loved that Stewart and Wheaton were both all "what's WRONG with that guy"--but they both understood it perfectly. Who's geeking whom?

Kaley Cuoco was genius in the pact scene, and has truly gotten better and better.

Hannah Lee said...

I wonder if Wolowitz's girl is going to be a recurring character. I thought they were adorable together, even if they obviously don't work out in the long run. Or maybe, JUST maybe, he converts her to geek or she him to non-geek.

I got the impress that she already is a geek, just from a different country of geekdom than Wolowitz. She may not be into role playing, but I bet she could go on and on about micro-organisms the way the BBT guys could go on about physics. And I be she's a huge Doctor Who fan.

7s Tim said...

Am I the only one who calls foul on the Hoth reference? Especially since, as Alan noted, the writers went to the point of noting Wheaton wasn't in Star Trek 2. Just felt out of place.

And I don't want Penny to start enjoying the activities of geeks (Wolowitz's girl either, if she sticks around). When they have moved beyond just making bimbo jokes at her expense, the show has gets funnier, and this has been done by making her character more emotionally adult that these 3 little boys we're watching. Having them charm her and lead her into their overgrown manchild world would make her seem weaker, more easily manipulated (Sheldon's chocolate gag aside). I don't think couple's have to become fans of each others' addictions, just tolerant thereof. If later it is revealed that Penny is a fan of the VH1 celeb-reality programming and the various Bravo and E! reality shows, I wouldn't expect Leonard to suddenly explain the artistic merit of Tila Tequila or early Laguna Beach. Although that first season of LB is brilliant

Pamela Jaye said...

Interesting Q on Penny: Alan or anyone Married with Comic Book Addiction - does your spouse share your feelings? I spent at least a few boring hours at Federation Comic ruing the day I pointed it out to my ex. I spent many years with TNG - thankfully I found them more interesting than most Trek casts/series. And I read Imzadi. Twice. For someone not into Trek or Time Travel, that was amazing (and happened long after Arthur left)

I knew about the Klingon because the brother alerted me to the Twitter converation on the pronunciation and I really love any time the Chuck and Big Bang writers rooms interact. Or when writers ask fans for help.

And I'm really enjoying Leonard/Penny. Their relationship isn't will they/won't they (arymore?) it's just nice and normal (and I like Leonard - as a geek, he's more normal than any of them, and he seems to be aware of others' feelings. I must be quite used to the Aspergers' type geek, to be surprised by this, but I have been since the beginning. (so was I surprised that Chuck was, as well? Maybe. I'll have to think about it. But the ballerina scene was a winner, in the pilot).

I actually hope that Leonard and Penny will stay together. I'd like to see how that works. The french toast think was fun. What's with Penny's apartment? She goes from compulsively messy to neat and back again.

I watch the two shows as a package as well. I don't necessarily watch them in a row (depends on how Fox messes up my night) but I still think of them together - and I find myself sad that I must wait for BBT, that HIMYM is not as much fun. But if Chuck must return to Monday, I will be happy for the new time slot. People shouldn't have to choose between their geeks.

I haven't reaad Wil's blog yet, but I sometimes do, and I follow him on Twitter, although that really means he's on my list - I miss a lot of postings from those I follow. I don't know about anyone else, but it's not possible to keep up, unless you are my brother - a speed reader who sits in front of his computer most of the day. He used to read all of Usenet back in the day. Every day.

belinda said...

No doubt TBBT and HIMYM are as different as night and day, but I enjoy them both as comedies, TBBT with its dash of geek humour and quick laughs and HIMYM with its Coupling-esque style of joke and storytelling. But I don't think they're so different that I can't enjoy them on the same night - it's not like one of them is LOST or something. :D

Alan Sepinwall said...

It's not her favorite thing in the world, but my wife does enjoy some of the comics I've forced upon her (mainly indie, non-superhero stuff like Box Office Poison and True Story Swear to God). And lord knows she watches a whole lot of TV she otherwise wouldn't because of me.

I do think there could be a funny episode, or subplot, built around Leonard and Penny each grudgingly discovering they enjoy some part of each other's world, and the gang not knowing how to react to that. (Particularly if each were to get into it for the "wrong" reasons, like Penny digging BSG because she's hot for Tahmoh Penikett.) But it would help if Penny had a non-geeky friend to bounce off of, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Favorite subtle moment of TBBT last nite-Wolowitz's ring tone--'She Blinded Me with Science!"

Henry said...

The one thing I've advocated for this show for a long time is the addition of a female roommate for Penny, if only to kind of even out the male to female ratio imbalance on the show. It's why I'm hoping Wolowitz will be with his psuedo-girlfriend for longer than an episode (and I'm hoping the writers handle her character better than Sara Rue's character last season). More females getting an outsider perspective of the guys' geek world would add to the comic wonders of the show.

The one caveat is that the show might then be thought of as a geek version of Friends and I don't want that to happen to the show. But it would solve a complaint I've had for a while with the show: how Penny can afford a spacious Pasadena apartment working as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory.

takineko said...

I felt like this episode probably had the least amount of laughs yet-- that being said, I did laugh, and everything Sheldon touches still turns to gold.

Bryan said...

I agree with your density vs simplistic comment but do think the strive for density in HIMYM is sometimes to the detriment of the show.

I'm very impressed with what BBT has done with Howard and Raj - by splitting them up the last few weeks they've really became much stronger/funnier characters. It was a bold move that could've really backfired on them but is working out beautifully I think.

Nicole said...

I don't watch this show all the time, but is there a recurring geek girl character? I think they need to have one because they are out there.

Heather said...

I loved how they made Howard bumbling too. I think when he realized that the girl didn't get the joke he was running into a Sheldon situation. As for the Will Wheaton conn, saw it coming but it totally paid off, especially with Stuart's nonchalant "Good game"

Tom Galloway said...

Nicole: Sara Gilbert has played a geek girl character who's been romantically involved with both Leonard and Howard, and who is Sheldon's professional nemesis (probably ranks around 2-3 on his most hated list, just because she's too obvious to be #1). She was listed as a regular at the start of last season, but for some reason unknown to me quickly fell back to an even less frequent character than she was in season one.

Re: Howard's girl. I kept waiting for someone to ask her what she was interested in other than microbiology. Admittedly Howard's self-absorbed, but after N failures of "Are you interested in X?", I'd figure sheer frustration would get him to "So what are you into?"

Re: Wil Wheaton. Had the pleasure of meeting and briefly talking with him at this year's Nebula Award ceremonies, where he was one of the presenters. For what it's worth, myself and several others had to persuade him to go up for the group photo shoot of winners and presenters, as he stated he didn't feel worthy of being up there with such folk.

Pamela Jaye: I did once live with a woman who shared my comics addiction. We decided to maintain separate collections, including buying many of the same books, to avoid the problem of splitting the collection if things didn't work out very long term, as they didn't.

I also used to read all of Usenet every day, but given that I was a CS undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill when/where (along with Duke) Usenet was created and thus one of the first 100 or so folk on it, it was a lot easier to do so back then. I'd guess that your brother and I would at least know each other's names. And Usenet's rec.arts.comics is where I initially know Alan from.

Sam Sevr said...

First to echo a comment on the HIMYM post - I thought you weren't blogging. Now I feel like a complete doofus for not checking here sooner. My bad.

@srpad - I think they HAVE softened Sheldon a bit. Between his generous doses of Bazinga!s last week, or making a concerted effort to recognize sarcasm or Raj's sadness, he's at least making an effort to recognize others feelings. Even if for him it's strictly an information gathering pursuit, it's still progress. And now genuine concern for Wil Wheaton's mee maw and remorse for thinking bad about him. Let that swirl around for a minute: Sheldon showing remorse. It may not explain why they haven't put his head thru a wall already. But it makes that less likely to happen in the future.

Of course he's still got work to do since I think everyone in the room knew Ensign Crusher was just playing him and was about to squash him like a bug.

alex s. said...

I really hope Sheldon's magic memory powers don't last. Tracking cards in a game is one thing, but suddenly being able to remember minor details about two-year-old conversations which he wouldn't have cared about in the first place is over the top.

Wasn't it just a couple of episodes ago that they made it a major plot point that Sheldon didn't remember a detail (about the origins of Wolverine)? (Even if Sheldon was right, the other characters still had the ability to doubt it.)

But the real problem is giving him magic powers makes him less real, which is a step in the wrong direction.

Bob said...

Actually, it was Sheldon who was right about Wolverine's bone claws. Howard got it wrong. But Howard later won a bet with Sheldon over the species of cricket that was in the apartment.
But your point is a good one. No one says a sitcom has to be consistent, though. Remember the elaborate lie that Sheldon concocted in the first season, about his non-existant cousin Leopold? But in the opening of the second season, Sheldon claimed that he's never been able to tell a lie, because he has "more nervous tics than a Lyme disease research facility." (Or was he lying?)

Robin said...

Can I just say how awesome reading these comments have been for the levels of pure geekery in them?? Any comment board that references the usenet (ah, the good old days) is definitely populated with true geeks.

I thought last night's show was one of the best they've done. Not just because of Wheaton (he helped) but because, as Alan pointed out, Wolowitz was almost normal, and the relationship between Penny and Leonard is starting to feel real.

And you can never go wrong with Sheldon speaking Klingon.

Jennifer said...

I generally do not like this show much (I am a nerd, and believe me, I have heard 99% of the jokes on this show before), and wouldn't have watched this one if Wil hadn't been in it. I was still rather "meh" on it a lot of the time. But it had its moments. Still enjoyed the mindfuckery of Sheldon, mostly.

I'm amused that Wil always seems to be playing douche-y/evil characters everywhere he goes these days, including Evil Wil. Especially since he seems so nice online these days. I wasn't a watcher of TNG so I didn't have that baggage, but he's so funny about it that I pay attention even if I never saw "The Naked Now." That takes some kind of talent there.

Bob said...

Jennifer, you surprise me. I'm a 50-year-old nerd, and BBT won me over halfway through the first season. This is my only must-see show currently on. For once, TV has gotten nerddom right.

Previously, our demographic was represented by the likes of Steve Urkel. But I've actually known (or been) guys like these. The science and comics references are mostly accurate, not names made up intended to sound goofy.

I don't understand what you mean when you say you've heard 99% of the jokes before. Penny's reaction when Sheldon explained Schroedinger's Cat to her, or Raj's comment when all four guys dressed as the Flash for a costume party, or Penny practicing her bartending skills with the guys... those were priceless moments all. I still laugh when I watch them on DVD.

Will said...

I call foul on the Hoth reference because no self-respecting geek mixes their canonical 'verses.

Sean L said...

Not only did they mix in the Hoth reference, but there was also a (fairly subtle) Babylon 5 reference: "The year was 1995, the place was Jacksonville, Mississippi"

Tom Galloway said...

Re: Wil playing evil. Hey, the man's best known for a Star Trek role. He's got to realize the consequences of growing van dyke facial hair.

Re: Sheldon "growing" by showing genuine remorse with respect to Wil's dead Me-Maw. I don't really see that as growth. To me, the thing to understand about Sheldon is that everything he does makes perfect sense to him given his worldview and rules. If your worldview and rules are different, he's not going understand why you're doing something unless you can manage to convince him to change/modify his personal worldview/rules.

So, per Sheldon's worldview, the death of a beloved grandparent is something he understands, having gone through it, and he projected how he reacted to it onto Wil because, in Sheldon's mind, that's the only rational way to act in that situation. It's not that he felt remorse for Wil per se, but that he thought he knew how, to him, Wil would have to have reacted.

cadfile said...

Sheldon has driven me to almost change the channel or fast forward the DVR because I have had friends in the past with strict rules and views and they would never budge. I still love it but I am glad they can take him to the edge and dial him back a bit.

The whole Wil Weaton plot had me on the floor BECAUSE of the past hatred when he was on TNG so Sheldon's hatred was so glorious and the Khan dialog was icing on the cake.

gma said...

We love - and laugh - at the show -- characters in comedy shows are always a bit over the top -- but the science references are priceless - the guys may be emotionally challenged, but they are bright. As the mother of a "physics nerd", I laugh, and for my other child, am glad that there are characters portrayed where it is ok to be smart, have a PhD and do research, and still have hearts and feelings.

As to Penny -- she was as good as/better than Sheldon at Halo, and she did get addicted to on-line gaming -- the more she became one of the guys, the funnier the show. After all, there is Schrodinger's cat...

My only query: why does Wolowitz wear clothing from 1970? complete with haircut? He is often too "one-note".

Tony M said...

Couple stray thoughts:

I loved the character of Wesley Crusher, but then again I didn’t have the fatal flaw of most of his haters in that I actually understood that there is no Star Fleet Academy and that he had not really usurped my position at the helm of the Enterprise. This knowledge freed me from irrational jealousy.

As for Mother/Big Bang (how’s THAT for a disturbing Freudian coupling?) I also tend to watch them together. The contrast you point out is interesting and I think it stems from Mother basing so much of its comedy on its structure, while Big Bang tends to set up situations for comic riffing. Mother creates comedy through temporal juxtaposing. For example, the episode when Ted realized he had been on the blind date with the same girl before and they showed similar reactions six years apart.

That’s an obvious example. Usually the show is more sophisticated, especially when it uses layered flashbacks, going back and forth in sequence, or returning to the same event from different perspectives. (On occasion, Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place did similar things, though rarely as well.) It’s a rare sitcom that generates laughs from the way the story is structured.

What strikes me about Big Bang is that while it does do more set up/punch line comedy, the punch lines are seldom, how should I put this, funny-on-the-page jokes. They are funny in the manner they are delivered and the way in which they reflect the characters. Almost nothing Leonard gets to say is conventionally funny, but what he says is almost always funny because it’s Leonard saying it. (Leonard is the bridge to the real world for the four male characters and is therefore painfully aware how bizarre they are. But I think the show reflects Leonard’s ultimate affection and tolerance for them. Leonard doesn’t put up with Sheldon because he’s a genius; he puts up with him because that’s what friends do.)

Okay, I now return this blog back to its rightful owner…

Dan Coyle said...

I love that Penny quit gaming because Wolowitz hit on her.

I was happy that Howard hit it off with the girl, because while I don't really LIKE him or sympathize with him he's so skeevy when it comes to women that it's hard to believe the rest of the guys wouldn't drop him like a bad habit eventually if he kept up this creepo horndog act. Plus, the girl is an actress I like, even if her name completely escapes me.

Craig Ranapia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Ranapia said...

Henry wrote:
how Penny can afford a spacious Pasadena apartment working as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory.

But isn't that routine in television and films. Thirty years ago, I was wondering how characters in Woody Allen films with no visible (or plausible) means of support could afford to live in cavernous, chic apartments in Manhattan's tonier neighbourhoods. Ditto for Friends -- apart from Ross and Chandler (possibly Phoebe), did anyone else have stable enough jobs to pay the rent?

What's with Penny's apartment? She goes from compulsively messy to neat and back again.

I suspect that it's as practical as "messy" being a horrendous pain in the butt when it comes to continuity and set dressing. As far as I can tell, Penny's apartment is a sty when its necessary to pay off a gag. Otherwise, why bother?

Jort said...

Continuing with the Hwil Hweaton thing, Evil Wil calls his gaming partner Stewie, when he says it's time to collect the prize money :)

LoopyChew said...

Kensington:

I long to see Penny discover that she enjoys a geek game or nerd TV show, and not just in the one-off way she got into World of Warcraft.

It would be a natural extension of her relationship, just as Leonard has grown slightly more "normal" through her influence.


There WAS that episode last season with Penny 2.0 moving upstairs, and when trying to explain that Leonard bruises easily, ends up offhandedly quoting Star Trek.

I think she's got a little geek in her (that's what she said!), and that her neighbors are influencing her more than she'll openly admit to in public, her friends, or even herself.

Henry said...

It's a minor complaint for me. As I referenced earlier in my comment, I'd hate for the show to be a geekier version of Friends and I recognized even then that those guys didn't really have the means to keep such spacious Manhattan apartments. Though, they did address it in one or two episodes (Monica's apartment was rent-controlled and cheaper than most because her grandmother had it or something). So why wouldn't Big Bang Theory address it? Penny lives across from two accomplished scientists with credible jobs at an established university. Stands to reason their apartments would have the same monthly rate despite the disparate size differences (Leonard and Sheldon's apartment looks bigger). Why does she live alone when they are together? Why not have Penny look for a roommate? It would only enhance the cast.

Anonymous said...

We've just gotten into the show this season and have thoroughly enjoyed each episode. It is somewhat sad how much I can identify with Sheldon.
My partner and I have always been somewhat on the fence on the geek issue. We love lots of geek shows and geek out and yes we wear costumes to things, but geek culture in general I find tiring. However, I'm a Harry Potter character and he's a Star Trek character this Halloween so I think that pretty much seals the deal.

As to *I really hope Sheldon's magic memory powers don't last. Tracking cards in a game is one thing, but suddenly being able to remember minor details about two-year-old conversations which he wouldn't have cared about in the first place is over the top.*

It is? While I don't think I have nearly the super power of Sheldon, my memory works in much the same way. I can identify each piece of clothing in my closet, where it was purchased (store/city or person/place), how much I paid for it and what other colors it was available in. I do well on tests because I can recall HOW I was studying and flip my mind to that particular moment I was reading or working on a similar problem. My friends are often shocked at my "relational database" when it comes to remembering things.
I also am horrible at directions, but once I've driven past something, it's locked in. So generally to say- don't knock the memory!

-EmeraldLiz

Anonymous said...

<nitpick>

I love that Penny quit gaming because Wolowitz hit on her.

Penny quit gaming when Wolowitz hit on her and she accepted, thus realizing how far out of her normal bounds she'd wandered.

</nitpick>

Michael

alex s. said...

Since I'm the one that first brought it up, my main objection to Sheldon's magic memory is not continuity or the way it works (though I think there are problems with both), but that fact that it hurts the show and the character.

The show is hurt because it quickly becomes a crutch for lazy writing. Need to establish any random fact? Just have Sheldon "remember it". (As was done to establish the Leonard/Howard "pact" tonight.)

And a character that actually knows everything is a lot less interesting (and less real) than one that thinks he knows everything (or has deep knowledge in some areas (science, comics) but almost zero knowledge in others (humans, women)).

DolphinFan said...

Bob,

Re: the comment about the science reference (along with the comic ones) being accurate, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady have hired consultants from the SoCal scientific community to make sure they get the details right. They mentioned one guy who is a professor at CalTech IIRC. So in additional to agreeing that this is a terrific show, it's not happenstance that its facts are sound.
And I'm sure at some point we'll find out how Penny to live by herself.

Weezy said...

I guess I can be easily amused as I truly enjoyed the BBT pilot show and haven't missed an epi since. I don't quite understand the hatred of the wesley crusher/wil wheaton character/actor but will be reading up on that soon. Wesley never really bothered me all that much and I thought wil wheaton was a good actor since "Stand by Me" movie.
Glad to see Howard in his own little story with the geeky girl and look forward to seeing that relationship evolve.