Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Big Bang Theory, "The Lizard-Spock Expansion": Is there life on Mars?

I haven't really written about "Big Bang Theory" since the middle of last season, and while I still have some issues with the ratio of laughing with the characters versus laughing at them, I have to admit that the show makes me laugh a decent amount of the time when I watch it while waiting for "HIMYM" to start. The bit last night with Sheldon attempting to convincingly lie about Leonard working "at the office" was priceless.

Again, I don't have much free blogging time over the next few days, so go read Mo Ryan expressing opinions that are remarkably similar to my own on this subject.


KrisMrsBBradley said...

I hated this show when it first started. I hated stupid Penny and how the "nerds" were treated. For some reason, we continued to watch - probably because it's positioning with HIMYM.

The show seems to have smartened up. Penny got turned into a real girl, who I quite enjoy now. Sheldon is, in my opinion, one of the best characters on TV right now.

I'm surprised to say that I really love BBT.

Anonymous said...

Agree with mrsb^. The first improvement was when they wizened Penny up and shifted gears from the played-out dumb blonde routine.

I like that this season, Leonard is more successful with women. The scene last night with Leonard and Penny in the laundry room was a good one.

Pamela Jaye said...

This show makes me laugh out loud. I'm not sure if it's cause I don't watch a lot of sitcoms (BBT, HIMYM, Scrubs) or cause I'm trying to get the roommate (who once said his favorite activity was to go to MIT and watch the nerds walk into each other) to come ask what i'm laughing about.
So far no luck.
Also I loved this week's vanity card.
(and btw - what was Lorre's deal with Redstone (last week)? I feel like I missed a news story)

and does Les still work for/run/program CBS? I've heard griping about someone named Nina, and now SR and no Les...

Pamela Jaye said...

oddly, after posting a comment, unhiding the orginal post (which apparenty hides after you posts a comment) the link to Mo is no longer live.

No problem. I have a back button. I just thought it was odd.

ingiests - this is my second verification word that was almost a real word

Pamela Jaye said...

where do these guys work? "the office" - is it a university or do they work at the JPL? (also, do they live in Pasadena with the Walkers? (Brothers & Sisters))

Anonymous said...

I watched a bit of the Big Bang Theory last night and don't think I could sit through an entire episode of the show as it is. Not because it isn't funny, but because it feels like such a throwback. Obvious setup followed by punchline followed by (sweetened?) studio audience laughter completely disproportionate to the humor. In contrast to a single camera show like Arrested Development or 30 Rock that jokes arise in ways that aren't obviously telegraphed that "A JOKE IS COMING." It doesn't feel in character for a show about smart people not to be written for a smart audience. Not to say that 3-camera sitcoms can't be smart, but the rhythm of the dialogue doesn't seem like it's written to be.

Kenrick said...

I've actually had the opposite effect. I really liked BBT at the beginning (watched it 'cause of the writer's strike), but I've since stopped watching. The characters have kinda worn thin on me, but maybe I'll try it again. I just find the way they talk irritating. Not the holier than though intellectual speak by Sheldon (I think that's funny), but more the sound of their voices. I think the show is funniest at its nerdiest.

Does anyone watch Worst Week? It's the most painfully hilarious show I watch each week. I consistently LOL more at that show than anything else. It leaves you in suspense, because you know bad things will happen - sometimes it's really predictable, sometimes they trick you 'cause of this expectation, but usually it's just so hilarious (and sometimes even clever) how it happens. And the way that they've dealt with the potential cringiness of the show, is that there aren't really any lasting repercussions.

Anonymous said...

It's still a work in progress but it makes me laugh a lot. It would improve, I think, if they would just deepen the characters a little more. We're getting a slightly more mature relationship between Leonard and Penny, and that's ncie to see, but I'd still like to see Penny develop more of an appreciation for the geekier interest of the geeks.

For the most part, she's simply never interested, and on the one occasion when she falls into their world (in the episode where she becomes addicted to World of Warcraft), it's presented as an aberration that is fixed by the end.

Would it really be so bad for Penny to have a health appreciation of World of Warcraft. Is she truly incapable of appreciating the weird coolness of having people on the other side of the planet controlling your light switches, for another example.

She's very pretty, yes, but she'd be a Hell of a lot more interesting if she weren't so stereotypical.

That said, The Big Bang Theory is my favorite Monday night sitcom at the moment. I get more pleasure from it than How I Met Your Mother.

Bobman said...

Does anyone watch Worst Week?

I couldn't watch past the second episode. I get my fill of cringe humor with Curb Your Enthusiasm, there's only so much I can take :)

Anonymous said...

They've actually done a good job of making Penny less stereoypical and mroe interested in the geeks - witness her telling another date about Schroedinger's Cat after hearing about it from Sheldon.

And is there such a thing as a "healthy" interest in WoW? *ducks* :)

Unknown said...

I'm among the people who disliked this show at first. I would have quit watching except my wife enjoyed it. And now I'm glad I stuck with it, as it got much better.

The writers still occasionally have contempt for the geeks, but now it's far less frequent than affection. And most of the contempt is limited to Howard, who is supposed to be contemptible. And I like that Penny has become a real person, who is able to give and take with the geeks.

My favorite moment of last night's show was when Raj perfectly understood Sheldon's explanation of Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

Unknown said...

Also, you might be interested in my summary of the Big Bang Theory Comic-Con panel here.

Anonymous said...

pamela jaye - They work at Cal Tech. http://www.caltech.edu/

And as far as I can tell, yes, they live in Pasadena, though I believe the Walkers are actually in tony South Pas or San Marino.

Anonymous said...

I, too, couldn't get past the 2nd episode of Worst Week. I just wanted to throttle that lead guy. I know he was "supposed" to be bumbling and moronic but he just irritated the crap out of me.

I almost gave up on Big Bang last year, wondering where the show could really go outside their living room, and I'm so glad I stuck with it. It's the ONLY show that consistently makes me laugh out loud. I had to watch that Lizard-Spock expansion scene a few times and I'm still laughing.

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks la.

I stayed in one house and one apartment (no, two apartments) in Pasadena years ago - and only one was slightly tony.

Anonymous said...

Once you realize that yearning Leonard equals hapless Ted, oily Howard equals lothario Barney, Indian Raj equals Canadian Robin by way of Fez, and self-obsessed Sheldon equals the hermetically sealed Lily plus Marshall, the whole show explains itself a lot better. They use up the scripts that don't make the cut at HIMYM.

Penny? Wendy the waitress.

Pamela Jaye said...

I could agree with the first two (with reservations - Barney seems more... something.. than Wolowitz (autonomous, at the very least)

the rest, not so much.