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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 17 2013, 03:01 AM   #31
The Wormhole
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
The behaviors of the group of guys were just every nerd/geek trope imaginable. It was just, ugh, annoying to watch.
That's basically my problems with The Big Bang Theory. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it "Nerd Blackface," though this isn't the first time I've heard that term applied to the show.

Granted I've only watched one episode, but based on it and everything else I've heard about it, this basically summarises it and its humour:

"We're nerds." [HA HA HA]
"The blonde girl doesn't understand what we're talking about." [AH HA HA HA]
"[Obscure sci-fi reference]" [OH HO HO AH HA HA HA]
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Old January 17 2013, 03:04 AM   #32
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
It's what passes for humor on CBS. But since only senior citizens and chemically castrated sex offenders watch CBS, it's not really a representative audience.
I shudder to think what category I fall into!

Seriously, most of my Trekkie friends are hooked on the show. And, yes, I have laughed in recognition more than once . . . .
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Old January 17 2013, 03:07 AM   #33
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
The behaviors of the group of guys were just every nerd/geek trope imaginable. It was just, ugh, annoying to watch. "Production values" of the show didn't strike me as great either. Granted, it's a sitcom but, man, it was just ugly to watch. I'm glad I don't watch sitcoms anymore. I did find the B-Story with the girls trying to get into comic-books and understand Thor's hammer and getting into a nerdy discussion over it. I wish the episode had been about that rather than this tenuous Star Trek connection nonsense.
Along with 2 1/2 men, it's the Micky D's of sitcoms. I've got a pretty broad sense of humor, I like my low brow and my high brow, slapstick, or whatever...but BBT is one of those shows where I'm ahead of every joke. It's predictable. I guess some find that comforting and just want to switch off at the end of the day but I want to be engaged on some level at least. Just like Trek 2009, it's written for a very different mind set...although to be fair, Trek 2009 had enough redeeming qualities for me to enjoy it at least.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:19 AM   #34
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Come on, we all know people like that. If you're not laughing at it, you should be laughing with it.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:38 AM   #35
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Really, once Seinfeld, Friends and Frasier were off the air the sitcom died as far as I'm concerned.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:40 AM   #36
Greg Cox
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Really, once Seinfeld, Friends and Frasier were off the air the sitcom died as far as I'm concerned.
Have you checked out "The B--- in Apt. 23"? I don't watch a lot of sitcoms, but I've been enjoying that one.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:52 AM   #37
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Really, once Seinfeld, Friends and Frasier were off the air the sitcom died as far as I'm concerned.
Big Bang Theory is basically Friends with more nerd references. With the addition of Amy and Bernie, even more so. Replace the nerd reference with snob references and you've got Frasier. Penny is just a young, attractive Martin Crane.
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Old January 17 2013, 03:52 AM   #38
WalkerBait
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Really, once Seinfeld, Friends and Frasier were off the air the sitcom died as far as I'm concerned.
Have you checked out "The B--- in Apt. 23"? I don't watch a lot of sitcoms, but I've been enjoying that one.
I've not watched any sitcom since either Fraiser or Friends went off the air (I forget which one went off last, I think it was Friends.) I've seen the occasional episode of various ones but, really, none of them grab me anymore as none of them even begin to interest me and really, the jokes and such on them are just barely a step above the ones in those "[Genre of Movie] Movie" movies.
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Old January 17 2013, 09:29 AM   #39
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

I guess my problem with the show – and I'm saying that as someone who has watched every episode of it – is that they don't want the viewer to laugh with the characters but at them. It didn't bother me at first, but the last two seasons or so have been really annoying in that it's always "Look how socially awkward and uncool geeks are!" Think about it, this show is written for an audience that is like Penny rather than the boys. The stories are always looked at from an angle of someone who really isn't a geek. And I think that might be the reason why the show is so popular with general audiences. To me, though, some of the jokes can really be offensive. I swear, another "lesbian" joke out of the mouth of Amy and I'm gonna quit that show.

Also, it seems like the authors don't really care about the characters anymore. No-one is allowed to be really happy. Everyone is just a basic joke, a cypher. And it has become apparent, that none of these people are actually friends. They never help each other and aren't there for one another. They are never allowed to become emotional either. And that's really tiring.

It's also somewhat offensive how they always tease with Raj's apparent homosexuality, but never seem to have to balls to actually make him gay. Really, it's just there so we can laugh about him. And it's hillarious!

Not.
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Old January 17 2013, 09:49 AM   #40
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

When people use the "laughing with people" line, they tend to forget that laughing at people is always funnier than laughing with them. Comedy without cruelty is useless. The Big Bang Theory is already pretty tame, defanging it to preserve thin-skinned geeks from getting offended is a terrible idea.
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Old January 17 2013, 04:38 PM   #41
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

There's a difference in laughing at people and laughing at people.

Friends: We laugh at Monica for being neurotic, we laugh at Ross for being even more neurotic, we laugh at Chandler for being a socially awkward smart-ass, we laugh at Joey for being a complete dummy, we laugh at Phoebe for having her head in the clouds, we laugh at Rachel for being a rich girl trying to live in a working-class world. But none of them are really playing any real stereotypes. They just have broad, humorous, personalities.

Seinfeld: We laugh at Kramer for being a "hipster doofus", we and we laugh at George for being a loser. And, really, they're the only two characters who we "laugh at." Elaine and Jerry probably got more laughs out of their stories than their personalities. We laugh at all of their failures.

Frasier: We laugh at Frasier and Miles for being overly elite metrosexual snobs and the failures they bring upon themselves.

But, BBT, seems to put on display four stereotypes of the "nerd." And we laugh at them for acting awkward and being so different than all of us "normal people." I mean, look at the scene when they walk into the diner wearing their cosplay gear. I mean, isn't it so funny we see these guys in costumes walking into a room full of normal people?! I mean they've been walking in the desert, they're dying of thirst, one guy had his car stolen. And, gee, one man-child had to call his mom for help!

That's very, very, different than, say, laughing at George for losing a job for not realizing it's bad to sleep with the cleaning lady on your desk. Or laughing at Joey for becoming the dance director of a musical because he lied on his resume.

The characters in those other sitcoms are broad archetypes of personalities. It's funny when things happen to them because usually they end up in the situation they're in due to their own doing.

Here? We're laughing at four guys who just got kicked in the balls because they're nerds. The one guy wants to take a picture of him and his girlfriend because NO ONE will believe he has such a hot girlfriend! Because nerds, you see, don't get hot girlfriends!

Ha! Ha! Funny!

We're not supposed to be laughing at these guys because of the situations they get themselves into or because they're causing their own failures. We're supposed to be laughing at them because they're "not us" and the world just kicked them in the balls, again.
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Old January 17 2013, 05:28 PM   #42
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Community is the show to watch. BBT just doesn't do it for me.
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Old January 17 2013, 05:54 PM   #43
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

I always took BBT to be nerds laughing at themselves. Yeah, the archetypes are a bit "on the nose" - but I wouldn't call it hostile to nerds any more than I would call Star Trek hostile to the races (real or fictional) or diversities it left out.

Don't read too much into sitcoms. They are little more than market-tested commercials with punch lines.

Last edited by Insp.LeStrange; January 17 2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old January 18 2013, 02:17 AM   #44
Geoff Peterson
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Friends: We laugh at Monica for being neurotic, we laugh at Ross for being even more neurotic, we laugh at Chandler for being a socially awkward smart-ass, we laugh at Joey for being a complete dummy, we laugh at Phoebe for having her head in the clouds, we laugh at Rachel for being a rich girl trying to live in a working-class world. But none of them are really playing any real stereotypes. They just have broad, humorous, personalities.
They're not playing stereotypes????? Seriously??

But, BBT, seems to put on display four stereotypes of the "nerd." And we laugh at them for acting awkward and being so different than all of us "normal people." I mean, look at the scene when they walk into the diner wearing their cosplay gear. I mean, isn't it so funny we see these guys in costumes walking into a room full of normal people?! I mean they've been walking in the desert, they're dying of thirst, one guy had his car stolen. And, gee, one man-child had to call his mom for help!
Yeah, it is funny to walk into a diner wearing Trek uniforms. Why wouldn't it be funny? Funny is pretty much 3/4 tragedy that happens to other people. The same reason its funny that Ross's wife left him for a woman.Or that he got mugged by a girl (Phoebe) who stole his comic book.
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Old January 18 2013, 03:55 AM   #45
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Re: Big Bang-Next Generation

Seriously, if you think BBT is offensive you're much more of a nerd than the stereotypes on the show.

People are way too thin skinned these days. You have to laugh at yourself, or there's nothing left to do but cry.
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