No attempt to clone The Big Bang Theory yet?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by billcosby, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    The show certainly is offensive to nerds who are not secure in their "nerdliness." I love being a nerd but I realize not everyone wants to be stereotyped.

    I can't say that I agree at all at the comparisons made between TBBT and Two and Half Men. I know that they have the same creator and new episodes are broadcast together... but I've been exposed to several episodes of Two and Half Men unwillingly (either working with the TV on and couldn't reach the remote or at someone else's house who insist on watching it and I can't bring myself to speak of how uncreative it is) and I must say there are no similarities beyond lame sex jokes and a laugh track. I don't mind the lowbrow humor, I just don't find it funny or entertaining. And that goes for every other shitcom on TV today. But I don't feel that way about TBBT.

    TBBT often uses plot devices and themes that are entrenched in science fiction, real science or otherwise situations that revel in the joy of nerdiness (new comic books, the release of a classic film with several seconds of new footage, blowing a shitload of cash on a movie prop, etc). Even if the nerd references are lame, I can relate to the scenarios as a willing member of the nerd subculture and it thrills me that any sort of representation in mass media even exists. Whether or not it is of value or it is commendable is certainly open to debate.

    Playing a D&D game to get Sheldon into the Christmas spirit was very amusing. What else happened recently... I loved the one where they got standed on the way to a Trek convention... although it was mighty predictable (as soon as they drove off I knew they would never make it ;) ) but damn entertaining... Sheldon as Data was borderline creepy at how well he sort of resembled Spiner!

    All I've ever been exposed to on Two and Half Men is the same lame ass dating scenario where Charlie Sheen gets lots of sex and Joy Cryer gets none. It borders on Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in terms of how repetitive it is, and with all the fun taken out of it to boot! I recently sat through a (new?) episode where Cryer was trying to have a threesome. It was some tired ass bullshit television. Lame sex joke after lame sex joke after lame ass sex joke. Hahaha, women and men are wired differently. Roll credits. Of course TBBT does this but they do it in a way that makes it interesting... for example, Katie Sackoff shows up in Howard's fantasy to remind him that he has the affections of a real woman.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Okay, I have to ask: Since when do we watch TV to prove that we're intellectuals?

    I don't know about anybody else, but I don't base my TV viewing habits on whether they polish my credentials as an intellectual--or will look good on a grant application! :)

    Then again, I love "Sharktopus," too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  3. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    The most recent episode of TBBT did not invoke a single plot device or theme related to nerd culture beyond the simple relationship cluelessness of nerds. I could easily see the episode being reworked into a 2.5 Men episode simply by changing the names of the characters.

    The plot revolved around [Leonard] being spoiled by [Sheldon] regarding a plot point in a Harry Potter book (not nerdy in the slightest). In response, he decides to move out, into [Penny]'s apartment. This opens up the door for [Amy] to move in to [Sheldon's apartment]. Ultimately, the issue is resolved by [Penny] and [Sheldon]'s mutual desire to not live with their S.O., and status quo being returned. A subplot involves [Raj] being forced to spend the weekend with [Howard's mother], who smothers him much to his discontent. [Howard and Bernadette] attend a retreat for [Bernadette's] company and attempt to have Cirque Du Soleil sex.

    There were some tangential references to props in the apartment (action figure, Game of Thrones sword), but those wouldn't necessarily be out of place in a 2.5 Men episode anyway.

    Let's 2.5 Men this:
    The plot revolved around [Alan] being spoiled by [Charlie/Ashton] regarding a plot point in a Harry Potter book (not nerdy in the slightest). In response, he decides to move out, into [current whats-her-face]'s apartment. This opens up the door for [current slut] to move in to [Charlie/Ashton's house]. Ultimately, the issue is resolved by [what's-her-face] and [Charlie/Ashton]'s mutual desire to not live with their S.O., and status quo being returned. A subplot involves [Jake] being forced to spend the weekend with [Charlie's mother], who smothers him much to his discontent. [I dunno, some minor characters, maybe Judith and Herb] attend a retreat for [Judith/Herb's] company and attempt to have Cirque Du Soleil sex.


    Wow, that was actually easier than I thought it was going to be. I could probably sell that script to any number of sitcom shows...
     
  4. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    So, Harry Potter and spoilers aren't nerdy???????? Really?????

    Yeah sometimes the show is mostly about the characters and the nerd and science stuff takes a backseat. billcosby said often not always.
     
  5. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah. I'd go out on a limb and say this is definitely not nerd territory anymore.
     
  6. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    [true enough]

    What's with the []'s?
     
  7. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Because Harry Potter was popular? What does make Star Wars? Nerdy doesn't have to mean niche or unpopular.

    Reading Potter (especially for a guy Leonard's age) is pretty nerdy. Getting upset that Sheldon spoiled the books is pretty nerdy too.
     
  8. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    You've never played Mad Libs? It was to illustrate how cookie cutter the plotlines are.

    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was release in 2005, almost 8 years ago. If he's reading it for the first time, he's not that nerdy. Nearly EVERYONE read those books.
     
  9. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah and nearly everybody saw Avatar. That doesn't make it less nerdy. Reading a children's fantasy book about a school for witches is nerdy no matter when you read it.
     
  10. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I'm not going to fight you on this. Not worth it. I think it's a pretty lame picking point when my overall theme was that the show is cookie cutter.

    Throw a couple "nerd bones" and bam, you've got a show about nerd culture. Swap them out, and bam you've got any other show on tv. Every show has a target.
     
  11. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    The mistake is thinking the show is about "nerd culture". Its not. It's about guys who happen to be nerds and their relationships. The relationship problems aren't exclusively nerdcentric but universal. As I've said before, it's Friends with nerd references. You could just as easily drop in the names of the Friends characters into the plot. You could do it with the cast of Community as well. Maybe that does make that episode "cookie cutter". Other episodes might be harder to turn into installments of Two and a Half Men, Friends or Community.

    No, its not a lame picking point. Your opening statement was about the lack of nerd refs in the episode. I feel otherwise.
     
  12. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    You guys are missing something here. How did Leonard manage to avoid seeing the movies and also internet chatter before finally reading the book for that even to still be a spoiler?

    Hell, I'm not a Potter fan, but I've at least seen the movies and read online all the major plot points without having opened the books.

    I personally found it strange that he didn't know the spoiler already. It's just one of the many details the writers get wrong on the show when dealing with "nerd culture".
     
  13. trekkiebaggio

    trekkiebaggio Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Psssh, yeah like Alan would ever willingly move out ;)
     
  14. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    They mostly get it right. At least from this nerd's experience. They probably used Potter because it's owned by Warner and would be more recognizable to the audience.
     
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with your position on Harry Potter -- its nerdy no matter when it is read or viewed.

    But I disagree with your take above about BBT usually getting it right. I watch the reruns a lot and I am always taking notice of how the show reveals who it's audience is (mainstream read: "older" non-nerds) with little things.

    There was one episode where they used a Batleth. Every time they mentined it, it was called a "Klingon" Batleth. If a Batleth had ever been used on Community, I doubt the producers would have felt the need to identify the weapon so that the audience had some frame of reference. "Klingon" is much more identifiable than "Batleth".

    In another episode, Summer Glau made an appearance. They mentioned the Sarah Conner Chronicles more than once. I don't think they mentioned Firefly at all, but then that is the show for which she is best known in the nerd community and that is not the audience to which BBT is geared.

    The show tries way to hard to make the characters appear to be "of" nerd culture and too often fails.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    To be fair, I believe the Terminator show was currently airing when that episode first aired. No doubt Glau wanted to promote her current show more than the one that had already been cancelled . . . which makes sense.

    Plus, here's the thing: despite what some fans might think BBT should be, the show is a network sitcom aimed at general audiences and is not intended to be enjoyed by nerds only. So, yeah, all other things being equal, it's only smart to go with "nerdy" references that the whole audience will recognize rather than deliberately go with something more obscure than only hardcore geeks will appreciate. What's the point of making a FARSCAPE joke that nobody but nerds will get when a STAR WARS joke will work just as well?

    It's all about when tailoring your material to your audience. When I'm speaking at a Trek convention I can refer casually to "Journey to Babel" and "Amok Time" and assume that the audience will get the references. But if I'm speaking at a public library or elementary school, I'm going to assume a less specialized knowledge base--and talk more about Superman than, say, The 4400 . . . .

    And, no, that's not "dumbing it down." It's about communicating effectively with your audience--and not trying to be deliberately obscure just for the sake of showing off your nerd cred.

    You don't get points for leaving ninety percent of your audience in the dark . . . :)
     
  17. Bah Humbug

    Bah Humbug Admiral Admiral

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    The only thing that I know about Harry Potter is that there is a school for witchcraft and a girl named Hermione. I haven't read any books or seen any of the movies. I just have zero interest in it. I can't be the only one.
     
  18. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nobody is "the only one" with zero interest in something. But Harry Potter is part of popular culture now, so a general knowledge of what it's all about is rightfully expected. Otherwise it would be impossible to make any reference to anything at all.
     
  19. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Welcome to the club!
     
  20. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

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    That's like saying that Star Trek has a ship and a guy with pointed ears. Technically correct, but next to useless in characterizing it.