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5.04 The Wiggly Finger Catalyst (Oct. 6)

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Well just watched the episode and the only thing I loved was Howard's part & Sheldon's D&D dice thing.

Among only some interactions in other episodes, I liked what they had Howard's character do this time. Nice touch on the sign language!! Loved how he signed/talked his way out of the swearing part of Emily's conversation with Penny. And great lines again like "Bernadette doesn't care where I get my motor running, as long as I park it in the right driveway!" Got me really laughing out loud.

Was I the only one that didn't like the way they made Penny look all materialistic when she found out Raj was actually more richer than rich? Could have done without those bits...

At first I was happy for Raj's character, but I have to agree they rushed this relationship a bit in 1 episode.

Roll on next week.

@Netmouse While watching I was wondering the same thing about the driving while a person is deaf. But then realized that here in Holland they are allowed to drive a car when they have taken a special exam that proves they use their visuals enough to make up for the loss of hearing. They have to take special driving lessons and have a sticker on the back of the care to make other drivers aware of the fact that they are hearing impaired. Might be the same in the US & other countries.

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@wayelrob: this is the way I look at it.... BBT has become my favourite tv show over the years. I relate to the characters, scenarios and humour of the show.

It still surprises me (seriously) that some members have let the season 4 finale get to them so badly.

There are a number of episodes in the series that I don't particularly rank as brilliant, but I just chalk it all up to some episodes are winners, some aren't. Fast forward to the one you like.

Just sayin'.

In truth it surprised me how the finale of season 4 got to me. I have never gotten myself emotionally involved in a TV show like that. I was genuinely sickened and very angry about it.

Unlike some others I enjoyed season 4. It's difficult to maintain the characters over years. The introduction of the girls didn't bother me. I thought there was potential there. Still do. The only thing that I really didn't like in 4, apart from the abomination of the finale, was what they systematically did to Raj. They really turned him into an entirely dislikeable character and they seem to be continuing on that theme. They really should have kept Emily, at least for a while. It was a way to take the sharp edges off Raj.

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All of a sudden, the general feel of the site had this real negative undertone to it. A number of members signed onto the forum after this episode and it was like they were here to do nothing more than piss and moan about how horrible Raj and Penny were. And then, 4 months later, they've all logged off and gone.

Ah yes, gone but not forgotten.

By the way, I don't mean to single out your comments or anything netmouse. Thay just seemed like a good springboard for my first post in a while. I know that you still like the show and thats excellent. I'm sorry that some of us have been negative. It's just that those of us who were negatively affected by the direction the show has taken have also been looking for a forum to rage in - sorry - "in which to rage". :icon_cheesygrin: I have been lurking over the past weeks but not posting due to the negativity thing. I thought I was being a downer and I figured that I should try to get over it.

I have been watching the show though, and I really don't like what I've been seeing. It's as if they created a new show - lets call it "The Big Bang Theory 2" - using the same sets, cast, etc. But the show is quite different.

Just as a point of interest. After Pradys comment at comic con that they are putting romantic things on hold for a while, to get back to some good, nerdy storytelling, I thought a list of the Science / Geeky elements this season would be in order. Note that I had to stretch to the point of being ridiculous just to fill up some space.

The Skank Reflex Analysis

- Sheldon uses google maps on an ipad

- They play paintball, but get distracted so they stop

- Sheldon does the suicide thing to get them going again

The Infestation Hypothesis

- Sheldon mentions time zones

- Sheldon mentions that paraffin candles release carcinogens

- Sheldon appears to be reading a scientific journal

- The guys cook sandwiches in a hydraulic thermo pressure something-or-another

The Pulled Groin Extrapolation

- Sheldon likes trains

- Leonard uses a computer

- Howard holds a light sabre for a few seconds

The Wiggly Finger Catalyst

- They play dungeons and dragons, but get distracted so they stop

- Sheldon plays dice

- Sheldon uses the phrases "large hadron collider" and "higgs boson particle" in a sentence.

And, please, if anyone suggests that the pinworm story or the internet make-out machines should be on the science rather than the tacky side of the ledger, I'll barf. (and please do suggest it - I'm trying to lose weight - mass actually).

There is a similar dearth of science in episode 5 which brings us fully to the 1/5th mark of the season. To me the show has become a relationship show - and bad relationships at that. Hence the dismay of the people who liked the old focus on science.

P.S. I thought that Raj was a douche in the finale, but I can't believe how much of a dickensian they are turning him into now. He was a complete jerk in this (the wiggly finger) episode.

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I agree with the science and geek stuff. They give it token mentions here and there but it's an after thought no longer part of the show. They seem to be writing as outsiders looking in. Rather than having actual geeks or science guys as part of the writing team.

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I'm sad. I used to love the show. Obviously the original writers are needed. Now Penny is just a whore like creature. Raj is so mean he deserves to die. And I wish a sniper would take out that Amy thing. Yeah...I'm pissed.

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So the question is: Why are some people so pissed?

Note: I am one of those people.

The reason I am pissed is that this was one show - the only one I have ever seen - that seemed to be written for and about people like me. I happen to like physics (my degree is in physics), I like gaming, I make conversational references to scientific studies, I find social protocol somewhat confusing, etc. Needless to say, I find that I'm considered a bit weird and find that I am a bit of an outsider in a lot of situations. This show was a great outlet and made me think that just maybe the entertainment machine had decided that people like me were worth while enough to tailor a show to my tastes.

However, they decided to take that away and hand the show over to the trash tv folks. It's kind of a slap in the face. What the hell? Why can't they leave me with just one show that doesn't make me cringe?

And you can't say it was for the ratings. Just look at the ratings in my sig. The best ratings were when the show had reached it's stride in season 3. Then down, down, down. The finale with all of the controversy and advertising gave it a boost but even that didn't reach the level of season three. I kind of feel that that was like people who want to slow down to look at an accident on the highway. I'll be interested in the ratings for the next couple of shows. There really aren't enough data points to conclude that the trend this season is going down, but it doesn't look like its going up.

And for those who say that the ratings don't matter - well that is true if you like the show. However, ratings mean everything to the people who make the show and lower ratings means change will come. Unfortunately, they just can't go back on some of the things they have done with the characters so I don't think they could ever be successful if they try to go back to their old demographic.

So it goes.


I'm sad. I used to love the show. Obviously the original writers are needed. Now Penny is just a whore like creature. Raj is so mean he deserves to die. And I wish a sniper would take out that Amy thing. Yeah...I'm pissed.

And speaking of Penny being a whore...

With the number of references that Amy has made about hooking up with Penny, I wouldn't be surprised if those two ended up in bed at some point.

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And for those who say that the ratings don't matter - well that is true if you like the show. However, ratings mean everything to the people who make the show and lower ratings means change will come. Unfortunately, they just can't go back on some of the things they have done with the characters so I don't think they could ever be successful if they try to go back to their old demographic.

So it goes.


I'm sad. I used to love the show. Obviously the original writers are needed. Now Penny is just a whore like creature. Raj is so mean he deserves to die. And I wish a sniper would take out that Amy thing. Yeah...I'm pissed.

And speaking of Penny being a whore...

With the number of references that Amy has made about hooking up with Penny, I wouldn't be surprised if those two ended up in bed at some point.

I quite agree. The damage they have done, most especially to Raj's character seems way beyond repair. They had their chance to erase 4x24 but they chose not too. Now it has become a running gag between Raj and Penny. I really found their interaction in this episode to be distasteful. Felt like Penny needed to slap his face. And what's with Penny saying, "he is cuter now that I know he is rich?" Maybe they are considering revisiting a relationship between them?

If Penny and Amy wind up in bed that would be the proverbial straw and the camel will fall.

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@4ofN: heya, wb. Once again, you make some brilliant points and put forth a very good pov with regards to the show.

I too am finding Raj's character a little less likeable this season.

Like I said in my last post, I take the show one episode at a time.

I have no time for Chuck Lorre at all... dunno, something about that chin of his... but I do like his shows, so yeah, I'm happy to keep watching.

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I'm not angry anymore just incredibly disappointed. There are very few shows I really get into, TBBT was the first show I really got into in a long time. I could deal with a lot of the bad stuff that crept into season 4 but the finale was like a knife in my back. It screwed the show and characters in a way that's impossible to fix and that's why I got so angry for a while.

They could have tried a silly dream sequence or pretty much anything except the way they went. There no real way back now, it's just another run of the mill sitcom. I'll watch for old times sake but I not bothered if I miss an episode and I can see myself drifting away from it over the course of this season.

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@4ofN: heya, wb.

Thanks netmouse. I won't be here too long though. I've got a couple of trips coming up - one pleasure (a week in New Orleans to get all messed up and listen to some serious blues) and one business. I'll have to catch up when I'm back.

So I was thinking. Can we still wrangle a solution to everything that doesn't involve a dream sequence? I'll give wayelrob a shout out and build on his suggestion a bit.

unless he [Raj] is going to confess that he came to bed and Penny was already there sleeping and nothing happened and he lied about it.

My problem with this is that it exonerates Penny, but only increases Raj’s douchebag-ish-ness. So can we fix that as well?

My solution goes something like this...

Raj finds out he has a brain tumor (yeah, yeah, I know - queue the saop opera music - but its not a dream and its not magic). While everyone is waiting for him to come out of surgery at the hospital, Amy can fill us in on the details about how the tumor was pressing on and therefore triggering the "colossal asshat" section of his brain.

After surgery we see them back at the apartment and Raj takes a sniff in the direction of a beer bottle so he can talk to women. He says that he wants to apologize to Penny and that on the night before they woke up together, Penny had only been tipsy and had just gone to Leonard’s room to reminisce, but fell asleep on the bed. It was the pressure on the “colossal asshat†section of his brain that made Raj slip into bed and then lie about what happened in the morning – which he did to see if he could start a relationship with her. So the reason she can’t remember what happened “that night†is not because she was too drunk to remember, but that there was actually nothing to remember.

Now I know that some people actually like the Raj / Penny thing and some are even disappointed that that they didn't actually get all the way to actual intercourse. Some have suggested that it wouldn't be right to "erase" the situation like this. To those people I ask if erasing that situation would be so bad if it meant that those of us who are upset at the current situation could start enjoying the show again?

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Strange episode in that it was IMHO, the best introductory sequence ever. e.g.

Packed with funny jokes.

Raj: “I dont know if I wanna to play anymoreâ€

Sheldon: “Because you dont have a girlfriend? Good Lord, if that becomes a reason not to play Dungeons & Dragons, this game's in serious trouble.†Now that's a classic TBBT line.

After that...again no LOL moments.

Dont forget , though, that the start of series 3 had a couple of stinkers before it picked up again.

@BlackWhiteRose

I´ve never been a huge fan of Raj but whatever. His parents are great! Love them!

Aren't they just? I can see them becoming big cult figures...appearing on Leno or similar via laptop. Their appearance from stage (or is it laptop) right and left when Leonard was reading his porn movie quotes to Priya was very funny. The father's facial expressions are hilarious.

@netmouse

The writers have certainly got back to grass roots with regards to implementing more nerdy staples into the storylines...

Sorry Nettie, old boy, but...where? I didnt see any outside of the very short opening sequence.

@Imapotato

This was the stake in the heart. I will still watch because there is really nothing else to do Thur at 8pm, but I won't rush and I am no longer a fan in the pure sense of the word.

Same here.Couldnt call myself a huge fan after series 2. I would be hesitant now in reccommending it to friends. It is still amusing , though, even though the LOLs are fewer. I will still watch it.

@ThreeLions

I think it's just the way sitcom characters go. They tend to become over the top versions of their earlier selves.

Agreed. Same with Homer Simpson over the last years. They run out of ideas and just try to exaggerate previously shown characteristics.

@Waylerob

The damage they have done, most especially to Raj's character seems way beyond repair.

This is a comedy. That's how I watch it, anyway. I dont care what they do with the characters as long as it is funny. I am prepared to forgive a lot of continuity errors or other anomolies if it means I get a good laugh.

@netmouse

It still surprises me (seriously) that some members have let the season 4 finale get to them so badly.

thats because the show has developed into a Friends-like rom-com and a lot of people are viewing it as drama rather than an out-and-out comedy. I made 1 comment about the end of series 4 and that was as far as my interest in the discussion went.

@4ofn...no need to quote you. Suffice to say I agree with 90% of what you said.

Regarding the nerd-friendly content..I noted as far back as series 3 that they had begun to only mention such things briefly (e.g. Linux) in order to gain a bit of geek-cred rather than basing whole scenes around them as they had previously done.

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Okay, this episode had funny moments. But it had some head scratchers.

First, if Raj was to meet a deaf girl, I think it would've been funnier if all he could do was move his lips to talk, but no sound would come out. And she could talk and respond to him by reading his lips. Therefore, it would be a Raj-Howardesque relationship when it comes to miscommunications. We'd only have seen her response.

Especially the misread lip movements.

Even though it was funny with Howard doing ASL for them, it obviously wasn't anything that could last. Howard can't sign for them every time they're in the same room. So, the relationship couldn't last unless Raj learned ASL. Which would take the show in a potentially very boring implausible storyline.

Anyways, back to the funny moments.

Penny mentioning that she could've dated Raj for a few months when she found out he paid off her credit cards.

Bernadette: And a little birdie told me he's in the placebo group.

Sheldon: Because you don't have a girlfriend? Good lord, If that becomes a reason to not play Dungeons and Dragons, this game is in serious trouble.

Howard: "whisper, so the deaf chick can't hear you."

Sheldon: "And I'll wash it down with a pitcher of margaritas."

"Hamburgers and Lemonade."

Penny: What kind of relationship is it where you buy her gifts and she gives you sex?

Raj: The best one I've ever had.

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@smeg: curse your thorough, well thought out, well written comments !! :p

Your Homer Simpson comment was 100% spot on, however, in defence of the show Homer's been alive 16 seasons longer than BBT. (although some might argue that that is 16 seasons too long and they should have let the show go after season 10)

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"Penny mentioning that she could've dated Raj for a few months when she found out he paid off her credit cards."

That's a whore moment.

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"Penny mentioning that she could've dated Raj for a few months when she found out he paid off her credit cards."

That's a whore moment.

Considering the way the things had been going, this was a disturbing and uncomfortable line to hear.

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yeah she had a lot of whore comments

"he does look cuter now that i know that he is rich"

i was so nervous about penny and raj when they are alone now

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This whole episode didn't sit well with me. It kinda felt to me like material was either being recycled, it wasn't put together well, or dialogue was awkward. To elaborate a bit:

1) They already played the deaf card in Season 4, although we never got to see the girl Raj was dating at the time. So, I was totally not impressed that they used it again, but the cast acted as if Raj has never dated a deaf person before. The signing shtick was amusing sometimes, and the gym scene was funny too, but that's about it. How did Penny make friends with a deaf girl anyway before she met Howard? (she was her friend, right?) Did she just always have someone sign all conversations when she hung out with her?

2) They already told us Raj's family is rich. In addition to the fact that Raj always mentioned he had servants in India, I think there was one episode where his parents stated they were some of the richest people in the country. Again, I found it hard to believe that his friends didn't think he was loaded. Instead of his family being very rich, he's actually very, VERY rich. Not much of a difference from where I'm sitting. I guess it boils down to the fact that the viewer was informed, but not the cast, but even at that, some new information in the episode should be revealed to maintain the interest of the "all-knowing viewer."

3) Any dialogue between Raj and Penny felt super awkward and forced. I grow to dislike Raj's character more and more as with each season he just gets drunk more and more often becoming more and more of an ass. The undertones of Penny possibly being sweet to Raj now because of his money also leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Not to mention their exchange of dialogue doesn't make much sense and just breaks the narrative apart (for me at least).

4) While I did find the "D&D dice and Sheldon" thing to be funny and amusing, some of the ways he used it seemed counter-productive to me. I'm not completely familiar with the patterns of OCD behavior, but I was under the impression that you designate specific days to wear specific clothes, eat specific foods, plan specific activities, etc. so that you don't waste time/energy thinking about those things. Wouldn't trying to change it merely cause more harm than good in terms of what you're trying to accomplish? And wouldn't Sheldon be smart enough to see it? Possibly the only instances where the dice rolling seemed relevant was when Sheldon was deciding whether to tell his friends about Raj's rich family and possibly the "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to..... *rolls dice* ..stay right here." (which I did find hilarious)

Sorry for rambling, I can be extremely nit-picky and was just thinking out loud.

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How did Penny make friends with a deaf girl anyway before she met Howard?

Penny says she met her in spin class. I would think there was someone in there to sign. And to me, it didn't look like Penny and her were very good friends. It just looked like someone she knew and saw only in spin class.

I apparently missed that Howard could sign.

and I like your point 4. I kinda wondered that too, but since it was funny I didn't ask too many questions.

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I was under the impression that you designate specific days to wear specific clothes, eat specific foods, plan specific activities, etc. so that you don't waste time/energy thinking about those things.

Sheldon mentions in the episode that he is rolling the dice in a bid to save wasting time/energy thinking about those things.

But yeah, by OCD standards, the dice rolls run the risk of forcing him to do something he may not originally have done had he "wasted time" thinking about the consequences himself.

One of those infinite loop kinda things.

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"Penny mentioning that she could've dated Raj for a few months when she found out he paid off her credit cards."

That's a whore moment.

Considering the way the things had been going, this was a disturbing and uncomfortable line to hear.

Apparently they have decided that Penny is a whore. Very sad and disturbing.

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I have another issue with this episode as it was bugging me from when I watched this episode and had to go through older episodes to find it.

Apparently the writers do not exactly keep track about what they have the characters do in previous episodes.

In S4.05 - The Desperation Emanation, Raj states that he is dating a deaf girl without the other guys knowing he was...and "talked" to her without any intervention of Howard having to sign for him.

Now in this S5 episode they make it seem it's the first time he comes across a deaf person and has no clue how to deal with that at first...

Mhhhh not good guys :( I hate time lines that are not followed from previous things characters do. They should pay more attention to detail.

EDIT: Hadn't read previous posts yet so I was not the only one that had an issue with this as Aevitas mentioned the same thing..

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Here is what these Nickolodean kid Writers (friends of Steve Molaro probably) do NOT grasp.

IT,Science,Math geeks MADE this show. What social idiosyncrasies do we have?

CONTINUITY--We created the WWW by making websites DEBATING Sci-FI continuity errors for crying out loud. Keep a chart of what you characters do. We are not normal people who laugh at the situation at hand. We ANALYZE it...and the funniest things for many of us are to say "That is funny because in Season 2 episode 4 Raj did this...nice callback!"

HIGH BROW HUMOR - Yes, we do not appreciate an episode of fart jokes...it reminds many of us about the jocks in HS that bullied us to no end. Sex jokes are fine, if they are analogies to geek reference. Liek Raj's classic floppy drive joke to Leonard. 3-D chess jokes, jokes about Vista or lima bean experiments...Awesomeness.

LOGIC- Leonard is not Brad Pitt with a self deprecating gene...why is he dating hotness 3x a season? Why is Sheldon becoming a child instead of progressing as a more well rounded adult with jokes about him noticing his quirks and trying to correct them to perfect himself? How can Howard continue to be a Mommy issue before the fact an attractive succesful woman with no major defects wants to marry him becomes ludicrous? He had nice episodes where he grew...and now he is a one dimensional joke

That is why there is such a minority voice against the direction of the show...we geeks may be socially awkward and loyal. But once you wrong us...it's on like Donkey Kong!

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In Desperation Emanation, I had felt that Raj just joked when he talked of 'deaf chick', making a random imaginary comment to participate in making fun of Leonard. If that had been real, surely they would have shown more of it.

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Also, Raj's deaf friend may have been, as I speculated able to read lips. He may have not talked, but simply mouthed the words. Thereby communicating with her.

That is, if she existed. Howard, as well, failed to mention when he broke up with a girlfriend at one time simply for the sake of not letting the gang know.

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