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Walrus52

Is The Show Still Funny?

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Yes, yes, oh yes. :)

But I also agree with MJ. Continuing to enjoy the show is partly because I've grown to love the characters so much - individually and as an ensemble - and it's hard to disentangle that now from just finding it funny. So it's hard to tell.

I do find myself laughing just as much at any random episode I pick between seasons 1 to 6, so perhaps that's your answer. Which is why I never noticed any drastic change till people here started talking of it.

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I haven't done my homework on this, but is season 6 featuring new writers?

My dad commented the other day that the new season seems to be better written with the secondary characters being given better dialogue.

In particular, he cited Amy as having vastly improved since season 5.

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It's become more mainstream and has basically went from exploring the geek culture to making fun of it. Season 4 was the turning point of the show, it still is good but not what it use to be. Nowadays it's like a relationship show which it never was before. I actually think season 6 will be the best since 3.

Edited by Dessicated Corpse

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I haven't done my homework on this, but is season 6 featuring new writers?

My dad commented the other day that the new season seems to be better written with the secondary characters being given better dialogue.

In particular, he cited Amy as having vastly improved since season 5.

It looks to me like it's pretty much the same gang--Chuck Lorre, Eric Kaplan, Steve Holland, Steven Molaro, Jim Reynolds, Maria Ferrari, Dave Goetsch, BIll Prady, Anthony Del Broccolo, in various combinations between Story and Teleplay credits.

There's one name that doesn't look familiar, in the Story credits for next week's "Holographic Excitation", and that's Jeremy Howe.

Last season, in combination with others on the writing staff, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady worked on every single episode, either on Story or Teleplay in various combinations.

Bill Prady doesn't have a writing credit so far this season until tonight's episode, where he's got a Story credit, and then he also has a Story credit for "The Extract Obliteration", coming up on November 1st.

I don't see any real change in writers.

One interesting thing I came across--next week's episode, "The Holographic Excitation", the Halloween episode, is the first one with more than one director credit. Maria Ferrari and Mark Cendrowski share the Director credit. Hmm...

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It's become more mainstream and has basically went from exploring the geek culture to making fun of it. Season 4 was the turning point of the show, it still is good but not what it use to be. Nowadays it's like a relationship show which it never was before.

Sorry, it was ALWAYS a relationship show. It's just that Leonard was usually the only one in any kind of ongoing relationship, whether with Penny or with Leslie or Dr Stephanie, etc.

And I haven't seen them making fun of the geek culture. What do you see as making fun of it?

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Why are you saying sorry? It didn't always have a relationship theme to it, from what I've seen the show used to be more of what Kaizen said, Beauty and the Geeks themed.

It was always about relationships--the relationships formed between Penny and the guys in general, but more specifically--and romantically, which is what people seem to complain about when they say the show has changed or isn't funny or whatever--the relationship between Penny and Leonard and his desire to take it to a different level and their missteps along the way.

I don't think it was ever just about Beauty and the Geeks, though the differences between Penny's life and the guys' lives were juxtaposed more at the very beginning, since the differences were so startling at first.

BUT, if they had stuck to this underscoring of differences--"look how geeky these guys are!!"--the show would have gotten stale and old very quickly. The fact is that Penny influenced their lives and they influenced her life and that began to smudge the lines separating the Beauty from the Geeks. She came to understand more about their interests and they were kind of "genteeled" by her help in normalizing them with kindness and a sort of big-sister approach.

There were episodes in the early seasons that showed how totally geeky the guys were, I still say that there's only so many ways you can do that before you start repeating yourself or really make the guys look like idiots.

The fact is that the guys, with the exception of Sheldon, were always looking for relationships with varying degrees of success and failure until finally Howard met Bernadette, and Leonard went up and down and back and forth with Penny and a few others.

What I think is really neat about Sheldon's newfound relationship is that it's giving him a little more depth as a person, and is awakening part of him that has been dormant and suppressed until he met Amy.

No person can go through life completely alone and most people want to have love or a romantic relationship in their lives. I think that even though Sheldon might have protested to the contrary, it's always been apparent that he desperately needs relationships with his friends and that this step into this new kind of relationship has happened pretty organically.

JMHO.

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I have to agree with phantagrae, every show is pretty much relationship, you never see a show about people not interacting with the opposite sex and not getting a bit lovey dovey. Otherwise what are you actually watching? (unless its a kiddy show) Even films about animals have relationships, because that is life. The show would be very unrealistic if the boys did not meet anyone. You can't always help who you meet or the way you feel about them it is just natural, although Sheldon may not appear natural he has a heart, he breathes and talks just like any other Human so he should not be restricted from emotions and relationships because he is a little different and is not greatly keen on interaction.

And I do still find the show very funny. It is only early in season 6 so it can still get funnier.

Off subject, Jim looks yummy in my picture :p

Edited by LoveShamy

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From the article - "The romantic relationships on the show have become a major focus of the sixth and latest season".

Yet there are those who insist the show hasn't changed. Now, you may LIKE the direction the show is going, but it HAS changed enormously from seasons 1-3.

I don't think anyone has said that the focus of the show hasn't changed. It's that the QUALITY of the show hasn't changed, the charm, the level of humor, etc. Those things haven't changed, no matter what each individual episode is focused on.

Whether they're talking about string theory, ComicCon, or Sheldon's relationship with his mother or with Amy, or whether or not Howard can move out of his mother's house, it's still funny, still charming, still about these people.

Edited by phantagrae
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I love the show, but for me it's just not what it used to be. The entire format has changed too much, and become too much about Penny, Bernadette and Amy. It was quick out of the blocks, and at its apex through Series Two and Three (The Griffin Equivalency is one of the finest 25 minutes of TV comedy I've seen), but so far Series Six is yet to thrill me. At all. I've laughed maybe once or twice in total at the three episodes.

Some people have said that the show has reached an inevitable stage, where the four guys' friendship with Penny has helped them moved away somewhat from their nerdy ways. But does that excuse dragging out said development for longer than necessary, across over one-hundred episodes, and turning it from a laugh-out-loud comedy into a poor man's Friends (not that that was the best show in the world)?

Agree 100%. i guess there was only so much that could be done with the old format, so some things had to be changed. It will probably take some time, but i think the show will find itself again. Maybe they will kill off a character or two.

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From the article - "The romantic relationships on the show have become a major focus of the sixth and latest season".

Yet there are those who insist the show hasn't changed. Now, you may LIKE the direction the show is going, but it HAS changed enormously from seasons 1-3.

What Phantagrae says (and she usually says it better than I could). There is no sharp dividing line separating seasons 1-3 and seasons 4-6. Season 3 itself had the Leonard/Penny relationship as the main focus. The change has been as gradual and organic as the evolution of the characters themselves. And that did NOT make them less funny.. IMO.

Also, as the article says, the Sheldon/Amy relationship has been a huge step in boosting the geeky aspect of the show, much more than the romance aspect. It's always unique and off-the-wall, and reflects what a relationship looks like through two pairs of eyes whose world view is very different from the norm.

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Maybe they will kill off a character or two.

Why would they take such a drastic step to fix something that so obviously isn't broken?

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It is truly unfortunate that the writers have chosen to turn this once-great show into a commonplace "relationship" sitcom.

I watched it because it was unique and funny as hell.

I watched it because the writing and situations did not "cater" to the viewing public who wanted dumbed-down "romantic comedy" (gag, choke) types of shows.

Seasons 1-3 rocked big time.

Season 4 started the transition to watered-down run of the mill territory that has simply accellerated, unfortunately.

This latest season, for me, is almost unwatchable.

What the writers did to the main (male) characters is horrible.

Yeah, yeah, yeah they wanted them to "grow up" - whatever !

Come on - let the guys be themselves - true to their characters - when they were actually funny !

Too much emphasis on the "girls" now, and situational comedy about relationship issues.

I can get that on the multitude of other shows already on the air.

It is so sad they had to change this show to appease the simpletons who eat this kind of tripe up and call it delicious.

So far this season, I record every episode, and when watching it - fast-forward past all scenes with just the women, howard/bernadette/mother, and stop to watch only when it is the guys.

I find that the female characters pollute the othewise stellar chemistry of the show.

I know I am not alone in my assessment of what the show has become - but clearly the majority of people prefer this new watered-down flavor of the show - since it now looks like all the other garbage on the air that is also seemingly popular.

I loved the show SO much.

It is simply painful to see what has been done to it in the last few seasons.

For me, the shark has already been jumped.

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Sorry, Everything has it's life cycle and BBT has passed the 5 year mark. There are only so many nerd jokes. Each years it gets harder and harder to come up with a new Humorous twist. IMHO The writers are holding the program together the best they can. I admit I watched too many Re-runs and have burned myself out on BBT.

.

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I think that a lot of people who complain about how the characters have changed don't understand much about writing in general, let alone writing a TV show or characterization or story arcs or anything else.

I'm always reminded of people listening to some singer's Greatest Hits album over and over and complaining if that singer comes out with a new album because the songs are about something different...

I'm amused by people saying things like "let the guys be themselves"--how are they not themselves? Clearly some people want them inside a box saying the same things over and over, and doing the same things over and over. How many times can they go to the Rennaisance Fair, or argue about how Superman cleans his clothes or whether or not zombies can die of starvation or whatever? How many times is Sheldon going to go crazy over some equation or theory or whatever?

Whether or not the guys were actively geeking out over something, their lives in general were about relationships of all kinds, including looking for long-term relationships. To keep them treading water in that area would be as boring and pathetic as repeating any other scenario over and over.

The writers clearly intended from the beginning that these characters would grow and change, largely due to Penny's influence in their world--and she is altered by them, as well.

The premise of this show is not the same as Seinfeld, where they clearly did not intend the characters to grow.

Since the writers aren't taking opinion polls before they write an episode, they can't know whether or not an episode will be a ratings hit before it airs. They may see audience reaction after the fact and figure that certain themes seem to do better overall, but clearly if there was some significant problem with the show no longer being funny, then the ratings would have been declining steadily ever since the beginning. And whatever kinds of stories they're telling, again, they can only hope that when the episode airs that the audience will respond. There's no magic formula for the ratings growth and numbers that this show has been achieving apart from the fact that people love the characters and want to see more of them, no matter what stories are being told.

The episode we saw this past Thursday was filmed a month ago, before this season even started, so it's not like the writers sit there and say, "Okay, this past Thursday was a ratings hit, so this week we'll just do it again!" They've got to come up with a lot of their ideas well in advance and have to hope that what they do will resonate. And clearly it does.

There are always going to be people who don't like this or don't like that--and some people seem to want to micromanage the show and the characters and seem to have very narrow ideas of what's funny or what's interesting. I'm a little curious to know what other shows these people like or dislike and why.

If you go back and look at the Season 1 episode discussions on this very forum you'll find doomsayers complaining about half-way through the season that the show isn't funny anymore or that the characters have changed or whatever.

It's certainly true that everyone has the right to voice their opinion about what they think is funny, but I think that making these big pronouncements about how the show has been ruined--as if it's been objectively ruined, not just ruined for themselves--is pretty egotistical and somewhat self-important. "I don't like it, therefore it must be ruined." or "I don't like it and since my taste is the epitome of what should be done, everything else is pandering for ratings!"

Yeah.

I think that the balance of female to male characters has strengthened the show and further enhanced the dichotomy of "normal" versus "geek" in that however non-normal any of the girls might be, like Amy, they're still not as geeky as the guys and that tug-of-war still continues.

Since the show seems to still have an upward trajectory, I think it's fine. If the current story ideas aren't for everyone, well, they seem to be resonating for plenty of people who do think the show is still funny, who do enjoy the stories that are being told, who do like the characters, and that's pretty much all any show can hope for.

Whether or not they're telling the stories that you in particular want to see, they seem to be telling the stories that they themselves want to tell and there seems to be plenty of people who are eager to see those stories.

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"Whether or not the guys were actively geeking out over something, their lives in general were about relationships of all kinds, including looking for long-term relationships. To keep them treading water in that area would be as boring and pathetic as repeating any other scenario over and over."

You make that "big pronouncement" as if it's objective, not just your opinion. :icon_wink:

I'm not making it as a "big pronouncement" about them seeking relationships--just stating what can be observed in watching the episodes--and something that has been mentioned as I recall by Prady and Lorre before (at ComicCon, for example.) I don't think it's just my opinion, but something that TPTB have been doing all along, according to their own words.

As for repeating what has come before, that perhaps is my own opinion, but I daresay it's a pretty common issue for many shows.

You say that "everyone has the right to voice their opinion about what they think is funny", but your entire post is then aimed at belittling those who voice opinions you disagree with. Isn't that "pretty egotistical and somewhat self-important" also. Not trying to start a fight, just saying.

What I'm addressing is the issue of people who claim that somehow the people who like the show are a bunch of lowest-common-denominator people who only like mainstream (read dumbed-down, apparently) humor and that there's an implication that if a show is a big ratings hit it must be because it's pandering to some wider, great unwashed, less sophisticated audience, rather than these few who seem to believe that they're the only ones who know what's best for the show, or what is the best [i[kind of humor or kind of stories to tell. The implication of their complaint is that if the rest of us still like the show, we must all be a bunch of "emos" who don't get what the show was originally about, etc., etc.

That's what I would call egotistical.

What I'm saying is that what they think they know about whether or not the writers are pandering, or chasing ratings, or whatever, implies that anyone who likes it now must be ignorant or easily amused or whatever other condescending terminology.

The only thing I'm belittling is that egotism in judging the rest of the viewing audience.

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Seems to me that if you even have to ask "is the show still funny?" you likely don't think it is anymore, so it's a pointless question.

I will never understand the perception that this show "never used to be about relationships." Leonard's pursuit of Penny and what was going to happen between them was introduced in the FIRST episode and has always been a cornerstone of the show. I daresay it's still one of the main cornerstones of the show.

Edited by Europa

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I still find it to be hilarious. Some episodes are better than others but that is how it goes with everything. Has it changed from how it started? Absolutely, it certainly has. That just makes it different, not less funny.

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One of the funniest shows I've ever watched and I think its only gotten funnier as characters have found their niches on show and developed over time instead of just staying exactly the same like they do on other sitcoms I've watch. The actors are great on this show and I don't think people give it enough credit. I love love love the addition of Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Wastinkowski Wolowitz, they make me proud to be a girly nerd. :) Even the stuff that isn't funny on this show still has a way of being sweetly sincere like how Shelbot is slowly developing into a "real boy" and how Howard has matured and fulfilled his dreams even if they didn't turn out the way he hoped. Not a lot of people can say they've been to space so its still a BIG accomplishment and I like that now even his mom is getting a relationship and stuart is getting funnier lines these last two seasons. I actually like that BBT allows the side characters to developed and add more to story not just be in the background with no character development at all, but still main characters make me laugh the most.

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What I'm addressing is the issue of people who claim that somehow the people who like the show are a bunch of lowest-common-denominator people who only like mainstream (read dumbed-down, apparently) humor and that there's an implication that if a show is a big ratings hit it must be because it's pandering to some wider, great unwashed, less sophisticated audience, rather than these few who seem to believe that they're the only ones who know what's best for the show, or what is the best [i[kind of humor or kind of stories to tell. The implication of their complaint is that if the rest of us still like the show, we must all be a bunch of "emos" who don't get what the show was originally about, etc., etc.

Boom! Exactly what bothers the shit out of me.

Monique

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