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6.11 The Santa Simulation (Dec. 13)


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I loved the Dungeons & Dragons game--I love that Leonard had come up with a Christmas quest and had included certain tasks and clues for that theme, including, apparently a code that they needed to solve in order to play Jingle Bells on the handbells.  Great touches.

And I loved Sheldon figuring out the Good King Wenceslas clue--and that he sang all 4 verses. :D

 

I used to love to play D&D back in the dark ages, so that, the singing, the handbells (I play in the handbell choir at my church), and all that really  tickled me. :)

 

I thought the jingle bells code was really great. I do applaude the writters it was a very creative way to weave in some nerd culture refferences with Christmas. It was something new and different in the show and I think it is things like that which will keep the show fresh.

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Raj's character is a perfect example of why the people who say they want the characters to go back to the way they were in seasons 1 & 2 are wrong. His character is just like it was in seasons 1

The whole controversy over the so-called "dark Santa" is ludicrous.  It was a dream.  DId it occur to anyone that just perhaps Sheldon was feeling a little guilty about his reaction to saving Santa in

I couldn't agree more.  If they ever have an episode where one of the girls are eating somewhere and asks a stranger for some salt, he gives it to her, and she says thanks, then we will be hearing abo

Right, watched it all now. It was ok. Not as bad as I thought from the taping report but nothing incredible either. I actually didn't mind the singing and the bells, I quite liked the bells part actually. The Ramy bonding was ok, although I would have slapped Raj hard at first, poor Amy. And it was interesting to find out why Sheldon hates Christmas, I think that was the only interesting part about this episode. It's surprising to me how he keeps opening up this season, I hope it's going to lead somewhere where he's happier about things, maybe have a good Christmas next year.

 

It was definitely a dark episode overall. Not that it's a bad thing, it's good to have one of these every once in a while. But it's definitely not one I'll be watching again. I hope next year we get a little bit of lighter Christmas episode. 

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I really loved this episode! It felt more like a season 3 episode to me. Penny and Bernie looked hot and I like the nerdy librarian look so I even liked the way Amy was dressed. Her line about being passed out at college and waking up with more clothes on was great! I almost fell on the floor laughing.   I liked the Dungeons & Dragons Christmas themed game. Some complain the show is loosing touch with its nerdy roots and I think this episode demonstrated that it is not. I thought Raj was very funny and Stuart's responses to Raj's comments were also very funny.
Well speaking for at least myself leaving SAINT Nicholas to die a horrible death and having SAINT Nicholas be a revengeful murderer who not only would kill Sheldon to even the score but to blow him up into pieces with a canon isn't the least bit humorous. In addition kindly do not include THIS nerd in your assessment that this type of behavior is just nerdy!

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Sorry for the copying..

 

Here's my set of mixed reactions to this episode (I'm assuming many of us have 'em).. and I speak as someone who's ignorant about D&D and about Christmas, for the most part.

I found the episode weirdly fascinating; because it didn't feel like watching TBBT, it felt like an AU version of the show, at places. I also strongly feel that it probably shouldn't have been advertised as a Christmas episode, because it was very far from cheerful and feel-good (isn't that what Christmas episodes are generally supposed to be like?) This may have been a main cause of many of the negative reactions, because this was undoubtedly TBBT at its darkest.

I enjoyed the cold open (the short sweet little interactions between each couple making it clear that the guys were committed to their get-together), the fashion parade (Amy's perfectly awkward little catwalk, Sheldon's confused smile), the girls taking Raj off with them (Kunal killed it with his deliveries in this one), and I absolutely loved Sheldon's singing and the jingle-bell signals. And then suddenly we're blindsided by these two dark, serious moments very unlike the usual flavor of this show, which seem to have been put there on purpose; a sort of 'dial down the holiday mood and realize that life is stern and life is earnest' gesture.. the Raj/Amy interaction, and Sheldon's Santa memories. I don't even know if this was the conscious intention, but it intrigued me.

The first one worked for me, the second didn't quite. It was so much in character for Amy to react as she did, getting insecure about being left out of Raj's 'circle of crushes', and their bonding over associations of loneliness seemed very natural; I almost teared up when Raj patted her and praised her. On the other hand, Sheldon's sudden attack on Santa and his outburst of dark painful memories about death seemed to come out of the blue, and - though brilliantly acted by Jim - not really belong in this storyline. A 'what the..?' moment for me. And even the ending with Santa and the canon felt odd and rather off, unsatisfying. (though I'll give it to him, Sheldon looked attractive with his mussed-up hair..)

That's how it felt to me; I'm going to give a rewatch and see if it feels any different. I'm not sure if this is an episode I'm going to watch often, because of the discomfort I felt in some parts of it.

Oh, and I adored Leonard's eagerness and enthusiasm about getting Sheldon into the Christmas mood. smile.gif

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An okay episode. Not bad, but not great either. The fashion show was a great touch and the girls looked really nice. I didn't really like Penny's hair.

 

The two stories were okay. I liked the idea of a D&D plotline, but it was obvious that those guys have never played D&D in their lives. Players as experienced as they would be would never act as rashly as Raj did and gotten their PC killed like that. Any game this group would play would be of such a level that the PC's used would have many, many hours invested in them. And the person running them would have a big emotional stake in the PC. Sorry, but this was played out weakly. The turn they took with the adventure was interesting and novel. Sheldon taking the quest off the deep end was certainly unexpected. Hopefully, it was something his PC would have done. Kind of like when he teleported out with the Sword of Azaroth and left the others to die. Good times!

 

The 'girls' night out was enjoyable and good for some laughs. I liked the look on Penny's face when Raj brought up their failed liason. She looked like she wanted to kill him.

 

Good stuff! Looking forward to the next new episode.

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An okay episode. Not bad, but not great either. The fashion show was a great touch and the girls looked really nice. I didn't really like Penny's hair.   The two stories were okay. I liked the idea of a D&D plotline, but it was obvious that those guys have never played D&D in their lives. Players as experienced as they would be would never act as rashly as Raj did and gotten their PC killed like that. Any game this group would play would be of such a level that the PC's used would have many, many hours invested in them. And the person running them would have a big emotional stake in the PC. Sorry, but this was played out weakly. The turn they took with the adventure was interesting and novel. Sheldon taking the quest off the deep end was certainly unexpected. Hopefully, it was something his PC would have done. Kind of like when he teleported out with the Sword of Azaroth and left the others to die. Good times!   The 'girls' night out was enjoyable and good for some laughs. I liked the look on Penny's face when Raj brought up their failed liason. She looked like she wanted to kill him.   Good stuff! Looking forward to the next new episode.
Speaking of Raj, isn't interesting of his character as a person that this is the third time he willingly talked about it in front of his friends. Each time he embarrassed Penny in the way he explained it yet when the situation had originally presented itself he was the one "that was weak tea dude!" The writers show him as this sympathetic person that can't speak to women yet he has no problem portraying himself as this big man or just misunderstood. Basically the guy is a loser!

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An okay episode. Not bad, but not great either. The fashion show was a great touch and the girls looked really nice. I didn't really like Penny's hair.

 

The two stories were okay. I liked the idea of a D&D plotline, but it was obvious that those guys have never played D&D in their lives. Players as experienced as they would be would never act as rashly as Raj did and gotten their PC killed like that. Any game this group would play would be of such a level that the PC's used would have many, many hours invested in them. And the person running them would have a big emotional stake in the PC. Sorry, but this was played out weakly. The turn they took with the adventure was interesting and novel. Sheldon taking the quest off the deep end was certainly unexpected. Hopefully, it was something his PC would have done. Kind of like when he teleported out with the Sword of Azaroth and left the others to die. Good times!

 

The 'girls' night out was enjoyable and good for some laughs. I liked the look on Penny's face when Raj brought up their failed liason. She looked like she wanted to kill him.

 

Good stuff! Looking forward to the next new episode.

 

 

I dunno--I played a lot of D&D back in the day.  A lot of the time we would "proceed with caution" in exploring hallways and rooms and going through secret passages, but I remember a few times when my sister would get bored with all the caution and say, "And I burst through the door!!"

Now, we played in a way where we all bounced up to six points when hit by someone, so it was extreeeeemly rare that any of us was really in danger, and of course we had healing potions or gems or whatever.  You can't play if your character is dead and it's no fun to have to start a new character from scratch, so we made sure our characters survived.

 

But my point is that sometimes it's more fun to just burst in and see what happens.  Unfortunately for Raj, he chose the wrong time/place to do that. :p

 

Besides, the point wasn't to teach the audience the finer points of Dungeons and Dragons or what a real experienced gamer would do.  The point was to kill Raj off so that he would end up going with the girls.

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I liked it. I wasn't sure I would because the response from some others wasn't that positive.

L - "Is having a real life girlfriend who has sex with you getting in the way of your board games"
P - "A little bit, yeah"

 

Bloody brilliant!! - Leonard not being such a doormat with Penny.

I love Amy's 'lets get him laid!' They could be friends now.

Sheldon speech didn't bother me, he stuck to his guns. He hates christmas. Sheldon holds grudges for a long time, look at what he did to Wil Wheaton. He still have an enermy list on floppy disc. Totally consistent with his character and the guilt afterwards, coming out in a dream.

"It's weird right?" cracked me up.

Did anyone see the card at the end with Lorre in tights hanging from a wire with some ballerinas

 

"I danced as if no one was watching … and now I regret it, Happy Holidays" it says
 

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

I liked it. I wasn't sure I would because the response from some others wasn't that positive.

L - "Is having a real life girlfriend who has sex with you getting in the way of your board games"

P - "A little bit, yeah"

 

Bloody brilliant!! - Leonard not being such a doormat with Penny.

I love Amy's 'lets get him laid!' They could be friends now.

Sheldon speech didn't bother me, he stuck to his guns. He hates christmas. Sheldon holds grudges for a long time, look at what he did to Wil Wheaton. He still have an enermy list on floppy disc. Totally consistent with his character and the guilt afterwards, coming out in a dream.

"It's weird right?" cracked me up.

Did anyone see the card at the end with Lorre in tights hanging from a wire with some ballerinas

 

"I danced as if no one was watching … and now I regret it, Happy Holidays" it says

 

 

I agree in most points.

 

And I didn't notice Chuck's Vanity card the fist time, but I did after someone pointed it out and I laughed really really hard LOL. Extremely funny!

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I agree in most points.

 

And I didn't notice Chuck's Vanity card the fist time, but I did after someone pointed it out and I laughed really really hard LOL. Extremely funny!

 

He does not look good in tights, but it's great to see he can laugh at himself.

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So I watched the episode again and found one line that kinda irked me the wrong way when I heard it. That was raj's line about his "crush" on penny.

Something like "she got drunk and naked and crawled into bed with me... I guess I misread those signs"

That pissed me off because that really wasn't what happened and came off as an exageration of the truth.

She specifically said that night that she didn't want to sleep with him but ended up black out drunk which when depressed about Leonard and confronted with drunk raj who is knowingly very forward and horny when he's like that its not surprising things went where they did.

I just didn't like how raj tried to play himself off as the innocent guy on that scene I guess... idk I just don't like his character really anymore

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So I watched it again and everything was good til the end.  It turned very dark at Sheldon's confession and damn he was angry there at the end (before the tag) and then the tag was just so wrong spirited.  It as a whole was ruined by the end of the episode.  *shrugs*

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I liked it. I wasn't sure I would because the response from some others wasn't that positive.

L - "Is having a real life girlfriend who has sex with you getting in the way of your board games"

P - "A little bit, yeah"

 

Bloody brilliant!! - Leonard not being such a doormat with Penny.

I love Amy's 'lets get him laid!' They could be friends now.

Sheldon speech didn't bother me, he stuck to his guns. He hates christmas. Sheldon holds grudges for a long time, look at what he did to Wil Wheaton. He still have an enermy list on floppy disc. Totally consistent with his character and the guilt afterwards, coming out in a dream.

"It's weird right?" cracked me up.

Did anyone see the card at the end with Lorre in tights hanging from a wire with some ballerinas

 

"I danced as if no one was watching … and now I regret it, Happy Holidays" it says

 

 

Moonbase; heh you British love dark humour, ditto myself, but Americans love sugary holiday drivel..thank goodness the writers stuck to a sitcom not a romcom.

Leonard's line was hysterical, yeah I enjoyed that he stuck to his nerdy guns. Amy was delicious, just the right notes & acted superbly. Her line about her first kiss I was 22 and held onto his insulin - priceless.  And it would take Sheldon getting the Nobel Prize to love Christmas, in fact when I saw the decked tree I thought ugh but the writers did not let us down. It was a super episode, the so-so reviews here are due to the shippers, I wish they could look at an episode with objectivity and enjoyment!

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I know we're used to continuity errors with this show, but I found another one in this episode.   When the women and Raj are out at the club, he says "...I'm always attracted to women I can't have, I do it all the time, I did it with the two of you."   To which Amy replies, "The two of them, I don't understand."  And Raj tells Amy how he ended up in bed with Penny.   Yet, in The Skank Reflex Analysis Amy was quite aware of what happened between Raj and Penny ("I heard who you did"), and then Penny stayed with Amy for a while, to get away from her apartment and possibly seeing Leonard.   Not to mention the talk between Penny and Raj happening in Amy's apartment.   And how could Amy have failed to hear about Raj's infatuation with Bernie, since it was a point of contention between Bernie and Howard, not to mention the confrontation between Bernie and Raj in "Skank".   Even before that, in The Herb Garden Germination, the group, except Howard, was pretty much aware of Raj's infatuation with Bernie.   In this episode she acted as if she had never heard of what happened between Raj and Penny or Raj's feelings for Bernadette.   

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl
I know we're used to continuity errors with this show, but I found another one in this episode.   When the women and Raj are out at the club, he says "...I'm always attracted to women I can't have, I do it all the time, I did it with the two of you."   To which Amy replies, "The two of them, I don't understand."  And Raj tells Amy how he ended up in bed with Penny.   Yet, in The Skank Reflex Analysis Amy was quite aware of what happened between Raj and Penny ("I heard who you did"), and then Penny stayed with Amy for a while, to get away from her apartment and possibly seeing Leonard.   Not to mention the talk between Penny and Raj happening in Amy's apartment.   And how could Amy have failed to hear about Raj's infatuation with Bernie, since it was a point of contention between Bernie and Howard, not to mention the confrontation between Bernie and Raj in "Skank".   Even before that, in The Herb Garden Germination, the group, except Howard, was pretty much aware of Raj's infatuation with Bernie.   In this episode she acted as if she had never heard of what happened between Raj and Penny or Raj's feelings for Bernadette.   

I noticed that too. Decided to overlook it, but yes I did think on that when I first saw the episode. In the case of Bernie/Raj though, in Herb Garden, Amy just mentioned that Bernadette was planning on breaking up with Howard to Sheldon. We never saw anyone mentioning about Raj's crush to her, and she didn't mention it either. But yeah, the other instances, she would have known.

Edited by Sursonica

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I noticed that too. Decided to overlook it, but yes I did think on that when I first saw the episode. In the case of Bernie/Raj though, in Herb Garden, Amy just mentioned that Bernadette was planning on breaking up with Howard to Sheldon. We never saw anyone mentioning about Raj's crush to her, and she didn't mention it either. But yeah, the other instances, she would have known.
That's what I thought, the emphasis was on 'two'. She knew he liked Penny but not Bernadette. I like it when she turned it round to say it must be her next then. Amy was so good in this episode, they didn't make her say anything extreme and it was cute. A nice balance. Her walk was brilliant. C-Trayne I agree that Raj plays the innocent but he's a bit of an ass in reality. Quite immature and he has a deluded view of himself. One minute hes all suprerior and putting his foot in it, next hes crying about why that technique doesn't seem to work. No self awareness. I have said it before, the mutism does him a favour even though it's outlived it's humour because they rarely use it!! They just give him alcohol and then give him lines. Pretty pointless really. Annie That makes sense, I have no expectations of sentimentally. So I wasn't disappointed when Santa blew up Sheldon. He had it coming :) I half expected there might be a nice ending because this is an American show. I guess Lorre likes to remind fans he's not as predictable as they might think. (don't go all shenny on me :) )

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Tensor - great points.

 

I agree mostly with Moonbase's take on it. As I said, I found the episode weirdly fascinating (I happen to have seen it 3 times already, though I thought maybe I wouldn't). My issue with it had nothing to do with shipping or even sentimentality (I have no personal connection with Christmas); I just thought that Sheldon's sudden outburst about Santa and his Pop pop's death was uncharacteristically dark for this show, and came out of the blue in that scene. I did think it was an interesting experiment to try a moment in a more grim vein - even the ending wasn't pleasant, but rather emotionally complex. And Jim played the serio-comic nature of it brilliantly.

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C-Trayne I agree that Raj plays the innocent but he's a bit of an ass in reality. Quite immature and he has a deluded view of himself. One minute hes all suprerior and putting his foot in it, next hes crying about why that technique doesn't seem to work. No self awareness. I have said it before, the mutism does him a favour even though it's outlived it's humour because they rarely use it!! They just give him alcohol and then give him lines. Pretty pointless really

 

Kind of reminds me of what Howard said "Oh he's an ass all the time, you just don't normally hear it." lol.

 

I agree I didn't feel particularly sympathetic towards Raj in this one. The way he described his and Penny's fling really irked me. They really need to do something with him, and soon.

 

I honestly don't get why people are so upset at Santa blowing the apartment up. I thought it was perfectly in line with the show. I would have been shocked if it had been a scene where Santa comes being all nice and makes Sheldon suddenly happy and love Xmas. But it was definitely interesting to see that there is a reason why he hates it, even though it did come out kind of out of the blue. I think they should have built it up more slowly showing that Sheldon was sort of losing touch with the fact that it was just a game and then have him have his outbursts. 

Edited by spook

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I did not really find the entire episode uncanny or disturbing or odd. I think it was fairly emotional and consistent with Sheldon and how he would hold grudge with Christmas. It thought that finally we got a better view as to why Sheldon is not fond of that holiday, something deeper than his "Newtonmas" reasoning.

 

I agree with Moonbase this time with Amy, that she did not come out as too exaggerated and I find that her outfit was still consistent with her character. If they made her wear something like the girls' dresses, it would feel as if she's just a nerdy/brainy version of Penny. Boy, I don't want that. And I actually kind of like her outfit. The cardigan did not exactly match, but it would be better if she just wore the mustard instead of the green one because it seems it would match instead of that green one. Yes, Chloe, I said THE MUSTARD ONE.

 

I also found Kaley/Penny's headbobbing/shaking when she was introducing the girls. She looked so giddy.

 

I did have an odd feeling when Sheldon woke up panting. I can't explain why but there's really odd with his expression. Scared to death? It felt familiar and it sort of triggered that one time when I also had this terrible nightmare...

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I've just watched it again and it's fabulous!! His grandfather was the only one in his family who encouraged him to pursue science. I almost missed that because as Pomita said, the monologue was so unexpected and he delivered it fast. Supremely acted! I can't stop watching it…

Of course a scientist who holds a grudge against santa claus is ridiculous. But Sheldon is a bit crackers and always has these kind of episodes. He has repressed rage and a bit of a dark side. Howard always makes comments about it. The threat to poison Kripke's tea was very dark IMO. And that time Penny got him to try acting, he went into improv about being sent away and then it got funny because he cried. This is the first time we get a full explanation. I loved it and I even liked his guilty dream of being blown up by Santa for holding such a stupid grudge for all those years. "ho ho ho, you big dork!" :icon_lol:
 

Edited by Moonbase
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