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6.11 The Santa Simulation (Dec. 13)


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And this is why Christmas isn't any such thing; this Monday starts the ancient Roman holiday of Saturnalia which went on to Dec 23; a time of gift-giving, parties, merry-making, evergreens strung up. Gee does that sound familiar ? the later Christianized romans tried to stop it, but people liked it too much and *poof* suddenly we have Jesus officially being born in December, when I think in the story it's supposed to be August. [Emperor Theodosius engineered this]

Anyway I thought it was a touching Saturnalia tale!

And you just ignored everything I just wrote...how sad! :(

Perhaps we can get back on topic and not each others religious beliefs? Once again...Lorre must be so proud right now!

Edited by SodidIwin?

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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

And you just ignored everything I just wrote...how sad! :(

Perhaps we can get back on topic and not each others religious beliefs? Once again...Lorre must be so proud right now!

 

Why on earth are you so surprised by this episode?  TBBT never evinced any Christmas spirit, even having Sheldon explain about Saturnalia,  so why now should Lorre be forced to ooze Christmas cheer? That's a form of majoritarian bullying.  It's not my holiday as it isn't Lorre's and frankly I find it refreshing as I'm assailed on all sides, by carols, shopping, displays,etc the entire 9 yards; it's fun for me to see a show that isn't syrupy and saccharine. If you wish for that watch It's a Wonderful Life.

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Why on earth are you so surprised by this episode?  TBBT never evinced any Christmas spirit, even having Sheldon explain about Saturnalia,  so why now should Lorre be forced to ooze Christmas cheer? That's a form of majoritarian bullying.  It's not my holiday as it isn't Lorre's and frankly I find it refreshing as I'm assailed on all sides, by carols, shopping, displays,etc the entire 9 yards; it's fun for me to see a show that isn't syrupy and saccharine. If you wish for that watch It's a Wonderful Life.
Merry Christmas and I sincerely hope you have a wonderful New Year! :)

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Merry Christmas and I sincerely hope you have a wonderful New Year! :)

 

Io Saturnalia!!! and when spring comes on the VIII Kalends of April may you celebrate the Hilaria the resurrection of Attis, the lover of Cybele, the sacred pine tree is removed from burial and  erected in the Roman forum. :icon_lol: on the Nonae Aprilis is the great celebration the Megalesia, games in honour of Magna Mater, Cybele, the great goddess, her cultus is so old it goes back to at least 600 BCE.

 

Did you know Julius Caesar changed the New Year to January 1st, The ancient Roman new year used to be in March around the spring solstice  today the ancient Zoroastrians still celebrate this ; it's called Naw Ruz.

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Io Saturnalia!!! and when spring comes on the VIII Kalends of April may you celebrate the Hilaria the resurrection of Attis, the lover of Cybele, the sacred pine tree is removed from burial and  erected in the Roman forum. :icon_lol: on the Nonae Aprilis is the great celebration the Megalesia, games in honour of Magna Mater, Cybele, the great goddess, her cultus is so old it goes back to at least 600 BCE.   Did you know Julius Caesar changed the New Year to January 1st, The ancient Roman new year used to be in March around the spring solstice  today the ancient Zoroastrians still celebrate this ; it's called Naw Ruz.
Thank you for your salutation! However, if you really new what the Roman's festival actually encompassed then AFF would be one very happy woman!

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Thank you for your salutation! However, if you really new what the Roman's festival actually encompassed then AFF would be one very happy woman!

 

Ah so  you've read about Attis' castration myth. I recommend Prof. Mary Beard's excellent "Religions of Rome" Oxford University Press, you'll find that Cybele's priests were castrated males and transvestite, they would leave their sanctuary during the Megalesia and dance,  parade and tell fortunes. The verb for fortune-telling in Latin is Vaticinor and gave the hill that name. The Phyrgianum was their sanctuary and today St Peter's is built right on top. I just love history.

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I don't know that there wasn't a "resolution" for this storyline, at least as far as Sheldon is concerned. I am sure he isn't suddenly into the festive cheer, but at the same time the dream sequence with Santa to me showed a bit of, subconscious at least since it was a dream, development: he probably felt a bit guilty about leaving Santa to rot and the conversation he had with him prior to the cannon being brought out was fairly understanding for Sheldon. It might have been the first time in a long time he faced his feelings about losing his grandpa and what it means to him as a person. And I thought it was actually funny because it was Santa being the crazy loon in this one instead of Sheldon. 

 

Raj, yes, he never learns anything. I actually agree with whoever said that there's 3 Raj's depending on who he is around. He really has turned into a plot device who is only there to be a mockery of himself. 

 

As for Xmas itself.. hey, I'm an atheist but I actually quite like Xmas for its pre-Christian connotations. Winter is my favorite season so to me it is essentially about celebrating the arrival of winter :) You don't have to be religious to enjoy it or hate it if you're not religious. 

Edited by spook
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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl
i loved this episode! kinda bumed that the next one airs jan 6th

 

It's January 3rd :D I know is not much, but 3 days less is 3 days less :p

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Well , first of all let me just me say that I really liked this episode(in-fact I liked this more than the last two episodes :)).. especially the boys part as the build-up to the twist and the twist(about Sheldon's childhood issue) were both brilliant

 

But the thing is the writers did all the hard work and then just left Sheldon and Raj to remain forever who they are now

 

I thought the dream sequence was silly because -- I frankly don't care whether Santa gets his revenge or not... I would have cared to see how Sheldon changes because of this..or atleast the writers should have attempted to address Leonard's desire to have a fun christmas.....but no..they just made Sheldon think all about himself and march off and have that lame dream

 

And as far as Raj is lonely considered...the writers have been dancing around this theme for the past 2-3 seasons..so its a quite well established fact....so when you have an entire plot about this(which I found quite funny).....I would like to see a resolution...at least something

 

 

Well , agree with me or not...but Sheldon's reactions to double entendres just like his reactions to his phobia's(germs) depends on whether the plot needs it or not..or which kind of reaction will be funnier as it boils down to the fact that this show is a sitcom......

 

for example : in 5-02 we had an entire plot about Sheldon being not able to sit in a chair that Penny got...but in the next episode we have Sheldon putting a train in his mouth(yes , you can argue that he had it cleaned , sterilized..blah..blah..blah) ........ and Sheldon different reactions while in a hospital (3.08 and 4.23)........these all things boil down to the fact that this is a sitcom..That's it

 

And before anyone points out that I have to apply to the fact that this show is a sitcom to above two storylines....let me just say that storyline and gag's are two different things 

 

Well, the thing is, as far as characters changing from the incidents of one episode, it depends on the point of the episode and it's importance in the overall progress of the show, but though someone may have some kind of personal epiphany, almost no one is going to change from the incidents of one single episode.

 

I don't think that the point of Sheldon's feelings about Santa or Leonard's attempt to have a merry Christmas via the D&D game are really the point of the episode.  It's Christmas episode, so it has a Christmas storyline, but the point is not to show, at least within the confines of this episode, any kind of major "growth" for Sheldon in regard to his feelings about Santa.

In the present of the story he's still venting his anger toward Santa--I'm not sure whether or not this incident was the moment he stopped believing in Santa, or if he somehow still believes in Santa and simply put him on the Enemies list when he was 5.

In his dream he did kind of deal with that anger in that he told Santa that he understood, now, as an adult, perhaps, that bringing his Pop-Pop back from the dead was not something Santa was able to do.  I think that in the dream Sheldon does seem to still want to believe in Santa--in thinking that Santa was going to give him a train--or 3 trains--for Christmas.  I think it could be seen that somewhere inside Sheldon does recognize that his childish wish was unrealistic, but it has still colored his feelings regardiing Santa and subsequently all the trappings of Christmas.

And the dream wasn't about Santa getting his revenge.  Because it was Sheldon dreaming the dream, it was about how Sheldon felt about what he did to Santa in the game.  He's conflicted about his own understanding about Santa being unable to bring his grandfather back, and his childish, angry behavior toward Santa in the game.

The one thing I'm curious about is what Sheldon was about to say when he started, "In my own defense..."  Hm...

 

I don't know that the story requires any real growth in this arena.  I don't think that growth was the point--revelation, perhaps, but not necessarily growth.

And I think the same thing goes for Leonard.  I think that his part of the story wasn't about learning or growing, but simply experiencing--he experienced another Christmas kind of ruined by Sheldon's disdain for the holiday.

And really, it wasn't necessarily Christmas as a whole that was "ruined", but just this particular weekend.

 

I do think that perhaps Raj's part of the story could be used in the future to maybe start him down some kind of path of growth.  Bonding a little more with the girls, and with Amy, could set him up for them helping him even more with his social problems.  But if that's the case, it's certainly not going to be accomplished in a single episode.  It would have to be a long arc.  I think that's probably more realistic in terms of personal growth than it would be if all of a sudden, in the space of one evening out with the girls, he became some kind of wonderful person, overcoming all of his faults and failures with women.

But if the writers are indeed laying some groundwork for Raj, we won't know until subsequent episodes show us if there's any growth or development for him.

 

Again, there are different points to different aspects of the stories that are told on this show and many of them are one-off stories just thrown out there for the moment, while others are part of the longer story arc, but only some stories are tied up with a bow at the end.

 

And I do think that one has to take into consideration that this is indeed a sitcom and that lots of stuff is going to be thrown out there just to be funny.  Whether or not any individual story has any bigger implications can only be seen in hindsight as future episodes air and either do or do not harken back to previous issues.

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How about in the spirit of Christmas we just agree to disagree? :)

However, what I won't change my mind about is, no matter how Santa Claus came to be, it was extremely inappropriate, uncalled for and simply insensisitive in a family sitcom to have Revengeful Santa Clause blow up the apartment, Sheldon and (unless he was at Penny's :) ) Leonard. Whatever your view how and what Santa came to be / is one thing is for sure Santa Clause has always been the isence of goodness and giving. You want to see Santa Clause blow up and kill people go right ahead and make your day. But not on a family comedy. The movies have plenty of violent filled Santa Clause causing mayhem. The very big difference is the rating and the fact that they tell you ahead of time what you are in for so you can make your decision to watch or not. Drink all the TBBT koolaid you want but to me this is just another example of TPTB pushing the envelope when the time frame is still in the family watching time frame.

 

Is TBBT really a "family" sitcom?  I don't think it's really aimed at any kind of "Family" demographic.  It's so full of sexual innuendo and blatant sexual content, along with the physics stuff, etc.

 

But more to the point of all of this Santa stuff, the show never claimed to be depicting anything realistic, religious, or historical about Santa or Saint Nick or Sinter Klaus or whatever.

 

What we see is Sheldon's interpretation of Santa, and it's essentially the mostly secularized shopping-mall version of Santa and Sheldon's conflicted feelings about him.  Just as TBBT hasn't ever, in their few Christmas-related episodes, talked about Jesus, the wise men, Mary and Joseph, King Herod, etc., the use of Santa isn't about the real origins, etc., or the Christian beliefs about Christmas.  Sheldon addressed the Christmas/Saturnalia issues in the Bath Gift episode, but otherwise, TBBT's approach has always been related to the more secular celebration of Christmas.

All this episode was about was Sheldon's unresolved disappointment and anger that Santa as "bring-me-what-I-ask-for" wish-granter didn't come through for him.

Subsequently, Sheldon's dream about a vengeful Santa wasn't about Saint Nicholas, etc., but again about his conflicted feelings--yes, he now understands that bringing Pop-Pop back wasn't possible, but he also apparently feels guilty about how he treated Santa and in his mind Santa intends to somehow get back at him.  That's Sheldon's interpretation of Santa, not intended to be a religious depiction of Santa.

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I made a rookie error earlier with placement, sorry. I think there was something about this earlier. But I had an epiphany in my thinking about Raj. He is deceptively cute. He doesn't like women. At all. Kunal sold that with the hot tub comment and his reaction to the other's response to his failure to empathise. I had been in denial. Now, I hope he meets some nice guy and gets some love too. And some therapy for womens safety's sake. So for me this was an important episode in regards to my view of this character. Also, if I think too much about him I get the creeps about what might happen to some other drunk girl in his vicinity. And I'm obviously over thinking.

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I have been struggling since Thursday to decide exactly how I felt about this episode and now I think I've got it. I enjoyed the Christmas D&D, Sheldon's little rant and I prefer a dark Christmas story to the usual sitcom pulp about the holiday. I don't think Sheldon's story came out of nowhere. They showed the character getting into the Christmas spirit and then, because this is Sheldon, instead of embracing the holiday like usually happens he does an about-face. The goal of literally saving Christmas was ruined by Sheldon in one of his traditional grinch-like moves. Merry Christmas from Chuck. Love it. :)

 

I think my issue with Sheldon's rant is that although he was obviously harboring this issue with Santa for years, in the moment it seemed kind of sudden.  He seemed perfectly calm and even happy and into the game, etc. He had not continued with his initial complaints, or the attitude he showed early on when he told Raj he was lucky to have been killed off right away.  From the time he figured out the Good King Wenceslas clue he didn't show any signs of disliking the game.  Though I can see that the memory of Christmas with his grandparents may have laid the groundwork for his Santa rant, it was the emotional ramp-up that seemed to me to be missing.

 

 

Sheldon seemed to enjoy, or at least, didn't complain about figuring out the Jingle Bells clue and even insisted that Stuart not wimp out in playing it (and where'd they get those handbelss, BTW?  Those things are pretty dang expensive! :p ) But then suddenly he got up and went off.

 

I don't know--I mean, I guess he was harboring this thing the whole time they were playing, maybe awaiting his chance to get to Santa so he could get his revenge for his Pop-Pop, but he seemed awfully calm and easy-going up until he interrupted the game and paralyzed the guys.  I saw the emotional ramp-up to some degree within the rant itself, but then after his angry kick to Santa's belly, he again very calmly sits down and acts almost as if nothing happened.

 

I missed that there wasn't more of a pay-off afterward, I guess.  I understand Leonard's reaction, but I guess I wish there had been more to the ending or something.  Not an answer to Sheldon's rant, but maybe more of a reaction from the guys or a different emotional level from Sheldon afterward, since he just kind of threw a bit of a tantrum.

 

And I guess I wish the dream had been about Santa getting his revenge in some other way.  I don't know why Sheldon would have dreamed of Santa blowing him up with a cannon, unless it was meant to harken back to Raj's demise in the game, but I do know that in earlier drafts Santa was running around with a shotgun, blasting the apartment apart or blasting Sheldon's spot on the couch.

Although I didn't expect Sheldon to suddenly embrace Christmas, I guess I would have liked to have seen a little more or a different kind of interactoin with Santa.

 

And I keep wondering--does Sheldon still believe in Santa to some degree?

I mean, why else would he act as if Santa would still be coming to bring him a present, or that Santa would want revenge for being left with the ogres or whatever?

Of course, a more normal person might say something about how such a disappointment led them to realize that there was no such thing as Santa, but that didn't seem to be what Sheldon was talking about.

And in his dream, he seemed to act as if he still believed in Santa--that he understood Santa's limitations in regard to his grandfather, but still believed Santa was going to be giving him a present, the way a child would believe.

Edited by phantagrae

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I liked Sheldon's dream at the end. I see Sheldon struggles with his Christian upbringing and while during the game he ridiculed much of Christmas tradition. So I think Santa's revenge in his dream is example of his inner struggle. Sorry, the therapist in me seeing things this way is an occupational hazard.

 

I would liked to have changed one joke in that scene. Instead iof sying he would kick Santa in his bowl full of jelly, I thought that it would have been funnier if he would have said he wanted to kick Santa in his jingle bells. :)

 

I'd like to pose a question to you as a therapist that I just mentioned in my previous post--do you think Sheldon still believes in Santa Claus?

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I'd like to pose a question to you as a therapist that I just mentioned in my previous post--do you think Sheldon still believes in Santa Claus?

 

Good question! I hope this doesn't come as a cop-out answer, but yes and no. Sheldon is an odd mixture of adult and child and I can see that at some levels those two apsects of his persona have not been integrated. So on an intellectual level he will dismiss Santa and the other trappings that goes along with those traditions. But on an emotional level he still may want to believe in Santa or long for a childhood that he may never had due to his level of intelligence and the aparent dysfunction of his family. I think the show has demonstrated that beliefs in God or anything that cannot be proven by the scientific method or empiricism are something with which Shedlon struggles.

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I would think it's implied that Sheldon still believes in Santa at some level, else why would he get so emotionally surcharged about him and then dream about him? Also, this is quite in character, given the childlike aspect of Sheldon's nature and his willingness to believe in fantasy in general, from accepting sci-fi as a part of his life and thoughts, dreaming about Spock or visualizing a literal playing-out of game/story scenarios.

 

My issue with Sheldon's rant was the same - not with the principle of it, but the fact that it seemed to come out of the blue in that scene. Just moments back, he had seemed so cheerful and invested in the game.

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I would think it's implied that Sheldon still believes in Santa at some level, else why would he get so emotionally surcharged about him and then dream about him? Also, this is quite in character, given the childlike aspect of Sheldon's nature and his willingness to believe in fantasy in general, from accepting sci-fi as a part of his life and thoughts, dreaming about Spock or visualizing a literal playing-out of game/story scenarios.

 

My issue with Sheldon's rant was the same - not with the principle of it, but the fact that it seemed to come out of the blue in that scene. Just moments back, he had seemed so cheerful and invested in the game.

 

His actions are no longer as innocent.

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His actions are no longer as innocent.

 

Yes that's the real arc this season, the emotional maturation of Sheldon; that's what the entire Santa soliloquy was about - to show the audience Sheldon's emotional inner life and create empathy for him. They rather shoved that scene in, though it did showcase JP's excellent acting. Unfortunately the writers are not consistent and we have too many times where Sheldon is suddenly aware & yet not aware [with Amy] of sexual innuendo. He's not innocent and they still play on innocence when it's useful.

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Yes that's the real arc this season, the emotional maturation of Sheldon; that's what the entire Santa soliloquy was about - to show the audience Sheldon's emotional inner life and create empathy for him. They rather shoved that scene in, though it did showcase JP's excellent acting. Unfortunately the writers are not consistent and we have too many times where Sheldon is suddenly aware & yet not aware [with Amy] of sexual innuendo. He's not innocent and they still play on innocence when it's useful.

 

Yeah they have him on a seesaw. I'm guilty of enjoying the little JP acting moment but purely from a Sheldon point of view... is this guy they new Sheldon? I guess we shell see.

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Yeah they have him on a seesaw. I'm guilty of enjoying the little JP acting moment but purely from a Sheldon point of view... is this guy they new Sheldon? I guess we shell see.

 

I think he's a growing Sheldon.  This is a guy who has walked a fine line between child and grown up for several years before he even met Amy.

He has a grown up job and lives as an adult in an apartment, paying bills, etc., but his inner emotional life is largely childish and child-like.

His lack of sexual thought or experience is part of that, stemming primarily, I would think, from his unusual childhood and adolescence where he was removed from his age-peers and as a pre-pubescent boy was working on an intellectual level with adults, but was still emotionally a child.  And something of a coddled child, apparently, judging by his relaitonship with his mother.

 

But he's been changing little by little ever since Penny came on the scene and began to influence his life, and the lives of his friends.  They were all living in a sort of adolescent cocoon that they all indulged.  Though the others were somewhat sexually active, they were all still immature and isolated.

With Penny's influence, they've each grown a bit and changed.

So, I think that once Amy came on the scene and Sheldon found her to be fascinating on an intellectual level, he then began to be drawn to her emotionally as well.  All of that has been catalyst for change, but he is the most reluctant to change and hasn't really wanted to change or to grow up.  So he fights it in many ways--wanting to both have Amy as his girlfriend (so that she won't date anybody else) and still drag his feet at understanding or becoming what a boyfriend is supposed to be.

His approach has often struck me as being very junior high--where a boy is just discovering girls, finds a girl he likes and wants to be boyfriend/girlfriend, but doesn't really know what that means in terms of emotional committment or responsibility toward the other person.

These are the things he is beginning to learn.  And because he's an adult with an adolescent, even pre-adolescent mind-set at times, his trajectory is always going to be unusual and kind of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back as he learns how to negotiate not only Amy's expectations, but his own mixed feelings as well.

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My issue with Sheldon's rant was the same - not with the principle of it, but the fact that it seemed to come out of the blue in that scene. Just moments back, he had seemed so cheerful and invested in the game.

 

Well , that was the point of the story....the build-up to the unexpected twist

 

The build-up to the twist was good because it showed Sheldon slowly revealing that he actually knows a lot about christmas and did enjoy it as a child....so all the cheerfulness

 

The twist was excellent as Sheldon reveals as hidden issue with Santa surrounding his beloved Grandfather

 

 

@phatagree : IMO the writers did all the hard-work in this episode and just abandoned Raj and Sheldon to remain forever who they are now...especially Raj...because Raj is lonely story arc has been going on since past 2-3 seasons..so any episode focused on Raj..I will be looking for alteast something in terms of resolution.

And regarding Sheldon's plot --- what happened to Leonard’s desire to have a fun Christmas or would he now follow Sheldon’s desire to do the opposite......in typical way Sheldon made it all about him and went off to his room............ twenty minutes of storytelling just blown off.

Edited by vasu

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For the second time, The Big Bang Theory featured the game of Dungeons & Dragons, a game that is very near and dear to the hearts of nerds and geeks everywhere and what can be considered a cornerstone of geek culture and for the second time, the writers and producers gave us a missed opportunity to introduce a wider audience to what is a wonderful and entertaining past time. I can only conclude that the reason for this is that the writers and producers of the show have little idea what exactly the game of Dungeons & Dragons is nor what it entails, as the activity depicted on last week’s show bears little resemblance to it.

For those who may not know, Dungeons & Dragons is a role playing game, a game where the players assume the role of a character different from themselves in a fantasy world within the context of a rules system. It was certainly not shown in the episode that Leonard and the gang were playing characters as they would have been doing had they been playing D&D. The players never referred to each other by a character name. There were no references to important tropes of D&D such as character classes or races. At no point were Sheldon, Raj, Howard, and Stewart required to roll a die. There was a play mat and miniature figures on the table that were never used. On the contrary, Sheldon was clearly depicting himself rather than a character in the game as he was making references to his own personal history rather that his character. This is something that would never happen in a game of D&D. I can only then wonder then exactly what Leonard and his friends were doing as they clearly weren't playing Dungeons & Dragons.

 

The Big Bang Theory walks a fine line between poking harmless fun at the “other,” in this case geeks, in an attempt to laugh with them, and being malicious and bullying by laughing at the characters on the show. The only way to be successful at the former and not indulge in the latter is to poke fun at the other from an insider’s point of view. The clear ignorance of the game of Dungeons & Dragons on the part of the writers of this episode caused them to lose this insider’s point of view and made what could have been a clever send up of a popular geek past time into something clearly derisive and intended to make fun of the players by depicted them as engaging in a foolish activity and labeling them as idiots for choosing to play this foolish game rather than have sex with their hot girl friends as any “normal” person would choose.

 

The episode would have been stronger if the writers had done their research and attempted to understand role playing games and chosen to have fun with Leonard and his gang by pointing out what is funny about this unusual past time rather than using the game as a thinly veiled excuse to invent absurd slapstick situations to mock and deride geeks and nerds. For example, if the writers really portrayed Dungeons & Dragons, Sheldon could have proved most annoying to his friends by insisting that they all stay in character at all times, calling them by the names of their D&D characters rather than their real names, and admonishing them any time they spoke out of character or used references that would be anachronistic or inappropriate within the context of the game. This how an individual as anal as Sheldon would really approach a role playing game as he would understand what is required of the medium and would pursue it to the maximum degree.

 

I've heard that the producers of The Big Bang Theory engage advisers to be sure that the math and physics references on the show are accurate. I only wish they would do the same when it comes to the aspects of geek culture they so often, and sometimes inaccurately, portray. Perhaps they should have asked their frequent guest star Wil Wheaton about Dungeons & Dragons, he could have told them all about it. To date, the only T.V. show to ever portray a proper game of D&D as it is actually played is the show Freaks and Geeks in their final episode “Discos and Dragons.” It’s disappointing that The Big Bang Theory can’t portray such an important part of geek culture with the same dignity and accuracy.

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

For the second time, The Big Bang Theory featured the game of Dungeons & Dragons, a game that is very near and dear to the hearts of nerds and geeks everywhere and what can be considered a cornerstone of geek culture and for the second time, the writers and producers gave us a missed opportunity to introduce a wider audience to what is a wonderful and entertaining past time. I can only conclude that the reason for this is that the writers and producers of the show have little idea what exactly the game of Dungeons & Dragons is nor what it entails, as the activity depicted on last week’s show bears little resemblance to it.

For those who may not know, Dungeons & Dragons is a role playing game, a game where the players assume the role of a character different from themselves in a fantasy world within the context of a rules system. It was certainly not shown in the episode that Leonard and the gang were playing characters as they would have been doing had they been playing D&D. The players never referred to each other by a character name. There were no references to important tropes of D&D such as character classes or races. At no point were Sheldon, Raj, Howard, and Stewart required to roll a die. There was a play mat and miniature figures on the table that were never used. On the contrary, Sheldon was clearly depicting himself rather than a character in the game as he was making references to his own personal history rather that his character. This is something that would never happen in a game of D&D. I can only then wonder then exactly what Leonard and his friends were doing as they clearly weren't playing Dungeons & Dragons.

 

The Big Bang Theory walks a fine line between poking harmless fun at the “other,” in this case geeks, in an attempt to laugh with them, and being malicious and bullying by laughing at the characters on the show. The only way to be successful at the former and not indulge in the latter is to poke fun at the other from an insider’s point of view. The clear ignorance of the game of Dungeons & Dragons on the part of the writers of this episode caused them to lose this insider’s point of view and made what could have been a clever send up of a popular geek past time into something clearly derisive and intended to make fun of the players by depicted them as engaging in a foolish activity and labeling them as idiots for choosing to play this foolish game rather than have sex with their hot girl friends as any “normal” person would choose.

 

The episode would have been stronger if the writers had done their research and attempted to understand role playing games and chosen to have fun with Leonard and his gang by pointing out what is funny about this unusual past time rather than using the game as a thinly veiled excuse to invent absurd slapstick situations to mock and deride geeks and nerds. For example, if the writers really portrayed Dungeons & Dragons, Sheldon could have proved most annoying to his friends by insisting that they all stay in character at all times, calling them by the names of their D&D characters rather than their real names, and admonishing them any time they spoke out of character or used references that would be anachronistic or inappropriate within the context of the game. This how an individual as anal as Sheldon would really approach a role playing game as he would understand what is required of the medium and would pursue it to the maximum degree.

 

I've heard that the producers of The Big Bang Theory engage advisers to be sure that the math and physics references on the show are accurate. I only wish they would do the same when it comes to the aspects of geek culture they so often, and sometimes inaccurately, portray. Perhaps they should have asked their frequent guest star Wil Wheaton about Dungeons & Dragons, he could have told them all about it. To date, the only T.V. show to ever portray a proper game of D&D as it is actually played is the show Freaks and Geeks in their final episode “Discos and Dragons.” It’s disappointing that The Big Bang Theory can’t portray such an important part of geek culture with the same dignity and accuracy.

 

I love D&D, but D&D was not the focus of the episode. It was a medium for Sheldon to expose the reason why he hates Christmas so much.

The episode was never intented do be a documentary about a D&D game. Also, have in mind that each story had a 10 minute allotted time. There is NO way to include so many details on D&D as you're saying.

And btw, I've known people who base their characters on themselves AND idiots that have done what Raj did.

 

again, D&D was not the storyline, Sheldon's childhood was, so, an accurate portrayal is irrelevant. No one was labeled as an "idiot" for choosing to play the game instead of having sex with their girlfriends. Leonard made the comment on himself and it wasn't because of the game itself, it was because Sheldon ruined it for everyone.

Edited by Sursonica
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