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pepsiadikt

The Entire Premise Is Changing, Not Sure How To Feel.

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Let me say that right from the start, TBBT is still my favorite show and I won't stop watching anytime soon. However, I'm getting a bit more disenchanted with each passing episode. The shows premise has gone from scientific, intelligent, fish out of water humor, ~almost~ to just a run of the mill romantic comedy. It's changed so much that it hardly resembles it's original self at all. 

 

I did not like the last episode at all. The opening was weak, and then Sheldon actually volunteers to take care of Amy when she's sick. SICK. A confirmed germaphobe does not roll over that easily, no matter how much you care about someone, a phobia is a phobia, and it takes years of therapy to deal with it.  I could see him doing it while wearing a  haz-mat suit, lol, or mask at the very least, but for Sheldon to just turn around and walk right back in like that, without doing the least little thing to prepare himself at all, was just a little too much. 

 

Sheldon is becoming a little too normal to have had the issues he started out with, Leonard has gone from being adorably shy to spineless and effeminate, everything funny about Howard is gone, just... gone, and the two people who actually needed to change have remained exactly the same, Penny has done nothing as far as her acting "career" and it's getting to be a bit a of stretch at this point, and Raj is almost invisible now. 

 

Yes I realize these are a lot of complaints about a show I claim to still hold as my favorite, I just don't totally give up that easily on something I've enjoyed so much for so many years. I still have hope that they'll revive it and remember what it was that made the show so awesome to begin with. 

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You make an good point about the choices they have made. I'm completely disappointed about what they have done to Howard. Can't stand it myself. Marry him off by all means but keep it funny! They choose him the dullest wife possible. It's interesting what you say about Penny and Raj being overlooked. Very true. Unfortunately some people will see this as an attack on the show but I can tell its not. You love the show as much as I do.

I enjoyed Sheldon taking care of Amy but you are right about the germaphobe thing. They have dropped it because it no longer serves their purposes. Last season I was really pissed at how they wasted the astronaut scenes on mother-in-law jokes. What an opportunity for some funny science storylines!! They give Howard this really cool unusual thing and dont even use it. That to me what a very bad omen. I still think TBBT is the best thing on TV but there's a pretty good chance this is my last season.

Edited by Moonbase
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I was so disappointed with the last episode that I actually did something I've never done before. I called TBBT Production Office and left a short, polite message with my name and number and asked them to call me back. I haven't received a reply but it's also been the weekend, and who knows, I might not even get one. I'm glad because I haven't quite finished typing up my talking points yet. I want to say as much as possible, in the shortest time allowed in such a way as to point out the issues with which I'm most disappointed yet in a way that will be intelligent and non offensive. lol I have my work cut out for me. 

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Howard trying to escape his pickering mother and wife was not hilarious. I found it predictable and old fashioned. Something I have seen many times. Howard's space toilet malfunction and getting the mars rower stuck in a ditch was infinitely more original and funny than what we got. 

 

ANYTHING happening in space would have been funnier. I was really hoping he was going to mess something up and we were going to get some silly crazy hilarity. :icon_cheesygrin: Howard was always one for over stepping the mark. He got a government jet to fly over the next top models house and 'borrowed' the high tech security system with the electrified net when the guys got burgled. He was always taking stuff, like that robot and trying to cover his tracks. Taking it home and getting an expensive piece of tech to unpack their dinner was soooo original. There's growing a character and then there's making him less entertaining to watch. I don't care about Howard having an awkward dinner with Bernadette's unresponsive parents. That's something you can see on any show. S6 has had some better shows, but for me personally, a lot was lost in 'growing' Howard. 

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Howard trying to escape his pickering mother and wife was not hilarious. I found it predictable and old fashioned. Something I have seen many times. Howard's space toilet malfunction and getting the mars rower stuck in a ditch was infinitely more original and funny than what we got. 

 

ANYTHING happening in space would have been funnier. I was really hoping he was going to mess something up and we were going to get some silly crazy hilarity. :icon_cheesygrin: Howard was always one for over stepping the mark. He got a government jet to fly over the next top models house and 'borrowed' the high tech security system with the electrified net when the guys got burgled. He was always taking stuff, like that robot and trying to cover his tracks. Taking it home and getting an expensive piece of tech to unpack their dinner was soooo original. There's growing a character and then there's making him less entertaining to watch. I don't care about Howard having an awkward dinner with Bernadette's unresponsive parents. That's something you can see on any show. S6 has had some better shows, but for me personally, a lot was lost in 'growing' Howard. 

 

True, you make some good points. I also found the dinner scenes pretty stale. I did not mind Howard's mom in space, yes, it's predictable, but she's a big part of his character. I do agree however that he didn't do much up there except for being bullied and getting cabin fever, that was a waste of opportunity.

 

I get the feeling that they're still trying to find their ground with growing the characters whilst keeping it funny and in some episodes they don't do a very good job of it. It's not an easy area to navigate, that's why I cut them some slack. When they do get it right it's fantastic though. They did get Howard to steal the camera from the Mars rover to use to spy on Sheldon in the 43 Peculiarity, that was hilarious and typical Howard. So, to me, it means that they still "have it", it's just that they are trying to juggle a lot of things at the moment. And they seem to forget about certain aspects of the characters when they do, I have the same pet-peeve about Amy's lack of science talk at the moment. I'm hopeful that there will be more improvement as the season goes on, I do find that it started out a bit slow and it's getting better now. 

Edited by spook

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 And, at the end of the day, it's their story.  
Hear hear. Though I hope we have seen the end of Leonard's torment and he and Penny are allowed some happiness. Alloyed, of course, with embarrassment, misunderstanding and whimsical folly. The joy will be in seeing how the writers pull this off. They seem to be giving it a red hot go right now.
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I recently rewatched Jim's first appearance on the Letterman show and in describing the premise of TBBT he said that one of the things he likes to say about it is that it is "extraordinary people in ordinary circumstances", which is a pretty apt description.

 

I do think that they didn't quite know what to do with Howard while he was in space, but since he was just a payload specialist, along for the ride to help set up and take care of the telescope his team designed (IIRC), it's not like he was up there to really do any experiments, the way I understand it.  It's funny because in the season opener when they were imagining Howard up in space, Leonard said something about wondering if he was conducting experiments in zero gravity, etc.  But he was really only there as a mechanic for the telescope, not as an experimental scientist.

Anyway, I do like it that they never implied that he was incompetent in relation to his telescope.  In some way, that was something of a triumph for him.  Even if he got a little crazy while he was up there, he still was successful overall.

I think they played on his ongoing situations of his initial fear of going up into space, his nerdiness and his mom/wife conflict, which are all par for the course for him, so the fear at take-off and his later cabin fever, the cool astronauts bullying the nerdy engineer, and him trying to juggle his mom and his wife from hundreds of miles away.

While it wasn't all a billion laughs, I did find a lot of it amusing and I think that Howard did a great job with what he was given.  I loved the cat face (or whatever) they drew on him and I love the way he played the cabin fever scenes (much like his survival training scenes.)

 

While the show often plays fast and loose with continuity to suit the current joke/gag, in many ways they do show an ongoing arc in the broad strokes for each character.

I think that you can really see more of a difference and inconsistency in the characters if you watch the first season, just within itself.  The writing for Sheldon is kind of all over the place in the first season as they were shaking everything down and sort of starting to get the details in line for him.

The "knock-knock-knock-______" was not established right away, for instance.  And when he first started doing the multiple knock thing, he was actually knocking 4 times before saying the name.  I don't know which episode finally codified the triple-knock thing, but it wasn't established from the start.

 

Anyway, I haven't had a problem with the changes the characters have been going through.  I really do agree with pretty much everything Spook said above.  Once you've more or less established who the characters are, then it's time to develop them.

Storytelling in the standard Western novel style (in the broadest sense) typically follows a pattern not unlike the "Sonata Allegro" form in music, typically used (in the broadest sense) in the first movement of a symphony

In that opening movement you may have an Introduction, but then you have the Exposition, in which the main and secondary themes are introduced in the main key of the piece and usually a secondary, related key, followed by the Development, in which the themes are explored, taken apart, turned inside out, played in related keys, etc., and then you have the Recapitulation in which we return to the main theme in the main key, along with the secondary theme now in the main key as well.  And sometimes you have a Coda at the end that oftem re-emphasizes something of the theme.

 

If you think about it, each episode follows this arc:

The Introduction before the main theme is the Cold Open, which may or may not have anything directly related to the main story of the episode.

The Exposition is where we are shown whatever the main plot (main theme) is, as well as the secondary plot (secondary theme)

The Development is what happens to everyone in those situations.

The Recapitulation is the end of the main part of the episode where problems are solved, etc.

The Coda is the Tag ending.

 

But also, the series as a whole will eventually follow this pattern.

The Introduction/Exposition was the Pilot episode where we see the main theme--the two guys living across the hall from the new pretty neighbor, they meet and befriend her and Leonard falls in love.  The secondary theme perhaps can be said to be the other two friends and their situations--Howard the sleaze and Raj who can't talk to women.

The Development is everything we're going through now--the themes are being explored, turned inside out or upside down, played in different keys, stretched out, condensed, etc., including the introduction of a little bit of new thematic material, if you will, in adding family members and Bernie and Amy.

We don't know how long the Development will last or what's going to happen, but in can go on indefinitely as long as they are working with the thematic material we were shown in the beginning.

We'll eventually end up with a Recapitulation, I suppose, whenever it becomes time to end the series.  If they know ahead of time that an upcoming season will be their last, then I would hope that the show will give us resolution for each of the characters, like happy endings, Nobel prizes or whatever.

And maybe the Coda will be when Leonard and Sheldon move out of that apartment...

 

Anyway, as I said, we're still in the Development and things are going to be toyed with, perhaps some things dropped in favor of some new variation or mutation of a theme, etc.  More attention may be paid to one aspect or another for a while, but it's all just part of the process of storytelling.

 

I think that while there may be details here and there that some people may love and others may hate, overall the show is still funny, the characters are still true to each other as friends who help and support each other, even when they're arguing or squabbling or struggling.  And I think that that's the strength of the show and it's humor.  Whatever situation they find themselves in, in the end they are able to resolve it with each other.

 

And it's a sitcom, not Lost. :icon_razz:

Edited by phantagrae
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I find it funny you bring this up about this season where people have remarked how they seem to have more of a S1-3 feeling to it.

Storytelling is about putting characters in situations that are inconsistent with who they are and seeing how they develop in those circumstances. For those who say that this show should not have space for romance, if you think about it, ALL the guys in the show were characterized by having peculiar approaches to romance: Howard was a sleaze bag, Sheldon was above it all and totally uninterested, Raj can't speak to girls and Leonard was the sweet nerdy guy pining for the hot girl. It's surprising to me that people are shocked that part of their development is precisely to put them in romantic situations that challenge them: Howard has settled down, Sheldon has found "another member of his species", Leonard got the hot girl and he had to deal with the fact that getting what he wanted means facing his insecurities (and now the tables might be turning), and Raj... Raj is still stuck and everyone complains they need to do something with him!

And, at the end of the day, it's their story. They are going to do what they want to do and have their reasons for doing it. We can only sit and watch. You're not the first nor will be the last who has complained about the changes in the show, but obviously, as they've been continuing with it for the last 2 seasons or so, they feel like that's what they want to do. I honestly don't know what you think you can achieve by speaking to them, there's tons of reviews online (both professional and amateur), there's tons of threads on forums where they can go and read what people think, if they wish to: everyone has an opinion, doesn't make one more worth of consideration than another.

Amazing summation.

Calling the show to complain will eliviate your pain somewhat Pepsiadikt, but you do realize that The Big Bang Theory will be measured by one set of criteria, the ratings. Last month one of the episodes (the Penny ILY) beat the shows previous ratings record by one million viewers. The shows "Live plus 3 days" rating are over 21 million now. That's crazy numbers for a sitcom these days. Are the powers that be going to change the direction of the show when there are that many folks saying they like where they are going by voting with their eyeballs?

 

Not likely.

Edited by BangerMain

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I was so disappointed with the last episode that I actually did something I've never done before. I called TBBT Production Office and left a short, polite message with my name and number and asked them to call me back. I haven't received a reply but it's also been the weekend, and who knows, I might not even get one. I'm glad because I haven't quite finished typing up my talking points yet. I want to say as much as possible, in the shortest time allowed in such a way as to point out the issues with which I'm most disappointed yet in a way that will be intelligent and non offensive. lol I have my work cut out for me. 
Good luck. If you get a response please report back. I have to agree with BangerMain though, its unlikely they will respond but I respect that you felt so compelled to say something directly to those responsible. Rather than posting all the details of your objections here, because as you can see most fans on this forum are content with the changes.

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 where everyone is thinking the same thing, someone is not thinking. :fi_lone_ranger:

 

Yeah well, I feel bad for anyone who comes here and questions the writing. Everyone just closes ranks. And even well thought out posts like this, are seen as a threat to be driven out before the dreaded insurrectionist dares to get comfortable. Sticking up for the underdog, can't help it: nerd.

 

I have to add that if Sheldon had taken care of Amy in a haz-mat suit I would have been on the floor!! :icon_lol: And the spanking would have been ubsurd and hilarious!

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

 

 

I have to add that if Sheldon had taken care of Amy in a haz-mat suit I would have been on the floor!! :icon_lol: And the spanking would have been ubsurd and hilarious!

 

hahaha agreed. That would have been hilarious! And the funny part is  Amy could very well have one of those in her home. She should never tell him though LOL

 

In any case, I always took The Engagement Reaction as the inconsistency, not the other instances. Sheldon had been in the Hospital before and didn't freak out, both times when Leonard cut his hand with the asparagus jar, when he wanted Dr Stephanie to run tests on him and when Penny dislocated her shoulder, and after TER, when he went there to get his har cut by his barber who was in a coma. So, to me, is not an inconsistency per se, the EXTREME mysophobia from The Engagement Reaction was the one who didn't make sense to me.

Edited by Sursonica
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He was having a really OTT day in that episode and he was a bit annoying to be honest. The funniest part was when he got stuck in quarantine. Maybe all Amy needs to do is bring some rubber gloves home.

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Not to mention that for someone who's scared of germs he's surely eaten around brain slices a lot when he hangs out at Amy's lab. And he was the only  one who didn't freak out when she put the mad cow disease box on the dining table. And cut a brain with no gloves on. The list goes on...

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Not to mention that for someone who's scared of germs he's surely eaten around brain slices a lot when he hangs out at Amy's lab. And he was the only  one who didn't freak out when she put the mad cow disease box on the dining table. And cut a brain with no gloves on. The list goes on...

 

Yeah but I did... and so did a lot of other forum members in the episode thread when it aired. I was like "thats OC!!!!!".

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I'm glad they are developing the characters, else they would become tide locked, predictable caricatures. Its already formulaic, but i think they try to play out to the boundaries of the formula.

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I agree very much with Spook's post (very well said) and Phanta's music analogy.

 

That being said, if we're talking cribs, I was disappointed with Howard's space story too.. it just seemed a little sad, in that he didn't really get a positive experience out of it (as far as we saw, at least). Just more family drama, bullying and scared moments. I do think Simon played some of those scenes brilliantly, and that redeemed it somewhat for me.

 

Also, I'm beginning to miss science-Amy as well. Season 6 has had more science on the whole, so far, than the entire season 5 did (mainly in Higgs Boson Observation and Holographic Excitation), and for that I'm happy; but Amy seems to have more exclusively girly/relationship stuff now than earlier. The only funny neurobiology line recently may have been her in-joke about the amygdala. I want more brain stuff back! And also, Sheldon/Amy letting their hair down with things like science events, discussing their work, shared psychosocial experiments and Counterfactuals (or even Fun with Flags without fighting over it) :p Those were the things they really bonded over, in the first place. I realize that it's important to develop and deepen their relationship into more emotional/romantic grounds now, and I'm loving the zany paths they're taking in that direction, but I'd also like to see a little more of the basics between the Homo Novus couple.

Edited by Pomita

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I agree very much with Spook's post (very well said) and Phanta's music analogy.

 

That being said, if we're talking cribs, I was disappointed with Howard's space story too.. it just seemed a little sad, in that he didn't really get a positive experience out of it (as far as we saw, at least). Just more family drama, bullying and scared moments. I do think Simon played some of those scenes brilliantly, and that redeemed it somewhat for me.

 

Also, I'm beginning to miss science-Amy as well. Season 6 has had more science on the whole, so far, than the entire season 5 did (mainly in Higgs Boson Observation and Holographic Excitation), and for that I'm happy; but Amy seems to have more exclusively girly/relationship stuff now than earlier. The only funny neurobiology line recently may have been her in-joke about the amygdala. I want more brain stuff back! And also, Sheldon/Amy letting their hair down with things like science events, discussing their work, shared psychosocial experiments and Counterfactuals (or even Fun with Flags without fighting over it) :p Those were the things they really bonded over, in the first place. I realize that it's important to develop and deepen their relationship into more emotional/romantic grounds now, and I'm loving the zany paths they're taking in that direction, but I'd also like to see a little more of the basics between the Homo Novus couple.

 

I totally agree. Sure they have introduced two female leads but they are both just as smart as the guys. Why can't they do a part show about Bernadette's germ lab where she almost starts an epidemic or something? It doesn't always have be about her marriage, family or Howard. They need to give her a life outside of the relationship thats not just talking about the relationship, with the girls. (Otherwise I'll just never have a reason to like her. :icon_frown: )

And Amy could do something in neuroscience that's wacky and gets her noticed. I loved the smoking monkey. This was a fun side of Amy and we need more of this. They have researchers, well they used too… Again Amy shouldn't be all about Sheldon.

 

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I totally agree. Sure they have introduced two female leads but they are both just as smart as the guys. Why can't they do a part show about Bernadette's germ lab where she almost starts an epidemic or something? It doesn't always have be about her marriage, family or Howard. They need to give her a life outside of the relationship thats not just talking about the relationship, with the girls. (Otherwise I'll just never have a reason to like her. :icon_frown: )

And Amy could do something in neuroscience that's wacky and gets her noticed. I loved the smoking monkey. This was a fun side of Amy and we need more of this. They have researchers, well they used too… Again Amy shouldn't be all about Sheldon.

 

 

So much love for all of this! I keep saying that Sheldon and Amy should start working on a project together. I swear to God if this show gives me neural networks I'm going to die and go to Heaven.

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Let me say that right from the start, TBBT is still my favorite show and I won't stop watching anytime soon. However, I'm getting a bit more disenchanted with each passing episode. The shows premise has gone from scientific, intelligent, fish out of water humor, ~almost~ to just a run of the mill romantic comedy. It's changed so much that it hardly resembles it's original self at all. 

 

I did not like the last episode at all. The opening was weak, and then Sheldon actually volunteers to take care of Amy when she's sick. SICK. A confirmed germaphobe does not roll over that easily, no matter how much you care about someone, a phobia is a phobia, and it takes years of therapy to deal with it.  I could see him doing it while wearing a  haz-mat suit, lol, or mask at the very least, but for Sheldon to just turn around and walk right back in like that, without doing the least little thing to prepare himself at all, was just a little too much. 

 

Sheldon is becoming a little too normal to have had the issues he started out with, Leonard has gone from being adorably shy to spineless and effeminate, everything funny about Howard is gone, just... gone, and the two people who actually needed to change have remained exactly the same, Penny has done nothing as far as her acting "career" and it's getting to be a bit a of stretch at this point, and Raj is almost invisible now. 

 

Yes I realize these are a lot of complaints about a show I claim to still hold as my favorite, I just don't totally give up that easily on something I've enjoyed so much for so many years. I still have hope that they'll revive it and remember what it was that made the show so awesome to begin with. 

You are right the show should go back to what it was originally about, Leonard and Penny, with Sheldon as a secondary character. Also Sheldon wasn't that crazy at first just an overconfident ass. As the show progressed they made him crazy. They were made PHDs because that made the nerds successful nerds which made them more like able and made Leonard more appealing to Penny.

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