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6.20 The Tenure Turbulence (Apr. 4)


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BangerMain - thanks for the explanation. That looked like a pretty intricate set of moves! I was wondering if it was exaggerated for comedic effect.

 

It was very exaggerated since a true "DaP" cannot be done with only one person participating. Mrs. Davis was rightly horrified by the fact he continued without her.

 

Sheldon's clueless bigotry, which he got from his parents and east Texas upbringing is one of the most daring and intriguing parts of his character. That Lorre and company pull it off with humor most of the time is quite remarkable.

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The negative connotations connected with that label are getting really old. We're people with likes and dislikes, not a group of demented hamsters rolling around in wood chips.   It's perfectly fine

Extended promo!   http://www.spoilertv.com/2013/04/the-big-bang-theory-episode-620-tenure_1.html

Wow, you're bosses must be real assholes.   When I was working for a large orange juice company, our management team didn't care what your wife did.  I've been to many social and business gatherings w

Penny and Amy were both giving it their best shot, but Amy (mayim) subtly signalled throughout that she knows she has the harder row to hoe in this type of contest and with her relationship. Her slow lift of her fork in the opening meal scene for instance, after Sheldon shot her down. Such good acting, all the way through.

Is Sheldon more like he once was? I think they are toying with whats 'possible'.

The other couples and Raj held up their ends too. Nice to Kripke as not a cartoon villian but a plausible threat.

Jeanenne (?) is a treat.

So happy about the portrayal of the Hofstadters. More please.

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OK, I was right: competing for tenure cannot be really funny. (Maybe I think so because I'm a PhD student dreaming about full-time university job in the company of people with which I'm not conflicted?) The episode told us a lot about the characters' personalities and motivations, but, as a result, they suddenly became less likeable - especially Penny (scorning Amy) and Howard (antagonizing everyone just for the fun of it). Is it only me or they recently become more and more adult, in the negative sense of the word? Those coctail parties!

 

I agree that Sheldon is beginning to cross the line between inconsideration and rudeness in his behaviour towards Amy (even if he doesn't realize it in the slightest). I wouldn't be surprised if the writers introduced some other man interested in her to give Sheldon reasons to become more committed - like it was with Stuart. Nonetheless, I shuddered at Amy's comment on "buying a house and starting a family". I would strongly prefer the family vs. career dilemma to be absent from Shamy relationship (especially that it seems unavoidable in Howardette). I'm not sure why, but I find love-and-sex-driven scientist Amy more believable and more interesting as a character than a family-oriented Amy admiring a scientist.

 

Not that I disliked the episode. I liked Amy's comment in the end ("Well, you'll always be an academic success, but... I seriously question whether you'll make any more friends."), I liked meercats and "biguous", and Ms. Davies' common sense contrasted with the group's eccentricity - and Amy's newly acquired snarkiness. And the chainsaw.

Edited by Martian Girl

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Another thing...this episode just had too many inaccuracies regarding tenure. There was just so much wrong with their portrayal of the tenure process. I might have been able to overlook the inaccuracies if the episode made me laugh...sigh

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OK, I was right: competing for tenure cannot be really funny. (Maybe I think so because I'm a PhD student dreaming about full-time university job in the company of people with which I'm not conflicted?) The episode told us a lot about the characters' personalities and motivations, but, as a result, they suddenly became less likeable - especially Penny (scorning Amy) and Howard (antagonizing everyone just for the fun of it). Is it only me or they recently become more and more adult, in the negative sense of the word? Those coctail parties!

 

I agree that Sheldon is beginning to cross the line between inconsideration and rudeness in his behaviour towards Amy (even if he doesn't realize it in the slightest). I wouldn't be surprised if the writers introduced some other man interested in her to give Sheldon reasons to become more committed - like it was with Stuart. Nonetheless, I shuddered at Amy's comment on "buying a house and starting a family". I would strongly prefer the family vs. career dilemma to be absent from Shamy relationship (especially that it seems unavoidable in Howardette). I'm not sure why, but I find love-and-sex-driven scientist Amy more believable and more interesting as a character than a family-oriented Amy admiring a scientist.

 

Not that I disliked the episode. I liked Amy's comment in the end ("Well, you'll always be an academic success, but... I seriously question whether you'll make any more friends."), I liked meercats and "biguous", and Ms. Davies' common sense contrasted with the group's eccentricity - and Amy's newly acquired snarkiness. And the chainsaw.

 

I don't think the point of the episode was to teach us all about the tenure process.  It was merely a framework on which to hang the competition, etc..

I don't think Penny scorned Amy at all.  She was simply proud of her assets and how she could use them for Leonard's benefit.  It's not as if Penny has anything to offer in terms of impressing the committee with scientific knowledge (like Sheldon said, what was she gonna do? take drink orders?)  In a way, Amy scorned her first by asking, "What is Penny doing here?"

They were lining up with "their men" but it's not as if they were hating on each other.  Amy was even somewhat impressed Penny's boobage.

 

And Howard wasn't doing anything different from what they usually do to each other--teasing, harassing, poking fun, etc.  It goes on in their circle all the time--and Howard is often the recipient from Sheldon.

And what's the problem with the cocktail parties?  These people aren't college kids.  They're all in their 30s.

 

Amy's comment about buying a house and starting a family wasn't intended to be a precursor to what is to come--it was simply Amy trying to put a bug in Sheldon's ear, to get him to think outside his current box, etc.

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I enjoyed this episode, but for a show that gets a lot of science and academic things right, it made a whopping error with regard to tenure. What was portrayed in the episode is not how tenure works.

It's never been entirely clear what the status of the guys is, but they appear to be post-docs. No one's ever called them "professor."

You don't go straight from being a post-doc, or whatever it is they are, to being a tenured professor. And, when you're up for tenure, you're not competing against others for a single position.

What happens is that first you get a tenure-track position. That's when you compete against others. The competition would be in a national search -- it wouldn't be limited to people who happened to be working at the school at the time.

Once you get your tenure-track position, you work in it for a few years (five or six years at most places), with a title like "assistant professor" or "associate professor," and then you come up for tenure. The existing tenured faculty at the school considers your work and decides whether you're worthy of tenure. You're not competing against anyone else at that stage. It's just an up-or-down vote on you.

I suppose there might be variation from school to school, but I've never heard of anything like what was shown last night.  I understand the need to simplify things for dramatic (or comedic) purposes, but this was ridiculous.  They should have been competing for a tenure-track position.

Absolutely right. I am a prof at a university, and this is not how it works at all. It does sound like they have some faculty duties, as occasionally it has been mentioned that at least Sheldon had a class to teach, and in the episode where the girls went to Disneyland, they were doing community outreach because of their contracts. Still, if they were tenure track professors, they should be running research groups, not doing the work themselves. I doubt they are trying for true academic authenticity. Tenure is not a competition.

Edited by hamerman55

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I guess things work a little differently in the US and in my country. Here we have national-level competitions (interviews etc) for both tenure-track positions as well as tenured (permanent) positions in universities and research institutes. So for example, I've been a post-doc from some years and I've put in applications for both kinds of positions - contractual and permanent - in different places across the country.

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I don't think the point of the episode was to teach us all about the tenure process.  It was merely a framework on which to hang the competition, etc..

I don't think Penny scorned Amy at all.  She was simply proud of her assets and how she could use them for Leonard's benefit.  It's not as if Penny has anything to offer in terms of impressing the committee with scientific knowledge (like Sheldon said, what was she gonna do? take drink orders?)  In a way, Amy scorned her first by asking, "What is Penny doing here?"

They were lining up with "their men" but it's not as if they were hating on each other.  Amy was even somewhat impressed Penny's boobage.

 

And Howard wasn't doing anything different from what they usually do to each other--teasing, harassing, poking fun, etc.  It goes on in their circle all the time--and Howard is often the recipient from Sheldon.

And what's the problem with the cocktail parties?  These people aren't college kids.  They're all in their 30s.

 

Amy's comment about buying a house and starting a family wasn't intended to be a precursor to what is to come--it was simply Amy trying to put a bug in Sheldon's ear, to get him to think outside his current box, etc.

"boobage" lol   - is that generally allowable  or part of secret women's language?  - cos it made me laugh. :).

 

Howard as trickster is good. Its more his style now that he doesn't have the Pepé Le Pew thing going on.

 

And the men are becoming less the teenage boys who can't drive and more like adults. I speculate that it jars for some is a consequence of the ability to "marathon" a series without experiencing the duration personally. Sort of a time dilation effect without the actual velocity. But the characters must be in their thirties now so its quite natural to me.

(unlike the sometime implausible cases where 30yr old play teens - see Glee etc). But they are all youngsters to me, so what do I know.

 

Leonard was shown to still be socially inept even though he is the most grown up. He just looks better compared to Raj and Sheldon who are still either late teenage or prepubescent in their social behaviour.

 

I also think Amy was a bit wistful about the house and family. She may go another way and not regret it - but it is not unreasonable that she reflect on the possibility.

 

Edit: re Tenure. Can it be any one but Leonard or Kripke in the end? And more probably Kripke because of the funny that might ensue and the lack of ongoing nasty tension in the group that promoting one of the leads would cause. Maybe for the last series, they can package up all the goodies.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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In the US, tenure track positions are awarded by each individual university through a national search, and tenure is earned through the university with the position. If you change universities, tenure does not automatically travel with you.

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It is nice that Penny and Amy are tutoring their men in social behavior. I've come to enjoy Amy as a character. She's sort of a triangulation between the boys and Penny. More socially adept than the guys, like Penny, but fully of their world too. Bernadette is too, probably more socially adept, but less interesting. Bernadette appears innocent, but very much isn't, while Amy still has a bit of the charm of Leonard and Sheldon in that regard. I do like the Bernadette character, but as Howard's match. They work together as a couple well. 
I like the observation an earlier poster made that they take their signal as to how to react to a Sheldon toward Amy by observing Amy's reaction. If she's cool with it, the Sheldon comment is OK. She certainly isn't shy about letting Sheldon know when he's crossed a line, as we saw in the "Spoiler Alert".

I am so pleased to see Leonard and Penny work as a unit, and have those prosaic moments in her apartment. The relationship seems fully developed.

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It is nice that Penny and Amy are tutoring their men in social behavior. I've come to enjoy Amy as a character. She's sort of a triangulation between the boys and Penny. More socially adept than the guys, like Penny, but fully of their world too. Bernadette is too, probably more socially adept, but less interesting. Bernadette appears innocent, but very much isn't, while Amy still has a bit of the charm of Leonard and Sheldon in that regard. I do like the Bernadette character, but as Howard's match. They work together as a couple well. 

I like the observation an earlier poster made that they take their signal as to how to react to a Sheldon toward Amy by observing Amy's reaction. If she's cool with it, the Sheldon comment is OK. She certainly isn't shy about letting Sheldon know when he's crossed a line, as we saw in the "Spoiler Alert".

I am so pleased to see Leonard and Penny work as a unit, and have those prosaic moments in her apartment. The relationship seems fully developed.

Yes, I am becoming a bit of an Amy fan too. She is something of a tragic figure now and being portrayed delightfully. (only to tragic to the extent that the format allows- not hating so don't anyone bite me today - it's tiresome)

Edited by Nogravitasatall
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I think we do need to remember that Amy is still ahead if things do get bad with Sheldon. She will still have the rest of the gang to lean on. Penny and Bernadette will definitely look after her, and I suspect that Howard and Raj will too. Leonard will be caught in the middle, and may be counseled by Penny to side with Sheldon, just so he isn't alone. Amy is much better off now than before, since she has a social group and good friends. The girls are pretty tight, and bonded over hating Priya. Leonard has gotten to like her too, since he went to the wedding with her last season. If Amy and Sheldon do have a temporary problem, it will be tough on the group.

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I don't think the point of the episode was to teach us all about the tenure process.  It was merely a framework on which to hang the competition, etc..

I don't think Penny scorned Amy at all.  She was simply proud of her assets and how she could use them for Leonard's benefit.  It's not as if Penny has anything to offer in terms of impressing the committee with scientific knowledge (like Sheldon said, what was she gonna do? take drink orders?)  In a way, Amy scorned her first by asking, "What is Penny doing here?"

They were lining up with "their men" but it's not as if they were hating on each other.  Amy was even somewhat impressed Penny's boobage.

 

And Howard wasn't doing anything different from what they usually do to each other--teasing, harassing, poking fun, etc.  It goes on in their circle all the time--and Howard is often the recipient from Sheldon.

And what's the problem with the cocktail parties?  These people aren't college kids.  They're all in their 30s.

 

Amy's comment about buying a house and starting a family wasn't intended to be a precursor to what is to come--it was simply Amy trying to put a bug in Sheldon's ear, to get him to think outside his current box, etc.

Thank you. Finally someone else agrees with me on the What is Penny doing here line.

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I loved the "yo mama" jokes in this episode.  They were the funniest part--actually, any time Sheldon tries trash talk, it's hilarious.

 

Also, my jaw hit the floor when Kwipke showed up in a suit.  For once, he seemed (looked, anyway) grown-up and respectable.  He's not a bad-looking guy.

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It looked like there was a little grey in Kripke's hair too. He seemed older than the other guys in this episode. I rewatched it tonight, as I was half dead from work and phone calls last night.The Shamy stuff didn't bother me and appeared to be more Sheldon just being Sheldon, which when contrasted with the other guys interactions with their SO's, seems pretty unaware. But Amy took it in stride so I felt OK laughing at it. The worship comment did sort of hark back to Ramona, though. Amy does seem to be aware of Sheldon's flaws though, which makes her seem less like a relationship doormat. Her comment about not likely finding more friends was pretty insightful. and revealed she's not so blind after all. She loves him, but sees him for what he is too. It is typical that he thinks he can get tenure, and nothing need change. Leonard has one foot out of the door already. If Sheldon gets tenure, Leonard is not going to want to listen to him go on about it. I'm starting to feel that Sheldon is more likely to lose a roommate than a girlfriend at this point. That first scene was arrogant even for Sheldon. It will be interesting to see what they have mind.

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I loved the "yo mama" jokes in this episode.  They were the funniest part--actually, any time Sheldon tries trash talk, it's hilarious.

Can someone  tell me if Sheldon was really blue  in his comment regarding how he happened to run into Raj's female parent. I hesitate to spell it out further.

 

Here it might be a double entendre. Elsewhere maybe no. Though the show has gone there before with Amy and Sheldon's happy accident chat.

 

Veronica Mars used to have some zingers fly by that were soooo blue and even Everybody Loves Raymond went there once with his mother and the butcher. I think they play games with the censors sometimes.

 

Trying to keep this PG

 

Also, my jaw hit the floor when Kwipke showed up in a suit.  For once, he seemed (looked, anyway) grown-up and respectable.  He's not a bad-looking guy.

 

Yes the costuming was important in this episode. Penny maybe didn't help Amy enough with her dress. But it would be a stretch to say she planned that because her shopping trip was before her invitation to accompany Leonard.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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Also, Sheldon seemed pretty indifferent to tenure throughout most of the episode. It was more like well of course I'll get it since I'm sooo much better than everyone else, but no big deal. It was telling that he actually started schmoozing for tenure, suggesting that he really wanted it more than he was willing to let on, and less confident of his work.

It would be more interesting to me if Leonard got it, if they revisit this at all.

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Can someone  tell me if Sheldon was really blue  in his comment regarding how he happened to run into Raj's female parent. I hesitate to spell it out further.

 

Here it might be a double entendre. Elsewhere maybe no. Though the show has gone there before with Amy and Sheldon's happy accident chat.

 

Veronica Mars used to have some zingers fly by that were soooo blue and even Everybody Loves Raymond went there once with his mother and the butcher. I think they play games with the censors sometimes.

 

Trying to keep this PG

 

 

Yes the costuming was important in this episode. Penny maybe didn't help Amy enough with her dress. But it would be a stretch to say she planned that because her shopping trip was before her invitation to accompany Leonard.

 

I'm not sure what you mean about Sheldon's comments.

He said something like he was in need of sexual release and that he happened to come across Raj's mother--simply meaning he met her or encountered her.

Then when Leonard asked what they were doing (meaning arguing or insulting each other over the tenure), Sheldon said that he was implying that he'd had coitus with Raj's mother, "For a DOLLAR!"

I don't think there was any kind of double entendre at all since Sheldon's comments were very direct and specific.

 

Then Raj said that "this", meaning the schmoozing of the committee, was beneath him, "like your mother!", of course meant that he was implying having had sex with Sheldon's mother.

 

The last comment Sheldon made, "I believe 'Screw it I'm going in' is what I said to your mother last night" was a sort of play on words--"going in" meaning having sex.

 

Here in the US it's not really "blue", I guess.  They weren't using any bleep-worthy words.

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Shouldn't it be that actors improve their acting by experience? How come Jim Parson's started out great in the first 3-4 seasons but has gotten worse ever since? In this episode you can really see how bad he has gotten. Kunal Nayyar has improved a lot though comparing to his first two seasons. Simon Helberg has been exceptional every season and for me has always carried the show to where it is now. The others are okay. But in general, watching this episode, I feel like the actors, especially Jim and Kaley Kuoco are not having fun doing the show anymore.

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Also, Sheldon seemed pretty indifferent to tenure throughout most of the episode. It was more like well of course I'll get it since I'm sooo much better than everyone else, but no big deal. It was telling that he actually started schmoozing for tenure, suggesting that he really wanted it more than he was willing to let on, and less confident of his work.

It would be more interesting to me if Leonard got it, if they revisit this at all.

I'm guessing they won't revisit it. Raj not talking to women should rule him out immediately. Sheldon(and Raj) behavior towards Amy, while some may have thought was funny, was horrible. I dont care how smart of a guy Sheldon is having no common sense and needing Amy to help schmooze him to tenure rules him out for me. Just think if Amy didn't have to be there she could of had a girls night with Penny and Bernadette. I would think she would have enjoyed that a lot more. Granted some people (like myself) enjoyed Penny's " girls night out". Leonard didn't need Penny there that night. She only wanted to go because of Amy. That's why if anyone deserves the job it's Leonard. I think he would represent the university the best. 

 

On a side note I have seemed to have offended some people on the forum. That really wasn't my intention. I rewatched the episode tonight and Amy and Penny's behavior towards each other was about the same. Amy smirked at Sheldon's comment about Penny's waitressing skills and Penny smirked at Raj's comment about Amy sexuality. It really was much ado about nothing.

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I'm not sure what you mean about Sheldon's comments.

He said something like he was in need of sexual release and that he happened to come across Raj's mother--simply meaning he met her or encountered her.

Then when Leonard asked what they were doing (meaning arguing or insulting each other over the tenure), Sheldon said that he was implying that he'd had coitus with Raj's mother, "For a DOLLAR!"

I don't think there was any kind of double entendre at all since Sheldon's comments were very direct and specific.

 

Then Raj said that "this", meaning the schmoozing of the committee, was beneath him, "like your mother!", of course meant that he was implying having had sex with Sheldon's mother.

 

The last comment Sheldon made, "I believe 'Screw it I'm going in' is what I said to your mother last night" was a sort of play on words--"going in" meaning having sex.

 

Here in the US it's not really "blue", I guess.  They weren't using any bleep-worthy words.

Although the 'came across' could be a double entendre. as in 'She had the best teeth I ever came across'. meaning she had good teeth or I had oral sex with her.

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An Okay epside for me. Some funny moments but honestly I expected more. Didn't like the scene where Sheldon and Raj are insulting each other, it went a bit too far (and too akward) for my taste. Also I'm disappointed we didn't see who got the tenure.

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I always like plots where everyone gets involved.... the back and forth banter...... the schmoozing attempts......the double dealing.....Howard stirring up things for his own amusement .....girls helping their guys out ....was fun to watch...

 

I hope this tenure story continues.....because otherwise this episode will be nothing but a collection of schmoozing attempts with no story....

 

Sheldon's characterization was weird though.....he misunderstands the racial issues while giving that gift to HR lady ....but suddenly he is socially aware to understand puns well enough to make "mommy" jokes with Raj ... so those jokes felt cheap.....also because it's quite established that he does'nt get sexual euphemisms(herb garden) ........................and why the hell is he working on things he finds ridiculous and off-putting....

 

surely if Raj had a BMW before we would have seen or heard Raj mentioning it....and he probably would have used it to get girls...but we never did..... so again this was just made up for this episode and probably won't be referenced again... 

Edited by vasu

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Not necessarily because Sheldon makes those type of comments to all of his friends.  Even the comment he made about Penny being only good to take everyone's drink order and get it wrong. I do wish the writers would show Sheldon being kinder to Amy.  However, Raj's comment was rude, he basically called her unattractive in my opinion.

 

He already did that in an earlier episode when he basically said tht he did not have a crush on Amy like he had on Penny and Bernie. And anyway it was meant as an insult.

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Penny being present with Leonard at a meeting of academics would be very odd.How will he introduce her... his girlfriend the waitress? I doubt that having a waitress as a girlfriend would help him with his tenure chances. Amy laid out exactly why she would help Sheldon because she is a respected scientist in her own right who would fit into the academic crowd.

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