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Symbolism, Metaphor, Foreshadowing Etc. In Tbbt Show?

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To what extent do you think the writers use (either written or visual) techniques of symbolism, metaphor, foreshadowing etc. in this show?

I often question whether I see things that are not there.

Am I giving the writers too much credit for? :)

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One example of symbolism could be in season 5.9 - The Ornithophobia Diffusion.

People have commented that the bird in that episode was a symbol

for either Amy, Penny, or women in general.

The bird comes into Sheldon's life. It represents his fears, and ultimately
Sheldon develops feelings for it.

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I don't believe there is as much symbolism as fans like to think but that might be just me. It's fun for people to think about it and to come up with theories though. Personally I think the show is quite basis and there's not been very much foreshadowing either. It's quite a simple formula. In the past, there wasn't even any character growth for ages. Which I didn't really mind.  

Edited by Spaced_up

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I think that many people see way too much into the show.  It is a commedy.   I think that if they want to make a point, they very clearly show the point that they want to make.  I think the bird represented a bird.

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However, bizarrely, I think “Sheldon” qualifies as an artistic creation in his own right. His actions, thought processes, speech patterns and dialog all verge on the Surreal at times. His dreams in particular are definitely in the realm of art - “Two suns and no sunblock”. Being eaten by a Morlock, waking up and being eaten by a Morlock again, waking up, potentially ad infinitum. He dreams within dreams. He has obsessions with crawly creatures running his body in the chair episode. And he is ultimately a tragic figure. He is the classic outsider, caught in a world plenty of symbols. The writers are not fools.

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However, bizarrely, I think “Sheldon” qualifies as an artistic creation in his own right. His actions, thought processes, speech patterns and dialog all verge on the Surreal at times. His dreams in particular are definitely in the realm of art - “Two suns and no sunblock”. Being eaten by a Morlock, waking up and being eaten by a Morlock again, waking up, potentially ad infinitum. He dreams within dreams. He has obsessions with crawly creatures running his body in the chair episode. And he is ultimately a tragic figure. He is the classic outsider, caught in a world plenty of symbols. The writers are not fools.

 

I'm delighted you agree with me! But please, my dear honourable character Wannamaker, please do add quotation marks if you're going to repost long quotes of mine like this, else I get terribly confused. There are enough voices in my head as it is! And most of them are gits.

 

What is going on in your current avatar by the way...all the lasses...it's very intriguing! (to put it mildly)

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I did read about the 'bird' as symbol, but wasn't totally convinced. However it's clear from the show(and their C.V.'s) that the writers are well educated, and like most art these days, one needs to have studied it to understand it. This is why I've decided that some posters aren't really worth getting into discussions with(I'm so arrogant!), because most of the content of the show, its references,etc goes straight over their heads. They see the show on their level, 'dur, it's just a comedy', and we connect with what the writers intended(and research the references we don't!). Also they don't even really understand what we are saying. I thought it was intriguing what 'annieogly' said about them not understanding 'Post Modernism' ideas, and being anti-intellectual. I finished my Degree twelve years ago, and these ideas were standard then. I think now you've pointed it out, I am ready to see if there's a sub text. I'm sure there is, it's just not easy to reference in hindsight!

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My avatar intriguing? I like to tease people whenever possible...laugh and jokes. That’s why I often change my avatar… as if… like a dress code for the occasion. I am so bored with plain language that I speak everyday with the neighbours. So dull and dreary (you know, keeping up appearances!)

 

If you don’t mind me asking…what voices are you blessed to hear Count  Wolly...subliminal or hellish like?

 

I've found your outspoken ideas about the TBBT show so true-some that I was ever so tempted to embed them in my text (swear won't do again without you knowing first) regarding dreaming inside dreaming. It's so unbelievably surreal! Who can deny that! Who says that comedy has to be plain and simple with silly slapstick jokes, where people only do things such as tripping, falling over or embarrassing themselves just to make people laugh.

The TBBT show writers are playing with the audience a great deal! The viewer is not a passive recipient of meaning. Just by taking a look at this IMG of Sheldon...calling it "scientific curiosity" What a gimmicky reference of some sort it is! As if by chance coming right out, interestingly, from one of those performances and installations in contemporary art of nowadays. Who is copying whom? I swear I saw the same posture of a faked man kneeled with his head stuck in the wall in a prestigious Art gallery in London and making news for environmental issues. Then one day during the TBBT show…WOW Sheldon is made to do the same thing in the episode>The Rothman Disintegration S5.

 

 Isn't that weird to be only a lap stick joke? What I mean is: it has a certain strangeness to it!

 

  • post-8585-0-79842400-1366538095.gif
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Guest DroneInTheSun

The thing about the symbolisms in TBBT is that I don't think they're meant for the viewers as much as they're here to help the characters to reach epiphanies. Maybe I'm just "dull" and "stupid" and whatever other lovely words "gaqo" will be able to come up with, but I don't give the writers enough credit on the whole "foreshadowing" thing (except maybe in season 3 where Amy's arrival and significance in Sheldons's life has been foreshadowed three times with his reactions to Martha, Beverly and Plimpton). 

But like I said, I do think there is some symbolism in the show - it's just not meant to give us clues as it does in shows like Doctor Who or Game of Thrones. The bird episode for example, it's obviously there to help Sheldon realise that feelings can and do change and that loving isn't as terrible as it seems. Or the eternal snowflake that Leonard brings from the North Pole for Penny that reminds her that her feelings for Leonard are still strong, etc. 

It's another kind of symbolism, one I don't like as much as the other, but then again, TBBT is a sitcom, and if I want clever symbolism, I can just go and watch Sherlock - oh wait I can't because the filming takes forever.  :icon_cry: 

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I don't give the writers enough credit on the whole "foreshadowing" thing (except maybe in season 3 where Amy's arrival and significance in Sheldons's life has been foreshadowed three times with his reactions to Martha, Beverly and Plimpton). 

 

confused-cartoon-face-28ewpuo.jpg

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Can someone give us an example of ''foreshadowing', either in the show, or in literature,film, etc(I understand what it means). 

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A problem with foreshadowing is that tv writers unlike novel writers, may abandon the entire idea. A good example is season 4 Amy when she finds herself sexually attracted to the ape-like Zack. The show is very funny and at the very end Amy takes Sheldon's hand in hers, drops it and says something like 'nothing'. She doesn't feel the electric zing with him that she had previously with Zach. That's foreshadowing that Amy and Sheldon will have no romantic connection but then season 5 the writers dropped the entire idea to create Frankenstein's monster of the shamy.

 

An example of the writers playing with an wink and a nod, is a  season 6 winter episode but I don't want to spoil it, it's when Amy is sick. Watch that and tell me what you think gaqo et al.

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Can someone give us an example of ''foreshadowing', either in the show, or in literature,film, etc(I understand what it means). 

 

Shaun of the Dead. Great movie!

 

….Ed describes his drinking plan for the following day with Shaun – saying that they should have “A bloody Mary first thing, a bite at the King’s Head, couple at The Little Princess, stagger back here and bang… back at the bar for shots.” Which is exactly what they do in the film – killing a zombie with the nametag ‘Mary’ followed by going to Shaun’s stepfather’s place to see that he’s been bitten, followed by picking up Shaun’s love interest and her friends before pretending to be zombies while going back to the pub where they find themselves warding off zombies with a gun. He literally describes the entire plot in a sentence – how awesome is that?"

 

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/features/14-great-moments-of-foreshadowing-in-movies-dbell.php

Edited by Moonbase
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Can someone give us an example of ''foreshadowing', either in the show, or in literature,film, etc(I understand what it means).

The most obvious bit of the use of foreshadowing in TBBT is from the first episode of Season 2. After Penny and Leonard's first date, Penny met Sheldon in the Laundry room and asks if Leonard had ever gone out with a woman who was not a brainiac. She then admitted that she thought that Leonard would eventually get bored with her because she did not appear to be accomplished enough for him.

This little point has come up in the series in every season since, especially in season four with Priya. Penny, finally admitted her insecurity to Leonard in season 6 because of Alex but it is most likely the reason full commitment to Leonard scares her. As long as he does not have her totally, she thinks, he will stay with her.

Edited by BangerMain
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Guest DroneInTheSun

confused-cartoon-face-28ewpuo.jpg

 

Lmao this is me everytime I watch Game of Thrones.

Ahem.

 

Well what I meant is pretty obvious. There are three women who express sexual interest in Sheldon in S3:

• Elizabeth Plimpton, who has the brains Sheldon loves but has the wrong approach to sexuality for him (she's a complete maneater)

• Beverly Hofstadter, who has his way of thinking but has absolutely no appeal on him (cf. his horrified face when she kisses him)

• Martha (Green Lantern/Hulk Girl), who has the nerdiness but, as far as we know, not the brains nor the same outlook on life as his.

He never realises their attraction, and, the one time he does, he doesn't reciprocate. The writers were hinting at what Sheldon wants in a woman all season and it culminated in his meeting with Amy (she's got the brain, the weird way of thinking and the "no touch" policy)

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The most obvious bit of the use of foreshadowing in TBBT is from the first episode of Season 2. After Penny and Leonard's first date, Penny met Sheldon in the Laundry room and asks if Leonard had ever gone out with a woman who was not a brainiac. She then admitted that she thought that Leonard would eventually get bored with her because she did not appear to be accomplished enough for him.

This little point has come up in the series in every season since, especially in season four with Priya. Penny, finally admitted her insecurity to Leonard in season 6 because of Alex but it is most likely the reason full commitment to Leonard scares her. As long as he does not have her totally, she thinks, he will stay with her.

 

well stated BangerMain, actually now I'm hoping that  the writers will build on this by having Leonard come back either with a girl or admit to an affair confirming all Penny's fears and freeing the characters for season 7.

 

If Raj and Howard ever admitted to their total bromance that would not only be fun but live up to the intense foreshadowing. Where is Beverly when we need her;-)

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well stated BangerMain, actually now I'm hoping that  the writers will build on this by having Leonard come back either with a girl or admit to an affair confirming all Penny's fears and freeing the characters for season 7.

 

If Raj and Howard ever admitted to their total bromance that would not only be fun but live up to the intense foreshadowing. Where is Beverly when we need her;-)

 

Of course, someone will have to put the show runner Steve Molaro ("The Lenny King") on some very powerful medications to allow any unhappiness to L/P :icon_biggrin:

 

Beverly would have "outed" Raj and Howard if she was around them full time :icon_twisted:

Edited by BangerMain

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Lmao this is me everytime I watch Game of Thrones.

 

You know I think Sheldon and Amy only have friendship chemistry, so I don't want to get into this because we won't agree. But I will say, I do agree about Game of Thrones. I watched the first 4 episodes and decided to give that one a miss.

 

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The most obvious bit of the use of foreshadowing in TBBT is from the first episode of Season 2. After Penny and Leonard's first date, Penny met Sheldon in the Laundry room and asks if Leonard had ever gone out with a woman who was not a brainiac. She then admitted that she thought that Leonard would eventually get bored with her because she did not appear to be accomplished enough for him.

This little point has come up in the series in every season since, especially in season four with Priya. Penny, finally admitted her insecurity to Leonard in season 6 because of Alex but it is most likely the reason full commitment to Leonard scares her. As long as he does not have her totally, she thinks, he will stay with her.

 

I'm not sure that's foreshadowing, I think that just reusing a theme. The only one I can think of is when Sheldon says Amy "is a girl, who is a friend, but is not my girlfriend."

Edited by Moonbase

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I'm not sure that's foreshadowing, I think that just reusing a theme. The only one I can think of is when Sheldon says Amy "is a girl, who is a friend, but is not my girlfriend."

 

 

"Let me step in and assure you my research will go on uninterrupted, and that human relationships will continue to baffle and repulse me" and "I find the concept of coitus ridiculous and off-putting."

 

I hope to god THOSE are foreshadowing...

 

Incidentally, are you a Simon Pegg fan then? His appalling version of Star Wars is one of the most charming things I've seen. Linked if you haven't...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5W8EBHNsLc

 

 

 

If you don’t mind me asking…what voices are you blessed to hear Count  Wolly...subliminal or hellish like?

 

Annoying.

One's a constant complaining git, on a perpetual carp about literary productivity, so it's probably my work ethic. Either that, or a very irritable Muse. The others are varying shades of miserable bastard. One's asking what the devil do I think I'm doing, pointlessly pontificating on a television forum. I suspect that fellow moonlights in other people's heads as well...

 

 

As for symbolism, I agree with a number of other posters here, that it doesn't appear particularly intentional on the part of the writers. There are moments of sheer surrealism (as we mentioned) but no deeper philosophical or psychological meaning seems apparent. For example, when Sheldon gets eaten twice by the Morlocks, in his dream-within-dream, does this represent his fear of being consumed by either his baser urges or by the proletariat "troglodytes"? No. (Well probably not.)

 

The more surreal the scene, the more open it is to artistic interpretation. In a certain mood (artificially induced by substances or otherwise) one can watch almost anything and find metaphorical imagery relevant to one's particular mythology. Almost anything, mind, probably not talent shows. I suspect this is partially why Pink Floyd works so well with Wizard of Oz. Listening to 'Dark Side' forces the viewer into a symbolism-observing mindset, by virtue of framing the film as "Art".

 

That's enough gibberish for 11.21pm. Ever since the X Files, whenever I check the time, it always seems to be 11.21...(yes, yes. I know why that is. Still!)

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I'm not sure that's foreshadowing, I think that just reusing a theme. The only one I can think of is when Sheldon says Amy "is a girl, who is a friend, but is not my girlfriend."

 

I agree.

I like the links on foreshadowing. Moonbase.

Especially the article about Psyco movie. She should have run away from that hotel to save her life! Big Red flag alert when someone says: ‘a boy’s best friend is his mother. :icon_cheesygrin:

 

Hello Count Wally I did not see you there :)

However we will never know what the real intentions of the writers are. As a matter of fact writing  in creative field means to have a pulse onto many contemporary issues. It is a matter of a colletive unconscious. A phantom if you wish, so to speak, of what your intentions are and what really happen on stage. There is always an other dimension to it that even the writers themselves cannot foreshadow.

Edited by wannamaker
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I don't have 'other' voices, but I do go from, 'why do I bother going on TBBT forum?', to 'I can't stay away!'. I think one problem with sub texts is that the writer/creator may not always be aware of them. I mentioned 'The Birds' sub text. Daphne du Maurier, wrote the original short story, and although I haven't read it myself, a (short story writer) friend of mine assures me it doesn't have a sub text. The Lacanian interpretation wouldn't have been available to Hitchcock. Although he famously had 'relationship issues' with his mother. So they may be subconscious, and only available through interpretation with hindsight. Oh how the hours fly by!

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Lmao this is me everytime I watch Game of Thrones.

Ahem.

 

Well what I meant is pretty obvious. There are three women who express sexual interest in Sheldon in S3:

• Elizabeth Plimpton, who has the brains Sheldon loves but has the wrong approach to sexuality for him (she's a complete maneater)

• Beverly Hofstadter, who has his way of thinking but has absolutely no appeal on him (cf. his horrified face when she kisses him)

• Martha (Green Lantern/Hulk Girl), who has the nerdiness but, as far as we know, not the brains nor the same outlook on life as his.

He never realises their attraction, and, the one time he does, he doesn't reciprocate. The writers were hinting at what Sheldon wants in a woman all season and it culminated in his meeting with Amy (she's got the brain, the weird way of thinking and the "no touch" policy)

Now It's definite, we are not watching the same show!

Edited by gaqo

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I don't have 'other' voices, but I do go from, 'why do I bother going on TBBT forum?', to 'I can't stay away!'. I think one problem with sub texts is that the writer/creator may not always be aware of them. I mentioned 'The Birds' sub text. Daphne du Maurier, wrote the original short story, and although I haven't read it myself, a (short story writer) friend of mine assures me it doesn't have a sub text. The Lacanian interpretation wouldn't have been available to Hitchcock. Although he famously had 'relationship issues' with his mother. So they may be subconscious, and only available through interpretation with hindsight. Oh how the hours fly by!

 

@ Gaqo :) you problably are in a conflictual 'sit.com' yourself or maybe you like it here. Somehow you've found responsive and nice people answering you :D

Speaking of which...do you reckon the TBBT writers do refer to Lacan or Freud or perhaps both for the plots fo the show?

I definetely see the Freudian side aspect to the characters. For istance I think of Leonard as a fuddy-daddy-silly-billy character when shows so overtly wanting sex with no fear of exposing himself so badly. So needy!

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It's interesting, because only if we are aware of all the contemporary ideas circulating in culture, that we can then pick up their references. So I heard Sheldon say in an early episode,'don't ask me I'm just part of the matrix, the ideas flow through me'. Which is part of Postmodern theory, in that all the ideas are flowing through us, if we are open to them, and reign in our controlling egos. These thinkers; Freud, Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, were standard reading when I was at UNI(plus hundreds of others!). Students then go out, create programmes, books, films, etc, and the ideas are embedded in their plots, so they are then available to all of us. I come at it more from the 'cultural artifact' angle, but I'm hoping to get more literary insight from you,Count Wally,etc. Anyway it's definetly an interesting thread, and I'm starting to look under the surface of episodes. It's funny someone said there isn't much psychology in TBBT, now the comedy is receeding, it's all there! You know I do love it, when we all get buzzing, and there's ideas flowing in from all over the world!

Edited by gaqo
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