Jump to content
The Big Bang Theory Forums
Sign in to follow this  
simonlexington

Why Don't Any Of Them Volunteer Somewhere?

Recommended Posts

I can imagine thousands of hilarious scenarios involving TBBT characters and volunteering gone awry.

Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Amy, Bernadette, and/or Penny should be shown volunteering somewhere.

 

At least 1 out of 7 people I know in real life volunteer 4 or more hours per month at a hospital, hospice, food bank, Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or somewhere.

I'd expect to see at least 1 out of the 7 main characters in TBBT do some volunteering.

 

[edit Oct28: The question/topic is flawed. Bernadette has mentioned volunteering, but we haven't actually seen it in an episode]

 

[edit Oct28: Sursonica reminded us that Bernadette has mentioned volunteering (Season 5, Episode 11, The Speckerman Recurrence). I had forgotten about that. In the middle of the episode Bernadette says, "Every other week I serve at a soup kitchen downtown". At the very end of the episode, Bernadette steals a pair of boots from a charity clothing bin and yells to Penny and Amy: "It's ok. I serve soup to poor people!"]

Edited by simonlexington
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A.  Sheldon doesn't possess the empathy to do that.

 

B.  These are still mostly young people, working long hours (I can relate to that).  We know from the episodes that Bernadette seems to have to work late a lot.  Penny's scraping by at her job as waitress while trying to get an acting career going.  Leonard, Raj, Amy and Howard - yeah, maybe they could.  On the other hand, we don't necessarily see the entirety of their lives in the 23 weekly minutes we look in on, so we can't assume they don't volunteer.  

 

This is a comedy show, and helping homeless or hungry people or single mothers having a rough time aren't the stuff of which sit-coms are made (and could, unless handled carefully, smack of being insensitive).  As you point out, apparently a lot of people in the US do volunteer, and that's great.  Others don't or can't.  I'm not inclined to pass judgment on TBBT characters in this regard.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

Bernadette mentioned she volunteers at a Soup Kitchen on The Speckerman Recurrence.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Saying you don't admire them because your not seeing a personal request or preferance in the show is pretty short sighted and 2. This is a sitcom, it's not based on real world logic. And beside's I don't think the character's need to volunter to prove their self worth or anything, or to be admired. Why would they volunteer anyway? Their's nothing in the show to suggest that, they are loving caring character's, like above said they work long hrs, and the type of career's they are in I guess the writer's never thought about, appealing charities, or voluenteering e.t.c. I guess the writer's never considered it because it's just not a part of a sitcom, fine people in the state's voluenteer, but their primary focus should be to make people laugh and love the character's, and to me they have been on the ball from day one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least 1 out of 7 people I know in real life volunteer 4 or more hours per month at a hospital, hospice, food bank, Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or somewhere.

 

In The Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Frasier and numerous other "comedies" the main characters seem to only care about themselves, their consumption of frivolous products and services, and a limited circle of friends. Frasier volunteers somewhere in only 1 or 2 episodes out of 264 of that show that ended in 2004. Volunteering has been shown in no episode of The Big Bang Theory out of 140+ episodes as of October 2013.

The main characters in most shows do very little to help society and strangers, except when their work happens to benefit society (and they are getting paid to do it).

 

Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Amy, Bernadette, or Penny should be shown volunteering somewhere!

They are funny characters, but I currently don't admire any of them.

 

Raj could get out of his depressed funk by volunteering somewhere. Howard could volunteer somewhere to mentor a child since he sort of likes children and Bernadette doesn't want to raise a child.

You want them to volunteer. We have someone else who wants to see the show demonstrate how the the US somehow suppresses invention. Then there's the people who want to get rid of anything resembling a relationship. Then there's those who want to have Penny change her job and those that want Penny and Sheldon get together, etc., etc., etc. If you think the writers and EPs are going to listen to everyone who wants their own little scenario covered, it ain't gonna happen. The Eps believe the writers are writing what they believe is entertaining and the ratings indicate they are doing a better job of it than any other scripted series. This, as well as the others you mentioned, is a comedy series. If you want to see volunteering and mentoring, your best bet is a drama or some sort documentary. Something that isn't supposed to be funny.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh right, I forgot about that.

As Bernadette steals boots out of a charity clothing donation bin --inspired by Penny's own stealing-- Bernadette rationalizes her actions by saying that she makes up for the theft by serving soup to poor people.

-Season 5, Episode 11, "The Speckerman Recurrence"

They actually put the stuff they stole back into the donation bin btw, and to put it all on Penny is unfair, they were all stealing. Beside's it's a sitcom not a political vechile or docu, I think the character's are all admirable people and have self worth, like people have said it's a 20 min show, we cannot possibly know what they do in their spare time, I diddn't know it was a requirement to commit to charities to have any self worth with the character's, the show cannot cater to every fan's scenario. They are all very busy people, not everyone can volunteer to charities, I am sure their are a lot of great people in real life who do it all the time and good on them, I guess the writer's just don't see it as a priority for the character's, guess they have had no reason to think about it, it's a show about scientist's and people, so storyline wise they may not have room in the show for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Saying you don't admire them because your not seeing a personal request or preferance in the show is pretty short sighted and 2. This is a sitcom, it's not based on real world logic. And beside's I don't think the character's need to volunter to prove their self worth or anything, or to be admired. Why would they volunteer anyway? Their's nothing in the show to suggest that, they are loving caring character's, like above said they work long hrs, and the type of career's they are in I guess the writer's never thought about, appealing charities, or voluenteering e.t.c. I guess the writer's never considered it because it's just not a part of a sitcom, fine people in the state's voluenteer, but their primary focus should be to make people laugh and love the character's, and to me they have been on the ball from day one.

I didn't specifically give a reason as to why I don't admire any of the main characters. Here are a few reasons now: they are all consistently portrayed as self-centered, materialistic, shallow, and petty.

But yes, they are funny. And some of their flaws contribute to the humor in the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't specifically give a reason as to why I don't admire any of the main characters. Here are a few reasons now: they are all consistently portrayed as self-centered, materialistic, shallow, and petty.

But yes, they are funny. And some of their flaws contribute to the humor in the show.

Your characteristics of their character's pretty much portray's the character's in the first season, they have all grown since then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your characteristics of their character's pretty much portray's the character's in the first season, they have all grown since then. 

3ku11: In case you'd like to improve your English, here's a tip: stop putting apostrophes in almost every word that ends in the letter "s". Apostrophes are for contractions (it's = it is, don't = do not, you're = you are) and some possessive words (Howard's mother). I'm not saying my English is perfect, but it's better than yours :)

Edited by simonlexington

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its an earnest but incongruous question. They only have 21 minutes or less to make us laugh. They were originally portrayed as over grown teenage boys, pursuing very self involved entertainments. They are or were barely functional adults. Altruism and selflessness was never an obvious part of the formulation. My question would more be why would this forum be one to choose to promote volunteerism. Its worthy but not specifically relevant. And thats why you got the response. Its got so little to do with the show.

eta. And now you are being demanding. Weird. And hardly charitable.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it doesn't really matter.

I find it amusing how some people took offense to my original question (the topic of this thread).

I don't think anyone was offended, but you started a thread about how you don't admire the character's because they don't volunteer, their are other way's of admiring or looking for trait's that show compassion or self worth, even if they don't voulunteer on a regular basis doesen't make these character's self narcissistic or shallow, it's just not part of the show or the character's life's, they work long hour's. Beside's I cannot think of any sitcom setting the precedence for volentering for charities or anything, it's not really a big deal that this show doesen't too, it's a comedy I suspose the writer's never thought that is a relevant part of their life's or the show. 

3ku11, your spelling is giving me a headache. Please stop putting apostrophes in almost every word that ends in the letter "s". Apostrophes are for contractions (it's = it is, don't = do not, you're = you are) and some possessive words (Howard's mother), not every plural word.

BTW, the personalities of the characters haven't changed much since the first season, except for Howard who has been practically neutered.

The only big difference about Penny after Season 5 is that she has permanently embraced the fact that geeks are better than jocks in almost every way.

Their's nothing wrong with my spelling, but thank's for going teacher on me, and no that is not the big change for Penny, that geeks are better then jocks lol. She started to realize that by S3, the thing that has changed with Penny is realaizing she cannot do better then Leonard, her self actulization has been deconstructed from defining her hapiness and success by wanting to be a big star, this transfered to her relationships, it had nothing to do with her so called shallowness. You need to re watch the show really, because IMO Penny has never been shallow, matarailistic yes, but never shallow. 

Edited by 3ku11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You want them to volunteer. We have someone else who wants to see the show demonstrate how the the US somehow suppresses invention. Then there's the people who want to get rid of anything resembling a relationship. Then there's those who want to have Penny change her job and those that want Penny and Sheldon get together, etc., etc., etc. If you think the writers and EPs are going to listen to everyone who wants their own little scenario covered, it ain't gonna happen. The Eps believe the writers are writing what they believe is entertaining and the ratings indicate they are doing a better job of it than any other scripted series. This, as well as the others you mentioned, is a comedy series. If you want to see volunteering and mentoring, your best bet is a drama or some sort documentary. Something that isn't supposed to be funny.

There is a hilarious episode of Frasier where he volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. He boasts about his minor contributions and then tries to decorate the house to his liking. He ends up driving the home owners crazy. I can imagine thousands of humorous scenarios involving TBBT characters and volunteering. Volunteering isn't some obscure, random thing that I want included in TBBT. It's a very common occurrence and it could make the involved character(s) somewhat more likable and admirable. For all 7 seasons they have all been slightly too self-centered and petty.

Its an earnest but incongruous question. They only have 21 minutes or less to make us laugh. They were originally portrayed as over grown teenage boys, pursuing very self involved entertainments. They are or were barely functional adults. Altruism and selflessness was never an obvious part of the formulation. My question would more be why would this forum be one to choose to promote volunteerism. Its worthy but not specifically relevant. And thats why you got the response. Its got so little to do with the show.

eta. And now you are being demanding. Weird. And hardly charitable.

Helping other people learn English is charitable :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it depend's on why your watching the show, I have never seen these characters as self centered and petty, maybe Sheldon but he has even grown but this is JMO. And I do think it would be obscure and random, after seven season's. HIMYM never did voluntering does that mean they are self centered too? It's a nice idea but the character development is pretty much fine. I have always thought the character's had a lot of heart to them, being geniuses they are always going to have some self narcisistic tendencies. You may think they are not likeable because they are not volunteering, but I guess from a writers stand point, they are very busy and the format the show is in, they are in the buisness in comedy, not catering poverty or charity JMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their's nothing wrong with my spelling, but thank's for going teacher on me, and no that is not the big change for Penny, that geeks are better then jocks lol. She started to realize that by S3, the thing that has changed with Penny is realaizing she cannot do better then Leonard, her self actulization has been deconstructed from defining her hapiness and success by wanting to be a big star, this transfered to her relationships, it had nothing to do with her so called shallowness. You need to re watch the show really, because IMO Penny has never been shallow, matarailistic yes, but never shallow. 

 

Good point about Penny's self-actualization.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a hilarious episode of Frasier where he volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. He boasts about his minor contributions and then tries to decorate the house to his liking. He ends up driving the home owners crazy. I can imagine thousands of humorous scenarios involving TBBT characters and volunteering. Volunteering isn't some obscure, random thing that I want included in TBBT. It's a very common occurrence and it could make the involved character(s) somewhat more likable and admirable. For all 7 seasons they have all been slightly too self-centered and petty.

Helping other people learn English is charitable :)

Well, feel good about yourself, even more than. Yay you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Sheldon might prefer promoting eugenics, sterilization, social engineering, and/or voluntary euthanasia, rather than participating in any of the volunteer opportunities I previously mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Sheldon might prefer promoting eugenics, sterilization, social engineering, and/or voluntary euthanasia, rather than participating in any of the volunteer opportunities I previously mentioned.

Well obviousley Sheldon is a genius who consider's education and knowledge beyond all, but my point is their are other ways to make the characters more likeable then just volunteering, I have already thought they were likeable this whole time despite their flaw's, but depending on your personal preference, it may give you some feel good's watching Sheldon picking up litter lol but other then that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your initial question/point is kind of ridiculous when it comes to Big Bang Theory, and pretty much any sitcom.

A show might use a moment of volunteering as the seed to generate a plot, but it's usually not going to be in order to teach the audience that they should volunteer or that volunteering is a wonderful thing to do because their favorite sitcom characters do volunteer work.

 

The point of the show is not to teach altruism or the volunteer ethic to the audience.  The point is to make the audience laugh using the setting of the characters and their lives.  In this case, a group of geniuses who, because of their intelligence and the isolation it caused in their lives, have their own peculiar way of getting through life.  The show revolves around their lives and their work, not whether or not they volunteer here or there.

 

The writers for TBBT have done a great job for 7 years of coming up with funny plot lines.  If they don't want to choose to have the guys all of a sudden try to volunteer somewhere, what difference does it make?

 

Lots of people may give to charity or support various causes but don't necessarily do outright volunteering.  Does that make them horrible people?

 

I think that in the end the characters are full of love, not just between the couples, but as a group, they love and help and care for each other and each other's families.  They aren't selfish, even if they sometimes do selfish things (and EVERYONE does selfish things at times), and sometimes let their egos get in the way.

But as a group, they keep each other in line, help each other when the chips are down, and accept each other as they are.

 

 

Oh, and BTW, "volunteering" to correct someone's English when you don't know anything about them isn't helpful.  It's rude and condescending.  If you volunteer somewhere, I hope that's not the attitude you bring to it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a hilarious episode of Frasier where he volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. He boasts about his minor contributions and then tries to decorate the house to his liking. He ends up driving the home owners crazy.

So, you'd rather have someone be shown offending the people they are supposed to be helping and doing a bad job of volunteering, rather than have no volunteering? How, exactly, is offending the home owners different from your claim that Bernadette's volunteering doesn't count because she took A PAIR of boots?

 

I can imagine thousands of humorous scenarios involving TBBT characters and volunteering.

And I can imagine thousands of humorous scenarios involving the characters going to the store, to work, around the house, etc. Volunteering doesn't play any part in those.

 

Volunteering isn't some obscure, random thing that I want included in TBBT. It's a very common occurrence and it could make the involved character(s) somewhat more likable and admirable.

You said, one out of seven volunteer. There are seven main cast members, one is/was volunteering, that's exactly how many should be, right?

 

For all 7 seasons they have all been slightly too self-centered and petty.

Yeah, Penny breaking up with Leonard so as not to hurt him even more was self-centered. Leonard not taking advantage of a drunk Penny in season one was self-centered. Amy giving up her ideas for Valentine's Day, so Sheldon could enjoy his was self-centered. I could do several for each character, but you can find them yourself. Are the characters self-centered and petty? Yes. Are they also loving and giving, yes. They are written as human beings, flaws and all. If you need them to volunteer to be likable, that sounds a bit shallow.

 

Helping other people learn English is charitable :)

As Phantage pointed out, yeah, no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's lame that people keep writing things essentially saying: "the point of the show is that it's supposed to be funny, not to be realistic, not to provide role models, and not to do anything to help improve society or people's attitudes or behaviors."

 

All those things can be done at the same time. Why not do it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we're all being redundant here, let me write again: TBBT characters are self-centered, materialistic, shallow, and petty.

Actually, no they're not. You perceived them to be such, doesn't mean they actually are.

 

Volunteering is just one way (of many) they could redeem themselves.

I don't think they need redeeming, they're fine the way they are.

 

And there are plenty of scenarios that could involve volunteering and be funny.

And there are plenty more scenarios that don't need to include volunteering to be funny. That is something you seem to demand from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Since we're all being redundant here, let me write again: TBBT characters are self-centered, materialistic, shallow, and petty. Volunteering is just one way (of many) they could redeem themselves. And there are plenty of scenarios that could involve volunteering and be funny.

 

All those characteristics you just listed for the character's is an personal preference and an a opinion, not a fact. And you seem to be implying they need to redeem them self's because they have been such horrible people, well considering how big the show is, a lot of people would disagree with you, as many types of people watch the show. But anyway your traits for the character's are very disengenious to their qualities and good trait's, I don't see how taking time in the show to make the characters do volunteering, would make the characters less self-centered although they have been self-centered in their relationships and situations they are in, but this shouldent be taken as a complete overall reflection of all the characters. Some time's its just plot device for the episode, they all care for each other and other people, they may do selfish thing's some time's depends on whos interpreting the situations they are in. Point is their are other variables to consider to define the characters characteristics, I just refuse to beleive they are not likeable and self centered because they don't volunteer. The characters in Friends diddn't volunteer too, and you could argue they let no one in the group unless some one was dating someone outside the group, does this make them self centered because because they showed no interest in charities? No sitcom's are not meant to endorse some kind of charity or form of volunteering, regardless of your perception of the show, you think this would "redeem" the characters in some ways. My point is their are other ways to show these characters have a moral fibre, then volunteering, it just seems a tad relative to me that your defining all the characters based on them not volunteering to less unfortunate people. People saying its a comedy so they dont deal with that kind stuff, more mean in terms of storyline, its a situational comedy, about four nerd and the hot girl across the hall, as they navigate every day life with their own pecuiliar ways, being nerds e.t.c.

 

The writers could explore volunteering, and I am sure seeing Sheldon help out some charities, would be really funny, but ask anyone the purpose of the show is to make you laugh not endorse some form of charity. Point is thinking these characters are self centered, mataralistic, and petty is an opinion not a fact, personally I think they are fine the way they are, and definately dont need to volunteer even for one episode to validate their humanity, besides theirs too much going in the show right now for the writers to consider going down that kind of direction. And I am sure the writers would like to improve peoples behaviours and attitudes, but they are not parents, if it happens great if it doesent who cares, their job is to make people laugh, and like I said im sure that could be an avenue to take, but their are so many ways for comedy then just volunteering, the writing is based on the pilot so at the end of the day it doesent really matter, I think these characters have grown a lot, and if they were ever perceived to be self centered or petty it was more through the circumstances they were in, and how they conducted them self in relationships. Look at Seinfeild they were self-narscisistic to the end, but TBBT has had a lot of character and plot progression, so I dont think their is a need for the characters to volunteer at this point, they are likeable regardless IMO. It seems to be a demand from you personally from the show, it doesent really bother me but I guess it depends on your interpretation and perception of the show. 

Edited by 3ku11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's lame that people keep writing things essentially saying: "the point of the show is that it's supposed to be funny, not to be realistic, not to provide role models, and not to do anything to help improve society or people's attitudes or behaviors."

 

All those things can be done at the same time. Why not do it?

 

 

Because that's not what the writers want to write about.

 

Maybe they don't care about pleasing you and your narrow view of what "needs" to be done to make the characters fit your narrow view of "redeemable".

 

They're telling the stories they want to tell and 20 million people find it very enjoyable.  If people didn't like the characters and care about them, they wouldn't be sticking around.

 

You're certainly free to dislike them, but maybe the problem is with you, not with the characters or the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read every comment but Sheldon plans to provide humanity with his progeny that is quite thoughtful of him!!

Jokes aside I don't think it is a bad idea.Yes the show can work as a role model and I think it does a really good job dealing with relationships and friendships. It is on the plus side that charity was mentioned before and it would be great to actually see them maybe as a group do something like that but it doesn't seem mandatory to me to make me appreciate the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.