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SheldonCooperFan

Do People Find This Show That Offensive?

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I know some people who are greatly insulted by this show. When I was a kid I was picked on a lot and I was really corky. I was also totally into super heroes and I get how people can fight like that over comics and making a big deal about characters even if people not part of the fandom thinks its dumb. I was always into scifi, and fantasy and card games and would visit the comic shop every week when I got money. Even had Star wars all over my room and both me and my sibling had light sabers. I wasn't into celebertys and sports or church like most normal people. When sports and church and celebertys was considered the normal thing to be into. So Sheldons and leonards reaction to penny's celebrity questions would have been how I would have reacted. I really didn't see a problem with this show but there people who are complaining since they say all of this is inaccurate and no one ever acts like any of these characters. Is this show really that offensive and something people should hate? 

Edited by SheldonCooperFan
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I think it's subjective. I don't like how the characters are so rigidly one thing or another - "geek" OR "normal" - in this show. I get the impression that the writers are trying to get some mutual understanding in there through the girls debating Thor and the guys learning to compromise in some vaguely depressing way, but I don't think they've been all that successful to be honest. I don't think it's that easy to classify people, so the characters do not ring true for me. The show's full of tropes, which isn't necessarily a problem, but they are dumped unceremoniously in front of us instead of woven with care into the story/character writing. Penny's shame whenever she actually gets something they say or references a film correctly seems a bit crappy; I know she's not like the guys in the film-loving sense, but, let's face it, Star Wars is too well-known NOT to know what it is. It really isn't that strange to know who C3PO is, or recognise the Death Star or whatever. Come on, writers. I think the people who find TBBT offensive feel this way because of the incredibly basic portrayal of "geeks". They like superheroes. They're not all that good with women. They watch their favourite films with commentary, more than once. They tend to stay indoors. They are also, in many ways, weak-charactered and don't seem to stand up for what they believe in even in the face of a pretty lady - Leonard packs up all his stuff after one irritated comment from Penny about his "toys". Raj moans about being single, but behaves like a tiny bit of a wanker around most of the women he meets. Even the great unpentrable Sheldon lets himself become the underdog when he gets a slushie thrown at him, and a few people he doesn't know take the piss out of his and his friends' costumes. I think the show could have benefitted from having more of a "haters gon' hate" attitude, rather than the "haters gon' hate, I kind of agree with them" undertones they've got going on now. In my maniacal opinion, you're only the underdog if you take other people's innocuous comments to heart to the point where you're second guessing yourself. That's why I don't think self-inflicted underdoggery is a sympathetic quality in a character unless they have severe depression...

 

The way that the outsider characters behave toward these "geeks" (who, when female love interests/outsider characters, clearly have NO idea what these silly guys are jabbering on about with their comics and "Trek Wars" and whatnot You NEVER see a girl in a comic book store! Everyone knows that... apparently) are inexplicably mystified by common pop-culture. There are few people who do not know what Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, Nintendo etc. is, so the attempt by the writers to sell this off to the audience as something unusual and nishe never really makes sense. I think, from the start, TBBT hasn't been sure what camp it's on; the "geeks" or the "civilians". I think that may be part of the reason  why people have reffered to it as the "nerd blackface". A little subversion of the "geek" tropes wouldn't go amiss, but the transparency of the overall setup tends to alienate some and include others. I don't think it's a show that seeks to liberate the world of "geeks", mainly because of the feverish dragging up of "geek" and relationship tropes, but neither do I think it's meant to portray "geeks" negatively. I don't think the show knows what it wants to do.

Well I believed they were trying to get popular appeal. Since unlike in previous years being "Geek/Nerdy" today is cooler than it was in the old days. Since everything is done on computers and with technology so its hard to function without knowing some kind of technical information now a days. If you care for it or not. 

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I don't spend a lot of time reading internet article or whatever about such things, but I think that going by its usual 20 million viewers per week, I would guess that most people are not offended by the show.

 

I think people might find individual moments "offensive" or whatever--like the dust-up that blew up when Sheldon smacked Amy's butt--but as far as the nerd/geek vs "normal" (whatever that means), I've never really seen that sort of reaction, except from people who seem to want to be fiercely protective of their geek label, like they don't want the wider world claiming geekdom or whatever.

 

I know that there have been mild issues over things like not showing enough girl nerds, or claiming that nerd/geek guys can't get girls, or that girls don't play D&D, stuff like that, but I think that the writers have made it clear that they're not necessarily trying to represent all nerds, or all girls, or all guys, but just these specific characters--like just because Penny thinks that no girls would ever play D&D doesn't make it true.

 

Anyway, I think most people just like to laugh along with the characters and don't take it all too personally.

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I think the show has sought to show that whether Geek or Cheerleader, no-one gets an easy ride in life.

Here, the guys had this grass is greener mentality and were insular, myopic and accepting of their lot. Since Penny has been in their lives, they've come to understand that being at the top of the social rank is not the Utopia they believed it to be, and there is bullying all the way to the top of the scale; it's a slippery pole to climb.

The Geek Chic Zeitgeist spawned from this show, so I'm going out on a limb to say, rather than offensive, The Big Bang Theory is empowering.

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It might be to some people but if you like the show then you know the show is full of stereotypes of which it is self-aware.

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I think some people have blogged about being offended by the show.

 

Try Google it goes on and on. Anytime something is successful it will have detractors.

 

There have been things in TBBT I don't like from time to time but I find it a lot less objectionable than a lot of other stuff on TV and in the balance I like the show. I particularly like science being  part of the landscape of a show that is not science fiction and is not a crime drama.

 

Also, I realize if the show was exactly to my liking it probably would not have lasted 7 seasons and been renewed for another three. Sometimes it is precisely the bits I don't like that others rave about.

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If the Big Bang theory ticks you off , and you don't agree with characters , then hit the TV remote button and change the freaking channel.

Millions and millions of people love the show , that's why its so popular around the world ! You don't like it - what the History channel , Spike , Speed Channel , the weather channel ,ESPN etc- if you don't like the show - then don't watch it !

 

AND by the way , you know what part of a critics job is to do ,BITCH AND COMPLAIN

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I don't really find the show offensive. We are just an example that people can get pretty passionate about a show. We spend part of our time here to debate about the show and our favourite characters. And there are many other places like that for many shows. Furthermore TBBT taught me many things about the sci fi culture. I admit I know absolutely nothing about even the most popular of this stuff. I used to mess up Star Trek and Star Wars since I knew pretty much nothing about them. So I like that a show focuses on the "nerds" and it got me actually to think that I should watch something. When I will have some more time I will give Firefly a try.

Anyway I get that people might be offended by the way these characters are being shown but I am really not. Especially not because of their fascination with science fiction. Now there are other things that I would get more if they were considered insulting. For example the jokes about Howard's mother are not only old but sometimes painful to watch for me personally. I am not offended but I do think they should stop. Shane goes with Sheldon and his comments about how irrational/angry/unbearable women are when it's that time of the month. It's irritating but not offensive cause IMO Sheldon doesn't ay these things with the intention to offend anyone and he really doesn't know better. So no I am not offended by the show.

Edited by Cecilia

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I like comedies that have an edge to them, if TBBT didn't have that edge it would be as bland and boring as most sitcoms are, that being said I don't think there is much to be offended about in TBBT - certainly not when compared with a show like Seinfeld - in the the case of TBBT, the characters have hearts and really are good friends who want the best for each other, even Sheldon, who as Leonard pointed out is a lab accident away from being a super villain, rarely does or says things with malicious intent, he just thinks he is the center of the universe - as for the geekiness, that is one of the things I love most about the show, because I can relate to it so much, if anything I think the characters are becoming to 'normal' - I never want them to loose their geekiness.

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I don't really find the show offensive. We are just an example that people can get pretty passionate about a show. We spend part of our time here to debate about the show and our favourite characters. And there are many other places like that for many shows. Furthermore TBBT taught me many things about the sci fi culture. I admit I know absolutely nothing about even the most popular of this stuff. I used to mess up Star Trek and Star Wars since I knew pretty much nothing about them. So I like that a show focuses on the "nerds" and it got me actually to think that I should watch something. When I will have some more time I will give Firefly a try.

Anyway I get that people might be offended by the way these characters are being shown but I am really not. Especially not because of their fascination with science fiction. Now there are other things that I would get more if they were considered insulting. For example the jokes about Howard's mother are not only old but sometimes painful to watch for me personally. I am not offended but I do think they should stop. Shane goes with Sheldon and his comments about how irrational/angry/unbearable women are when it's that time of the month. It's irritating but not offensive cause IMO Sheldon doesn't ay these things with the intention to offend anyone and he really doesn't know better. So no I am not offended by the show.

The people complaining about this show are not really the ones who watch it. More the people who want to get it pulled or believe its nothing but  stereotypes.

Edited by SheldonCooperFan

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With any TV show there are always going to be people who think it should be canceled, or think it's stupid, etc., for any and all kinds of reasons.

And this is especially true if a show gets attention (and ratings) while one's favorite show gets overlooked or whatever.

You see this when award nominations start coming out. There's always a chorus of, "why didn't ______ get nominated?" Or "that show sucks! ________ is so much better!"

There are always going to be detractors for anything, and others who absolutely love that thing.

What I think is incredible is that so many people waste so much juice ranting about a show they hate, when it's so much nicer to go online and gush about the show you love.

I don't care about people who don't like Big Bang, and I don't bother going out of my way to complain about shows I don't like. Who has the time when I'm busy gushing here. :p

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I have a friend who is a world-renown physics professor at Caltech.  He hates the show and does not watch it.  On the other hand, I am married to a Caltech grad (BS, MS, and PhD in physics) and we both love the show.  So does our son who also graduated from Caltech.  I knew these types of characters when we were in college, and dated quite a few of them.  They are not too far off the mark.

I do have a suggestion, but have no idea how to contact Chuck Lorre.  I think they've gone about as far as they can with the "Howard does not have a PhD" jokes.  He should be invited to apply for a PhD program at Caltech based on his work for NASA and being an astronaut.  He should be credited for that work and only need about 2 years to complete the degree.  I am basing this on the fact that my husband was invited to apply for a PhD program in Applied Physics based on work he was doing on campus a few years after he graduated.  There is much to be mined there.

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The problem buick66, is that, for legal reasons, the writers and producers do not accept unsolicited ideas, nor do the read forums.

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There are plenty of sitcoms I think people might find offensive.

 

TBBT is definitely not one of them.

Good point regarding other sitcoms. It' the reason I don't watch them.

 

TBBT has enough going for it that I can overlook the offensive bits and the offensive episodes. Can't please all the people all the time.

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Their is a sitcom called Two Broke Girls, I like to refer to it as Two Broke Jokes :p. The jokes and characterizations are full of clichés and stereotypes. And some of the jokes can be insulting to a select demographic and proportion of the audience, they delt with the concept of rape poorley, they sensationalise feminism too, all the rauncy sex jokes too, it is even more hedonistic then Two and a half men and that is saying something, difference is Two and a half men's saving grace is it's charm, Two Broke Girls has nothing to do with it. Big Bang Theory like Friends was I guess is a light, hearted, fluffy comedy. I am not sure why anyone would find it insulting, unless your taking things way too seriously. I know a lot of people criticized Friend's for having no African American characters, although they did have some guest roles, particularly later on. But BBT doesn't tackle cultural issues or any deep political issues. I suspose the show does reverse gender roles, and their has been comments about loser beta males getting hot chicks, not sure how that would be insulting, its not like BBT is sexist or anything.

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Funny, if Two and a half men had a saving grace I never had it on long enough to notice. That is a show that I found too offensive to watch.

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Funny, if Two and a half men had a saving grace I never had it on long enough to notice. That is a show that I found too offensive to watch.

 

That is my point it had a reputation for being hedonistic and sleazy, so lots of people including you, kinda missed the whole point of it. You actually watch particularly S1, their is nothing offensive about it at all, it comes cross as Charlie and his bimbos. But in reality it is a show about how this little kid Jake impacts Charlie, and how Charlie impacts Jake, their is a lot of touching but also funny moments that come with it. But I understand why some may find it offensive.

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I find the show offensive and I would like to explain why.

 

Please note that I am a big fan of the first amendment, and as such, I believe the show has a right to exist and I don't find it offensive enough to warrant any kind of letters or other such stuff asking for it to be dropped.

I also don't have a problem with people who like the show.

 

Okay, on numerous occassions, people have told me that I should watch the show and that I would love it and that I am just like Sheldon.

 

I have watched it several times hoping to like it, I have problems with social interactions and it would be nice to have something to talk about with people that we both have in common. When the Stargate franchise was popular I had something to talk to people about but now I really don't. I wanted to like the show, but I never could.

 

The show stirs up memories from my childhood. It's the damn laughing.

 

I have sensory input issues. I rarely go to the movies because surround sound is something I can not handle, too much input from too many directions, it has to be a really good movie (like LOTR or The Book Thief) for me to be overcome that. At home, I just have stereo speakers, so I can wait for the BluRay and watch movies at home without those issues.

 

Big Bang Theory, the audience laughter is the loudest of any show I have ever seen and even stereo it seems to trigger my sensory input issues. If I turn the volume down then I can't hear what the people are saying when there is not laughter.

 

But it is not just the laughter itself, it is what the laughter is aimed at - the social ineptness of the main characters.

 

When I was young, I was terrorized by bullies largely due to my social ineptness. The bullies would terrorize me and other kids were laugh at me. And when the bullies were not terrorizing me, my social ineptness still brought on a lot of laughter from the other kids, and it really hurt. It hurt to know I was so alone, that I never fit it in, that I never could fit in.

 

BBT brings those memories back to me. The jokes are not funny, that show has the lamest punch lines I have ever seen in a show. The laughter is at the social ineptness of the main characters.

 

The show has no science value, it is not a show about science, the show could just as easily be about mechanics or lawyers or any other group. Shows like Stargate had science value even if made-up science. BBT does not. What the producers have done is chosen to make a show about how hilarious the social ineptness of geeks is.

 

Maybe we don't want to be the butt of jokes. We can be different (and most geeks are not like those portrayed, only a small percentage of us are) but we are human beings and want to be treated as human beings with dignity - not something to be laughed at by the cool kids.

 

People compare with Sheldon. There's a good chance I am Aspie, I was tested for autism several times in the 80s because teachers always suspected and they always said borderline but not, but the 80s was before Asperger's was understood. I have not been tested since. Sheldon is a character that certainly exhibits autism characteristics, but I have nothing else in common with him. I'm not into physics (I enjoy it, but I code - I program, I'm not a scientist) and I don't collect comic books or go to cons (too many people at cons, too much sensory input) so what do they see in common with me and Sheldon?

 

Someone who is extremely socially inept and thus a source for amusement and laughter.

 

That is not how I want to be seen by others, but that is what the show encourages.

 

I thought maybe the first episode I watched was a fluke, so I watched several others, and every one I watched made me feel that way.

 

That is why I personally find the show to be offensive.

 

But as I said at the beginning, I believe the show has a right to exist and I am not offended by people who watch it. I understand the psychology of humor. The show makes a lot of cultural references as punch lines, and people want to find those funny because it proves that they got it and belong. At the subsconscious level.

 

That and the laugh track (sweetened or however you want to describe it), when people here laughing they want to laugh again to have a sense of belonging.

 

So if those things are working for you and you find it funny, well more power to you.

 

But I saw this thread on a search result and just wanted to give the opinion of someone who found the show offensive and why.

 

Thank you for your time.

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I find the show offensive and I would like to explain why.

 

Please note that I am a big fan of the first amendment, and as such, I believe the show has a right to exist and I don't find it offensive enough to warrant any kind of letters or other such stuff asking for it to be dropped.

I also don't have a problem with people who like the show.

 

Okay, on numerous occassions, people have told me that I should watch the show and that I would love it and that I am just like Sheldon.

 

I have watched it several times hoping to like it, I have problems with social interactions and it would be nice to have something to talk about with people that we both have in common. When the Stargate franchise was popular I had something to talk to people about but now I really don't. I wanted to like the show, but I never could.

 

The show stirs up memories from my childhood. It's the damn laughing.

 

I have sensory input issues. I rarely go to the movies because surround sound is something I can not handle, too much input from too many directions, it has to be a really good movie (like LOTR or The Book Thief) for me to be overcome that. At home, I just have stereo speakers, so I can wait for the BluRay and watch movies at home without those issues.

 

Big Bang Theory, the audience laughter is the loudest of any show I have ever seen and even stereo it seems to trigger my sensory input issues. If I turn the volume down then I can't hear what the people are saying when there is not laughter.

 

But it is not just the laughter itself, it is what the laughter is aimed at - the social ineptness of the main characters.

 

When I was young, I was terrorized by bullies largely due to my social ineptness. The bullies would terrorize me and other kids were laugh at me. And when the bullies were not terrorizing me, my social ineptness still brought on a lot of laughter from the other kids, and it really hurt. It hurt to know I was so alone, that I never fit it in, that I never could fit in.

 

BBT brings those memories back to me. The jokes are not funny, that show has the lamest punch lines I have ever seen in a show. The laughter is at the social ineptness of the main characters.

 

The show has no science value, it is not a show about science, the show could just as easily be about mechanics or lawyers or any other group. Shows like Stargate had science value even if made-up science. BBT does not. What the producers have done is chosen to make a show about how hilarious the social ineptness of geeks is.

 

Maybe we don't want to be the butt of jokes. We can be different (and most geeks are not like those portrayed, only a small percentage of us are) but we are human beings and want to be treated as human beings with dignity - not something to be laughed at by the cool kids.

 

People compare with Sheldon. There's a good chance I am Aspie, I was tested for autism several times in the 80s because teachers always suspected and they always said borderline but not, but the 80s was before Asperger's was understood. I have not been tested since. Sheldon is a character that certainly exhibits autism characteristics, but I have nothing else in common with him. I'm not into physics (I enjoy it, but I code - I program, I'm not a scientist) and I don't collect comic books or go to cons (too many people at cons, too much sensory input) so what do they see in common with me and Sheldon?

 

Someone who is extremely socially inept and thus a source for amusement and laughter.

 

That is not how I want to be seen by others, but that is what the show encourages.

 

I thought maybe the first episode I watched was a fluke, so I watched several others, and every one I watched made me feel that way.

 

That is why I personally find the show to be offensive.

 

But as I said at the beginning, I believe the show has a right to exist and I am not offended by people who watch it. I understand the psychology of humor. The show makes a lot of cultural references as punch lines, and people want to find those funny because it proves that they got it and belong. At the subsconscious level.

 

That and the laugh track (sweetened or however you want to describe it), when people here laughing they want to laugh again to have a sense of belonging.

 

So if those things are working for you and you find it funny, well more power to you.

 

But I saw this thread on a search result and just wanted to give the opinion of someone who found the show offensive and why.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Sorry to read about your difficulties, but I think that you've misinterpreted what the show is about.  Yeah, there is humor related to the geekiness/nerdiness of the lead characters, but it's not really about making fun of them.  I think that most of the audience that watches this show identifies strongly with their nerdier pursuits and even with some of the awkwardness.

 

And the science aspect of the show is not a tutorial on science.  It's not used as instruction or problem solving, like on CSI or whatever.  You're right when you say that they could just as easily be mechanics or whatever in the sense that science happens to be their occupation, their work, but the point of the show was never supposed to be teaching people how to be physicists or whatever.

 

The characters are geniuses and because of their intelligence, advanced placement in school, being the valedictorian, etc., they were outcasts, they were bullied, they were made fun of.  That's part of what bonds the 4 guys as friends.  They understand each other's past experiences.  That they can poke fun at each other and not get mad about it is part of their bond.  But in the end, they take care of each other, they stick up for each other, they help each other out.

 

I don't know which episodes you've seen, or how you evaluated them, if you were looking for specific connections between you and Sheldon.  I don't know what it is your friends are pointing out when saying you're like Sheldon--Jim Parsons has said that he gets that a lot: "I'm just like you!" or "My friend/husband/co-worker is just like Sheldon!"  That doesn't mean that you're exactly like him or whatever.

 

But whether or not you're actually like him shouldn't have any bearing on the worth of the show, especially as the characters have been growing since day one.  That's kind of been the point of the show.  When it started, the guys were kind of isolated because of their nerdy interests and pursuits.  They were into sci-fi and board games and costumes and kite fighting and stuff like that.

As they began to interact with Penny, she kind of drew them out of their protective bubble and out into the world in a more real way, and they in turn, introduced her to their world to the point where she has seen Star Trek movies and even understands things like having your shields up, etc.

 

You're certainly free to dislike it based on whatever issues or taste you might have, and I get the sensory thing, but that doesn't mean that the show is distasteful in and of itself.

It really doesn't make fun of the characters, IMO.  There's a lot of love going on.

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Personally, I don't find it at all offensive.

 

I think nowadays, people are often just looking for something to be offended about.

Edited by Stephen Hawking
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