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[Spoilers] Season 12 Discussion Thread

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The more time passes, the more I think they put themselves in an unworkable place with the sort of sudden announcement that 12 would be the end. They had three episodes written and there was no way they were going to trash this scripts, even though they were not all taped. A bad choice that had a major impact on the Leonard/Penny storyline. If there was going to be a 13th and maybe even a 14th season, they could have tap danced a bit until having Penny experience an epiphany and discover organically that yes, she does want to create life with her husband. With a scant 21 episodes until “fade to black”, they end up pulling the Zack nonsense out of thin air.


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I think even if we had a S13 or 14, Lenny would have still been relegated. They would have dragged the Sheldon Show to the bitter end. We would not have had a lenny pregnancy or even having them discuss it as tptb so often ignore any lenny arc in later seasons. Just crumbs here and there. Lenny story ended a long time ago for the writers, they just needed to wait until the last season, be it 12, 13 or 14 to rap lenny up.

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52 minutes ago, hokie3457 said:


The more time passes, the more I think they put themselves in an unworkable place with the sort of sudden announcement that 12 would be the end. They had three episodes written and there was no way they were going to trash this scripts, even though they were not all taped. A bad choice that had a major impact on the Leonard/Penny storyline. If there was going to be a 13th and maybe even a 14th season, they could have tap danced a bit until having Penny experience an epiphany and discover organically that yes, she does want to create life with her husband. With a scant 21 episodes until “fade to black”, they end up pulling the Zack nonsense out of thin air.


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I think they shouldn't have written it even if they had another season or two. It was not true to the characters and their story and it was, to me at least, painful to watch. Unnecessarily painful. More episodes wouldn't have changed that. Mind you, they didn't even make use of the episodes they had. The Zack plot was IMO just whacky and it did nothing to change the situation. The only "progress" happened off screen (and by that I don't mean the actual conception but the mental-emotional processes preceding and following it). As Holland said, the whole thing was in fact done because they planned to have Penny pregnant in the finale and wanted to add a surprise factor. I think if they took their time to think about it more thoroughly, including thinking about past and future episodes (again, not something they're used to because it's simply not their way of working), they may have realized all the problems it would make far outweigh that surprise factor.

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1 hour ago, bfm said:

I think they shouldn't have written it even if they had another season or two. It was not true to the characters and their story and it was, to me at least, painful to watch. Unnecessarily painful. More episodes wouldn't have changed that. Mind you, they didn't even make use of the episodes they had. The Zack plot was IMO just whacky and it did nothing to change the situation. The only "progress" happened off screen (and by that I don't mean the actual conception but the mental-emotional processes preceding and following it). As Holland said, the whole thing was in fact done because they planned to have Penny pregnant in the finale and wanted to add a surprise factor. I think if they took their time to think about it more thoroughly, including thinking about past and future episodes (again, not something they're used to because it's simply not their way of working), they may have realized all the problems it would make far outweigh that surprise factor.

My belief is that they had no strategy beyond using their show for creating as much product that attracted as many eyeballs to screens for as long as possible. The TBBT enterprise did whatever it took, inside their framework, to generate viable content. Whatever worked. And they were hugely successful. Sure, there were different paths they might have taken, but what they did made them category killers.

In a different environment, where maybe say some weighty personage tweeted at them about how unfairly Leonard was treated and how Sheldon took advantage, things might have gone differently.

 

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3 hours ago, hokie3457 said:

If there was going to be a 13th and maybe even a 14th season, they could have tap danced a bit until having Penny experience an epiphany and discover organically that yes, she does want to create life with her husband. With a scant 21 episodes until “fade to black”, they end up pulling the Zack nonsense out of thin air.

So true! Lenny has been an after thought for years. Shamy  was their golden couple that the show needed to be successful in the writers opinions. If there was another season, we would have suffered through a shamy pregnancy with Lenny on the outside looking in. Thank god the Sheldon Cooper Show has ended!

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3 hours ago, bfm said:

I think they shouldn't have written it even if they had another season or two. It was not true to the characters and their story and it was, to me at least, painful to watch. Unnecessarily painful. More episodes wouldn't have changed that. Mind you, they didn't even make use of the episodes they had. The Zack plot was IMO just whacky and it did nothing to change the situation. The only "progress" happened off screen (and by that I don't mean the actual conception but the mental-emotional processes preceding and following it). As Holland said, the whole thing was in fact done because they planned to have Penny pregnant in the finale and wanted to add a surprise factor. I think if they took their time to think about it more thoroughly, including thinking about past and future episodes (again, not something they're used to because it's simply not their way of working), they may have realized all the problems it would make far outweigh that surprise factor.

Goodness only knows why they dreamed up that  time-wasting ridiculous arc that led nowhere. Those minutes could have been better spent on exploring Penny's reasons for not wanting a family. All we got was Leonard's unreasonably angry ' Well now she does' on the plane.

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11 hours ago, joyceraye said:

Goodness only knows why they dreamed up that  time-wasting ridiculous arc that led nowhere. Those minutes could have been better spent on exploring Penny's reasons for not wanting a family. All we got was Leonard's unreasonably angry ' Well now she does' on the plane.

So very true!!!  :sungum:

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20 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

My belief is that they had no strategy beyond using their show for creating as much product that attracted as many eyeballs to screens for as long as possible. The TBBT enterprise did whatever it took, inside their framework, to generate viable content. Whatever worked. And they were hugely successful. Sure, there were different paths they might have taken, but what they did made them category killers.

In a different environment, where maybe say some weighty personage tweeted at them about how unfairly Leonard was treated and how Sheldon took advantage, things might have gone differently.

 

I actually got to the point where I skipped episodes or saw parts of episodes. I never thought it'd get so bad, but it did. If this went on another season or two, and perhaps with a Shamy pregnancy taking center stage, I might have quit watching entirely. 12 seasons and leaving on top is an unbelievable achievement, but would they still be on top in season 14, if they kept going the way they did? 

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2 hours ago, bfm said:

If this went on another season or two, and perhaps with a Shamy pregnancy taking center stage, I might have quit watching entirely. 12 seasons and leaving on top is an unbelievable achievement, but would they still be on top in season 14, if they kept going the way they did?

IMO, definitely not.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, bfm said:

I actually got to the point where I skipped episodes or saw parts of episodes. I never thought it'd get so bad, but it did. If this went on another season or two, and perhaps with a Shamy pregnancy taking center stage, I might have quit watching entirely. 12 seasons and leaving on top is an unbelievable achievement, but would they still be on top in season 14, if they kept going the way they did? 

Would they still be on top in S14? I don’t know. Would they have kept chasing the money? Very likely, unless the talent decided to go do something else, if they could. Which is what stopped them and why we won’t find out. Parsons pulled the plug. Probably wisely and with maybe some artistic sensibility.

You, and I, were fatigued by the Shamy Show, but others weren’t. They could have limped on until cancellation. Look at Two and a Half Men. 

I had trouble coping with married Sheldon and Amy. It was just awful. It couldn’t be offset enough by other plots to make it tolerable. And of course, “tolerable” is what you want in your favourite entertainment. /s

If even obsessed people like us weren’t swallowing the nonsense, then maybe they would have fallen off a cliff anyway.

 

 

Edit: “fallen off a cliff” is a colloquialism that implies that performance has fallen dramatically. Say like when a product is completely replaced by another. The sales plummet. The sales graph shows a steep downward movement. Vertically. Like a cliff. This is not to say any literal physical harm befalls anyone. Not throwing anyone off a cliff. :) 

 

Edited by Nogravitasatall
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1 hour ago, Nogravitasatall said:

I had trouble coping with married Sheldon and Amy

Agreed! What was worse was the entire Season 11 we were forced to watch the shamy wedding planning. Then Lenny had to elope and have the boat kiss fiasco. Sheldon messed up the gang watching the ceremony. He messed up the 2nd wedding as well, but his wasn't messed up. It still, as Penny would say, creams my corn!!!:sungum:

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15 minutes ago, chucky said:

Agreed! What was worse was the entire Season 11 we were forced to watch the shamy wedding planning. Then Lenny had to elope and have the boat kiss fiasco. Sheldon messed up the gang watching the ceremony. He messed up the 2nd wedding as well, but his wasn't messed up. It still, as Penny would say, creams my corn!!!:sungum:

Forced?

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2 minutes ago, shell said:

Forced?

Well, probably not you. But others who are not shamy's were forced just to see our Lenny. But that's just my opinion. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, shell said:

Forced?

Obligated to watch, ancillary to watching Leonard and Penny. Sheldon and Amy were unavoidable.  How’s that?

Maybe that’s why I can’t be bothered yet to watch s12. There just isn’t enough non-Sheldon and Amy content to compensate.  And the pay-off for the Leonard and Penny story apparently just sucks. A Zack goose chase, regretful Penny who didn’t communicate with Leonard about a pretty major life decision and then a limp, facile and unexplored story about a pregnancy that may as well have been a phantom? Add to that a weird fictional Nobel that is just made-up fantasy that exploits a real award for which real people actually sweat and innovate and have momentous  insights and make actual contributions to human knowledge  that potentially affect the human condition. Exploited for laughs and a season-ending high. 

Hmmm. 

Edited by Nogravitasatall
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7 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

Obligated to watch, ancillary to watching Leonard and Penny. Sheldon and Amy were unavoidable.  How’s that?

Maybe that’s why I can’t be bothered yet to watch s12. There just isn’t enough non-Sheldon and Amy content to compensate.  And the pay-off for the Leonard and Penny story apparently just sucks. A Zack goose chase, regretful Penny who didn’t communicate with Leonard about a pretty major life decision and then a limp, facile and unexplored story about a pregnancy that may as well have been a phantom? Add to that a weird fictional Nobel that is just made-up fantasy that exploits a real award for which real people actually sweat and innovate and have momentous  insights and make actual contributions to human knowledge  that potentially affect the human condition. Exploited for laughs and a season-ending high. 

Hmmm. 

Maybe forced was the wrong word. I like your description better!

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18 hours ago, bfm said:

but would they still be on top in season 14, if they kept going the way they did? 

I have to say maybe, because it seemed like a lot of the viewers didn't give it the scrutiny that hard core viewers like the ones here did. They remained number one no matter what they did. I'll be interested to see how the repeats do. But from what I hear CBS has taken a real blow in general due to the battle with AT&T. I didn't know there were so many DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse cable systems customers.
https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190730/feder-cbs-2-ratings-plunge-after-att-blackout

15 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

Parsons pulled the plug. Probably wisely and with maybe some artistic sensibility.

Jim is my hero for being the one to stand up and say it was time to end it.,

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18 hours ago, bfm said:

I actually got to the point where I skipped episodes or saw parts of episodes. I never thought it'd get so bad, but it did. If this went on another season or two, and perhaps with a Shamy pregnancy taking center stage, I might have quit watching entirely. 12 seasons and leaving on top is an unbelievable achievement, but would they still be on top in season 14, if they kept going the way they did? 

I tend to think they would still be on top because of the hard-core viewers, but as you say the storylines would get lower in quality unless they revamp their thinking and not have Shamy/Sheldon dominant every episode. I also think the viewership would probablt settle back into the  10-13 million range per episode.

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17 minutes ago, Mario D. said:

I tend to think they would still be on top because of the hard-core viewers

I disagree on that. The quality of the scripts would bring down their rating to at least 2 or 3. Th quality of the acting would keep the show in the top 3 regardless of the writing!

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14 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

Obligated to watch, ancillary to watching Leonard and Penny. Sheldon and Amy were unavoidable.  How’s that?

Maybe that’s why I can’t be bothered yet to watch s12. There just isn’t enough non-Sheldon and Amy content to compensate.  And the pay-off for the Leonard and Penny story apparently just sucks. A Zack goose chase, regretful Penny who didn’t communicate with Leonard about a pretty major life decision and then a limp, facile and unexplored story about a pregnancy that may as well have been a phantom? Add to that a weird fictional Nobel that is just made-up fantasy that exploits a real award for which real people actually sweat and innovate and have momentous  insights and make actual contributions to human knowledge  that potentially affect the human condition. Exploited for laughs and a season-ending high. 

Hmmm. 

I have no problem with the Nobel being used for laughs.  I thought the handling of the award was pretty respectful (for a comedy).  The only problem is it wasn’t funny enough and the wrong people won.  In my (irrelevant) world Leonard gets Nobel (or at least his team gets an award Sheldon does not).  Amy, if she needs to be in this part of this, gets a high award in her field.  Sheldon is snubbed and has to deal.  He can  always report on Young Sheldon that he eventually got the award.  

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1 hour ago, MsGreentea said:

I have no problem with the Nobel being used for laughs.  I thought the handling of the award was pretty respectful (for a comedy).  The only problem is it wasn’t funny enough and the wrong people won.  In my (irrelevant) world Leonard gets Nobel (or at least his team gets an award Sheldon does not).  Amy, if she needs to be in this part of this, gets a high award in her field.  Sheldon is snubbed and has to deal.  He can  always report on Young Sheldon that he eventually got the award.  

I am quite pleased that Sheldon won. It would have been nice if Leonard had won along with him but Sheldon had his eye set on the Nobel for the whole series. Him not winning and Leonard winning instead would have just been mean and unfunny unless they used it as some sort of big leap of growth for Sheldon. I've never really heard any desire from Leonard to win any time during the series.

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4 hours ago, chucky said:

I disagree on that. The quality of the scripts would bring down their rating to at least 2 or 3. Th quality of the acting would keep the show in the top 3 regardless of the writing!

Yeah, be careful there.  During the last month of the season, the 18-49 ratings had fallen to below a 2.0 for the 18-49, for individual episodes.   However, the full season was still two and half times the average of all the shows, over the whole television season.  (The last comedy show to be that high, not named The Big Bang Theory was Friends, back in 2004). The average show this past year, in 18 - 49 age group rating , had a  0.95 with 5.36 million viewers.   TBBT, in it's final season, had an 18-49 rating of 2.28 with an average of around 15 million.   BTW, as an interesting side note, TBBT is the only comedy show known to average 2 times the average of all shows for the season, over it's entire run.  I say that as the 18 -49 ratings weren't publicly known until the early to mid 2000s, from what I've seen of the last years of Friends' ratings, they are up there also.  

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Tensor said:

Yeah, be careful there.  During the last month of the season, the 18-49 ratings had fallen to below a 2.0 for the 18-49, for individual episodes.   However, the full season was still two and half times the average of all the shows, over the whole television season.  (The last comedy show to be that high, not named The Big Bang Theory was Friends, back in 2004). The average show this past year, in 18 - 49 age group rating , had a  0.95 with 5.36 million viewers.   TBBT, in it's final season, had an 18-49 rating of 2.28 with an average of around 15 million.   BTW, as an interesting side note, TBBT is the only comedy show known to average 2 times the average of all shows for the season, over it's entire run.  I say that as the 18 -49 ratings weren't publicly known until the early to mid 2000s, from what I've seen of the last years of Friends' ratings, they are up there also.  

Noted. I still don't feel they would be #1 in Season 14.

Edited by chucky

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I am quite pleased that Sheldon won. It would have been nice if Leonard had won along with him but Sheldon had his eye set on the Nobel for the whole series. Him not winning and Leonard winning instead would have just been mean and unfunny unless they used it as some sort of big leap of growth for Sheldon. I've never really heard any desire from Leonard to win any time during the series.
In S1-01. Leonard mentioned how he wanted to win the Nobel prize to Sheldon as they walked up the stairs. That was the first we heard his ambition. Sheldon's body language in that scene showed no desire to want to win it. I guess Leonard's ambition changed when he met Penny.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, MsGreentea said:

I have no problem with the Nobel being used for laughs.  I thought the handling of the award was pretty respectful (for a comedy).  The only problem is it wasn’t funny enough and the wrong people won.  In my (irrelevant) world Leonard gets Nobel (or at least his team gets an award Sheldon does not).  Amy, if she needs to be in this part of this, gets a high award in her field.  Sheldon is snubbed and has to deal.  He can  always report on Young Sheldon that he eventually got the award.  

Good points. It was counter to comedic tropes for the comedic irritant to get what they wanted. In this case the coyote got to eat the roadrunner, in a manner of speaking.

Was the elevation deserved? I’m unsure. And how do people feel about an amateur physicist being included in the honours. I’m just not wrapped up enough in those characters to be thrilled for that either. I prefer your scenario.

Still it’s been undeniably a commercial success. Kudos for that. It’s a tough business.

Edited by Nogravitasatall
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On 7/29/2019 at 8:26 PM, hokie3457 said:


The more time passes, the more I think they put themselves in an unworkable place with the sort of sudden announcement that 12 would be the end. They had three episodes written and there was no way they were going to trash this scripts, even though they were not all taped. A bad choice that had a major impact on the Leonard/Penny storyline. If there was going to be a 13th and maybe even a 14th season, they could have tap danced a bit until having Penny experience an epiphany and discover organically that yes, she does want to create life with her husband. With a scant 21 episodes until “fade to black”, they end up pulling the Zack nonsense out of thin air.


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Quite ! I can't believe the apparent lack of preparedness. "Shock horror, what a surprise, the last season contracted-for is the last season after all, whatever shall we write now ? "

In past possibly-last seasons they'd plodded on for a few weeks during the uncertainty while they were waiting to hear whether there was going to be another contract, promising us they could wrap the whole thing up in one episode if need be. This time they were aware of their position  for once really early on. At worst in August they could have thought up alternative plots in advance for if the series was or wasn't renewed.  But they didn't. Since they were determined to give us that awful episode three regardless, they had months in which to explore Penny's attitude and use Zack for something else other than that episode-wasting, time-consuming rubbish about sperm donation, which wasn't even funny apart from one line, 'Or Penny if it's a girl'.

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