May 28, 2013

"I Love ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ And You Should, Too."

Okay, I tried to watch this show as a result of that article, but I couldn't put up with 10 minutes of it. Like a typical network comedy, the lines were delivered with a big nudge, followed by overdone audience laughter. The characters — we're told over and over — are supposed to be super-intelligent, but we are not credited with enough intelligence to discern the presence of a joke, even when it's in TV-script gag format. It's not that I feel personally insulted, just that everything feels bogged down, boring, and stupid.

Question asked at the link: "Why can Penny-the-waitress afford her own apartment, while physicists Sheldon and Leonard have to share? Why doesn’t fancy engineer Howard, with a bigshot JPL job, have any money?" I can answer that: Sheldon and Leonard have done the math, looking at all the factors, planning for future contingencies, including retirement. Penny spends down to her last penny (and beyond).

ADDED: The link goes to Instapundit, but the underlying article is in the NYT. I'm surprised that the NYT allowed this usage (boldface added): "In his dervishy nerdiness, he seemed to evoke any number of classic TV neurotics or fussbudgets: Paul Lynde, Tony Randall, Pee-wee Herman."

The (unlinkable) Oxford English Dictionary has only one meaning for "dervish": "A Muslim friar, who has taken vows of poverty and austere life. Of these there are various orders, some of whom are known from their fantastic practices as dancing or whirling, and as howling dervishes."

File under: Althouse, more politically correct than the NYT.

AND: I'm contemplating the possible conflation of dervishy with derpy

148 comments:

EMD said...

I've tried it, but it certainly seems too conventionally sitcomatic.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I used to work with a woman who said she didn't watch Arrested Development because the humor was over her head and she didn't get the jokes.

You simply can't think of a person the same way as before after they say something like that.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

But Lena Dunham is brilliant and Girls is must see TV, right Ann?

I guess The Big Bang Theory needs more fat unnattractive sluts showing their tits to meet your refined taste.

Nonapod said...

A lot of geeks have accused the show of being "blackface for geeks", that is laughing-at-not-with the characters and their idiosyncrasies. Here's a blog post about it.

prairie wind said...

Sheldon is today's Urkel.

bagoh20 said...

I've tried a couple times, and I don't get its attraction either. I prefer "Workaholics" where the characters are just presumed to be stupid. No unsupported pretenses.

rhhardin said...

Fred Hoyle thought up "big bang" but meant it as a dismissive term.

Then he lost control of the narrative.

Tank said...

An above average stupid sitcom. Still, overall, not worth your time, unless you just want to veg.

I recently saw an episode with Bob Newhart guesting. The only time the show was funny was when he was speaking.

Bottom line. A stupid sitcom. Generally, like flushing an hour of your life down the toilet.

deborah said...

Different strokes. The Office and Big Bang are hilarious, to me. The laugh track is not because the audience needs a nudge; the dialog and delivery don't need any cues for laughter.




Strick said...

There's more than one form of intelligence. The point of the show is that geeks can be brilliant in the abstract world and disfunctional in this world.

My oldest son, the one who attended an academy for the math and sciences in high school, scored a 1550 on his SATs (including an 800 in math) and got a computer science degree from the top university, won't watch the show because he went to school with these characters.

Ann Althouse said...

"A lot of geeks have accused the show of being "blackface for geeks", that is laughing-at-not-with the characters and their idiosyncrasies. Here's a blog post about it."

There's a long TV tradition of having the smart kid be a figure of fun.

Ann Althouse said...

"There's more than one form of intelligence. The point of the show is that geeks can be brilliant in the abstract world and disfunctional in this world."

That is the conventional stereotype about smart people in movies and TV.

It might very well be true in real life, though. (I've been with the professors....)

deborah said...

My son doesn't like it because he thinks the joke is that Sheldon comes off as effeminate. I try to explain that that's not it...

AprilApple said...

The first four seasons of Big Bang are the best. Season five is hit or miss (love the bird episode ...Now flush it down the toilet...)
As with most shows, once the writers run out of fresh ideas, sex and clichés take over. Boring.

The laugh track is annoying and distracting.. (an unnecessary)

My favorite character is Howard. He delivers the best lines...
It's just a stupid sit com. Since Seinfeld, it's the only show I care to watch. My expectations are low.


AprilApple said...

an = and

Ann Althouse said...

"My son doesn't like it because he thinks the joke is that Sheldon comes off as effeminate. I try to explain that that's not it..."

Yes, if you're smart you must be gay. An old stereotype... persisting even in today's supposedly gay-friendly environment.

My personal reference point is Zelda on "Dobie Gillis." (The actress turned out to actually be a lesbian.)

bandmeeting said...

Can't stand it. Really annoying laugh track. Watch Lilyhammer instead.

Michael K said...

The only TV series I ever got interested in watching was called "Northern Exposure" and was about a young doctor in Alaska. As soon as I started to watch, it was cancelled.

AJ Lynch said...

A wide of variety of people I know seem to love this show and I do too. And I have never blamed my like or dislike of a show on a laugh track.

EMD said...

Madame, I thank you for the Derpy Hooves link.

Robert Cook said...

"I've tried a couple times, and I don't get its attraction either. I prefer 'Workaholics' where the characters are just presumed to be stupid. No unsupported pretenses."

"Workaholics" is truly funny because it reflects a reality about the soul-killing crassness and drabness of the workplace and of life in these times.

Mitch H. said...

I certainly prefer old-fashioned laugh-track sitcoms to the modern, obnoxiously hateful fake-documentary sitcoms that are so popular nowadays. There's something nastily... touristy about the new sitcom, complete with silent fourth-wall cameramen poking at the subjects like sadistic schoolchildren trying to get the monkeys to throw feces at each other.

And anyone who complains about Big Bang Theory's "geekface" is either a humorless toad or a Sheldon. Not that those are exclusive categories... for hopeless nerds, the cast of Big Bang are far more socialized and sexually active than my non-social circle. Back in college, there was a term for it: GRANOP. "Geeks, Retards and Nerds on Parade".

Patrick said...

The only TV series I ever got interested in watching was called "Northern Exposure" and was about a young doctor in Alaska. As soon as I started to watch, it was cancelled

Great show. Rob Morrow later starred in "Numbers," another great show. Lasted about 6 seasons, lives on through Netflix.

I have never seen Big Bang Theory except for a bunch of youtube videos that I've watched over the last few weeks. I really like them. Hard to get time to watch tv at night, though.

Nonapod said...

To be clear, I like (not love) the show. It's a bit to formulaic to hold my interest for long though.

I was an awkward kid who played lots of D&D and video games, read comic books and novels by people like Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Piers Anthony, and watched lots of Dr. Who, Star Trek, and Star Wars. Today I'm a programmer. So yeah it's safe to say I'm a nerd or a geek or whatever. I don't find TBBT offensive to me personally. I think the criticisms about it being insulting to geeks are a bit much.

Robert Cook said...

"My personal reference point is Zelda on 'Dobie Gillis.' (The actress turned out to actually be a lesbian.)"

Just as the actor who plays Sheldon is also actually gay.

"Dobie Gillis" was a truly smart and funny show.

"The Big Bang Theory," not so much.

Matthew Sablan said...

I've seen a few episodes of the Big Bang Theory; these people, though written by people who -get- the science humor that the characters are saying, seem to not -get- what being a nerd is these days.

Lyssa said...

Hubby and I gave it several shots and couldn't get into it (my brother, who I usually share a sense of humor with, is a huge fan), then, all of a sudden, during that time right after the new baby when we were putting anything and everything on while taking care of him, it clicked, and now we watch it like crazy. The jokes are fun and clever and the actors are excellent - they give great deliveries and reaction shots.

That said, it's still a sitcom, with all of the failings that sitcoms so often have. It's funny, but nothing deeper than that.

And the financial issues drive me nuts, too. (Though, to be fair, there was an episode where it was indicated that Sheldon saves and has a lot of extra money saved, though he refers to the rental situation as not being able to afford to live alone).

Lyssa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

Okay, I tried to watch this show as a result of that article, but I couldn't put up with 10 minutes of it.

You are 5 minutes more a better person than I. I, who loved Third Rock From The Sun and still like to watched the DVD's of that show, cannot STAND the formulaic, cookie-cutter sit-com bullshit BBT puts out.

It wants soooooo bad to be Frasier and fails on all counts.

Nomennovum said...

Why can Penny-the-waitress afford her own apartment, while physicists Sheldon and Leonard have to share?

Because she doesn't ever pay for her drinks or dinners and she collects a lot of free stuff because she is gorgeous and men give gorgeous young things lots of stuff all the time. That's why.

This also why the truly out-of-touch-with-reality sitcom is Two Broke Girls. Watch it, if you can. The drop-dead gorgeous, ex-rich blond star has to work at a dive diner in Brooklyn and can't afford to have her teeth cleaned??? Please.

jacksonjay said...

The problem with real smart people is that they TRY to over-think everything!

Two great episodes this year, back-to-back as I recall.

The nerds are called into HR for a scolding and their trip to the Star Trek convention.

Shredded Beach Boys and Girls is great and Big Bang Theory is unwatchable?

AJ Lynch said...

Cookie - I am sorry that your work is so soul-killing but please don't bring your soul-killing comments here.

Dante said...

The Big Bang theory was a fluke. It was meant to be a story around Leonard, but Sheldon stole the show.

Sheldon has no social skills, yet he is incredibly intelligent, narcissistic, and exposes the underlying motives of the skilled people quite well.

The writers use Scott Adams' formula of out of bounds --> unbelievably out of bounds to great effect.

Sheldon is believable. In fact, I know some ultra high IQ people who like to watch it. Their son has Aspergers' syndrome. As the kid, MIT graduate in physics, used to live with me, I can say "Definitely."

Regarding the laugh track, this is the only sitcom I've ever allowed that to slide. I hate laugh tracks, or audiences who laugh. It disgusts me. But here, the material is kind of worth it. At least, I don't find it offensive.

Mitch H. said...

As for why the boys seem to have issues making ends meet... they seem to have impulse-buy issues, to judge from some of the preposterous, hideously expensive tchotkes and collectables littering their respective nerdcaves. I always wondered who bought that crap when I saw them in dealers' rooms or comic book shops...

ad hoc said...

I have to say I like Big Bang Theory. But, then I went to engineering school (just an ME "where the noble semiskilled laborers execute the visions of those who think and dream. Hello, oompa-loompas of science" - Sheldon Cooper).

I guess I can relate to their social awkwardness and basic decency. Not to mention the scientific one-upmanship.

Althouse is right. Penny struggles financially - that's been part of many episodes. Not the case with Leonard and Sheldon.

deborah said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Z5wQHGn5g

TMink said...

I do not think I watch any TV comedies. Well, Doctor Who has some good laughs, but it is really not a comedy. Game of Thrones is not a comedy and I watch that.

There is the problem, I watch movies if I am watching the TV with the above mentioned exceptions or something that catches my passing fancy for a couple of minutes. There are no other shows I make sure to watch.

Trey

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I can't get past the laughing-laugh track. It is just too much. Not EVERY utterance is a side splitting, knee slapping laugh worthy thing.

I really feel insulted when I watch something with such an over the top laugh track. Really? I can't decide for myself if it is funny?

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Not everything is funny and no one laughs like that anyway

gerry said...

Someone gave me a season on DVDs. I watched the first DVD's shows over a week. By then it was pretty much same stuff over and over and over...

Is pitching a DVD as bad as throwing away a book?

Gabriel Hanna said...

I have known and worked with a great many nerd scientists, and I don't think the characters on Big Bang Theory are much like them. Too neurotic and too interested in scoring points off one another.

I recognize that the caricatures are intended to be affectionate, but I don't find them to be accurate.

Scott M said...

Not EVERY utterance is a side splitting, knee slapping laugh worthy thing.

That's why I like Red Dwarf. Actual, live audience.

Mitch H. said...

A stupid sitcom. Generally, like flushing an hour of your life down the toilet.

Have you ever watched a sitcom? They're half-hour shows, almost by definition, if not quite. Marginal comedic hour-long shows aside (Psych comes to mind...) Big Bang definitely is a half-hour.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I Love ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ And You Should, Too.

While I certainly enjoy TBBT, I hate the idea that just because I like it, someone else should too.

Different people like different things. As with most matters of taste, there is no should.

Mitch H. said...

That's why I like Red Dwarf. Actual, live audience.

Big Bang is filmed in front of a studio audience, like almost all sitcoms since the mid-Eighties.

Strick said...

"Yes, if you're smart you must be gay. An old stereotype... persisting even in today's supposedly gay-friendly environment."

Actually, Sheldon is asexual. Jim Parsons, who plays him, acknowledges he is gay.

Regardless, I believe Sheldon is one of the most memorable characters on television. Anything you can say about him could equally have once been said about Barney Fife, the only legitimate comparison. They aren't real people, they're neurotics taken to sitcom extremes, and for all that, still recognizably human and sympathetic.

Dust Bunny Queen said...


Big Bang is filmed in front of a studio audience

They must all be drugged or drunk then.

:-D

AprilApple said...

The reason I was attracted to the show is because it depicts socially awkward nerds with nerdy names doing nerdy things. .. The opposite of the cutesy and oh so perfect characters on shows like "Friends"..

Gabriel Hanna said...

An accurate portrayal of nerds would be pretty boring. A bunch of people who read, more or less keep to themselves outside of work, who are interested in things few people care about, and who follow out ideas to their logical conclusions for entertainment.

So I can see why they wrote the characters the way they did, but real life as a nerd comes with far fewer putdowns and one-liners. Which is like all life is outside of TV, now that I think of it.

I guess BBT is no worse than other TV in that regard.

Tank said...

Mitch H. said...
A stupid sitcom. Generally, like flushing an hour of your life down the toilet.

Have you ever watched a sitcom? They're half-hour shows, almost by definition, if not quite. Marginal comedic hour-long shows aside (Psych comes to mind...) Big Bang definitely is a half-hour.


OKOKOK, it's like flushing half an hour of your life down the toilet.

jr565 said...

It does have some erudite and obscure references, that only nerds will get. But, its also not very funny. How i met your Mother, while a lot more low brow, is actually a lot funnier.

They also do pathos and warmth a lot better too. (Though, meet the mother already! Geez).

Big Bang nerds make the mistake of thinking that because they get the oblique references that it makes it a good show.

Brian Johnson said...

10 minutes? That's like somebody judging your blog on a single post - a very short post. :)

JAL said...

Great show. Rob Morrow later starred in "Numbers," another great show. Lasted about 6 seasons, lives on through Netflix.

"Numb3rs" is also available through Amazon Prime ('free').

/pitch

Anthony said...

I think it's mostly a chick show. Leastways, most of the academia chicks I know of love love love it. I tried watching it a couple of times and chuckled once or twice but that was it. Then again, I don't even remember the last sitcom I watched with any regularity (or ever). Probably Welcome Back Kotter. . . . .

jr565 said...

I've tried a couple times, and I don't get its attraction either. I prefer "Workaholics" where the characters are just presumed to be stupid. No unsupported pretenses.


Plus, workaholics is laugh out loud funny. The scene where they are trying to start fighting each other in bathing suits, but have to keep stopping because they have boners had me laughing out loud.
Big Bang in comparison is smug in its cleverness and never once had me laugh out loud.
If, though you want to find a reference to Shrodingers cat in a sitcom, then Big Bang is your show.

I just wish it was funny.

AprilApple said...

Screw it. Yay it's Howard!

RazorSharpSundries said...

I dig Big Bang Theory too. It's because of the next door neighbor. Titus, forgive.


Tits.

K in Colorado said...

I too discovered the show after my teenage son started watching the reruns last year. As a nerdy, geeky, engineer (yes, I'm an oompa loompa), I love TBBT. Since my son grew up with me watching Dr. Who, Star Trek (TOS, thank you), Babylon 5, Red Dwarf, talking about D&D back in college in the early 80's), he catches the geek culture references.

My son is now adopting current Geek Culture - playing Magic the Gathering and D&D, and visiting the comic book store. I'm so proud!

My long suffering (non-geeky) wife will sometimes join us watching a rerun, which is only fair, since she makes me watch Downton Abby with her.

Ctmom4 said...

I like TBBT and am surprised it seems to trigger such strong reactions. It reminds me of my times ferrying my son's hs debate team around. Very bright people who were lacking lin the social graces, but endearing in their way. Regarding finances - Penny's is a one bedroom, Sheldon and Leonard's is two, so much more expensive.

Amexpat said...

I recently saw a few reruns of the show. While it's not must see TV, it's not bad for a formulaic sitcom.

Larry J said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Big Bang is filmed in front of a studio audience

They must all be drugged or drunk then.

:-D


From what I've read, a lot of the audience attends Cal Tech, the show's setting. Much of it is inside humor.

I'd never watched the show until last year. Now, thanks to syndication, my wife and I have probably seen every episode. We enjoy the show. Your opinion may vary but that's the beauty of having so many channels.

James said...

If Penny is struggling so much how can she lend her ex-boyfriend Kurt
large sums of money? I recall an episode where Leonard attempted to get the money back and Kurt scrawled on his face with indelible ink.

Sheldon can certainly afford to live on his own; he stashes money all over his room. Its just that he doesn't have the skills to survive on his own.

I like The Big Bang Theory...its mindless comedy and I don't try to discern some deeper meaning from it.

Astro said...

I tried the show early on and hated it - 'geek blackface' sums up my reaction and is a good term.

Fast forward 4 years and a friend mentions she loves the show because it reminds her of her brothers who are engineers. Says I should try it again. So I do. This time, I get past the stereotypes and the laugh track, and see that the humor is more Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy or Cedric the Entertainer for geeks. Nerds accepting that they are nerds and OK with it. It helps that some nerds are successful and super-rich (Microsoft;,Oracle, Facebook) and that some famous science nerds appear on the show (George Smoot, Stephen Hawking).

I don't really see that Sheldon has 'stolen the show' any more than Barney Fife stole the show from Andy Taylor. He's funnier and weirder, and the show would be much less without him, but there'd be no point to the show without Leonard.

Mitch H. said...

Regarding finances - Penny's is a one bedroom, Sheldon and Leonard's is two, so much more expensive.

Now I'm trying to figure out the floorplan of their damned building, that somehow has just one single and a double on each floor. Let alone why the building was put up with an elevator, even if it's perpetually out of service.

I watch the show on DVD, don't spoil me if this season somebody walks into the lobby and finds the elevator mysteriously, inexplicably operational.

Original Mike said...

Sheldon and Leonard have done the math, looking at all the factors, planning for future contingencies, including retirement."

Not surprising so few get that.

Original Mike said...

It's the only sitcom I watch (and I just started watching a few months ago) because of the geek humor. Though, I will say, there's far too much coitus for my tastes.

ricpic said...

The Indian guy who's supposed to be part of the nerdy crowd in Big Bang doesn't come across as nerdy at all.

Original Mike said...

"As for why the boys seem to have issues making ends meet... they seem to have impulse-buy issues, to judge from some of the preposterous, hideously expensive tchotkes and collectables littering their respective nerdcaves."

But how cool is it to own Rod Taylor's Time Machine?

mikeski said...

I tried getting into it since (1) I'm an engineer, and (2) I have several friends, engineer and not, who were all "dude! you'd love this!"

They loaned me the DVDs.

I didn't love it.

The "intentionally nerdy" stuff is smart. Granted.

Anything outside of that, the characters act like morons. And not just in "social" situations. (Defending your apartment from an unknown attacker with a glowing plastic lightsaber? What smart person does that, rather than calling 911? Or using a more dangerous weapon, like... an empty hand? Or even, y'know, not holding the thing in front of your face, and blinding yourself with it as you stalk around your dark apartment?)

The characters are brilliant when it's funny to be brilliant, and morons when it's funny to be morons.

It's just "Married, With Children", but I'm supposed to believe the characters are all sooper-geniuses.

Doesn't work for me.

K in Colorado said...

Raj, the Indian guy, is a cultural outsider, so he can be the geek's geek (if that makes any sense). Social conventions that Howard, Leonard, and sometimes Sheldon, get, Raj can miss, and they get to explain those to him.

EMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

Mitchell the Bat said...

I used to work with a woman who said she didn't watch Arrested Development because the humor was over her head and she didn't get the jokes.

You simply can't think of a person the same way as before after they say something like that.

5/28/13, 9:59 AM


Have you watched the new season?

EMD said...

Mitch H-

Sitcom floorplans, TBBT included.

Darcy said...

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I haven't noticed the laugh tracks. But then I'm laughing out loud a lot myself...

Chip Ahoy said...

Sheldon isn't doing the googly eyes, not going duh or der, so not derpish. And the visual does work, Sheldon squatting somewhat and twirling around the place like a Chihuahua concerned for the exact placement of people, his pillow, refreshment and remote. I guess.

Your two fingers twirl like a mini tornado. That's Sheldon.

But don't even think about translating that sentence. Don't think about it, I said. Just don't.

Because it flat does not make sense, Jesus Christ you English speakers go to pains to be abstruse. You'd have to say it then explain what it means.

Touchstone, lodestar, flypaper do not make sense. In a book, maybe, on the spot, no.

If you said those words your audience would go, "Huh?" And there would be this tremendous failure to communicate.

You would have to say, "The thing that made him watch the television show." Then what follows is a list of names that you would have to spell very quickly and that all three would "click" with only a few if even one. So a lot of very specific careful fingerspelling and concentration receiving it for precious little payoff.

Rusty said...

maybe i like it because I get the physics jokes.

Seeing Red said...

I loved the HR episode. Sheldon is kind of like the ventriloquist's dummy.

In his brilliant naivetee, he can say things others can't.

Original Mike said...

I've been told that autism activists are up in arms over the Sheldon character.

Thorley Winston said...

If Penny is struggling so much how can she lend her ex-boyfriend Kurt large sums of money?

I always assumed that people who get themselves into financial trouble usually don’t just make one really bad decision, they usually make a series of bad decisions. Substitute the word “criminal,” “legal” or “life” for “financial” and the same hold trues.

Robert Cook said...

"The problem with real smart people is that they TRY to over-think everything!"

No, they don't "TRY to overthink everything," they just do. This is part of their make-up, the way they function.

Original Mike said...

Really smart people know not to overthink things. Moderately smart people, on the other hand ...

William said...

I don't watch it religiously, but if you're looking to mercy kill time, you could go further and do worse. I admire the way the writers don't throw in little digs about Republicans cutting off funds to needed science projects. It really is apolitical. So give them credit for that........The only show I watch religiously is Game of Thrones. Now there's a show with real insight into the human condition. I've become a better person simply by watching it.

Hunter said...

I enjoyed the first 2-3 seasons. After that, it got boring. Same thing that happens to most innovative sitcoms -- like Scrubs, or Community. They can't keep coming up with more brilliant stuff, past a certain point.

The first few seasons are entertaining, though.

Michael K said...

Gabriel Hanna said...
"I have known and worked with a great many nerd scientists, and I don't think the characters on Big Bang Theory are much like them. Too neurotic and too interested in scoring points off one another."

Back when I was an engineer 50 years ago, there was an "engineer personality" which I readily recognize but it doesn't sound like this show. Some of it was mildly amusing but life has no laugh track.

Original Mike said...

"The show was moved to Thursday night, where it proved stiff competition for “American Idol.”"

American Idol is on Thursday night? Didn't know that.

AJ Lynch said...

Orig Mike:
The Time Machine episode was hilarious. And the original movie was great too!

William said...

Back when in NYC girls like Penny lived in apartments they couldn't afford because they wanted to live in safe neighborhoods. The upper east side used to be known as the girl ghetto. Their apartments were sparsely furnished, but they had lots of clothes......If your subliminal goal is marriage, then dressing well and living in an area where many men have high incomes, it's not such a bad strategy.

wyo sis said...

Wow!
I must have low standards. I like it and I never noticed the laugh track at all.
Autism activists should be thrilled with Sheldon. He's far more loveable than most I've met.
How does one become an autism activist anyway? I'd think they wouldn't be very good at activism. Of course, they can be annoying, so there's that.

AprilApple said...

Sheldon is not autistic. While those with autism display OCD, (Obsessive Compulsive disorder) people with OCD are not necessarily autistic.

Most individuals with autism are unable to communicate with words.

Paddy O said...

"that somehow has just one single and a double on each floor."

A lot of apartments in Pasadena are converted old larger homes, some would be considered mansions in a 1920s understanding. The apartment I was living in about ten years ago was on the same street as CalTech, about a mile west. Old converted house, two apartments on each floor, two floors.

Depending on the specific property the owner is limited to how much renovation can be done. My old apartment was renovated quite extensively after I moved out, bumping the rent for the 2 bedroom from about $1500 to $2500 per month.

Other places aren't allowed hardly any renovation beyond emergency repairs. Fuller Seminary is located in Pasadena, on land that used to be a rich neighborhood. About half the property is old historic mansions, that can't be torn down or remodeled extensively due to historical property restrictions.

Some of those, if I'm not mistaken, have really old elevators that aren't in service.

Methadras said...

AprilApple said...

Sheldon is not autistic. While those with autism display OCD, (Obsessive Compulsive disorder) people with OCD are not necessarily autistic.

Most individuals with autism are unable to communicate with words.


No, Sheldon is an Asperger's Sperg Lord.

AprilApple said...

Urban dictionary on sperglord;

Sperglord


Internet caricature of typical self diagnosed aspergers suffering shutin that has to provide input on everything and anything in the most obnoxious, self unaware, or creepy manner possible.

See Crucifixion in anime page on wikipedia

Or just wikipedia which is edited by sperglords

buy sperglord mugs & shirts



2. Sperglord


Someone who feels the need to be correct and validate themselves by stating facts or truisms regardless of circumstance, despite being completely socially inept at gauging exactly how much of a nobgobbler this makes them.

World of Warcraft Player: Quit being a sperglord.

Sperglord:

buy sperglord mugs & shirts


3. sperglord



(1) one who lords over ALL THE SPERGS

(2) one who freaks out for no reason

(1) "temply pecker is such a fucking sperglord. he needs to calm his tits."

(2) "i faked a relationship and rushed into a real one and am now mad that people are asking me about it. HATE YOU ALL SPERG SMASH"


Original Mike said...

Yeah, I think it's activists who believe they are supporting individuals with Asperger's.

Original Mike said...

"The Time Machine episode was hilarious. And the original movie was great too!"

As was the book.

I have always coveted that machine.

AprilApple said...

I like this one:

Sperglord: googles sperglord, doesn't like what he sees, and missing the point entirely, adds a less self-condemning definition (tagging "truth") which just makes him look like an even bigger sperglord.


Sam L. said...

Big "me, too" here. I tried a few minutes; found it a waste.

Kansas City said...

The show is flat out funny. It takes watching it a few times (at first it seemed dumb to me), but then you get in the groove and enjoy it. It is so funny that even a rerun of one you previously watched is entertaining.

Or, an alternative explanation is that Ann and many of her commentors are pretty snooty. Who cares if there is a laugh track. You can still pay no attention and make up your own mind whether something is funny or not.

Scott M said...

Big Bang is filmed in front of a studio audience, like almost all sitcoms since the mid-Eighties.

If this is true and they are actually laughing at BBT, live in front of them, they are dead inside.

deborah said...

The laughter never registered with me at all, and I'm surprised to learn it was filmed in front of an audience.

Methadras said...

I actually love this show. Don't ask me why, but I do. So there.

deborah said...

Scott M, you, of all people :)

deborah said...

Sheldon's mom is hilarious. A fundamentalist Christian from Texas.

Original Mike said...

I enjoy when Sheldon refers to "Your Diety" when talking to his mom.

OTOH, it would be a relief if they killed off Howard's mom.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Penny's money situation can be summed up thus: "How can I be out of money? I still have checks in my checkbook!"

(There's a great short story, Witch's Money, by John Collier, about a deep rural french town that has an economic boom when a visiting rich artist is killed for his checkbook. The blank checks circulate like cash; everyone's rich rich rich. Then someone gets the bright but unfortunate idea to go into the city to get real cash from the bank...)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm about as geekoid as they come. Probably one of the original geeks from the 50's. I get all of the inside references, when I can stand to watch it for more than 10 minutes. I'm on the autism spectrum as mild asperger type. I've tried several times to give it a fair shake. There are some clever references but mostly the people act not geeky but just plain stupid. Shucking and jiving in the geek manner just as we used to have blacks shuck and jive so that people will laugh at them. Amos and Andy come to mind.

More than that.....it is the obnoxious laughing. Whether it is live or taped.....the laughing is too loud, too obnoxious, annoying and just distracting.

But to each their own. I'm sure there are many shows and movies that I enjoy that would just leave other people going......wut?

Original Mike said...

It's funny; I have a scotoma for the laugh track.

damikesc said...

I like the show a lot.

As far as Sheldon and Leonard, they're a de facto married couple. Sheldon certainly cannot live on his own (the character never has before) and Leonard doesn't like change too much.

My son doesn't like it because he thinks the joke is that Sheldon comes off as effeminate. I try to explain that that's not it...

Unless he thinks asexual is effeminate, I don't get it. Heck, in Season 1, he liked Penny. They turned him more asexual over time.

They also do pathos and warmth a lot better too. (Though, meet the mother already! Geez).

They already showed her. Next season, if the rumors are true, might be kind of rough.

From what I've read, a lot of the audience attends Cal Tech, the show's setting. Much of it is inside humor.

The science adviser will include on the whiteboards stuff from his recent lectures as a nod to his students.

And any show that provided 3-D Chess and "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock" is genius.

And that one episode was a spoof of a legit conference hosted by Jonah Goldberg where a divorced couple decided to have an argument in the middle of an academic forum gets mad props.

Original Mike said...

"Paper disproves Spock"

deborah said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PdaZKxFaRtk#t=665s

Fred Drinkwater said...

Ah, I was wondering where the whiteboard stuff came from...

deborah said...

Damikesc, he means the mannerisms and tone, and it is hard to explain that prissiness isn't the same as effemininancy.

damikesc said...

Damikesc, he means the mannerisms and tone, and it is hard to explain that prissiness isn't the same as effemininancy.

I never took him as prissy. Hell of OCD, but not really "prissy". The tone also seemed to be condescending more than anything else.

But I guess I can see the confusion.

damikesc said...

And I'd like to mention that the Siri episode was really quite good. Prof. Kripke trying to communicate with Siri killed.

I have no beef with sitcoms but this seems to be shat on an awful lot. Heck, I also like Community but, damn, that show decided to go for weird over funny this past season --- and it gets far less hate.

...of course, it's also seen by way fewer people...

damikesc said...

OTOH, it would be a relief if they killed off Howard's mom.

Bernadette pulls off a surprisingly good mimickery of his mom.

Original Mike said...

Howard does a mean Stephen Hawking.

ad hoc said...

Maybe I'm really good at tuning things out, but I don't hear the laugh track.

In addition to the Siri episode, the episode where Penny and Sheldon exchange Christmas gifts is also very good.

Mitch H. said...

Bernadette pulls off a surprisingly good mimickery of his mom.

Bernadette redeems Howard, as far as I'm concerned. I tended to cringe whenever episodes centered around Howard in the earlier seasons, he was just too mortifying to take in large doses. I'm not sure why a small bubbly girlfriend slowly turning into his mother makes him work as a character, but it does.

Original Mike said...

@Mitch - I had the reaction. Howard is creepy, but if Bernadette sees something in him, he can't be all bad.

damikesc said...

Bernadette redeems Howard, as far as I'm concerned. I tended to cringe whenever episodes centered around Howard in the earlier seasons, he was just too mortifying to take in large doses. I'm not sure why a small bubbly girlfriend slowly turning into his mother makes him work as a character, but it does.

Howard says as much. Howard was unenjoyable early on, but now, is a good member of the ensemble. If Raj's "girlfriend" never returns, however, it'll be too soon. That was a huge miscue from a show that has found entertaining girlfriends for the others.

Astro said...

For anyone that hasn't seen the entire theme song video here it is, done by the BareNaked Ladies on the set of The Big Bang Theory:
The Big Bang Theory Theme Song.

One of the best theme songs ever, IMHO.

Larry J said...

Original Mike said...
Howard does a mean Stephen Hawking.


And Steven Hawking did a really good Steven Hawking in an episode this season. That's one of the funny things about the show - they get some pretty good guests, often making fun of themselves. One was George Smoot, a Nobel Prize winner in physics. Others include Dr. Michael J. Massimino, an astronaut (2 Hubble servicing missions) and Buzz Aldrin. Some of the funniest episodes included cast members from Star Trek: TNG playing themselves in real life (Wil Wheaton, LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner). George Takei's and Katee Sackhoff's appearance in Howard's fantasy sequence was very funny, too. That episode with Leonard Nimoy providing the voice for a Spock doll was hilarious. Kate Micucci (of Garfield and Oats) was good as Raj's damaged would-be girlfriend. How many other comedies can draw the likes of Stan Lee and Steve Wozniak to do cameos?

Original Mike said...

Yes. I love the cameos. And the theme song. Though I've yet to figure out how autotrophs drool.

Regarding this season, I haven't seen any of it. All the episodes I've been watching are reruns.

cold pizza said...

Bazinga. -CP

cold pizza said...

Who's your sperglord now, huh? -CP

damikesc said...

It does have some erudite and obscure references, that only nerds will get. But, its also not very funny. How i met your Mother, while a lot more low brow, is actually a lot funnier.

HIMYM has turned to utter shit. Ted is the least likeable lead I've ever seen in a show where he's supposed to be "nice". At least Jerry Seinfeld was SUPPOSED to be unlikeable.

Barney is neutered now that he is getting married, so a huge generator of the humor is dead.

Marshall and Lily are amusing enough, but hardly enough to carry the show.

Methadras said...

damikesc said...

OTOH, it would be a relief if they killed off Howard's mom.

Bernadette pulls off a surprisingly good mimickery of his mom.


Bernadette is hot. She's to hot for Howard.

Saint Croix said...

I'm glad my life doesn't have a laugh track cause I would smack the crap out of people.

Like the show, though. Working my way through season two.

I usually stop watching a show once the characters do it.

sonicfrog said...

I watched the Will Wheaton episode.

It left me cold. Didn't laugh much at all. I do plan on giving it one more shot, because sometimes it takes an episode or two for a show to sink in.

The first time I watched Modern Family, I didn't buy that one either. Now I love it.

Kelly said...

My daughter and I just started watching the show this year. We caught a marathon of reruns and was hooked. I guess I never noticed the laugh track, but it seems to annoy a lot of people.

I love Sheldon, like his stupid laugh when he thinks he has made a joke. He doesn't seem effeminate to me, more child like. The best episode was when Penny and Leonard had broken up for the first time and they were acting as if they were a divorced couple and he was the child they were fighting over.

Saint Croix said...

One of the best theme songs ever, IMHO.

I love a good theme song.

Jonny Quest

Mission: Impossible

Hawaii 5-0

Cheers.

Revenant said...

it reflects a reality about the soul-killing crassness and drabness of the workplace and of life in these times

As opposed to in the Good Old Days when work was fun and meaningful, whenever those were. :)

Christy said...

I enjoy it, but I rarely notice laugh tracks. Halfway through reading the comments I tuned into the episode with Katee Sackoff and saw Howard do a Bob Dylan bit in his song to Bernadette.

Turned my 14yo nephew onto Red Dwarf this weekend.

abby said...

I like the Big Bang, mostly because my son, genius IQ, hates the show. He thinks they are making fun of geeks, and is personally insulted. I love it because it reminds of all of his friends and a little bit of him, too.

Steve Koch said...

I think derpish is the correct word.

Used to love the show but am now kinda over it.

rcocean said...

Johnny Quest had such crappy animation but what great story lines! Just the kinda thing an 11 year old boy wants to watch.

rcocean said...

And a great theme music. Although, looking back "Race" was really a blockhead, and "bandit" was more trouble than he was worth.

rcocean said...

So what made Johnny Q. so great?

First, no Girlz. No sappy love affairs, no Mom, no wimpy "ooh, I hurt my ankle, help me" females.

Second, we have JQ's dad, who's some kind of super Smart scientist paired up with "Race" who can fix,drive, shoot, fight, and whatever better than anyone.

Third, A dog and a best friend who'll do anything.

Fourth, incredible evil villains who must be destroyed.

Fifth, adventure. Snakes, deserts, oceans, ghosts, mountains, old German aces who want to dogfight, lasers, jets, frogmen, parachutes,



Æthelflæd said...

I wish they hadn't canceled "Better Off Ted". Best comedy in a long time.

Archie Waugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archie Waugh said...

The elevator doesn't work for the same reason the transporter room isn't next to the bridge of the Enterprise, where it would logically be: so that characters can have conversations going up and down the stairs (just like Kirk, Spock and Bones did while heading to the transporter). It's simply a dramatic device right out of the Star Trek writer's bible.

damikesc said...

The elevator doesn't work for the same reason the transporter room isn't next to the bridge of the Enterprise, where it would logically be: so that characters can have conversations going up and down the stairs (just like Kirk, Spock and Bones did while heading to the transporter). It's simply a dramatic device right out of the Star Trek writer's bible.

They did provide an explanation why it doesn't work.

Bruce Hayden said...

My kid turned me on to the show. They just gradated with honors in physics and mathematics, and starting a PhD program this summer in engineering. Spent the last two summers at NSF REUs (Research Experiences for Undergrads - science undergrads getting paid for doing research in the summer instead of getting real jobs). Esp.. at the REUs, where you have undergraduate science geeks living together in dorms, the show was an important social event every week. Then turned on my GF, who hasn't had a science class since HS.

I think that the allure for them, and maybe a lot of others is that there really are people out there who are bright, but socially inept. Who are oblivious to social cues, but over think much of their lives, including sex and romance, when they think about them, which is probably not often enough. While they may not be into Star Trek, Star Wars, D&D, fantasy, sci-fi,etc. themselves, they know plenty of their contemporaries who are. And, yes, there are a lot of inside jokes, that I missed, and had to be pointed out to me.

I am not as fanatical as the two of them are, but do enjoy the show. My favorite is Lenard, with his long suffering look when dealing with Sheldon, and his role in having to explain Sheldon to others. And, yes, I worked closely with a guy with a PhD in theoretical physics who pointed out on more than one occasions that applied or experimental physicists are those who couldn't make it in theoretical physics. (He taught it as a good school, before giving up tenure to become a programmer, where he was scary good - I wrote a lot of patents for him). Did know some Raj'es too - knew a number of H1B engineers (other inventors) who were here alone, very bright, and just not getting the social side of our country.

Never did get Fiends. A bunch of pretty dumb but pretty people living in somewhere I would never think of living, and unless a lot more accomplished that the parts portrayed there, somewhere I don't think any sane person would want to live, jumping from bed to bed (or, was that Sluts in the City?) Sure, there are people that dumb out there, but what if none of your friends are that dumb? Are rather bright instead? Misfits, but brilliant? And, who is it that creates all that technology that makes life so much easier and richer? The socially adept, but intellectual lightweights on Fiends? Or the smart nerds of this world who are into Si-Fi, computers, robots, Star Trek, D&D, Etc.?

Baron Zemo said...

BBT is going the route of "The Honeymooners" "Cheers" "Mash" "Seinfeld" "Friends" and strangely enough "Law and Order."

That is to say because of syndication it is playing somewhere on a channel that you can surf to and get an episode whenever you want. It is ubiquitous and people who did not catch it the first time around are getting it in syndication and going to CBS to catch the original episodes.

Baron Zemo said...

It is a run of the mill situation comedy. Basically a workplace comedy with no real reference to family life as the coworkers and friend make up their family unit.

Leonard and Penny are the straight me so to speak with the other characters bringing the crazy.

As a Chuck Lorre production it is not as crass as Two and a Half Men but you can still his recurring themes in the progression of the series.

CarolMR said...

Chuck Lorre named the characters "Sheldon" and "Leonard" after his idol, Sheldon Leonard.

CarolMR said...

Chuck Lorre named the characters "Sheldon" and "Leonard" after his idol, Sheldon Leonard.

Baron Zemo said...

The character of Sheldon could save this show for the Nutty Perfesssor. She correctly notes that he is a "fussbudget" in the vein of Paul Lynde, Tony Randell, Pee Wee Herman and I would add Charles Nelson Reilly. It has long been a sitcom convention that such characters are gay as is in real life the actor Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon.

So they would simply have to gay marry Sheldon to Raj who they always insinuate is gay and it would become a masterpiece. Must see TV.