Nerds On The Big Bang Theory

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Will Truman
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    I fall into the second category. Perhaps because Sheldon Cooper is the spitting image of a former roommate of mine. I was a bit iffy on Howard and Raj, and still don’t care much for Howard, but it resonates rather strongly for me in a positive way.Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck
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    I’m reminded of the comic “Knights of the Dinner Table”.

    On the one hand, it was funny because you’d Been There and you knew That Guy.

    On the other hand, what does it say that the humor of the show comes from “here is someone acting in a way that we all know is natural for some people to act. HE IS FUNNY AND YOU SHOULD LAUGH AT HIM.”

    (on the gripping hand, the show was a lot funnier when they made actual science jokes. Later episodes have been mostly Jim Parsons being a dick to people and acting dyskinetic.)Report

  3. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    I take the humor to be affectionate, and admiring in its way. I don’t watch the show regularly, but I enjoy it when I do.

    I also think James Parsons is adorable.Report

  4. Avatar Paul Cutlip
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    I’m a college prof. (geology) and a confirmed nerd and I think it’s hilarious.Report

  5. Avatar Patrick Cahalan
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    In a nutshell: it’s not the “making fun of nerds” part that is off-putting. It’s the lack of awareness about the depth of these nerds. They’re only nerdy about things that people thought were nerdy back in the 80s. 2000s nerds aren’t nerdy that way (neither were 80s nerds, for that matter).

    I literally work with these people, here at Caltech… and yes, we have people here who are just like the guys on The Big Bang Theory. But they’re not just like the guys on The Big Bang Theory.

    Someone like Leonard might collect comic books and be a fan of Babylon 5, and someone like Sheldon might be OCD and collect comic books and hate Babylon 5 and they both might be big fans of Star Trek and argue about why Babylon 5 sucks or doesn’t and yadda yadda. There’s lots of funny stories in there, sure.

    But the guy that’s like Leonard is an applied physicist. He’s going to have a weird hobby approach to buying laser pointers and a midi board and running Cakewalk on his Mac and putting on light shows that he beta tests in his living room and then replicates at Burning Man on a massive scale, or something. The guy like Sheldon is also going to have a weird fixation on running double marathons. He might not be able to lift 50 lbs over his head, but he can run through the Mojave when it’s 120 degrees.

    Rajesh, after finding out he needs booze to talk to women, would be home brewing and be good enough at it that he gets invited to parties just to bring beer. He also wouldn’t be the only foreigner.

    Somebody would be an Objectivist or an Anarchist or a Socialist, and they would occasionally talk about politics the way we talk about politics here at the blog.

    One of these guys might actually be somewhat famous for being a badass at a first person shooter? They play them often enough.

    They also should have more nerd celebrities, and I’m not talking about Wheaton (although he’s great when he’s on the show) or Nimoy or Stan Lee. All well and good, but the producers should actually get real nerd celebrities who are nerd celebrities about things that weren’t just nerdy in the 80s. Neil deGrasse Tyson. The Vlogbrothers. Vi Hart. Phil Plait. Maybe Freddie Wong or his buddy Brandon.

    The show seems to have some blinders on it, that’s all.

    All that said, they manage most episodes to avoid having the characters be nothing but the stereotypes upon which they’re based, so it’s still enjoyable to watch. It just could be lots, lots better.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      Also: they really should prank MIT, and it should be a good one. It’s a tradition!Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      There was a comedienne on NPR a few years back who talked about becoming a writer for a sitcom and how she wrote this great joke and the setting involved two people reading Gravity’s Rainbow in Starbucks.

      She was told to change Thomas Pynchon to Leo Tolstoy. It didn’t change the joke… much.

      It would not surprise me to hear that there are similar editors over at TBBT.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jaybird
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        Me either.

        And to some extent, it’s targeted at a mass audience, so there’s nothing wrong with making sure you’re not making the entire show about (what would be to the layperson) obscure science jokes.

        Still, a few obscure science jokes per episode are clearly appropriate.Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird
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        There was an SF writer named CM Kornbluth who write for the pulps back in the 40s and 50s. In one of his stories, a con man running a fake religion called its central mystery the “ineluctable modality of the visible”. The cop investigating him got it, and gave the con man props for a sense of humor. The reference was never explained, so the reader was apparently supposed to get it too.

        Do not underestimate the cultural sophistication of the nerd.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      You mean outside-the-mainstream characters aren’t treated as nuanced, three-dimensional human beings? PERISH THE THOUGHT!

      This is what TV does. Even when it attempts to be laudatory, if it is dealing with a subject matter outside a very small window, it often creates flat, caricatured characters.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kazzy
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        Modern Family seems to do a better job at this than The Big Bang Theory (although TBBT isn’t bad at it).

        There’s a trick to setting people up with a stereotype for a joke and then yanking the stereotype out from underneath the audience and letting a human being under the stereotype deliver the punchline. It’s a hard trick to pull off (and Modern Family actually is running a bunch of different stereotypes at once, which is a different gig than TBBT).

        Still, you can make good TV. Even in prime time. Even off cable. It can be done.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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          Oh… it CAN be done… but it rarely is. Modern Family is one of the more thoughtful shows on television. Though I have read some Latin@s who take issue with Gloria’s character. I wonder if there are members of the gay community who take issue with Mitchell and/or Cam.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kazzy
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            Probably. There are members of just about every community that take issue with representation of that community.

            I think Gloria’s character is no more or less over the top than any of the rest of them. Even the kids are over the top in their own way. And yet the writers manage to bring them back under the top, all the time.

            Someday they’ll have a really bad episode.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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              I only referred to Gloria because I read specific critiques about specific episodes and/or attributes. I don’t know how representative those views were.

              I suppose a difference with her might be that she is a bit more of a “token” than anyone else… there are multiple male characters, multiple fathers, multiple mothers, multiple white folks, multiple gay folks, multiple kids, but only one Columbian, depending on how you view Manny’s character.

              Generally speaking, when it comes to indulging stereotypes in pop culture, my big issue is when that is the only representation of the group in question. Is there anything wrong with a portrayal of a black family living in urban poverty? No. That IS the reality for a great number of black families in America. But if that is the ONLY representation of black families in America… well, it paints a distorted vision. Which is why “The Cosby Show” was so important.

              I guess it comes down to how we view Manny. Is he intended to balance Gloria with a contrasting representation of Latin@s? Or is he meant to further otherize her by being the assimilated 1st generation child of the stereotypical fiery Columbian sexpot mother? The outcome is likely both, depending on your vantage point, but the intentions of the writers would be interesting to know. If I remember correctly, her ex-husband/Manny’s father (played by Benjamin Bratt) was also quite stereotypical, though as a cameo, he wasn’t a fully fleshed out character.Report

          • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
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            1) What’s up with the @ sign?

            2) There’s a lot that one could grouse about with Cam and Mitchell, were one inclined to do so. They hit some of the stereotypical notes hard. But they don’t bother me for a few reasons. I like that they decide to go there with gusto from time to time, and it’s funny because it’s not entirely untrue. But the characters have depth and either traditionally “heterosexual” traits (Cam is a former football player, and still a big fan) or completely outlandish ones that have nothing to do with being gay (Cam is also a trained clown).

            Not being Latin myself, I can’t speak to how the stereotypical aspects of Gloria’s character are handled. From my perspective, they do a fantastic job of subverting her glamor, and she’s such a winning character and performer because she’s so willing to sacrifice vanity for a laugh. Plus (remembering the episode when she made Jay slap a chicken as revenge for condescending to her), the character also seems to play with people’s stereotypes about her to her own advantage.Report

    • Avatar Anne in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      Neil deGrasse Tyson was on TBBT so was Hawking and many othersReport

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Anne
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        See above re: “People the audience is likely to have heard of”

        Compare to Futurama making jokes about two robots’ serial numbers being the sum of two cubes, having an “aleph-nought-plex”, and an exercise machine called a Kegelcizer (complete with a woman seen from the waist up, visibly straining as a stack of weights rises into the frame)Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Anne
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        I missed Tyson.

        The Hawking one was too predictable.Report

    • Avatar Billzilla in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      To be fair, Dr Tyson has appeared on the show, as has Professor Hawking. Additionally, series regular Mayim Bialik is in fact a PhD in neuroscience (she plays a neurobiologist on the show).Report

    • Avatar Mo in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      They’ve had George Smoot, Brian Greene and Mike Massimino. They’re not widely known names (though Greene does write a lot of popular science books).

      I think the critique that all of the characters are nerd Rennaisance Men is valid. Though it’s a network sitcom intended for a mass audience, not exactly a genre that’s known for subtlety.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mo
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        Oh, they don’t *all* need to be nerd Renaissance men.

        But every nerd I know that’s that smart and is older than 20 has gone nerd over a bunch of things that normal people go nerd over, too. They don’t have to be good at all of them (or even any of them), but they should be there.Report

  6. Avatar Johanna
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    Married to an academic and have worked in academia for over a couple of decades myself – I love this show.Report

  7. Avatar Hari
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    I’m a Caltech graduate and love the show. My main complaint with it is that anyone who is not a scientist (Penny being the main example, Sheldon’s mom as well) is portrayed as “street” smart while not having a lot of raw intelligence. Penny would be a lot more interesting if she were just as smart as the rest of them, just not interested in science.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Hari
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      Hey, Hari!

      (I’m assuming this is the Hari I think it is)Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Hari
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      First I’m a woman with a PhD in engineering, which I think qualifies me as an Amy-level geek. Second, I love TBBT. It regularly has me laughing out loud because I work with people not far removed from these characters (and resemble them a bit myself ;D ).

      Now, it response to your comment: Actually I was rewatching some of the first season and realized how much Penny has grown. In the first episode she seems like a total ditz. But over time, as she interacts more with the nerdy science geeks, you see that she’s the small town girl who grew up never being asked to develop her smarts (because, speaking as a female from a small Midwestern town, girls aren’t supposed to – at least if they want to be popular/socially accepted). By season 3, she is smart – not like a PhD physicist, but socially smart and starting to pick up/understand concepts that aren’t typical of an actress wannabe waiting tables.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to bookdragon
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        Bookdragon,

        I agree. I have been watching reruns of the earlier season a lot lately and her character really evolves throughout the seasons. Also Sheldon’s with the Amy relationship.

        I have read they have some really interesting things planed for Leonard/Penny this year as she starts thinking more long-term about their relationship.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    Ummm… I’ve never watched the show. Like at all. And I actually got in trouble when I made a comment on Facebook about how I didn’t understand why they ran so many promos for it during NFL games when no one actually watches the show… nerds came out of the woodwork to bash me!

    Does all this mean I need to turn in my keys to the LoOG?Report

  9. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name
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    I’ve tried to watch it from time to time. I find the “humor” painful and forced.

    I credit Chuck Lorre with one good show (“Dharma and Greg”), which was ruined by the last season or so, and a few decent episodes from “Two and a Half Men” and “BBT”. Of course his vanity cards were the best part of any show he produced.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    I absolutely adore the show. It’s nerdy in all the right ways and it confirms a nerdiness in myself that I wouldn’t have admitted to as a youth i.e. I get pretty much every joke and my wife doesn’t.

    And Penny / Leonard makes the romantic in me smile. I haven’t rooted for a hot girl/nerd guy like that since Ross & Rachel.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      One of these days somebody is going to do a hot guy/nerd girl romance that isn’t based upon a nerd girl who is actually ridiculously hot after she lets her hair down and just needs the hot guy to let her blossom into her own hotness.

      I’m channeling my inner feminist, there, I guess.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        I wonder how that’d go over.

        If I remember correctly, they attempted to do a a female version of “Queer Eye”. I don’t know if it was gays or lesbians helping the woman in question but whichever it was, it apparently failed miserably. From what I read, there is something enjoyable about laughing at inept men but something very sad and pathetic about laughing at inept women. At least, that is how the audience felt.Report

        • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
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          The “queers” in that version were a two lesbians (I think?) and a gay guy.

          It failed for me because they totally got the lesbian stereotypes wrong. (For the record, I was charmed by “Queer Eye” for a little while, then rapidly began to view it as the homo version of Stepin Fetchit.) I would never turn to my lesbian pals for fashion advice. I would turn to them to tell me which sports team to bet on (were I inclined to do so) and how to use a belt sander.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders
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            I actually enjoyed QE quite a bit and learned a thing or two from it. I still enjoy Ted Allen on Food Network and probably would watch another one or two of them if they had their own shows on their specialties.

            Your lesbian friends probably could have helped you with my sports riddle above.Report

            • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
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              I actually have affection for the individual guys from the show (and Jai Rodriguez is super-sweet in person, which made his utter uselessness on that program so sad), and thought Ted Allen was easily the most normal-seeming and affable.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy
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              I actually enjoyed QE quite a bit and learned a thing or two from it

              Italian party shorts?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James Hanley
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                I’ve got a picture coming!

                My hunch is that QE guys would have shat on my Italian party shorts, though overall, their embrace of various colors and patterns in one outfit is what I’ve defaulted to since I was about 9.

                They did teach me how to shave better. When I do shave. Which is rare.Report

              • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
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                I actually hate their shaving advice, and defy it whenever I shave. Perhaps if I had a fuller beard and had to shave daily there would be merit in their suggestion, but for me if just means a shittier shave.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Russell Saunders
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                So what is this shaving advice? I have what’s known as an eccentric beard, and I find shaving a real irritation.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders
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                What is their shaving advice? I am pretty happy with my routine but suggestions are considered.

                1.) No more frequently than every other day, MAX. Once a week is better. Longer whiskers are easier to cut close, and the skin needs time to recover.

                2.) Shave in the shower (as hot as you can take it). This is a must. The steam helps considerably.

                3.) They say not to, but I go with 2 passes – once with the whisker grain, then reapply shaving cream to the face, then go against the grain for the super smooth finish (plus if you missed any spots on pass 1, this will get them).

                4.) Change that blade frequently (I get maybe 6 shaves out of one).

                5.) The 5-blade cartridges give a nice shave, but they are way too pricey, and get clogged up easily and are hard to clean. Stick with 3 blades – if a trinity was good enough for God, it’s good enough for my razor.Report

              • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph
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                I endorse all of this, though I don’t actually shave in the shower. (I need to see what I’m doing.) The QE dudes advised to NEVER shave against the grain, which I ignore because I like a smoother shave.

                The distaff QE did recommend running your blade under cold water for a better shave, which I have found helpful.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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                YES MEDICAL ENDORSEMENT!

                You can get a mirror for your shower. But I don’t know how to reconcile the ‘cold water for the blade’ with the hot shower, except by bringing a cup of ice water in to rinse it with, and even I am not willing to go that far. I don’t think.

                IIRC, the cold water is really just to help with preservation of the blade edge, which if you are changing blades frequently, shouldn’t be a huge issue anyway?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                In addition to whats been said (after a steam, cold water, with the grain), they also reccommended short strokes to avoid cuts and in grown hairs.

                I can’t shave every day. Every other if I’m keeping it clean, but every 60 hours is actually ideal. But I *hate* shaving and thanked the gods when I was finally able to grow a full beard (and now I’m down to achieving the feat in two weeks instead of four!).

                James, tell us about your eccentric facial hair!Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph
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                Hmmm. Living in the West means not having to care about any of this. It’s awesome living in the West (Red West or Blue West, in this case).Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                Glyph-

                Cold water constricts metal, meaning any imperections in the blade are minimized, meaning a better cutting service. Preservation also matters, but the shave is impacted.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy
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                I’m guessing they’re not the ones who suggested the Magnum PI shirts, either? (Hey, not that I’m claiming to be a fashion plate.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James Hanley
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                Not Magnum PI persay, just Selleck.

                They’d likely like my work outfits (lots of color, lots of patterns, everything tailored) and hate my real clothes (shoes are for the birds).Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders
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            I have this theory about Teevee Stereotypes. Remember Archie Bunker or Mary Tyler Moore or Sanford and Son? All those shows were revolutionary in their day but now we look back on them as dated stereotypes.

            Before we can transcend them, we sorta need those Intermediate Stereotypes, these blocky, ill-formed representatives of obviously far-more-complex communities. Granted, they’re mostly condescending panders to Significant Market Segments. Once the advertisers realised just how much money was actually being made in the black community, the Teevee Producer Types started generating shows to cater to that community. Eventually it would culminate in the Cosby Show, where black identity wasn’t that big a deal.

            Before the stereotype can cease to matter, the old negative stereotype has to be replaced with a more-positive stereotype. These intermediate stereotypes are important: look at the George Jefferson character or the Fred Sanford character. Both were allowed to be jerks, but jerks in a larger context where black wasn’t taken so seriously. Same thing has to happen to gay/lesbian stereotypes.Report

            • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to BlaiseP
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              Oh, I agree, Blaise. If I had to choose between “Gays — they’ll sodomize your children!” and “Gays — they’ll teach you the rudiments of personal grooming!” I’ll take the latter, thanks. But I’m glad that we seem to be transitioning to “Gays — they’re kind of boringly normal in real life!” phase of things.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders
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                I’ve always wanted to start a website about different groups that are often portrayed or viewed negatively by society that rips off tabloid magazines’ “Stars… They’re Just Like Us” crap.

                I’d call it something like, “Things Gay People Do,” (ripping off the insufferable “Stuff White People Like”) and it’d just show pictures of gay people food shopping or getting their oil changed or clipping coupons. You could really do this with any group of people.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders
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                This run to Boring Normalcy is sorta depressing. The Rent’s Too Damn High and Gays and Lesbians are getting Too Damn Normal. If this trend continues, a wonderful tradition of weirdness will be lost forever. We who put a premium on such things simply won’t accept this any more than we should accept the bleaching of the coral reefs or the extinction of some species of butterfly in the jungle. You wouldn’t want to let that happen, would you?Report

              • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to BlaiseP
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                Oh, well, Let’s not go overboard. There were plenty of scandalously-dressed freakazoids marching in the last Pride parade I attended, including people who were rather more happy to display their enjoyment of boundary-pushing sexual play than I wanted to see. Being a more “discretion is the better part of valor” kind of guy myself, I’d kind of prefer that fans of [REDACTED] be just a wee bit less proud, but plenty of them clearly feel that I can stick that opinion in my ear.

                And you can always tell when a perfectly good gay bar has passed its prime when there are too many straight people.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Russell Saunders
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                Still chuckling about “Gays — they’ll teach you the rudiments of personal grooming!”Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
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              Great point, Blaise. When “Harold and Kumar” came out, I wondered about the stereotypes portrayed (though they turned out to be far more fleshed out and non-stereotypical than the previews indicated). Apparently the actors themselves said much the same thing… “Better to have Asian-Americans… DIFFERENT Asian-Americans… on screen than not at all. We’ll only go up.”Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
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                I just watched H & K’s 3D Xmas movie last week. It was pretty ridiculous. Better than ‘Guantanamo’, but not quite as good as ‘White Castle’.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                I haven’t seen 3 yet. Would you recommend it? I thoroughly enjoyed both movies, despite not being a stoner myself.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
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                I used it to test the 3d function on my TV, which I’d never really tried, and the friends I watched it with were…uh…in the right ‘frame of mind’, if you will.

                I thought it was funny, but I enjoy the occasional stupid comedy. I even subjected myself to much of ‘Pootie Tang’ the other night, b/c I like Louis CK, and making that film nearly ended his career, and I’d seen some people saying it was better than its reputation.

                It’s not.

                Good gravy that was some amateur filmmaking. He’s gotten leagues better over the years as a filmmaker.

                Sorry, I digress. If you liked the first 2 H & K’s, I think you’d like it.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Glyph
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                Did you enjoy watching 3D in your living room? I find it uncomfortable even in theaters, so I’ve been really curious about whether it will actually catch on for home use. I personally can’t imagine it, but I’m obviously not all the other millions of potential consumers.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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                Eh, as a once-in-a-while novelty, it was fine. It’s a small room and it worked pretty well. The movie was gleefully over-the-top-stupid, meta-, really, with the effects.

                I don’t see 3D being something I do regularly, but periodically doing it with the rugrats could be fun.

                I wouldn’t necessarily spend a lot extra on a TV to get it (don’t know if it just sort of comes standard now). One thing that I had read was that the extra processing power & specs the TV has to make it 3D-capable, also make for a better 2D picture than otherwise.

                If this is actually true (could be marketing for all I know, but it sounds plausible), you might spring for a 3D TV for this reason, even if you don’t intend to use the 3D function.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Glyph
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                Thanks. I’ll come over to your house to check it out before I spring for it myself. ; )

                Of course since I’m the guy who won’t drop a buck fifty on a basic flat screen, that’s a long way down the road.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                My big TV is 3D, primarily because all of the TVs in that size-range were either 3D OR subpar. Basically, they’re not making big, top-notch 2D TVs anymore. The prize was the same as what I spent on a top-notch 2D TV that was much smaller about 4 years ago, given to the overall reduction in prices overtime.

                You can get quality 2D TVs in the smaller rangers, but if you want a top TV in a big size, you’re likely going to have to get 3D, which is fine. I didn’t buy the glasses because I just have no interest in wearing them. Eventually they’ll make a glassess-free TV and that will be a big difference. For me personally, I care less about stuff popping out at me and more about the depth. That is why “Avatar” was so cool, but 3D remakes of movies originally shot in 2D don’t do much.

                But don’t bother talking TVs with James. It’s just a loss cause.

                JH, I just found out my old tube TV requires a set-top box because my provider went all-digital. It is in the spare room and I’m not wasting $6.95/month for the box for a TV that gets watched 5 nights a year. Long story short, it’s yours if you want it. Solid 20-incher, standard-definition. Interested?Report

      • Avatar Plinko in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        I’ll take that bet.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        One of these days, the nerd girl is just gonna get to be ridiculously hot in her own right, and not need to do a jack-damn thing.
        PVP did some damn fine romance writing… http://www.pvponline.com/

        Well, it might not be television, but it’s a start!Report

  11. Avatar Plinko
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    I tried watching once, and didn’t get the appeal.
    Nearly all of my geeky/nerdy friends love it.

    I’m pretty sure I’m more dweeb than nerd or geek – maybe that explains it.Report

  12. Avatar Alex Knapp
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    says:

    I hate the show because the humor is gimmicky. It’s not absurd like Monty Python or Community. It’s not character driven humor like the late, lamented John Larroquette show (RIP). It’s not farcical like Arrested Development or Better Off Ted.

    It’s just BS gimmicks and pop culture references. I hate it for the same reason I hate Family Guy. It’s meanspirited and sacrifices story of the sake of a joke. And even when it does, it lacks commitment. (Community works because of the COMMITMENT of the story.)

    Also, Johnny Galecki can and does act circles around everyone else in the cast. He’s the only believable actor on the show, which makes me sad because I’ve loved him since Roseanne and find that Hollywood criminally underuses his talents. He deserves better roles than this.Report

  13. Avatar Murali
    Ignored
    says:

    TBBT is sheer awesome. And this from a guy who identifies with Seldon cooper a fair bit.Report

  14. Avatar Johanna
    Ignored
    says:

    I have a friend who’s a chemist and has always been an athlete. At first he hated the show because it portrayed the scientists as socially incompetent dweebs. After a while it grew on him and he likes it pretty well.Report

  15. Avatar Fish
    Ignored
    says:

    The very first episode of this show I ever saw had me laughing and proclaiming, “These are my people!”Report

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