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RE: Big Bang Bust


This post is a direct response to the super awesome Stephanie K and her blog titled BIG BANG BUST. I just got a bit too wordy in the comments. Read hers first for any kind of clue as to what mine is kinda about. You can watch the episode here and judge it yourself. Tunnel Bear it if you are outside the country.

Big bang bust was a bad episode all around, that I had quite a few issues with. I'm just going to type this out at work and hopefully it all makes sense.

Firstly, this line here: "Raj suggests that the men partake in an forty-eight hour gaming marathon playing The Old Republic."

Technically they just played "star wars MMO." I find it more insulting that they had to explain what the Star Wars MMO was to a person like Sheldon Cooper who I would argue knows quite a bit about the game. This irked me because these people have hobbies that shouldn't need to be explained this half assed. That alone made this episode reallllly annoying to me. Anyway, on to your fine points.

I think the show has hit its pushback point. They set up a major plot twist as the finale to season 3 when Penny "slept" with Raj in Leonard's bed, and they've since been attempting to work around a lot of the issues the show creates. Penny's an alcoholic now, Amy's a stalker and Bernadette is now the strong female, without any alpha personality. I'd argue it's more character assassination than anything these past two seasons, but still I actually enjoy watching the show.

The ladies on the show are actually played to the ideal female for their gents. Penny is the hot girl a guy like Leonard could never get yet does. Amy is the girl Sheldon would date, because she essentially is Sheldon (note this has been changed recently to give Amy more personality quirks for better and worse). Bernadette is Howard's mom. Able to take care of Howard and boss him around whenever she wants.

These are the roles the women fulfill. When Bernadette went to the playdate, it was akin to somebody's over assertive mother coming in to see what her boy was doing all this time. It set up the fact that the lone guy just wanted a guy's weekend. I'd argue with the way that Bernadette played this out, she did exactly what a mom would do. Pew Pew Pew and all. The rest was just noise.

What was more insulting was the way they handled the Amy/Sheldon relationship at that moment. Amy was hurt by Sheldon's complete and utter disregard for her and when the show ended, she was never really satisfied. She never got what she wanted, she settled in to the submissive abused wife role which frankly irked me. This is a character that should be akin to Sheldon in terms of what she brings to the table. Sure she needs to be submissive to him as he's the bossy one of the 4 focal characters, but to be as dismissive to her feelings as he was was terribly played out. A simple phone call from Amy to his mother could have been one of many situations that would have fixed this in a jiffy. Instead, he was never wrong about being a selfish ass. That kinda annoyed me.

Also, about the whole nerd girl under representation. Big Bang Theory is all about 4 nerds and their girlfriends. That's what the pilot brought forward and that's the basic overlying theme running throughout. The show brought a girl on who was nerdy, cute, and funny earlier this season. However, that was played to counter Leonard's long distance girlfriend. She was an ideal fantasy girl that could not last on the show. Reason she couldn't last was putting a normal personality on a show about people who are absurd archetypes is counter productive.

I'd also argue against the fact that Chuck Lorre can't write women. This dude wrote Roseanne, Grace Under Fire and Dharma & Greg. All strong female lead shows. Out of all of his shows, the prevalent theme is to match up odd pairings and see what kind of fireworks appear from this. I think that's why they attempted to bring Bernadette in to the guys night. Sometimes this all works and some times it goes horribly wrong. This time, it was just a bit dumb.

However, I will posture that demographically speaking, having a girl gamer on TV isn't worth the risk writing her. At least not without a guide to bring her in to the fold. I mean this as a public image thing. Girls are smart, attractive and are usually played either to comedic stereotype or true ideal. It sucks, but guys are usually stupider in respect. This is still the case with the Big Bang Theory, though the guys are stupider socially. I said above what this show does, but I think there is an overall disdain for gaming in public consensus. It's a guys hobby would be the cheap and dirty way to describe it.

It essentially is a waste of time in a decent enough group of people's eyes. This is CBS so the show is trying to hit the 14-65 year old range, and perception I would argue is geared towards trying to hit those older notes. My mom doesn't want to see normal guys and girls staring at a TV and pressing buttons. That's not entertaining. What seems to work in formulaic fashion is guy gets girl to enjoy his hobby and girls response is played to laughs.

This works because most people can correlate doing something new with their date that they don't want to do. With perceptions of gaming still being male dominated, I understand the logic of this. It's an easier theme to produce for laughs, which is why they do it here. It's lazy, don't get me wrong, but it does the trick all the same. This segment would be akin to the old shopping at the mall gag.

Obviously this could all have been alleviated with a female "nerd" that came in to the group. That's unfortunately not possible in this case. The core 4 are the focal points and the new girl member would be akin to Poochie. I'd welcome her on, but she's unnecessary. Meanwhile, Penny as a character still needs help and I'd throw someone her way instead of the other.

The only possible way is to have Raj get the only normal girl the show has produced, but he can't since he has an impairment (and he's the most feminine of the group). So, we're stuck at a friend because obviously a normal girl wouldn't stick around these people. See: anybody that has ever dated Leonard.

I guess I wrote this all up because I didn't see anybody else that watches the show reply to you, so here is my long winded response.
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About manasteel88one of us since 2:10 AM on 01.09.2008

Front Paged:
E for Effort: Mass Effect 1+2
E3 2010 Recap
Changes: Fatherhood
Technical Difficulties: What A Difference Time Makes
A True Opponent Stands Before Me
P2 Press Start: Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers
10 Games Captain America Would Play
Looking Out for the Little Guy
Special Little Places: Mississippi Memories

Front Paged on Flixist:
The Dichotomy of a Dark Knight
Not Understanding Your Audience
A True Classic: Superman Returns

Articles I wrote that I liked:
That One Mook: Gafgarion
My first playthrough of Resident Evil 2
Love/Hate: Operation Darkness
EVO 2010
Recettear Preview
Teh Bias: Nippon Ichi Software, Dood!
More Than Just Noise: Haunted by Final Fantasy
2010: Year in review and some other musings
Obligatory Destructoid Community Rocks Post
Groundhog Day: Stuck in a Book
A story from the Wasteland
PowerUp 2011
E3 2011: MS, Sony, Ninty, and AWARDS
Freedom: Jetpacks
Handhelds: East vs West
Labor Day: Player 2
Online Passes: Nickles and Dimes
2011: Year in Review and Top 10 XBL Indies

Twinfinite stuff I wrote that I liked:
Before Watchmen: It's Not the End of the World
Retrospection: The X-Men vs The Avengers
DC Kills Again
10 Reliable XBLIG Devs You Should Know
10 Disney Classics that Need Remastering
5 Best Moments from EVO 2013
5 Reasons Why the PS2 Was So Successful
5 Ways to Add Flavor to PS Allstars
Did We Really Need to Break Lara Croft?
Father's Day: Bass Armstrong
Why Do We Need Final Fantasy 7 HD?
Wormlight: A Group of No Name Losers
You Can't Fix Bad Parenting
You Don't Deserve Forgiveness
A Forgotten Hero
Future Diary: The Trial of the Father
Silver Haired Devils: Sephiroth, Magneto, Griffith
Sony Made Art Out of Ads
Celebrate the Ridiculousness of Games
The Graying of Gaming
What is Your Deserted Island Game?
An Opinion on How Value is Underappreciated in Gaming
Lazy Brain Games Legacy
Arkham Knight's Knightfall
Next-Gen Gamers: Kinect Party
An Interview with Adam Spragg
An Interview with Miguel Sternberg
An Interview with Nekros Lead Designer
An Interview with Divekick's Adam Heart
An Interview with The Behemoth's Ian Moreno
An Interview with Firebase Studios
An Interview with Lazy Brain Games: Part 1 / Part 2
An Interview with Fun Infused Games
Should I Be Happy Sonic is Selling Me Insurance
Is the $99 Xbox Worth It?
These Games Don't Belong on Steam?
Quest for Sexy Seaside Beachball: Part 1 / Part 2

Comics in Games
Comics in Games: Games in Comics
Comics in Games: The Original Batman
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four Deleted Scenes
Comics in Games: Superman
Comics in Games: The Best of Marvel 1994

Comics in Crossover Games
- Spider-man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge!
- Spider-man the Video Game
- Spider-man and the X-men in Arcade's Revenge
- Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems
- Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
- Marvel Brothel
- Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
- Marvel Trading Card Game
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold

It Came From The Quarter Bin

- 1st Edition
- Promised Vengeance
- Sarah's Story Remembered
- First Strike! Extra!
- Fluffie Kiss
- 2112
- The Holiday Spirit
- Days of GLX-Mas Past

Games Created:
Twinfinite Pirate Kart

RetroforceGO Videos

My Greatest Failure

"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns

"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
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PSN ID:manasteel88
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