movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Fri Jan 29 2016, 10:06pm | 22 comments
(Not original to me, but I don’t know who invented it.)
I use that to describe TBBT as well.
And even though Mayim Bialik is a Ph.D. In neuroscience, she’s also a new age-y woomeister mommy blogger type.
“Community” is streets ahead the better show.
i enjoyed the occasional show in the first few seasons but one they introduced the “girl geeks” it just made my blood pressure rise — they treat brilliant women as jokes and still act as if girlgeeks were an strange anomaly even among the supposedly already strange.
and what is your point there?
That she gets held up for all kinds of esteem because of that degree and her involvement on this show (the gorram NSTA invited her to speak at a national conference) but she’s really kind of awful.
But maybe thats just my personal bugaboo.
This is what winds me up about it – the girl geeks aren’t really geeks – two of them might be scientists, but they don’t like the geeky stuff, and just want to drink cocktails or whatever. The Mayim Bialik character is generally mocked – isn’t it hilarious when she says something about thinking herself attractive! We all know she’s so unattractive that all she gets is a sexless relationship with Sheldon (eyeroll) – and all she wants is to be accepted by the ‘cool crowd’, anyway. And the geek guys don’t want geek girls – they want the blonde cheerleader type. Meh.
It’s frustrating, because two of the women on the show are portrayed as brilliant scientists, but the writers won’t acknowledge that woman are also cultural geeks. When a female geek does show up, the guys act as though they’ve spotted a unicorn. Any time the women talk about super-hero trivia, the guys go into paroxysms of joy.
I enjoy The Bang Theory the same way I enjoy old episodes of The Nanny. The writers aren’t celebrating the culture that they’re stereotyping, but they do love it, and, often, it’s their own culture that they’re mocking. Maybe if they hired a few more female writers, the women could be in on the joke, too, and not the butt of it.
“When a female geek does show up, the guys act as though they’ve spotted a unicorn. Any time the women talk about super-hero trivia, the guys go into paroxysms of joy.”
Ex-actly. this show would *never* pass the Beschdel test — all these women talk about is their “men” … not that the guys don’t talk about women, but howard can brag about how he was a stud with the ladies, but if amy thinks *she’s* attractive, it’s mocked in a very different way; the men get entire episodes about their work, or job relationships — the women just hover around the outside of that orbit. anyway, i tired of it quickly.
They should hire Ms. Marvel’s head writer G. Willow Wilson, for starters. Kamala Khan is one of the best geek (AND superhero) characters ever.
A whole lot of my favorite writers these days are geeky girls. People can say, “But they’re not sitcom writers!” But I’d like to think that TBBT has at least made an attempt to broaden their talent pool, with so many talented women out here in the world.
So are Freaks and Geeks and Spaced.
My personal jury is still on Scorpion, the latest entry in the geek-friendly TV sweepstakes. My middle brother keeps recommending it but then he also liked Two and a Half Men.
Maybe I’m missing something but I always got the impression from the show that for a so-called ladies man, Howard was about as pathetic as Three’s Company‘s Ralph Furley. He also has been shown to be not quite as good an engineer as he thinks he is and he has definitely been established as a bit of a momma’s boy. About the only commendable things about him are his loyalties to his wife Bernadette and his friends. And quite frankly, I always considered Bernadette to be a more likable person than he is despite the best efforts of the screenwriters and the show’s critics to convince me otherwise.
Then again, I don’t see too many Polish Catholic characters on TV so I may be a bit biast.
Tonio, I found Scorpion unwatchable. In format it’s basically a cop show, except instead of shooting people they throw misunderstood buzzwords around and type furiously.
And in the same vein, this just in from io9:
Saga really *is* amazing, and the fact that The Big Bang Theory can only use it as a boob joke speaks volumes about the show’s failure to grok stuff.
And here I thought Bones was the worst entry in the “geek-friendly” cop show sweepstakes. My bad.
I’m still watching Bones. I expect to have to compensate for the whole “cops can do no wrong” attitude, and recently it’s had some surprisingly good episodes. Blog review of the latest full season: https://blog.firedrake.org/archive/2015/12/Bones_season_10.html
That article really buried the lede. The Big Bang Theory appears to be adding a female geek as a recurring character. Of course, the show might abandon the character or turn her into a sexist stereotype, but I’m going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and assume that they’re going to do a mediocre job writing her.
And, yes, Saga is amazing.
I’m gonna have to read *Saga*…
Yay! Would love to hear your thoughts on it if you ever feel like posting about it.
Also: Bitch Planet is fantastic, if you’re not already reading it.
If THAT title ever gets mentioned on Big Bang Theory (and as more than a joke about lesbians in prison), I’ll be impressed.
i don’t say that howard isn’t mocked, but it’s very different from the sort of mockery the show makes of amy.
SPOILERS for Bones
Well, you made a better case for the series than I would have thought possible. (Then again I’ve watched almost every season except season 10 so perhaps there is something more to that review than, say, lowered expectations.)
As watchable as it may be, I still dislike many elements of the show — especially the self-hating geek aspect of the first few season in which the title character was continually asked to be more emotional in her work (because it’s not enough that she does her job efficiently and brings murderers to justice, she has to be “sensitive” as well.) Then, of course, there’s the odd contempt for the Sweets character (played by a former cast member of Freaks and Geeks, natch) which the writers seem to encourage (an especially odd attitude when you compare it to the radically different attitudes between Buffy and Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or between Reese and Finch in Person of Interest.
Then again, maybe I’m harder on the show because I expect more from a drama than from a sitcom.
Then again there was that odd nudge-nudge, wink-wink attitude towards a certain supporting character’s history of murder and torture so maybe I’m not being hard enough.
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