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KJC
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13 May 2010, 3:00 am

As much as I'm a fan of the show (since the start), can its growing popularity have negative effects in autism awareness? I have a mom who is constantly reminding me of my having Asperger's yet she gets defensively in denial at the first sign some one well-known that she admires may have AS (such as speculation of Tom Hanks, Jim Henson, or James Taylor). And now she's gotten into Big Bang, but the only times that I notice her laughing is when Sheldon and sometimes the other guys are the butt of the gag. Is this common? I'm all for having more AS type people in TV and Film, but is the area of sitcom untouchable unless the aspy's awkwardness is core reason for comic relief in some people's eyes? Seeing my mom laugh at Sheldon's awkwardness, I'm almost as mad as I am at Autism Speaks for choosing more from the lower functioning side of the spectrum (it seems just to create pity for those on the spectrum).



schleppenheimer
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13 May 2010, 6:02 am

Of course your mother is laughing at the oddities of Sheldon, and maybe the other characters. That's the whole point of these sitcoms -- to exaggerate the unusualness of each character so that people find humor in them. Part of finding humor in a character is also seeing a bit of them in yourself. When Sheldon knocks on Penny's door three times, each time saying "Penny! Penny! Penny!" that reminds ME of the times that I am repetitive, or insistent that somebody come quickly to the door, and I'm not on the spectrum.

I actually think as the show grows in popularity, people think LESS about autism, and just see it as a funny show. That's a common response to anything. It's just funny -- that's all. Each character has their idiosyncracies, but we love each one because of that. They also are finding girlfriends, and fighting with their mothers, and having difficulties at work -- all things that the general population can relate to, as well as people on the spectrum.

On a side note -- I could definitely see that James Taylor might be on the spectrum, or Jim Henson may have been, but Tom Hanks? That's a new one. I'm not saying that he doesn't, I just haven't noticed any characteristics of his that fit. What would they be?



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13 May 2010, 10:36 am

If someone is only laughing at the moments when one of the guys is the butt of a joke (which admittedly is often,as they constantly snipe at each other), then that person is missing half the humor of the show. Sheldon himself gets in plenty of zingers, and sometimes the highbrow prattle and geek babble is hilarious in itself.


'We didn't anticipate how protective the audience would feel about our guys'

-“The Big Bang Theory” co-creator/executive producer Bill Prady


Ba-Zinga!



:lmao:



bee33
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13 May 2010, 8:01 pm

I've noticed that Sheldon makes really good eye contact. :) What kind of an Aspie is that??? :D



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13 May 2010, 8:40 pm

jim parsons on david letterman. very entertaining
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6yMHdU9MnI&feature=fvw[/youtube]


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13 May 2010, 10:29 pm

Quote:
I'm all for having more AS type people in TV and Film



TV will destroy everything and anything to appeal to the lowest common denominator, no matter how initially clever and inspired a show appears. That's why I just avoid TV altogether.


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14 May 2010, 12:56 am

I actually like the way Sheldon is portrayed. Sure, he is socially daft, and has obsessive interests, all that are the butt of humor. But at the same time, he's also intelligent, confident, and basically has a good heart beneath his thoughtless bluntness. I think he represents us Aspies, with all our potential and foibles, magnificently. That's why my wife and I look forward to every Monday night at nine thirty, because there's someone like me finally as a major character on a nationally watched TV show.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



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14 May 2010, 12:57 am

I actually like the way Sheldon is portrayed. Sure, he is socially daft, and has obsessive interests, all that are the butt of humor. But at the same time, he's also intelligent, confident, and basically has a good heart beneath his thoughtless bluntness. I think he represents us Aspies, with all our potential and foibles, magnificently. That's why my wife and I look forward to every Monday night at nine thirty, because there's someone like me finally as a major character on a nationally watched TV show.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Danielismyname
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14 May 2010, 2:09 am

My mother likes Sheldon and his behaviour. She's convinced that he has AS now (I see that he's a little too good at give and take of social interaction, but hey, it's a show).

She thinks I'm just a more tactful and less insensitive version. :/



justMax
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14 May 2010, 3:18 am

bee33 wrote:
I've noticed that Sheldon makes really good eye contact. :) What kind of an Aspie is that??? :D


I notice Sheldon makes the same kind I do, sustained well beyond anything considered normal.

If he's listening to someone, he's making eye contact constantly, if he's talking, he's looking at the floor, his hands, or if it's about someone, their eyes.

He doesn't make "appropriate" eye contact, which is something that could make you question if he was supposed to be an Aspie or not.


I find eyes fascinating, and the rush of eye contact is a thrill, I don't know what social cue it sends, I just enjoy it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Cooper

Quote:
Traits displayed include:

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, such as doing specific recreational activities on specific days of the week, eating specific food items on specific days, being unable to reconcile changes to food orders, doing laundry on a specific day and time, or knocking on the door a certain number of times while repeating the name of the person he is seeking with a particular frequency, etc.
Mysophobia. He is constantly worried about others touching his food, washes his hands as often as he can, and showers twice daily.[19]
Hypochondriasis. He is extremely worried about becoming sick. He became worried about Penny infecting him with influenza and subsequently contracted it.[30] Another time, he wanted a full medical examination by Leonard's girlfriend, Dr. Stephanie Barnett, in order to discover the cause of a high-pitched noise in his head.[31]
Inability to lie. When Sheldon is complicit in a lie, he exhausts all of his efforts in his always unsuccessful attempt to make it believable.[32] Similarly, he cannot be entrusted with a secret because he develops nervous tics.[18]
Inability to sit in strange places. He refuses to sit anywhere other than his designated spot on the couch in his apartment, which he considers his "single point of consistency in an ever changing world".[33] He regularly reproaches Penny and other people for sitting in his spot. Even disruptions to this location are enough to disturb him. However, he can adapt to seats with sub-optimal conditions, such as suitable cushion densities and light dispersion, provided he has the opportunity to test them.[34]
Intolerance of people in his bedroom. One time, he was distraught when Penny entered his room at the middle of the night.[35] On another occasion, Sheldon hesitantly let Penny in his bedroom to get a key for his desk to retrieve a USB thumbdrive.[36]
While perfectly comfortable speaking to small groups Sheldon cannot speak to large crowds without having a panic attack.[27]



addison
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17 May 2010, 12:29 pm

bee33 wrote:
I've noticed that Sheldon makes really good eye contact. :) What kind of an Aspie is that??? :D


i make eye contact and i'm an aspie. actually i've been known to stare.

Kraichgauer wrote:
I actually like the way Sheldon is portrayed. Sure, he is socially daft, and has obsessive interests, all that are the butt of humor. But at the same time, he's also intelligent, confident, and basically has a good heart beneath his thoughtless bluntness. I think he represents us Aspies, with all our potential and foibles, magnificently. That's why my wife and I look forward to every Monday night at nine thirty, because there's someone like me finally as a major character on a nationally watched TV show.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


and i like how he's portrayed too. he's funny. one of the better characters on the show. strangly enough my dad caught a bit of an episode while i was watching it and he thought Sheldon was gay. O_o I didn't get that vibe from him.



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17 May 2010, 5:15 pm

Sheldon's awesome! I think of Monday as Big Bang Theory night.



aerofan_1
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17 May 2010, 6:26 pm

IS it just me, or am I not seeing why there is a studio full of laughing people every time Sheldon speaks?

I'll give some background information that I work in an aerodynamics research facility at a university and spend most of my days in a wind tunnel or writing on the board in my room to derive and explore various equations.
When Sheldon does some things (speak bluntly, work at his desk and ignore people, have a specific chair etc) there is normally a laughing audience. Why is this?
Do people find this sort of behaviour amusing?
When I do similar things are people laughing behing my back at me?

The show is funny, and yet I feel a bit sad that most of the equations in the background actually mean a lot to me! :)



Jimbeaux
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17 May 2010, 8:06 pm

He is great! I remember him from the old Quiznos commercials when they started toasting their subs. Even those made an impression on me!



addison
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17 May 2010, 9:04 pm

Jimbeaux wrote:
He is great! I remember him from the old Quiznos commercials when they started toasting their subs. Even those made an impression on me!


started toasting their subs? you mean they didn't always do it?