The Big Bang Theory season 6 episode 15 review: The Spoiler Alert Segmentation

Review Kaci Ferrell 8 Feb 2013 - 07:21

The Big Bang Theory wades into spoiler territory this week, and not successfully...

This review contains spoilers.

6.15 The Spoiler Alert Segmentation.

A lot of people like to complain about how much geek stuff this show gets wrong. I don't often engage with that, because... well, there's no one right way to be a geek. I firmly believe that. But I have to tell you, I don't even know where to start with this episode because the very premise of it is wrong. How on earth did Leonard not know that Dumbledore dies? The Half-Blood Prince was published almost a decade ago, but believe you me, I remember exactly when that spoiler came out. Before the book, actually, and then again people who had somehow managed to avoid it online got it in the parking lot on their way out of the midnight release party. Even if you somehow managed to keep your head in the sand through all of that, it was all over the news. Websites were created trying to disprove the fact that Dumbledore had actually died. Said websites in turn made the news. People printed up t-shirts and then presumably wore them to the conventions Leonard canonically frequents. Heck, one of my other projects outside of this site is that I edit ebooks for a guy whose entire shtick is that he reviews books that he previously had no knowledge of and even he went into the Harry Potter series knowing that Dumbledore dies. 

So please, someone tell me how Leonard Hofstadter has gone nearly a decade existing not only in fandom, but just in the wider world in general, without hearing that Dumbledore dies. That's like telling someone over the age of twelve that Vader is Luke's father. Trust me, they know. 

So anyway. Putting aside the epic geeky fail, the rest of the episode focuses on Leonard and Amy wanting to move in with their significant others, while Penny and Sheldon aren't ready. It's kind of uncomfortable to watch, actually, particularly in the case of Penny and Leonard, because they've been established as a couple for so long that any time Penny's walls come up, all I want to know is why she's so reluctant to ever move forward. And because I've given up hope that we're ever going to get any kind of explanation or backstory on that topic, it comes across to me as Leonard being far more into the relationship than she is. There are plenty of reasons why she would be so reticent that don't involve that, but unless we hear any, that's where my gut feeling goes. That makes plots like this hard to watch. 

Elsewhere, Bernadette and Howard head off to Vegas, leaving Raj to take care of Howard's mom. It's more of a running gag than a plot, but it did provide a few laughs in an otherwise uncomfortable episode filled with bad geekery, so it was welcome. (The line about Howard's pajamas and sheets making it impossible to stay in bed was particularly hilarious.) 

All in all, not a very enjoyable episode for me. And just curious: that spoiler about The Walking Dead was far more recent than the one about Harry Potter... how many people do you think got incredibly upset at being spoiled? Yikes.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, The Cooper/Kripke Inversion, here.

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Well, I consider myself a nerd, and an old-school one, and I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the movies so I totally understand how Leonard hasn't. I am around the same age as the character (I'm 30) and when the books became huge I was already in College getting my Physics degree. And really, I wasn't interested in reading a book that was advertised as a "children's" book. It is totally believable to me, generational breaches shoudl be considered sometimes.

Yes, everyone has heard about the Dumbledore spoiler, but I thought that's why they might have chosen it deliberately. It's a big spoiler, but it doesn't upset viewers.

I imagine that the reason Penny was so taken aback by Leonard's moving in was because of the appalling way he sprung it on her. He barely asked her at all, just up and decided he was moving in.

And just as much as I can't understand how Leonard avoided finding out Dumbledore died I equally can't believe Sheldon doesn't have very specific rules governing spoilers (I vaguely remember another episode where this came up but can't remember the specifics)

Why no mention of the glimpses of Howard's mum? i'm sure thats the most we have ever seen of her in an episode

I had no problems with Leonard not knowing Harry Potter for the same reasons you disliked it so much - a lot of people already know, so fewer people are actually spoiled. The Walking Dead, on the other hand, I hadn't caught up on yet, so thanks for that Big Bang Theory.

I didn't know dumbledore died, so why does this reviewer think it's a big deal - honestly, I read these reviews every week to see what her issues are rather tahn the shows! haha. She has to remember, just because she is into Harry Potter, not everyonw was at the time. I watched a few recently, as my daughter is getting into it, but I still couldn't tell you the whole plot. Also, Leonard only recently became a fan, so the line about how could he survive fandom without knowing makes no sense. Lastly, I think most people who watch this show are clever enough to know it mocks the stereotypes not the people, and has fun with preconceptions about the alleged "nerd" culture, which are mostly unfounded.
Deal with it, and enjoy!!!! This is a great show.

Walking dead spoiler was annoying. We're only halfway through at the moment here.

1. The reason that Leonard didn't know that Dumbledore died is because he was a Harry Potter snob...he took pride in not knowing. Any person who started a conversation with him about muggles were rewarded with a withering stare and a sneer. Any article which discussed Ms. Rowling's work was put down, any television show turned off, any Internet piece deleted. My guess is that he finally broke down and read the books because Penny discovered them.

2. The reason Penny is terrified of Leonard moving is because she's gone through this before, and it's always ended in disaster. Penny is in uncharted waters here ... she knows how to pick up a guy; how to have great sex; how to ruin the relationship; how to kick him out: and how to eat ice cream and cry with her girlfriends the next day. Penny is used to love affairs lasting weeks...maybe a month. But she's been emotionally involved with Leonard for the better part of a decade.

I love the fact that the writers don't feel the need to spell everything out.

My lovely wife just chimed in.... "may I point out, Leonard expected to move in - WITHOUT ASKING! Frankly, I was more surprised that the conversation didn't degenerate into a screaming match."

This episode was fine, but nothing more than that.

That was probably my highlight of the episode.

I didn't know Dumbledore died and I was not happy with the spoilers. I consider myself a major geek...

So glad Dumbledore dying didn't get spoiled for me. I read the book in three days being very antisocial :)

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