Blogger Spotlight-Jackie from Seeking Bazinga

One of the best parts about running this blog is having the ability to meet some really cool people, this web and some of the coolest people that I have met have led me to really cool blogs. I’ve said it before, no one’s blog is 100% original but everyone’s voices are different so there are blogs that I love to read because I love the writer, and I love the passion that they show for what they are writing. They are fun and interesting to read and they inspire me to get better and better in my blog.

So I decided to do a feature (inspired by Megan at the Nerdy Girlie’s Geek Girls Gab), where I profile the bloggers that I love. Not only do I get to find out more about them, but I also get to share them with you guys! Most of the bloggers that I follow are like me, nerd girls, fan girls and they enjoy the same things as me, and you! Every blogger that I profile is one that is super important to me and I urge you to check them out!

If you are interested in being featured on the Blogger Spotlight, feel free to contact me, please! I would love to hear from you, to feature you on the blog and to help spread the word about it!

Today is a special one for me, as this is the first blog I really started to read and it was the blog that inspired me to start my own blog!

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This week’s blogger is Jackie a.k.a. Bazingirl from Seeking Bazinga!

She also goes by her author name, J.J. Zwirn.

Her Twitter

Her Tumblr

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Sara: Tell me a Little Bit About Yourself:

Jackie: I’m a geek. I love almost everything about being a geek. I love connecting with other geeks and going totally fangirl over the awesomeness of the fandom we are talking about, be it True Blood, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, Star Wars…it doesn’t matter. Talking geek is what I like to do.

I also love to write, which is why I quit my dead end day job to start writing novels. As soon as I finish one, I hope to be a PUBLISHED author, as all authors do. My writing influences range from J.K. Rowling to Stephen King to Carlos Ruiz Zafón to Shakespeare. I am also a HUGE music nerd. I’ve been singing classical and choral music since the ripe old age of 4, when I joined The Carol Lombard Singers. I’ve sung opera for many years, though was never able to make a career out of it. I also sang with one of the most amazing groups in the history of ever, The Los Angeles Choral Artists, lead by my good friend and mentor Tony Thornton. So that’s me, a card carrying, pong level geek who loves to write and sing.

Book Nerds Having High Tea

Sara: Tell me about your blog: 

Jackie: Seeking Bazinga was inspired by one of my favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory. I wanted the site to be a place where readers and bloggers alike could come and get their geek on, and be proud, awesome nerds. There are many sites which also inform the public about the happenings in the geek world, which I follow and reference often, but I wanted to put my own spin on it and talk about geek things that matter to me. I will also be starting a vlog with some AMAZING nerd girls of mine called Nerds In Heels, which will be a YouTube channel soon and featured on Seeking Bazinga as well!

Sara: What inspired you to start your blog?

Me at HP Bowling

Jackie: I’d written a blog for several years about sex, which well, tanked to be honest. I’ll admit the idea started out super fun and became completely LAME. Then, one day I felt the need to write an article about Harry Potter. I had just read an article about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter coming to Los Angeles, and felt I needed to write about it. So, I started Seeking Bazinga, so I could inform and basically fangirl about all the fandoms I love.

Sara: What is your favorite nerd memory?

Jackie: My favorite nerd memory? That’s HARD. But I’d have to say that the one that sticks in my head and makes me laugh every time I remember it is when my sister-in-law and I took her daughter to see Ella Enchanted with Anne Hathaway. My sister-in-law had just introduced me to a comic called Sluggy Freelance, which if you haven’t read….you should. From the first strip. Seriously. Go now. Www.sluggy.com. Now, because of the character Bun-Bun, the switchblade wielding bunny, when an attack bunny showed in the movie, I leaned over to my sister-in-law and very quietly said, “ca-click.” She damn near had to leave the theater because she was laughing uncontrollably.

Sara: What are you most looking forward to, as far as new books/movies/etc?

Jackie: The books I am most looking forward to right now is the sequel to Libba Bray’s The Diviners and just this Sunday being told I should read Stephen King’s Dark Tower series by another epic author/nerd girl. Movie wise? MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING DIRECTED BY JOSS WHEDON. OMG, I need to see this so much!!!!! And Man of Steel. I adore Henry Cavill for being hot and British, and now Superman? Yeah. However, I was a DIE HARD Chris Reeve’s fan so, I am trying to go in to seeing it with an open mind. :) Oh, and CITY OF BONES. OMG. Can that movie come out now, please???

Me and Prof McGonnagall

Sara: As my blog is mostly about books and reading, what are some of your favorite books or authors to read? 

Jackie: ANYTHING by Stephen King, Harry Potter (always), John Green, Libba Bray, Diana Gabaldon (zomg swoon), Cassandra Clare (yeah, I know people either LOVE her or HATE her, but I read her before I knew any of the internets crazy drama, so, I LIKE her books.), also I enjoy the dilectable works of Jane Austen and Shakespeare. Also, my new favorite book is Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Read this book. Seriously. Then read The Diviners.

Sara: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow? 

Jackie: Well, I religiously follow What a Nerd Girl Says, of course, because you’re one of my most favorite people in the world, Sara! I also follow The Mary Sue, Geek and Sundry (not a blog but an entire geek home base), Smart Bitches-Trashy Novels, Krypton Radio, RyannPrice.com, to name a few. And I’m always open to new suggestions!

Sara: Who is your fictional crush (what, we’re nerd girls, we all have one!)

Jackie: I have a couple fictional character crushes. When it comes to books, the first one, who will always be my number one is Jaime Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series. He is the embodiment of Scottish, kilt-wearing sex me up now HUNK! My second is from Larrisa Ione’s Demonica series and is a delicious character by the name of Shade. He’s pretty epic, but then so are his two brothers Wraith and Eidolon. It’s kind hard to pick which one I like the most. However, my absolute NUMBER ONE fictional crush has been and ALWAYS WILL BE: Captain Tight Pants Himself: Malcolm Reynolds. And he is followed a VERY close second by the delicious bad-boy with a heart of gold, Dean Winchester from Supernatural.

Rockin the Huffle

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Hope you enjoyed this Spotlight on Jackie, and come back soon for more Blogger Spotlights!

 And check out last week’s Spotlight on Shaina of The Urge to Write

 

Fandom Friday-Lost

Hi guys! Welcome to the Fandom Friday! This is the weekly post where either myself, cialis 40mg or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. We’ve had one about the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices written by me, and one on The Big Bang Theory as well, written by Jackie, the brains behind Seeking Bazinga. Last week’s post was by Kathleen, talking all about manga. You can expect more from the Fandom Friday, like My Little Pony, Battlestar Galatica, Star Trek, Comic books, and so much more. I’m very excited about this segment.

This week’s Fandom Friday is by Crystal, all about J.J Abram’s popular show, Lost. Read all about Crystal here:

My name is Crystal, and I’m in my early 30s. I was the slacker nerd throughout high school. I was in the gifted school, but I was constantly on probation because of my grades. I’m currently working on a PhD (and a grant application that makes me want to pull my hair out).

As you can tell, I love Lost. I’m also involved in the Harry Potter fandom and the Doctor Who fandom. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan! Feel free to challenge me with Firefly. I always have my challenge coin on me. My most recent cos play was Fionna from Adventure Time. I’ve been playing a lot of board games lately. Oh, and I play quidditch! (You can find out all about Crystal’s Quidditch team, the OC Obliviators right here)

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I remember watching the first episode of Lost back in 2004. The hype leading to this new mystery show had both my husband and me intrigued. The problem was that we did not have cable. I know it aired on ABC, but even with our TV antenna completely wrapped in aluminum foil, it was still snowy-looking. We watched the first 4 episodes through staticy snow before we had to give up.

After season 1 was available on DVD, we caught up, got cable, and started watching it weekly. The day after each new episode, I would have “Lost Lunch” with a group of friends (and friends of friends) to discuss the new episode and all of our theories. Occasionally a non-watcher would join us for lunch, and they would hang on our every word as we tried to make connections between older and newer episodes.

To put it shortly, I was a fan.

Why do I tell you all of this? Because I don’t think this experience of fans watching a show all at the same time then getting together for lunch the next day occurs anymore. Lost started before everyone had TiVo. VHS tapes were not as accessible, so you either watched it when it aired, or you had to wait a week to watch the repeat episode before the new episode. Now, more and more people watch episodes when it’s most convenient for them or wait until an entire season is available and watch all the episodes over a weekend. You don’t have time to process, speculate, and theorize with the way we watch TV now.

But I digress. Back to Lost.

The plot of Lost is actually very simple. A plane crashes on a mysterious island, and the survivors of the crash must figure out how to survive on the island. They must live together or die alone. They learn that other people are also on the island. Eventually, through the help of outsiders (people not on the island), some are rescued, but should they leave the island? Through different events, they end up on a plane together again, and (Surprise!) the plane crashes on the same island. This time, they discover the mysteries of the island.

Now all along, I had my theories. First, John Locke had to be bad. He had a cut across his eye that eventually became a scar across his eye. This is the mark of the bad guy. Second, Jack and Locke should have killed Henry Gale in the hatch. I would yell, “Shoot him!” repeatedly at the TV, but they just wouldn’t do it. Imagine how different the show would be if they just would’ve shot him.

The show was a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Curve balls were everywhere. What was up with the polar bear? How does a smoke monster work? Why do babies die? Should they have stayed on the island?

The last season, for those of us that stuck with our island friends, revealed another world. A world in which the plane didn’t crash. A world that was similar, but just a little different, from the world we know. As this sideways world was being revealed, our island friends did, indeed, go back. It’s revealed that [brother] gods controlled the island. That helps explain some of the mystery, but what about the sideways world?

The sideways world was the afterlife. The characters had to find each other in the afterlife. For me, it’s very poetic. It doesn’t exist in worldly time. Hurley is there, but as keeper of the island, he probably lived hundreds of years longer than everyone else. All of that is irrelevant. We see them as the find each other. Their experiences on the island defined them and changed them in such a way that they cross over together and will spend eternity together.

For some of my friends, the sideways world ruined everything. It didn’t answer all the questions the series asked. They “lost” 6 years of their lives to a show without a plan. I disagree!

Now, I freely admit that all of the questions were not answered. In fact, most of the questions were not answered, but that was not the point of the show. The show was about the characters, not the mysteries. People ask, “What was up with Walt?” My answer is, “He was special. He could make things happen. He lived in a world that resembles our world, but it’s not our world” The answer to most questions is simply that’s the way the world is (in the show). I fully accept this as an answer. Other people don’t. They see it as a cop-out, or the writers not knowing how to end the show. Again, I disagree. I believe the over-arching storyline existed from the beginning. I put my faith in Lost from the beginning, and even today, it’s still strong.

In short, Lost was brilliant from beginning to end.

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Thanks Crystal for that SUPER awesome article on Lost. I only watched up to season four so now I’m thinking I should go back and watch all the seasons, if the ending is good like you said!

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or hit the “contact” tab above :)

Fandom Friday-Manga!

Hi guys! Welcome to the Fandom Friday! This is the weekly post where either myself, doctor or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. We’ve had one about the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices written by me, and one on The Big Bang Theory as well, written by Jackie, the brains behind Seeking Bazinga. You can expect more from the Fandom Friday, like My Little Pony, Battlestar Galatica, Star Trek, Comic books, and so much more. I’m very excited about this segment.

This week’s Fandom Friday is ALL about manga. It is brought to you by one of my super awesome followers, Kathleen.

Kathleen is a HUGE fan of The Mortal Instruments, Harry Potter, Vampire Kisses and many, many other book series. She reads a lot, whether its novels, or manga, the topic of this conversation. She also would like to be a writer (wouldn’t we all?), so definitely check out her wattpad page, HERE, to read some of her work. In her own words, “I’m a bit of a nerd, but let’s face it, isn’t everyone (well, all the best people are!).” 

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Hello everyone :o

So, I volunteered to be a guest blogger for the ONLY blog I actually follow. I read every post on this blog, so it’s pretty exciting!

I am a member of so many fandoms, for this reason it was hard to pick one to write about. I thought about which fandoms are really underappreciated in the public eye, this brought me to the conclusion that manga is something which you either love or you hate. Is it a fandom? I mean I think it is, you could even say it’s a fandom which in itself contains fandoms.

For those of you who don’t know what in the world I’m on about I’ll explain it a little. Manga is a Japanese term meaning ‘whimsical sketches’, and wiki refers to it as comics or cartoons… It’s not comics or cartoons. It’s more like a graphic novel with different art styles. Think of it as a novel with pictures, which truly add to the story and its read from right to left. Crazy right? Not really, once you read one you’ll be hooked. You won’t even notice that you are reading something which appears to be backwards. Some manga publishing companies in America such as ‘Tokyopop’, publish some manga’s to be read left to right. This frustrates me to no end, but I’m sure we can talk about that later.

I’m not going to go into the history of manga hugely because multiple reasons are screaming don’t. One being most of it is disputable, for example there is debate whether scrolls from the 12th century are manga or whether the first manga was created in the 18th century. Secondly you do not need to know the complete history of something to enjoy it, at least not to begin with. You cannot tell me that before you try a fandom you research everything about it? One thing is for sure, since creation manga has continued to change and will continue to change.

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One important difference between manga and novels is that I think it’s important to judge a manga by its cover. If you don’t like the art style you will NOT enjoy the manga. No matter how great the plot is or how loveable the characters are, if you don’t like how the panels are drawn you will not enjoy it as much. In saying this, don’t just pick up a book completely based on the cover, they have blurbs for a reason. Read them! They are so cleverly written and they will hook you in. I have read many manga books based on the cover and blurb. Despite some of these being a genre I would not normally read, I have really enjoyed them.

There is a manga book for everyone, they cover every genre, every character type and every possible situation. There are two main genres which more genres branch off from. These are Sh?jo and Sh?nen. Just like any book these are only a base for the story, a manga will not just be Sh?jo or Sh?nen. Sh?jo manga is aimed at girls between 10 and 18, I guess it’s not specifically a genre it’s more of an indication as to what age group the manga is aimed at. Sh?jo manga usually have some sort of romance, drama and relationships in them. Some very famous manga which fall into this category are fruits basket, cardcaptor sakura, sailor moon, host club and vampire knight. These are great gateway manga if you want to try it out and think the sh?jo style is right for you. I’m not a huge fan of sh?jo manga even though I fall into their demographic. In saying this I have read a lot of sh?jo manga which have fantasy themes in them and have loved them! What I’m trying to say is don’t judge a manga by its genre, just like you wouldn’t judge a book based purely on its genre.

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Sh?nen manga are created mainly for males 10 and up, the translation means ‘boys comic’. This type of manga usually features male protagonists, a high action plotline and lots of humour. The strong bonds are often highlighted in these manga’s between friends, sport teams and ‘fighting squads’. A popular theme is challenges which test the protagonist’s abilities, skills, maturity and honour, often they have to sacrifice something in the call of duty. Some very famous gateway manga which fall into this category are one piece, fairy tail, dragon ball z, death note and kuroshitsuji. A lot of these manga’s also contain medium to high levels of fan service. Fan service you say? What is that? That is a good question, it is usually in sh?nen manga and not popular in sh?jo manga and that is because it is usually aimed at boys. It is really a service which is aimed at pleasing the fans… this pretty much means there is eye candy added for the male audience (usually). If there is fan service aimed at females it’s usually a yaoi manga.

Yaoi is a subgenre which is important to understand. Yaoi is also known as ‘boy love’ and well that term pretty much explains itself. These manga are usually created by women. I’m a huge fan of the genre! I read most yaoi manga I can get my hands on. It’s usually about a boy who falls inlove with another boy and their relationship. Under Yaoi there are again lots of subgenres which specify which type of ‘boy love’ it involves, but they are most likely referred to as Yaoi anyway. It is a very popular genre, I like it because the relationships are so cute and the main characters come together against all odds. There are lots of theories which try to explain why this genre is so popular, especially with the female audience, but for you to truly understand you would have to try reading one. Some really great yaoi gateway manga include loveless, boys love, sugar milk and bukiyou na silent.

Yuri is the opposite of yaoi, it means ‘girls love’. This genre is less popular and in all honesty I don’t know why. I personally don’t like reading a lot of this genre because it usually focuses on the sexual or emotional aspects of a relationship. This genre didn’t appear until 1970’s which is quite late considering how long manga has been published. If you think you are interested in reading yuri manga you can google the most popular titles, I have very limited knowledge with this genre as I do not read it often. However it is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to dojinshi. Dojinshi is basically fanfic in manga form.

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I really hope after all this you give reading manga a go, it’s truly amazing and addictive. Before you rush out and buy a manga, read it online. This means that you can try the series before you buy it. Manga books are quite expensive in my country and I’d assume in most countries. Most manga creators don’t mind if you read their work online as it means a larger audience for their work. A lot of the manga online are fan translated from Japanese into English, so it’s best to use common sites which have better quality translations. I personally use http://www.mangareader.net/ , http://www.mangahere.com/ and http://mangafox.me/directory/

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Throughout this blog I’ve mentioned gateway manga. It’s a term used by people who read manga and have moved away from the most popular manga. Gateway manga are manga which hook you in, they are common but they are so good and ‘acceptable’ to read in public that you’ll want more. I know that you read a blog for nerds ;) but if you’re still shy when it comes to showing your inner nerd you can read mainstream manga without too much attention. Common gateway manga include; death note, vampire knight, naruto, bleach, fairy tail, fruits basket and full metal alchemist. I fully recommend you try at least one of these, with the genre which most interests you, or you could use one of the recommended websites to search by genre.

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Thank you Kathleen for an amazing entry to this week’s Fandom Friday! You rock, girl :) Don’t forget to check out her Wattpad, to see her writing!

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or hit the “contact” tab above :)

Fandom Friday-The Big Bang Theory

Hey everyone! Welcome to the second week of my new segment, pharm the Fandom Friday!

Basically what the Fandom Friday is (for those of you who missed out last week’s), sildenafil its a weekly feature on a different fandom. It came from the fact that…one, I want to understand fandoms that I’m not familiar with or don’t understand or don’t like and two, I just don’t know as many fandoms as I think I do.

So the Fandom Friday was born. Last week, I did the debut post, on the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare.

This week, my dear friend, Jackie, a.k.a. Bazingirl over at Seeking Bazinga, did a post on The Big Bang Theory, a fandom that I’ve never really been able to get into. Now, we have this lovely post below to tell us allllllll about it.

I hope you enjoy it!

And if you’re interested in writing a post for the Fandom Friday, leave a comment below, or leave a message for me on the Facebook page, or email me at whatanerdgirlsays@gmail.com. I want more of the posts for Fandom Friday to be written by YOU guys, and less by me :) that’s what the rest of the blog is for!

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I was asked by my dear friend Sara to write an article about fandom.  I’m a member of many fandoms and I decided to write about my current favorite TV show, The Big Bang Theory.  For those of you who don’t follow the show, it’s a half hour sitcom that follows the lives of Sheldon Cooper (played by Emmy award winning Jim Parsons), a particle physicist working on string theory and his roommate Leonard Hofstadter (played by the brilliant Johnny Galecki), a theoretical who  work at CalTech University in Pasadena, California and the shenanigans that follow when a beautiful would be actress, Penny (played by the lovely Kaley Cuoco) moves in across the hall from them.  Helping out with the hilarity of the show are Sheldon and Leonard’s best friends who also work at CalTech, astrophysicist, Rajesh Koothrapali (played by Kunaal Nayar) and oft mocked engineer from MIT Howard Wolowitz (played by Simon Helberg).  Boiled down to it’s essence, The Big Bang Theory is about a geek who falls for a gorgeous girl, and spends his time trying to win her heart.

When the show first came out, my sister in law told me I absolutely had to watch this show because it would appeal to the geek in me.  I said I’d check it out, but I never did.  It was not until I started dating a guy who had the first three seasons on DVD that I started watching.  I was  totally Miss Tardy to the Party in this one.  But thank goodness he sat me down and made me watch the first disc.  After that, I was completely HOOKED.  Every time I went to his place, I asked, sometimes begged to watch more Big Bang.  Luckily, he loved it so much it was never an issue.

I completely fell in love with Sheldon, whose brilliance is proportionately unequal to his social skills and understanding of the world around him.  He’s brilliant.  He’s got an I.Q. That he says is so high it isn’t measurable by the standard I.Q. Tests.  As someone who has a brother who when tested as a young child rated at just under Super Genius on the I;Q; scale, I understood a lot of Sheldon’s quirks and his lack of social skills.  He may understand “everything” in the universe because of his knowledge of physics, but he can’t understand joking or sarcasm let alone basic human interactions.  I know that some people who really enjoy the show find Sheldon irritating or annoying, but with all his childlike qualities and his complete cluelessness, I find him utterly endearing.

I also love his relationship with Penny.  Penny is a homespun, Nebraska native who left Omaha to head to Hollywood and become a movie star.  And if that didn’t work, she’d become a T.V. Star.  Her reality is that she works as a waitress for The Cheesecake Factory while she tries desperately to fulfill her dreams of stardom.  Sheldon and Penny do not really get along at first, and he curses the day that Leonard said hello to her, thereby initiating a neighborly relationship with her. Sheldon constantly insults her for not having had a basic college education, and she constantly teases him with sarcasm and disdain for not understanding pop culture or human interactions.  But over the years, sheldon and Penny reach a kind of amazing friendship, wherein they do actually love each other in their own odd ways.

Sheldon found it difficult to incorporate Penny into his circle of friends because she’s not a scientist nor is she that educated, but because Leonard fell head over heels in love with her, Sheldon tolerated her presence in their lives.

Leonard, is actually the main character of the story, and he is pretty much the most adept at socialization of all of the nerds in the show.  He’s sarcastic and witty as well as smart.  He is also a gem of a human being for putting up with Sheldon as his roommate.  The series is truly based on Leonard’s relationship with Penny and how he tries to date her. He does go through a few other relationships during the course of the the series but his heart really and truly always belongs to Penny.  And while Penny, as I said before, is not an educated woman, she is incredibly street smart and has the potential to be as educated as he wants to be.

The draw of The Big Bang Theory is the humor.  I’m not much of a sitcom fan, I never have been.  Well, except back in the day with the Cosby Show and Family Ties when I was a kid.  But the recent sitcoms leave me bored.  Except for the Big Bang Theory.  Now, don’t be intimidated by the science they are constantly spewing.  I’m not anywhere CLOSE to being a physicist, but even a layperson can laugh at Leonard and Sheldon discussing physics and arguing about how much they over think things.  Then you add the “comic relief” of Raj who can’t speak to women, but who has a sharp wit when he’s hanging out with the guys.  And then you have Howard, the Jewish engineer who doesn’t have a PhD and who is constantly trying to hit on Penny in a slightly sleazy/creepy way.  The jokes boarder on risque but they never go over the line and the writers are truly brilliant when it comes to the witty sarcastic humor.

Now, if the first couple of episodes don’t tickle your funny bone, give it a few more.  By the end of season 1, you will be completely hooked.  I can almost guarantee it.  Especially if you have any geek or nerd tendencies.

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Hope you enjoyed this week of the Fandom Friday! Stay tuned for some new posts coming soon!

And don’t forget to write your own Fandom Friday and send it my way!

Lastly, don’t forget to follow Jackie on Twitter (@bazinGEEKgirl) and on her blog, Seeking Bazinga!