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JohnPhD

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Everything posted by JohnPhD

  1. Leibniz wasn't born on 25 December. See the ep where Penny and Sheldon exchange Christmas presents.
  2. I just rewatched 117 which reminded me of a strong argument why Leonard's showing the shower scene from SA to his shipmates was a betrayal of Penny. Remember how L got his first date with P? P was hurt and outraged that her hunk boyfriend Mike had posted details about their sex life on his blog. She wished she could go out with someone who didn't do that sort of thing, and Leonard suggested himself. Then much later when they were together he did that sort of thing - showing the video was very analogous IMO. And a Happy Newtonmas to all.
  3. I don't think I'll ever re-watch this ep. Super frustrating - Leonard and Penny identify their problems then instead of their DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT it's dropped and we just see endless unneccessary Sheldon and Amy labouriously working through exactly what we knew was going to happen as soon as S said he was preparing an authentic frontier dinner. The ep could advantageously have cut straight from S describing the dishes at the start of dinner to his running into 4A to vomit. And if the time saved had been devoted to developing P&L that would have put the ep on an altogether higher level. To wash away the bad taste of 1111 I rewatched 117 right after (the one where L asks P out for the first time and she agrees - "The cat's alive!"). The drastic decline in quality from that to 1111 could perhaps be quantified by the respective screentimes KC has in each, altho it's not just being on screen but being at the centre of the story.
  4. I assume your daughter wasn't embarrassed about her role in Hair, which is the whole point.
  5. It's utterly ridiculous to reduce Penny to her hair. It's not just her beauty (I understand beautiful actresses are not particularly rare) that makes Penny enchanting, it's KC's acting.
  6. I think you're right. This also shows the coarsening of the writing since the makers decided to foreground Shamy. When Leonard at sea was current there was a subtler example of L letting Penny down: P told Sheldon how embarrassed she was about Serial Apist, then we saw L boastfully showing SA to his shipmates. Obviously not a deal-breaker, but an indication that L wasn't always the intelligent or sensitive one, and still had something to learn about loving someone. The North Sea Snog was crude by comparison. It's as though the abandonment of artistic integrity required to convert Shamy from a joke relationship to the romantic couple has also affected the writing of the other characters.
  7. It seemed to me that Priya never took leonard seriously when he said he'd get a job in "New Delhi" to be with her. And had he thought it through? If he hasn't got tenure on his home ground, what are his chances of getting a post where he knows no-one? And the pollution in Delhi isn't new this year - how long would Leonard and his inhaler last there?
  8. That's very interesting information. Does similar "feedback control" apply to plot development in all sitcoms with story arcs, including TBBT?
  9. Yes, Sheldon appreciated Amy as a friend, he didn't often come across anyone compatible with himself. But he was not looking for "someone he might want to marry" and that was not on his mind when he became friends with Amy. S just wanted a meeting of minds; A, after The Alien Parasite Hypothesis episode, was desperate for a sexual relationship. I didn't much care for the way Sheldon's friends assumed that because he had a friend who was a girl she must be his girlfriend. And I thought Penny was a bad friend to Sheldon in relentlessly pushing him to have sex with Amy.
  10. Yes the structural similarities are there, but within the class of sitcoms based in an apartment block in which relationships become increasingly important, I think the differences are more significant. Firstly, I think KC is a much better actress in that sort of role than Jennifer Aniston, and in Penny has created a truly loveable character it is possible to care about. Penny and Leonard is the only sitcom couple I have ever "shipped". But I don't think Penny corresponds 1-to-1 with Rachel: Penny is basically a good, kind person, in which she is more like Phoebe (who incidentally briefly dated a physicist). Phoebe is nothing like Amy. And Leonard is the most nearly normal male character whose POV we're invited to share. In Friends that's Chandler, not Ross. I always wondered how Friends was developed. I suspected that Ross and Rachel were originally intended as a pair of grotesques for us to laugh at, but the programme makers learnt to their surprise that a lot of the audience actually cared about their relationship, and adjusted the writing to appeal to that segment.
  11. No I'm pointing out that whereas it's often said falsely that Leonard wore Penny down, which is not the case at all, Amy in fact wore Sheldon down, both in the sense of getting him to finally accept an emotional and sexual relationship that he didn't want for many seasons, and also in the sense of diminishing him. And it's never said that Amy wore Sheldon down altho' it would be true.
  12. Fun fact: if Penny or Bernadette were M of H she'd be called Matron of H because they're married women. But it's rather inconsistent A & S choosing the people for roles: back when a man really would ask his girlfriend's father for permission to propose there was a fixed etiquette for what relatives should be offered what roles in important family occasions. Failure to ask someone to take a role they were conventionally entitled to could lead to lifelong resentments. Sheldon follows social etiquette when he's told what it is.
  13. What a boring episode. Why on earth does Amy and Sheldon's utterly predictable wedding planning have to take place onscreen? It would be just as interesting seeing them do their tax returns. In general we see far too much of Amy's life and far too little of Penny's. I foolishly got hopeful for a moment that they were going to get A & S's wedding out of the way at City Hall there and then and have done with it, but of course not. It was really rather sad to see the great JP making that mawkish speech to Amy, which arbitrarily falsified the past: S didn't "think he'd never find anyone he wanted to marry", he wasn't interested in a relationship and was happy by himself. He didn't "find" Amy, she latched on to him and wore him down season by season. As for the other storyline, what's the point of Raj if he's not the butt of Howard's jokes. Howard has done everything for Raj who actually gives him very little - if Raj is so ungrateful and sensitive that he can't take a bit of teasing, to hell with him. Howard's the one with the family and the life - why should he care. I just hope they don't show Bernadette letting Raj in their house while he's not speaking to Howard. Or skyping with him.
  14. My impression is that "impulsive" emphasises readiness to act on ideas as they occur to one, while "spontaneous" emphasises readiness to act on external events. So if the characters were on the way to an indoor event on a grey day and the sun came out and they immediately decided to go to the beach instead, that would be spontaneous. Sheldon is not at all spontaneous, he always wants to stick with plan A. Penny and Leonard's going to Las Vegas to marry was impulsive. Suppose that, instead of the North Sea Snog crap, they had left the interstate for some reason and, seeing a mailbox marked "Judge so-and-so", knocked on his door and got him to marry them right away, would that have been impulsive or spontaneous? (This idea, of course, comes from a black-and-white movie I've forgotten the name of. I think one or both was killed by the law shortly afterwards.)
  15. What I particularly liked was that the story was formally about the search for the bitcoin but actually had a lot of focus on Penny for once.
  16. What a great episode. Like the programme makers were trying to please me for once. Loved the part about the video Penny made after breaking up with Leonard - and what she told Sheldon thru the door. And funny, sharp jokes throughout. It's as though TBBT is mostly written by interns these days and the real writers only show up for the occasional ep. This was one of those. Lots of Lovely Lenny Love. And Zack is always a joy. Best ep for several seasons IMO.
  17. Are you sure Leonard would have watched ACO? 2001 certainly, but I don't recall any mention of ACO, or suggestion L would have read it or watched it. I always thought L's tastes in SF were surprisingly limited to space opera. I think I suggested once that if Penny had a friend who would point her at a few classic SF novels, she could easily be one-up on Leonard and Sheldon in that respect. For consistency, if Howard or Sheldon had read Brave New World they would have called Penny "pneumatic" - H lasciviously and S objectively. But may be it's just the writers who haven't read it. As for other iconic movies, the writers do slip in some nice little references. The Room-mate Agreement includes a clause about what to do if someone they know is replaced by a pod-person as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and when Sheldon told Penny she had to follow the group's rules now she was "one of us" Howard started a chant like in Freaks. I haven't spotted any more but others may have.
  18. Or would the guys in TBBT know about Doctor Strangelove? Incidentally, compare Raj and Peter Sellars's "Indian" characters. Essential difference? I think very little.
  19. I think it's more Penny's character to fight her own battles than complain to higher ups. I imagine a scene where a guy at the office sees Penny for the first time and grins and nudges the guys he is with before moving towards her. Then we see him walking with difficulty and wincing when he sits down.
  20. Penny can be the most complex and deep character of all. We sometimes get glimpses of how she feels about her life, from when she was an intelligent girl who was too cool for school to the present, but it's never really followed thru. The writers can write it if they want to, KC can act it perfectly, but it's always dropped in favour of less-interesting storylines. P & L's dialogue often hints at it but somehow never gets to the heart of it.
  21. This is quite true. Wasn't that part of the reason she said she hated her job (to Leonard, at the Indigo Girls fan's cabin in the woods) in one of the apparently significant Lenny moments that was never followed up but just dropped to make room for Shamy stuff.
  22. I think this may be a misinterpretation of Penny's original character. Her attitude to sex was innocent hedonism. She joked about being taken out to dinner, but she never used sex to get ahead, which was why she hadn't got ahead - contrast Alicia. She didn't even get good tips at the Cheesecake Factory. She obviously enjoyed male attention, but we never saw her allowing men to take liberties, so far as I remember. A significant ep was the one with the fighting robots, where Howard pushed his luck with her and she verbally destroyed him. What was wrong was that the guys, including Leonard, then made her apologise. We've never seen P in a workplace situation where men are in a position to be sleazy predators. I think I get what you mean about women who play up to workplace sexism (is that what you mean?) but I don't think Penny is portrayed as one of them. I think it was made fairly clear that no-one would get Penny on the casting couch. She obviously thought that her beauty and charm were going to carry her to stardom, but so far as I could see she only expected to deploy them on-screen as an actress. There is of course the episode where Penny proposed to flaunt herself to help Leonard get tenure, with some implication that she'd done that sort of thing before, But that was an isolated example.
  23. Well that was pretty enjoyable - plenty of conflict and backstabbing. Nice one Bawwy. I like Kripke - he's an in-your-face villain who never pretends to be anyone's friend. There was a pleasing complementarity between the 2 plots - Bernadette and Ruchi think they're ruthless careerists at the Pharma company but they're pussycats compared with what goes on at Caltech. When Raj and Ruchi are in bed and she denies they're in a relationship was very reminiscent of an early-season scene with Howard and Leslie Winkle in bed, where Leslie says she must use sex to control H "otherwise we'd be like a real relationship with feelings and stuff". It will be a great pity if Ruchi's out now she's dumped Raj - Ruchi and Bernadette was potentially much more interesting than Ruchi and Raj. But the glaring deficiency continues - Penny has been reduced to a calm and wise onlooker. She had some good lines this ep, and KC does brilliantly with what she's given, but there has been no Penny story at all since P & L's second wedding ceremony. Way back when, she said she hated her job - that's just been dropped. Penny also works for the Pharma company - old Penny would have impulsively involved herself in the Bernadette - Ruchi feud, with upsetting consequences for her own career that Leonard could have helped her thru.
  24. Please let's not go there. I'm sure the writers didn't.
  25. I don't find him particularly unconfident about his work: what is odd is that he seems to care what Sheldon says. It wouldn't do any harm for L to tell Penny that he feels his biggest achievement is winning her (which it is). That should have given him all the self-confidence he needs.
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