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Chiara

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Posts posted by Chiara

  1. It seems to me that the writers are actively aware of what hamerman55 pointed out in terms of the two different types of couples in TBBT; the "similars" (Howard/Bernadette; Sheldon/Amy) and the "dissimilars" (Leonard/Penny). So aware, in fact, that they attribute the weekly "crisis" accordingly which produces some interesting balancing act from episode to episode : whenever the Lenny is fine, the other two couples eat dirt; whenever the Shamy and the Hernadette are cruising relatively smoothly, it is bumpy time for the Lenny. 

     

    It is quite rare for all three couples to face a similar crisis simultaneously and equally uncommon for the Lenny to encounter a problem at the same time as the Hernadette or the Shamy do. In that regard, the restaurant scene in The Tangible Affection Proof was almost a textbook example : as Howard and Bernadette were fighting, Penny and Leonard tried to calm them down. Then the Lenny started disintegrating while the Hernadette reconciliated.

     

    The "similars" and the "dissimilars" are different species, in a way, so they operate on different time scales and have different issues. 

    Basically, we have to keep a watchful eye on the other two couples... The moment they start being "too" happy, we have to brace ourselves ! ;)

     

     

    PS Thank you so very much, hamerman55, Carlos and eirwinrommel (amazing choice of songs, my friend) for the birthday wishes. They were lovely and very appreciated.

    • Like 2
  2. I can see it happening this way, though I hope it doesn't because I am tired of the Leonard does something wrong and Penny gets angry at him.  How many years has this been happening and shouldn't the writers come up with something different?  For me angry Penny at Leonard for everything under the sun has wore out it's welcome if you ask me.

    I definitely see what you mean but I believe my take on it is slightly different. To me, Leonard would not be doing anything "wrong" if he were to decide to propose in order to spare Penny the trouble of doing so.

    Of course, Penny and Leonard have a deal but, while the "letter" of it is about her doing all the proposing in the future, its "spirit" is about Leonard waiting for his girlfriend to be ready before entering into (un)holy matrimony. Therefore, were he to "hold it in" until he were sure she is more than OK with the idea, it would not be the story of him getting something wrong and her getting angry as a result; it would be about each of them attempting to enforce a different aspect of their agreement (him the spirit, her the letter).

     

    Over the past six years, I believe the writers have been pretty good at emphasising that a disagreement between two characters does not rely on one of its participants being "wrong" per se. Perhaps the most striking example of this continuing point of theirs was the conflict that led to the third season Lenny breakup. In this particular case, neither Leonard nor Penny was more in the wrong than the other. TPTB made it abundantly clear that Leonard had every right to expect his ILY to be reciprocated and that Penny had every right not to return it if she was not confident. Even when the whole thing spun out of control, the blame was evenly spread between the two characters : Leonard got overly passive-aggressive and Penny got overly defensive, in equal measures. There was no real guilty party (with the exception of Wheaton who got off scots free even though he shamed the United Federation of Planets Starfleet with his wretched deed).

     

    Penny and Leonard, for all their greatness, are very different creatures. Their match was not made in Heaven but in a lab, by a possibly perturbed scientist with instability on his mind and very resistant safety goggles on his face.

    So, sometimes, their perfectly reasonable respective interests are mutually exclusive, without it being anybody's fault.  A "Me !/No, me !/I said me !/Me first !" proposal would, I think, be true to the heterogeneous nature of their mixture.

     

     

    PS Thank you so much, ArmyGirl and Nogravitasatall, for the birthday wishes. I have had a fantastic day so far ! 

    • Like 3
  3. You know I could actually see Leonard accidently finding the ring before she does it and her getting mad at him for ruining it. but by the end of the episode getting engaged. 

    That is very much a distinct possibility. 

     

    My take on Leonard's plan (having Penny propose instead of him) is that it was something he put forward in order to appease his girlfriend, to give her the psychological space to quiet her fears. It worked a charm however I wonder how resolute he truly is. After all, Leonard, bless his adorable soul, has a very "chilvalrous" take on romance; his natural tendency is to to try and make everything fairytale/medieval fantasy perfect : he battled Kurt to get his lady love's stuff back, he gives her tokens of his affection that are either very rare (e.g. snowflake) or so "cliché" they are almost too sweet for words (e.g. heart locket, roses on the hood of her car). etc.

    He has his own outsider-ish brand of traditional behaviours he likes to perpetuate.

     

    Therefore I would not be surprised if, were he to find out Penny is planning to propose in the near future, he would decide to go ahead and beat her to the marital post, so to speak. Not to steal her thunder or any such thing of course but because this is the "manly" thing to do, as per tradition. I  believe it would not be out of character for him even to believe he is doing Penny a favour by taking the responsibility of proposing away from her at the last minute. How would Penny react to such a course of action ? With remarkable gratitude and misty-eyed thankfulness, I am sure... [/sarcasm]

    We could then end up with the two of them fighting over who gets to propose to whom. That sounds like something they would do. 

    • Like 3
  4. The Lenny engagement is so dependent on Sheldon's evolution I do not see it happening for quite some time.

    For Leonard and Penny to get engaged would mean for them to be ready to live together (if they do not start cohabiting before the proposal stage) which would mean Sheldon would have to give signs of being willing and able to live either on his own or with Amy. For the moment, the writers are not giving us much sign of such a change occurring in Dr. Cooper's mind. So I am not exactly holding my breath.

     

    As for the proposal, as much as I would love to see Leonard's dreams of "being swept off his feet" come true, I cannot shake off my deep attachment to the long tradition of oddball proofs of love these two characters have given each other over the years. Therefore, to me at least, a "traditional" proposal (jewelry, flowers, dinner, candles) would be a teeny wee bit of a disappointment. There is no doubt that they have matured and are therefore more capable of giving one another more conventional evidence of mutual affection than chemistry kits and bike riding lessons; however, they remain, at their core, two slightly offbeat personalities and I believe the proposal should represent that. ;)

    • Like 3
  5. I do agree with most of what you said. To me though the Leonard/Priya relationship never should of happened. In that case Leonard and Priya should of known better. It just causes an awkward situation for the friend/sibling(Raj). Ironically though people seem to be more upset with Raj/Penny than Leonard/Priya. That's something I never understood.

    The Leonard/Priya relationship should indeed never have happened for they could not have been more ill-suited for each other. In that regard, it was a mistake. However, it was Leonard's and Priya's right to make that mistake, regardless of Raj's feelings about the whole thing. And I believe the same logic applies to the Raj/Penny hookup : it was a stupid mistake both participants had the right to make, independently of Leonard. 

     

    As for the difference in the fans' reactions to both events, well, Leonard is the hero and Penny is not so...

    But it is all behind them now : Raj and Leonard are great friends, Penny and Raj like and support each other very much, Leonard and Penny are as solid as they have ever been. It is all good !

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with the rest of your post so I only quote this bit : 

     

    I've also had my assessment of Howard confirmed. He's a spineless weasel. Talk about violating the "bro code". Another plus for Leonard is that I cannot recall a single time he has betrayed his friends, while I can recall many times that Sheldon, Howard and Raj have done so. Leonard truly is the only one that has any honor. 

    Leonard is a most excellent friend but he has shown he was not opposed to disregarding the "bro code" when necessary : he slept with Raj's sister even though he knew Raj did not want it to happen; he slept with Priya even though he had a deal with Howard about not hitting on her; and he went behind Sheldon's back to give Penny Mary's phone number. 

     

    What Leonard was doing in The Raiders Minimization was wrong (he even admitted it) so he could not demand his friend to cover for him. Similarly, Raj's expectation of control over whom his sister slept with was utterly ridiculous so no man on Earth, Leonard included, was duty bound to abide by Dr Koothrappali's wishes; and Howard and Leonard had no right to impose some form of selective embargo on Priya's sexuality and/or romantic life without consulting her so their pinky-sworn "pact" was null and void. As for Dr Hofstadter giving Penny Sheldon's kryptonite, it was a sound decision based on a justifiable desire to put an end to the madness. 

     

    With all due respect, any breach of the "bro code" is a good thing in my eyes. Loyalty to one's friends is a fantastic and very respectable bound indeed, as long as it does not contradict the basic rules of logic and/or decency. But the "bro code", whose first article is "Bros before Hoes"... I am sorry to say but that is, in Beverly's immortal word, "yikes" (not in a good way). And no amount of Neil Patrick Harris loveliness can change that :)

     

    PS For the sake of clarity and impartiality, allow me to add that if there is such a thing as the "sis code" and its opening line is something like "Chicks before Pr*cks", it is just as brain-meltingly "yikes" (still not in a good way). 

    • Like 5
  7. For better or for worse, Beverly is Leonard's mommy and he loves her. He may not be able to stand her but he loves her. And, for all we know, she loves him too; she is just incapable of normally showing affection to anyone, especially him. When sober, that is. 

     

    Penny having a good relationship with her is, in my eyes, a good thing. It was thanks to this bizarre sense of sisterhood that they bonded over tequila and got talking about "their" man's secretive attitude, which led to Leonard receiving a long awaited (and much deserved) maternal hug. I believe Penny might be able to accomplish much more by having Beverly's ear than by confronting her openly. It does not mean she will never go Junior Rodeo on Mommy Dearest's bottom; she very well might, if given proper cause. But I doubt it. 

    Ultimately, Penny is probably better used as a bridge between Leonard and his mom than as a weapon.

    • Like 3
  8. An issue in this episode has been bothering me. A number of posters through the seasons have said that Penny needs to be more attentive or interested in Leonard's needs or interests. Yet it is clearly shown in this episode that since season 3 (The Cornhusker Vortex) Leonard still doesn't know a thing about football nor does he care. SHELDON knows much more about football for goodness sakes! Yet he is suppose to be in love with Penny yet he can't learn about a sport in almost 4 years that she cares about? To the point where Penny says you better not talk sports with her friends and don't complain about everything. That sure sounds like a one side relationship in regards that he can't even care enough to be coherent in a simple sport. Just saying. Sounds like a double standard here. The guy is more than smart enough to grasp the concept of football to handle a conversation if he really cared.

    I see where you are coming from. But it was not that bad : for all his moaning, he was still willing to go. For Penny's sake. Until she provided him with the perfect excuse...

     

    On a related note, I was very pleased to find out Penny continues to socialise with her more jock-y friends. While her true "family", so to speak, is the Los Robles Mafia, there are things she cannot share with them, such as her love of sports, for they simply would not understand. So I am glad she has not given up on those activites of hers and continues to exist as a separate entity, in a way. She has her own thing going on and she tries to include Leonard. Good for her. 

    • Like 3
  9. What a very good episode that was !

     

    The interactions between the couples were great.

    I love Bernie's no nonsense attitude; she is good at keeping Howard in line. 

     

    Penny and Leonard were a lot of fun to watch. It was nice to see Penny being so compassionate towards Leonard and feeling genuinely sorry for bringing up the topic of his childhood, though I have to say the "breastfeeding" exchange was brilliant; Leonard went too far with his new found leverage and got punished for it. Penny unleashed Hell on his tushie and he learnt his lesson. The "mommy" interjection was great : as others mentioned, it might have been the first time he used that word. Poor guy, he loves his mom but he cannot stomach her (for good reasons). Also : who knew Bev was such a kinky lady ? A ping pong paddle ? There is a very sick voice in my head that demands more details on that particular anecdote. 

    Also, yay for Penny still going to college !

     

    Sheldon and Amy were delightful. I do no think Amy "ruined" the Raiders of the Lost Ark (who cares, after all, whether Indiana Jones serves any purpose in the unfolding of events ? He is an archeologist with a hat and a whip.. And he fights the Nazis ! Who cares whether he contributes anything to the plot ? He is cool ;)) but I imagine that, for someone as committed to his passions as Sheldon, it must have felt like a blow to the heart. His attempts at vengeance were adorably lame and a nice wink from the writers : after having the girls show interest for the boys' culture in The Bakersfield Expedition, they make one of the guys dip his toe into the girls' artistic preferences and fail to find it lacking in any way. Nice throwback ! Furthermore, Sheldon appears to have begun to learn something. While he is not entirely sold on the idea of not seeking retribution, he at least acknowledged that telling Amy about his frustration and forgiving her made him feel better. That is a small step forward. He has not had he best example given to him by his parents but he is capable of moving past it, somewhat...

     

    But the real payoff was provided by Raj and Stuart.  

    Is there such a thing as a Stuart fetish ? Are there meetings for people who cannot get enough of the depressed, sad, lonely, perpetually rejected, desperate Bloom boy ? For I feel I may be turning into one right now. Kevin Sussman is an amazing actor : his delivery and facial expressions are absolutely priceless. The "photoshoot" was a perfect exemple of his talent; done by many other actors, it may have seemed over-the-top ridiculous. But with Mr. Sussman in charge, it felt real. And hilarious. And just a bit sad. Like Stuart himself.

    I like that both Raj and Stuart have not given up on romance. Even though they have no clue what they are doing, they are still willing to put themselves out there and try their best to find love. That is brave and they deserve kuddos for it. 

     

    All in all, great episode. 

    • Like 4
  10. I agree with most everything you said. To me though there was a point it went from testing to taking advantage of. IMO that happened when Penny agreed not to go watch the football game. (weird concept to me since I was watching the Bears/Giants game last night. Go Bears) This to me is where he should have stopped. Not wanting to watch it at Penny's apartment and instead wanting to watch "the Hobbit" was the point that everything afterwards was taking advantage of her. At that point I lost all sympathy for him until Bev showed up. Thats why in the end everything evened up at least for me.

    I agree with you in that, to me too, there was a point when Leonard's innocent manipulation "shifted", in a way. However, to me, it is was not the watching of The Hobbit; it was the Python documentary.

    There was something, dare I say, Beverly-ish about it. In the same way his mother made him look for non existent Easter Eggs just to know for how long he would keep searching, Leonard made Penny watch a documentary even he found boring just to see how far he could push her. That is when the whole thing "slipped", I believe : it stopped being about a guy who, for the first time in his life, feels like he is the king of the world and does not know how to deal with his new "power" (wrong but perfecly understandable), and started looking like an experiment in which Penny was the guinea pig (just plain wrong). 

     

    Again, it was absolutely not awful. Leonard is still, and will forever be, a remarkable man with the kindest of souls. But he definitely went too far on that one so Penny's revenge was warranted. He played, he lost. Hopefully, he has learnt his lesson : you do not mess with Penny. Ever. If you value your continued existence, physical integrity and peace of mind.  ;)

     

    Beverly's appearance was fine. Not quite as good as when she used to show up in person, of course, but just fine. Furthermore, we got some interesting information out of it : Bev is a kinky woman ! I knew it. Under this cool, detached exterior beats the heart of a freak. I cannot wait for Leonard's siblings to appear someday. I am certain they are even more unhinged than their mommy (and daddy)... Oh, what I would not give for Penny to find out and use the intel to make them be nice to their brother !

    • Like 5
  11. On a completely different topic : am I the only one delighted Penny is still going to community college and, apparently, doing well there ? 

     

    I know the reference to the "check plus/check/check minus" grading system was meant as a little jab at the level of academic "excellence" usually associated with such institutions but still... Penny used to have to bully her friends to help her get a B-. Now she does it all on her own and seems to be performing perfectly fine, by community college standard ! Surely that is progress.

    • Like 6
  12. You hit the nail on the head. What I think put her over the top was finding out from Bernie. Howard stupidly tried to do the same thing with Bernie and she caught on. It was bad enough Leonard manipulated Penny but seemingly bragged to Howard about it. Penny may had even thought the other guys knew. Her reaction may have been less if she found out on her own.

    Absolutely. After finding out, Penny might even have assumed he had kind of premeditated the whole thing. We know he did not, of course, but she had no way of being sure. So she hit back. Very hard.

     

    I did not mind Penny poking fun at Leonard for, to me, her reaction was very similar to how most would behave when discovering their S.O.'s "embarrassing" baby pictures. It was innocently done. I did not mind Leonard seizing the opportunity not to go watch the football game (though considering the number of times she went out with him and his friends to do what they liked, one sporting event on occasion is not the end of the world). I did not mind Leonard bragging to Howard (the poor man was high on endorphins). And, in context, I did not mind Penny's retaliation.

    However, there was one little thing I found slightly off. At some point, Leonard mentioned using the "traumatised child" card to get Penny to watch a six-part documentary on Monty Python even he did not want to stay awake for, just to see if she would do it. As long as the manipulation had some sort of utilitarian bend, I was OK with it (Leonard was being overly enthusiastic with his newly found superpower) but the moment he started manipulating Penny's feelings of compassion and guilt just for the sake of it... I thought it was a bit too much. 

     

    Other than that, it was all perfectly fine. Leonard's last line really made the day in this regard. "Penny come back ! I'm really sad now" indeed ! ;)

    • Like 3
  13. Agreed.  Lenny fans may be quick to worry about what turns out to be trivial things, but that's because their history shows that concern is warranted.

    Maybe, instead of the Lennys, we should call ourselves the PTSDs. It would stand for what we like (Physicist/Thespian Symbiotic Delight) and what we have. 

    • Like 3
  14. Finally caught up with the two chapters and I am delighted. 

     

    One of my favourite aspects of Penny has always been that she is tremendously loyal to her friends. She cares for people and will always attempt to help them out, more often than not using her own experiences and mistakes to enlighten them. So you cannot imagine how happy I was when I saw you had her behave in just that fashion with Cheryl. It showed not only that she is willing to put in the hours for her friend's sake but also that she has digested, so to speak, enough of her own past to be able to use some parts of it as cautionary tales. It demonstrates how much maturing Penny has done and that is fantastic. 

     

    Of course, she still has issues and your depiction of them is genuinely moving : the way in which she is confused by her own feelings, the manner in which she wishes she did not have those problems and tries to talk herself out of them, to no avail... Her inner turmoil breaks my heart a little but she is committed to sorting herself out so I can only cheer her all the way to the end. There is no silver bullet, no easy way out for those fears of hers. It can only take time and effort to move past them. And while it can be frustrating, both for us and Leonard, it is also more real, more raw, more sincere. She is a work in progress and neither we nor Leonard can expect her to be done that easily or quickly. 

     

    Speaking of the adorable homunculus with a cute tushie, his last words sounded a bit... Ominous to say the least. But I shall stand strong in the face of doom ;) Talking is a good thing, especially for them. For so long they have failed to communicate efficiently with each other that any departure from that pattern can only be welcomed with open arms. Your story is a beautiful testament to that. So bring it on, Hofstadter. I ain't afraid !

     

    Awesome work, Tensor. 

  15. The thank you letter he had written after they had sex for the first time.  After reading this I thought of S3E04 The Pirate Solution where Penny tells Leonard he doesn't have to thank her after each time they have sex (Howard is there cooking breakfast).  So I can so see Leonard writing the thank you note.

     

    Just a thought:  Wonder if the snowflake was in the box too.

    The note is indeed a great callback. Made all the sweeter by the fact that we know their first time was extremely underwhelming. No matter how disappointed he may be, Leonard always says "please" and "thank you". The perfect (if slightly odd) gentleman !

     

    As for the snowflake, it may very well be in the box. Or it might have its own little shrine somewhere...

  16. I can't get over how cute it was! Like, you never think of Penny keeping these little things and giving such a straightforward answer that these things are from HIM so how could she throw them out. Its quite a deep connection she has there that we haven't seen before. Aah I really cannot wait to actually see this episode.

    It is also a nice show of continuity. While she got much better at it last season, Penny still has a hard time expressing her feelings of love. She is not naturally wired that way. So it often occurs that some of the most important and emotionally revealing things she says are stumbled upon by accident or done unconsciously. It was true of her letting go of Leonard (The Prestidigitation Approximation) when she proved she could put his happiness first; it was true of the first ILY, which she let out in the middle of an argument. And I believe it might be true this time around too : she is bemoaning the fact that Leonard is so much better than her at being romantic and, to prove her point, she pulls out the box. Her boyfriend asks her about it and, innocently (maybe even in passing), she reveals that she could not let go of any of its content because it is all from him. 

     

    Penny is never more romantic than when she is not trying... Or paying attention. :)

    • Like 6
  17. What a fantastic transcript to wake up to ! 

     

    The book was definitely a brilliant idea, even if it did not really pay off the way it could have. As for the box full of mementos, it is perfectly in keeping with Penny's past attitude towards romance : she does not care much for the big gestures but cherishes the little, discreet things. It also provides us with great glimpses of what their couple is like offscreen. Leonard leaves roses on her car just because ? And Penny puts them in a little box under her bed just because ? And it is so "normal" to them that they do not feel the need to talk about any of it (unless there is a bit of a crisis) ? How amazingly tender is their dynamics ? 

     

    On a sidenote, it is lovely to see a girl trying to do something romantic on television. Usually, that is for the male characters to get right. But this time, a woman has to do it and she has no freaking idea how to make it work. Me Like-y ! A lot ! An awful lot !

    • Like 8
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