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Posts posted by Chiara

  1. Shady-manipulative-tricking-Penny-into-sex-Leonard! only exists on Shenny fanfiction so far.

    I do not recall painting such a ghastly portrait of Leonard. I merely suggested that he may be tempted to to turn a negative (Penny reading his mother's book) into a positive (Penny feeling very sorry for him and babying him a bit).


    Amy did something quite similar in The Fish Guts Displacement.

    • Like 1
  2. What are your suspicions?


    Mainly that Leonard might play the pity card to get, in sprinkles's words, "what he want from Penny". 


    Beverly's book is damaging to Leonard; full of anecdotes he would prefer people (especially his girlfriend) not to know about. But it also highlights what a peculiar mother Dr. Hofstadter was when her middle child was growing up. I would not put it past Leonard to attempt to regain control of the situation by laying it a bit thick in the trauma department to get Penny to feel sorry for him and be very, very, very nice to his poor mistreated, adorable self (we know Penny is partial to puppy-eyed Leonard)


    If this turns out to be correct and Penny finds out... I hope Leonard has good running shoes and his inhaler with him because he is going to have to run. Fast. 


    ETA I may be completely and utterly wrong of course. If so, just ignore me.

    • Like 1
  3. It's supposed to make us laugh so don't feel bad. I find her funny but only because I know she's not real. 

    You are correct and I am now revising my opinion.


    I am no longer sure I should feel completely sorry for Leonard just yet. Rereading this thread, I realised that one of the tidbits mentioned him making up stories to get what he wanted from Penny. And then Ms. Cuoco posted a charming picture of herself in a loverie pink attire which may have been taken on taping night. 

    I sense shenanigans on the Hofstadter front... I have strong suspicions. 

    • Like 3
  4. Thank you so much, Count Wally. There is literally nothing I do not like about this picture : the BatGirl costume being too big for Howard who looks about three seconds away from projectile vomiting, Sheldon's vacant yet determined expression (and sexy legs), Leonard's pout and Farrah Fawcett wig... As for Raj, let's just say this : eat your heart out, Halle ! That is how one does Catwoman. 

    • Like 2
  5. I was trying to guess which movie Amy ruined. I'd guess Raiders, The whole submarine thing made no sense. Not to mention the anachronisms.

    I remember them mentioning the "submarine controversy" in The 21-Second Excitation so they are aware of the problem. Since Amy is a neuroscientist who spends a lot of time with monkeys, maybe she spots a problem with the "chilled monkey brains" scene in The Temple of Doom ?


    ETA (so many post scriptums and sidenotes from me today !) I am glad the writers chose to insert a reference to Penny's continued college attendance. Sometimes, it is easy to forget the characters have a life outside of what we get to witness every week. So yeah for community college continuity !

    • Like 2
  6. Thank you jennyferbrelaz. 


    Has Beverly spared Leonard any indignity ? The woman raised three children but apparently only Leonard's upbringing was worthy of a book. And she made it a short one to boot... 

    On the one hand, my heart goes out to poor Leonard, on the other, it is so profoundly sad I find it hilarious... Eirwinrommel, I have "happiness at the misfortune of others" all over me again !


    PS For the second time, Raj is compared to Halle Berry. It would be frightnening if it were not so true. 

    • Like 1
  7. Thank you stardustmelody. It is always lovely to have an "inside man", so to speak ;)


    So Beverly is back, at her Mommy Dearest best, and Sheldon is on the path of revenge... Sounds like good ol' times !


    On a sidenote : Yeah ! Stuart is here again ! Third episode in a row for the King of Bath Towel Karaoke ! I cannot get enough of him. His depression makes me happy (that came out wrong).

    • Like 3
  8. That's a pretty cold statement given that we know that Leonard never wanted to break up with Penny, nor did he ever stop loving her. While I would agree that he has no right to say anything to Penny, he has every right to have feelings. He wouldn't be human if a scenario you described happened and he didn't have feelings about it. I would also say that he loved Penny even while with Priya so while he can't say anything about it as they are split, it is going to affect him.

    I am not challenging his right to have feelings (perhaps I should have phrased my answer more carefully) but the impact said feelings could/should have on Penny's behaviour if/when they are not in a relationship. 


    I said she could sleep with the whole CalTech faculty and it would be no one's business but her own. You asked "what about Leonard's feelings ?". My answer is "what about them ?". He is allowed to have them but Penny is equally allowed not to imagine what they could be and take them into account; she has not duty to care for his emotional wellfare unless they are an item. 


    It may be harsh and for that I apologise but I believe it to be the truth. If one were to care for other people's feelings all the time, one might as well stand still. 


    First, the "hurt" Leonard may have given Penny is completely different than getting drunk and shacking up with your ex's best friend.

    To be fair, Raj is not Leonard's best friend. Sheldon is. 


    Raj is the friend whose sister Leonard shackep up with in his bed...


    Let's also reevaluate the break up. Did Penny break up with him because of his pressure or because of her own fear of commitment? I think you could argue either. I see both sides at fault there.

     Penny broke up with him because she did not want to lead him on. At the time, she did not know for sure she would ever be able to love Leonard as much as he loved her and did not wish to give him false hope by dragging the whole thing on. 


    I absolutely agree that both had a hand in the breakup and that both messed up. However, to say that to be backed into a corner and made to feel like a heartless b*tch for not returning an ILY is not as hurtful as to know your ex and one of your friends had sex is inaccurate, I believe.


    Her first reaction to waking up with Raj was instant remorse. At that point she didn't think the others would find out. So her regret at maybe ruining her friends came later. Her first thoughts were disgust at having slept with a guy she didn't want to sleep with in the first place.

    Of course she regretted sleeping with Raj. Just like she would have regretted waking up next to any man on that morning. But her regret was amplified by the fact that she knew 1) Raj would get the wrong idea and believe them to be in a relationship; 2) the others would eventually find out (they always do); and 3) it could jeopardise the group as an entity. 

    The sex itself accounted for only a small part in her regret, I sense.


    Yes, she jokes about her past, including sexual experiences, but I don't think you can automatically say that means she is proud of them all. There are other reasons why she might joke or brag about them. Also, She nitpicks herself about what actions she regrets. It is almost always her sexual encounters she had while drunk or with guys who were jerks. I think she's shown to be more upset about that than you are. Which is fine by the way, but you seem to me to transfer your apathy at her behavior over onto her whereas I see a Penny who is very conscious of her faults and wants to correct them.

     I do not believe my reaction to be apathetic. I merely find it difficult to turn small incidents into symptoms of a greater pathology.


    Penny, in my opinion, does not nitpick the events she regrets the most; she chooses to mention those that are "appropriate" given the conversation. If the exchange is playful, she mentions the fun she had doing some naughty things. If the interaction has an "educational", "cautionary" bend, she refers to experiences she came to regret. 

    One type of allusions is not more frequent than the other.


    This topic was about Penny's drinking. Even if every other character was out making poor sexual choices while drunk, it would not change my opinion of Penny's actions, or theirs, one bit. I also think that Penny is aware of what happens to her when she gets drunk. So she either didn't care (which I do not believe) or she had a small problem. Why shouldn't she try and fix a problem that she has that has led to some meaningful regrets. Just because they are a part of life doesn't mean you shouldn't try and eliminate them.  And she did fix that problem.

    My point is that Penny has never had a problem. 


    After she slept with Raj, she hit rock bottom in a way. She feared she had driven a wedge between Leonard and his friend and fretted over her position within the gang. She even thought of leaving California, so convinced was she that she would not be accepted by the group anymore. So she revisited her past through that prism of sadness and self-deprecation and decided she had a problem...

    The same thing often happens after a breakup : one always remembers all the separations that came before the latest one and wonders "What is wrong with me?". The answer is, most likely, nothing at all. Things simply did not work out as one had hoped. There is no need to overimpose some imaginary pattern.


    As for Penny, the moment Leonard assured her that he would always be her friend (and so would the others) and that she did not have to leave because of what had happened with Raj, she was back to her good ol', happy self. Whatever epiphany she believed she had had failed to shake her to her core for any length of time.


    Can you give more examples to illustrate your point? Other than regretting being a bully when younger and the Leonard break up, I can't remember a regret she had that didn't have to do with sex or alcohol.

    Since the thread is about Penny's sexual behaviour while under the influence of the sweet nectar (sex and alcohol, not so much sex or alcohol), I have a 100% drunken coitus-free list of Penny's regrets :

    - her relationship with Kurt (the whole relationship, not just the sex);

    - her relationship with Mike (same thing);

    - her relationship with David (ditto);

    - the lies she told her dad about getting back together with Leonard;

    - the hurt she caused Howard when she yelled at him (after his "doable" comment);

    - her failure to invite Amy on her shopping trip with Bernadette;

    - her decision to move to Los Angeles to become an actress (briefly);

    - the pain she caused Leonard when she insulted him over the time machine he and Sheldon had bought;

    - the insults she threw at Leonard in The Ornithophobia Diffusion

    - etc.


    As I see them, most of Penny's regrets do not involve a heady blend of sex and alcohol. 


    Chiara you said, "I am a woman and I do not give a flying fig about Penny's sex life and/or drunk behaviour. Or Leonard's. Or Howard's. Or Raj's. Or Sheldon's. Or Amy's. Or Bernadette's. Or Mae West's. Or Victor Hugo's. Or my neighbour's.

    As long as they do not harm anyone, I consider it none of my business.

    I cannot wait to find out what "kind of females" that makes me."


    It doesn't make you anything.  Your opinion is your own.

    I was merely curious since you refered to the "kind of females" who would not feel comfortable calling a fellow woman a "slut". I simply wanted to find out whether said "kind" had a name, since I am one of them. :)

    • Like 3
  9. I think Chiara hit the nail on the head, in that Penny has to stop thinking of Leonard as a "pussy", and he has to stop thinking of her as dumb. This last taping report is good, as far as it goes, to point out Sheldon's flaws too. He gets caught up in the trees, and forgets the forest. He also has to "prove" how smart he is. It reminds me of Khan, in the Star Trek movie. Khan's son points out that they have all they really need, but Khan insists on chasing Kirk to "prove" his superior intellect. This is Sheldon in a nutshell. He's so busy proving his brilliance that he never accomplishes anything.

    I may misremember the taping report (I have not read it in some time) but I believe the "pussy" accusation is a lie from the mind of the Princess of Darkness Bernadette.

    Leonard realises very early on that rejecting Penny's offer to be his teammate was not a smart move so he wants to quit the scavenger hunt in order to find her and apologise. Bernadette, ever the ruthless competitor, does not want to lose her partner so she cooks up the "pussy" insult in order to make him angry and eager to prove himself. Both Leonard and Penny find out about the deception at the launderette (or something like that).


    However, I would not put it past Penny to agree with Bernadette's white lie to upset Leonard and get her revenge.


    I believe Penny has long moved on from equating "macho" or "butch" with "manly". She knows Leonard is brave and strong, in an unconventional way. The problem she used to have with him was his lack of self-assertion. Back in Lenny 1.0 time, he would bow down to her will no matter what it was and rarely say what was really on his mind if he thought it might cause a disagreement between them. In The Ornithophibia Diffusion, it all came to light : the sacrifices, the lies and the resulting resentment. Freed from the fear of Penny dumping him (that ship had sailed), Leonard became more willing to put his foot down and speak his mind, a change Penny welcomed with open arms... after it pissed her off.

    Now she knows Leonard is just as strong-willed as her, just in a different way. And she enjoys it, even though she knows she will forever be the one in charge of spider control. 



    As for Sheldon, I could not agree more with your assessment. He gets lost in his own brilliance and forgets to accomplish things. Still, at least he is happy. For now... (insert foreshadowing, doom-inspiring sound effect)

    • Like 7
  10. Sorry for the double post.

    In the end, what we believe of Penny is our own opinion. I may prove your point that it is generally wronged men who use the term slut since, as I mentioned before, I was a wronged man. But I would venture to guess that a lot more females would view her drunk behavior as problematic than males would. It depends on what kind of females you are talking about too.

    I am a woman and I do not give a flying fig about Penny's sex life and/or drunk behaviour. Or Leonard's. Or Howard's. Or Raj's. Or Sheldon's. Or Amy's. Or Bernadette's. Or Mae West's. Or Victor Hugo's. Or my neighbour's.

    As long as they do not harm anyone, I consider it none of my business.

    I cannot wait to find out what "kind of females" that makes me.

    • Like 1
  11. Again, from my point of view, it is not the amount of sex that is the problem.  If, to use your example, Penny slept with every Cal-tech faculty member, how do you think Leonard would feel?

    If Penny slept with the entire CalTech faculty at a time when she and Leonard were not in an exclusive relationship, then I am not sure I would be comfortable with Leonard believing he has the right to have feelings about it.


    What Penny did before their relationship started and after it ended has nothing more to do with him than it does with me or Daffy Duck.


    More importantly, how do you think she would feel about herself?  Penny is a good person who has expressed disappointment with herself for some of her sexual adventures.  She's hurt Leonard whom she loves.  You seem to not care about how actions affect others.  I've been cheated on by a girl who was drunk and slept with an ex.  It is not fun.  Now my experiences may color my opinions.However, if you care about the characters and their happiness as I do, then what Penny did while drunk hurt.

     Penny has expressed some disappointment about some of her past actions. So what ? Regret is part of life. 


    After the breakup, Leonard was shown to regret having told Penny he loved her for he felt it had precipitated the separation. By telling Penny he loved her and pressuring her to respond in kind, he put her on the spot and "hurt" her. Does it mean that telling people we love them and wanting them to love us back is bad in and by itself ? I hope not. It simply means that, given the type of relationship they were in at the time and the place Penny was in back then, saying ILY, expecting an immediate comeback and showing great disappointment (resentment even) when said comeback failed to materialise was not the greatest idea in the history of humankind.

    The exact same logic applies to the impromptu proposal in season five.


    Some seemingly good actions have unintended, negative consequences. Other actions appear to be good ideas on the moment but, for a variety of reasons, do not look so appealing at a later date. All lead those who undertake them to experiencing some degree of regret. That is part of life.


    Also, how much consent do you really think Penny made to sleep with Raj?  I'm guessing not much considering she can't remember it.

    That matter will forever be a bone of contention among fans. However, going by what the writers chose to tell us about it, at the time Penny was willing enough to walk all the way to Leonard's room, conscious enough to ask Raj whether he had protection and able enough to attempt to help him with it. To Raj, who was inebriated himself, it must have looked like she was just as active and enthusiastic (and drunken) a participant as he was.


    As for her subsequent blackout and regret, it is extremely unfortunate. Nevertheless, I would imagine the regret part had much more to do with her fear of having destroyed the community of friends she and the guys had created by driving a wedge between Leonard and Raj than with the horror of having slept with the latter (or anybody else) while drunk. So, it was not so much the act she regretted (though she was not thrilled about that and expressed dismay at the prospect of Raj believing them to be an item) but what she thought the consequences of the act would be.


    She kind of does considering she's not happy with her own behavior and was not able to stop until season 5.  She might not have a problem now, but she sure seemed to before.

    Over the years, and even in the recent past, she has also expressed fondness for her past antics. She has cracked jokes about them (mint in the box virginity), discussed them with her girl posse (too many instances to count), etc. 

    To nitpick those occurences she regrets and turn them into a series of symptoms, thereby turning her behaviour into the expression of a pathology, is not without bias.


    A more objective way to look at it would be to say :

    - Penny likes sex;

    - Most of the time, Penny has sex while sober; sometimes, she does it when drunk;

    - Sometime she has sex with people she is in a relationship with; sometimes she has flings;

    - Occasionally, she regrets sleeping with the people she has slept with, whether in the context of a relationship or not (after all, she regretted sleeping with Mike after she found out about his blog, yet they were a couple and she was sober all the way through it).


    Such a sumary would lead us to draw the following conclusions : 

    - Penny loses some of her inhibitions when drunk;

    - She did not always have the best taste in men;

    - She sometimes comes to regret what she did when drunk; she sometimes comes to regret what she did when sober;

    - All in all, Penny has always faced the consequences of her actions and dealt with her life on her own.


    Seen in this light, her behaviour hardly qualifies as pathological. 


    You say that Penny has been adventurous.  A valid opinion.  I would agree with you on all of the incidents where she has had sex and not regretted it later whatever the number is.  My focus in this thread has always been on the incidents that she has regretted and what led to them and what she should have done to minimize them.

    But why focus on those instances and not on all the others ? Why decide that those are more meaningful and/or symptomatic ? And why assume she "should" have done anything to prevent the experiences she later regretted from happening ? 

    Regret is part of life, both the real one and its fictional counterpart. Why would you expect Penny to take extraordinary measures to protect herself from a type of experience the other characters are free to go through ? 


    Penny has done many things in her life. She has felt good about a majority of them, bad about some of them. From what we have seen, only a minority of the actions she felt miserable about had to do with sex and/or alcohol. And these were not the decisions she ended up regretting the most.

    If we were to ask Penny, I suspect she would say she regrets breaking up with Leonard much more than she does sleeping with Raj (or any guy she had drunken coitus with). Yet, when the separation occured, she was stonecold sober and decidedly clothed.

    • Like 1
  12. Watched the Tenure Turbulence, Penny and Leonard were so in the Team Hofstadter mode, it made the episode so great. I guess that is what is disappointing about 7.03, Team Hofstadter is forgotten.

    It is somewhat disappointing to see them apart, I agree. But let us not forget we will get our fix of Team Hofstadter in 7.02. That is the thing with partnerships : there are ups and downs. 7.03 is a down : Leonard refuses to associate with Penny out of fear she will cause him to lose, she feels insulted, they fight it out through the medium of the scavenger hunt and Penny gets to prove herself, once again, a valuable asset to any team.  

    In a way, it is an important fight for them to have and for it to be resolved in such a fashion is as good a reminder of the special worth of TBBT's very own Bonnie Parker as any. 

    Also, 7.03 still shows us Leonard and Penny in Team Hofstadter/X (sorry, had to include Penny in there) mode : neither is interested in the scavenger hunt in and by itself; both are committed to proving themselves to each other. Leonard wants Penny to see that he is not a "pussy" (insult courtesy of the Diabolical Imp that is Bernadette) and Penny wants to show Leonard she is not an idiot. 

    The competition between them helps highlight how much they value each other's opinions.

    In spite of the relatively smooth sailing experience that was the second half of the sixth season, Penny and Leonard still have some issues, both as individuals and as a couple, that need to be worked out. A lover's spat here and there does not jeopardise or negate all the progress they have made so far; it furthers it.


    I too remember the time when every fight between Leonard and Penny had the potential to dismantle the relationship (yeah, seasons three and five, I'm talkin' to you). But we are past that stage. They now have the ability to use their disagreements and confrontations as stepping stones. 7.03 may very well be one of those cases.


    In the meantime, we can sit back, relax and enjoy the prospect of Leonard's reaction when Evil Bernadette tells him of Penny's (completely untrue) view of him. That puppy is going to growl up a storm !

    • Like 7
  13. I have problems with anyone calling out anyone for having as little sex as Penny has had. 

    To further the point, I have problems calling out anyone for having as much sex as they want with fellow single consenting adults. As far as I am concerned, Penny could have had sex with the entire Caltech faculty (Mrs. Davis included) and I would still struggle to give a flying toss. As long as everyone gives their enthusiastic consent, it is none of my business. Both in real life and in fiction. 

    • Like 5
  14. Leonard didn't say he doesn't want a dramatic proposal, he just said no to the jumbotron, but he said he wanted roses, Penny down on one knee, the whole thing. He said he wanted to be swept off his feet. I think it has to be a dramatic moment because it is the longest lasting relationship in the show, and the most important in the sense that it is the one the show's based one more than any other except Sheldon/Leonard (but that's not romantic).

    I understand the desire for something spectacular and, to a certain extent, I feel it too. Nevertheless, I wonder if that would truly fit their relationship.


    Their couple is not conventionally romantic. They do not do flowers and long walks on the beach and champagne and teddy bears and diamond earrings. They do cryogenised snowflakes and Justice League costumes and shooting ranges and heart lockets and sex in the lab. Whenever they try a more traditional approach to romance, (e.g. Valentine's Day dinner at an upscale restaurant), it fails miserably for it is not true to them, as people and as a couple. Penny and Leonard are not good at cliché things; the former because she hates it and the latter because he is too inexperienced (and sometimes too excited) to get it just right. 


    Theirs is an understated, awkward union. In my opinion, it is one of the reasons why it is so engrossing to watch and so easy to fall in love with : it is the story of two people who have no idea what they are doing but know they want to do it together. There is a lot of charm and appeal in that. 

    So while Leonard has stated he wants Penny to sweep him off his feet in a conventional way, I doubt it will happen. Not so much the "sweeping off one's feet" part for, let us be honest, no matter how Penny proposes, Leonard will be swept off his feet... and cry... or faint... or get an asthma attack (he is a very emotional guy), but the "conventional way" bit. 

    Penny will probably mess it up in some fashion : either she will plan something big which will fail to materialise or she will just go for brokes and propose as best as she can with whatever limited means she has at the time, McGyver style. Either way, she will not nail it but every word will be heartfelt. 

    That's worth something, surely ? ;)



    PS As for the elevator, I stand my ground. We will see that thing move before the last ever closing credits ! I have faith ! :)

    • Like 2
  15. Does anyone still see the original theme of this show anymore, the hot unobtainable girl across the hall that the nerd desires? I now see it as two different people, both with problems, that have fallen in love with each other. I think the interaction between Leonard and Penny has become a romantic comedy now, so the whole girl across the hall thing the writers are trying to keep is really getting stale. Penny being across the hall by herself only helps for the girl get-togethers, not the relationship.

    You are correct. There is no longer much of a trace of the "hot chick across the hall" template of the early days. But even back then, this particular setup was merely a pretext.


    I seem to recall one of the actors (possibly Mr. Galecki) once refering to the show as "more than just about the two geeks living across the hot blonde" or something to that effect. And he was right. The show is about two tribes, childlike geeks and adults, realising they want and need each other to thrive. In this scenario, the hallway is the neutral zone, the no man's land they must cross to communicate.


    So while Penny and Leonard's interactions have decidedly outgrown the bygone « beauty and the geek » era, it still serves its purpose in the more mature phase of their relationship they entered almost a year ago. It is their Rubicon, in a way. It embodies Penny's refusal to cohabit with Leonard (or, more accurately, the writers' hesitation as to what to do with Sheldon), Leonard's sense of boundaries (he crosses the distance but usually stops at the door and knocks before he lets himself in) and his longing (he asked her out in The Recombination Hypothesis after contemplating her from across that very same hallway)...

    But it also is the theatre of progress : some of their most meaningful conversations and fights happened in the hallway and it hosted Penny's very first ILY ! If I were a betting woman, I would put some money on her eventually proposing in the same spot.


    The hallway shall stand strong until the end of TBBT probably. So will the broken elevator (that will be fixed in the show's last ever episode, mark my words !)

    • Like 1
  16. OMG, if Sheldon and Beverly got together, would Leonard have to call him 'DAD'!

    That would be so wrong on so many levels I almost want to see it happen. Just out of morbid curiosity. 

    • Like 2
  17. And Sheldon needs, therefore loves, Amy. In his own weird, immature, self-centered way. She is one of the bridges that keep this island of a man connected to the rest of humanity, like his mother, Leonard and Penny.


    So while Beverly might be a better match on paper, I doubt they would work out together. It would be all fine and dandy for about five minutes and then, one of them would have a meltdown (of the sort that requires the Star Wars soundtrack to be played loudly) and the other would be unable to help/cope.


    And Leonard would... I can't think even imagine his reaction to such a thing. 

    • Like 5
  18. I'll grant you that. It may be that his mother is/was running an experiment on her kids and that's why she does what she does. On the other hand she may just be a heartless bitch. We won't know until the writers tell us.

    Beverly is the stereotypical sitcom "shrink" : only capable of understanding people as series of symptoms, complexes and sexual deviances; and much weirder than any of her patients.


    I do not know for sure whether she ever considered her children's education as an experiment in and by itself but I doubt it. I believe that she, very much like Sheldon, has a very thick filter, for lack of a better word. She sees everything through the prism of science, rejects anything that does not conform to logic and keeps such a tight rein on her emotions she appears not to have any.

    It is of course false. Like with Sheldon (again), it only takes a little push to make her reveal how "normal" she is, in a way : in The Maternal Congruence, while she seemed remarkably calm and serene about her husband's affair and their impending divorce, Penny's casual questioning drove her to let out a scorned woman's all-time classic ("loathsome son of a bitch"). Yep, she is a "normal" person alright !


    So I think she loves her children in spite of her physical/intellectual/psychological inability to show them much, if any, warmth. Under this "interesting" tutelage, one sensitive kid suffered (Leonard) and the other two, much less emotional, children thrived... Or so it seems. For I am sure that, under the veneer of professional and personal accomplishment, they are cuckoo for CocoPops.

    I have to say I would like to see them on the how. It may please Leonard to find out his über successful siblings are, deep down, even more messed up than he is !

    • Like 2
  19. Thing is we know next to nothing about the siblings.


    Beverley: Well, Leonard’s younger brother, Michael, is a tenured law professor at Harvard, and his sister just successfully grew a human pancreas in an adolescent gibbon.

    Howard: So, she’s close to curing diabetes?

    Beverley: Why else would you grow a pancreas in a teenaged gibbon? (season 2 episode 15)


    Beverley: Have you heard your brother has gotten engaged?

    Leonard: No. Sheldon, why didn’t you tell me?

    Sheldon: My bad. I did send a gift from both of us.

    Beverley: She’s a remarkable girl. The youngest appeals court judge in New Jersey and a two-time Olympic bronze medallist. (season 3 episode 11)


    Leonard: My sister’s 38 and married. (season 4 episode 16)


    That is the sum total we know about Leonard's siblings. We don't even know his sister's name. So calling them butt kissers may be a bit pre-mature.

    You are absolutely right, I went a bit overboard.


    However, Leonard once made a passing allusion to a difference between him and his brother (and their mother's treatment of them) in The Pants Alternative : "First of all, the projects [his and his brother's scientific experiments] were totally different. I was showing that classical music nurtures lima beans and makes them grow, but my mother didn’t hear me. If you’d like to look at the relationship between nurturing and growth, I’d like to point out that my brother is eight inches taller than me."


    So, while Leonard was half-jesting, it appears that Michael received more and better attention from Beverly than he ever did.

    Considering that Mommy Hofstadter talked equally fondly of Michael and her daughter (well, fondly by her standards) in The Maternal Capacitance, I am led to believe that both the eldest and the youngest of the Hofstadter kids got at least some kind of love/approval from their mother while Leonard (the archetypal middle child) did not.

    Furthermore, Leonard mentioned building and using a hugging machine which, according to him, he was the only child to use (his dad does not count as a child !)


    My guess is that Michael and the unnamed sister are closer to Beverly whereas Leonard takes after his father (weakness for waitresses included). So his siblings are probably not "buttkissers" per se, you are absolutely right. But dear ol' Leakey may resent them as much as if they were. After all, they got mommy's "love" and he did not ;)

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  20. If Leonard were to feel truly hurt by his mother's perpetual putdowns, there is no doubt in my mind the writes would be compelled to have Penny react and defend him. However, Leonard is incredibly resilient and will probably brush off whatever nasty or insensitive jab the Wicked Witch of the East Coast throws at him. 


    Sitcom characters are usually very resilient. They have to be, considering the amount of feces TPTB throw at them on a regular basis (no comedic value in all-around happiness and satisfaction !). In order to keep the plots and, ultimately, the shows, "light", the characters have to be seen to deal with their personal drama in a somewhat disaffected, happy-go-lucky manner. Remember when Leonard attributed his bedwetting to his mother (The Pants Alternative, The Speckerman Recurrence)? That could have been quite a tragic revelation. A kid so traumatised by the woman who gave birth to him that he wet the bed is the sort of stuff people would cry about on Oprah yet, in TBBT, it was played for laughs. Same thing for the long-awaited motherly hug (The Maternal Congruence). It could have been a breakthrough but no. It was booze and Del Taco. 

    Sitcom writers are like that; they will wreck everything for the sake of a good joke. 


    So as long as Leonard himself is not shown to be profoundly distressed by his mother's lack of affection, Penny will probably not intervene. 

    Also, Beverly is not portrayed as cruel. She is "just" completely and utterly oblivious. She has no idea she messed her son up by showing him no affection. Therefore I doubt a comeuppance is in the works. It is still possible, of course, but I am not holding my breath.


    Now, if Leonard's siblings were to show up, that would be a completely different ball of wax. Mothers are tough to go after but siblings are definitely fair game. The writers would have no qualms about releasing the Kraken (in this case Penny) on the buttkissers' arses. 

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  21. I love Christine Baranski and am delighted to see her again on the show. As many, I would prefer her "live" but if Skype is all we can get, I'll take it and gladly.


    As for the reason why she is back, well it is anybody's guess really but I do not think the writers would "waste" her on something trivial. Last time we heard her mentioned on the show was when Leonard talked about her hypothetical reaction to him getting tenure so it would not be too much of a stretch to think this appearance might be career-related in some way. 

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  22. Not sure where this idea that Penny is a control freak just because she had aspirations of becoming an actress when she moved to LA.

    The idea that Penny is a control freak does not stem necessarily from the fact that she moved from Nebraska to LA or from her desire to become an actress. Those two things are perfectly fine and tell us nothing about Penny as a person. 


    Other details, on the other hand, do indicate a serious inability to let go of control. 


    The most obvious in my eyes is the whole ILY saga.

    Now, I understand that the real reason why it took so long for Penny to say ILY to Leonard is because the writers had made such a big deal of Leonard's love declaration and his girlfriends' subpar response, using it to justify a narratively-required breakup (The Wheaton Recurrence), that, three years later, Penny's own admission had to pack a serious punch not to be seen as underwhelming. So TPTB bided their time and teased the audience for a while in order to give the moment maximum momentum. Sidenote : it worked !

    But if we remove those technical and "meta" considerations, we have to figure out why Penny, as a "person", did not tell the man she loves about her feelings sooner. She has known of her love for him for years, at the absolute latest since mid-to-late season five (very possibly even earlier than that). So why didn't she say anything the very moment they got back together ? Or at least in the lab, after she remembered why she loves him so much (The Holographic Excitation) ? The only explanation I can find is that, by holding back on the ILY front, she was keeping the pacing of the relationship (and her own emotions) under control. As long as she did not give Leonard the absolute, final confirmation of her love for him, she could stop him from getting carried away and herself from getting dragged along with him. 

    That is serious control freakery.


    As for her career, in and by itself, it does not speak of her control issues. However, her ability to hold onto her "plan" for six years does.

    Her plan is to become a successful actress. And for years, she decided that, until she had reached that goal, nothing in her life was worth seriously committing to. It takes some incredible strength of character and, yes, control freakery to make oneself behave like that. It means that, for close to a decade, she always found ways to devise some loophole in order not to get too attached, always put everything on the emotional backburner while she kept her eyes on what she thought was the prize. Talk about determination and self-control. Penny is a force to reckon with when she wants to be. 


    My problem with Penny's dad is that he never mentioned what a good man Leonard was, how well he treated his daughter, or how happy Penny was when she was with him.   All he focused on was Leonard's income potential.  Had I a daughter I would much rather have her marry someone who treated her well and made her happy even though he didn't make much money then marry a rich guy who treated her like crap and made her life miserable.

    Wyatt is a piece of work. On the one hand, he seems like a fantastic dad : warm, caring, affectionate, sweet, etc. On the other appendix, his "aspirations" for his daughter are... underwhelming, to say the least. His dream for her is that she does not end up in a trailer ? That is not great.


    Now, I understand that Penny dated some serious losers in the past and Wyatt may have adjusted his ambitions to that. But I found it a bit sad for him not to have bigger expectations for his daughter. Maybe this is where Penny's laziness comes from ? Perhaps, after years of not being challenged in anyway and not feeling like anyone was expecting anything exceptional from her, she just gave up and decided not to bother. 


    Do not get me wrong. I am sure Wyatt and his yet-unnamed wife were good parents to their kids. It is clear the writers meant for Penny's dad to be a very sympathetic figure and, in that regard, he did not disappoint. But considering Penny's chronic laziness issue and her brother's "freelance chemistry" business, it is possible to assume that Mommy and Daddy X did not always provide their children with the highest level of guidance. 

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