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Penny... Rachel Green 2.0?


The Mayor of Sheldonopolis
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I don't know if this has been mentioned at all on the forums before, but lately whenever I watch an episode from S3 onwards, Penny seems to have morphed into Rachel from Friends. Her mannerisms, facial expressions, attitude etc all scream Rachel. I'd even go so far as to say, that if you got Jennifer Aniston to do an impression of Penny, she would easily nail it.

 

Am I the only one who is seeing these similarities?

Edited by The Mayor of Sheldonopolis
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Let's see.

 

Rachel:

 

  • From a rich family in which she had a pony, boat and servents
  • Writers say was written as Jewish American Princess with a nose job but never shown to be observant of Judaism.
  • College educated
  • High School class president and Prom Queen
  • Ran away from her wedding to a well to do man who still pursued her.
  • Was pursued by men of power and money
  • Marries her off and on again lover, Ross. Then divorces him.
  • Her "true love", Ross gets married (or almost married) to other women and can't decide if she is worth waiting for.
  • Has baby, Emma, by Ross when they are not married
  • Lives with Ross and their baby but dates Ross' friend, Joey
  • Works for high profile New York retailers, Bloomingdale and Ralph Lauren (where she is a corporate executive) then gets job working in Paris
  • Oh, works for a time as a bad waitress in a coffee shop.

Somewhere in that list is one similarity with Penny.

Edited by BangerMain

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Let's see.

 

Rachel:

 

  • From a Rich family in which she had a pony, boat and servents
  • Writers say was written as Jewish American Princess with a nose job but never shown to be observant
  • College educated
  • High School class president and Prom Queen
  • Ran away from her wedding to a well to do man who still pursued her.
  • Was constantly pursued by men of power and money
  • Marries her off and on lover, Ross. Then divorces him.
  • Has baby, Emma, by Ross when they are not married
  • Lives with Ross and their baby but dates Ross' friend, Joey
  • Works for high profile New York retailers, Bloomingdale and Ralph Lauren then gets job working in Paris
  • Oh, works for a time as a bad waitress in a coffee shop.

Somewhere in that list is one similarity with Penny.

 

Yes, amazing points. But you forget that not at one point did I say that Penny's situation was anything like Rachel's. I said MANNERISMS, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND ATTITUDE. Also, the points you made were only set in stone by the 10th season of Friends, with TBBT we are only up to 6.

 

However, if you insist... :icon_lol:

 

  • Penny lives across the hall from two main characters, Rachel also started off living across the hall from Chandler and Joey.
  • Penny is in a dead end job serving people and also serving her friends who come into the Cheesecake Factory. Rachel worked in a dead end job in Central Perk, where she served people and her friends who came to hang out there.
  • Penny has an on-again off-again relationship with Leonard. Rachel had an on-again off-again relationship with Ross.
  • Penny loves fashion (shoes, dresses etc.). Rachel loved fashion (shoes, dresses etc.)
  • Penny's best friend got married to another member of the group (Bernie and Howard). Rachel's best friend got married to another member of the group (Monica and Chanandler Bong :icon_biggrin:)
  • Penny was a member of the Corn Queen's Court. Rachel was prom queen. (Both equally non-sensical and asinine activities anyway)

I'm pretty sure if I think about it some more the list can go on. Alas, these were not the points I was making in the first place. Mannerisms/Facial Expressions and Attitude... 

 

EDIT: I see you added the coffee shop one, because your original list contained no Penny related points.  :icon_lol:  Nice save.  :icon_rolleyes:

Edited by The Mayor of Sheldonopolis

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Yes, amazing points. But you forget that not at one point did I say that Penny's situation was anything like Rachel's. I said MANNERISMS, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND ATTITUDE. Also, the points you made were only set in stone by the 10th season of Friends, with TBBT we are only up to 6.

 

However, if you insist... :icon_lol:

 

  • Penny lives across the hall from two main characters, Rachel also started off living across the hall from Chandler and Joey.
  • Penny is in a dead end job serving people and also serving her friends who come into the Cheesecake Factory. Rachel worked in a dead end job in Central Perk, where she served people and her friends who came to hang out there.
  • Penny has an on-again off-again relationship with Leonard. Rachel had an on-again off-again relationship with Ross.
  • Penny loves fashion (shoes, dresses etc.). Rachel loved fashion (shoes, dresses etc.)
  • Penny's best friend got married to another member of the group (Bernie and Howard). Rachel's best friend got married to another member of the group (Monica and Chanandler Bong :icon_biggrin:)
  • Penny was a member of the Corn Queen's Court. Rachel was prom queen. (Both equally non-sensical and asinine activities anyway)

I'm pretty sure if I think about it some more the list can go on. Alas, these were not the points I was making in the first place. Mannerisms/Facial Expressions and Attitude... 

 

EDIT: I see you added the coffee shop one, because your original list contained no Penny related points.  :icon_lol:  Nice save.  :icon_rolleyes:

 

No, if you look at what you quoted, that was the complete list. Did not see a reason to delineate Penny since thats something that the fans of this forum know well. :icon_wink:

 

I see what you were asking. You were talking about how Kaley Cuoco and Jenifer Aniston played their character and their acting choices for expression, voice and attitude. I was not a big Friends fan, so I probably could not make a judgement on that.

 

As for the similarity between the two characters, those items I list for Rachel show a large diversion in backgrounds, outcomes and development. They were once waitresses but one became a corporate executive, who did the job as a lark, the other  does the job to eat and is not going to be a big wheel going to work in Paris.

 

Some of the similarities in the two sitcoms evolve from the necessitates of taping and money. Sitcom characters have to be close together in location to allow them to interact with little delay and because they like to have sets adjacent to each other. The characters friends often intermarry to cut down on the number of actor contracts. If some man or woman is already on the payroll getting screen time, hook them up. Amy and Bernadette were brought in as test mates and when they proved successful, became full time players. But there is a limit on how many characters you can bring in to divide up 22 minutes of screen time.

Edited by BangerMain

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Ok, so from the list you put up, you either watched Friends enough to know quite in-depth details about the characters lives despite "not being a big Friends fan" or you simply read a page on Rachel  :icon_razz:

 

But back to my original question (which is what I wanted to discuss), does anyone else see the facial expressions and mannerisms similarities between the two characters? For example, I have noticed Penny does this thing when she makes a sarcastic comment usually whilst drinking, she moves her tongue into her upper lip and pouts, I recall Rachel doing the same thing more than a few times in Friends.

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I think they are both female humans. Id expect some crossover. May just be coincidence. Chuck Lorre mentioned how you find what you are looking for in a recent vanity card. Might also be called confirmation bias. IDK. Now I think about it you be right. they each remind me of the other at a few certain moments. Won't say one screams the other. I think that's an overstatement.

And I have watched all ten seasons. It was funny and Ross had a phd and was a professor. not an embiggening show for science though.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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I'm not sure if this has been addressed...but, maybe Penny was a really big fan of Rachel?

So much so that she incorporated all of what you've observed?

 

[(I think it) Better for this to have been reiterated than never mentioned.]

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As actors maybe some similarities as characters none.Rachel actually had a lot of professional development as the show went along.Penny remains a loser after 5 seasons mooching of all her vastly sucessful friends.

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As actors maybe some similarities as characters none.Rachel actually had a lot of professional development as the show went along.Penny remains a loser after 5 seasons mooching of all her vastly sucessful friends.

Friends was on the air for ten years. If TBBT is on for that long there is going to be lot more things to happen on the show including changes in Penny's career. She won't be a waitress forever. Everyone's definition of success is different. Does Sheldon not winning the Nobel Peace Prize make him unsuccessful? In another post it mentions Penny is stupid. Compared to the other six she probably is. But 99% percent of the world would be too. Just because your not good at school makes you stupid.

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Nope Penny is stupid because she cannot finish a history paper at a community college without cheating using her friends. I never compared her to the other characters at all in this matter.

Rachel (not sure) but I think had completed college unlike Penny and she was off waitressing in season 3.Penny on the other hand has had ZERO career growth in 5 1/2 seasons.I think the writers want to keep her that way as she is a very convenient punching bag for Sheldon.Insult after insult after insult.And unlike Sheldon insulting Howard who is infact highly sucessful,in case of Penny it actually hits home everytime.

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Nope Penny is stupid because she cannot finish a history paper at a community college without cheating using her friends. I never compared her to the other characters at all in this matter.

Rachel (not sure) but I think had completed college unlike Penny and she was off waitressing in season 3.Penny on the other hand has had ZERO career growth in 5 1/2 seasons.I think the writers want to keep her that way as she is a very convenient punching bag for Sheldon.Insult after insult after insult.And unlike Sheldon insulting Howard who is infact highly sucessful,in case of Penny it actually hits home everytime.

Another post elsewhere by an adult educator suggested Penny's efforts were typical for someone restarting their education after a long pause. I think it's a skills/training issue rather than intelligence.She also plays the "ordinary person" comic foil to the intellectuals and makes them relatable. That is part of the character's role in the show. And she beat Leonard at chess, so they have shown she is either savant there or not stupid.

I agree about not Rachel.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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We have never been shown that Leonard is good at chess or even average AFAIK. SO beating him at chess means nothing.
It may be possible but It is not highly plausible that he is sub-par there. He would need a spike through the head to be less than average given his other demonstrated capabilities. So Penny would have at least average or better chess skills from a very cold start.

Also I read it that the writers were giving us a clue to Penny's capabilities, not pushing down on Leonard's.

I don't know if Rachel ever played chess. But she would have worn something fetching.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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It may be possible but It is not highly plausible that he is sub-par there. He would need a spike through the head to be less than average given his other demonstrated capabilities. So Penny would have at least average or better chess skills from a very cold start.

Also I read it that the writers were giving us a clue to Penny's capabilities, not pushing down on Leonard's.

I don't know if Rachel ever played chess. But she would have worn something fetching.

 

If so then it is a pretty rare thing.They have gone out of their way to make her look stupid throughout the series.

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If so then it is a pretty rare thing.They have gone out of their way to make her look stupid throughout the series.
I think they have contrasted her lack of education and training with the "beautiful minds " set. Generally it has been a knowledge gap. Penny does not show a lack of quickness of mind etc.. Happy to have examples to convince me. Rachel was sometimes shown as not quick witted but Ross had the phd and he was so "stupid" as to think he could have sex during their break and come back. Maybe this is the similarity to Friends; Penny = Ross. But Ross was never remorseful as shown by his catch phrase, " we were on break!" And that's all I'm going to say about stupid.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I completely agree with you and have been trying to find someone that thought the same thing!!! I love Friends and have all the seasons and am now doing the same with TBBT. Penny has many of the same facial expressions, the way she says things is identical to Rachel's, and some of her movements. I love that someone else thinks this too!!!

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Seriously? Penny not knowing what the Cold war was,not knowing how to spell Asthma or knowing what altruistic means or the latest doozy about the "sun coming up in space". She is one dumb ass.

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Seriously? Penny not knowing what the Cold war was,not knowing how to spell Asthma or knowing what altruistic means or the latest doozy about the "sun coming up in space". She is one dumb ass.
None of that indicates dumb, it indicates a lack of knowledge. The two aren't the same. You could easily say that the four guys are dumb because the can't rebuild internal combustion engines, hook worms, or gut fish or kill spiders.. All of which Penny can do. But, then, that's was the premise of the show, wasn't it.
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I don't know if this has been mentioned at all on the forums before, but lately whenever I watch an episode from S3 onwards, Penny seems to have morphed into Rachel from Friends. Her mannerisms, facial expressions, attitude etc all scream Rachel. I'd even go so far as to say, that if you got Jennifer Aniston to do an impression of Penny, she would easily nail it.

 

Am I the only one who is seeing these similarities?

 

I agree in more than just the ways you listed. In all friend series (especially now watching in HD) you can see Rachel's nips through all of her tops and penny is now doing the same ;)

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I don't think Penny is dumb...but as of now it feels like she is more of a looser......

 

Actually lets see when did Penny talk or do something about about her job or ambitions or career ...

 

- season 1 - pilot -- intro as actress/waitress , also kind of a writer writing a screenplay about a waitress/actress from lincoln, nebraska ( Penny is from omaha :p)

- season 1 - Sheldon spins a lie episode -- she sings in some show but apparently her skills were horrible

- season 2 - Leonard goes to Kurt episode -- Penny talks about her ambitions ... plan A : waitress for six months and later a movie star....plan B : TV Star

- season 2 - penny blossom episode -- no success though

- season 3 - if I remember correctly there was absolutely nothing related to Penny's career

- season 4 - again cannot remember anything related to Penny's career... acting classes to Sheldon and the shoe app hardly comes under this category right?? :p

- season 5 - premier -- well it looked like the main reason the writers gave her this commercial was to back track from the Raj/Penny fiasco....anyways commercial is a commercial...so score here

- season 5 - 100 the episode -- Penny talks about her career on the date with Leonard -- but this is Leonard's imagination ... so ...

- season 6 - Penny goes to college episode : apparently the paper she wrote was terrible...and she gets Amy and Bernie to write paper for her....so no score here

- season 6 - Amy is an ass to wheaton episode : she herself admits she is a terrible waitress... a job she has been doing since what...nearly seven years...

 

This might happen in real-life...but this is a just a show...her  character should have been given at-least some success... I hope they give her something...at-least something this season.....we just have to be content with her looks,good nature and sweetness(kind of diminishing attribute as the seasons progressed) as of now..

Edited by vasu

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I don't think that Penny is some kind of copy of Rachel.  One thing, though, is that TV and sitcoms, especially, are subject to certain traditions--the spit-take, the double-take, the stunned expression, etc., so there are bound to be some similarities of expression, perhaps.

 

I used to watch Friends pretty regularly and I have never thought about Rachel when watching Penny.

 

And I don't think that Penny is stupid.  Yeah, she's uneducated, but the guys with all their degrees are often "stupid" about things, or foolish, if you prefer.

 

I think that Penny is struggling to find her place and establish her career, but it's not uncommon for people trying to break into acting to have trouble getting started, and, of course, having to maintain the premise of the show, Penny's not going to become a fancy movie star anytime soon because that would change the dynamic of the show too drastically.

Though she did badly on her initial paper, we have evidence that she's still taking a class and doesn't seem to be flunking out, so perhaps she just needed to figure out how to get back in the groove of going to school (and working) and figure out where her talents and/or interests lie.

 

I think that it's always been the premise of the show that while she doesn't have a degree, she has "street smarts" and common sense or whatever that helps to balance out the super-intelligenct, well-educated but often silly or foolish guys.

The fact that she has been shown to be able to learn things from the guys and retain them (Schroedinger's Cat, for example) shows that she's not stupid.  If she's educable, and she seems to be, then she's not stupid.

She just has a different skill set than the guys.

 

You don't have to be a scholar to be smart, and vice-versa.  I knew plenty of people who got better grades than I did in school, but who made foolish choices in their lives or who didn't seem to have any common sense.

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I don't think Penny is dumb...but as of now it feels like she is more of a loser......

 

Actually lets see when did Penny talk or do something about about her job or ambitions or career ...

 

- season 1 - pilot -- intro as actress/waitress , also kind of a writer writing a screenplay about a waitress/actress from lincoln, nebraska ( Penny is from omaha :p)

- season 1 - Sheldon spins a lie episode -- she sings in some show but apparently her skills were horrible

- season 2 - Leonard goes to Kurt episode -- Penny talks about her ambitions ... plan A : waitress for six months and later a movie star....plan B : TV Star

- season 2 - penny blossom episode -- no success though

- season 3 - if I remember correctly there was absolutely nothing related to Penny's career

- season 4 - again cannot remember anything related to Penny's career... acting classes to Sheldon and the shoe app hardly comes under this category right?? :p

- season 5 - premier -- well it looked like the main reason the writers gave her this commercial was to back track from the Raj/Penny fiasco....anyways commercial is a commercial...so score here

- season 5 - 100 the episode -- Penny talks about her career on the date with Leonard -- but this is Leonard's imagination ... so ...

- season 6 - Penny goes to college episode : apparently the paper she wrote was terrible...and she gets Amy and Bernie to write paper for her....so no score here

- season 6 - Amy is an ass to wheaton episode : she herself admits she is a terrible waitress... a job she has been doing since what...nearly seven years...

 

This might happen in real-life...but this is a just a show...her  character should have been given at-least some success... I hope they give her something...at-least something this season.....we just have to be content with her looks,good nature and sweetness(kind of diminishing attribute as the seasons progressed) as of now..

 

Since the very first season the definition of the Penny character is one of a failure in her career endeavors and most other things in her life. She is the beautiful loser. And as the series has progressed she seems to recognized this.

 

Penny has succeeded at nothing. She is the only character on the series that does not have a business or career. No hobby or avocation, No educational achievement. No personal talents.

 

I sometimes think that TPTB are being hard on Penny but in real life she represents the hundreds of girls who go to LA each year with nothing but the encouragement of the folks back home who tell her how pretty she is and that all she needs is to be noticed by some movie guy who will make her a star. The show's producers know that story well and they know how it ends for almost all those girls.

 

If Penny is to be given some success to bolster her lessening self esteem it would have to be something other than acting.

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It is funny but Penny is smart as a nerd as well, at least that's something we could see in several episodes, eg. she has evidently shown a talent in chess and online games. Also Penny likes scientists (but not science itself). :-) As a rule (since S2) she is attracted to a scientific kind of intelligence or smartness.
 

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