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Wouldn't it be a hoot &a holler if we find out Penny is really Leonard's Brother?.. Since Leonard's Mother is somewhat frigid, his Dad had an affair with Penny's Mom. That would be AWESOME!

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Wouldn't it be a hoot &a holler if we find out Penny is really Leonard's Brother?.. Since Leonard's Mother is somewhat frigid, his Dad had an affair with Penny's Mom. That would be AWESOME!

Eww :p

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Wouldn't it be a hoot &a holler if we find out Penny is really Leonard's Brother?.. Since Leonard's Mother is somewhat frigid, his Dad had an affair with Penny's Mom. That would be AWESOME!

Penny = brother. So she's transgendered? Mind blown. By idea and that you could formulate it. Wow. respect. Lol

You are eponymous. :)

<icon: intensely bemused>

Edited by Llatasativargon

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Penny = brother. So she's transgendered? Mind blown. By idea and that you could formulate it. Wow. respect. Lol

You are eponymous. :)

<icon: intensely bemused>

 

I meant to say if Leonard were Penny's Brother... My bad.

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Wouldn't it be a hoot &a holler if we find out Penny is really Leonard's Brother?.. Since Leonard's Mother is somewhat frigid, his Dad had an affair with Penny's Mom. That would be AWESOME!

 

 

No that would be kind of sick.  That is more for Two and A Half Men than TBBT.

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No that would be kind of sick.  That is more for Two and A Half Men than TBBT.

 

And Two and a Half Men had this setup in an episode about four years ago where Charlie was in bed with one of his drunk Bimbo's who turns out to be his previously unknown half-sister.

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The short answer is "Yes" and "No".

 

The first two seasons of TBBT

were not very successful. They finished 68th in the ratings for season 1

with a little over 8 million viewers. Season 2 they finished 44th with

10 million. CBS did not cancel the show because it was produced by Chuck

Lorre who had the number 1 comedy on at the time, Two and a Half Men.

 

What CBS allowed Lorre to do in season 3 was put it on at 9:30PM

right after TaaHM to make sure it got maximum exposure and Lorre made

some major changes. Leonard and Penny not only got together they were

like bunny rabbits in heat. Bernadette was introduced for Howard in the

5th episode and Amy for Sheldon in the season 3 finale. It went to 12th

in the ratings by the final numbers.

 

Unfortunately, Lorre then sent the show into a mini creative tailspin

by breaking L/P up in the final few weeks of season 3 then really

screwed thing up by redoing the Penny character in season 4 to match his

original concept. Season 4 is the only one where the ratings went down,

through to be fair some of that was its initial move to Thrusday nights

away from the TaaHM lead-in. But, IMO, the story lines at the end

(Penny drunk and depressed about losing Leonard to Priya and then

sleeping with Raj) had the fans disinterested or just plain angry.

 

The amazing revival of TBBT

started midway through season 5 and has had the show soaring in the

ratings and critcal acclaim in season 6 after the shows day-to-day

creative control was given to Steve Molara.

 

Don't forget that the syndication of the show brought on a considerable amount of new viewers to the program, probably more so than anything else they've done.

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And Two and a Half Men had this setup in an episode about four years ago where Charlie was in bed with one of his drunk Bimbo's who turns out to be his previously unknown half-sister.

 

...And Wolowitz slept with his Cousin!

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Don't forget that the syndication of the show brought on a considerable amount of new viewers to the program, probably more so than anything else they've done.

So true! Syndication had the same effect as the Two and a Half Men lead-in during season 3. All those additional viewers got to sample the show and fortunately it was at a time when they were recovering their creative mojo. That's the reason for the current spectacular renascence.

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In Contractual Obligation Penny refers to an event involving a 34(?) yo Luther and a hotel room. She says "she can laugh about it now"'. but I thought it was not really a throwaway line and it wasn't really funny, though the two proceeding gags were. She said she was playing hookey (from school?) showing she was very young. Maybe this was not a good thing for her in very serious way.

That and the bit of the speech from "streetcar" makes me think tptb just gave us a huge clue about the genesis of Penny's commitment and other relationship issues.

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In Contractual Obligation Penny refers to an event involving a 34(?) yo Luther and a hotel room. She says "she can laugh about it now"'. but I thought it was not really a throwaway line and it wasn't really funny, though the two proceeding gags were. She said she was playing hookey (from school?) showing she was very young. Maybe this was not a good thing for her in very serious way.

That and the bit of the speech from "streetcar" makes me think tptb just gave us a huge clue about the genesis of Penny's commitment and other relationship issues.

 

I'm of the firm conviction that we don't have all the pieces of her commitment problems.   It's a combination of things over the years that have been mentioned (Gretchen, Mike, Dave, now Luther) though rather vauge on some of the specifics  .  With, of course, the big one from Kurt.   I said before that I would love to hear Penny vocalize exactly what's behind it and what exactly set it off.  

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I'm of the firm conviction that we don't have all the pieces of her commitment problems.   It's a combination of things over the years that have been mentioned (Gretchen, Mike, Dave, now Luther) though rather vauge on some of the specifics  .  With, of course, the big one from Kurt.   I said before that I would love to hear Penny vocalize exactly what's behind it and what exactly set it off.  

 

I disagree. Her situation is quite common and well documented throughout the show. She has daddy issues, she has made numerous repeated bad decisions when it comes to men, she treated school like a social club, didn't finish community college, and she is unhappy with her life.

 

Basically she has low self-esteem and feels unworthy of Leonard. That is why in Tangible she still doesn't feel like her situation is one in which things worked out for her. The 34 yo and perhaps the other wink wink encounter where she gave it up for less than wine and fondue can be easily tied to self-worth issues. The space mountain wink wink mistake could just be adventurous sex with a ongoing bf though.

 

Women like her can be drawn to bad relationships and are sometimes uncomfortable in good ones even when they say what they want is to be treated better.

 

You could even say the history class she is taking is really her chance to get a win in the academic column like she did when she practiced abstinence.

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She has daddy issues, she has made numerous repeated bad decisions when it comes to men, she treated school like a social club, didn't finish community college, and she is unhappy with her life.

 

Basically she has low self-esteem and feels unworthy of Leonard.

 

I was thinking perhaps Luther was perhaps more of a precipitating event for all of the above. I think that it can only take one really bad experience to cascade into a series of ongoing lifetime issues. But I am working from a very small RL sample and I have no objective experience, so WDIK.

 

I do agree with your self esteem point but maybe more in the past tense now.  On the upside, she is certainly mending/redeeming herself now. That she mentioned this unfunny thing might be a way of unburdening herself.

 

There were other issues such as with her dad but I don't think, having seen Wyatt, that they were really too bad. The Luther incident, however, makes her look to have been more unfortunate than might have been otherwise obvious.  She blurted out this really sad thing and said she can joke about it now. That puts it in a different class to the Space Mountain hi-jinks and the fondue exaggeration which she thought were self-deprecating and funny.

 

Not dogmatic about this - just sayin'.

 

I'm of the firm conviction that we don't have all the pieces of her commitment problems.   It's a combination of things over the years that have been mentioned (Gretchen, Mike, Dave, now Luther) though rather vauge on some of the specifics  .  With, of course, the big one from Kurt.   I said before that I would love to hear Penny vocalize exactly what's behind it and what exactly set it off.  

 

It would be nice to get some of the her story explicitly narrated - just so long as it doesn't come out because  they are using her insecurity to generate high melodrama to drive the conflict for the show.

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I disagree. Her situation is quite common and well documented throughout the show. She has daddy issues, she has made numerous repeated bad decisions when it comes to men, she treated school like a social club, didn't finish community college, and she is unhappy with her life.

 

Basically she has low self-esteem and feels unworthy of Leonard. That is why in Tangible she still doesn't feel like her situation is one in which things worked out for her. The 34 yo and perhaps the other wink wink encounter where she gave it up for less than wine and fondue can be easily tied to self-worth issues. The space mountain wink wink mistake could just be adventurous sex with a ongoing bf though.

 

Women like her can be drawn to bad relationships and are sometimes uncomfortable in good ones even when they say what they want is to be treated better.

 

You could even say the history class she is taking is really her chance to get a win in the academic column like she did when she practiced abstinence.

This seems right from the writers character book for penny. She has made this point of not feeling worthy since the 2nd season first episode. She has so little self-esteem since she has succeeded at nothing in her life. Being surrounded by accomplished people and being adored by a man she feels is her superior does not make her at ease. She has fears that Leonard will come to his senses and leave her.

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This seems right from the writers character book for penny. She has made this point of not feeling worthy since the 2nd season first episode.

So they do have a book? I'm apologising now to you and Chiara. IKN.

There is a plan.

(Hope to cow no more heart stabbings are in it)

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So they do have a book? I'm apologising now to you and Chiara. IKN.

There is a plan.

(Hope to cow no more heart stabbings are in it)

Most TV shows have a writer's guide that tells new writers what is the essence of each character. TBBT uses writers that have been with the show for years so I bet most already know the back stories by heart.

The guide does not say where they are going with the stories only how each character is suppose to react in a given story line. TBBT characters are sometimes changing though from joke to joke, Sheldon is the best example, so it has wide ranges.

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I do wonder how much of a bible they have for TBBT. It seems that they are fairly willing to do things just to be funny, that are at the same time, out of character. I think about Penny's view of Leonard in the sack. After the first time together in S3, he seemed to figure out what was needed, and throughout Penny was always pretty happy with the sex. Then she has that line earlier in S6 about Leonard "really tries" in the bedroom. I thought that was a big jarring, and felt that it wasn't even that funny. The flow of the scene was about how great Leonard was, and then there's this little dig suggesting he tries but fails in the bedroom. I can see where a lot of people unfamiliar with the show as long term fans are would find this funny but it is not consistent with prior information. 

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Another thing that I saw in the "it is not all about the sex with Leonard and Penny" topic is the idea that Leonard is some perfect guy that Penny just shouldn't deserve. Anyone familiar with his mother and that back story would know that Leonard is pretty damaged. He was raised basically as a long-term subject in a scientific study by his mother. Built a hugging machine to have some sense of human contact, that his father had to borrow to get the same. There are numerous studies about the sort of damage that deprivation of physical contact can cause in children. There are also similar studies about how important it is to adults as well. From the first episode, Penny was genuine and comfortable with hugging both Leonard and Sheldon. I think that is why he fell for Penny, beyond just that she was really cute. She's never had any qualms about being physically affectionate with him, holding his hand, hugging him, leaning against him and so on.

One also has to consider the other longish relationships Leonard has had. Leslie Winkle treated him like a lab experiment. He snaked Dr. Stephanie from Howard. Priya was Raj's sister and he had a pact with Howard to leave her alone. The fact that the latter two girls were willing in the betrayal doesn't make Leonard a good guy in these situations. Penny is cleanly his within their group.

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I disagree. Her situation is quite common and well documented throughout the show. She has daddy issues, she has made numerous repeated bad decisions when it comes to men, she treated school like a social club, didn't finish community college, and she is unhappy with her life.

 

Basically she has low self-esteem and feels unworthy of Leonard. That is why in Tangible she still doesn't feel like her situation is one in which things worked out for her. The 34 yo and perhaps the other wink wink encounter where she gave it up for less than wine and fondue can be easily tied to self-worth issues. The space mountain wink wink mistake could just be adventurous sex with a ongoing bf though.

 

Women like her can be drawn to bad relationships and are sometimes uncomfortable in good ones even when they say what they want is to be treated better.

 

You could even say the history class she is taking is really her chance to get a win in the academic column like she did when she practiced abstinence.

I am puzzled. On the one hand, it is all perfectly convincing. On the other, I feel there are so many inconsistencies within the show it is hard to decypher a clear pattern.

 

Penny has daddy issues ? I am more than willing to believe it but I do not recall any evidence being given. There most certainly was the big crying scene with Dr Beverly, but doesn't everybody, Sheldon excluded, want to cry around that woman ? When we met Penny's dad, he seemed pretty ok to me : loving, not at all reticent to show his affection, supportive even. So we were told, once, that she has daddy issues but it was never shown.

One might say that her "adventurous" love life is proof of such issues, I suppose. I fail to see how that works. I may be thick but surely not all women who sleep around, for lack of a better way to put it, have daddy issues ? And not all guys who do the same have mommy issues ? I am not trying to be flippant, I simply do not get the mechanics of it. 

 

Now, does Penny have low self-esteem ? Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. But is that the root of the problem or its consequence ? Her low self-esteem is not irrational; she has good reasons not to feel too great about herself : her career is not a huge, or even moderate, success; she hates her job; she does not have much academic background; her love (not sex !) life was pretty disastrous until her second attempt at a relationship with Leonard.

Do not get me wrong, I think she has tremendous qualities as well (kind, beautiful, sweet, protective of those she loves, smart, tough, funny). She is not a failure. But she has failed at many things. Therefore, her low self-esteem is perfectly understandable as a consequence of her problems, not necessarily as their cause.

 

To me, the root of all of Penny's evils is her laziness. 

 

Whenever she thinks she can get away with not really trying, she takes advantage of it. Whether it is dating morons because it is less emotionally demanding than forming bonds with good guys or dropping pasta in non-boiling water because it is quicker, Penny has one motto : the path of least resistance is always the best.

Unless she is really passionate about something, she only pays lip service to effort and gets bored incredibly quickly. 

I sense a lot of cowardice behind this.

 

Whenever one tries one's very best, one sure increases one's chances of success. However, no matter how hard one works, failure is always an option (dixit The Mythbusters). I cannot help but think of that de-motivational poster that reads "Failure - Because sometimes your best is just not good enough". Cruel but true. Giving something one's best can mean that one will get what one wants; it can also mean that one will not and it will be soulcrushing because there will be nothing left for one to try. (There are way too many "ones" in this paragraph)

So some people find it more comfortable just to stand back. Sure they'll fail but at least they will have the consolation of telling themselves "well, if I had given it all my might (or if circumstances had been different), I probably would have made it". Their belief in their own potential is intact. It may seem bizarre but I have seen it before. And I think Penny has it : she'd rather not really try and fail predictably than give it a real shot and fail possibly, with all her dreams shattered.

 

She has been changing though. She is not as careless, as uninvolved as she used to be. She has grown up (let us not forget she was 21 when the guys first met her). However, there is still some work to do; she still has to learn to give a toss and use her potential even for things she is not particularly passionate about : Sheldon inadvertently pointed it out when he noticed her memory was excellent for long and complicated lines but utterly useless when it comes to tomatoes on hamburgers. 

Nonetheless she has come a long way. She is now fully committed to her relationship with Leonard and no longer completely petrified at the idea of officiality (officiality = expectations = effort = work = ..?). She knows she needs time to sort herself out and can say so. That's good. We're almost there !

 

@Hamerman55 : do not get me started on Leonard's shortcomings and many betrayals. I could write a book about those. He is no knight in shining armour. But since Penny is no damsel in distress, they're perfect for each other. ;)

 

PS once again, I went over board with the word count. At that point, it is just sad. Mea culpa.

Edited by Chiara

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Penny's "daddy issues" seem to stem from the remarks they'd made that her father wanted a boy and apparently treated her as one - had her playing sports, gave her a baseball mitt for a gift, basically encouraged her to be a tomboy.  Nothing necessarily wrong with that unless it affected how she perceived herself, which it evidently did.  So she became a tomboy both out of necessity (living on a farm and all) and to please her father, but it also prompted her to exploit her femininity through lots of sex, interest in fashion, wearing revealing clothes, etc.  

 

I agree that her laziness/fear of failure is the root of many of her problems.  It would be good to see them tackle this with her character - show her being persistent even when something is difficult.  This is both a product of low self esteem and of habit - she's been able, all these years, to be "cute, I get by." The only thing she's struggled with and not given up is acting, so it would be neat to see that work out for her in some way.

Edited by Europa
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@Chiara

 

The thing is though she is a sitcom character and while there will be inconsistencies in writing as there are in almost every sitcom but it is a sitcom so character depth will be limited.   Looking for deeper meanings might be fun but in the end it will mostly be fanfic to try and reconcile the times where the joke was prioritized over continuity.  I mean the real reason, the very real reason she has commitment issues is because without them there would be no reason those two are not already married.

 

For me the first big clue was inviting Kurt to her her halloween party which later set-up L/P's first kiss.  That is pretty classic for a woman with low self-esteem.

 

The daddy issues come from the scene on the stairs with Beverly, which personally made me cringe, which introduced us to the father daughter bond shifting when he could no longer treat her like a son.  That doesn't necessarily make her father a really bad guy but even he was asking Leonard not to give up on Penny for fear she would end up with some bozo in a trailer park.

 

Oh and the problem was never adventurous, promiscuous, and/or experimental sex.  The problem is her using it to feel a void and repeatedly ending up with "the wrong kind of guy."  A good character contrast is Leslie Winkle.

 

Anyway I really doubt there is more at work here.  There is another place for them to go but considering it is a comedy on prime time network TV and it is not needed I doubt they would go there.

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@Ar Diem

 

Oh, I do not dispute Penny's  self-esteem problem. The poor girl has massive issues in that department. What I struggle to really get is whether this low self-esteem of hers is pathological (she has it, regardless of circumstances) or contextual (it is the result of many failures and a less than stellar current situation). 

 

Basically, it all rests on whether you adhere to the daddy issues story or not. If you do, then it is the root of her low self-esteem. if you don't, her pessimistic view of herself has to come from somewhere else (possibly her unpleasant reality itself a product of her lack of effort).

While it was explicitely stated on the show, I do not quite manage to believe in the daddy story. I remember what Penny told Beverly about her father, how he stopped playing with her when she became a woman. But isn't that what all parents do when their children grow up ? Until how old are parents supposed to play catch with their kids ? It seems like the natural evolution of a parent/child relationship to me. He stopped calling her Slugger ? Now he calls her Sweety; it does not exactely sound like a downgrade. Maybe it is just me but I struggle to see any evidence of a real trauma there. 

Furthermore, the one who brought this up is Dr. Beverly Hofstadter who also assumed that Howard and Raj were closet homosexuals and who apparently thought it was a bad idea to hug her children. I am not convinced I want to take her word on anything, especially not healthy parenting.

 

I suppose it is all a moot point anyway. Now that they've pretty much made a point of Penny's self-doubt, the writers can run with it until they decide it's time for the two to tie the knot. Still they have managed to make her progress by increasing her level of self-awareness : she now knows she has this problem and is willing to work on it, no matter how long it takes (at least of couple of seasons, I'd guess). 

They have even succeeded in making it quite sweet : she wants her and Leonard's marriage to be happy and long-lasting so she'll only enter it when fully ready. They have turned a shortcoming (Penny is emotionally reticent) into a proof of love (she wants to wait so she can give it her best shot). Pretty neat !

Edited by Chiara
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@Chiara

 

The thing is though she is a sitcom character and while there will be inconsistencies in writing as there are in almost every sitcom but it is a sitcom so character depth will be limited.   Looking for deeper meanings might be fun but in the end it will mostly be fanfic to try and reconcile the times where the joke was prioritized over continuity.  I mean the real reason, the very real reason she has commitment issues is because without them there would be no reason those two are not already married.

 

For me the first big clue was inviting Kurt to her her Halloween party which later set-up L/P's first kiss.  That is pretty classic for a woman with low self-esteem.

 

The daddy issues come from the scene on the stairs with Beverly, which personally made me cringe, which introduced us to the father daughter bond shifting when he could no longer treat her like a son.  That doesn't necessarily make her father a really bad guy but even he was asking Leonard not to give up on Penny for fear she would end up with some bozo in a trailer park.

 

Oh and the problem was never adventurous, promiscuous, and/or experimental sex.  The problem is her using it to feel a void and repeatedly ending up with "the wrong kind of guy."  A good character contrast is Leslie Winkle.

 

Anyway I really doubt there is more at work here.  There is another place for them to go but considering it is a comedy on prime time network TV and it is not needed I doubt they would go there.

 

Yes, Penny was given this low self-esteem leading to commitment problem, to keep her from being married to Leonard by year three. The daddy-issue thing was thrown in by the writers to bookend Leonard's mommy issue. It's the reason Leonard gives for them ending up in bed together in the first Dr. Beverly episode and when he voiced it to Penny she tossed him out of bed pronto. It was truly a cringe worthy moment.

 

The inviting Kurt to the Halloween party is a good example of her very low self esteem. But a more pointed example is giving her rent money to Kurt to bail him out of jail a year after they broke up. Sheldon had to lend her the money to pay her rent and Leonard went over and got her money back from Kurt and had the bully scrawl an IOU on his forehead for good measure. Penny did not know of Leonard's knight in shining armor quest and she ended up going on a date with Kurt thinking he had changed. I wonder if Penny ever found out how she got her money back. Penny had this pattern again with Mike, who posted about their sexual adventure in public places on his blog. She thought he needed a chance to explain himself after misinterpreting some advice from Leonard and went back to Mike's place only to find him having sex with another girl hours after he had left Penny.

 

As you said she uses sex to fill a big void in her life where real accomplishments should be. The only thing she feels she can do is attract men with her beauty and try to hold them temporarily with sex. She is now sure that the guys will leave when they find that is all she has going for her. Leonard is the big exception. He has been there even when they are not having sex and heals and protects her.

Edited by BangerMain
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