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Penny's Drinking Issues

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I have noticed that from season 1 forward that the show has portrayed Penny as a problem drinker.   It has been said that in the original pilot that the Penny character was supposed to be very darker, and that they decided to go with a more cheerful outlook for the character.  I wonder if this has changed, the writers seem to be focusing on the Penny character as having less and less control: for instance, drinking alone, blacking out and not remembering what happened the night before as when she woke up with Raj, and other classic examples of alcoholism.  Does anyone else see this as becoming a major trait for the character and do you think this will become addressed in the show in a storyline?

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My impression, which I think has been echoed by others, is rather different from your view.  She seems, certainly in Season 6, to have matured.  The writers still seem to throw in the drinking jokes once in a while (like her comment after the cancelled girls' trip to Vegas about getting drunk), but overall I'd say Season 6 shows Penny not binging any more.  She's re=established a romantic relationship with Leonard and the drinking seems more confined to a glass of wine at dinner (and she is cooking more now, and her apartment is much neater).  

 

Believe me, I've been down the road in earlier seasons about how screwed up she seemed to be and that maybe Alex would be a better choice for Leonard.  But part of my analysis error stemmed from watching a lot of the syndicated reruns out of order.  By the end of Season 6 we find a Penny that's supporting Leonard - even though it hurts her to say OK to his going on the North Sea expedition, she gives him her support (and he asks her BEFORE he accepts the invitation).  She also agrees to keep an eye on Sheldon while Leonard's away.  And she visits Raj after taking Leonard to the airport because she's concerned about him after his break-up.  And we have a Leonard who seems to have matured away from being a doormat for Penny.  Even the flirtation by Alex with Leonard helped convince Penny that she did not any longer control the relationship with Leonard.  She's still working hard to sort out her "issues" with marriage, etc., but she's getting there.

 

Long answer to your question, but my take is she is not overdoing it any more.  Of course, we are on the brink of the start of Season 7, so we'll see what the writers have in mind.  But there is a large contingent of Leonard and Penny fans who might grab their torches and pitchforks and storm the writers' castle if there is any attempt by the writers to screw up Penny and her relationship with Leonard... again.  We're card-carrying members of the Penny Protective Society!

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Thanks Guitars1964 to be honest I just got into the show a month ago, I work overnights so shows on Prime time I miss a lot!  I bought the DVD's and have only seen up to Season 5, as I just received Season 6 in the mail today.  I am glad to hear that they have improved her character, in the 6th season1 :icon_wink:

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I just started watching this series a couple of weeks ago and breezed through all six seasons.  I am now re-watching them as I wait for season 7.  As I am new here and not familiar with what has already been said, I do have a theory.  I noticed the drinking issues as well and was concerned about them.  They seem to have died off after the season 4 finale.  Part of me thinks that the writers used Penny's drinking for comedy.  If it was anything beyond just for laughs then the writers have done a bad job of dealing with it as a real issue.  Therefore I think it is a plot device only, whether for laughs alone or just to force more Leonard/Penny drama.  I doubt many in the Leonard/Penny group found that season 4 finale very funny.  I hated it and even knowing what comes next I still find it hard to watch.  I have to think that the writers heard a lot of complaining after that and toned it down.

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I just started watching this series a couple of weeks ago and breezed through all six seasons.  I am now re-watching them as I wait for season 7.  As I am new here and not familiar with what has already been said, I do have a theory.  I noticed the drinking issues as well and was concerned about them.  They seem to have died off after the season 4 finale.  Part of me thinks that the writers used Penny's drinking for comedy.  If it was anything beyond just for laughs then the writers have done a bad job of dealing with it as a real issue.  Therefore I think it is a plot device only, whether for laughs alone or just to force more Leonard/Penny drama.  I doubt many in the Leonard/Penny group found that season 4 finale very funny.  I hated it and even knowing what comes next I still find it hard to watch.  I have to think that the writers heard a lot of complaining after that and toned it down.

Well, you are pretty much on the mark, there.  You are absolutely correct that a lot of Leonard and Penny fans did not like the S4 finale (I myself cannot re-watch it).  You may come to find here that there are people, like me, who are rather protective of Leonard and Penny and we fear episode events that jeopardize that relationship.  We also don't like writers' attempts to make Penny or Leonard look bad.  But you are totally correct that these are plot devices and it is, after all, a 30 minute sit-com.  It's supposed to be about the laughs.  And we know that.  It's just that, at the same time that the writers have written a very funny and popular comedy show, they've also carefully crafted a very appealing couple in Leonard and Penny, a couple many viewers want to see have a happy ending.  So there's a bit of wanting the romantic to win out against the laugh when the those things collide.  But the writers have to give the laugh the top priority, and some of their efforts to get the laughs are at the expense of this couple that we love, so therein lies the frustration.

 

Keep tuned to the Forum during Season 7.  If/when the writers look like they are going to screw with Leonard and Penny's relationship, you'll see the response to that here, loud and clear.  Oh, and to be fair, there are those who feel the show has become too much romantic and not as much geek comedy.  They prefer the earlier seasons, when it mostly about the 4 nerd scientists (although the Leonard-Penny relationship has been present in some form (on again, off again) since the first episode).  I don't share that view and in watching the Season 6 Blu-Ray, I find it just as funny as ever.

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If you look at the actual plot devices of the eps in S6, its still very science. It's just the Science in the dialogue has been diminshed somewhat. I also find S6 just as funny as earlier seasons, depends on your perception of the show and your preferance. It's true its more about relationships, but why is that such a surprise? It was never a show about nerd culture, but about people who happen to be nerds, and navigating life through the makeup of being eggheads. Because Tbh BBT has transformed from this cute show about eggheads and their hottie neighbour Penny, into this addictive ensemble piece. So the relationships have become more prevalent and more of the focus then the "geek" comedy, due to the evolvement of all the characters. But as for Penny drinking, she never had a problem, as above said it was mostly over-exagerrated as a plot device when L/P come across problems, like when she was upset all S4 because of Leonard and Priya. Mostly now it's more refined, a drink of wine when she's having dinner with Leonard, all at dinner parties, TBBT is really like Penny and wine gets better over time :)

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Well, you are pretty much on the mark, there. You are absolutely correct that a lot of Leonard and Penny fans did not like the S4 finale (I myself cannot re-watch it). You may come to find here that there are people, like me, who are rather protective of Leonard and Penny and we fear episode events that jeopardize that relationship. We also don't like writers' attempts to make Penny or Leonard look bad. But you are totally correct that these are plot devices and it is, after all, a 30 minute sit-com. It's supposed to be about the laughs. And we know that. It's just that, at the same time that the writers have written a very funny and popular comedy show, they've also carefully crafted a very appealing couple in Leonard and Penny, a couple many viewers want to see have a happy ending. So there's a bit of wanting the romantic to win out against the laugh when the those things collide. But the writers have to give the laugh the top priority, and some of their efforts to get the laughs are at the expense of this couple that we love, so therein lies the frustration.

Keep tuned to the Forum during Season 7. If/when the writers look like they are going to screw with Leonard and Penny's relationship, you'll see the response to that here, loud and clear. Oh, and to be fair, there are those who feel the show has become too much romantic and not as much geek comedy. They prefer the earlier seasons, when it mostly about the 4 nerd scientists (although the Leonard-Penny relationship has been present in some form (on again, off again) since the first episode). I don't share that view and in watching the Season 6 Blu-Ray, I find it just as funny as ever.

I do watch the season forum. I actually discovered this site because I started looking up spoilers when I thought they'd be messing with Leonard and Penny early on. I have found no issues with seasons 5 and 6. I think the science is still there and hold to the theory that science brought Leonard and Penny closer (the season 6 Halloween ep where Penny was still kind of selfish until she visited Leonard at work)

I would like to point out that they did have her getting drunk at Disney Land in season 6.

I don't remember that too well but if she was drunk that's weird because they don't serve alcohol in the park I don't think.

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She was not shown drinking, rather, she was eating popcorn. She spoke about getting drunk and going on rides but her hookie accomplices had switched to "getting their princess on" instead. She did sit slumped on the bench but was wearing a Sleeping Beauty costume. WORST DISNEY PRINCESS EVER. IMO, that is why she looked bored and disengaged(and not drunk :))

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She was not shown drinking, rather, she was eating popcorn. She spoke about getting drunk and going on rides but her hookie accomplices had switched to "getting their princess on" instead. She did sit slumped on the bench but was wearing a Sleeping Beauty costume. WORST DISNEY PRINCESS EVER. IMO, that is why she looked bored and disengaged(and not drunk :))

And the slurred speech was also from being bored?  She was wasted.  She brought her own.

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And the slurred speech was also from being bored?  She was wasted.  She brought her own.

She couldn't, they do a search before you get to go into the parks and there wasn't any in the car before they arrived as she talked about drinking when she got there.

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What is wrong with being drunk?? She's not shown to be drunk that often or to a point where it's just too much. Except for the whole Raj thing we've never actually seen that she gets that drunk anymore. I don't really think it's that big a problem. Maybe because in England we drink from a... fairly young age, and go out frequently, to me it's not as shocking what she does. And she seems to have calmed down a lot over the seasons. She was like 21 when the show began, of course she's going to be drinking more at that age! 

 

I think a lot of this subject on 'Penny's drinking issues' is down to a persons own interpretations of what is 'too much'. And we only see parts of the characters lives. She just so happens to be drinking in those. Big woop. 

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What is wrong with being drunk?? She's not shown to be drunk that often or to a point where it's just too much. Except for the whole Raj thing we've never actually seen that she gets that drunk anymore. I don't really think it's that big a problem. Maybe because in England we drink from a... fairly young age, and go out frequently, to me it's not as shocking what she does. And she seems to have calmed down a lot over the seasons. She was like 21 when the show began, of course she's going to be drinking more at that age! 

 

I think a lot of this subject on 'Penny's drinking issues' is down to a persons own interpretations of what is 'too much'. And we only see parts of the characters lives. She just so happens to be drinking in those. Big woop. 

Actually, if you are looking for it, from seasons 1-4 she gets drunk a lot.  And it isn't the fact that she gets drunk, it's that she always turned into a slut while drunk.  The first Halloween episode she got hammered and would have slept with Leonard if he hadn't turned her down due to not wanting to take advantage.  In season 2 she got drunk after meeting Leonard's mother leading to them being in bed together before Leonard screwed it up.  After she broke up with Leonard in season 3 she got hammered and slept with him even though she regretted it in the morning.  Then came getting drunk and nearly sleeping with Raj (which she would have done if Raj had been able to control himself).  I think many people overlooked the drinking and promiscuity in the first three seasons because Leonard always seemed to be the beneficiary.  When the writers had her bed Raj then it became more than some fans could bear.  The writers probably took a lot of heat for that decision and toned her drinking way down after that.  When she did get drunk, it was with the girls and then finally the drinking dmininished to where it is just a drink or two among friends or with Leonard over dinner.

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Actually, if you are looking for it, from seasons 1-4 she gets drunk a lot.  And it isn't the fact that she gets drunk, it's that she always turned into a slut while drunk.  The first Halloween episode she got hammered and would have slept with Leonard if he hadn't turned her down due to not wanting to take advantage.  In season 2 she got drunk after meeting Leonard's mother leading to them being in bed together before Leonard screwed it up.  After she broke up with Leonard in season 3 she got hammered and slept with him even though she regretted it in the morning.  Then came getting drunk and nearly sleeping with Raj (which she would have done if Raj had been able to control himself).  I think many people overlooked the drinking and promiscuity in the first three seasons because Leonard always seemed to be the beneficiary.  When the writers had her bed Raj then it became more than some fans could bear.  The writers probably took a lot of heat for that decision and toned her drinking way down after that.  When she did get drunk, it was with the girls and then finally the drinking dmininished to where it is just a drink or two among friends or with Leonard over dinner.

 

Hmm, again, to me, become a 'slut' while drunk is not so shocking. Maybe I just know a lot of alcohol-induced 'sluts'. :) Of course it diminishes slightly as she gets older, she is being more responsible. 

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Hmm to "slut" indeed. A whole host of values are put on the table when that word is deployed. Let's just stitch scarlett letters on the characters to make it easier for the folks at home.

But alcohol is a dis-inhibiter, for all genders. However, I am not convinced she was tippling at Disney.

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Penny is not a slut in those instances you refered to, they were purley circumstancial. First off Penny had no intention of sleeping with Leonard, she was upset drank a bit and they kissed, Penny is one who realized it would be stupid, and came to terms with why their aren't more guys like Leonard, it was a nice moment. And In S2 with Leonard's mother, once again purley circumstancial, you forget Leonard got drunk too, does that make him a slut? No the only reason they got in that position, as they were bonding over their respective parents, and how they have affected them, Leonard's the one who stuffed up mentioning their parents in bed. And in S3 when they broke up Pennu was clearly upset that her intolerance for dumb guys had diminished signifcantly due to her relationship with Leonard, so she did something stupid, but she regretted it in the morning and apologised. I mean she could of done it with some random guy, but the fact it happened with Leonard, shows her being drunk waa masking a deeper issue. As for Raj well everyone knows that was a big drunken mistake, but tbh not sure why everyone was so surprised, she was misearble the whole season because of L/P, and Raj was lonely. The fact to this day Penny still has no recollection to this day, which says more about Raj then Penny. Give her the benefit of the doubt tho, the only reason it even happened is because she broke up with Leonard, and alcahol involved can impair the best persons intended judgement. I mean by 5x02 she was helping Raj get a GF lol, so it was all settled then. Some people expect these

characters to be perfect, the writers never claimed Penny to be perfect, while she may be gorgeous, perky, fun e.t.c. She had deep seeded insecurities and inadequacies kinda the same way Leonard and the guys have obvious external social inadaqucies, its just less obvious with Penny because of how Social and emotionally intelligent she is, compared to guys.

So Penny would drink with the girls, or from S3-S5, used alcahol to mask her insecurities over Leonard, especially in S4, hence when she hit rock bottom in the finalie. But in a messed up way from the writers POV this was getting Penny to wake up, and start drinking less. Since then and since getting back together with Leonard, her drinking habit has diminished significantly, and like you said is more refined with just a drink with Leonard over dinner. My point is all her drinking was circumstancial and IMO never got to the point where it was out of hand, and espescially where she would be considered a slut, by normal standards she's no where say Charlie from Taahm lol. Tbh we've seen Leonard in bed with more women then Penny has been, and Leonard at times when with Penny drank as much, but he's a guy so it's acceptable bit of a double standard their, kinda the same when Leonard was drunk and wanted to sleep with Penny, so guess their are alot of double standards. But it's not an issue anymore the writers have made that

clear. I mean she never went on stage drunk like Sheldon lol.

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Hmm, again, to me, become a 'slut' while drunk is not so shocking. Maybe I just know a lot of alcohol-induced 'sluts'. :) Of course it diminishes slightly as she gets older, she is being more responsible. 

For me, it was never about it being shocking, it was about not liking the behavior.  Penny admitted to making a mistake in letting Leonard go and then turned around and would have slept with Raj only because of the influence of the alcohol.  That's not even counting the fact that she said she wouldn't sleep with Raj because they were friends (although I find it out of character that she would consider it at all knowing his character.  I don't know what the writers are doing but he's not that great a guy even while sober.  Just an opinion).  When she woke up the day, she had hurt two people.  And from a fictional standpoint, she hurt millions of fans who saw it as a betrayal of Leonard.  I admit to being invested in a Penny/Leonard pairing, but I still wouldn't condone those actions.  That was the second time she regretted her actions while drunk.  If the writers cared about that aspect of her character beyond shock, drama, and humor then it would never have happened.  They misjudged their audience in that finale and learned their mistake.  Now we see a casual drinker or at least a more responsible one.

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Actually, if you are looking for it, from seasons 1-4 she gets drunk a lot.  And it isn't the fact that she gets drunk, it's that she always turned into a slut while drunk. The first Halloween episode she got hammered and would have slept with Leonard if he hadn't turned her down due to not wanting to take advantage.  In season 2 she got drunk after meeting Leonard's mother leading to them being in bed together before Leonard screwed it up.  After she broke up with Leonard in season 3 she got hammered and slept with him even though she regretted it in the morning.  Then came getting drunk and nearly sleeping with Raj (which she would have done if Raj had been able to control himself).  I think many people overlooked the drinking and promiscuity in the first three seasons because Leonard always seemed to be the beneficiary.  When the writers had her bed Raj then it became more than some fans could bear.

I think you need to go back and re-watch. Penny was shown drunk four times in the first three years, and then Raj. You missed the second time Leonard's mother comes, and while she was drunk, she didn't turn slutty there. I just don't know how you come up with five times in four years as being a lot. If you wish to continue, the closest she came to being show drunk in the fifth season was when her and Amy were playing quarters. In the sixth season, she isn't shown as drunk. Does she drink? Yep, but I can't think of a point where she gets drunk alone. All her drinking is with others in social situation. But she isn't show as being drunk a lot. If you have other examples, please point them out.

 

As for slutty, that a bit relative, isn't it? I'm quite sure my definition of slutty isn't the same as yours. Not to mention from the time Penny broke up with Leonard, he's been shown to have sex with more women than Penny's been with men. Is Leonard a slut?

 

The writers probably took a lot of heat for that decision and toned her drinking way down after that.  When she did get drunk, it was with the girls and then finally the drinking dmininished to where it is just a drink or two among friends or with Leonard over dinner.

They didn't tone anything down. Penny's drinking is a common misperception that doesn't survive actually watching and paying attention to the episodes. The other girls, Leonard and Raj are shown drinking as much, if not more in some situations as Penny.

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Penny is not a slut in those instances you refered to, they were purley circumstancial. First off Penny had no intention of sleeping with Leonard, she was upset drank a bit and they kissed, Penny is one who realized it would be stupid, and came to terms with why their aren't more guys like Leonard, it was a nice moment. And In S2 with Leonard's mother, once again purley circumstancial, you forget Leonard got drunk too, does that make him a slut? No the only reason they got in that position, as they were bonding over their respective parents, and how they have affected them, Leonard's the one who stuffed up mentioning their parents in bed. And in S3 when they broke up Pennu was clearly upset that her intolerance for dumb guys had diminished signifcantly due to her relationship with Leonard, so she did something stupid, but she regretted it in the morning and apologised. I mean she could of done it with some random guy, but the fact it happened with Leonard, shows her being drunk waa masking a deeper issue. As for Raj well everyone knows that was a big drunken mistake, but tbh not sure why everyone was so surprised, she was misearble the whole season because of L/P, and Raj was lonely. The fact to this day Penny still has no recollection to this day, which says more about Raj then Penny. Give her the benefit of the doubt tho, the only reason it even happened is because she broke up with Leonard, and alcahol involved can impair the best persons intended judgement. I mean by 5x02 she was helping Raj get a GF lol, so it was all settled then. Some people expect these characters to be perfect, the writers never claimed Penny to be perfect, while she may be gorgeous, perky, fun e.t.c. She had deep seeded insecurities and inadequacies kinda the same way Leonard and the guys have obvious external social inadaqucies, its just less obvious with Penny because of how Social and emotionally intelligent she is, compared to guys.

So Penny would drink with the girls, or from S3-S5, used alcahol to mask her insecurities over Leonard, especially in S4, hence when she hit rock bottom in the finalie. But in a messed up way from the writers POV this was getting Penny to wake up, and start drinking less. Since then and since getting back together with Leonard, her drinking habit has diminished significantly, and like you said is more refined with just a drink with Leonard over dinner. My point is all her drinking was circumstancial and IMO never got to the point where it was out of hand, and espescially where she would be considered a slut, by normal standards she's no where say Charlie from Taahm lol. Tbh we've seen Leonard in bed with more women then Penny has been, and Leonard at times when with Penny drank as much, but he's a guy so it's acceptable bit of a double standard their, kinda the same when Leonard was drunk and wanted to sleep with Penny, so guess their are alot of double standards. But it's not an issue anymore the writers have made that

clear. I mean she never went on stage drunk like Sheldon lol.

In season 1, it was Leonard who brought Penny to the realization of what she was doing.  Here is the underlying question to all of these incidents.  Do you believe Penny would have made the same choices sober in all those circumstances?  The answer has to be no.  She would not have slept with Leonard in any of those situations.  She certainly would not have slept with Raj as even when half drunk she said she wouldn't.  Now ask yourself this, would Leonard have slept with Penny all of those times while sober?  The answer would be yes.  Drunk or not, Leonard makes the same choices.  Penny makes different choices.  It doesn't matter the number of partners, it matters the reasons behind them.  Penny doesn't really feel anything for the guys she sleeps with while drunk (both on and off screen) except for maybe season 3 Leonard.  She's talked about it on screen.  Believe me, I am not out to try and vilify any characters.  I love Penny.  I love all the characters except Raj.  I agree with you on that point.  Penny was drunk and didn't know what she doing, but Raj did and we've seen twice now that he doesn't care what effect his actions have on his friends as long as he is getting what he wants.  He rooted for Howard to break up with Bernadette and he was willing to take advantage of a drunken Penny even knowing she really didn't want to sleep with him.  He's scum.

 

Now I agree with everything you said in your second paragraph except for one thing.  Maybe the writers have Penny drinking out of insecurity, but then why, not once in any episode, hasn't it been addressed?  I still stick to my original point that the writers used Penny's drinking, whatever the underlying cause, for laughs.  Even the studio audience laughed when Penny woke up in bed with Raj.  The dialogue after and when she walked out into the hall seems designed to get laughs.  Yes, it is a sitcom and there should be laughs, but they miscalculated that one.  From what I heard, many fans were ticked off.  As I said, I cannot even go back and watch it without cringing.  You would think after seasons1-3 with incidents of drunken activity that Penny has to know she didn't want, she would have come to some kind of realization.  If she's not an alcoholic then she should have been able to stop herself before Raj.  I think it was fan reaction and not intentional writing that led them to finally address it after season 4.  Although you have to infer it as they've come right out and dealt with it.

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The thing is to get drama you need risk. I am quite comfortable with the show depicting characters exhibiting adult risky behaviors that correlate to real life. I can relate to Penny and her risky drinking and her minor dalliances (which were fewer than people seem to wish for). She has done nothing that would invite legal sanction (or at least she would just get a caution). And I like the last ep of s4. It took my breath away and I was in shock. I was astounded. When does THAT ever happen in a sitcom? I was also even happier when they all bounced back. So I quite enjoyed the ride.

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Actually I remember the studio audience reaction was one of shock not amusement. Yeah sure the audience has come to know Penny as promiscious at times, but most of her promiscurity was done circumstancially. And she has never across as an alcaholic or someone who sleeps with random guys because she has low self esteem, she has always to me anyway been a self-independant, free spirited, emotionally intelligent, archtypical girl next door. I mean are we really complaining about her when she was 21, a vibrant person who had aspirations maybe short-sighted aspirations of becoming an actress, she was in a different place back then, she was young and was enjoying life their is nothing wrong about that. Drinking alcahol when she went out with her girlfriends espeically back in S1, was as much part of her psyche and identity as her acting or the clothes she wore, all her entire personality. I mean she never got drunk and slept with a series of guys, most of her promiscurity was circumstancial. And when it comes to S4 finalie yeah it was a real shock, I don't think the crowd were to happy, from what I recall they laughed when Raj coulden't talk lol, but thats about it. Showed to me they have always been aware of Penny's promisicurity, but that mainly existed in the context of her relationships. Penny has always been head strong, but especially early on fell for guys were good looking and certain gym types, guys that ultimately would mistreat her. The appeal to Leonard for her was the guy who actually cared for her, sure he saw her initially as a sex object as most of the other guys she dated, but the difference with Leonard is he wasen't just some random guy who only saw through tinted glasses almost, he was her neighbor and as they became friends started too see more beyond their respective external qualities. Most of the heavy drinking from Penny's part, occured since S4, she started drinking alot more if it was with Bernadette or Amy or alone, I think it was from the writers POV too over-exagerrating it for comedic relief, but I also think it was Penny's way of dealing of how she stuffed up with Leonard.

 

And with Raj it was clear it was going to happen, Penny emotionally was not in a good place then, Rj was lonely, she almost blacked out shortly after, it was delt with and was settled by 5x02 when Penny was helping Raj get a girlfriend. It is 2 seasons later it had no lasting affect on the characters, Penny drinking was almost an extension of her character, she is sociable it was part of her identity, but as she matured and grew up the drinking declined and became more refined, as Penny's self actulization started to refine too.

 

This change is mostly thanks to Leonard but all her friends too, my point is yes in the past Penny drunk alot sometimes and was promiscious, but to me that was just a part of who she was then, she never claimed to be perfect, just like Howard never meant to be creepy when he hit on Penny so many times, or Leonard never meant to come across submissive in his beavaviour, or Sheldon never means to come across condesending (second thought's he probably does lol), or Raj never means to come across as self-centred or snarky e.t.c. But as the show progresses so do the characters, and just to call Penny a slut because of her drinking habit is not enough, she has other traits and qualities and factors that go into the way she is and was, Leonard and Penny's parents and the way they raised them played a huge part in their makeup and identity . Point is Penny's drinking was moderate at best, S4 she drank alot more, but that seemed to be diminished somewhat come S5, most of the heavy drinking as been implied by the writers either in response to Lenny issues, or just over exagerrating for comedy, but I have never felt once it was out of hand or anything, S6 now she tends to have a few wines at Dinner with Leonard and that's it, and why shoulden't she, she is not a drunk never has been never well be it's not in her nature JMO.

Edited by 3ku11

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I think you need to go back and re-watch. Penny was shown drunk four times in the first three years, and then Raj. You missed the second time Leonard's mother comes, and while she was drunk, she didn't turn slutty there. I just don't know how you come up with five times in four years as being a lot. If you wish to continue, the closest she came to being show drunk in the fifth season was when her and Amy were playing quarters. In the sixth season, she isn't shown as drunk. Does she drink? Yep, but I can't think of a point where she gets drunk alone. All her drinking is with others in social situation. But she isn't show as being drunk a lot. If you have other examples, please point them out.

 

As for slutty, that a bit relative, isn't it? I'm quite sure my definition of slutty isn't the same as yours. Not to mention from the time Penny broke up with Leonard, he's been shown to have sex with more women than Penny's been with men. Is Leonard a slut?

 

They didn't tone anything down. Penny's drinking is a common misperception that doesn't survive actually watching and paying attention to the episodes. The other girls, Leonard and Raj are shown drinking as much, if not more in some situations as Penny.

I do have some issues with your comments.  I am not sure where I am failing in my points here.  I have never been too concerned with numbers.  The times you mentioned Penny being drunk are probably the correct number.  It does not matter for my point.  All that matters is this.  During each of those four times when the result of the drinking looked to lead or lead to sex, would Penny have made a different choice while sober?  I think it safe to say that she would have.  Alcohol or no alcohol, Leonard makes all the same choices.  This same argument goes with my slutty comment.  Penny sleeps with guys she wouldn't have while sober.  Leonard does.  It isn't about the numbers, it is about semantics and reasons.  Nowhere am I saying that Penny is a slut.  She gets slutty when drunk.

 

Now I am going to try and go from memory here but correct me if I am wrong.  We've seen all of the other characters outside of Leonard and Penny and Raj drunk no more than once.  Sheldon when Penny gave him the Long Island Iced Teas, Amy when she got mad at Sheldon, Bernadette and Howard I never remember being drunk.  Raj is drunk way more than Penny, but he doesn't make different choices while drunk.  Leonard's been drunk maybe three times that I remember and twice with Penny.  And again, he makes the same choices sober.

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Actually I remember the studio audience reaction was one of shock not amusement. Yeah sure the audience has come to know Penny as promiscious at times, but most of her promiscurity was done circumstancially. And she has never across as an alcaholic or someone who sleeps with random guys because she has low self esteem, she has always to me anyway been a self-independant, free spirited, emotionally intelligent, archtypical girl next door.

well, maybe its just "in your face equality". Barney, Charlie and Leonard, amongst others, don't get the hammering Penny does.

ETA . It's a fairly popular form of adult behavior. They are not teenagers.

Edited by Nogravitasatall
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The thing is to get drama you need risk. I am quite comfortable with the show depicting characters exhibiting adult risky behaviors that correlate to real life. I can relate to Penny and her risky drinking and her minor dalliances (which were fewer than people seem to wish for). She has done nothing that would invite legal sanction (or at least she would just get a caution). And I like the last ep of s4. It took my breath away and I was in shock. I was astounded. When does THAT ever happen in a sitcom? I was also even happier when they all bounced back. So I quite enjoyed the ride.

That's a legit opinion.  I don't mind shock.  What I mind comes from my feelings about the characters,  I knew what was going to happen in the season 4 finale before I saw it.  I looked up spoilers because I was interested in the Penny Leonard relationship.  Then when I saw it, what shocked me was that she said she wouldn't sleep with Raj and then a few hours later she's in bed with him.  Why?  The drinking.  You don't need to be an alcoholic to make bad choices while drinking.

 

Actually I remember the studio audience reaction was one of shock not amusement. Yeah sure the audience has come to know Penny as promiscious at times, but most of her promiscurity was done circumstancially. And she has never across as an alcaholic or someone who sleeps with random guys because she has low self esteem, she has always to me anyway been a self-independant, free spirited, emotionally intelligent, archtypical girl next door.

I've watched it several times now and there is laughter and shock.  More laughter due to the fact that maybe most people don't feel about it the way I did.  I think you are defending her as not being slutty by saying she doesn't sleep with random guys because of low self esteem.  But, Penny has slept with random guys, mostly before she met Leonard.  Remember when she talked to him about her 36 hours after which she felt awful?  and I remember correctly, she did it because she felt bad about a break up.  I'll have to rewatch to be sure.  Do you also remember her telling Leonard about the guy named TJ who she never spoke a word to and never learned what TJ meant?  last there are the comments from Sheldon about random men going to and from her apartment.  He commented on it in episode 6.2.  Does that mean she was drunk with all of them?   No.

 

Now I don't want anyone to get the impression I don't like Penny.  I love Penny.  She's not perfect nor do I expect her to be.  That doesn't mean I don't feel bad when she makes bad choices that hurt other people.  Yes, fictional people, but I'd feel the same way in real life.  I look at her and I say if she hadn't gotten drunk then she wouldn't have hurt anyone.  Again, you don't have to be an alcoholic to make bad choices.

well, maybe its just "in your face equality". Barney, Charlie and Leonard, amongst others, don't get the hammering Penny does.

ETA . It's a fairly popular form of adult behavior. They are not teenagers.

At least from my perspective, I don't mean to be so hard on Penny.  Her thing with Raj is every bit his fault too and I dislike him way more than Penny (considering I don't dislike Penny, take that for whatever it is worth).  Penny is a good person where I don't think Raj is.  I expect Raj to hurt people I don't expect Penny to do it.  Maybe that is why it hurt for me to see her do it.

Edited by JonRS92

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