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Tripper

820 The Fortification Implementation (April 9)

Your Episode Rating  

78 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you rate this episode?

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I thought this episode was okay.  I agree with stardust about the Howard and his brother story.  It did not go anywhere.  We never learn why he shows up except a brief comment about the title to the house.  Most the that story line was Raj acting like a jerk and Howard crying about how he couldn't handle it, until his brother comments about is going to space.

 

As for the Lenny story, I really did not care for it.  I liked Wheaton's podcast and some of his remarks to Penny early on, but I though Penny came across as a jerk.  For someone who wanted to be an actress, you would think that she would have a little better knowledge about the acting world.  I know that not everyone was a fan of Star Trek.  But, Star Trek, both the original and Next Generation were so popular that there multiple movies made off of them.  William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were famous because of their roles in that show.  The same can be said for Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, who is now a director.  It just seems that Penny's view of the acting world is very limited for one who wanted to enter that world. As for Leonard, he simply came across as weak and whiny.  I do not think that Lenny needs to break up again, but I do think that they need to have Leonard grow a backbone like he seemed to be doing in season 6.

 

The part about Penny making twice as much as Leonard I found hard to believe. And I agree that her hiding these things from the man she is going to marry very troubling.

 

I found the Sheldon and Amy portion to be the best part of the show. Mainly because we got a glimpse of the old weird Amy when she showed the items that she had stored in the apartment. Reminds me of the episode when tells Penny that she spread her scent all over Penny's apartment just before she become her best friend.

Edited by Oldnavy
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The shamy scenes were excellent, very in-tune with the way this couple is usually written. It’s nice to see that the writers are still able to find creative ways to move these cute weirdos along in a way that feels unique to them.

 

The Leonard/Penny/Wil Wheaton/Kevin Smith scenes were very funny, imo. Using Wil to inject humor into the situation was refreshing. I’ve long since suspended my disbelief about money stuff on this show, so Penny making more than Leonard was easy to let go. I’ve been expecting them to revisit the Penny acting issue, so it’ll be interesting to see where that goes. A little sad to see that Lenny have some serious communication issues still, but at least they had a plot at long last.

 

The Howard brother stuff was really kind of weird to me. They even used the phrase “A Very Special Episode” on the cbs website, which makes me cringe. It might work out fine if they bring the brother back and make use of the character in some further way. As it stands now it feels kind of soap opera-ish and out of place.

Edited by Rule 34
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I loved this episode, along all the storylines.

 

I don't think that Howard's brother is supposed to be an ongoing thing, though it's certainly left open for possible future stories.  I just don't think there needs to be any follow-up to it.  It's an interesting twist that developed because of the fall-out of his mother's death.  Because she died, there was an issue with clearing the title of the house, so there was some digging, which unearthed the brother.  He was curious because now he was hearing about his father for the first time in a long time.  That he took the initiative was kind of nice, and then Howard got a nice little bonus out of it--a younger brother who admires him for his accomplishments with whom he's able to bond a little over the fact that they both hate their dad.

 

Anyway, what starts out as a bit upsetting turns into something nice (which can be true for any kind of long-lost sibling kind of situation) and now they're aware of each other.  I don't think it has to be any more significant than that.  I have a cousin whom I have never met.  We follow each other on FB and we excange Christmas cards each year.  She actually lives just on the outskirts of town, maybe 45 minutes from me.  But we don't really know each other.  Her mother gave me her address when I moved out here and that's how we got in touch, but that's it.

 

So, for Howard it may be enough just to know his brother is out there.  There's no need to add the brother to the cast of recurring characters or anything like that and no need to continue the story line.

 

The discussion about redecorating the house and Bernie's joke (yes, it was a JOKE!) about the wrecking ball are pretty typical and not meant to be mean-spirited.  If you've ever watched any rehab or real estate shows on TV you know that couples often disagree on what they want done in their home--the guy wants some man-cave, the woman wants a certain color of paint or whatever.  He wants a ranch style home like the one he grew up in, she wants a two-story house with a grand staircase in the entry.

Whatever.  And it's made more difficult because Howard was such an ingrown hair in that house for such a long time.  He doesn't want anything to change, which is understandable.  But for Bernie, she was never happy about Howard's initial idea for the three of them to live together and having Mrs. W's taste and belongings everywhere is kind of like still having her there.

Every wife wants to make her own home, not that of her MIL, or even her own mother.  I know that if I suddenly inherited my parents' house, there are a lot of things I would change.  I'd rip out all the carpet, repaint, get rid of some furniture and rearrange other things.

And Bernie is dealing with Howard and his ketchup packet mentality.  Just like he had trouble moving out, he's having trouble letting go.

 

As for Leonard and Penny, I did find it a little over the top that Penny is suddenly so wealthy that she has a "guy" and she is so cavalier about how much money she makes.

That being said, I met with an investment counselor or whatever he was, back at my previous job just to see what my options might be for investing my tiny retirement account I had at work.  It was kind of a voluntary thing where you could meet with the guy and he would look over your account based on a survey you fillled out or something like that, to help you see if or how you wanted to invest.

So she wouldn't have had to have millions of dollars in order to meet with a "guy".  If her company has a 401K set up for her as part of the benefit package she gets, then she might have had a similar opportunity to mine, only she apparently had enough money to invest, etc.

 

But the main point was the way the argument turned from Leonard thinking she shouldn't take the risk, for a few reasons, only one of which was the money thing, as I recall.  He didn't want her to feel frustrated and miserable the way she had before, and he didn't want her to risk her current stable job for the precarious life of an actor, but then he let his frustrations over the money inequalities get to him a bit.

The "getting played like a violin" thing really did just underscore how his frustration led him to wish for her to do the opposite of what he said at first.  And I don't think Penny intended to play him, it's just that he kind of ends up being hoisted by his own petard.

 

Since the acting gig was only theoretical--and just a Kevin Smith film!--Leonard could have waited it out and not had such a negative reaction.  But he was caught off guard and his more cautious nature led him to respond the way he did.  I think that while he always wanted to be supportive of her, the actor lifestyle may have always seemed to risky and uncertain for his nature.

Jim just mentioned in an interview how the last 8 years of success on TBBT, making big money, is much less time than the time he spent scrimping and scratching for jobs and money before he caught this break.

 

But some people are cut out for it, or have the need to pursue it, and others can't imagine living like that.

 

Based on what some others were posting about salaries, I can kind of see Penny suddenly having more money than she knows what to do with and I can see how Leonard might have massive student loans to pay off.  If he went to an Ivy League school he could have significant loans to pay off, especially if his parents felt he should pay his own way (and I'm sure they're the types to do that.)

With parents who earn good money, he wouldn't have qualified for regular financial aid, and while he might have had a scholarship of some kind, supposedly having a good gradepoint average and other accomplishments in high school, who knows how far that might have gone.

Seven years worth of student loans could take him some time to work off if his salary is dependent upon grant money, which it seems to be, from earlier episodes.

 

So, while the salary issues on TBBT don't bear close scrutiny very well, I think the broad strokes make the point.

And based on the next episode and Penny's part in it, this discussion is just step one in this development.  I am assuming it may play out in the last two episodes if Kevin Smith actually offers her the part.  Then she and Leonard would have another big discussion on hand.

 

But I also don't think that Penny was deliberately trying to hide things from him.  Though they're engaged, they're not living together and they don't have joint bank accounts.  Some people go all pro-active about that sort of thing, but since they haven't set a date or anything like that, I can imagine that they just haven't taken all those significant steps yet.

When my sister and her husband first got engaged I don't remember them talking about their finances until closer to the wedding date.  They didn't open a joint account until they got married or maybe just before.

 

Some people look further down the pike than others.  And while Penny knows more about Leonard's finances than he may know about hers (because her job is still pretty new), I don't think that engagement requires you to sit down and look at each other's tax returns the minute to say yes.

And I don't think they have an unhealthy relationship, either.  They just haven't sat down to work out all those details just yet because their relationship hasn't really changes in those logistical ways just yet.  She lives in her place and he lives in his.  They apparently pay their own bills and earn their own money and they aren't financially merged yet.

 

And of course, Sheldon and Amy...!

I like that Amy was honest with Sheldon about everything from no pouting on date night (and I love that he said he added it because of "uterus things"!) to no asteroid destroying the Fineman house, to the hurt associated with being left out.

They had a real discussion about the situation and about the feelings involved, and then Amy provided a solution that was fun for both of them in their own Shamy way.  So what if it's juvenile--all the guys have a juvenile streak in them--it's fun.

And I liked the negotiated G-rated sleepover idea.  Sheldon didn't want her to leave nor to take down the fort.  He was simply happy--happy with the fort itself, but happy to spend time with Amy and not wanting it to end just because of an arbitrary time on the clock.

 

And I'm kind of glad it didn't get all mushy in that G-rated tent.  If the initial purpose of the tent was to give them their own place to belong, it accomplished that without it having to be about physical aspects.  And even the idea of a sleepover was simply to keep their good time from ending.

 

I liked in the tag where Sheldon wanted to be able to tell someone they weren't allowed in, but he thought the tent was so cool that he had to share it.  But not his spot! :p

 

Anyway, I laughed a lot through this episode, both when I saw it when they showed it at the taping and when I watched it again last night.

Great ep!

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I am not sure if Leonard Penny stuff can get any worse.

Did'nt Leonard in an earlier episode this season say that her making more money than his isn't even a problem.

Now apparently he is not. So he clearly was lying previously.. Pathetic ... Pathetic Leonard.

 

Yeah people lie, imagine that...

 

and of course Penny has no problem belittling....and he accepts it ...as always....pathetic...

 

I didn't see it as Penny thinking she was belittling him.  Lots of other people do because they're overly sensitive about what happens to the characters.

 

is there anything about Leonard that Penny actually likes....

 

OF COURSE THERE IS, your just looking for them to spoonfeed you that fact every five minutes, and if they don't its apparently not relevant.

 

the show seems to have completely emasculated Leonard... next season probably he will have his private parts replaced by lady private parts lol...

 

The guy who came up with a new scientific theory has been emasculated, [/rolls eyes]

 

oh they are engaged....and after this all this time... penny never let leonard know how much she makes.....they will have a great feature....lol

 

Again Penny underestimates how serious some of this stuff is, you'd know that if you paid attention to what she said in The Hookup Reverberation

 

I think the writers should have penny dump leonard....it seems to the only chance of Leonard even getting a sample of backbone and character...

 

I think your idea of what a character having backbone is, is narrow minded.

 

as she rarely shows any kind of patience or sympathy or any feeling towards leonard....

 

Sympathy? This just shows you don't know what your talking about, she OFFERED to help with paying off some of his student loans.  Read between the lines.

Edited by Tripper
Removed quote which referenced a post which has been edited by moderators.

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Nothing really to add as I only saw a little bit of it prior to the severe weather coverage in our area (tornado warning and all of that).  What I did get to watch started off strong and def. made me want to see more, so I will want to see for myself how it all turned out.

 

As I said, the beginning parts were compelling and I enjoyed in re: to Lenny and Shamy. 

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I thought parts of the episode were really funny.  Wil Wheaton and Kevin Smith were especially entertaining.

 

The Shamy parts were very much in tune with the way their relationship is.  I don't think it's immature as much as it is pretty much going through the same phases as people do.  They had their infancy, toddler and now maybe they are in the pubescent period. If you look at it for what it is, it's quite endearing and sometimes don't we all wish we could go back and do those things that we didn't get to do or that we loved doing?  And wouldn't it be great to have someone like minded to do it with?

 

Howard's brother was okay but I'm not sure why it was even in an episode except to give R/H/B something to do.  I really not a fan when they do that.  I did think though that Bernadette wanting to make the house her "own" is honest but she should remember that Howard might need to have some things the same because of his loss.  

 

On to Lenny.  Sometimes I find them to be so wonderful and other times I would like to slap them upside the head - individually and collectively.  I guess it's harder to write a "funny" more grown up relationship without either changing the characters or making them wimping or somewhat cruel.  Call me old fashioned but I've always shared money with my fiance/husbands and we both knew about each other's stuff.  My loans became his and vice versa.  I just think the writers need to make up their minds as to whether Lenny is truly a team or only when it suits the mood.  Otherwise I would deem this to be one freakin' bipolar relationship.....with laughs.

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It seems the writers are better at writing puberty than adult story lines. maybe that's why the ratings have seemed to peak?

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It seems the writers are better at writing puberty than adult story lines. maybe that's why the ratings have seemed to peak?

 

The ratings don't signify a thumbs-up/thumbs-down judgment of an episode.

 

A fan can't know if they're going to like the story before they view it, and for those who have a niesen box or whatever, it's going to measure what they watch, now how they feel about it.  Now, if they hate the episode and change the channel half-way through, that would register, I guess.

And even those who simply fill out the little diary thing,

 

Even TV critics who might comment that the current season is better or worse have to see the episode before they can criticize it.

 

Unless the great unwashed were spoiled to every line of dialog of an episode before watching, they're not going to know whether or not they liie a particular episode or even a trend until they've seen it.

 

I think the answer is more along the lines of what Tensor has said--it's spring, the weather's kind of generally more inviting, the daylight lasts longer, people have more activities (all those kids in soccer)--therefore ratings are down across the board.

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I think this episode just reinforces a theme that has been present in the show since day one, Penny has all the power in the relationship. I thought in season 6 they were trying to change that, letting Penny feel insecure and threatened by Alex, but ever since the Season 7 scavenger hunt, things have gone back to that theme. The Leonard character has also been marginalized more and more in season 8, he is actually turning into a minion to Sheldon and becoming just Penny's boyfriend who really doesn't have an impact on her life anymore, since like before, in this episode his opinion doesn't matter when Penny wants to do something.

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The ratings don't signify a thumbs-up/thumbs-down judgment of an episode.

A fan can't know if they're going to like the story before they view it, and for those who have a niesen box or whatever, it's going to measure what they watch, now how they feel about it. Now, if they hate the episode and change the channel half-way through, that would register, I guess.

And even those who simply fill out the little diary thing,

Even TV critics who might comment that the current season is better or worse have to see the episode before they can criticize it.

Unless the great unwashed were spoiled to every line of dialog of an episode before watching, they're not going to know whether or not they liie a particular episode or even a trend until they've seen it.

I think the answer is more along the lines of what Tensor has said--it's spring, the weather's kind of generally more inviting, the daylight lasts longer, people have more activities (all those kids in soccer)--therefore ratings are down across the board.

but the ratings have trended downward most of the season. Just because a critic like it or not really doesn't matter IMO. Even on this these threads there are less comments than year or two. Edited by Chrismo
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I loved this episode. I thought the Lenny parts were funny which is what they were meant too. Wil stole that part though with his running commentary. I think that they really should be past the financial stuff. I definitely think that Leonard should know what kind of money Penny makes. But he said in the episode when they discussed the money which was repeated in my area last night, he was fine with her making more because that is what he knew from his parents' marriage. It seems to me now he is upset how much she is making or just how little he is. I believe he could still be paying college debts and let's face it, they spend frivolously. Even Penny does now, but she seems to be maturing, just like Leonard said.

The Shamy fort was just great.....I know that people think it was juvenile and it was but who hasn't had a moment of juvenile fun in their adult lives?

I for one think the guys all really haven't grown up but no one ever really thinks about that. Yes a fort is juvenile but so is all the action figures and things the boys are always buying. I know someone will comment on this that they are collectibles and I agree but they are still juvenile things.

And Howard's brother was fun. I loved it at the end when he asked about the robot and then made the comment about just needing the hand, the same thing the lady in the ER said when it was stuck there....

 

All in all loved this episode.

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Penny doesn't need Leonard to help pay her bills anymore but that has nothing to do with her feelings for him and there are married couples who keep there money separate and do just fine. If Leonard were to asked Penny for help with his student loans she would do it in a minute because Leonard helped her when she needed it. I can also believe Leonard still has student loans to pay remember he attended Princeton don't know the exact amount it would cost to attend but I know it's expensive

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If Penny dominantes the relationship, as well as Bernadette and Amy (poor Sheldon, nothing will ever be the way he wants again), it just proves the obvious: women always have the power.

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I think this episode just reinforces a theme that has been present in the show since day one, Penny has all the power in the relationship. I thought in season 6 they were trying to change that, letting Penny feel insecure and threatened by Alex, but ever since the Season 7 scavenger hunt, things have gone back to that theme. The Leonard character has also been marginalized more and more in season 8, he is actually turning into a minion to Sheldon and becoming just Penny's boyfriend who really doesn't have an impact on her life anymore, since like before, in this episode his opinion doesn't matter when Penny wants to do something.

 

Totally agree and I hate to say this but maybe Leonard needs to step back a bit and figure out what HE really wants.  

 

but the ratings have trended downward most of the season. Just because a critic like it or not really doesn't matter IMO. Even on this these threads there are less comments than year or two.

 

I think Tensor would agree that there's been an across the board downward turn of ratings numbers for all shows.  It might not be because of more of one thing than another(emphasis on the might because my personal opinion may differ).  

 

And I really don't pay attention to critics because ever since I used to read or listen to Rex Reed(remember him?) I always thought their opinion didn't matter much in the grand scheme of things...

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Hey Y'AL .... getting to this LATE ...  lets seeeeee ... Penny's salary ... don't any of you watch this show ...her boss said at Christmas that she was the 3rd highest in sales and a ROOKIE ...

Sales is a small salary/+ commission, driven JOB ... I know been there .... 

Leonard based on my search of Caltech would be making about 120k/year more or less ... so the sales commission Penny would be about 200K more or less she could easily have paid off her credit cards lets say 3 more or less fully loaded $15K ... in a few months then the rest she could have gotten an financial advisor to invest  the rest ... WHYT NOT ...

 

The other thing ..... ITS NOT REAL .... ITS NOT REAL .... its a TV show ..... they the writers can say anything and do anything to keep it going .....

 

GET A LIFE WILL YOU ALL 

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The other thing ..... ITS NOT REAL .... ITS NOT REAL .... its a TV show ..... they the writers can say anything and do anything to keep it going .....

 

GET A LIFE WILL YOU ALL 

 

Third floor:  It's not real signs on your right, Get a life signs on your left and sarcasm signs straight down the middle....

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I think this episode just reinforces a theme that has been present in the show since day one, Penny has all the power in the relationship. I thought in season 6 they were trying to change that, letting Penny feel insecure and threatened by Alex, but ever since the Season 7 scavenger hunt, things have gone back to that theme. The Leonard character has also been marginalized more and more in season 8, he is actually turning into a minion to Sheldon and becoming just Penny's boyfriend who really doesn't have an impact on her life anymore, since like before, in this episode his opinion doesn't matter when Penny wants to do something.

 

I feel the same way and I am so sick and tired of Leonard always being on the losing end when it comes to Sheldon and Penny. 

I am one of the Lenny fans that said Penny has all the powder in this relationship and Leonard wants and needs don't matter

as long as Penny gets what she wants.  And the writers have done nothing  to change my mind about their relationship where Penny

is all that and Leonard be happy she gives him the time of day.   What little movement they (Lenny) had the writers have erased in this

latest round of regression.

 

I have to say that every time Will W. is in a storyline with them it always turns out bad for them imo.

Totally agree and I hate to say this but maybe Leonard needs to step back a bit and figure out what HE really wants.  

 

 

 

I so wish this could happen but now that they are engaged, I don't see it happening.

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but the ratings have trended downward most of the season. Just because a critic like it or not really doesn't matter IMO. Even on this these threads there are less comments than year or two.

 

My comments about critics wasn't about whether or not a person will like an episode.  What I was saying is that a critic (nor anyone else) cannot comment on the content of an episode without actually watching the episode first.

 

And even if the ratings are lower because of content, it's an 8-yr-old show and there's bound to be some drop off.  Even so, the show is still the highest rated comedy because it's so far above the closest competition.

 

What I'm saying is that you can't really draw a straight line of causality between the theme or content or style of an episode or episodes and the overall ratings being down.  So someone says, "Gee, that story wasn't adult enough!  I'm never watching this show again!"?  Is that what you're implying?

 

That sounds like the kind of histrionics that go on around here over the events of an episode, but it's not likely what goes on among casual viewers.  Most people watch the show and think that Sheldon still says "Bazinga!" every other episode or whatever.  They may wonder when L/P will get married or when S/A will have sex, but they usually don't discuss things like story trends--if they discuss anything at all.

 

I think most casual viewers, who make up all those people outside of our small band here, aren't really analyzing how many minutes of airtime Leonard and Penny get vs Sheldon and Amy, or whether or not Leonard is manly enough or whether there should be more scenes of Lenny in bed together and using those concerns as the measuring stick as to whether or not they will keep watching the show.

 

And if this were so, wouldn't we see whatever drop off in ratings from TBBT show up as a spike in someone else's ratings at the same time slot?  If everyone across the board is having a ratings drop off, then that would mean, by your reasoning, that everyone objects to the content/story/characters on EVERY show on the air, wouldn't it?

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I think this episode just reinforces a theme that has been present in the show since day one, Penny has all the power in the relationship. I thought in season 6 they were trying to change that, letting Penny feel insecure and threatened by Alex, but ever since the Season 7 scavenger hunt, things have gone back to that theme.

 

Are you REALLY defining power in a relationship by which person worries more about breaking up?  That's a pretty shallow interpretation of power IMO.  Penny has felt insecure plenty of times, since then.  Like in the scavenger episode, the thanksgiving episode, when her part gets taken, the episode when she gets a new car.  Just because she and Leonard don't always react in the same way doesn't mean Penny doesn't feel any insecurities.

 

 The Leonard character has also been marginalized more and more in season 8

 

Marginalized characters don't come up with new scientific theories as an ongoing arc.    

 

in this episode his opinion doesn't matter when Penny wants to do something.

 

Maybe Leonard was overreacting?  Is that an option that anyone considers?  Penny put it best in the episode, "There's going to be times when you do better than I do and vice versa."

 

People really are crying over spilled milk here.

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Get a life isn't that what William Shatner said to Star Trek fans in an SNL skit when he hosted

Edited by Earnie
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I have removed references to the debate about whether Mayim Bialik should take issue with something on the show. I don't think it's reasonable to try impose one's opinions on the show on the actors, or to view it through a prism of whether they should or should not agree with the show's content. To take a view thatthis actor of that actor should or should not enjoy this line or that isn't helpful. To then build on that by trying to assert they're a hypocrite for not taking the same view of a matter is simply uncalled for. Have an opinion on the show's content by all means, but don't try rope cast members into that view.

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Get a life isn't that what William Shatner said to Star Trek fans in an SNL skit when he hosted

 

I stopped listening to William Shatner a long time ago.

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I haven't watched this episode yet but reviews so far suggest that there's a sharp divergence between the Shamy material and the rest of the storylines. Both the Howard/Bernie plot and the Lenny plots seem like they could have sustained far more depth and time than they actually got. They both seem like meaty, interesting plots that have gotten lost in the shuffle. I also think it's very easy to blame Shamy for this, but let me suggest an alternative hypothesis: I think the showrunners are just better at writing stories about childhood/adolescent traumas (and how they can be fixed) than they are at writing about the problems of adulthood e.g. Howard's loss of a parent, or Leonard and Penny's trying to juggle the conflicting demands of their careers. 

 

This is not an excuse, by the bye, but a criticism. I am particularly exasperated at the show's handling of Mrs W's passing. From all that I have read and seen, the show's skittishness about dramatic beats and melancholy have reared their ugly heads in a fairly spectacular fashion. Howard isn't allowed a moment that isn't undercut by his friends' squabbling or what seems like a full-on Jekyll-and-Hyde Bernie transformation.

 

And similarly, I think, for Leonard and Penny. Every time the two threaten to have what seems to be an adult conversation about genuine, organic conflict or concerns, it's undercut by a million other stories.

 

So I get that it's easy to blame Shamy (because the fort storyline seems to be actually well-handled), but I would really rather blame the writers' laziness and unwillingness to step out of their comfort zone.

 

All of the above is my opinion, and I reserve the right to revise it if the execution is vastly different from my impression of it.

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Wowbagger. Though I'm not a big Shamy fan your review without seeing the show is the best analysis I've seen Since the show aired

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