Tensor

[Spoilers] Discussion: Season 10

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Posted

2 hours ago, Tensor said:

Raj being in the middle of Lenny's marriage.  Let's face it, the writers have no fucking clue as to what to do with Lenny.  So, they kept them from moving out and living alone, by having Sheldon interfere in their marriage.  

When they finally separate from him, we get next to nothing about them (unless it involves fighting, we get lots of fighting).  For example, let's compare how many times we've seen Lenny talking about living together, or trying to solve a problem.  Or let's compare how much we've been shown in Lenny's bedroom, compared to how much we've seen Shamy in theirs. 

To steal a quote from Roxanne and Nicole of Big Bang Buzz (if you aren't, you should be listening to their podcast) the writers are the Leonard of the Lenny/writer marriage.  They haven't been trying since the engagement.  And when they do, they aren't quite able, in the majority, to keep Sheldon out of their moments.  

So, now, they have Raj to interfere with Lenny's life.  This frees up Sheldon and Amy to have their plotlines without having to involve Lenny.   Give Shamy even more time and all they have to do is to show Lenny eating with Raj in the living room, or one or the other coming home from work.  Have Penny make a few snarky comments about Leonard for laughs and they don't need them for the rest of the show.

I can see they ending the season with some sort of separation for Lenny (note I didn't say divorce).  The writers, TPTB and the actors have all talked about leaving little hints or dropping little seeds that sprout later.  All they've had Lenny do most of the year is fight, so I can see a season end with problems in the Lenny marriage.   But, if they go there, I have a feeling they will lose some audience.  I know they will more than likely lose me, if that happens.  

I would be more than likely to be proved wrong.  The other possibility would be to make Penny pregnant.  It would give the writers a way not to have to deal with Lenny, other than through the pregnancy.  However, I in no way saw the love affair with Sheldon, and how he has taken over the show, for this season.  So, what do I know?  

if they break Lenny up that would see me out. Lenny has been the reason I've watched the show for the past 3 years. The comedy is gone,  I have no interest in Shamy and even less in Sheldon or the other bit players.

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Posted (edited)

Funny thing, Molero had repeated (in interviews about the Wolowitz baby) that Lenny having a baby would alter the DNA of the show (so they kept them stagnant, preventing them from doing what they would be doing if they were real people because we have years showing Lenny do have it in them to be parents). But having them fighting all the time, having Raj in the middle of their marriage and having Shamy move in together (I don't have a problem with the last one but it is a big change) is somehow keeping that DNA intact. 

Edited by bfm
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1 hour ago, bfm said:

Funny thing, Molero had repeated (in interviews about the Wolowitz baby) that Lenny having a baby would alter the DNA of the show (so they kept them stagnant, preventing them from doing what they would be doing if they were real people because we have years showing Lenny do have it in them to be parents). But having them fighting all the time, having Raj in the middle of their marriage and having Shamy move in together (I don't have a problem with the last one but it is a big change) is somehow keeping that DNA intact. 

There are other things they could do instead of having a baby, for example bring back the idea they mooted during the summer hiatus about looking at changing her career again. That could provide some interesting storylines for her character and possibly her marriage.

I honestly don't see there being any more children being born between now and the end of this show, flash forward scenes at the end of the run when we see some of the characters with children that I could see. I kind of think it's silly we won't ever see the Wolowitz baby (but they have the distinctive voice thing at least to indicate to the audience that they do have a baby, you wouldn't have that with a Hofstadter child) and it would be even more silly if there is another child on the show that we never see imo.

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14 minutes ago, Jonny said:

There are other things they could do instead of having a baby, for example bring back the idea they mooted during the summer hiatus about looking at changing her career again. That could provide some interesting storylines for her character and possibly her marriage.

I honestly don't see there being any more children being born between now and the end of this show, flash forward scenes at the end of the run when we see some of the characters with children that I could see. I kind of think it's silly we won't ever see the Wolowitz baby (but they have the distinctive voice thing at least to indicate to the audience that they do have a baby, you wouldn't have that with a Hofstadter child) and it would be even more silly if there is another child on the show that we never see imo.

The "we won't see but only hear the baby" works perfectly for Howardette as a tribute to Howard's mom. I agree it would be different with Lenny's baby and also a bit weird to have the same gag with two couples. It would feel very repetitive and like Lenny would be given "hand-me-down" plots. So yeah, I don't see Lenny getting a baby any time soon unless Kaley gets pregnant and they decide to write it in.

Like you I'd rather see the idea of Penny's career being picked up again. Maybe at some point she finally paid off her debts and is now looking for something more fulfilling? Something like that could give her a nice arc. And maybe that'll help solve this weird frustration that's seeping into Lenny's marriage. There are enough ingredients that could make Lenny's stories more interesting - if only the writers would actually, you know, write them...

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Posted

18 minutes ago, Jonny said:

There are other things they could do instead of having a baby, for example bring back the idea they mooted during the summer hiatus about looking at changing her career again. That could provide some interesting storylines for her character and possibly her marriage.

I honestly don't see there being any more children being born between now and the end of this show, flash forward scenes at the end of the run when we see some of the characters with children that I could see. I kind of think it's silly we won't ever see the Wolowitz baby (but they have the distinctive voice thing at least to indicate to the audience that they do have a baby, you wouldn't have that with a Hofstadter child) and it would be even more silly if there is another child on the show that we never see imo.

I didn't mean it was the only thing, just wanted to point out the unbalanced treatment of Lenny. My point about it keeping them stagnant is that it feels that it is driven from production and not story consideration. I think it adds to the unnatural state of Lenny. Because of production considerations they don't get them to start a family. OK. But then they have them fighting again and again over nothing instead of giving them stories that stay true to the nature of the characters and their relationship (last episode to me was a story like that, they were fighting but it stemmed out of love and overconsideration of each others feelings, I'm fine with that).

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, bfm said:

I didn't mean it was the only thing, just wanted to point out the unbalanced treatment of Lenny. My point about it keeping them stagnant is that it feels that it is driven from production and not story consideration. I think it adds to the unnatural state of Lenny. Because of production considerations they don't get them to start a family. OK. But then they have them fighting again and again over nothing instead of giving them stories that stay true to the nature of the characters and their relationship (last episode to me was a story like that, they were fighting but it stemmed out of love and overconsideration of each others feelings, I'm fine with that).

I'm all for less fighting, more enjoyable storylines involving them either on the occasions they are alone or are around their 'close-knit' group of friends. If the writers genuinely aren't sure how to progress them or want to slow it down with the remaining 2 seasons (not sure I buy into this theory) then simply have them looking happier together with less fighting and focus more on them as individual characters or storylines for a while. They are strong, well developed and established characters in their own right and I know there are plenty of fans of them as individual characters.

Edited by Jonny

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Posted

5 hours ago, Carlos said:

I'm not Tensor, but let me answer this one: maybe Raj has sex with Penny behind Leonard's back thus going through with what he couldn't in S4's finale.

It would be a nightmare and it would destroy emotionally three characters at once. Honestly I dont see any chance of that happening. Some friction between Leonard and Penny, some non sense from Raj in sake of comedy, which they would not make me laugh at all but writers have a sense of humor too retort for my taste in some situations, yeah maybe these friction situations could happen.

However I see this Raj in  4A decision  as a way to bring Raj for the show core, as his character is the one who needs to be more worked on, as the others are linked for marriage and for dating. Lenny imo needs to be more worked on too but maybe this is a chance for writers focus more on them while Raj is living with them . Hopefully it would be a temporary situation. I am crossing fingers for that.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting discussion. Let's say that's true that the writers have been struggling with a 'Hot girl next door has been gotten now what do we do?' scenario. Could one make an argument that they should have dragged out the on/off relationship between them for longer? Personally I got tired of their will they won't they 'dance' or on off courtship so to speak and was happy to see them finally be together and for good.

But I have seen TV series before when only towards the very end of the show it actually happens, something on off actually becomes permanent. Should they have done that in this case? Or was it right to finalize it when they did?

Edited by Jonny
can't spell, clearly

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Posted

21 minutes ago, wowbagger said:

Interesting point. I've been thinking of (some of) the writers as the Leonard in the Lenny relationship for some time now. By which I mean that I think a subset of the writers projects onto Leonard. They are fiercely protective of the idea of Leonard as a bullied, unloved, long-suffering martyr who will be rewarded for his suffering with The Hot Girl Next Door. And that protectiveness, sadly, stifles Leonard as anything except the vessel of these writers' vicarious pinings. And as the life is choked out of Leonard, so it is choked out of Lenny. 

Why do I bring up Leonard specifically? After all, Penny suffers too (and we'll get to that in a moment). Well, I think Leonard suffers more because it's very rarely that he's allowed to do anything that will harm the cherished conception of him as a much-abused (and therefore much-deserving?) toad under the harrow. He might do things that would throw up temporary roadblocks to the Ultimate Felicity of Getting The Hot Chick Next Door (see: Boat Kiss). But the writers will speedily - but speedily - spin it as a minor infraction, for which he is not to blame, and for which nobody is allowed to be angry with him in any substantial way. He bitches about his living situation repeatedly and it is never brought to his attention that at least part of the solution to his ills lies within him. Leonard? Lamb-chop? You don't like living with Sheldon? Move. You've had a long-term, committed relationship for a long time. Even after you married, you continued to live with Sheldon. Granted, it was sweet of you to bunk with him when he was miserable. What.....was your reason to continue cohabitation after he reconciled with Amy and was no longer miserable? Especially since you had Schrodinger's Student Debt?

And this is important, because it means that (some of) the writers resolutely refuse to see Leonard as anything except an object of pity and/or envy (with The Landing Of The Hot Chick). Which means that they don't see Leonard as a dynamic, evolving character with his own flaws. Understand me, these problems may exist with all of the other characters. But they are really noticeable in Leonard. And if you don't see Leonard as a guy with his own journey, but rather as a SIMS avatar with the end goal of The Hot Chick...well, what do you do when The Hot Chick Is Gotten? 

Which is where the problems with the writing of The Hot Chick enter into the picture. Now, Penny doesn't suffer in the same way. Nobody seems as protective of her in the writers' room. Perhaps even the opposite: the frequent slut-shaming, the grotesque misogyny of putting her at the mercy of a member of the male cast while blind-drunk. Twice. Oh, Penny suffers. BUT. She is also allowed to hang out with the rest of the cast and have her own equation with them. In fact, i would argue that it is Penny's friendships that actually constitute the heart of the show. Penny is allowed to have dimensions and angles that poor Leonard hasn't been allowed to have in a while.

But she is also The Hot Chick, and it is understood that Leonard's story ends when The Hot Chick Has Been Gotten and Poor Leonard Goes To His Earthly Reward. But there are more episodes to write, and Leonard's got to be in them. So what is a poor writer, Mary Sueing for all (s)he is worth, even to do? Well, the only solution is for rumours of The Gottenness of the Hot Chick to have been greatly exaggerated. Deploy the Discontent of the Hot Chick! Romantic Discontent! Nebulously-Defined and Fundamentally Irresolvable Discontent! So long as The Hot Chick's eyes turn towards the horizon - any horizon - the Hero's story remains to be told!

And herein lies the problem. I like Penny and Leonard very much when they're allowed to be their own people. But so long as the writers see them only as Trophy and Vessel for Wistful Imaginings, respectively, they'll continue to suffer. And so will Lenny, whether or not they separate.

I also think sometimes that some of the writers identify with Leonard (I think I read a suggestion somewhere that originally he was kind of based on Prady..? not completely but being the straight man to bizzare co-workers) in a way that hurts the show, I disagree about the consequences. I do not think Leonard's flaws are overlooked. If anything, he is often represented as the lousy awkward looser whose only accomplishment is wearing down "the hot girl", especially in later seasons. Leonard made mistakes and has his flaws. Actually, I feel he is underrated. He is generally a good guy, that's part of why he puts up with Sheldon. He complains a lot but stays with an insufferable guy who might have been quite lost without him (before he got a solid relationship with Amy), not immediately but gradually. He was also extremely patient and considerate with a girl who seems all strong and confident but turns out to be quite damaged (and it is a shame we don't get a better exploration of her damaged side, I think this is partly due to her "trophy hot girl" position). But IMO, again especially in later seasons, he is almost never recognized for his help and compassion to his friends and wife and is often the shows punching bag.  It is considered more legitimate to laugh at yourself and take things on yourself and I think for the writers this extends to t he character they identify with. So Leonard is lousy in bed, nothing special at work and suddenly doesn't put effort in his relationship to the point of behaving in way that is so OOC. Heavy stuff is thrown at him and he can't have decent stories for himself. Penny by extension and by being the trophy hot girl is often relegated to being mad at him or joking on his inferiority and remaining the desired one whose  weaknesses can appear here and there but cannot be adequeately dealt with.

Please note that I'm writing this out of love for Lenny and a feeling that they deserve better treatment.

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Posted

1 minute ago, wowbagger said:

I think it's solvable once the writers realise that there is - there has to be - more to Leonard than their own avatar. Remember when Leonard got Howard and Sheldon to help him with outreach programmes to get young women interested in STEM subjects? When he corralled Raj and Howard to look into the notes of a dead colleague? That Leonard is compassionate and principled and courageous in his own way. Big, big fan of that Leonard. And also - whaddayaknow? - has naff-all to do with his sadsack childhood.

Or if you want to keep bringing up that sadsack childhood, lean in. Bring back that nice shrink. Have Leonard deal with his own issues. Why not? 

And as to Penny: once Leonard's having non-Lenny adventures, the writers will be more free to give Penny adventures that do not directly and primarily affect her relationship with Leonard. Even her career angst was front-loaded with 'but how does this affect Lenneeeeee???????' And, to be clear, obviously there's going to be some discussion about how the deep unhappiness of one person affects the people in her life. But why not let Penny have troubles with a co-worker and bitch about them to Leonard, for example? Let them brainstorm solutions together? That does happen, you know? People actually treat their loved ones as a source of strength, rather than as an obstacle, a source of anxiety, or the Stasi from whom secrets (and bank accounts) must be kept? And in fact, Lenny did use to bounce ideas off each other and draw on each other for comfort.

So many great points are being made regarding Leonard/Penny/Lenny (it is really three characters). The problem is that these are choices that have been avoided or put on hold in order to tell another story. That story has been in the forefront for seasons 9 and 10, with little detours into the childbirth area. I'd like to think TPTB may have wanted to "catch up" that story with the Lenny story line and can now shift attention to the good Doctor and his wife. The storyline with Raj residing (hopefully very, very temporarily) in 4A can be a catalyst for good things (good Season 6 type things) for the two characters I adore. We shall see if attention can be diverted.

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Posted

13 minutes ago, Tensor said:

.............../

I have simply lost faith in the writers.  It's not going to get better.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season eight, it didn't.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season nine, it didn't.  The Completely OOC Lenny relationship agreement was maybe an acknwledgement that they've messed up Lenny and would start fixing it.   It wasn't, what we got was more fighting, and the apparent ignoring of the RA.  So nothing has been fixed, and I don't believe anything will get fixed. 

Agreed!

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Posted (edited)

Agree with @Tensor about the DNA changing of the show, as the things that changed for all characters but lenny brought imo freshness and development to the show. It can't  be an excuse for not writing better lenny.

Once I have mentioned the biggest problem with lenny was the fact the couple got together before the ending of the show. However I dont see it as something as an issue but as a very interisting challenge for the writers but they have been choosing the lazy way of doing  things for lenny so far. If they made the effort to focus on lenny more, they would create great situations for they live on screen. Also  agree about past and present Leonard's character differences, I really hope we can see the past one back as the present one seem to me too much passive for his own good and also not healthy for his marriage.

Edited by spidergirl
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Tensor said:

One thing I'm am sick of hearing from TPTB, is the worry, evidently in the writers mind, that something the do will change the DNA of the show. Let's see, Sheldon living with his girlfriend isn't a change to the DNA?  Howard, of all people, married with a kid, isn't a change to the DNA?   Raj being able to talk, isn't a change to the DNA?  They were sooooooo worried about splitting Leonard and Sheldon, I can't see where it's been a negative for the show, other than the can't seem to write anything for Lenny, except "let's have them fight again". 

To me, their use of the phrase "change the DNA" has come to mean, that's a lot of work and we don't want to put in the effort or we have no idea how to make that work.   I've come to the conclusion that they can write Lenny, (The Graduation talk, Thanksgiving and the slutty carrot, the dirty store) but, it takes work to write them, and they don't want to put in the effort.  The would rather fall back on cheap gags.

I have simply lost faith in the writers.  It's not going to get better.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season eight, it didn't.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season nine, it didn't.  The Completely OOC Lenny relationship agreement was maybe an acknwledgement that they've messed up Lenny and would start fixing it.   It wasn't, what we got was more fighting, and the apparent ignoring of the RA.  So nothing has been fixed, and I don't believe anything will get fixed. 

My point exactly! apparently only writing good realistic stuff for Lenny is deemed "altering the DNA" for them. Maybe the DNA is not putting effort in writing Lenny. And there is always the excuse that Lenny have a hard time because they don't have a lot in common. Oh, please. How many shared interests did Monica and Chandler have? She liked cooking and cleaning. He liked humorous comics and used to watch Bay Watch (as I'm writing this I'm noticing that Friends barely explored it's characters' hobbies haha), and yet, IMO, they were one of the greatest sitcom couples ever. Before they got together on the show Courtney Cox said in an interview that she could imagine them becoming a couple because they shared a sarcastic attitude. Lenny share that too, it is very clear that they have similar sense of humor. They can work as a couple, as @Tensor said they had some fun scenes in the past. It's all up to the writers, but could they be  (*read with a Chandler announciation*) less invested in them? 

Edited by bfm

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Posted

 

35 minutes ago, spidergirl said:

 

Once I have mentioned the biggest problem with lenny was the fact the couple got together before the ending of the show. 

I don't buy this.  If you believe this, then do you also believe Howard and Bernadette should have waited to get together until the end of the show?  Or how about Sheldon and Amy waiting until the end of the show?  If the writers had fallen in love with Lenny, as they have with Shamy, Lenny would get the majority of good plots, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Although, if this was the case, we'd be having this conversation about Shamy more than likely. 

 

35 minutes ago, spidergirl said:

 

 However I dont see it as something as an issue but as a very interisting challenge for the writers but they have been choosing the lazy way of doing  things for lenny so far. If they made the effort to focus on lenny more, they would create great situations for they live on screen. Also  agree about past and present Leonard's character differences, I really hope we can see the past one back as the present one seem to me too much passive for his own good and also not healthy for his marriage.

 

Aye,  and this is the problem, isn't it.  It's not that they got together before the end of the show, it's that the writers have decided to ignore, downplay, or not put effort into writing them.   Season six had fights between them, but it wasn't the main purpose of their plots, as it seems to be this year.  Not  to mention the other charachters weren't downplayed, as seem to have done with Lenny this year.  Based on the last few years, there isn't much hope the writers will  change anything. 

 

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, Tensor said:

 

I don't buy this.  If you believe this, then do you also believe Howard and Bernadette should have waited to get together until the end of the show?  Or how about Sheldon and Amy waiting until the end of the show?  If the writers had fallen in love with Lenny, as they have with Shamy, Lenny would get the majority of good plots, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Although, if this was the case, we'd be having this conversation about Shamy more than likely.

I dont believe it either. If I would believe in it, I was not saying the writers could do better about lenny's relationship as I have said so many times before. I am not a lenny but I have been rooting for them. What I meant was like in other shows, the main couple would just get together in end. Thankfully tbbt is not like others shows and like Howardette  and Shamy had had great developments in their relationships, it is imo a question of writers make a offer to focus more on lenny and do nicely as they have been doing for the others couples.

Edited by spidergirl
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Posted

34 minutes ago, Tensor said:

 

I don't buy this.  If you believe this, then do you also believe Howard and Bernadette should have waited to get together until the end of the show?  Or how about Sheldon and Amy waiting until the end of the show?  If the writers had fallen in love with Lenny, as they have with Shamy, Lenny would get the majority of good plots, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Although, if this was the case, we'd be having this conversation about Shamy more than likely. 

 

 

Aye,  and this is the problem, isn't it.  It's not that they got together before the end of the show, it's that the writers have decided to ignore, downplay, or not put effort into writing them.   Season six had fights between them, but it wasn't the main purpose of their plots, as it seems to be this year.  Not  to mention the other charachters weren't downplayed, as seem to have done with Lenny this year.  Based on the last few years, there isn't much hope the writers will  change anything. 

 

The thing is the writers were in love with Lenny. The Lenny love story is one of the things that sold this product to syndication. The shift in attention was deliberate and in its totality is difficult to explain and justify. The argument that one character is a " breakout star" and deserves the massive amount of attention and unending open-ended storylines does not hold water. TBBT was extremely, extremely, extremely successful prior to this switch so there is no reason to believe that the popularity would suffer for at least more even-handed attention paid to what had been at one time its core romantic relationship.

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Posted

2 hours ago, Tensor said:

I have simply lost faith in the writers.  It's not going to get better.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season eight, it didn't.  It was supposed to get better in the second half of season nine, it didn't.  The Completely OOC Lenny relationship agreement was maybe an acknwledgement that they've messed up Lenny and would start fixing it.   It wasn't, what we got was more fighting, and the apparent ignoring of the RA.  So nothing has been fixed, and I don't believe anything will get fixed

I don't think anything will get better either, and sure as h**l nothing with Lenny will be fixed. 

The writers seems to be totally uninterested to write some good plots for Lenny  these days, it's just fights, drama and a ridiculous agreement.

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, spidergirl said:

It would be a nightmare and it would destroy emotionally three characters at once. Honestly I dont see any chance of that happening. Some friction between Leonard and Penny, some non sense from Raj in sake of comedy, which they would not make me laugh at all but writers have a sense of humor too retort for my taste in some situations, yeah maybe these friction situations could happen.

However I see this Raj in  4A decision  as a way to bring Raj for the show core, as his character is the one who needs to be more worked on, as the others are linked for marriage and for dating. Lenny imo needs to be more worked on too but maybe this is a chance for writers focus more on them while Raj is living with them . Hopefully it would be a temporary situation. I am crossing fingers for that.

Of course when I wrote it I knew it was not going to happen... let me re-phrase that, I hope it's not going to happen. My problem is that the writers have been screwing with Lenny so much that at this stage I don't trust them at all. It is baffling to me that these same writers who made Lenny so special are so dumb founded to write meaningful plots for them nowadays. Getting married shouldn't be a death sentence for the characters, but rather a starting point, a springboard from which they could soar as a couple. I'd love to see the dynamic of Lenny vs the world but I don't think it's going to happen.

Edited by Carlos
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