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1203 'The Procreation Calculation' (October 4)

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1 minute ago, joyceraye said:

He'd need to know. Sooner or later he'd be asking questions anyway if he wasn't already. He's a farmer. We don't know what his grandson or his other son-in-law are like and we know his son is a chocolate teapot. He had high hopes of Leonard's genes. This is not information to be kept from him.

It wasn't Leonard's job to tell him.  He's Penny's father.

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Howardette stole the show again with that prolonged and progressively more painful look of disgust (especially Bernie) sitting on the couch as Smooth Operator played in the background.

Go Stuart!

Loved Amy’s response to Penny’s no baby talk.

Not sold on Rajanu yet!

Lenny story is the classic writers treatment of their life since the beginning ( said much more on Dark Lenny thread). Your typical reaction from Penny when backed into a corner when faced with adult level commitment. Don’t mind it as a starting point for a long lasting story arc like S4 Leonard regret and S7 career challenge. It’s been a long time since the writers have really stretched a Penny story out in this show. Hope it goes somewhere.

Closest thing to Sheldon having the night off I’ve seen for a long long long etc time.


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I thought it was a good episode. Liked the batmobile.

It does not surprise me Penny does not want kids. It is not like she was eager to get married. When the series started she wanted to be a star.

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Watched the episode. I really enjoyed it. I do agree the Lenny arch is classic them storytelling. I don’t think it’s any surprise she doesent want kids. She never really committed to the idea. She initially came to Pasadena to become a star. She prob never forseed she would be married to Leonard 12 years later. 

 And several times through out to the series she struggled with committment. Felt like the writers were stalling somewhat. Highlights. 

I thought Howardette was really good. Loved Bernadette eye roll when Amy suggested. She and Sheldon live next door to them lol. 

I laughed out loud when Lenny were doing that quiz. And Penny was like “I wouldent throw rocks at a child”. And Leonard was like “why would you throw a rock at a child?” 🤣.

The Raj arrangement storyline is interesting. Not sure how I feel about it. Raj seems desperate. I’m not sure it seems to fit his character.

It was great too see all the characters get even screen time. The storylines flowed better. With Sheldon getting relatively less screentime. Loved the Batcar Penny got Leonard in the end too. 

 

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<Long post alert>

<High negativity alert, positives in the end>

Uggghhhhhhhh just UGGGGHHHHHHH 

That was worse than I thought. What a great way to feel watching the last season of a show I used to reall really like.

The Stuart-Denise-Howardette situation was probably the "plot" I enjoyed the most. Howardette were quite annoying other than that.

Raj and Anu...Hmmm... They had some chemistry. She's not a bad person or anything. But could this work in a matter of weeks/months? I think these two would need a longer journey to learn how to be with each other and see if it fits them. Maybe they could make a nice couple, but with both just eager to get married... I know Leonard's comment was thrown at his face (like almost everything in this episode was thrown at his face) but I do think they need to take the time to get to know each other. If Leonard and Penny were to get married a few weeks/months after they me, even if their meeting were when they were older, it would be much less likely to work. They have grown and changed together over the years. Same goes for Shamy, even though they were so much alike. Sheldon of season 3 would not be good for Amy after she "blossomed" (yeah yeah). They had to grow and change. So if Raj is to end with Anu, I hope they decide to call off the engagement/wedding (if one will be set) to take their time to develop their relationship. This could make for a nice story.

 

Ugh. It's that plot's turn. I'm glad we got spoilers, otherwise I would have been a furious, frustrated mess right now.

I'll try to gather myself y making a list of my problems with that plot, and end up with the positives for Lenny in this episode.

Not, I want to make this clear: My criticism is about the plot for the characters it was given to and about the way it played out, not at all about the message that there is nothing wrong with people who do not want children, and that, certainly, not all of them are just scared and will change their minds later on. I totally agree with that. 

1. For me, this is a total retcon. Take the "(...) someday, yeah sure!" of season 9 Penny and compare it to the "someday, yeah" of this Penny. They are totally different. If they had this current "someday, yeah", the one where Kaley was obviously instructed to show doubts, previously, than I wouldn't have the biggest problem I have with this story. Retcon. Am I supposed to believe that she got to the place they dropped her in now just like that, because she "has been having thoughts" lately? This is so silly. It's not which car to buy we're talking about. Oh she just had thoughts and now she may not want kids. I wish they realized Penny is supposed to be a person, whose inner world is supposed to work pretty much like theirs, not The Popular Girl - another species who can have such easy changes of mind (and memory - she did accuse Leonard of them living with Sheldon when she was the cause) even in very big issues.  Besides, it's hard for me to believe that if Penny feels this way about kids this wouldn't have come up previously. She needed a questionnaire to tell Leonard that? Come on! The sensitive, responsible, fair, caring thing to do would be to tell him when these doubts arise. But of course she couldn't, because this wasn't the case until this episode (just like Leonard couldn't feel guilty or tell her about the boat kiss prior to 08X24, it just didn't happen yet *apply "Back to the Future" grammer*).

This is not just about this, though. As I said, it's an accumulative effect. This keeps happening, especially with Lenny and to the angsty side (remember that boat...?). How am I suppose to take anything on this show, at least regarding Lenny, seriously, if it may just change on a whim? I feel like such a big fool for taking the writers on their words. Am I suppose to feel like that, to feel like a fool for taking what I see on screen (e.g., Leonard not showing any hint of guilt before 08X24) as if it is the truth of the show? I don't think so. At least not in a show where the writers care about what they've written.

2. Leonard keeps getting hits. All the time. I mean this one as an out-of-narrative criticism. In-narrative, his wife doesn't seem to want kids, at least for now, and he accepts that (more about that in the positives), though all too quickly (more aout that in problems), and that's totally fine, for the couple that's great. But out-narrative, the writers keep throwing stuff at him, time and again. I don't want this to be a fluffy story where everything is great all the time, not at all, but this is just too much. It's hard to enjoy the show when your preferred character keeps being disregarded, humiliated, have aspiration and dreams of his shattered (not all, he has Penny, as he pointed out, but still). His sadness at hearing she's not pregnant and suggests not having kids made me feel so bad for him (hmm I thought I was watching a feel-good comedy). Rarely does he get a win. Meanwhile, Sheldon gets it all. His beloved wife, will get his desired children, a scientific breakthrough (Leonard's project was taken from them by the government). Now he may also turn out to be right saying Leonard's kids with Penny will be imaginary. Hurray.

3. That scene between Penny and Bernadette was like a punch to the gut for someone like me who wanted Lenny to have kids. I think they were trying to use the criticism they got about Bernadette changing her mind. They tend to do this, have the characters voice the criticism and Whalla! like this solves the issue. But now that this has been said how can they have Penny decide that she does want kids eventually? That would be tough to pull off. Together with Holland saying he agrees with Kaley on not wanting Lenny to have kids, this makes me think they'll have another episode or two when they finalize this decision, and maybe Lenny get a dog or a cat. 

This brings me to my next point, which like no. 1 is one of my biggest problems with this plot:

4. This is a plot that may lead Lenny to have less plots along the season. If I thought the writers would write them other plots, like plots about trips, work and other stuff, than this would've bothered me less. But for the past 4 years they haven't done so, why should I believe this time will be different? A Lenny pregnancy would have been an easy source of plots for this group of writers who seem to be struggling to find plots for Lenny. Them seeming to go the no-kids direction makes me believe they don't want to. They prefer keeping them side-lined. They can't get like 7 episodes of Lenny discussing not wanting kids, so Lenny may only have a handful of main plots this year, the show's last year.

5. Leonard is first reactig in a natural way, he also says this is a lot to process. Yet he comes to grisp with that in a day. Disney sitcom move. Silly to me. I would expect him to tell her, when he came back from work, he loves her and needs more time. 

6. Leonard calling Wyatt to pressure Penny was played for laughs but totally NOT OKAY. His only saving grace here is that he probably did it out of deep anger and frustration. Still JUST NO. I would be happy to pass on Keith's appearance for that.

 

Now the positives...

The nail painting and joke arround it was cute.

Leonard loves Penny so much that he is willing to make sacrifices for her, from the smallest to this huge one. He prefers being with her and not be a father than being with another woman and having kids with her (and it's not like he has time to think this through too much, he is 38, if he wants to have children and Penny doesn't this would be the time to leave her, if that was what he wanted to do).

At the end of the day, Leonard and Penny seem incompatible to others, but they make it work. In this episode they end up "riding into the sunset" in the Bat-mobile. 

The Bat-mobile scene was cute (and finally a quick Lenny kiss, after I think a year and a half or something like that). Also shows that Penny does know what he's talking about, not like they sometimes make her seem. 

 

What I would like to see next, though, is Penny making sacrifices for Leonard. I don't mean regarding kids. If she doesn't want kids I don't want her to have them. But throughout the show we have seen Leonard working, making sacrifices and being tolerant for their relationship. Yes, we have seen gestures from Penny, but not as much. I would like the writers to show us more of Penny working for their relationship as well. Enough with the "he wore her down" mentality, that seems to assume she is so much more worthy than he is. That is not true, and at times Penny have shown she knows it. 

 

Now off to the gym to take out my frustartion...

Edited by bfm
Added negativity alert
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Just gotta add, I found the "Come in, Robin" call quite ironic. They say they are being so originial with this not wanting kids thing. Robin was the HIMYM character who did not want kids and was a very good representation of a person who doesn't want kids.

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The best way to the end of this somewhat ambivalent (Lenny theme) but overall very funny episode.

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The best thing about this episode was that it wasn’t about Sheldon for once.  Funny how it was also the funniest episode of the season, too.

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7 hours ago, Itwasdestined said:

Howardette stole the show again with that prolonged and progressively more painful look of disgust (especially Bernie) sitting on the couch as Smooth Operator played in the background.

Go Stuart!

Loved Amy’s response to Penny’s no baby talk.

Not sold on Rajanu yet!

Lenny story is the classic writers treatment of their life since the beginning ( said much more on Dark Lenny thread). Your typical reaction from Penny when backed into a corner when faced with adult level commitment. Don’t mind it as a starting point for a long lasting story arc like S4 Leonard regret and S7 career challenge. It’s been a long time since the writers have really stretched a Penny story out in this show. Hope it goes somewhere.

Closest thing to Sheldon having the night off I’ve seen for a long long long etc time.


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Best post I’ve seen on the episode.

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46 minutes ago, SRAM said:

The best thing about this episode was that it wasn’t about Sheldon for once.  Funny how it was also the funniest episode of the season, too.

I also noticed that was pleasant. Others may disagree.

a_133.gif.2617b8d58a16a736a23cf77d3cb0be55.gif

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1 hour ago, veejay said:

I also noticed that was pleasant. Others may disagree.

a_133.gif.2617b8d58a16a736a23cf77d3cb0be55.gif

It was so pleasant. Also, a Sheldon-less tag scene!

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44 minutes ago, hokie3457 said:

It was so pleasant. Also, a Sheldon-less tag scene!

Yeah you can tell by the activity on this forum.

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8 hours ago, bfm said:

Just gotta add, I found the "Come in, Robin" call quite ironic. They say they are being so originial with this not wanting kids thing. Robin was the HIMYM character who did not want kids and was a very good representation of a person who doesn't want kids.

Robin was Batman's sidekick

Burt-Ward-Robin-Adam-West-Batman-2.jpg

Edited by djsurrey
don't want my posts joined so I deleted one.
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25 minutes ago, djsurrey said:

Robin was Batman's sidekick

Burt-Ward-Robin-Adam-West-Batman-2.jpg

I know that... But with Robin Sherbatsky (HIMYM) it becomes ironic...

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I did not like the no kids story line.  I wondered throughout the episode who Penny was trying to convince herself (moreso that others).  I love Kaley so don't take this as my opinion of her as an actress.  But, IMO, this performance felt dialed in.  Like something was off which may in fact may be my bias.  I did like that we got to see Leonard dealing with it.  I liked his non verbals and he seemed genuine.  Not entirely convinced that this storyline is done but for the Lenny, DID. NOT. CARE. FOR. IT.

It was nice to see a Lenny plot be the main story for once (even if I didn't care for that story line).  That would be great.  Since it's way unrealistic to think that Lenny will be the A plot for the remainder of the episodes; I'd settle for every other episode.  A girl can dream, right :no:

I found Howardette believable.  Their storyline is fairly consistent.  I love that about them. 

Looks like I am in the minority but I love Anu.  It's jus sad that after all of this time, this stry was the one that was most compelling to me and drew me in.  I hope we get to see this play out.  Yet at the same time, I'd like it to be tertiary.  Raj was believable and I am not entirely convinced he's on board just yet.  Her pulling out that romance was well played and Raj took it...hook, line, sinker.  Where that goes, if anywhere, remains to be seen. 

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Not convinced this Raj/Anu, Rajanu? relationship is endgame.

He's marrying for the wrong reasons and I share Howard's concern. All his friends are married, Stuart is in a relationship with Denise that could go the distance so he's made a reactive move.  He's still an old romantic, if anyone is in the group it's him.  They don't seem to have much chemistry, though maybe I guess that's to be expected because they've only just met and it could develop or blossom into something further or deeper. My prediction remains that he won't go through with it.

Howardette were the stars of the episode from a comedy perspective and when they were together in scenes and in their own storyline (more on what I thought when they were involved in the Penny and Raj storylines further below). I get a lot of joy watching Simon and Melissa act together, they are amazing.

Looks like Stuart and Denise's relationship is going from strength to strength which is welcome.  Loved the choice of Smooth Operator by Sade, big Sade fan her voice is just heavenly.

On to the main story, if I was a betting man I would still think Leonard and Penny will have kids at some point probably not on the show perhaps even now not a pregnancy mention but by the end of the show you will know in some way they had kids. 

Penny clearly doesn't want them right now which is her prerogative and her right which has to be respected and maybe ultimately she doesn't want kids at all and again if that is the case that has to be respected as well.  It felt throughout the episode she was pressured from the opening scene of Howardette and the house becoming free next door to them to the end scene with Wyatt's phone call.  Leonard to be fair didn't put pressure on her in this episode, when I guess he could have.  He could have been more vociferous about his feelings in this one and yet he didn't.  I do think there are things to be admired about Penny's perspective and position on this, not everyone wants children at that particular moment or at all and if that's how they feel that should be respected.

Did I feel a bit sorry for Leonard in this one?  I did actually, despite in my opinion him making a big big mistake calling Wyatt.  I actually think we should have seen a scene between Wyatt and Leonard instead, maybe the action would have come across better because the way it played out it just looks like a shady move on his part. He clearly wants children IMO, if he feels he can give that dream up because he loves Penny so much then I guess that's something to be admired in some way. 

A lot of relationships do break over the subject of having children or not, but is this going to happen on this show? Of course not, but if this was real life could I see a decision like this straining their marriage to the point of breaking?  It's a possible outcome for sure.  If one wants kids and the other doesn't and can't live with that then is it fair to stay in a relationship like that over such a big life-changing topic? Giving up that dream?

I think Raj summed it up best at the beginning when he said something along the lines of 'Didn't you talk about these kinds of things when you were dating?'  He was saying that about where they might end up living or the type of house they want but it could be used for many things when it comes to relationships.  I think kids and the discussion of that should absolutely come up during the dating stage at some point, even in a relationship like Leonard and Penny's which was on and off early in the show and relationship developments were largely spontaneous and unplanned at times.

Final point, I HATED the way their friends reacted in this one.  I think this episode was ripe, no scratch that, absolutely fucking PERFECT for Sheldon and Amy to support their friends during this dilemma. Instead you had old school Amy coming out at like the worst possible time.  Did I find it funny? Actually no I didn't, it felt creepy and actually really tasteless to be quite honest.  I didn't laugh once at it, if Penny had told her to GTFO I wouldn't have complained.

Sheldon could have had a nice bromance moment with Leonard and they ruined it with gags about Sheldon enjoying how silent and quiet the car journey was? I mean really?!  I guess that's why I am not a writer lol, I would have had two nice moments of friendship (Amy and Penny, Sheldon and Leonard) and supporting them instead of gags like that.

I praised Bernadette earlier for her story with Howard but I didn't like how unsupportive and kind of close-minded she was in the discussion with Penny in her office.  Just because there were times when she didn't want kids herself but that changed when they were born doesn't necessarily mean the same would happen to Penny.  Penny went there for advice and it felt more like a lecture, it looked like Penny might get really angry with her and I wouldn't have blamed her if she did at that moment.

I thought it was an interesting episode, bit deep at times but largely unentertaining.  Not impressed with the start to the season overall, but it's still young.

Edited by Jonny
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Denise07- generally agree with what you say. I think part of Kaley’s problem was what she was saying wasn’t totally believable. Penny’s reason for not having kids wasn’t believable. It was enjoyable for once that Penny was groveling.

 

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20 minutes ago, Denise07 said:

I did not like the no kids story line.  I wondered throughout the episode who Penny was trying to convince herself (moreso that others).  I love Kaley so don't take this as my opinion of her as an actress.  But, IMO, this performance felt dialed in.  Like something was off which may in fact may be my bias.  

I had similar feelings. I think it's not just Kaley though, it's the writing and directing too. It felt like she never ever thought or was asked about having kids and then when she thought about it just simply realized she didn't want them. It didn't feel like a change of mind, like it was a revelation to herself to. The way she brought it up to Leonard was also not sensitive and serious enough. I know everybody keeps pointing out that they didn't talk about it before marriage but they did talk 3 years ago so it's not like it never came up. She said "yeah sure" and didn't express doubts then so Leonard thought they both wanted kids.

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33 minutes ago, Chrismo said:

Denise07- generally agree with what you say. I think part of Kaley’s problem was what she was saying wasn’t totally believable. Penny’s reason for not having kids wasn’t believable. It was enjoyable for once that Penny was groveling.

 

How was it not believable? 

It's going to take more than a 'Yeah, Sure' to convince me she definitely 100% wanted kids.  Even if back then she was open to the idea of having children, well people and priorities do change.

I find it believable that she might have changed her mind.

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3 minutes ago, Jonny said:

How was it not believable? 

It's going to take more than a 'Yeah, Sure' to convince me she definitely 100% wanted kids.  Even if back then she was open to the idea of having children, well people and priorities do change.

I find it believable that she might have changed her mind.

What was her reason not to have kids?

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7 minutes ago, Jonny said:

How was it not believable? 

It's going to take more than a 'Yeah, Sure' to convince me she definitely 100% wanted kids.  Even if back then she was open to the idea of having children, well people and priorities do change.

I find it believable that she might have changed her mind.

But that would have required a little more episodes with prominent stories for them.

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7 minutes ago, Chrismo said:

What was her reason not to have kids?

Does she have to give one?  Perhaps she simply doesn't have that desire right now to start a family?

I know people who were adamant they didn't want kids but then they did and they said it was just like a switch suddenly turning on, they just felt the need or the want to have children.  Obviously for some they never get that feeling.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jonny said:

Does she have to give one?  Perhaps she simply doesn't have that maternal desire right now?

I know people who were adamant they didn't want kids but then they did and they said it was just like a switch suddenly turning on, they just felt the need or the want to have children.  Obviously for some they never get that feeling.

 

JMO yes and so should Leonard. As veejay pointed out there should me more episodes on the subject. instead we get non stop Shamy storylines. If they did focus on Lenny we wouldn’t have an episode like this that leaves viewers to fill in the blanks.

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My thoughts after watching this episode are mostly these  @Jonny pointed out. I think writers could have done much better they did in this episode...

My wish as tbbt fan is writers wont do the follow two things when the show is over

▪marrying Raj when is so clear he wont be happy in these conditions. I hope they step back about this ridiculous bunch of reasons for marrying a guy whose friends are all married. Wasnt this show about different people whom deserve be as happy as  everyone else, even taking different choices for reach that happiness? Why Raj has to marry without love when it was always something on table for him? No matter if was his fault his failed relationships. What matters imo is Raj doing this wont be happy. Whats the point? Raj wont die if he did not marry. Nobody died of lack of mariage, for God sake!

▪Penny getting pregnant just because she had to. It is clear she would not be happy, even I must say all this lenny plot did not sound realistic to me. One thing is Penny migth not feel it is the rigth time for getting pregnant. Other is what was done in this episode as Penny made clear she doesnt want children. Writers, all of these for not have another baby plot? How about showing the baby only in s12e24? I think it may happen anyway but it wont avoid a bad taste on show fans mouth for s12e3 because a lenny pregnancy now might not be rid of the unhappy vibe of a mother that did not want become one. Really hope they come up with a good plot for put lenny having a different perspective if Penny really get pregnant. A woman deserve be happy for her own like a man deserve the same. A couple must be happy as they find their balance of their own about babies. In this right moment lenny is not balanced about this question what imo could be avoided if the writers did not like going on circles when the show time doesnt allow anymore many random circles about these characters lives. As I said earlier, this show is supposed to be about different people that deserve be happy. Come on, writers: please dont put anyone doing things for obligation. Make them finding their way and be happy at same time. It is possible.

 

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9 minutes ago, Chrismo said:

JMO yes and so should Leonard. As veejay pointed out there should me more episodes on the subject. instead we get non stop Shamy storylines. If they did focus on Lenny we wouldn’t have an episode like this that leaves viewers to fill in the blanks.

You can't drag out episodes if she just 'feels' that way.

Look I guess they could have gone in a different direction, for example using her career as a reason for not wanting to start a family right now. But the writers instead went down the route of she simply doesn't feel like having children right now at this moment and honestly that's a good enough reason for me.  It would be fucking stupid to start a family if you deep down you don't want to start one at that moment, Bernadette is wrong there is no guarantee that when the child is born her feelings might change.

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