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Penny's role analyzed!

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I have oft wondered as to Penny's role in the show.

-after all, she is no nerd, and she is not that hilarious. Not to me, anyway.

But then it hit me: Penny is there for the women!

-I mean without Penny, female wievers would have nobody on the show they could identify with, and whose goofy antics they, females, could laugh at.

For frankly, most women do not get the geek jokes.

But they do get it when Penny says 'I'm going to buy some shoes!'

-then they are verily in stitches! I mean shoes! that is so funny!!!:icon_lol:

Okay, there is another theory that says Penny is there just for the eye candy, but as that is very insulting, especially towards Caley, who, so it is said, is an exceedingly excellent actress, i shall ignore it altogether!

What?

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Apart from the fact that I couldnt imagine US network execs commissioning a prime time show without a love interest,which they established in the very first episode, Penny also serves to highlight the way the guys interact differently with women, and maybe thereby society as a whole. We could quickly see that Leonard was the nearest to "normal" of the group, Sheldon's total lack of interest, Raj's selective mutism and Howard's abnormal fixations.

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Apart from the fact that I couldnt imagine US network execs commissioning a prime time show without a love interest,which they established in the very first episode, Penny also serves to highlight the way the guys interact differently with women, and maybe thereby society as a whole. We could quickly see that Leonard was the nearest to "normal" of the group, Sheldon's total lack of interest, Raj's selective mutism and Howard's abnormal fixations.

that's very true.

Mind you, I find the nerds funniest when Penny is not around. Because it is usually without penny when the really geeky stuff comes out. and that stuff is pretty much boys only.

Still, to make a point, I think the show would be better if they hired a female assistant to write some ladies only jokes and stuff for penny to do. the male writers do seem know the basics of female humour, but it is rather mechanical knowledge from their part. If they had a woman helping them, they would get a lot more out of Penny/Kaley.

As an aside, there are some comic tv shows that are written by women, for women. they are quite fascinating, as they really highlight the difference between male humour and female humour.

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Apart from the fact that I couldnt imagine US network execs commissioning a prime time show without a love interest,which they established in the very first episode, Penny also serves to highlight the way the guys interact differently with women, and maybe thereby society as a whole. We could quickly see that Leonard was the nearest to "normal" of the group, Sheldon's total lack of interest, Raj's selective mutism and Howard's abnormal fixations.

Very true. That's one of the reason why I started watching the show, the interest of Leonard to Penny and how it will work out. Well they're on season 4 now, I hope the relationship will not end just like that. But it's still early, we want more TBBT...

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... Penny also serves to highlight the way the guys interact differently with women, and maybe thereby society as a whole.

I absolutely agree with that statement. Penny's character serves as a non-nerd "everyman" that counters and thus accentuates the quirky personalities of everyone else. The character could have been male, but for the sake of the mandatory love interest (as you have noted) she was made female.

She introduces plots points or character struggles that wouldn't exist otherwise, and through these we can see the other characters' traits more clearly: Raj's inability to talk to women without being drunk; Sheldon's attitude towards relationships and "lowly" non-academics in general; Leonard's need for love and and his vulnerability when it comes to women; Howard's unrelenting desperation towards the female sex. Without Penny these idiosyncrasies wouldn't be revealed so plainly and the dynamic of the group would remain at stasis, but with her the balance is upset, and hilarity ensues. I really don't think you would have the same TBBT without Penny, quite frankly.

In that vein, TBBT's IMDB.com trivia section notes that the original working title of the show was "Lenny, Penny, and Kenny."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898266/trivia?tr0734850

Ultimately from this source: Variety's Bill Prady interview.

I do think Penny also adds some variety to the dialogue, breaking up the guys' talk with her own cadence and setting up one-liners for Sheldon or saying them herself.

But then it hit me: Penny is there for the women!

-I mean without Penny, female wievers would have nobody on the show they could identify with, and whose goofy antics they, females, could laugh at.

For frankly, most women do not get the geek jokes.

Gah. Well of course I disagree with this completely since I am female and find the show hilarious, plus appreciate that the science noted is real too. I can see why one would assume "women do not get the geek jokes" if your particular field is devoid of them, but the fact is that the female demographic exists and is growing in the science industries, where these types of personalities abound. That said, I don't think you don't necessarily need to be a geek or a science-y type to get the jokes. It's a well written show.

So for the record: Penny's a great and lovable everyman...but I tune in for Sheldon, like everyone else. ;-)

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I have oft wondered as to Penny's role in the show.

-after all, she is no nerd, and she is not that hilarious. Not to me, anyway.

But then it hit me: Penny is there for the women!

-I mean without Penny, female wievers would have nobody on the show they could identify with, and whose goofy antics they, females, could laugh at.

For frankly, most women do not get the geek jokes.

But they do get it when Penny says 'I'm going to buy some shoes!'

-then they are verily in stitches! I mean shoes! that is so funny!!!:icon_lol:

Okay, there is another theory that says Penny is there just for the eye candy, but as that is very insulting, especially towards Caley, who, so it is said, is an exceedingly excellent actress, i shall ignore it altogether!

What?

As a female, the Penny character teaches me how to be less sensitive to the crude remarks made to her. She doesn't take anything personal and just lets the put-downs go over her head. Maybe it's a power thing with men with their insults....

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