Sheldon + Penny 4Ever

The Big Bang Theory

I have to admit that I’m enjoying The Big Bang Theory more than How I Met Your Mother this season, at least overall. (TBBT has no depth whatsoever, so it’s impossible for it to come up with an individual episode that’s as good as HIMYM’s “Shelter Island.”) What makes the show consistently entertaining is, as everyone knows, the character of Sheldon (Jim Parsons); but more importantly, it’s the relationship between Sheldon and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) that has become the hit of this show. I’ve theorized in the past that comedies, more than any other type of show, depend heavily not on individual characters but on character relationships; a comedy should have at least one character relationship that is so strong that we are actually happy, filled with anticipation, when those two characters have a scene together. For some reason, Sheldon/Penny has become that kind of relationship; along with Liz and Jack on 30 Rock it may be the best comedy relationship on TV at the moment. As we saw in last night’s episode, they have a strange combination of antagonism and mutual respect. She’s annoyed by his insanity and the fact that his friends are too wimpy to stand up to him, but likes the fact that he doesn’t treat her like a bimbo; he’s angered by the way she messes up the sacred routines of his lifestyle, but admires her for not being intimidated by him. Their scenes together are a nice reminder that the best male-female relationships often have nothing to do with sexual tension — since their relationship would not work if Sheldon was sexually attracted to her (or, for that matter, in any human).

On the other hand, Leonard has clearly become the weakest link on TBBT. (The weakest character should have been Penny, who was the weakest character when the show began, but the Sheldon scenes have turned her into a popular character — sort of like Tracey on 30 Rock has been saved from annoyingness by his excellent chemistry with Kenneth.) He doesn’t do much more these days than stand around whining that everybody else is acting crazy.




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Sheldon + Penny 4Ever

  1. I’m a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, but I feel it kind of suffers from what I’d call a “Who’s the Boss?” syndrome. That is, the main relationship of the show is centred around a man and a woman in a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship, like Tony and Angela, or Ross and Rachael in Friends.

    The problem with shows like that is that eventually you have to resolve that question, and then what do you do after that. I think part of the problem with the Leonard character this season is that the first season focused on will Leonard and Penny get together. They kind of wimped out on that, making them go out once and then doing nothing with it, so now the character of Leonard kind of has no purpose.

  2. //On the other hand, Leonard has clearly become the weakest link on TBBT….He doesn’t do much more these days than stand around whining//

    Hey, wait a second, doesn’t HIMYM have the same problem? Maybe we should ship Ted and Leonard off to their own boring, annoying sitcom. Or just add them to Gary Unmarried or something.

  3. The texts above are thoughtful. Nevertheless, the criticisms reflect the lack of imagination of the writers. If you don’t know what to do with the show or Leonard, it doesn’t mean that the producers of TBBT don’t know it either. By now, Leonard has a new girlfriend which satisfies Sheldon’s exact standards. Sheldon played an important role in that, and these contributions have meant a new twist to his question mark relationship with Penny. Well, this relationship may evaporate for good or start to burn, but even if that happens, it doesn’t mean that the show must already end. There are many clever stories that can happen afterwards.

  4. I really couldn’t agree more with this article. It was very surprising to me as well, and I truly didn’t expect to feel the way I do about the two characters, especially as they are together, they really just have this natural chemistry you almost can’t put your figure on, it’s so unique and entertaining to watch. I remember, one day right after watching an ep, I found myself already anticipating the next one, but not for just any reason, because of Sheldon mostly, but more to the point, my fav scenes were and are of Shedlon and Penny together, and that’s what kept me coming back for more, and keeps me coming back still. That day is when I realized they had something special with these characters, they just pop onscreen, and you can’t help but love their scenes together. I hope the writers see just how uncommon and amazing of a pair they’ve found in them, the two characters have so much potential, and it’s been ages (seriously) since I’ve felt this way about a pair/couple/duo… I mean, I don’t ramble like this for just anything. XD

    For me, Lenard and Penny never had life, that spark, and I found myself not very interested in that scenario (no offense to Lenard’s character). I was thankful it was more or less swept under the rug; the eps have gotten better and funnier in my opinion. And even before then, Sheldon and Penny had the scenes that got the most laughs out of me and my family (like spewing milk out of your nose, holding your sides, applauding while cheering kind of laughter. =P). I find this to be the norm everyone I go as well, everyone I talk to that watches the show tends to agree… Sheldon/Penny for the win!

  5. Please Sheldon and Penny for the win…Leonard and Penny is stupid.

  6. I remember when there was even more debate whether Leonard and Penny should be together or Penny and Sheldon, and the die hard Penny/Leonard fans wanted them together so bad that I thought "Ok, lets see how that turns out"…. As we all know, it turned out awful, the couple is boring, no chemistry, and it seems that ALL they do is fight/make up, have sex, or Leonard being surprised that he actually scored Penny… SUPER BORING.

    I honestly feel that though many fans are afraid that making Sheldon fall inlove will somehow make him change way too much, it's a risk worth to take. The way I see it is that Leonard/Penny have limited, way too limited potential. Now Sheldon/Penny, HUGE potential. Now that many have seen that the whole Leonard/Penny thing doesn't work, many are open to the potential of S/P. I really hope they go that way, it's the only reason I keep watching TBBT, I love Jim Parsons and every time he's on screen it's SO worth it, but when there are those Leonard/Penny episodes, ugh, it makes me want to skip it until Sheldon is back on screen.

    SHELDON AND PENNY AAAAAALLLLL THE WAY!!!!

  7. I'm a shenny fan!! I'm watching the show because of these two characters and I WANT TO SEE THEM TOGETHER!!!

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