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S07.E23: The Gorilla Dissolution

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A bad day compels Penny to re-evaluate her choices -- including Leonard; Bernadette and Howard must care for Mrs. Wolowitz; Sheldon gives Raj advice on relationships.

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Penny is at a crossroads at her career and lost so she takes Leonard as a fallback position?   I can't really say that inspired me at all.

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I teared up too at the ring in the wallet, however, Penny finally agreeing to marry Leonard is such a cop out on her part. Getting engaged because you have nothing else going on in your life is no reason to get engaged. Just pathetic.

 

These past few eps (maybe even this whole season) have been a disappointment. They just seem to be treading water with storylines that go nowhere. I don't laugh as much as I use to. They seem to be trying to have a storyline, but it just isn't there or isn't working. I miss the geek stuff. Howard's mother is not funny.

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I'm not sure I agree that Penny is accepting the proposal as a fall back- I think her character has grown enough that she realizes what is really important to her.

As far as Sheldon and Raj, I thought that was very sweet. Sheldon is trying, he just isn't quite there yet, and I'm not sure I want him to ever outgrow who he is.

Howard and Bernadette and Howard's mom...bleh. The whole storyline with Howard's mom has become a painful caricature, and it is uncomfortable to watch. Maybe they will put her in a nursing home somewhere and visit. I could handle them talking about seeing her rather than watching the nastiness towards her in her own home.

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If it  weren't for the proposal, I think it'd be the  kind of episode I'd forget the next day. I had a couple of laughs, though. 

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Penny is at a crossroads at her career and lost so she takes Leonard as a fallback position?

I think it was more a matter of wanting to do something positive by cementing a part of her life. She's 27 and has finally gotten over her anxiety of picking "the one", which for better or worse is Leonard, so may as well make it official.

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Howard's mother is no prize.  Screaming at each other seems to be the way his mother and Howard communicate with each other.  In the end, he does always take care of her.  He and Bernadette often resort to the same pattern.  Some families communicate at the top of their voices...it doesn't mean they don't love each other. It's just how they learned to behave and they repeat the pattern.

 

I think it was inevitable Penny and Leonard would get engaged.  Some of us reach an age and realize that our original goals don't fit us very well.  Penny may be looking for stability, and Leonard is, overall, a symbol of someone who is steadfast.  Leonard is probably not the answer to what she is looking for....but he is probably a safe place for her to rest for awhile.  I did think it was sweet that Leonard would have a ring tucked away in his wallet...that is so in character for a guy who isn't sure but always hopeful. Unfortunately there is always a chance that they will decide to have Penny become pregnant and babies have never improved my favoritie comedies.

 

The pairing I like least is that of Amy and Sheldon and I'm glad that was absent from this episode. It has never felt convincing to me, but I fear this series is relentless about trying to pair everyone up.  It is always painful for me to watch Amy desperately looking for crumbs of affection from Sheldon.

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I enjoyed the episode. I was happy for Raj the most. He has come a long way and deserves a woman who cares about him and shows him her tattoos. I was happy for Penny and Leonard also. I was actually relieved as I said, "It is about time." I don't see Penny choosing Leonard as a fall back as much as a recognition that he is the man for her and her future is with him regardless of the state of her acting career. Anyway, it feels like they have been making up excuse after excuse to hold their relationship in place so Leonard and Sheldon's living arrangement would not be changed. I was glad that Bernadette agreed to get a nurse to help care for Howard's mother.

 

I too am not fond of Sheldon and Amy's relationship. I think that he treats her abominably. She must have no self-esteem to stay with him. I think that the show should end with Amy with someone new, while Sheldon lives in Leonard and Penny's basement.

Edited by SimoneS
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Overall, I am disappointed in the writers of this show. I don't know if they dislike the actress or the character of Penny, but they have almost gone out of their way to make her a throw away character.

I think if you are just using what has been presented, Leonard was a fall back choice of not having anything else to do. Fine if she realizes that being an actress is not going to work, but she needs to find something to actually do with life other than get married. It's just a cop out.

 

Off the top of my head here are some things the writers could have done to make Penny even marginally interesting.

1. She actually completes something (remember college) and has a job no one really understands (see Chandler on Friends) that is the subject of jokes from the other characters and minor storylines.

2. Let her actually become a working actress. She doesn't become famous, but she could do commercials, walk-on parts and even soaps (see 90's show Cybil for how this could work). Those fleeting jobs provide flexibility and lean times that are not part of the work at Cheesecake Factory and freeload dinner from your neighbors paradigm they have now.

3. She is unsuccessful at acting, but tries to find what she can be successful at and has various odd jobs like personal assistant, dog walker, etc... to make ends meet.  This could also coincide with Sheldon trying to decide what to do next and the chemistry those two characters have when thrown together.

4. Go meta and let her be successful on a sitcom or soap and have Leonard have to deal with not being the most successful in the relationship similar to the way Howard has to deal with Bernadette being the breadwinner sometimes. This also provides areas for jokes from Sheldon about their relationship.

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Even though I liked the engagement and can even appreciate the financial stability it could offer Penny, I really hope the gorilla movie becomes a surprise cult favorite and gives her some additional financial compensation, and maybe even more acting opportunities--although I don't think Sharnado made any actors famous.

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Even though I liked the engagement and can even appreciate the financial stability it could offer Penny, I really hope the gorilla movie becomes a surprise cult favorite and gives her some additional financial compensation, and maybe even more acting opportunities--although I don't think Sharnado made any actors famous.

I am hoping for something of the same. I hope the acting dream won't be completely dropped.

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That the proposal was, "ok, let's get married cause the rest of my life sucks" wasn't unexpected. The writers have long portrayed Penny as a loser and mooch. Maybe she will have some success next season.

The fat jokes about Howard's mom are getting old but more obvious to me, is that they seem more hateful. Before it was clear that Howard loved his mom. Now, not so much. 

Loved Raj's sweet smile at Emily.

Sheldon certainly is "slick". He can have his cake and eat it too by keeping Amy bound by the relationship agreement...no sex for her with him or anyone! 

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  I did think it was sweet that Leonard would have a ring tucked away in his wallet...that is so in character for a guy who isn't sure but always hopeful. Unfortunately there is always a chance that they will decide to have Penny become pregnant and babies have never improved my favoritie comedies.

I'm a little worried that the 'don't worry where the ring came from' thing is more than just a throw away line. Giving Penny the ring and then saying he's glad he didn't give it to Priya like he had planned would be a very Leonard thing to do. I'm still not convinced the show won't go there in the future.

 

After the proposal, I was thinking that the show had a lot Leonard and Penny together recently to show that he was the one she could turn to. We haven't seen as much of Penny with the girls stuff. That's giving Amy a lot less to do. They don't seem to know what to do with Amy beyond having her be Penny's side kick and Sheldon's miracle worker.

 

I'm worried that the lack of Amy just means they're saving something big for the finale. Time will tell.

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I'm a little worried that the 'don't worry where the ring came from' thing is more than just a throw away line. Giving Penny the ring and then saying he's glad he didn't give it to Priya like he had planned would be a very Leonard thing to do. I'm still not convinced the show won't go there in the future

Nooooooo!

Okay. Research:

Season 5, episode 7, "The Good Guy Fluctuation," in which Leonard and Priya break up over Skype, aired October 27, 2011, which is 2 and half years ago. I realize the most recent episode was likely written 2 years ago, but...please say it isn't so. Why couldn't Leonard have been carrying it around for just one year? I know. Because this is Chuck Lorre. I forget.

Dammit. This is why I don't watch much comedy on TV. It is not fun or funny. Jimmy Fallon can be funny at times. This is depressing.

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Nooooooo!

Okay. Research:

Season 5, episode 7, "The Good Guy Fluctuation," in which Leonard and Priya break up over Skype, aired October 27, 2011, which is 2 and half years ago. I realize the most recent episode was likely written 2 years ago, but...please say it isn't so. Why couldn't Leonard have been carrying it around for just one year? I know. Because this is Chuck Lorre. I forget.

Dammit. This is why I don't watch much comedy on TV. It is not fun or funny. Jimmy Fallon can be funny at times. This is depressing.

It's just a guess! I thought Leonard said he had the ring for a while, not any specific period of time. Maybe I'm remembering that wrong. He could have bought it for Penny a while ago. He could have even bought it years and years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if the show gave some explanation for it, and it could be a sweet explanation. Putting his foot in his mouth by saying it was for another girl is just such a Leonard thing to do that my mind went to Priya first. 

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For me, this is like the 3rd time is the charm with the whole Penny and Leonard proposal drama (he did first, then Penny, then Penny again).  It was cute he had the ring in his wallet but it still doesn't change the fact that she asked him again when her career was at a down turn.  This time he said yes.  He's totally right.  If her career was going great she would not have asked him.  I think Penny loves Leonard, I really do but her proposal isn't one of love, it's I need stability, security, and no worry.  That's what he has now for her.  I blame the writers for this.  They made Penny a drunk who suddenly lost her brains and now needs Leonard to save her.  What a shame.

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I just don't understand. Acting isn't working out so Penny wants to marry Leonard?! Seems about 50 years out of date. 

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After thinking about it, I highly doubt that Penny and Leonard are going to get married anytime soon, if at all. I expect that she will get lots of buzz when her gorilla C movie becomes a cult hit, Her career will take off causing her to postpone the wedding indefinitely. This way Leonard and Sheldon will live together interrupted until the series finale.

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I liked Raj a lot in this episode. He's very sweet and shy with Emily - a far cry from the entitled, swaggering "no fatties and uggos" jerk he can be.

 

The writers seemed to quadruple their usual allotment of fat jokes this episode. Classy. Really fresh and original material there.

 

Sheldon's Aspergers is much more pronounced as of late to me. (The writers deny it, it's not canon, yadda yadda yadda. If Jim Parsons says Sheldon has it and that he plays him accordingly, and if Sheldon meets all the diagnostic criteria and he does, that's good enough for me.) He seems to be much more out of touch with social norms than before. A lot of that I'm guessing is easy jokes from the writers, but it makes Sheldon seem like a complete uncaring asshole, particularly in regard to Amy. 

 

The proposal, meh. I did like Kaley's breathless "oh my god, yes" and Johnny's ear-to-ear grin in response. I wonder if that was awkward for those two to act out.

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I liked Raj a lot in this episode. He's very sweet and shy with Emily - a far cry from the entitled, swaggering "no fatties and uggos" jerk he can be.

 

 

 

well its helps that  that Emily is thin and pretty.

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I just don't understand. Acting isn't working out so Penny wants to marry Leonard?! Seems about 50 years out of date. 

Yes! I hated that this was presented as a woman whose career choices aren't working out, so the alternative is for her to get married. Ugh. I worry about what young girls watching this show will take from that. I also worry about what they'll take away from the notion that Penny is above Leonard because she's "pretty" and how that's mentioned every episode.

 

 

The writers seemed to quadruple their usual allotment of fat jokes this episode. Classy. Really fresh and original material there.

Yes to this too. Enough of this and enough of the Jewish/Indian jokes. Such cheap humour.

Edited by wudpixie
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I also worry about what they'll take away from the notion that Penny is above Leonard because she's "pretty" and how that's mentioned every episode.

 

That's what's been bothering me the most, both on this show and back on the TwoP boards, where lots of posters seemed to agree with this notion, going so far as to attribute grades to evaluate the characters' appearance and therefore who they should be with. I just don't understand that. I've heard it on other shows too, mainly sitcoms, and it makes me wonder if lots of people actually think like that.

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I don't know that in real life people think like that, but TBBT certainly wants us to. It annoys me. I don't think a person in a relationship would keep reminding a partner how much better looking s/he is. 

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DOnt like the proposal. I have never found Penny and Leonard believable as a couple, mainly because i have never bought into Penny being that into Leonard, and this proposal did nothing to change my mind. Has nothing to do with how she looks. It has to do with never really convincing me that she was that into the relationship.

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Yes to this too. Enough of this and enough of the Jewish/Indian jokes. Such cheap humour.

 

Dude they've been having ethnic jokes since day 1.  Next youre going to say Leonard should get contacts.

Edited by The Kings Foot

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Well, I didn't actively hate this episode so I guess that's an improvement.

 

Colour me underwhelmed by the proposal.  I suppose it was inevitable in terms of the relationship, and I know that many couples decide together to get married as opposed to the big romantic gesture.  But I agree with a lot of posters about the reason for Penny's decision; it smacks of desperation.

 

One reason TBBT is irritating me so much is that Penny is supposed to be a major character (one of the original 3) and the writers don't know what the heck to do with her other than paint her as a mooching loser.  I used to like Penny; she wasn't book-smart but she wasn't an idiot and she was basically good-hearted.  Now look at her!

 

I wonder if they stopped thinking in terms of gender and started thinking about writing people.  Maybe then, Penny might become slightly more actualized. 

 

Howard, Bernadette and Howard's mother:  enough already.  Not funny, and becoming actively painful.

 

It goes without saying that my hatred of Sheldon has not diminished (hi, CleoCeasar!) and this episode did nothing to make me change my mind.  Even if he does have some sort of autism or problems socializing, is his learning curve flat?  Concave?  People can learn. 

 

His smugness about his "neat" solution re him and Amy made me grind my teeth.  I can only hope this is a set-up for karmic retribution of epic proportions.

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Big Bang Theory is hardly the only show that has a stereotypical treatment of women. Considering the overall societal bias against women who aren't young, pretty, and slim, I don't think young women are likely to pick up anything worse from Big Bang Theory than they are from the majority of shows and films and posters who snipe if a woman dares to grow older or gain a few pounds.  As for the ethnic jokes, my recollection (which is probably faulty)  is usually the Jewish character tells Jewish jokes and the Indian character tells Indian jokes (yes, there are exceptions).  My family has some Polish heritage and we would tell jokes on ourselves that we would have not enjoyed if someone else told them, unless that person was a friend who knew us well enough to know where the limits were.  My feeling has always been that the Big Bang Theory group tease each other but they wouldn't be so tolerant of someone else doing the same thing.  I guess Big Bang Theory doesn't grate on me in general so much that I would give it up....it is, to be honest, the only comedy series I'm watching this year.   Still I wish Amy would let go of her delusions that she can make Sheldon into a suitable partner, or that she can ever do enough changes in herself to make him happy.  There is nothing good about a relationship where one person has to drastically change to make the other person happy.  Amy is so much happier and herself when she is hanging out with Penny and Bernadette....that I find completely believable.

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It goes without saying that my hatred of Sheldon has not diminished (hi, CleoCeasar!) and this episode did nothing to make me change my mind.  Even if he does have some sort of autism or problems socializing, is his learning curve flat?  Concave?  People can learn.

 

His smugness about his "neat" solution re him and Amy made me grind my teeth.  I can only hope this is a set-up for karmic retribution of epic proportions.

 

Hi, Pippin! I love seeing familiar faces who loathe Sheldon.

 

Sheldon doesn't have a learning curve because he has no incentive to change. Amy is his adoring slave who loves adhering to their bullshit agreement and not having sex. His friends dance around him like monkeys and cater to his every whim. The baby always gets his way. And the baby will continue to be an asshole.

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I thought it was kind of refreshing to see a TV proposal that did NOT include a flash mob, skywriting, ring-in-the-champagne-glass-that-gets-swallowed, or any of the other over the top, "Look at us" displays that most shows seem to love.  Very bad examples for young women, because then they expect that in real life...*LOL*

 

I expected them to eventually get engaged, and was glad to see it.  It could easily be stretched out over a couple of seasons.  I assume they'll try living together, thus taking some financial pressure off Penny, and maybe resulting in them sending her in a great professional direction. 

 

I actually thought that the ring in Leonard's wallet was originally bought for Penny, way back when they were dating (Before Pryia).  Dunno why, It just seemed like something he would have done. 

 

3. She is unsuccessful at acting, but tries to find what she can be successful at and has various odd jobs like personal assistant, dog walker, etc... to make ends meet.  This could also coincide with Sheldon trying to decide what to do next and the chemistry those two characters have when thrown together.

As soon as I read this, I flashed back to when Sheldon went to the employment agency, looking for a menial job.  Lots of funny potential for the 2 of them in this scenario.

 

I still love the show, despite some flaws.  And I still love the characters, so I'm still all-in with TBBT. 

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I hated this episode, because I do think that Penny is only getting engaged to Leonard due to her career falling apart.  That she has run out of options.

Yes and no. If she wasn't feeling down about her career, she probably wouldn't have been so apt to give up on finding a guy who excites her and say "good enough" about Leonard, but she wasn't out of options. The one time she got so discouraged as to give up on acting, she was going to move back to Nebraska; she hasn't given any signs of being on that level. Even though she's not thrilled with the idea, she's willing to go back to being a waitress to support herself, but there are other things she could do; perhaps one of the group could get her something at the University.

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I really do want to see Penny become successful. I don't think she necessarily "deserves" it, but I want to see how she handles it. I like Emily, she's by far the best Raj has dated. She's cute and I've always wanted to see him with a redhead, I don't know why, I just think it would be adorable. Her personality compliments his well. I'm just glad Lucy's gone.

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