The Big Bang Theory Review: Umm....

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Penny went from waitress to NCIS this week.

After a decade of struggling to make it as an actress in Los Angeles, Penny finally got her big break with a small role on NCIS. She was understandably excited and gathered all her friends to watch her make it. Only instead of it being the best day of her career, it was perhaps the worst. Her part was cut.

The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 12 was a pivotal episode for Penny and Leonard's relationship. In her moment of despair, Leonard wasn't able to comfort her and only made the situation worse.

Consoling Penny

I felt for the guy. Leonard really tried to help Penny, but he was in a no-win situation. By downplaying the role, he hurt her. And then by highlighting the slim chance of success for anyone, he made it even worse. Her dream of making it was crushed. Her pain was real and understandable.

Leonard went and make it even worse by suggesting that Penny submit a video for an open video contest for a role in the new Star Wars. Wolowitz did it, so why not a real actress. Oops! That was embarrassing. His analogy of Luke Skywalker and the Death Star was fitting, but definitely not the best time for it.

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy, but I enjoy when the show focuses on real character growth rather than on the laughs. Penny and Leonard have been together for a while now, but haven't had any real struggles lately. Penny's employment and career path were ripe for a change.

When Leonard told Penny that she would have to propose to him this was not how he imagined it going down. A drunk, depressed, desperate Penny getting down on her knee to ask him to marry her. She didn't ask him because she loved him, but because he was the only good thing in his life.

Was "Um" the best response? What else was Leonard supposed to say?

Leonard and Penny should be together and eventually should get married, but this was not the way to get engaged. I hope when Penny sobers up that she realizes how awkward the situation was for Leonard and cuts him a break. They love each other and are good together.

While Leonard and Penny had a serious issue to work through, Sheldon was analyzing the best way to be funny. And Raj tried to talk to woman with his sidekick, Stuart. Sigh. Neither of those were funny or interesting.

I wish the writers would stop rehashing the same old story for Raj. He should start dating. That would be funny!

The Funniest Moment Award goes to Melissa Rauch for Bernadette's fake laugh. Yes, it was a cheap imitation of Meg Ryan's fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally, but it was hilarious! Loved it. It was an addictive laugh too. I couldn't help join in her laughing. And when she abruptly stopped ... it was almost too much. 

Howard: Fake a laugh? Do you ever do that with me?
Bernadette: No, of course not.
Howard: Well, I'd be able to tell anyway.
Bernadette: I don't think you would.
Howard: Please, I've made plenty of girls laugh, sometimes just by asking them out.
Bernadette: [Laughs]
Howard: Yeah, well, I fake my orgasms.

The lines don't do justice to the moment, but I had to include it. That is a scene to watch over and over again. 

The other top notch moment was when Sheldon finally figured out something that was funny. He dropped his pants! Sheldon standing there in his whitey tighties was enough to make anyone crack a smile at least. It seems physical comedy may be Sheldon's best bet at being funny over any verbal jokes.

Overall, "The Hesitation Ramification" had a more serious tone than most The Big Bang Theory episodes. Those moments worked better than most of the ones that tried to be funny. I hope the series takes Penny and Leonard's situation and moves their relationship forward. They are ready for it.

What made you laugh out loud? Do you want Penny and Leonard to move forward? Or should they break up?

Check out the funniest lines in our The Big Bang Theory quotes section.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Penny gets her big break and then doesn’t and we finally get to see why the writers have hinted constantly this season that Penny drinks excessively. All in all it seems a bit of a long winded way to reinforce Penny’s and Leonard’s foibles. By the end of it all Penny’s failed career as an actress hasn’t been resolved; neither has her relationship with Leonard. All we learnt was what we already knew – ok so we relearnt it. Penny is insecure: she drinks to boost her confidence, she probably wants to be an actress for the same reasons, the improbability of it (as expressed rather poorly by Leonard) only hits home at moments of intense disappointment. I remember back in Season One she held a party and her ex-boyfriend made a spectacle of himself and she rued all the stupid affairs she had with stupid men. She was drunk then as well. Leonard also hardly changes. He’s saying all the right things, but while he may empathise his words hardly comfort; blessed with an analytical mind he calculates Penny’s problem by probability not desire, even inferring she is no more talented than Howard Wolowitz. There may have been moments of humour in this tragedy, but I missed them. Penny’s reactions are suitably sharp and Leonard’s bumbling is well up to standard. I particularly enjoyed the line ‘I should have let Sheldon come’ which neatly encapsulates his hopelessness. Penny’s drunken proposal was met by the audience with the same astonishment as Leonard – this isn’t how it was supposed to be, is it? The look on Johnny Galecki'’s ace was wonderful, a chaotic blend of uneasy and mystified. You really felt for the dude. At this point my sympathy for Penny virtually evaporated [at least for this episode] after all it was only at Thanksgiving a few stories back that she got divorced following a drunken Las Vegas Elvis Chapel marriage. Has she no shame or, worse, any memory? This whole story was, I guess, designed to provoke conflict between the pair – which it did – sadly, unlike many times, it produced no jokes. Sheldon’s desperate attempts to understand and create humour fell flat as well. However with the best swathe of the dark comic he did succeed at the very moment he chose to display true friendship. This was very Sheldon-like. He finally cracks the code, but has no idea when or how to apply what he’s learnt. It was a touching conversation between the two friends which for once felt very real and wasn’t spoilt by the joke, in fact a bit of light relief was probably required after all the torrid arguments and soul searching. I have nothing to say about the dreadfully empty friendship between Raj and Stuart. Give me Leonard and Penny’s vitriolic arguments over these two long faces any day. A good episode, but for all the wrong reasons.


I thought this episode was dark and at the same time brilliant. The C-plot with Raj and the possum, we could have done without. Sheldon was okay, especially when he tried to comfort Leonard (although we'll never know if he was sincere or faking it). Bernadeth was at her best. Penny really took the cake on this one. Her character was surprisingly thought through on this episode, and I can't help share her frustrations on some level. Leonard was just being Leonard, but it's not as if they won't be back together again.


i thought sheldon trying be funny was well funny i am also getting tried of seeing an drink in penny's hand or her getting wasted by drinking.
ok i was mad that they had amy in the spot befor the them song that alway always belong to shelodn,penny and leoner. but here we had the chance of seeing penny and just the for guys but of crouse we can't have that you know how long it been since we saw just the 5 of them it was when they thought raj and penny slept togather


I think It wasn't a cheap imitation. It's clear for me that was a delivered tribute to When Harry met Sally classic lines.


Leonard and Penny need to stay together. Leonard wasn't very good at supporting her or in coming up with something better than "Um." It's funny about this terrific show that you have to worry what they are going to do to Leonard and Penny next -- but Raj and Amy and Sheldon just keep going on and on unchanged forever?!?


I had hoped at some stage Penny would be allowed to have some sucess as an actress. Perhaps that it'll be this seasons 'cliffhanger' ?


I thought the show was great. I felt for Leonard he couldn't say yes to Penny not like that. She was so lost at that point. And she does drink too much. Show is always funny can watch over and over.


I'm getting tired of Penny drinking or drunk in almost every episode. After the comment about her brother being in rehab I'm thinking it must run in the family. :) Of course Leonard was not going to accept her proposal. It was out of desperation and not heartfelt. I think they will end up engaged though. At some point... And I agree on the Raj thing too. Please give this man a successful relationship. I love this show but it seems to really be spinning it's wheels and not going anywhere new this season.


Once again it was proven that Leonard is a big insecure dimwit and and I'm referring to his comment about Penny's character would be flirting with Mark Harmon's character - And the dimwit part when he basically shot Penny's dream down. For the love God end that heinous relationship, they had something in the beginning but that is all over now.
And the same goes for Amy and Sheldon, were is the funny the parts?
This show feels like a geek version of Friends, but on that show it actually worked and was funny. Bernadette and Howard was the only part that was funny in this episode, the rest was a lackluster failure.

@ Jonas

Thats the true that most people think about actors and actress, mos of them dont have enduring or serious relationships,
I prefer TBBT over friends, mainly because in Friend usually make fun of geek culture than TBBT.


I hope that Penny dont success in acting carreer, mainly because it could jeopardize relationship with leonard, regardless the good intentions and words, and because this series go beyond sci fi, with an actress and a scientist as a happy and enduring couple

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The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 12 Quotes

Amy: What's the show?
Penny: Um, NC ... II .... Or, you know, NCSTD ... I don't know, it's the one with all the letters and I'm gonna be on it!

Amy: Can we maybe put the phones down and have an actual human conversation?
Sheldon: We can, but thanks to Steve Jobs, we don't have to.