For point number 1- kaley/jim grade-A-chemistry
Listen people, I am posting this because I want to. And hopefully if some of you L/P shippers read it, you will at least try to understand and see the brilliant light that is Sheldon/Penny.

Also I would actually enjoy your opinion on the matter.

Right... So this is a report on the third episode of Season three; when Sheldon trains Penny with chocolate blah blah blah can't be bothered writing description, you all know what ep I'm talking about.

P.S. No copyright infringements intended, because this is not my report, it was written by a person named Arabian on Livejournal. I'm a big fan of her/him?

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What is quite, quite telling I believe is that their first 'we're a couple' episode had very little interaction between the two. In fact, it was only the first and last scene that featured such, and in the first, it was based off of Sheldon's commentary, and the last was a set-up merely for Sheldon's final punchline (oh, yes, more on that later). In between, all of the interaction was between Sheldon and Penny, or Sheldon and Leonard. Why? Because Leonard and Penny don't have any story worth telling when the interaction is just between the two. There is simply nothing there; Leonard and Penny just have alcohol and manufactured angst that comes from nowhere and makes no sense and it's as if the writers are acknowledging that by not acknowledging it. The first two episodes set them up (I suppose that's what we were supposed to take from last week's final scene, uhm, okay), dealt with their main issues (again, uhm, okay) and now it's all, kthanxbai, we'll ignore you now and get to the good stuff which is namely, how Sheldon will deal with this new relationship paradigm with Penny. Because that *is* what the storyline was about. His relationship with Leonard hasn't changed; he's dealt with Leonard having a girlfriend, even one around a lot, before. No, the new change is that Penny is no longer just his friend, she is now his "best friend"/roommate's girlfriend.

So the story we're focusing on here is the change in Sheldon and Penny's relationship. And frankly? How he dealt with it was not that awful. Penny actually *was* doing things that would annoy most people. Other than the breakfast of the day -- which was just Sheldon being a neurotic nutball -- everything else she did (playing loud music in someone else's home, talking during a show, talking on the phone during a show, loudly talking on the phone just outside the room of those still trying to watch a show) are things that would annoy any Tom, Dick, Harry, Tina, Diane or Helen. So what did he do? He used a pleasant behavioral tool to adjust her behavior in the situation. He was absolutely right in what he said to Leonard; it was a harmless, scientifically-valid protocol designed to make their lives better. Should he have told her about it? Yes, but Sheldon's mind doesn't work that way; besides he's just the roommate who has to put up with the other guy's girlfriend's annoying traits (and, boy!, were Penny's traits portrayed as annoying ... even to Leonard).

Did Leonard say anything? Uh, no. So, to lay condemnation upon Sheldon's head makes no sense when his reasons were quite valid, and Leonard knew about it and deliberately chose to say squat. Would Penny be angry with Sheldon for doing so? Yes, to a degree, but she'd get over it quickly -- because she knows, accepts and (unlike Leonard of late) likes Sheldon for who he is -- and then she'd want more chocolate. That's Penny.

Now, as for Sheldon and Penny specifically, there were quite a few nuggets -- which I will detail in a bit -- but first, I wanted to comment on the difference in how they treated one another. Their interaction was much more similar to mid-to-late season-one-ish, ie, before they actually *did* become friends and grow to respect one another. The only possible reasons I can come up with to explain this decision are (a) an unimaginative job of the writing staff in fleshing out the idea of Sheldon conditioning Penny. Again, most of her actions were quite annoying, and were actually a tad out of character. Penny's not that dim, Penny's not that clueless and Penny's not that rude, but the writers either chose the easy fix of pulling annoying habits closer to her not-quite-settled-in behavior of early season one (likely correctly believing that enough viewers will just accept that since Sheldon finds them wanting, therefore, he's being unreasonable because, well, he's Sheldon!) or ... my other theory, which I like better. (Although, sadly, I can not and will not discount points lent to my previous conjecture because, well, Penny's not that dim, Penny's not that clueless and Penny's not that rude.)

The other possible reason as to why the scenes were set up as they were -- showing a different, older dynamic to the relationship between Sheldon and Penny -- is that the writers have likely realized that by Sheldon and Penny interacting as they actually *HAVE* been lately, Leonard and Penny make even less sense for the simple matter of chemistry. There's that damn infamous Parsons/Cuoco chemistry ™ and then there's the lack of any believable romantic and/or sexual chemistry between Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco. It would have been neon-blindingly obvious just how much more believable Sheldon and Penny are as a potential romantic pairing had their relationship been portrayed as it is today -- all crackling tension paired with sweet solidarity -- compared to the dry and boring nothingness of Leonard and Penny. So, they amped up the negativity circa early season and took away most of the crackle and sweet. And yet ... Sheldon and Penny STILL outshone Leonard and Penny by a country mile. Essentially, they diluted the Sheldon/Penny dynamic to not have it overpower the Leonard/Penny interaction -- but Sheldon and Penny continued to overpower them. It's not just that Leonard and Penny are *that* lackluster (although, they are, oh, Lordy, they are), but that Sheldon and Penny are *that* good. The Big Bang Theory found a goldmine in Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco ... they just need to start mining for the big haul. In the meantime, here are some nuggets:

1.) First off ... this:(See top image)


Yes, yes, Leonard is on the other side of Penny. Yes, Sheldon is conditioning her. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. LOOK AT HOW THEY ARE LOOKING AT ONE ANOTHER! Even in a still picture, you can see it, feel it. Kaley Cuoco just seems to come alive and sparkle, Jim Parsons is suddenly softer and sweeter (as Sheldon) when they make eye contact, when they smile, when they are *connecting* in a scene. That, my friends, is called grade-A-chemistry. You can't manufacture it, you can't force it, you can't pretend it's there. You've got it or you don't. These two, oh my God!, have it. Just look at them!

2.) That first scene (pre-Leonard's arrival). I was wrong. Last night, I was complaining about the majority of their interaction beyond her asking him to dance with her (which was, GUH! Seriously, utter, guh! It was the friendly, flirty kind of tone and mannerism she used to use with Leonard before they became "serious" towards the end of season two). Again, I was wrong. Until Sheldon kept insisting about the oatmeal, Penny was actually a doll. Yes, she really shouldn't have been playing the music in his apartment in the morning like that but because I love Penny, I'm choosing to believe that she did so not because she's insensitive, but because she's feel as comfortable with Sheldon -- not quite to the same obvious degree -- as she does Leonard, a guy she is calling her boyfriend (for the time being). That's pretty awesome in and of itself, that Penny feels that comfort level with Sheldon when outside of his family, only three other people likely have ever chosen to do so. Nugget within a nugget! So she's comfortable with him, she's asking him to dance with her in a friendly, flirty way, and even when he starts being cranky, she's still trying to make him smile. She asks why he won't dance, he gives a typically Sheldon-esque response, comes down a bit asking if any Sheldon would ever have fun (see? she wants to have fun with him!), and then perks right back up, offering him some french toast with a smile. Obviously, one could give Leonard the credit for her good mood, but, eh, the show's given me no reason to do so in actual canon, so I'm choosing not to. The bottom-line is that Penny is trying to have fun with Sheldon; she's friendly, flirty and fabulous with him ... until he brings her way down too down. But just watch the fun part of the clip!! (Oh, and while you're doing so, note the size and length of the button-down she's wearing. If the show expected us to believe that was Leonard's shirt? Oh, think again. Penny's actually taller than Leonard, about the same size, minus the chest area, which would make the shirt even shorter on her. So yeah, that's not Leonard's shirt. Nuh uh. If it belongs to anyone in that apartment, it's Sheldon's. Uh huh.)



3.) Once again, Sheldon makes a crack about how Leonard and Penny are not gonna last.

Penny: I want a boyfriend whose roommate isn't a giant pain in the ass.
Sheldon: I'm sure that will happen soon enough.

That's three for three this season, folks. Yeah, okay, this did involve an insult on Penny's part about Sheldon, but (a) Sheldon *was* kinda being a pain in the ass, and (b) his comment was acknowledging her statement without a complaint, so I won't complain either.

4.) Watch this clip. Really no words are needed to describe the awesome ... but I will anyway. Sheldon hand-fed Penny chocolate. Let's just take this out of context for a moment -- dangerous ground, I know, the delusion runs deep, but bear with me. Were this any other show, any other character who was reasonably good-looking hand-feeding chocolate to a reasonably good-looking character with whom a large and vocal part of the show's fanbase wanted to see said character paired with romantically, the very natural belief would be that such an action -- even if in a conditioned setting like this -- is a precursor to a potential more down the road. In other words, I continue to believe that it's entirely likely that Prady and co. are deliberately using the perception of the Sheldon-character as is to slip many a building-block for that future Sheldon/Penny romantic foundation. Uh huh. Yeah, okay, whatever, I'm delusional. It's still fun. And he's still hand-feeding her chocolate. See?



5.) Once again, the show's writers created a Sheldon/Penny nugget in the service of a joke. For the punchline, the laughline, the moment of hilarity, whatever, it's still there, it's still happening, it's still building that foundation, and in this case, another one just continues to crumble with barely any foundation starting out. When Penny went to sit down, she sat in Sheldon's spot, and then moved, apologized, leading to another chocolate go-round. I'm delving deep here, but it's true enough. When an individual has a connection with another, one of the ways they seek to hold on to that connection is wearing their clothing (see above: NOT Leonard's shirt), and, yes, sitting/laying in areas that are reminiscent of that person. Penny, as she often does, heads straight for his spot. Now my afore-mentioned conjecture likely is taking it a step too far, but the two lesser possibilities also contain a connection of sorts between the two. The first is that she's subconsciously trying to rile him, since she always does it, and she's subconsciously trying to rile him up because she enjoys their little skirmishes. The second is she agrees with Sheldon that it is indeed the best seat in the house, which shows, yet again, how alike they are. Another key point, having nothing to do with Sheldon and Penny per se, is that Penny chose to automatically sit down as far away from Leonard as she could on that couch. In the service of a punchline or not, it's there, it happened. Penny chose to sit in Sheldon's seat instinctively, as opposed to sitting next to Leonard.

6.) Oh, it was awesome! Sheldon mouthed the word "chocolate" to Penny; she mouthed back "thank you" with a beaming grin. A heavenly moment for us or what?



7.) He denied it, tip-toed around it, but already Leonard is having issues with Penny ... and continues to be dishonest with her about it. Dishonest to the point that when he has the perfect opportunity to tell her what Sheldon has been doing, he chooses not to. What a guy! And, yes, that means I'm holding him to a different standard than I am Sheldon. Why? Because Leonard is her boyfriend now; he needs to man up. Sheldon sure as hell would.

8.) I know it meant nothing, I know that, know that, know that! But, I also know that I'm not the only one who got vaguely dirty thoughts when Leonard said to Sheldon: "you're not sanding Penny!" Suddenly, I wanted Sheldon to "sand" Penny very much. Whatever vaguely naughty thing I could imagine that would be.

9.) Here's a tiny little tidbit of a clip ... as [info]fujiidom wrote: "There's something about Penny catching the tossed chocolate that just ... sums them up. Ridiculous, misconstrued, but totally on par with one another."


10.) Ah, the lovely Sheldon and Penny parallels continue. Throughout the episode, Sheldon used chocolate to condition Penny to essentially make his life more pleasant. In the end, Penny uses sex to get Leonard to make her life more pleasant (ie, put that bed together for her). In other words, Penny basically did the same thing to Leonard (in a different way) that Sheldon did to her ... showing again? Sheldon and Penny? Think alike, they just happen to go about things in slightly different ways. Made-for-each-other!

11.) Finally, we come to our last nugget, that bit about the future possibilities. Sheldon is a scientist, and he likes getting results. At the episode's end, Sheldon came to the conclusion that sex works better than chocolate to modify behavior. If that wasn't supposed to set off alarm bells ringing that Dr. Sheldon Cooper has now been introduced to a scientifically-viable reason to have sex (since he's shown himself to be uninterested for the pleasure aspect ... as of yet) -- specifically with Penny, I don't know what the writers were thinking. I just have one thing to say, until that little seed possibly grows into bloom upon the show a few years down the road
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