I am about to rant. If you love the new season of TBBT, don't read on.
I loved the first three seasons of The Big Bang Theory. To me season four was okay, but not great. Seasons 5 and 6 had one really good thing going for them. Howard and Bernadette's relationship. I hated the stupid gay innuendo's the writers had Raj spouting. I hated that in most episodes Penny was drunk, or drinking heavily. Leonard is whiny and degrading to Penny. I love Mayim, but Amy was manipulative and overbearing. Sheldon was becoming weaker and more ignorant with each passing episode. Come on, let's be serious. Would the Sheldon Cooper who made Penny wear a wig for authenticity ever wear a Raggedy Andy cap over his C-3PO costume? Of course not! I miss the strong, likable, enthusiastic characters we saw in the first few seasons.
What used to be a wonderfully well-written show full of humor, intelligence and creativity has regressed into bad sex jokes, degrading stereotypes and low-brow "humor". So, like the arrogant and egotistical person I am, I have re-written season 6 to suit my own tastes. Shenny abounds in these chapters.
Leonard unlocked the door to the roof excitedly. He looked over his shoulder at the others. "This is going to be so cool! The meteor is going to enter right above us, and we should get a really good view of it burning up as it hits the atmosphere!"
Sheldon, Raj, Howard, Amy, Bernadette and Penny settled in on various seats and watched as Leonard set up the high resolution camera.
Raj checked his watch and then leaned over to whisper in Howard's ear. "Better hurry. It should show up in 2 minutes, according to Raj's calculations."
Penny leaned back on the overturned flower bed and looked up at the night sky. The city lights were too bright to see many stars. She closed her eyes and silently made a wish.
Penny looked at Leonard and wondered when she became such a coward. When had she given up and let convenience dictate her life? When had she decided to do what was easy and let others chose what she should do? She let Sheldon, Amy and Bernadette keep her in a relationship she didn't want. She let Leonard separate her from all of her old friends. When was the last time she had chatted with Gail? Or gone to the mall with Karen? No, she spendt all her time with Leonard, Amy, Bernadette and Raj. Why? Because otherwise Leonard got jealous and crabby.
She had let him whittle away at her confidence until she didn't even have the courage to submit a paper she wrote to her teacher. No, she had made Amy and Bernadette write it for her.
She thought about the appointment she had gone to this morning. She had been having stomach pains for a week or so. So, she took the day off, and went to see her doctor. A few tests, and an ultra sound later, and she had heard the bad news. An ulcer. Actually, she had two. She wasn't even 30 yet and she had ulcers. When Dr. Sargent had asked if she was stressed, it had all come pouring out. Things that she was upset about. Things she hadn't even realized were bothering her.
Like the isolation. The drinking until she was numb enough to not care anymore. The way Leonard always wanted to have sex, but never asked how her day was. She had almost let him move in, damn it! Why? Because she was too scared of upsetting the group by telling him no. He had announced he was going to live with her, and she had buckled. Thank heaven Sheldon had told Amy she didn't want Leonard moving in, or right now she'd be sharing bathroom cabinet space.
Well, this was it. Her last night with this group. The last time she and Leonard had broken up, she had lost the group for a while. Until Sheldon had come over for spaghetti. That wouldn't happen this time. Sheldon had Amy now. She hadn't seen much of him in the last few months. Not unless it was a couples thing. And since she wouldn't be half of a couple anymore, she doubted she would see any of them.
Bernadette gasped and drew everyone's attention to the sky. They could see the small flare of the meteor as it began to burn up. The clicking of the camera was drowned out by the street noises. It only lasted a couple of minutes and then it was gone.
Penny looked around at the people she cared about most. Raj was texting his friend Lucy. Bernadette and Howard were kissing passionately. Amy was trying to coax Sheldon into kissing her. Leonard was putting away the camera and looking over at her with desire in his eyes. Penny stood and headed back down the stairs. She entered her apartment, and left the door open. She knew he would be down in moments.
She poured a glass of milk and drank half of it. Sure enough, Leonard walked in a minute later. He shut the door and began unbuttoning his shirt.
"Don't bother," she said softly. Leonard paused and looked at her with confusion. Penny set the glass down and picked up a small box from the counter. She walked over and set it on the couch. "These are all of your things you have left here. I'm ending our beta test, Leonard. Please leave."
Leonard laughed. "Is this a joke?"
Penny shook her head. "No joke, Leonard. I don't want to be in this relationship anymore. You're a nice guy, but it's not working. Surely you can see that."
Leonard's face turned pale, then red, then pale again. "Penny, you don't mean that! You love me! I love you! How can this not be working?"
Penny looked at him sadly. "I do love you, Leonard. But I'm not in love with you. I'm sorry, but I'm miserable. It's not just you. It's everything. Everything from the dead end job I have, to the struggle to meet my bills every month. And this. This relationship is part of it."
Leonard's hands clenched at his side. "Penny, how can you say that? I treat you like a princess! I would do anything for you!" He closed the distance between them and tried to kiss her, but she turned her head away. His eyes narrowed. "You've met someone else, haven't you? Some muscle bound ape at school?"
Penny pulled away from him. "There is no one else, Leonard. This is part of the problem. Your jealousy! You don't trust me. You act like I'm a heartbeat away from jumping into bed with the next guy I meet!"
"You've done it before!" Leonard shouted. He jerked back in shame. "Penny, I didn't mean that!"
She smiled wryly. "Yes, you did. You claim you love me, but you think I'm easy. Despite the changes I made, you don't trust me."
Leonard scoffed. "What changes? School? You didn't even want me to know about that!"
"Leonard, I gave up all of my friends for you. I don't go anywhere unless I'm with you, Amy or Bernadette. I have no life outside of you and this group. I started school to better myself for you. I cut myself off from everything I enjoyed for you. And you didn't even notice. Our whole relationship consists of three things. Sex, jealousy and convenience. I want more than that. I deserve more than that. And so do you." Penny hugged her arms around her middle and blinked away the tears trying to form. "Leonard, I'm so unhappy that it's starting to affect my health. I can't do this anymore. Not to myself or to you."
Leonard thought of the opportunity with Alex he had passed up because he was with Penny. He thought of the crappy way Penny had acted on Valentine's. He thought of the way she would blow him off for her study group once a week. "So you get to just decide this without giving me a chance to have my say?"
Penny nodded. "Yes. You can't have a relationship if one person doesn't want it. It takes two to make it work, Leonard, and I'm not willing to be involved anymore."
Leonard snatched up the box and opened the door. He looked back at Penny with a sneer. "You'll regret it. And when you come crawling back, I may not want you anymore." He slammed the door behind him and Penny sank down into the armchair. She wasn't surprised she felt relief. She was just surprised by how much relief she felt.
She stood and locked the door, even the dead bolt. Then she turned off her phone and crawled into bed. Tomorrow was going to be tough. It would be even tougher without any sleep.