RIP Leonard Hofstadter
Here's the most heartbreaking thing for me about this show: In the beginning, I actually really liked Leonard. It was part due to the actor's skills, but I thought he was fun and nerdy. He had a dash of common sense but could easily be pulled into a nerdy wormhole of sorts.

I held and still do hold that if the writers had abandoned the Lenny pairing, Leonard wouldn't be so hated. I understand the hate, I do! I feel it just the same. But in episodes where he wasn't desperately trying to be Penny's boyfriend, he was one of the funniest characters on the show. And I love Johnny Galecki and I think his expressions and physical comedy did have quite a hand in my affection for the character. I think that Galecki's onscreen charm is the only thing keeping EVERYBODY from hating the character.

My SO is not a shipper but even he says the show got worse after Leonard and Penny got together. Indeed, there is a definite shift where Penny goes from being the failed actress/waitress to Leonard's Girlfriend with no more substance than one of his flings. And Leonard went from dork to Poser Who Is Ashamed Of Who He Is And His Friends And Is A Scumbag.

When I casually mentioned that a lot of people believe Sheldon belonged with Penny (casual so as not to let on how big a raving fangirl I really am), he said, 'yeah I can see that. They make a lot more sense.'
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I never hated Leonard at the start either. I liked him. It thought he was a kind but misguided young man and I thought he'd get over this shallow Penny obsession and find someone who he could really love for more than appearance. I never thought they'd run with it all throught the show. Not when they was the potential for someone so much better with Sheldon. He was extemely funny as a foil. In the same way that Penny would pull a face and ignore one of Sheldon's factual 'insults', Leonard would tolerate so much out of understanding. That made him likeable. I couldn't help but feel symapthy for him. He seemed like a nice person.

It took me a lot longer to go off Leonard than some of the other HQers. I liked him for a long time but things started to niggle at me. The writers wanted to make him desirable to Penny but they went about it all the wrong ways. He lied too much. They would try and make him seem nice but he was so insincere. They also put him with all these beautiful women to make him seem desirable but they were way out of his league. I used to like Leonard too so I know where you are coming from. Now it's diffcult to remember what I did like about him. Never really thought he was charming though but perhaps Galecki saved the character a little as he's such a nice chap.
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I suppose it comes down to personal taste. I don't find the actor physically appealing anyway, and then the original clothing combined with his cringing, twitchy body language (props to JG for that) made him eminently kickable. I see no charm, sorry.

But the things that moved me from 'euw, overly persistent sweaty little creep' to 'kill it with fire' were his actual behaviours. The immediate latching on to Penny and fantasising was a bit skeevy, but sadly normal. Stealing her mail, lying to get a date, slightly worrying. But his manipulation of his friends, and my huge Beserk button, his sabotage of Sheldon's work, were vile. He's not sweet or charming or some kind of underdog who 'deserves' a hot girlfriend to make up for his shitty childhood, he's a self-serving, selfish, worthless asshat who vacillates between desperate and smug. Even without Penny's existence, his stealing of Howard's date, and his manipulation of Sheldon in pursuit of Missy, do not speak of a bloke with integrity. Neither does "she let me" indicate 'tru wuv'. He's a Nice Guy, in the worst sense.
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  • FlyingSolo
See! Big Grin lots of degrees on 'Leonard loathing' here. Sometimes I think I just don't hate Leonard because he's not really impactful enough as a charcater to inspire real hate. I felt a bit sorry for him to be honest. He thought chasing some pretty lass would make up for the sense of emptiness he's been carrying around. I remember that episode when Leonard started to cry talking about how his mother treated him and it did choke me up.

I realised that Leonard didn't love Penny in any real sense in 2.19 The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition. She was obviously interested in him at that point and was threatened when Alicia, another actress, moved in upstairs. But Leonard went in pursuit of Alicia even though Penny was there, in his apartment with food, dressed in a tight blue dress. He just dumped her and ran upstairs. Now Alicia was fowl. She reminded me of Katie, the girl who Lorre wanted Penny to be from the unaired Pilot. Scrude and manipulative. One of the characters the network rejected. I just thought, if he has no standards and would screw a horrible woman like that, he doesn't love Penny at all. There's no way he would have walked out that door.

I still didn't hate Leonard, I just thought he was messed up. Chasing the wrong cause and I thought if he bagged Penny he would discover that he still felt empty and go off and get someone more suited. But no... Over the years, the horrible things have just piled up. There are too many to post. As one of our number (Wispy) once conned the magnificent catchphrase 'Botchelennism' to describe have much Leonard has botched up his role as the man of the hour. And how at every turn he just made Sheldon look good.

There is one exception though which I remember, in Golowitz Deviation when Sheldon is training Penny with chocolate, Leonard defended her. It's one of his rare moments of heroism. Still the funny interplay with Sheldon and Penny kind of overshadowed this a little. I have no doubt that Sheldon would have had her jumping through hoops but she would soon get her own back.
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I liked Leonard in the beginning, but it changed very quickly when he got serious with Penny. He showed he would not hesitate to throw his friends under the bus by stealing Stephanie and giving bad advice to Stuart and I think a big part of the Arctic is Leonard wanted to get back to Penny. Just way too many examples of Leonard being a bad guy and it's a shame the people around him cannot see it.
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I don't like him at all in his relationship with Penny and other women as well. So I guess I don't like him as a romantic partner in general. And not even much as a single character tbh. But I quite liked his friendship with Sheldon in the beginning and in recent seasons they had some good bromances moments here and there, the last one in the 200th episode. Of course even his friendship with Sheldon was tainted with entire seasons of Leonard treating Sheldon like he was just an annoying roommate and nothing more.
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You should be able to see 'Chat' now you've made a few posts. We like to call it the Grumblebox.
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God knows why we call it that...we're all so goddamn CHEERY.
Surprisingly not sarcasm.

I always liked Leonard in his role of world-weary, long-suffering, tether of insanity. He seemed not only tolerant of Sheldon, but rather proud to be his friend.

But like many others, that all changed at the arctic. I cannot fucking countenance that monstrosity! Hideous betrayal and complete fecklessness over Sheldon's deepest passion. If I can forget that one episode, the rest of his (increasing in the latter seasons) little jibes at Sheldon don't bother me particularly.

I'd always hoped that as the series progressed, Leonard would begin to realise he didn't need external validation all the time, particularly from women. Because Leonard "on the make" is terrible. Not sure how that interesting, world-weary fellow aforementioned turns into this simpering, needy, smug, faintly creepy character around potential love interests, but it happens with bells on. And Leonard with Penny is not so much unbelievable (although it's that too) as depressing. How many comments has he made about her personality, talents or passions compared to how many comments about her appearance? I suspect it's about a 1 to 10 ratio.

Anyroad, Leonard as Sheldon's pal, or even as "cloud-cuckoolander's minder" was charming enough. It was just the overall sense of self-pity that got to me. My principle reason for disliking Amy, also. THE SUFFERING™. The constant reminders of what they deserve (er, Penny and Sheldon apparently) for having been unloved/unpopular. SUCK IT UP, DAGNABBIT! You're both white, well-educated, middle class, well-off, in jobs you enjoy, with friends, no philosophical sensibilities to cause you existential woes, and completely unrealistic romantic partners. Cease this perennial complaint!

Self pity is a terrible character trait. Not to start yet another Marvel conversation, but (I'm going to) the reason Bruce Banner (MCU) annoys me a tad is this vaguely moany "Really, you'd bring a MONSTER on board?" shtick that he does. He seems to mention it a lot.  

Loki's entire universe and identity is undermined? Does he let this knowledge fester? No, he attempts to destroy Jotunheim. This is healthy. It leads to the void and torture and mind-control, but hey, at least he's not being passive aggressive!

It's also just a preference for certain character types.
I like Loki, Thor and Iron Man in that order, and Sheldon, Penny and Howard in TBBT...They're essentially the same three characters...Well, before Sheldon became Sheldumb, obviously. And if Thor worked on his sarcasm and developed more of an interest in shoes. Wouldn't take much, I suspect...

[Image: E3Y3y.jpg]
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So I caught the S03E19 ep on local TV station, which I didn't remember well. I did like it, because of anti-Leonard stance. Sheldon was relentless on him all the time. One of the last episodes, before it all fall apart:

Howard: What's with him? 
Sheldon: Perhaps he's at a sensitive point in his monthly cycle. Big Grin
Howard: Are you saying he's man-struating?

Howard: "Why is Leonard being a giant douche?" Assuming giant douches are possible.
Sheldon: Of course they are. Leonard's being one. Big Grin

Later Leonard turned into his future self, pressuring Penny into saying something she didn't mean it. Let the Stockholm syndrome commence. Pressuring her, then throwing his sad puppy eyes, until she buckles under and apologize.

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There were a few times that Leonard was given a hard time, such as the episode where he decided to force Kurt to give Penny her money or the first season finale when the guys talk about Leonard's attempt to get Penny results in her going to make up with Mike.

At one point, Sheldon says, "I don't know, previously I felt sympathy for the Leonard Character, now I just find him whiny and annoying."

Which brings me to a question, at what point does Leonard go from being a guy you root for to a guy you no longer wish well? Were any of you ever rooting for Leonard and Lenny?

I know that at first I assumed Sheldon was Asexual, and therefore I never considered Shenny, and I saw the writing in the sand as for the Lenny, and therefore rooted for them slighty, not a lot, but a little because I saw it as inevitable. It wasn't until season 4 that I had an issue with it. Along with Bernie and Amy cheering for Lenny, which annoyed me greatly.

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