"That was actually quite promising. Other than saying that Sheldon wouldn't take Penny as his date to the Nobel Prize, but his mom, he didn't rule out any Sheldon/Penny stuff. Didn't push any Penny/Leonard stuff. He even had the opportunity quite a few times and didn't. There were several questions that hinted at Sheldon and sexuality and Sheldon and Penny, and only one that referenced Penny and Leonard and it was negative. Plus, he flat-out said that they aren't locking themselves into anything with firm plans on the endgame.
Definitely positive overall!"
Thinking more on that, I absolutely stand by that. Not only that, maybe I'm a little cuckoo, but I kinda think that Bill Prady just *might* be on our side, or at least leaning there. Why?
There were twenty questions asked and of those, three of them specifically dealt with Sheldon on a romantic/sexual level, and two of those specifically mentioned Penny, one in an off-hand way, the other directly. And in not a single, solitary one of these did he completely knock out a possible Sheldon/Penny connection, not even the date one as I originally thought. The question for that was:
Q. Do you think Sheldon will ever win the Nobel prize? If so, do you think he’d bring Penny as his date? (Sarah) Prady's answer: A. Sheldon certainly does. I don’t think he’d bring Penny. My money would be on his mother.
Two key things here: First, he completely side-stepped the "date" aspect of the question, meaning, he didn't shoot it down flat-out (we'll come back to that theme), but glossed over it because he didn't want to go there likely because they aren't ready to say "yea" or "nay" -- which is very good for our hopes at this point. Also, he didn't flat-out shoot down Penny being a possible future date as well. He said "I don't think." Meaning, again, it's not ruled out. It's a possibility.
The next question asked specifically about a Sheldon/Penny romantic relationship, and his response was very interesting. First of all, it was similar to the answer he gave to Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello. The difference? This time, he expounded more on the significance of their current relationship, and there was no addendum of "Hoping for more may be way beyond possibility."
Q. Will Sheldon and Penny ever have a romantic connection? The have such amazing chemistry together. Hopefully not soon because their bickering is so much fun. (Mega, Laura C. Sophie, Fran)
A. I have a hard time imagining Sheldon with anyone in a romantic connection! Even his friends aren’t sure what his “deal” is! The fact that he and Penny have any kind of social relationship is pretty significant for Sheldon. In the second season opener, Penny casually noted that she felt that she and Sheldon were “friends,” a comment Sheldon examined carefully. I’m not sure how many friends Sheldon’s made in his life — that Penny is one of them is noteworthy.
Several key things of interest here. The first and foremost being, once again!, he did NOT flat-out shoot it down. The second being that Prady noted that their social relationship -- in and of itself right now -- is "pretty significant." Thirdly, he re-emphasized that point by essentially rephrasing it by saying that Penny being his friend is "noteworthy." So Penny's friendship with Sheldon is "significant" and "noteworthy?" How can we not take that as a positive sign coming from one of the show's co-creators? Seriously, is it any wonder why am I so optimistic based on these comments? The reason I kept harping on the lack of a flat-out shoot-down is because that's pretty much close to what Lorre did at the Paley Fest by saying that Sheldon has "opted out of romance," and he's in love with science. Prady ain't playing that game. He didn't go anywhere near shooting down the connection, nor did he shoot down even the possibility of a further connection between them. And this is so significant because of this quote:
Q. Though I’m sure it won’t be ending for a very long time, at this point, how would you envision the show ending? Where would you like to leave our favorite four geeks and a girl by the end of their run? Have you mapped out the overall development for each of the characters or are you winging it or both? Are there long-term goals for any of the characters on the show? Even if you can’t give details, I’d love to know if there’s anything big in store for our favorite nerds. (Trevor and Shannon)
A. We don’t map out things ahead like that. We try to follow the natural progression of the characters — i.e. if that just happened, what might happen next? Locking yourself into big pre-planned season or series arcs can result in trying to force the characters to go where they don’t want to go. That being said, the final episode will absolutely involve the characters developing super-powers and joining the Justice League. Or the X-Men.
In other words, he, and with his "we" one could easily presume by extension, he means himself and Lorre, thus, they don't have an endgame planned because QUOTE: We try to follow the natural progression of the characters. Isn't that the big argument we've been making for why we think that Penny and Sheldon are a real viability? Because of the natural progression of their relationship, and how that "natural progression" could lead to romance down the line? Yes, indeed, that is exactly what we've been saying. And whaddya know? The co-creator flat-out said nothing is set in stone because they want to allow for the natural progression of where the characters go. Uh huh.
Then there was this question about Stephanie that directly referenced the Leonard/Penny situation (and in a somewhat negative way):
Q. Where has Stephanie gone? She just disappeared and never ever came back. I loved her character. She kept Leonard away from Penny. She and Leonard are great together … Leonard is kind of chasing a hopeless dream in Penny. (Jennifer and Fran)
Stephanie was a chance for Leonard to learn that just because someone loves you, doesn’t mean you’ll love them back. It’s a big piece of growth for the Leonards of the world to make the decision to wait for the person you want instead of going with the person who will have you. I hope he’s making the right choice.
Yes, he says that it was growth for Leonard to learn to wait for the one he wants (ie, Penny), but he then added "I hope he's making the right choice."
"I hope ..." Really? That's the push for the great and marvelous Leonard/Penny relationship? He hopes? Seriously, there was nothing in there about how Leonard is growing/being molded for Penny (a comment that we know originated with Prady due to a Kaley Cuoco quote -- and one that, hmm, more applies to Sheldon than Leonard now). There was no defense of Leonard's "hopeless" dream. There were no specifics, no details, no enthusiasm for Leonard and Penny to counteract that somewhat negative jibe against Leonard's crush on Penny, nor the Sheldon/Penny questions. For the big OTP of the show, there was a glaring (to me, anyway) lack of rah-rah-rah for that pairing. So I go back to my earlier point about his lack of shooting-down Sheldon and Penny even remotely definitively, added to this lack of a huge push for Leonard and Penny, as well as the comment about not having endgame plans because they want to allow for natural progression of the characters ... a natural progression that was alluded to about Sheldon and Penny's friendship. Double uh huh.
Yeah, I think we may have Bill Prady on our side, or possibly considering it. Of course, I could be totally crazy, but hope is never a bad thing. :)