The Big Bang Theory broke viewing records for shows of its kind, so it was almost a foregone conclusion that it would end up with a spin-off, and four seasons in, it is still going strong. Because of this, it may well be that the hit comedy could try for another spin-off, one that shifts focus away from Sheldon and onto someone else… like Penny.
Penny and her family could make for great fodder for a new series – not least because this is definitely in the realm of the standard sitcom set up – a big family in Nebraska and a daughter who wants to move to California and become an actress? Easy! But there’s more to it than that, as Penny’s family (as little as they are seen on the show) have left viewers wanting more…
Not Enough On The Show
While some family members of the main gang (like Leonard and Sheldon’s mothers) get a decent number of episodes and appearances over the years, Penny’s family gets almost none. Her father, Wyatt, shows up a few times, but her mother only appears once in the entire show. Her sister is only mentioned, and her brother Randall only shows up once as well. Given how important Penny is to the show, this is a shockingly small number of appearances.
Penny’s Funny Stories Come To Life
Penny has a lot of wild stories about her family and the way that she grew up – from cousins in and out of jail to wild cow-related incidents, it sounds like Penny has definitely had a life that could be turned into a sitcom! It would also be amazing to see some of these stories (often included as off-the-cuff remarks that shock Sheldon and Leonard) brought to life on screen.
Watching Leonard Try To Fit In
If a spin-off about the family took place in the same timeline as the show, or immediately afterward, there would be plenty of comedy to be found in Leonard’s attempts to fit in.
The Big Bang Theory already has some great scenes where Leonard attempts to prove he can get along with Penny’s football loving friends, for example – seeing this expanded would be great. And of course, there are opportunities to pull on the heartstrings, too, as he learns how to be a part of this world.
Nebraska As A Location
Sitcoms set in New York and California are the standard, but there aren’t many set in Omaha, Nebraska! Penny grew up on a farm, and it would be great to see how this setting would work, how it would balance with the tone of the existing Big Bang Theory, and how it might even have some things in common with Young Sheldon, set in Texas. Moving away from big cities to a rural setting could be an interesting twist on the usual formula.
It’s Huge – Lots Of Potential
Penny’s family seems to be enormous – she references both siblings, but also multiple cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, and grandparents.
It seems like Penny comes from a large family, and this could make for a great dynamic. It also opens things up to almost unlimited storylines, as Penny never really defines quite how big her family is. A new take on The Waltons, perhaps?
Less Waltons, more Breaking Bad… a lot of Penny’s stories reference the fact that her various family members seem to be in and out of jail a lot. She mentions meth labs and drunk driving – and when her friend, Christy, shows up, it’s clear that her social circle clearly included a lot of drama. This is a perfect recipe for humor, if played the right way.
Expanding Penny’s Character
Despite being one of the core characters, Penny’s history isn’t explored as much as many of the other guys, and the bits that do come up definitely deserve expansion. It would be amazing to see the character of Penny expanded and made more complex, including her relationship with her parents, and her decision to leave her hometown.
Her Parents Were Amazing When They Did Appear
While fans didn’t get to see a lot of Wyatt and Susan (Penny’s mom), but when they did show up, they were great. Leonard’s relationship with Wyatt, in particular, was a joy to watch – especially as Wyatt was rooting for the couple from the start.
Seeing more of this, and how Wyatt and Leonard become closer, would be amazing – and a great way to balance out the comedy elements of a Penny show.
More Penny & Leonard
And that, of course, is the crux of it. While fans are getting to see a lot more Sheldon in the current spin-off, Penny and Leonard are the central couple of the show, and fans want to know what happens with them next. Perhaps they are having kids (as she is pregnant in the finale) and seeing this couple become parents, and think about their own childhoods, would be a sweet show that also allows fans to see more of their favorites.
Leaning Her Last Name
Last but not least, a Penny spinoff would mean that, presumably, fans would finally be able to discover Penny’s original last name! In The Big Bang Theory, Penny is the only main character whose surname is never mentioned – until she gets married and takes Leonard’s name, that is. This eventually became an intentional omission, but still – fans want to know!