Even though the first episode of “The Big Bang Theory” aired in 2007, people took a few seasons to get into the show. After getting mixed reviews at first, the show hit its stride. It became a must-see during awards season because Mayim Bialik joined at the end of Season 3 as neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler.
Amy was supposed to be Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) love interest on “The Big Bang Theory,” but her relationship with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) quickly became one of the show’s best parts. Penny is a friendly, outgoing counterpoint to Amy, more so than the rest of the bookish group. During the series, the two don’t seem likely to become friends, but they do. Their relationship goes from being on the edge of being uncomfortable to being full of love. In Season 5, Amy gives Penny a giant painting of the two because their friendship is getting stronger. Here’s what real fans think of the gift.
Fans agree that the painting isn’t that bad
In Season 5, Episode 17, “The Rothman Disintegration,” Amy gives Penny a massive painting of the two. Penny’s discomfort is evident. She and Bernadette are quick to talk about the painting’s flaws. “It looks so bad,” they say. “Do you like pictures of yourself where you look like a man?” asks Bernadette.
On Reddit, fans were much less harsh about the painting. “She doesn’t look like a man,” wrote u/SkatingGeek. “They said too much about how ugly the picture is.” Also, u/TooBusyforReddit didn’t say anything wrong about the art, saying, “The painting itself isn’t as bad as the show makes you think.” Fans agree that the gift is strange because it is so big and has a frame that looks more like it belongs in a museum than a Pasadena apartment. Amy says that the portrait is 12 square feet, which is a joke that makes up for the fact that the painting itself is ugly.
Redditors also agree that the cringe factor is less about what’s in the painting and more about how it’s done. “I think the painting is pretty,” u/BodaciousToad wrote. “But I think it’s strange to give as a gift,” Amy says that the gift cost $3,000, making it seem even more silly.
Even though the painting is a bit over the top, it does show how Amy and Penny feel about each other. Amy is confident and oblivious as she puts her arm around Penny, who feels very uncomfortable. At least Penny can take comfort in the fact that the people in the painting are no longer naked, thanks to some touch-ups.
Kaley Cuoco was partial to another piece of on-set artwork
After Season 5, the big gag painting only appeared a few times. However, the apartments on “The Big Bang Theory” were filled with prints and other trinkets. aking them some of the most fun and detailed sets on primetime TV. CNN’s Kaley Cuoco said, “It’s like walking into a theme park.” “I like how the props department puts all the things we’ve used in the halls.”
When “The Big Bang Theory” ended in 2019, Cuoco took one thing from the set to remember it by. It wasn’t Amy’s heavy painting. Instead, the print of two robots fighting had been on the back of Sheldon and Leonard’s door since the pilot. “It’s always in my line of sight from where I sit on the living room set. So I’m glad I’m going to put it in my living room. So I can see it forever,” Cuoco said at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour (via People).
In October 2020, Mayim Bialik posted an Instagram photo of herself with the famous painting to appeal to the show’s many fans. The photo’s caption, “Visited some old friends today at WB!,” shows that neither Bialik nor Cuoco wanted the 12-square-foot piece of art in their homes at the end of the day. Bialik didn’t say how she felt about the painting, but she did use it to remind fans to vote in the 2020 election.