As one of the original characters on The Big Bang Theory, Leslie Winkle being removed after being Leonard’s love interest was wrong considering how she impacted the series’ overall narrative. Primarily spending time with Leonard led to a fling that eventually faded. The Big Bang Theory tried incorporating her in other ways, but despite being an interesting character herself, she ultimately slipped into the background until she was entirely written out. While removing her from the show made sense for Leonard’s narrative as he moved forward with other romantic partners, Leslie could have stayed on The Big Bang Theory for a different reason.
CBS made sure to draw parallels between Leslie and Leonard; they mirrored each other and even dressed the same. Given their romance, there was an expectation for her to be part of the Pasadena gang. So, it was confusing when Leslie Winkle gradually disappeared from TBBT. According to Jessica Radloff’s book, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series, the character was written out to put more focus on Leonard’s burgeoning relationship with Penny. While this is understandable given how popular the pairing was, getting rid of Leslie was wrong.
Removing Leslie On TBBT Was Wrong Because She Challenged Sheldon
While Leslie’s relationship with Leonard was going nowhere, The Big Bang Theory could have utilized her in a different and arguably better way by leaning on her rivalry with Sheldon. In her short stint on the nerd-centric sitcom, Sheldon developed a distaste for Leslie because not only is she as possibly smart as she is, but she also doesn’t let him get away with his bad behavior. Leslie calls him out when he’s wrong, typically in the harshest way possible. So, although Sheldon’s friends put up with him on TBBT, Leslie would always put him in his place. It would have been interesting to see more of this dynamic.
Somehow, Leslie and Sheldon’s dynamic is reminiscent of the socially-inept genius’ initial relationship with Paige on Young Sheldon. Like Sheldon, Paige was also a child prodigy who might even be smarter than he was. Aside from this, she was more emotionally and socially capable than Sheldon. While this was infuriating for him, dealing with someone like Paige was a great teaching experience for Sheldon — something that The Big Bang Theory could have also done with Leslie.
What Happened To Leslie On The Big Bang Theory
Leslie Winkle was promoted to a series regular on The Big Bang Theory season 2, but after her less serious affair with Howard, CBS started using her less. She was last seen on season 9 during Sheldon’s surprise birthday party. Since Leslie wasn’t on The Big Bang Theory finale when Sheldon and Amy won the Nobel Prize in Physics which was a big moment for CalTech, she may have already found a different job by then. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense for her not to even partake in the celebrations. Perhaps CBS can clarify what really happened to her via Young Sheldon’s narration.
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