The character of Howard Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory faced backlash for his sleazy and manipulative behavior towards women. While other characters like Sheldon and Raj had endearing flaws, Howard's actions made him less likable. However, the addition of Bernadette as Howard's love interest brought about a significant change in his character. Through their relationship, Howard grew and became a better person. Unlike other sitcom characters, Howard's transformation was believable and consistent. By the final season, he had evolved into a loving partner and father.
Howard's character growth was necessary because he was the most flawed member of the friend group. The show wisely introduced Bernadette early on, allowing their relationship to develop steadily. In contrast, Leonard and Penny's relationship faced numerous ups and downs, making Howard and Bernadette's romance appear healthier and more stable. This inadvertently highlighted the flaws in Leonard and Penny's relationship and made Leonard look worse in comparison to Howard.
While Leonard and Penny were considered the central couple of the show, Howard and Bernadette's dynamic overshadowed their relationship. Howard's ability to change and improve made Leonard's insecurities and flaws more apparent. It is ironic that a character who started as the most toxic member of the friend group ended up in a more mature and balanced relationship than the supposed heroes of the show.
In summary, Howard Wolowitz's character in The Big Bang Theory faced criticism for his sleaziness and inappropriate behavior towards women. However, the introduction of Bernadette as his love interest allowed for significant character growth and redemption. Their relationship showcased a healthier and more stable romance compared to Leonard and Penny's tumultuous journey. Ultimately, Howard's made him a beloved character and added depth to the show.