The Big Bang Theory (2006)

8.4 / 10

A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory.

Country United States

Genre Comedy, Romance

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W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe: Chuck Lorre's Masterpiece Begins With The Big Bang Theory Season 1 On DVD!

W.L. Swarts | At W.L. Swarts's Universe - Season 1 DVD Set | | English

W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe
The Good:
Very funny, Likable characters, Good acting
The Bad
: Light on DVD bonus features, Inexplicable character element.
The Basics
: Hilarious and filled with more geek references than any other show,
The Big Bang Theory
is a surprisingly original situational comedy worth picking up.
These days, it takes a lot to get me into a television show, mostly because I'm working on my own and I am hesitant to glean things from other sources. However, when enough people tell me that something is truly magnificent and I absolutely have to see it, I tend to sit up and notice. For the past year, people have been telling me to check out The Big Bang Theory. A few weeks ago, my wife and I managed to snag the DVD set from our library, so I was able to. Now, I am happily adding my voice to those making the plea for people to watch the show. Why? It’s funny and there is nothing else quite like it on television. And there hasn't been.
One of the two creators of The Big Bang Theory is Chuck Lorre. Lorre might be best known for creating Dharma Greg and Two And A Half Men (which still astounds me for its longevity), so The Big Bang Theory had two strikes against it when I sat down to watch it. After rocketing through the seventeen episodes of Season One on DVD, there are only two other strikes against the series: there wasn't enough of it on DVD yet and a specific character quirk. That's pretty astounding from where I sit.
The Big Bang Theory is a buddy comedy featuring two physicists: Leonard (who still has people skills) and Sheldon (who is so smart he seldom sounds human). Leonard and Sheldon live together doing things like playing Halo and posing philosophical questions to one another. After sneaking out of donating sperm for money, they arrive back at their apartment to discover their neighbor across the hall has moved out and been replaced by a stereotypically beautiful blonde chick named Penny. Leonard is quickly smitten with Penny and Penny likes him as a friend . . . enough to ask him and Sheldon to try to recover her television from her ex-boyfriend across town.
Penny soon gets to know Leonard and, to a lesser extent, Sheldon and their mutual friends Howard (who hits on her constantly) and Raj (who is unable to speak to women, including Penny). Throughout the season, Penny continues to date men who treat her poorly and Leonard acts as a shoulder to cry on. Penny invites the guys to a halloween party where all four come as the Flash before having to scramble to come up with other costumes. Howard has to take one for the team when Penny decides to throw Leonard his first ever surprise party and Raj has a chance with Sheldon's super-hot sister when he happens to be on an experimental drug for shyness during her visit.
Other situations shake the little group of five when the university hires a North Korean super genius whose accomplishments outshine Sheldon's, causing him to retreat even further from life. And when Leonard wins a prop from The Time Machine, the men have to figure out how to divvy up the time with it. All of this leads toward Leonard and Penny getting closer and opening up to the possibility that they might be right for one another.
The Big Bang Theory is an ambitious situational comedy with vibrant, if not instantly likable, characters. Sheldon is the best straightman since the original Star Trek's Mr. Spock and Leonard is enough to make geeks a sex symbol. In fact, The Big Bang Theory paints geeks as sexy and everyone but Sheldon manages to have sex at least once in this season. That's good odds for the people who like the idea that smart is sexy, especially when stacked up against other television geeks.
More than anything, The Big Bang Theory is fun and funny. The dialogue is written to be over-the-top intellectual, but everyone who watches it ought to understand what is going on based on context, if not from the literal jokes. Penny, in that regard, has little to do but frequently stare at the men and look like the dumb blonde she is characterized as. But outside Sheldon, everyone quickly realizes that the way to keep Penny around and interested is in learning her language some.
And herein lies the biggest problem with the first season of The Big Bang Theory. Here are four geniuses who work and play together and their lives are turned upside down by . . . the obvious stereotypical blonde who is not at all on their intellectual level. The other female character in the first season (a recurring colleague of Leonard's played by Sarah Gilbert) is played more like Sheldon, but with sexual needs. The smart men are not looking for smart women, they are looking for the same thing every meatneck jock in the show is looking for: the hot blonde who is pretty ditzy. This does not read as at all true to me. After all, those smart enough to operate on the mental levels these guys are ought to be smart enough to realize that mentally-inferior blonde is what men are conditioned to go for and overcome that. It doesn't take a genius to see that, so how it eludes four geniuses is a mystery to me. My point here is that smart people tend to fall for smart people who are also incredible looking (yes, physically beautiful with brains happens). Yet, from the moment the typical twentysomething blonde is dangled before Leonard, he turns into a horndog. At least with Howard, he hits on every female that comes along in the first season.
Still, this is not enough to drag down The Big Bang Theory in its first season. Why? Because even with so few episodes in the first season, the characters are so vivid and distinct that they make an impression. In the first season, the principle characters are:
Leonard Hofstadter - A theoretical physicist who is instantly smitten by his new neighbor, Penny. Despite this infatuation, he is practical enough to go for other women when Penny does not seem to reciprocate his interest. When Sheldon flakes out on him, he tends to turn to Penny for companionship and looks to include her in things, like Halo night. When Penny makes a crack about his toy collection, he sees the chance to do what society seems to demand of him by giving his toys up,
Penny - The new neighbor from Nebraska, she is ditzy but friendly and is the stereotypical blonde. Virtually everything Sheldon says goes over her head, but she becomes friends with Leonard easily enough. She is charmed by Raj and repulsed by Howard and continues to date jerks while working at the Cheesecake Factory. She likes to party and knows pop culture references like the men know geek things,
Howard Wolowitz - A rocket scientist working for NASA who has his mother living with him. He is Jewish and frequently looks to cash in his bar mitzvah bonds for collectibles or schemes. He hits on every woman he meets and is arguably the most physical of the group (at least with Dance Dance Revolution),
Raj Koothrappali - A painfully shy Indian who cannot talk to women, he discovers he can only speak with Penny or other women when he is drinking or on experimental drugs. Unfortunately, drinking ruins his arranged marriage and the drugs run out before he can score with Sheldon's sister, who is interested in him. He is the heart of the group,
and Sheldon Cooper - A supergenius with no discernible social skills. He lives with Leonard and relies on his roommate for transportation. Penny begins to open him up to more social situations while Leonard frequently challenges him intellectually. He is competitive, but selfish which makes him anything but a team player.
The Big Bang Theory is very well-acted as all of the principle characters are well cast. Kunal Nayyar (Raj) and Simon Helberg (Howard) support the big three of the show and their quirks allow for some of the best one-liners. Nayyar is a master of the dry delivery and Helberg has a great physical presence. Kaley Cuoco is great as Penny, but has very little to do other than show up, look good or look confused and she pulls it off.
Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons (Leonard and Sheldon, respectively) are brilliant and play off one another perfectly. Parsons is the natural successor to David Hyde Pierce for physical comedy performances (Anyone from Chuck Lorre Productions reading this, there is no better choice to play Sheldon's father than Pierce!!!!!) and Galecki is great at both the technobabble and at bringing out the humanity in his character. The two play off one another with some of the best on-screen chemistry since The Odd Couple.
On DVD, The Big Bang Theory is remarkably sparse on extras. In fact, there is only a featurette on the first season and it is little more than a clip show with a few interview snippets talking about casting and the concept of the show. Fans deserve more for their money than that.
Even so, the first season of The Big Bang Theory is a rightful hit and if you're not watching it, there's even more incentive to pick it up on DVD: so you can watch it over and over again!
For other great comedies or wonderful shows for geeks, please check out my reviews of:
30 Rock Season 1
Family Guy Volume 8
For more television set reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe: Even Predictability And Mediocre Bonus Features Can't Bring The Big Bang Theory Season 2 Down!

W.L. Swarts | At W.L. Swarts's Universe - Season 2 DVD Set | | English

W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe
The Good
: Funny, Decent acting, Good character development
The Bad
: Slightly more predictable than I would like, Light on DVD bonus features.
The Basics
: A clever, fun comedy,
The Big Bang Theory
season two on DVD is worth watching and picking up.
Historically, I was not overly fond of the works of Chuck Lorre that I knew about. I was never a big fan of Rosanne or Grace Under Fire, though I did enjoy Cybil more than most people (and critics). I was especially unimpressed by Dharma And Greg which had a pretty limited concept that soon fizzled out. So, I was especially pleased to discover The Big Bang Theory Season 1 on DVD (click here for that review!) and when the opportunity came for me to pick up the second season on DVD, I leapt on it. I went into the experience with a little trepidation, though. The first season finale left off in a place where I felt the show either had to change radically or it was in danger of falling backward into a sense of repetition. Sadly, my fear was realized when my wife and I sat down to watch the second season of the show. While I enjoyed it quite a bit, it was a bit more predictable than I would have liked and I found myself calling not only the plot points, but the character aspects as well.
This might seem like a little bit of sour grapes on my part, but it truly is an honest evaluation of what I watched on DVD. The "sour grapes" aspect comes from a revelation that came in the middle of the second season where Sheldon Cooper, the super genius reveals that his father is dead. This, alas, made the script I sat down over a weekend and wrote completely moot. Yes, sometimes when I encounter great or good television, I want to be a part of it and I had the idea that there was absolutely no one in the world who would have been better to play Sheldon Cooper's father than David Hyde Pierce, so I wrote an episode for the show which would played Jim Parsons and David Hyde Pierce off one another perfectly. (Note to anyone from Chuck Lorre Productions reading this: I could make the episode work still, if you can get David Hyde Pierce to do the show!)
The second season of The Big Bang Theory, which is essentially an ensemble situational comedy that puts four geniuses in the company of a fairly dim blonde woman, begins where the first season ended. The first season finale found Leonard Hofstadter finally asking his neighbor, Penny, out on a date. The second season begins with Leonard returning with Penny and the guys evaluating how the date must have gone. Sadly for Leonard, Penny and him do not work out on the one date and both resolve to continue being good friends.
The second season progresses with stories like Leonard delivering a paper he wrote with Sheldon at a conference, despite Sheldon's refusal to participate and Penny going on a date with the comic book store owner the guys know. Leonard dates a doctor, which allows Sheldon's desire to get body scans get satisfied and Penny begins to bond with Sheldon when she tries one of the multiplayer computer games. The hijinx continue with Sheldon having to spend a night with Penny when he gets locked out of the apartment and Sheldon bonding with Leonard's psychiatrist mother when she comes to visit.
The show, however, is more of an ensemble comedy and Raj and Howard are along for most of the adventures. Howard makes his move on Penny and, unfortunately, flips the Mars rover into a ditch on Mars. Howard also dates Leonard's ex, Leslie Winkle, and Raj continues to try to learn to speak to women without being completely intimidated. He largely fails, though he manages to get some this season as well. In fact, he manages to hit on Summer Glau while on a train ride by drinking a nonalcoholic beer until Howard ruins his streak by pointing out the lack of alcohol in it. The season ramps up to a season finale that offers the quartet of men a chance for a real scientific opportunity exploring the Arctic!
Unfortunately for fans of The Big Bang Theory, the second season on DVD illustrates a weakness in the series, which is that at this point it is moving toward being a more typical sitcom than a real character study. The humor is more often than not more generic than truly original and fans who loved the first season are likely to discover that there is a great sense of repetition in the plots and character actions this season. For sure, there are some fun episodes, like when the gang builds a robot to go up against a rival scientist's robot, but lacking Howard's engineering expertise at the time, they find themselves severely outmaneuvered. But more frequently, the episodes have simple plots like "Leonard's mother comes to visit and discovers she has more in common than Sheldon" or "Sheldon's sister comes to visit and turns out to be a super hottie that the guys fawn all over." The episodes have a more formulaic feel to them and as a result, the second season feels less fresh than the first.
On the character front, the second season of The Big Bang Theory does remarkably little to progress the principle characters. Penny is virtually assured to say "what?" to Sheldon once an episode while opening her mouth comically wide and Sheldon is pretty much guaranteed to use logic to resolve a hypothetical argument he and the other guys are having over comic books or other science fiction references. Howard has his chance to make a move on Penny and is predictably rejected and Penny and Sheldon finally come to intellectual blows when he expels her from visiting the apartment.
Still, the show is remarkably funny and it is written with a level of diction that is higher than most programs. When Leonard reveals to Sheldon that the Thai food he is eating is not from his favorite Thai place, but rather repackaged by Leonard each time he buys it from a place that is still in business, the joke is fresh, funny and unpredictable. But more often than that, the jokes are predictable, like the various guys visiting Sheldon's sister only to be rejected until the supposed "least likely" one arrives to learn that he is who she was hoping for.
Like most worthwhile television programs, The Big Bang Theory works (when it does, which is frequently) because of the characters. The primary quintet remains the same as the first season and those characters include:
Sheldon Cooper - The super-genius physicist who is quirky and beyond brilliant, but socially awkward. He reveals this season his complete love of trains and he attempts to make a new friend in order to get a prime location using a rare piece of equipment. He is, alas, afraid of heights. He enforces an intricate roommate agreement with Leonard and he spars verbally with Penny frequently,
Penny - The resident blonde who is the object of Leonard, Raj and Howard's romantic affections. She works at the Cheesecake Factory and uses Sheldon's need for consistency against him while working there. She is affectionate toward Leonard, though she continues to date men who treat her less well,
Howard Wolowitz - An engineer friend of Sheldon and Leonard's, he is constantly horny. He discovers satisfaction with Leslie Winkle until she dumps him. This sets off Penny, who reveals to him her exact thoughts on him and he reveals his more sensitive side. Still, he's pretty much a pig with a high i.q.,
Raj Koothrappali - Despite being cut by Sheldon when Sheldon needs to make room for a new friend, he is the heart of the group. He is sarcastic and quietly delivers wicked remarks,
and Leonard - Smart, but far more human than Sheldon, he is a physicist who still wants to connect with others. Leonard pines for Penny, but when she moves on, he begins dating a doctor who he truly likes but is not quite willing to have move in with. He dreads his mother's visit and tries to keep the group of friends together and friendly.
The acting on The Big Bang Theory is much more consistent than extraordinary as the characters settle into their stylistic ruts. So, for example, Kunal Nayyar (Raj) does great work with his sarcastic deliveries, just as Kaley Cuoco does well with alternating between brassy and clueless. But just like Simon Helberg acting smarmy, this is nothing new that fans have not seen from the first season. Still, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki play off one another and Parsons especially has an amazing sense of physical comedy.
On DVD, The Big Bang Theory Season 2 only comes with a featurette which includes clips from the episodes and this is hardly exceptional for a DVD release. There is very little fans will get on DVD that they will not get by catching the episodes in syndication.
Ultimately, though, this is still a comedy above the curve and well worth watching and picking up for anyone who likes smart humor.
For other comedies, please check out my reviews of:
Sports Night
30 Rock Season 3
Glee Volume 1: The Road To Sectionals
For other television series reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe: Terribly Average, It Is Only The Diction That Drives Up The Big Bang Theory Season 3!

W.L. Swarts | At W.L. Swarts's Universe - Season 3 DVD Set | | English

W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe
The Good: Vocabulary, Some nice character aspects, Decent use of guest characters
The Bad: No superlative acting, Largely not funny, Predictable
The Basics: While The Big Bang Theory may have started fresh and different, by its third season, the show is remarkably predictable and almost stale.
I'm not sure what the curve is on a new blog - i.e. how long before people usually discover a new blog and decide to "follow" it - but I've been happily moving my reviews to my new blog for two months now (as well as writing some brand spankin' new reviews to keep my old readers interested!), but so far I only have a few followers and I am hoping November is a growth month for me as far as followers and sales through the Amazon links I associate with each of the reviews I write (please feel free to click and buy when a review strikes you!). Regardless, some of my loyal readers noted that last week, I had a bit of a sabbatical. That was because I went with my wife on vacation to her native Michigan. While that might not seem relevant, there is actually a point to this. While we were in Michigan, I started out quite happy because the day we left, my local library managed to get in the third season of The Big Bang Theory on DVD. My wife and I had watched season one (review here!) and season two (reviewed here!) earlier this year and were quite excited about the third season DVD set and when we had evenings free in Michigan, we sat down and started watching this season.
The best way I can describe how unsatisfying the third season of The Big Bang Theory is is this: my wife and I periodically stopped watching this season to watch the third season of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which we had bought before for the friend we were staying with. And my wife, she fell asleep during at least two episodes (granted this would have been around one or two a.m. after a lot of drinking and a few episodes) and she did not want to go back to them to see what she missed. I can't blame her; the third season of The Big Bang Theory is not nearly as fresh as the earlier seasons and she didn't miss much.
Picking up three months after the second season finale, with the men of The Big Bang Theory returning from their arctic adventure together, the third season of The Big Bang Theory is predominately preoccupied with the new relationship between Leonard and Penny, along with Sheldon's continual inability to get along with any of his colleagues and friends. And while the show continues its tradition of presenting characters who use a remarkably extensive vocabulary, the plots seem more pedestrian and "done," the jokes fall flatter more often and the overall arc of the season is less satisfying than in prior seasons.
When Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard return from the arctic bearded and Leonard instantly runs for Penny's apartment. As it turns out, she has been waiting eagerly for him and the two soon hook up and things seem to be going well for Leonard. Episodes then follow with remarkable predictability as Leonard and Penny have their first fight, Penny has buff male friends over who watch football with her and she gets jealous. As Sheldon competes for Leonard's attention, he finds classic conditioning works perfectly on Penny, though Leonard soon sees through his scheme. Leonard is appalled when Howard comes to him and makes him honor a promise from long ago wherein Leonard has to ask Penny to hook Howard up with one of her hot friends. This leads Howard to start dating Bernadette and the two of them have their ups and downs, which allows Penny and Leonard to play off them and for Raj to express his feelings of abandonment.
Raj is threatened with deportation and Sheldon, of all people, comes to his aid by offering Raj the opportunity to come work for him. But even as Sheldon takes solace in a friendship with Leonard's mother, he is cursed by Wil Wheaton, who Sheldon attempts to exact revenge upon during a card game. And while Leonard is away, Penny slips in her tub and dislocates her shoulder. This forces Sheldon to drive her to the hospital, a regrettable act which has consequences on the day Stan Lee comes to visit the local comic book shop! And even as Leonard and Penny overcome many obstacles, their unlikely coupling is threatened by old jealousies which turn their relationship in a surprisingly predictable direction.
Chuck Lorre's arguable masterpiece, The Big Bang Theory grabbed the attention of geeks like me by offering a sitcom that was smart and different, but the third season of the show suggests that it has jumped the shark. The series does not challenge the audience and it seldom takes real advantage of the guest stars. So, for example, Stan Lee's appearance is truncated to a single scene, making for a much less funny scene with Sheldon in jail. The exception to this misuse of guest cast - the usually great Christine Baranski's return is a surprisingly blase episode focused around Leonard's not telling his mother that he and Penny are dating - is Wil Wheaton. Wheaton has the opportunity to step out of his nice guy persona - a guise he maintains exceptionally well at conventions, as once several years ago my table was next to his and I had the opportunity to meet him! - and create the persona of a strange, maniacal manipulator and the result is remarkably funny. One has to ask themselves why Wheaton isn't performing more, he is so good in the two episodes he is in.
But even those episodes are plagued by a sense of predictability that leaves seasoned television viewers more bored than thrilled. Wheaton's character has an evil subtext to him and anyone who knows how to recognize a manipulative character will see where he is going in both of his episodes.
Unfortunately in the third season of The Big Bang Theory there is very little real character development. Indeed, the most positive character change comes from Howard, who learns that Sheldon merely considers him an acquaintance (while he considers Penny a friend). Once he learns this, his character openly expresses a lot more loathing for Sheldon and that actually makes him seem more realistic. But elements like Howard treating Raj like he would a wife (in a neglectful, if not outright abusive, relationship) fall a lot flatter and one has to be happy that they are only maintained for a single episode.
Sadly, there is also a sense of repetition that fails entirely in third season. Viewers are expected not to notice that Leonard being tutored on football so he can relate to Penny (and spend time with her when she is surrounded by other guys) mirrors the way Sheldon tutors Penny on physics when she notices Bernadette conversing with Leonard on his day at work. Lorre, apparently, figures that an audience which is smart enough to follow jokes that make obscure references to physics and science fiction culture would not observe plot and character repetition. Sigh.
Usually, I explore how characters grow and change during a season, or highlight the challenges of specific characters, but in the third season of The Big Bang Theory, the ensemble is plagued by more generic events which have limited comedic results. While It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia develops whole shows with audacious, if entirely limited, concepts like "the gang finds a dumpster baby," The Big Bang Theory errs far too frequently on the side of the family-friendly and mundane. Unfortunately, because humor is based on surprise and there is little surprise to basic plots like "Leonard tells Penny how he and Sheldon met" and "Sheldon and the gang build a security system after Leonard and Sheldon's apartment is robbed." Jokes which were initially hilarious - like Sheldon explaining why his spot is his spot - dull with repetition, in this season having Penny explain to Bernadette the reason and seeing Sheldon work it out in another episode. Arguments between Leonard and Sheldon over the roommate agreement seem similarly dull.
The season is not entirely without humor, though. While many of the jokes do make the viewer smile, I only laughed aloud when the formulas that have been built for multiple seasons were upset. So, it was no longer funny when Sheldon knocked on Penny's door and repeated her name over and over again, but it was laughable when Penny opened the door, knocked on it herself and said her name to Sheldon. Similarly, late in the season, when Sheldon's brilliant visiting colleague turns out to be a complete nymphomaniac, there was a decent laugh generated.
But more often than not, the third season of The Big Bang Theory is plot-driven instead of character-driven and the result is more often unsatisfying and not particularly funny. In the third season, the show is not unenjoyable, it is just not particularly laudable or as audacious as prior seasons. In other words, it becomes entirely familiar and that is the death knell of original works.
On the acting front, by this season all of the actors have honed their characters.  Jim Parsons is predictably cold as Sheldon and the scene where he is drunk mirrors his scenes where he is ill, so there is no real stretch for him there. In the same way, Jimmy Galecki and Katie Cuoco do not have much new to play off of, despite their characters getting into a relationship. The sexual chemistry they bring to the work has been there for seasons, showing them kissing does not add much to their performances.
On DVD, The Big Bang Theory is graced with a blooper reel and two featurettes, one of which has the whole cast talking about the season and their thoughts and feelings on it. None of the bonus features are particularly groundbreaking and they offer very little to the fans who are shelling out so much for the boxed set.
That said, The Big Bang Theory works against itself most frequently in the third season by conforming to the conventions of the sitcom, as opposed to defying it. Howard's relationship, for example, is not given a full arc and it pops up late in the season as an afterthought, a footnote. So, just as the producers seemed to have little regard for the audience, this season of the show seems to show little regard for their characters and it leaves one wondering what is truly left for the four men and one woman of The Big Bang Theory. Sadly, I'm left wondering why they didn't quit while they were ahead.
For other contemporary programs to this, please check out my reviews of:
V Season 1
30 Rock Season 3
Family Guy Volume 8
For other television program reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.


Kevin Carr | 7M Pictures - Season 2 | | English

DVD Review
by Kevin Carr
    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Simon Helberg as HOWARD WOLOWITZ
Kaley Cuoco as PENNY    Not Rated
Available on DVD September 15
Studio: Warner Bros.
    Back to DVD Review Home

I?m going to be lazy here and just quote the cover box of this DVD set because it says it all for this season: ?The science of funny is back! At work, physicists Leonard and Sheldon and their geek pals conquer the cosmos. At home, real life ? from dating to driving ? conquers them. This season, Leonard gets a girl. So does Sheldon. (Sheldon?!) Howard drives the Mars Rover into a ditch. Raj woos a terminator. Gorgeous girl-next-door Penny falls under the spell of Age of Conan. And super-smart, uberconfident Leslie Winkler reduces mere men to spineless jellyfish.?
I never watched this show in its first season, and I will be kicking myself for the rest of my television-watching life for this. ?The Big Bang Theory? is easily one of the funniest traditional sit-coms I?ve seen in years. It reminds me of the freshness and irreverent humor that was found in the first seasons of ?Third Rock from the Sun.?
As a self-proclaimed geek who has been to Comic-Con four times in my adult life, I can definitely relate to the characters in this show. While they?re hyperrealistic, they also embody the personalities and aspects of different people I have known throughout my life. Series co-creator Chuck Lorre (who is responsible for ?Two and a Half Men,? one of the funniest shows on network television) really taps into the geek chic (as Kaley Cuoco calls it in the special features). As long as he?s not working on a show about a mouthy, acerbic trailer-trash housewife, I seem to love his stuff.
?The Big Bang Theory? works so well because of how it applies the basic sit com formula that made shows like ?Three?s Company? such a monster hit. Put together some wacky characters, make sure they live in close proximity of a beautiful woman, and let the hilarity ensue.
Usually it takes a sit com several years to grow into itself, and the characters have to become caricatures before things get really funny. However, it seems that ?The Big Bang Theory? has taken sit com standards and made them work for all the characters (e.g., Leonard is Ross from ?Friends,? Sheldon is Kramer from ?Seinfeld,? Wollowitz is Kirk from ?Dear John? and Koothrappali is Fez from ?That 70s Show?).
But at its core, beyond all the geek references and silliness, ?The Big Bang Theory? has a lot of heart. And kudos goes to Kaley Cuoco for playing such an approachable character of Penny to make us geeks here in flyover country actually believe that we could have a shot with her if she lived next door to us.
I really had a hard time finding anything I truly disliked about this series. I?ve heard some people complain that the characters are too geeky and don?t have enough backbone, but that works in this series from my point of view. Yes, Leonard is a tool, but he?s a realistic tool. And Sheldon (who is my favorite, as he is for most since he?s the Curly of the show) is a pain to deal with. But I know people as rigid and bizarre as him, so I find the funny in his neuroses.
The only downside to this DVD set is that there aren?t many special features to get excited about. There?s a gag reel (which includes a hilarious moment when Jim Parsons tries to get through the explanation of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock) and two featurettes.
?Physicist to the Stars? spotlights real-life UCLA physicist David Saltzberg as the show?s science consultant. ?Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to the Big Bang Theory? is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew interviews.
Fans of sit coms and anyone who has been to Comic-Con more than once.
Watch this clip from "The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season"
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7M Pictures | ‘The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season’ DVD Review

Kevin Carr | 7M Pictures - Season 3 | | English

(not rated)
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Simon Helberg as HOWARD WOLOWITZ
Kaley Cuoco as PENNY
Studio: Warner Bros.
One of the most popular sit coms is back for a third season with the quartet of geeks dealing with life and love in Pasadena. Leonard faces various problems with his real relationship with Penny, the pretty girl next door. Wolowitz is still living with his mother but manages to date as well this season. Koothrappali plays the silent wingman through all this while Sheldon continues to be Sheldon in the most annoying way. WHAT I LIKED
I came to this series a little late when the second season DVD showed up in my mail, and I was hooked almost immediately. Some might say this is because I’m a geek at heart, have been to Comic-Con multiple times and understand pretty much every reference to nerd culture in teh series. And they’d be absolutely right. “The Big Bang Theory” understands the appeal of the geek lifestyle, and it heralds it as well as points out its obvious flaws.
But even without any geek knowledge, you can still enjoy “The Big Bang Theory.” Wipe away all of the comic book references and science mumbo-jumbo, and you have a very basic American sit com about lonely guys living across the hall from the beautiful girl. It’s not the same scenario, but this show has a real “Three’s Company” feel to it. It doesn’t try to solve the world’s problems, but rather gives its loyal audience a chance to laugh and escape for a half hour each week.
Like many series, “The Big Bang Theory” really hits a stride in the third season. It continues the geek references, showing love for Green Lantern (as a lantern toy becomes a bargaining chip for Sheldon), having a sexy cameo for Katee Sackoff and a brilliant double cameo with Wil Wheaton (a geek at heart himself).
I also appreciated the Leonard/Penny love story not overshadowing the rest of the show. It’s one of the critical elements, but unlike a show like “Cheers,” the stability of the romance does not dictate the success of the series.
Not a whole lot. Right now, “The Big Bang Theory” is one of the best sit coms on television. As it gears up for its fourth season, it’s something that can be enjoyed by people in many different demographics. There’s really nothing about it that bothers me.
The third season Blu-ray includes a relatively thin amount of special features. It’s not barren, but there really should be more on here, especially for just a third season.
There’s a gag reel, which actually is pretty well put together and quite funny. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar take the audience through a pretty typical set tour. Finally, there’s a cast roundtable called “Takeout with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory” in which the actors open fortune cookies which feature questions about the highlights of season three.
Geek chic sit com fans.

Tech Specs

Languages: Mandarin, English, Hindi, Italian, Russian, Klingon

Release Date: 01 May 2006 (United States) See more

Also Known As: BG See more