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STUDIO: Warner
MSRP: $28.99
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 481 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:

- Physicist To The Stars
- Testing the Inifinite Hilarity hypothesis in Relation to the Big Bang Theory
-
Gag reel

 

The Pitch

It’s Friends meets string theory.

The Humans

Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar.

The Nutshell

The lives of four genius friends, Leonard (Galecki), Howard (Helberg), Rajesh (Nayyar) and supergenius / OCD neurotic Sheldon (Parsons) are changed when a hot neighbor, Penny (Cuoco) moves in and becomes part of their circle.  Hijinks ensue.





The Lowdown

I friggin’ love this show.  I knew about it but it’s just one of those things I slept on initially.  But after digesting the whole of Season 2, I found it to be one of the most original and funny sitcoms to come along in quite some time.  It’s like any of a number of shows centering around roommates and friends, most notably Friends, but then it adds the technobabble dimension to completely set it apart.  It’s sort of what would happen if you took Spock / Monk’s love child (or, in keeping with the theme of the show, their binary clone), Ross, Taj from Van Wilder, added a mousy Jewish loser and threw in Rachel to round out your cast. 





The majority of the humor comes from juxtaposing the geek world with that of a lay person, in this case, Penny, and watching the humor develop from neither completely understanding the other’s sphere.  The funny thing is that Penny is us in the regard that she’s the average person thrown into the world of supergeekdom,  but then any of the geniuses are us because they’re guys who know they wouldn’t necessarily have a chance with someone as hot as Penny.  At any rate, the five actors at work here have great chemistry and the situations they find themselves in are usually brought on by some predicament that originates from science, fanboyism, or the general unsuccessful pursuit of women.





In terms of the group dynamic, Leonard is the de facto leader of the group, as long as his interests don’t conflict with any of Sheldon’s million or so idiosyncrasies.  Howard is the text book geek who still lives with his mom and schemes after women he generally knows are out of his league.  He’s also the biggest poon hound of the group.  Rajesh is the stereotypical Indian geek with a penchant for talking hip hop.  He’s no good at talking to women unless he’s toasted.  It’s a little disappointing that a show so original in its construction would fall back on this caricature, but Nayyal is nevertheless likable in the role.  Cuoco is literally the girl next door that’s unattainable for the four geeks, although she falls into that tried and true Hollywood formula of falling for the nerd, in this case, Leonard.  Be that as it may, she has successfully integrated herself into their closed circle. 





However, the breakout star of this show is Jim Parsons as Sheldon.  Sheldon is basically Wikipedia in human form.  He knows anything about everything, is OCD in all aspects of his life, adheres to the most basic geek tenants of loving video games and comic books, and as far as can be told, is completely asexual.  When the other guys are off scamming for women in bars or in Vegas, he’s content to have some alone time.  Parsons in this role is fantastic and often gets the lion’s share of technobabble.  


Season 2 found Leonard and Penny, who started dating in Season 1, quickly breaking up, but then becoming closer friends and eventually falling back into their mutual longing for each other, though they can’t quite seem to get there.  It is Ross and Rachel all over again, but Cuoco and Galecki put their own spin on it and it doesn’t wear as thin as other relationships of that type do.  Eventually, if they keep dragging it out, however, that’ll probably be a certainty.

The Big Bang Theory is loads of fun and definitely worth checking out.






The Package

The show looks great and the transfer is crisp and enjoyable in widescreen.  Audio is English and Portuguese Dolby Surround, with English FHE, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese subtitles.  There arent’s a lot of special features, however.  I would have loved for there to have been a couple of commentaries.  However, there is the featurette, The Big Bang Theory: Physicist to the Stars is a 10-minute profile on UCLA professor, Dr. David Salzberg, the technical consultant to the show.  Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to the Big Bang Theory is a 15-minute piece breaking down the characters of the show with interviews with the cast and clips from the season.  A gag reel wraps things up.  The real attraction of this set is the show itself, not the special features.  But it’s a damn funny show.


7.8 out of 10