The whole universe was in a hot dense state
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started.
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall
We built the pyramids!
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
That all started with the big bang!
One of the few current sitcoms that I follow, and also the
funniest, is The Big Bang Theory.
It's a typical comedy with a cast of
characters with amusing idiosyncrasies and goofy friends, but the
very smart and the jokes work more often than they don't (not to
infectious opening song penned and performed by The Barenaked Ladies). In this third season the show is still
amazingly funny but there are a few shows that miss the mark, something
hadn't really happened in the first two years of the show.
Even so fans will be pleased with the Blu-ray
presentation that really bring the show to life.
Dr. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Dr. Sheldon
Cooper (Jim Parsons) are roommates who work as physicists at Cal Tech
(experimental and theoretical respectively).
They are both brilliant (Leonard has an IQ of 173 and Sheldon
child prodigy who graduated from college (undergrad) at the age of 14)
are their friends: Dr. Rajesh
Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) an astrophysicist, and Mr. Howard Wolowitz
Helberg) who only has a masters in engineering from MIT, a fact that
loves to remind him of. The show started
two years ago when Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moved in across the hall. She's a friendly would-be actress from Nebraska with a
down-home charm, and incredibly attractive.
Leonard's instantly attracted to her, while the Sheldon, who
sexual urges, is irritated by the amount of time it will take to train
friend. Penny, on the other hand usually
dates hunky guys that she meets at the gym, including her last
boyfriend a very
muscular ape who she had lived with for four years.
("That's as long as high school" Penny cries
in the first episode. To which Sheldon
incredulously exclaims "It took you four years to finish high
At the end of season 2, Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard
were leaving for a three month expedition to the North Pole to test one
Sheldon's theories. Leonard was sad to
be leaving Penny behind, though they weren't dating and surprisingly,
upset to be away from Leonard too.
As this season opens the group has just gotten back from the
far north and when Leonard knocks on Penny's door to inform her of
she leaps into his arms and kisses him passionately.
Oh, I knew I should have told her that we were back. Raj:
Yeah, like it was first come, first serve.)
Turns out Penny really missed Leonard, and
they go into her apartment and close the door.
Dating Penny is great for Leonard but there are some bumps
in the road, some much bigger than others.
This season another character gets a girl friend too, and that
one man out (since Sheldon is asexual.)
While there were some great storylines this season, and some
hilarious episodes, in a lot of ways this feels like the premier season
show rather than the third. By this time
the writers are usually comfortable with the whole situation, having
out what type of story works and how the characters should act. That's not really the case with this set of
shows. They start plot lines and then
suddenly drop them, and they have characters doing things that just
right. An example of the latter is when
Sheldon hits a roadblock in his research; he starts acting like a child. He breaks into a 'Chuck E. Cheese' type of
pizza place after hours and plays in the ball pit (he uses the balls to
protons and neutrons) and when Leonard tries to get him out there's a
unfunny scene where Sheldon swims through the balls to avoid capture,
"Ba-zinga!" over and over.
That said, I'm still enamored with the characters.
I really like the dichotomy that's been set
up: Sheldon and Leonard (and Raj and
Howard) are brilliant scientists who spend their days pushing the
human knowledge, but also fanboys who spend their nights playing Halo
looking forward to Wednesdays: new comic
This season also see the introduction of Sheldon's arch
nemesis. Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley
Crusher on Star Trek: The Next
Generation, appears a couple of times as himself. The
background story as to why Sheldon hates Wheaton
is great, but the fact that Wheaton's
character in the show is so underhanded
and sinister really makes the episodes he's in some of the best of the
Jim Parsons has received a lot of accolades for his
portrayal of Sheldon, and all of it is deserved. He
and Johnny Galecki are both great in their
roles. The person who really brings the
show together and gives the best performance however is Kaley Cuoco. She has a tough role, playing the straight
man most of the time but also having to step up to the mound and toss
comic lines every so often. She's
excellent in both roles. She has very
good timing, waiting just the right amount of time for maximum effect
is a genuinely good actress, as is displayed in the few dramatic scenes
The entire 23-episode season comes on two Blu-ray discs
which are housed in a single-width case enclosed in a slipcase.
The 1.78:1 1080p widescreen image looks great. The
show was recorded (and broadcast) in HD
so it's no surprise that the picture looks good. The
colors are solid and the level of detail
is fine. There's a little bit of digital
noise in a few spots, but nothing really major.
Overall the show looks wonderful in HD.
What, no lossless audio track? The show
comes with a DD 5.1 audio mix that
sounds good, but I couldn't help wishing for a DTS HD option. As it is the mix works well, with a full,
open front sound stage and sparse but effective use of the rears. The sub gets moving during the opening song,
but that's about the only time it's really used.
I was a little disappointed that there weren't more bonus
items included with the set. After all
this is a highly rated Emmy winning show.
Couldn't they get the cast together for a commentary track? Oh well, I guess I should be grateful for what
was included. First off is Takeout
with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory
where the main characters talk about their favorite moments from the
season. There's a set tour with Kunal
Nayyar and Simon Helberg, and a fairly amusing gag reel.
While there were a couple of stumbles in this third season,
the show is still incredibly funny and it's understandable why this is
top-rated comedy on TV now. The Blu-ray
presentation, while a bit light on the extras and lacking a lossless
track, is solid making this a highly