Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Socially challenged they remain, but the scientific geniuses of "The Big Bang Theory" always deliver hilarious results. Leonard returns from his North Sea expedition to find that his relationship with Penny involves more beta-testing than he’s ever done in a lab. Howard’s attachment issues with the women in his life in particular and Raj’s social breakthrough with women in general provide more laughs. Bernadette and Amy stand staunchly by the men in their life, even when they’re sitting in marathon role-playing games. Sheldon sees his mom (Laurie Metcalf) in a totally different way, parties with James Earl Jones, establishes a (sort of) bond with his idol Professor Proton (Emmy® winner Bob Newhart) and makes a scientific breakthrough that breaks down before you can say Science Friday. Experience your own humor breakthrough with this 3-disc, 24-episode Season Seven set of TV’s most popular comedy.

Show (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Big Bang Theory is the story of roommates Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). They are both physicists whose best friends are also colleagues, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Leonard’s girlfriend Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) lives directly across the hall. For a very long time, Raj was unable to talk to women without the assistance of alcohol but he has since overcome that obstacle.

This sweet group of nerds has had many adventures over the years. Wolowitz, the engineer who is a big fan of tight pants has gone into space and has married a cute blonde microbiologist named Bernadette (Melissa Rauch). The fact that Wolowitz found love is on the surface as remarkable as the relationship between Leonard and Penny. Penny is a hot young blonde, who is an aspiring actress and is clearly out of his league.

Much of the show is devoted to Sheldon, who has a very particular way about him. He has a roommate agreement with Leonard to cover every eventuality, has a specific seat on the couch where no one is allowed, and does not like change. Amazingly, Sheldon too finds love with a neuroscientist named Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). Although she’s Sheldon’s girlfriend, the relationship can only progress as far as Sheldon is comfortable. In season seven, Sheldon and Amy have their first kiss.

Other highlights of the season include Sheldon spending an evening with guest star James Earl Jones. This becomes possible after the guys are unable to get tickets to Comic-Con, leading Sheldon to decide to have his own con. He tracks down James Earl Jones to ask him to attend and finds an amazingly warm and receptive star who invites him to dinner and an amusement park. This episode is every nerd’s dream. Bob Newhart also guest stars as a television scientist named Professor Proton. Prof. Proton chooses to collaborate with Leonard, not Sheldon leaving Sheldon to seek out Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in revenge.

This season Sheldon has some tough times when the university forces him to take some vacation time and he attempts to change his field of study and is told he cannot. Big things are in store for Leonard and Penny as they both take big chances. And Raj proudly announces he’s slept with a woman (a rare occasion). The Big Bang Theory seems to have a lot of lover and a lot of haters. Everyone I know is completely amused by everything that is said and done on this show or completely disgusted by its presence in the universe. I’ve never had so many friends go out of there way to tell me that they hate this show, but I don’t care because it’s one of my favorites!

The haters can hate, but this show grows on me more every season. I understand how someone could find the characters and the plot annoying but I just don’t agree. All the main characters are perfectly cast. I can’t imagine anyone else in these roles. Having been a comic con attendee myself for the last two years, I use the term nerd affectionately. The details in the games they play, the comics they read, the t shirts they where, helps to sell the idea that they are the nerdiest kinds of nerds and they know their stuff. I’ve enjoyed watching the characters change and the core group of friends expand just a bit. I’m looking forward to seeing where season eight takes them.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season is presented in 1080p high definition with a 16x9 1.78:1 ratio. The Blu- ray offers a clear picture, bright colors and enough detail to pick up all the items in the background in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment. A DVD and Digital HD Ultraviolet copy are also provided but I have no need for the DVD with a Blu- ray player attached to every television I own.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
I never expect a lot from half hour television comedies but I was happy with what The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season had to offer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides intelligible dialogue at a consistent level. The show has a live audience and the laughter and other sound effects come through without sounding too “canned”. Every episodes starts with the theme song from the Barenaked Ladies, which is powerful enough to grab my attention and remind me it’s time for BBT (Big Bang Theory).
Extras (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I enjoyed all the special features and found them worth watching. Clearly the cast enjoys their work and each other, which is nice to see.

Disc One
  • String Theory Serenade (7:01) - Garfunkel & Oates (Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome) help Wolowitz with his serenade for his quarantined wife on their anniversary.
  • 2013 Comic Con Panel (29:10)
  • Johnny Galecki Crashes the BBT Writers Panel (3:29)
Disc Two
  • James Earl Jones: The Unconventional Guest Star (5:39) – Includes cast and crew interviews. While full of interesting information, I found it sad to learn James Earl Jones doesn’t know much about Star Wars.
  • The Big Bang Theory’s May the 4th (15:15)– A look at the Star Wars Day Episode where ILM transforms Professor Proton into a Jedi.
  • BBTea Time (3:08) – Kaley, Mayim and Melissa meet three mini-me’s at the tea party.
  • The Big Cendrowski: Backstage with the Coolest Director and Cast in the Universe (16:06) – A guided tour from the Director, who is always in a jersey and seems to really enjoy his job.
  • Gag Reel (8:51) – Watch the cast crack each other up and try to remember their lines.
The extras are not exclusive to the Blu- ray, however they are spread over all three DVD discs, and only two Blu-rays discs.
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
If you have seen an episode of "The Big Bang Theory," and it’s not for you – just move along. What you get with one episode is pretty much what you get with any episode. You can jump into the show and quickly figure out most of what’s going on but I always recommend starting at the beginning if you can. It’s not a perfect show, it’s not even necessarily a plausible one but I enjoy it. Warner Bros. has released another high quality Blu-ray set with a simple, easy menu and a good selection of special features. I highly recommend purchasing the set for any fans of the show. This is a good series to re-watch from time to time. I have found that during repeat viewings I catch more inside jokes and details of the set itself, which has must have a super-nerd as a designer.

Order your copy today!


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