I have had an on again/off again relationship with The Big Bang Theory since it premiered. I watched it for a little while but got turned off by the content. The previews kept cracking me up, however, I was debating about watching it again. When I got a great deal on the first and second seasons on DVD, I decided to give up the fight, and I watched the first season in a matter of days.
Recommend this product?
For those who have yet to inhabit this universe, the show focuses on four geeks and a "normal." Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are roommates and physicists working at Cal Tech. But these are just high tech guys, they also enjoy other geekly endeavors like comic books and video games. They usually hang out with co-workers Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar).
As the series opens, into this world walks Penny (Kaley Cuoco). She's literally the beautiful girl next door since she moves into the apartment across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon. She's an aspiring actress, which naturally means she's making a living as a waitress. Most of the guys immediately develop crushes on her, but it's Leonard who is the most serious about her.
And despite how little they have in common, the five of them begin to form a friendship. But first, Penny has to deal with Sheldon and Leonard cleaning up her place for her while she slept. Sheldon gets fired for telling his new boss exactly what he thinks of him. Leonard and Sheldon stop speaking to each other after Leonard decides to present a paper they both authored. Sheldon tries to tell a sufficiently complex lie to Penny. And Penny must take care of a sick Sheldon.
If there is any standout character that makes this show hilarious, it's Sheldon. This guy may be brilliant when it comes to his job, but he is a complete idiot when it comes to interacting with anyone. His reaction to things, or lack of reaction, makes for some of the best jokes in the show.
Watching this season also made me aware that I might have to admit to the geek label I've been avoiding for a while. I have been part of some of the conversations the guys have, although usually as an outsider. (At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
This show could easily devolve with stereotypical characters, and I'll admit that most of these characters seem to have one or two dominate traits with hints at more, even after a complete season. However, I do feel that most of the characters are real, or at least real enough that we can't help but root for them. Even Sheldon, as much as I would be ready to slap him in real life, is likable.
The exception to that is Howard. His is described on multiple occasions as creepy. While all the characters are obsessed with sex, Howard takes it to an uncomfortable low. If there are any moments that make me squirm in disgust, you can bet that he's involved. And that pretty much seems to be his only trait. It's disappointing to say the least.
Frankly, the constant sex jokes are the main reason I stopped watching at one point and still the only turn off to the show for me. They don't need them to be funny; most of the funniest scenes have come from the characters and not the sex jokes. But that's what they revert to time and time again. Additionally, the couple of times that religion has come into things, it's been treated negatively. Not too big a fan of that, but at least so far it's been minor enough that I can still enjoy the show.
The acting on the show is universally great. The main actors are great as breathing life into their characters and really rounding them out. Yes, even Simon Helberg is good as Howard. Special praise must go to Kunal Nayyar whose Raj is too terrified to talk to women. His facial expressions alone are priceless. But the undisputable star of the show is Jim Parsons. He makes anti-social Sheldon completely believable and funny without resorting to too many stereotypes. He was born for this role pure and simple.
Due to the writer's strike of the fall of 2007, there were only 17 episode in the first season. All of them are here on three discs in widescreen and stereo sound. Not surprising from a recent TV show, they look and sound great. There is one 17 minute behind the scenes type featurette that talks about the creation of the show and the characters. It's nothing too groundbreaking but interesting.
While I don't find all the sex jokes funny, when things come together perfectly, The Big Bang Theory is brilliantly funny. I used to watch lots of sitcoms, but got away from them. I'm quite happy to get back into them for this show.
This reviews is part of the Tales to Warm Your Mind write-off.
Season One Episodes:
2. The Big Bran Hypothesis
3. The Fuzzy Boots Corollary
4. The Luminous Fish Effect
5. The Hamburger Postulate
6. The Middle Earth Paradigm
7. The Dumpling Paradox
8. The Grasshopper Experiment
9. The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization
10. The Loobenfeld Decay
11. The Pancake Batter Anomaly
12. The Jerusalem Duality
13. The Bat Jar Conjecture
14. The Nerdvana Annihilation
15. The Pork Chop Indeterminacy
16. The Peanut Reaction
17. The Tangerine Factor
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