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THE BIG BANG THEORY – The Complete First Season: Blu-ray/DVD Review:

Warner Home Video
Release date: July 10th, 2012
MSRP: $39.99
Stars: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar

Leonard and Sheldon are a couple of nerdy roommates. Video games, fantasy novels, math and science dominate their world. Each works at the local University and holds more degrees that most households.

Leonard is a friendly fellow that, while a geek, has some social skills and wants to fit in with the rest of the world. He is shy and likeable enough for the average viewer to identify with and root for.

Sheldon, on the other hand, is content in his realm of math and science. While Leonard is a genius, Sheldon is far beyond him and actually looks down upon him a tad. Not in a mean way, but more in an impatient manner, as if he gets frustrated at the gap between the two of them. He has little understanding of those not in his realm (He is shocked to learn that it took Penny four years to complete high school) and his social skills are basic at best. Sheldon also has a fairly sharp tongue that provides some of the finest lines of the show.

Across the hall lives Penny. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is a very friendly, very beautiful young lady. She is from Nebraska, and has moved to California. She has dreams of being an actress, but is currently waiting tables. Her arrival throws the boys for a loop. Leonard, in particular, is smitten with her. In some ways, the chemistry between the two of them reminds me of early Rachael and Ross of Friends, before they got together.

The premise of the show is that these folks from two very different worlds find themselves making adjustments as they experience a world that is entirely new to them. As time goes on, they don’t so much understand the other’s world as they learn to tolerate it and not be completely freaked by it.

Also appearing in virtually every episode are Howard and Rajnesh. They work at the same university as Sheldon and Leonard and are their closest friends. They are also major nerds. Howard is an engineer that lives with his mother. His clothes and hair are straight out of the 70s and he hits on pretty much anything with breasts and a pulse. Rajnesh is a scientist from India. He is smart and quite friendly, except that he is unable to speak in front of women (Except when drunk). While Sheldon, Leonard and Penny are the main characters, Howard and Rajnesh quickly become mainstays and the show become more of an ensemble cast.

The humor is actually funny and the characters are likeable enough that you can’t wait to visit them again.

Video: Visually, TBBT looks as good as a sitcom is going to look. I think it benefits from the 1080p presentation a little more than many sitcoms would because of the colorful outfits of the cast. The geek t-shirts of Leonard and co look fabulous, the colors are vibrant. Definitely a step up from the original broadcast or DVD release.

Audio: Sound is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) track and sounds fine. Honestly, the show offers little beyond the basic background music and dialogue. The mix is good and the overall sound is clear and strong.

Subtitles are available for English SDH.

Extras:
This package contains one featurette: Quantum Mechanics of the Big Bang Theory. A little over seventeen minutes, this piece gives us the thoughts of the cast and creators. This is your run of the mill piece, but does serve as a decent introduction to the show. Also included is a gag reel.

Honestly, BIG BANG THEORY is the smartest, funnest sit com on television today. The show mixes snark and goofiness with  just enough heart to make you actually give a damn about Leonard, Sheldon and co. If you have not purchased season one on DVD, do yourself a favor and pick this up. You won’t regret it.

Jeremy