Monday, September 1, 2014

Ornament Review: Bewitching Daisy - A Year of Disney Magic #3 - 2014 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Daisy in a cute, not scary, costume for Halloween
Cons: Some might complain about non-traditional colors, but I like it.
The Bottom Line:
Daisy casts a spell
The result?  Purple cuteness
October magic

Daisy Will Cast an Enchanting Spell on You

With last year’s year long Peanuts series, there were a few months that were obvious choices.  One of them was Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin.  There really aren’t any such characters with Disney, so part of the fun of the current A Year of Disney Magic is seeing who they match up with each month.  For October, we are treated to Bewitching Daisy, and it really is bewitching.

Daisy is getting ready for Halloween.  Under her right arm, she’s holding a pumpkin.  It’s already got a traditional face carved on it, you know, triangles for eyes and nose and a toothy grin.  As you could guess from the title, she’s dressed in a costume, too.  She’s wearing a purple shirt, but the thing that really makes her look like a witch is the black pointy hat.  Even then, she still have her lavender bow on the outside of the hat (and it matches her shoes).  Completing her costume is the broom she’s holding in her left hand.

This isn’t a scary witch, and that is part of the charm.  Instead, Daisy looks quite cute in her costume.  It definitely still feels like Halloween, however, and it makes a great October decoration.  The lavenders and purples aren’t your normal Halloween color, but it works.  The result is actually very pretty.

Speaking of purple, Daisy is standing on a purple oval base.  This allows you to set it out anywhere you want without worrying that she will fall or tip over.  The bottom is also where you’ll find the series marking, a 3 in a Christmas tree.  (I still say Hallmark should have come up with something else for the monthly series markers.)

The ring for hanging the ornament is located on the brim of Daisy’s hat.  The ornament is perfectly balanced because when you do hang the ornament, you’ll find it’s still perfectly straight.  This also applies to hanging the ornament from the optional Mickey Head display stand.  (And it’s so nice to see that this was taken into account this year.)  The point on Daisy’s head does make it a bit tricky to put her on the stand, but you can do it.

I don’t decorate for Halloween, so I would have passed up Bewitching Daisy is she wasn’t part of A Year of Disney Magic.  I’m glad she was because this is a cute ornament, and I will enjoy pulling her out each October.

Original Price: $12.95

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action, effects, characters, story
Cons: Story does bog down in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Spider-Man is back
As the new franchise heats up
Really drew me in

"You're Spider-man!"  "The Costume Give Me Away?"

I was of the opinion that we didn’t need a Spider-Man reboot because, even though the films went downhill, I had enjoyed the first two so much.  Still, I do like the character, so I always planned to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  That chance didn’t wind up happening until it hit Blu-Ray, but I enjoyed it.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is reveling in his life saving New York from one disaster after another.  In fact, as the film opens, he is stopping robbers who were stealing radioactive material on his high school graduation day.  Unfortunately, he is still haunted by the memory of his girlfriend Gwen Stacey’s dad warning him away from his daughter.  In fact, his desire to keep Gwen (Emma Stone) safe causes such a problem that he and Gwen break up.

Meanwhile, over as OsCorp, an employee named Max (Jamie Foxx) is a loner who becomes obsessed with Spider-Man after a run in with Peter in costume.  And Peter’s friend Harry (Dane DeHaan) is about to inherit the company when his father dies.  A freak accident and a quest for a cure will give Spider-Man two villains and help him learn more about his parent’s disappearance.  But can he defeat an electrically charged villain?

I was pretty much on board from the first scene, which featured great action and some very fun quips.  Unfortunately, the story did get bogged down in the middle, not too surprising since the film runs almost two and a half hours.  (And they cut out quite a number of scenes, too.)

Still, I did appreciate the character development made over the course of the film.  This film isn’t just about action but it shows the heart of Peter and how his life as a superhero affects his regular life.  There are some great scenes with Aunt May (Sally Field) that highlight this as well as the scenes with Gwen.  While the climax didn’t affect me quite as much as I thought it might while watching it, I felt it for a couple of hours afterward, so it was obviously very well done.

The acting was uniformly great.  Jamie Foxx was a definite standout in that department as he went through the greatest change, but everyone had their great moments.

The effects were wonderful as well.  I bought Spider-Man’s swinging through the city and all the various fights, but the highlight again as Electro.  The computer effects on him were amazing.

Considering how they left things, I’m definitely on board for the next movie in this rebooted franchise.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will please all the fans of this comic book hero.

This review is my final entry in the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 30th's Weekly TV Thoughts

No, I didn't forget to post this.  I just finally watched The Quest today.  Things are slowing down as we hit that break between Summer season and the regular TV season, but I'll be busy again very soon.

Wipeout - So this week was a two hour edition.  The bosses and employees seemed more like friends this time around, and I liked that.  Those who were talked into it must have gotten eliminated early.

Royal Pains - I have said it before and I will say it again.  Seriously, USA Network promo people, DON'T SHOW A SCENE FROM THE END OF AN EPISODE!!!!!!  Some of us might want to be surprised by those twists.  So I am curious why Hank said no to Boris.  And I knew Emma was leaving, but I want to know how that will all tie up.  Season finale next week already?  Lots of lose threads to draw together; can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Covert Affairs - I said last week I thought it was Caitlin, and I was right.  Of course, who else could it have been that we knew from McQuaid's company.  Sometimes it doesn't take a genius to figure this stuff out.  So, who is the target and why is this diplomat after someone?  Last time, fall season of this show started up in October, so I would guess we don't have too long to wait (unlike Suits).

Mystery Girls - That ending was pretty funny.  I mean, I knew Charlie would find a way to show her husband what she did was good, but everyone walking into that trap was great.  Again, another solid episode.  When they want to, they can make the show fun.

Graceland - Is it just me, or is this show becoming a mess.  I mean, really?  That's how they are going to play the tape recording of the murder from last season?  Of all the things to do?  And potentially killing Mike?  I'm sticking it out for the remainder of this season because there are only a couple of episodes left, but then I'm done.

The Quest - Christian is gone!!!  And there is very much rejoicing around here.  At this point, I'm not sure I care who stays and who goes.  I like Bonnie, but she's weak.  The guys seem like good contenders, although if the ladies gang up against them, they are doomed.  And I'm not sure if it was Christian leaving or just the two episodes back to back, but I got into the second hour more than I had before.  Since we have two weeks of back to back episodes left, I think that's a good thing.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Death Valley by Sandy Dengler (Jack Prester #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, fun story, good use of setting.
Cons: I can't think of any.
The Bottom Line:
Travel to desert
As Jack solves first mystery
Still great years later

Dead Body in Death Valley - How Appropriate

While most people make the transition from the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie, I made mine to Sandy Dengler.  I had already enjoy many of her books for all ages when she came out with several mysteries aimed at adults.  I started with Death Valley, the first in her Jack Prester series, and I was hooked.  Rereading it now, it’s easy to see why.

Jack is part of an experimental program in the National Parks.  He’s a floater that heads to whatever park needs him to coordinate between various law enforcement agencies to peacefully and efficiently deal with a crisis.  When this book opens, the program is just getting off the ground, and this is Jack’s chance to prove the program is worthwhile.

Jack is called to Death Valley when the body of George Gibbs is found in a salt creek.  George had been in the park investigating irregularities in the park funds.  As a result, Jack is assigned Evelyn Brant as a partner to come in and help with that side of the investigation.  Ev is a great accountant, but she is a city girl through and through and the desert is a very alien world to her.

When the two head out to the crime scene, Jack’s dog Maxx digs up another body in the sand.  This second body is a biker, one of close to a thousand former Hell’s Angels who have invaded the park to relive their glory days.  How is his death related to George’s murder?  What had George’s investigation of the funds turned up?  Will Ev ever get used to the desert?  And will the growing tension between the bikers and the park rangers lead to violence?

I was actually surprised just how much of this story I remember as I sat down to reread it.  I must have read it more than once to remember it so distinctly 20 years later.  As a result, it’s hard to judge the plot.  Since I remembered what happened, I felt like the clues were obvious.  However, as a college freshman (I wasn’t reading as many mysteries in high school or reading for pleasure much at all), I didn’t pick up on them and was completely fooled until the end when Jack lays out all the clues I had missed.

The characters were vivid in my mind, and they stayed that way as I reread the book.  There is a surprisingly large cast, and they are all distinct, which helps keep them all straight in my mind.  Ev gets the most character development, and while she starts out cold and aloof, you can’t help but love her by the end.

I have always loved Sandy Dengler’s books because of her wonderful writing, and this book reminded me why.  Sandy’s husband was a national parks ranger and they were stationed at Death Valley at one point.  That factors in to her descriptions of the park, and you feel like you are there.  Additionally, her unique writing style makes great use of the language to emphasize things and truly keep you engaged.  Plus there’s a Frisbee scene at the end that is absolutely amazing.  And I’m not just saying that because I love ultimate Frisbee.  I thought the scene was wonderful when I read it before I’d even heard of the sport I now play several times a week.   There's even a bit of humor in the book.  A couple of the characters are enjoyable, but the narration really manages to slip a few grins into the story.

This book was written for a Christian audience.  Jack and some of the other characters are Christian, and there isn't any bad language (although one of the bikers swears quite a bit; we just aren't told what words he uses).  There are several discussions of God and Christianity.  To me, it grows out of the characters and who they are.  While it does serve as character development, I never feel it slows the book down.

I reread the copy I've had for 20 years, however, the book is newly out for Kindle.  Since the book was written so long ago, there are definite references to things that are dated, like how expensive Ev's computer is or the type of cell phone someone hands Jack at one point.  Frankly, I got a kick out of that, but just keep that in mind as you read the book.

I'm glad to see this series available again, and I'm looking forward to the excuse to revisit the fun series.  If you have yet to meet Jack Prester, Death Valley is the place to do it.

If you are like me and prefer the paper version, here's a link to the used copies.

And once you get started, you'll want to read the rest of the Jack Prester Mysteries in order.

August 29th's Book Beginning and Friday 56

It's a Friday before a long weekend.  And I've almost survived my first week at a new job (only one day to go until I've officially survived)!  Let's celebrate with this week's Book Beginning and Friday 56.

This week, I've actually been rereading a book from 20 years ago, and I really enjoyed visiting it again.  The review is right here.

Yes, it's a murder mystery and yes, it's set in Death Valley, how appropriate is that?

And here's how it all begins:

A hundred feet off the deck and eighty feet below sea level!  He glanced again at his altimeter to make sure.  Flatline.  He did it!  Now to get out of here before someone read his numbers.

And skipping ahead to page 56, we finds:

Walking through this jam-packed campground behind Hippo made Jack feel like a tugboat follwing an ice breaker.  He simply strolled along in the wide open swath Hippo's bulk cut.

Let the speculation on what it means begin, and enjoy your long weekend if you live here in the states.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

TV on DVD Review: Arrow - Season 2

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action, strong story, characters
Cons: Flashbacks don’t really add much
The Bottom Line:
This action filled show
Grew the characters this year
For a strong season

"We Have to Work on Your Excuses."  "I Know."

After quickly getting addicted to the CW’s new superhero show Arrow, I couldn’t wait for season two to start.  Fortunately, it continued to build on the wonderful first season with more action and drama.

The show is based on the DC Comics character of Green Arrow.  Honestly, I know little about him outside of this series, but that’s okay.  What is here works so well I don’t need to know much more.

In the aftermath of the season one finale, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returned to the island where he’d been stranded for five years.  However, it isn’t long before Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Rett Rickards) head back there to track him down and get him to return to Starling City.  With his mother, Moyra (Susanna Thompson), in jail, it falls to him to run Queen Consolidated, and his return has come just in time since Isabel Rochev (guest star Summer Glau) has been brought in by the board and doesn’t seem to have the same vision for the future of the business as Oliver does.  Meanwhile his sister Thea (Willa Holland) is running the nightclub he started.

Unfortunately, Oliver’s return is just in time since someone has arrived in town with designs to destroy the city.  However, this time it is much more personal than Oliver knows.  Will he figure out the plot in time to stop it?  Who is behind everything?

Actually, the second season is even more complicated than this since I haven’t really talked about Roy (Colton Haynes), Thea’s boyfriend and Oliver’s secret apprentice in the justice business.  Then there’s the Lance family.  Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) has been demoted to patrol while Laurel (Katie Cassidy) has joined the DA’s office and is targeting the Vigilante (aka Oliver).  But the big surprise is the new superhero in town with some ties to Oliver’s time on the island.

Once again, those flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island proved to be the weakness to the show.  They definitely tie in more to what happened this year, but I just don’t see the point of them most of the time and felt they slowed down the present day story.

However, the present day story more than makes up for any weakness.  You might have figured out that there are a ton of characters in this show, but that’s because there are tons of things happening.  There are some case of the week type episodes, but they are fewer this season, instead tying in much of what happens to the overall season arc or at least the character development.  The show is very suspenseful at times, too, with the characters facing overwhelming odds.  I had a hard time figuring out how they were going to succeed.

There is plenty of character growth here this season.  Just about everyone gets grow to a certain extent, and watching them deal with everything they are facing is incredible.

Which means all the actors have stepped up their game this season.  We might have one or two scenes that aren’t the best, but there wasn’t anything that threw me out of the show.  I especially love Felicity, who gets the funniest lines and some serious growth this season.

Because the show is more grounded in reality, it relies more on stunts than special effects, although both are handled perfectly when they appear.

As a fun note, they set up the CW’s new series The Flash with a couple episode guest spot early in the season.  I can’t wait for that show to appear this fall.

The second season is being released in the DVD only set and a Blu-Ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo set priced at only $10 more than the regular set.  Both sets feature all 23 episodes from season 2 in their native wide screen and full surround.  The sets also have the same extras, which include an episode commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and three featurettes, one that chronicles Oliver's journey in the eyes of Starling City so far, one that looks at the action and special effects of the show, and one that focuses even more on the stunt work of the show.

Arrow is exactly what it sets out to be – a strong and fun superhero show.  You won’t be disappointed with season two at all.

Season 2 Episodes:
1. City of Heroes
2. Identity
3. Broken Dolls
4. Crucible
5. League of Assassins
6. Keep Your Enemies Closer
7. State Vs. Queen
8. The Scientist
9. Three Ghosts
10. Blast Radius
11. Blind Spot
12. Tremors
13. Heir to the Demon
14. Time of Death
15. The Promise
16. Suicide Squad
17. Birds of Prey
18. Deathstroke
19. The Man Under the Hood
20. Seeing Red
21. City of Blood
22. Streets of Fire
23. Unthinkable

This review is part of the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ornament Review: Hangin' with Count Snoopy - 2014 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Snoopy as Dracula, Woodstock and friends, sound
Cons: Only if it leads me to other Halloween ornaments
The Bottom Line:
Snoopy and Woodstock
Along with a couple friends
Are in spooky mood

Snoopy’s Definitely Ready for Halloween

I resisted.  I really did.  After all, until 2014, the only Halloween ornament I’d bought from Hallmark was part of last year’s Happiness is Peanuts All Year Long series.  But come on, how could I resist Hangin' With Count Snoopy?  I just hope this isn’t opening the flood gates to more Halloween ornaments.  (Really, I don’t decorate for Halloween.  I did resist the Halloween series that started last year, after all.)

As you might guess from the title, this is another Peanuts ornament.  Snoopy is sitting on top of his doghouse, only he’s wearing a vampire cape and a black pointed hat.  His arms are holding the cape and out to the side, so the cape is spread out to look like wings.  At the bottom of the doghouse are two pumpkins in the grass.  And across his doghouse is a black banner with orange letters reading "Happy Halloween!"

Obviously, Snoopy is dressed up as Dracula.  So why is it called Hangin’?  That’s where the fun really come in to play.  Hanging from the side of the doghouse, upside down, are Woodstock and two of his little bird friends.  They are wearing fake vampire wings as well.  And they are attached as dangles, so they move a little when you actually brush them or tip the ornament.

On looks long, this ornament is so cute.  The birds on the side of the doghouse are just that perfect touch that makes you smile.

However, this is a magic ornament, so there is sound as well.  When you pressed the button, you hear “Spooky Halloween Music.”  That's what the box claims, anyway, but you might better recognize the music as Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in d minor".  You know, “Dindinin, dundundundun dun.”  (Okay, fine, I had to ask someone else myself since I recognized it but I couldn't remember the name.)  Again, it’s a great touch with the dramatic organ music and two different selections from the piece, but the perfect finish is actually still to come.  You get to hear Snoopy do an evil chuckle at the end, and he sounds like he is trying to fit the Dracula part.  Snoopy's laugh comes at the end of both sound clips.  Again, it’s just absolutely perfect.

Since I don’t decorate for Halloween – really, I’m serious – I’m happy to report that this ornament has a nice, flat base.  That means I can up it out somewhere to enjoy every year in October.  I’ll probably put it next to Linus from last year’s series.

However, if you do want to hang the ornament, you’ll find the little ring off the side of Snoopy’s hat.  He hangs straight, so no matter what you find to hang him from, he’ll look great.

Truly, this can’t be the start of anything new.  (Although the Halloween Cupcake is calling my name as well.)  I just couldn’t resist Hangin' With Count Snoopy.  Any fan of the character will fall in love with it.

Original Price: $24.95

This review is part of the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful characters, tons of fun
Cons: Plot does slow down a little in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Language of flowers
Delightful new characters
Mixed up in murder

Debut That Blooms

I almost passed up Bloom and Doom this spring.  After all, it's a cozy mystery series set in a flower shop, and I'm a guy.  Flowers just aren't my thing.  (Not to mention my allergies to pollen.)  However, I heard such good things about it that I had to give the book a try.  I'm glad I did because this was a completely delightful debut.

Audrey Bloom and her cousin Liz have settled in the town of Ramble, Virginia, and set up a florist shop.  Audrey has learned the language of flowers and uses them to help craft beautiful and meaningful bridal bouquets.  Her latest client is Jenny, a former friend who is now marrying Derek, the most eligible bachelor in the county.

However, two weeks before the wedding, Jenny has decided to call the entire thing off because she’s realized she doesn’t love her fiancĂ©e.  The morning after she does, Derek is found murdered in his car outside Jenny’s apartment.  With the evidence pointing to Jenny, Audrey feels the need to step in and save her former friend.  Derek wasn’t well liked, so the list of suspects is actually long.  Can Audrey find the truth about what happened to Derek?

The thing that really drew me to this book was the characters.  There is already a full cast, and they are all delightful.  I didn't have any trouble keeping them all straight as the book progressed because they were fully formed already.  I'm sorry the book is over because I really wasn't ready to say goodbye to them, which means I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Unfortunately, the plot did slow down a little in the middle, but the characters kept me turning pages.  Once the story picked up again, it didn't slow back down until we reached the logical conclusion.  I had a couple of sub-plots guessed correctly, but I didn't figure out who the killer was until right before Audrey did, and even did I didn't have all the clues correct.

This is all mixed together with a dose of humor.  There are two scenes that are fun and some great lines scattered throughout.  There is plenty on the language of flowers as well, but it is all presented in an interesting way that never detracts from the story.

I'm glad I listened to those great reviews for Bloom and Doom because I really enjoyed this book.  You can bet I'll be lining up for the sequel with no hesitation at all.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Nightstand - August 2014

Another month is winding down already.  Can you believe it?  Heck, summer is winding down, school has started up again (and my niece is in kindergarten!).  All that can only mean one thing - time for What's on Your Nightstand, as hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

For me, I've been upping my game silently all year aiming for a higher and higher total of books read.  Now, I'm making it official - I'm going for 100 books.  Of course, I'm counting picture books, audio books, and traditional books read.  I'm at 73 right now, so I'm in fairly good shape, but I'm going to have to keep those pages flying if I'm going to make it.

I just finished Bloom and Doom, the first in a Bridal Boutique Mystery series.  While obviously not normally something I'd go for, the positive reviews made me decide I had to give it a try.  I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it.  My review is posted right here if you are interested..

That frees me up to start a reread of Death Valley, the first in the Jack Prester Mysteries by Sandy Dengler.  It's been over 20 years since I read this book, but I loved the series when I first read it.  I'm hoping to get up to book #3 by the end of the year since that one is set at Christmas.

Beyond that?  I've got a middle grade reread where I will actually hold the review until October and time it for Halloween.  Then I may read Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette.  From there, I'm not really sure, but the stack of books I want to read is long, so finding the next book won't be an issue at all.

TV on DVD Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season 7

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Seven great characters that will make you laugh
Cons: I can’t stop laughing long enough to think of one
The Bottom Line:
Show still going strong
As these seven characters
Make us laugh each week

"How Did She Get You to Do Yoga?"  "Well, To Be Honest, I Thought She Said Yoda."

At some point, every show that is on TV for a long time declines in quality.  (Heck, some short lived shows fall off in quality, too, which is why they are short lived.)  Frankly, I’m still waiting for that to happen to The Big Bang Theory.  It just finished its seventh season, and the show is still as strong as ever.

This season picks up exactly where the last one left off.  Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a research trip.  Back at home, the gang must learn to deal with his absence, especially his roommate Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and his girlfriend Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting).  However, when he comes back, his desire to spend some time with Penny over Sheldon shows the beginnings of the first changes in the group, a theme that actually echoed through the season.

What do I mean?  Well, following up on the sixth season finale, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is now able to talk to girls even when he’s sober.  What didn’t change there is that he still isn’t a lady’s man, although it does open up a few new relationship possibilities for him.  Speaking of relationships, Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialk) wind up taking what for them is a huge step forward in their relationship on a romantic train ride up to the Napa Valley.  Penny makes a huge change to forward her career as an actress and finds herself in a less than desirable roll opposite a surprising co-star.  I would argue that the only main characters not to have major changes this season are Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), but since they adjusted to married life last season, maybe that’s for the best.  They still get some great stories, like Howard’s drastic change after trying to help out his mother and how they deal with having Raj has a house guest for a week.  They also have to deal with Howard's mother (voiced by Carol Ann Susi) when she breaks her leg.

Now I know some argue that the addition of Amy and Bernadette have actually harmed the show.  I will certainly agree it has changed the show (there’s that word again).  Penny spends more time with them than she does the guys, and Penny's dynamic with the guys was always fun.  However, the show is just as funny as it always has been.  How do I know?  I regularly watch reruns any time I find it on TV, and I laugh at the old episodes just as much as I do these new ones.  Heck, how can you not have fun with a city wide scavenger hunt or an old fashioned murder mystery game (both compliments of Raj)?  Or Howard wearing an itchy sweater to prove a point to Sheldon.

And the geekiness continues.  Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and his comic book store regularly appear in the series.  When the guys don’t get into Comic Con, Sheldon decides to start his own, leading to a day with James Earl Jones.  Speaking of which, the show finally celebrates Star Wars day in what is a touching and funny episode featuring the third appearance of comedy legend Bob Newhart.

My big complaint with the show continues – it often goes of the sex joke.  It can be just as funny with clean jokes when it wants to be.

But make no mistake about it, this show is hilarious.  They definitely still use the awkwardness of the characters for humor, but it is a loving kind of humor that is never too mean.  It does not matter how many times I’ve seen an episode, I still laugh the entire way through it.  And yes, I will watch these reruns just as much as I will watch reruns from previous seasons.

As always, Jim Parsons gets the majority of the praise and awards for his work here, and it is well deserved.  Sheldon is the most awkward of the characters, and I’m sure he isn’t easy to play, but he gets so many of the best laughs.  However, the entire cast shines as they bring their characters to life each week.  It is a shame that the rest don’t get the praise they deserve.

As with the last couple of seasons, this season is being released in a DVD set and a combo Blu-Ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo pack for just $10 more.  That's the set I'd recommend.  In addition to the 24 half hour episodes, the set has several bonus features including one on James Earl Jones's guest spot, highlights from the 2013 ComicCon panel, Johnny Galecki crashing a writer's panel, and of course a gag reel.

For pure laughs, there is no better comedy than The Big Bang Theory.  If you are new to the show, you’ll be glad you discovered why it is so popular.  Season seven is just as funny and as much fun as what has come before, so sit back and get ready to laugh.

Season 7 Episodes:
1. The Hofstadter Insufficiency
2. The Deception Verification
3. The Scavenger Vortex
4. The Raiders Minimization
5. The Workplace Proximity
6. The Romance Resonance
7. The Proton Displacement
8. The Itchy Brain Simulation
9. The Thanksgiving Decoupling
10. The Discovery Dissipation
11. The cooper Extraction
12. The Hesitation Remification
13. The Occupation Recalibration
14. The Convention Conundrum
15. The Locomotive Manipulation
16. The Table Polarization
17. The Friendship Turbulence
18. The Mommy Observation
19. The Indecision Amalgamation
20. The Relationship Diremption
21. The Anything Can Happen Recurrence
22. The Proton Transmogrification
23. The Gorilla Dissolution
24. The Status Quo Combustion

This review is part of the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.