Monday, July 8, 2013

TV on DVD Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season 5

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Lots of laughs in every episode
Cons: A couple weak ones, but that's true of most shows
The Bottom Line
Geek laughs continue
In show that never loses
Its way to funny

"We Both Know That's Your Koala Face."

The traditional multi-camera sitcom is struggling to make a come back, and the show that is definitely helping the resurgence is The Big Bang Theory.  It's just finished season 5, and is going as strong as ever.

The show follows the misadventures of four brilliant but socially awkward scientists, and their hot, normal neighbor.  The last two seasons have introduced some equally brilliant women as love interests for at least two of the guys.  While some don't like those characters, I happen to think they've really added to the show.

Season 5 picks up exactly where season 4 left off.  Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has just spent a drunken night with Raj (Kunal Nayyar).  While it wasn't quite what it appeared, they quickly go back to normal, which isn't hard when Raj will only talk to women when he's drunk.

Meanwhile, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) tries to maintain a long distance relationship before putting his relationship with Penny back in a beta test.  Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is forced to take his relationship with Amy (Mayim Bialik) to the next level - and he insists they both sign a relationship agreement.  Leonard finds a loophole in his relationship with Sheldon when he voids the friendship clause.  And Howard (Simon Helberg) gets ready for a trip into space and his marriage to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch).

That's just a few of the bigger storylines of the season.  Each episode is filled with laughs.  Some people complain the show isn't as funny as it used to be, but I find it hysterical just about every week.  Yes, they have one or two weeks that fall flat, but they are by far the exception rather than the rule.  And even then, there are some great lines and classic moments.

Howard and Bernadette have the biggest story arcs of the season, and I must say I love watching the two of them interact.  Usually, they are so sweet together, although when they fight it can be pretty funny as well.  Howard used to annoy me like crazy, but now I actually find I like him.

Of course, the real star of the show is still Sheldon.  While there are some great episodes that don't feature him as prominently, he still gets most of the best lines and the best laughs.

The problem most people who complain about this show have with it is Amy and Bernadette.  They are characters that were added in season 3 and 4, and some people feel they've ruined the dynamic of the show.  Personally, I think they've helped the show develop.  As fun as seasons one and two are, the show would be pretty boring if they were still doing those storylines three years later.  These characters have allowed the guys to change and the writers to find new storylines.  While I do find Amy's comments about Penny uncomfortable at times, I still find her mostly funny.

As far as cameos go, we've got Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner, and Dr. Stephen Hawkins appear as themselves, and Leonard Nimoy voices a Spock doll.

The show pasted the 100 episode mark this season, and that means the cast is very familiar with their characters.  It shows, too, in the acting.  Everyone is believable and comfortable with their parts, and it's easy to just sit back and laugh as the show plays.

There were 24 half hour episodes in season 5, and they are all included in this set in their native wide screen and full surround.  Extras include a gag reel, behind the scenes look at the departments that go into creating an episode of the show, and a look at the 100th episode.  The set is available in just DVD or in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo set.

The Big Bang Theory is just as funny now as it was originally, and that's saying something for a show in it's fifth season.  If you are looking to laugh, this is a set to get.

Season 5 Episodes:
1. The Skank Reflex Analysis
2. The Infestation Hypothesis
3. The Pulled Groin Extrapolation
4. The Wiggly Finger Catalyst
5. The Russian Rocket Reaction
6. The Rhinitis Revelation
7. The Good Guy Fluctuation
8. The Isolation Permutation
9. The Ornithophobia Diffusion
10. The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition
11. The Speckerman Recurrence
12. The Shiny Trinket Maneuver
13. The Recombination Hypothesis
14. The Beta Test Initiation
15. The Friendship Contraction
16, The Vacation Solution
17. The Rothman Disintegration
18. The Werewolf Transformation
19. The Weekend Vortex
20. The Transporter Malfunction
21. The Hawking Excitation
22. The Stag Convergence
23. The Launch Acceleration
24. The Countdown Reflection

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