Monday, August 25, 2014

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.

2 comments:

  1. I love this show and I heard some people say this season wasn't as good. But I totally disagree. I love it more every year! Can't wait for the new season to start.

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    Replies
    1. A lot of people have complained that the show has gone downhill since they added Bernadette and Amy. It definitely has a different dynamic, but it is still plenty of fun as far as I am concerned.

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