Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TV on DVD Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season 10

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Still providing strong laughs
Cons: One or two episodes aren’t as funny as they could be
The Bottom Lines:
Now ten seasons in
This show still provides the laughs
That keep me watching

“I Was Acting Odd Intentionally.”  “Really?  So You Can Control It?”

There are a lot of shows I have set to record on my DVR, but only one I have record reruns – The Big Bang Theory.  The show still makes me laugh each time I watch it, and considering they’ve just finished season 10, that’s saying something.

This season starts with the wedding that we deserved last year as, in front of family and friends, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) renew their vows.  This means that we finally get to meet Penny’s mother (guest star Katey Sagal) and brother (guest star Jack McBrayer).  Like many season premieres of this show, I did feel it was a bit on the weak side, mainly because they had so many guest stars they were trying to give storylines, too.  After all, they had to reveal what happened between Sheldon’s mom (guest star Laurie Metcalf) and Leonard’s dad (guest star Judd Hirsch) as well.  However, the wedding part itself was enough to almost make up for the disaster that the elopement was.

But once the season got going, we had plenty of strong episodes once again.  Living situations switch early in the season as Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) apartment has to have some work done, so she and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) move in together as an experiment, leaving Leonard and Penny free to actually live on their own.  Meanwhile, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) are getting ready for the birth of their daughter, leading Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) to fight over who is more helpful to the parents to be. Elsewhere, Raj makes the decision to be a self-sufficient man.  Howard, Sheldon, and Leonard spend much of the season working on a guidance system for the military.  Raj tries to figure out why his relationships fail by asking his former girlfriends for advice while Sheldon uses a machine to understand human emotion.  And Leonard pulls out a huge gift for Sheldon.

My hat really is off to the writers.  After 10 seasons, it can’t be easy to come up with new storylines for the characters, especially when you figure there are two or three stories each episode.  Think of all the stories they’ve told.  Yet we get new, creative, fun stuff here.  Likewise, they find new jokes that make us laugh.  Yes, there are still some running gags or variations on a theme, but those moments are laugh out loud funny as well.

Of course, praise goes to the actors as well.  Their chemistry and comedic timing continues to be impeccable.  There is not a bad performance in the bunch, and the laughs are well deserved.

Yes, the focus of the show is as much on the relationships of the characters as pure geek culture.  That’s a complaint that people have been making against the show for years now.  But that is what happens.  Even geeks eventually grow up, and the characters trying to balance their geek side with the bigger responsibilities they face as adults provides some of these creative storylines I was praising earlier.

One of my favorite storylines of the season illustrated this perfectly.  Watching Howard and Bernadette as new parents has been wonderful.  They haven’t reacted to things as I might have predicted based on earlier seasons of the show.  The writers have found ways to mature the characters while still making them funny and not losing who they area.  In other words, it’s still great comedy, but these are not stories that could be told in any earlier season of the show.  That’s why it is still working.

The season consisted of 24 half hour episodes, and they are all included in this set.  The episodes are in wide screen and full surround, although since it is filmed in front of a studio audience, the audio mainly comes from the front speakers.  There are five featurettes including highlights from the 2016 Comic Con Panel, which is appropriate for this show.  There’s also a gag reel, you know in case you haven’t laughed enough at the show already.

There is a reason that The Big Bang Theory is still leading the comedy pack.  Get season 10 today to start laughing at this still strong show.

Season 10 Episodes:
1. The Conjugal Conjecture
2. The Military Miniaturization
3. The Dependence Transcendence
4. The Cohabitation Experimentation
5. The Hot Tub Contamination
6. The Fetal Kick Catalyst
7. The Veracity Elasticity
8. The Brain Bowl Incubation
9. The Geology Elevation
10. The Property Division Collision
11. The Birthday Synchronicity
12. The Holiday Summation
13. The Romance Recalibration
14. The Emotion Detection Automation
15. The Locomotion Reverberation
16. The Allowance Evaporation
17. The Comic-Con Conundrum
18. The Escape Hatch Identification
19. The Collaboration Fluctuation
20. The Recollection Dissipation
21. The Separation Agitation
22. The Cognition Regeneration
23. The Gyroscopic Collapse
24. The Long Distance Dissonance

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