Friday, September 6, 2013

TV Show Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season Six

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Laughs, laughs, and more laughs
Cons: None for this fan
The Bottom Line:
Show still going strong
So be prepared to laugh lots
At these characters

"Where Exactly Did Your Mother Have You Tested?"

The geeks are taking over.  At least they are taking over prime time comedy as The Big Bang Theory continues to be the highest rated comedy even in its sixth season.  And there is a big reason for that.  Each episode continues to be filled with big laughs.

The show centers around the lives of four socially awkward scientists.  Sheldon (Jim Parsons) must have everything done his way.  Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is Sheldon’s long suffering roommate.  There’s Howard (Simon Helberg), the non-PhD of the guys in the group, whose work in physics gets him involved with NASA.  Rounding out the guys is Raj (Kunal Nayyar), a brilliant scientist who can’t talk to women while sober.

The females in the cast are almost as bad.  That’s especially true of Amy Ferrah-Fowler (Mayim Bialik), Sheldon’s neurologist girlfriend.  At the end of the last season Howard married Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), another scientist.  The only non-scientist in the cast is Penny (Kaley Cuoco), an aspiring actress (ie waitress at the Cheesecake Factory) who is dating Leonard.

As the season opens, Howard is still in space on his mission with NASA.  They actually have him up there for several episodes involved in a sub-plot via Skype.  During this time, Stuart (Kevin Sussman) from the comic book store starts to hang out with the gang a bit more.

Once Howard returns to Earth, his ego needs to come back down to size, and he and Sheldon get in a fight over a parking space at Cal Tech, where the guys all work, even though Sheldon doesn’t drive.  Penny continues to doubt her relationship with Leonard.  And Amy continues to push Sheldon for more from their relationship.  Speaking of relationships, even Raj finds a girlfriend near the end of the season.

Over the course of the season, Amy tries to help Sheldon overcome his need for closure.  Bernadette and Howard face a milestone in their marriage – Howard moving out of his mother’s house.  Sheldon and Leonard track down their childhood hero – TV host Mr. Science as played by Bob Newhart.  Penny signs up for a history class at the local community college.  And it's roommate roulette when a fight finds Leonard moving out of his apartment and moving in with Penny.

Any show that can still make me laugh as hard as this one can six seasons in must be doing something well.  While they will still reuse some running jokes, they always find ways to do it that are fresh and funny.  And despite five seasons behind them, they are continuing to find fresh new situations to put the characters in that are brilliant for their comedic potential.

One reason that works is because the characters are constantly growing.  These are not the exact same characters we encountered in the pilot.  And I will say again that the addition of Bernadette and Amy to the cast has really straightened things.  Yes, even Sheldon who hates change is changing; it’s just slower than everyone else.  The fact that the characters (and obviously the writers) remember the past makes it fun to revisit these friends every week.

I will say that I miss the moments of Penny interacting with the guys since she is often either with the other women or Leonard.  They do manage to give her a few good moments with Sheldon in this season.  Their relationship, while strictly friends, has always been sweet, and I hope they play it up a bit more.

The acting here is wonderful as always.  Praise always goes to Jim Parsons, and it is well deserved, but the rest of the cast is amazing at bring their characters to life each week.  There are several episodes this season where Simon Helberg gets to do impressions, and he is phenomenal.  Melissa Rauch is no slouch in that department either.  And the rest of the cast makes us believe their characters and the comedy no matter what wackiness is happening on screen.

Once again, the season consisted of 24 half hour episodes, and they are all in this set.  You can either buy it as a DVD set or a Blu-Ray combo pack that includes DVD, Blu-Ray, and Ultraviolet.  Extras include a featurette with the real life astronauts who guest stars during Howard's trip to the space station, clips from the panel at Paley Fest, interviews with the actors on their character's best moments of the season, and the usual deleted scenes and gag reel.

If you aren’t watching this show, you are missing out on the best comedy currently on TV, hands down.  Correct that oversight today.  You’ll enjoy season six of The Big Bang Theory and find yourself search out the older episodes so you can laugh through them as well.

Season 6 Episodes:
1. The Date Night Variable
2. The Decoupling Fluctuation
3. The Higgs Boson Observation
4. The Re-Entry Minimization
5. The Holographic Excitation
6. The Extract Obliteration
7. The Habitation Configuration
8. The 43 Peculiarity
9. The Parking Spot Escalation
10. The Fish Guts Displacement
11. The Santa Simulation
12. The Egg Salad Equivalency
13. The Bakersfield Expedition
14. The Cooper/Kripke Inversion
15. The Spoiler Alert Segmentation
16. The Tangible Affection Proof
17. The Monster Isolation
18. The Contractual Obligation Implementation
19. The Closet Reconfiguration
20. The Tenure Turbulence
21. The Closure Alternative
22. The Proton Resurgence
23. The Love Spell Potential
24. The Bon Voyage Reaction

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