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THE BIG BANG THEORY was one of the most surprising comic delights of the 2007-2008-television season and has gone on to become one of the most successful sitcoms currently airing on network television. Clever, cute and surprisingly endearing, THE BIG BANG THEORY applies a science-based title to a sitcom involving a pair of geeky genius roommates, who have difficulty interacting with those of normal intelligence. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) are Caltech theoretical physicists by day, and über-nerds by night- who spend most of their time in the virtual world of shoot ‘em up games or with fellow Caltech über-nerds Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).

Things change, when a pretty young woman of fairly average intelligence named Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves into the apartment next door to Leonard and Sheldon. Despite her attractiveness, Penny is down to earth and quite friendly to the geeky smart guys living next door… even if she doesn’t always understand what they are talking about. As expected, Leonard becomes infatuated with Penny, and decides he wants to make a real connection to the world outside of geekdom. While Leonard’s clumsy pursuit Penny, not to mention the social ineptitude of he and his small circle of friends, generates much of the show’s humor, THE BIG BANG THEORY is also very smart, delivering jokes that sometime border on brilliance. The cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY is also perfect. Galecki is a great underdog; one who you hope gets the girl. Parsons floats innocently through his character’s deluded bubble of self-importance. Cuoco is the right combination of pretty, sweet and approachable. Helberg nails the goofy "mama’s boy" wannabe ladies’ man nerd. Nayyar is a scene-stealer, especially during his moments of female proximity panic induced silence.

THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a two-disc set that features the following seventeen episodes that were aired during its freshman year: Pilot, The Big Bran Hypothesis, The Fuzzy Boots Corollary, The Luminous Fish Effect, The Hamburger Postulate, The Middle Earth Paradigm, The Dumpling Paradox, The Grasshopper Experiment, The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization, The Loobenfeld Decay, The Pancake Batter Anomaly, The Jerusalem Duality, The Bat Jar Conjecture, The Nerdvana Annihilation, The Pork Chop Indeterminacy, The Peanut Reaction and The Tangerine Factor.

Warner Home Video has made all seventeen episodes from THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentations for THE BIG BANG THEORY episodes on Blu-ray blow away their overly compressed, artifact riddled HD broadcast counterparts, and are a quantum leap beyond the SD DVD versions. However, I should note that the Pilot episode appears to have been shot in a different lighting style, so it has a slightly harsher appearance than the subsequent season one episodes. Everything past the Pilot episode looks like a typical high definition sitcom; hence THE BIG BANG THEORY is brightly lit, allowing for a warm, colorful and highly attractive picture. Image sharpness, clarity depth and detail are very strong across the episodes. As I have mentioned in reviews of other seasons, the series production design for is replete with brightly colored hues that pop off the screen in a near continuous fashion, yet color reproduction remain perfectly stable. Flesh tones are always quite attractive. Blacks are deep, while the whites appear clean. Contrast and shadow detail are very nice throughout, but are never challenging, due largely to the series sitcom lighting scheme. The source materials don’t demonstrate any noticeable flaws. Grain/noise levels are quite modest, but a bit more noticeable in the Pilot.

All of the episodes that constitute THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Even with the lossless encoding, THE BIG BANG THEORY offers conventional sitcom sound with much of what one hears remaining locked front and center. As THE BIG BANG THEORY is dialogue driven, there isn’t much information that extends beyond the center channel anyway, other than the sound of the audience reactions and the series musical component. Occasional sound effects do spread beyond the center channel, but they are fairly incidental. Thanks to the lossless encode, the series theme song by Barenaked Ladies sounds great, while the cleanly reproduced dialogue is warm and natural sounding. Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 channel stereo soundtracks are also provided for the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the extras. Quantum Mechanics Of The Big Bang Theory is a seventeen-minute interview based program with the cast and creative team. A Gag Reel closes out the extras. The long overdue Blu-ray Disc release of THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON also includes three DVDs containing the entire first season. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the episodes, which are just a stream away.

THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is finally available on Blu-ray! The episodes look and sound great! Highly recommended.


The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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