Case Number 22530: Small Claims Court


Warner Bros. // 2009 // 529 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // October 16th, 2011

The Charge

Leonard: "I've always been a little confused about this...why don't Hindus eat beef?"
Raj: "We believe cows are gods."
Sheldon: "Not technically. In Hinduism, cattle are thought to be like gods."
Raj: "Do not tell me about my own culture Sheldon! In the mood I'm in, I'll take you out, I swear to cow!"

The Case

The fourth-floor friends are back for a third season of nerdtastically laughable antics. From guest appearances by Wil Wheaton and Katee Sackhoff, to goth love, internet dating and North Pole expeditions, The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season is full of laughs and some interesting new changes as the series continues to evolve.

All 23 episodes are included in this release, spread over two Blu-ray discs as follows:

Disc One
* "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation"
* "The Jiminy Conjecture"
* "The Gothowitz Deviation"
* "The Pirate Solution"
* "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary"
* "The Cornhusker Vortex"
* "The Guitarist Amplification"
* "The Adhesive Duck Deficiency"
* "The Vengeance Formulation"
* "The Gorilla Experiment"
* "The Maternal Congruence"
* "The Psychic Vortex"

Disc Two
* "The Bozeman Reaction"
* "The Einstein Approximation"
* "The Large Hadron Collision"
* "The Excelsior Acquisition"
* "The Precious Fragmentation"
* "The Pants Alternative"
* "The Wheaton Recurrence"
* "The Spaghetti Catalyst"
* "The Plimpton Stimulation"
* "The Staircase Implementation"
* "The Lunar Excitation"

Ensemble sitcoms have been somewhat hit or miss over the years and it really all comes down to three somewhat obvious factors: writing, acting and chemistry. The Big Bang Theory has all three going for it in spades. One of the show's greatest strengths is the way the series' writers manage to pull pop culture references and nerd nods into what might otherwise be a relatively mundane concept for a sitcom. There is also a surprising amount of science throughout the series, helping it appeal to an even broader audience of well-read hermits. While canned laugh tracks and live audiences can be more of a distraction for home viewers, telling them when they should laugh, Big Bang Theory's live audience reactions only serve to support the smart writing and enhance the viewing experience.

Without strong ensemble connection, a series could (and usually does) fall flat on its face and fizzle out before the end of even a complete first season. As beloved series like M*A*S*H, Seinfeld, and Friends have shown us, when the chemistry between the actors works, freeing them to trust each other and really shine, a series excels and finds its way onto much-loved lists. Big Bang Theory began with a solid core cast of five characters and the producers knew just when and how to expand the ensemble to keep fans' interest and give more room for the actors to play and interact. Most notably, fans got to see more of Howard's girlfriend Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch, True Blood) and Sheldon's girl who is just a friend, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik, Blossom) at the end of the third season, both of whom would graduate to more core roles in the fourth season and beyond.

While each of the series' actors are remarkably skilled on their own, possibly the greatest strength of Big Bang Theory lies in the series' core cast. While the previous two seasons were definitely entertaining, Season Three is when the show truly seemed to find its groove. While the blooper reel and cast discussion found in the extra features show more of the off-screen personalities of the actors, the episodes themselves are a treat to watch as this group of friends get to play together. It's hard to believe these guys manage to get anything done, with such great material to work with and so many gifted actors to share in the process.

Let's be honest: the real reason you're reading this review is to find out whether to shell out the extra bucks for the Blu-ray version of this release or if the DVD version will serve you well enough. I have to confess that it has been some time since I did a side-by-side comparison of an SD presentation of a show or film, with an HD version. I gave season two a spin on DVD and was impressed by how clear the picture was, how true the colors seemed to be and how solid the presentation was overall. Not surprisingly though, the 1080p 1.78:1 Blu-ray presentation of The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season will blow your mind! The image is razor sharp and crystal clear, the show's vivid color palette pops off the screen and find detail is consistently amazing throughout. While the audio mix leans somewhat towards the front of the room, audience reactions, music and other elements help create a pleasantly immersive experience.

I honestly have nothing negative to say about this release, aside from the slightly thin offering of extra features. "Takeout with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory" joins the core cast in Leonard and Sheldon's living room as they share Chinese food and stories from the series; actors Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar take fans on a tour of the series main sets and wardrobe department; and a painfully short blooper reel shows just how fun it must be to work on this series. It's a crime that with this many skilled people in front of and behind the camera, that fans aren't given commentary tracks on at least a handful of episodes.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season is an easy recommendation to add to your Blu-ray library, especially if you're a fan. And if you're not a fan of this series yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The Big Bang ab workout you get with every show is not to be missed.

The Verdict

Highest-rated comedy in the 18-49 demo. Thirty-one award nominations and nine wins. You do the math!

Review content copyright © 2011 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 94

Perp Profile
Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Portuguese)

* English (SDH)
* French
* Portuguese
* Spanish

Running Time: 529 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Featurette
* Gag Reel

* IMDb

* Official Site