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Case Number 17165

Buy The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season at Amazon

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season

Warner Bros. // 2008 // 481 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // September 2nd, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Eric Profancik is glad to be getting more big bang for his buck.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season (published August 27th, 2008), The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray) (published October 16th, 2011), and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season (published September 25th, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

"It's quite simple:
Scissors cut paper.
Paper covers rock.
Rock crushes lizard.
Lizard poisons Spock.
Spock smashes scissors.
Scissors decapitates lizard.
Lizard eats paper.
Paper disproves Spock.
Spock vaporizes rock.
And as it always has, rock crushes scissors."

Opening Statement

I'm not one for sentimentality, but it does my heart a world of good to know that The Big Bang Theory is a hit. From the first minutes of the first episode, I was an instant fan; and I recall one of my initial thoughts was that this show was too funny but it wouldn't last the season let alone get renewed. So I am thrilled that the show's geek characters and geek humor has broken through and is popular with the mainstream. I'm glad to see people interested in more than tawdry sexual dramas involving housewives and doctors.

Facts of the Case

Our four genius and socially challenged friends, Leonard (Johnny Galecki, Roseanne), Sheldon (Jim Parsons, Judging Amy), Wolowitz (Simon Helberg, Van Wilder), and Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), continue in their daily exploits of science, gaming, comic books, and tolerating each other. Adding balance to the mix is their cute neighbor, Penny (Kale Cuoco, 8 Simple Rules…for Dating My Daughter), who, after a year, has become part of the gang…much to Sheldon's dismay.

The Evidence

I love The Big Bang Theory, and I don't use that word lightly. Week after week, it is the only show that makes me laugh out loud. Not just a chuckle or a chortle but an honest-to-goodness laugh. There are plenty of sit-coms to choose from, but this is the only one that I find that focuses on the comedy. The most likely reason for my distinct love of the show is the fact that I have some geek in me. While nowhere near the levels presented by the quirky quad, I definitely exhibit a smattering of the characteristics of each character. And that makes it easy for me to relate to this fantastic collection of people. In fact many a week my friend and I compare ourselves to Sheldon and Leonard to see who we most closely resembled. (That's probably not a good thing.)

My DVR is set to record BBT every week, whether it's a repeat or not. It's one of those shows I want to watch over and over again, because the jokes just never get old for me. And while there is always something to surprise and delight me, I will say that this season started off a bit precariously but has fortunately regained its composure. For me, the show works based on the strength of the four geeks and their interaction—with that calming, neutralizing, real world balance from Penny. It's an ensemble show, highlighting each person's idiosyncrasies and how it affects everyone else. Top of that list is Sheldon, a man replete with tics. While Jim Parson clearly deserves accolades, honors, and awards for his stellar presentation of Sheldon, it needs to be said that a little Sheldon goes a very long way. As Sheldon is the breakout star of the show, its Spock, Season Two begins with a heavy focus on him, to the detriment of the group. It was Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon, and I was about ready to kill the boy. He was just getting too much attention and was quickly going from goofy to crazy. Luckily the show slowly sauntered back to balance, and Sheldon was relegated to his place in the group. I most certainly hope the balance is maintained going forward.

I like each of our main characters. They are geeks, but I wish I had a close group of geek friends like that. For geeks, they sure do have very active and diverse social lives, and always seem ready to try a new adventure. We've seen them paintballing, playing Rock Band, climbing rock walls, building Battle Bots, going to the comic book store, having good meals out, and a veritable cornucopia of other things. They're geeks but they embrace it, go beyond it, and just enjoy life. At least as much as Sheldon's restrictive rules allow. I look forward to many more years of geeky adventures.

This four-disc DVD set is run-of-the-mill television fare for the digital domain. Each episode is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic with a Dolby 2.0 stereo mix. The video is solid but not exceptional, giving us accurate colors and flesh tones, deep blacks, and a respectable balance of contrast and detail. I saw no significant errors in the presentation and wasn't disappointed in any way. Audio, on the other hand, gave me a sad. My main problem is that it is only a 2.0 mix. Why? Granted the Season One set only had a 2.0 mix as well, but in today's market a 5.1 mix is standard in my book. This series, without such a mix, comes across as lazy and substandard. Nonetheless, there aren't any significant problems with the mere 2.0 mix. I heard not the faintest trace or any error, hiss, or distortion across any of the episodes.

The set does have a couple of bonus items but not enough. First and foremost, why are there no commentary tracks? Seriously, nobody from the cast was willing? I find that hard to believe. What is included are a couple of BTS featurettes and a gag reel. "Physicist to the Stars" (10:10) spotlights real physicist Professor David Salzburg and how he brings the real science to the show. It's an enjoyable piece showcasing this unsung hero and the sneaky humor he sneaks in. "Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to The Big Bang Theory" (15:31) is the general behind-the-scenes promo piece, but it's better than average as there is plenty of commentary from the cast and crew of the show. Rounding it out is a gag reel (8:32) that is amusing enough but you'll never watch it again.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

More Leslie "Call Me" Winkle (Sarah Gilbert, Roseanne)! Not only is she a great foil in putting Sheldon in his place, but she also plays well off Leonard and adds much to the show.

Closing Statement

Without equivocation, The Big Bang Theory is one of the funniest if not the funniest show on television these days—and easily one of the funniest to come around in years. With a fresh cast taking humor in new directions, this show is one you should already be watching. If you've somehow been ignoring this one because of its geek cred, put away that bias and give it a spin. You'll find plenty to like. While the set is a touch weak on bonus items and shamefully only has a 2.0 mix (but who really wants to hear the opening song in 5.1?), it's still worthy of a purchase. Buy The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season and support quality comedy television.

The Verdict

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season is hereby found not guilty of breaking the laws of physics.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 70
Extras: 75
Acting: 95
Story: 90
Judgment: 92

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Portuguese)
Subtitles:
• English
• Chinese
• French
• Portuguese
• Spanish
• Thai
Running Time: 481 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurettes
• Gag Reel

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site








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