It Starts with a Bang

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: The Big Bang Theory – The Complete First Season
  • tv.com: link

“I think that you have as much of a chance of having a sexual relationship with Penny as the Hubble telescope does of discovering at the center of every black hole is a little man with a flashlight searching for a circuit breaker.”

Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are nerds.  The pair’s apartment is filled with all range of comic, fantasy and sci-fi merchandise.  They work as physicists and spend their spare time with fellow geeks Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard (Simon Helberg) in a variety of activities guaranteed to keep the ladies in galaxies far, far away.  Their universe is changed by the arrival of a beautiful new neighbor, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), to whom Leonard instantly develops a crush.

Their universe, much to Sheldon’s dismay, is changed by Penny’s arrival, but whether anything romantic will develop between Leonard and Penny will have to wait until season two.

The Big Bang Theory has a strong cast and many of the best scenes allow the foursome of geeks to interact together and Penny to play the straight man.  One of the best choices is to allow the Sheldon character to be extremely self-centered, yet still remain likable.  Sheldon’s logic, selfishness, and social retardation provide many opportunities for comedy.

There are also some nice themes interwoven into the plot for science geeks (my favorite is Sheldon’s choice for a Halloween costume).  There are also numerous comic and pop culture references including a disturbing physics problem from Superman, and Sheldon easily dismissing the ridiculous premise of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

The pilot is a bit shaky (although most pilots are), but the show slowly finds the right contrast and humor.  My favorite episodes from this first season include Leonard’s confusing logic over Penny’s reaction to his dating Leslie (Sarah Gilbert) in “The Hamburger Postulate,” how Howard’s new relationship develops “The Dumpling Pardox” (including Penny kicking some serious ass at Halo 3),  how a simple lie spirals completely out of Leonard’s control in “The Loobenfeld Decay,” and the physic bowl challenge from “The Bat Jar Conjecture.”

The Big Bang Theory isn’t a great show, but it is consistently good.  I’d recommend this first season set and to check out the second season which begins September 22nd on CBS.

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