Review of "The Big Bang Theory" Season One From The TV MegaSite
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The Big Bang Theory Season One DVD cover

 

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete First Season

by Suzanne 8/1/08

When "Big Bang Theory" debuted last year, I did not watch it. I seem to recall that it was on opposite something else I watch. I kept reading and hearing that it was a very funny show, though, so I kept meaning to watch it one day. So I was very glad to be asked to review the show for our site. I really did miss a lot by not watching this show.

I have one main requirement for a comedy : it has to be funny. Fortunately, Big Bang Theory fits the bill. It may not be the funniest show in the world that makes me laugh out loud, but it puts a smile on my face and makes me giggle, and occasionally laugh out loud, and I want to keep watching. Really, what more can you ask for?

Well, okay, here's more. Some people don't like shows where the characters are mean, unlikeable, or irritating (like "Married With Children", or "Seinfeld", or "Everybody Loves Raymond"). The Bing Bang Theory is filled with likable characters. It's kind of like "Friends" for geeks.

If you were ever a geek, or knew one well, or were related to one, then you will probably like this show and recognize the characters. As for me, I fit all three of those examples. The show uses a lot of big words and theories, but it is not hard to understand. The "smart guys" talking do sound more impressive than, say, the Professor on Gilligan's Island, so I'm guessing that the writers really are very smart and know a lot about physics.

The show is about two physics professors (I think they're professors - it's sort of hard to tell sometimes) who live in a small apartment, and a pretty girl moves into the apartment across the hall from them. One of them is a total geek who seems not to have any interest in romance, and the other one is less of a geek but thinks he has a chance with her. They have two other nerdy friends who come over a lot. They do all the requisite geek things like go online, write blogs, play video games, play D&D, watch "Battlestar Galactica" and "Superman", etc. It's also clear that the writers are geeks themselves and know the geek world very well.

Johnny Galecki stars as Leonard, the romantic hero who thinks he can get the girl. I loved Galecki when he was on "Roseanne". He is not as cute here because he is supposed to be more of a geek, but he is still attractive. They put ugly glasses on him and make him look uglier than he actually is. His roommate is played by Jim Parsons, who was also on the show "Judging Amy". Parsons reminds me quite a lot of Niles on "Frasier", since he's a bit of a fuss-budget and kind of neurotic like Niles. Their new neighbor, Penny, is played by Kelly Cuoco, who was very good on the last season of "Charmed". So the geeks who watch this show will no doubt not only love the show's geek references and humor, they will probably enjoy seeing Cuoco again as well.

The creators of the show formerly wrote "Two and a Half Men" and "Dharma & Greg", two very funny shows. I also enjoy seeing other actors from "Roseanne" in small guest-starring roles. I hope I get to see more!

The DVD is a good treat for any fan of comedy. There are two extras that any fan of the show should enjoy. One is about the show, called "Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory", and the other is a behind-the-scenes look at "geek chic". They are very interesting.

My only quibble with this show is that, if they are professors, why do they dress like students and live in a cheap apartment? Professors make quite a bit of money. Even when starting out, they make a good salary (I know because I am married to one). At the very least, they can afford good apartments and not have to share. Also, in one episode, the new chair of the department fired Sheldon for telling him what he thought of him. There are a few problems with that. First of all, it's hard to believe that Sheldon made it this far without at least learning a little about telling white lies. Second, professors have tenure and can't be fired for something like that. If Sheldon or Leonard are not tenured, then they wouldn't be having so much fun. they would be working really hard to publish so they can get tenure. If they are not professors but are just working in a private lab, then they would be making even more money. So that whole thing was stupid and unrealistic, even though it was a funny episode. Also, their friend Raj works with them. He can't speak to attractive women, apparently. Well, then he must not be a professor, either, because they have to speak to their students and co-workers. He would not be hired if he couldn't speak to women.

Now, I have known many real-life geeks like these guys. They are not college professors. They are computer geeks, or they are unemployed and sleeping on someone's couch, or they have some other job that allows them to dress and act badly without having to interact with human beings. So that is where the premise is kind of wrong. But I won't be a total geek like these guys and obsess about these little minor details that no one will care about. I will just tell you that you will enjoy this show because it's very funny and has nice characters, and leave it at that.


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Updated 8/1/08  

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