I love this show. I’ve loved it from the first episode. I’m not a scientist but I am a nerd and so every science fiction, comic book, nerd reference, in fact every piece of trivia tossed aside ’causes me to break out laughing and always has. But even as I type this I can’t help wonder if this show works for the non-nerds/scientists? I mean, does everything body get a thrill of excitement when the entire male cast of a series dresses up like The Flash? Do they even know who The Flash is? When a joke is dependent on an understanding of the DC multiverse is any but me and people like me, gonna be rolling in the aisle? More after the jump:
So I guess I’ll start there. If you’re a nerd and you haven’t been watching this show (and I can’t see how you’ve missed it ’cause the entire cast has spent the past couple seasons doing the comic convention circuit), then you should. You should start right now. You should buy the box sets and get caught up. Then you can watch them over and over again… I know I do.
And beyond that I, do I really need to say more. It’s a top rated show, they don’t need me hawking for it at all, but since I like the show so much I’m gonna spend the rest of the review talking to those of you who don’t watch the show and I’m gonna tell you why you should.
The basic premise of the series has two research scientists living in an apartment when a beautiful young girl/aspiring actress moves in next door. Obviously, one of the roommates falls in love with the girl and that’s the basic hook. Quiet guy, wild girl. And when you think about it, that is the basic premise of the classic screwball comedy. Everything from the 1930’s “Bringing Up Baby” to the 80’s “Something Wild” hell, even the “American Pie” films… There’s something inherently funny about a nervous guy going after a beautiful woman out of his league. When done correctly, it’s heart-warming and romantic, and when done badly it’s a preposterous train-wreck.
This series works and the key is the writing. Not only do they get the nerd down pat, but each of the supporting characters has his own distinct world and their interactions are wonderful to watch. It’s like watching the Three Stooges in reverse. Instead of idiots who can’t to anything right, instead you have a group of hyper-intelligent social misfits that can’t do anything right. Further, the love-interest, Penny, played by the lovely Kaley Cuoco has been written in such a way that she seamlessly became part of their group like an ersatz sister despite her lack of college degrees
That’s what make this second season my favorite. They took a premise that could have quickly become tired and repetitive and instead took the time to investigate each of the individual characters and allowed them to grow. I could go on and on about each of the individual actors and they’re portrayals, but I’ll cut to the chase and point out what you probably already know, that Jim Parsons, who plays the Spock-like super-genius, Sheldon is the break out star of the series. The interesting bit here is commentary on situation comedies in general. As a rule, in TV comedies there’s always an idiot, a character whose every comment marks him as non-sequitur spouting rube. What this series does is take that character and make him the smartest person in the room, Sheldon. To watch him fret about people sitting in his favorite seat or try to work out mathematically how friendships are formed, or twitch uncontrollably when he’s interrupted when trying to explain the origins of tapioca is joy to behold.
Excellent stuff. They’ve got a short titled “Physicist to the Stars” in which real live physicist, Professor David Saltzberg talks about his contributions to the show. Not only is it interesting but they explain what the equations in the background of the scenes are and what they really mean. Also included is a little bit titled “Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to the Big Bang Theory”. This is the usual cast and crew interviews cut together with a bunch of clips from the show, but I found this compilation to be particularly amusing. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought it was great. Rounding out the special features is the ubiquitous Gag Reel which I enjoyed because it shows how much the cast seems to enjoy making the show…
As I write this review, I’m watching the DVD’s for the third time. It’s one of those series that’s so well written and characters are so well cast that each viewing allows you pull out something new and interesting. This doesn’t happen often, so enjoy it while you can…