Rarely do I warm up to a show as quickly as I did with Big Bang Theory. I seldom watch the CBS network as is, but this was one show that had me watching the circular eyeball for the first time in a long time. While Big Bang was formulaic in construction and even boasted the much detested (by me, anyway) laugh track, I found myself coming back week after week to see what the latest exploit and expedition into science the show had. Plus it had a high nerd/geek factor going for it, so for that reason alone it was easy to be drawn to it. And so were many others—the show’s popularity spiked in the second season and only continued to grow in its third and was the recipient for Emmy nominations these past few years (one of which was for Jim Parsons, one of the stars of the show, who actually won for his work this third season). With a record number of viewers for its debut, this third season has been quite the success story not only for its stars but for CBS in general.
Worlds collide in Season 3! A love affair with Penny has opened a big, wide, wonderful world of romance for Leonard. But Sheldon likes the world just the way it was, thank you. All of which makes for a zany comic triangle with brainy, clueless Sheldon and practical, grounded Penny hilariously vying for the role of hypotenuse. This complete 2-Disc, 23-Episode Season 3 Set also features Raj, Howard, tattoos, football, awkward dates, jail time, Stan Lee, a The Lord of the Rings ring and all the fun of a series that only gets better.
One fantastic thing about the third season was the series picked up where it left off with the Penny/Howard relationship and actually pushed it forward. Ultimately the only thing that made a difference to the show was that furthering of the Penny/Leonard relationship, but nonetheless it’s admirable that it at least tried. On top of that were several story arcs with recurring guest stars that helped play with the mixture of the show. There really weren’t any episodes in the season that felt like downers either, which is a great thing to say. I was sure there was going to be an episode that wasn’t as funny as the one before it, but watching it all again on Blu-ray proved me wrong.
Really, just about any episode you watch from this season will make you laugh your ass off, but that doesn’t mean there still weren’t some standouts. Mainly it was the pair of Wil Wheaton episodes that jump out at me the most, although “The Precious Fragmentation” may be one of the most brilliantly pulled off jokes of a six year old movie I’ve ever seen. Yes, yes, the Lord of the Rings series is timeless but quite a large chunk of the Big Bang audience likely only saw it as a movie series and yet they handled it in such a way that it didn’t feel like a terribly dated reference. Then there was the requisite flashback story as to how the guys all met but once again they pulled it off with a lot of grace. As I said before, it’s a very formulaic series so while the settings and characters are unique, it’s still very much a general sitcom.
Regardless of your reasons for watching the show, it’s certainly one of the most entertaining and original shows on TV today. While I could definitely do without the laugh track, the series remains entertaining and hilarious regardless of its presence. Overall this third season was, once again, a jump in quality over the first season and second seasons and even re-watching the episodes again still proved that they were as funny the second time as the first. Highly Recommended.
And thus marks the first Blu-ray release for this series—will they continue? Will WHV go back and re-release the first seasons on Blu-ray? Will anyone really care? Likely not, as a sitcom is really not something you would ever desire and/or need on the Blu-ray format, but considering the geekyness of the show I suppose it’s warranted. Although I can see the show poking fun at studios who release Blu-ray’s with standard definition audio…as Warner has once again done here. It’s a nice package overall though, with a cardboard slipcase housing the elite Blu-ray case (two mere discs).
Video is a VC-1 encoded affair and Warner once again astounds and amazes with their treatment of TV shows on Blu-ray. Granted the compression isn’t all that noticeable here (except during the in-between scene quick cuts), but slamming twenty-three episodes amounting to nearly nine hours of content onto two discs is a bit…haphazard. Of course they did once again give us the aforementioned DD5.1 track, so that saves disc space, but all in all it feels very wrong that a show is given so little room to breathe. They still look better than their 720p broadcasts, but it’s still a bit of a mediocre package either way. Again, this type of show doesn’t call for it so it’s not as disappointing as some of Warner’s other TV on Blu efforts (I’m eyeing you, Chuck), but you still can’t help but feel slightly ripped off by not getting the full deluxe treatment that the show so truly deserves.
Big Bang Set Tour with Simon and Kunal – Get an insider’s look at TV’s hottest comedy, The Big Bang Theory, as Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar take us on a tour of the set.
Take-Out with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory – We’ll have plenty of food-for-thought as the cast and creators dig into this season’s funniest/favorite moments in addition to a side of Chow Mein.
Yeah, it’s a pretty weak list of extras too. A pair of featurettes and a gag reel do not a packed release make, but it’s still not too bad. I do like that they’re very cast centric, with whatever behind the scenes footage we do get comprised of actors in addition to the crew. In fact the “Take-Out” segment is probably one of the most enjoyable extras I’ve seen for a series thus far and reminds me of that Jon Favreau Dinner for Five series (of which I really need to find a copy of—the complete series set seems to not exist anywhere anymore).
Overall a Recommended set for fans but if you’re only a casual viewer of the show then a rental should do in its place.
The Big Bang Theory – The Complete Third Season is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.