The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season

Much of the humour in The Big Bang Theory stems from the literal interpretation of colloquialisms and the pragmatic analysis of routine social norms. The juxtaposition of neurotic, socially retarded misfits with the typical dippy dream girl next door enables these ideological clashes, which essentially drive the show slightly beyond the standard clichéd formula that multi-camera situational comedies are accustomed to. With these factors at hand, the show ultimately plays out with familiarity and an above average wit that will befuddle some, please others and mean very little to those who don’t care for sit-coms to begin with. Experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) are roommates who live in a sheltered world of online gaming, physics, science fiction and modern technology. While Sheldon is perfectly content understanding the world pragmatically, and from a position of intellectual superiority, Leonard is curious to branch out into a world of perceived normalcy. This desire is helped along when Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a typical dim-bulb waitress/wannabe actress, moves in next door and develops a friendship with the idiosyncratic pair. Inevitably, Leonard develops a crush on Penny, which is neither reciprocated nor acknowledged. This love story winds up being one of the weakest aspects of the show, mainly due to Ms. Cuoco’s minimal appeal and acting abilities. She does little more than stand around in her underwear, wearing a great deal of lip-gloss and a blank expression. On the other hand, the banter between the physicists during Halo 3 competitions and awkward social scenarios is entirely clever and delivered with impeccable comic timing, mainly from Jim Parsons. The three-disc 17-episode first season comes with only a single "Behind the Scenes” featurette. It’s mainly creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady talking about the magic of their cast and pointing out that the physics formulas and jargon were legitimately researched. (Warner)