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The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season – Blu-ray Disc Review

July 9, 2012 – 11:11 PM - Posted by: Justin Sluss

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Blu-ray Disc Review

3.5 out of 5 starsThe Show Itself has an average rating of 8.6 on IMDb
4.0 out of 5 starsVideo Quality 1080p in AVC on TWO 50gb discs
3.5 out of 5 starsAudio Quality
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
1.5 out of 5 starsBonus Materials with new Gag Reel, DVDs & UltraViolet
Rated:NOT RATED
Year: – 2007 – 2008
Length: – 355 minutes
Studio:Warner
Region:Region Free (A/B/C)
Street Date: July 10th, 2012


Overall VerdictFans Will Be Somewhat Pleased

Buy it for $24.99 @ Amazon.com
Buy it for $24.99 @ Amazon.com


— Review written by: Justin Sluss


The Show Itself was created by Chuck Lorre (“Two and a Half Men“) and Bill Pardy (“Dharma & Greg“) who also serve as executive producers on the show and on occasion serve as writers too. “The Big Bang Theory” airs on CBS where it originally premiered back on September 24, 2007.

The show is set in Pasadena, California. The main characters are two geeky roommates that just so happen to be geniuses and work at Caltech as physicists. “Leonard” (played by Johnny Galecki) is an experimental physicist and “Sheldon” (played by Jim Parsons) is a theoretical physicist. The two guys in the first episode of the show are somewhat surprised to discover they have a new attractive female neighbor by the name of “Penny” (played by Kaley Cuoco). Penny has just moved to California from Nebraska and is aspiring to be an actress, but in the meantime is a waitress at “The Cheesecake Factory” restaurant. The guys have two even more geeky best friends. One best friend is an overly confident Jewish guy named “Howard” (played by Simon Helberg) and the other is a shy Indian guy named “Raj” (played by Kunal Nayyar). Both Howard and Raj also work at Caltech.

These guys (all four of them) aren’t exactly a hit with the ladies, so it’s strange to see them develop a friendship with the neighbor Penny. We learn from the very first episode that Leonard has a crush on Penny and can’t manage to strike up the courage to ask her out on a date for a while. One thing that complicates Leonard trying to hook-up with Penny has to do with the fact she has the tendency to hook-up with her ex-boyfriends or random guys that are far, far from intellectual types. Throw in the fact that Leonard’s roommate Sheldon is very OCD, neurotic and both a metaphoric & literal smart ass and that really sets up the show and its cast of characters.

All 17 episodes of the first season of the show are included. They are as follows.

      Episode 1 – “Pilot
  • Originally Aired: September 24, 2007
    1. Episode 2 – “The Big Bran Hypothesis
  • Originally Aired: October 1, 2007
    1. Episode 3 – “The Fuzzyboots Corollary
  • Originally Aired: October 8, 2007
    1. Episode 4 – “The Luminous Fish Effect
  • Originally Aired: October 15, 2007
    1. Episode 5 – “The Hamburger Postulate
  • Originally Aired: October 22, 2007
    1. Episode 6 – “The Middle Earth Paradigm
  • Originally Aired: October 29, 2007
    1. Episode 7 – “The Dumpling Paradox
  • Originally Aired: November 5, 2007
    1. Episode 8 – “The Grasshopper Experiment
  • Originally Aired: November 12, 2007
    1. Episode 9 – “The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization
  • Originally Aired: March 17, 2008
    1. Episode 10 – “The Loobenfeld Decay
  • Originally Aired: March 24, 2008
    1. Episode 11 – “The Pancake Batter Anomaly
  • Originally Aired: March 31, 2008
    1. Episode 12 – “The Jerusalem Duality
  • Originally Aired: April 14, 2008
    1. Episode 13 – “The Batjar Conjecture
  • Originally Aired: April 21, 2008
    1. Episode 14 – “The Nerdvana Annihilation
  • Originally Aired: April 28, 2008
    1. Episode 15 – “The Pork Chop Indeterminacy
  • Originally Aired: May 5, 2008
    1. Episode 16 – “The Peanut Reaction
  • Originally Aired: May 12, 2008
    1. Episode 17 – “The Tangerine Factor
  • Originally Aired: May 19, 2008

The Big Bang Theory” in its first season proved to honestly be a less funny at times than the latter seasons of the show but still definitely had its moments. Creators and executive producers Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady actually had their hand in the writing of a majority of the episodes this season as would be the case with the latter seasons. There’s some good guest starring roles here from Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert who both previously co-starred with Johnny Galecki on the TV show “Roseanne” during the nineties. It’s worth noting that both of those characters that Metcalf and Gilbert play return from time to time in latter seasons of the show. One other bit of interesting trivia here for you is the fact that the first time “Sheldon” will do his famous knock on the door shouting “Penny! Penny! Penny!” comes in episode 10 of this season. That action and dialogue will go on to become a staple of sorts for that character and the show itself. The show would go on to become very popular in its five seasons that it’s now been on the air and is about to be in its sixth season. The show (as of the fifth season) was the #1 comedy on network television among total viewers. It’s also now airing in syndication on channels such as TBS (owned by Warner). In its first year of syndication the series has ranked as the #1 show in all of syndication among adults ages 18 through 49 and 25 through 54.

The show has also been the winner of numerous awards such as AFI TV Award for “Best Programme of the the Year“, two Emmy awards for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” (Jim Parsons) for 2010 and 2011, a People’s Choice Award for “Favorite TV Comedy” in 2010, a TV Guide Award for “Favorite Comedy Series” in 2011 and a Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy” (Jim Parsons) in 2011.


Video Quality on this release is in 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on TWO BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered) Blu-ray Discs in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. According to numerous sources online this show is shot digitally in Hi-Def on the Panavision / Sony HD900F camera. This can be confirmed on the official website for the camera under the credits tab. It there lists this show as being shot on the camera. However, the first episode (“Pilot“) of the show appears to have either been shot on 16MM or 35MM film considering it has a substantial amount of film grain not found in the other 16 episodes of the season. Once we get to the second episode and things are in true Hi-Def you’ll notice that there’s a really good amount of detail in ever single shot. The black level is solid, even in the “Pilot” episode from a film source, and especially in digital source material. The color palette is extremely vibrant and this is shown off by the very colorful wardrobe the characters on the show wear. Fleshtones are accurate with the female character “Penny” showing the most skin here to serve as a good example.

DISC USAGE:

Disc 1 uses 29.2GB total. Disc 2 uses 27.4GB total.

Disc 1 contains 9 episodes and Disc 2 contains 8 episodes.

All and all “The Big Bang Theory” in its first season proves to have a nice Hi-Def presentation with really the first episode (“Pilot”) being the only real exception of sorts. Still, this season of the show looks good and it makes a somewhat impressive visual debut to Blu-ray. If you’ve seen or own the other two seasons that were previously available (seasons three & four) on the format you’ll know what to expect visually as those seasons were also shot digitally in Hi-Def. This earns itself a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality.


Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. This season (like the fourth season in its debut to Blu-ray) receives a lossless audio mix unlike the third season which sadly only received a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Being a sitcom that is comprised honestly of around 97% dialogue and audience laughter you wouldn’t think that it would really matter too much if the show was in either a lossless or lossy AC3 mix. However, it actually does manage to benefit in some ways from having a lossless mix. Some of those ways it benefits are, first and foremost the show’s short but catchy theme song by Barenaked Ladies, the ambient noises, sound effects as well as the occasional background music and whatnot. During those sequences the front left & right channels get most of the sound effects and such as well as a majority of the audience laughter. The rear channels do get a tad bit of ambient noise, audience laughter and a slight presence of the music during the opening theme song. The show’s theme song also has a good amount of LFE (bass) as well as the scene transitions with the CG animatics and the occasional music featured in the background on the show. There’s some other points where you’ll hear a substantial amount of bass like in episode 2 where “Howard” is playing Dance Dance Revolution, in episode 3 where the guys are playing World of Warcraft, and in episode 6 when “Penny” throws a Halloween party with loud music playing. Obviously dialogue is delivered from the front center channel and it’s very safe to say is never overpowered by any other sounds in the mix. One other highlight in the mix for this season comes in episode 5 when “Leonard” is playing cello with “Leslie Winkle” who’s accompanying him on violin that sounds really nice. All and all this mix proves to not be anything “over-the-top” but it does a show like this justice and earns itself a pretty decent “3.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.


Bonus Materials are presented in both Hi-Def (HD) and standard definition (SD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 @192kbps audio quality.

Blu-ray Disc 2 includes:

  • Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory: A Behind-the-Scenes Look Into Geek Chic” (17:26 – SD) features interviews with the show’s creators / executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady discussing how they created the show and their after thoughts of how well it all came together. We learn that they used a real-life physicist as a consultant from the very start of the show to make sure things were believable in terms of science. There’s interviews here with all the primary cast members as well including Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg and Kaley Cuoco. The cast members all discuss their characters on the show and we even learn how the two leads (Galecki and Parsons) got their roles. Also a bit of discussion here about the unaired pilot but no footage from it. This featurette is from the original DVD release and was produced in 2008. Most all of the interviews appear to have been done the day they were recording the first episode (“Pilot”) judging from the wardrobe the cast members are wearing.
  • Gag Reel (7:36 – HD) is ALL-NEW and an EXCLUSIVE to this Blu-ray Disc release of the first season. These bloopers of sorts range from “meh” to somewhat funny. The most rewarding part I think is knowing that all these screw-ups were done live in front of a studio audience. You’ll get to hear co-star Johnny Galecki say “balls” about three or four times as well as two other cast members. Some curse words are said but they’re all sadly bleeped out. This proves to be somewhat entertaining, especially to die-hard fans of the show.

  • UltraViolet digital copies of each episode in this season are included via a paper insert that has a code to redeem them online or via the Flixster app on portable media devices. You can either download or stream these episodes to your computer, smartphone or tablet. Both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) devices are supported.

This season of the show comes in a new type of “TV combo pack” with DVDs in standard definition also included. This season of the show takes a total of three DVDs and includes the “Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory” behind-the-scenes featurette on the third disc. Below you’ll find some images of the packaging.

Overall the bonus materials here prove to be pretty short with only a featurette (previous available on the DVD release) and an ALL-NEW Gag Reel that is exclusive to this Blu-ray release. Plus, there’s physical and digital bonus materials here in the form of the DVDs of the season in standard definition and the UltraViolet digital copies of the season.


Blu-ray Disc packaging:


Screenshots:

NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.

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