The Big Bang Theory: Season Eight (Blu-ray)

October 1, 2015 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

There are a lot of shows out there that I’ve never seen. It’s not that I have any preconceived notions about them, either they appeal to me or they don’t. I remember when The Big Bang Theory started and I had a mild interest, but something (probably this site) stood in the way and I never sat down to watch an episode. Well eight seasons later (and a ninth as of this writing), the show has stood the test of time and has become a bona fide hit. In fact, it’ll probably go down as one of the better NBC comedies right up there with Friends, Seinfeld, Cheers and Frasier. Admittedly it’s a bit difficult to come into a show during its eighth season and expect to know what’s going on. Storylines have been told, character relationships have been formed and the like. Still, it’s not exactly a head scratcher to figure out what’s going on, so I sat down, donned my glasses (the characters are physicists, you know) and propped my legs up. Is it all its cracked up to be or not?

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is retrieved from his soul-searching cross-country train trip (older but no wiser) and that means the gang’s all here to spread another year’s cheer as TV’s most attended laugh seminar. Enroll in this comic curriculum to explore Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) minor surgery becoming a major catastrophe for his roommate, Howard’s (Simon Helberg) obsession over his mom’s relationship with retailer-turned-caretaker Stuart, and the peculiar results of Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) technique as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Discover ways to recreate proms not attended or holiday celebrations not especially beloved and play a new game based on Raj’s (Kunal Nayyar) female attachments. Savor online fan fiction by Amy (Mayim Bialik), watch Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) take indelicate command of some delicate family matters and who knows, you might even spot a cool Special Guest or two (hint: one of them is in the features below).

Video: How’s it look?

Having never really sat down to watch an episode before, I was immediately drawn to the set as it reminded of the one used for Friends. In all truth, it’s a common misconception that the one used for this show is the same as the aforementioned program. While they were both filmed on the Warner lot, the Friends one has been retired and is now part of the studio tour whereas the one for The Big Bang Theory is, obviously, still in use. Having said that, the show simply bursts with color. The decor of the main set (the apartment) sizzles with detail and the wardrobes are alive with superhero color in nearly ever scene. I did check out an episode on demand to compare the quality of the Blu-ray versus the OTA HD broadcast and I can say that the Blu-ray holds a bit of an edge. The episodes are presented in a 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer that will make fans proud.

Audio: How’s it sound?

While it’s true that some of the television shows sound as good (or better) than some feature films, The Big Bang Theory isn’t one of them. Granted the DTS HD Master Audio mix isn’t bad by any stretch, but situation comedies aren’t really known for their robust sound.  Vocals are clear and free of any distortion, the cut scenes have a  nice ambiance associated with them and I was by no means disappointed. Fans will know what to expect with this and the Blu-ray set delivers on the audio front.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Shooting Stars: BBT on BBT – Billy Bob Thornton guest stars on one of the episodes and gives his .02 on things (get it: BBT on BBT)?
  • 2014 The Big Bang Theory Comic-Con Panel – At the San Diego Comic-Con, the writers of the series along with actor Wil Wheaton (yes, Wesley Crusher himself) preview the new season.
  • Constellation Prize – Actors Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (though after her divorce it’s just Kaley Cuoco again) along with series creator Chuck Lorre discuss getting their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Here’s To You, Carol Ann Susi – A tribute to the actress who gave life and voice (literally) to Mrs. Wolowitz.
  • It’s A Quark…It’s An Atom…It’s the #BBTSuperfans! – A global social media initiative was launched to find the biggest superfans of the show. Success or no?
  • Gag Reel – Shenanigans on the set.

The Bottom Line

I don’t know if this show gained a new fan with me and it’s not like it needs another. It’s consistently one of the highest-rated shows on the air and with good writing, a witty dialogue and a cast that gels well together – it all equals a good, solid show. The Blu-ray isn’t exactly bursting with extras of substance, but for those who want a good-looking and good-sounding show – well here it is.

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