THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE SERIES – A Blu-ray and Digital HD Review by John Strange

 

THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE SERIES – A Blu-ray and Digital HD Review by John Strange

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-raytm I reviewed in this Blog Post.  The opinions I share are my own.

In 2007, CBS took a huge chance with a show about two guys and a girl.  But not just any two guys.  I mean they weren’t jocks or even just regular dudes off the street.  No, they were MY PEOPLE, geeks, nerds… geniuses!  That first episode was genius!  I fell in love at first sight (even if Amy later proved that it doesn’t exist).

That first season was tough on them thanks to a writer’s strike that kept them down and made them fear that they would not be renewed.  But renewed they were, and thus began the building of a legend!  The original ensemble of Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) plus Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) and Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh ‘Raj’ Koothrappali) were our people, geniuses who had difficulty with the parts of their lives where they had to interact with “regular” folks, especially women.

Watching Raj that first season freezing each time Penny spoke to him was so perfect.  Watching Sheldon falling in hopeless love (or was it?) with Penny was something so many of us knew intimately.  Watching Howard’s vain attempts at seduction were… well, creepy, but recognizable in guys we all knew.  And Sheldon.  Wonderful Sheldon.  So black and white, so set in his ways.  So happy in his own little controlled world.

The stories we were presented with each week weren’t just imaginative, they were a fresh look at the lives some of us lived… but to an extreme (yes, extremes can be funny!) we could get behind and characters we could root for!  From the first episode where Leonard told us that the children he would have with the lovely Penny would be both smart and beautiful through the final episode where Sheldon showed he had matured into a real functioning adult, we were given so many amazing memories.

Of course, many of those memories were aided by the addition of two very special characters, Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).  As the best halves of Howard and Sheldon, respectively, these ladies rounded out the cast perfectly.  But as the TV infomercials like to say, that’s not all!

The guest stars this show scored really took our collected breath away!  Family members of the cast brought us such luminaries as Kathy Bates and Teller (Amy’s parents), Christine Baranski and Judd Hirsch (Leonard’s parents), Keith Carradine (Penny’s dad), and Laurie Metcalf (Sheldon’s mom).  We also were blessed with notables from the movies and TV like, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and George Takei (the original Star Trek); Wil Wheaten, LeVar Burton, and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: Next Generation); as well as James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill (Star Wars).  And from the world of science, we saw Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Smoot, and Stephen Hawking.  Even Billy Bob Thornton guest-starred (as a suitor for Penny)!

The series ran for twelve seasons (279 episodes) from 2006 through 2019.  The complete series set took 24 Blu-raytm disks (two per season) plus one filled with special featurettes (for a total of over 94.5 hours).  In fact, with bonus features on nearly every disk, it takes over twelve hours just to watch them (see the list below)!  And watch them I did!  Every single one of them!  And they were excellent reminders of each of the season’s highlights.

With so many bonus featurettes, it’s hard to pick out just one or two I love.  However, I can safely say that the gag reels are all pretty good (versus most other home release offerings I have reviewed recently) and the Comic-Con panels were all fun to watch.

The memorial to Carol Ann Susi, the woman who voiced the role of Debbie Wolowitz (Howard’s loud-mouthed mother) made me cry as did the special featurette on the last episode.  My heart was warmed by the featurette about the theme song and the Canadian band who wrote and played it, Barenaked Ladies (Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn, Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart, Andy Creeggan).

Along the way, we also learned about the scholarship that was endowed in the name of The Big Bang Theory to help students pursuing STEM-related degrees.  The show felt it was a great way to give back which also honored the fans of the show.  This is something that no other show that I know of has ever done.

This is an unbelievable offering.  The show was and will likely always be one of my personal favorites.  This collection is a gorgeous packaged deal complete with a pop-up of the cast and a 32-page episode guide loaded with great photos.  It is worth every penny you pay for it.

This is for you, Sheldon, Bazinga!

 

Created By:

  • Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady

Cast:

  • Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, Mayim Bialik, Kevin Sussman, Carol Ann Susi, John Ross Bowie, Laura Spencer, Wil Wheaton, Brian George, Christine Baranski, Brian Posehn, Laurie Metcalf, Joshua Malina, Aarti Mann, Sara Gilbert, Stephen Hawking, Dean Norris, Regina King, Bob Newhart, Keith Carradine, Sara Rue, LeVar Burton, Stephen Merchant, Kathy Bates, Jerry O’Connell, Kal Penn, Teller, Sean Astin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Katee Sackhoff, Stephen Root, Bill Nye, Kevin Smith, Judd Hirsch, Ellen DeGeneres, Charlie Sheen, George Smoot, Stan Lee, Danica McKellar, Jessica Walter, George Takei, Rick Fox, James Earl Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Buzz Aldrin, Carrie Fisher, Nathan Fillion, Elon Musk, Jane Kaczmarek, Christopher Lloyd, Neil Gaiman, Bill Gates, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mark Hamill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Crystal the Monkey, Brent Spiner, Leonard Nimoy

Extras:

  • 32-Page Episode Guide With New Behind-the-Scenes Cast Photos and an Introduction from Creator & Executive Producer Chuck Lorre
  • Lay-flat Book Featuring a Cast Pop-Up Art (also contains all 25 discs)

 

  • Season 1:
    • Disc 2:
      • Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory – A behind-the-scenes look into geek chic
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 2:
    • Disc 2:
      • Physicist to the Stars – Real-life Physicist/UCLA Professor David Saltzberg’s Consulting Relationship to the Show
      • Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in Relation to The Big Bang Theory – Season Two’s Unique Characters and Characteristics
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 3:
    • Disc 2:
      • Takeout with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory – Join the Big Bang Bunch for Chinese Food and a Discussion of Favorite Season 3 Moments
      • Set Tour with Simon and Kunal
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 4:
    • Disc 1:
      • Actor on Actor: The Big Bang’s Theory of Relativity – Big Bang Cast members Interview each other
      • Jim and Mayim: Getting to the Bottom of it
      • Kaley and Johnny: Pioneers of Fun
      • Simon, Melissa and Kunal: The Geometry of Threes
      • Gag Reel
    • Disc 2:
      • The Big Bang Theory Live! – Experience the Excitement of a Live Show Taping – Be a Part of The Wildebeest Implementation!
      • Barenaked Ladies The Big Bang Theory Theme Song Music Video
      • Plus a Backstage Pass to the Making of the Video on the Show’s Set
  • Season 5:
    • Disc 1:
      • The Big bang Theory @ 100 – Cast and producers celebrate the 100th episode
    • Disc 2:
      • The Big Bang Theory’s Laws of Reflection – The cast reflects on their favorite memories of Season 5
      • Professors of Production – A Behind-the-scenes look at the various departments that bring the show together each week
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 6:
    • Disc 1:
      • The Big Bang Theory: The Final Comedy Frontier – Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Mike Massimino join the cast for a gravity-defying analysis of Howard Wolowitz’s mission to the International Space Station
      • Houston, We Have a Sit-com: Surprise! Astronaut Joe Acaba gets a Skype call from The Big Bang Theory cast as he orbits the globe on the International Space Station
      • The Big Bang Theory at PaleyFest 2013: Highlights of the Q&A with the cast and creators
    • Disc 2:
      • Electromagnetism: The Best Relationship Moments in Season 6:
      • Leonard & Penny (With Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco)
      • Sheldon & Amy (With Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik)
      • Howard & Bernadette (With Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch)
      • Raj (With Kunal Nayyar)
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 7:
    • Disc 1:
      • 2013 Comic-Con Panel
      • Johnny Galecki Crashes the BBT Writers Panel
      • String Theory Serenade
    • Disc 2:
      • The Big Bang Theory’s May the 4th
      • The Big Cendrowski: Backstage with the Coolest Director and Cast in the Universe
      • James Earl Jones: The Un-Conventional Guest Star
      • BBTea Time
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 8:
    • Disc 1:
      • 2014 Comic-Con Panel: Series Writers – and Wil Wheaton – preview Season 8 for fans
      • Shooting Stars: BBT on BBT – Hollywood heavyweight Billy Bob Thornton guest-stars (Episode 7), and you are there!
    • Disc 2:
      • Constellation Prize – Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco ad co-creator Chuck Lorre on getting stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
      • Here’s to You, Carol Ann Susi – Paying tribute to the actress who vocally incarnated Mrs. WolowitzIt’s a Quark…It’s an Atom…It’s the #BBTSuperfans! – Reaching out with a global social-engagement campaign to find three series superfans
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 9:
    • Disc 1:
      • 2015 Comic-Con Panel
      • #JustAskBBT: Who Will Get the Couch… – The cast of The Big Bang Theory answers fan questions from Twitter
      • #JustAskBBT: If I Had to Go to Mars… The cast answers more questions from Twitter
    • Disc 2:
      • The Big Bang Theory Gives Back – The stars and creative team celebrate the recipients of the new “Big Bang Theory Scholarship”
      • Love Is Rocket Science – The cast answers questions about the tectonic relationship shifts that happened in Season 9
      • The Big 200! – The stars and creative team of TBBT celebrate their 200th episode
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 10:
    • Disc 1:
      • Best of The Big Bang Theory: 2016 Comic-Con Panel
      • #JustAskBBT: The cast answers fan questions from Twitter
    • Disc 2:
      • The Ever-Expanding Universe of The Big Bang Theory – Show creator Chuck Lorre, executive producer Steven Molaro and the cast on Season 10 highlights and family ties.
      • Mad Props – Propmaster Scott London reveals the origins of the most iconic props from the first 10 seasons
      • Who’s the Baby Now? – Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro and the cast discuss their newest addition: baby Hailey Wolowitz
      • Gag Reel – Season 10 Big Bang blunders!
  • Season 11:
    • Disc 1:
      • The Big Bang Theory: 2017 Comic-Con Panel – The cast and writers gather together to converse with the fans
    • Disc 2:
      • A BBT History of Time
      • The Big Bang Theory: The Blueprint of Comedy
      • The Maturation Imperative
      • Gag Reel
  • Season 12:
    • Disc 1:
      • The Big Bang Theory’s Impact – Show creator Chuck Lorre and the cast honor the first class of recipients of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment, who will be graduating from UCLA in Spring 2019.
      • The Big Bang Theory Cast Visits Ellen – The cast visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the series finale as well as the impact the show has had over its 12-season run.
      • Best of The Big Bang Theory Comic-Con Panel – The writers and some of the cast gather together and answer questions for the fans at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.
    • Disc 2:
      • The Sweet Spot – Meet the man who has been warming up and entertaining the live studio audiences before every taping of the show’s incredible 279 episodic run.
      • The Last Days of The Big Bang Theory – Go behind the scenes of the emotional series finale episode as the writers, cast, and crew say goodbye to fans and take their final bows.
      • Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell – Series stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco lead fans on a trip down memory lane, sharing some of the best kept backstage secrets and personal memories from the past 12 years.
      • Gag Reel
  • Bonus Disc:
    • The Big Bang Theory: A Retrospective – Final reflections from the cast and producers
    • The Big Bang Theory’s Greatest Hits: 12 Years of Comedy in 24 Minutes – A collection of the funniest moments from every blockbuster season
    • All The Stars in the BBT Universe – The cast and crew highlight the many guest stars who have been on the show

 

Specifications:

Number of Discs:

  • 25 (12 seasons using 2 discs each season plus one filled with exclusive never-before-seen featurettes)

Runtime:

Feature:

  • 5675 Minutes

Enhanced Content:

  • 720 Minutes (approximate)

Studio:

  • Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Release Date:

  • 11/12/2019

Region:

  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)

MPAA Rating:

  • NR

 

Selig Rating:

Film Rating:

  • BRAND NEW

Bonus Features Rating:

  • A+

Picture Quality Rating:

  • A+

Audio Quality Rating:

  • A+

 

Selig Rating Scale:

BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost

SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale

SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used

RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning

COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks

PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target

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