I’ve been one of the loudest and ardent defenders of “The Big Bang Theory” since it premiered and I’ve remained a fan for many years. I don’t own any of the merchandise, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the series, and have purchased a few of the seasons here and there. While it lost me after season ten, I still find “The Big Bang Theory” to be a fun, often funny, and engaging sitcom with that comfort food sensibility that’s helped make other sitcoms so celebrated. Judge me all you want, but I loved “The Big Bang Theory” well in to its run on CBS, and enjoy it every now and then on cable. After twelve seasons and a successful spin off, “The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Series” is now on DVD and Blu-Ray in a cozy boxed set, and a Limited Edition Flat Box set with assorted bells and whistles.
“The Big Bang Theory” is fun to re-visit and works well upon rewatches, and on Blu-Ray it is fun to see it in its uncut glory. The series, for those unaware, is set in California and focuses on roommates Sheldon and Leonard. The pair are two geeky, comic book obsessed scientists working at a local college whose lives are changed when the beautiful aspiring actress Penny moves next door to them. As Penny is welcomed in to the fold with their other friends Raj and Howard, Leonard struggles to figure out how he feels about Penny.
Meanwhile the sweet Penny is exposed to a weird, and wacky world shown to her by the eccentric foursome of friends. Along the way the series evolves often and it works well, as it transforms in to a relationship sitcom about growing up, and then learning to embrace adulthood. Despite some inherent flaws and goofy turns here and there, “The Big Bang Theory” is loads of fun and has a good time with its pop culture framework, setting up some great, geeky episodes that I love to laugh with.
The Limited Edition contains a full color booklet with a pop up display on the front cover. There are episode guides, full color stills, and a Digital Copy of the complete series for consumers. The 25 disc set features all twelve hours of the segments and extras from all the previously released season sets, as well as some new ones for this boxed set and the final season. For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, the exclusive extras all included on the 25th disc box set are featured only on an SD DVD. No, seriously. So, if you’re a hardcore fan of the series sans a DVD Player who is exclusively BD and 4K UHD, you’re shit out of luck. And probably livid. I understand.
Along with the aforementioned extras, there’s the thirty minutes The Big Bang Theory: A Retrospective a wonderfully exhaustive and detailed look at how the series was created, its development, casting, writing, and the terrible pilot (sans Cuoco) that never made it to air. BBT’s Greatest Hits: 12 Years of Comedy in 24 Minutes is a twenty five minutes series of clips from all twelve seasons in one shot, chronicling every highlight and turning event. Finally, All The Stars in the BBT Universe is a twelve minutes recap of all the great cameos, guest stars and scientists that appeared on the show over its 12-season run. Everyone is featured, from Steve Wozniak, to Mark Hamill.
Included in The Big Bang Theory: The Twelfth and Final Season extras is Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell Special, a twenty one minutes discussion with Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco both of whom share their own favorite personal memories. The Last Days of The Big Bang Theory is a fourteen minute behind the scenes of the series finale as the writers, cast and crew say goodbye and they take their final bows. There’s also a look at preparations for the final episode, the final table read. It’s a bittersweet good bye. The Big Bang Theory’s Impact is a seven minutes look at Chuck Lorre, and the cast honoring the first class of recipients of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment, who graduated from UCLA in Spring 2019.
The Sweet Spot is a twelve minutes discussion with Mark Sweet, the comedian who has been warming up and entertaining the live studio audiences (200 people) before every single taping of the series. It looks at his origin in comedy and how he made audiences laugh for so long. The twelve minutes The Big Bang Theory Cast Visits Ellen is self-explanatory. Best of The Big Bang Theory Comic-Con 2018 Panel is a thirty nine minutes discussion with the writers and some of the cast on stage at Comic-Con in 2018. Finally, there’s the seven minutes Gag Reel which is your standard reel of laughs, gaffs, flubs, bloopers, and goofiness from the cast and crew.
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