TITLE: THE BIG BANG THEORY - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON - BLU-RAY + DVD + ULTRAVIOLET
DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color / 2007-08
Packaging: Keep Case with Outer Box
Number of Discs: 2 (Blu-ray) / 3 (DVD)
Number of Episodes: 17
Running Time: approx. 355 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx.. 25 minutes
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Deutsch, Española - Castellano (Blu-ray); English (DVD)
Subtitles and Captioning: English, French, Deustch, Española - Castellano, and Española - Latino (Blu-ray); English, French, Espanola, Portuguese (DVD)
Special Features: “Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory” and Gag Reel
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete First Season is back! This time on Blu-ray and UltraViolet as well from Warner Home Video! The first season DVD was released on 9/2/08, but we never got a Blu-ray release...until now! University physicists Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) understand everything from the inescapable gravitational pull of a black hole to intricate structure of the atom, but take those atoms and assemble them into a woman, and their incomprehension comes to a grinding halt. And when the sexy Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who has all these atoms in the right places, moves in across he hall in their apartment complex, Leonard and Sheldon’s universe begins to expand in ways they never could have imagined, especially for Leonard. You’ll find all that and more in this hilarious CBS comedy called The Big Bang Theory airing Thursday nights on CBS and now you can own the hilarious first season on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video!
The Big Bang Theory is executive produced by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, Roseanne) and Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg, Gilmore Girls) and stars two TV kids who are all grown up -- Johnny Galecki, who played Darlene’s boyfriend on "Roseanne," and Kaley Cuoco, who played John Ritter’s daughter on "8 Simple Rules... For Dating My Teenage Daughter.” Jim Parsons (Judging Amy) plays Sheldon. Also on for the geeky ride are Leonard and Sheldon’s two friends Howard Wolowitz (played by Simon Helberg) and Rajnesh Koothrappali (played by Kunal Nayyar).
I have watched every episode of this series on TV and DVD and now I can on Blu-ray as well! This was clearly one of the better new sitcoms of the 2007-08 season. As mentioned on our season 1 DVD review, I think this series and ABC’s “Samantha Who?” were the clear stand-outs and what do you know, they are both returning for a second season! I really liked every episode, but there are some that just stands out more than others. Towards the middle of the season they shifted the focus to Sheldon related episodes and that sort of downgraded the series a tad. Sheldon is probably the best and funniest character with his lines, but they overused him I thought later in the season. They needed to use more of Penny, but having the four geeks all at once makes up for that. The season was cut short to only 17 episodes due to the writers’ strike. Anyway, it all starts off in the “Pilot” where a pair of brilliant theoretical physicists meets a woman who shows them how little they know about the real world. In “The Luminous Fish Effect,” Sheldon's Christian-fundamentalist mother (Laurie Metcalf) visits to get him out of the funk he's in after he is fired for being disrespectful toward his new boss. Then the Roseanne reunion continues in “The Hamburger Postulate” when Sara Gilbert guest stars, as Leonard and his colleague Leslie spend the night together, but Leslie tells Leonard after the fact that she's only interested in a one-night stand. Howard really shines in the episode “The Dumpling Paradox,” when Howard hooks up with Penny's old friend, it ruins the nights on which all of the guys play the game "Halo." Then Rajesh shines in the very next episode “The Grasshopper Experiment,” when Rajesh’s parents, communicating from India via webcam, arrange for him to go out with another Indian woman in the hopes of marriage, but his date turns out to have more in common with Sheldon. In “The Pancake Batter Anomaly,” Sheldon is sick, and Leonard and the guys sneak out to a "Planet of the Apes" movie marathon to get out of taking care of him--which leaves Penny as the only person to whom the needy Sheldon can turn. In “The Pork Chop Indeterminacy,” Sheldon's sexy twin sister arrives in town from Texas and all of Sheldon's friends fight over who will get to be with her. And finally in the season finale, “The Tangerine Factor,” after Penny breaks up with her new guy, she agrees to go out on a date with Leonard. However, both of them have reservations about the date soon after agreeing to it.
In addition to the aforementioned Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf, other notable guest stars include veterans James Hong, Carol Ann Susi, Mark Harelik, and Brian George.
Here are the runtimes of each episode (which are the same times as the season 1 DVD). The Blu-ray has episodes 1-9 on disc one, while the DVD has episodes 1-6 on disc one. The Blu-ray has episodes 10-17 on disc two, while the DVD has episodes 7-12 on disc two. The DVD has a third disc, with episodes 13-17:
1. Pilot (22:53)
2. The Big Bran Hypothesis (21:05)
3. The Fuzzy Boots Corollary (22:01)
4. The Luminous Fish Effect (20:39)
5. The Hamburger Postulate (20:10)
6. The Middle-Earth Paradigm (21:00)
7. The Dumpling Paradox (21:11)
8. The Grasshopper Experiment (20:11)
9. The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization (19:29)
10. The Loobenfeld Decay (20:39)
11. The Pancake Batter Anomaly (22:01)
12. The Jerusalem Duality (20:06)
13. The Bat Jar Conjecture (21:39)
14. The Nerdvana Annihilation (20:05)
15. The Porkchop Indeterminacy (21:50)
16. The Peanut Reaction (19:47)
17. The Tangerine Factor (20:06)
The packaging has a short outer box that holds a short case, like most Blu-ray sets. The cover art is primarily in white with little formulas and such as in the background, like the DVD release of 2008. The show logo is in the middle of the cover art, with The Complete First Season line on the top, along with a blue bar mentioning this is a Combo Pack. Below the show logo we have a picture of the three main stars of the show Sheldon, Penny and Leonard. The back of both the outer box and case has four screenshots with a nice photo of Leonard and Sheldon without their pants (ok maybe it is not so nice), but they do have their tops on. Directly above that photo is a nice quite from Matt Roush of TV Guide. In the middle right of the back cover, we have two paragraphs about the show and set with a red box listing the special features below that. So yes most of this so far is very similar to the DVD release of 2008.
When we open the case, we see an episode listing booklet on the left panel. The insert has the same cover art as the thin outer box and case. The episodes are listed by disc, and have the episode number, title, writers, story by, director, original airdate and of course a short synopsis of the episode. We have a DVD section and a Blu-ray section. The booklet insert is filled with lots of photos, too, such as Leonard and Sheldon with their time machine and the geeks as Flash for Halloween. We also have another insert where we have our code to watch and instant stream the episodes on UltraViolet. As for the disc placement, there are two little blue disc holder in the middle. The holder is like a book, meaning you can flip it back and forth. The front side holds a disc and the back side holds a disc. We have both Blu-ray discs on the first plastic holder. The second plastic holder has the first two DVD discs and the third DVD disc is on the right panel itself.
Disc artwork is in the same vein as the packaging, white background with formulas. For the Blu-ray discs, disc one has a photo of Sheldon and holds episodes 1-9. Disc two has a photo of Penny and Sheldon and holds episodes 10-17 plus the special features. As for the DVD, disc one has a photo of Sheldon and holds episodes 1-6. Disc two has a photo of Penny and episodes 7-12, and disc three has a photo of Leonard and holds episodes 13-17 and the special feature.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is similar in vein to the packaging and such. It has a white background, with formulas, with the logo of the show and the same photo of Sheldon, Penny and Leonard from the cover art. The catchy theme song from The Barenaked Ladies is playing in the background. Oh yes, before we detail the main menu, disc one before the main menu has a video saying not to pirate DVDs/Blu-rays. Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions have all of this so far. On to the Main Menu, the options on the DVD are Play, Episodes, Languages, and Extras. Extras option is only on disc three, more on that later in this review. Languages option gives us the options to have subtitles in English, French, Espanol, or Portuguese. The audio is only available in English. The episodes option is very simple; it lists the episode number and title. So, a simple but efficient menu, it just needed a bit of a change on each disc.
The options for the Blu-ray version are Play, Episodes, Audio, Subtitles and Special Features. All of the options are on both discs, like Blu-rays always do. For Special Features, it will say please insert disc two to watch them, though, since there aren’t any on disc one. Subtitles option gives us the options to have subtitles in English, French, Deustch, Española - Castellano, and Española - Latino. The Audio option has us choosing between English, Deutsch, and Española - Castellano. And finally the Episodes option, we are given the episode number and title.
Video and Audio Quality:
It’s so nice to see the episodes in Blu-ray! Seasons 1 and 2 were never released on Blu-ray, so we are getting them for the first time! The video and audio are obviously perfect with the Blu-ray release and since the series isn’t old at all, it looks like you would see on CBS HD. Maybe it is even better. We have five chapter stops per episode for the Blu-ray version.
For the DVD version, see our comments from the 2008 review: The video and audio are excellent. The series aired in HD on CBS this past season, so why wouldn’t it be excellent? The DVD has the video in widescreen and a nice stereo sounding sound. No complaints from me! Each episode on this set has 4 chapter stops each, so you can jump to scenes faster. The episodes are obviously unedited, but these days the sitcoms are so short. The time vary per episode with the range being 20-22 minutes in general, some a bit lower and some a bit higher. I don’t think the series used much music in the episodes, and there is no disclaimer saying any music has changed. Warner Home Video is usually good in this regard, unlike CBS Paramount!
For the DVD, see our 2008 review: We get one special feature on this first season DVD. Usually shows still in production get much more than that, so it is somewhat disappointing, but better than nothing! “Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory” (17:11) is the extra we get on this set. It is an interview featurette. I believe this was the press packet interviews used before the pilot (or after the pilot was shot). So it wasn’t made for the DVD specifically. They do however add nice clips from the first season in between interviews and such. Interviewed are Chuck Lorre (creator), Bill Prady (executive producer), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh), Simon Helberg (Wolowitz), and Kaley Cuoco (Penny). Lorre and Prady talk about a lot of things, such as about the general premise of the show, how it was developed, and other interesting aspects that I won’t giveaway. Each of the actors talks about their characters. It is an interesting and informative special feature. I just wish we had more. Bloopers and audio commentaries are something that for sure would have worked for this series.
Speaking of bloopers, we get that on the Blu-ray discs! For the first time ever, a season one Gag Reel (7:35) is released! This is only available on the Blu-ray version! The Blu-ray version also has the “Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory” (17:11) featurette, but it isn’t in HD.
We finally get this season on Blu-ray! And if that’s not all, we get our DVD discs on here as well. And another cool bonus is we get a gag reel for season one, something that was NOT on the first season DVD! This is truly a funny show and it is a traditional comedy, something we are running short of these days. This Combo Pack is a good set and I am glad Warner Home Video did it, so we can have seasons one and two on Blu-ray. Seasons 3 and on are released on Blu-ray each year, so they will never have to go back and release those.
You can sell your DVDs if you had them before and buy this set, because those DVDs are with the Blu-ray discs on this set. It’s worth getting this Combo Pack set instead. Get your time machine ready, ok fine get out your Halo game for some fun adventures of two brilliant guys with their two brilliant friends and their sexy neighbor! Will Penny fall for one of them...maybe Leonard? Find out on the first season Blu-ray and DVD! It all started with the big BANG!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
For Blu-ray only (since we reviewed the DVD already in 2008)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 07/14/12
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