TITLE: THE BIG BANG THEORY - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010 (Warner Home Video)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: approx. 472 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 26 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English & Portuguese languages; English, French, Espanola, Portuguese, Chinese & Thai subtitles
Special Features: “Take-out with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory,” “Set Tour with Simon and Kunal,” and Gag Reel.
Get ready for more uncontrollable laughter with the return of four brilliant, yet socially awkward scientists struggling to adapt to the world outside the lab as Warner Home Video releases The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season on DVD on September 14, 2010. Timed to coincide with the premiere of the show’s fourth season on CBS (Sept. 23), fans will enjoy watching the hilarious and undoubtedly unique chemistry between these loveable guys and their beautiful neighbor.
A love affair with Penny has opened up a big, wide, wonderful world of romance for Leonard. But Sheldon likes the world just the way it was, thank you. All of which makes for a zany comic triangle with the brainy Sheldon and free-spirited Penny hilariously vying for the role of hypotenuse. This complete three-disc, 23-episode season three set also features Raj, Howard, awkward dates, jail time, Stan Lee, a Lord of the Rings ring and all the fun of a series that only gets better.
Created by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg), who executive produce along with Lee Aronshon (Two and a Half Men), the series stars Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Kaley Cuoco as Penny, Simon Helberg as Howard and Kunal Nayyar as Raj.
I cannot believe we are done with three seasons of this show. It has gone so fast so far. This third season, to me, is not as funny as the first two seasons, but there are many standout episodes. For this season, Jim Parsons won an Emmy Award for the character of Sheldon. This season the series moved from 8pm to the coveted post-Two and a Half Men slot of 9:30 and it certainly spiked the ratings. The series gradually built from the big 18-49 rating lead-in even, making it a blockbuster series now. Anyway, the season starts off with the episode “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation” the guys are coming home from the North Pole, but only Sheldon is satisfied with the trip, while the rest don’t have very good opinions, while, Penny is more than happy to see that Leonard has come home, and their relationship goes to a whole new level when Penny kisses him incessantly. In “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary,” Sheldon is positively shocked to learn that Wil Wheaton is entering the same card game that Raj is in, and he agrees to be Raj’s partner, meanwhile, Howard persuades Penny into hooking him up with one of her friends. In “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency,” Leonard, Howard and Raj are on a camping trip in the desert to see the Leonid meteor shower, while Sheldon is at home enjoying the thought of being alone, but his night takes a turn when Penny needs medical help when she fell in the shower and dislocated her shoulder, making Leonard her only rescue. In “The Maternal Congruence,” Leonard’s mother returns for another visit and Leonard is still not pleased with her coming over, while Sheldon is ecstatic, Penny, however, stresses over the fact that Leonard hasn’t told his mother that he is in a relationship with Penny, and she waits for the perfect moment to tell her, which seems to only be when Beverly becomes drunk for the first time. In “The Psychic Vortex,” when Leonard and Howard go on a double date with Penny and Bernadette, Raj becomes the fifth wheel, and decides to seek a hook-up going to a university mixer accompanied by Sheldon (who was looking forward to spending his time alone, but was dragged alongside Raj), however, when they score and get two girls back to their apartment, their week takes an unexpected turn. In “The Excelsior Acquisition,” ruining his one and only chance at meeting Stan Lee, Sheldon winds up in traffic court because of illegal driving that he did when he drove Penny to the hospital. In “The Pants Alternative,” Sheldon's friends come to his aid when his fear of public speaking stands between him and a coveted award. In “The Wheaton Recurrence,” Leonard and Penny's relationship is on the line when they start fighting. On the season finale, “The Lunar Excitation,” while Penny worries that dating Leonard has ruined her for normal guys, Wolowitz and Koothrappali search for Sheldon's perfect match online.
Notable guest stars for this season include the recurring Kevin Sussman, Melissa Rauch, Will Wheaton, Brian George, John Ross Bowie, Sara Gilbert and Carol Ann Susi as the voice of Howard’s mother. And guest stars include Christine Baranski, Lewis Black, Elizabeth Bogush, Katee Sackhoff, Ira Flatow, Danica McKellar, Judy Greer, Mayim Bialik and Stan Lee.
The episodes are obviously unedited, but these days the sitcoms are so short. The time vary per episode with most episodes either in the 20 or 21 minute mark in general, some a bit lower than 20 minutes...which is very short and unusual. I think they just ran short, so nothing is edited but it is so short. I don’t think the series used much music, if at all, 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.
Here are the runtimes of each episode:
1. "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" (21:33)
2. "The Jiminy Conjecture" (21:24)
3. "The Gothowitz Deviation" (20:28)
4. "The Pirate Solution" (21:16)
5. "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" (21:07)
6. "The Cornhusker Vortex" (19:36)
7. "The Guitarist Amplification" (19:32)
8. "The Adhesive Duck Deficiency" (20:55)
9. "The Vengeance Formulation" (19:17)
10. "The Gorilla Experiment" (21:23)
11. "The Maternal Congruence” (19:48)
12. "The Psychic Vortex" (19:31)
13. "The Bozeman Reaction" (20:21)
14. "The Einstein Approximation" (18:49)
15. "The Large Hadron Collision" (21:20)
16. "The Excelsior Acquisition" (21:02)
17. "The Precious Fragmentation" (20:32)
18. "The Pants Alternative" (21:27)
19. "The Wheaton Recurrence" (21:01)
20. "The Spaghetti Catalyst" (20:011)
21. "The Plimpton Stimulation" (21:18)
22. "The Staircase Implementation" (20:12)
23. "The Lunar Excitation" (20:13)
The packaging has a thin outer box that holds a case once again. Both the box and case have the same artwork for the cover, but not the back. The cover art is primarily in white with some science things in the background. The show logo is in the middle of the cover art, with The Complete Third Season line in white lettering in a purple background all the way on the top. Below the show logo we have a shot of the main cast. The back of the outer box has details on the series and set, along with special features, technical details, and credits. We also have a nice quote on top from TV Guide Magazine and three nice episodic photos. The back of the case has an episodic photo of the cast from the season premiere, with facial hair, minus Penny of course.
When we open the case, we see an episode listing booklet on the left panel. The booklet 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, original airdate and of course a short synopsis of the episode. The booklet insert is filled with lots of episodic photos, too, such as the famous shot of the gang in super hero costumes. The back of the booklet has full-body photos of the five main stars with their name and character name below them. As for the disc placement, there is a little plastic disc holder in the middle. The holder is like a book, meaning you can flip it back and forth. The front side holds disc one and the back side holds disc two. Disc three is on the right panel itself. For some reason we only have 3 discs on this set rather than 4.
Disc artwork has a white background with character artwork. Disc one has a photo of Sheldon and holds episodes 1-8. Disc two has a photo of Leonard & Penny and episodes 9-16 while disc three has a photo of Raj & Howard and holds episodes 17-23 and the special features. The panels have a white background with those science image things. There is a nice cast photo on the left panel, too.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is similar in vein to the packaging and such. It has a white background, the same cast shot as the cover art. The catchy theme song from The Barenaked Ladies is playing in the background. Anyway, on to the Main Menu, the options are Play, Episodes, Languages, and Features. Features 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, Portuguese, Chinese or Thai, just like last time. The audio is available in English and once again Portuguese. The episodes option is very simple; it lists the episode number and title once again. So again, a simple but efficient menu.
Video and Audio Quality:
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. Anything less would be a total disappointment for a current show on DVD. No complaints from me! I have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, so the quality is great. Each episode on this set has 4 chapter stops each, so you can jump to scenes faster. All of this is consistent from past releases.
For the second straight release we have three features! The first special feature is a featurette titled “Take-out with the Cast of The Big Bang Theory” (10:23). The cast answers questions via fortune cookies on the set! We of course have Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Simon Helberg (Howard), and Kunal Nayyar (Raj). Kaley seems the most out-going. Johnny was very quiet. Simon did a nice John Ritter joke, which I appreciate, as did Kaley. Next up we have the featurette “Set Tour with Simon and Kunal” (7:40). This is a fun feature as Simon Helberg (Howard) and Kunal Nayyar (Raj) go through each set and shows how everything is. They run into Mark Cendrowski (director), Mary T. Quigley (co-producer/costume designer), and Johnny Galecki (Leonard). And finally we have a Gag Reel (7:48). This of course is bloopers and outtakes from this season. See what happens when Kaley Cuoco messes up! This show does test the hilarity hypothesis, doesn’t it? The reel is a bit shorter than last season’s, but still good.
Bazgina! Warner Bros. has done a good job with this set again. The special features quantity was similar to last season. I think we need more extras for a high rated show like this. The ratings went up this season due to the timeslot change, but I felt the episodes lacked a bit, especially early on in the season. They still are very funny, but not as good as the first two seasons. The set is on par really with the past DVDs, but wonder why they went from four discs to three discs this season with the same amount of episodes as last season? The price stayed the same, too. Jim Parsons (Sheldon) just won an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, so congrats to him as he deserved it. The series is on the move again, but this time to a new night. Season four begins Thursday, Sept. 23 on CBS at a new night and time of Thursdays at 8:00pm ET/PT, but if you need to catch up, this DVD is the perfect way to do it, as it comes out Sept. 14--nearly ten days before the start of the season. Even though I thought the episodes were not as good as past seasons, it is still a solid season and worth buying on DVD, especially if you have those first two sets. Kaley is gorgeous once again! Buy this DVD and watch or DVR the fourth season on CBS! Bazinga!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 09/10/10
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