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This review was first posted on Ciao in September 2012 and appears here unedited.
As a person who watches a lot of TV series, September's a bit of an exciting time. As well as it being the start of the academic year (as this is the first time I've not been in education, it's weird that that doesn't matter) and me starting my new job in Germany, September is also when most of my favourite TV series start again. As well as QI being back for a new series on BBC, there are a lot of American series starting again towards the end of this month. As well as having new Dexter, Once upon a Time and Family Guy to look forward to, I'm also quite excited about the prospect of a new series of The Big Bang Theory. I've seen the fifth series quite a few times now so it'll be good to see how the sixth one stands up to it. Until that comes out, however, here is my review on the current most recent series available.
== The Big Bang Theory ==
The Big Bang Theory is a comedy set in Pasadena (right next to LA) in California, and mainly revolves around flatmates Leonard and Sheldon, who are physicists at the California Institute of Technology. They are 'geniuses' and most definitely geeks, conforming to stereotypes quite nicely. Sheldon is a particularly unusual character, with many OCD like tendencies, including a severe germ phobia, as well as lack of social skills and an intolerance of other people. Leonard is still a geek but gets on with life and people much better than his flatmate does and is generally a more likeable, if less comical, character. They spend a lot of their time with two of their colleagues from the university, Rajesh and Howard. The former is a physicist from India who has selective mutism which manifests whenever he is around women, unless he's had a few drinks. Howard is an engineer who still lives with his mother and who acts overly confidently and aggressively in front of women.
== Series Five ==
By the fifth series, a few things have changed in 'Big Bang Theory' world. Penny and Leonard have already been together and broken up, Howard has an actual girlfriend in the form of Penny's friend Bernadette, and Leonard is currently in a relationship with Raj's sister. Sheldon is also having a strange, asexual relationship with Amy Farah Fowler, who also happens to be one of the best fictional characters ever.
== What I Thought ==
This is a great series of The Big Bang Theory and is probably the best one yet. Amy is such a great character that her appearance in the fourth and fifth series definitely brought the programme up a further notch. Even without Amy, this would be a good series, as there's a lot of comedy coming from a mix of the adorable geekiness of four of the main characters and their platonic and romantic relationships with the women in their lives.
=== Acting and Characters ===
My favourite character and actress in The Big Bang Theory are, unsurprisingly based on what I've said thus far, Amy Farah Fowler and Mayim Bialik, the actress who plays her. Amy is an exceptional character to have alongside Sheldon, as although she is only slightly less socially awkward than he is, her social difficulties take on a different turn, and she ends up being far too open and inappropriate as opposed to Sheldon's failure to grasp many social situations. Her interest in having a relationship with him as well as her almost lesbian love for Penny are just two of the things that make her a great character.
I also have to give particular mention to Jim Parsons and his character, Sheldon. While Leonard is a more relatable and likeable character, Sheldon has been the star of the show since the first series, and he's still on form here. All of the best running jokes in the programme are his: his triple knock, his 'hilarious' jokes followed by the word 'bazinga' and his constant referral to his and Leonard's roommate agreement, to name but a few. Parsons is brilliant at bringing this anal, socially uncomfortable and often unpleasant character to life and I believe that his acting in particular should be commended.
=== Episodes ===
There are some really good episodes here, which is especially good considering that the programme's in its fifth series and many programmes start to lose steam after a few years. There are running themes going through this series, such as Sheldon and Amy's 'relationship', Howard and Bernadette's engagement, Howard's probability of going into space and the gang's general geekiness and intelligence. I'll not give any spoilers by going into any of the episodes in detail, but in general, there are 24 great episodes in this series.
=== The Theme Tune ===
I know it sounds trivial, but one of the things that I really love about The Big Bang Theory is its theme tune. While it doesn't really matter if a programme has an average or uninspiring opening credits, I do really enjoy and appreciate a particularly interesting or good one and love the one found on The Big Bang Theory. Its lyrics tell a brief history of Earth, its tune is upbeat and entertaining and it is accompanied by a stream of photos depicting mankind's achievements, culminating in a shot of the main cast eating takeaway. It's a short theme tune but I find it endlessly entertaining, so I always start watching an episode in a happy mood because of it. It can be seen on youtube here: http://youtu.be/VEE7RCqZDfo
== Conclusion ==
This is a great fifth series and I haven't got bored of watching the episodes even repeatedly. It's a light comedy so it's easy to have on in the background while I'm doing something else (like writing this review for example), so it's also something I occasionally put on when I'm going to sleep as I don't have to concentrate on it too much. Of course, it's still also very entertaining when you give your full attention to it. The only real negative thing I have to say about The Big Bang Theory is that it has a very loud and annoying laughter track. I couldn't say I'm a fan of laughter tracks in general but they don't get on my nerves in other programmes anywhere near as much as in this one, as it is far louder than it needs to be. It actually put me off watching it initially as I found it so obnoxious, but it doesn't take too long to get over it.
Despite not having been out for all that long, this Series Five DVD is already a very reasonable price to buy at £15 from Amazon. The series 1-5 box set is also reasonably priced at £41, which is even cheaper than they're selling the first four series for, which is bizarre. Either way, I highly recommend this series and found it very entertaining.
The Big Bang Theory is a unique American Comedy based on science.
I used to watch Friends every night, but when that went off air I wondered what would replace it and whether it could ever be as good. Then I saw the first episode of The Big Bang Theory and I've seen every episode since. Even my parents like the show and they're not fans of American comedies.
The Big Bang Theory is about 4 scientists called Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard and a waitress/actress called Penny. The series follows their lives as Sheldon continues to be his quirky, unique self, Penny tries to become an actress and the guys all try and find love, or failing that, just a girl that will actually talk to them.
The guys are all nerds while Penny isn't, causing some amusing situations.
By series 5 you know all the characters really well, but you can never predict the situations they will end up in or what smart comment they will come out with next.
In season 5 Sheldon has a girlfriend, Amy, although their relationship is not like any other and their conversations and actions are always funny. Amy, like Sheldon, has always gone for science over society.
However, a lot of season 5 is focused on Howard and Bernadette as they are about to get married and Howard is also about to go into space. As always, things are never simple and it doesn't quite go to plan.
I won't go any more into the episodes and what happens as it will ruin the show and there's no way I could put into words how great and funny each episode is.
Sheldon is a physicist played by Jim Parsons. Sheldon is the most unique character in the show and it just wouldn't be the same without him. As the other characters say, Sheldon is quirky. As the seasons have gone on Sheldon has come to realise what is socially acceptable, although he is still clueless about many things and can not understand why people act how they do.
With his strange behaviour and catchphrase of bazinga you can't help but like Sheldon.
Leonard is a physicist played by Johnny Galecki. Leonard has the most social skills out the group, although that's not really saying much. He lives with Sheldon and is always getting annoyed over Sheldon's demands.
Raj is an astrophysicist played by Kunal Nayyar. Raj lives by himself and is best friends with Howard. He became friends with Sheldon through being friends with Leonard who he met at work (the university). Raj doesn't understand all the American ways as he is from India and he also has problems speaking to women unless he's had alcohol which leads to awkward and funny situations.
Howard is a aerospace engineer played by Simon Helberg. Howard also works at the university, but in series 5 he becomes an astronaut. Previously Howard has always been trying to pick up women but now he has Bernadette and he intends to marry her. That is, if he doesn't have to go into space.
Penny played by Kaley Cuoco. Penny is the only one in the group who isn't a scientist although she has learnt a few things from hanging around with the group.
In series 5 Penny hangs around with the girls as well as the guys.
In series 5 Bernadette played by Melissa Rauch and Amy Farrah Fowler played by Mayim Bialik also make regular appearances.
Special effects and audio:
There isn't much audio in the show, apart from the theme tune which is really catchy and the audience.
There a few special effects in the show which are all very well done and really add to the show.
You can buy the DVD from Amazon and Play.com for £14.99 and that also includes an Ultraviolet copy. The DVD includes 3 disks and 24 episodes.
The episodes are currently being aired on TV, but it's worth getting the DVD if you really like the show. It's also well worth the money with 24 episodes in the series.
Overall The Big Bang Theory is one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment. Series 5 is not my favourite, but there's nothing wrong with this series. It's still as funny as the previous episodes.
If you have seen series 1-4 and love The Big Bang Theory then series 5 is certainly worth watching and after this there is no doubt you'll watch the next series too and after that go back and watch them all again.
The Big Bang Theory is a program that will still be funny even 10 years for now. Although the main theme of the show is Science this show appeals to everyone and you don't have to understand anything scientific.
The show has made science cool. Highly recommended.
I normally do not buy big bang box sets as I watch them on TV instead, however as I missed a few episodes I wanted to catch up with them all in order so when this box set was released I decided to purchase them. I do feel you need to watch the previous episodes to understand the history behind the characters. Saying that it would still be enjoyable to watch without watching the previous episodes, and after a few episodes you would be able to catch up on the important things. The big bang theory is a TV show following a group of friends who just happen to be scientists. They are stereotypical geeks, all apart from Penny who is the stereotypical girl next door.
**Characters this season**
Dr. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) is an experimental physicist , and one of the main characters in the show. He is one of the original characters from the first series, and one of my favourites. In this series we see him try and rekindle his romance with Penny but is it all going to work out well? He is a very lovable character, and I find myself feeling sorry for him a lot.
Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper (Jim Parsons) is a theoretical physicist is my favourite character. His humour is very dry, he values himself higher than anyone else as his intelligence is higher and is overall a fantastic contributor to this show. Considering he is supposed to have a lack of humour some of his lines are amazing, and I could actually rewind them over and over again while still finding them funny. In theory his character should be really unlikable, however I find the way he is portrayed is perfect.
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) lives across the hall from Lenard and Sheldon, she is an unsuccessful actress and holds a job as a waitress. Her lack of knowledge compared to the others is a great set up for many of the jokes, and although she tries to take a little more interest in recent series she is your general girl next door. Again, I find that Penny is a really likeable character. At first she was portrayed to be a dumb blonde but in this series they seem to have given her a little more depth.
Dr. Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) is from physics department and best friends with Howard. He is the only one of the characters not in a relationship, and although he is not one of my favourite characters he does a good job of filling the gaps. He has a few major story lines in this season, and I did find myself warming to him a little more.
Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) is an aerospace engineer he recently met Bernadette, and they are now dating. Although, at the beginning he was more of a filler character he does take more of a lead in this series. We get to learn a lot more about him, and we get to watch his career progress so maybe the others will lay off him?
Bernadette Rostenkowski is Howards partner, originally introduced by Penny has again a bigger role to play in this series. Although I find her voice highly irritating she is the perfect match for Howard, and I find myself liking her more in this series. In this series she comes out of her shell while planning her wedding, and I find her character develops a lot more this series.
Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) is a neuroscientist, and has a strange relationship with Sheldon. She is fantastic, I was a little worried that the introduction of new characters would have a negative impact on the show, however I find the way her and Sheldon interact is highly comical. She seems to be the female copy of Sheldon which makes their pairing up even more delightful.
I'm not going to go hugely into the plot of this series giving you a rundown of what happens in each episode as that would just ruin your viewing experience. I do find this series covers the relationships a lot more than anything else, although it is not completely dominating to the whole show. We see Amy trying to pursued Sheldon that they could be a little more like boyfriend and girlfriend than just a boy and girl who are friends. This is fantastic to see as it puts Sheldon in uncomfortable situations that he is not used too, and this just produces some fantastic set ups for the comedy show. A huge part of this series is the run up to Howards and Bernadette's marriage. We not only get to see the girls bond as they prepare for the wedding, but of course there are problems along the way. Will they make it to getting married or will it all be called off? Howard's career takes a turn for the better as he is invited to go into space, but is this in turn going to cause problems for his relationship? We also see Leonard's girlfriend Priya move back to India which then leaves him thinking about his relationship with Penny. We see them rekindle their romance but is it all going to go well especially as Penny was recently caught spending the night with Raj.
There are 24 episodes in total on this DVD and not one of them fails to disappoint. The story line remains strong, and with the introduction of more characters the show continues to amuse, and sometimes shock viewers. I like that they are involving a large amount of the characters into the show, rather than relying on a few to carry it. This makes it more interesting by adding more possibilities to the story lines. I also like that we get to see the girls form there group, we see Amy become strangely obsessed with Penny, and also becomes a little too serious in her maid of honour role. I love Amy she is my second favourite after Sheldon, an odd couple that work so well together.
I can honestly say I have watched all the episodes twice times so far, and I feel myself laughing each and every time. Every time I watch it I notice a joke, or something I have missed the first time round as there is so much packed in to the episodes. I like that this season as it focuses on the other characters a little more, rather than just the original cast. We get to see more from the characters that were pushed back a little in other series, and I find this is a big part in what makes this season such a success. Sheldon of course steals the show as usual. Just as I think they must have run out of fantastic one liner's for him, they find something else to make me laugh hysterically. Although, he does have a lot of scenes with Amy in this show the writer's have also made sure that they provide him with some time on his own to keep his original appeal alive.
Specials on the set of DVD's include, 100th show episode, Behind the scenes, how it started and of course the all important out takes. I love the outtakes provided on the DVD, this provides extra entertainment with unseen clips which just top of this fantastic season perfectly. It is great to see the people that mess up their lines more than the others, and to see just how much fun they have creating which I feel really shows in the episodes. The other extras are of course to celebrate the 100th episode of the big bang theory; we get to look behind the scenes to see how the program is put together, including interviews with the cast which I really liked as we got to know what their favourite parts of the series are. To be honest I have only watched through these once, although it is great to get an insight I would much prefer to run through the series again than watch the special features.You do get a UV copy included with this DVD pack, which apparently allows you to upload it to any compatible device to stream instantly, however I have only used the DVD's of this set. I doubt I will use this anytime in the future but I suppose it is a nice added extra for those interested.
I would highly recommend this DVD series to anyone it is one of the best ongoing shows I have watched for years. I did think maybe this series would be a little weaker as surely they must run out of jokes, but honestly I find that it is just getting better. There is something slightly different about this series which I cannot put my finger on, but this does not ruin the show if anything makes it more interesting. I am now going to ask for series 1- 4 for Christmas, so I can watch it all from the beginning again. The characters and script are as strong as ever which after the shakes in season four was a great relief. I have not owned this DVD for long , but I have already watched the whole series through twice, and I am sure that it will be watched a number of times in the future. It never seems to get old and if they stop the series anytime soon I will be disappointed! I pre ordered mine from Amazon with it retailing at around £15. I think this is fantastic value, and I am sure it will receive plenty of use from my partner and me.
The Complete Fifth Season
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The Big Bang Theory is back with a brand new fifth season. Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Penny, Bernadette, Howard and Amy all return in this hilarious new season. The fifth season has a total of 24 episodes, each episode approximately 30mins long. The last season finished with Bernadette meeting Howard's mother and them ending up in ER and Raj decided to move in with Sheldon. Leonard also finds out that Priya is moving back to India. The season starts off with Sheldon winding Leonard up about Penny coming out of Raj's room in the last series. From the very first series this season has me laughing and liking the characters even more than in the last season. In this season we see and learn more about Amy's character and how much she has taken a liking to Penny. Like in many other episodes we see all the guys go paintballing many times and we finally see Penny in an advert after her agency rings her about starring in a new advert. Penny picks up a chair from the street which makes Sheldon freak out and Raj tags along with Howard & Bernadette to the cinema. Penny sets up Raj on a date with his dream girl and Sheldon's mother comes for a visit. Leonard and Penny go out on a date again but will everything go to plan? This season has a guest appearance from Steven Hawking who visits their university. Howard and Bernadette plan their wedding but will everything go right when Howard is asked to go on a space mission? Will Howard and Bernadette get married and will Leonard and Penny re-kindle their relationship?
My Favourite Episodes
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The Infestation Hypothesis - In this episode Penny finds a chair in the street and decides to have it for her flat. Sheldon freaks out after sitting in it and finding out Penny has just picked it up from the street. Sheldon has a dream about the chair and dreams that it's infested and he tried to convince Penny to get rid of the chair. Leonard tries to talk naughty over the internet with Priya but it doesn't quite go to plan. Amy & Penny argue when Sheldon tries to get Amy to convince Penny to throw away the chair.
The Good Guy Fluctuation - its Halloween and Sheldon arranges a range of different tricks to play on his friends after they scare him with a mask. Sheldon's tricks keep back-firing and he's the one who keeps getting pranks played on him .Leonard meets a hot girl in the comic book store and he decides to tell Priya that he's attracted to someone else. I like this episode as Sheldon gets rather frustrated by his Halloween tricks that keep back firing.
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I purchased the fifth season from Amazon for £14.99 which includes the DVD and UV copy. The UV (Ultraviolet) copy allows you to stream the download to your computer and compatible Android, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. This season has a total of 3 discs.
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* The Big Bang Theory @ 100 - Cast & Producers celebrate the 100th episode.
* The Big Bang Theory's Laws of Reflection - The cast reflects on their favourite 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
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From the first episode this has me laughing, due the funny nature of all the characters and the way they are. I was a little worried when I purchased this as I have read some bad reviews about it; how-ever I really enjoyed the fifth season as much as I have the others. There are already talks if there being a season 6 and this will apparently be the last of The Big Bang Theory series. The characters are just as funny as they are in all the other seasons and Sheldon is definitely still my favourite character. There were a few episodes which I enjoyed a lot more than others, how-ever they are still all very enjoyable to watch. When season 6 comes out I will be sure to purchase this to go with my other Big Bang DVD's. I look forwards to what ideas they come up with in the apparent final season. If you like The Big Bang series then I would recommend this season to watch; how-ever it is best to watch all the other seasons first, so you can get an idea of all the characters and what happens between them all. The DVD is good value for money and will eventually drop down in price like all DVD's, how-ever this probably won't be until next year as the DVD hasn't been out for long. Despite some of the bad reviews I've heard I really enjoyed this season and think its well worth 5 stars.
(review may also appear on ciao)
SPOILER ALERTS. I used to love the big bang theory. I used to love the group dynamics, and i used to love the way they all fell into sterotypes. Like how leonard used to have difficulty with girls (in this season he even cheats on his girlfriend with some random girl, he then breaks up with said girlfriend, and restarts a relationship with penny, and still he has the cheek to play the victim shy scared one, annoys me so bad).
I also used to like Raj and Howards interactions, but Burnedette has sort of taken Raj's place, and is way less funny. I used to like Howard's jokes, but these have also stopped thanks to Burnedette. Things are made worse this season, as the one and only thing that was keeping this program alive was sheldon cooper. In this season, he starts to get boring. Why, because of Amy Fairer Fowler. I am sorry but in the entire time she has been on the show i have never laughed once at anything she has said or done, yet she is supposed to be the perfect match for sheldon? She is just creepy, but not like funny creepy, she actually just feels like she is killing the mood, and since her character arrived, the whole program has become more of a girls show, because now half the shows time is seeing how Amy gets along with burnedette and penny, and its always the same conversation.
Things reach a new all time low this season, when the same joke is used twice, never before has this been done on BBT. At the end of one episode, when leonard and penny get back together, there is a joke about leonard suggesting they take it like a program, and they do it like a alpha test, and keep it secret. At the beginning of the next episode, the exact same joke is made, but this time the only added thing is maybe we should do bug reports. Its so unbelievably lame its untrue, because it wasn't that funny the first time!
Ok, so why is Sheldon becoming boring? Because in this season he starts going out with Amy, and the whole essence that is sheldon is just totally eroded. It just really stupid.
So who does this actually leave. The program now just becomes a temple to medocriate tv. It becomes like almost any other sitcom, and you just feel you have to watch it, although i must admit i got very little pleasure out of this series. I think the producers added to many people, and played around with the overall plot, probably because its better for the average viewer. Sadly the average viewer doesn't exist, because there are loads of other programs that are for the average view, and the big bang theory was never one. but now it is, and as an original fan i kinda feel insulted that they changed a funny tv program to try to get a bigger audience, leaving something that the old fans don't like, but something that new people won't like either, they won't get the gist of whats going on. So really i have no idea what the point in this season is for. A very poor showing indeed.