In the cult tradition of SPARTACUS, the halls of every science department now echoes: "I AM SHELDON"!
Well into its fourth season, THE BIG BANG THEORY proved to be one of the most funny TV sitcoms ever aired. I had not laughed out loud this hard ever since the best days of SEINFELD - and BIG BANG is consistently brilliant!
Sheldon Cooper is unavoidably the king of the show - the massive black hole this Universe revolves around if you will. A child prodigy, now a 24 years old theoretical physicist PhD with absolutely no social skills or known sexual drive. Sheldon may be on the verge of unifying the fields but cannot drive a car to save his life or break a smile even remotely resembling that of a mere homo sapiens.
Best moment (a very hard choice to make): shouting at his sister, who was telling people that her brother is a "rocket scientist", that she might as well be telling them he is working at the bridge toll-booth!
Leonard Hofstadter is Sheldon's roommate and primary ...keeper. An experimental physicist himself, he juggles Sheldon's idiosyncrasies with his personal neurosis - not to mention his crush on his neighbor Penny.
Best moment: negotiating with Leslie Winkle (a fellow plain-looking but witty physicist and Sheldon's nemesis) their ...annual intercourse session to achieve "therapeutic sexual release" .
Howard Wolowitz is the only one with no PhD yet (and Sheldon never lets him forget it). An electrical engineer whose crowning achievement is a mechanized arm that is used in the space shuttle (and is now working on its liquid waste management solutions). The fact that he is a short man with a severely outdated and misguided sense of fashion, still lives with his mother, insists on using a collection of pickup lines straight from men's magazines advice columns - and yet carries himself as God's gift to women is just hilarious.
Best moment: diverting a military drone from its way to spying on the Russians, only to locate the house where America's Next Top Model is filmed - and be able to drop by and hit on the vulnerable one that gets kicked out that week!
Rajesh Koothrappali is a particle astrophysicist with a fashion sense close to absolute zero and a severe case of shyness - to the point that he cannot speak in front of women unless inebriated. He keeps using the "poor Indian" defense although his father is a rich doctor who drives a Bentley.
Best moment: after falling to give his name to Sheldon's beautiful sister, he comes back to get the flier requesting human test subjects for an experimental anti-shyness drug.
Finally, Penny. She is the proverbial good girl next door who came to California with stardom aspirations but so far works as waitress and suffers a sequence of bad boyfriends - and from her neighbors.
Best moment: filling in a long medical questionnaire with Sheldon at the hospital. "Headaches?" "Well, I'm getting one now!"
The show unavoidably makes use of previous sitcom combinations (the odd couple, the unfulfilled love-interest mismatch) but even if one manages to discern them they are used in such a fresh manner that all that is left is great entertainment!
The way to truly enjoy this is to own it on DVD. The writing is so smart and the jokes fly so fast (many of them non-verbal) there is just no way to savor it during its weekly air time. Well, may be Sheldon could but then again, who can compare his intellect with his?
on 20 February 2009
If, like me, you don't trust yourself to get Sky because you're scared you'll never leave the house again, so you thought Freeview was a good alternative but now find it really isn't, allow me to introduce one of the few gems you can actually get on Freeview.
Squeezed in between E4s almost incessant diet of, like you know, teen dramas (One Tree Hill, The OC, 90210 and even Reaper on poorer episodes), lurks the fabulous Big Bang Theory.
Describing it as a series of 19 minute (yes, seriously folks - it must be good if the US networks figure they can squash 11 minutes of ads around it and still keep their audience) episodes in the life of two geeky scientists who live opposite a blonde waitress is as inadequate as saying Fawlty Towers was about a cross bloke in a hotel.
Firstly, the character of Dr Sheldon Cooper really is up there amongst the all-time great comic creations. Coupled with his much put-upon flatmate Leonard, they are eerily reminiscent of the great line in master and servant comic double acts from Laurel and Hardy to Steptoe and Son (but with better teeth). I don't know if the creators always intended it this way, but I suspect they suddenly found they had this unbelievably eccentric, idiosyncratic, gauche character with a brain the size of a planet and simply knew they had to wrap the whole series around him. How else can one of the funniest episodes be simply about all the other characters avoiding him because he has a cold?
Then, the four supporting characters are all well realised and much more than just foils for Sheldon, which is where so many character driven comedies fall down. I particularly love Howard, the seven stone jewish Love God and his very shouty (but never seen) mother.
Best of all, though, is the incredibly tight script. For those of us who mourn the passing of the great US TV wordplays - The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, NYPD Blue, Deadwood and even back to the likes of Murder One in the mid 90s - this is a real breath of fresh air. Not a word is wasted, not an inflection missed and occasionally even the line not spoken is very, very funny.
As the box blurb says, this is comedy with affection, where no-one is especially mean to anyone else in the search for funny lines and where you will probably recognise and identify with bits of each of the characters. So, if you're scanning your Free-To-Air TV schedule with dismay that there's no Shameless or Dexter on, ignore the Mock the Week repeats on Dave (how many times can you watch them???), give Big Bang Theory a try and discover another rare Freeview gem.
on 24 November 2008
I'm not normally a fan of american 'canned laughter' sitcoms, but this programme had me howling. Being a bit of a geek myself I completely empathised with Leonard (and more worryingly, Sheldon at times). If you don't mind a raucous laughter track after every line give it a try, it's one of the most well written and intelligent sitcoms I've seen in a long time. I hope the american TV fatcats don't do what they normally do when they occassionally stumble onto a gem, cancel it after 2 series'.
Live long and prosper, Big bang theory.
on 16 August 2011
The Big Bang Theory is just about the best comedy show I've enjoyed in a long time. The other reviewers say it all much better than I can, just to say I've watched every episode - and watched them all again, and still laugh out loud and want more! The characterization is just brilliant, I love Sheldon for all his flaws and quirks. ( Jim Parsons acting is superb. )
You can't help but feel sorry for Leonard, who always seems to lose out in relationships, especially with the lovely Penny. He tries so hard and is so likeable.
The desperate Howard is so creepy, but it's hard not to hope he gets the girl, any girl!! And Raj, again, is such a nice guy, but hopeless to the point of not being able to speak around females, unless drunk, and then he turns into superstud! It's all so wonderfully written, acted and produced. It's totally addictive and every episode is a short feast to be enjoyed again and again. If you love great comedy and nerd-ish oneliners, along with clever storylines and superb characters and acting, this is as good as it gets. Enjoy!
PS, When Sheldon asks the guy, " What kind of computer do you have, and don't say a white one." That's about my limited knowledge of computers, and I know even less about physics, and I still adore this excellent show.
on 19 October 2010
A bunch of nerds, a cute girl, an apartment block with a lift that doesn't work - how much fun could it possibly be? Well, actually, it's lots of fun. The Big Bang Theory has been running on E4 for sometime now but that doesn't reduce its appeal in the slightest.
Leonard and Sheldon are housemates who also happen to be genius-types (although Sheldon might dispute that anyone other than he is misidentified). Sheldon has absolutely no social skills, no recognition of social norms and believes that he is a superior being. His housemate Leonard is somewhat less lacking in social skills and has a massive crush on the cute blonde girl, Penny, who has moved in across the way. Add to the mix Raj and Howard, an Indian with a complete inability to talk to women and a sex-mad Jewish guy who still lives with his mother, and hilarity ensues. The episode where they go to a fancy-dress party at Penny's apartment is one of my favourites.
This is smart, witty television. There is no nastiness, just good-natured humour. A knowledge of fantasy and science-fiction will help a lot, as a lot of the references are to those genres.
The episodes are short but never fail to result in a genuine laugh-out-loud response.
on 23 May 2009
I find some comedies to be very funny, reeling out gag after gag, but failing to keep you engaged with the charaters or plot lines, and leaving you bored after a few episodes. A perfect example is "Will and Grace" which was hilarious, yet devoid of warmth or depth and I find a lot of US comedies like this.
Other comedies are more light and entertaining, not always that funny but with strong characters and storylines. I think this fits a lot of Brisith comedies, but a good US example is "Friends", a comedy which could go an episode without being that funny, while remaining exremely watchable and fun.
The Big Bang Theory is the first comedy i've seen which perfectly combines both. Sure, there are elements to this comedy i don't like - Howard's creepiness and the occasional recourse to embarassment humour fo example - but for the most part this serious is incredibly funny AND highly addictive. Sharp lines, strange situations, sharp observational humour and social commentary and brilliant use of phsyical comedy are all combined with a progressive story line, likable characters and a real sense of depth and compassion.
Watch and watch it in the right order if you want to get the most out of it. Hopefully you'll love it too.
on 30 January 2014
I bought this for my mum at Christmas as she had been watching the occasional episode on tv, but out of order. She pretty much watched the entire thing in one go. Apparantly it is amazing, although I haven't personally watched it.
Series follows a group of extremely geeky friends, who love physics, video games, science etc.
They are struggling however to understand the most complex world of all - women.
Comes highly recommended, I have a very happy mother :)
The Big Bang Theory is about two well educated guys sharing a house - Sheldon, a physics genius, who's just not very street wise at all, and has a lot of quirks; and Leonard - still a geek, but he's more versed in the ways of dealing with society and other people. He still isn't perfect though.
His friends are bizarre too, Raj cannot talk to women unless he's had a few drinks and Howard is just a bit creepy at times, but he seems to be a good friend to Sheldon and Leonard.
When Penny (Kaley Cuoco - 8 Simple Rules) moves in across the hallway, the boys are a bit baffled by her and not sure what to do. Leonard decides he wants to be with Penny, but Raj just can't talk to her, and Howard just annoys her, and she is just not used to Sheldon's bizarre ways. Penny herself is a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory - and has a great personality. She can be a bit materialistic at times, but she's the usual 20 something girl.
This show is usually good, but at times you feel the cast don't gel as well as they should. The laughter track is absolutely annoying and you learn to filter it out. My favourite has to be Leonard as he seems a bit more human - but Sheldon is rather annoying at times and you just wish you could get him to snap out of it. Penny is also great, and Raj is really funny.
My favourite episode has to be the one where they convince a Korean boy not to come to the faculty - as Sheldon becomes impossible when the boy insults his work.
The DVD is really poor though - not even DVD9s - you get 3 DVD5 disks which only fill 80% of the disk. The picture is rather compressed and not as good as it was on TV, and HD viewers are going to be very disappointed with the transfer. There are no extras but piles of subtitles - so you should find the language you need easily. It's really disappointing, plus the mix is only 2.0 - whereas on Channel 4 it was full 5.1, which made the swooshing sound as they moved from scene to scene a bit more glorious, now it's just a let down.
Good show, shame about the less than average DVDs. I'm giving the 4 stars for the show, the DVD deserves no stars at all.
To be completely honest I didn't really like `The Big Bang Theory' when I saw it on TV first. I found the idea interesting and some of the jokes funny, but never really laughed out loud. Then I saw an episode from a later series and found it hilarious and went back to this with a fresh eye and I found it a LOT more appealing. Following genius' Sheldon, Leonard and their friends who live in a nerdy parallel universe to everyone else, this has some great science based jokes. Sheldon is easily the funniest character with his literal interpretation of everyday events and his cold, logical reasoning, but the other characters raise many a laugh as well. The actor who plays Wolowitz is especially funny as a perpetually horny nerd. To see how they want to interact with `normal' people (especially the hot neighbour Penny) is quite endearing as they battle between their high IQ look of the world and wanting to be involved in regular social situations and this makes for plenty of funny scenarios. Each episode is only about 18 minutes long and these are great to put on when you have a few minutes spare. If you know a bit of basic science then these jokes will be all the more funny, but it is in no way a prerequisite. Well worth a look and if you don't like it first time round it's worth trying again. Never has geek chic been so funny.
Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
I just love the idea behind this sit-com. 4 scientists who are still of a type who love comics and have never grown up. They are timid in front of women, can't figure our simple instructions but can explain atomic theory. add to it a beautiful girl across the hall which works in a cheese cake factory and you have a very funny half hour of humour.
To get the most from the sit-com you should start with episode 1, series 1. I came across Series 3 first on Sky and it took a few episodes to understand what was what so to speak. Sheldon is a great character and I can see him having his own series.
Watch it from the start and you will, like me, never want to miss an episode.
Now where can I buy those great t-shirts Sheldon wears.