DVD Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season Four
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Distributor: Warner Home Video
· Johnny Galecki
· Jim Parsons
· Simon Helberg
· Kunal Nayyar
· Kaley Cuoco
· Melissa Rauch
· Aarti Mann
· Mayim Bialik
by R.J. Carter
Published: October 8, 2011
The geeks may not inherit the earth, but they're certainly inheriting the airwaves. What began as a sitcom about a grounded, pretty girl living across from two dorky scientists who have two dorky friends has evolved into something more than its initial creation -- from something that relied heavily on science fiction fandom to becoming something of a science fiction in its own right, with three of the four un-mate-able mates falling into relationships. With girls.
Following the breakup of Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) in season three, Leonard is ready to jump back into the dating scene. After a shaky start, he finds someone who is smart, beautiful, and patient. The downside? She's his friend's sister. Priya Koothrappali (Aarti Mann) becomes the latest female to join the regular cast, following the additions of Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), balancing out the cast, gender-wise and removing Penny from the role of mother hen to her socially awkward chicks.
The leering Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) even finds romance this season -- and not just at the hand of his computer-controlled robotic in the gripping season opener. The Jewish Howard hooks up with Catholic girl Bernadette (Rauch), a co-worker with Penny at The Cheesecake Factory. Unsurprisingly, while she's a waitress, she's also a doctoral candidate in the field of microbiology, keeping Penny in the role of the lone underachiever. The romance is a whirlwind one, as -- even with a breakup -- the two end up engaged, which possibly sends Howard's mother to the hospital with a coronary.
The highlighted relationship of the season, however, has to be the online-forged partnership between the Spock-like Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and the equally logical Amy Farrah Fowler (Bialik, a neurosurgeon in real life playing a neurotic neurobiologist on television). However, where Sheldon maintains emotions entirely, Amy shows the occasional fracture in her persona, exhibiting a longing for acceptance, friendship -- and, yes, sometimes something a bit more physical than Sheldon is willing to provide.
The Big Bang Theory continues to be one of the most hilarious sitcoms on television. The genius of it isn't so much in the smart dialogue, or the use of intellectual concepts as a launchpad for humor, but in the fact that a viewer doesn't have to "get" the science to laugh at the situation. The viewer becomes close to all the characters, cares about them, to the point you feel you're sitting across from them in the same room, a participant as quiet as Rajesh Koothrapali when there's a woman in the room and no drink in his hand. Ah, you thought I'd forgotten the shy Rajesh, but he steals some of the best scenes in this season, which include a Bollywood dance number with Rauch as he nurses a secret crush on Howard's girlfriend. And when he steps out of Leonard's bedroom, wrapped in just a sheet, with Penny right behind him, it's a season cliffhanger that leaves you rolling on the floor!
The fourth season DVD release is well made, delivering bonus material on each disc with a focus on the actors interviewing each other by asking questions submitted by viewers. You'll see Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik in one setting, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco in a second, and Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch and Kunal Nayyar in a three-way on the final disc. Additionally, you'll get a music video of the full-length theme song performed by the group Barenaked Ladies, and a making-of featurette focused on that video. Finally, there's a gag reel of on-set flubs and miscues.
Hypothetically speaking, The Big Bang Theory is the funniest show on television. Oh, who am I kidding -- that's not a hypothesis: that's a cold hard fact.
|The Big Bang Theory
|01. The Robotic Manipulation
02. The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification
03. The Zazzy Substitution
04. The Hot Troll Deviation
05. The Desperation Emanation
06. The Irish Pub Formulation
07. The Apology Insufficiency
08. The 21-Second Excitation
- The Big Bang's Theory of Relativity: Actor on Actor: Jim and Mayim
|09. The Boyfriend Complexity
10. The Alien Parasite Hypothesis
11. The Justice League Recombination
12. The Bus Pants Utilization
13. The Love Car Displacement
14. The Thespian Catalyst
15. The Benefactor Factor
16. The Cohabitation Formulation
- The Big Bang's Theory of Relativity: Actor on Actor: Kaley and Johnny
- Barenaked Ladies: The Big Bang Theory Theme Song Music Video
|17. The Toast Deriviation
18. The Prestidigitation Approximation
19. The Zarnecki Incursion
20. The Herb Garden Germination
21. The Agreement Dissection
22. The Wildebeest Implementation
23. The Engagement Reaction
24. The Roommate Transmogrification
- The Big Bagn's Theory of Relativity: Actor on Actor: Simon, Melissa and Kunal
- Gag Reel