The Big Bang Theory: Season 7
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Big Bang Theory, The: The Complete Seventh Season (DVD)
Doctors Leonard Hofstadter & Sheldon Cooper (Johnny Galecki & Jim Parsons) are brilliant physicists – masterminds of their CalTech laboratories, but socially challenged in the non-theoretical real world. Enter beautiful, street-smart neighbor, the actress/waitress Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who aims to teach them a thing or two about life. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship in the past, Leonard believes he’s found true love with Penny. Even Sheldon has grown comfortable with a female companion, entering into a signed “Relationship Agreement” with neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). In their free time, Leonard and Sheldon continue to enjoy weekly trips to the comic book store and fantasy role-playing games with their ever-expanding universe of friends, including fellow scientists Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and Howard’s microbiologist wife, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch).]]>
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The celebrity cameos/guest appearances this season are Bob Newhart reprising his role as Professor Proton (in a hilarious Star Wars themed episode), James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, Bill Nye and of course Wil Wheton. Almost all the characters end up in very different places by the end of the season than where they were at the beginning. Howard and Bernadette are the exceptions having settled into a fairly stable married life. Toward the end of the season the comic book store owner Stuart begins to take a larger role in the series.
As far as extras go for those who get the blu rays (or DVDs), there is a lot of behind the scenes material, a comic-con panel with the writers, a making of the Star Wars day episode and a gag reel. All in all probably around an hour's worth of bonus material. Definitely enough to make those who like going through that stuff happy.
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur....
On the DVD, the Blue Ray picture is noticeably better than the regular DVD. I also enjoyed the gag reel that comes on the disk.
This season picks up exactly where the last one left off. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a research trip. Back at home, the gang must learn to deal with his absence, especially his roommate Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and his girlfriend Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). However, when he comes back, his desire to spend some time with Penny over Sheldon shows the beginnings of the first changes in the group, a theme that actually echoed through the season.
What do I mean? Well, following up on the sixth season finale, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is now able to talk to girls even when he’s sober. What didn’t change there is that he still isn’t a lady’s man, although it does open up a few new relationship possibilities for him. Speaking of relationships, Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialk) wind up taking what for them is a huge step forward in their relationship on a romantic train ride up to the Napa Valley. Penny makes a huge change to forward her career as an actress and finds herself in a less than desirable roll opposite a surprising co-star. I would argue that the only main characters not to have major changes this season are Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), but since they adjusted to married life last season, maybe that’s for the best. They still get some great stories, like Howard’s drastic change after trying to help out his mother and how they deal with having Raj has a house guest for a week. They also have to deal with Howard's mother (voiced by Carol Ann Susi) when she breaks her leg.
Now I know some argue that the addition of Amy and Bernadette have actually harmed the show. I will certainly agree it has changed the show (there’s that word again). Penny spends more time with them than she does the guys, and Penny's dynamic with the guys was always fun. However, the show is just as funny as it always has been. How do I know? I regularly watch reruns any time I find it on TV, and I laugh at the old episodes just as much as I do these new ones. Heck, how can you not have fun with a city wide scavenger hunt or an old fashioned murder mystery game (both compliments of Raj)? Or Howard wearing an itchy sweater to prove a point to Sheldon.
And the geekiness continues. Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and his comic book store regularly appear in the series. When the guys don’t get into Comic Con, Sheldon decides to start his own, leading to a day with James Earl Jones. Speaking of which, the show finally celebrates Star Wars day in what is a touching and funny episode featuring the third appearance of comedy legend Bob Newhart.
My big complaint with the show continues – it often goes of the sex joke. It can be just as funny with clean jokes when it wants to be.
But make no mistake about it, this show is hilarious. They definitely still use the awkwardness of the characters for humor, but it is a loving kind of humor that is never too mean. It does not matter how many times I’ve seen an episode, I still laugh the entire way through it. And yes, I will watch these reruns just as much as I will watch reruns from previous seasons.
As always, Jim Parsons gets the majority of the praise and awards for his work here, and it is well deserved. Sheldon is the most awkward of the characters, and I’m sure he isn’t easy to play, but he gets so many of the best laughs. However, the entire cast shines as they bring their characters to life each week. It is a shame that the rest don’t get the praise they deserve.
As with the last couple of seasons, this season is being released in a DVD set and a combo Blu-Ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo pack for just $10 more. That's the set I'd recommend. In addition to the 24 half hour episodes, the set has several bonus features including one on James Earl Jones's guest spot, highlights from the 2013 ComicCon panel, Johnny Galecki crashing a writer's panel, and of course a gag reel.
For pure laughs, there is no better comedy than The Big Bang Theory. If you are new to the show, you’ll be glad you discovered why it is so popular. Season seven is just as funny and as much fun as what has come before, so sit back and get ready to laugh.
UPDATE MAY 18, 2014
I never did get around to calling Amazon; however I recently check it out again and apparently the problem has been resolved. As promised, I have updated my rating to five stars.