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The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season (2011-2012)

Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 9/11/2012

All Ratings out of




Review by Mike Long, Posted on 9/12/2012

In my recent review for the third season of The Vampire Diaries, I wrote about how difficult is must be to keep the story going on a television series. Of course, it's easier for dramatic show -- all that you have to do is keep introducing more drama. (I swear, if you only watched shows like that, you would assume that no one in the world is ever happy.) But, it would have to be much harder on a sitcom. Bringing in more and more characters and creating overly complex situations won't work on most comedies. Therefore, it's up to the writers to keep the characters interesting and the storylines fresh. The writers behind The Big Bang Theory have certainly done this, as Season 5 sees the show still going strong.

Season 5 of The Big Bang Theory picks up not long after the finale of Season 4, and things are focused on relationships. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is dealing with the fact that his girlfriend, Priya (Aarti Mann), has moved back to India. Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) are engaged and planning their wedding. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) relationship...well, that still hasn't been defined. They are friends who are always communicating, but Sheldon has no interest in being in a couple. However, Amy doesn't feel the same way. And Raj (Kunal Nayyar)...he's still lonely, although his friends do try to set him up. With Priya out of the country, Leonard begins to wonder if he she re-explore a relationship with Penny (Kaley Cuoco), despite the fact that they've been broken up for some time. As these relationships ebb and flow, Howard learns that he's going to the International Space Station. How will affect the upcoming wedding?

The powers that be behind The Big Bang Theory have found their secret to success and over five seasons they've somehow found a way to keep the show entertaining without making any major changes to it. During that time, only two new major characters have been added to the ensemble. After seasons of watching the creepy horndog unsuccessfully hit on women, Bernadette came into his life and they became a very interesting couple. They're both petite and despite the fact that they are very different, they complete one another. Comedienne Melissa Rauch has been a welcome addition to the cast and while some may be annoyed by her voice, I think that she's funny.

Based on the clips I'd seen from Blossom, I wasn't a fan of Mayim Bialik, and I didn't like the announcement that she was joining the show. However, she has quickly become one of the funniest parts of the series. The idea of giving Sheldon a girlfriend is already funny, but having her act seemingly insane, yet emotionless took it to the next level. Amy is just as socially inept as Sheldon, but the difference is that she wants to have friends and, more importantly, a boyfriend. Amy's desperation to be liked while still acting weird makes her one of the most interesting characters on TV. She steals every scene which she's in.

Of course, the lynchpin of the show is still Sheldon. In recent seasons, Sheldon's apathy about social conventions and his superior attitude have made him seem mean. His condescension had gone from humorous to hateful. In Season 5, this has been reined in, and Sheldon actually goes in the other direction. In short, Sheldon has become somewhat of a goober. But, this has actually made him funnier. Seeing Sheldon play with a toy train or pout when his mother would rather sight-see than attend a lecture with him. However, the best episode comes when Sheldon faces off against a bird. I can only imagine this episode was submitted for Emmy consideration.

The Big Bang Theory does go lowbrow at times, and it doesn’t shy away from sex jokes, but it remains one of the most clever and funny shows on TV. The use of pop culture references and the depiction of nerds as real people makes the show unique. The most impressive thing about the show is that it has continued to bring the laughs and avoid the dreaded shark after five seasons.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season spells out the parameters for getting sugar on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The two Blu-ray Discs include all 24 episodes from the show’s fifth season. The show has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 17 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source material. The colors look very good and the image is never overly bright or dark. The picture is slightly soft at times, but the depth is good for a TV show. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 1.8 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The bulk of the audio comes from the front and center channels. The show’s familiar “atom” bumpers provide surround and subwoofer effects.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Disc set contains a few extras. "The Big Bang Theory @ 100" (10 minutes) takes us on the set for the party to celebrate the taping of the show's 100th episode. This also includes comments from the cast and crew who talk about what it's like to have met that milestone. The rest of the extras are found on Disc 2. "Professors of Production" (15 minutes) contains comments from Hair Stylist Faye Woods, Property Master Scott L. London, Production Designer John Shaffner, Director Mark Cendrowski, Director of Photography Steven V. Silver, and Set Decorator Ann Shea who discuss how all of the various elements and people come together to make the show work in a relatively short amount of time. The cast members talk about what life was like making the fifth season of the show in "The Big Bang Theory's Laws of Reflection" (12 minutes). Finally, we get a 9-minute GAG REEL.

Review Copyright 2012 by Mike Long