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The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Ninth Season (2015-2016)

Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 9/13/2016

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Review by Stephanie Long, Posted on 8/31/2016

Who would have thought nine years ago that a show about physicists who also happened to be comic book, sci-fi, all things techy loving nerds would be a huge hit show on CBS of all networks? Yet here we are, about to start season ten of The Big Bang Theory, and the show is still going strong. This makes the release of season nine, out on DVD and Blu-Ray on September 13, 2016, just in time for you to catch up if you happen to be one of the few who have not already found this gem of a show.

Season nine of the series sticks to what makes The Big Bang Theory work- celebrating all things nerdy and waiting for great one-line zingers. In season nine, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) SPOILER ALERT- turn away of you don’t want to know- tie the knot despite the cliffhanger ending of season eight in which Leonard tells Penny on the way to elope that he had a moment of weakness years ago and kissed a coworker while on a polar expedition. The rest of the gang gathers at Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch) and Howard’s (Simon Helberg ) house to watch the ceremony on-line. However, there is a change in couplings as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik- hello Emmy people- this woman should have an Emmy by now) are split as Amy has grown tired of Sheldon’s treatment of her and wants a break- prompting Sheldon to come over but wait outside by the window to give her some space. Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is also over (and can I please implore the Emmy voters to recognize what a terrific performer Nayyar is)? Raj is my favorite character, and I think many others feel the same way.

Season nine continues from a solid beginning by finding a resolution to the will they/won’t they stay married issue within the first few episodes. Many other series would have dragged this out, but this show knows where it’s focus should be- equally on all of the characters. This season finds Amy dating other men before realizing Sheldon is worth the headaches, Raj torn between his current girlfriend Emily and new love interest Claire (Alessandra Torresani), and Howard and Bernadette preparing to be parents (with Raj continuing to be a not so-invisible third partner). There is more of Stuart (Kevin Sussman) hanging out with the main characters, as well as Kripki (John Ross Bowie- although I can’t help but wonder if his new role on Speechless will mean we will be Kripkiless this season). There are also appearances from Bob Newhart (reprising his Arthur Jeffries character), Stephen Hawking, Christine Baranski (always funny as Leonard’s emasculating, cold mother), June Squibb (as Sheldon’s beloved meemaw), and my favorite of them all (Laurie Metcalf as Sheldon’s mother). As a whole, this season does a good job of giving everyone a chance to show their strengths and allow their characters to grow a little (I mean, come on, this is a comedy- we come to watch our favorite characters do the things that make them funny without deviating to much from what works).

The episodes themselves range in length from just over 18 minutes to just over twenty-one minutes Illustrating how popular the show is since CBS needs the extra time to put in more commercials. It is very easy to sit and watch all twenty-four episodes in a few sittings and never feel like it is boring or repetitive. That credit belongs to the cast as they really shine playing the familiar lovable characters they have spent nine seasons perfecting. The only true weak area of this season (other than Penny- I just have never felt like she is anywhere near as interesting as the other characters on this show), comes from the season finale in which the episode ends and the viewer is left thinking, ok, did I miss something? Yes, it appears that Sheldon’s mother and Leonard’s father (Judd Hirsch) might be a twist for season ten, but this seems to happen so predictably and almost nonchalant. As I mentioned, I love Laurie Metcalf in this role and wish she could be on every episode, but her pairing with Leonard’s father (by the way- was Mandy Patikin unavailable as Johnny Galecki looks more and more like him as he ages) just did not pack much of an oomph. The season ends like any episode and when I watched it on the original air date, we went back to check because it did not feel like the season finale. However, season ten should be interesting to watch to see the repercussions of pairing Sheldon’s mom with Leonard’s dad. Christine Baranski’s reactions alone would be enough to warrant tuning in when the new season starts. The season nine Blu-ray Disc will definitely hold you over with enough good laughs until the next season starts.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Ninth Season has some great cameos on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The two-disc set contains all 24 episodes from the show's ninth 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 discernible grain and no defects from the source materials. This remains one of the most colorful shows on TV and those tones look great here, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good and we get a sense of depth from the apartment set. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Being a sitcom, the bulk of the audio comes from the center and front channels. The sounds from the live audience can be heard through the surround channels and the familiar "woosh" from the bumper delivers some mild bass.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Ninth Season Blu-ray Disc contains several extra features. Disc 1 starts off with "#JustAskBBT" (12 minutes) has the cast answering question from fans via Twitter on the subjects "Who Will Get the Couch" and "If I Had to Go to Mars". "The Big Bang Theory: 2015 Comic-Con Panel" (26 minutes) features a bevy of writers from the show, as well as the science consultant fielding questions in a session moderated by Kunal Nayyar. The remainder of the extras can be found on Disc 2. "Love is Rocket Science" (11 minutes) has the cast discussing the ever-changing relationships which surfaced in Season 9. "The Big 200!" (6 minutes) takes us to a celebration with the cast as they reach 200 episodes. "The Big Bang Theory Gives Back" (5 minutes) informs us that the creators of the show have created a scholarship and we meet the first recipients. The final extra is a 9-minute GAG REEL.

Review Copyright 2016 by Mike Long