The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season

This season the Big Bang gang’s romantic universe expands. On the rebound from Penny, Leonard falls into the arms of Raj’s sister Priya. Sheldon gets a girlfriend, or rather a friend who is a girl: Amy, a dour neurobiologist who declares herself besties with Penny. Howard and Bernadette heat up. And so do Raj and Bernadette (at least in Raj’s Bollywood daydream). All in the furtherance of award-winning genius comedy. The superb sitcom The Big Bang Theory launches into its fourth season with an expanded cast and a whole new set of social dynamics to go with it. It’s a little unsteady at first: Sheldon (the ever-inspired Jim Parsons) denies having a girlfriend in the similarly intellectual Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik, a long way away from Blossom), which leads to several Sheldon-dominated episodes–and as marvelous a character as Sheldon is, he can be too much of a good thing. Fortunately, things soon take a clever turn: Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Howard’s girlfriend Bernadette (Meli

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  1. 168 of 214 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A WHOLE NEW UNIVERSE OF INTELLIGENT LAUGHS!, September 19, 2010
    By 
    NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) –
      

    This review is from: The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)

    In the cult tradition of SPARTACUS, the halls of every science department now echoes: “I AM SHELDON”!

    Currently 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 FRASIER and 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.
    And now, he starts going out on dates…Well, sort off. He still cannot drive and yet his fusion into Shamy may produce what can only be described as the…Kwisatz Haderach!
    (On a more sober note: producers please get rid of Amy, she only gums up the show’s flow!)

    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. Which crush, like lunar eclipses, follow a predicted yet unavoidable periodicity.

    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). He also managed to wreck the Mars rover in hopes of landing a girl – but he made sure no one can prove anything.
    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.
    Now, if only he could find a practical use for that mechanized arm…

    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.

    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 (Sheldon has in fact calculated the exact number of them, extrapolated from a bell-curve that started at 14)- and, obviously, from her neighbors.

    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?

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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  2. 80 of 97 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A Lot of Action, A Lot Less Direction, May 24, 2011
    By 
    Ryan Matthews “montvil” (Clifton, NJ, USA) –

    This review is from: The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)

    ** WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS **

    Season 4 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had just one thing that separated it from every other show about a group of friends in their late 20’s/early 30’s: Sheldon Cooper.
    When the show first began, it was about a stereotypical Midwestern blonde girl who moves to California to make it big, and she happens to move across the hall from two Caltech geniuses who severely lack the social skills of the average human being. At the beginning of the series, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj were absorbed by science. The humor was a product of their “experiments” and their inability to fit into the social environment. Here we are four seasons later, and that concept has become scarce as the story has progressed. Sheldon was the only facet of the show that gave it originality this season. I love the show, but it pains me to say that S4 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ started to get away from what made it so great.

    It baffles me why the show would decide to introduce so many new cast members in such a short period of time. As a guy, when I first watched the show, I didn’t take to the 4:1 guys to girls ratio. However, that’s one of the things made it unique (see: Seinfeld). Penny was able to hold up a level of femininity that most actresses couldn’t. She was the perfect solo female star. Not only does evening the gender ratio make this show like every other comedy on television, but it reduces Penny’s role on the show. She didn’t need a “posse.” The show spent much of Season 4 trying to balance seven main characters (eight once Priya became a regular) when the only ones who really are essential to its continued excellence are Sheldon and Penny.

    My synopsis of our “new” characters:
    *I’m sorry to say this, but Amy Farrah Fowler is a mess of a character. First, she was introduced as the lady Sheldon, someone who only communicated with Dr. Cooper through webcam and text message and had no interest in developing any real social relationships. Then the show decides that Amy should try to befriend Penny and Bernadette and the three of them would become their own girl group. Since that time, Amy has become a complete one-eighty of her former self, awkward and clueless but trying desperately to fit into the social scene. And I hate to say it, but it’s nowhere near as funny as it should be. The strangest thing is that her relationship with Sheldon is essentially very little more than circumstantial now. Sheldon constantly asks, “what happened to you?”, and here I’m wondering the same exact thing.

    *Bernadette, I will admit I do like as a complimentary girl in the show. The only downfall with her is in dating Howard; I always liked the way Howard thought he was so much more suave and debonair with women than he actually was, and putting him in a relationship takes that element of his character away. Bernadette can stand on her own. She’s a sweet, cute, sometimes airheaded but lovable character (and to be quite honest, I could listen to her voice all day). She didn’t need to be one of the boys’ love interests to find a role on the show. Either way, I think she’d work best in a recurring role, something akin to that of Leslie Winkle in the first couple seasons.

    *It’s kind of a paradox that I liked the idea of Leonard dating Raj’s sister, but I don’t like Raj’s sister. The idea was good because of the dynamic it created between Leonard and Raj, Raj and Priya, Penny and Priya, so on and so forth. The problem is I didn’t find that her character brought much of anything to the show. The fact that she was attractive and that threatened Penny was a clever twist because it made Penny re-think her decision to end things with Leonard (and ultimately, we find out that it’s a decision she regretted). So I thought the situation they created by having Leonard date Priya was good, but Priya just doesn’t seem to fit on the show. Now from what we learned in the season finale, her role on the show may be hanging in the balance. I’m not aching for her to leave the show, but I wouldn’t miss her too much if she went that route.

    The show suffered a minor slump when Kaley Cuoco broke her leg and had to be absent for two full episodes. Those episodes perfectly showcased how vital the character of Penny is to the show’s success. In “The Desperation Emanation” (ep. 4.05), Leonard is set up by Bernadette with a girl named Joy. Her character was not only unfunny, she was downright repulsive. In a season with peaks and valleys, it didn’t get any lower than Joy.

    By no means am I saying this show has jumped the shark. It had many redeeming moments and a few classic episodes:

    *”The Robotic Manipulation” (ep. 4.01) so perfectly personifies Howard Wolowitz.
    *”The Love Car Displacement” (ep. 4.13) was a great episode top to bottom. Including a guest appearance from former NBA player Rick Fox, it is the best the writers got out of…

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