The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews season eight of the popular TV sitcom that revolves around a group of genius friends who remain socially challenged, but always produce hilarious results.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

81

Details:

Studio and Year: Warner – 2014/2015
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 478 minutes
Genre: TV/Sitcom

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, Mayim Bialek
Directed by: Mark Cendrowski
Music by: The Bare Naked Ladies
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 15, 2015

“Enter phase 8 of the perpetual laughter continum”

My Take:

The Big Bang Theory is centered on physicists Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, whose geeky and introverted lives are changed when Penny, an attractive waitress and aspiring actress, moves into the apartment across from theirs. Penny quickly becomes a part of Sheldon and Leonard’s social group, which includes the equally geeky engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali, with Penny’s common sense and social skills and the guys’ geeky interests expanding each other’s worlds. The newest additions to the group are Howard’s wife Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz and Sheldon’s girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler.

Season eight of The Big Bang Theory hilariously picks up where season seven left off. With Leonard finally engaged to girl-across-the-hall Penny after countless proposals, the possibilities for happiness seem endless…while the probability for laughs is a foregone conclusion. What’s unknown is how this might impact the ironclad “Roommate Agreement” he’s entered into with Sheldon. Add to this, Sheldon’s uncomfortably close relationship with neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler; Raj’s newfound ability to talk to and date women; and Howard and Bernadette’s solution to an in-house caretaker (their friend Stuart) for the always outspoken Mrs. Wolowitz, and the worlds of science and sitcom are about to uproariously collide!

I think we began watching The Big Bang Theory during its first season simply by happenstance and have never looked back. Consistently funny and extremely well written it’s one of the best half hours in prime time. Season eight proves theshow hasn’t lost its luster as it continues to produce laugh out loud television that is so much fun to watch. The show is reminiscent of Seinfeld in that it creates pitch perfect comedic situations derived from moments of inanity fueled by character driven elements. I never tire of the series’ superb interaction among the principles, fly on the wall perspective and awkwardly hilarious humor that appeal to a broad audience demographic.

Season eight is solid and as a whole is every bit as much fun as the preceding seasons. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

  • Amy playing both sides between Bernadette and Penny
  • Penny’s sales “technique” & Amy and Bernadette’s debate about female scientist’s use of sexuality
  • The “zombie” room
  • Howard’s terrible news
  • Sheldon and Penny’s love experiment
  • Raj and Emily
  • Guest stars Billy Bob Thornton, Nathan Fillion, Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf
  • Farewell to a beloved friend and cast mate

There was a time when I would have said that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was what I found to be the catalyst that drove the shows best moments. While he still provides much of the fun I now find lots to enjoy in the show’s combinations of characters. Pretty much anytime Bernadette and Howard are alone together is great stuff. Penny, Bernadette, and Amy or any combination thereof is usually good for chuckles. Amy and Sheldon…’nuff said. Penny and Sheldon have become a tandem that generally leave few stones unturned. It goes without saying that the staple of what makes the show fire on all cylinders is the gathering of Raj, Leonard, Sheldon and Howard and the wonderfully crafted banter that ensues between them.

To say that the series’ creators struck gold with the cast/crew of The Big Bang Theory would be an understatement. We look forward to the debut of season nine and are pleased that the show was picked up last year for another three seasons. Season eight’s 24 episodes are spread over two BD-50 Blu-ray Discs that come housed in a standard amaray style case(with matching slipcover).

Below is the episode listing for season 8:

1. The Locomotion Interruption
2. The Junior Professor Solution
3. The First Pitch Insufficiency
4. The Hook-Up Reverberation
5. The Focus Attenuation
6. The Expedition Approximation
7. The Misinterpretation Agitation
8. The Prom Equivalency
9. The Septum Deviation
10. The Champagne Reflection
11. The Clean Room Infiltration
12. The Space Probe Disintegration
13. The Anxiety Optimization
14. The Troll Manifestation
15. The Comic Book Store Regeneration
16. The Intimacy Acceleration
17. The Colonization Application
18. The Leftover Thermalization
19. The Skywalker Incursion
20. The Fortification Implementation
21. The Communication Deterioration
22. The Graduation Transmission
23. The Maternal Combustion
24. The Commitment Determination

Parental Guide:

The show contains thematic material and mature themes that would be inappropriate for young viewers (say under the age of 13).

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 76
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA

 

Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

 

The Big Bang Theory The Complete Eighth Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This show has a distinctive visual style that utilizes oversaturated colors and warm accents. The results are a bit unnatural but perfectly keeping in the show’s thematic style. Fleshtones are on the warm side but are tonally balanced and lifelike in depiction. Contrast is stable and blacks are strong which enriches the simultaneous reproduction of bright and dark images onscreen. Resolution is discerning as images have excellent depth and appreciable delineation with clarity that accents the fine detail in facial features and objects. Sharpness wavers here and there and low level details tend to lack the dimensionality of brighter ones but neither is a detrimental. I didn’t see any obvious signs of video related anomalies. I would say that this 1080p rendering bests the 1080i cable broadcast hands down.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio lossless soundtrack mimics the show’s TV presentation. Dialogue is intelligible with appreciable intonation and vocal distinction among the cast. The soundstage across the front three channels maintains a centrally localized perspective but doesn’t feel compressed or lacking in room penetration. Dynamics are on the anemic side and the lack of low frequency support is notable although based on the show’s elements there is little need for them. The surround channels are used to convey ambient extension associated with the opening theme song and each of the scene transitions. Otherwise there is little about the soundtrack that incorporates surround sound.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Shooting stars: BBT on BBT – 5 minute featurette
  • (HD) 2014 BBT Comic-Con panel – 28 minutes
  • (HD) It’s a quark…it’s an atom…it’s BBT superfans – 12 minute featurette
  • (HD) Constellation prize: Chuck, Jim, and Kelly make Hollywood walk of fame – 4 minutes
  • (HD) Here’s to you Carol Ann Susi – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gag Reel
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

The Big Bang Theory is consistently funny, extremely well written and is simply one of the best half hours in prime timetelevision. Season eight continues in that vein proving why it is among the top rated sitcoms on television. Season eight comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring faithful high definition audio/video and a light but worthwhile supplemental package. If you’re the kind that enjoys revisiting this show’s hilarious episodes over and over this Blu-ray offering is just the ticket. If you’ve never seen The Big Bang Theory I suggest you check your local listings and jump onboard.

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package