Have you ever watched a sitcom and wished the camera would follow the wacky neighbor back home so you could watch their life unfolding comically instead of that of the more "normal" main characters? The Big Bang Theory finally allows you and I to do just that.
The Big Bang Theory centers on the lives of two young physics geniuses and their nerdy group of friends, leaving the typical sitcom big-breasted blonde character to take up the neighbor role. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are roommates who spend the vast majority of their time playing video games and arguing over scientific inaccuracies in movies like Terminator 3. Then along comes Penny (Kaley Cuoco), the aforementioned female character, who just so happens to move into the apartment directly across the hall and for whom Leonard instantly falls. While Sheldon is quite content to leave his mind focused purely on matters of science, Leonard begins trying to win Penny's heart and, of course, in sitcom fashion, wacky hi-jinks ensue.
It had been a while since I'd gotten into a laugh-track-infused sitcom, and the first few episodes of the series made it a little difficult. The first episodes seem far too focused on trying to prove to the viewer that the main characters are smart, relying on all the most common nerd stereotypes almost solely and to a belabored degree. The writing in these early episodes smacks of "writing smart people for dumb people" and it isn't until near the end of the first disc in this three-DVD set that the show starts to hit its stride and lets the characters just be themselves instead of mere nerdy cut-outs.
Much of the show's best material comes from the geeky discussions that pop up near the beginning of most episodes, as well as whenever Leonard and Sheldon's friends Howard (Simon Helberg) and Rajnesh (Kunal Nayyar) come over to visit. Listening to the nerdy chatterers ramble on can be a real treat as it feels refreshingly real for a sitcom, and possibly because I've been in my share of those kinds of discussions before. I know that that's how they really sound and it's hilarious to be on the outside listening in.