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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season'
(Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray + Digital HD / NR / 2016 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Prepare to enter phase nine of television's perpetual laughter experiment as 'THE BIG BANG THEORY' successfully fuses the elements of science and sitcom.

Blu ray Verdict: As always with this show, the acting, script and editing are all first-class. Not one line or scene is wasted. But the sets and the characters have unfortunately not changed and the show doesn't take risks with its plots. One thing I still find uncomfortable is its treatment of women. It's good that we now have Bernadette and Amy, both of whom are great, but often they're still portrayed as appendages of their boyfriends, Howard and Sheldon.

Yes, the woman now get their own scenes, but they're often talking about the men, not their own issues. And the portrayal of Penny remains problematic. All the guys objectify her. Yes, OK, the joke is that she is a blonde bimbo, but that's getting a bit old. I hate it when the script compares her with Amy - Amy is always seen as a lesser person because she is not as physically attractive as Penny.

What sort of example are we setting for young viewers? The gang have now been together in their little apartment complex for nine years. Surely these guys, earning their kind of money, would have moved onward and upwards by now? Big Bang has had a great run for any sitcom, but I feel it's time for a major overhaul. And I don't mean Penny's drastic new pixie haircut "overhaul" from season eight either! Wow, that was a nasty shock, and not something I ever got used to seeing on screen, sorry. Perhaps we can add some new characters. Or a spin- off, even?

Anyway, back on point and this ninth season - which now sees our beloved Kaley Cuoco (now minus the-Sweeting) aka Penny and Johnny Galecki aka Leonard married! For those catching up, last season, Sheldon went soul-searching (on a train, of course) and was prepared to make some substantial revisions on his Relationship Agreement with Amy, when everything changed. Leonard, meanwhile, was off to Vegas with Penny to finally tie the knot in the season finale. Howard finds himself alone with Bernadette after the sudden passing of his mother; while Raj is not only talking to women – he's getting exclusive with Emily (Laura Spencer). Here in the ninth season together, they will all learn that life is far more complicated outside of the lab as love and friendship never produce predictable results!

Particularly Jim Parsons, whose comedic timing and refusal to be a one-note cliché are stellar, trust me. Man he IS the show, no matter what anyone else may try and tell you. Penny and Leonard are now one (make up your own "coupled name" as you will), Raj and Howard both continue to develop as characters, when don't they, and both Amy and Bernadette are also hilarious characters (as always). Oh, and speaking of Howard, holy cow, give the guy a break! He doesn't have to always be the butt of the joke. Sure he brings it on himself sometimes, but it seems like season after season he is being verbally played the fool.

So, and without giving the whole season away, let's simply discuss the season premier. Yes, I often find the season premieres of this show to be the weakest of the season, but this (sadly) one was the worst. We’ve waited how long for Leonard and Penny to get married? And they elope with the rest of the gang not rushing to join them? And they are semi-fighting when they do it? I’m sorry, but that isn’t the wedding I was waiting for. I’m hoping the writers are setting things up to get it right near the beginning of season 10.

I didn’t like the whole Leonard-kissed-someone-else story when they introduced it at the end of season 8, and I didn’t like it any better in season 9. However, they got rid of it in just a couple of episodes and then we could move on to the rest of the season’s laughs.

And there are still plenty of great laughs to be had here. As I have said before, the focus has shifted a bit from the nerd culture to the various characters and their relationships, but I still find the show funny, laughing multiple times each episode. And the show still slips in those geek moments when you least expect them, producing absolutely fabulous laughs in the process.

The writers have done a good job of keeping the jokes fresh. Yes, we are still laughing at some of the same material, like Leonard’s allergies or Sheldon being Sheldon, but they aren’t the same jokes recycled. Instead, the jokes have evolved with the characters. And in case you missed the news, the show did a monumental episode for the release of the new 'Star Wars' movie. It is easily a highlight of the season.

In closing, the show obviously has its ups and downs, just like any other on television, but it manages to keep coming up with new ways to make you laugh. Also the main characters are much different than what you'd normally see. Usually in comedies you have either all perfect poster boys/girls everywhere, or the typical funny fat guy, but the skinny 'nerds' have you cheering for the unsung hero; each and every time. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

2015 Comic-Con Panel
# JustAskBBT:Who Will Get the Couch...
# JustAskBBT: If I Had to Go to Mars...
The Big Bang Theory Gives Back
Love Is Rocket Science
The Big 200! Gag Reel

Own it on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 13th, 2016!