Created by Matt Groening
Featuring Voices by Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, I have loved America’s favorite dysfunctional family The Simpsons. I even loved them back in 1987 in the original shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. So, after 20 seasons, is it still funny?
The Simpsons are your typical dysfunctional family who live in a fictional “Middle American” town of Springfield. Homer works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position that is constantly at odds with his careless personality. He is married to Marge Simpson, a housewife and mother. They have three children: Bart, a troublemaker; Lisa, a precocious, musically inclined activist; and Maggie, a baby who rarely speaks, but communicates her thoughts and wishes by sucking on a pacifier. The family owns a dog, Santa’s Little Helper, and a cat, Snowball II.
But, of course you know all that, don’t you?
Anyway, the episodes included in this release are the following: “Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes”
“Lost Verizon” ,”Double, Double, Boy in Trouble,”Treehouse of Horror XIX”,”Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words”,”Mypods and Boomsticks”,”The Burns and the Bees”,”Lisa the Drama Queen”,”Take My Life, Please”,”How the Test Was Won”,”No Loan Again, Naturally”,”Gone Maggie Gone”,”In the Name of the Grandfather”,”Wedding for Disaster”,”Eeny Teeny Maya Moe”,”The Good, the Sad and the Drugly”,”Father Knows Worst”,”Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D’oh”,”Four Great Women and a Manicure” and Coming to Homerica”.
While there is something to make you chuckle in every episode, I have my favorites from those offered in this set.
Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes finds Homer serving a jail sentence for starting a brawl at an alcohol-free St. Patrick’s Day parade. He then becomes a bounty hunter and tags Flanders along for the ride. Meanwhile, an Irish man gives Marge a job at his bakery, which Marge soon discovers specializes in sexually suggestive pastries.
The Bart focused Double, Double Boy in Trouble finds Bart meeting Simon Woosterfield, a boy who looks exactly like him and is a member of Springfield’s richest family. As a prank, the two decide to switch places, but the joke is on Bart when Bart discovers that Simon is being targeted for murder by his own siblings.
Mypods and Boomsticks finds Bart making friends with a Muslim boy and his family, but Homer fears the family may be terrorists because of their religion. Meanwhile, Lisa buys a MyPod and becomes addicted to downloading songs on it. This episode features the fantastic Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, the HBO miniseries House of Saddam and the Fox series 24).
Do I think The Simpsons is as fresh and funny as the first several season? Well, maybe not every single episode but there is still more to love on the worst episode of The Simpsons than the best episode of Cougar Town or Gary Unmarried.
The writing is still razor sharp, the voice acting is good as ever and the guests appearances are still lots of fun. Any true fan of The Simpsons will add this season to the collection.
The Simpsons: The Complete 20th Season is presented two ways: the first 9 episodes (before the HD switchover) are presented in full frame while the remaining episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen. The colors are super bright, lines are clean and black levels are highly respectable.
The Simpsons: the Complete 20th Season is presented in Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround .The audio is impressive with the dialogue being crystal clear and well mixed with the sound effects.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The Simpsons: The Complete 20th Season is blu ray amaray case with a snazzy slipcase featuring many Simpsons characters.
The only bonus features available on this release is a special booklet and The 20th Anniversary Special Sneek peek by Morgan Spurlock that is terribly disappointing as the complete special is not included on this release, only a 3 minute version.
A really disappointing collection of bonus features to celebrate the 20th season of this influential show.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Series 7/10
The Video 7.5/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 2/10
Overall (not an average) 7/10