The longest running show in prime time doesn’t feature cops, doctors, or lawyers. It’s hard to believe that The Simpsons have existed as long as the Fox network. While the series didn’t really begin until Fox’s second year, the characters were part of The Tracey Ullman Show, which did start the first year of Fox. Who could have guessed that an animated short from an otherwise horrible and doomed variety show would explode into such a phenomenon. The Simpsons have not only dominated the pop culture; they have placed…everything else into context with their show. Like Doonesbury, it could be said that the only thing worse than being made fun of on The Simpsons is not being made fun of on The Simpsons. With that said, you’ll understand my warm feelings and appreciation for this show.
Now let’s talk about this particular release. To say that it is a forced marketing scam would be going easy. This is the kind of gimmick the show itself would have a field day with. Whatever the genius behind the Simpsons might be, it rarely shows in this Valentine themed 4 disc DVD. In each episode, often through flashbacks, we see the love story of Marge and Homer Simpson, and it’s not a pretty sight. The Simpsons are at their best when the characters have society’s foibles to play against. The heart warming stuff just isn’t the peak of Simpsons lore. The highlight of the entire set is the Three Stooges bit using Clinton, Bush, and Carter. Wait for the season sets to arrive to get these episodes.
Each episode of The Simpsons is presented in its full frame original broadcast format. Do not expect quite the same quality found on the season sets here. While the colors and contrast are vivid, they do seem to run at times. It’s almost like a kid coloring outside the lines with a dull crayon. I haven’t noticed these minor flaws on the season sets.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track is pretty much a disappointment if you’re used to the 5.1 offerings on the season sets. Another reason to wait.
There is a feature that allows you to view a portion of an episode switching between a crude animatic and the storyboards. It gets old fast and offers nothing new.The menus are a little awkward to navigate. The episode you most recently viewed is blacked out and the other episodes appear as a sub menu that can be confusing.
Save your money for the eventual season sets for these episodes. The audio and video will be superior. Why spend the extra bucks now? In short, “Why would I want Purina when I got Fancy Feast right here?”
Special Features List
- Multi-Angle Animation Showcase