The Simpsons are already wild enough. Judge David Packard looks beyond this marketing sham.
Our reviews of Christmas With The Simpsons (published October 30th, 2003), The Simpsons: The Complete First Season (published September 19th, 2001), The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season (published December 15th, 2003), The Simpsons: The Complete Fourth Season (published July 12th, 2004), The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season (published February 23rd, 2005), The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season (published August 29th, 2005), The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season (published January 16th, 2006), The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season (published August 21st, 2006), The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season (published January 22nd, 2007), The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season (published August 29th, 2007), The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season (Blu-Ray) (published September 6th, 2010), The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season (Blu-ray) (published December 19th, 2011), The Simpsons: The Complete Fifteenth Season (published December 24th, 2012), The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season (Blu-Ray) (published January 21st, 2010), The Simpsons: Bart Wars (published June 30th, 2005), The Simpsons Christmas 2 (published December 24th, 2004), The Simpsons: Kiss And Tell (published March 29th, 2006), The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season (published September 9th, 2009), The Simpsons: The Fourteenth Season (published December 22nd, 2011), and The Simpsons' Treehouse Of Horror (published November 20th, 2003) are also available.
"It's about women and how they are not mere objects with curves that make us crazy."—Homer Simpson
In a further attempt to satisfy the public's apparently-insatiable appetite for all things out of control, Fox brings us The Simpsons Gone Wild, a compilation of four episodes from the insanely popular and still-chugging The Simpsons animated series. The episodes in which the Simpsons have been deemed wild are as follows:
• "Homer's Night Out" (Episode 7G10 from Season One,
This episode is from Season One and sports some of the awkward animation and
voice work that is prevalent in episodes from this season. That aspect isn't an
issue to me; in fact, I quite enjoy Season One as it shows the early efforts of
the series getting its legs in making the transition from its origin on The
Tracey Ullman Show. The problem I have with this episode is that it's not
particularly funny. That's not to say it doesn't have its moments: during a
visit to The Rusty Barnacle restaurant, Bart immediately checks the
"poor" boxes on the comment card and rearranges the letters on the
specials sign to something less appetizing. Moe advertises "Ladies
Night—Unescorted Ladies Drink Free," and Homer finds Princess Kashmir
at the Sapphire Lounge at the Ye Olde Off Ramp Inn. I chuckled a few times, but
the episode doesn't have the rollicking gags and sly humor of the two episodes
• "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" (Episode AABF08 from Season
This episode has always been one of my favorites, and while the following episode is a nice inclusion as well, this episode is the best on the disc. The hilarious gags come at a slam-bang pace, and they're occasionally edgy. In one scene, Principal Skinner remarks how glad he is that he works at an elementary school when Postmaster Bill tells a group of visiting schoolchildren that "The day of the gun-toting, disgruntled postman shooting up the place went out with the Macarena." Another scene features a young man at a gas station surrounded by buxom women, all to the thumping rock of ZZ Top's "Legs." One of the women is wearing a cross, and we learn we're watching a Super Bowl commercial for "The Catholic Church—we've made a few changes."
If it's guest appearances you enjoy, you get a ton of them in this episode.
The Super Bowl theme gives us Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, John Madden, Pat
Summerall, and Rosie Grier (Flanders' worries at not yet attending church on a
Sunday are no problem thanks to "Rosie Grier's Porta-Chapel.") Throw
in Dolly Parton and an apparently-undead Vincent Price, and you've got a classic
Simpsons episode full of the originality and humor that have kept this series
going for well over a decade.
• "The Mansion Family" (Episode BABF08 from Season 11,
This is another all-around hilarious episode, with a nice swipe at the
Grammy Awards, the Simpsons family running amok in the mansion and enjoying all
it has to offer, and Burns' various tests at the Mayo Clinic (my favorite gag is
when Burns is slid into an MRI machine, only to hear the thing grind to a halt
with an error message reading "Clear body jam in Area 1.") Britney
Spears makes a small guest appearance as well.
• "Homer the Moe" (Episode CABF20 from Season 13,
After the previous two episodes, this one was disappointing. The strongest
gag (and it's not saying much) is seeing Homer, Barney, Lenny, and Carl do a
food-splattered "Coyote Ugly" parody dance on Moe's bar. The humor
lies more in seeing Moe become "Moe St. Cool" and the renovations he
makes to the bar, which isn't particularly funny in and of itself.
There's one extra, titled "Krusty the Clown: King of Comedy." It's a couple minutes of mostly unfunny Krusty segments, complete with an annoying, flashing "applause" sign after each one. I can see why mention of this extra was omitted from the back of the case.
Speaking of the back of the case, it adds to the feeling that this compilation is nothing more than a rush job trying to make a few extra bucks on The Simpsons name. Aside from the omission of the Krusty extra, the top of the case reads "Simpsons Uncensored!" I'm a casual fan of the series—I'm not a Simpsons guru by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I claim to be—so I can't comment on whether or not these episodes are truly "uncensored" as the box suggests. However, I can say I didn't see anything in the four episodes to make me feel as if I was watching something too hot for television (although the Catholic Church ad in "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" came close). Another nitpick: the description for "Homer's Night Out" mentions a night at a strip club. No, the stripper came to the bachelor party held in the banquet room at The Rusty Barnacle; did the marketing folks at Fox even watch these episodes?
From a technical standpoint, the disc has no issues. The video was crisp, and the Dolby Digital stereo offerings were clear. It's nice to see the transfers were done well, even if the need for the disc itself feels pointless.
With the first four seasons already available on DVD and Season Five due by the end of the year, the purchase of this compilation, even at roughly $12, is questionable. Taking into consideration that "Homer's Night Out" is already available on the Season One DVD set and "Homer the Moe" isn't a great episode, I can only recommend The Simpsons Gone Wild for die-hard fans or completists that must own everything The Simpsons. Everyone else would do well to put their money toward a full season set instead. Verdict: guilty. Court dismissed.
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