If all that Judge Ryan Keefer learned about life was from Season Six of The Simpsons, he would have had Hannibal Lecter eat lemons while shooting Mr. Burns.
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 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 Gone Wild (published December 8th, 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.
"I feel like a kid in some kind of store."—Homer, upon arriving at the candy convention in "Homer: Bad Man."
In its sixth season of existence, The Simpsons was creatively still knocking it out of the park. Aside from giving some fun stories for each character, the show was enjoying a wide variety of celebrity voice cameos. But what makes The Simpsons such a brilliant show is that it didn't go for the cheap joke. Even when it comes to discussing the huge events of the times, like the O.J. Simpson trial, you can count on one hand the number of carefully chosen references. And oh by the way, there was a cliffhanger to end the season. So how did things pan out?
Facts of the Case
Skipping over the fluff and nice introductory words, the episodes in the Sixth Season are as follows:
• "Bart of Darkness"
• "Lisa's Rival"
• "Another Simpsons Clip Show"
• "Itchy & Scratchy Land"
• "Sideshow Bob Roberts"
• "Treehouse of Horror V"
• "Bart's Girlfriend"
• "Lisa on Ice"
• "Homer: Bad Man"
• "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"
• "Fear of Flying"
• "Homer the Great"
• "Bart's Comet"
• "Homie the Clown"
• "Bart vs. Australia"
• "Homer vs. Patty and Selma"
• "A Star is Burns"
• "Lisa's Wedding"
• "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds"
• "The PTA Disbands"
• "Round Springfield"
• "The Springfield Connection"
• "Lemon of Troy"
• "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part One"
The thing that has made The Simpsons so welcome on DVD is the fact that the episodes look great and are free of any of the small edits and trims done for syndication through the years. There is a minor problem with one episode in the set that had the brightness drop out and conversely return in a span of seconds, but it appears to be an isolated issue.
Creatively, the show was arguably still at its peak. While the show still had the occasional work of James L. Brooks and Sam Simon, some of the original creative team had scaled down their work, or just flat out left for other projects, Conan O'Brien being the prime example. In the years following Season Six, writers were leaving for other animated projects like King of the Hill and Futurama, while others like Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) or O'Brien were going to projects outside the animated half hour sitcom. To prove how popular and far-reaching The Simpsons was, the hysteria that came about with the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episode cemented its place in TV for several years. Granted, the show seems to get poked at a little more in recent years by competitors (witness The Family Guy, along with South Park's excellent episode "Simpsons Did It" from their sixth season). At the end of the day, however, The Simpsons second squad beats a lot of other shows' starters, so to speak.
As is the case with previous years, Season Six of The Simpsons comes loaded with extras, deleted scenes, animatics and other goodies. Each episode comes with commentary tracks featuring various combinations of writers and vocal talent. All of these commentaries are good. The commentaries are spread out across the right and left speakers, so the listeners feel as if they are in the middle of the conversation, which is a nice touch.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
This has been a touchy subject with collectors, fans (and Fox reps) alike: the Homer head box. Thankfully, Fox provides an 800 number to call (along with an online link) should a viewer desire a more traditional case. Note to Fox: if you're going to make shoddy packaging, be prepared for the wrath of the video buying consumer. Take the lumps, release alternate packaging with the subsequent head sets, and go from there. Having said that, I'm surprised to admit that the case fits on my shelf. However, it takes up a little bit more space than I'd prefer, so I'm paying the shipping and handling fee anyway, because I like free stuff.
Quite frankly, everyone who should pick this season up probably has done so, as well as voiced concern about the packaging. With the usual home runs the writing team hits, it's great to have the peak seasons start appearing for sale.
Any verdict other than acquittal would be travesty, and the court is not about to set precedent here. Court adjourned.
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Scales of Justice
• Introduction by Creator Matt Groening
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