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Click above to purchase "The Simpsons - The Complete First Season" at amazon.com

 

 

The Simpsons
The Complete First Season

review by Zach B.

 

Studio: Fox

Starring the voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer

Retail Price: $39.98

Features:
Disc 1 - Episodes "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire", "Bart The Genius", "Homer's Odyssey", "There's No Disgrace Like Home", "Bart The General", "Moaning Lisa." Audio Commentaries, Scripts

Disc 2 - Episodes "The Call of The Simpsons", "The Telltale Head", "Life On The Fast Line", "Homer's Night Out", "The Crepes Of Wrath", "Krusty Gets Busted." Audio Commentaries

Disc 3 - Episode "Some Enchanted Evening" with optional Audio Commentary, "Some Enchanted Evening" Outtakes, "Bart The General" Animatic, The Making Of The Simpsons: America's First Family documentary, Foreign Language Clips, Tracey Ullman Short - "Good Night Simpsons", Albert Brooks Audio Outtakes, Art Of The Simpsons, "Some Enchanted Evening" Script

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Selection (6 Chapters per episode), Three Disc Set

Released: September 25th, 2001

Where to even begin! What's there to say that already hasn't been said about everyone's favorite prime-time animated family? Most likely the most popular animated series of all time, and the longest running situation comedy on air, "The Simpsons" has worked its way into the minds and hearts of millions with its outrageous situations, wide array of developed characters and of course, its amazing brand of humor and memorable lines. "The Simpsons" has truly worked its way into pop culture and has a large following out there, and after eleven years on the airwaves, it still shows no sign of slowing down. People, such as myself, can talk about episodes, recite them and just go on and on about them like there is no tomorrow. I still find it amazing how the show keeps going and how it continues to grow and develop, even though I have been a little disappointed in the later seasons as I find some of it to be recycled and not as funny. Still, I'll always remain a loyal "Simpsons" watcher no matter what, as I love the characters and the whole town of Springfield. Still, I'm not here to talk about the later seasons, I'm here to talk about where it all began.

As we all should know, "The Simpsons" originally began as shorts on "The Tracey Ullman Show" from cartoonist Matt Groening, and from there it launched into its own series on the up and coming Fox network. The rest, as they say, is history. And with history, it's really hard to deny that "The Simpsons" has brought a lot to the world, the television industry and animation in general.

Personally, I'm not a really big fan of the first two seasons. Not that they are bad or anything, but when you compare them to episodes say, season six, there is definitely a noticeable difference in the writing and situations, not to mention the animation style. I personally think the first two seasons were more like "experimental" seasons, where the producers and writers played around and tried to find the show's voice. By the third season they were getting somewhere, and by the fourth season they were really on to something. The first two seasons seemed to revolve more around the dysfunction of the family and believe it or not, were more realistic in a sense. But what makes the show so fun is the satire, the familiar characters, the memorable dialogue and so much more. I mean, a world without the word "D'oh" (which now made its way into the dictionary) seems like a terrible one. "The Simpsons" is simply a show I can't live without.

While I think the show really got better with age, there is also no denying the impact the show had on its first season and beyond. Remember the stacks of merchandise of the show in stores like J.C. Penny? The t-shirts with "Don't Have A Cow, Man!" et all? Remember the controversy about Bart being a terrible role model for kids? Despite the publicity and all of that, I think "The Simpsons" is and should be credited for something bigger. The start of an animation boom in prime-time, where cartoons weren't all just for kids. While the concept of animation in prime-time was nothing new, "The Flintstones" being the prime example, "The Simpsons" just really hooked on with adults and younger ones alike, even if jokes did fly over the heads of kids. Still, after the show's debut, a few more animated shows aimed at a different demographic did premiere on network TV ("Capital Critters", anyone?) and cable TV ("Duckman"). Still, it seems after 1997's "South Park", it just became more and more common. Trying to cash in on a "craze". Still, the ones that made an impact and were good, did last. Others ones obviously did not and weren't made to last. Still, there's no denying what impact "The Simpsons" had on television, comedy and animation in general.

Like so much of the adoring public, I am a "Simpsons" freak. Thanks to the magic of syndication and taping episodes, I've seriously seen every single episode of the series dozens and dozens of time over. I always know what's going to happen next and I can pretty much recite dialogue from all the episodes by heart (yes, I'm that big of a freak). I have some merchandise of the show (something fans should have) and I can always get into an episode when in syndication no matter which one, despite the fact I've seen them so many times I really never get bored with them. Watching it on Sundays and in syndication every night is part of my viewing schedule. Every time I see an episode, I'm just sucked right into that magical town called Springfield. So now, let's take a good look at the first season...

Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire - The first episode of the landmark series debuted as a Christmas special in December 1989, just a few weeks before the actual show had its premiere. We all know this one, right? Basically, it's Christmas season and for Christmas, Bart gets a tattoo. Marge obviously disapproves and spends all the money on presents to remove the tattoo. Marge isn't too worried though, her backup plan is to use Homer's Christmas bonus to buy presents. Alas, Mr. Burns does not give out bonuses that year. Homer tries to hide it and becomes a mall Santa, and of course, Bart finds out. Homer's last resort is to go to the dog track and bet on a dog. Of course he bets on the loser, but within that, the family gets the best present of all, a dog by the name of Santa's Little Helper. I still enjoy this one and it is filled with some memorable moments and lines, but of course the real important thing here is that the family got their pooch. A classic still, if you ask me.

Bart The Genius - Debuting all the way back on January 14th, 1990 this was the first "true" episode of the show and begun to show the Simpsons as a family. Here we find underachiever Bart who switches the names on a school intelligence test with his fellow peer Martin Prince. Because of the switch, it is believed that Bart is a genius. With that, Bart goes to a new school and because of his lack of intelligence, he feels like he really doesn't belong there and he doesn't fit in. Bart must face the prospect of telling the truth, despite the fact it will mean going back to his old school and losing Homer's new found interest in his son. This is an episode that still holds the test of time for me, and still works. Very entertaining. Another classic.

Homer's Odyssey - After Homer is fired for causing Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to shut down after an accident, Homer becomes depressed and can't find a job. Homer decides to commit suicide, however, the family stops him just in the nick of time. With a new leash on life, Homer sets out to make Springfield a bit safer with traffic signs. With a nice following, Homer sets out to take on the Nuclear Power Plant. Mr. Burns, unhappy with what's going on, bargains with Homer. Will Homer give in to Mr. Burns or go on with his cause? It's not my favorite episode out there, as I find it a little annoying and tedious, but it is enjoyable to me.

There's No Disgrace Like Home - One of the most popular episodes of the first season, and certainly one of the most memorable. We find the Simpson family at a company picnic, where Mr. Burns seems to like the idea of family love (what was he on then?). Homer tries to make his family "perfect", but it seems to go wrong where Marge gets drunk at the picnic and Bart causes trouble. Homer wants the family to be more "normal" so he decides to take them to Dr. Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center. And of course, in that sequence, comes one of the most memorable moments in "Simpsons" history. Shock treatment, therapy bats, the works. Still, Homer comes to realize that his family is fine the way they are. Again, memorable, and pure classic Simpsons.

Bart The General - My favorite episode of the first season, and I think it's the best one of this season and certainly one of my top ten episodes of all time. It's funny, it's entertaining and a good underdog against the bully story. Basically, our first episode where we meet Nelson (haw-haw!) in this one where Bart gets a beating from him and is consulted by Homer and Marge after the fight, all because of Lisa's cupcakes. Marge suggests for Bart to reason with Nelson, while Homer suggests for Bart to fight him again. Bart obviously listens to Homer and is badly beaten... again. Bart's had enough, so we speaks to his grandfather who in turn introduces Bart to Herman, owner of a military antique store. Herman and Bart plan an assault strategy on Nelson and get the other kids at school to help out in the battle. Will Bart win the war and make the neighborhood safe again? This episode is downright funny, entertaining and a homage of sorts to classic war films. Don't miss it.

Moaning Lisa - Bleeding Gums Murphy (voiced by Ron Taylor) is introduced in this episode where Lisa suffers a big case of depression. Lisa starts to feel better when she hears some music outside and meets a saxophone player, that being Bleeding Gums Murphy, who encourages her and teachers her to express herself through music. Meanwhile, Bart and Homer become involved in video game boxing, where Homer keeps losing. Will Lisa beat her depression and will Homer beat Bart in video game boxing? A nice episode that does get the job done. It has its funny moments, but I still think it packs more of a serious punch.

The Call Of The Simpsons - Albert Brooks begins his line of special guest voices in this episode as RV Salesman Bob (and he certainly does a job well done). After Homer becomes jealous of Ned Flanders getting a whole new mobile home, Homer figures that he's good enough to get one for himself. However, Homer can only get a poor and beat-up RV. Still, Homer is really happy about the purchase and takes the rest of the family out a camping trip. However, they soon become lost when the RV gets out of control and falls off a cliff, with the Simpsons escaping just in time. The family soon splits up, as the Simpsons must survive in the wild. There is some pretty funny stuff in this episode, but I found it a bit unoriginal and a bit boring at times. Still, it's not too terrible.

The Telltale Head - For some reason, I'm not really a big fan of this episode. It tries to set up a relationship of Bart trying to fit in with bullies Kearny, Dolph and Jimbo (all who make their first appearances in the series here), but as we see in later episodes, it doesn't quite make the leap to what is originally envisioned. This episode is really nothing new as far as plot as Bart tries to be accepted with the bullies by cutting off the head of the statue of the town's founder, Jebediah Springfield. The town becomes upset over this, even Jimbo and the gang do too. Bart knows what he did was wrong and he tries to correct what he did. The episode opens and closes with Homer and Bart being chased by a mob, and Bart tries to explain his actions. It is a little preachy but in the end it's not really funny and the whole idea of someone trying to fit in with their peers by doing a bad act is nothing new. Even Bart is a little bit of a goody two-shoes in this one.

Life On The Fast Lane - Albert Brooks makes his second appearance as the slick bowling instructor Jacques in this episode, which even does a little send-up of the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" at the end. This episode find Homer giving Marge a thoughtless gift for her birthday, that being a bowling ball. Marge is annoyed at this, but decides to go bowling so Homer won't actually be able to use the gift. There, she meets Jacques, a ladies man and fabulous bowler who takes Marge under his wing. Homer suspects something is wrong, and it's up to Marge where to take her relationships with Homer and Jacques. Some inspired stuff in here, I think, even if it is predictable. Albert Brooks once again does some fine voice work. Funny and thoughtful.

Homer's Night Out - Another season one episode that's not one of my favorites, but certainly brings a good point of how fast things can spread. It can be funny, but I felt parts of it got a bit tedious. Anyway, Homer attends a part at a restaurant for one of his co-workers and dances with the belly dancer Princess Kashmir. It also turns out Marge takes the rest of the family out that night to the same restaurant, where Bart spots Homer in the party and takes a picture of the two dancing using his spy camera. Bart ends up developing the picture and it goes around, and Marge isn't too happy about it. It's up to Homer to teach Bart about women and loving them. Again, not one of my favorites, but it does have its moments for sure.

The Crepes Of Wrath - One of the best episodes in the first season (at least I think so), this one hits a lot of good marks and is pretty intelligent, adventuresome in some aspects and really funny. We find Bart flushing a cherry bomb in a toilet at school, and with Principal Skinner's mother visiting, let's just say the results aren't good. Bart ends up going to a student exchange program in France, where in turn, the Simpsons host Adil Hoxha who comes from Albania. Bart's exchange family are winemakers Cesar and Ugolin, who really treat Bart terrible. Back in America, Hoxha is actually a spy who sends information about the Nuclear Power Plant back to Albania. Pretty inspired and just a lot of fun. Nice, fun Simpsons.

Krusty Gets Busted - Kelsey Grammar makes his first of many appearances here as Sideshow Bob, Krusty the Clown's sidekick. I'm always a fan of the Sideshow Bob episodes, as they're always a lot of fun (with the exception of the latest one that aired this year, I didn't like it so much). This first one is where it all begins with Bob's hatred for Krusty. This one is a good mystery of sorts, and really does have a lot of funny moments and a good ending. Anyway, Bob frames Krusty for a robbery and everyone believes he's guilty, except Bart who goes out to prove that he didn't commit the robbery. Though the odds are against him, Bart pulls through and of course, also starts Bob's hatred for Bart as he tries to kill him. Another great first season episode.

Some Enchanted Evening - The last episode of the first season, this one is pretty decent. I feel it has a good setup but a little bit uneven. Still, it pokes some fun at things and offers some nice belly laughs. In this episode, Marge feels neglected by Homer and shares her feelings on a radio call-in show. Homer listens and decides to make it up to Marge by taking her for a night out. They get a babysitter, Ms. Botz (voiced by Penny Marshall), also known as the Babysitter Bandit. Marge and Homer don't know that, but Bart and Lisa soon find out on the television. It's of course up to Bart, Lisa and Maggie to escape her wrath. Like some of the other episodes, I just found it a little annoying. I don't know why. Still, it's fun.

So there you have that first season. Not a bad season at all and I certainly still do enjoy these episodes tremendously. Now they can all be yours on DVD, completely unedited (they are cut down in syndication a bit, haven't seen their full versions in quite a long time). Still, with that said, the best episodes are yet to come... have fun with these in the mean time!

Eat my shorts, dirty old transfers! Presented the way they have and always will be on television, in 1.33:1 full frame, I'm absolutley amazed and in awe of how good these episodes look. It just boggles my mind to see how cleaned up they are, considering how much I'm used to the old, muted transfers in syndication that look not so spectacular since they've been played over and over. It's quite a difference when you compare the two, as these don't look a day old and look exactly how they first aired. They're not old and bad, they're pretty sharp and crisp. Still, with that said, they're not perfect. I noticed some blemishes and nicks on some of the episodes here and there, but those are rather rare and when they show up they're not that distracting. I noticed some shimmering and noise here and there too, but it's rather light and not a big deal either. Still, as I mentioned, the big deal about these transfer is how sharp they look after all these years. It just looks so bright and glorious, even though at times they do appear a tad bit soft. Colors are well saturated and come to life nicely, bringing the best of what it has to offer. Black levels and details are also fine. It's not reference quality, but it's great for a television series and good to see this show look so good especially when you watch these on DVD and then compare them to the syndicated reruns. "The Simpsons" really deserves this kind of treatment and I'm quite glad to see that it got it. Pure digital Simpsons goodness... I love it and you will too.

Woohoo! "The Simpsons" remixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital? Count me in! I was excited to hear about the episodes being remixed in the original specs, and I am really surprised how good these new mixes sounded, considering how long ago these were made, some of the sound material could be questionable about being mixed into. Still, Fox has pulled it off and you really get into the world of Springfield through the mixes, you may feel like you're in Springfield Elementary, the Power Plant, the Simpsons home and wherever you may be. .1 LFE is pretty good for the show as well as fidelity, while dialogue is clear and easy to hear, nothing overpowers the dialogue or gets in its way. The mixes also have a very nice balance between them. Surrounds are pretty packed and go along with the show nicely. Surrounds come differently all over the episodes, it depends. For one thing, Danny Elfman's great theme is really well mixed through the channels. "Bart The General" features a very nice mix, especially with the big battle against Nelson and the war music. It's not "Saving Private Ryan" obviously, but it does pack its own bunch. The jazz music in "Moaning Lisa" sounds great, as well as the angry mob in "The Telltale Head." The shock treatment in "There's No Disgrace By Home" and the RV crash as well as wilderness scenes in "The Call Of The Simpsons." These mixes do offer an incredible amount for the show, as episodes do pack their own unique sounds as far as situations go. Overall, the mixes here fit great with the episodes and brought much more, and I was really happy that in the end. It was a good idea to remix these and kind of makes it more special. A very good variety and these mixes do encompass a lot with good envelopment. In case 5.1 is not your cup of tea, an English Dolby Surround track and French Dolby Surround tracks are also included with each episode. English closed captions, English subtitles and Spanish subtitles are also on each episode.

Aye carumba! After waiting long and hard for a DVD release of "The Simpsons", Fox has not disappointed us here one bit, as they have slam packed this first season with extras that casual fans will enjoy and that die-hard fans will drool over. This is truly one amazing package and Fox certainly knows what to give the fans what they want. The extras here make all of this like the ultimate Simpsons package with so much to gain about the show. Ready? Here we go...

Disc 1:
Let it be said that every episode in this set has a commentary, the idea of which I'm thrilled with so I can gain additional insight and thoughts on each show from the people made them happen. Just to let you know, to select a commentary for an episode, they are in the language selection part. You can also switch when watching a show by using your audio button on your DVD remote. Die-hard fanatics (like myself) will probably listen to all the commentaries, but here's a guide to them if you have favorite shows in particular.

Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire has a Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Director David Silverman. The trio are pretty talkative and point out first appearances, inspirations for names and characters and talk about the show's "values" as well as the animation style. There's some interesting tidbits here and I'm glad they keep things going.

Bart The Genius features a Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Director David Silverman and Writer Jon Vitti. They share a lot here right off the bat and reveal some nice information. From Danny Elfman's theme, to this episode being an easy bitch, right to some of the animation process. This track also talks about the show's popularity and early idea for the show's comic character Radioactive Man. It's a nice track as four collaborators reminisce about their work.

The episode Homer's Odyssey has an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, Director Wesley Archer, Writer Jay Kogen & Writer Wally Wolodarsky. This track is a bit more enthusiastic, but these new participants do seem a little nervous, but not too much. We learn from this track that Marge was originally named Juliette, Otto was based on one of the gentleman (which is also brought up on another commentary) and that they talk about gags as well as some of characters. I found it interesting how the writers visited a real nuclear power plant after they wrote the episode, and how they got it on target (or so they claim). They share a lot of nice stories and again, show a lot of enthusiasm for their work.

There's No Disgrace Like Home features an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, Writer Al Jean and Writer Mike Reiss (the two who created another fine animated show, "The Critic"). This commentary does have a good amount of laughs plus we learn the origins of "sector 7-G." There's some nice information as they point out references to televisions shows and films and make commentary on certain idealisms. Reiss and Jean point out how they imagined things and how "The Simpsons" has been featured in some other Fox mediums. It's interesting to find out that the shock sequence was a bit difference and it came together during the editing. A very good listen here.

For Bart The General there is an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Director David Silverman. They have a pretty good time on this track, laughing at a lot of jokes and pointing out references to war films. This track also talks a little about the animation and a little about the controversy the show faced. It's a nice track for the episode, but more on the actual episode would have been a better.

Finally, disc one's last commentary is for Moaning Lisa, that Audio Commentary being with Matt Groening, Director Wesley Archer, Writer Al Jean and Writer Mike Reiss. They talk about the difference in the main title sequence and even some inspirations for it. There's also talk about Bart's prank calls to Moe and how hard it was to think of names, Archer being inexperienced as a director and the origin of Ralph Wiggum's name. A very good track with very good information to absorb here.

Finally, this disc also has three Scripts to browse through. They're for "Bart The Genius", "Bart The General" and "Moaning Lisa." These are very interesting to see how they were originally written and how it went to final show. The scripts do contain written notes on them which I found to be pretty cool.

Disc 2:

The Call Of The Simpsons has a Audio Commentary with Director Wesley Archer, Writer Al Jean and Writer Mike Reiss. Though Al Jean and Mike Reiss did not write this episode, they did produce it. There's a lot of good information on this track where we find out a lot of the "Simpsons" staff worked on a newsletter and were pulled from there. They talk about celebrity voices, and how William Shatner turned them down to do a voice, and how those who did voices the first season were friends of creative force James L. Brooks. This is a fine track as they do share a fine amount of information and seem to be pretty happy how it all turned out. A lot to gain out of this track as it has a really nice flow and point out some cool things.

For The Telltale Head, there's an Audio Commentary with Director Rich Moore, Writer Al Jean and Writer Mike Reiss. The three talk about a good deal of things, such as where they started the story and how they had a little trouble with that as well as some more first appearances of characters. They point out jokes and Moore makes fun of his own directing. There are some interesting comments, especially as Jean and Reiss talk about what they were going for. Another good complimentary track to the episode, and despite the fact I've seen this one dozens of times, I was glad that they pointed out things I never noticed before.

Life On The Fast Lane has an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Director David Silverman and Writer Al Jean. Jean didn't write this episode, but rather, regular Simpsons scribe John Swartzwelder. There's a tiny bit about the script evolving as Jacques was originally going to be Swedish, but there's some interesting comments about the show coming together more with the house plan being finished and new animators working on the show. There's also praise for Albert Brooks' improvising ways and the voice actors. There's some nice insights on this track and the four get their say in here with their thoughts working on the episode. This commentary has a good flow, despite some short pauses now and then in the track. There's a lot of good say in this as well as energy, so be sure to listen in.

Homer's Night Out features an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, Director Rich Moore and Writer Jon Vitti. They share some laughs with each other but despite that, they actually share some techniques that they used in this episode as far as camera tricks, and color goes. Things are not always screen specific in this track but they do retain a good focus as far as talking about the episode and how things went, plus inspirations. They seem to get into the episode a bit, which does explain the "stop and go" flow with it.

For The Crepes Of Wrath you have an Audio Commentary with Director Wesley Archer and Writer George Meyer. Meyer is pretty candid and is pretty relaxed, and he begins the track as how this was the first episode he actually got credit on. Archer talks about the direction he took with this episode and the design aspect, and how Mrs. Skinner's personality is different from later episodes. Some of their comments are a bit obvious, and sometimes they just point out anything since they're not sure what to talk about. Like the "Homer's Night Out" track, it feels "stop and go." Not bad at all, but maybe more participants could have brought a little more. Still, there's some nice stuff here.

Krusty Gets Busted has an Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, Director Brad Bird, Writer Jay Kogen & Writer Wally Wolodarsky. This is another track which begins with a good length about the title sequence, but thankfully it offers some good new information about that. If Bird's name sounds familiar, he directed the 1999 animated film "The Iron Giant." He is rather insightful here as he explains how he wanted to open the episode and how he wanted to do with it. Kogen and Wolodarsky talk about cutting down their script, and poke fun at some of the other staff. Still, I'd say Bird dominates this track with the best information as he offers good tips of doing elaborate stuff and simple things in animation. There's some laughs here too plus a little talk on the show evolved in small things. This is definitely one of the best audio commentaries in this set, so give it a spin.

Disc 3:

Finally, the last episode (Some Enchanted Evening) and the last Audio Commentary, that being with Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Director David Silverman and Writer Al Jean. The track begins with other differences in this episode's main titles, but it soon blends right into the actual episode. It's not always screen specific, but they do talk about the "death" of Dr. Marvin Monroe and how he developed, but how they had things with him but never really used him again. Yet a main thing is how this episode was redone and how the original version was really terrible. It has 70% of new footage when compared to the original version. I think they ramble on too much here about things, but there's still a good amount to gain from this track. What about the old version? There is remains of that on this disc...

So that ends the episodes and the commentaries. But yes, there is some more. As I mentioned the "Some Enchanted Evening" episode was redone, you can see original parts in Never Before See Outtakes. It's in full frame and is really rough. There's also optional Audio Commentary with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Director David Silverman and Writer Al Jean. Basically, they talk about their "nightmare" they went on in the commentary and talk about it here in more detail. They all really despise the "outtakes," and they make jokes about it and the inconsistencies. A lot of their comments are jokingly and shocks. Still, with that, they are honest and pretty candid about the different version of the episode, and talk about mistakes and how they wouldn't put the episode on the air. As far as the "outtakes" itself, it is pretty terrible. The animation is really bad and everything is all out of place. They are really embarrassed by this, and I'm surprised they included it on the DVD as they really hate it. It's for the fans, I guess, and as bad as it may be, it's a worthy addition that fans will eat up.

Animatic From "Bart The General" has a commentary with Matt Groening and Director David Silverman. It's rather short as it shows clips in their pencil test form and then the final version. The commentary more serious and talks about the process. Short, but still nice.

The documentary The Making Of The Simpsons: America's First Family is from the BBC and features interviews with Matt Groening, Al Jean and James L. Brooks. It's a little short, but it talks about the history of the show from when Groening made "Life In Hell" which caught the interest of James L. Brooks, how he created the characters quickly and named it after his own family mostly, how it went from Tracey Ullman to its own show and the impact it has had. Nicely done, but more interviews and a little more substance could have made this a better.

The Foreign Language Clips section has a clip from the episode "Life On The Fast Lane", where you can view it in five different languages: French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese. Interesting to see how the voices sound in other languages.

The first Tracy Ullman Short "Good Night Simpsons" is included on the disc, but most of you have probably already seen this on the 137th Episode Spectacular. Still, it's a cool inclusion.

The Albert Brooks Outtakes from "Life On The Fast Lane" is included, and it's just audio against stills from the episodes, but Brooks' improvisations are hilarious. He's a funny guy and there's gold to be found here, so have a good time listening to these.

Art Of The Simpsons has a "Life In Hell" strip to view, plus a load of "Early Drawings and Sketches" to browse through. Have fun browsing these, it's interesting to see original looks for characters, storyboards, poses and a lot more. There's a lot to see of how things evolved, so really enjoy these. I certainly did.

Finally, the Some Enchanted Evening Script you can browse through, complete with Matt Groening's notes and doodles all over it. Considering the whole mess this episode went through, this is a good inclusion to top it off. Nice!

Phew... I'm exhausted. A lot here, as you can see and "Simpsons" fans are sure to be pleased. And what would this set be without an Easter Egg? Happy hunting! On another note, the packaging for this set is quite nice and as future seasons come out, I think they'll line up against each other nicely on my shelf. Also on the packaging is a cool letter from series creator Matt Groening.

If you only knew how thrilled I am that Fox has finally brought out "The Simpsons" on DVD, and I'm glad they will be releasing the episodes season by season (though "The Best Of 'The Simpsons'" on VHS wasn't that bad). For an amazingly cheap retail price and chock filled with extras, this first season set is a Simpsons fan dream come true. For you fellow Simpsons freaks out there, I don't even have to tell you to go out and get this, because you all most likely have plans to purchase it or already have pre-ordered it. Truly a must own set this holiday season. I'll be pulling this one out to watch again and again... Simpsons fans, rejoice and have fun!

(5/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(5/5)

(4.5/5, NOT an average)

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