The Simpsons – The Complete Ninth Season
C+ Sound: B- Extras: B+ Episodes: B
time I hear that Danny Elfman I get a smile.
Not because I like Elfman, but because I know I am about to see some of
the wittiest, pop culture, phenomenon to every grace television. The
Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season is slick, clever, and just another step
toward greatness for the series. Many
fans say The Simpsons met their peak at around Season Six or Seven, but
they are just being difficult. The truth
of the matter is The Simpsons, now on a stunning 18th Season, though it may
have lost a little steam when competing with the outlandish Family Guy (which makes more references
to 80’s-90’s pop-culture than literary works like The Simpsons), or off the brand humor found on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, remains as a figure head of
the animated world.
The Simpsons uses its own creative writing
team spliced with history, poems, music, literary works, art, pop-culture,
news, and more to excel into greatness.
At the time these episodes were produced there may have been no smarter
show on television. Where else can you
watch a morbidly obese man fall down the stairs, get hit in the groin, lit on
fire AND learn of the horrors of pollution?
Season Nine is most likely
one of the best, especially with the Emmy Winning 200th episode included,
entitled Trash of the Titans where
Homer is elected the sanitation commissioner (you know that can’t be
good). Also a personal favorite episode
found in this season is Das Bus a
very well done Lord of the Flies
parody. Overall, this is a great, great
season with much to offer.
start with, FANS WILL LOVE THIS DVD SET! Next, since this reviewer has already spoken
of the great intelligence and humor of the series, let’s display one more area
of importance the series has to offer, Guest Stars. This Simpsons is like an evolving variety
show. To name a few Martin Sheen, Fyvush
Finkel, Mike Judge, Joe Namath, Andrea Martin, Stephen Jay Gould, Phil Hartman
(LAST SEASON), Alex Trebek, George Harrison, Jim Varney, James Earl Jones,
Bruce Baum, Janeane Garofalo, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jay Leno, Hank Williams Jr.,
Steven Wright, Helen Hunt, Bob Denver, Rod Steiger, Paul Winfield, Steve
Martin, U2, Brendan Fraser, Steven Weber, and many more. Wow, that is a list, and only one
season. The Simpsons has influenced the
world and it shows. The series has had 3
out of 4 Beatles for God’s sake!
technical aspects on this DVD set are quite nice, with some issues. The picture is presented in a 1.33 X 1 Full
Screen that is adequate (though every animated series should be widescreen) and
the color is looking better with every DVD Season release, being miles above
the syndicated versions on television.
The sound is presented in a crisp 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround format that
has high/low issues at time, but nothing to worry about. The extras are always nice on The Simpsons releases, the creators
always looking out for the fans. There
are commentaries available for each and every episode, and unlike many other
DVD sets the commentaries of insightful, humorous, and interesting. Other bonuses include promo spots, a
featurette entitled A Moment with U2,
deleted scenes, Multi-Angle animation showcases, original sketches, and other
little niceties we have come to expect from these sets. Also included is a nice, colorful booklet
explaining each episode and collectors cards.
The creators of the show never seem to disappoint.
final note this reviewer would like to comment on the packaging style. Seasons
1-5 of The Simpsons were available in cardboard pull out Digi-packs, then
on Season 6 the creators thought
they would be CREATIVE and switch it up, changing the packaging to a new style
‘plastic head’ style. Season 6 was ‘The Homer Head.’ Fans got upset at this packaging
inconsistency and made it clear they were not happy. Once again thinking of the fans the creators
sent out a press release allowing for all and any fan to receive a cardboard
slip cover for their 6th Season upset.
For Seasons 7-9, all seasons
have been available in not one but two packaging styles, ‘cardboard box’ or
‘plastic head.’ The ‘plastic head’
versions are said to be limited edition and get this, THEY ARE! Once the production run is done on the
‘plastic head’ version no more are made, while the ‘cardboard box’ version is
continually produced. On top of this the
‘plastic head’ versions are becoming harder to find. To this date the ‘plastic heads’ have been
released as follows Season 6 Homer, 7 Marge, 8 Maggie, 9 Lisa, and
you can bet 10 will be Bart. On top of this, for all those fans who
complained, Seasons 1-5 have been
‘cardboard boxes’ and 6-10 ‘plastic
heads,’ it is all in balance again. Who
knows maybe Season 11 will be
something new again, this reviewer hopes so.
- Michael P Dougherty II