Monday, December 15

The Simpsons Seasons: Good and Bad

UPDATED 7/9/14
Many people love The Simpsons, but now that it is getting older, there are fans of the old seasons who no longer see the show and are unaware of the newer changes (Selma has a daughter?! Patty finally came out of the closet?!) and those newer fans that are unaware of the earlier seasons. So here is my guide of the eras.

Early Days
 

First Season
We all know that in our favorite animated shows, the first season always look awful, but there is a reason this show was not canceled by the first season (because it is great!). There are good episodes like "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," "Bart the Genius," "There's No Disgrace like Home" (where the Simpsons goes through electric shock therapy), "The Telltale Head," "Life on the Fast Lane," and "Homer's Night Out" (the one with the stripper and the picture). Of course, there is the notorious Some Enchanted Evening, that had problems since the beginning but in the end, turned out memorable.

 
Second Season
One episode that many fans that don't know is "Simpson and Delilah" where Homer gets hair and a inspirational gay secetary Karl who kisses him. He might have been thought of a character to be recurring since he appeared in the "The Bartman" music video. This is the first season to introduce the Treehouse of Horror. This season is mostly slow and kinda boring, but it did get exciting by mid-way to end. Some gems include "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish," "Bart the Daredevil," "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge," "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" (Homer thinks he will die), "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", "Old Money" (Grandpa inherits money from girlfriend), "Brush with Greatness" (Ringo episode) and "The War of the Simpsons" (Homer hunts a catfish during a relationship-fixing weekend). "The Way We Was" showing how Marge and Homer met is the real standout of the season.

Good Old Days
These are the defining moments of the Simpsons.

Third Season
A real golden season, all are great. Many gems like: "Stark Raving Dad" starred Michael Jackson, "Bart the Murderer," "Homer Defined," "Flaming Moe's," "Like Father like Clown," "Radio Bart" (inside the wishing well), "Bart the Lover" (to the right), My favorites: "When Flander Failed" with his Leftroium and "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" (The last formal appearance of Herb voiced by Danny Devito). I remember seeing all these episodes when they first aired as a kid, I was 9. Good ones but forgetable: "Lisa's Pony," "Homer at Bat," "Seperate Vocations" (Bart and Lisa flip sides), "Colonel Homer" and "Lisa the Greek."

 
 
Fourth Season
"Kamp Krusty" was going to be the movie. "A Streetcar Named Marge" is my favorite and the best, which might have influenced "Rugrats." "Homer the Heretic" is the best (to the left). Other gems: "Lisa the Beauty Queen," "Itchy & Scratchy the Movie," "Marge Gets a Job," "New Kid on the Block" (Bart's first love with Sara Gilbert from 'Roseanne"), "Marge vs. the Monorail," "I Love Lisa," "Whacking Day," and "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show." "Last Exit to Springfield" is one forgettable episode where Lisa gets braces and conviently hides them behind her teeth and everyone laughs. My favorite? "Brother from the Same Planet," where Bart attempts telepathy to call Homer to pick him up from practice.

Fifth Season
Here is where things got iff-y. Starting out with a questionable episode: "Homer's Barbershop Quartet." But followed by a golden gem "Cape Feare", the Simpsons go into the Witness Protection Program with wonderful vintages such as "The Thompsons" opening, Homer coming in to Bart's room like Jason, Santa's Little Helper 'walking' in the water, Sideshow Bob's ride with the Simpsons, Homer's utter stupidness to know his name is now Thompson and of course the musical ending. Goods: "Bart's Inner Child," "Rosebud" (Mr. Burns' bear Bobo), "Marge on the Lam," "The Last Temptation of Homer" (Michelle Pfeiffer guest stars), "Homer the Vigilante," "Homer and Apu," "Bart gets Famous," "Homer loves Flanders," "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," and Milestones: "Barts Gets an Elephant," "Deep Space Homer," and "Burns' Heir." Forgettable but awesome: "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy," "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" and "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" (which featured what could have been Carl Carlson's never-before-seen Wife.) Not so Great: "Lady Bouvier's Lover," "Homer Goes to College," and "$pringfield."

Six Season
Here are some golden classics. Great and Awesome: "Bart of Darkness," "Another Simpsons Clip Show" (Love episode), "Itchy & Scratchy Land," "Bart's Girlfriend," ""Lisa on Ice," (hockey) "Homer Badman," (to the left) "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy," (reverse vampires) "Fear of Flying," (Marge's) "Homer the Great," (Stonecutters) "Bart vs. Australia," "Homer vs. Patty and Selma," "Lisa's Wedding," "Round Springfield," (Bleedinggums Murphy dies) "A Star is Burns," ("The Critic" cross-over) "The Springfield Connection" (Marge is a cop), "The PTA disbands," (Marge as Bart's teacher) and "Lemon of Troy" (Shelbyville vs. Springfield kids). Forgettable but great: "Lisa's Rival," "Homie the Clown," "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds," My all-time favorite Treehouse of Horror episode is "Treehouse of Horror V," the one with "The Shining" parody and time traveling toaster.

Seventh Season
The Epic season 6 left us 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' which confused and angered many with its result in this season. This is where it started getting tangy. This is one season that its Treehouse of Horror is super great (3-D Homer and Donut boy coming alive) but in syndication doesn't get repeated alot. The Good: "Radioactive Man," ""Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily," "Bart Sells his Soul," "Lisa the Vegetarian," "King-Size Homer," "Mother Simpson," "Marge Be Not Proud," "Team Homer" (Pin Pals), "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular," "Two Bad Neighbors", "Homer the Smithers" (my favorite), "The Day the Violence Died," "Bart on the Road," and "22 Short Films About Springfield." Forgetable but great: "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming" (air show), "Lisa the Iconoclast," "Bart the Fink," "A Fish Called Selma," "Much Apu ABout Nothing," "Homerpalooza," and "Summer of 4 Ft.2." In the first "Simpsons Trivia" blurb, the announcer claims the cash register which scans Maggie in the opening credits gives a digital readout of "NRA4EVR". In fact, when paused, the cash register readout is $847.63 (which was the monthly cost of raising a baby in 1989). And the great episode of them all that should have been a movie? "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"


Season Eight
This is one damn good season. This season was the first to start off with the Treehouse of Horror VII, which featured Bart's siamese evil twin brother Hugo. Good: "The Homer They Fall," "A Milhouse Divided (Milhouse's parents split)," "Lisa's Date with Density," "The Springfield Files (Monty is an alien)," "Mountain of Madness," "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show," "Brother from Another Series (Sideshow Niles)," "Homerphobia (John Water guest stars)," "My Sister, My Sitter," "Grade School Confidential," "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment," and "The Canine Mutiny." Bad: "Burns, Baby Burns" (I love Rodney Dangerfield but this episode got no respect), "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" My Favorites: "Bart After Dark," "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer..." (which was meant for Season 3), "You Only Move Twice" that introduced Hank Scorpio, who was going to be the villain in the Simpsons Movie, but many many villains were thought of, "Homer's Enemy" (my all-time favorite episode), "The Old Man and the Lisa," "In Marge We Trust," "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase," "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" and "Hurricane Neddy." Favorite but forgetable: "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (Pretzels).

Very Very Zany
When things got really crazy. Some episodes went to areas that may have not been allowed before by Matt Groening--for good reason and way more wacky. It was like if Groening took a few years off (Futurama?).

Season 9
This was a great season but after the first episode--the New York episode, the season started getting hints of the zany, when anything went. Good: "Lisa's Sax," "The Cartridge Family," "Bart Star," "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", "Lisa the Skeptic," "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," "All Singing, All Dancing," "The Joy of Sect" (The Leader), "Das Bus" (Lord of the Flies parody), "Lisa the Simpson," "The Trouble with Trillions," "Trash of the Titans," and "King of the Hill." Favorites: "The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson" is a masterpiece. "Lost Our Lisa" and "Natural Born Kissers" are good too. Forgettable but Brilliant: "Dumbbell Indemnity" (Moe and Helen Hunt) and "The Simpson Tide"; Iffy: "The Principal and the Pauper," and "Realty Bites."; Too Zany (but doesn't mean I don't like them): "Bart Carny," "Girly Edition" (Bart and Lisa in Kidz Newz), "This Little Wiggy" (Ralph and Bart ep), and "The Last Temptation of Krusty." Also, in this season Homer becomes more like the 'Homer the jerk' fans have dubbed him like. An uncaring Homer.

Season 10
The most zany 'who cares?' season of them all. So many way out there premises. Many fans that didn't follow the show religiously had left by this point. Good: "Lard of the Dance" (Lisa Kudrow is Lisa's cool classmate), "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (Edison), "Bart the Mother" (lizard eggs), "Lisa Gets an 'A'" (Lisa cheats), "Homer Simpson in 'Kidney Trouble,'" "Viva Ned Flanders" (Vegas wife), "I'm With Cupid" (Elton John guest stars) and "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" (the Kids Know all your secrets); Iffy: "D'oh-in in the Wind" (Homer the hippie) and "The Old Man and the 'C' Student" (Bart and Grandpa on a yaht); Forgettable but Brilliant: "Mayored to the Mob" (Homer as the Mayor's service agent), "Maximum Homerdrive," "They Saved Lisa's Brain" (Mensa meeting) and "Mom and Pop Art"; Too Zany: The Treehouse (Bart and Lisa meet Itchy & Scratchy), "When You Dish Upon a Star" (Alec Baldwin), "Homer to the Max" (when a TV character has Homer's name), "Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers"" (Marge has a big car), "Make Room for Lisa" (Homer tries new age-y stuff); Bad: Sunday, Cruddy Sunday (Super Bowl foul), "Monty Can't Buy Me Love" (Lockness Monster); Favorite: "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo;" First non-Treehouse vintages: "Simpsons Bible Stories" is the first episode to have 3 stories like the Treehouse of Terror and will be repeated in later seasons for various reasons. Update 5/13/09: I recently listen to the commentary of the Lockness ep and they felt bad throughout the commentary, ironically in the episode they have Kevin Cosner doing the same for one of his movies.

 

 
Season 11
This the second coming of the wacky episodes. The Treehouse of Terror is the most wacky and one of my favorites, with Ned Flanders as a werewolf, Lucy Lawless being kidnapped and the Y2k glitch ending up with Homer and Bart blowing up their heads in space. Best: "Eight Misbehavin'" (Apu and Manjula have 8 kids), "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" (right, when Maude dies, the one last episode fans really felt effected by, some say the one last good one.), "Faith Off" (Bart has the healing hands), "Pygmoelian" (Moe gets a new face), and "Behind the Laughter" (The Simpsons as actors); Zany: "Beyond Blunderdome" (Mel Gibson and Homer teamup), "Brother's Little Helper" (Bart gets help for his ADD), "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner" (Homer is a food critic), and "Grift of the Magi" (Funzo); My Favorite: "E-I-E-I-D'oh" (Tomaco and Glove Slap) and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge" (Parker Posey tries to ursurp Marge); Bad: "Take My Wife, Sleaze" (John Goodman as a motorcyle punk who kidnaps Marge), "Bart to the Future" ('Nuff said) and "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" (Tapa-tapa-tapa); Brilliant but forgetable: "Little Big Mom" (Lisa tricks the guys in thinking they have leprosy); Homer the Jerk: "The Mansion Family" (Bart and Homer on Burns' yaht), "Missionary: Impossible" (Homer becomes a Missionary),"Days of Wine and D'oh'ses" (Barney is no longer drunk!), "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder" (Homer scores the perfect score and tries to be a better father for Maggie), and "Kill the Alligator and Run" (Spring Break!)

Season 12
Many die-hard fans had left by this point because of growing up and being busy. This is when Treehouse of Terror is unreedemable, when once creative, is just plain weird... Killer dolphins? Stand-outs: "Lisa the Tree Hugger," "HOMR" (Homer has a crayon lodged in his brain and becomes smart?), "Hungry, Hungry Homer" (Homer skinny?), "Bye Bye Nerdie" and "I'm Going to Praiseland." Bad or Boring: Too many... "The Great Money Caper," "The Computer Wore Menance Shoes," "Trilogy of Error" (Run Lola Run parody), "Day of Jackanapes," "A Tale of Two Springfields," "Insane Clown Poppy" (Krusty a dad?),"New Kids on the Blecch" ('Nsync!), and "Simpsons Tall Tales." Strange: "Pokey Mom" (Marge befriends an inimate?), "Simpson Safari," "Children of a Lesser Clod" and "Worst Episode Ever" (The Comic Book guy and Skinner's mom?!)

Season 13
This is the harbinger season, a warning to true fans, don't stare directly at the TV. Standouts: "Half-Decent Proposal" (for me, one of the last good episodes--Artie Ziff is back!) , "The Parent Rap" (The mom from "Maclolm in the Middle"), "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" (Burns and a young lady), "The Blunder Years" (Smitter's father), "She of Little Faith" (Lisa the Buddhist, right), "Brawl in the Family" (Bart can drive?), "Little Girl in Big Ten" (Lisa in College and Bart in a bubble), and "Papa's Got a Brand New Badge."; Bad or Boring: "Jaws Wired Shut," "Sweets and Sour Marge," "The Bart Wants What It Wants" (Reese Witherspoon is Rainier Wolfcastle's daughter), "The Latest Gun in the West," "The Old Man and the Key," "Tales from the Public Domain" (ghostbusters ending?), "Blame It on Lisa" (Brazil got angry at this), "Gump Roast" (bad bad clip show with worst musical ending), "The Sweetest Apu" (Apu got married in Season 9 and had kids in Season 11 and now they are splitting?), and "The Frying Game."; Homer the Jerk: "Homer the Moe" (Homer takes over Moe), "Weekend at Brunsie's" (Marijuana), and "I Am Furious Yellow" (Stan Lee guest stars).


Sad Sad World
When things just got sad. It was bad and boring. This is era is reminder of the shadow of the show that was once great.

Season 14
With a lackluster Treehouse of Terror (the gang as animals), there were gems like "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation," "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade" and "Helter Shelter" (reality show with Squiggy). The one saddest episode is try to reedeem themselves with info from the past like "Large Marge" with a cameo from Stampy the elepehant and Frank Grimes' "son" in "The Great Louse Detective." Plus, the animaiton wasn't so hot. While this season celebrated its 300th episode, it seemed to forget its history. While it had been showed that Bart could drive, in "Barting Over" he lived by himself but was scared out of his wits like any other little kid, like he wasn't Bart. Anyhoo, I am a pety fan, didn't you notice? While the episode aired, Bravo aired a special with the voice cast and that got more ratings. And they mostly spoke of Season Eight and down.

Season 15
A bit of a reedemable season, but Skinner and Krabpel don't get married? Come on, even Apu got to get married and Barney got rehab, so why couldn't they get be married for a while? It's an okay season, but wasn't the 'homeruns' they were before.
The Good: 'The President wore pearls" (Lisa as Eva Peron), "My Mother the Carjacker," "Marge vs. Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays" and "The Way We Weren't" (adding more to the Homer and Marge past in a good way).



Season 16
The animation has gotten more 'squishy,' and looking clay-like, I guess because they switched to digital. Tom Brady, 50 Cent, Kim Catrell guest star but at this point, who cares? And Patty finally comes out the closet? Some parts of the episode "There's Something About Marrying" felt like it had been written years ago but too much relationship stuff had been squeezed in such a small time such as Patty and Marge's relationship and Patty and Selma's relationship. While Bart going to Catholic school, Homer becoming a snitch in a Frank Gehry's prision, Selma adopting and yet another creepy trip to the future are forgettable and not that attractive to old fans. And do new fans even remember this?

Season 17
The first episode "Bonfire of the Manatees" was thought of as the movie? Good it wasn't, it was so boring. "The Italian Bob" introduces Sideshow Bob's wife and son is sort of interesting but everything else was blah. Even though "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story" with stories within stories gets an emmy, yawn... Okay the other episodes I have to honest I haven't seen, maybe I have but I block them out. I probably saw a bit because I changed the channel. Most of this season I saw in syndication.




Reedeem-ringa-ding-didly

 
Season 18
Season 18 gave us Fat Tony a son, Crazy Cat Lady a stable early alias, Selma and Granpa get romantic, a 24 parody, Santa's Little Helper as a cop, Homer as a paparazzo (left) and Homer poses as a carpenter while Marge really is one. Storywriting got a bit better. Most of this season I saw in syndication.


 

Season 19
Brian Tallerico of UGO gave the episode a mixed review (a C), expressing disappointment after the well received The Simpsons Movie. He felt the writers went "right back to their old clich├ęs and sadly repetitive jokes". This season after the movie. Some memorable episodes such as Sideshow Bob's supposed death, and Milhouse being cool. But, the one Doh! is a total middlefinger to fans with "That 90's Show" totally destroying the past.


Season 20
I have gave it a chance and seen a couple of episodes and they feel like mini movies, that iPod ep was great ("MyPods and Broomsticks"). Also good was Marge being a bridezilla in a third wedding for Homer and Marge ("Wedding for Disaster").

HD New Beginning
With a new HD beginning opening sequence and new digital look, they have a new beginning with better writing and funnier episodes.



Season 21
Memorable or Good: "Homer the Whopper" is where the Comic Book Guy makes Everyman and Homer is made the lead in the movie. Lisa befriends Wicca girls ("Rednecks and Broomsticks") and Bart gets a unrealistic cool sub ("Bart gets a Z"). Krusty marries Anne Hathaway--or rather Princess Penelope ("Once Upon a Time in Springfield"). Also Homer and Marge become curlers ("Boy meets Curl") and Moe becomes an American Idol Judge ("Judge Me Tender"). "Pranks and Greens" has Jonah Hill as a guest and is a good ep. Bart gets a little brother in "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" is my favorite.

Season 22
Memorable or Good: "Angry Dad the Movie," "The Real Housewives of Fat Tony," (Selma marries Fat Tony) and "The Ned-liest Catch" (Krabappel and Ned hook-up).







 Season 23
Bad: "Holidays of Future Past"---back to the future but a bad episode. Great: "The Food Wife" -- Marge becomes a foodie with the kids to be the 'fun parent.' Okay: "Beware my Cheating Past" - Jimbo's girlfriend is introduced and made a friend of Bart's. "Ned n Edna's Blend" is where Ned and Edna marry. The last ep is "Lisa Goes Gaga" where Lisa calls Lady Gaga out on her sh--take Mushrooms.
 Season 24
Bad: "Penny-Wiseguys": For some reason, Steve Carrell is made a main character involved with the mob in this strange episode. Good: "Homer goes to prep school" -- Homer prepares for Armageddon. "The Changing of Guardian" -- Homer and Marge look for guardians for their kids. "A Tree Grows in Springfield" -- Homer becomes obsessed with a MyPad.

Season Five
Good: "Steal This Episode" -- Homer makes a home theater of pirated movies. "Yellow Badge of Courage" -- Bart feels guilty after he wins the annual "last day of school" race around Springfield Elementary School, with help from Nelson, who beats up the frontrunner, Milhouse. "Brick Like Me" -- Lego episode.