TITLE: THE SIMPSONS - THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON (FOXSTORE.COM)
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: 550 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: Appox. 50 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Spanish, and French; English and Spanish subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Commentaries on every episode; Deleted Scenes, A Line From Matt Groening; Prank Calls: Special Language Feature; Commercials; Art and Animation
D’oh! America’s favorite animated family is back on DVD for the tenth season of the show that just seems like it’ll never end! The tenth season is one of those points where some fans dropped off a bit (you can tell that these episodes are a change from previous seasons, as we see guest stars becoming more prominent and other changes), but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still a great show and (in my opinion) really didn’t change THAT much in quality this season. So join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and the rest for this wonderful four-disc set!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins (well, technically this was not the first episode of the season when aired on Fox and was an extra episode between seasons--but it had to be included somewhere on the DVDs) with “Lard of the Dance,” where Lisa Kudrow plays the new student at Springfield Elementary that Lisa just can’t stand. William Daniels makes a cameo as KITT in “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” where Homer realizes he is halfway through life and wants to become the next Thomas Edison. Bart accidentally kills a mother bird in “Bart the Mother” and is determined to make sure her eggs are okay, but he is in for an even bigger surprise when they hatch. Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger), Jerry Springer, Ed McMahon, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Regis Philbin all guest star in “Treehouse of Horror IX.” Following that is yet another star-studded episode, where Kim Bassinger, Alec Baldwin, and Ron Howard all move to Springfield and become Homer’s newest friend in “When You Dish Upon a Star.” Homer is on a quest to discover his middle name in “D’oh in the Wind,” and you’ll never guess what it is.
Lisa gets an undeserved A that she doesn’t want in “Lisa Gets an A.” Abe Simpson needs a kidney and Homer can provide it, but will he? Find out in “Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble.” Homer’s job is to protect Mayor Quimby in “Mayored to the Mob.” Homer and Ned get married (and I’m not talking about to Maude and Marge either) in “Viva Ned Flanders.” Homer vandalizes Springfield Elementary (and the kids suffer when there are no suspects) in “Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken.” Cyndi Lauper guest stars. Dan Marino, Rupert Murdoch, Dolly Parton, and Fred Willard guest star in “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday.”
Homer Simpson is the newest TV star (no, not the Homer you are thinking of) in “Homer to the Max.” Elton John guest stars in “I’m With Cupid,” where Apu and Manjula’s marriage may be on the rocks. Hank Williams, Jr. and John Kassir (the Cryptkeeper) guest star in “Marge Simpson in: Screaming Yellow Honkers,” where Homer buys an SUV. Homer has to demonstrate that he really cares about Lisa when he destroys the Bill of Rights and is forced to put a cell phone tower in her bedroom in “Make Room for Lisa.” Homer and Bart hit the road as Homer becomes a truck driver (and Marge and Lisa have an adventure in buying a doorbell) in “Maximum Homerdrive.” You can see the Simpsons in the biblical days in “Simpsons Bible Stories.”
Homer becomes an artist in “Mom and Pop Art.” Jack La Lanne guest stars in “The Old Man and the C Student,” where Bart kidnaps a bunch of people at the retirement home so that they can have a little bit of fun. Mr. Burns just wants to be loved in “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love.” Stephen Hawking guest stars in “They Saved Lisa’s Brain,” where Lisa joins MENSA (and MENSA takes over control of Springfield, literally). The seasn ends with “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” where the Simpsons go to Japan.
With The Simpsons, you always get the right to choose—at least when it comes to choosing the packaging style! Just as has been the case with several previous seasons, we have a head packaging (this time it is Bart’s head) set and a standard packaging set. If you want an item that will be collectable in the future, then you would want to go with the head packaging. If you want an item that looks nice on your shelf with the other nine seasons, then you would want to go with the standard packaging. And of course, there is also the option to take both.
For this review, we received a copy of the standard packaging (which, as experience suggests, will eventually be the only option available after the set has been out for a while). We have a basic box with the whole family on the front, prominently featuring Bart driving something (a golf cart?) through a security gate where that pimply teenager (whatever is name) is the guard. Inside, we have the usual three panel deal, with the panels showing Bart filming a very busy scene (much like a page out of a “Where’s Waldo?” book!) with pictures depicting many episodes. On the far right panel, there is a folder that holds the episode booklet, which is designed like a studio guidebook with a page for each episode. And of course, in the middle, we have the discs (in the typical booklet fashion), with each disc showing a black and white picture of the characters on security cameras. In fact, instead of calling them “Disc One,” “Disc Two,” etc., they call each disc “Security Camera.” On Security Camera One, we have Bart; on Security Camera Two, we have Marge; on Security Camera Three, we have Lisa and Maggie; and on Security Camera Four, we have Homer.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Well, they are still using the same basic menu design that they have been using for several seasons now, which I generally like. The main menu on each disc allows you to select an episode to play (or you can select the options button for each episode) and gives you an option for extras on the disc as well, with the whole theme this time being movies (most likely for “The Simpsons Movie”). The episode options menu allows you to handle, for each individual episode, things such as Scene Selection, Language, Deleted Scenes, and the usual items. Of course, there are chapters placed at all of the appropriate places on all of the episodes, and there is a Play All option on the main menu of each disc.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video on the set is, as we have come to expect, pretty good. You can always tell that with each season that is released on DVD that the technology and video standards improved significantly over the years (compare the tenth season to the first season, and you’d really know what I mean!). Still, we do see a few minor issues here and there, but they aren’t issues that most would find problematic. The audio is fine though, with the usual Dolby Digital surround sound, and presented in English, Spanish, and French. English and Spanish subtitles are included, as is closed-captioning.
I assume the episodes are unedited--they all run at 22:48, though there are a few “short” episodes that run at 22:47 and a few “long” episodes that run at 22:49. Okay, so they’re all basically the same.
As always, the set has a decent number of special features, although perhaps not as many as some previous sets. While the number of special features has declined, it is important to note that the quality of the special features has NOT dropped off.
To start off, every episode has commentaries! There was talk from a few online sources about how a few episodes would be missing commentaries on this set, but that turned out to be incorrect, and the perfect record for commentaries on these sets is still intact! I only managed to listen to commentaries on Disc 1, and from there, they seem to be mostly the same as they have been on al of the previous sets--just general discussion about the episodes as well as other things. The following is a list of all of the episodes and the commentators for the episodes, as listed on the press release:
· Lard Of The Dance -- Mike Scully, Ron Hauge, Jane O’Brien, Dominic Polcino, Pete Michels
· The Wizard Of Evergreen Terrace -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Dan Greaney, Ron Hauge, Julie Thacker, Mark Kirkland
· Bart The Mother -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, David X. Cohen, Steven Dean Moore
· Treehouse Of Horror IX -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, David X. Cohen, Steven Dean Moore, Donick Cary
· When You Dish Upon A Star -- Mike Scully, Rich Appel, Ron Hauge, Pete Michels, Matt Selman
· D’oh-In’ In The Wind -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, Donick Cary, Mark Kirkland
· Lisa Gets An “A” -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Yeardley Smith, Mike B. Anderson
· Homer Simpson In: “Kidney Trouble” -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Mike B. Anderson
· Mayored To The Mob -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, Dan Castellaneta, Mark Hamill
· Viva Ned Flanders -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, Julie Thacker, Neil Affleck
· Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Tom Martin, Larry Doyle, Matt Selman
· Sunday, Cruddy Sunday -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Tom Martin, Matt Selman, Steven Dean Moore
· Homer To The Max -- Mike Scully, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Pete Michels, Rich Appel
· I’m With Cupid -- Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman
· Marge Simpson In: “Screaming Yellow Honkers” -- Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Mike B. Anderson
· Make Room For Lisa -- Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Mike B. Anderson
· Maximum Homerdrive -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Swinton O. Scott III, Mike B. Anderson
· Simpsons Bible Stories -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Tom Martin, Larry Doyle, Matt Selman, Nancy Kruse
· Mom And Pop Art -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Al Jean
· The Old Man And The “C” Student -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, Julie Thacker, Nancy Cartwright, Mark Kirkland
· Monty Can’t Buy Me Love -- Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman
· They Saved Lisa’s Brain -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Pete Michels, Rich Appel, Mark Whitmore
· Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo -- Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ron Hauge, Donick Cary, Matt Selman, Jim Reardon
But of course, that isn’t all of the special features. The set has the usual introduction from Matt Groening, “A Line from Matt Groening” (3:18), where the creator of the show himself talks about the tenth season.
There are also deleted scenes (as there often are) for most of the episodes (the only ones that lack deleted scenes are “Lard of the Dance,” “Treehouse of Horror IX,” “Lisa Gets an A,” “Mayored to the Mob,” and “Marge Simpson In: Screaming Yellow Honkers”), and you can also watch these as one big deleted scenes reel on Disc 4, with or without commentary from Al Jean and Mike Reiss (15:47).
If you want to see Bart and Lisa call Moe’s Tavern and ask for Seymour Butts (along with other prank calls), you’ll find some of these on the set (5:28), from several of the seasons… but they are just what you see on the episodes.
The set also includes a few commercials, as they so often have. There are four commercials for CC’s Potato Chips (0:48), five for Butterfinger (1:55), and there is even an old Intel commercial (0:32) where you’ll discover that Homer’s brain has an Intel inside. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what that says about Intel.
“Sunday, Cruddy Sunday” has the usual languages special feature, where you can watch the episode in other languages. The choices this time include Czech, Japanese, Portuguese, and Ukranian.
Finally, there are the usual art and animation special features which, I won’t lie, I think it is all getting old by now. However, I think Fox understands that we too are getting tired of them, as the only episodes that feature these animation showcases this time are “Lard of the Dance” and “Homer to the Max.” Original sketches can be found on Disc 4. These are what we have come to expect, and run at seven minutes each.
The Simpsons wins yet again! There really doesn’t seem to be anything they can do to screw up these sets (but lets hope things actually do stay that way). The special features, while they’ve clearly been scaled back a LITTLE bit this time, are still pretty good, and the presentation of the episodes is pretty good. Plus, this is the only way you can get unedited episodes in a professional manner (taping your own episodes from when they originally aired, while nice to have, is not that professional)--it is worth owning just for that alone! The only question I have is what the packaging for the next season will be like. The Simpson family heads have been exhausted, and they’ll need to do something different for season 11 and beyond! But in the mean time, this set is, as Flanders would say, fine-diddly-ine!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 08/03/07 (revised 08/13/07)
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