The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season Blu-ray Review
Aahh The Simpsons. Perhaps the greatest television show of all time is currently (at the time of this review) into its twenty fourth year. And yet they are only up to the Sixteenth Season on Blu-ray. I am the proud owner of every season and before I got married and began writing reviews, would watch every episode then watch them again with commentary (Seriously, the writer’s commentaries on The Simpsons are among the best). Admittedly, I haven’t been able to be that thorough for the last few seasons. But much to my enjoyment, I get the honor of being required to watch and review every gold nugget of THE SIMPSONS: THE SIXTEENTH SEASON.
To give you some kind of reference, The Simpsons Sixteenth Season ran in 2004 to 2005. Beginning with the fan favorite Halloween episode Treehouse of Horror XV, which spoofs THE DEAD ZONE, JACK THE RIPPER, and FANTASTIC VOYAGE, The Simpsons are in full swing. Other memorable moments include Bart gaining weight from school vending machines, the new Springfield concert hall going bankrupt then becoming a unique prison, Lisa putting a restraining order on Bart, Ned making Christian themed movies a la THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and a progressive thinking episode that finds Homer getting ordained on the internet so he can marry all the gay couples he desires… for financial gain of course. With 21 episodes total this season, The Simspons continually provide laughs and garner another impressive list of guest stars including, Liam Neeson, Ray Romano, Stephen Hawking, Kim Cattrall, Thomas Pynchon, Gary Busey and 50 Cent.
Homer (Dan Castellaneta), Marge (Julie Kavner), Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardly Smith) and Maggie Simpson continually and consistently bring the funny each week. One huge proponent is the ensemble of characters and voice work from the actors. The Simspons has one of the largest pool of supporting characters (Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer) to ever grace a television show. Obviously the team of writers who keep the world of Springfield going deserve a lot of credit as does the original creator Matt Groening.
Any argument that says The Simpsons are no longer relevant or funny cannot be proven in season sixteen. It may not be quite as funny as its glory years, but The Simpsons are still funnier than most anything else on television. America’s favorite family is still tackling serious issues like anorexia, bullying and healthcare in comedic satirical fashion while providing an abundance of heart. They some how are able to stay ahead of their time spawning original ideas that can usually be seen borrowed by other successful comedy series. I laughed out loud more than a few times during THE SIMPSONS: THE SIXTEENTH SEASON, which I can happily say I’ve done with every season.
THE SIMPSONS: THE SIXTEENTH SEASON BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p, 1.33:1) The picture looks great despite The Simpsons not yet being converted to HD in season 16.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) An excellent sound.
Audio Commentaries: As per all The Simpsons seasons on Blu-ray, you can watch each episode with commentary from writers, directors and sometimes cast members. The Simpsons commentaries are among the best. The writers are witty and honest always giving funny and interesting tidbits while make each other laugh.
Greetings, Junior Scienteers! (2:35): Matt Groening gives his usual energetic introduction by providing an overview of the episodes and guest stars within the season.
Sketch Gallery I (2:14)
“Lisa’s Wedding” Bonus Episode – Season 6 (22:34): Sticking with the Professor Frink themed cover, each disc contains a past episode that looks into the future. This one looks all the way to the year 2010.
Special Language Feature – Pranksta Rap (22:10): The Simpsons are an international sensation and this feature allows you to watch this episode in Portuguese, Italian, Czech, or Hungarian.
Sketch Gallery II (2:35)
Living in the Moment (3:38): Fun little promotions for the animated short “The Longest Daycare” and the game app “Tapped Out.”
“Bart to the Future” Bonus Episode – Season 11 (22:28): This episode looks at Bart’s life 30 year’s into the future.
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (11:45): Al Gene explains why they were cut or his thoughts on the cut scene. This is a collection of all the deleted scenes that you can also watch during each of their respective episodes by clicking enter
Animation Showcase Future-Drama (7:47): Storyboard and Animatic picture-in-picture view of the episode.
LIve! It’s The Simpsons! (36:00): This is the entire script of the “Thank God It’s Doomsday” episode with the audio of the cast doing an table read over the top.
“Holidays of Future Passed” Bonus Episode – Season 23 (21:43): The entire family gets back together for Christmas several years in the future when Lisa, Bart and Maggie have kids of their own.