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The Simpsons Season 13 Blu-ray Review

The thirteenth season of the long running animated comedy is far from one of the show’s best.

Episode plots you can expect to see in the thirteenth season:

  1. The Simpsons family travels to Rio.
  2. The annual “Treehouse Of Horror” episode that spoofs “Harry Potter.”
  3. Bart gets arrested.
  4. Homer becomes a bartender.
  5. Mr. Burns falls in love.
  6. Springfield becomes the World’s fattest town.
  7. Homer breaks his jaw.
  8. Marge runs into an old lover.
  9. Bart gets a girlfriend.
  10. Grampa Simpson goes on a road trip.
  11. Homer gets hooked on medical marijuana.
  12. Apu cheats on his wife.
  13. Bart befriends a former western movie star.
  14. Bart creates a comic and Stan Lee hangs around Comic Book Guy’s store.
  15. Homer faces death in the last two episodes.

There are, of course, other stories but those are the highlights. The season consists of 22 episodes.

While every episode in the thirteenth season provides a handful of laughs, I’m afraid that there are no iconic episodes here. “The Treehouse Of Horror” episode (which are usually some of my favorites) is merely ok and the controversial Rio trip episode was somewhat of a letdown. Even the best episode of the season for me (“I Am Furious (Yellow)) could have been stronger. Granted, the Stan Lee bits were hilarious, but it feels like the writers dropped the ball in the final act. In fact, much of the writing here seems sub-standard. I hate to be one of those overly critical fans, but (with a few exceptions) “The Simpsons” was (and still is) past its prime at the point of the thirteenth season. Perhaps it’s because I grew up during the show’s heyday (AKA all of the early seasons), but I just don’t think the show has the same cultural or comedic impact that it used to. Watching this 13th season and realizing the 22nd season is set to premiere on Sunday, it just feels to me like the magical glory days of the show are long gone. I’m not saying this season isn’t worth watching. I’m simply saying this is not the show’s finest offerings.   

Video/Audio:

At first I was skeptical about how good the “The Simpsons” would look in hi-def, but the colors are shockingly crisp and clear. The team who worked on these discs deserve much praise. The episodes are presented in fullscreen 1080p.  

From the iconic opening credit music to the voice acting, the 5.1 DTS-HD audio track delivers. Nice to see a high quality track for an animated series.

Extras:
* “A Token From Matt Groening”- An introduction by Matt to the season.
* “Ralphisms”- A collection of Ralph quotes.
* “The Parent Rap” and “Sweets And Sour Marge” storyboards and animatics.
* Commentary on all 22 episodes. The list of commentators is endless, but some of the names you can expect to hear are Matt Groening, Dana Gould, Joel Cohen, Delroy Lindo, Joe Mantegna, James Lipton, Al Jean, Matt Warburton, Don Payne, and Stan Lee. These are very laid back commentaries filled with lots of joking around along with some behind-the-scenes information and fun tidbits.
* Deleted scenes for “Treehouse Of Horror XII,” “The Parent Rap,” “A Hunka Hunka Burns In Love,” “The Blunder Years,” “She Of Little Faith,” “Sweets And Sour Marge,” “Half-Decent Proposal,” “The Bart Wants What It Wants,” “The Lastest Gun In The West,” “The Old Man And The Key,” “Tales From The Public Domain,” “I Am Furious (Yellow),” “The Sweetest Apu,” “Little Girl In The Big Ten,” and “The Frying Game.”
* Neat new animated menus.
* A featurette on “The People Ball” animated sequence from “Sweets And Sour Marge.”
* “The 13th Crewman”- A brief extra about the Bart sail.
* “Blame It On The Monkeys”- A discussion about the controversy of this episode.

* 5 commercials.
* “The Games”- Footage of various “Simpsons” video games.
* “The Sweet Life Of Ralph”- A collection of Ralph scenes.
* Sketch image gallery.

September 24, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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