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The Simpsons Gone Wild DVD Review

The Simpsons Gone Wild

December 22, 2003

Director: Matt Groening,
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Marcia Wallace, Phil Hartman, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell, ,

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DVD Review

Fox continue to knock out the odd volumes of the Simpsons, when what we truly want is each season in box set format. Why do they do this? Money of course; and the incredulous amount of time between box sets ensures that fans of the show will end up buying these volumes, because the episodes in them are just so damn good.

Despite the show being on Sky every day, several times in fact, the lure of the digital medium is too great to resist, for me at least. This latest compilation of episodes is on a ‘gone wild’ theme, showing the residents of Springfield at their most boisterous.

Homer’s Night Out
The first episode is a Season 1 offering, which grates a little as it’s already been released on DVD. In the first season of the show the episodes were very linear, more like the show’s sitcom origins than the free flowing storylines of latter shows. In Homer’s Night Out, Bart buys a spy camera through mail order and snaps a picture of Homer dancing with a stripper at a stag night. The photo circulates through Springfield and Homer becomes a swinging legend.

The first season was very much the Simpsons going through a learning curve and as such the episodes aren’t the greatest. This, together with the fact that they’ve been released already suggests that they shouldn’t really be included on these volumes. There are many better episodes that could have been used here, but I guess slapping on an episode that has already been cleaned up and mastered for DVD was a quicker, cheaper alternative.

Shame.

Sunday Cruddy Sunday
For some reason I’d never before seen this episode. It must be the only one, as I know it’s been screened a dozen or more times, I’ve just somehow managed to miss it every time. Now that I have seen it, it’s a veritable classic.

Homer meets up with the other gullible member of Springfield, who was in the same pyramid scheme, and decides to organise a trip to the Super bowl. There’s a great moment when they mention the two teams in the final of the Super Bowl and cover their mouths so you can’t see the lip-sync, and the names of the teams are dubbed badly over the top.

Rupert Murdoch makes a guest appearance and shows that he does have a sense of humour by introducing himself as “Rupert Murdoch, billionaire tyrant”. This is classic Simpsons.

The Mansion Family
This is one of those episodes that you can just watch again and again, and I have. Mr Burns goes for a check-up and leaves Homer house sitting his mansion. Burns is at his evil best here, filling in a form at the doctors with; Cause of parents death: Got in my way. Naturally Homer destroys much of Burns possessions, and loses his yacht to pirates when he staged a private party in international waters.

None of this seemed to upset Burns until he learned of the Monkey knife fight Homer had organised using Burns’ favourite monkey. This truly is the Simpsons at its very best, with many memorable lines and classic moments.


Homer the Moe.

Wishing to brighten up his bar, Moe hires a posh designer and turns his tavern into a trendy night spot. Homer, Barney, Lenny and Karl however don’t fit in with the new image, and Homer opens his own rival bar in his garage. Now there’s an idea!

This episode doesn’t quite reach the heights of the Mansion Family, but is still entertaining nonetheless. Plus an appearance from R.E.M. adds to the ever growing line of celebrity guests.

Special Features

The one and only extra on the DVD is a ‘featurette’ entitled Krusty the Clown: King of Comedy. Now, where I’m from a featurette isn’t less than three minutes long, and consist solely of clips from episodes. That’s a montage, which is what this is. Cut together with an annoying ‘Applause’ sign.

The trailer for the DVDs is more of a featurette in fact; at least that has a narrative and a voiceover.

As with all of the single DVD volumes, the features are nothing to write home about, and the presentation is extremely basic. They’ve been banged out for a quick buck with nary a thought for what the fans want. That said, the quality of the show is the selling point with these releases. Although not every episode on this DVD is a cast iron classic, there’s enough quality to make it worthwhile, and as it’s so cheap who could resist? After all, if you want these episodes on DVD you either buy this, or wait a few years for the box sets. It really will take that long.

 

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 74%

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