on June 19, 2004
They cleaned up the animation a bit for the busy (24 epsiodes) third season in the Simpsons franchise. Straying from the style of the first season, the writers have adopted a more satircal style for the second and third season.
"Mr. Lisa goes to Washington" takes a vitriolic look at Capitol hill as Lisa finds out what turns the wheels of the American government, culminating in the phrase, "...one nation, under the dollar, with liberty and justice for none." An episode that can rightfully be called the greatest of the third season, "Like father, like clown" is a sincere look at the relationship between the young, comedic Krusty and his autere, Rabbi father, voiced by Hollywood veteran Jackie Mason. "Burns verkaufen der Kraftwerk" is rife with sharp, caustic referneces to the state of safety with nuclear power. "Lisa the Greek" is a mature, yet risible look on the relationship between Homer and his young daughter and the confidence she has in the shaky fathering of Homer. Danny DeVito reprises his role as the once affluent American car magnate looking to regain the opulence of the American businessman in "Brother, can you spare two dimes?"
The most represenative of the season three episodes, "Homer at the bat", displays the burgeoning hold on American culture as the eminence and ubitiquous nature of the show helped to bring in the vocal talents of a plethora of baseball greats, such as Cooperstown bound Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs. This Hollywood power has also helped to snare other wolrd renowned figures such as English prime minister Tony Blair.
Season three will always be symbolic of the popularity of the show and nealry hipnotic effect on the 13-23 year old age group. Fans who have lost interest in the post season 7 Simpsons now have a DVD collection to recall with pride.
on June 15, 2004
Recently since the DVD series of The Simpsons came out, I've always had a big spot in my DVD Library for these. Season 3 has got to be in my Top 5 in my favorite seasons with all the great Classic Episodes it has.
My Favorite Episodes are Marked with a *
7524 - Start Raving Dad
8F01 - Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
7F23 - When Flanders Failed
8F03 - Bart The Murderer
8F04 - Homer Defined
8F05 - Like Father, Like Clown
8502 - Treehouse of Horror II
8F06 - Lisa's Pony
8F07 - Saturdays of Thunder*
8F08 - Flaming Moe's*
8F09 - Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk
8F10 - I Married Marge
8F11 - Radio Mart
8F12 - Lisa The Greek
8F14 - Homer Alone
8F16 - Bart The Lover
8F13 - Homer At The Bat*
8F15 - Deparate Vocations
8F17 - Dog of Death
8F19 - Colonel Homer
8F20 - Black Widower
8F21 - The Otto Show
8F22 - Bart's Friend Falls In Love
8F23 - Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?*
That's the Episode list that is in the DVD, and although I didn't mark every episode as my favorite, they're all very good episodes. I would strongly recommend this DVD to all fans of the popular T.V. Series.
on June 2, 2004
The Simpsons finally pick up speed. These shows are funny and extremely emotional at times. These shows prove that Homer and Marge are the greatest television couple of all time. This is proof that television doesn't have to dumb down to cater to the lowest common denominator to be hugely popular. What other show tugs so greatly and unpretentiously at the heartstrings (see "I Married Marge", where Homer tells Marge, "you will not see me until I become a man"), and makes you laugh out loud at jokes that aren't smarmy or too ironic (the great Spinal Tap episode). Bart and Lisa's relationship is brilliantly illustrated in "Separate Vocations", where Lisa turns into a rebel after a career test. Nowadays (especially this rather-good last season), The Simpsons are the funniest sitcom on TV, but this DVD set shows how they used to be so much more; honest, real characters with heart and humor. No other show can pull off this kind of material so naturally and in a way that alienates absolutely no one. It's amazing once you realize that season four perfected the show. This set, however, is great, even though there's the bare menus, and aside from the funny and quite educational commentaries, few extras. The transfer is a tad weird (cells are dirty) but the sound is top-notch. Buy this.
on May 26, 2004
Maybe there were many funnier episodes in other seasons, but a compilation like this is extraordinary.
The Simpson's finally settled in as a genre of it's own by the third season. The characters were fully defined, the voices were honed to the rich voices we still hear 12 seasons later and the story line became set.
There are some great one liners in all of these episodes, from dialog between Burns and Smithers to Burns' always saying "Simpson, eh?" this stuff is just a laugh a minute.
One of the best lines, oh so subtle is when Homer flashes back to first being hired at the power plant, Burns turns around to Smithers and asks Homer's name. Burns replies, "Simpson, eh? I will remember that chap...." The funniest part of that is that all of the previous episodes that season features Burns frustratingly asking Smithers whom Simpson is. How hilarious.
There also is the added bonus of great musical pieces too. Jackson sings a song: "Lisa it's Your Birthday." What a happy piece of music, silly? yes, fun? yes, but so what! it's a cartoon.
I think this is the season that really made the Simpson's stick out, Homer with Flanders, Krusty the Clown's life, Homer and Moe. The Flaming Moe episode is just one laugh after another. Also, Homer Defined set up future ideas you will see in later episodes. The underlying theme of "It's a Wonderful Life" in "When Flanders Failed." Wow, this stuff just kept getting better and funnier.
The special features are okay, there are some interesting side lines with the story being discussed by the artists behind the show. Stark Raving Dad has some really funny things in it. Besides featuring Michael Jackson, even hearing the song "Crazy" being played while Marge is holding trying to find out why Homer is incarcerated in a mental institution. Funny, funny funny.
Get this one and the others too. This is worth the investment for years of just plain fun.
on March 29, 2004
As many other reviewers have already listed the episodes available on the third season DVDs, I will try to break down various aspects of the volumes to tell you what works well and what doesnt work so well...
Picture, sound quality: 5/5. The animation looks really sharp on this collection, as in previous releases. Fox takes its time releasing episodes, but it shows in all the work that went into the drawing and animation.
Interactive menus: 4/5. I was annoyed at the menu interface for the season 2 DVDs, due to repetition and time-wasting, but this collection is much better. Every disc plays a different set of randomly-selected segues when moving from the main title (a background of the Simpsons family on the couch) to the episode selection menu. They are quick (good), often humorous (good), and in total there are probably over 20 different scenes (very good.) It is like having additional chalkboard or couch scenes that open every episode. They have also added humorous backgrounds to language selection and subtitle menus- check em out!
Easter eggs: 4/5. The DVDs contain added features that are not listed on the packaging or menus: still photos, additional audio tracks, etc. For example, on the episode "Homer Alone" you can use your remote control to see penciled sketches of Homer, Bart, and Maggie.
Audio commentary: 4/5. The commentaries are good, always featuring Matt Groening, Mike Reiss, the writers and actors, and others. My only complaint is that they lowered the episode volume so much that it can be difficult to follow the story if you are not already familiar with the episode.
Episodes: 6/5. One of the all-time great seasons for the Simpsons. A huge number of must-see shows, including Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington, Emmy-nominated Radio Bart, Lisa the Greek, Flaming Moe's, and others. Great guest stars too, plenty of Phil Hartman as Troy McClure.
Overall: 5/5. A must-have for any Simpsons fan!
on March 22, 2004
"The Simpsons" really hit its stride in this, its third season on the air. Though well over a decade old at this point (2004), almost all of the episodes seem as fresh as when they first aired (though occasional jokes, such as the mention of Milli Vanilli-like group Funky See Funky Do may be lost on a LOT of people now).
Some of the series' best episodes ever aired during this season. Amongst them:
Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington -- a cool trip-to-Washington episode in which Lisa enters a contest based around patriotic essays
When Flanders Failed -- in which Flanders opens the infamous Leftorium to less-than-overwhleming success
Like Father, Like Klown -- a Krustycentric episode that manages to be hilarious and really rather touching at the same time
Flaming Moe's -- a great episode that parodies "Cheers," features Aerosmith, and shows Homer at his down-and-outiest
I Married Marge -- a sweet and funny flashback episode showing how Homer and Marge got married and had Bart
Lisa the Greek -- in which Lisa, in an attempt to bond with Homer, becomes an expert football prognosticator
Bart the Lover -- another surprisingly touching episode (but funny too), in which Bart makes up a man for Mrs. Krabapple
Homer at the Bat -- in which Mr. Burns places a million-dollar bet on a company softball game and hires nine major-league ringers to better his chances at winning
Colonel Homer -- in which Homer becomes the manager for an up-and-coming contury music singing sensation named Lurleen Lumpkin
These are just the standout episodes; all 24 are excellent. Also highly entertaining are the cast/crew commentary tracks, which -- despite occasional times when people seem to stop talking for a while -- are informative and often very funny.
You're not going to do much better with your money than spending it on this one.
on March 12, 2004
...The "folding book" design is stupid - they'd be better off packaging Simpsons the way they do Futurama.
So now I'll have to review the actual content from memory, but it's not like that's exactly a challenge. These are the truly classic Simpsons episodes, the ones you've seen hacked in syndication for over a decade. I mean, "Flaming Moe's" is here. What more do I need to tell you. Season 3 is indeed the season in which the Simpsons hit their stride. We all remember the choppy, sketchy, badly drawn 1st, and the 2nd in which certain anomalies lingered to differentiate it from later seasons, but many episodes in 3 are virtually indistinguishable from 13 as far as drawing style (with the exception of details like Wiggam's black hair, etc).
This season also includes one of my favorite "Treehouse of Horrors," in which Burns creates a formidable-looking robot but makes the mistake of giving it Homer's brain, while Bart acquires the Twilight Zone-like power of making his wishes come true, which he uses to turn Homer into a giant Jack-in-the-box (Homer never fares too well in these Halloween shows).
Also included are such memorable episodes as "Colonel Homer," in which Homer manages a sexy country western hopeful much to Marge's consternation, and "Radio Bart," in which Bart pretends to have fallen down a well as a prank, only to actually do so later.
One thing I do enjoy about these Simpsons DVDs - every episode includes a really informative commentary by the producers, writers, runners, etc. So many TV box sets only include commentary on certain tracks, or the really stupid "commentary as the characters" which is always death. For a show as concentrated and detail-obsessed as the Simpsons, these commentaries really do expand one's appreciation of the show. As an illustrator, I'm especially interested in the technical details of how the show was produced, and I've learned quite a bit.
Anyway, you don't need me to tell you to go buy this set. What you do need is my advice to treat it with kid-gloves in lieu of the self-destructive packaging.
on March 9, 2004
Season 3 is so undeniabley great it is my 2nd favourite season of all time, and my favourite DVD I own, all the episodes are classics! 1991-1992 MADE THE SIMPSONS what they are today!, their humour has gone up dramatically!, This is such a cool season I love it! The episodes to look out for are:
"Stark Raving Dad"
"Brother can you spare two dimes?"
"Mr.Lisa Goes To Washington"
"The Otto Show"
"I MARRIED MARGE" IS A DEFINITE HIGHLIGHT!!!
Just get this season is you have been window shopping it for awhile, belive me it is the most exciting thing thats happened to my life in awhile!, it will make you happy if your sad, the jokes are hilarious! Just i can justify my love for this enough! Get it now! AND I CANT STRESS ENOUGH HOW MUCH I LAUGHED WHEN LENNY SINGS SOME SONG IN THE BOWLING ALLEY IN "COLONEL HOMER" LOOK OUT FOR THAT! AND A DEFINITE LAUGH ON "sTARK RAVING DAD" LISTEN TO THE MUSIC PLAYING ON THE PHONE, AND ALSO THE CRAZY HOUSE FIGHT WITH BART AND MARGE IS HISTERICAL!
on February 25, 2004
As other reviewers have stated, the third season is where the show really took off, with both the animation and the writing. Some of the best episodes of the show were made in this season. However, the reason why I'm only giving the DVD 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the organization of the DVD. I love the episodes themselves, I love the commentaries, and I love the new couch gags featured in the main menu. My only complaint is with the special features.
The DVDs for the previous two seasons had the special features grouped together, usually on the last disk. I liked this because they were easier to find and view. The third season DVD is different in that there is a Special Features menu for each episode. It usually just has the option to play the commentary or not (this option was in the Language Selections menu on earlier DVDs). A few episodes contained Scene Specific Sketches. However, I didn't like this feature because you don't know when in the episode they will appear. You have to watch the episode carefully for a pencil icon to appear on the screen, and then press Play to see the sketches. This did not work on at least one of the episodes, and you can't have the subtitles turned on at the same time, either. I think it would have been better to have a separate slide show of all of these sketches grouped together. I also would have liked to see more featurettes and interviews with the staff (i.e. Matt Groening, producers, directors, etc.) to learn more about the people who work on the show.
There are several Easter Eggs on this DVD, most of which are difficult to find. The following episodes have hidden commentary tracks (two with Mike Reiss, and two with Al Jean): Stark Raving Dad, Lisa's Pony, Bart The Lover, and Separate Vocations. These tracks can be accessed by either going to the episode's Special Features menu and pressing 10 on your remote, or you can start playing the episode and change the Language track to 5/5. Disc 4 contains 13 random sketches that can be accessed by going to the main Special Features menu and pressing 742 on your remote (a different drawing pops up each time you do this). However, there are two other Easter Eggs that I haven't been able to fine yet, the Audio Outtakes and the Baby Translator. If any of you know how to access these features, please post instructions here, as I'm sure there are other fans who need assistance as well. Thanks!
Overall, though, this is a wonderful DVD that I encourage every Simpsons fan to get. I just hope that the creators of upcoming Simpsons DVDs will read this, take my comments into account, and make it easier to find and access all of the special features, and have better organization of the menus.
on February 7, 2004
Wow! What a nostalgic journey this DVD was for me. Upon checking out the third season of "The Simpsons", which is without question, one of my all-time favorite shows, I really got my mind going back to seeing these shows during their first-run on Fox, way back when. By the third season, the show had really started to evolve into quite a hilarious little program. I had not seen a lot of these episodes in years as the syndicated episodes that run on television are often from the newer seasons and boy, did I get a kick out of all them.
STARK RAVING DAD- This was the one where Homer got thrown in the insane asylum for wearing a pink shirt. Michael Jackson was the guest voice but he appears billed as "John Jay Smith". The scene with "The Chief" is hilarious.
MR. LISA GOES TO WASHINGTON- Another great episode. Lisa writes an essay on America and the family gets to go to Washington. "We the purple? What the hell was that?".
WHEN FLANDERS FAILED- Flanders opens up the "Left-Tourium". Not one of the season's better episodes but still good.
BART THE MURDERER- Bart bartends for the Mafia and ends up getting put on trial when Principal Skinner turns up missing. The introduction of Fat Tony. A hilarious episode. The trucks outside the Simpson house were one of the biggest laughs when I first saw it.
HOMER DEFINED- Homer prevents a nuclear meltdown. Magic Johnson provides the guest voice.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE CLOWN- Bart and Lisa try to reunite Krusty with his estranged father.
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR II.- The second annual Halloween episode. Bart, Lisa, and Homer all have bad dreams. Halloween episodes are always classics.
LISA'S PONY- To make up for messing up Lisa's talent show performance, Homer buys her a pony and as a result, he has to work a second job at the Kwik-E-Mart. Another excellent show.
SATURDAYS OF THUNDER- Bart builds a soapbox durby racer with Homer but ends up driving Martin's instead. I could almost swear that they added new footage to this episode because I had the original on an old VHS and there are at least three or four scenes that I don't remember and one where they use completely different dialouge. Check it out for yourself.
FLAMING MOE'S- Moe steals Homer's drink idea and becomes a huge success. Aerosmith make a guest appearance.
BURNS VERKAUFEN DER KRAFTWERK- Mr. Burns sells the Nuclear Power Plant to the Germans.
I MARRIED MARGE- Classic flashback to when Homer married Marge and when Bart was born. Great episode.
RADIO BART- At the time, this was the most consistantly funny episode I had seen since the start of the series run. Obviously, I have a new favorite now but back then, this was the funniest episode I had ever seen. My sense of humor has changed a bit since then but this one has somewhat survived the test of time. Bart gets a microphone for his birthday and tricks the town into believing that a boy named "Timmy O'Toole" has fallen down the well.
LISA THE GREEK- Lisa helps Homer gamble on football.
HOMER ALONE- When Marge has a nervous breakdown, Homer gets stuck taking care of the house.
BART THE LOVER- Bart sets his teacher up with an imaginary Romeo. "Three simple words: I AM GAY!".
HOMER AT THE BAT- This has to be in my all-time Top Ten. Mr. Burns hires pro baseball players to win a softball game against a rival plant.
SEPERATE VOCATIONS- Bart decides that he wants to be a cop while Lisa takes a turn at being the bad seed.
DOG OF DEATH- Santa's Little Helper becomes Mr. Burns' guard dog.
COLONEL HOMER- Homer becomes the manager of a country music singer. Yet another classic episode. "As much as I hate that man right now, you got to love that suit".
BLACK WIDOWER- Sideshow Bob marries Aunt Selma but Bart believes he has evil intentions.
THE OTTO SHOW- Otto loses his job as a bus driver and moves in with The Simpsons. Homer's advice to Bart when he realizes he quit playing the guitar had both me and my father laughing hysterically.
BART'S FRIEND FALLS IN LOVE- As the title suggests, Milhouse falls in love. The second story with Homer getting a "vocabulary builder" tape instead of a "subliminal weight-loss" one is where the real comedy is at. Marge imagining Homer as a hostage negotiator was one of the big highlights.
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE TWO DIMES?- Danny DeVito returns as Homer's long lost brother, Herb. There are too many classic Homer moments to name.
The third season truly makes the first two look like crap in comparison. The second season had its moments but this is where the show started to realize its full potentiol as the classic animated comedy show it has become.