Top positive review
Well worth it!
on September 4, 2003
I'm the type of Simpsons viewer who pre-orders the DVD sets as soon as they're available and then watches the release date on the calendar until the glorious day comes. This time around, I was particularly excited, as some of the best episodes ever come from season 3.
For the first two seasons, I went to my local mall DVD/video store, put down my deposit and then took another trip the day it came out. I did this so that I would get it the day it was released and not have to wait an extra few days for it to arrive in the mail. This time, I pre-ordered it from Amazon and was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't cost me any more (with super-saver shipping) and it inexplicably came in the mail the day after it was available in stores! So I was really happy with this arrangement.
I was also really happy with the DVDs themselves. I always watch them first with the creator/director/producer/whatever commentary on first. With the first two seasons, I honestly never got around to watching the episodes without the commentary because the quality of the show had not reached its peak and the episodes come off as boring and pointless to watch, as they're shown in syndication all the time. This is not true with the third season. The episodes are a pleasure to watch in their own right, particularly ones that aren't shown in syndication as much, like "I Married Marge" and "I Love Lisa."
Also, the commentary on season 3 is much more interesting, as I think the show's powers-that-be have finally gotten the commentary thing down. A new addition to the third season is commentary by Julie Kavner, Dan Castellanetta, and Nancy Cartwright, who sometimes break into their respective characters' voices (my favorite is Nancy Cartwright's "My water broke, man!" in Bart's voice), which is really interesting and cool. Their presence also let you in on little bits of trivia such as which exchanges between characters are ad-libs and which regular or guest star does the voice of the minor characters. They're also very honest in critiquing more recent episodes (in reference to the third season, someone says, "this was when the show was good") and explain some of the more obscure references, which is nice as well.
The little extras can be cute. The Butterfinger commercials are a little unnecessary (we've all seen them a million times or more) but the footage of the Bart balloon at the Macy's parade is really funny, reminiscent of the footage of the Simpsons' "appearances" at the Grammys from the second season DVDs.
So, now I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the legendary fourth season. If this pattern holds, they'll continue to improve and I will happily shell out the $40 every eight months or so for each increment of my personal archive of this generation's best television show.