BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Simpsons - The Complete Fourteenth Season
Over a decade in the making...
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The Simpsons. Can you remember a time before this show was on the air? Well this past month, 20th Century Fox released the FOURTEENTH season onto DVD and Blu-ray. If you’re keeping count, this season aired around 2002-2003, which is about a decade ago. What that means is, a lot of the jokes might appear to be outdated but many of them still stand the test of time (a scene of Lenny and Carl fighting with radioactive rods mimicking lightsabers has Lenny shouting “The Phantom Menace sucked more!” and Carl replying “The Attack of the Clones sucked more!”). There are 22 episodes on this 3-disc set and there are plenty of extras to enjoy as well, including audio commentary for each and every episode.
Season 14 begins with Treehouse of Horror XIII, which may or may not be why Kang (or is it Kodos?) graces the box cover. Or perhaps by now, it is his turn. At this point in time, Maggie has already shot Mr. Burns and Maude Flanders already bit the bullet. And by now, The Simpsons has been on our television for so long we always start a Simpsons discussion with “Remember when...?” and list off a number of gags. The end of discussion occurs when someone finally says “I can’t remember which episode, they all run together.” Well, in Season 14, you can remember when Marge gets implants, when Bart nominates Miss Crabapple for a Teacher of the Year at EPCOT, when Homer goes on a Ribwich tour while Lisa competes for the Spellympics, when Homer moves in with two *** roommates, and when well... you get the picture.
There’s a handful of extras on each disc in addition to the audio commentary mentioned above. There’s also deleted scenes from each episode. You can access them while watching the episode or all at once on Disc 3. There’s a behind the scenes feature for episode “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” in which Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer, and Lenny Kravitz guest star. The 300th episode featurette has Matt Groening talking about the longevity of The Simpsons paired with behind the scenes of Blink 182 and Tony Hawk who guest starred. “In the Beginning” is a feature that montages every beginning of Treehouse of Horror from 1-13. “Treehouse of Horror V” and “Treehouse of Horror VI” are also additional bonus episodes included in this set. There are a few other smaller extras too, including animatics, storyboards, sketch galleries and the like. There’s certainly enough entertainment to last you for weeks (try 483 minutes).
The Simpsons is a true American institution and something that has been a part of the majority of my life. While you can still see it everyday on a number of channels, it’s hard to beat the commercial-free nature of these discs, and especially the high definition of Blu-ray. You can play the Season 14 with a push of the button and watch each episode back to back without pause. It’s been a good ten years since I’ve seen many of these episodes but it’s fun to revisit. There are even episodes that I’ve completely missed and never realized. But thanks to The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season (and Season 1-13), I won’t miss a beat, even if it is a decade after the fact.
Review by David Yeh
The Simpsons Season Fourteen provided by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment