on February 27, 2002
The Simpsons second season is where the writers and producers really began to test their mettle and delve away from the standard "reality" that grips most sitcoms. In short, they realized this was animation and they would be able to do more and push the characters farther. The focus in the 2nd season was still primarily on Bart, but there were other great moments.
Bart Gets An F -- Bart is in danger of being held back in the 4th grade, so me makes a deal with the class brainiac Martin Prince.
Simpson and Delilah -- Homer finds a miracle hair tonic and scams the nuclear power plant medical insurance into paying it. He discovers that a full head of hair leads to success. (Guest voice: Harvey Fierstein)
Treehouse of Horror -- the show that started a grand tradition of The Simpsons Halloween specials. James Earl Jones lends his voice to read Poe's "The Raven."
Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish -- Bart catches a 3-eyed mutant fish in a pond near the nuclear plant, prompting Mr. Burns to run for governor to get the EPA off his back.
Dancin' Homer -- Homer becomes the new mascot of the Springfield Isotopes.
Dead Putting Society -- Bart and Todd Flanders end up as rivals on the mini-golf circuit.
Bart vs. Thanksgiving -- Bart ruins Lisa's Thanksgiving diorama and runs away when he's punished.
Bart the Daredevil -- Bart is enamored with being a daredevil after the family witnesses the Truckasaurus show. For his greatest trick he decides to jump Springfield Gorge on his skateboard. (Best episode ever!)
Itchy & Scratchy & Marge -- After Homer becomes a victim of cartoon violence, Marge takes on the creators of the ultra-violent Itchy & Scratchy cartoon.
Bart Gets Hit By a Car -- When Mr. Burns runs over Bart with his car, Homer hires Lionel Hutz (voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman) who hires the phonier Dr. Nick Rivera.
One Fish, Two Fish, Blow Fish, Blue Fish -- Homer eats the wrong part of a blowfish and believes he has 24 hours to live. (Guest voice: George Takei)
The Way We Was -- Homer and Marge tell the story of their prom night. (Jon Lovitz guests as Artie Ziff.)
Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment -- Homer steals cable and gets into hot water with Lisa, who believes he'll be going to hell for his actions.
Principal Charming -- Principal Skinner begins romancing Marge's sister, Patty, much to the chagrin of her other sister, Selma.
Oh Brother Where Art Thou? -- Homer discovers he has a half brother who happens to own a successful auto manufacturing company. (Guest voice: Danny DeVito as Herb Powell)
Bart's Dog Gets an F -- Santa's Little Helper begins chewing up everything in the house, so it's off to obedience school. (Guest voice: Tracey Ulman.)
Old Money -- when Grampa Simpson's love, Beatrice, dies, she leaves her fortune to him and a vision of her asks him to do some good with it.
A Brush With Greatness -- Mr. Burns hires Marge to paint his portrait for the local art museum.
Lisa's Substitute -- Lisa falls in love with the new substitute teacher.
The War of the Simpsons -- Homer's bad behavior forces Marge to enlist them in a martital retreat, but Homer would rather spend his time trying to catch General Sherman, the revered and legendary 500-pound catfish.
Three Men and a Comic Book -- Martin, Milhouse and Bart all pitch in to buy a copy of Radioactive Man #1. The problem arises when they can't decide how to share the comic book.
Blood Feud -- Bart donates his rare blood to save Mr. Burns, who shows no gratitude to the Simpson family.
So, those are the episodes. Special Features on Season 1 included commentary tracks on every episode, and we can only hope this will continue. Even if it doesn't, let's face it, it's The Simpsons at their best and that deserves 5 stars.
on March 25, 2002
These are the episodes I grew up with! Simpson fans have been waiting for a collection like this for a long time. Well, the wait is over! The following are the first ten episodes and a brief commentary.
1) Bart Gets an F: Bart fails yet another test and makes a deal with Martin...tutoring in exchange for lessons in coolness. Martin relishes his new persona and abandons the deal. Bart tries his and still fails, but he manages to impress Mrs. Krabappel into giving him a D.
2)Simpson and Delilah: Homer's new head of hair transforms from a lazy slob into a young go-getter...at least Mr. Burns thinks so. He awards Homer a new position and an assistant named Karl. Eventually he loses his new hair and new career.
3)Treehouse of Horror: The first in the annual series. First tale finds the Simpsons in a haunted house that drives them mad. In the second tale the family is abducted by Kang and Kodos. The final segment is Homer's interpertaion of "The Raven".
4)Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish: Bart catches a three-eyed fish near the nuclear plant. Despite the bad press, Homer persuades (sort of) Mr. Burns to run for governor. The fish comes back to haunt him in the end when Marge serves it to him on live TV.
5)Dancin' Homer: Homer is the main attraction at the ballpark as the mascot for the Springfield Isotopes. His crowd pleasing routine catches the eye of a recruiter for the Capital City Capitals. Homer and the family make the journey to Capital City where Homer finds his dancing is not well received.
6)Dead Putting Society: Bart and Todd square off in a miniature golf tournament while Homer and Ned square off with each other. Both fathers push their kids to beat the other and make a foolish bet that they both lose in the process.
7)Bart vs. Thanksgiving: Bart destroys Lisa's centerpiece and is ordered to his room. Bart runs away and eats dinner in a homeless shelter where he is also put on TV. Eventually he returns and makes up with Lisa.
8)Bart the Daredevil: Bart becomes obsessed with risky skateboard stunts after seeing a daredevil at a monster truck rally. Homer gets concerned and tries to dissuade Bart from performing his next stunt. In the end, Homer, not Bart, accidentally attempts to jump Springfield Gorge.
9)Itchy Scratchy and Marge: Convinced that violent cartoons negatively influence children, Marge wages a successful battle to change Itchy and Scratchy. The new shows flounder and kids abandon their television sets for the outdoors. The show regains its former bloody glory when Marge fails to object to the display of questionable art.
10)Bart Gets Hit by a Car: Mr. Burns hits Bart with his car, sending him to the hospital with minor injuries. Lionel Hutz assures the family that they could successfully sue. In court, the truth about Bart's feigned ailments comes to light.
on July 1, 2002
As good or better than the Season 1 set of discs. These discs are jam packed full of quality entertainment... twenty-two episodes from their 2nd season, commentary, 2 Bart videos ("Deep, Deep Trouble", and "Do the Bartman"), 3 different Butterfinger commercials, still photos, DVD easter eggs, and a special Emmy awards presentation. Animation is sharper - even the rougher (Season 1) Simpson's are fine with me. Comic wit is bolder and cruder. Over a decade of prime time animated TV and I still have not seen an episode I haven't liked.
Season 2 episodes in order:
"Bart Gets An F"
"Simpson And Delilah"
"Treehouse Of Horror I"
"Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish"
"Dead Putting Society"
"Bart Vs. Thanksgiving"
"Bart The Daredevil"
"Itchy & Scratchy & Marge"
"Bart Gets Hit By A Car"
"One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish"
"The Way We Was"
"Homer Vs. Lisa And The 8th Commandment"
"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"
"Bart's Dog Gets An F"
"Brush With Greatness"
"The War Of The Simpsons"
"Three Men And A Comic Book"
Season 2 contains some classic early episodes... a favorite of mine, "The War Of The Simpson's". Marge signs herself and Homer up for counseling. They go to a cottage retreat where Homer battles his marriage as well as a giant fish. Season 2 also introduces the 1st Halloween special ("Treehouse Of Horror")... which is now an annual party for the creators to think outside the box of normalcy. Having so many episodes on a few DVD's is worth it. Quality in picture, dolby sound, and everything else that goes with the incredible technology of the DVD. Only complaint here is it's 4 DVD's... even Homer would want this all on 1-2 DVD's so it's less time getting up off the sofa and having to change the discs in the DVD player.
on November 30, 2002
While the first season, like many TV series, had some oddities before they nailed-down things like Homer's voice, and their home's floor plan, the shows from the second season can run side-by-side with shows from later seasons. We're still meeting some regular characters, like Comic Book Guy, for the first time, but for the most part, The Simpsons are in full-swing this season.
As with the first season, the real value of the DVD is the commentary from Matt Groening, Al Jean, and the various directors, writers and animators. Occasionally they get so involved in a discussion of The Simpsons and the old days that they seem to forget we've got an episode running, but that's okay. A real fan has seen the episode many times already (and can turn off the commentary with the press of a button), but I think the commentary connects us more with The Simpsons than simply watching the episode again.
Each time I see a Simpsons episode I see things I never noticed before. The episodes all work on so many different levels. While the idea of studying an episode of a TV show over and over again sounds pretty geeky, The Simpsons is one of a small number of shows I can imagine doing this to. And when there's nothing on TV to watch, a quick 22-minute Simpsons episode can fill a void.
If you're interested enough to have read this far, and if this isn't the first customer review you're reading, then I would say you're interested enough in The Simpsons that you will find value in this 4-DVD set.
Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? Have you bought it yet? ...
on July 22, 2002
Today the 22nd of July 'The Simpsons: complete second season' was released in Australia, and I can tell you this box set is twice as good as the first, which was amazing. Features are top notch and the box sets are completely the same aesthetically aside from different color-coding.
The first thing that strikes you about the set is now 4 DVD's rather than the three in the first season. Each episode is digitally mastered, looking prettier than ever and the sound has been completely overhauled and mixed into an amazing Dolby digital 5.1 mix. There are 22 episodes overall, each with the fine commentary seen in the first season DVD's as well as language subtitles etc.
The features on the DVD collection are great, 2 music videos 'Do the Bartman' and 'Deep, deep trouble' as well as a series of 'making of' featurettes. Added to this are some excerpts from the Grammy awards, and American music awards presented by the Simpsons. While these are all great features they are fairly novel and really wont dictate continual watching. But that's not why you buy the set, you buy it for the episodes, which are top notch.
The second series was slightly more polished than the first. Groening, Simon and L Brooks had the formula for the Simpsons down and this is evident in episode like 'Dead putting society' and 'Blood Feud' and whilst these episodes do not exude the same blatant comedy of the later series the gags are more subtle, slightly political and very funny.
The only downside of this DVD is that 20th century Fox has adapted a menu style akin to the Harry Potter DVD and Memento special edition. In both these cases features were a chore to get to and while games were at first fun, became very tiresome. Each disc begins with a wheel of fortune like game of heads and bodies. Through this there will be no menu until you spin the wheel three times. This is a very amusing feature at first but soon becomes annoying having to continually spin the wheel before you watch the episodes. This was a mistake, but it doesn't matter the DVD set is great.
In this review I have opted to talk more about the DVD set's construction rather than the episodes themselves. I am a true fan of the Simpsons, I own all the episodes on tape from season 1-14 and I simply have to update to DVD. Everything that has to be said about the quality of the episodes already has by people getting in early reviews, trying to second guess what the set will be like. But take it from me, the DVD complete second season is amazing, this is the greatest way to compile the whole collection of the greatest TV show ever and this DVD set is of the highest quality, just as the first was. Bring on season three!
on August 12, 2002
I am a huge fan of the Simpsons, and I especially enjoyed seasons 2-5, so of course I think this is an outstanding collection.
All the episodes from season 2 are here in their original form, meaning they have extra scenes that were cut for syndication. The video and audio are outstanding, as one would expect from DVD. In addition to the episodes, there are a bunch of special features and clips, including music videos, an interview with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening, and the Simpsons Emmy appearance. Better still, each episode has additional audio tracks, including commentary by the directors, writers, Groening, and other Simpsons honchos. I bought the set for the episodes, but the commentary tracks are interesting enough to warrant occasional viewing.
Season 2 has the greatest number of the definitive Simpsons episodes: Treehouse of Horror, Bart Gets Hit by a Car, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Three Men and a Comic Book... the list goes on and on. These are the first episodes for Lionel Hutz, Dr. Nick Riviera, the comic book store guy... it doesnt get much better. The only problem with the DVD set is the annoying menu interface when you first start each disc.
The outstanding video and audio quality, along with a plethora of added features, make this DVD collection a must-own for new and old Simpsons fans alike.
on March 3, 2002
This season's box set will prove to be even more fun to watch than its predecessor. Not only are the episodes much more witty then the first season's, the animators do an excellent job creating a professional look that was not often apparent during the first season.
The writers also enter into more social commentary than they had in the first season. Classic lines like "That's the problem with being middle class, anyone who really cares will abandon you for someone who needs them more," reveal that the writers are not only writing to entertain, but to be insightful.
It's a great season. And with over 8 hours of episodes (compared to less than 5 on the first season's dics) it's a great value. If you were one of the few people disappointed with the first season's episodes, don't write off this season. Granted, season three is when the show really gets "classic." That said, these episodes are still better than 99% of today's TV programs. Worth having.
on February 10, 2003
Arguably the Simpsons at its creative peak - season 2 had the ability to be hilarious, satirically razor sharp and powerfully moving, all in the space of an episode. These are the classic episodes, light years away from the cheap empty gagfests of recent Simpsons seasons. Recommended to anyone who appreciates clever comedy television.
The music videos, documentaries, etc are good, and the commentaries by the staff are very entertaining and interesting, but may be dull to the more casual viewer.
NOTE - Bart The Daredevil is NOT edited, it appears on the DVD as it appeared on its original airing. The animation of Homer falling down the cliff for a second time after the ambulance crash was specially made for a season 4 clip show, it was NEVER in the original episode. Bart The Daredevil just shows the kids looking down the gorge as we hear Homer fall.
on July 15, 2002
I realize there are people who don't like the Simpsons-- one of my best friends (and I forgive her for this) hates them. ... But the Simpsons are a popular culture phenomenon-- where else would you get jokes that combine what we know about our world today with smart satire, social commentary, metaphoric brilliance and pure belly laughs? ... (If you read GREAT LITERATURE you'll find the same thing, just cleverly disguised by the English teachers who don't let you in on the joke because they don't want to tell you it's always been this way). People generally like belches & fart jokes better than they like witty commentary on the social condition of the middle class. But every now and then, something comes along that has both... thus, I give you, the SIMPSONS!...
However-- the Simpsons has all this stuff. Watch them-- own the whole darn collection. Some of these you don't get to see on TV. The Halloween episodes themselves are worth buying every DVD that ever comes out. Even if you don't think you're really a Simpsons fan, you ought to at least give them a chance to prove that it's not just about Bart-- Homer is the Everyman of the 20th & 21st century, Marge makes [TV homemakers] look like a mere beginner, and Lisa-- ah, poor brainy girl.
on April 12, 2003
Alright, I will admit the title of this review is a bit presumptuous. However, after watching the episodes in the DVD set, viewers will all agree that any collection of Simpsons episodes can not be given less than five stars.
You may ask, "Why is this?" And that is a good question.
Season II has many classic episodes which really have defined the show.
There is "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" which works very well at exposing the character of Mr. Burns.
Also, the past of Marge and Homer is revealed in "The Way We Was".
This season was also the beginning of the yearly "Treehouse of Horror". Most notable in this episode is probably the very well-done parody of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven".
Even in its early years (the Second Season, in this case), the episodes of the show are filled with multiple levels of humor. Actually, these older episodes are a breath of fresh air compared to some (not all) of the jokes from the newest episodes. You find more often in these episodes jokes which span all generations because they are so well written.
Finally, each episode has moments which are classic and memorable simply because they occured so early in the show's history. These are the great memories from "The Simpsons" because they are our first memories. If you haven't seen these episodes, I suggest that you do, so you may have these memories too. For those of you who have seen Season II, I suggest that you buy it, for who doesn't want to remember these classic episodes?