The Simpsons - The Complete Third Season
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Broadcast in 1991, the third season of The Simpsons contains a host of candidates for "Best Simpsons Episode Ever." Homer is in such good form throughout that a reasonable case can be made that he has superseded the importance of his Greek namesake in the annals of culture and civilization. The opener, "Stark Raving Dad," for instance, features a guest appearance by an uncredited Michael Jackson, who plays an obese white inmate whom Homer meets while confined to a mental institution. Other standout episodes include "Like Father, Like Clown," in which Krusty reveals he is estranged from his Rabbi father; this is The Simpsons at the height of its powers, mature, ironic, erudite, and touching while bristling with slapstick and Bart-inspired cheek. "Flaming Moe's" features Aerosmith and sees Homer invent a cocktail that desperate, sleazy bartender Moe steals from him. "Radio Bart" is another demonstration of the series' knack for cultural references, parodying the Billy Wilder movie Ace in the Hole. Finally, there's "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes," in which Danny DeVito reprises his role as Homer's brother, regaining the fortune Homer lost him by inventing a Baby Translator. Immensely enjoyable at any level, this third year demonstrates conclusively that The Simpsons is quite simply, and by a large margin, the greatest television show ever. --David Stubbs
- 24 episodes on four discs
- Commentary on all episodes
- Storyboards & sketches
- TV ads
- Baby translator
- Audio outtakes
- Jukebox feature
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Top customer reviews
All that said, what is really important is whether or not the episodes make you laugh, and without fail season three delivers. As much as I love "The Simpsons" there are always one or two stinkers in every season, but fortunately, this collection is the exception that proves the rule. From top to bottom there isn't a single episode in season three that I would skip over. At the same time, these episodes are for some reason rarely seen in syndication, so seeing them here uncut makes them all the more enjoyable; sort of like reuniting with a long lost friend.
In fact, I can't recall having ever seen the "Bart the Murderer" episode in syndication, and I had actually forgotten that it even existed. Likewise, "Flaming Moe's" my all-time favorite episode, and perhaps the most bitingly satirical episode ever, shows up once in a blue moon. The same can be said for "Black Widower" which reintroduces a much more polished Sideshow Bob, "I Married Marge", the first of many fantastic "flashback" episodes and "Bart the Lover" which features some great lines from Homer and the best end credits graphic ever.
I could go on, but any fan of "The Simpsons" will know and love these episodes as well, if not better, than I do. I will say, though, that these DVD's are a step above the first two seasons. Instead of the ugly, clunky menus, there is a streamlined interface, which includes the much requested option to play all of the episodes on the disc back to back. At the same time the color is rejuvenated, as one would expect from the prior releases, but perhaps somewhat surprising is how good these discs sound. The first two seasons always sounded a little off to me in 5.1 surround, but season three sounds fantastic; the producers deserve a lot of credit for taking full advantage of the available technology. Likewise, the addition of commentary for every episode speaks to the dedication to these releases, even if it is unlikely I'll ever listen to all twenty-four of them.
In the end, if you are a fan of "The Simpsons", nothing I say here is going to make it more likely that you'll buy this set. Like me, you're compelled to for the sake of owning the episodes, even after the lackluster production values of the first two seasons. However, I can reassure you that this set defines a new standard for Simpson's collections, and the additional features are worth every penny. Conversely, if you're a casual fan, but thinking about buying one of the seasons, start with this one. If it isn't the best season ever, it is certainly in the top three, and the layout and extras on these discs are light years ahead of the previous two collections.
Also, there is NO commentary unlike some of the lower rating reviews have said. If anyone reads a 1 or 2 star review about Season Three of The Simpsons having commentaries in the beginning of each episode, they are wrong. This Box Set does not have unwanted commentaries. More than likely the setting is in the Special Features option.
The first episode on disk one is "Stark Raven Dad" which features the guest voice of Michael Jackson who was credited as "John Jay Smith" instead of his actual name.
Disk two has "Tree House of Horrors II". It's a great start to the second disk. I had actually read the short story "The Monkey's Paw" when I was in school and it was one of few short stories that I enjoyed reading that I actually read.
There are four disks to Season Three and I enjoy this season very much. I would recommend it as well as Seasons One and Two.
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