The Simpsons: Season 12
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1. Hilarious first act that is soon left behind by the actual plot.
2. So-so second act that introduces the gratuitous guest voice and expands on the plot.
3. Hit or miss third act that either veers completely away from the general plot or takes the premise to an absurd level. Depending on the execution and one's personal tastes, this makes the episode either decent or awful.
Individual episodes deviate from this at times, but for the most part they stick fairly religiously to it. Did I say the guest voices are gratuitous? The stories should not be notable mainly because of the guest voice. This season leads off with The Who episode (which the commentary reveals doesn't feature the entire group, even as it existed then), a symbol of what's to come.
That said, I still give this 4 stars because of the mostly great first acts, which this period of the show elevates to an art form. The best ones have almost nothing to do with the direction of the rest of the episode but are loaded with great gags, like the trip to the Festival of Books in "Insane Clown Poppy."
Some of the third acts are brilliant, too, like The Prisoner homage in "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes," or the mob family gathering Homer & Krusty invade in "Insane Clown Poppy."
What's largely missing is the emotional core that was so memorable in the first several seasons. By this point many of the writers, directors, and producers who created and cared about these characters have all have long since moved on to other things. The commentaries make pretty clear that the 12th season staff just like making Homer appear as dumb and depraved as possible. "Homer vs.Read more ›
This is the last season before the long, dark period of mediocrity known as the Al Jean years. Even in this season it becomes more hit or miss, which some great episodes like "HOMR" (where Homer becomes a genius by getting a crayon out of his brain) and "Hungry Hungry Homer" (where Homer finds out the Isotopes are moving to Albuquerque--and there really is an Albuquerque Isotopes team!) but also some lesser episodes. Though of course not everyone would agree with that assessment. For a complete list of episodes, go to Wikipedia or something and then you can decide whether this is a season you want to own or not. This isn't the Worst Season Ever, but it's also not the Best Season Ever either. By this season they'd started to "jump the shark" and yet it's gone on for another 10+ years, so that by now the poor shark has been bludgeoned to death.
I think this is it for me, because I just don't think it'd be worth it to buy the later seasons. What I always wish you could do was buy episodes sort of ala carte, or just pick those of a season you like and create a disc that way, sort of like a Simpsons mix tape. I doubt that will happen--legally anyway.
That is all.
Having never seen any of the episodes as they aired on TV, I only got Season 12 as I already had 1-11 on DVD. To my delight it features hardly a single bad episode and is consistently funny with dozens of laugh-out-loud moments. Absolutely brilliant!
The packaging is just downright awful though. A nice idea, but poor execution. I wish studios would move away from cardboard digipacks. They're just not made to last.
[*] indicates a "Season Great/Epicsode"
Treehouse of Horror XI: 4/5
G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad: 4.25/5 Homer eats broccoli and dies. Homer is told to do one good deed before being accepted into heaven.
Scary Tales Can Come True: 3.75/5 Bart and Lisa are thrown into the woods by Homer and Marge with only a fairy tale book to guide them through.
Night of the Dolphin: 4.25/5 Dolphins get revenge on Springfield, and summon all humans to the sea so dolphins can live back on land.
A Tale of Two Springfields: 4.25/5
A new area code splits Springfield in two and Homer becomes mayor. The members of New Springfield aren't happy with what he's doing, and move to Olde Springfield, leaving only the Simpsons in the New Springfield. To combine the Springfields into one, Homer gets The Who to play in his half of the city.
Insane Clown Poppy: 3/5
Krusty meets his daughter, and is soon seen gambling. He gambles away his daughter's violin, and he and Homer try to get into Fat Tony's hideout to get the violin back.
Lisa the Tree Hugger: 3.5/5
Lisa stays in a large redwood tree that is threatened to get cut down. The stays up in it for a night of protest, but decides to leave. The next morning, the tree is struck by lightning and Lisa is presumed dead.
[*]Homer vs. Dignity: 4.5/5
Homer is paid large sums of money by Mr. Burns to embarrass himself, but changes his ways with a little encouragement from Lisa.
[*]The Computer Wore Menace Shoes: 4.5/5
Homer gets a new computer and decided to create his own website under the name Mr. X.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny season and now my son is addicted too.
He really enjoys it and wants all seasons.
I would recommend this season for your collection. Read more
Great show, wish they never stopped releasing the season DVDsPublished 2 months ago by Gustavo Mazzoleni
If you're in 80s child you grew up watching the Simpsons you don't want to miss this season 12 has all the great DVDs with it and if you like to collect any Simpson stuff this is... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ptowncarson
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