REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 4-6

CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner  (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Marica Wallace (Full House)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Bob Hope (The Muppet Movie)
Tom Jones (Mars Attacks)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Pamela Reed (Kindergarten Cop)
Adam West (Batman)
Linda Ronstadt (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Joyce Brothers (Spy Hard)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Barry White (Coonskin)
David Crosby (Hook)
Johnny Carson (The Tonight Show)
Hugh Hefner (The Girls Next Door)
Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
George Harrison (Help!)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
George Fenneman (Ocean’s 11)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
James Brown (Undercover Brother)
Ernest Borgnine (From Here To Eternity)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Werner Klemperer (Hogan’s Heroes)
Robert Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park)
Conan O’Brien (The Lego Batman Movie)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom)
Buzz Aldrin (The Big Bang Theory)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Larry King (The Larry King Show)
Henry Corden (Fred Flinstone and Friends)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Dennis Franz (Scarface)
Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Rhea Perlman (Sing)
John Ratzenberger (Toy Story)
George Wendt (Sabrina: TTW)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Dick Cavett (Apollo 13)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)
Mel Brooks (Spaceballs)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
Ron Taylor (Rush Hour 2)

By its fourth series, The Simpsons had come far enough for Lisa to make a self-referential joke about Dustin Hoffman’s and Michael Jackson’s pseudonymous guest voice appearances in series 2 and 3, respectively. In this series, no less than Elizabeth Taylor (in two episodes), Bette Midler and even the reclusive Johnny Carson blessed The Simpsons with their iconic presences. Awhile back, US magazine Entertainment Weekly ranked the top 25 Simpsons episodes. Five gems from series 4 cracked the top 12, including the (debatable) choice for No. 1, “Last Exit to Springfield”

SEASON 4 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

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4.1) KAMP KRUSTY

Bart and Lisa go to Kamp Krusty for the summer in order to have a break from their parents and meet Krusty the Clown. However, their promises of a fun summer at Kamp Krusty are broken when the director of the camp, Mr. Black, is revealed to be a ferocious accountant and that the camp counselors are the three teenage bullies from school. Meanwhile, Homer is rejuvenated with the kids gone and even begins to regain his hair and lose weight. All of the kids at the camp are treated horribly and Bart survives by clinging to the promise that Krusty himself will soon arrive. However, when this does not happen, Bart leads the campers into a rebellion and they eventually take over the camp. Homer sees a news report about this and immediately loses his hair and regains his lost weight. The real Krusty arrives at the camp and decides to make it up to the kids by taking them to Tijuana, Mexico.A_Streetcar_Named_Marge4.2) A STREETCAR NAMED MARGE

Marge is cast in a musical production of A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche DuBois after the play director sees Marge’s deep-seated depression when dealing with an uncaring Homer. She struggles with a scene where she has to shove a glass bottle into the brutish Stanley Kowalski (who is played by Ned Flanders), but manages to get over it by imagining Homer as Stanley. Marge begins to become extremely angry with Homer as she sees parallels between him and Stanley. At the end of the musical, Marge believes Homer does not pay attention to her and confronts him with hostility. However, Homer explains that he was genuinely moved by Blanche’s situation. Marge realizes that Homer really did watch the musical, and the two happily leave the theater with Stan’s saddened expression left behind. Meanwhile, Maggie is sent to the Ayn Rand School for Tots where she attempts to retrieve her pacifier from a strict daycare attendant.4.3) HOMER THE HERETIC

While skipping Sunday’s church services, Homer discovers the joy of staying home and having the house all to himself while Marge and the kids experience a rambling sermon from Reverend Lovejoy. Homer decides to start his very own religion customized for himself, despite Marge’s continuing objections for giving up his faith. Marge, Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders all try to convert Homer back to his Christianity religion but fail. The next Sunday morning, Homer once again stays at home, but accidentally sets the house on fire and is rescued by Flanders. After the blaze is extinguished, Reverend Lovejoy suggests that God was working in the hearts of Homer’s friends, despite their different faiths and this convinces Homer to give church another try.12537854.6) ITCHY & SCRATCHY: THE MOVIE

At Springfield Elementary’s Parent Teacher night, Mrs. Krabappel tells Homer and Marge about Bart’s behavior. Wanting Bart to one day become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Homer decides to punish Bart. However, he never makes his punishments stick and Bart continues on his destructive path. Marge confronts Homer and he agrees that next time he will make his punishment stick. Meanwhile, Bart finds out that Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie is about to hit theaters and immediately buys a ticket. However, when Bart one day forgets to watch Maggie, Homer bans Bart from ever seeing the movie. Bart tries everything to see the movie, but Homer refuses to budge and after the movie closes, Homer declares that one day Bart will thank him. In a flashforward forty years into the future, Homer and Bart, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, decide to watch the movie together

4.7) MARGE GETS A JOB

The Simpsons’ house begins sinking into the ground. Marge decides to earn extra money to repair the foundation by working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Homer is dismayed about having to work alongside his wife. However, Mr. Burns falls deeply in love with her and begins to seduce her. However, Marge resists and Burns fires her after discovering she is married. Homer stands up for Marge and an impressed Mr. Burns treats them to a free Tom Jones concert. Meanwhile, Bart continually fakes sick to get out of taking a test.

4.8) NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

The Simpsons’ next door neighbors move and are replaced by a single mother, Ruth Powers and her daughter Laura. Laura becomes the object of Bart’s affection but Bart becomes heart broken after learning that her boyfriend is Jimbo Jones. Meanwhile, Homer wages war against the Sea Captain’s seafood restaurant The Frying Dutchman, for falsely advertising their “all-you-can-eat” buffet.Mr-Plow4.9) MR. PLOW

After demolishing both his and Marge’s family cars during a snowstorm, Homer buys a snowplow and starts a business plowing driveways. He calls his business “Mr. Plow” and becomes a huge success. Barney Gumble, inspired by Homer decides to start his own rival company and becomes Springfield’s new favorite snow plower. Homer tricks Barney into plowing the dangerous Widow’s Peak. Barney does so, but gets trapped in an avalanche and after seeing a news report about it, Homer rushes to save him and the two decide to work together, but God melts all of the snow.4.10) LISA’S FIRST WORD

While attempting to get Maggie to say her first word, Marge tells the story of Lisa’s first word. In 1983, Marge, Homer and Bart are living in the Lower East Springfield district and Marge announces that she is pregnant. She and Homer decide to move into a house to support their bigger family and move into their present day home. Lisa is born during the 1984 Summer Olympics and Bart immediately becomes jealous of her. He tries several things mean things to her, but only manages to get himself in trouble. Bart decides to run away, but Lisa says her first word: “Bart”. Bart discovers that Lisa loves him and embraces her as his sister. In the present day, Homer puts Maggie to bed, saying he wishes that she will never talk. Once he leaves, Maggie utters her first word: “daddy”.4.12) MARGE VS. THE MONORAIL

After Mr. Burns is caught storing his excess nuclear waste inside Springfield Park’s trees, he is ordered to pay the town $3 million. The town is originally set to agree to fix Main Street, but the charismatic Lyle Lanley interrupts and convinces the town to use the money to buy one of his monorails. The town embraces the suggestion and Homer is hired as the conductor, but the only person remaining not so pleased about the whole situation is Marge. She discovers suspicious evidence and visits a town that had previously purchased one of Lanley’s monorails. She discovers that Lanley is indeed a con man and rushes back to town. However, she arrives too late and the monorail has begun to operate, but Homer is convinced to use an anchor to stop the train, thus saving the passengers.4.13) SELMA’S CHOICE

Marge’s Great Aunt Gladys Bouvier dies and the Simpsons, Patty, and Selma attend her funeral. During the reading of her video will, Gladys tells Patty and Selma not to die lonely and miserable like she did. Though Patty does not care, Selma decides that she wants a baby. Meanwhile, Homer eats a spoiled hoagie, and becomes dreadfully ill. As a result, he can not fulfil his promise of taking Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens and Selma agrees to take them instead. However, Selma struggles with parenting and decides she is happier taking care of her pet Iguana Jub Jub.Brother_from_the_Same_Planet_224.14) BROTHER FROM THE SAME PLANET

After leaving Bart alone at soccer practice, Homer’s inept parenting prompts Bart to get a “Bigger Brother” named Tom. Homer finds out about this and decides to get revenge by taking part in the “Bigger Brother” program and taking charge of a young boy names Pepi. Pepi and Homer begin to bond and Bart starts to regret taking advantage of the program. At an aquarium, Homer and Tom meet and begin to brawl and Homer is injured. Tom becomes Pepi’s new Bigger Brother and Bart bonds with Homer by asking him to share his knowledge of fighting. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes addicted to calling a 1-900 number featuring a pretty-boy celebrity named Corey.I_Love_Lisa_774.15) I LOVE LISA

On Valentine’s Day, everyone in Lisa’s class receives a card, except Ralph Wiggum. Out of pity, Lisa quickly writes one up and gives it to him, much to Ralph’s delight. Ralph begins to develop an interest in Lisa, but Lisa is not interested. However, she does not know how to get rid of him. Ralph invites her to go to Krusty’s 29th Anniversary Special and she reluctantly accepts. During a televised talk session with Krusty, Ralph declares that he loves her and Lisa explodes and declares that she never liked Ralph. Ralph becomes heartbroken. For the President’s Day play, Lisa is cast in a role as Martha Washington and to her horror, Ralph gets the role of George Washington. She becomes afraid that Ralph will embarrass her again, but Ralph gives a rousing performance. After the play, Lisa and Ralph decide to just be friends7670484.16) DUFFLESS

After taking the Duff Brewery tour, Homer is caught driving drunk and is arrested. His license is revoked and he must attend traffic school and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. After much reluctance, Homer agrees to Marge’s suggestion of giving up drinking beer for an entire month. He struggles to make it, but eventually does and decides to forgo a reward of a beer by taking Marge for a bicycle ride. Meanwhile, Bart demolishes Lisa’s science project of a steroid-pumped tomato, prompting Lisa to make a science project pitting Bart against a Hamster.4.17) LAST EXIT TO SPRINGFIELD

After learning that Mr. Burns’ decision to revoke their dental plan has coincided with Lisa needing braces, Homer convinces his coworkers not to give up their dental plan and becomes the new head of the workers union at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He holds talks with Mr. Burns, but these go badly because Homer is not intelligent enough to understand Burns’ sly innuendos. The plant goes on strike and Mr. Burns decides to take away the electricity for the entire town. However, this just encourages the workers union and Burns decides to reach a deal with Homer.4.19) THE FRONT

After watching a terribly lackluster episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Bart and Lisa decide to start writing their own episodes and sending it to the studio. Roger Meyers, the CEO, immediately rejects their script due to their age. They put Grampa’s name on the script and send it back, and Meyers loves it and hires Grampa. Bart and Lisa’s cartoons are hugely successful and are nominated for an award. At the ceremony, Grampa finally sees an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon for the first time and is horrified. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge revisit a High School reunion, which prompts Homer to admit that he never officially graduated because he failed a science class. At the reunion, Homer wins several awards but these are revoked, causing Homer to go to night school to make up the lost credits on the class he never passed — remedial science.untitled4.20) WHACKING DAY

Bart is expelled from Springfield Elementary School, so Marge decides to home school him. Springfield’s annual holiday arrives: Whacking Day, a day specifically designed to drive snakes into the town’s square and club them to death. When most Springfielders celebrate the local holiday, Lisa is appalled at the upcoming celebration, but her protests fall on deaf ears. Lisa and Bart manage to convince the town about the nightmare of Whacking Day and Principal Skinner decides to allow Bart to return to school.4.21) MARGE IN CHAINS

Springfield is hit with the dreaded Osaka Flu, causing many of the town to fall ill. Due to the exhaustion from having to look after the rest of her ill family, Marge accidentally forgets to pay for Grampa’s bottle of bourbon when shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart. Marge is soon arrested for shoplifting and is sentenced to 30 days at Springfield’s Woman Prison. Marge’s absence is felt everywhere and she is welcomed back with open arms when she is released.S04E22_104.22) KRUSTY GETS KANCELLED

A new show about a ventriloquist dummy named Gabbo becomes the hottest show in Springfield and Krusty’s show is cancelled due to low ratings. Krusty is at first crestfallen at the cancellation of his show, but Bart and Lisa manage to convince him to stage a comeback special and invite his celebrity friends to take part. The special is a huge success and Krusty’s show goes back on the air.
The season where everything is bang-on; the writing, the animation, the voices, it`s all sublime. Its another season from the golden age of the show. There are some really great episodes In this collection.

SEASON 5 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

9605.1) HOMER’S BARBERSHOP QUARTET

In a flashback, Homer recounts his time with a barbershop quartet called The Be Sharps that also featured Principal Skinner, Apu and Chief Wiggum who was later replaced with Barney. The group became music stars with their hit song “Baby on Board” and won a Grammy. Eventually, Homer started missing his family and the group began to lose its popularity, so it broke up.5.2) CAPE FEARE

Bart starts receiving threatening letters in the mail and it is soon revealed that they were sent to him by Sideshow Bob. Bob is released from prison, so Bart is placed in the Witness Relocation Program and the Simpson family is moved to Terror Lake. However, Bob follows the Simpsons there and sneaks onto the family’s houseboat and tries to kill Bart. Cornered, Bart asks Bob to sing the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore as a last request. Bob does so, and during his performance the boat drifts through Springfield and Bob is caught.5.3) HOMER GOES TO COLLEGE

After failing a test at the nuclear plant, Homer’s lack of a college degree is revealed and he is sent back to pass a nuclear physics class. Homer, having seen too many bad National Lampoon’s Animal House knock-off movies, goofs off, so he is sent to a group of boys for tutoring. The boys, who are stereotypical nerds, try to help Homer, but he instead tries to help them party and decides to pull a prank on another college. They steal Springfield A&M’s mascot, but his friends are caught and expelled. Homer invites them to live with him, but his family soon become angered by their new housemates, so Homer decides to try to help them get back into college. Consequentially, he fails his final exam and is convinced by Marge to return to college for another year.5.4) ROSEBUD

After a disastrous birthday party, Mr. Burns pines for his long-lost childhood toy, a teddy bear named Bobo. The bear ends up in the hands of Maggie and when Homer discovers this, he tries to use the bear to get a large reward from Burns. When Burns agrees, Homer tries to hand the bear over, but is stopped by Maggie. Homer, seeing that Maggie has become attached to the bear, decides not to give it back to Mr. Burns, who promises that Homer will regret the decision. Mr. Burns later returns and talks to Maggie and she eventually gives it back to him.5.6) MARGE ON THE LAMB

Marge and neighbor Ruth Powers have a girls’ night. Meanwhile, Homer tries to have fun without Marge and Lionel Hutz is hired as Bart, Lisa, and Maggie’s babysitter. Homer hitches a ride home with Chief Wiggum, who is following behind Marge and Ruth and decides to pull them over. However, Ruth speeds her car up and reveals to Marge that she stole it from her ex-husband. Marge decides to stay with Ruth, but eventually the police catch up with them and the charges are dismissed.5.8) BOY-SCOUTZ ‘N THE HOOD

Bart and Milhouse find $20.00 on the street and buy a Squishee made entirely of syrup. After a night of bingeing and carousing, Bart wakes up to discover that he has joined a Boy Scouts-esque troupe called “The Junior Campers”. Bart initially hates the group, then enjoys it, until Homer agrees to participate in their river-rafting trip. In a boat with Ned and Rod Flanders, Homer loses their map and the boat gets lost in the ocean. After being stuck out at sea for several days, they discover an oil rig with a Krusty Burger and are saved. At the end of the episode the rest of the campers including Ernest are attacked by an unknown monster at an abandoned campsite.5.9) THE LAST TEMPTATION OF HOMER

Mr. Burns hires a female worker named Mindy Simmons in accordance with government policy and Homer is worried that his crush on her will ruin his marriage with Marge. Both Mindy and Homer have feelings for each other, but in the end Homer decides not to cheat on Marge. Meanwhile, Bart becomes a nerd after doctors find several things physically wrong with him and apply treatments that make him look like a nerd.Simpsons_05_105.10) $PRINGFIELD (OR, HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE LEGALIZED GAMBLING)

After the local economy stalls, everyone in town votes for gambling to be legalized, prompting Mr. Burns to open a casino. Homer becomes a blackjack dealer, and Marge becomes so addicted to gambling that she forgets about her family life. Meanwhile, Bart opens up his own casino after being kicked out of Mr. Burns’s and Lisa struggles to have her costume done for a school pageant. Homer agrees to help her, but does a terrible job, so he decides to go to the casino to get Marge back.5.11) HOMER THE VIGILANTE

A crime wave hits Springfield, caused by the elusive cat burglar and Lisa’s saxophone is stolen, so Homer agrees to try to get it back. The police are ineffective, so Flanders creates a neighborhood watch group, which Homer takes charge of. However, Homer’s incompetence causes the vigilante group to commit more crimes than it prevents, and they are unsuccessful in catching the cat burglar. With the help of Grampa, Homer discovers that the burglar is a charming senior named Malloy. Malloy is arrested, but he tricks the citizens of Springfield into thinking he has hidden millions of dollars and escapes during the ensuing rush to find the money.untitled5.12) BART GETS FAMOUS

After sneaking away from a school trip to a box factory, Bart sneaks onto the set of the Krusty the Clown show. He gets a job as Krusty’s production assistant and soon becomes sick of the job. One day, he is close to quitting, but Krusty runs up and says he needs to use Bart in a sketch. Bart becomes an accidental star when he says, “I didn’t do it” during the botched sketch. He becomes famous but soon becomes tired of being known for one line. Marge convinces him that the main thing is to make people happy, so Bart decides to continue, but the audience soon becomes tired of Bart’s act and forget about him.5.13) HOMER AND APU

After twice getting food poisoning from expired food sold at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer teams up with Kent Brockman to report Apu. Apu is fired from his job and comes to stay with the Simpsons, and he is replaced by actor James Woods. Homer resolves to help Apu get his old job back, and the two travel to India to talk to the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart, but are unsuccessful. Apu decides to visit his old Kwik-E-Mart and saves James Woods’ life. Woods is so grateful that he helps Apu get re-hired.Simpsons_05_105.14) LISA VS. MALUB STACY

Lisa protests against the phrases on her new Talking Malibu Stacy doll, which she finds demeaning to women. She tracks down the reclusive creator Stacy to make a more politically correct doll. Meanwhile, Grampa is worried that he is getting old, so he takes a job at Krusty Burger. Lisa and Stacy create “Lisa Lionheart” which gets a lot of positive buzz, but is a flop when the Malibu Stacy executives release a new doll that comes with a hat.5.15) DEEP SPACE HOMER

NASA decides that they need to hire average joes in order to get higher television ratings. They recruit Homer and Barney to train to be the first average American in space. Homer, who wants to be respected, is the winner by default, and goes into space with Buzz Aldrin. While there, he causes a lot of havoc and eventually breaks the handle on the space shuttle’s hatch. Homer inadvertently seals the door shut with an inanimate carbon rod, and the shuttle returns to Earth. The rod is hailed as a hero, but Homer gains the respect of Aldrin and his family.5.16) HOMER LOVES FLANDERS

Homer begins to like Flanders after being invited to a football game. However, Homer’s constant presence around Flanders and his family causes Ned to feel hate for Homer. One day while trying to drive away from Homer, Flanders is arrested and charged with drunk driving. Flanders begins to lose the respect of the church congregation until Homer sticks up for him. Flanders thanks Homer and the two remain friends.5.18) BURNS’ HEIR

Mr. Burns has a near-death experience which prompts him to find an heir to inherit his wealth after he dies. Bart is rejected, but Burns soon decides to choose him after seeing that Bart is “a creature of pure malevolence”. Marge convinces Bart to go spend some time with Burns, and soon becomes more disruptive than normal to his own family and decides to go live with Mr. Burns. Bart eventually starts to miss his family, but Burns manipulates him into staying. Burns tries to have Bart prove his loyalty by firing Homer, but Bart instead decides to go back to living with his family.5.19) SWEET SEYMOUR SKINNER’S BAADASSSSS SONG

Bart accidentally gets Principal Skinner fired after he brings Santa’s Little Helper to school for show and tell. Bart feels guilty for what he did, and befriends Skinner. Meanwhile, Ned Flanders is hired as principal and the school goes to pot. Bart decides that while he enjoys having Skinner as a friend, he needs him as an enemy, but discovers that he returned to the Army to be a sergeant. Bart convinces Skinner to return and they get Flanders fired so that Skinner can get his old job back.5.20) THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

Bart plays hooky from school and ends up at the birthday party of Freddy Quimby, the Mayor’s nephew, where Freddy is accused of assaulting a waiter. Bart knows the truth, but would have to admit that he was playing hooky if he testifies. Meanwhile, Homer is chosen for jury duty in the assault case against Freddy Quimby and takes advantage of being sequestered in a hotel.5.21) LADY BOUVIER’S LOVER

While attending Maggie’s first birthday party, Grampa falls for Marge’s mother Jackie. Grampa and Jackie start dating, but he is soon pushed aside in favor of Mr. Burns. Burns and Jackie are soon engaged to be married, much to the chagrin of Marge and Smithers. Grampa crashes the wedding and tries to get Jackie back, but she decides that she does not want to be married. Meanwhile, Bart steals Homer’s credit card to buy a piece of Itchy and Scratchy memorabilia that turns out to be a rip-off.5.22) SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE

Tired of being called “slow,” Homer signs up to teach a class on keeping a successful marriage at a learning annex. He is an unsuccessful teacher and finds that the only way he can keep the class interested is to tell racy secrets about Marge and their bedroom antics. Marge soon gets fed up with Homer telling their secrets and kicks him out. Homer starts living in Bart’s treehouse and becomes so lost without Marge that he begs her to take him back, and she eventually agrees.

Another series of everyone’s favourite family, another collection of cracking episodes, and with 25 episodes to choose from, including some of the very best ever, you’re a little spoiled for choice. First aired back in the mid-nineties, the show had really hit its stride following a massively successful fifth series and this series marks a particularly popular period in the show’s history, with celebrity interest bringing a gamut of guest appearances. So, we see Winona Rider in ‘Lisa’s Rival’, Kelsey Grammar in ‘Sideshow Bob Roberts’ Meryl Streep in ‘Bart’s Girlfriend’ and Mel Brooks and Susan Sarandan in ‘Homer vs. Patty and Selma’. But perhaps the most notable, certainly the most amusing, guest vocal is offered by Patrick Stewart in the funny ‘Homer The Great’, which also features one of the funniest Simpsons’ songs ever–‘The Stonecutters Song’. This is The Simpsons on top form.

SEASON 6 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

Simpsons_05_106.1) BART OF DARKNESS

A heat wave is gripping Springfield and the townspeople attempt to cool down. Bart and Lisa persuade Homer to buy them a swimming pool, which proves popular with the town’s other children. Bart ends up breaking his leg when he dives off his treehouse and is forced to spend the rest of the summer in his room. Realizing that he has become isolated, Lisa gives Bart her telescope to cheer him up. Using it, he witnesses Ned Flanders digging a grave and through his ramblings, becomes convinced that Ned has killed his wife Maude. He sends Lisa over to the Flanders’ house to look for proof of the “crime”, only for Ned to return, holding an axe. However, he is merely putting it away; and it is revealed that Maude is still alive and well, and all that Ned killed was her favorite plant.6.2) LISA’S RIVAL

A new student named Allison Taylor arrives at Springfield Elementary School and proves to be more than a match for Lisa in both educational and musical feats. After Allison wins first chair saxophone in the school orchestra ahead of her, Lisa vows to defeat Allison at something: by winning the school diorama contest. Meanwhile, Homer steals 500 pounds of sugar from an overturned truck and decides to sell it to the town. However, despite his best efforts to guard his sugar mound, a rainstorm dissolves it. At the contest, Bart switches Allison’s diorama of The Tell-Tale Heart with a cow’s heart to help Lisa win. Lisa’s guilt at the plan forces her to give Allison’s real model back. The pair set aside their differences and become friends. Principal Skinner decides that neither Allison nor Lisa’s entry deserves to win, awarding victory to Ralph Wiggum.Simpsons_05_106.4) ITCHY & SCRATCHY LAND

Bart and Lisa convince their parents to take their family vacation at the newly opened Itchy & Scratchy Land. After experiencing several of the violent attractions, Homer and Marge go to “Parents Island”, while Bart and Lisa continue to explore the park. The vacation seems to be going well, until Bart and Homer are both apprehended by the park security for assaulting a staff member dressed in an Itchy suit. Professor Frink realizes that all of the park’s Itchy & Scratchy robots will turn on their masters; an event which proves true as a horde of Itchy and Scratchy robots advance on the Simpsons. Homer throws everything he can at them, before discovering that a camera’s flash destroys the robots. The family take more cameras from a gift shop and defeat the Itchy & Scratchy army. Roger Meyers, Jr. thanks them, and the Simpsons agree that it was actually their best vacation ever6.5) SIDESHOW BOB ROBERTS

After pleading his case on air to right-wing talk show host Birch Barlow, Sideshow Bob is released from prison. Soon, Bob is announced as the Republican candidate for mayor of Springfield. Bart and Lisa help campaign for Mayor Quimby but despite their efforts, Bob wins the election with a landslide majority. Within days, the Simpsons awake to find that their house will soon be demolished to make way for the planned Matlock Expressway. Bart and Lisa begin to suspect that Bob somehow rigged the election. While searching through the voter records, Lisa is left a message by someone who claims to know what actually happened. The whistleblower turns out to be Waylon Smithers, who dislikes some of Bob’s policies. He gives Bart and Lisa the name of a man who voted for Bob, but had really been long dead. The pair discover that virtually every single person who supposedly voted for Bob is actually dead. At the trial, Bart and Lisa trick Bob into confessing his crime, and he is put back in prison.Bart's_Girlfriend_1146.7) BART’S GIRLFRIEND

Bart becomes attracted to Reverend Lovejoy’s daughter Jessica, but finds his attempts to impress her repeatedly ignored. After pulling a prank on Groundskeeper Willie, and offending Jessica’s parents at dinner, she becomes interested in him. As they begin a relationship, Bart believes that Jessica is a bad influence on him and decides against seeing her anymore. However, at church Bart has to sit next to Jessica, who steals the money from the church collection plate and frames him for the crime. Next week, Lisa tells the congregation that Jessica was the real perpetrator, and suggests they search Jessica’s room. The money is found hidden under Jessica’s bed, and she admits to the crime.

6.8) LISA ON ICE

Lisa discovers that she is failing gym class. In order to pass, she joins a local ice hockey team as their goalie. This creates an intense sibling rivalry between her and Bart, who is jealous of Lisa’s abilities because he had always been the family’s star hockey player. Marge tries to resolve their conflicts by reminding them that they are not in competition with each other, but this backfires as the next fixture is between Bart and Lisa’s teams. During the match, Bart prepares to take a penalty against Lisa, but remembering past events in which they helped each other, the pair throw aside their equipment and embrace, tying the game.6.9) HOMER BADMAN

Homer and Marge attend a candy convention, where Homer successfully steals a gummy Venus de Milo. Later, after Homer takes the children’s babysitter Ashley Grant home, he notices that the gummy Venus has become stuck to her pants and grabs it, an action that Ashley misinterprets as a sexual advance. A mob of protesters soon appear at the Simpsons’ house, claiming that Homer sexually harassed Ashley. All of Homer’s attempts to prove himself innocent go wrong, until he tells his side of the story on a Public-access television. Groundskeeper Willie sees Homer’s speech and gives him a secretly recorded video tape that shows Homer was innocent after all.6.10) GRAMPA VS. SEXUAL INADEQUACY

Homer and Marge’s marriage is beginning to sour due to their fading sex lives. Grampa concocts a tonic that successfully cures their problems. The effectiveness of the tonic results in he and Homer going into business together, selling “Simpson and Son’s Tonic” to the public. When they visit the farmhouse where Homer grew up, the two get into an argument, resulting in Grampa calling Homer an “accident”. Homer refuses to speak to Grampa ever again, and vows to be a better father to his own children. Later, he goes back to the farmhouse, coincidentally at the same time as Grampa. Both of them accidentally set fire to the building, and reconcile.14621132751636.11) FEAR OF FLYING

After being banned from Moe’s for life, Homer goes to a pilots’ bar. There, he is mistaken as a real pilot and destroys a plane. As payment for the mistake, the Simpsons are given free tickets to anywhere in America. Marge becomes uneasy on the plane and admits that she has a fear of flying, putting the vacation on hold. Marge undergoes treatment with therapist Dr. Zweig, who uncovers the roots of Marge’s fear. The problem she has is that her father was a male flight attendant. Zweig assures her that male flight attendants are now very common, and Marge is ostensibly cured.6.12) HOMER THE GREAT

Homer discovers that Lenny and Carl are members of the ancient secret society known as the Stonecutters. Gaining membership through Grampa, Homer takes great pleasure in the society’s many privileges and events. Unfortunately, during a celebratory dinner he unwittingly destroys the Stonecutter’s “Sacred Parchment”. Homer is stripped of his membership, until it is discovered that he is “The Chosen One” who will lead the Stonecutters to glory. Homer’s reign eventually angers his fellow members, who break off and form a new society known as “The Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers”, banning Homer from joining.6.13) AND MAGGIE MAKES THREE

Homer regales the long story of Maggie’s birth. Back in 1993, Homer dreams of working at the bowling alley, even though it pays less than his job at the Power Plant. Homer works out a way that means the family will have enough to live on, as long as everything stays exactly the way it is. However, Marge becomes pregnant once again, but tries to keep the news from Homer. He eventually finds out and, because of the impending financial problems, is forced to go back to the Power Plant. As much as he dreads the idea of having another child, when Maggie is born Homer immediately falls in love with her.6.14) BART’S COMET

During detention, Bart accidentally discovers a comet. It is then discovered that the comet is heading straight for Springfield, and a rocket is launched to destroy it. However, it misses and blows up the only bridge out of town, dooming everyone in Springfield. The Simpsons and the Flanders share the bomb shelter that Ned had built, to hopefully protect themselves from the comet. Soon, everyone in town joins them in the shelter, but the door cannot be closed unless somebody leaves. Homer decides that the only useless person there is Ned, and forces him to go. Homer then feels guilty about his decision and leaves, with the rest of the town following him. However the danger is averted when the comet enters the atmosphere and burns up in the thick layer of pollution.maxresdefault6.16) BART VS AUSTRALIA

In order to prove Lisa wrong about the coriolis effect, Bart calls several locations in the southern hemisphere. He collect calls Australia, but the call lasts six hours and costs $900.00. After the call’s recipient complains, Australia indicts Bart for fraud. The United States State Department negotiates a settlement, with Bart having to publicly apologize in Australia. There, after Bart apologizes, the parliament wishes to give him the additional punishment of a booting. Bart and Homer flee, but Bart later agrees to accept the booting anyway. Before he can be punished, he moons the Australians and the family leave in a helicopter.6.17) HOMER VS PATTY AND SELMA

After a bad investment, Homer is forced to borrow money from Patty and Selma. In return the pair make Homer’s life miserable. After Marge finds out, Homer decides to become a chauffeur, but is pulled over when he does not have a chauffeur’s license. When he goes to apply for one, Patty and Selma (the DMV examiners) mercilessly fail him on all counts. The pair begin to smoke, but are told by their supervisor such an action could cost them their promotions. Homer acts quickly and claims the cigarettes are his own, saving Patty and Selma, in exchange for clearing his debt to them. Meanwhile, Bart is forced to take ballet but finds that he enjoys it.6.19) LISA’S WEDDING

At a renaissance fair, a fortune teller predicts the story of Lisa’s first true love. She explains that Lisa will fall madly in love with British student Hugh Parkfield. The pair’s relationship grows, with Hugh eventually proposing to Lisa. The wedding will take place in Springfield, but Lisa becomes embarrassed with her family’s behavior, particularly Homer’s. Hugh begins to bond with them, until Homer presents him with a pair of tacky cuff links, which he grudgingly agrees to wear at the wedding. He does not actually wear them, and when questioned by Lisa he states that after the wedding they will return to England and avoid all but minimal contact with her family. Disgusted, she calls off the wedding.6.23) THE SPRINGFIELD CONNECTION

After he cons Homer, Marge chases down Snake, and gets him arrested. Finding the experience exhilarating, Marge enrolls in the police force. After passing the training course, Marge begins fighting crime. Initially Homer finds that being a “cop-husband” is good, but changes his mind when Marge arrests him for illegal parking and stealing her police hat. After he is released, Homer finds a jean-counterfeiting operation in his garage, led by Herman. As the group prepares to kill Homer, Marge saves him. Herman escapes and takes Homer hostage in Bart’s treehouse. Marge rescues him again, and Herman falls to the ground and is apprehended. After finding that the rest of the force is corrupt, Marge resigns.2.25) WHO SHOT MR. BURNS? – PART ONE

Springfield Elementary School strikes oil, and plans to spend elaborately. Mr. Burns finds out about the oil and establishes a slant drilling operation to take it for himself. As a result Moe’s Tavern is closed, the Springfield Retirement Home collapses, Bart’s treehouse is destroyed and Santa’s Little Helper is injured, and the school loses all of its money. Burns next decides to build a machine capable of blocking out the sun over Springfield. He fires a recalcitrant Smithers, and Homer vows revenge after Burns repeatedly fails to remember his name. After an emergency town meeting, Burns sets up the sun blocker, believing himself invincible. However, he is shot by an unidentified assailant, and collapses on the town’s sundial Everyone realizes that since Burns angered several people recently, just anyone could have been the assailant.

 

 

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REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1996)

CAST
Lou Ferrigno (Scorpion King 4)
Neal McDonough (Arrow0
Genie Francis (Roswell)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Luke Perry (The Fifth Element)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Matt Frewer (Taken)
Mark Hamill (Star wars)
Thom Barry (Cold Case)
Doran Harewood (Earth: Final Conflict)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Michael Horse (Roswell)
Cree Summer (Inspector Gadget)
Lisa Zane (Freddy’s Dead)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Simon Templeman (The Neighbors)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)

The 1996 Hulk cartoon started off great, the stories remained focused on the green savage Hulk, the army chasing the hulk, and Banner’s relationship with Betty Ross. The art style is pretty good but the animation is jerky which means it has a low frame rate. The 1982 Hulk cartoon had better art and animation. The second season introduced the Grey Hulk and She-Hulk which quickly turned this cartoon to garbage. I never liked the grey Hulk in the comics and I stop buying Hulk comics in the late 1980s because of it. The grey hulk wasn’t savage and talked way too much. The Hulk is supposed to be a brute savage, the extreme opposite of Banner’s personality and to hear the Hulk talk like he has a college education just doesn’t work.

The She-Hulk should have only appeared in one episode. The writers somehow got the impression that the Hulk couldn’t carry a show by himself (even though he carried a comic series by himself for thirty years). So they rename the show “The Hulk and She-Hulk”… big mistake. She-Hulk has the same problem the grey Hulk has, she talks way too much and gets too much screen time. A better idea (maybe) would have been to have a spin off cartoon for She-Hulk. Anyway watch the first season episodes and forget the rest.

 

REVIEW: THE FIFTH ELEMENT

CAST

Bruce Willis (Sin City)
Gary Oldman (Batman Begins)
Ian Holm (The Hobbit)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
Chris Tucker (Rush Hour)
Luke Perry (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Brion James (BLade Runner)
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister (Jackie Brown)
Lee Evans (There’s Something About Mary)
John Neville (Odyssey 5)

In 1914, aliens known as Mondoshawans arrive at an ancient Egyptian temple to collect, for safekeeping, the only weapon capable of defeating a great evil that appears every 5,000 years. The weapon consists of four stones, representing the four classical elements, and a sarcophagus containing a fifth element in the form of a human, which combines the power of the other four elements into a divine light capable of defeating the evil. The Mondoshawans promise their human contact, a priest from a secret order, that they will come back with the element stones in time to stop the great evil when it returns.

In 2263, the great evil appears in deep space in the form of a giant ball of black fire, and destroys an attacking Earth spaceship. The Mondoshawans’ current contact on Earth, priest Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm), informs the President of the Federated Territories (Tom Lister Jr.) of the history of the great evil and the weapon that can stop it. As the Mondoshawans return to Earth they are ambushed by Mangalores, a race hired by the industrialist Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman), who has been instructed by the great evil to acquire the stones.

The Mondoshawans’ spacecraft is destroyed, though the stones are not on board; the only item recovered is a hand of The Fifth Element. Scientists take it to a New York City laboratory and use it to reconstruct a humanoid woman who takes the name Leeloo (Milla Jovovich). Terrified of the unfamiliar surroundings, she escapes confinement and jumps off a ledge, crashing into the flying taxicab of Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), a former major in the special forces.

Dallas delivers Leeloo to Cornelius and his apprentice, David (Charlie Creed-Miles), whereupon Cornelius learns that the Mondoshawans entrusted the four element stones to the alien Diva Plavalaguna (Maïwenn Le Besco), an opera singer. Zorg kills many of the Mangalores because of their failure to obtain the stones, but their compatriots determine to seize the artifacts for themselves. Upon learning from the Mondoshawans that the stones are in Plavalaguna’s possession, General Munro (Brion James), Dallas’ former superior, recommissions Dallas and orders him to travel undercover to meet Plavalaguna on a luxury intergalactic cruise; Dallas takes Leeloo with him. Meanwhile, Cornelius instructs David to prepare the ancient temple designed to house the stones, then stows away on the space plane transporting Dallas to the cruise liner.

Plavalaguna is killed when the Mangalores attack the ship, but Dallas succeeds in retrieving the stones. During his struggle with the Mangalores he kills their leader. After shooting and seriously wounding Leeloo, Zorg finds a carrying case which he presumes contains the stones, and takes it back to his spacecraft, leaving behind a time bomb that forces the liner’s occupants to evacuate. Discovering the case to be empty, Zorg returns to the ship and deactivates his bomb, but a dying Mangalore sets off his own device, destroying the ship and killing Zorg. Dallas, Cornelius, Leeloo, and talk-show host Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) escape with the stones aboard Zorg’s spacecraft.

The four join up with David at the weapon chamber in the Egyptian temple as the great evil approaches. They activate the stones, but having witnessed and studied so much violence, Leeloo has become disenchanted with humanity and refuses to cooperate. Dallas confesses his love for Leeloo and kisses her. In response, Leeloo combines the power of the stones and releases the divine light; the great evil, now dormant, becomes another moon in Earth orbit.Luc Besson has created a visually stunning piece of work. The cinematography is vibrant and colourful and the costumes (designed by Jean Paul Gaultier) have to be seen to be believed; the special effects are of the quality you would expect and add to the whole experience. This is a fast paced movie that grabs you and doesn’t let go from start to finish.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 1-5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Lori Alan (Wall-E)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Billy West (Futurama)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Alex Rocco (The Simpsons)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous)
Charles Durning (The Sting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Victoria Principal (Blind Witness)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Sam Waterson (Law & Order)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Norm MacDonald (Billy Madison)
Candice Bergman (Gandhi)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Faith Ford (Hope & Faith)
Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Jay Mohr (Cherry Falls)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Gary Cole (One Hour Photo)
Luke Perry (The Fifth Element)
Adam Carolla (Wreck-It Ralph)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Thomas Dekker (Terminator: TSCC)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Leif Garrett (The Outsiders)
June Foray (Mulan)
Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly)
Ron Jeremy (Orgazmo)
Alyssa Milano (Charmed)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Estelle Harris (3rd Rock From The Sun)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacet)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Valerie Bertinelli (Hot In Cleveland)
Tony Danza (Who’s The Boss?)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peter Riegert (The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Judd Hirsch (The Big Bang Theory)
Indigo (Weeds)
Stacey Scowley (Dollhouse)
Jane Carr (Treasure Planet)
Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Jessica Biel (Stealth)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Gabrielle Union (Flashforward)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Sherman Hemsley (Lois & Clark)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carol Channing (The Love Boat)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Kate Jackson (Charlies Angels)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Chad Morgan (Pearl Harbor)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)

Out of the small animation boom that happened several years ago came “Family Guy”, one of the most hilarious and controversial shows that Fox has aired

For those unfamiliar with the show, it focuses on the Griffin family, residents of Quahog, Rhode Island. Peter (creator Seth MacFarlane) is the heavy-drinking father who works in a toy factory, Lois (Alex Borstein of “Mad TV”) is the calm leader, Meg (Mila Kunis of “That 70’s Show” and Lacey Chabert for the earlier episodes) is the insecure daughter, Chris (Seth Green) the chubby and dim-witted son, Brian (MacFarlane) is the alcoholic dog who talks and Stewie (creator Seth MacFarlane earned an Emmy for his voice work on the character) is the diabolical baby who is bent on world domination.The first two volumes of the show on DVD offers both the first season and half of the second seasons of the show and gives viewers who missed it another chance to witness some of “Family Guy”‘s most brilliant moments. “E. Peterbus Unum” has Peter breaking off from Quahog to form his own country when he finds out that his house is a blank spot on the map. When confronted after breaking the law, he gets out of it due to diplomatic immunity (“like that guy in ‘Lethal Weapon 2′”, says Peter). “The Son Also Draws” has Peter and Chris going on a Vision Quest when they lose their car at an Indian casino. When the trees start chatting with Peter, he asks, “If one of you falls, and no one’s around, does it make a noise?” The tree responds, “Are you kidding? Scott fell last week, and he hasn’t shut up about it since.” In “Death Is a Bitch”, Death (voiced by Norm MacDonald) comes after Peter after he fakes death to get out of paying his hospital bill. When Death sprains his ankle, Peter has to take over. “Da Boom” has the family searching for food (they dismiss a potential house after they find out Randy Newman is there, singing about everything he sees) after information hears about the world nearly coming to an end after Y2K turns out to be true.

“Family Guy” remained remarkably politically incorrect throughout its original run, but most of the jokes were rolling-on-the-floor funny because they were throwaway, including one exchange between Peter and Brian: “Brian, there’s a message in my Alpha Bits. It says “OOOOOO”!”. “Peter, those are Cheerios.” Every episode of the show was packed with such minor gags, most of which were successful and unexpected. The show’s voice talent, especially MacFarlane, Kunis and Green, handled the material with perfect comedic timing.

This second DVD volume of the series includes second half of season two and all of third season of the series, along with the controversial episode, “Wish Upon a Weinstein”, where Peter tries to get Chris to become Jewish because he believes he’ll be successful if he does. The plots of season three still get laughs fairly often, although I don’t think they reach the inspired heights of earlier episodes, such as the one where Peter’s house became its own country or lead his family towards a twinkie factory after the apocalypse.

Still, there are certainly some highlights throughout many of the episodes. In “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father…Brother?” Peter takes Chris to an Irish Heritage Museum to learn more about his heritage, where both find out that, before alcohol, Ireland was a futuristic utopia. “Mr. Saturday Knight” has Peter working at Quahog’s Renaissance Faire as a jouster when his boss accidentally dies at dinner. His competition is the Black Knight, brilliantly voiced by Will Farrell. “Thin White Line” and “Brian Does Hollywood” have Brian overdoing his new job as drug sniffing police dog, then running off to Hollywood and ending up with a job directing porn (at the adult awards in the episode, John Williams is one of the composers nominated for Best Original Score). In “Lethal Weapons”, Peter uses Lois’s newfound fighting skills to drive out New Yorkers who come up to Rhode Island just to stare at the leaves changing color.

Rude, crude and often hilarious, “Family Guy” saw fit to offend just about every group, but did so in a way that was sharp, funny and wonderfully absurd.Often brilliant, extremely witty and darkly hilarious, “Family Guy” was unfortunately cancelled after season three Fox bumped it around six or seven different time slots. Although this third season wasn’t as consistent as the first two, it’s still hilarious and fans of the show should definitely pick up this terrific set. thankfully a few years later the show would return for a fourth and become a constant.

Back on the air after an unprecedented un-cancellation, “Family Guy” had a slight bit of leeway in its return. Fans were rabid for some new episodes, while the network that had cancelled it once wasn’t likely to do so again and risk being considered foolish twice-over. As a result, there was a chance to experiment and try something new, and expand the horizons of the show. Or, they could choose to keep doing the same thing they did before, which is exactly the choice they made.

In a way, it was the smart choice. Why mess with a good thing, when you could keep making the kind of show the fans fell in love with and bought rapidly on DVD. The un-PC content is still in place, along with the pop-culture references, cut-aways and nonsensical characters. Call-backs to old favorites, like Herbert the old molester and the evil monkey were good, but the shows tended to settle into ruts. A love of musicals is appreciated, but is it funny every time a character breaks into song, as in “Jungle Love”

This set has some very good episodes in this set, starting with “Petarded,” which sees Peter declared mentally retarded. The ways he takes advantage of this status is classic “Family Guy” material, while the musical montage here, involving phone calls all over town, is actually quite funny. Plus, the appearance of the Greased-Up Deaf Guy gave hope that the creators still had that sense of the bizarre in them.

But if any moment stands out among this run, it’s the supermarket scene in “Breaking Out is Hard to Do.” When Chris is pulled into the “Take On Me” video by A-Ha, it’s a perfect blend of what this show does best, combining nonsense, the ’80s and some neat animation. The lead-in, the punchline and the execution of the whole scene is handled so well that it might be one of the show’s most memorable ever.If there’s a real reason for fans of the show to own this set, it’s provided in the extras. According to the commentaries, there are scenes included that were produced for the show that the creators knew would be cut, but did them with the intent of including them on DVD. I’m not certain what scenes were added, but there are several lines that would have been questionable for network TV. Also included are uncensored audio tracks that were bleeped on TV. It’s certainly a welcome change having the series presented as they were intended, instead of chopped up as so many shows are on DVD.

Among the 14 episodes in this set is a number of funny moments, normally involving either Lois or Chris, though neither enjoys a spotlight episode. Instead, Peter powers a couple of inspired shows, starting with “PTV,” a sharp rebuttal of the FCC’s assault on broadcast standards. As a fan of entertainment for adults, the crippling of language by the government certainly needs to be skewered. Peter’s revolutionary instincts crop up again in “The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz.” It delivers an entertaining parody of religion, as Peter forms a faith based around Henry Winkler’s “Happy Days” character, with about as valid a basis as most religions.
comedy. There’s some good stuff in here, culled from the 14 episodes, including some subplots that were cut. They are joined by three featurettes that look behind the scenes of the show. The first is a simple one, as supervising director Peter Shin shows how to draw Stewie. Straightforward, but a bit interesting. “A Director’s Life: Debunking the Myth” spends almost 15 minutes looking at the job of the directors on the show, explaining in detail what they do to make the series go. It’s rather good and shows how much goes into making animation.

I enjoy sitting down with a set of “Family Guy” episodes, thanks to the voices and rather lush animation, another great set thou some fans might be confused with the season box sets not watching the actual seasons but once you figure out the numbering its

REVIEW: BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1992)


CAST

Kristy Swanson (Phantom)
Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins)
Luke Perry (The Fitfth Element)
Michele Abrams (Junior)
Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
Paris Vaughan (Laker Girls)
David Arquette (Scream)
Randall Batinkoff (Kick-Ass)
Stephen Root (Finding Nemo)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend)
Candy Clark (Zodiac)
Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Alexis Arquette (Xena)

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High school senior Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) is introduced as a stereotypical, shallow cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles. She is a carefree popular mean girl whose main concerns are shopping and spending time with her rich, snooty friends and her boyfriend, Jeffrey. While at school one day, she is approached by a man who calls himself Merrick (Donald Sutherland). He informs her that she is The Slayer, or Chosen One, destined to kill vampires, and he is a Watcher whose duty it is to guide and train her. She initially rebukes his claims, but is convinced that he is right when he is able to describe a recurring dream of hers in detail. In addition, Buffy is exhibiting uncanny abilities not known to her, including heightened agility, senses, and endurance, yet she repeatedly tries Merrick’s patience with her frivolous nature and sharp-tongued remarks.Image result for buffy movie
After several successful outings, Buffy is drawn into conflict with Lothos (Rutger Hauer), a local vampire king and his acolyte, Amilyn (Paul Reubens). Two young men, Oliver Pike (Luke Perry), and best friend Benny (David Arquette), who resented Buffy and her friends due to differing social circles, are out drinking when they are attacked by Amilyn. Benny is turned but Pike is saved by Merrick. As a vampire, Benny visits Pike and tries to get him to join him. Later, when Pike and his boss are discussing Benny, Pike tells him to run if he sees him. Not only this, but a studious girl from Buffy’s class, Cassandra, is abducted one night by Amilyn and sacrificed to Lothos. When her body is found, the news spreads through LA and Hemery High, but her murder is met with indifference from Buffy’s clique.

When Pike realizes there is something wrong with Benny and that he is no longer safe, he decides to leave town. His plan is thwarted, however, when he encounters Amilyn and his tribe of vampires. Amilyn hitches a ride on the hood of his van which crashes into a tree just before Amilyn loses an arm. Buffy and Merrick arrive to rescue him and Amilyn flees the fight to talk to Lothos. After this encounter, Buffy and Pike start a friendship, which eventually becomes romantic and Pike becomes Buffy’s partner in fighting the undead.

During a basketball game, Buffy finds out that one of the players, and a friend of Jeffrey’s, is a vampire. After a quick chase to a parade float storage yard, Buffy finally confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Pike take down his gang. Lothos puts Buffy in a hypnotic trance, which is broken due to Merrick’s intervention. Lothos turns on Merrick and impales him with the stake he attempted to use on him. Lothos leaves, saying that Buffy is not ready. As Merrick dies, he tells Buffy to do things her own way rather than live by the rules of others and he says “remember about the music.” Because of her new life, responsibilities, and heartbreak, Buffy becomes emotionally shocked and starts dropping her Slayer duties. When she arrives at school, she attempts to explain everything to her friends, but they refuse to understand her as they are more concerned with their upcoming school dance, and Buffy falls out with them as she realizes she is outgrowing their immature, selfish behavior.

At the senior dance, Buffy tries to patch things up with her friends but they turn against her, and she is dismayed to find Jeffrey has dumped her for one of her friends. However, she meets up with Pike and as they start to dance and kiss, Lothos leads the remainder of his minions to the school and attacks the students and the attending faculty. Buffy confronts the vampires outside while Pike fights the vampiric Benny. After overpowering the vampires, she confronts Lothos inside the school and kills Amilyn. Lothos hypnotizes Buffy again and when the dance music stops, she remembers Merrick’s words and is ready to defend herself and fight. Lothos ignites her cross but she uses hairspray to create a makeshift flame-thrower and burns him before escaping back into the gym. Buffy sees everybody recover from the attack, but Lothos emerges again getting into a fight with Buffy, who then stakes him.

As all of the survivors leave, Buffy and Pike decide to finish their dance. The film then ends with the two of them leaving the dance on a motorcycle, and a news crew interviewing the students and the principal about the attack during the credits.

Image result for buffy movieThe movies biggest flaw is that it spawned such an incredible television series. Supposedly Fox convinced Buffy scribe Joss Whedon to tone down the horror elements and crank up the comedy a few notches, and the end result is a movie that’s neither particularly funny nor particularly scary.  The pacing is decent, and it’s engaging enough. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is decidedly average. Though it rarely approaches the brilliance of the long-running television series, fans of the show may find this disc worth a purchase out of curiosity if nothing else.