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20TH CENTURY FOX

MOVIE INFO
Director:
Various
Cast:
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Marcia Wallace, Russi Taylor
Screenplay:
Various

MPAA:
Not Rated.

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Standard 1.33:1
4-Disc set
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Surround
French Dolby Surround
Subtitles:
English, Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 506 min.
Price: $49.98
Release Date: 8/6/2002

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary by Matt Groening and Others
• Awards Show Clips
• Two Muisic Videos
• Interview With Matt Groening and James L. Brooks
• “Creation of an Episode”
• Butterfinger Commercials
• “Art of The Simpsons
• Foreign Language Clips


PURCHASE
DVD

Search Products:

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

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The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson

As I noted in my review of The Simpsons: The Complete First Season, I initially disliked the series. However, I succumbed to its charms during its second year and have remained a fan ever since then.

Though clearly a lot of people loved the show back then, current fans tend to look down upon most of those first couple of years. In the case of Season One, much of the disdain makes sense. As my examination of the DVD set established, that season included a fair number of good moments, but its creators hadn’t gotten into a real groove yet; the characters and situations still needed to find themselves.

Some vestiges of that awkwardness remain during Season Two, but I think the people who feel that year doesn’t merit their time will miss out on a lot of good stuff. Perhaps some of my affection remains sentimental, since these are the episodes that made me a fan, but I think that explains only part of my fondness. Season Two included “Itchy and Scratchy and Marge”, which remains one of my all-time faves, and it featured an awful lot of additional shows that continue to work well.

Rather than idly gripe, I’ll just dig into the programs that make up Season Two of The Simpsons. In their original broadcast order, I’ll look at each show individually to document the lows, the highs, and the creamy middles. I’ll also mention each program’s production number; that information reveals that the shows weren’t always played in the order in which they were made. Lastly, I’ll toss in a fun line from each episode; the quotes won’t always be me absolute favorite, but they’ll provide tidbits I find to be amusing that seem to work in the written context.

DVD ONE:

Bart Gets an “F” (aired October 11, 1990, #7F03): Though the third episode created for Season Two, “F” ran first for one strong reason: it heavily featured Bart (voiced by Nancy Cartwright). After the show’s huge success during its first season, Fox took a bold move - and one opposed by the series’ principals - and shifted it from its Sunday night time slot to Thursdays at 8 PM, a domain dominated by The Cosby Show. Since Bart enjoyed the greatest popularity at the time, the Fox bigwigs wanted to start their daring duel with a bang, so we began the series’ first full season with “F”. (Season One only consisted of 13 episodes, which made it barely half a season.)

In this show, we see Bart’s pathological avoidance of schoolwork. Eventually he strikes a deal with class brainiac Martin Prince (Russi Taylor) for his help; he teaches Martin to be popular for his tutoring. Martin eventually reneges, so Bart literally prays for snow when he needs to avoid the exam. Miraculously, this works, but Bart tries to ignore the message from God and goes to play. Stern sister Lisa (Yeardley Smith) nags him to heed the sign from above, and Bart reluctantly does so; he spends the afternoon with his books. Unfortunately, this makes no difference, as he still fails. Happily, in his despair, Bart makes an obscure reference that causes his teacher Mrs. Krabappel (Marcia Wallace) to give him an extra point to warrant a passing “D-“. Thus Bart won’t have to repeat fourth grade.

“F” started Season Two with a fairly mediocre episode. The show displayed no substantial flaws, though it felt more like a remnant of Season One. The series still hadn’t quite come together, especially due to the portrayal of the characters; they seem a little “off” here. Overall, “F” is reasonably entertaining but not special; it’s definitely not the worst of the year, but it’s much closer to the bottom than the top.

Representative line: Homer: “Ooh, I hate that icky soup skin!”

After the lackluster “F”, Simpson and Delilah (aired October 18, 1990, episode 7F02) marked a significant improvement. Homer (Dan Castellaneta) laments his baldness and pursues a miracle cure: Dimoxinil. He obtains this via insurance fraud and his life suddenly improves for the better. Mr. Burns (Harry Shearer) promotes Homer to the executive level, where he succeeds due to the assistance of his new secretary Karl (Harvey Fierstein). Eventually, a jealous Smithers (Shearer) discovers the theft and gets Burns to fire Homer, except Karl takes the bullet for him. After Bart wastes the remaining Dimoxinil, Homer quickly goes bald again and discovers that no one listens to him. He soon returns to the ranks of the common worker, which upsets him, but Marge reminds him to appreciate his simple life.

I won’t call “Delilah” a great episode, but it certainly offers an entertaining one. A lot of the spark comes from Fierstein’s excellent turn as Karl. I don’t know why the show’s producers couldn’t think up a better name - we already have Homer’s co-worker Carl - but Karl still provides a forceful and well-integrated character. Castellaneta also gives us one of his top performances to date. The show packs a lot of good little moments into its running time and seems quite solid; it’s definitely one of Season Two’s better episodes.

Representative line: TV Announcer for Dimoxinil: “For your free brochure, send $5 to Dimoxinil, 485 Hair Plaza, Hair City, Utah.”

For the series’ first-ever Halloween, we get the series’ first-ever Halloween episode. Launching what would become an annual tradition, Treehouse of Horror (aired October 25, 1990, episode 7F04) splits into three smaller storylines. “Bad Dream House” sends the Simpsons to a new home - a haunted one that wants to torment them but eventually destroys itself rather than live with the family. In “Hungry Are the Damned”, aliens kidnap the Simpsons, apparently to eat them, but it all turns out to be a big misunderstanding. Lastly, “The Raven” retells the Poe classic with Homer in the lead and Bart as the offending bird.

It may be first, but it isn’t best. During this episode’s audio commentary, the show personnel discuss how tough it is to come up with new themes for these episodes, but they really got much better as the years progressed. The first few “THOH” programs were mediocre at best, and this one seems no stronger than that. “The Raven” comes across as pretentious and pointless, while the other two are more entertaining; “Damned” seems like the best of the bunch. Still, they never surpass the level of decent but unspectacular.

Representative line: Lisa: “It chose to destroy itself rather than live with us. You can’t help but feel a little rejected.”

Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish (aired November 1, 1990, episode 7F01) bounces back from the bland “Treehouse”. Bart discovers a three-eyed fish, a mutation that results from nuclear waste. Mr. Burns gets ordered to implement $56 worth of repairs and seeks to change the system from within: he decides to run for governor. The show watches his campaign, with an emphasis on the feud between Marge (Julie Kavner) and Homer due to their difference of opinions in regard to the candidates.

”Eyes” took an unusual approach for an early show, as it focused largely on a secondary character. One could argue that Season One’s “Krusty Gets Busted” did the same, but “Eyes” provided a heavier emphasis on Burns than that prior program did Krusty. This helped make “Eyes” a fairly good episode. It fleshed out Burns’ character a little better and gave us a reasonably entertaining experience. “Eyes” fell short of greatness, but it worked nicely for the most part.

Representative line: Homer: “Oh, Marge, what’s the big deal? I bet before the papers blew this out of proportion, you didn’t even know how many eyes a fish had.”

Dancin’ Homer (aired November 8, 1990, episode 7F05) was even better. During power plant night at the local minor league ballpark, Homer gets drunk and puts on a show that helps rally the home team. The owner of the Isotopes offers Homer a gig as the team’s mascot, and they soon take off in the standings. Eventually “Dancin’ Homer” gets a shot at the big leagues, where he’ll alternate with mascot legend, The Capital City Goofball (Tom Poston). However, Dancin’ Homer flops and heads back home.

Probably the best episode so far this year, “Homer” offered a consistently satisfying show. Like the better programs, it packed a lot of action into its 23 minutes, as Homer’s saga took on a near epic feeling. It also contained more wonderfully bizarre asides than usual at this point in the series’ run. From the Rastafarians who appear in the crowd when Homer performs to a reggae-tinged version of “Baby Elephant Walk” to the existence of the Players’ Ex-Wives section at the ballpark, “Homer” provided a fun and rich program.

One oddity: fans will remember the creepy character models used for extras in the first season. Those made a reappearance here, but unfortunately, not for the last time.

Representative line: Mr. Burns: “Take your mind off contaminants for one night and have a hot dog!”

Dead Putting Society (aired November 15, 1990, episode 7F08) continued Season Two’s run of good programs. When Homer feels unusually jealous of Flanders (Shearer), he forces Bart to try to salvage the family pride. He bets that Bart will win the local mini-golf tournament instead of Flanders’ son Todd (Cartwright). This puts pressure on Bart, who - to his own surprise - responds well, with the assistance of help from Lisa.

Considering what a prominent character Flanders became, it’s strange to realize that “Putting” was the first show to feature him heavily. He’d made some token appearances in the past - most notably in Season One’s “Call of the Simpsons” - bit “Putting” much more clearly defined the Ned we’d come to know and love. It also featured scads of good little bits and gags and seemed like a solid program.

Representative line: Bart: “I can’t believe it - you actually found a practical use for geometry!”

DVD TWO:

Bart Vs. Thanksgiving (aired November 22, 1990, episode 7F07) had the potential to be sappy and moralizing, but instead it offered another good show. The series’ first - and still only - Thanksgiving program, Bart’s misbehavior results in the destruction of the elaborate centerpiece created by Lisa. He refuses to apologize and gets sent to his room. He slips out the window and checks out how the less privileged live. At first this seems liberating, but Bart eventually misses his family, and he learns that he really does care about Lisa’s feelings.

That really does sound pretty sappy, but the show maintained a nicely irreverent tone most of the time - irreverent enough to make it amusing, at least. The interaction of the Simpson and Bouvier families at dinner was terrific, and Bart’s experiences on skid row made their point while they still managed to be pointed and clever. “Thanksgiving” was another winner.

Representative line: Marge’s mother: “I have laryngitis, and it hurts to talk. So I’ll just say one thing: you never do anything right.”

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bart the Daredevil (aired December 6, 1990, episode 7F06) offered another very good show. After the family attends a monster truck rally at which daredevil Captain Lance Murdock (Castellaneta) performs. Bart decides to gain popularity through his own stunts. Although he injures himself in the process and Homer forbids further escapades, Bart plans to risk life and limb with a leap across Springfield Gorge.

Any episode that starts with the brilliance that is Truckasaurus has to be good, and “Daredevil” definitely lived up to that billing. Along with the first appearance of Dr. Hibbert (Shearer), the program kept up a high level of material from beginning to end. It managed to offer a decent moral without much sappiness, and the actual conclusion was a great one. Again, “Daredevil” provided a consistently fine episode.

Representative line: Captain Lance Murdock: “Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world.”

“Daredevil” marked the fifth straight good episode since the mediocre “Treehouse”. I can’t call the next program good, because it’s not - it’s great! The best of Season Two, Itchy and Scratchy and Marge (aired December 20, 1990, episode 7F09) was the first program to convince me of the series’ potential. Maggie emulates an Itchy and Scratchy gag and busts Homer’s head with a mallet. Marge decides that cartoons are too violent. Her protests get I&S effectively removed from the air, an action that inaugurates a period during which the kids of Springfield develop interests outside of TV. However, when she won’t go along with other forms of censorship, she’s branded a hypocrite, and things go back to normal.

As I already noted, “Marge” directly prompted my heavy interest in The Simpsons, largely due to the hilarious “Porch Pals” I&S short. This clip showed the pair as they drank lemonade together, and it still seems nothing short of brilliant. The rest of the episode maintained a very high caliber of material, from the Marge-influenced squirrel in another I&S cartoon to Alex Rocco’s wonderfully surly turn as Roger Meyers, the head of I&S Studios. The program provided some of the best I&S shorts ever, and it even allowed Maggie to play an active role. “Marge” remains one of the series’ all-time great episodes.

Representative line: Homer: “You know, some of these stories are pretty good. I never knew mice led such interesting lives!”

Bart Gets Hit By a Car (aired January 10, 1991, episode 7F10) doesn’t quite match up to “Marge”, but it has its moments. Mr. Burns runs into Bart with his car, and Homer grows irate over his boss’ lack of substantial monetary compensation for the accident. Homer decides to sue Mr. Burns and enlists the aid of shyster Lionel Hutz (Phil Hartman). Marge doesn’t support this because it takes a dishonest approach, which leads to a conflict between her and Homer.

An episode of firsts, “Car” showed the initial appearances of Lionel Hutz and Dr. Nick Riviera (Hank Azaria) as well as a redefinition of Dr. Hibbert; he started to develop into the inappropriately jolly soul we now know, though he still came across as more sober in Season Two. It also provided a lot of great moments, especially in court when we heard the differing viewpoints of the accident offered by Bart and Mr. Burns. “Car” worked well and was consistently amusing and lively.

Trivia notes: In addition to Phil Hartman’s initial appearances on The Simpsons, “Car” is the first - and I think only - episode to show its name and program number at the start. According to its audio commentary, the show’s producers did this as a gag.

Representative line: Lionel Hutz: “Mr. Simpson, the state bar forbids me from promising you a big cash settlement. But just between you and me, I promise you a big cash settlement.”

I’m starting to wish for a bad episode just to break my string of unmitigated praise, but that won’t happen with One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (aired January 24, 1991, episode 7F11). After Lisa gripes about the boredom of the family’s cuisine, they give a local sushi spot a try. Despite his initial misgivings, Homer quickly learns to love the food and orders the delicacy known as fugu. However, this meal potentially may poison him, and it appears that Homer has only one day to live. The remainder of the program depicts Homer’s final moments.

Despite a potentially gimmicky tone, “Blowfish” provided a lot of fun moments along with a little emotional content as well. The show usually balanced sentimentality cleanly, and that occurred here; it avoided becoming too syrupy and featured just enough emotion to make an impact. It also contained some great bits, like Lisa and Bart’s Karaoke performance of “The Theme From Shaft”. It also ended on a hilarious and incisive note.

Representative line: Sushi restaurant hostess: “This is our Karaoke bar. Now it is empty, but soon it will be hopping with drunken Japanese businessmen.”

The series’ first-ever flashback episode, The Way We Was (aired January 31, 1991, episode 7F12) takes us back to the initial courtship of Marge and Homer. We watch how they met and see Homer’s attempts to woo Marge, which he blows due to too much honesty. This turns Marge toward Homer’s rival, class brain Artie Ziff (Jon Lovitz). However, he turns out to be a bum, and Homer eventually wins his queen.

I have a little trouble honestly evaluating “Was” because I’ve seen it so many times. For a while there, it seemed like every time I turned on a syndicated episode, this was the one they ran, so I got somewhat sick of it. Despite that, I still think it offered a fine program. In his first Simpsons role, Lovitz made Artie amusingly annoying, and the show captured the tone of the mid-Seventies with warmth and insight. The courtship seemed charming but not sappy, and the show worked well overall. Look for the first appearance of “McBain” as well as some period characters like Principal Dondelinger and Marge’s father. I don’t think the latter ever showed up again, whereas Dondelinger came around once or twice, and McBain became a semi-regular; we later got to know him as actor Ranier Wolfcastle.

Representative line: Grampa Simpson: “Oh, son, don’t overreach! Go for the dented car, the dead-end job, the less attractive girl!”

DVD THREE:

Homer Vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment (aired February 7, 1991, episode 7F13) showed Lisa in one of her self-righteous modes. When Homer gets the chance to snag an illegal cable hookup, he grabs it, and soon the family enjoys scads of channels for nothing. After a Sunday school lesson on the Eighth Commandment, Lisa becomes worried about the family’s immortal fate and urges them to behave more honestly. Homer resists.

In addition to the first appearance of Troy McClure (Hartman) and the initial “Hi everybody!” from Dr. Nick, “Commandment” helped establish the show’s reputation as a master lampooner of pop culture. The introduction of cable into the home allowed them to mock many different movies and other media outlets, and this helped make the episode very entertaining. It also worked in many other ways and offered a fine show.

Representative line: Mr. Burns: “I’m so keen on seeing Watson vs. Tatum II, I’d even go to an employee’s house. I can picture it now. The screen door rusting off its filthy hinges, mangy dogs staggering about looking vainly for a place to die.”

Principal Charming (aired February 14, 1991, episode 7F15) follows in the vein of “Three Eyes” in that it focuses largely on a secondary character. When Marge’s sister Selma (Kavner) wearies of her male-free existence, Marge forces Homer to search for a suitor. He ultimately selects Principal Skinner (Shearer), but a mistake occurs. Skinner falls for twin sister Patty (Kavner) instead, and the two become a hot item.

Many shows might have trouble concentrating on secondary characters like Skinner and Patty, but this episode worked nicely. Though the romantic tone could have become sappy, the program managed to stay on the right side of that equation, and it expanded the characters well. Note that “Charming” presented the first appearances of both Groundskeeper Willie and cult favorite Hans Moleman, though the latter has a different name here.

Representative line: Moe: “Homer, lighten up. You’re making happy hour bitterly ironic.”

During Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (aired February 21, 1991, episode 7F16), Grampa suffers from a near-death incident and reveals to Homer that he has a half-brother who went up for adoption before he met Homer’s mother. Homer seeks this sibling and eventually locates him in Detroit, where Herb Powell (Danny De Vito) turns out to be a major automotive tycoon. Herb gets to know the family while he puts Homer in charge of the design of a new car meant for the common man. Things end poorly.

Yup, it’s another solid episode. The introduction of Homer’s brother - especially with a big-name guest star - could have been gimmicky, but the concept fared nicely. De Vito brought spark to his part and made Herb fun and lively. The parts in which Homer developed his car were also hilarious and offered some of the show’s best bits. The program even showed some great little moments, like the hallmark Simpson five-o-clock shadow on infant Herb.

Representative line: Homer: “If I hear one more word, Bart doesn’t get to watch cartoons, and Lisa doesn’t go to college.”

Bart’s Dog Gets an “F” (aired March 7, 1991, episode 7F14) basically reworked the Bart-related episode and used a canine theme instead. Santa’s Little Helper displays consistently reprehensible behavior and goes to obedience school. However, he learns nothing there and Homer threatens to put him up for adoption unless he straightens up his act. Bart desperately tries to keep SLH in the family.

As the owner of a dog who - ahem - sometimes has her own behavioral issues, “Dog” hit home more than any other Season Two episodes. It presented an odd viewpoint, since SLH never behaved this badly in prior shows, but consistency never exactly was the hallmark of the series. Tracey Ullman offered a great performance as obedience school owner Emily Winthrop, as “Dog” provided yet another consistently fine show.

Representative line: Homer’s ad: “Free to loving home. World’s most brilliant dog. Says ‘I love you’ on command.”

The string had to end somewhere, and with Old Money (aired March 28, 1991, episode 7F17), we find easily the crummiest episode of Season Two. Actually, I’d call this clunker the only bad show of the year. Grampa meets Bea Simmons (Audrey Meadows) and they become close. However, Homer doesn’t believe she exists and forces Grampa to miss Bea’s birthday. By the time they return, Bea’s died, and Grampa becomes very mad at Homer. He also inherits all of his money, and Grampa spends the rest of the show figuring out what to do with it.

I guess “Money” wasn’t a truly terrible episode, as it included a few funny moments. However, it seemed like one of the sappiest Simpsons ever. The program became inundated with sentiment, and it did little to leaven that tide. In a generally strong season, “Old Money” stands out as the only real clunker.

”Old Money” provides our first-ever look at Professor Frink. It also remains the only episode during which all of the voice talent gets credited for their different characters, which is a nice touch; they should do that annually to better publicize their work.

Representative line: Herman: “Nothin’ says ‘I love you’ better than a military antique.”

Brush With Greatness (aired April 11, 1991, episode 7F18) adds to Marge’s character. After Homer gets stuck in a waterpark ride, he goes on a diet. As he looks for exercise equipment in the attic, he finds Marge’s teenage paintings of Ringo Starr. Lisa encourages Marge to take up her old hobby, and when she takes lessons from Professor Lombardo (Jon Lovitz), she demonstrates a real talent. Ultimately, she wins a contest and snares a commission to paint Mr. Burns, where she runs into a real test; she can find the inner beauty in her subjects, but it looks like Mr. Burns has none.

One indication of an episode’s quality comes from the ease with which I can select the “representative line”. Sometimes I find an abundance of choices, while others make it tough on me. “Brush” fell into the former category. From the opening at Mt. Splashmore through Homer’s diet and the unveiling of Mr. Burns’ controversial portrait, “Brush” packed a lot of great material. It also expanded Marge’s character in a pleasing way, as it avoided any semblance of sappiness; we needed a break from sentiment after “Old Money”. Overall, “Brush” provided a terrific episode.

“Brush” marked the series’ first-ever cameo by an ex-Beatle. In time, they’d snare all three then-living bandmembers. George Harrison appeared early in Season Five, and they finally got Paul McCartney to show up during Season Seven.

Representative line: Mt. Splashmore Theme Song: “I want to go to Mt. Splashmore! Take me, take me, take me, take me now! Now, now, now, now, now! Mt. Splashmore, take me there right now!”

DVD FOUR:

Lisa’s Substitute (aired April 25, 1991, episode 7F19) brought in a guest star even more famous than Ringo: Sam Etic! That’s a punny pseudonym for Dustin Hoffman; during the show’s first few years, some voice talent preferred to hide their identities, but the series’ producers eventually forbade that tactic. In any case, here Lisa meets a new teacher named Mr. Bergstrom (Etic), who fills in when Miss Hoover (Maggie Roswell) takes ill. He opens her mind and proves to be a terrifically positive influence, which only helps reinforce what a lout Homer can be. In the meantime, Bart runs for class president against Martin Prince.

Lisa episodes tend to be goopy, especially when Homer has to prove his love for her. “Substitute” seemed like a good show, however. If nothing else, you’d have to love a program that had Hoffman state “Mrs. Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?” The show offered many other good moments, and it helped expand the Lisa/Homer relationship neatly. The Bart’s election subplot punctured any sappiness that otherwise might have occurred. While not up to the level of “Brush”, “Substitute” still offered a fairly solid program. And it tossed in the first appearance of Ralph Wiggum, too!

Representative line: Bart: “More asbestos! More asbestos! More asbestos!”

We find trouble in paradise during The War of the Simpsons (aired May 2, 1991, episode 7F20). Homer makes a fool of himself when he gets drunk at a party, and Marge forces them to go to a couples’ relationship-building retreat. However, Homer cares more about fishing and landing prize catfish General Sherman. He risks the dissolution of his marriage as he sneaks out to go after the big fish.

The main concern with “War” stemmed from its start. The scenes at the party were so terrific that the episode could have tanked after that. Happily, it didn’t, as the show provided a consistently high level of entertainment. Between Homer’s excesses at marriage camp and the kids’ antics while Grampa watches them, the program packed in a ton of great gags.

More firsts: we get our initial glimpse at Snake. In addition, I think this show provides the first example of Nelson’s “Haw-haw!” However, here we get “haw-haw-haw”, so they hadn’t mastered the laugh yet.

Representative line: Otto: “Tell my friends? All right, but I’ve got some funky friends!”

Three Men and a Comic Book (aired May 9, 1991, episode 7F21) teaches us that working is for suckers. At a comic convention, Bart learns that he can purchase a copy of Radioactive Man #1 for $100. He tries to earn this the honest way via chores around the neighborhood, but that doesn’t add up too quickly. Eventually, he tells Martin and Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) that if they pool their money, they can buy the mag together. They do so but quickly encounter mutual jealousy and antagonism when it comes time to divide possession of the comic.

Of all Season Two’s Bart-focused episodes, only “Bart the Daredevil” offers competition with “Comic” as the best of the bunch. It’s a tough call, but I’ll take “Comic” in a squeaker. The show melds the series’ deft satirical tone with exceptional character development. Bart seems to grow especially strongly, and his psychological meltdown in the third act is hilarious. In a small role, Cloris Leachman shines as the ancient Mrs. Glick. “Comic” also provides our first-ever look at the Comic Book Guy, and it includes the show’s official bow of Bartman; that character appeared in merchandise during 1990, but he never made it to the series until this episode.

Representative line: Mrs. Glick: “A comic book? Boys never change! Which one is it - Nazi Smasher?”

Blood Feud (aired August 11, 1991, episode 7F22) again pitted Homer vs. Mr. Burns. ”Feud” seemed awfully reminiscent of “Bart Gets Hit By a Car” in that it created a conflict between Homer and his boss. Mr. Burns develops hypohemia and needs a transfusion to survive. Only Bart shares his rare type O-negative blood, and he donates this after Homer convinces him they’ll enjoy great riches as a reward. Burns stiffs them monetarily, which sends Homer on a mission of revenge that involves a nasty letter to his boss. Ultimately, they do receive a prize, but it might not live up to Homer’s expectations.

In many ways, “Feud” seemed more derivative than usual. Not only did it resemble parts of “Car”, but Homer’s attempts to regain the letter before Burns reads it appear reminiscent of an episode of The Flintstones. Despite those similarities, “Feud” still provided a very entertaining show. The program packed in a slew of hilarious moments, from Homer’s description of a Bible story to his visit to the post office. “Feud” offered a very good episode that ended the year on a high note.

One oddity about “Feud”: though technically part of Season Two, it appeared more than three months after the airing of the prior episode. Back in the early Nineties, Fox experimented with summer programming; Beverly Hills 90210 ran many new episodes in the summer in a successful attempt to gain a new audience. The Simpsons never spread as heavily into non-traditional timing, and this August episode appears to be the only new episode to originally air in June, July or August.

Representative line: Bart: “They always told me I was going to destroy the family, but I never believed it!”

Continue to the technical ratings...

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.2649 Stars Number of Votes: 117
905:
64:
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181:
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