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  1. #1
    Attebery's Avatar
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    Default 'The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season' - High-Def Digest Review

    Our review of 'The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season' has just been posted. Aaron says this season still leaves him laughing. This Blu-ray set features some strange video issues (read that section carefully), but audio and extras are great. Recommended.

    Full review here:
    http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3398/simpsons_13.html
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  2. #2
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    Great review Aaron, but I am confused about the 'rumors' comment. The footage is clearly upconverted...although I believe it could have been released in HD had they gone back and rescanned the original production cells.
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  3. #3
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    Simpsons fans are lacking, where is the pages upon pages of posts debating when exactly the show stopped being good (for me 10th Season) and random Simpson quotations being thrown around?

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    so the blu-ray has the same menu as the dvd? thanks, i was very curious about that. they've been doing those same animated menus since season 5 or 6 and i love them. its cool how just by looking at the animation and the things the characters in line are doing and are dressed like, you can tell which episodes are on that disc. well if youre a big fan who knows the show well. lol

    but i was curious to know if they would created new menus for the blu-ray version so thanks for answering that one. :P i bought the blu-ray for Season 20 but had already decided to stick to dvd for the non-HD years. partly so my collection isnt split up and partly because i'm anal that way. lol

    if the first half of Season 20 is any sign, Seasons 14 and up on blu should look pretty darn good. but i'll still stick to the dvd versions. lol but i am very surprised and glad to see a positive review. the old broken record of "simpsons sucks from this point on..." gets very old and tired. i realize thats just personal opinion but yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bouncy X View Post
    if the first half of Season 20 is any sign, Seasons 14 and up on blu should look pretty darn good. but i'll still stick to the dvd versions. lol but i am very surprised and glad to see a positive review. the old broken record of "simpsons sucks from this point on..." gets very old and tired. i realize thats just personal opinion but yeah.
    Funny thing is, this is about when I came BACK to the Simpsons. I loved it for the first 3 or 4 years, watching it religiously, then died off. It was probably around season 13 or so that I came back. I have it as a Netflix rental at the moment, and if the quality is any good, I may start picking these up. The reruns they show on the local WB are HORRIBLE in quality and practicly unwatchable. I don't remember them looking that bad on Fox.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
    Simpsons fans are lacking, where is the pages upon pages of posts debating when exactly the show stopped being good (for me 10th Season) and random Simpson quotations being thrown around?
    Well, it started going downhill around Season 10. There are some good episodes up to Season 13. I believe Season 13 is the season with Stan Lee. That episode is flat out hilarious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
    Simpsons fans are lacking, where is the pages upon pages of posts debating when exactly the show stopped being good (for me 10th Season) and random Simpson quotations being thrown around?
    I don't have the energy to have a long winded debate, again, like I did at bluray.com's tv section over when / why / where the show stopped being witty, to it becoming like a tradition that can only be honored. With the Simpsons Brand (yes, it's a brand moreso than a TV show) establishing itself around the 10th season, the show runners (not Groening cuz he was off launching Futurama) had come to the conclusion the Simpsons adult fans--the ones who were around since the Tracy Ullman shorts--were going to quit watching and in 'desperation' felt that making slapstick the main aspect of the show would help win over a newer, younger fan base. So, 12 years ago, a guy named Mike Scully took over the show and in a radio interview he even stated he felt the humor was above the heads of his children and he loved Homer when he was at his dumbest and most obnoxious. This was the beginning of the end of the 'smart' Simpsons and the start of the slapstick, dumbass era of the show. Combined with the relaunch of the merchandising Juggernaut (remember the World of Springfield talking figures?) was underway.

    Of course the internet folks weren't happy with this (are they ever?), but in this case the writing staff who was in the process of dumbing the show down decided to mock the nerds with the comic book guy so no one would take them seriously. But if you think about, internet snark is no reason to suck at your job, right? IMO, I'd give the writers around S10-12 some slack had they been the original writers who were there for at least 7-10 years who might be just getting burned out, but these hacks were only hired a year or two before the debacle known as the next 12 seasons ensued. Happily, they were hired to write (and take credit for) a show that was already established. At this point they couldn't screw it over too badly, even if they wanted to, but since by the 12th season, the Simpsons had established itself as an unquestionable tradition and anyone who questioned it's greatness was either a 'hater', or a shut in 39yr old who lives with his parents. Sadly, the sentiment of the show being a 'tradition' or "institution' now was more important than the quality of the episodes being produced. Just read this snippet in the S13 review:

    "I'll always be a fan of 'The Simpsons,' even if they do rehash old plot lines every once and a while. It's the only show on TV that I don't ever want to end. It seems like 'The Simpsons' should continue on forever. As long as Americans watch TV we should indeed have the Simpsons to keep us company. Basking in their warm yellow glow has always been some of the funniest and most clever entertainment television has had to offer. The 13th season, to me, is some of their best work. Here's hoping to a long life for America's favorite yellow family."

    'sigh' I remember back around 1999/2000 when a fan of Homer's bumbling fatass was praising the mess known as the (Mike) Scully Era, he said a more inept phrase like the one above: "The Simpsons is like Sex--even when it's bad it's good!"

    Mike Reiss, one of the original Simpsons writers said: "The Simpsons change the way people change. Think of your grandparents. The either get boring or crazy and weird. I like to think ‘The Simpsons’ has gotten crazy and weird."

    I’m sure Mr. Reiss meant “crazy and weird” in only the most positive way, but it’s not a good comparison. This is especially true when you consider that, when The Simpsons (ie the first 9 seasons* ) was still on the air, old people got it worse than any other group. Tacitly comparing the show to Grandpa Simpson is an admission of defeat, isn’t it? It means you’ve become everything you used to mock.

    Everybody tolerates Grandpa, but nobody goes out of their way to spend time with him. And secretly they’re all just waiting for the clock to run out. That’s a pretty good description of Zombie Simpsons* , and it’s not the least bit flattering or positive. We just want it to end so we can remember the good times instead of the sickly shadow that messes itself once per week. But if the best defense he has is comparing Zombie Simpsons to the doddering remains of a once vibrant person, well, that kinda says it all.

    * - Seasons 10 and up of the Simpsons. It's called Zombie Simpsons because it has no heart, no brains and refuses to die.

  8. #8
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    Personally, I'd rather watch an episode from series 1-10 for the 25th time than watch one of the new episodes once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacrobat View Post
    Personally, I'd rather watch an episode from series 1-10 for the 25th time than watch one of the new episodes once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacrobat View Post
    Personally, I'd rather watch an episode from series 1-10 for the 25th time than watch one of the new episodes once.
    Yeah, I own Seasons 1 - 10 on DVD and every now and again I'll get into a Simpsons mood and just run through one of those seasons over the course of a week or so. Each time, I'll find something new that either has been copied by a show that came after (including The Simpsons themselves).

    There really is nothing like Seasons 1 -10 of The Simpsons, some of the wittiest, most observant television in history. The rare times I catch a recent episode, it is just disappointing. I once heard someone (I think it was Bill Simmons) go on about how Kurt Cobain's suicide was the best thing to happen to Nirvana, it made them the legends they are today because they never got the chance to sell out or ruin themselves (sort of like James Dean theory). The Simpsons are just rolling themselves out there as former shadows of themselves, like when once great bands replace what made them good (Jim Morrison in the Doors) and tour still calling themselves by the same name (I'm looking at you Ray Manzarek)
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  11. #11
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    I think it's a good bet that the majority of people who were Simpsons fans from the beginning (my Dad actually woke me up to come downstairs and watch "Bart the Genius" for the first time when I was 9 - he has a keen eye for good pop culture) would probably say that it went downhill at Season 10 - and that's just to give it a round number - personally nothing about Season 10 really stands out for me, and though Season 9 has a few really good episodes (New York City, Trash Commissioner, Energy Bar) there's a fair amount of mehs. Go to imdb and check it out - Season 8 and earlier are pretty much nothing but hits (though the first couple seasons don't REALLY do it for me anymore either).

    I think I can pretty easily choose Season 4 as my absolute favourite - Mr. Plow, Homer the Heretic, Duff Gardens, fucking Bigger Brothers ("Do you have him in blonde?") - all Top 10 episodes for me.

    Seems to be a generational thing - talking to my brother-in-law who's younger me about it and to him there's great episodes all through the teens and into the present - I guess maybe it has to do with what you're initially exposed to.

  12. #12
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    Great quote and I love that episode.
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    Bigger brothers is a top 3-5 of mine as well, lol

    I don't know, I still enjoy the show, but thoroughly agree there was huge departure from the first 9-10 seasons and thereafter

  14. #14
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    Every Simpsons episode is worth rewatching. Howeve, I will admit, Seasons 3-6 are the best, while 7-10 are the low point of the show. However, it started going back uphill at 12 and Seasons 19-21 have been golden.

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    I miss all the Phil Hartman characters like Troy Mcclure and Lionel Hutz. The best "documentary" ever made was Meat and You: Partners in Freedom about the cattle industry. Also, the best musical was Planet of the Apes
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