HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Simpsons - Season 16
HTS Overall Score:78
It’s hard to deny that “The Simpsons” has been one of the longest running series of its type, surpassing most others for not only longevity, but creativity and loyal fan following as well. It’s very rare that I can say that I’ve seen a show since I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and STILL can turn on the TV every week and see a new episode airing. Matt Groening created a show in 1989 that most people thought wouldn’t last past a season or two, but has toughed it out to one of the most watched animated shows on television. The series has had its ups and downs, but it’s created a fan base that has grown up along with Marge, Bart and Homer and their crazy brand of humor has become a part of them just as we’ve become a part of their family. I still catch myself giving Nelson’s crazy taunting laugh when in a group of friends and Homer’s classic “Doh!” has become a cultural phenomenon. The show has started to lose to several of Seth McFarlane’s and the infamous Matt Stone and Trey Parker duo’s shows, and is in third place in it’s genre, but don’t forget that’s after its THIRD consecutive decade of straight comedy genius that this has happened. Even news outlets were announcing the death of Marcia Wallace, who voiced Edna Krabappel for over 181 episodes of the series over the course of 23 years, died this year. To say that the Simpsons has become a treasured piece of Television history is an understatement.
The 16 season was right around the high peak of the series before it started to dip heavily in the ratings systems. The series was still firing on all 4 cylinders and the jokes were coming at you fast and furious. The 16 season is more of the same old goodness that we’ve come to love and enjoy. Most shows would take than as an insult, trying to keep things fresh, but in this case it’s a compliment, the show has more of the same old jokes, hijinks and more of the same old gut busting laughter as a result. We have some serious issues where we deal with Bart’s growing up and having to deal with the different issues of children growing out of their formative years. Mr. Burns goes off on a healthcare denying binge in “Midnight Rx”, upsetting the entire town (kind of prophetic considering the issues at hand with the “affordable healthcare act” being the center of everyone’s attention at the moment) and of course Home is back to his old moneymaking antics and decides to become an Episcopalian minister in order to make a few bucks on the side.
The show has had one of the most loyal followings in TV history, not only with the fans, but with the voice actors. Many shows run quite a few years, and in that time period there is usually some voice actor changes, as actors want bigger and bigger Hollywood, or feel that they are too tied down doing one single job EVERY single year for years on end. “The Simpson’s” has had an INCREDIBLE run with all the major voice actors staying on for 25+ years of playing the same characters over and over, and not only just one, but usually MANY characters. I remember Hank Azaria having to take a short break and seriously considering quitting due to the strain that his vocal cords were under having to do the crazy voice of Mo and crew for decades. Dan Castellanata has made himself a legend for his portrayal of Homer and even though he does quite a lot of comedic work in other films, his claim to fame that EVERYONE knows him for is the lovable doofus known by his loving wife, Marge, as “Homie”.
The Episode Rundown is as follows
Treehouse Of Horror XV
All's Fair In Oven War
Sleeping With The Enemy
She Used To Be My Girl
Fat Man And Little Boy
Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass
There's Something About Marrying
On A Clear Day I Can't See My Sister
Goo Goo Gai Pan
The Seven-Beer Snitch
Don't Fear The Roofer
The Heartbroke Kid
A Star Is Torn
Thanks God It's Doomsday
Home Away From Homer
The Father, The Son And The Holy Guest Star
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13895[/img]“The Simpsons’ burst onto Blu-ray with another decent upscale. “The Simpson’s” didn’t switch over to HD work till around the 19th or 20th season, but the show still looks quite decent for an SD scale job. Colors are bright and cheerful with loads of primary color saturating the simple drawings. The show is shot in 1.33:1 for the actual episodes, but we have some 1.78:1 widescreen content in the special features (and some HD special features at that). The only problem that I have with the show is the lines have some fuzziness and haloing around them. It’s not a wild wild problem, but it is fairly noticeable in ALL scenes. Besides that the encode was given a lot of room to breathe, so I don’t see any digital forms of manipulation or compression issues to be seen.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13896[/img]Fox has given us a very solid DTS-HD MA 5.1 track to enjoy the series in. As you can probably guess, this is an animated television show and the majority of the sounds are all loaded in the front sound stage, so there is very little surround work and mild LFE emissions. Most of the LFE is relegated to the opening and closing intro themes where we get a little thump to enjoy. With that being said the encode is very true to the source with excellently balanced dialogue and good panning effects across the front sound stage. Overall it does its job well considering it’s a decade’s old kids animated series and I can’t complain about that.
• Audio Commentaries
• Greetings, Junior Scienteers!
• Sketch Gallery I
• "Lisa's Wedding" Bonus Episode - Season 6
• Special Language Feature - Pranksta Rap
• Sketch Gallery II
• Living in the Moment
• "Bart to the Future" Bonus Episode - Season 11
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• Gag Reel
• Animation Showcase Future-Drama
• Live! It's The Simpsons!
• "Holidays of Future Passed" Bonus Episode - Season 23
For fans of the show, it’s pretty obvious that this is a must buy considering it’s some of peak of the series work and I’ve got to say those old episodes still get me rolling around on the floor laughing. “The Simpson’s” has always made light social and familial issues in a way that tends to be irreverent yet stays away from the sheer offensiveness of other shows that satirize social events, ala “Southpark” and I still consider “The Simpsons” part of my growing up. With decent video and audio scores it makes it a must own over the DVD sets that were slightly unwieldy and riddled with some minor compression artifacts. I’m exceptionally delighted over the cornucopia of special features (something a lot of modern releases have been sorely lacking the last few years) and will give hours of entertainment digging into those files. I definitely recommend a pick up.
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Cavner
Created by: Matt Groening
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Runtime: 483 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Dec 3rd, 2013
Buy The Simpsons - Season 16 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It
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