The Simpsons - Season 1


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire

The very first Simpsons episode and a Xmas special too. Homer does not get a Xmas bonus and Marge has to spend all of her Xmas money on removing Bart's new tattoo (Moth..) and with no money to keep the family happy, Homer gets a part time job as a shopping mall Santa. The job doesn't pay well and, when things look very bleak, Santa's Little Helper saves the day.

Although the animation is bad in each episode, I was surprised that this first show would give so much character to secondary roles and be so creative, while being realistic - something the shorts and recent seasons certainly are NOT. It's obvious from this episode why the Simpsons were to become so popular.

Bart The Genius

Bart cheats on an IQ test and is sent to a school for gifted children, where he feels out of place and unhappy. This is the first episode to showcase Bart's tendency for havoc and cunning. The underachiever-and-proud-of-it logic is unashamedly dated but was still, no doubt, the start of the Bart phenomenon, which has currently led to 12 more seasons.

Homer's Odyssey

Homer is fired when he causes an accident at the power plant and takes to moping around the house feeling sorry for himself. He disgraced Bart, as his class was there on a field trip at the time. Homer almost falls into a fit of depression before he starts a crusade to eliminate every dangerous thing in Springfield and win his old job back. This episode is okay and doesn't do much in the way of story, or laughs.

There's No Disgrace Like Home

After being humiliated at his works annual family picnic, Homer decides that family therapy is the answer. A strange episode when compared with today's output, as Lisa is a brat, Marge is a drunk and Homer is the one who is ashamed of them all.

Bart The General

Lisa is tormented by a bully at school and Bart sticks up for her, but is beaten up every day by Nelson Muntz, who, in this episode, is more threatening than he has been recently. The happy ending never lasted as Nelson became one the best characters, although his trademark "Ha-ha" is missing.

Moaning Lisa

For some weak reason Lisa suddenly becomes depressed and loses interest in most things (her intelligence is underappreciated) and turns to jazz and her saxophone to cheer her up. This is where she meets Bleeding Gums Murphy, who later died. The episode does no more than firmly establish Lisa as a key character.

Call Of The Simpsons

An episode loaded with visual gags and witty dialogue. After watching Flanders showboat his new RV, Homer decides to upstage him and get one even better. Unfortunately Homer cannot afford the Ultimate Behemoth - there really are mobile homes this big - and settles for a crappy little jalopy with a weed growing under the hood. When they are out in the forest, Homer becomes lost and mistaken for Bigfoot. But his attempt at catching a rabbit is the highlight of the show.

The Telltale Head

Bart sneaks into a Space Mutants IV and is promptly kicked out along with three of the school heavies (Jimbo, Dolph and Kearny), with whom he spends the rest of the day. While spotting shapes in the clouds, Jimbo mentions how great it would be to cut the head off the statue of Jebediah Springfield, the town founder. Bart does exactly this, believing it will bring him popularity, but ends up regretting it.

Life In The Fast Lane

Marge takes up bowling to spite Homer's thoughtless birthday present (a bowling ball) and meets a Frenchman, who sweeps her off her feet. Will she, or won't she, leave Homer? What do you think? A real lame episode.

Homer's Night Out

Even lamer, and almost the worst to this day, is Homer's Night Out, in which he goes to a friends stag party. While there, Bart takes a picture of him jamming with a Turkish belly dancer, called Princess Kashmir. Bart develops this tame, tame, incredibly tame photo and Xeroxes it. Soon everyone in town has a copy and Homer becomes temporarily famous. Half the town acts completely out of character - Apu doesn't even recognise Homer - and there are zero jokes.

The Crepes Of Wrath

Bart is urged onto a foreign exchange trip after causing a disaster at school. His new French guardians are beastly and treat him as a slave, while Marge and Homer get a delightful Albanian boy, who is actually a spy.

Krusty Gets Busted

Krusty is framed by his co-host, Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammar), and is locked up. Bart is crestfallen that his idol would do such a thing and he and Lisa set out to find who really committed the crime. The first episode to feature the voice of Frasier as the upper class villain.

Some Enchanted Evening

Marge and Homer go for dinner and leave Bart, Lisa and Maggie in the hands of a babysitter, who just happens to be a psychopath. Penny Marshall guest voices as Miss Botz, the babysitter from hell, whose breasts fall below her knees.

Reviewed on: 18 Oct 2001
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The Simpsons - Season 1 packshot
Premiere season of the dysfunctional family's antics.
Amazon link

Director: David Silverman, Wesley Archer, Gregg Vanzo, Brad Bird, Rich Moore

Writer: Matt Groening, James L Brooks, Al Jean, etc

Starring: voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardly Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer

Year: 1989

Runtime: 286 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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