The Simpsons Review Part 1: The Classic Era

September 11, 2010

For those who may be confused, this is the beginning of reviews of Americana on drizzly rain. Japanese reviews will not stop, and these reviews will not eclipse the Japanese reviews; they are merely a side-project. With that said, on to the review:

Back in the 90s, one of the greatest cartoons ever made aired on public television. But, before that,  there was The Simpsons.

So, having had a binge session of The Simpsons, I decided to use this as the starting point of my review blogs. In order to organize this review in an organized fashion, I’m going to divide the reviews by show runners (i.e. the executive producers)

Matt Groening, Sam Simon, and James L. Brooks (Seasons 1 and 2):

Also known as the slippery ropes. What’s been commonly stated by the fans is what I believe: the stories are REALLY GOOD for the starting seasons, but the art is horrendous. I actually remember Season 2 a lot more than Season 1, which has a lot of forgettable episodes. For example, Call of the Simpsons is easily one of my most hated Simpsons episode ever because it’s so dull. However, the voice work is also very decent, with the worst being Bleeding Gums Murphy. My favorite episode from this batch is easily Lisa’s Substitute; it has the perfect combination of a touching story and hilarious humour.

Al Jean and Mike Reiss (Seasons 3 and 4):

Now things are starting to look familiar: voices are starting to become more defined, animation is becoming more defined and less off-model, and writing is starting to improve. After the Oakley and Weinstein seasons, these two seasons are among my favorite. My favorite episode from this batch is hard to choose, but it would have to be Separate Vocations (el gasp! No Last Exit to Springfield? BURN THE WITCH!) because it really expands upon the characters of Bart and Lisa without portraying them as Dickensien-styled caricatures. I really have no least favorite from this era, but if it had to be one, it would be Treehouse of Horror III because it’s very dull to me (I never was a fan of King Kong to begin with, and the zombie section is a little meh. The Krusty Doll section was good, though.)

David Mirkin (Seasons 5 and 6):

This is the point in the Classic Era where the show sounds and looks like it does up until about Season 14 when the digital transition takes place. This is easily one of my least favorite show runners, due to Season 6 having something missing from it that was in Season 5; it’s not something one can explain, but it is very sad indeed. At this point in the show, the show becomes slightly more wacky, and focuses a little less on the established  main characters (which is a decision I whole-heartedly agree with). The change in tone is thrilling at first, but during S6 its charm wears off. My favorite during this period has to be Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy: a nice episode with Lisa being a feminist and a bit of a leftist without going too far over the edge. Conversely, my least favorite is A Star Is Burns: a pathetic, unfunny excuse of a crossover episode with The Critic; the plot sucks, too.

Oakley and Weinstein (Seasons 7 and 8):

I love these seasons to death: they are easily my favorites. If I had to choose which Seasons I could keep while the others were hurtled toward the Sun and all records of the other seasons were destroyed, it would easily be these. This period is defined as the Experimental Period: Oakley and Weinstein loved experimenting with the characters and settings, with their weakest concoction being Two Bad Neighbors; even that was a decent episode. I prefer S7 over S8, but S8 is not without its charms. My favorite episode from this is Lisa the Vegetarian: as you can see, my favorite family member is Lisa judging by my past two fav. ep. choices (lol, I’m a modern-day hippy). I like this episode because, even though Lisa is a bit of an ass in this episode, as is… well, everyone else, it shows a bit of character development in the form of “Accepting others opinions.” I like Lisa as a leftist, but not a Straw Leftist, after all. My least favorite episode, as stated before, would have to be Two Bad Neighbors: George Bush Sr. becomes the Simpsons neighbors? *sitcom*HERE WE GO AGAIN!*voice*

People are going to bring up Homer’s Enemy, especially if your from the NoHomer’sClub, so I might as well address it: it was an OK episode; nothing bad, but nothing special either. I felt really bad for Frank Grimes, and p’ed at Homer for being more Jerkassy than usual, but it was overall entertaining.

Mike Scully (Season 9):

The last true episode of the Golden Age in my opinion: this season is known as the mutt season; it has a culmination of episodes from previous show runners (a total of 7! That’s 28% of the season!). This is a very average season: if it weren’t for the holdovers, I’d place this season with the next era of seasons. That shows how much of a difference that 28% makes. My favorite of this season is Lisa the Simpson: a final, good emotional episode from Oakley and Weinstein before the dark ages. My least favorite is easily Trash of the Titans, and trash it is. I don’t care if it won an Emmy and is the 200th episode: Homer acts like a complete prick in this for no reason. Oh, the garbagemen forgets to pick up his garbage? Boohoo. Get over it, They’ll come again in a couple of days. Kicking a woman, disrupting a concert, shaking and terrifying an innocent parrot, cutting people’s breaks, and completely RUINING AN ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM is not funny; it’s the sign of someone who is a menace to society and should be locked away. I love Homer, but Fauxmer is a douche.

So, overall:

1&2: 7/10
3&4: 9/10
5&6: 8/10
7&8: 10/10
9: 8/10
Total: 42/50, or an 84/B.

Thank you for reading my first review, and I plan to make more in the future (if CRUSHING AMOUNTS OF HOMEWORK and DRAMA lets me). Sorry, for such a horrible output record ^^; I’ll get better at it.


  1. […] The Simpsons Review Part 1: The Classic Era – A thoughtful review of the single digit seasons: My favorite of this season is Lisa the Simpson: a final, good emotional episode from Oakley and Weinstein before the dark ages. […]

  2. I pretty much agree with what you wrote, but I’d take season 6 over 5 becasue I found 5 to be too ‘unsure’ of how to handle the absurdity, whereas 6 was LOL funny all the way through.

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