‘The Simpsons’ Season 16 Blu-ray Review
I have never missed an episode of “The Simpsons” in 25 years, and I will defend the later seasons against any fair weather fans. However, it seems I don’t quite remember the last 10 or so seasons. When I got the Blu-ray for “The Simpsons” Season 16, I literally could not remember any of the episodes. I mean, I intellectually knew that Ray Romano had guest starred and I know I saw it, but that’s it.
I love the little pieces of continuity. Despite the fact that no one ever ages and Bart has been in fourth grade for 16 (now 25) years, Homer is referred to as “Former astronaut” once. This is the third or fourth time “The Simpsons” went into the future but I think it’s still a sharp parody of speculative future and really our present.
It turns out I did remember a lot of the non sequitur gags from this season. The brilliant spoof of Dreamworks animated movies was this year, as was Apu ululating after sipping hot coffee. I did remember Comic Book Guy’s real name. That was also season 16. I remember Homer holding up his map long enough for everyone to read all the jokes, which was brilliantly self-reflexive on their own freeze frame gags. I remember Homer being so enamored with the idea of brunch that he invents another megameal called “Lupper.” Disco Stu does have a great moment that I did not remember so that was a joy to re-discover.
The standard definition episodes look good on Blu-ray. The lines are sharp and the colors are a little brighter. The best part of the “Simpsons” Blu-rays though are the high definition menu animations, which are basically silent comedy sketches related to the episodes. Season 16 has a Professor Frink theme, and an Easter Egg on disc three even shows you deleted menu scenes!
Episodic deleted scenes are all impeccable “Simpsons” gags cut only for time. They still do a commentary on every episode, and thanks to Al Jean, every episode has a story of how it was conceived and produced. The commentary with Kim Cattrall basically devolves into Al Jean asking her “Sex and the City” questions. They got the late Don Payne on the commentary for “Thank God It’s Doomsday,” although he seems a bit quiet compared to the episode’s director. They’ve included audio of a live table read of that episode too.
This bodes well for future “Simpsons” Blu-ray releases. I can’t wait to rewatch the next nine seasons for the first time again.