I think there are very few occasions where I come across an episode of The Simpsons that I haven’t seen before – I’d say I’m one of many people who can claim this fact. This however, does not tarnish what amusement one could garner from a day-long Simpsons DVD marathon. The Season 17 box set of the Simpsons is a nice compilation of the season’s episodes alongside some great commentary, special features and bonus episodes.
Firstly, I haven’t encountered many reviews where anyone has bothered to mention the case a game or movie comes in, but season 17 comes in a fine one. Like one of those foldable room dividers, the folder opens up into a meter long artwork depicting just about every character who ever appeared on the Simpsons. Inside lies the Playbill or “PlayKill”, as the theme of the box set is the Simpsons encounter with Sideshow Bob in Italy. It’s a nice piece, but it won’t fit into your DVD tower cabinet.
The episode list contains all of season 17’s episodes, as well as a bonus episode on disc 1’s special features from season 25. The season is a bit of a rollercoaster ride displaying a collection of both diamonds and lumps of coal. Some gems include ‘Treehouse of Horror XVI’ and ‘The Seemingly Never-ending Story.’ It hurts that there isn’t two treehouse of horror episodes per season; they always rank up as my favourite episodes, personally. The real diamond here though is “The Seemingly Never-ending Story”, an award-winning episode with Homer stuck in a cavern hole and Lisa telling an increasingly complicated story to pass the time. Unlike most episodes that I would rate based on the quality of the humour, this episode has some clever writing and surprising complexity.
The season has its coals, like ‘Million Dollar Abie’, which touches on some intense issues and deals with them in an odd way. It’s not to say The Simpsons isn’t a good medium to address things like suicide, but this episode didn’t hit the mark with its sensitivity. Unfortunately, a hunk of fossilized prehistoric plant tops off the season: ‘Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play.’ I couldn’t give you a list of its pros and cons, but the episode just missed the mark as a whole; there weren’t a lot of laughs in this one.
With some highs, some lows, and some damn fine cover art, season 17 is what it is: The Simpsons. Not really a cinematic masterpiece, nor is it Australia’s only season of Survivor level of bad. We love The Simpsons for being what it is, and this box set offers up just that.
- Some real gem episodes in the 22-episode lineup.
- Interesting and exclusive special features that make the purchase worth the money.
- A few lackluster episodes, one of which finishes off the lineup on a bum note.
- Though pretty, the case won’t last long being made of cardboard.
Season 17 of The Simpsons comes packaged up in a pretty, albeit flimsy folder, and offers up both extreme highs and some pretty deep lows. It’s a mixed bag, but it is what it is; The Simpsons.
The Simpsons Season 17 was provided to OXCGN by Fox Australia for review.