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Reviews & Ratings for
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372 out of 459 people found the following review useful:

The greatest television show of all time

Author: mercer74
5 June 1999

What more can I possibly say about a TV show that has already been praised to death? I was 15 when the Simpsons first aired and I'm 25 now. I've seen every single episode, and I'd have to say it's a rare combination of factors that come together to make The Simpsons the best show ever.

It's a very clever and intelligent show - they never dumb anything down - and as creator Matt Groening has remarked, "The Simpsons is a show that rewards paying attention." There are always enough obscure pop-culture references or subtle background gags to ensure that the second, third, or tenth viewing of an episode will find you noticing something you hadn't before.

In the early days of The Simpsons, they derived a large part of their popularity from the everyday, down-to-earth, unglamorous, average-blue-collar-slob aspect of the Simpson family. Homer is lazy and doesn't like his job, Bart doesn't excel at school, the plastic ketchup bottle they use at the dinner table makes that farting sound, and so on. This aspect of the program contrasts it with popular 80's family sitcoms such as The Cosby Show which always featured impossibly well-functioning families who got along a little too perfectly and usually learned a neat little lesson at the end of each episode. An early tag-line for The Simpsons said that they "put the Fun back in Dysfunctional."

Perhaps this blue-collar-slobness by itself is nothing shockingly original - think of previous TV shows such as Roseanne, Married with Children, All in the Family, The Honeymooners - but the Simpsons doesn't stop there. This show is extremely densely packed with jokes - everything from cerebral witticisms and sly satire to Homer falling down and going "D'oh!" Because it's a cartoon, the writers can get away with surreal gags such as the time Homer tells a joke which falls flat, after which a long silence happens which is punctuated by a single tumbleweed rolling through the Simpson's living room.

There are just too many things to mention about The Simpsons. It can be touching occasionally; more often the viewers are treated to an unequalled cavalcade of obscure references, surreal sight gags, wacky adventures, self-mocking irony... The list goes on and on. Just watch it, else you're missing out on one of the most important elements of 1990's popular culture.

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266 out of 317 people found the following review useful:

It started off fantastic...

9/10
Author: Arlando909 from United States
1 June 2006

No one, not even Matt Groening himself, could've imagined that The Simpsons would become as big as it did. Nor could anyone anticipate it could become so cultural. "D'oh" is in the dictionary, and it has spawned off several catch-phrases and one liners. Truly, The Simpsons is the biggest thing since Seinfeld! The first three seasons showed them as if they were an actual family. Like the kind of family you'd meet on the street (only a lot more dysfunctional). Homer trying to do the fatherly thing in each episode. Marge being the voice of reason all the time. Lisa and Bart with their sibling rivalry. These first three seasons are not usually sighted as being the best, but they are often brought up when one speaks of "The Best Episode Ever!" By Season four, the show took a turn for what may have been the best. It left it's more realistic roots and became more of a satire. With more zany antics and more clever, witty, and often times sophisticated humor, The Simpsons became the most popular family on television. Each episode still contained it's own merits, themes and messages. Seasons 4 to about 10 are often said to be the "Golden Age" of The Simpsons.

However, as the year 2000 came, fans began to see themselves divided. Those who stuck with the show since it came about in 1989 were quick to jump on how the show changed. The humor became more lurid and toilet like, with antics becoming heavily more unrealistic and zany (to the point where some even say it isn't funny... but stupid). Some characters becoming unrealistically stupid, and the show shifting gears from focusing on Bart to Homer... to everyone outside of the Simpson family. The show also began to see more cumbersome and meaningless plots. Plots that didn't focus on current issues, or that didn't seem to be as strong as older episodes. Despite this, new fans seem to have come about to replace then, and the show continues to remain at the top of its game, even today.

I'm sure you all know where I stand on that debate. Nine stars to nine fantastic seasons.

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268 out of 325 people found the following review useful:

This Show Will Be Used to Study How Life Was 100 Years From Now

Author: tfrizzell from United States
21 July 2001

Brilliant television series that could probably be best described as "The Flintstones" gone stark-raving mad. "The Simpsons", everyone knows them. Some love the series and some could care less about it. Love it or hate it, it is near impossible to criticize the intelligence and creativity of this series. The titled animated family makes their home in Springfield, USA and gets into situations that are seemingly more outlandish and crazier than the previous adventure. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are still going strong after nearly a dozen years of television life and with each passing moment it seems that the series sets some new precedent. For several years the show seemed to be the only attraction to the then obscure Fox Network. It was the first primetime animated show that was treated like a sitcom since "The Flintstones" quietly left the air in 1966. Many people feared the series when it first premiered in 1989 because they felt that it was hardcore adult material in a candied form that would appeal to younger audiences. Well for the most part this was true. However, "The Simpsons" would prove to be much more for all audiences. The great thing about the series is that it caters to all audiences. True there are usually situations that may not be suitable for all viewers, but then again that is true with everything on television this side of Disney Land and Sesame Street. "The Simpsons" works because of great comedy of course, but also great lessons that can be taken from most of the episodes. The people within the program may be animated, but they are just as complicated and vulnerable as the people watching them. All the regulars have their quirks, but in some episodes you can understand what certain characters are going through because the show is so life-like at times. Former President George Bush (the one from 1988-1992) once made a statement that families should be more like "The Waltons" and less like "The Simpsons". His opinion is somewhat old-fashioned and unrealistic. In other words, many topics dealt with in "The Simpsons" fit life for people in the 1990s and 2000s better than "The Waltons" did in the 1970s. A crowning achievement in television art. 5 stars out of 5.

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217 out of 264 people found the following review useful:

Probably the best television show on Earth

Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
12 November 2003

The Simpsons is the longest running animated TV series since The Flinstones, and you could understand why after watching just one of the Simpsons episodes. Simply because The Simpsons is just so hilarious and incredibly clever and has been ripped off so many times, but nothing has come close to the brilliance that the Simpsons writers have brought us.

We have Homer Simpson, one of the most beloved TV characters of all time, with his famous quote "Doh!". He's an overweight, lazy, and not the brightest bulb, but so incredibly lovable for the fact of how bipolar he is! One minute he can be so incredibly depressed, but the next minute really happy and giggling. My favorite Homer quote is when he kills the zombie Ned Flanders in a Halloween episode, Bart tells him "Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders!"... "He was a zombie?" Marge is Homer's wife and a homemaker. She is at times naggy, but always manages to get in some terrific humor and some deep sympathy with all she puts up with. My favorite Marge quote is "Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They've just made a terrible life choice." Bart is the oldest son and a rebel. His usual quotes are "Don't have a cow" "Cool, man!" "Ei Carumba!". He's this generation's Dennis the Menace. My favorite Bart quote is "I need a soul, Ralph, any, your's!", you'll see what I mean.

Lisa is the second oldest and the smartie pants of the Simpson clan, she's kind of the know it all who solves all the adventures of the Simpsons. My favorite Lisa quote is "They're only using you for your pool you know... shut up brain! I have friends now, I don't need you any more!". Last, but not least, Maggie, the eternal baby of Homer and Marge, always a great love of the screen, but no famous quotes, just memorable moments like when she turns into an alien.

The supporting cast is a terrific addition, my favorites include Mr. Burns, Homer's boss, Groundskeeper Willy, the school janitor, and Mr. Skinner, the school principal. The Simpson is just a terrific show that in one way or another you will see at least one episode in your lifetime. I know that generations to come, they will still be watching The Simpsons.

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132 out of 162 people found the following review useful:

May be suffering a bit with time – but overall this is one of the finest show to come out of America

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
20 April 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The series that follows the dysfunctional family of the Simpsons. The oafish Homer who can barely go a day without slacking or getting mixed up in crazy adventures. His wife, Marge, who tries to hold it all together. His duaghter Lisa who is smarter that her gene pool should allow, Bart – every inch the classroom rebel. The family is rounded out by the youngest – baby Maggie. The family interact with those around them and learn lessons or sometimes fail to change completely.

When this series started in 1987 as a string of rough shorts in Tracey Ulman's show it would be a brave man who would have predicted that over a decade later that this series would be as huge as it is. However the series got launched with the Christmas special in the early 90's. The first series saw the animation greatly improved and the characters developed fully to be more involving. However the story lines were not as sharp or as full as they were to be. The second series and onwards saw the Simpsons have better stories – often multi-layered stories filled with pop-culture references and background jokes that reward the careful viewer…to try and list them would take ages.

For an American sitcom (for that is what it is) this is amazing – the intelligence of the script is fantastic. The depth of the stories are involving, witty and packed. For a movie buff like me, this is a gold mine – from sly references in the background to full blow scenes almost spoofing movies this has them all. In some programmes that have background jokes the main stuff at the front often suffers or is ignored totally. However here the main plot and dialogue is fresh and well thought out – it is amazing that for almost all of it's run The Simpsons rarely had a bad episode.

True – recent shows have begun to show a slide in quality but this is to be expected after more than 10 years at the top. However it is generally brilliant and clever. After the first series everything improved. Not only was the series used for political comment, satire and ironic humour (in a country that generally can't do any well) but it is also heart warming and funny.

The characters live in a balance between reality and surreality. They are sort of recognisable as real people in terms of habits and experiences – but in another way they are out there…..Homer has been in Space, stopped a nuclear explosion etc. The mix of this makes for an unique programme. What makes it better is that the makers never draw a line between the madness and the normality – one episode is made up of a bad-neighbour type war between Homer and George Bush Snr! The mix is seamless and adds layers to each show.

The wealth of characters is another strength. The main family is strong – even Maggie has regular input and adventures! However where most sitcoms really rely on their main subjects for the stories, The Simpsons has a supporting cast of dozens and dozens of really good characters – all of whom are able to carry an episode. They range from the normal characters (an inept Police Chief, an Asian shop keeper who is used to being robbed at gunpoint) to the referential or well imagined, (the well-educated Sideshow Mel, a bitter Krusty the Clown, an useless lawyer). All the characters have become more fully used as time has gone on.

The voice actors are all excellent and all do a huge range of voices…of course they get very well paid for it! Unfortunately the late Phil Hartman provided the voices of two of my favourite characters and I really miss his dry humour and strong all-American voice. Lionel Hutz was a great character and my favourite, Troy McClure is a wonderful spoof of 60's B-movie actor Doug McClure. This depth really helps the show and has allowed it to feel so very fresh years on.

I could go on for ever, but the series is a wonderful bit of proof that sitcoms don't have to be simple, full of canned laughter and focus on sassy teenagers! The joys of the dialogue are backed up by movie references and crazy adventures. The wonderful Simpson family are supported by a huge cast of imaginative characters who are always well used and a queue of celebrities just lining up to have a few minutes in the show. Quite simply this is consistently the best show to come out of American in my life time.

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131 out of 169 people found the following review useful:

A landmark in TV-show history

Author: Anders Åslund (anders.aslund@xpress.se) from Karlstad, Sweden
5 February 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i have yet to see something as funny, clever and entertaining as "The Simpsons" on TV. I'm hardly a TV-series buff, I rarely have the patience and interest to follow a show for more than five or six episodes. "The Simpsons" is the one show that I am very sorry to have missed out on until just a couple of years ago. Luckily, Swedish television are rerun experts. It is also the only show that I make sure to follow apart from perhaps "Friends", but in entertainment value, "The Simpsons" is way ahead.

What makes this show so great is its attention to detail, its outrageous dialogue and its completely fearless way of dealing with any issue that crosses the writers' minds. The many characters and their extravaganza makes it an endless well of new angles, new ideas and even more outrageous dialogues. Another very important element is the mocking irony and sarcasm which permeates the entire series. The smarmy and cheesy moments that a great many episodes end up in are extremely clever and becomes an important part of the fun.

What impresses me the most about the series is, however, the enormous amount of detail: the attentive spectator is not just in for the obvious gags - there's always something going on or something to read in the background, which makes a VCR mandatory so you can go back and check that special detail out again. Its a fantastic show, and its a great moment when one can sit down and watch another insane, stupid, disastrous and hilarious episode.

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140 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

the absolute Best Cartoon ever!

Author: splintercell89 from United States
1 July 2005

Out of every cartoon, Movie, play, and T.v show I've ever seen The Simpsons tops it all. the Simpsons is the funniest show Bar None. American Dad, Futurama, and Family guy come in close but in my opinion the Simpsons is better than all of them combined. I have seen every single episode and i own seasons one through five and have Simpsons posters and action figures.i have not found an episode that i did not like., some of my favorites are the valentines episode where Bart puts Homers Beer in the paint shakers, and "Das Bus" season 9 "O' Brother were art Thou?" season 2. and any episode from the sixteenth season. they have made it to over three hundred episodes and I'm betting on three hundred more. THE SIMPSONS WILL NEVER DIE!

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100 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

Pure genius

Author: Jeff (spoonjef@aol.com) from L.A. CA
17 January 1999

The Simpsons is a show that has sustained ten years of constant humor. The stories have gradually become better and the second fiddle characters were getting more screen time which translates into a much more realized show. The pop culture references abound and delight those who can pick them out. My personal favorite is the Citizen Kane references in the episode called "Rosebud." Plus, anything with C. Montgomery Burns is hysterical. The guest stars aren't there as a "special appearance" touted by the networks. They actually work into the storyline, and that makes it all the more enjoyable. Where else can you see The Moody Blues acting like thugs in a Vegas casino?

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177 out of 284 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

Author: Jerry Brown (jp88) from United States
19 January 2005

The Simpsons is one of the best TV shows of all times. It is a perfect mirror of the American culture and has many memorable moments that will always be remembered . I don't know anybody who doesn't like this show, it's impossible not to be a fan of it. You could watch each episode 20 times and never get tired, you will always find a new funny thing every time you watch it

Unfotunatley the show is getting worse and worse with every new season, Maybe it's time to let "The Simpsons" die with dignity before the audience starts to hate it.

My rating: 11/10

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29 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

The Simpsons - is there any better show?

10/10
Author: hhh444-1 from United States
14 May 2006

With all my collection of video tapes and d.v.d.s I seem to find myself digging through my Simpsons box, when I need something to watch. It would be hard to pick a favorite episode, because of so many. It would be even harder to pick a least favorite because there is very few that could be less appealing. But boring is one thing that the Simpsons could never be considered. The writers have changed ideas, episode structure, and kept the Simpsons on a continuous exciting adventure. Anytime of the day or no matter what seems to be the mood , the Simpsons is always satisfying to to view even over and over and hours on end.

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