By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
I have been a devoted Simpsons viewer for the past 21 years. While fair-weather fans talk about a Golden Age, I always considered season 13 the beginning of a New Renaissance period (to be followed by the post-modern period. We’re now in the post-movie re-energized period).
The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season on Blu-Ray
Revisiting this season eight years later, I rediscovered what I originally considered a renaissance. Episodes like “Homer the Moe” and “Sweets and Sour Marge” are perfect Simpsons structure where the first act has nothing to do with the rest of the episode.
There are observant and absurd asides made by main, supporting and random one-time only characters, revealing profound character developments. The episodes are timeless, even though they’re updated to include things like the internet, Star Wars prequels and reality TV. That’s what makes The Simpsons an evergreen time capsule of society. .
The animated menus seem to have less to do with the episode than ever but they’re awesome. The arcade setting leads to some comedy opportunities. Seeing the characters do Rev Rev Dance-Olution (get it?) is brilliant. As each one takes a turn, they have some affectation relevant to the episodes, but just seeing Ralph Wiggum dance is worth it, and the songs are spoofs of popular music and the corresponding dance styles. The air hockey menu has less to work with but is still a cute piece of new animation.
I still like listening to the audio commentaries of specific stories that led to the individual episodes and even to minor gags. The deleted scenes remain as funny as stuff that made it, cut only for time. Highlights of Ralph Wiggum are cool and more technical features should be good for animation aficionados.