For many years The Simpsons were very consistent with its quality in the stories that were told a regular basis. Each episode showcased a story that would send the family into outrageous situations and at the same time providing quality entertainment. For season 16, The Simpsons still continued to deliver a steady entertainment, but the slow decline in quality is starting to be noticeable towards the end of the season. Many of the episodes are quite enjoyable putting The Simpsons in hilarious situations. This season we see the future, Bart is going to Yale, and Lisa ends up with Millhouse, Homer and Marge are separated, among other unusual events. However, it has been a long time since the days when the family actually had hobbies, where Bart went out skateboarding and got into trouble, where Homer had bowling buddies, and Lisa was out playing her saxophone
The 16th season gave viewers a glimpse into what could be the future of the family, if only for an episode, but that was enough. We saw Moe lose his bar in the course of the season and consequences that Homer brings to himself when he pushes Ned to his limit. We also have the inclusion of the now yearly episode of Treehouse of Horror with episode XV as well as the usual celebrity appearances this time we saw Ray Romano, Fantasia, LeBron James, and a few more. That and more make up the core (along with the occasional moral, mockery and political messages its creators tend to add) of what The Simpsons provided in these 21 episodes. I will note that out of the 21 episodes three of them stand above the rest; Mommie Beerest; Future-Drama; and Thank God, It’s Doomsday. The Simpsons still retain their character and the singular personality of each one of the show’s “stars”. Something that I feel has been slowly starting to lose in recent seasons. With that being said, the show doesn’t completely follow a unique narrative or story plot, each episode stands on its own. Each episode features its own set of problems, situations and questions to be answered.
This set includes a total of 21 episodes, plus 3 extra episodes from different seasons (6, 11, and 23) that can be found in the extras menu of each disc. Without taking much of your time, here’s the list of episodes included:
1) Treehouse of Horror XV
2) All’s Fair in Over War
3) Sleeping With the Enemy
4) She Used to Be My Girl
5) Fat Man and Little Boy
6) Midnight Rx
7) Mommie Beerest
8) Homer and Ned’s Hail Pass
9) Pranksta Rap
10) There’s Something About Marrying
11) On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister
12) Goo Goo Dai Pan
13) Mobile Homer
14) The Seven-Beer Snitch
16) Don’t Fear the Roofer
17) The Heartbroke Kid
18) A Star is Torn
19) Thank God, It’s Doomsday
20) Home Away From Homer
21) The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star
The video arrives with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode with letterbox aspect ratio. The framing of the picture is due to the pre-widescreen era of The Simpsons. Right of the bat, you will notice that many of the intros appear looking old and not restored, that is not the way the episodes look. The intro does appear to be dated, but the image quality of each episode is great. The colors have been retouched and they look rather bright and vibrant. Black colors are deep and inky. The hand drawn animation still looks great. Despite the upgrade some scenes do suffer from some macro blocking, very minor and only seen in a few random scenes. No signs of color banding anywhere so that’s a good sign. Overall, I am pleased with the presentation of this animated TV show that’s close to a decade old.
The Simpsons is presented with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. For the most part, the show is dialogue driven with a few sequences where the track really makes the home theater system do some work. The dialogue is clean and clear with excellent prioritization. Directionality appears to work correctly. LFE output is leveled but stays very low key for much of the episodes. The rears are used but are very discreet. The fronts feature good directionality. The track does everything the video requires, can’t ask for more.
Audio commentary on all the 21 episodes of the season.
Play episodes with Deleted Scenes – 1-3, 5-7, 8-9, 11, 14, 15-21
Audio Commentary on all Deleted Scenes
Greetings, Junior Scienteers!: A quick rundown of the season and a glimpse at all the quirkiness and special guests that appeared throughout the season.
Sketch Gallery 1
Lisa’s Weeding” – This is a bonus episode from Season 6.
Special Language Feature: Pranksta Rap – The episode “Pranksta Rap” has an optional Portuguese, Italian, Czech, and Hungarian.
Sketch Gallery 2
Living the Moment – This section includes two sort of short films; The Longest Daycare and Tapped Out. The latter is more of an infomercial for the mobile simulation game.
Bart to the Future – This is a bonus episode from Season 11.
Animation Showcase: Future-Drama – This PiP featurette will play the animatic or storyboards. Viewers have the option to switch between views using the “Angle” button during the episode “Future-Drama”.
Live: It’s The Simpsons – This is a live read of the script for “Thank God It’s Doomsday”.
Holidays of Future Passed – This is a bonus episode from Season 23.
The Simpsons Season 16 definitely has its ups and downs, but I personally still consider one of the best in recent years. There are a few episodes that stand out the most that are definitely a must watch for the fans of the show. Fox went ahead and filled the set with plenty of extras including an audio commentary track for each one of the episodes. On top of that many of the episodes include deleted scenes with commentary track on each one. On top of it, there’s a live read of “Thank God, It’s Doomsday” which in my opinion is a real treat for the fans. Visually The Simpsons have been restored and the work is noticeable, other than the intros that still look rather old, but I don’t have many complaints here. The audio does a good job with the task at hand. The track never truly makes the system work, but the show is mainly dialogue driven. Any fan of The Simpsons should definitely pickup this set!