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The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season (Blu-ray Review)

The Simpsons - The Sixteenth Season - www.whysoblu.comHold onto your donuts! Season 16 of the The Simpsons – the longest-running scripted show in television history – includes all 21 hilarious episodes, tons of meticulously slapped-together special features, plus a veritable who’s who (woo-hoo!) of celebrity guest voices, including Fantasia Barrino, Jason Bateman, Gary Busey, James Caan, Stephen Hawking, Eric Idle, Jane Kaczmarek, Lucy Liu, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Ray Romano and plenty more! 

 

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Series  

Here we are with The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season on Blu-ray! I will admit that I am somewhat rusty in terms of keeping up with the show. I have not seen every single episode there ever was and this season is no different. Some episodes do ring a bell like the classic Treehouse of Horror: Four Beheadings and a Funeral. I can watch that episode in and endless loop forever. I love the bit where the camera pans by the police building and it says: Scotland Yard motto: What’s all this, then? That is epic. That Treehouse of Horror kicks off the 21-episode set with a bang.

I would not necessarily say that this season would be the best season to get into The Simpsons if you haven’t started. You’re pretty much at the halfway point and the best episodes have already passed us by many years before this one even aired. That’s my little cynical jab at the show. How does this season it stack up to the rest? It’s not bad at all. Yes, the usual bits and jabs that percolate through every episode still remain like Homer getting stupider in every season along with him being hurt in just about every episode in this set. I guess that’s the charm, but I did get many hearty laughs out of it.

Season sixteenth also has a TON of guest stars that range from superstars to athletes who were not yet famous as they are now. Some of these episodes play like throwback episodes. The humor, satire, subversiveness are all present in the majority of them and some do not pull punches, and yes I’m still talking about The Simpsons. In one episode you have Marge’s sister coming out as a lesbian, in another one you have Liam Neeson playing a Catholic priest who tries to convert Homer and Bart, and some are just cameos like Bob Dylan and Frank Gehry. The Frank Gehry episode is especially close to my Los Angeles heart, because it parodies the Walt Disney Concert Hall here in DTLA, where Gehry builds a concert hall in Springfield only for it to be turned into a surrealistic looking steel prison. It’s hysterical but it’s one of the many “art imitates life” kinds of deals.

Another great episode that I do remember vividly is the one where the college coeds rent Ned Flanders’ room and unbeknownst to him (but not the rest of the world online and next door) they have a hidden camera in the room where they partake of naughty adventures. Ned doesn’t have a clue. I do think that this season also contains a nice collection of memorable couch intros – my favorite being the one where the anglerfish eats the family – that was a very creepy looking anglerfish, too.

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season is an above average set, which features a ton of special guests and some of the story lines are a bit deeper than one would give it credit for. Some episodes are scathing and others do carry a bit of sentimentality. I hope that they continue to fast track the remaining seasons, because we need to catch up on Blu-ray.

Episodes

Treehouse of Horror XV

All’s Fair in Oven War

Sleeping With the Enemy

She Used to Be My Girl

Fat Man and Little Boy

Midnight RX

Mommie Beerest

Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass

Pranksta Rap

There’s Something About Marrying

On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister

Goo Goo Gai Pan

Mobile Homer

Sever-Beer Snitch

Future-Drama

Don’t Fear the Roofer

The Heartbroke Kid

A Star Is Torn

Thank God It’s Doomsday

Home Away From Homer

The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star

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Video  

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season is presented in 1080p and retain their original aspect ration of 1.33:1. The high definition image on this set is more than adequate considering the dated source. Season sixteenth aired between 2004-2005 and it looks okay outside of the reused opening intro right before the family runs to the couch. The color palette on The Simpsons has always been flat but on the Blu-ray it tends to pop out a bit more. This is a very good thing. Edge enhancement does creep in here and there and that’s do to the show still being animated by hand for the most part. You can only do so much with the computer. This sixteenth season holds up very well – and it’s been almost ten years since it originally aired on broadcast television. I have no complaints.

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Audio  

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Season sixteenth contains refreshingly robust sounding soundtrack. All of the dialogue nuances of just about everyone can be heard clearly and without distortion unless it’s the creepy cat lady who no one can understand unless she’s on her placebo meds. There are plenty of directional sound effects that come through very clearly and the LFE channel does keep up with the pace of the show. This Blu-ray lossless soundtrack is worthy.

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Extras  

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season is fully loaded with audio commentaries by cast & crew on ALL episodes. Hell, that’s an extra star just on its own. Each disc also contains one bonus episode from a previous season and future season. That’s a nice touch. This set also contains deleted scenes with commentaries, original sketches, custom menu animation with Professor Frink acting the fool and so on. It’s a very hardy set if I do say so myself.

  • Booklet with introduction and episode guide
  • Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary
  • Greetings, Junior Scienteers!
  • Sketch Gallery I
  • Lisa’s Wedding Bonus Episode – Season 6 (Disc 1)
  • Easter Egg – There’s an easter egg on Disc 1
  • Special Language Feature – Pranksta Rap ( Portuguese, Italian, Czech)
  • Sketch Gallery II
  • Living in the Moment
  • Bart to the Future Bonus Episode – Season 11 (Disc 2)
  • Animation Showcase – Future-Drama: Storyboards – Picture-in-Picture – Animatic – Picture-in-Picture
  • Live! It’s The Simpsons
  • Holidays of Future Passed Bonus Episode – Season 23 (Disc 3)

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Summary  

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season finds its way to Blu-ray and its a welcome addition to the high definition world. It’s slowly catching up to the current season and it will be a treat once they’re all released. This set features adequate video and above average audio specs, with stellar special features. The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season should definitely go in your collection if you want the entire collection someday on Blu-ray.

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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