The Simpsons: Season Two (1990) artwork

The Simpsons: Season Two (1990)

27th August 2002

The second season of Americas longest running primetime sitcom family from Springfield is on DVD.
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer
Comedy, Animation, Television
8 Hours 6 Minutes

The man of the house, Homer, works at the local nuclear power plant doing the same dead end job he has done for years. In fact, it was the only employer in Springfield that didn't need a college education to join. As a safety supervisor it is proven fact that safety improves whenever he is away on holiday or sickness.

His faithful housewife Marge is the youngest of three sisters, Patty and Selma Bouvier, and puts up with Homers many personal hygiene deficiencies. Her many moral crusades in Springfield not only trouble Homer but make her the towns worst nightmare. When not looking after Homer she has her work cut out looking after their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

Bart is the hell cat of the house and Marge's "special little guy". He's a constant worry for Homer and his wallet. Forever the practical joker and trouble maker, mayhem and madness follow him wherever he goes. Lisa is the black sheep of the family with a high IQ and first-rate school grades. Hopes are high at Springfield elementary that they'll finally get a graduate with good grades. Maggie is the youngest member of the Simpson family and although she has been greatly encouraged by Marge she is still yet to utter her first word, preferring to suck on her pacifier.

Moe Szyslak is one of Homers best friends, and owner of the local tavern "Moe's" that Homer spends most of his spare time, and money, in. Moe trusts no one and has never been known to serve drinks on the house. He is constantly pestered by Bart and Lisa who make crank phone calls and ask for fictitious customers such as "Homer Sexual" and "Amanda Hugginkiss".

Series Two Episodes

  • Bart Gets an F
  • Simpson and Delilah
  • Treehouse of Horror
  • Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish
  • Dancin' Homer
  • Dead Putting Society
  • Bart vs. Thanksgiving
  • Bart the Daredevil
  • Itchy and Scratchy and Marge
  • Bart Gets Hit by a Car
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
  • The Way We Was
  • Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment
  • Principal Charming
  • Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • Bart's Dog Gets an F
  • Old Money
  • Brush with Greatness
  • Lisa's Substitute
  • The War of the Simpsons
  • Three Men and a Comic Book
  • Blood Feud

The picture is much improved over the first season, not only in the quality of the image but the general animation too. Although the picture still looks like it has been sourced from video stock it is still bright and colourful enough. There are no real signs of artifacting and the bit rate remains high throughout the entire season. It is definitely better than anything video can offer and it even gives the equivalent terrestrial television broadcasts a run for its money.

The series was originally broadcast on television in plain stereo for a number of seasons before finally getting the pro-logic treatment. And similar to the first season, Fox have decided to remix the audio and provide a Dolby Digital soundtrack. Whilst the general audio reproduction is much improved over the standard stereo, a series of this nature doesn't really fully benefit from the sonic improvements. Never the less, the dialogue is clear and precise and the musical score is slightly improved from new soundtrack.

Whilst the overall presentation of the packaging and menu systems is good enough there is a menu feature which soon gets very annoying. Whenever a new disc is inserted, and after the prolonged copyright warnings in more languages you can think of, a strange "spinning disc" menu appears. This then requires you to press the "Enter" key a number of times before being finally presented with the main menu. For the life of me, I cannot see any point to this menu and its just plain stupid. Fortunately, you can bypass this introduction by pressing the "Menu" key.

From this point the menus are scored and there's the occasional bit of animation on the sub-menus. However, yet again, Fox have neglected to provide a "play all" feature and after each episode you have to put up with copyright information in countless languages before the menu reappears.

Although I hate paper packaging, the presentation of the Simpsons box-sets are superb. The inner sleeve containing the four discs is easy to remove and it all unfolds nicely to reveal a host of characters imprinted on the discs and inner sleeves. It really is wonderful work and I'm sure it is all down to the input of the ever enthusiastic production team behind the Simpsons.

The extras on the discs are worth the price alone, with the audio commentary tracks accompanying each episode a joy to behold and priceless for true fans of the Simpsons. Matt Groening and various episode writers and directors have a whale of a time explaining the episodes and even reveal plenty of information regarding the shows many controversies and how the episodes were written. It really must be one of the best audio commentaries available on DVD.

The extras are on the fourth disc. They include the two Simpsons music videos of "Do the Bartman" and "Deep Deep Trouble", to which I'll admit to owning both on CD single. Fortunately, I don't own "The Simpsons Sing the Blues" album, I mean, I'm not that big a fan of the Simpsons! Also included are a number of interviews with the shows creators, Butterfinger commercials, unreadable storyboards, an awful American music awards clip of Nancy Cartwright in a Bart costume and a much better animated effort during the Emmy awards.

Sell the wife, the kids, the dog and the car if you have to, but you really need to add this box-set to your collection. What's more, the Simpsons continue getting funnier for the next seven years. Bring on season three!

  • Commentaries on Each Episode
  • Early Interview with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening
  • Bart's American Music Awards Appearance
  • The Simpsons Presenting at the Emmy Awards
  • "Deep Deep Trouble" Music Video with Optional Commentary
  • "Deep Deep Trouble" Music Video with Optional Commentary
  • "Creation of an Episode" Featurette
  • Foreign Language Clips
  • Butterfinger Commercials
  • Early Sketches
  • Easter Eggs
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