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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season'
(The Simpsons / 2-Disc Blu ray / NR / (2009) 2010 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: Now, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment celebrates this historic milestone when “The Simpsons” Season 20 Blu-ray and DVD collection arrives January 12, marking the show’s first time ever in high-definition. Series creator Matt Groening has added his own special touch by drawing all-new menus for both the Blu-ray and DVD, creating another keepsake memento for “The Simpsons” fans.

Blu ray Verdict: OK, getting this out first, every season of The Simpsons previously released on DVD has included lots of special features: little featurettes, deleted scenes, audio commentary for every episode, etc. So, quite a disappointment to discover that this set has absolutely NO extras, unless you want to count a promo for a Simpsons 20th Anniversary show that aired on Fox on January 10!

Anyway, moving on and as of early 2009, The Simpsons shifted to HD to keep up with the times. The change was easily visible for two reasons. For starters the opening sequence changed and began to include longer and longer couch gag sequences. However, the most important change is in the show's traditional dynamic.

The Simpsons, despite being a cartoon, started as anything but. It may have featured very sketchy character designs in its opening days, but it was socially intelligent and culturally apt. As the years went on, the animators fine-tuned the appearance of America's favorite yellow family and the characters acquired a set look that carried it through 19 and a half seasons. There was never too much character detail, but it worked because the character-driven stories (at least in the first 10 seasons) helped you look past the simplistic designs.

As the show's quality decreased in an effort to prolong its legacy (assuming you trust Mr. Scully), more detail was given to the characters, the voices changed a little, and the entire village of Springfield received a touch-up.

And so, on this Blu-ray set, these season 20 episodes look fantastic. It may feel like Fox substituted cosmetic quality for writing quality, but at least they got what they paid for. The colors are richer; the details are unsurpassed by past seasons. If all you want from a classic cartoon series is enriched animation, then this is the set for you.

My top 3 fav episodes are: "Mypods and Boomsticks" - Remember the "American Dad!" episode where Stan though the neighbors were terrorists? Yes? Classic? Yes! Also, Lisa gets a portable mp3 playing device; "Wedding for Disaster" - Mix in the "Saw" movie franchise and Sideshow Bob and what do you get? Well, you get this. Which is pretty good! And finally, "Four Great Women and a Manicure" - Another anthology episode. This one is better than most, and features a great take on Ayn "What a hot guy!" Rand. The lowest-rated episode in the show's history, but one I rather liked! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Featurette - "The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock"

www.FoxStore.com





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