Simpsons, The : The Simpsons: Season 13 DVD Review

Title: The Simpsons: Season 13
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer
Duration: 484 minutes
Episodes: 22
Directors: Various
Certificate: 12
Released: 20th September 2010

In season 13 of the Simpsons viewers should expect a couple of cracking Haloween episodes. In ‘Hex and the City’ a gypsy's curse results in Homer having even worse luck than he normally does, as he has to endure the rest of the Simpson family turning into monsters and killing off his best friends. In ‘House of Whacks’, Marge buys a HAL-style computer system for which she chooses to have a ‘Pierce Brosnan’ personality installed into. Brosnan immediately falls in love with Marge and tries to kill his competition Homer. In another episode Bart gets ends up in front of the court judge after he is caught joyriding in a police car. Bart isn’t worried because Judge Snyder is a soft touch, but when he goes on holiday, a replacement judge named Constance Harm sees things a little differently. No surprise as she is played by Jane Kaczmarek the tough-love mother from ‘Malcolm in the Middle’.

THE SIMPSONS, SEASON 13 ON DVDOther notable guest stars in season 13 are REM, George Takei and Paul Newman. Richard Gere also pops up for an episode to teach Lisa the ways of Buddism while Ben Stiller also features in an episode, which I could have happily missed. Is it just me or is Stiller the most annoying actor in Hollywood these days? Reese Witherspoon also drops into Springfield for an episode and Stan Lee the comic-book guru appears in the episode ‘I Am Furious Yellow’ as a worthy adversary for the Comic Book Guy.

In ‘Half-Decent Proposal’ Homer tries to fix his snoring problem but he needs money. He aims to get the cash by allowing Artie Ziff to spend a weekend with Marge. Of course it’s a play in the old Indecent Proposal film but as Artie Ziff is played by the ever-lovable Jon Lovitz you won’t mind the re-hash of an old story.

Overall season 13 is enjoyable although it certainly seems to me that there are numerous odd moments where the writers overstep the boundaries of comedy and go into another place entirely. Homer at one point has an accident and blood gushes out of his hand, in another incident the relationship between Bart and Homer feels just a little more physically violent than usual and there are several references and episodes centred upon quite blatant infidelity. This is perhaps fine for young adults but The Simpsons as I remember it from earlier years was always a family show. Having said that these episodes are from 2001-2002 so maybe it’s been like this for a while. But I’m still not quite so sure that the territory that the show now strays into on occasion could still be considered family entertainment. It’s rated 12, so I suppose that goes some of the way to suggesting that this is not for children much younger than teenagers, but I’m sure that kids of less than 10 years of age regularly watch the show.

That said if you’re a little older there are plenty of laughs to be had in this season by spending time with this ageless cartoon family.

Author : Kevin Stanley