The Simpsons – Season 3: TV Review

Hi, I’m The Blog Complainer. You might remember me from other made up reviews such as “Oceans Stop Signs”, “Twilight: Breaking The Coke Part 7” and “Jim and Steven’s Excellent Adventure”. Tonight we’ll be taking another look at America’s never ending ‘We Want It To Die Already’ family – The Simpsons – Season Three. (I’ve wanted to say that since I’ve started this series.)

Alright we’ve got another set of 24 episodes to look at so this should be brief! We’re still in the early 90’s and The Simpsons are doing pretty well and this was around the time when The Simpsons branched out to the arcade world with The Simpsons Arcade and inspiring many more Simpsons games down the track. Also this was when The Simpsons released music videos. (I’m not kidding.) Does ‘Do The Bartman’ ring any bells?

bartman4
(Cringe Alert)

From here we jump into classic Simpsons era where every episode is considered a masterpiece according to The Emmys and basically everyone else who reviewed stuff at that time. But who cares what people thought from 26 years ago! It’s about now and what I think.

What I Think: This season is better than the last season because there are less sucky episodes and there are more good to even great episodes. Homer and Lisa are my favorite characters at this point so don’t be surprised when their episodes get more praise from me. The large supporting cast is finally at full effect and there are some pretty good songs this season too. This is also the funniest season so far. There were a few times I remember I was chuckling away and slowing down or pausing episodes to catch all the visual gags. This is the first season where every two episodes or so there’s a celebrity cameo or a celebrity that has some sort of impact on the episode. Okay, let’s dive into the individual episodes shall we?

The First 12 Episodes: This first half of the season has more good than bad episodes. Our starting episode is ‘Stark Raving Dad’ aka Michael Jackson’s punishment for producing ‘Do The Bartman’. This episode isn’t all that bad but it’s so cheesy and dumb. Homer is considered insane when he wears a pink shirt to work and he’s thrown into a mental hospital with a guy who thinks he’s Michael Jackson and even sounds just like him. Michael Jackson is another celebrity who didn’t want to be credited for his voice work even though Matt Groening has said that he’s a huge fan of the show. Anyway this episode is okay and it’s got a pretty good song at the end written by Jackson but not sung by Jackson.

michael-jackson-on-the-simpsons
I think Michael Jackson would’ve got along with the people in Springfield 

Next is ‘Mr Lisa Goes To Washington’ which is an excellent episode and it’s the best Lisa centric episode. It’s about Lisa entering an essay that takes her to DC where she’s so excited to talk about what a great country she lives in only to find out America is just like real life and is full of corrupt greedy politicians. It’s another defining moment for Lisa’s character and does a good job at jabbing at politics and her speech at the end of the episode is great. It’s beyond me why Yeardley Smith didn’t win an Emmy for this episode. Next is ‘When Flanders Failed’- another good episode. Homer wants Flanders’s new store to go out of business and which it does. It shows just how much of a terrible neighbor Homer is and how nice a guy Flanders is because seriously he was validating everyone’s parking tickets without them making any purchases.

Homer Defined’ is an episode I always liked when I was a kid but not as much now. This is the only episode Jon Lovitz guest stars in this season even though his character shows up later on this season but is just voiced by someone else. The main plot focuses on Homer stupidly saving the power plant from a meltdown by just pressing a button at random and the other plot focuses on Bart and Milhouse not being friends anymore which is also brought up again in another episode later this season. We also meet Milhouse’s mum and later on in the season his dad too and I can’t get over how similar these two look same big noses, same hair and the same damn glasses. I’ve got theories on this but I think its best I keep these thoughts to myself. After that we’ve got the first episode that shows that Krusty shouldn’t be the star of a children’s program. This episode shows his backstory and we meet his father who hates him for being a clown even though half the time he acts like a stand-up comedian. This episode also has the first questionable Emmy winning award for best voice work from Krusty Senior.

simpsons-like-father-like-clown
Who Would Win A Stand-Up Comedy Routine? 

After that we get the 2nd Treehouse of Horror episode which is awesome. All three of these sketches are really good and my favorite being The Monkey Paw episode. This episode perfectly predicts the current state of The Simpsons and it’s also a hilarious parody. Next up we have two Homer is terrible episodes. The first and best one is ‘Lisa’s Pony’ a recurring gag from the first two seasons is that Lisa wants a Pony and Homer gets her one only to sacrifice his personal life to make her happy. The most touching episode of this season. The other one is ‘Saturdays of Thunder’ which is about Homer knowing nothing about Bart this time. Comparing to the last episode it’s passable. To end this half off we’ve got ‘I Married Marge’ which shows Homer and Marge getting married, Homer getting a job at the plant and how he got the job is hilarious, Bart is born and we learn Smithers’ first name. After one viewing you probably don’t need to see it again.

The Last 12 Episodes: Now we have more passable episodes and to start it all off it’s a Bart episode. Bart causes some mischief and becomes the boy who cried wolf and the whole town acts like selfish jerks for no reason. This was nominated for an Emmy too! I guess the highlight is that this is the first episode that Chief Wiggum acts like the incompetent dimwitted police chief that we all know and love and The Comic Book Guy is black for just one quick scene. (Later on he has different color hair but he’ll have correct color skin) Next is ‘Lisa The Greek’ which is my least favorite Lisa and Homer episode. I’m insulted to learn that this was the episode that won Yeardley Smith an Emmy. Lisa and Homer become betting buddies and the last act of the episode made no sense other than to make a tense moment which fell completely flat. I’ve changed my mind; this might be my least favorite episode since The Season 1 days.

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How Could You’ve Messed Up An Episode With These Two!

Homer Alone’ is the 50th episode in the series (doesn’t sound that impressive now) and it’s basically about taking Marge out of the equation. We’ve seen this concept before in earlier episodes when it wasn’t the focus and I think it would’ve been more interesting seeing a whole episode where the kids stuck with Patty and Selma. But what we got was pretty good too. ‘Bart The Lover’ is probably the best Bart centric episode. Mrs Krabappel needs a man in her life so Bart makes up her dream man by writing love letters to her. This is another pretty good episode with the best b plot of the season. ‘Homer At The Bat’ is simply a classic episode. Homer makes a special bat that gets them to the baseball finals but Mr Burns makes a bet with a rival business and, having no faith in his team, he hires professional baseball players to win the game for them. This is the best episode to incorporate famous people into the story because all the players are so memorable and how each member fails to arrive at the game is so hilarious. This episode is so good that every episode comes after just falls under its shadow.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must watch.

Separate Vocations’ is another episode that I liked when I was a kid and one I still enjoy it today. Basically Bart and Lisa swap roles. Bart gets along with Skinner and Lisa is like every rebellious teen from today. It’s one of my personal favorites that shows the characters in different situations and it’s also pretty hilarious. ‘Colonel Homer’ plot is kicked off because Homer is one of those guys in the theatre who won’t shut up. (Where was George Costanza when you need him? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61iZXRCAL6s) This is where Homer meets Lurleen Lumpkin who sounds older than she looks. (Trust me it’s much worst on her 2nd appearance.) This is kind of like that episode when Marge is drifting away from Homer back in Season 1 except Homer is swept up in this fun adventure of being a manager but the love interest is once again not very subtle about wanting to be with their married friend. (Instead of talking creepily she sings about it to his face!) I would say this is an improvement over the episode from Season 1 and one of the best episodes of this season.

colonelhomer
I’m Sure This Would’ve Worked For Any Other Young Pretty Singer.

Black Widower’ continues Selma’s endless search for a man which I feel could have been a season arc of her announcing she’s found someone who loves her and they could tease it throughout the season. But watching the episode reminded me how anti climatic this arc would’ve ended. A very predictable episode and the only highlight of the episode is that we see the return of Moleman. (He’s the best.) Last three now and the first one is ‘The Otto Show’ and it’s got the best cameo from a singer or band this season and that’s from Spinal Tap which isn’t even a real band. This one was pretty great with Patty and Otto make a really good pairing. The 2nd last episode has Milhouse date Lucy from Twin Peaks and it’s just okay.  It has the most pointless B plot of the season and it’s the only episode that I actually got the movie reference from when I was a kid.

Now we’re finally up to the last episode of the season. When Homer gets radiation poisoning Mr Burns makes up an award show so he can handover $2,000 so Homer will forget about being sick. It starts out pretty promising when Homer goes shopping for Lazy Boy chairs but then half-way through the episode Homer’s half-brother Unkie Herb had to show up to ruin everything. Apparently fans didn’t like it that Unkie Herb was homeless at the end of his first episode (for some reason?) so the whole point of the episode is to make Herb rich again with a baby translator thing. I mentioned before I didn’t like Herb and he’s much worst in this episode where the writers changed his character just so he can be rich again even though this wasn’t set-up in the previous episode. Unkie Herb’s story ended in his debut episode and it’s basically back tracking and at the end of the day nothing changed. Unkie Herb is one of the worst characters in the series and this episode is a complete stinker and a bad way to end this really good season.

simpsons-brother-spare-dimes
So Long Unkie Herb, You Won’t Be Missed.

Conclusion: Overall it’s a really good season with some hiccups along the way and some excellent episodes that deserved to win an Emmy over that average Bart centric episode. It’s definitely worth watching through most of the season.  End it on the Milhouse episode and you’ve got a great season to watch with the family or some really close friends.

So if you agree or disagree please let me know in the comments. If you can share it with your loved ones that would be great and if you haven’t noticed I’m a huge fan of movies & TV Shows and I’m willing to suffer for my audience so let me know what I should review next.

If you want to me to continue this series or if you have other series you think I should review please let me know.

Thanks for reading this review and I’ll see you again in the next review. I’ll be back next month with Season 4.

Ranking

24. Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?

23. Lisa The Greek

22. Stark Raving Dad

21. Bart The Murderer

20. Dog Of Death

19. Bart’s Friend Is In Love

18. Black Widower

17. Like Father, Like Clown

16. Radio Bart

15. Saturdays Of Thunder

14. I Married Marge

13. Homer Defined

12. Homer Alone

11. The Otto Show

10. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk

9. Bart The Lover

8. Flaming Moe’s

7. When Flanders Failed

6. Colonel Homer

5. Separate Vocations

4. Treehouse Of Horror II

3. Lisa’s Pony

2. Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington

1. Homer At The Bat

Season Rating: 7/10

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