What’s science? No this is not a question you will be tested on in your next history of science exam. Science is the theme of the packaging of the Sixteenth Season of the Simpsons released today in Blu-Ray. The sixteenth season originally aired in 2004 and collectors of the series have waited a long time for this release. Well now it is and Springfield’s local crazy scientist Professor John Frink is the host of the series of discs capturing the zany adventures of the Simpsons.
This series is an exciting experiment as a time capsule into what people were thinking and how they behaved in 2004. Some themes include Homer’s acceptation of gay marriage, drug smuggling from Canada for seniors and many religion-themed episodes. The Simpsons continues to be an animated insight into the American experience forever not aging and attempting to be current with the times.
One nagging complaint of collectors and fans is that the backlog into new seasons being released and produced for home video. It’s currently ten years behind the current season. At first, I was amazed at the credits and some of the references. Ignoring the fact that the package clearly said it was the sixteenth season, I expected the references and the jokes to be from 2012. The age of the material doesn’t matter much as it’s still entertaining. I keep having the feeling that some story ideas have been used before, or after, like the star reporter who drops in Springfield making someone ashamed that they did not pursue their dreams in life.
One episode that I really liked and that I had never seen before (they are a lot of them) is the one where Lisa suffers from anorexia. The actual name of her condition was never mentioned but it continued the ever present theme of one of the kids growing up in some way and losing some of their innocence behind. That’s a lot of what the Simpsons are about. By the end of the episode, something will have changed in the characters, but not enough to make them unrecognizable for their next adventure. It’s a significantly different way of storytelling than say Family Guy, where shock is the way viewers are entertained.