Official Season 15 DVD & Blu-Ray

Captain Squid

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I think it was said a while back that one of the episodes on the ol' Christmas DVDs, that at the time had yet to be released in a season set, ended up looking a lot better on the season set while the Christmas DVD version looked no so good.

So yeah, I think it is more than DVD vs. blu-ray. Sources mean a lot too. I don't think blu-ray could help some of the old seasons if they're using the same source.
 

Patches O'houlihan

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I know I'm just whinging now, but I find it difficult to watch Seasons 7 through 10 on DVD on my HDTV as I find a lot of episodes have a weird 'shimmering' look about them (hopefully people get what I mean, as I have seen this complaint thrown around from time to time) - any kind of picture upgrade for earlier seasons would be incredibly welcome!

I'd buy a bare-bones BR set from S1-S12 if all the episodes were as clean as the Gump Roast BR screen shots and they could be in a cardboard sleeves for all I care.


*Oh wait, this is the same Fox that keeps dragging the series on forever, but only gives us one new home video release a year.

They're spending too much time on designing the DVD box! ;)
 

Captain Squid

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I'm pretty sure in a commentary I heard Al Jean talking about how people ask for a Treehouse of Horror DVD boxed set of all the THOH's, and he started talking about how they aired all the I&S cartoons in a row and people got bored with it (a story he tells far too often). Thing is, a THOH compilation DVD is nothing like an I&S montage. So either Al Jean was being stupid, or I dreamed this up and it never happened.
 

Ryan

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I'm pretty sure in a commentary I heard Al Jean talking about how people ask for a Treehouse of Horror DVD boxed set of all the THOH's, and he started talking about how they aired all the I&S cartoons in a row and people got bored with it (a story he tells far too often). Thing is, a THOH compilation DVD is nothing like an I&S montage. So either Al Jean was being stupid, or I dreamed this up and it never happened.

I don't think he was saying that as "why we won't do it", it just reminded him of that often-told story.

Can't believe I'm about to say this, but Yeardley Smith saved the commentary for "The President Wore Pearls". One of the easily best episodes from that season, it would've been a shame if it went on and on about Al Jean having his little interview with Michael Moore about writing satire after the start of the Iraq War (a topic which they barely ever covered anyways)... thankfully Yeardley who usually ruins commentaries, saved it by drifting the track towards the episode. At least for five minutes after which we got the ten millionth discussion about the animation switch.

Also did anyone else see that bizarre easter egg at the end of THOH XIV? Where Al Jean talks about how it's the "end of an era" for S15 since afterward they had to balance the movie and the show? Is he implying that even he thinks the quality suffered due to that? It was strange.

didn't they do a thoh collection on vhs?

Kinda but not really at all. The DVD set they put out is even better.
 

Oh that's raspberry!

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Also did anyone else see that bizarre easter egg at the end of THOH XIV? Where Al Jean talks about how it's the "end of an era" for S15 since afterward they had to balance the movie and the show? Is he implying that even he thinks the quality suffered due to that? It was strange.

No, but I tried numerous times.
 
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The best commentary so far (and I've listened to more than half of them) has got to be The Regina Monologues. They actually go into quite a lot of detail about the making of the show.

The majority of virtually every commentary (like on the past couple of box sets) consists of a discussion that not related to the episode. What's funny is that back in the classic era, the only times this happened was on episodes such as Another Simpsons Clip Show. Says a lot, no?
 

The Wiggs

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Personally, I don't really see the need for a THOH only set. Every THOH episode will eventually be available in one way or another. I guess if there's someone out there who dislikes the show with the exceptions of the THOH episodes then it might make sense but I don't think it's worth FOX's effort, at least until after we get all of the seasons out after the show ends.
 

Captain Squid

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I enjoy THOH marathons come Halloween time, and switching between 14 discs gets a bit annoying, so I could see the appeal of a box set.

I've considered ripping all the THOH episodes to my computer and just making an iTunes playlist, might be the best way to go.
 

Oh that's raspberry!

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I'm an advocate for a thoh set. It's annoying to have to go through every season if you wanted to marathon them, and they're the only style episode it would work with since there will be at least 25 of them(I'm assuming one of the holdovers after next season will be one.)
 

Ryan

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"I D'oh-Bot" and "The Fat and the Furriest" really surprised me, I was sure those were going to be absolute shit upon looking back. They were actually pretty goddamn good and filled with consistently amusing jokes.

Awaiting to see if there's more disappointments than surprises. ("The Regina Monologues" was godawful back in 2003 and is still godawful nine years later)
 

Captain Squid

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I've finally gone through all the episodes without commentary (going to listen to all the commentaries over the next few weeks, maybe bring the discs to work and treat the commentaries like podcasts). Overall, 15 was a good season. Lots of the episodes surprised me, I had largely forgotten about them and upon rewatch I really enjoyed a number of them.

Episodes I always remember liking, and still really enjoyed:
• Treehouse of Horror XIV - aside from Frinkenstein, it was a really great post-classic Halloween show. Homer as the reaper had a lot of great gags, while Bart and Milhouse freezing time is a brilliant (if unoriginal) concept. Like the commentary said, it was really easy for the animators, but I thought it lead to a lot of great sight gags.

• The President Wore Pearls - This and My Fair Laddy are some of my favorite musical episodes. Not quite up there with Sherry Bobbins, but still filled with great music and the stories are (unlike Bobbins) fairly grounded in reality.

• 'Tis the Fifteenth Season - One of my favorite Christmas episodes, if only for the many Holiday Special references and how it in itself is a commentary on holiday specials. I always love seeing Homer being infatuated by inanimate (non-food) objects.

• Simple Simpson - While it was a bit "out there", it was no different from some of the other zany episodes of the series. The animation was awesome, the story was fun and the many super hero references were great. I'd say this just might be my favorite of the season.

• Fraudcast News - Classic evil Burns, great seeing another Lisa vs. Burns story. Lots of little seen aspects of Springfield, like Channel 6 management and the Springfield Shopper get screen time. Bill & Marty have a funny scene. I even liked the old man Burns gags (lying about being 89, pushed over by an ant).

The episodes that surprised me* included: The Fat and the Furriest, I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot, Diatribe of a Mad Housewife, Margical History Tour, Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The Ziff Who Came to Dinner, My Big Fat Geek Wedding, The Way We Weren't

*All of these weren't perfect, but they were a lot of fun to rewatch. Season 15 had a lot of episodes dealing with series spanning storylines including: Homer's mom (didn't list that episode above, it was alright but I thought there were some weak bits and I wasn't a big fan of the ending.. aside from the final shot which was cute), Krusty's dad, Milhouse's divorced parents, Edna/Seymour, Homer & Marge's past. It was great to see some stories resolved and continued, even if the episodes themselves weren't my favorites.

My least favorite episodes of the season would have to be:

• Co-Dependent's Day - I admit, I'm a Star Wars fan I thought a lot of the jokes were pretty funny, even if I'm a prequel defender (especially eps 2&3) and I think why I disliked this episode in part because at the time it aired Episode II was a year old, and dropped a bulk of the politics that annoyed people in TPM. So the parody was apt, but late by about four years, and didn't really apply to the second and third films. Also, Cosmic Wars? Doesn't Star Wars exist in the Simpsons universe? I'm all for parodies, but at least differentiate it a BIT more than simply being Star Wars with a different name. Seriously, a purple Yoda is the best they could do? I think the parody would have been much stronger if Cosmic Wars had more of its own identity. Then there is the main plot of the episode, which was just weak and boring. A few funny drunk Marge moments, but overall a forgettable episode.

• Bart-Mangled Banner - I read people hating on this episode in this thread, and I had completely forgotten this one, so when I got through the first act I was confused as to why people hated this one... then the final act hit and I got why. It's a pretty good episode up until the prison island. Then it just veers into wackyland with jumping from prison to the ocean to france to New York. They could have made a good episode with the town hating the Simpsons for being anti-American, and resolving that bit, but instead it was just "send them to a wacky prison!". Lame.

The rest of the episodes were good, but not great nor did they surprise me. I remembered these to be decent and they were pretty much just that upon rewatch: My Mother the Carjacker, The Regina Monologues, Today, I am a Clown, Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays, Smart and Smarter, The Wandering Juvie, Catch 'Em If You Can
 

That Don Guy

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I haven't watched every disc yet, but here's the Easter Eggs I've found for Disc 1.

Treehouse of Horror XIV: Watch the commentary in it's entierty to get an introduction to the DVD from Al Jean

My Mother the Carjacker: Press up on the remote to highlight one of the lights on the TV screen, to play some deleted scenes.

The Regina Monologues: During the episode's commentary, Al Jean will talk about his recording session with Tony Blair, it'll then cut to British Newspaper headlines about the meeting. Also on the episode menu, press up on the remote to highlight the upper left light on the TV screen to view some deleted scenes.

The Fat and the Furriest: During the episode's commentary Joel H. Cohen will talk about the origin of the episode, coming from some documentary, the commentary will cut to a clip from that documentary. Also on the episode menu, press up on the remote to highlight the upper left light on the TV screen to view some deleted scenes.
For those of us with the Blu-Ray version, where it says "Press Up on the remote", highlight "Play Episode With Commentary", then press Left, then OK/Enter/whatever the "big" button on your remote is.

(Also, to get the "in-episode" Easter Eggs, when the "Simpsons Crossing Street Sign" appears in the lower right, press OK.)
 

That Don Guy

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If anyone has a PC hooked up to TV, couldn't you just rip them to the computer and watch them on the TV?
Yes (in fact, er, "some people I know" capture the HD broadcasts and burn them onto Blu-Rays), but then the quality isn't as good, and you don't get the extras like the deleted scenes.
 

Captain Squid

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Yeah I own the DVD and haven't scene those extras for THOH, Regina Monologues, and Fat and the Furriest....kinda annoying honestly.

I just found the Fat and the Furriest clip and the Regina Monologues newspaper clippings. You gotta have commentary ON and deleted scenes ON, then when they talk about the bit with the bonus footage, a yellow street sign will appear in the corner and you press enter to watch the clip. Have yet to find where the Al Jean welcome message is on the disc, but its there. I popped my DVD into a disc ripper and found a one minute audio-only welcome message from Jean. Maybe Solid Snake could tell us exactly how to access it?
 

That Don Guy

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I just found the Fat and the Furriest clip and the Regina Monologues newspaper clippings. You gotta have commentary ON and deleted scenes ON, then when they talk about the bit with the bonus footage, a yellow street sign will appear in the corner and you press enter to watch the clip. Have yet to find where the Al Jean welcome message is on the disc, but its there. I popped my DVD into a disc ripper and found a one minute audio-only welcome message from Jean. Maybe Solid Snake could tell us exactly how to access it?
It should be the same way you find the other ones - it's at the end of the last story, just before the credits. Try using chapter advance to go to the last chapter (where the credits start), then rewind slightly, then play.
 

Charlie

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Just picked up a copy of the blu-ray. Liking the design - have to admit that even if the quality of the show is on a decline, they sure put them into a nice little package. A bit disappointed with the picture quality this time around. IMO Season 13, 14 and 20 looked superb, regardless of if they were hand-coloured or digital. Season 15, though, has a very blurry quality to it in a lot of shots and I was almost tempted to return it for the DVD as I would imagine the quality would be around the same as it's all 100% from a digital source now, the only reason I haven't is because it'd look weird on my shelf having 12 seasons on DVD, 2 on blu-ray, then another on DVD and then yet another (20) on blu.

Overall pretty disappointed with the picture quality of this release, particularly after raving about how good the last couple of seasons looked.
 

Ryan

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I just found the Fat and the Furriest clip and the Regina Monologues newspaper clippings. You gotta have commentary ON and deleted scenes ON, then when they talk about the bit with the bonus footage, a yellow street sign will appear in the corner and you press enter to watch the clip. Have yet to find where the Al Jean welcome message is on the disc, but its there. I popped my DVD into a disc ripper and found a one minute audio-only welcome message from Jean. Maybe Solid Snake could tell us exactly how to access it?

Commentary track on, end of THOH XIV, yellow street sign.
 

Charlie

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Listening to the commentaries and I'm thinking they're starting to go a bit overboard with who they're letting onto them - Valentina Garza is on The Fat and the Furriest even though she wasn't on staff until (I believe) sometime around Season 19/20 (first writing credit is Four Great Women and a Manicure). No wonder why they barely talk about the actual episodes anymore, seeing as how some participants weren't even around when they were produced.
 

Frightenin’ Mate No. 2

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Well after 15 years of talking about the episodes, you would eventually run out of decent things to talk about.

If the show was pretty stale after 15 years, it's amazing the commentaries aren't even worse.
 

Oh that's raspberry!

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And they let people like Tom Gammill participate on every episode, a guy who was very obsessed with his producer credit in Season 12...

The commentaries are getting kinda stale.

I was annoyed by Gammill on commentaries at the time of Season 12's release but I've grown to enjoy him honestly. I liked how he brought up how they didn't bash George W. enough(again) in Bart-Mangled Banner.
 

Charlie

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Well after 15 years of talking about the episodes, you would eventually run out of decent things to talk about.

If the show was pretty stale after 15 years, it's amazing the commentaries aren't even worse.

To be fair, I kind of like them up until Season 13 at least. Even if he got repetitive and his 'fun facts' sheet was a bit lame, I have to give credit to Scully for trying to at least make part of each commentary as a backstory for the episode and give production details and whatnot, and asking other writers to pitch in what they remember of the experience. The Jean commentaries are very much all over the place - yes, they still talk about the show (well, more often than not at least), but it'd be nice to have more production-oriented talk instead of "this is a digital episode" for the 20th time.
 
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