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The Simpsons: Season Ten Review


Very Good
By the end of the 1990s The Simpsons, the former enfant terrible of Rupert Murdoch's once upstart Fox Network, was well into its mature middle period of cultural acceptance. Earlier seasons (the first full episode aired back in December 1989) had seen a lot of attention paid to Bart's supposedly dangerous antisocial tendencies. But throughout the 1990s, the show had honed its satire and firmed up its roster of stellar voice actors, turning what had been seen first as the animated equivalent of Married With Children into something of a national institution. Seasons 8 and 9 had provided some of the show's greatest episodes, like "Homer's Enemy" (a devastating stab at American lassitude featuring Homer's nemesis Frank Grimes) and "Lisa the Skeptic" (where consumerism and religion get a similarly brutal treatment).

The 23 episodes of Season 10, broadcast between August 1998 and May 1999, reveal a show securely positioned both as money-making endeavor for Fox and well-regarded repository for smarty-pants satire. The show's writers, one of TV's greatest collections of comic minds since the stellar days of Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, know exactly what notes to hit, and they hit them over and over again; meaning, in short: lots of Homer being an unthinking idiot. Homer could save Grandpa's life with a kidney transplant, but he's too scared of the operation and keeps running away, ala the climax of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Homer becomes a bodyguard. And so on. But all this attention also means that the writers are constantly feeding Homer the best lines ("Are you sure this is a sci-fi convention? It's full of nerds."), though Bart gets plenty of one-liners as well ("Dad, you make a great hippie; you're lazy and self-righteous!").

Continue reading: The Simpsons: Season Ten Review

Babe Review


Excellent
Baa ram ewe. The already-classic kiddie flick wins raves for its groundbreaking animation and a theme that is both child-accessible while not insulting to adults. Plus, that little pig is so darn cute.
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