So I recently decided to watch The Simpsons from the very beginning, since I've never seen every episode and it's piqued my interest lately for some reason. I thought this would be an interesting experiment to see how exactly this series began, and to see what exact episode the series fell apart at. I'll be giving my short thoughts on each individual episode to make things easier. This is a VERY long show, so I'll be taking a break every once in a while so I won't get burn out.
For starters, my own history with The Simpsons. I grew up watching this series around Season 16. Family Guy had just come back around this point, and I would just watch this as sort of a filler before Family Guy came on. My parents had some of the DVDs of the first few seasons, and a compilation of The Tree House Of Horror Specials that I remember watching a ton, but I don't remember the early episodes, more so the later seasons than anything. I was always more of a Family Guy person when I was younger. I never did any real rewatching of the Simpsons until recently, so this is going to be mostly new, with a few exceptions here and there.
Season 1 is.....surreal. I love how much more chill, relaxed and inoffensive this season is for an adult cartoon. It's actually extremely refreshing to see. I noticed that the season, for the most part, is more focused on the Simpsons as a family, than most of the town of Springfield, unlike the later seasons. You actually don't see a lot of the town or main civilian characters, until about "The Telltale Head". The animation is a bit more rubbery, some background characters are just generic beady eyed characters at points, iconic areas that you see later, aren't fully realized yet, like Mr Burn's Office, Moe's Bar, and some character voices and designs are way off. (Like Carl's voice for instance and Sideshow Bobs design). I know it's just early installment weirdness, but part of me likes to see how this series the built up the stuff that we all know and love. I also completely forgot Doctor Monroe was even a recurring character in this season. I find it interesting that Brad Bird, the director of The Iron Giant, and The Incredibles worked on some of these episodes.
Season 1 Episode Mini Thoughts
- Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire - Good first episode. I liked the introduction to Santa's Little Helper, Homer desperately shows he does care about giving his family a good Christmas. The scene when Homer nearly strangled the Santa Instructor gave me a good laugh.
- Bart The Genius - This is an ok episode. Nothing about this one really sticks out to me.
- Homer's Odyssey - Another ok episode. Again, I don't really have much to say about it.
- There's No Disgrace Like Home - I really like this one. The electroshock scene was the highlight for me. I got a giggle out of seeing the family that Homer thought were angels, end up in the same therapy session as them.
- Bart The General - Good episode. I like the bit of continuity thrown in from one of the previous episodes, about the kid Miss Krabappel mentioned, who got his arm cut off when he stuck his arm out the bus window turns out to be Herman. Good introduction to Nelson, and a satisfying water balloon fight with the army Bart builds.
- Moaning Lisa - Great Episode. Lisa having an existential crisis, I liked Bleeding Gums Murphy and Lisa's interaction at the end. I do hope he shows up again at some point. The plot with Homer trying to get better to beat Bart at his video game I really liked. One of my favorites right now.
- Call of The Simpsons- An ok episode. I thought the beginning with the family and Cowboy Bob took a bit too long. The episode took an unexpectedly weird turn, with the news thinking Homer was Big Foot. The plot line with Maggie and the Bears I thought was adorable, with how much unnecessary stuff they tried to get her.
- The Telltale Head - Great Episode. I thought the cold opening was done really well. Bart annoying the teacher with dumb questions, and Homer secretly listening to football and yelling about it during church, were the funniest parts to me.
- Life On The Fast Lane - A good episode. It took me a bit to realize Albert Brooks played Jacques.
- Homer's Night Out - An ok episode, though I found it really hypocritical that Marge would nearly leave Homer over something so silly, especially when she nearly did far worse in the last episode.
- The Crepes Of Wrath - Good Episode- The obliviousness of Homer not suspecting what Adil was up to was hilarious.
- Krusty Gets Busted - My favorite episode of the season. I like how the solution to the mystery wasn't all that obvious at the beginning, which is especially good for viewers watching it for the first time.
- Some Enchanted Evening - Probably my least favorite of the season. I can kind of see why they didn't air this one first. Kind of a dumb ending. I didn't find the plot with Marge and Homer to be all that interesting.
So those are my thoughts on the first season of The Simpsons, I liked it for the most part. I hear the show only gets better from here, so that ought to be interesting.