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The Dark Secrets of the Simpsons is a DVD I've had for a while now, I bought it in Borders when there was a sale on. Whenever the Simpsons is on Sky One or Channel 4, I normally end up giving it a watch when theres nothing else on, I really like it and the humour especially the fact that you can start watching at any time in the series and you will understand it since they don't really follow on from each other. Since it looked like the episodes on this DVD would be quite funny, and I hadn't seen them before I decided that it would be a good addition to my DVD collection.
Its marketed as part of the Simpsons classics range, where each DVD has a theme and then the episodes on the disc relate back to that theme. On this disc the four episodes are: 'Homer to the Max,' 'The Springfield Files,' 'Lisa the Iconoclast,' and 'Homer Badman.'
Homer to the Max is a great episode that really shows what the Simpsons is all about. In it, Homer hates that he shares his name with the newest character on a TV cop show that is a total idiot. After changing his name to Max Power (he got it off a hairdryer!) his life starts to improve and he is even recognised and complimented by Mr Burns. That changes when he starts hanging round with environmentalists... bad move! I'll give this episode 9/10. It seems that on some versions of my DVD, this episode is replaced with Homer the Great, not sure if I would prefer this or not.
The Springfield files is an episode that directly parodies the X Files, and even has Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as guest stars in it. It starts off with a narrator and x files music, and it seems like an ordinary day for Homer. That is, until he gets lost in the forest on the way home from Moe's and has a UFO sighting. Everyone hears about it, the x files get involved as do the whole town. But is Homer right? You'll have to watch it and see! This episode is probably 8/10, the x files references were quite good and well done so that they blended in with the episode.
Lisa the Iconoclast isn't one of my favourite episodes, but it is still good. It lacks some of the humour and that bit of edge that most other Simpsons episodes tend to have. In it, Lisa discovers a shocking secret about Springfield's founder Jebediah Springfield and wants to get the truth out, even if no one will believe her. I would give this episode 6/10.
Homer Badman is the final episode in this collection. It starts of well with some laughs, but then it seems to go downhill. Homer is driving the babysitter home, and dives for a gummy bear on her jeans which leads to her accusing him of sexual harassment. This has huge consequences, with Homer seeming to be public enemy number 1 in the town. I'll give this episode 5/10.
The rating is a 12, which is fair enough as there is some crude humour involved, and sexual references as there is in most Simpsons episodes.
The only special feature on the DVD are some trailers for other Simpsons things such as the seasons on DVD, and tree house of horror on DVD, they aren't really worth watching unless you're Simpson obsessed.
Overall as a DVD its average, as you go down the list of episodes they lose something as the first half are quality episode that I really enjoy watching, the second half not so much. I would recommend that you just watch it on TV instead.
The Simpsons: Dark Secrets is another entry into the Simpsons "Classics" series of DVD's. This volume contains four episodes with a mystery/secret theme. The episodes included are "Homer the Great", "The Springfield Files", "Lisa the Iconoclast" and "Homer Badman".
"Homer the Great" is the fabled 'Stonecutters' episode. Homer follows his co-workers, Lenny and Carl, to a secret meeting place with the cream of Springfield's elite. Deciding he wants in, he asks Lenny and Carl for their help. They can't do anything, but luckily his dad is a member so he gets in. Through some strange series of events, he becomes the leader, and promptly everyone quits, leaving just Homer and some monkeys. A classic episode with one of the best known songs from the whole show, fantastic writing and lots of funny moments.
"The Springfield Files" guest stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Mulder and Scully who come to Springfield to investigate a sighting of an alien by, you've guessed it, Homer. Another great guest star in this episode is Leonard Nimoy, who has previously been in the episode "Marge Vs. the Monorail" and gives another humorous performance, helped by the great writing of The Simpsons staff.
Springfield's bicentennial celebration approaches in "Lisa the Iconoclast" and Lisa is shocked to discover that, after doing some research, that Jebediah Springfield was nothing more than a murderous thug. She finds herself at odds against the curator of a Jebediah museum and only accepts the truth when it is literally staring him in the face. Another great guest star, this time by Donald Sutherland as the museum curator. This episode gives you more information about the founding of Springfield and of the rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville, all wrapped in a hilarious well scripted package.
Finally, "Homer Badman" has Homer accused of sexual harassment after trying to pry a rare gummi bear off the babysitters rear (He went to a candy convention). The whole town is against him and there are even TV shows condemning him, but it takes a man from the wee country of Scotland to save the day. A good pastiche on some of the negative TV shows there are and how over the top they can be, this has razor sharp writing and shows that Homer is basically a good, decent, honorable man, even if sometimes he can act stupidly.
Overall an incredible collection of episodes, let down by the expensive price tag and total lack of extras. Five stars for the episodes alone, as they really are quality, highly recommended!