25 May 2007

20 Moments of Simpsons Ingenuity (10-6)

Part 1 and Part 2 of this countdown offered up the following creative mix ups.

20 - Simpsons Bible Stories - Season 10

19 - 'Round Springfield - Season 6
18 - Springfield Up - Season 18
17 - The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase - Season 8
16 - The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular - Season 7
15 - Flaming Moe's - Season 3
14 - Treehouse of Horror VI - Season 7
13 - Who Shot Mr. Burns? - Seasons 6 and 7
12 - Lisa's Wedding - Season 6
11 - Bart vs. Australia - Season 6

Now onto the top 10:

10 - Bart of Darkness - Season 6

Bart of Darkness was a great episode on its own, but even better when you realize that it is a beat for beat parody of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. One of the things that makes this such a great episode is that it works on both levels. While other episodes had done parodies before, this was the first to make the parody so interwoven into the story. Other inspired parodies would follow including You Only Move Twice which gave fans a look at the villainous side of the James Bond franchise, Das Bus which did Lord of the Flies, and 'Tis the Fifteenth Season that gave us another take on How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

9 - A Streetcar Named Marge - Season 4

Musical numbers have been a part of the series since Bart's "Batman Smells" rendition in the 1st episode, but musical episodes didn't exist until A Streetcar Named Marge. Some later episodes would also dabbled with musical numbers (Marge vs. the Monorail, Homer and Apu, Bart After Dark). And full scale musical adaptations of Mary Poppins, Evita, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music appeared in Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious, The President Wore Pearls, My Fair Laddy, and Yokel Chords.

8 - Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire - Season 1

Let us not forget that The Simpsons used to be just little shorts on the Tracey Ullman show. Transforming the shorts into a 30 minute sitcom was a bold move that paid off big. A whole Simpsons universe of supporting characters was created and continues to grow 18 seasons later. Though this wasn't the first full length episode produced (Some Enchanted Evening was), it was the first aired, and it will always remember it as the 1st episode of the series.

7 - 24 Minutes - Season 18

The Simpsons have done clever parody before (see #10), but this episode deserves its own entry on the list of innovative episodes. Not only did the plot of the plot flow like that of the show 24, the visual style presented here was a real departure for the series. 24 Minutes featured countless (and satirically unnecessary) split screens to up the intensity of the terrorist stink bomb plot. Even though the story was a bit of a stretch of realism, the story was adapted in a fairly believable way or the Simpsons universe. Other hit shows The X-Files and American Idol were parodied in The Springfield Files and A Star is Torn, but never before has The Simpsons so radically altered its style to imitate the fine art that is Fox TV.

6 - The Way We Was - Season 2

This episode introduced an ongoing storyline set in the Simpsons past. Not only did it allow us to learn more about young Homie and Marge, but it allowed some good satirization of the 80s. This was the first episode to offer a look at Simpsons at a different age, though we would eventually delve into the further past, future, and alternate realities. This story continued to unfold in I Married Marge, Lisa's Sax, and The Way We Weren't.

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