It's Christmas time in the Simpsons household, and to hide the fact that he didn't get his Christmas bonus, Homer takes a second job as a store Santa.
After Bart swaps aptitude tests with Martin Prince, he is sent to a special school for gifted kids.
After Homer causes another accident at the nuclear plant, he is fired. He becomes a safety activist, and takes on Mr. Burns.
After the family embarrass Homer at the company picnic, he pawns the TV and takes the family to a psychiatrist.
When Bart gets beat up by Nelson Muntz, he forms an army of his friends to wage war on the bully.
Lisa is feeling blue, and her family just don't understand. She meets a jazz musician, Bleeding Gums Murphy, who helps her feel better.
The Simpsons decide to take a camping trip, however, everything does not go to plan.
Bart falls in with the wrong crowd, and to impress them, he cuts the head off a statue of Jebediah Springfield (the town's founder).
Homer gives Marge a bowling ball for her birthday, intending to use it for himself. So Marge takes up bowling to spite him, but falls in love with her teacher.
Using his new mail-order spy camera, Bart catches Homer dancing with an exotic belly-dancer at a stag party.
After flushing a cherry bomb down the school toilet, Bart is sent to France via a student exchange.
Krusty the Clown is caught robbing the Kwik-E-Mart, however, only Bart believes he didn't do it.
Homer takes Marge out to a nice dinner and a night at the Offramp Inn, unaware that the babysitter they hired is a crook...
The first series of full-length episodes, running from December 1989 to May 1990. Like the Tracey Ullman shorts which preceded the series, this Season is quite crudely animated. You may also notice that Homer's voice sounds quite different from later episodes - this is because Dan Castellaneta was trying to do a Walter Matthau impersonation when he did the voice. In later Seasons, the pitch of his voice was raised slightly.
The episodes in Season One use a '7G' production code - Matt Groening chose this because Homer works in sector 7G at the Nuclear Plant.
Welcome to the first of many deluxe overpriced DVD sets of The Simpsons. With 280-odd shows in the can and no end in sight, you might be able to complete your collection just before the next format comes along. Thanks for buying!
What we have here are thirteen crudely animated episodes, first aired in 1989 and 1990, all spiffed up, cleaned off, and augmented with bells and whistles, bonus materials, and self-pitying audio commentaries. If Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie look weirdly off-model, if their voices sound spooky and different, and if the animation seems particularly glitch filled, just remember this: we didn't know what the hell we were doing back then.
What's fun for me in looking back at all these old episodes is how many jokes and characters have stayed vivid for more than a decade. I love Santa's Little Helper leaping into Homer's arms at Christmas; the debut of Blinky, the three-eyed fish; Bart's game-winning scrabble word "KWYJIBO" ("a fat, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin"); the Simpsons giving each other electroshock therapy courtesy of Dr. Marvin Monroe; Lisa playing saxophone with Bleeding Gums Murphy; Homer being mistaken for Bigfoot; and Marge's bowling instructor Jacques strangely losing his French accent when yelling for onion rings.
I also dig Grandpa Simpson's letter to TV advertisers: "I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals, who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive."
So enjoy. We've got more Simpsons episodes to make, then broadcast, then re-run, then chop up for syndication, then sell to you on DVD. But you know something? We wouldn't have it any other way!