The Simpsons (season 2)

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The Simpsons
Season 2
The Simpsons - The Complete 2nd Season.jpg
DVD cover featuring the Simpsons family with swapped heads
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Release
Original network Fox
Original releaseOctober 11, 1990 (1990-10-11) 
July 11, 1991 (1991-07-11)
Season chronology
 Previous
Season 1
Next 
Season 3
List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The second season of the animated sitcom The Simpsons originally aired on the Fox network between October 11, 1990, and July 11, 1991, and contained 22 episodes, beginning with "Bart Gets an "F"". Another episode, "Blood Feud", aired during the summer after the official season finale. The executive producers for the second production season were Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon, who had also been EPs for the previous season. [1] The DVD box set was released on August 6, 2002 in Region 1, July 8, 2002 in Region 2 and in September, 2002 in Region 4. The episode "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment" won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour), and was also nominated in the "Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special" category. [2]

Contents

Development

"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" was the first episode produced for the season, but "Bart Gets an "F"" aired first because Bart was popular at the time and the producers had wanted to premiere with a Bart themed episode. [3] The second season featured a new opening sequence, which was shortened from its original length of roughly 90 seconds. The opening sequence for the first season showed Bart stealing a "Bus Stop" sign; whilst the new sequence featured him skateboarding past several characters who had been introduced during the previous season. Starting with this season, there were three versions of the opening: a full roughly 75-second version, a 45-second version and a 25-second version. This gave the show's editors more leeway. [4]

The season saw the introduction of several new recurring characters, including Mayor Quimby, [5] Kang and Kodos, [6] Maude Flanders, [7] Bill and Marty, [8] Dr. Hibbert, [9] Roger Meyers, Jr., [10] Sideshow Mel, [10] Lionel Hutz, [11] Dr. Nick Riviera, [11] Blue Haired Lawyer, [11] Rainier Wolfcastle, [12] Troy McClure, [13] Groundskeeper Willie, [14] Hans Moleman, [15] Professor Frink [16] and Comic Book Guy. [17]

Reception

Ratings

Due to the show's success during its abbreviated first season, Fox decided to move The Simpsons from its Sunday night lineup. The move came as the still-fledgling network was adding two additional nights of programming to its lineup, one of which was Thursday. [18] Fox placed The Simpsons in the leadoff position of their lineup for their initial Thursday offerings, with the new sitcom Babes and a new Aaron Spelling-produced drama, Beverly Hills 90210 , offering competition for the lineups fielded by the other networks including ratings champion NBC.

The Simpsons settled into the 8:00 PM position, which put it in direct competition with the five-time defending #1 show in all of television, The Cosby Show . [19] Many of the producers, including James L. Brooks, were against the move because The Simpsons had been in the top 10 while airing on Sunday and they felt the move would destroy its ratings. [20] All through the summer of 1990, several news outlets published stories about the supposed "Bill vs. Bart" rivalry. [20] At the time, NBC had 208 television stations, while Fox had only 133. [21]

"Bart Gets an "F"" was the first episode to air against The Cosby Show and averaged an 18.4 Nielsen rating and 29% of the audience. In the weeks ratings, it finished tied for eighth behind The Cosby Show which had an 18.5 rating. However, an estimated 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of Fox. [22] The next week, "Simpson and Delilah" had a 16.2 rating and 25% share while the Cosby Show managed to maintain its 18.5 rating. However, viewer-wise, The Simpsons won again with 29.9 million viewers. [23]

The next week, "Treehouse of Horror" fell in the ratings, finishing 24th. [24] Ratings wise, new episodes of The Cosby Show beat The Simpsons every time during the second season and The Simpsons eventually fell out of the top 10. [3]

"Three Men and a Comic Book" would boast the only victory over The Cosby Show, finishing 23rd in the weekly ratings while a rerun of Cosby finished 26th. [25] At the end of the season, Cosby averaged as the fifth highest rated show on television while The Simpsons was 38th. [18] It would not be until the third season episode "Homer at the Bat" that The Simpsons would beat The Cosby Show in the ratings. [26] The show remained in its Thursday timeslot until the sixth season. [19]

Reception

On aggregate review website Metacritic, a site which uses a weighted mean score, the season scored a 91100 based on seven critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
141"Bart Gets an "F"" David Silverman David M. Stern October 11, 1990 (1990-10-11)7F0333.6 [27]
Bart fails a test and is told he has one more chance to pass it or else he will be held back a year. Bart tries to get the class genius Martin Prince to help him, but after that fails, Bart prays for help. That night, Springfield is hit with a massive blizzard and the school is closed, giving Bart one more day to study. Despite his desperate attempts, Bart fails the test again. While crying, he mentions an obscure historical event and Mrs. Krabappel, noting that he applied practical knowledge, passes him. [1]
152"Simpson and Delilah" Rich Moore Jon Vitti October 18, 1990 (1990-10-18)7F0229.9 [28]
Homer discovers a new miracle hair growth formula called Dimoxinil and cheats on some insurance forms so he can buy some. Homer grows hair overnight and is soon given a promotion at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He gets a new secretary named Karl, who helps him become successful. However, Mr. Burns' assistant Waylon Smithers becomes jealous of all the attention Burns is giving Homer and discovers that Homer had cheated on the insurance forms. Smithers tries to fire Homer, but Karl claims he cheated on the forms and is fired in Homer's stead. Bart spills Homer's remaining Dimoxinil and Homer loses all his hair. As a result, Homer is demoted back to his old position.
Guest star: Harvey Fierstein. [29]
163"Treehouse of Horror" Wes Archer
Rich Moore
David Silverman
John Swartzwelder
Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
Edgar Allan Poe & Sam Simon
October 25, 1990 (1990-10-25)7F0427.4 [30]
A Halloween special that is divided into three short stories:
Bad Dream House – In this parody of the book The Amityville Horror , the Simpsons move into a new house which turns out to be cursed.
Hungry are the Damned – In this parody of the 89th episode of The Twilight Zone , "To Serve Man", the Simpsons are abducted by aliens, who plan to take them back to their home planet, but Lisa becomes suspicious of their intentions.
The Raven – A retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven".
Guest star: James Earl Jones. [31]
174"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"Wes ArcherSam Simon & John SwartzwelderNovember 1, 1990 (1990-11-01)7F0126.1 [32]
After Bart catches a three-eyed fish in a river downstream of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, the Plant is inspected and found to have 342 violations, which would cost $56 million to rectify. In order to prevent his Plant from being shut down, Mr. Burns decides to run for Governor. After a hard campaign which sees Burns rise from being universally despised to running neck and neck with incumbent Mary Bailey, it is decided that Burns will have dinner with a random employee the night before the election. Homer is chosen, much to Marge's chagrin. Marge serves the three-eyed fish to Burns for dinner, who cannot eat it and, as a result, loses the election. [33]
185"Dancin' Homer" Mark Kirkland Ken Levine & David Isaacs November 8, 1990 (1990-11-08)7F0526.1 [34]
Homer fires up the crowd at a Springfield Isotopes game and is chosen to be the team's new mascot. He immediately becomes a popular attraction and the Isotopes start a winning streak. As a result, Homer is promoted to the team in Capital City. The Simpsons move to Capital City, but Homer fails to enthrall the crowd, and returns home.
Guest star: Tom Poston and Tony Bennett. [35]
196"Dead Putting Society"Rich Moore Jeff Martin November 15, 1990 (1990-11-15)7F0825.4 [36]
Ned Flanders invites Homer to his house for a beer. Homer, seeing how nice Ned's house is, becomes jealous, causing Flanders to angrily ask him to leave. Flanders immediately regrets his outburst and tries to make up with Homer, who remains defiant. One day while mini golfing, Bart and Flanders' son Todd decide to enter a tournament. Homer becomes confident that Bart will win and makes a bet with Ned that the father of the boy who does not win will have to mow their neighbor's lawn in their wife's Sunday dress. On the day of the tournament, Bart and Todd make the finals but decide to call it a draw, forcing both Homer and Ned to fulfill the requirements of their bet. [37]
207"Bart vs. Thanksgiving"David Silverman George Meyer November 22, 1990 (1990-11-22)7F0725.9 [38]
When he is blamed for ruining Thanksgiving, Bart runs away and finds a soup kitchen and some homeless men. Eventually, Bart returns home, intending to apologize but has last minute thoughts and climbs to the roof of The Simpsons house where he hears Lisa sobbing. He apologizes to her, and the family happily enjoys a meal of leftovers. [39]
218"Bart the Daredevil"Wesley Meyer ArcherJay Kogen & Wallace WolodarskyDecember 6, 1990 (1990-12-06)7F0626.2 [40]
The Simpsons go to a monster truck rally that features famous daredevil Lance Murdock. Bart immediately becomes enamored and decides he wants to become a daredevil too. Bart's first stunt ends in injury and despite the family and Dr. Hibbert's best efforts, he continues to attempt stunts. Bart decides to jump the Springfield gorge, but Homer gets wind of his plan and makes Bart promise not to jump it. Bart immediately breaks his promise and goes to jump the gorge anyway, but Homer stops him just in time and finally gets Bart to swear he will stop being a daredevil. Homer accidentally ends up having to jump the gorge himself, failing in the attempt. [41]
229"Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" Jim Reardon John SwartzwelderDecember 20, 1990 (1990-12-20)7F0922.2 [42]
Maggie attacks Homer with a mallet, and Marge immediately blames The Itchy & Scratchy Show for turning her violent. Marge forms S.N.U.H. (Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping) and campaigns against the show. Eventually she successfully gets the writers to change their ways and make the show less violent. Meanwhile, Michelangelo's David goes on a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S., and the members of S.N.U.H. mobilize to protest it. Marge, however, says she likes the statue and, realizing it is wrong to censor one art form but not another, gives up her protest.
Guest star: Alex Rocco. [43]
2310"Bart Gets Hit by a Car"Mark KirklandJohn SwartzwelderJanuary 10, 1991 (1991-01-10)7F1024.8 [44]
One day, Bart is skateboarding when he is suddenly hit by Mr. Burns's car. An attorney named Lionel Hutz suggests that the Simpsons sue Burns, promising a big cash settlement. Homer agrees, and he and Hutz spend time fabricating Bart's story, taking him to see Dr. Nick Riviera, who has dubious credentials. Marge opposes suing Burns and would be happy with him paying Bart's medical bills and apologizing. Burns eventually finds out about the phony doctor and Marge is called to the witness stand during the trial. She refuses to lie, and her testimony leads to the trial being lost.
Guest star: Phil Hartman. [45]
2411"One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish"Wesley M. Archer Nell Scovell January 24, 1991 (1991-01-24)7F1124.2 [46]
The Simpsons go to a new Sushi bar, where Homer takes a liking to the food and decides to try Fugu, which is poisonous if not cut properly. Homer's fugu is not, and he is taken to the hospital where he is told he has 22 hours to live. Homer makes a list of things he wants to do, and spends his last day making amends with Grampa and talking to his children. Homer accepts his fate, but it turns out he was not poisoned after all, and he vows to live life to its fullest.
Guest star: Larry King and George Takei. [47]
2512"The Way We Was"David Silverman Al Jean & Mike Reiss and Sam SimonJanuary 31, 1991 (1991-01-31)7F1226.8 [48]
In the first Simpsons flashback episode, Marge tells the story of how she and Homer met in high school in 1974. Marge and Homer meet for the first time during detention and he immediately tries to get Marge to be his date for the prom. She initially agrees, but ends up attending with Artie Ziff. In the end, Marge regrets going with Artie, and reveals that she has fallen in love with Homer.
Guest star: Jon Lovitz. [49]
2613"Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment"Rich Moore Steve Pepoon February 7, 1991 (1991-02-07)7F1326.2 [50]
Homer gets an illegal cable hook up. Despite their enjoyment of the new channels, Lisa becomes suspicious that they are stealing cable. Her suspicions are confirmed by Reverend Lovejoy and Lisa protests by no longer watching television. Meanwhile, Homer invites his friends over to watch a boxing match, but Lisa's protest gets to him. He decides not to watch the fight and cuts the cable.
Guest star: Phil Hartman. [51]
2714"Principal Charming"Mark KirklandDavid M. SternFebruary 14, 1991 (1991-02-14)7F1523.9 [52]
Selma begs Marge to help her find a husband and she enlists Homer's help. Meanwhile, Bart gets in trouble at school and Homer is brought in to talk to Principal Skinner, who he decides would be perfect for Selma. Homer invites Skinner to dinner, but he falls in love with Patty instead of Selma. Patty and Skinner start dating, much to Selma's unhappiness. Skinner proposes to Patty, but she rejects him because of her bond with Selma. [15]
2815"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"W.M. "Bud" ArcherJeff MartinFebruary 21, 1991 (1991-02-21)7F1626.8 [53]
Grampa confesses that Homer has a half-brother, who immediately tries to track him down. Homer eventually discovers that his half brother is Herbert Powell, the head of a car manufacturer in Detroit. Herb immediately starts to bond with Bart and Lisa and he invites Homer to design his own car. Homer's car design is a disaster, causing Herb to become bankrupt.
Guest star: Danny DeVito. [54]
2916"Bart's Dog Gets an "F""Jim ReardonJon VittiMarch 7, 1991 (1991-03-07)7F1423.9 [55]
Homer becomes fed up with Santa's Little Helper, who continually destroys things. He says he will get rid of him unless he goes to an obedience school. Bart, Lisa and Maggie have grown to love the dog and promise to train him. Santa's Little Helper does poorly there, as Bart is unwilling to use a choke chain. The night before the final exam, Bart and Santa's Little Helper play on Lisa's suggestion, thinking it will be their last few hours together. This bonding breaks down the communication barrier, meaning Santa's Little Helper can now understand Bart's commands, thus passing obedience school much to the family's (except Homer's) happiness. Meanwhile, Lisa has the mumps.
Guest star: Tracey Ullman. [56]
3017"Old Money"David SilvermanJay Kogen & Wallace WolodarskyMarch 28, 1991 (1991-03-28)7F1721.2 [57]
Grampa falls in love with a wealthy woman named Beatrice Simmons. On Bea's birthday, Grampa tries to celebrate it, but he is dragged away by Homer. Bea dies that night and Grampa blames Homer for causing him to have missed her last moments. After the funeral, Grampa receives her fortune of $106,000. Bea's ghost appears and she tells him to forgive Homer and spend his money on a worthy cause.
Guest star: Audrey Meadows and Phil Hartman [16]
3118"Brush with Greatness"Jim Reardon Brian K. Roberts April 11, 1991 (1991-04-11)7F1820.6 [58]
After discovering some old paintings she did of Ringo Starr, Marge decides to take an art class at Springfield Community College. There, she becomes the top student and wins the college art show. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns needs a painting for the Burns Wing of the Springfield Art Museum, and asks Marge to paint him. At first, she has trouble painting such an evil man, but then decides to paint him naked and frail. Everyone, even Burns, praises Marge's painting. Meanwhile, Homer decides to go on a diet after being stuck on a water slide from a family outing.
Guest star: Ringo Starr and Jon Lovitz. [59]
3219"Lisa's Substitute"Rich MooreJon VittiApril 25, 1991 (1991-04-25)7F1917.7 [60]
When Ms. Hoover falls ill with a suspected case of Lyme disease, she is replaced by substitute teacher Mr. Bergstrom. Because of his unorthodox teaching methods, Lisa quickly takes a liking to him. Just as Lisa is about to ask Mr. Bergstrom over to her parents' house for dinner, Ms. Hoover returns. Meanwhile, Bart runs for class president against Martin Prince, but loses due to the fact that nobody in the class voted, with the exception of Martin and one of his supporters.
Guest star: Dustin Hoffman (as "Sam Etic"). [61]
3320"The War of the Simpsons"Mark KirklandJohn SwartzwelderMay 2, 1991 (1991-05-02)7F2019.7 [62]
After Homer gets drunk at a party, Marge decides to sign them up for a marriage counseling retreat. Homer finds out the retreat will be held at Catfish Lake and packs his fishing equipment, despite Marge's telling him that all they will be doing is resolving their differences. At the lake the next morning, Homer tries to sneak away to go fishing, but Marge catches him and he takes a walk instead. On the dock, Homer finds an abandoned fishing pole. The pole, with the legendary Catfish named General Sherman on the line, yanks him off the pier into a small rowboat, and onto the lake. Homer catches his fish and when he sees Marge upset, immediately lets it go to prove his love for her. [63]
3421"Three Men and a Comic Book"Wes M. ArcherJeff MartinMay 9, 1991 (1991-05-09)7F2121 [64]
Bart, Milhouse and Martin Prince pool their money together to buy the first Radioactive Man comic from Comic Book Guy. They discover that they are unable to share the comic and due to their mistrust of each other, end up destroying it.
Guest star: Cloris Leachman and Daniel Stern. [65]
3522"Blood Feud"David SilvermanGeorge MeyerJuly 11, 1991 (1991-07-11)7F2217.3 [66]
After Mr. Burns falls ill and desperately needs a blood transfusion, Homer discovers Bart has Burns's rare blood type. Homer urges his son to donate, promising that they will be handsomely rewarded. However having received the blood, all Burns does is send the family a card. Enraged, Homer writes an insulting reply, but Marge convinces him at the last minute not to send it, but Bart unknowingly mails it anyway. Mr. Burns becomes furious and demands that Homer be beaten. Smithers calls off the beating, however, on the grounds that this action is no way to thank the man who saved Mr. Burns's life. He convinces Burns to instead buy the family a present. [67]

DVD release

The DVD boxset for season two was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on August 6, 2002, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including commentaries for every episode.

The Complete Second Season
Set Details [68] [69] Special Features [68] [69] [70]
  • 22 episodes
  • 4-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • AUDIO
    • English 5.1 Dolby Digital
    • English 2.0 Dolby Surround
    • French 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • SUBTITLES
    • English SDH
    • Spanish

[68]

  • Optional commentaries for all 22 episodes
  • An early interview with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening
  • Bart at the American Music Awards (with commentary)
  • The Simpsons presenting at the Emmy Awards
  • "Do the Bartman" music video (director's cut with commentary)
  • "Deep, Deep Trouble" music video (with commentary)
  • Featurette: "Creation of an Episode"
  • Foreign Language Clips
    • Two Cars on Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish
      • French 2.0 Dolby Surround
      • German 2.0 Dolby Surround
      • Hungarian 2.0 Dolby Surround
      • Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Surround
      • Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • 3 Butterfinger commercials
  • Gallery (Barbara Bush letters, animation, magazine covers)
  • Early sketches
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
August 6, 2002 [70] July 8, 2002July 24, 2002 [71]

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"Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' second season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 20, 1990. In the episode, which is a satire of censorship issues, Maggie attacks Homer with a mallet and Marge blames The Itchy & Scratchy Show for Maggie's actions. It was written by John Swartzwelder and was the first episode to be directed by Jim Reardon. Alex Rocco makes his first of three guest appearances as Roger Meyers, Jr.

"Bart Gets Hit by a Car" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1991. In the episode, Bart is hit by Mr. Burns' car. Prompted by ambulance-chasing lawyer Lionel Hutz and quack doctor Nick Riviera, the Simpsons sue Burns, seeking extensive damages for Bart's injuries. Hutz and Dr. Nick exaggerate Bart's injuries to earn the jury's sympathy at the trial. Marge wants Homer to accept Burns' proposed settlement instead of asking Bart to lie on the witness stand.

"Homer Defined" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 17, 1991. In the episode, Homer saves the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant from meltdown by arbitrarily choosing the emergency override button using a counting rhyme. Homer is honored as a hero and idolized by his daughter Lisa, but feels unworthy of praise, knowing his apparent heroism was blind luck. Meanwhile, Bart is downhearted after learning that Milhouse's mother forbids the boys to play together anymore because she thinks he is a bad influence on her son.

"Blood Feud" is the twenty-second and final episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on July 11, 1991. In the episode, Mr. Burns falls ill and desperately needs a blood transfusion. Homer discovers Bart has Burns' rare blood type and urges him to donate, thinking the Simpsons will be handsomely rewarded. After receiving the blood transfusion, Burns sends them a card with no money. Marge convinces Homer not to send an insulting reply to his boss, but when Bart mails the letter anyway, Burns is livid. He later forgives Homer and sends the Simpsons a giant Olmec carving to show his gratitude.

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The fourth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons originally aired on the Fox network between September 24, 1992 and May 13, 1993, beginning with "Kamp Krusty". The showrunners for the fourth production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season three, which Jean and Reiss also ran. Following the end of the production of the season, Jean, Reiss and most of the original writing staff left the show. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and Dan Castellaneta would win one for his performance as Homer in "Mr. Plow". The fourth season was released on DVD in Region 1 on June 15, 2004, Region 2 on August 2, 2004 and in Region 4 on August 25, 2004.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 3) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and August 27, 1992. The showrunners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes for the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. An additional episode, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", aired on August 27, 1992 after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 26, 2003, Region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in Region 4 on October 22, 2003.

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Bibliography