I'm a huge fan of "The Simpsons".
I've literally learned more things from "The Simpsons" than I ever did while in school. I know what schadenfreude is, German for shameful joy because of "The Simpsons". I know more about presidents, laws, famous people, etcetera because of "The Simpsons". I know how hilariously hard it is to put together a grill just like Homer found out when he became an avant garde artist. I now know who Jonathan Franzen and Thomas Pynchon are since they've guest starred on the show. I've learned that Stephen Hawking has a great sense of humor from his appearances on the show. He let the writers have Homer call him Larry Flynt in an episode. Needless to say, "The Simpsons" is very important and played a very integral part in my life. I still look forward to every episode. Season 28 starts on September 27th, and all the people out there complaining that it's not as good as it used to be are moronic. The show is just as good as it's always been and it's just as funny and witty. Hell, I'd even say it's got more heart than it's every had. Growing up is turning Matt Groening into a softie, in a good way.
Today though, I want to talk about what I feel is the best overall season of "The Simpsons". Every season is great and they all have their iconic episodes and classic moments. But, season seven of "The Simpsons", in my opinion, is the best season of all time. You can watch any episode from season seven and there is one of those iconic and classic moments in almost every single show. Starting from the beginning, you get part two of "Who Shot Mr. Burns". A great conclusion after season six's finale of part one of "Who Shot Mr. Burns". We find out that it was Maggie who shot him by accident, although I think we all thought it was Smithers. That's not what makes the episode great, it's Lisa's sleuthing and the excellent take on "Twin Peaks" backwards talking scene. Look it up, it's awesome. That episode is followed by "Radioactive Man". One of the greatest episodes of ALL TIME. It's a great take on super hero movies and all the absurd, crazy stuff it takes to make a movie. Milhouse being cast as Fall Out Boy was so well written. All his scenes are epic. Next episode is when Flanders goes nuts after losing his house in a hurricane. This episode has one of the best lines ever written in TV. Flanders flashes back to a visit with his beat nick parents and a psychologist and Flanders mom saying, in regards to punishment, "we've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas". Hilarious. Next two episodes feature Bart selling his soul to Milhouse and his crusade to get it back, and when Lisa goes vegetarian. In "Lisa the Vegetarian", we the fans get a cameo from Paul and Linda McCartney. Try to tell me this show doesn't have mass appeal. The "Treehouse of Horror" episode is next, with the billboards coming to life and terrorizing the town, their take on "Nightmare on Elm Street", with Groundskeeper Willie attacking the children in their dreams and when Homer gets sucked into another dimension and winds up on planet Earth. Three really funny installments on their "Treehouse of Horrors" episodes. After that, we get one of the greatest episodes of all time, "King Sized Homer". In this one, Homer gets to 300 pounds so he can qualify for a disability and work from home. This episode features the muumuu, Homer's montage of eating to gain weight, Bart's future dream of working at home for being overweight and Homer's size saving the town from a meltdown. This is one of the classic episodes. Next episode we get to meet Homer's mom, voiced very well by Glenn Close. After that is the episode where Sideshow Bob infiltrates the air show and plans to set off an atom bomb, but as usual, his plan is foiled. Then we get a clip show, which I usually don't like, but with Troy McClure at the helm of this one, it works really well. Then the episode where Bart steals the video game and has to earn Marge's trust back. This is one of the most heart felt, sweetest episodes of "The Simpsons" ever. Next, we have Homer's bowling team, with the excellent inclusion of Mr. Burns, much to the dismay of Homer's teammates. Another classic line in this one, 'boy Moe, that team sure did suck last night. I mean they just plain sucked. I seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. I gotta go, my damn wiener kids are listening". Brilliant. "Two Bad Neighbor" is next, with appearances from George HW Bush and Gerald Ford. Next is the episode where Marge wants to fit in with the rich people. There's a great lesson in this one, saying that it doesn't matter how much money you have, it's the happiness of your family that's important. Two episodes, one featuring Bart and one featuring Lisa are next. Bart gets a fake ID so he can rent a car and he, Milhouse, Martin and Nelson drive to the Worlds Fair in Knoxville only to find out that it hasn't been there in years in "Bart on the Road". In "Lisa the Iconoclast", we get the real story of Jebediah Springfield. We find out he was really a ruthless pirate named Hans Sprungfeld and most of his stories are false. We also got the words, embiggen and cromulent out of this episode. In "Homer the Smithers", Smithers goes on a much needed vacation and Homer takes over his duties. Homer is so furious with Mr. Burns that he punches him out cold, which forces Mr. Burns to do things on his own. He's so independent now, that when Smithers returns, he gets fired. Smithers then starts a fight with Homer, that ultimately injures Mr. Burns again and thus, gets Smithers his job back because Mr. burns is infirm. In the next episode, we find out that someone else created Itchy and Scratchy and Krustylu Studios has to pay the man millions and they have to shut down the cartoon. It's found out later that the US mail service ripped off Krutylu, so they're able to bring back the cartoon, but unlike most episodes, Bart and Lisa didn't solve the problem, it was two different kids that just happen to look a lot like them. Next, Selma ends up marrying Troy McClure, but it's a loveless marriage and Troy McClure only did it to make a comeback. The ending has Selma walking in the night with her one true love, her lizard JubJub. In "Bart the Fink", Bart accidentally reveals that Krusty is one of the biggest tax frauds in history. Krusty loses his fame and eventually fakes his own death, but Bart and Lisa realize that he is really just living on the wharf, pretending to be a fisherman. They eventually convince him to comeback to TV because everyone misses him, but he also really misses the limelight. The next episode is one of my all time favorites, "22 Short Films About Springfield". You get all kinds of different stories from non Simpsons characters. We get a Dr. Nick, Bumblebee Man, Cletus and Chief Wiggum story, just to name a few. This is a must watch episode for all Simpsons fans. Next, we learn about Grampa Simpson's history in the Flying Hellfish episode. Apparently, he was a sergeant in the war and Mr. Burns was the bad boy in his platoon. But, all the other members of their squad have passed on and Grampa and Mr. Burns are left to get a huge payday from the art they stole when the war was over. Then, Apu lives the single life for awhile, until his mother comes to town to tell him that his arranged marriage is about to happen. He's terrified of getting married, but starts to give in when he finally meets Manjula on their wedding day. The last two episodes are classics. "Homerpalooza" is when Homer joins a Lollapalooza type freak show and gets shot in the belly with a cannon. Bands like Cypress Hill, the Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth all have cameos in this episode. Peter Frmapton too. The season seven finale is, "Summer of Four Foot Two". In this episode, the Simpsons stay at the Flanders summer house and Lisa decides she's going to totally change her attitude to make friends, since no one signs her yearbook. She makes friends with her new style, but her dorky ways are found out. She fears she will lose her new friends, but they all like Lisa for Lisa. Heartfelt to end the season. These 22 episodes, in my opinion make up the greatest season of the "Simpsons". There's not a clunker or a boring one at all. All episodes are repeatedly watchable and quotable.
If you feel different let me know in the comments, but it gets no better than season seven of "The Simpsons" in my book.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for Seed Sing. He embiggins everyone around him, especially the smallest man. Follow him @tykulik