The Simpsons (season 10)
|The Simpsons (season 10)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||23|
|Original release||August 23, 1998– May 16, 1999|
The tenth season of the animated television series The Simpsons was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States between August 23, 1998, and May 16, 1999. It contains twenty-three episodes, starting with "Lard of the Dance". The Simpsons is a satire of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Set in the fictional city of Springfield, the show lampoons American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.
The showrunner for the tenth season was Mike Scully. Before production began, a salary dispute between the main cast members of The Simpsons and Fox arose. However, it was soon settled and the actors' salaries were raised to $125,000 per episode. In addition to the large Simpsons cast, many guest stars appeared in season ten, including Phil Hartman in his last appearance before his death.
Despite winning an Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program", season 10 has been cited by several critics as the beginning of the series' decline in quality. It ranked twenty-fifth in the season ratings with an average of 13.5 million viewers per episode. The tenth season DVD boxset was released in the United States and Canada on August 7, 2007. It is available in two different packagings.
The tenth season was the second during which Mike Scully served as show runner (he had previously run the ninth season). As show runner and executive producer, Scully headed the writing staff and oversaw all aspects of the show's production. However, as he told UltimateTV in January 1999, he did not "make any decisions without the staff's input. We have great staffs in all the departments from animation to writing. So I don't want to make it sound like a dictatorship." Scully was popular with the staff members, many of whom have praised his organization and management skills. Writer Tom Martin has said that he was "quite possibly the best boss I've ever worked for" and "a great manager of people". Scully's aim while running The Simpsons was to "not wreck the show". In addition to his role as show runner during the tenth season, he co-wrote the episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday".
In 1999, there were around sixteen staff writers working on The Simpsons. Many of them had written for the show for several years, including John Swartzwelder and George Meyer. The third episode of the tenth season, "Bart the Mother", was the last full-length episode written by David S. Cohen, a longtime writer on the show. He left to team up with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening to develop Futurama, a series on which he served as executive producer and head writer. The tenth season marked the full-time return of staff member Al Jean, who had departed from the show after the fourth season to create the animated series The Critic. Between seasons four and ten, he had only worked periodically on the show, writing four episodes.
The main cast of the season consisted of Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, among others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, among others) and Harry Shearer (Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, among others). Up until the production of season ten in 1998, these six main voice actors were paid $30,000 per episode. In 1998, a salary dispute between them and the Fox Broadcasting Company (which airs The Simpsons) arose, with the actors threatening to go on a strike. Fox went as far as preparing for casting of new voices, but an agreement was soon made and the actors' salaries were raised to $125,000 per episode. Groening expressed his sympathy for the cast members in an issue of Mother Jones a while after the salary dispute had been settled. He told the magazine: "They are incredibly talented, and they deserve a chance to be as rich and miserable as anyone else in Hollywood. It looked for a while there like we might not have a show, because everyone was holding firm on all sides. That's still my attitude: Hold out for as much money as you can get, but do make the deal."
Other cast members of the season included Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, among others), Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, among others), Maggie Roswell (Helen Lovejoy, Maude Flanders, among others), Russi Taylor (Martin Prince), and Karl Wiedergott. Season ten also featured a large number of guest stars, including Phil Hartman in his final appearance on the show in the episode "Bart the Mother" that originally aired in September 27, 1998. Hartman was shot to death by his wife four months before the episode aired and it was dedicated to his memory. Rather than replacing Hartman with a new voice actor, the production staff retired two of his recurring characters, Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, from the show. However, Hutz and McClure still appear in various Simpsons comics, because a voice actor is not needed.
Broadcast and ratings
The tenth season of The Simpsons was originally broadcast in the United States on the Fox network between August 23, 1998 and May 16, 1999. Although "Lard of the Dance" aired on August 23 to increase ratings for the early premieres of That '70s Show by serving as a lead-in, "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (airing on September 20, 1998) was the official premiere of the tenth season. The season aired in the 8:00 p.m. time slot on Sundays. It ranked twenty-fifth (tied with Dharma & Greg) in the ratings for the 1998–1999 television season with an average of 13.5 million viewers per episode, dropping twelve percent in number of average viewers from the last season. The Simpsons was Fox's third highest-rated show of the television season, following The X-Files (ranked twelfth) and Ally McBeal (ranked twentieth).
The tenth season has been cited by some critics and fans as the beginning of the series' decline in quality. By 2000, some long-term fans had become disillusioned with the show and pointed to its shift from character-driven plots to what they perceived as an overemphasis on zany antics and gags. Chris Turner wrote in his book Planet Simpson that "one of the things that emerged was that [the staff] began to rely on gags, not characters, wherever that switch got flipped, whether it's the ninth or tenth season." Jesse Hassenger of PopMatters named the tenth season of The Simpsons the series' "first significant dip in quality, a step away from its golden era [...] with broader gags and more outlandish plots," and a BBC News writer commented that "the common consensus is that The Simpsons' golden era ended after season nine". Similarly, Tyler Wilson of Coeur d'Alene Press has referred to seasons one to nine as the show's "golden age."
DVD Verdict's Mac McEntire noted in a review that while the tenth season contains "a lot of laughs", it is missing the emotional core of the earlier seasons. Chris Barsanti of Filmcritic.com has commented that around the time the tenth season aired, "not only did the show start losing its status as untouchable—read: everyone stopped expecting every episode to be a masterpiece—it also developed the bad habit of building episodes around celebrity guests, who were practically never as amusing as they were meant to be." Michael Passman of The Michigan Daily wrote in 2007 that "in hindsight, the 10th season can now be seen as a tipping point of sorts for a number of the show's less attractive plot devices. Homer's get-rich-quick schemes start to become all too prevalent, and there are an inordinate amount of unnecessary celebrity cameos." Passman did not only have negative things to say about the tenth season though. He commented that it "is not the last great 'Simpsons' season ever. The last great season was the eighth. The last really good season was the ninth. But the tenth is just pretty good, nothing more, nothing less."
Mike Scully, who was show runner during seasons nine through twelve, is held responsible by many critics and fans for the decline. An op-ed in Slate by Chris Suellentrop argued that The Simpsons changed from a realistic show about family life into a typical cartoon when Scully was the show runner: "under Scully's tenure, The Simpsons became, well, a cartoon. [...] Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge's neck. The show's still funny, but it hasn't been touching in years." John Ortved wrote in his book The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History that "Scully's episodes excel when compared to what The Simpsons airs nowadays, but he was the man at the helm when the ship turned towards the iceberg." The Simpsons under Scully has been negatively labeled as a "gag-heavy, Homer-centric incarnation" by Jon Bonné of MSNBC, and many fans have bemoaned the transformation in Homer's character during the era, from sweet and sincere to "a boorish, self-aggrandizing oaf", dubbing him "Jerkass Homer".
The Simpsons writer Tom Martin said in Ortved's book that he does not understand the criticism against Scully because he thinks Scully ran the show well. He also commented that he thinks the criticism "bothered [Scully], and still bothers him, but he managed to not get worked up over it." Ortved noted in his book that it is hard to tell how much of the decline is Scully's fault, and that blaming a single show runner for lowering the quality of the show "is unfair." He also wrote that some of the episodes from Scully's first two seasons (nine and ten), such as "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" and "When You Dish Upon a Star", are better than certain episodes of the two previous seasons.
UGO Networks' Brian Tallerico has defended the season against the criticism. He wrote in a 2007 review that comparing "tenth season Simpsons episodes to the prime of the series (3–7) is just unfair and really kind of self-defeating. 'Yeah, I laughed, but not as hard as a couple of years ago. So it sucks.' That's nonsense. The fact is that even the tenth season of The Simpsons was funnier than most [other] show's [sic] best years." PopMatters' Hassenger commented in his review that although the show had declined in quality, "this is not to say that these episodes are without their charm; many, in fact, are laugh-out-loud funny and characteristically smart." Similarly to Tallerico, he also noted that "weaker Simpsons seasons are superior to most television."
Despite the criticisms of season ten, it has been included in some definitions of The Simpsons ' golden age, usually as the point where the show began to decline but still put out some of the last great episodes. Ian Nathan of Empire described the show's classic era as being "the first ten seasons", while Rubbercat.net believes that "discussing what constitutes The Simpsons ' 'golden era' is a universal constant," in this case being seasons 3–10. Jon Heacock of LucidWorks states that while season ten was "the season in which, according to many, the show starts to go sour," it was also the final season where "the show was consistently at the top of its game," with "so many moments, quotations, and references – both epic and obscure – that helped turn the Simpson family into the cultural icons that they remain to this day."
In an article written for the Modern Day Pirates titled "In Search of The Last Classic Simpsons Episode", author Brandon listed "Homer to the Max" and "They Saved Lisa's Brain", both from the tenth season, as contenders for the latest episode that made him feel like he was "watching The Simpsons in their heyday."
Awards and nominations
The season and its episodes gathered some awards and award nominations. The Simpsons won the 1999 Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program", beating Batman Beyond, Futurama, King of the Hill, and The New Batman/Superman Adventures. That same year, Tim Long, Larry Doyle, and Matt Selman received an Annie Award in the "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production" category for writing "Simpsons Bible Stories", the eighteenth episode of the tenth season. The trio faced competition from writers of Futurama ("The Series Has Landed"), King of the Hill ("Hank's Cowboy Movie"), Batman Beyond ("Rebirth Part I"), and Space Ghost Coast to Coast ("Lawsuit"). The Simpsons was also nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1999, though the show did not win either. The season ten episode "Viva Ned Flanders" lost in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" category to "And They Call It Bobby Love" of King of the Hill. Alf Clausen was nominated in the "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series" category for his work on "Treehouse of Horror IX", the fourth episode of the tenth season, but lost the award to Carl Johnson of Invasion America.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|204||1||"Lard of the Dance"||Dominic Polcino||Jane O'Brien||August 23, 1998||5F20||7|
|All the girls in Lisa's class are impressed by the mature, trendy personality of a new student named Alex Whitney, and do everything they can to be just like her. Lisa, who is not as impressed and chooses to be herself, is forgotten by her classmates and becomes jealous of Alex. Lisa's friends and Alex decide to host a school dance and they buy outfits for it in order to get dates. When Lisa goes to the dance, she discovers that the boys and the girls are at separate ends of the room, too embarrassed to dance with each other. As a result, Lisa is able to prove that Alex and her classmates are only children and not as mature as they try to be. Meanwhile, Homer convinces Bart to drop out of school for what he thinks to be a more promising pursuit: selling grease. However, this endeavor fails when their business results in a scuffle with Groundskeeper Willie.
Guest star: Lisa Kudrow
|205||2||"The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace"||Mark Kirkland||John Swartzwelder||September 20, 1998||5F21||7.95|
|Homer discovers that he has not done anything in life that will be remembered after he dies, so he decides to become an inventor like Thomas Edison. However, his initial inventions such as an electric hammer are considered unpractical and are not well received. After a period of depression, Homer comes up with his first good invention—a chair that cannot tip over—only to discover that Edison also invented the same design. However, Edison's invention has remained unnoticed in Edison's preserved office at the Edison National Historic Site in West Orange New Jersey, so Homer sets out to destroy it. There, he has a change of heart and returns home, only to leave his electric hammer behind. When the museum staff members find it, they believe it is an undiscovered invention by Edison. The hammer becomes a success and Edison's heirs earn a lot of money, making Homer angry.
Guest star: William Daniels
|206||3||"Bart the Mother"||Steven Dean Moore||David S. Cohen||September 27, 1998||5F22||7.35|
|Nelson invites Bart over to test a BB gun he won at an arcade center. When Bart uses it and accidentally kills a bird mother, Marge becomes furious with him, thinking that he killed the animal on purpose. Bart feels guilty for what he did and takes it upon himself to nurse the mother's orphaned eggs. Marge soon finds out about this and becomes proud of him. However, when the eggs hatch, they are found to be lizards that lived in the bird's nest. Skinner, a member of the Springfield Birdwatching Society, tells Bart that the lizards must die because they kill so many species of birds. Bart refuses and helps the lizards escape. After the lizards devour the pigeon population, which the townsfolk considered to be a nuisance, Bart is honored by Mayor Quimby.
Guest star: Phil Hartman (in his final appearance)
|207||4||"Treehouse of Horror IX"||Steven Dean Moore||Donick Cary, Larry Doyle & David S. Cohen||October 25, 1998||AABF01||8.5|
|In the ninth Treehouse of Horror episode, there are three stories:
"Hell Toupée" – Homer gets a hair transplant from Snake Jailbird, who was sentenced to death after breaking the city's three-strikes law. Snake's spirit possess Homer through the hair, forcing Homer to kill the people who witnessed against Snake after his final crime, including Bart.
"The Terror of Tiny Toon" – When Lisa and Bart find a plutonium rod to use as a remote control battery, the two get sucked into a special, extremely violent Halloween episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show.
"Starship Poopers" – Marge, Homer, and Kang end up on The Jerry Springer Show after Marge confesses to Homer that Maggie is an alien and that Kang is her real father.
Guest stars: Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jerry Springer, Ed McMahon and Robert Englund
|208||5||"When You Dish Upon a Star"||Pete Michels||Richard Appel||November 8, 1998||5F19||9|
|When a parasailing accident sends Homer crashing into the secret home of Hollywood couple Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, they hire him as their personal assistant, provided that Homer does not tell anyone where they live. The couple starts to become irritated with Homer, who gives them ridiculous suggestions for film screenplays. When he accidentally violates their trust by revealing their location in Springfield, the couple immediately end the friendship. After a chase between the Hollywood stars in their Hummer and Homer in his mobile museum of stuff that belongs to the couple, Homer is ordered by a court of law to remain 500 miles away from any celebrity.
Guest stars: Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer
|209||6||"D'oh-in' in the Wind"||Mark Kirkland & Matthew Nastuk||Donick Cary||November 15, 1998||AABF02||8.3|
|While filling out a Screen Actors Guild form (after starring in an instructional video filmed at the nuclear plant where he works), Homer realizes that he does not know what his middle initial "J" stands for. After finding the answer, "Jay", on a mural in the hippie commune where his mother once lived, Homer decides to live the hippie lifestyle. He stays with his mother's old friends Seth and Munchie who now own a juice company. Homer quickly ruins one of their juice shipments by accident, and tries to make up for it by taking crops from their garden and making juice with them. However, some of these crops contained drugs and after people start to have crazy hallucinations from drunking the juice, Chief Wiggum arrests Seth and Munchie.
Guest Stars: George Carlin, Martin Mull, and a special performance by Yo La Tengo
|210||7||"Lisa Gets an "A""||Bob Anderson||Ian Maxtone-Graham||November 22, 1998||AABF03||8|
|While sick from school, Lisa becomes obsessed with a video game and forgets to study for a test on the book The Wind in the Willows. Not willing to fail, she calls upon Bart and Nelson to help her cheat, and gets an A+++. Consequently, Springfield Elementary School now qualifies for a basic assistance grant. Tormented by guilt for cheating, she reveals what she did to Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers, who persuade her to keep it a secret so the school can keep the money. At the grant ceremony, Lisa finally bursts out, only to realize the real ceremony had already taken place as Skinner and Chalmers anticipated her actions. Meanwhile, Homer houses a lobster to eat, but becomes emotionally attached to it and makes it his pet. However, he accidentally boils it to death while giving it a hot bath, and eats it sadly.|
|211||8||"Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble""||Mike B. Anderson||John Swartzwelder||December 6, 1998||AABF04||7.2|
|As the Simpson family is driving home after spending the day at a ghost town tourist attraction, Grampa needs to use the restroom but Homer refuses to stop the car. Grampa is forced to hold his urine in for hours and as a result his kidneys explode. With not much time left for Grampa to live, Homer offers to give his father one of his kidneys. However, he runs away from the hospital out of fear of the procedure and decides to hide, feeling shame for leaving Grampa at the operating table. He joins a group of weird characters on a ship who are also hiding out of shame for things they have done in their lives. However, Homer is rejected even from these outcasts because they are angered and disgusted by what he has done to his father. They throw him into the ocean and he drifts back to Springfield. There, he plans on giving his kidney again, but runs away at the last minute once more. After being knocked out by a car while fleeing from the hospital, Homer unwittingly gives his kidney while unconscious.|
|212||9||"Mayored to the Mob"||Swinton O. Scott III||Ron Hauge||December 20, 1998||AABF05||8.5|
|After saving Mayor Quimby from rioters at a science fiction convention, Homer becomes Quimby's bodyguard. When Homer discovers that Mafia leader Fat Tony is providing rat milk to the schools of Springfield, he forces Quimby to expose Tony in return for saving Quimby from falling off a ledge. After Tony is arrested, he threatens to take Quimby's life. While Quimby is spending an evening at a dinner theater, Homer discovers that Fat Tony is there alongside his henchman, Louie, having been released on bail. Homer foils an attempt by Louie to kill Quimby, and as Homer and Louie fight, Tony is able to savagely beat Quimby with a baseball bat. However, Tony makes sure to only restore Quimby's fear of the Mafia and not kill him.
Guest stars: Mark Hamill and Joe Mantegna
|213||10||"Viva Ned Flanders"||Neil Affleck||David M. Stern||January 10, 1999||AABF06||11.5|
|When Springfield's only casino is demolished, massive dust clouds form, prompting the Simpson family and Ned to go to a car wash to get rid of the dust on their cars. There, Homer sees that Ned gets a senior discount. Thinking that Ned is not a senior and lying about his age, Homer reveals this at church. As a result, Ned is forced to admit to everyone that he is sixty years old and only looks young because he has never done anything exciting in his life. Out of pity, Homer decides to take him to Las Vegas, where, after a night of partying and gambling, they end up marrying two casino barmaids while drunk. As Homer and Ned try to escape from the barmaids the next day, they go on a wild rampage through the casino, until they are confronted by casino security and banned from ever visiting Las Vegas again.
Guest star: The Moody Blues
|214||11||"Wild Barts Can't Be Broken"||Mark Ervin||Larry Doyle||January 17, 1999||AABF07||8.8|
|Homer, Lenny, Carl, and Barney celebrate a rare victory of the Springfield Isotopes baseball team and end up going on a drunken rampage through town. During this rampage, they vandalize Springfield Elementary School. The next morning, Chief Wiggum suspects that students committed the crime and places all of Springfield's youth under curfew. The children respond by setting up a pirate radio show in which they reveal the embarrassing secrets of Springfield's adults. The location from which the children send out the broadcast is soon tracked down and an argument between the children and the adults ensues. As each side is stating their case in a song, the senior citizens turn up to complain about the children and the adults and agree to raise a curfew for everyone less than seventy years old.
Guest star: Cyndi Lauper
|215||12||"Sunday, Cruddy Sunday"||Steven Dean Moore||Tom Martin, George Meyer, Brian Scully & Mike Scully||January 31, 1999||AABF08||11.5|
|While buying new tires for his car, Homer meets a travel agent who offers Homer a free bus ride to the Super Bowl, as long as he can find enough people to fill the agent's bus. A group of Springfield men tag along to what soon becomes a problematic trip after the tickets are discovered to be fake. As a result, they are locked in "Super Bowl Jail". Thanks to help from Dolly Parton, they break out and attempt to find the football field, until they get lost in the sea of players that run through the corridors of the stadium to the locker room after winning the Super Bowl. Much to their happiness, Homer and his friends end up in the locker room with the players. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa try to find the missing parts of "Vincent Price's Egg Magic", a celebrity-endorsed craft kit.
Guest stars: John Madden, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, Pat Summerall, Rosey Grier, Fred Willard, Dolly Parton, and Rupert Murdoch
|216||13||"Homer to the Max"||Pete Michels||John Swartzwelder||February 7, 1999||AABF09||8.3|
|Homer is delighted with the positive attention he receives after a new television show airs that features a police character also named Homer Simpson. However, when the character is changed from a hero to a bumbling idiot by the show's producers, Homer is mocked and taunted by those he knows, so he changes his name to "Max Power" to rid himself of the negative attention. The new name earns Max respect, and he and Marge are invited to a party where they meet a lot of famous people who are going to save a redwood forest from destruction by chaining themselves to the trees. However, Max accidentally cuts his tree with his chains while running away from police officers Eddie and Lou. The tree knocks down all the other redwoods in a chain reaction, angering Max's newfound friends. In the end, Max changes his name back to Homer.
Guest star: Ed Begley, Jr.
|217||14||"I'm with Cupid"||Bob Anderson||Dan Greaney||February 14, 1999||AABF11||7.7|
|After Apu and Manjula have a big fight, Apu showers his wife with elaborate Valentine's Day gifts to make up for it, making the rest of the men in Springfield look bad in front of their women. His final gift is to write a love note to Manjula in the sky—which Homer (along with a group of other discontented male characters) plans to sabotage. When the plane is about to spray the message "I ♥ U MANJULA", Homer manages to destroy the canister at "I ♥ U", a message that the women of Springfield think was made only for them by their partners. Homer is able to win Marge's love back by jumping out of the plane covered in roses and landing in front of her in their backyard. Meanwhile, to reconcile Apu with his wife, Elton John performs a private concert for the couple.
Guest stars: Elton John and Jan Hooks
|218||15||"Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers""||Mark Kirkland||David M. Stern||February 21, 1999||AABF10||8.6|
|Homer buys an SUV but upon discovery that it was designed as a "woman's car", he gives it to Marge. Infatuated with the car, she proceeds to develop a ferocious road rage and ends up losing her license when she fails a driving test and crashes it into a prison. However, her road rage is required when Homer accidentally sets all the rhinoceros in a zoo free. Marge agrees to assist the police in rounding up the animals, but learns there is one missing and sees Homer being carried off by it. She chases the angry rhino into a construction site and deliberately crashes the SUV, making it burst into flames. The rhino instinctively attempts to stamp out the fire, allowing Homer to escape.
Guest stars: John Kassir and Hank Williams, Jr.
|219||16||"Make Room for Lisa"||Matthew Nastuk||Brian Scully||February 28, 1999||AABF12||7.6|
|When Homer uses Lisa's room as a cellular phone transmitter to pay off damages he did to the Bill of Rights at a Smithsonian exhibit, Lisa is forced to move into Bart's room. Lisa becomes furious with her father for having to share a room with her brother. She fears that she and Homer will never be close because of their clashing personalities and begins to develop stress-related stomach aches. To relieve these aches, Homer and Lisa visit a New Age store where the owner convinces them to go on a spiritual journey by lying in a sensory deprivation tank for a prolonged amount of time. On her journey, Lisa discovers that beneath Homer's bumbling outside, he really does care about her. Reconciled, the two of them watch a demolition derby together, something they equally enjoy. Meanwhile, Marge uses Maggie's baby monitor to listen in on other people's phone calls; however, when Milhouse and Bart play a prank on her, Marge knocks Milhouse out, thinking he was a burglar.|
|220||17||"Maximum Homerdrive"||Swinton O. Scott III||John Swartzwelder||March 28, 1999||AABF13||15.5|
|While at a steakhouse, a trucker named Red challenges Homer to an eating contest. Red wins, but quickly dies of "beef poisoning", making it the first time he will miss a shipment. Feeling bad for him, Homer takes on the duty of transporting Red's cargo to Atlanta with his son Bart by his side. After falling asleep behind the wheel, Homer awakes to discover that the truck drove by itself with its Navitron Autodrive system. He informs other truck drivers, who tell him that he cannot let anyone know about the Autodrive system because it would make all truck drivers lose their jobs. Later, when cars that pass by Homer find out about it, a mob of truckers confront him. Homer and Bart escape, finish the shipment on time, and go home on a freight train. Meanwhile, after deducing that only Homer and Bart get to do the fun things in life, Marge and Lisa decide to add excitement to their lives by installing a new doorbell. However, it starts to malfunction after Lisa presses it.|
|221||18||"Simpsons Bible Stories"||Nancy Kruse||Tim Long, Larry Doyle & Matt Selman||April 4, 1999||AABF14||12.2|
|Reverend Lovejoy punishes the congregation with a thorough reading of the Bible after discovering a chocolate Easter bunny in the collection plate. This leads to the Simpson family falling asleep and dreaming of themselves in Biblical stores:
Adam and Eve – Homer and Marge are Adam and Eve, who get tempted by a snake into eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
Moses – Milhouse is Moses, who fights back against the Egyptians (Principal Skinner and the Springfield Police) in order to free the Jews (the children of Springfield Elementary School).
King Solomon – In this short piece, Homer is King Solomon, who must decide which man (Lenny or Carl) is the true owner of a cherry pie.
David and Goliath – Bart is David, who tries to slay Goliath (Nelson) after Goliath kills David's oldest friend.
|222||19||"Mom and Pop Art"||Steven Dean Moore||Al Jean||April 11, 1999||AABF15||8.5|
|Homer tries to assemble a barbecue pit quickly, but fails and is left with a mismatched collection of parts stuck in hardened cement. As a result, he vents his rage on the construct, mangling it further. When Homer takes the failed barbecue pit back to the store, an art dealer sees it and describes it as a masterpiece of outsider art. As a result, he gets his own art exhibition and channels his rage into his work. Marge, who had been trying to succeed at art for years, gets jealous of Homer's easy success. However, when Homer makes new art pieces for a show called "Art in America" that are similar to his first piece, his peers reject him as repetitive. In an attempt to do something groundbreaking, Homer floods Springfield and puts snorkels on the animals. The townspeople declare this a masterpiece and everyone enjoys the new "Grand Canals of Springfield".
Guest stars: Jasper Johns and Isabella Rossellini
|223||20||"The Old Man and the "C" Student"||Mark Kirkland||Julie Thacker||April 25, 1999||AABF16||6.9|
|After ruining Springfield's chances of hosting the Olympics with an ethnically offensive stand-up act in front of the International Olympic Committee, Bart is forced to volunteer at the Springfield Retirement Castle. Meanwhile, Homer receives 1,000 springs he intended to sell as the mascot he created for the Olympics, Springy the Springfield Spring. He uses various get-rich-quick schemes to sell off the mascots, but fails miserably due to Springfield's hatred of Bart's comedy routine. Ultimately, Homer is forced to flush the mascots down the toilet. At the retirement home, Bart is dismayed at how little the seniors are allowed to do and decides to take them on a boat ride, which the seniors thoroughly enjoy until they crash into a schooner. The boat begins to sink, but the springs that Homer flushed down the toilet out onto the bottom of the sea cause the boat to bounce up to the surface long enough for the United States Coast Guard to rescue everyone.
Guest star: Jack LaLanne
|224||21||"Monty Can't Buy Me Love"||Mark Ervin||John Swartzwelder||May 2, 1999||AABF17||7.26|
|Billionaire Arthur Fortune captures Springfield's heart by giving each customer a dollar at the opening of his new store. This embarrasses the unpopular Mr. Burns, who recruits Homer to help him be loved by all. However, their various schemes fail. Feeling disappointed, Burns makes his newest plan, which is to go to Scotland to catch the legendary Loch Ness Monster. After some minor setbacks, Burns is able to capture the monster and sends it to Springfield to be unveiled, where the friendly "Nessie" charms all of the spectators and makes Burns more likable. However, during the unveiling, Burns is blinded by camera flashes and runs into a camera which crashes and starts a fire. As a result, the crowd flees in panic. Following this disaster, Homer cheers up Burns by pointing out that being loved means you have to be nice to people every day but being hated is effortless.
Guest star: Michael McKean
|225||22||"They Saved Lisa's Brain"||Pete Michels||Matt Selman||May 9, 1999||AABF18||6.8|
|After a riot occurs at a Springfield contest that promises a luxurious trip to the most disgusting and dimwitted contest participant, Lisa, disgusted at the lack of intelligence, writes a letter that appears in the newspaper. Springfield's branch of Mensa International, consisting of Comic Book Guy, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Professor Frink, and Lindsay Naegle, is impressed and invites Lisa to join the group. When the Mensa members lose their gazebo at the park, they go to complain to Mayor Quimby. However, the mayor thinks they are there to confront him about his political corruption so he flees from Springfield. As a result, Lisa and the others are granted power to the city since they are the smartest. The power eventually corrupts them and they are cornered by a mob, only to be saved when Stephen Hawking shows up. Meanwhile, Homer gets erotic photographs of himself taken for Marge, but while she enjoys them a lot, she gets distracted by the interior design Homer did in their basement for the photo shoot and they do not have sex that night.
Guest star: Stephen Hawking
|226||23||"Thirty Minutes over Tokyo"||Jim Reardon||Donick Cary & Dan Greaney||May 16, 1999||AABF20||8|
|When Snake Jailbird steals money from the Simpson family's bank account through the Internet, the Simpsons go on a budget and save enough to buy a trip to Japan. The Simpsons thoroughly enjoy the country, and Homer defeats one of the mightiest Sumo wrestlers. Impressed, the Emperor of Japan congratulates Homer, but, thinking the emperor is a new challenger, Homer knocks him out. As a result, he is placed in prison. After Marge pays the bail, Homer loses their last money and the family is unable to buy plane tickets home. All seems lost until a Japanese game show allows the Simpsons to compete in order to return to Springfield. Their last task on the show is to retrieve the plane tickets on a suspension bridge over an active volcano, which, once the family falls in, is revealed to be filled with orangeade and not lava. Although the family gets the tickets, Homer scolds the Japanese for their lack of ethics.
Guest stars: George Takei, Gedde Watanabe, Keone Young, Karen Maruyama, and Denice Kumagai
The DVD boxset for season ten was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on August 7, 2007. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including audio commentaries for every episode, deleted scenes, and animatics. The set was released in two different packagings: a standard rectangular cardboard box featuring Bart on the cover driving through a security checkpoint gate at a movie studio, and a "limited edition" plastic packaging molded to look like Bart's head.
|The Complete Tenth Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|August 7, 2007||September 10, 2007||September 26, 2007|
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