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33 Short Films About Springfield...

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24) "Radioactive Man" A film company steps into Springfield. Itís goal? To produce the motion picture version of the Radioactive Man comic book. Australian action hero McBain is cast in the title role (after some problems with his accent) and Milhouse becomes the new Fallout Boy. The things that make this episode so great are the auditions for one (especially Ralph Wiggum and Lunch Lady Doris) and of course Mayor Quimby bleeding the film company for all the money they have with tax after tax nobody has ever heard of. And who can forget the little example of the film when it was suggested that they can finish the film without Milhouse? In my eyes, "Radioactive Man" is pure gold.

23) "The Simpsons 138 th Episode Spectacular!" By far the best of the Simpsons clip shows, this not only contains some of the funniest moments ever from the Simpsons (including one of my all time favorite dialogue exchanges when Homer tries to intercept a letter he has written to Mr. Burns. HOMER: Hello. My name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me. POST OFFICE GUY: Okay Mr. Burns. Whatís your first name? HOMER: I donít know) but it also has classic out-takes, such as the Robotic Richard Simmons. AND itís hosted by Troy McClure! What more could a Simpsons fan ask for?

22) "Radio Bart" Bart gets a microphone/speaker set from Homer for his birthday, and is immediately bored with the toy. Until he discovers a way to trick the town into thinking a little boy is trapped in a well. The highlights here have to be the way the town bands together to sing "Weíre Sending Our Love Down the Well," the way they all try to come up with ideas to rescue the boy, and, ultimately, the way Groundskeeper Willie decides to go ahead and save Bart when he really becomes trapped when nobody else would.

21) "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie" A really great episode focusing around Bartís punishment for being remiss in his duties as a big brother. He wants to go see the Itchy and Scratchy movie, but his father wonít let him. The movie, though, seems impossible to escape, until all it once it closes up and not a word of it is spoken, as if it never existed (a great scene when they replace the Itchy and Scratchy billboard.) Also funny when, in the future, Homer finally lets him see it, and Homer mutters those famous words, "Mmmmm..Soylent Green."

20) "Homer at the Bat" Perhaps the best episode to show off the fact that The Simpsons is not afraid to humiliate its guest stars (much like Married..With Children), this episode saw Mr. Burns making a wager with a rival power plant over a softball game. But, at the last minute, Burns hires many professional baseball players to work at the plant so they can be on his team, such as Daryl Strawberry and Ken Griffy Jr. The greatest thing about this episode is what the writers put the real life players through before the big game, causing many of them to miss out on it, disappear from the face of the Earth, go insane, be hospitalized, well, you see where I am going. You watch the Simpsons.

19) "Sideshow Bobís Last Gleaming" This, I feel, is the best of the Sideshow Bob episodes. It does not get my attention due to his appearance, though. The reason this episode is on the list has to be the demise of all television, ruined only by Krusty broadcasting from a small building in the desert. Krusty tries desperately to entertain his viewers (100% of the viewing population) with any items he can find (such as Professor Gas Can, and the Stingy and Battery Show.) He even has on as a guest a photograph of former President Ike Eisenhower [sic] ("Letís get busy!") Humor such as this and Sideshow Bob trying to dive-bomb the building put this one over the top as one hell of an episode.

18) "A Milhouse Divided" Again, this is a good episode to show off an important aspect of The Simpsons. This time the ability to deal with serious situations in a light-hearted manner. Milhouseís parents get a divorce after the Simpsons hold a dinner party and the two realize that they can not stop bickering. Highlights here include Kirk and Luann VanHouten in a heated argument over Pictionary, Milhouseís new, more carefree home life, and the ending. Who would have guessed what would have become the outcome after Kirk serenades his former wife with "Can I Borrow a Feeling?"

17) "Flaming Moeís" Bereft of beer Homer is forced to mix what he has at hand to create an enjoyable beverage. It is not very good until a cigarette sets it ablaze, and thus is born the Flaming Homer. Moe, however, steals his idea, and serves it under his own name. The highlights here have to be (again) The Simpsons not worrying about humiliating its guests (Aerosmith, in this case) and the delightful "Cheers" parody, complete with theme song.

16) "Homerís Triple Bypass" Another example of The Simpsons being able to approach a serious subject in a (refreshingly) lighthearted manner. This time Homerís obesity and lack of care for his body cause him to suffer a heart attack. A fatal one actually, though his soul is coaxed back into his body when Mr. Burns offers to send a ham to the family. Dr. Nick Riviera is featured prominently in this episode, which is another thing that makes the series so great: its excellent bit characters. Many great lines and hilarious moments float around this lovable episode (such as Dr. Riviera proudly proclaiming where he procured his operating gloves, Homerís description of the afterlife, and Hans Moleman transporting the birthplace of Edgar Allen Poe.

15) "Bart Gets an F" The thing that makes this seemingly simple episode great has to be the amazing amount of sequences and stories this mere half-hour has to offer. From the book reports to the threats of being held back to Martin Princeís transition into the land of the cool to Bart praying for a way out of the test, and so much more! This really is an unbelievable episode, and to me a prime example of why The Simpsons is so great.

14) "Bart Gets Hit By a Car" The name says it all, and yet nothing. First off, one reason this episode stands out against the others has to be the first (and prominent) appearance of Lionel Hutz, attorney at law. He tries his best to get Mr. Burns to up his already gracious offer only to get nothing in return. Some of the best parts are when the Simpsons pay a visit to the Burns mansion, the conflicting flashbacks to the day of the accident, and, of course, Lionel Hutz! Another great episode starring another great bit character, "Bart Gets Hit By a Car" is definitely a notable.

13) "Itchy and Scratchy Land" Itís the them park where absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong, but fans of the film "Westworld" will see where this parody is going from that start. And they couldnít be happier. The episode is a great parody with great writing and great situations, that there is surprisingly little to say. To see "Itchy and Scratchy Land" is to love "Itchy and Scratchy Land."

All reviews (c) 7-28-97 Phil J. Reed

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Phil Reed
United States