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5) "$pringfield (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" Another one of the great ones. Many MANY parodies of everything, from James Bond to Rainman. Mr. Burns becomes a sort of Howard Hughes type millionaire when he opens his casino and looks over it like his child. Marge becomes addicted to the slots. Homer becomes a blackjack dealer. And Bart opens up his own tree house casino for the kiddies, complete with Robert Goulet singing a show version of the Batman version of Jingle Bells. Yes, you guessed it, it has to be seen to be believed.

4) "Boy-Scoutz N the Hood" Not a parody as the name suggests, but nevertheless one of the best episodes to date. A wonderful opening has Homer praising a honey roasted peanut and cursing a twenty dollar bill. A nice little sequence with Bart and Milhouse on a sugar rush leads to Bart losing his sense of judgment, and signing up for the Junior Campers, under den parent Ned Flanders. Homer ridicules him at first, but is later stuck out with Ned, Bart, and Rod (Todd?) in a raft after making a wrong turn. This episode is without a doubt hilarious! Homerís dream of dancing with candy, Homerís excuse for a map, Flanders being reassured by the sight of a seagull (for a second), and so, so much more really makes this an episode to be cherished. This is one of the episodes from the point in time that I feel to be the peak of the series, but as this list is intended to prove, it is a good show all around!

3) "22 Short Films About Springfield" When I saw this episode I have to tell you I was in Simpsons Heaven. A great great great episode, will all of my favorite characters! (Dr. Nick Riviera, Lionel Hutz, the Bee Guy, Smithers and Mr. Burns, Skinner, Apu, Snake, Wiggum, Frink, the Comic Book Guy, and all the rest!) I loved everything about this episode. Each character was in their perfect environment, with their perfect actions and lines. This is one episode I really wished I had on tape. I mean, it isnít every day you see Dr. Nick Riviera in front of a review board! (Note the unenthusiastic, "Hi, Dr. Nick.") "Skinner and the Superintendent" was all around hilarious, the way it so intelligently mocked such sitcoms as "I Love Lucy," and (unfortunately) countless others. Apu rushing to get things done in 5 minutes was great, and the "Pulp Fiction" parody had me in stitches. I heard that a few segments were cut, and I just donít think thatís right. I know they never would, but for an episode like this I wished FOX would have allotted it some more time to get the other ones in, but oh well. What I saw, I liked! A LOT!

2) "Three Men and a Comic Book" More than just a funny Simpsons venture, "Three Men and a Comic Book" is a "buddy episode." Itís a feel good episode, with a perfect setup and a really great moral. When Bart, Milhouse, and Martin Prince all chip in to buy the first issue of Radioactive Man, the three begin to suspect each other that one may want to keep the magazine. Forever. They are trapped in the tree house in a horrible storm, and nobody is on anybodyís good side. This is another episode I would pay to have on tape, as it really is one of the best episodes of ANY series I have EVER seen, with a great scene when Milhouse falls out the door, and Bart must choose between his best friend and the expensive comic book (Martin canít help because he has since been tied to a chair.) Very close to being the best Simpsons episode of all time, "Three Men and a Comic Book" is nothing to complain about at all. And canít we all learn a little something from this episode?

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

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Phil Reed
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