One of the hallmark seasons of The Simpsons, season 7 features some of the strongest episodes produced during the show’s run. Considering that this is The Simpsons we’re talking about here, that’s saying a lot, but this collection deserves the accolades.
Broadcast in 1995, season seven features several signature episodes, including Part II of "Who Shot Mr. Burns," "Bart Sells His Soul," and "Two Bad Neighbors" where former President George Herbert Walker Bush moves into the neighborhood (an episode gamely playing on the former President’s open dislike for the show). One of The Simpsons’s most definitive episodes, "Treehouse of Horror VI" famously broke the third wall by using the then-groundbreaking CGI technology to render Homer first in a 3-D world, then in real life, (despite the evolution in his form, he naturally ends up in an erotic cake shop). As the producers openly note on the commentary, it was a big deal at the time, and super expensive, which is why they could only do a few minutes of footage in CGI (some fans will particularly enjoy the revealing commentary on this one, as the producers explain the many visual puns and math jokes appearing in the background of the 3-D world). It’s a great example of how The Simpsons continued to play with its visual style and take creative risks years into its run. In fact, one of the best episodes on this collection, "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" proves just how far the look and style of the show really came during that time. Hosted by actor Troy McClure (voiced by the late comic great Phil Hartman), it presents never-before-seen outtakes and original footage from the show’s debut days on The Tracey Ullman Show, while taking a few self-referential digs at show creators Matt Groening, James Brooks, and Sam Simon. Other gems include "Homerpalooza" where Homer thanks guests The Smashing Pumpkins for their gloomy music because it has made his kids "stop wishing for a future I can’t possibly provide," and "Bart the Fink" where Bart inadvertently gets Krusty the Klown busted for tax "avoision."
Along with the 25 episodes there are extensive commentaries, featurettes, and deleted scenes all of which add immense value to the set and will give die-hard fans another excuse to spend more hours in front of the TV. It’s another benchmark collection from a show that, up to this point, doesn’t seem to know its own limits. - Daniel Vancini, Amazon.com
"Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)" (2F20)
With Mr. Burns shot, Chief Wiggum follows a trail of DNA that leads to the Simpsons front door step. Homer is charged for the shooting but before he can be jailed, Homer escapes. It's a race to see who reaches Burns' hospital room first.
Friendships could be torn when Bart and Milhouse are both up for the role of Fallout Boy in the new Radioactive Man movie. Meanwhile, the town of Springfield sees dollar signs and milk the Radioactive Man film crew for all their cash. Mickey Rooney guest stars.
Bart, Lisa and Maggie are placed in the care of the Flanders family when Homer and Marge are found to be unfit parents. Now, Homer and Marge must prove to the authorities that they are loving parents before the kids become part of the Flanders flock.
Drawn in by commercials for it, Bart attempts to swipe the video game Bonestorm from the local Try N' Save. The store detective catches him in the act, but Bart manages to keep the incident a secret to the family. Unfortunately, Marge finds out when the family returns to the store to have the family Christmas photo taken.
Thanks to Burns' ether induced state, Homer gets the money he needs to start a bowling team. However, Burns' head clears and he wants to be part of Homer's team. Meanwhile, Bart's inflammatory T-shirt stating "Down With Homework" causes a riot at school, resulting in Principal Skinner issuing school uniforms.
With the help of Lionel Hutz, Bart unwittingly bankrupts the studio that produces Itchy & Scratchy when he and Hutz successfully prove the idea for Itchy was conceived in 1919 by Chester J. Lampwick, and not Roger Meyers.
"Raging Abe Simpson and his Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"" (3F19)
Buried World War II treasure is the prize in a tontine, in which Grampa Simpson and Mr. Burns are the last two surviving members. But both Burns and Grampa are determined that they'll be the one who collects the prize.
Homer earns himself a place in the Hullabalooza music festival, as part of a freak show: catching cannon balls with his belly. Cypress Hill, Peter Frampton, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Sonic Youth guest star.