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My Simpsons Ultimate Episode Ratings and Rankings: Season 14, Part 1

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Well it has been just under 3 months since my last blog entry, but I've finally managed to finish watching Season 14. Don't let the long lay off fool you though I didn't actually begin watching it until I purchased the DVD back on the 6th of December. This year of shows originally aired when I was 14 years old and while I can still remember watching several episodes on their original air dates many others I cannot. I suppose by this time I wasn't as interested in the series as I used to be, but then my memories of watching episodes post Season 10, and Pre-Season 20, on the nights they aired are kinda sporadic anyway.

I already mentioned this when I covered Season 13 but it, along with Season 14, 15 and arguably 16, seem to be perceived around here as something of a revival period for the series. Mike Scully had stepped down as showrunner, though as we'll see still manages to leave his mark this season, and was replaced by Al Jean. Under this earliest of parts of his tenure it seemed the series was trying to stay away from the Homer and pals wacky half hour and creep at least somewhat close in quality to the classic years. With that in mind one would expect to find many very strong episodes in this season, right? Well...

1.) Moe Baby Blues - 5/5
2.) Brake My Wife, Please - 5/5
3.) The Dad Who Knew Too Little - 4.5/5
4.) The Bart of War - 4/5
5.) The Great Louse Detective - 4/5
6.) C.E. D'oh - 4/5

The first thing which I assume would jump out at anyone here is that I only gave this season 2 perfect scores. That is one more than Season 13, but one less than Season 15. Perhaps I think the three seasons managed to improve on the one they followed? That doesn't quite work out as you'll see in later entries.

The two episodes I did give a 5/5 to this season I did so for just about entirely different reasons. Moe Baby Blues remains a very good Moe episode likely only matched in quality by Eeny Teeny Maya Moe, from the post-classic era at least. Hell from a character point alone I suppose you might even include the classic era, but I wouldn't at the moment. It has several funny moments but the way Moe is portrayed and his relationship with Maggie is why I enjoy watching this so much. By stark contrast the story behind Brake My Wife, Please seems to wander every act. We start at an aquarium but somehow end up with Homer losing his driver's license which leads to a Homer and Marge relationship crisis episode with a song thrown in, I guess 2 actually. The thing about this one though is I enjoy watching all of this unfold. I enjoy watching Bart getting beat up by the marine life after mooning his classmates and Homer dancing around a Mexican Hat Dance spouting phone after explaining why he was so late only to end up crashing the car when his SOS fax doesn't work. I enjoy watching as Marge begins to break when her ability to drive is taken advantage of by everyone but especially her husband. I certainly enjoy watching Flanders bring the boys along on no doubt the very first train he can find to Montana because of a random note. To summarize, I just find this episode very funny, probably the funniest episode of the season for me.

The Dad Who Knew Too Little is another very funny episode but also manages to be a good Homer/Lisa episode. Homer's video about his daughter is the highlight for me, but Dexter Colt brings the laughs as well. His little exchange with one Nelson Muntz will remain a memorable Simpsons moment for me forever. Another such moment comes as Bart criticizes his father in The Bart of War. I find this episode to be very funny as well and enjoy watching Marge lead her tribe against Kirk's and another riot erupt at an Isotopes game leaving Moe with the short end of the stick once again.

These four episodes are my favorite from this season for sure, but ranking the rest becomes somewhat difficult because well....none of them are as memorable for me as I thought. Now considering that is 18 out of 22 episodes that probably doesn't speak too well of this season, but memorability alone doesn't determine quality. My fifth episode, The Great Louse Detective, is helped in the memorability department by merely being a Sideshow Bob episode. We've still only had what? 12 Bob focused episodes? I'd probably rank this one in the middle to lower end of the spectrum honestly but I still enjoy it. The reveal of a Frank Grimes Jr. still seems questionable to me, but eh, it doesn't really hurt my opinion of the episode. My two favorite scenes are definitely the Homer dummy and its many attackers and the song at the end. C.E. D'oh is funny and manages to be a good Homer at the plant episode, but I just don't find it that memorable. The Valentine's opening and Burns' Poe inspired revenge are my favorite moments though. I view both of these episodes as good, but like every other one which remains I have to question if they'd break my top 300 episodes.
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