Why do I like ''The Simpsons Seasons 1-22 DVD'' so much? Because the show is funny, brilliantly written for masterful vocal actors. But also, I think there is something about ''The Simpsons'' that penetrates to the nature of television itself.
When Fox Broadcasting put ''The Simpsons'' on the air in 1989, featuring an odd family with overbites and brilliant yellow skin, most experts scoffed. After all, it had been years since ''The Flintstones'' and ''The Jetsons'' had attracted audiences with what was often characterized as contrived silliness. There are at least six more adult animated shows in the works, two on Fox, three on the WB Network and one on UPN. Many more are being developed and could be on the air within three years.
But also, I think there is something about ''The Simpsons Seasons 1-22 DVD Boxset'' that penetrates to the nature of television itself. The most powerful televisionof my lifetime has been broadcast live, what the book industry would call ''nonfiction'': sports events, trials, assassinations, funerals, wars, missions into space. What all of these spectacles have in common is that they are unpredictable.
Mr. Groening, in spite of his own hints in previous interviews that the show might be running its course, has found a second wind. "I think the show has almost reached its halfway point, which means another 17 years," he said - and this of a show that is already the longest running now on television.
The Simpsons is reaching another unbelievable milestone this Sunday, as the show airs its 500th episode. To mark the occasion, we thought we'd take another look at our favorite peripheral characters from the series. The Simpsons are corroding the morals of Iranian youth, an official said on Monday, as dolls of Bart, Homer and the rest of the American cartoon family joined Barbie among western toys targeted by a new crackdown in Tehran.