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The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season

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The Simpsons, The Simpsons
The Simpsons: © and TM 20th Century Fox

The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season

Current Status:
In Season
Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria
guest performer:
Danny DeVito, Phil Hartman, Dustin Hoffman, James Earl Jones

We gave it an A-

At one point while watching Dustin Hoffman record his lines for a memorable guest spot, ”Simpsons” exec producer Sam Simon had to coach the Oscar-winning actor on a line reading he ought to have been quite familiar with: ”Miss Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?” This amusing anecdote pops up on one of the commentary tracks that accompany the 22 episodes collected on The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.

But just like the season 1 box, the bulk of these audio supplements — offered by creator Matt Groening and exec producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, along with various writers and directors — is engaging yet largely uninformative (”Simpsons” scribes love reading comics). What the commentators also often do is just sit back and laugh. You will too. ”The Simpsons”’ second season is a classic TV comedy hitting its stride.

And, yes, the set is worth the wait: Along with some unforgettable episodes featuring some terrific guest actors (Hoffman — credited as ”Sam Etic” — Danny DeVito, James Earl Jones, the late Phil Hartman), there’s a truly painful clip of voice actress Yeardley Smith in a godawful Bart costume presenting an American Music Award. As Mr. Burns would say: ”Excellent!”