By Daniel Fierman
September 25, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Simpsons ?& ©2001/ 20th Century Fox Film Corp, All Rights Reserved,

The Simpsons: The Complete First Season

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For starters, calm down. It’s the first season. The voices are off, the animation more crap than craptastic, and the plots — as the creators happily admit in the commentary tracks — excruciatingly slow. In fact, watching the first 13 episodes of arguably the greatest television comedy ever, you wonder how this primitive batch of crude scribbles and scant D’oh!s launched the TV sensation of the ’90s. But ”Simpsons” fans have long been more Comic Book Guy than Troy McClure — so quality be damned; for those of us among the obsessed, it’s a must-have for archival purposes. And then there are the extras.

HMMMrrrghghhh…extras.

The three-disc set is buoyed by bountiful goodies, including hilarious running commentary from Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and the rest of the original team, and the much-nattered-about-but-never-seen original pilot episode (”Some Enchanted Evening”) that almost had the show canceled before it was ever aired. (The animation is as bad as rumored and fully explains why the show had to be delayed for a midseason debut.) In short, it ain’t the best…DVD…ever — stay tuned for season three for that — but it’s perfectly cromulant and worthy of any serious ”Simpsons”ologist. You’ll like it. Trust me. It’s why you’re the readers and I’m the, uh, DVD-reviewing guy.

The Simpsons: The Complete First Season

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