The Simpsons' tenth season was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States between August 23, 1998, and May 16, 1999. It contains twenty-three episodes, starting with "Lard of the Dance". The Simpsons is a satire of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Set in the fictional city of Springfield, the show lampoons American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.
The showrunner for the tenth season was Mike Scully. Before production began, a salary dispute between the main cast members of The Simpsons and Fox arose. However, it was soon settled and the actors' salaries were raised to $125,000 per episode. In addition to the large Simpsons cast, many guest stars appeared in season ten, including Phil Hartman in his last appearance before his death.
Despite winning an Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program", season 10 has been cited by several critics as the beginning of the series' decline in quality. It ranked twenty-fifth in the season ratings with an average of 13.5 million viewers per episode. The tenth season DVD boxset was released in the United States and Canada on August 7, 2007. It is available in two different packagings.
|The Simpsons (season 10)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||23|
|Original release||August 23, 1998 –|
May 16, 1999
The tenth season was the second during which Mike Scully served as show runner (he had previously run the ninth season). As show runner and executive producer, Scully headed the writing staff and oversaw all aspects of the show's production. However, as he told UltimateTV in January 1999, he did not "make any decisions without the staff's input. We have great staffs in all the departments from animation to writing. So I don't want to make it sound like a dictatorship." Scully was popular with the staff members, many of whom have praised his organization and management skills. Writer Tom Martin has said that he was "quite possibly the best boss I've ever worked for" and "a great manager of people". Scully's aim while running The Simpsons was to "not wreck the show". In addition to his role as show runner during the tenth season, he co-wrote the episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday".
In 1999, there were around sixteen staff writers working on The Simpsons. Many of them had written for the show for several years, including John Swartzwelder and George Meyer. The third episode of the tenth season, "Bart the Mother", was the last full-length episode written by David S. Cohen, a longtime writer on the show. He left to team up with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening to develop Futurama, a series on which he served as executive producer and head writer. The tenth season marked the full-time return of staff member Al Jean, who had departed from the show after the fourth season to create the animated series The Critic. Between seasons four and ten, he had only worked periodically on the show, writing four episodes.
The main cast of the season consisted of Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, among others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, among others) and Harry Shearer (Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, among others). Up until the production of season ten in 1998, these six main voice actors were paid $30,000 per episode. In 1998, a salary dispute between them and the Fox Broadcasting Company (which airs The Simpsons) arose, with the actors threatening to go on a strike. Fox went as far as preparing for casting of new voices, but an agreement was soon made and the actors' salaries were raised to $125,000 per episode. Groening expressed his sympathy for the cast members in an issue of Mother Jones a while after the salary dispute had been settled. He told the magazine: "They are incredibly talented, and they deserve a chance to be as rich and miserable as anyone else in Hollywood. It looked for a while there like we might not have a show, because everyone was holding firm on all sides. That's still my attitude: Hold out for as much money as you can get, but do make the deal."
Other cast members of the season included Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, among others), Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, among others), Maggie Roswell (Helen Lovejoy, Maude Flanders, among others), Russi Taylor (Martin Prince), and Karl Wiedergott. Season ten also featured a large number of guest stars, including Phil Hartman in his final appearance on the show in the episode "Bart the Mother" that originally aired in September 27, 1998. Hartman was shot to death by his wife four months before the episode aired and it was dedicated to his memory. Rather than replacing Hartman with a new voice actor, the production staff retired two of his recurring characters, Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, from the show. However, Hutz and McClure still appear in various Simpsons comics, because a voice actor is not needed.
The tenth season of The Simpsons was originally broadcast in the United States on the Fox network between August 23, 1998 and May 16, 1999. Although "Lard of the Dance" aired on August 23 to increase ratings for the early premieres of That '70s Show by serving as a lead-in, "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (airing on September 20, 1998) was the official premiere of the tenth season. The season aired in the 8:00 p.m. time slot on Sundays. It ranked twenty-fifth (tied with Dharma & Greg) in the ratings for the 1998–1999 television season with an average of 13.5 million viewers per episode, dropping twelve percent in number of average viewers from the last season. The Simpsons was Fox's third highest-rated show of the television season, following The X-Files (ranked twelfth) and Ally McBeal (ranked twentieth).
The tenth season has been cited by some critics and fans as the beginning of the series' decline in quality. By 2000, some long-term fans had become disillusioned with the show and pointed to its shift from character-driven plots to what they perceived as an overemphasis on zany antics and gags. Chris Turner wrote in his book Planet Simpson that "one of the things that emerged was that [the staff] began to rely on gags, not characters, wherever that switch got flipped, whether it's the ninth or tenth season." Jesse Hassenger of PopMatters named the tenth season of The Simpsons the series' "first significant dip in quality, a step away from its golden era [...] with broader gags and more outlandish plots," and a BBC News writer commented that "the common consensus is that The Simpsons' golden era ended after season nine". Similarly, Tyler Wilson of Coeur d'Alene Press has referred to seasons one to nine as the show's "golden age."
DVD Verdict's Mac McEntire noted in a review that while the tenth season contains "a lot of laughs", it is missing the emotional core of the earlier seasons. Chris Barsanti of Filmcritic.com has commented that around the time the tenth season aired, "not only did the show start losing its status as untouchable—read: everyone stopped expecting every episode to be a masterpiece—it also developed the bad habit of building episodes around celebrity guests, who were practically never as amusing as they were meant to be." Michael Passman of The Michigan Daily wrote in 2007 that "in hindsight, the 10th season can now be seen as a tipping point of sorts for a number of the show's less attractive plot devices. Homer's get-rich-quick schemes start to become all too prevalent, and there are an inordinate amount of unnecessary celebrity cameos." Passman did not only have negative things to say about the tenth season, though. He commented that it "is not the last great 'Simpsons' season ever. The last great season was the eighth. The last really good season was the ninth. But the tenth is just pretty good, nothing more, nothing less."
Mike Scully, who was show runner during seasons nine through twelve, is held responsible by many critics and fans for the decline. An op-ed in Slate by Chris Suellentrop argued that The Simpsons changed from a realistic show about family life into a typical cartoon when Scully was the show runner: "under Scully's tenure, The Simpsons became, well, a cartoon. [...] Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge's neck. The show's still funny, but it hasn't been touching in years." John Ortved wrote in his book The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History that "Scully's episodes excel when compared to what The Simpsons airs nowadays, but he was the man at the helm when the ship turned towards the iceberg." The Simpsons under Scully has been negatively labeled as a "gag-heavy, Homer-centric incarnation" by Jon Bonné of MSNBC, and many fans have bemoaned the transformation in Homer's character during the era, from sweet and sincere to "a boorish, self-aggrandizing oaf", dubbing him "Jerkass Homer".
The Simpsons writer Tom Martin said in Ortved's book that he does not understand the criticism against Scully because he thinks Scully ran the show well. He also commented that he thinks the criticism "bothered [Scully], and still bothers him, but he managed to not get worked up over it." Ortved noted in his book that it is hard to tell how much of the decline is Scully's fault, and that blaming a single show runner for lowering the quality of the show "is unfair." He also wrote that some of the episodes from Scully's first two seasons (nine and ten), such as "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" and "When You Dish Upon a Star", are better than certain episodes of the two previous seasons.
UGO Networks' Brian Tallerico has defended the season against the criticism. He wrote in a 2007 review that comparing "tenth season Simpsons episodes to the prime of the series (3–7) is just unfair and really kind of self-defeating. 'Yeah, I laughed, but not as hard as a couple of years ago. So it sucks.' That's nonsense. The fact is that even the tenth season of The Simpsons was funnier than most [other] show's [sic] best years." PopMatters' Hassenger commented in his review that although the show had declined in quality, "this is not to say that these episodes are without their charm; many, in fact, are laugh-out-loud funny and characteristically smart." Similarly to Tallerico, he also noted that "weaker Simpsons seasons are superior to most television."
Despite the criticisms of season ten, it has been included in some definitions of The Simpsons' golden age, usually as the point where the show began to decline but still put out some of the last great episodes. Ian Nathan of Empire described the show's classic era as being "the first ten seasons", while Rubbercat.net believes that "discussing what constitutes The Simpsons' 'golden era' is a universal constant," in this case being seasons 3–10. Jon Heacock of LucidWorks states that while season ten was "the season in which, according to many, the show starts to go sour," it was also the final season where "the show was consistently at the top of its game," with "so many moments, quotations, and references – both epic and obscure – that helped turn the Simpson family into the cultural icons that they remain to this day."
In an article written for the Modern Day Pirates titled "In Search of The Last Classic Simpsons Episode", author Brandon listed "Homer to the Max" and "They Saved Lisa's Brain", both from the tenth season, as contenders for the latest episode that made him feel like he was "watching The Simpsons in their heyday."
The season and its episodes gathered some awards and award nominations. The Simpsons won the 1999 Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program", beating Batman Beyond, Futurama, King of the Hill, and The New Batman/Superman Adventures. That same year, Tim Long, Larry Doyle, and Matt Selman received an Annie Award in the "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production" category for writing "Simpsons Bible Stories", the eighteenth episode of the tenth season. The trio faced competition from writers of Futurama ("The Series Has Landed"), King of the Hill ("Hank's Cowboy Movie"), Batman Beyond ("Rebirth Part I"), and Space Ghost Coast to Coast ("Lawsuit"). The Simpsons was also nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1999, though the show did not win either. The season ten episode "Viva Ned Flanders" lost in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" category to "And They Call It Bobby Love" of King of the Hill. Alf Clausen was nominated in the "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series" category for his work on "Treehouse of Horror IX", the fourth episode of the tenth season, but lost the award to Carl Johnson of Invasion America.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|204||1||"Lard of the Dance"||Dominic Polcino||Jane O'Brien||August 23, 1998||5F20||7|
All the girls in Lisa's class are impressed by the mature, trendy personality of a new student named Alex Whitney, and do everything they can to be just like her. Lisa, who is not as impressed and chooses to be herself, is forgotten by her classmates and becomes jealous of Alex. Lisa's friends and Alex decide to host a school dance and they buy outfits for it in order to get dates. When Lisa goes to the dance, she discovers that the boys and the girls are at separate ends of the room, too embarrassed to dance with each other. As a result, Lisa is able to prove that Alex and her classmates are only children and not as mature as they try to be. Meanwhile, Homer convinces Bart to drop out of school for what he thinks to be a more promising pursuit: selling grease. However, this endeavor fails when their business results in a scuffle with Groundskeeper Willie.|
Guest star: Lisa Kudrow
|205||2||"The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace"||Mark Kirkland||John Swartzwelder||September 20, 1998||5F21||7.95|
Homer discovers that he has not done anything in life that will be remembered after he dies, so he decides to become an inventor like Thomas Edison. However, his initial inventions such as an electric hammer are considered unpractical and are not well received. After a period of depression, Homer comes up with his first good invention—a chair that cannot tip over—only to discover that Edison also invented the same design. However, Edison's invention has remained unnoticed in Edison's preserved office at the Edison National Historic Site in West Orange New Jersey, so Homer sets out to destroy it. There, he has a change of heart and returns home, only to leave his electric hammer behind. When the museum staff members find it, they believe it is an undiscovered invention by Edison. The hammer becomes a success and Edison's heirs earn a lot of money, making Homer angry.|
Guest star: William Daniels
|206||3||"Bart the Mother"||Steven Dean Moore||David S. Cohen||September 27, 1998||5F22||7.35|
Nelson invites Bart over to test a BB gun he "won" at an arcade center. When Bart uses it and accidentally kills a bird mother, Marge becomes furious with him, thinking that he killed the animal on purpose. Bart feels guilty for what he did and takes it upon himself to nurse the mother's orphaned eggs. Marge soon finds out about this and becomes proud of him. However, when the eggs hatch, they are found to be lizards that lived in the bird's nest. Skinner, a member of the Springfield Birdwatching Society, tells Bart that the lizards must die because they kill so many species of birds. Bart refuses and helps the lizards escape. After the lizards devour the pigeon population, which the townsfolk considered to be a nuisance, Bart is honored by Mayor Quimby.|
Guest star: Phil Hartman (in his final appearance)
|207||4||"Treehouse of Horror IX"||Steven Dean Moore||Donick Cary, Larry Doyle & David S. Cohen||October 25, 1998||AABF01||8.5|
In the ninth Treehouse of Horror episode, there are three stories:|
"Hell Toupée" – Homer gets a hair transplant from Snake Jailbird, who was sentenced to death after breaking the city's three-strikes law. Snake's spirit possesses Homer through the hair, forcing Homer to kill the people who witnessed against Snake after his final crime, including Bart.
"The Terror of Tiny Toon" – When Lisa and Bart find a plutonium rod to use as a remote control battery, the two get sucked into a special, extremely violent Halloween episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show.
"Starship Poopers" – Marge, Homer, and Kang end up on The Jerry Springer Show after Marge confesses to Homer that Maggie is an alien and that Kang is her real father.
Guest stars: Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jerry Springer, Ed McMahon and Robert Englund
|208||5||"When You Dish Upon a Star"||Pete Michels||Richard Appel||November 8, 1998||5F19||9|
When a parasailing accident sends Homer crashing into the secret home of Hollywood couple Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, they hire him as their personal assistant, provided that Homer does not tell anyone where they live. The couple starts to become irritated with Homer, who gives them ridiculous suggestions for film screenplays. When he accidentally violates their trust by revealing their location in Springfield, the couple immediately end the friendship. After a chase between the Hollywood stars in their Hummer and Homer in his mobile museum of stuff that belongs to the couple, Homer is ordered by a court of law to remain 500 miles away from any celebrity.|
Guest stars: Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer
|209||6||"D'oh-in' in the Wind"||Mark Kirkland & Matthew Nastuk||Donick Cary||November 15, 1998||AABF02||8.3|
While filling out a Screen Actors Guild form (after starring in an instructional video filmed at the nuclear plant where he works), Homer realizes that he does not know what his middle initial "J" stands for. After finding the answer, "Jay", on a mural in the hippie commune where his mother once lived, Homer decides to live the hippie lifestyle. He stays with his mother's old friends Seth and Munchie who now own a juice company. Homer quickly ruins one of their juice shipments by accident, and tries to make up for it by taking crops from their garden and making juice with them. However, some of these crops contained drugs and after people start to have crazy hallucinations from drinking the juice, Chief Wiggum arrests Seth and Munchie.|
Guest Stars: George Carlin, Martin Mull, and a special performance by Yo La Tengo
|210||7||"Lisa Gets an "A""||Bob Anderson||Ian Maxtone-Graham||November 22, 1998||AABF03||8|
|While sick from school, Lisa becomes obsessed with a video game and forgets to study for a test on the book The Wind in the Willows. Not willing to fail, she calls upon Bart and Nelson to help her cheat, and gets an A+++. Consequently, Springfield Elementary School now qualifies for a basic assistance grant. Tormented by guilt for cheating, she reveals what she did to Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers, who try to persuade her to keep it a secret so the school can keep the money. At the grant ceremony, Lisa finally blurts out her indiscretion, prior the real ceremony taking place as Skinner and Chalmers had anticipated her actions, with Bart using a dummy to substitute for her. Meanwhile, Homer houses a lobster to eat, but becomes emotionally attached to it and makes it his pet. However, he accidentally boils it to death while giving it a hot bath, and eats it sadly.|
|211||8||"Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble""||Mike B. Anderson||John Swartzwelder||December 6, 1998||AABF04||7.2|
|As the Simpson family is driving home after spending the day at a ghost town tourist attraction, Grampa needs to use the restroom but Homer refuses to stop the car. Grampa is forced to hold his urine in for hours and as a result his kidneys explode. With not much time left for Grampa to live, Homer offers to give his father one of his kidneys. However, he runs away from the hospital out of fear of the procedure and decides to hide, feeling shame for leaving Grampa at the operating table. He joins a group of weird characters on a ship who are also hiding out of shame for things they have done in their lives. However, Homer is rejected even from these outcasts because they are angered and disgusted by what he has done to his father. They throw him into the ocean and he drifts back to Springfield. There, he plans on giving his kidney again, but runs away at the last minute once more. After being knocked out by a car while fleeing from the hospital, Homer unwittingly gives his kidney while unconscious.|
|212||9||"Mayored to the Mob"||Swinton O. Scott III||Ron Hauge||December 20, 1998||AABF05||8.5|
After saving Mayor Quimby from rioters at a science fiction convention, Homer becomes Quimby's bodyguard. When Homer discovers that Mafia leader Fat Tony is providing rat milk to the schools of Springfield, he forces Quimby to expose Tony in return for saving Quimby from falling off a ledge. After Tony is arrested, he threatens to take Quimby's life. While Quimby is spending an evening at a dinner theater, Homer discovers that Fat Tony is there alongside his henchman, Louie, having been released on bail. Homer foils an attempt by Louie to kill Quimby, and as Homer and Louie fight, Tony is able to savagely beat Quimby with a baseball bat. However, Tony makes sure to only restore Quimby's fear of the Mafia and not kill him.|
Guest stars: Mark Hamill and Joe Mantegna
|213||10||"Viva Ned Flanders"||Neil Affleck||David M. Stern||January 10, 1999||AABF06||11.5|
When Springfield's only casino is demolished because of curfew, massive dust clouds form, prompting the Simpson family and Ned Flanders to go to a car wash to get rid of the dust on their cars. There, Homer sees Ned gets a senior discount. Thinking that Flanders is not a senior and lying about his age, Homer reveals this at church. As a result, Ned is forced to admit to everyone that he is sixty years old and only looks young because he has never done anything exciting in his life. Out of pity, Homer decides to take him to Las Vegas, where, after a night of partying and gambling, they end up marrying two casino barmaids while drunk. As Homer and Ned try to escape from the barmaids the next day, they go on a wild rampage through the casino, until they are confronted by casino security and banned from ever visiting Las Vegas again.|
Guest star: Mike Tyson
|214||11||"Wild Barts Can't Be Broken"||Mark Ervin||Larry Doyle||January 17, 1999||AABF07||8.8|
Homer, Lenny, Carl, and Barney celebrate a rare victory of the Springfield Isotopes baseball team and end up going on a drunken rampage through town. During this rampage, they vandalize Springfield Elementary School. The next morning, Chief Wiggum suspects that students committed the crime and places all of Springfield's youth under curfew. The children respond by setting up a pirate radio show in which they reveal the embarrassing secrets of Springfield's adults. The location from which the children send out the broadcast is soon tracked down and an argument between the children and the adults ensues. As each side is stating their case in a song, the senior citizens turn up to complain about the children and the adults and agree to raise a curfew for everyone less than seventy years old.|
Guest star: Cyndi Lauper
|215||12||"Sunday, Cruddy Sunday"||Steven Dean Moore||Tom Martin, George Meyer, Brian Scully & Mike Scully||January 31, 1999||AABF08||11.5|
While buying new tires for his car, Homer meets a travel agent who offers Homer a free bus ride to the Super Bowl, as long as he can find enough people to fill the agent's bus. A group of Springfield men tag along to what soon becomes a problematic trip after the tickets are discovered to be fake. As a result, they are locked in "Super Bowl Jail". Thanks to help from Dolly Parton, they break out and attempt to find the football field, until they get lost in the sea of players that run through the corridors of the stadium to the locker room after winning the Super Bowl. Much to their happiness, Homer and his friends end up in the locker room with the players. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa try to find the missing parts of "Vincent Price's Egg Magic", a celebrity-endorsed craft kit.|
Guest stars: John Madden, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, Pat Summerall, Rosey Grier, Fred Willard, Dolly Parton, and Rupert Murdoch
|216||13||"Homer to the Max"||Pete Michels||John Swartzwelder||February 7, 1999||AABF09||8.3|
Homer is delighted with the positive attention he receives after a new television show airs that features a police character also named Homer Simpson. However, when the character is changed from a hero to a bumbling idiot by the show's producers, Homer is mocked and taunted by those he knows, so he changes his name to "Max Power" to rid himself of the negative attention. The new name earns Homer respect, and he and Marge are invited to a party where they meet a lot of famous people who are going to save a redwood forest from destruction by chaining themselves to the trees. However, Homer accidentally cuts his tree with his chains while running away from police officers Eddie and Lou. The tree knocks down all the other redwoods in a chain reaction, angering Max's newfound friends. In the end, Max changes his name back to Homer.|
Guest star: Ed Begley, Jr.
|217||14||"I'm with Cupid"||Bob Anderson||Dan Greaney||February 14, 1999||AABF11||7.7|
After Apu and Manjula have a big fight, Apu showers his wife with elaborate Valentine's Day gifts to make up for it, making the rest of the men in Springfield look bad in front of their women. His final gift is to write a love note to Manjula in the sky—which Homer (along with a group of other discontented male characters) plans to sabotage. When the plane is about to spray the message "I LOVE U MANJULA", Homer manages to destroy the canister at "I LOVE U ⭐️", a message that the women of Springfield think was made only for them by their partners. Homer is able to win Marge's love back by jumping out of the plane covered in roses and landing in front of her in their backyard. Meanwhile, to reconcile Apu with his wife, Elton John performs a private concert for the couple.|
Guest stars: Elton John and Jan Hooks
|218||15||"Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers""||Mark Kirkland||David M. Stern||February 21, 1999||AABF10||8.6|
Homer buys an SUV but upon discovery that it was designed as a "woman's car", he gives it to Marge. Infatuated with the car, she proceeds to develop a ferocious road rage and ends up losing her license when she fails a driving test and crashes it into a prison. However, her road rage is required when Homer accidentally sets all the rhinoceros in a zoo free. Marge agrees to assist the police in rounding up the animals, but learns there is one missing and sees Homer being carried off by it. She chases the angry rhino into a construction site and deliberately crashes the SUV, making it burst into flames. The rhino instinctively attempts to stamp out the fire, allowing Homer to escape.|
Guest stars: Wolfgang and Hank Williams, Jr.
|219||16||"Make Room for Lisa"||Matthew Nastuk||Brian Scully||February 28, 1999||AABF12||7.6|
|When Homer uses Lisa's room as a cellular phone transmitter to pay off damages he did to the Bill of Rights at a Smithsonian exhibit, Lisa is forced to move into Bart's room. Lisa becomes furious with her father for having to share a room with her brother. She fears that she and Homer will never be close because of their clashing personalities and begins to develop stress-related stomach aches. To relieve these aches, Homer and Lisa visit a New Age store where the owner convinces them to go on a spiritual journey by lying in a sensory deprivation tank for a prolonged amount of time. On her journey, Lisa discovers that beneath Homer's bumbling outside, he really does care about her. Reconciled, the two of them watch a demolition derby together, something they equally enjoy. Meanwhile, Marge uses Maggie's monitor to listen in on other people's phone calls; however, when Milhouse and Bart play a prank on her, Marge knocks Milhouse out, thinking he was a burglar.|
|220||17||"Maximum Homerdrive"||Swinton O. Scott III||John Swartzwelder||March 28, 1999||AABF13||15.5|
|While at a steakhouse, a trucker named Red challenges Homer to an eating contest. Red wins, but quickly dies of "beef poisoning", making it the first time he will miss a shipment. Feeling bad for him, Homer takes on the duty of transporting Red's cargo to Atlanta with his son Bart by his side. After falling asleep behind the wheel, Homer awakes to discover that the truck drove by itself with its Navitron Autodrive system. He informs other truck drivers, who tell him that he cannot let anyone know about the Autodrive system because it would make all truck drivers lose their jobs. Later, when cars that pass by Homer find out about it, a mob of truckers confront him. Homer and Bart escape, finish the shipment on time, and go home on a freight train. Meanwhile, after deducing that only Homer and Bart get to do the fun things in life, Marge and Lisa decide to add excitement to their lives by installing a new doorbell. However, it starts to malfunction after Lisa presses it.|
|221||18||"Simpsons Bible Stories"||Nancy Kruse||Tim Long, Larry Doyle & Matt Selman||April 4, 1999||AABF14||12.2|
Reverend Lovejoy punishes the congregation with a thorough reading of the Bible after discovering a chocolate Easter bunny in the collection plate. This leads to the Simpson family falling asleep and dreaming of themselves in Biblical stores:|
Adam and Eve – Homer and Marge are Adam and Eve, who get tempted by a snake into eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
Moses – Milhouse is Moses, who fights back against the Egyptians (Principal Skinner and the Springfield Police) in order to free the Jews (the children of Springfield Elementary School).
King Solomon – In this short piece, Homer is King Solomon, who must decide which man (Lenny or Carl) is the true owner of a cherry pie.
David and Goliath – Bart is David, who tries to slay Goliath (Nelson) after Goliath kills David's oldest friend, Methuselah, (Grampa).
|222||19||"Mom and Pop Art"||Steven Dean Moore||Al Jean||April 11, 1999||AABF15||8.5|
Homer tries to assemble a barbecue pit quickly, but fails and is left with a mismatched collection of parts stuck in hardened cement. As a result, he vents his rage on the construct, mangling it further. When Homer takes the failed barbecue pit back to the store, an art dealer sees it and describes it as a masterpiece of outsider art. As a result, he gets his own art exhibition and channels his rage into his work. Marge, who had been trying to succeed at art for years, gets jealous of Homer's easy success. However, when Homer makes new art pieces for a show called "Art in America" that are similar to his first piece, his peers reject him as repetitive. In an attempt to do something groundbreaking, Homer floods Springfield and puts snorkels on the animals. The townspeople declare this a masterpiece and everyone enjoys the new "Grand Canals of Springfield".|
Guest stars: Jasper Johns and Isabella Rossellini
|223||20||"The Old Man and the "C" Student"||Mark Kirkland||Julie Thacker||April 25, 1999||AABF16||6.9|
After ruining Springfield's chances of hosting the Olympics with an ethnically offensive stand-up act in front of the International Olympic Committee, Bart is forced to volunteer at the Springfield Retirement Castle. Meanwhile, Homer receives 1,000 springs he intended to sell as the mascot he created for the Olympics, Springy the Springfield Spring. He uses various get-rich-quick schemes to sell off the mascots, but fails miserably due to Springfield's hatred of Bart's comedy routine. Ultimately, Homer is forced to flush the mascots down the toilet. At the retirement home, Bart is dismayed at how little the seniors are allowed to do and decides to take them on a boat ride, which the seniors thoroughly enjoy until they crash into Mr. Burns' schooner. The boat begins to sink, but the springs that Homer flushed down the toilet out onto the bottom of the sea cause the boat to bounce up to the surface long enough for the United States Coast Guard to rescue everyone.|
Guest star: Jack LaLanne
|224||21||"Monty Can't Buy Me Love"||Mark Ervin||John Swartzwelder||May 2, 1999||AABF17||7.26|
Billionaire Arthur Fortune captures Springfield's heart by giving each customer a dollar at the opening of his new store. This embarrasses the unpopular Mr. Burns, who recruits Homer to help him be loved by all. However, their various schemes fail. Feeling disappointed, Burns makes his newest plan, which is to go to Scotland to catch the legendary Loch Ness Monster. After some minor setbacks, Burns is able to capture the monster and sends it to Springfield to be unveiled, where the friendly "Nessie" charms all of the spectators and makes Burns more likable. However, during the unveiling, Burns is blinded by camera flashes and runs into a camera which crashes and starts a fire. As a result, the crowd flees in panic. Following this disaster, Homer cheers up Burns by pointing out that being loved means you have to be nice to people every day but being hated is effortless.|
Guest star: Michael McKean
|225||22||"They Saved Lisa's Brain"||Pete Michels||Matt Selman||May 9, 1999||AABF18||6.8|
After a riot occurs at a Springfield contest that promises a luxurious trip to the most disgusting and dimwitted contest participant, Lisa, disgusted at the lack of intelligence, writes a letter that appears in the newspaper. Springfield's branch of Mensa International, consisting of Comic Book Guy, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Professor Frink, and Lindsay Naegle, is impressed and invites Lisa to join the group. When the Mensa members lose their gazebo at the park, they go to complain to Mayor Quimby. However, the mayor thinks they are there to confront him about his political corruption so he flees from Springfield. As a result, Lisa and the others are granted power to the city since they are the smartest. The power eventually corrupts them and they are cornered by a mob, only to be saved when Stephen Hawking shows up. Meanwhile, Homer gets erotic photographs of himself taken for Marge, but while she enjoys them a lot, she gets distracted by the interior design Homer did in their basement for the photo shoot and they do not have sex that night.|
Guest star: Stephen Hawking
|226||23||"Thirty Minutes over Tokyo"||Jim Reardon||Donick Cary & Dan Greaney||May 16, 1999||AABF20||8|
When Snake Jailbird steals money from the Simpson family's bank account through the Internet, the Simpsons go on a budget and save enough to buy a trip to Japan. The Simpsons thoroughly enjoy the country, and Homer defeats one of the mightiest sumo wrestlers. Impressed, the Emperor of Japan congratulates Homer, but, thinking the emperor is a new challenger, Homer knocks him out. As a result, he is placed in prison. After Marge pays the bail, Homer loses their last money and the family is unable to buy plane tickets home. All seems lost until a Japanese game show allows the Simpsons to compete in order to return to Springfield. Their last task on the show is to retrieve the plane tickets on a suspension bridge over an active volcano, which, once the family falls in, is revealed to be filled with orangeade and not lava. Although the family gets the tickets, Homer scolds the Japanese for their lack of ethics.|
Guest stars: George Takei, Gedde Watanabe, Keone Young, Karen Maruyama, and Denice Kumagai
The DVD boxset for season ten was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada on August 7, 2007, eight years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including audio commentaries for every episode, deleted scenes, and animatics. The set was released in two different packagings: a standard rectangular cardboard box featuring Bart on the cover driving through a security checkpoint gate at a movie studio, and a "limited edition" plastic packaging molded to look like Bart's head.
|The Complete Tenth Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|August 7, 2007||September 10, 2007||September 26, 2007|
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
"Bart the Mother" is the third episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 27, 1998. In the episode, Bart accidentally kills a mother bird with a BB gun, and decides to hatch and take care of the two eggs he found in the bird's nest.
"Bart the Mother" was written by David X. Cohen and directed by Steven Dean Moore; it was the last full-length episode Cohen wrote for The Simpsons before leaving to work on Futurama. The original idea for the episode was intended to be a B story, but because it was too difficult to work into other episodes, it eventually became a primary plot. The episode features the final speaking appearance of character Troy McClure and was dedicated to the character's voice actor, Phil Hartman, who was murdered by his wife on May 28, 1998, four months before the episode aired.In its original American broadcast, "Bart the Mother" finished 58th in ratings for the week of September 21–27, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 7.4, translating to 7,355,600 households.
The episode received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Bart's moral dilemma and soul searching moments. Nancy Cartwright, the voice actress of Bart, described the episode as one of her favorites.D'oh-in' in the Wind
"D'oh-in' in the Wind" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998. In the episode, Homer Simpson travels to a farm owned by Seth and Munchie, two aged hippies who were friends with Homer's mother. After finding out his middle name is "Jay", Homer is drawn to the care-free lifestyle of hippies, and decides to become one himself.
The episode was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland, with a couple of scenes being directed by Matthew Nastuk. Kirkland, who was going through a divorce during the episode's production, assigned Nastuk, his assistant director, to take over direction in his stead. However, after Nastuk had directed a scene, Kirkland felt better and returned to direct the rest of the episode. The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay", which is a tribute to characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.
The episode features comic actors George Carlin as Munchie and Martin Mull as Seth. Carlin was suggested by Simpsons writer Ron Hauge, who "really wanted to meet him", although he did not attend the recording session with Carlin and Mull. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.4 million viewers. Following the tenth season's home release on August 7, 2007, "D'oh-in' in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics.Homer to the Max
"Homer to the Max" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 7, 1999. In the episode, Homer discovers that a new television show, Police Cops, has a hero also named Homer Simpson. He is delighted with the positive attention he receives because of his name, but when the television character is rewritten from a hero to a bumbling idiot, he is mocked and taunted, so he changes his name to "Max Power" to rid himself of the negative attention. Max gains new friends, and is forced into a protest to prevent a forest from being knocked down. In the end, he changes his name back to Homer Simpson.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Pete Michels. Since airing, it has received mixed reviews from television critics. Overall, the episode received a Nielsen rating of 8.5.Lard of the Dance
"Lard of the Dance" is the first episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on August 23, 1998. Homer discovers he can make money by stealing and reselling grease, but eventually stops after negative encounters with Groundskeeper Willie and the Springfield Grease Company. Meanwhile, Lisa becomes jealous that a new student (voiced by Lisa Kudrow) is distracting all her friends by using her fashionable personality. The episode was written by Jane O'Brien and directed by Dominic Polcino.Lisa Gets an "A"
"Lisa Gets an "A"" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 22, 1998. In the episode, Lisa cheats on a test for which she fails to study and receives an A+++ grade, but becomes guilt-ridden. Meanwhile, Homer buys a lobster with the intention of fattening him up to eat. However, he becomes attached to it and decides to keep it as a pet named Pinchy.
"Lisa Gets an "A"" was directed by Bob Anderson, and although it was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham, neither the main storyline nor the subplot was conceived by him. The main storyline was instead pitched by former staff writer Ron Hauge, while Richard Appel, who also was a staff writer, had pitched the episode's subplot for a long time. The episode satirizes educational establishments, and features a parody of the video game Crash Bandicoot.
In its original American broadcast, "Lisa Gets an "A"" was seen by approximately 8 million viewers, and finished in 51st place in ratings the week it aired. Following its broadcast, a scene in the episode garnered criticism from the Catholic League, but the controversy went largely ignored by The Simpsons' staff. The episode received generally positive reviews from critics, and is considered one of the best episodes of the season.Maximum Homerdrive
"Maximum Homerdrive" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 28, 1999. In the episode, Homer challenges trucker Red Barclay to a meat eating contest, which Barclay is the long-standing champion of. Barclay wins, but quickly dies of "beef poisoning", making it the first time Barclay will miss a shipment. Feeling bad for him, Homer takes on the duty of transporting Barclay's cargo to Atlanta, with his son Bart by his side.
"Maximum Homerdrive" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Swinton O. Scott III. Although the episode's first draft was written by Swartzwelder, the writing staff was split into two groups in order to focus on both the A-story and the B-story. The episode features references to comedian Tony Randall, model Bettie Page, and science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, among other things.
In its original broadcast, "Maximum Homerdrive" received a 7.8 Nielsen rating among adults between ages 18 and 49, the highest such rating for the series since "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken". Variety credited the boost in ratings to the premiere of Futurama, which aired after "Maximum Homerdrive". Following the tenth season's home video release, the episode received mixed reviews from critics.Mayored to the Mob
"Mayored to the Mob" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 20, 1998. After Homer prevents Mayor Quimby and Mark Hamill from being trampled at a convention, Homer trains to become a bodyguard and is employed by Quimby. After Homer discovers Quimby has been making corrupt deals with Fat Tony and forces him to end the deal, Fat Tony threatens to kill Quimby, leaving Homer to defend the Mayor from threats. The episode was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Swinton O. Scott III, and received positive reviews from critics overall.Mom and Pop Art
"Mom and Pop Art" is the nineteenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It was first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 11, 1999. In this episode, Homer inadvertently becomes a well-praised outsider artist after his failed attempts to build a barbecue pit. His exhibit goes to the Louvre, and after Mr. Burns buys his artwork, Homer becomes a success. However, after his new art appears in the "Art in America" show, Homer's artwork is criticized for being too repetitive of his first piece. After his recent failure, Homer tries to devise something groundbreaking, after hearing of Christo's art.
"Mom and Pop Art" was directed by Steven Dean Moore and was the first episode Al Jean wrote after his return to The Simpsons writing staff. The plot was conceived by Jean, who was inspired by a segment about found artists on the television news magazine 60 Minutes. The episode features contemporary artist Jasper Johns as himself, and also features Italian actress Isabella Rossellini as Astrid Weller. It references several famous artworks, such as those of Leonardo da Vinci and Henri Rousseau. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.5 million viewers, finishing in 23rd place in the ratings the week it aired. Following the home video release of The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season, "Mom and Pop Art" received mixed reviews from critics.Monty Can't Buy Me Love
"Monty Can't Buy Me Love" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 2, 1999. In the episode, Mr. Burns is jealous of megastore owner Arthur Fortune, who is beloved by the people of Springfield. In order to win the people's love, Burns gathers the help of Homer Simpson, Professor Frink and Groundskeeper Willie to capture the Loch Ness monster.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Mark Ervin. The idea for the episode was pitched by the Simpsons writing staff, who wanted to make an episode in which Mr. Burns becomes a "thrillionaire", a millionaire who goes on thrilling adventures. Although it would originally be green, a mistake in the overseas animation led to the Loch Ness monster looking pink, a mistake that was ultimately too expensive to fix.
In its original broadcast, "Monty Can't Buy Me Love" was seen by approximately 7.26 million viewers, and finished in 43rd place in the ratings the week it aired. Following the release of The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season, the episode received mixed reviews from critics.Simpsons Bible Stories
"Simpsons Bible Stories" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1999. It is the first of The Simpsons' now annual trilogy episodes, and consists of four self-contained segments. In the episode, the Simpson family fall asleep during a sermon in church. Marge dreams that she and Homer are Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Lisa dreams that she and her fellow Springfield Elementary School students are Hebrew slaves in Ancient Egypt and guides Moses to lead them to freedom, Homer dreams that he is King Solomon called to resolve a dispute between Lenny and Carl over the ownership of a pie, and Bart dreams he is King David, who has to fight Goliath's son, Goliath II.
"Simpsons Bible Stories" was written by Matt Selman, Larry Doyle and Tim Long, and was the first episode Nancy Kruse directed for The Simpsons. While executive producer and former showrunner Mike Scully stated that the idea for the episode came after Fox requested an Easter-themed episode, co-writer Selman argued that it was conceived by former staff writers Dan Greaney and Donick Cary while they were pitching ideas for the tenth season. Because the episode mostly takes place outside Springfield, the animators had to design completely new sets. While the episode mostly features references to the Old Testament and Christianity, it also parodies children's television programs, American politicians and action films by Jerry Bruckheimer.
In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 12.2 million viewers, a drop from the previous episode which garnered 15.5 million viewers. Following its broadcast, the episode received mixed reviews from critics, but won an Annie award in the category of Best Animated Television Production. In 2007, the episode was released as part of The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season DVD box set, and a promotional poster for the episode was included in an exhibition in Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The episode's ending scene is one of series creator Matt Groening's favorite moments on The Simpsons. The episode has been credited with fostering a critical literacy towards religion and the Bible among its viewers.The Old Man and the "C" Student
"The Old Man and the "C" Student" is the twentieth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 25, 1999. In the episode, after offending the Olympic committee during their visit to Springfield Elementary, the school's students are committed to 20 hours of community service. Bart, along with his sister Lisa, is put in charge of Springfield's retirement home, where Bart notices the doldrums that the old people go through every day. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa's father Homer tries to sell springs.
"The Old Man and the "C" Student" was directed by Mark Kirkland and was the first episode Julie Thacker wrote for The Simpsons. While Bart's storyline was pitched by Thacker, the B-story, involving Homer, was conceived by Thacker's husband Mike Scully, who also was an executive producer and the showrunner for the episode. Jack Lalanne guest-starred as himself in the episode.
On its original broadcast, "The Old Man and the "C" Student" was seen by approximately 6.9 million viewers. Following the release of The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season, the episode received mostly positive reviews from critics.The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace
"The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" is the second episode in the tenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 20, 1998, and was seen in around 7.95 million households during the broadcast. In the episode, Homer, realizing his life is half over and has not accomplished anything, begins to admire Thomas Edison and decides to create inventions to follow in Edison's footsteps and make his life worthwhile.
The idea behind "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" came from Dan Greaney, who assigned John Swartzwelder to write the episode. While directing the episode, Mark Kirkland visited the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey to receive inspiration for several scenes in the episode that take place in this museum. William Daniels made a guest appearance in the episode as the character KITT from the television series Knight Rider. In general, "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" received positive reviews from television critics, with many singling it out as a strong beginning to a season.Thirty Minutes over Tokyo
"Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" is the twenty-third episode and season finale of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 16, 1999. In the episode, after being robbed by Snake Jailbird, the Simpsons visit a money-saving seminar, where they learn ways to limit their expenses. Soon, the family can afford a cheap last-minute flight to another country, the only disadvantage being that they do not know where their plane tickets will bring them, which leads them to spend their vacation in Japan.
The episode was written by Donick Cary and Dan Greaney, while Jim Reardon served as director. It was one of the last episodes written in its production line, and its title is a reference to the war film 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. Several guest-stars appeared in the episode, including George Takei as the host for The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show. This episode mocks aspects of the Japanese, including the cruelty of Japanese game shows.
The episode was seen by approximately 8 million viewers in its original broadcast. In 2005, the episode was first released on home video, and in 2007, it was released as part of the tenth season DVD box set. Following the tenth season's home video release, "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" received mixed reviews from critics. Because of a scene in which the Emperor of Japan is thrown into a trunk filled with sumo thongs, the episode has never aired in Japan, as the scene was considered disrespectful.Treehouse of Horror IX
"Treehouse of Horror IX" is the fourth episode in the tenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1998. This is the ninth Treehouse of Horror episode, and, like the other "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, contains three self-contained segments: In "Hell Toupée", Homer gets a hair transplant and is possessed by the spirit of an executed criminal; in "Terror of Tiny Toon", Bart and Lisa are trapped in a special, extremely violent episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show; and in "Starship Poopers", Marge reveals that Maggie is the product of a one-night stand with the alien Kang.
"Treehouse of Horror IX" was written by Donick Cary, Larry Doyle and David S. Cohen, and directed by Steven Dean Moore. "Terror of Tiny Toon" includes a live-action segment starring Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford. Jerry Springer and Ed McMahon also appear in the episode, voicing themselves, while Robert Englund provides the voice of Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. The episode also features Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series while various characters visit the talk shows Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and The Jerry Springer Show.
In its original airing on the Fox Network, the episode had an 8.6 Nielsen rating. In 1999, composer Alf Clausen was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for his work on the episode.Viva Ned Flanders
"Viva Ned Flanders" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1999. In the episode, Ned Flanders, who is revealed to be 60 years old, feels that he has not lived his life to the fullest. He asks for help from his neighbor, Homer Simpson, who takes Ned to Las Vegas to show him "the right way to live". However, while there, the two become intoxicated and accidentally marry two cocktail waitresses.
The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Neil Affleck. The revelation of Ned's age was heavily debated between the Simpsons staff, and the decision to make him 60 years old could have been inspired from a joke by Simpsons writer Ron Hauge. A scene in the episode features the song "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis Presley, although the staff originally wanted a version of the song performed by Bruce Springsteen. The Moody Blues guest-starred as themselves in the episode, and the episode marked the first appearance of the cocktail waitresses Amber and Ginger, who were voiced by Pamela Hayden and Tress MacNeille respectively.
The episode was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) in 1999, which it ultimately lost to King of the Hill. Following the tenth season's release on DVD, the episode received mostly positive reviews from critics. Amber and Ginger have appeared in later episodes in the series, the first time being the season 13 episode "Brawl in the Family", which serves as a continuation of "Viva Ned Flanders".When You Dish Upon a Star
"When You Dish Upon a Star" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 8, 1998. When the family spend the day at Lake Springfield, Homer meets Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger (voicing themselves), who are hiding from the media in their secluded summer home. Homer starts to work for them, developing a good friendship, but he soon reveals their secrets to the public, damaging his new friendship with them. It was the last Simpsons episode written by Richard Appel, and was directed by Pete Michels.Wild Barts Can't Be Broken
"Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 17, 1999. When Homer, Barney, Lenny, and Carl drunkenly vandalize Springfield Elementary School, it is blamed on the children of Springfield, prompting Chief Wiggum to impose a curfew. The children respond by setting up a pirate radio show in which they reveal the embarrassing secrets of Springfield's adults. The episode was written by Larry Doyle and directed by Mark Ervin. The concept behind the episode originates from show producer Mike Scully always wanting to do an episode where the children would be subject to a curfew. The episode received an 8.9 Nielsen rating, and mostly positive reviews from critics.