The last few reviews of The Simpsons: Potential spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Short #4: Babysitting Maggie
When Tiny Toon Adventures' second season was announced on DVD about four, five years ago, they omitted one episode, Elephant Issues, because of a segment called One Beer. Fan backlash led to the episode being put on DVD. If Babysitting Maggie were to be put on DVD of all The Simpsons shorts if it actually was made, it would be a tough battle to include it in its entirety.
Most people upload to YouTube the Comedy Central syndication of The Tracey Ullman Show so unless someone has an airing from when Fox aired it new, that's the only version you will find. A part that's cut is Maggie sticking a fork into an electrical socket. I don't blame it being cut for syndication. It's kind of reckless and despite being different than the actual show, it doesn't feel funny. In fact, the whole short is like a cartoon with Maggie getting hurt. It's not like Jumping Bart where you can get humor out of both Bart's injuries and Homer's forgetful mind.
It's a shame, because Klasky-Csupo's first efforts of having outdoor scenes was nice. The living room inside was an improvement over Watching TV. Plus, you see the distinctive traits of Bart and Lisa's ways of concern over their sister. The only laughs you might get is Bart saying stuff to Lisa and that's it. Kind of a forgettable short despite better animation.
Final Score: 5 out of 10
Short #5: The Pacifier
This is a solid short and like Jumping Bart, funny from beginning to end. The approach is a little cartoon like in certain parts, but it works pretty well. You gotta admire Matt Groening for making Maggie feel fearless and committed to just being a baby. Bart and Lisa's efforts are thwarted by their sister being committed to sucking on a pacifier. You don't mess with babies. I would say the ending is surprising, but funny.
Another short, another outside effort from Klasky-Csupo. The outdoor scene shows how well they can draw up a backyard. And the kitchen inside is not bad for a first effort. I would say it's their best effort out of the first season of shorts. There's nothing distinctive of Bart and Lisa's personalities, but as I said, it's funny. Probably the best short of the the first season of shorts. Kudos to anyone that can find the Life in Hell reference.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Next week, we'll finish up Season 1 with Burping Contest and Dinnertime. After that is Season 2 shorts, and boy, am I excited.
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