The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season

The longest-running animated show in TV history continues its rollout of DVD box sets, this time offering two versions: the cheap plastic "head" box (Marge this time, having started with a Homer-shaped season six) and the regular square version for those who'd like some design consistency. Season seven was marked, at the time, by the resolution of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" cliff-hanger, which included, over the summer, a contest to name his assailant and later be animated into an episode of the show. (No one won; no one was ever animated into the show; and no, no one ever asked about it according to the episode commentary.) The season's other great innovation was the Halloween episode, which featured "Homer 3" — a computer-animated, 3D version of Homer in the third dimension — which was innovative enough in 1993 that the only reference points to other computer-animated work was the 1982 videogame flick Tron. The Simpsons team continues to give it their all, particularly on commentaries, where superstar creator Matt Groening hasn't lost any steam, helped along by a new team of writers and directors, now that the original animators have, for the most part, moved on. Other featurettes on the 3D animation episode and animatics of stages of the production mirror similar features in previous box sets. While debate rages about The Simpsons jumping the shark — this season sees the retrospective "138th Episode Spectacular," which does the "clip show" about as well as can be done — season seven demonstrates that the show still has lots of spark even through more than 100 episodes. Now that they're approaching 400, the same probably won't be written about the 16th season, but we're not into the dreck yet. (Fox)