The Simpsons: Season 1 (1989 - 1990)

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Critic Consensus: The Simpsons' first season proves a quickly addictive introduction to America's animated first family with a run of entertaining episodes that set the stage for a groundbreaking series.

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Episodes

1
Air date: Dec 17, 1989
2
Air date: Jan 14, 1990
3
Air date: Jan 21, 1990
4
Air date: Jan 28, 1990
5
Air date: Feb 4, 1990
6
Air date: Feb 11, 1990
7
Air date: Feb 18, 1990
8
Air date: Feb 25, 1990
9
Air date: Mar 18, 1990
10
Air date: Mar 25, 1990
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The Simpsons: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

FOX's landmark animated comedy began in December 1989 with the episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," in which family patriarch Homer deals with a Christmas in which he's too poor to buy presents by adopting a canine from the local dog-racing track named Santa's Little Helper. While the show was a phenomenon almost from the get-go (with the face of 10-year-old hell-raiser and initial breakout character Bart Simpson appearing on just about every form of merchandise imaginable), few could have predicted then that "The Simpsons" would become a cultural institution, running for over two decades and defining the comedic sensibilities of a generation. In the first series, the animation was noticeably cruder and some of the voice actors were still figuring out their characters (Dan Castellaneta stated that he based Homer's voice in the early going on Walter Matthau), but the show still excelled at telling small-scale stories about a lower-middle-class family trying to get by: Homer gets fired from his job at the nuclear power plant and tries to get rehired, Bart deals with a bully and Lisa befriends a jazz saxophonist who helps cure her depression. In time, "The Simpsons" would evolve into nothing less than an elaborate satire of every aspect of American life in the late-20th century, with jokes that ranged from highbrow literary references to humor so stupid it was almost zen; here at the very beginning, it was simply an idiosyncratic show that was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.

Cast

Dan Castellaneta
as Homer Simpson/Grandpa/Krusty the Clown/Barney/Mayor Quimby
Julie Kavner
as Marge Simpson/Patty Bouvier/Selma Bouvier
Nancy Cartwright
as Bart Simpson/Nelson Muntz/Todd Flanders/Ralph Wiggum/Kearney
Yeardley Smith
as Lisa Simpson
Harry Shearer
as Mr. Burns/Lenny/Ned Flanders/Seymour Skinner/Waylon Smithers
Hank Azaria
as Moe Szyslak
Pamela Hayden
as Milhouse Van Houten/Rod Flanders
Marcia Wallace
as Edna Krabappel
Tress MacNeille
as Agnes Skinner/Jimbo Jones
Russi Taylor
as Martin Prince/Sidney Swift / Ian
Chris Latta
as Mr. Burns
Albert Brooks
as Cowboy Bob
Susan Blu
as Weasel #1
Sam McMurray
as SNPP Employee/Duff Commercial VO
Miriam Flynn
as Miss Barr
Ron Taylor
as Bleeding Gums Murphy
June Foray
as Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service Receptionist /
Paul Willson
as Florist
Christian Coffinet
as Gendarme Officer
Kelsey Grammer
as Sideshow Bob Terwilliger
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News & Interviews for The Simpsons: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Simpsons Season 1

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (10)

The citizens of Springfield deliver fresh stories, sharp barbs, and unique lessons on family, week in and week out - on a broadcast schedule, no less.

Jul 5, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

...10 times funnier than The Flintstones...

Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…

An endless, imponderable, unstoppable Niagara of sight gags, jokes, one-liners, characters and stories that explore everything from the meaning of God to the anti-allure of Duff Beer.

Aug 20, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

A masterpiece which could pass as a work in progress.

Dec 26, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

There are more addictive series... (especially now that the old auto-conclusive plot formula seems so passé), but we will always have Springfield. [Full review in Spanish]

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…

This addition, a mordant animated series from cartoonist Matt Groening, is the most subversive beast in the Fox den, and, at least initially, the wittiest.

Nov 9, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

What is far more remarkable is how many of the elements that came to define the show were already in place that very first episode.

Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

Jun 13, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

A Fox press release says the Simpsons "represent the American family at its wildest!" Not true: The Simpsons are the American family at its most complicated, drawn as simple cartoons.

Nov 8, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Do not miss this half hour. It's a flat-out howl. It's also warm . . . uh, I think.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Simpsons: Season 1

The first season was rough compared to the seasons that will come after it, but it is still a must watch season.

The First season of The Simpsons is the best.

The first season has a lot of heart and the characters are lovable and care about each other. The show also manages to be very funny on top of it all.

Back in 1987 when The Simpsons was first broadcasted on The Tracey Ullman show, everybody loved it and most probably wanted a television series to be made so Matt Groening then made a TV show which is the longest prime time television series of all times with 30 seasons on air. The Simpsons series 1 is one of the best series I have seen so far (season 1-6 I have seen) due to the brilliant pilot which is one of the funniest and all time greatest Simpsons episodes ever broadcasted on Fox, great story plots, funny episodes and they way that they dealt with serious issues (e.g. Homer wanted to commit suicide, and Homer saying that women are not objects). So overall, I love Simpsons series 1 and I think that it is a great start to the show which would draw fans in for a second. Even though some episodes weren't that good (e.g. The Telltale Head, Life On The Fast Lane and The Crepes of Warth) still watch this series if you haven't already.

Good but the animations and jokes are not quite improved yet which makes it kind of inferior to some later seasons

Funny and entertaining the Simpson's is my favorite tv show.

Sooooooooo funny ?? LOL!!!!!!!

This TV series had great chapters in the old times, but, since the beginning, maybe a too much dark sense of humour which has influenced later TV. Now, the show has no reason to continue, but we will remember its old successes.

The groundbreaking animated family comedy "The Simpsons," delivers a spectacular start in a string of classics. The animation is noticeably dated and the overall tone of both plot and characters seem to change often, but overall the season has a mesmerizing look and tone to it. Its comedy style is especially sharp; experimenting with many different styles. Additionally, the show dives into an incredibly large character list, and builds detailed world aspects making the viewing experience far more indulging and opens many possibilities for future episode plots. Overall a worthwhile use of your time that'll make you fall in love with "The Simpsons," for years to come.

The animation looks quite crude and rubbery and some of the humour either hasn't aged well or is too subtle for today's standards. But there's no denying just how the episodes opened the floodgates for many series like it to follow with the episode plots being decent, a few genuinely funny jokes and all the fun '90s crap that was everywhere when this show first debuted. The show was still trying to find its footing here but you still can't deny how groundbreaking this show was.

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