Look, we know we said the last season was the best – and probably the season before that – and so we’ve sort of shot our five-star bolt and every release from now on needs to be four-and-a-bit stars, at most... But this is The Simpsons and so the usual rules of logic and reason can get bent.
Scoffers might point at the ever-wider gaps between truly great episodes. But for every so-so story with a rubbish musical bit, there’s a Hank Scorpio (the Simpsons move to an idyllic rural community only to find it’s a front for a Bond-style baddie); a Chili Cook-Off (after eating extra-hot peppers, Homer meets a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash); and a Marketing Scam (Marge: “You’re going to annoy thousands of people just to make a few measly dollars. It’s nothing but panhandling!”... Homer: “Tele-panhandling!”).
As ever, the commentaries are brimming with sly anecdotes, wry asides, dialogue anticipating, frequent splutters of the giggles... It’s like gorging on a rack of familiar episodes with equally Simpsons-geeky pals, only these guys have every excuse because they wrote the darn thing.
Oh, and it’s shaped like Maggie’s head. Keep the faith...