TheSimpsons.com

Like a juicy heat lamp dog that's been roasting in Apu's Kwik-E-Mart oven, the new and improved Simpsons Web site is a thing of beauty. Especially jazzed up to mark the 10th anniversary celebration of Matt Groening's seemingly eternal toon, this paean to the demented yellow-skinned denizens of Springfield is an eye-catching shrine and a helpful resource to boot.

Like a juicy heat lamp dog that’s been roasting in Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart oven, the new and improved Simpsons Web site is a thing of beauty. Especially jazzed up to mark the 10th anniversary celebration of Matt Groening’s seemingly eternal toon, this paean to the demented yellow-skinned denizens of Springfield is an eye-catching shrine and a helpful resource to boot.

Upon first landing on the site, the toon-within-toon stars of the show Itchy and Scratchy hold up the 10th anniversary banner against the blue skies of Springfield while the familiar Danny Elfman theme plays in the background. Then, wonder of wonders, we actually have a brief snippet of Bart writing a clever ditty on the blackboard (“Nerve gas is not a toy” or “Hillbillies are people too” were two recent Bartisms.) The snippet changes every time you go back to the intro to the site, which is a real bonus in these content-hungry times.

A right-on-target political ad for Diamond Joe Quimby is one of the other features that caught our fancy. The town’s corrupt politician who has an uncanny Kennedy accent is apparently running for president with the catchy motto “It’s Happy Hour in America.”

Once you move on to the Bios section, you can find comprehensive profiles of the creators as well as all the characters, from Chief Wiggum and Todd Flanders to Santa’s Little Helper and Sideshow Bob. There’s even a rundown of all the show’s high-profile guests and the parts they’ve played on this cultural institution.

The site’s episodic guide is well-organized by season and offers a nice descriptions of each show, as well as the pun-packed titles of each segment, although we couldn’t find last season’s “Behind the Music” parody episode listed in Season 10.

Die-hard fans can check out descriptions of upcoming episodes, sign up to get free Internet access at thesimpsons.com or buy a Kwik-E-Mart Diorama for $24.99. Now that’s a steal! Also, make sure to play a bit with the little Maggie on top of the page. Your browser can actually move the little anklebiter back and forth, which is quite amusing if you like that kind of thing.

One quibble, however: We understand Fox’s synergistic motives and the wisdom of going for the same target audience, but why are the “Malcolm in the Middle” promo spots so prominent in the page? But that’s just minutia. Overall the site deserves a loud Ay Caramba! Or in the words of Mr. Burns, a heartfelt “Excellent, Smithers.”

TheSimpsons.com

Production

Design and Content: Fox.com; Launch date: January 14, 2000

Cast

Rating: * * * * *
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