Let's review the season eleven's best and worst episodes.
"Behind the Laughter" was one of the best episodes of the season. This season finale was at once "The Simpsons" as an edgy, 21st Century show, as well as a return to the show's tongue-in-cheek style. In a fan review, Faiza Mokhtar said, "I really liked the way they did the parody of the show -- the corny metaphors, the way the Simpsons are depicted, and the host, Jim Forbes, who they actually used as narrator."
Other episodes that I felt shined in season eleven are: "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?", where Homer becomes a food critic; "Faith Off" where Bart becomes a faith healer; "Missionary: Impossible" where Homer escapes to a tropical island; "Bart to the Future" where Bart sees his and Lisa's future while visiting a casino, and "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" where Professor Frink invents tapping shoes for Lisa's dance recital.
The following episodes made me cringe because they included blatant gimmicks and outlandish plots: "Brother's Little Helper" where Bart is put on Focusyn; "Eight Misbehavin'" where Apu and Manjula have octuplets; "Saddlesore Galactica" where Homer and Bart enter the world of horseracing (and jockey elves,) and "Alone Again, Natura-Diddly" where Maude Flanders dies.
"Simpsons" enthusiasts tend to be vocal. Whether they're posting to the board, newsgroup, or their own web site, fans are eager to review "Simpsons" episodes. Following are fan comments about "The Simpsons."
"I am a very concerned "Simpsons" fan. I think [the tenth season] has been so strange. I feel The Simpsons has gone very flat. Homer is really annoying. I thought I would never see such a day. Maybe it is the end of the road." -- Concerned Fan
""The Simpsons," throughout the last season, has consistently disappointed me. I can't really pinpoint WHY yet, but for some reason it doesn't thrill me. I'm sure they'll get better, though, as they've had their up and down periods throughout the years. -- STRYC9
"I think it has to do with the weakened focus on Homer....and also because Conan and some other key writers are no longer on the show....there's not as many obscure references, or tangents..ya know? I still love 'em...but there hasn't been a really good one in a long time." -- chitowngal
"Grift of the Magi"
"A pretty good episode. Lots of gags, not that much of a stupid plot. Also, no emphasis on Homer was good. Some stupid stuff like Gary Coleman's fight with the robot, but otherwise good. Overall a B." -- Wilson Banswell
"As a longtime "Simpsons" fan, I do have to agree. I love Homer dearly, but I am a little sick of the episodes revolving around him. Although the "Grift of the Magi" did focus on Lisa a little more, I miss episodes that really involve her." -- LAURSH
"Sick of Homer?! Blasphemy!" -- Rebekah
"Simpsons" vs. "Futurama"
"I really like "The Simpsons" now. The show has really evolved to more educated humor. "Futurama" is getting there." -- HRMCDANI
Top Ten Critics List
"Seriously, "The Simpsons" is not a TV show to be danced about on stinkin' lists. "The Simpsons" are a movement." -- TALESOFHOFF