Everything is most certainly not coming up Milhouse this week. In one of the more depressing Simpsons announcements that had nothing to do with someone’s death, Fox will no longer be bringing seasons of the long-lasting animated comedy to DVD in the future. I feel like jumping into a gorge now, though there is a silver lining.
The news comes from longtime showrunner Al Jean, who shared the it on his Twitter page, inspiring a long-ish chat with fans.
And it was indeed hearing the commentaries from Jean and the plethora of other crew members and cast that made every season’s DVD worth buying, even if the episodes themselves weren’t always all that wonderful. Thankfully, while physical releases are being abandoned, the commentaries (and potentially other special features) will still be created for FX’s “Simpsons World” website. There’s definitely an appeal to having those in-depth discussions at the digital-ready, but it’s still a major bummer that a complete Simpsons DVD collection can never be attained.
Sadly, the decision was made because DVDs just don’t have the sales that they did in the past, especially when Season 1 first came out back in 2001. Jean also touched upon that part of it.
The last season to hit DVD and Blu-ray was Season 17 in December 2014, and it featured Sideshow Bob on the packaging. While there was no official word about whether future seasons will be released on Blu-ray, it seems likely that all non-digital formats are being excised. Which probably means we’ll never see the Simpsons/Futurama crossover episode on a physical disc, nor Bill Plympton’s couch gag. Let the protests begin.
Sure, I understand that it’s silly and meaningless to bitch about not paying for things that I can already get for free online, but Simpsons DVDs have seriously been the one true constant in my life for the past 14 years, as everything else has changed around me. Guess I’ll be embiggening FX’s web traffic in the future.