• The Simpsons: The Complete First Season, Fox Video, 2001.
• William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, and Aeon J. Skoble, eds.: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer, Open Court, 2001.
• Mark I. Pinsky: The Gospel According to the Simpsons, Westminster John Knox, 2001.
I DON’T watch a lot of television, but I have always been a fan of The Simpsons.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie made their debut in the late 1980s, in a series of short animated sketches that played between skits on The Tracey Ullman Show. These shorts — which poked fun at typical family activities like going to zoos and funerals and singing creepy bedtime lullabies — were a hit on the animation-festival circuit, and it wasn’t long before this wonderfully dysfunctional family was given its own half-hour show, beginning with a Christmas special in 1989. That special, and the rest of the show’s first season, are now available on DVD.