‘Maybe I’m just an ordinary blue-collar slob, but I know what I like on TV.’
Anyone who has known me for longer than five minutes knows that I am one of the biggest fans of ‘The Simpsons’ you’ll ever meet. Growing up, my mom used to never let me watch it because she thought they were a bad influence on me and apparently she wasn’t the only one who thought that. Former President George H.W. Bush even said in one of his campaign speeches, “…to make American families a lot more like the Walton’s and a lot less like the Simpson’s.” (If you don’t believe me, see for yourself here.)
Even if you’ve never seen an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ in your life, I’ll bet you can still name at least each main family member that have been gracing living rooms around the world for over twenty years. If you’re an avid fan you know the lyrics to ‘Mr. Plow’ and remember who shot Mr. Burns. If you were really smart, you notice references and parodies to some of American Cinema’s greatest films and American Literature’s greatest stories. Creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks created a smart cartoon written for smart people.
As I write this post, the show has finished it’s 20th season and they are contracted with Fox to write at least 2 more seasons. Over the past 2 decades, the show has gone through a bus-load of new writers, producers, directors, and animators. Many of which have gone on to work on other television shows, animated shows or work for Pixar. Most famously are former Simpson’s writer, Conan O’Brien and former writer/director to the show, Brad Bird. Since these greats and others have left the show to other endeavors over the years, many argue that the show doesn’t show the genius that it used to have. I have defended the show and its genius for years. One opinion specifically is from my good friend, Yiddish For “Blog” , who says that the show should have stopped 10 years ago and that the show is 10 years past its prime.
What do I think? I believe that over the last 10 years, the show has become more dramatic overall and not as funny or smart as a whole. I’ve seen episodes that I consider ‘gems’, (for example Emmy-Award winning episode ’24 Minutes’, which parodies the Fox T.V. Show ’24’.)
I still defend those who want to say shows like ‘Family Guy’ are better than ‘The Simpsons.’ Without ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Family Guy’ wouldn’t have any episode plots or jokes to copy off of. Something also came to my attention the other day that left me very pissed off. ‘Family Guy’ was recently nominated for an Emmy for best comedy show. It’s the first animated show to be nominated for best comedy show that does not consist of other animated shows since, ‘The Flinstones’ in 1961. ‘The Simpsons’ have won 29 of 34 Emmy nominations for an animated show as of this posting. I still find myself popping in one of my ‘The Simpsons’ season DVD’s while falling asleep almost every night, but I stopped buying the box sets after Season 11.
Of course, I still watch all the new episodes as they air hoping I can find more ‘gems’ but I wonder how will the very final episode of the show be like. Will Marge finally lose it and divorce Homer? Will it be in real time, meaning, will it show how the characters have aged over the last twenty years and not just based on a hypothetical dream sequence? Will Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin duke it out for supremacy? Either way, no matter what, I will be watching and so should you.