I’m going to admit something here that I don’t admit to many people in this modern world. I still watch The Simpsons every week. And for the most part, I still enjoy it. I know lots of people to knock the show and say that it should be taken off the air. Granted, it’s no where near as memorable as it used to be, but what do people expect after 28 seasons and over 600 episodes (and one movie)?
There’s no doubt that the first 12 or so seasons were almost flawless. And it added so many quotes and references to our world (even more if you’re as geeky as I am). But there was no way it could keep that up for so many year. But that also doesn’t mean it’s gotten ridiculously bad. There are some stinkers, but most are fun stories, many reflecting trends of our time. And as I said, there’s still an out loud laugh or two per episode. Though mostly from Homer.
But I am not here to defend new episodes of The Simpsons, I’m here to praise the series as a whole. How many shows can you sit and watch all weekend on FXX? It’s put the word “D’oh” in the dictionary, has us laughing “haw haw” at other people’s follies and gave us great quotes about alcohol and donuts.
In a world of television shows with mythologies, even sitcoms, it’s nice to have one show that does not get change from episode to episode. No biggie if you miss an episode or want to watch a random old one. Yes, there some continuing through lines like Lisa’s vegetarianism, and the saga of Milhouse’s family. But you don’t need a history lesson to sit down and watch.
But that has never made the show feel repetitive. Yes, they may do similar type stories, but they do their best to always make them feel fresh. And the characters have moved beyond just the family. Stories would focus on the Flanders or Mr. Burns or even Groundskeeper Willy. But it always involved The Simpsons in a way that DIDN’T feel like an old sitcom’s attempt of creating a spin-off.
And there are a ton of minor characters who make the town of Springfield more colorful. Did the guy who write the one Disco Stu joke way back when think that would become a character who’s still around today. It’s fun comparing old crowd scenes with new ones; now they’re are so many familiar faces in them. Some old, some new.
The great thing about the show, is you never know what you’ll get from week to week. It could be a heartwarming episode, a history, a movie parody or a musical. And let’s not forget their yearly Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials. Those have become an October institution.
I certainly don’t want The Simpsons to run itself into the ground. But hearing the producers talk yearly at San Diego Comic Con, I think they’ll know when it’s time to pull the plug. I know it’s easy to turn away from something that’s been on so long, it can’t possibly be good. And who’s watching it anymore? I don’t know, but it’s still getting the ratings and crowds at cons, so somebody is. Besides me.
Regardless if you love the old, love the new, or all of the above, we can agree that there are lots of cool images that came from The Simpsons. Let’s celebrate a few of them through Simpsons t-shirts!