At some point, a show stops being a show and becomes a utility: gas, electricity, water, The Simpsons. That’s not my line; it’s cribbed from a quote about 60 Minutes by its creator, the late Don Hewitt. But it seems appropriate to recycle a point about one long-running program in an article about another when it’s as self-consciously self-cannibalizing as The Simpsons. Matt Groening’s indestructible cartoon sitcom has run 23 seasons and will air its 500th episode on February 19.
really only ever watched it in reruns on saturday afternoons (it came on before the evening news), when that particular station stopped showing it i stopped watching, i'm guessing i saw mostly the mid part of the series
Thu 16 Feb, 2012 08:49 am
I've long been a Simpsons fan although the quality of the story arcs has dropped over the last few years. That doesn't mean they can't score a good episode on occasion but their hit rate is down. It's no longer must watch TV but I do see most episodes.
Thu 16 Feb, 2012 09:15 am
There's always something that makes me laugh out loud, even in the weaker episodes.
My children gave me a spider pig shirt for Father's Day a couple of years ago. I routinely have college students stop to talk to me when I see it and occasionally people break into the spider pig song. I don't know any other series that would garner that response.
I still watch it occasionally. Some scripts seem painfully familiar, as in they have done them a few times already, they just change the interacting characters. It's still good for a laugh somewhere in there; however, the show is mostly so dry that shutting it off, changing channels or leaving the room in midshow isn't a problem.
Much the same has happened with Family Guy, there's a limit to what I can take of it; but, usually there is a moment of funny in it. I really think they should have made the grim reaper guy the replacement for Cleveland, I always get a chuckle from the grim reaper and the way he delivers the lines.
My main reason for first watching The Simpsons can be blamed on Tracey Ullman. When Fox started her show, I had to watch. I had been thoroughly thrilled by her early 1980s song, video and album....this song in particular
from You Broke My Heart In 17 Places. It's not exactly high level music but, it worked for me at the time. (and yes, I still have the album)
Anyway, Tracey Ullman show had little snips of The Simpsons and then they got their Christmas special and took off. I watched. It was enjoyable for a while.
I still like Tracey Ullman. Maybe she can get a new show and a new snippet cartoon out there for us.
I loved the Simpsons, from the beginning, with Tracy Ulman. I watched the series regularly, until they and the Cosby show shared the same time slot. My family insisted on Cosby. Now, all this time later, I have chances to see the Simpsons, new and old episodes, but rarely tune in. Didn't think a lot of the Simpsons movie, but watched it.
Thu 16 Feb, 2012 02:11 pm
Huh. That's not the first time I've heard The Principal the Pauper described as the tipping point for the show. I'll hafta look that up...
The Simpsons was one of the first pre-Internet series to engage the members of its audience head-on, speaking to them (and sometimes sparring with them) through its scripts.
This is not the dumbest thing Mr. Seitz says, but it's close. Talking directly to the audience was something that George Burns was doing on his TV show in the 50s. Dwayne Hickman started every episode of Dobie Gillis talking directly to the audience.
I know it's the trend nowadays for movie and TV critics to have no more knowledge of the world prior to 1980 than a sea cucumber knows of differential calculus, but it's still important to remember that the world wasn't invented by Matt Groening and Jerry Seinfeld.
Matt Zoler Seitz wrote:
Whenever Family Guy or Community or 30 Rock cuts away from its main story for a five-second fantasy or flashback, it’s employing a gimmick that The Simpsons perfected.
What is he talking about? The Simpsons almost never employs this device, except occasionally during clip shows. And this was something that The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin was doing back in the 70s. It was brought into the mainstream of US television with Dream On, an HBO series in the early 90s.
After reading this review, I came away with the impression that not only was Mr. Seitz only vaguely familiar with The Simpsons, but also that he has never watched TV before.
Fri 17 Feb, 2012 10:06 am
i must admit, two of my favourite lines to quote come from the simpsons
one is in the bart shoplifts episode when either jimbo or nelson says, shoplifting is a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark
it was nelson.
and a scene where homer almost hits a deer
lisa: a deer
marge: a female deer
Mon 20 Feb, 2012 04:35 pm
Out of curiosity I took a look, it was not one of their better outings last night.