Saturday, 20 September 2014

I was raised by TV and I turned out TV (or why you should stop bitching about how much the Simpsons suck after season 10)

As a Simpsons fan for most of my life I have stuck by them through all the major slumps - the deluge of animated shows, the cluster fuck of animated shows aimed for adults, the general lull of being on tv for longer than the average shows but most of all I have been defending the Simpsons to every person who has regurgitated the ol "the Simpsons used to be better" line [insert eye roll].

Yes, partly it's loyalty for a TV show that helped shape my twisted sense of humour but also - the fact that the show's humour hasn't changed that much in the last 25 years, despite having to battle it out against shows like South Park and the Macfarlane empire - the Simpsons never played blue (well no bluer than they already were). The plots did get wackier which was probably the real response to shows like family guy and South Park but if they hadn't, people would be crapping on about how it stayed the same and got boring (not to be confused with the consistency of the humour). I will say this though - I do miss Conan O'Brian as a Simpdons writer - that guy is a genius. A lot of the time, people fail to realise that society has changed the expectations of a genre that wasn't even supposed to survive when the Simpsons first aired not to mention that people change in preferences, in pretentiousness and in humour.

When people have tried to give me the old chest nut "Simpsons stopped being funny after season 10" I usually ask them why and more often than not it usually coincides with people simply not watching anymore. Besides a few of us that may or may not leave the Simpsons playing in the background of daily life - people simply stopped watching because other shows were pushing the boundaries more. . . because 'normal' people don't think quoting the Simpsons is an attractive quality in a mate. . . because people are still under the impression that growing up means not having a sense of humour.  Hilariously I've even had people suggest that Simpsons no longer cares about stories - instead opting for craziness - seriously? You're watching a cartoon, you want a dragged out story? Watch a soap opera . . . Or an American dubbed anime. Not to mention that these same people are Family guy fans. 

Just a quick note - I love Family Guy and all the Macfarlane creations and I have also stuck it out with South Park which in fact has gotten better each year. Both creative teams behind these shows site the Simpsons as a major influence on their work but people don't care that the Simpsons had been a major foundation for so much animated comedy.

I'm not saying all Simpson episodes are gems - because they're not (the first 10 seasons included) but that's just it - it has never been a perfect show. Putting the first 10 seasons on a pedestal is like saying that the first 3 seasons of Seinfeld were the best ones - nope. They were history that needed to happen to get to the awesomeness (albeit an over quoted awesomeness - if someone says "no soup for you" as their favourite Seinfeld quote to me one more time - I will punch them in the dark).

Another gripe that 'fans' constantly bring up is that the series became all about the celebrity guest appearances and that they just play themselves now which is bull honkey - just off the top of my head from the early seasons :

Not to mention why shouldn't celebrities guest star on the show? A lot of the recent guest stars like Jonah Hill, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seth Rogen grew up watching the Simpsons just as we all did. I know if I had become famous I would jump at the chance to be a tiny part of Simpsons history - as Ricky Gervais put it recently : 

If you're still not convinced (and fair enough too because all I've done is insult those who have not watched all the Simpsons like if its some sort of Holy Grail) here are a few episodes after season 10 that are amazing and might inspire some to actually experience what they're constantly judging.

Moe baby blues (Season 14)
Moe becomes creepily attached to Maggie and Homer becomes jealous. Awesome Godfather and Queen references.

Don't fear the roofer (Season 16)
Ray Magini who may or may not be a figment of Homer's imagination. Funny episode despite Ray Romano.

Springfield Up (Season 18)
A parody of the 7 up documentaries - Simpsons style :

That 90s show (Season 19)
A whole bunch of 90s references and a slight rewrite of Simpsons history - it's a really awesome episode for those of us who lived through the disgusting paisley 90s.

Treehouse of Horror XX (Season 21)
This is easily my favourite treehouse episode - Hitchcock, zombies and a penny dreadful type musical. It's perfect.

The day the earth stood cool (Season 24)
An episode making fun of hipsters - pretty spot on too.

These are just a few of the ones that have stood out for me but seriously - they're still funny - However, if you're still not convinced. . . Well, I think long running Simpsons writer Dana Gould put it best:

Now excuse me while I go watch the Simpsons go jump the shark for the 50th time with the Family Guy crossover. 

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