Everybody loves the Simpsons, ever since they first aired in 1989 (1990 for the UK). If you want me to be honest, I do like the Simpsons, but only the episodes from before I turned 13. But I know that there’s something wrong with it. It’s tired. The show itself is a tired concept that was meant for the 90’s. What’s even worse is that it’s been tired since season 19. After the Simpsons movie, the Simpsons hit rock bottom in terms of episode quality. At the beginning of season 19, the declining quality of the Simpsons is less obvious. But if you ever watch season 20 or later, good luck trying to get any laughs. The title changed, so now it’s not even classic anymore.
The Simpsons’ quality really fell in season 22, and for me, the Simpsons finally fell flat with season 23. Virtually all the episodes stuck to lame puns for titles, and the episodes kept on shamelessly using guest stars, which included such false role models as Julian Assange and Lady Gaga. The episodes just kept getting worse and worse, to the point that I never even considered watching the rest of season 23. In fact, the Simpsons was supposed to be cancelled after season 23.
In October 2011, the Fox Network wanted to cut the actors’ pay, citing that the Simpsons could not continue under what was the current financial model. However, the actors refused to work under such conditions, threatening the show’s cancellation. I actually think they should have let it get cancelled. Why? Come on, the answer’s easy. The Simpsons has been running for 23 years; longer than any sitcom ever made. Let’s face it, no TV show should ever last longer than 10 years. If it ever did that, then the repetitive, formulaic, and tired nature of the show becomes increasingly more obvious, and the plot-lines get increasingly more far-out and ridiculous, and the characters have deformed in terms of personality, flanderized into over-simplified forms.
If you want to know what “flanderization” is, follow this link:
Also, the animation of newer episodes is far too bright, and far too focused on 3D-style graphics. And worst of all, the writers keep altering the timeline to make it “hip and relevant”. The Simpsons was all about criticizing our screwed-up world. But now, it’s become so tame that it’s satire isn’t hard-hitting in newer episodes. It’s satirical mission is suffering the same fate as that of South Park; the writers are trying to “make it more relevant to the current age”, but these attempts are actually harming the message behind the show.
Another fatal flaw is that the Simpsons isn’t making fun of anyone anymore, and when they do, it isn’t funny. The Simpsons used to make fun of politicians all the time. The made jokes about President Clinton, both the Bush presidents, but somehow won’t make fun of current president Barack Obama. Come to think of it, he hasn’t really been depicted at all. He might have been mentioned, but just like in Family Guy, it’s all praise. The Simpsons did have an episode in season 21, where first lady Michelle Obama comes to visit Springfield. And her depiction comes with nothing but unceasing and exaggerated praise.
I must confess, I hate Michelle Obama. Why? Because:
- She’s not important
- She’s always depicted as a saint in the media (which she isn’t)
- She wants to decide what Americans can and can’t eat
In the episode, she tries to promote the overachievers, and the writers cave in to both the naivety of the tweens and teens who watch the show, and our “anti-racist” media. I put “anti-racist” in quotes because, by favouring an African-American president over a Caucasian president, the media, and the Simpsons writers, are being racist themselves.
Overall, I think the older Simpsons episodes are great, but the Simpsons has aged beyond belief. I think the writer has milked the show as far as it can be milked, and there’s no hope of any good episodes, not in season 24. I think that the overwhelming tidal wave of horrible new episodes is running the risk of ruining the legacy of the classic episodes. If the Simpsons really must continue, I think Matt Groening should stop being such a money-grabbing sell-out and actually listen to his fans, and actually go back to what made the older seasons great. If he won’t do that, then I suggest that the Simpsons end its run, while we enjoy the classic episodes; and Matt Groening should pass the baton to a new generation of satirists who may do the job much better.
I’ll never watch any episode that bears the new HD title from 2009-onwards, because it’ll just make me grieve over the show even more, which is such a shame because I loved it when I was kid, and I’m sure we’d all hate to see a classic series get killed off because the writers are too lazy and greedy to even try and breathe new life into it.