Mr. Burns hires Frank Grimes (the human interest subject of Kent Brockman's report) as executive vice president at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Grimes meets the employees and is immediately ...
The Banks family, a respectable Californian family, take in a relative - Will Smith, a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia. The idea is to make him respectable, responsible and mature, but Will has got other plans...
The Simpsons is an animated sitcom about the antics of a dysfunctional family called the Simpsons (surprise surprise). Homer is the oafish unhealthy beer loving father, Marge is the hardworking homemaker wife, Bart is the ten year old underachiever (and proud of it), Lisa is the unappreciated eight year old genius, and Maggie is the cute, pacifier loving silent infant. Written by
All of the references of having a middle name of "J" such as Homer J. Simpson, or Bartholomew J. Simpson, are an acknowledgment to Matt Groening's love of Jay Ward's various "Rocky and Bullwinkle" series. The main characters of those cartoons were Rocket ("Rocky") J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. This naming scheme continues through Matt Groening's Futurama (1999), in which the main characters are named Phillip J. Fry, and Professor J. Farnsworth. See more »
Waylon Smithers was designed to be "Mister Burns' white sycophant," as it "would be a bad idea to have a black subservient character" putting up with the abuse that Burns doles out. (Quotes are from David Silverman, one of the show's main producers.) Ironically, Smithers is colored as an African-American in his first appearance The Simpsons: Homer's Odyssey, due to color stylist Gyorgyi Peluce's misinterpretation of the new character. The mistake was quickly caught and corrected starting with the immediate next episode The Simpsons: There's No Disgrace Like Home. See more »
What more can I possibly say about a TV show that has already been praised to death? I was 15 when the Simpsons first aired and I'm 25 now. I've seen every single episode, and I'd have to say it's a rare combination of factors that come together to make The Simpsons the best show ever.
It's a very clever and intelligent show - they never dumb anything down - and as creator Matt Groening has remarked, "The Simpsons is a show that rewards paying attention." There are always enough obscure pop-culture references or subtle background gags to ensure that the second, third, or tenth viewing of an episode will find you noticing something you hadn't before.
In the early days of The Simpsons, they derived a large part of their popularity from the everyday, down-to-earth, unglamorous, average-blue-collar-slob aspect of the Simpson family. Homer is lazy and doesn't like his job, Bart doesn't excel at school, the plastic ketchup bottle they use at the dinner table makes that farting sound, and so on. This aspect of the program contrasts it with popular 80's family sitcoms such as The Cosby Show which always featured impossibly well-functioning families who got along a little too perfectly and usually learned a neat little lesson at the end of each episode. An early tag-line for The Simpsons said that they "put the Fun back in Dysfunctional."
Perhaps this blue-collar-slobness by itself is nothing shockingly original - think of previous TV shows such as Roseanne, Married with Children, All in the Family, The Honeymooners - but the Simpsons doesn't stop there. This show is extremely densely packed with jokes - everything from cerebral witticisms and sly satire to Homer falling down and going "D'oh!" Because it's a cartoon, the writers can get away with surreal gags such as the time Homer tells a joke which falls flat, after which a long silence happens which is punctuated by a single tumbleweed rolling through the Simpson's living room.
There are just too many things to mention about The Simpsons. It can be touching occasionally; more often the viewers are treated to an unequalled cavalcade of obscure references, surreal sight gags, wacky adventures, self-mocking irony... The list goes on and on. Just watch it, else you're missing out on one of the most important elements of 1990's popular culture.
368 of 455 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?