This is an animated sitcom about the antics of a dysfunctional family. Homer is the oafish unhealthy beer loving father, Marge is the hardworking homemaker wife, Bart is the perpetual 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
Homer Simpson was named number one by Bravo TV's "100 Greatest TV Characters of All Time". See more »
When wearing her normal green dress, Marge wears a red necklace. However, often she is shown for a single frame or two wearing a white one (generally this happens in close-up shots of her head.) This happens in numerous episodes. See more »
This show requires two reviews. On one side (season 1-9), we have a show that ranges from good to brilliant and, on the other (season 10+), we have a show that ranges from mediocre to absolutely atrocious.
Most of what went wrong has been stated by pretty much everyone who once loved The Simpsons. Today, it is nothing like what it started out as. It's now just a big dumb cartoon for big dumb people. The soul has been ripped out and replaced by a putrid cesspool. The only drive there is at all now—be it for the writers or for the voice actors—is MONEY. The Simpsons has a multitude of writers (many of them now long gone), so it's little wonder that it has such extremes in quality. Clearly, no-one in charge cares about the show anymore; if they did, it would have ended a long time ago. But let's not blame the cast and crew entirely, because DUMB people are still watching this drivel. Either that or stupidly 'loyal' fanboys being taken for a ride. Still, there is no doubt that, somewhere along the way, a decision was made to appeal to the lowest common denominator, thus targeting a wider demographic, instead of those with a higher intellect. It's tougher to write clever, heart-felt stories than to write childish, directionless crap. That's where we are today.
I differ with most people as to when the Simpsons started heading down hill. To me, it was season four. Season four is the first major departure from self contained, logically sound storytelling in favour of mindless slapstick (especially in regards to Homer's transformation from loving dad to crazy moron). Go and watch seasons one to three, and you'll notice that season four is where the main departure took place (although there are some warning signs of what is to come in seasons two and three, such as celebrity appearances and the odd episode with Homer acting like an idiot). I consider seasons one to three to have a 10/10 rating, and seasons four to nine to have an 8/10 rating. The difference to me is that in seasons one to three, the characters act and feel real. The situations are mostly realistic, people are behaving like people, and there is an emotional attachment to the characters. I still enjoy seasons four to nine but, in my opinion, they were heading in the wrong direction.
After season nine, the show deteriorates before collapsing entirely. Here are some of the reasons:
1. Stories are now predominantly based on slapstick. Suspension of disbelief is impossible to maintain.
2. There is no structure to the stories. Episodes have become a vehicle for cheap jokes and predictable set-pieces. The audience is bombarded with them. Stories are no longer about anything—there is no message.
3. Pathetic celebrity appearances that are nothing more than an annoying ego-boosting exercise for those involved. The fact this hasn't abated, despite how obviously BAD it is, tells me a great deal about the people who now run The Simpsons.
4. Characters behaving totally abnormally and increasingly ridiculous. This is most noticeable with Homer, but occurs across the board. For example, Lisa is now a mouthpiece for the Left, and Chief Wiggum is the most ridiculous cop on earth.
5. Humour is no longer clever or based around a story; it's all just lame and chaotic.
6. All flash and no substance. Even the perfect intro has been replaced with a bloated monstrosity that illustrates perfectly where the problems lie: Flash and no substance, quantity and not quality, clean and lifeless animation (also less unique frames).
7. No direction or goal. Most ideas have already been realized.
8. Stories are no longer character driven.
It's disheartening to know that when The Simpsons finally ends, it will bring with it a huge sigh of relief, rather than sadness. Who would have thought that would be the case in the early '90s?
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