The Simpsons (TV Series 1989– ) Poster

(1989– )

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It started off fantastic...
Arlando9091 June 2006
No one, not even Matt Groening himself, could've imagined that The Simpsons would become as big as it did. Nor could anyone anticipate it could become so cultural. "D'oh" is in the dictionary, and it has spawned off several catch-phrases and one liners. Truly, The Simpsons is the biggest thing since Seinfeld! The first three seasons showed them as if they were an actual family. Like the kind of family you'd meet on the street (only a lot more dysfunctional). Homer trying to do the fatherly thing in each episode. Marge being the voice of reason all the time. Lisa and Bart with their sibling rivalry. These first three seasons are not usually sighted as being the best, but they are often brought up when one speaks of "The Best Episode Ever!" By Season four, the show took a turn for what may have been the best. It left it's more realistic roots and became more of a satire. With more zany antics and more clever, witty, and often times sophisticated humor, The Simpsons became the most popular family on television. Each episode still contained it's own merits, themes and messages. Seasons 4 to about 10 are often said to be the "Golden Age" of The Simpsons.

However, as the year 2000 came, fans began to see themselves divided. Those who stuck with the show since it came about in 1989 were quick to jump on how the show changed. The humor became more lurid and toilet like, with antics becoming heavily more unrealistic and zany (to the point where some even say it isn't funny... but stupid). Some characters becoming unrealistically stupid, and the show shifting gears from focusing on Bart to Homer... to everyone outside of the Simpson family. The show also began to see more cumbersome and meaningless plots. Plots that didn't focus on current issues, or that didn't seem to be as strong as older episodes. Despite this, new fans seem to have come about to replace then, and the show continues to remain at the top of its game, even today.

I'm sure you all know where I stand on that debate. Nine stars to nine fantastic seasons.
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This Show Will Be Used to Study How Life Was 100 Years From Now
tfrizzell21 July 2001
Brilliant television series that could probably be best described as "The Flintstones" gone stark-raving mad. "The Simpsons", everyone knows them. Some love the series and some could care less about it. Love it or hate it, it is near impossible to criticize the intelligence and creativity of this series. The titled animated family makes their home in Springfield, USA and gets into situations that are seemingly more outlandish and crazier than the previous adventure. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are still going strong after nearly a dozen years of television life and with each passing moment it seems that the series sets some new precedent. For several years the show seemed to be the only attraction to the then obscure Fox Network. It was the first primetime animated show that was treated like a sitcom since "The Flintstones" quietly left the air in 1966. Many people feared the series when it first premiered in 1989 because they felt that it was hardcore adult material in a candied form that would appeal to younger audiences. Well for the most part this was true. However, "The Simpsons" would prove to be much more for all audiences. The great thing about the series is that it caters to all audiences. True there are usually situations that may not be suitable for all viewers, but then again that is true with everything on television this side of Disney Land and Sesame Street. "The Simpsons" works because of great comedy of course, but also great lessons that can be taken from most of the episodes. The people within the program may be animated, but they are just as complicated and vulnerable as the people watching them. All the regulars have their quirks, but in some episodes you can understand what certain characters are going through because the show is so life-like at times. Former President George Bush (the one from 1988-1992) once made a statement that families should be more like "The Waltons" and less like "The Simpsons". His opinion is somewhat old-fashioned and unrealistic. In other words, many topics dealt with in "The Simpsons" fit life for people in the 1990s and 2000s better than "The Waltons" did in the 1970s. A crowning achievement in television art. 5 stars out of 5.
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Probably the best television show on Earth
Smells_Like_Cheese12 November 2003
The Simpsons is the longest running animated TV series since The Flinstones, and you could understand why after watching just one of the Simpsons episodes. Simply because The Simpsons is just so hilarious and incredibly clever and has been ripped off so many times, but nothing has come close to the brilliance that the Simpsons writers have brought us.

We have Homer Simpson, one of the most beloved TV characters of all time, with his famous quote "Doh!". He's an overweight, lazy, and not the brightest bulb, but so incredibly lovable for the fact of how bipolar he is! One minute he can be so incredibly depressed, but the next minute really happy and giggling. My favorite Homer quote is when he kills the zombie Ned Flanders in a Halloween episode, Bart tells him "Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders!"... "He was a zombie?" Marge is Homer's wife and a homemaker. She is at times naggy, but always manages to get in some terrific humor and some deep sympathy with all she puts up with. My favorite Marge quote is "Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They've just made a terrible life choice." Bart is the oldest son and a rebel. His usual quotes are "Don't have a cow" "Cool, man!" "Ei Carumba!". He's this generation's Dennis the Menace. My favorite Bart quote is "I need a soul, Ralph, any, your's!", you'll see what I mean.

Lisa is the second oldest and the smartie pants of the Simpson clan, she's kind of the know it all who solves all the adventures of the Simpsons. My favorite Lisa quote is "They're only using you for your pool you know... shut up brain! I have friends now, I don't need you any more!". Last, but not least, Maggie, the eternal baby of Homer and Marge, always a great love of the screen, but no famous quotes, just memorable moments like when she turns into an alien.

The supporting cast is a terrific addition, my favorites include Mr. Burns, Homer's boss, Groundskeeper Willy, the school janitor, and Mr. Skinner, the school principal. The Simpson is just a terrific show that in one way or another you will see at least one episode in your lifetime. I know that generations to come, they will still be watching The Simpsons.
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The greatest television show of all time
mercer745 June 1999
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.
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May be suffering a bit with time – but overall this is one of the finest show to come out of America
bob the moo20 April 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The series that follows the dysfunctional family of the Simpsons. The oafish Homer who can barely go a day without slacking or getting mixed up in crazy adventures. His wife, Marge, who tries to hold it all together. His duaghter Lisa who is smarter that her gene pool should allow, Bart – every inch the classroom rebel. The family is rounded out by the youngest – baby Maggie. The family interact with those around them and learn lessons or sometimes fail to change completely.

When this series started in 1987 as a string of rough shorts in Tracey Ulman's show it would be a brave man who would have predicted that over a decade later that this series would be as huge as it is. However the series got launched with the Christmas special in the early 90's. The first series saw the animation greatly improved and the characters developed fully to be more involving. However the story lines were not as sharp or as full as they were to be. The second series and onwards saw the Simpsons have better stories – often multi-layered stories filled with pop-culture references and background jokes that reward the careful viewer…to try and list them would take ages.

For an American sitcom (for that is what it is) this is amazing – the intelligence of the script is fantastic. The depth of the stories are involving, witty and packed. For a movie buff like me, this is a gold mine – from sly references in the background to full blow scenes almost spoofing movies this has them all. In some programmes that have background jokes the main stuff at the front often suffers or is ignored totally. However here the main plot and dialogue is fresh and well thought out – it is amazing that for almost all of it's run The Simpsons rarely had a bad episode.

True – recent shows have begun to show a slide in quality but this is to be expected after more than 10 years at the top. However it is generally brilliant and clever. After the first series everything improved. Not only was the series used for political comment, satire and ironic humour (in a country that generally can't do any well) but it is also heart warming and funny.

The characters live in a balance between reality and surreality. They are sort of recognisable as real people in terms of habits and experiences – but in another way they are out there…..Homer has been in Space, stopped a nuclear explosion etc. The mix of this makes for an unique programme. What makes it better is that the makers never draw a line between the madness and the normality – one episode is made up of a bad-neighbour type war between Homer and George Bush Snr! The mix is seamless and adds layers to each show.

The wealth of characters is another strength. The main family is strong – even Maggie has regular input and adventures! However where most sitcoms really rely on their main subjects for the stories, The Simpsons has a supporting cast of dozens and dozens of really good characters – all of whom are able to carry an episode. They range from the normal characters (an inept Police Chief, an Asian shop keeper who is used to being robbed at gunpoint) to the referential or well imagined, (the well-educated Sideshow Mel, a bitter Krusty the Clown, an useless lawyer). All the characters have become more fully used as time has gone on.

The voice actors are all excellent and all do a huge range of voices…of course they get very well paid for it! Unfortunately the late Phil Hartman provided the voices of two of my favourite characters and I really miss his dry humour and strong all-American voice. Lionel Hutz was a great character and my favourite, Troy McClure is a wonderful spoof of 60's B-movie actor Doug McClure. This depth really helps the show and has allowed it to feel so very fresh years on.

I could go on for ever, but the series is a wonderful bit of proof that sitcoms don't have to be simple, full of canned laughter and focus on sassy teenagers! The joys of the dialogue are backed up by movie references and crazy adventures. The wonderful Simpson family are supported by a huge cast of imaginative characters who are always well used and a queue of celebrities just lining up to have a few minutes in the show. Quite simply this is consistently the best show to come out of American in my life time.
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A landmark in TV-show history
Rammstein-25 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
i have yet to see something as funny, clever and entertaining as "The Simpsons" on TV. I'm hardly a TV-series buff, I rarely have the patience and interest to follow a show for more than five or six episodes. "The Simpsons" is the one show that I am very sorry to have missed out on until just a couple of years ago. Luckily, Swedish television are rerun experts. It is also the only show that I make sure to follow apart from perhaps "Friends", but in entertainment value, "The Simpsons" is way ahead.

What makes this show so great is its attention to detail, its outrageous dialogue and its completely fearless way of dealing with any issue that crosses the writers' minds. The many characters and their extravaganza makes it an endless well of new angles, new ideas and even more outrageous dialogues. Another very important element is the mocking irony and sarcasm which permeates the entire series. The smarmy and cheesy moments that a great many episodes end up in are extremely clever and becomes an important part of the fun.

What impresses me the most about the series is, however, the enormous amount of detail: the attentive spectator is not just in for the obvious gags - there's always something going on or something to read in the background, which makes a VCR mandatory so you can go back and check that special detail out again. Its a fantastic show, and its a great moment when one can sit down and watch another insane, stupid, disastrous and hilarious episode.
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Pure genius
bat-517 January 1999
The Simpsons is a show that has sustained ten years of constant humor. The stories have gradually become better and the second fiddle characters were getting more screen time which translates into a much more realized show. The pop culture references abound and delight those who can pick them out. My personal favorite is the Citizen Kane references in the episode called "Rosebud." Plus, anything with C. Montgomery Burns is hysterical. The guest stars aren't there as a "special appearance" touted by the networks. They actually work into the storyline, and that makes it all the more enjoyable. Where else can you see The Moody Blues acting like thugs in a Vegas casino?
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Once Great, Now Bad
hereispierre7 August 2018
It's very hard for me to try to put a rating on this show. At one time it was the best comedy series on TV and possibly even the best one ever. Unfortunately it went into a decline after the first ten years or so, and then a steep decline, to the point where it is less than a shadow of what it once was. They really should have quit several years ago, but at this point they might as well just keep going and see how many episodes they can rack up before the plug is finally pulled.
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Talk about being a mere shadow of its former self......
billymari17 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Simpsons, back in the early to mid 90's, was by far the greatest sitcom ever on TV. With strong jokes, humorous parodies, funny slapstick and wonderful plots it swept the nation by storm. For those who don't know, the Simpsons is about an American family called the Simpsons (hence the title) who live in the fictional town of Springfield. The father, Homer, is a beer bellied not so smart guy who works in the local nuclear power plant. His wife, Marge is a doting housewife and mother, and they have three kids, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. This show, back over a decade ago, stood out for two reasons. One, it was an animated sitcom (which was based mostly on reality, fantasy elements shown in typical cartoons appeared briefly) and two, the Simpsons was a dysfunctional family, except the volume was turned way up. Back in the 90's sitcoms involved families who were a strong unit and cared for each other and all that stuff, but the Simpsons were constantly having problems and such, always getting back together in the end, which was the theme of the show and what kept it on top. The prime of the show would be, in my opinion, around 1993-1997 (or the third through the sixth season,) After that, the show began to lose humorous edge, and by the early 2000 period, the show really began to fall apart. It is now 2006, and with even worse episodes being churned out, the show probably should of called it quits by 97 or 98 when it showed signs of age.

So what happened? The show is clearly different now then it was ten years ago but there seems to be a lot of little things that made the show go south. I noticed by the 11 or 12th season, the show started to include very ridiculous and crazy plots that would never happen in real life (and every celebrity on the planet would start to appear in every episode, one by one) Now before anybody flames me and says "It's a cartoon dumbass!" (I couldn't figure that out, thanks guys!) It is important to understand that in the prime of the show it had plots that were realistic, things that normal people could go through every day (Maybe it would go outside the barriers of reality, but only briefly) You could relate to the characters, and actually cared what happened to them. By the way, celebrates did appear in the past, but they were usually cameos or voiced characters, rather then playing themselves like now. But now that the plots and ideas are so nuts that I don't really care what the resolution will turn out to be. And now the celebrity guest will have a whole episode involving him, which really makes the show boring in my opinion. Another problem with the show is that the jokes simply aren't as funny or interesting anymore, and that is what really is hurting the show. The writers try hard to be funny, but fail miserably. But I believe the number one problem is the new personalities of the characters.

Homer, back in the prime of the sitcom, was at times a big jerk who sometimes did things to advantage himself and hurt others, but in the end, he always did the right thing at the conclusion and he was a good guy overall. And although he wasn't a very bright man (His stupidity is one of the highlights of the show) He only had moments when he was a complete dumbass. But now the writers dummed down homer to look like a total retard, he has also evolved to be an unbearable jackass with no redeeming qualities whatsoever (and it seems like now he is spending every minute of every episode doing something incredibly stupid beyond sanity.) Bart used to be a mischievous kid who did get into trouble on occasion, but always knew his limits and acted like a typical ten year old kid. Now, he's more of a whiny brat who tries really hard to be a tough criminal. He also tries to act tough by bullying his nerdy friend Milhouse, whom in earlier seasons, had a good friendship with Bart and he saw Milhouse as an equal and not his flunkie like today. Lisa was a very smart eight year old who had strong beliefs over issues but really tried to live a normal life as an eight year old, but now is a intolerant PC hippie who believes her views are superior to anyone elses. And Marge, well, shes still the housewife, but she seems to care less nowadays and will sometimes try way to hard to be "cool" and "hip" but always failing to be funny. Maggie is the one who changed the least, but shes only one year old, so you can't expect much. The side characters (Moe, Mr. Flanders, etc) also seemed to change as well, though for the worse.

Finally, the Simpsons was the greatest sitcom back in the heyday, but now is crumbling like a wall. I stopped watching the show a few years ago because I just couldn't take the declining quality anymore. The bad plots, poor jokes and repackaged personalities of the characters are beginning to cause the show's decay. I won't dismiss the show's past accomplishments, but the new episodes are downright unbearable. I recommend the show, but get the seasons three to six, you'll laugh out loud. The first two seasons are good, but didn't get that edge just yet. Anything later then 1997 I wouldn't watch, but like a wise man said, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one" So see it for yourself and make up your own judgment.
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the absolute Best Cartoon ever!
splintercell891 July 2005
Out of every cartoon, Movie, play, and T.v show I've ever seen The Simpsons tops it all. the Simpsons is the funniest show Bar None. American Dad, Futurama, and Family guy come in close but in my opinion the Simpsons is better than all of them combined. I have seen every single episode and i own seasons one through five and have Simpsons posters and action figures.i have not found an episode that i did not like., some of my favorites are the valentines episode where Bart puts Homers Beer in the paint shakers, and "Das Bus" season 9 "O' Brother were art Thou?" season 2. and any episode from the sixteenth season. they have made it to over three hundred episodes and I'm betting on three hundred more. THE SIMPSONS WILL NEVER DIE!
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Two Ends Of The Scale In One Show
giggitygiggitygoo45126 February 2013
I think I know exactly what the majority of the people reading this interview are saying- "5/10?? What the hell is going on here?! Has this guy lost his mind???!!" I admit, it was quite a difficult rating to give, and not one that I imagine will go down particularly well. But the unfortunate fact about this review is that I can't just look at the show's "Golden Age" when it was widely considered to be one of the funniest television shows ever created, cartoon or otherwise. Nor can I talk about the almost inconceivable plummet in the show's standards over the past five or so years, though God knows I could talk about that for hours. I have to look at the whole series, from the very beginning to where we are now, and take the whole of The Simpsons into account, from the ingenious hilarity of the past to the staggeringly awful quality we have today.

First off, I should make it abundantly clear that to me, The Simpsons, from season one right up until season ten, was one of the funniest television shows ever to air, past, present and I strongly believe future. Creator Matt Groening, together with Sam Simon and James L. Brooks, should be very proud of the work they achieved with them. These seasons are simply incredibly, painfully, blood vessel-burstingly hilarious. Blessed with an incredibly talented and naturally comedic cast, nearly all of whom have stayed committed to the show since its beginning, it has been host to a huge amount of characters who are all brilliantly funny in their own unique, very original way. The jokes range from silly slapstick, all the way through to sharply satirical, and everything in between, and they are nothing short of fantastic. The sheer amount of hilarious quotes and one-liners The Simpsons has in these seasons is nearly unfathomable, and it's not mystery as to why people all over the world can quote them so easily. Truly, they have set the bar for not only television comedy, but comedy on a whole.

As well as this though, it never lost sight of the three-dimension of its characters. What makes it great is that we feel for all of them, and watching it, it never feels as though we're watching a cartoon comedy, because it engrosses us in the stories of the people in it, and because there really is so much depth to the characters and the stories that concern them as well as excellent comedy that they almost feel like real people. This of course is especially in the case of the Simpson family themselves, all of whom are excellent characters in these seasons, who have real emotional reactions and feelings, which makes their short-comings all the more relatable. The ability of the cast to convey these emotions as well as the comedy is remarkable, and has led to some truly touching and poignant moments over the seasons.

Once we move past the end of the tenth season, there is a definite drop in the quality of the show, though not a drastic one. The jokes are a little less funny, the characters somewhat wasted, and the stories aren't quite as intelligent and enjoyable as they used to be, however it is still excellent television and extremely funny. The cast are still as inspired as they always were, and despite the tragic loss of Phil Hartman by this time, which saw the loss of two excellent characters Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz among others, they are still displaying immense talent and understanding of an astronomical amount of characters.

Now, we come to the problem. The reason for the 5/10 rating. A truly heart-breaking moment in television history, because once we reach the fifteenth season, we see the standard of The Simpsons has dived. And it has dived pretty deeply. From this point of the show to where it is today, it's as if we are seeing a different show. The stories are moronic, the jokes are cringingly awful, exchanging intelligence and wit for silliness and humourless exclamations, and the characters are mutilated. The fact the animation has improved only emphasises the change, and all the guest-stars and guest writers in the world can't salvage this shipwreck.

The awful jokes and lack of good stories are bad enough, but the worst problem with The Simpsons today, is that the characters have been ruined. All of them were once three-dimensional, interesting and real, but they are all now nothing but background pictures, opportunities for jokes. And bad ones at that. My answer to the question that everyone asks about The Simpsons is my favourite character (other than Homer) is Sideshow Bob, but even one as hilarious as him can't seem to manage one good joke. The worst offence is of course ruining the Simpsons themselves. It started early on with Marge, who was given terrible jokes and pointless stories, and now has even spread to Maggie, who is also stuck with uninteresting, unfunny stories.

I don't fully understand how people can stop being funny. It doesn't sound like something that can just happen, but that is exactly what has happened to the writers of The Simpsons. The show that was once ground-breaking and ingenious is now pathetic, a tired old dog limping to the grave that it should have reached years ago. I may sound bitter, and in truth I am, because this was a truly spectacular, one-of-a-kind show, and now it will not be allowed to be put to rest. I love the Simpsons. I love the characters, I love the cast's performances and I love the stories. But that was quite a long time ago, when it deserved it. When it does eventually end, I will of course be extremely sad, but I will be more relieved that finally this great television programme can call it a day at last.
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Difficult to Rate
alyssaabernaughty13 July 2017
I surprisingly had a very difficult time rating this show, but I did and a 5 out of 10 is in my opinion a fair rating when you consider the series as a whole.

The reason it is so hard for me to rate this show is the simple fact that it has been on so very, very long. 621 episodes and growing, according to the numbers here on IMDb. And when a season lasts that long, it obviously will have stretches of good quality and stretches of bad quality. The Simpsons is no different.

Although the series does still make me chuckle here and there, the quality has completely fallen off in the show's later years. It suffered a sudden and terrible decline and I still feel very disappointed watching it, remember and "missing" the fantastic episodes of old.

Because that's the other extreme. When The Simpsons first went on the air, and for at least 8 seasons (to me, at least), it was one of the very best comedy shows ever produced. The characters were great, the writing was slick, it seemed like every single joke hit its mark and I laughed out loud all the time. It was one of the few "can't miss" shows I remember in my life, where Sundays at 8pm I just had to be home to watch it. Everyone talked about it, and regardless of how many seasons you think it lasted everyone considers those early years the "golden age" of the Simpsons.

I'm not sure if the problem is people leaving, or naturally running out of ideas after being on the air so long, or simple laziness, or the writers and staff getting old, but clearly at a point this show just went from the creative tops to something almost awful.

I'm basically averaging it out (6 years of awesomeness, 6 years of being OK, and since then being just bloody awful) to give this show a 5 out of 10.

I know I'll be bashed by haters who find my rating too high, and Simpson-heads who can't believe anyone would go lower than 10, but this is the grade I think is fair for this show.
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jp8819 January 2005
The Simpsons is one of the best TV shows of all times. It is a perfect mirror of the American culture and has many memorable moments that will always be remembered . I don't know anybody who doesn't like this show, it's impossible not to be a fan of it. You could watch each episode 20 times and never get tired, you will always find a new funny thing every time you watch it

Unfotunatley the show is getting worse and worse with every new season, Maybe it's time to let "The Simpsons" die with dignity before the audience starts to hate it.

My rating: 11/10
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Once Great, Now Ridiculous
donjeffries28 May 2005
For the first 8 seasons or so that it was on the air, "The Simpsons" was one of the greatest television shows of all time. Wonderfully developed characters, biting satire and top-notch writing made this cartoon a joy to watch. However, the show began to slide in season nine, and while it remained watchable through season ten or so, it has now become a shell of its former self. From about season 13 on, this formerly awesome show became the kind of "entertainment" it once parodied so well.

Several factors have contributed to the sorry drop in quality of the show. First, Homer's character has changed. He used to be a bumbling idiot, but had some good qualities. He has now morphed into a super-annoying, always in-your-face kind of moron. There is nothing likable about the new Homer. As for the other characters, Marge has become as morally bankrupt as Homer and is not likable either. Lisa, always a weak character, is now a little spokesperson for the Democratic Party. She spews out more propaganda than the "Weekend Update" no-talents on SNL. An eight-year old Buddhist? Come on! Bart has become less of a creative troublemaker, and is now more of a wimpy sidekick to Homer. The killing of Maude Flanders was inexcusable, and characters like Milhouse and Moe have become sometimes frighteningly weird (references to Milhouse-a ten year old boy-being gay and/or a cross dresser, for instance). Apu having all those kids was absurd. The shows now revolve around "wild and crazy" plots, with Homer constantly in the forefront. There is the constant, unnecessary use of blood and gore (Homer seems to always be cutting off something, and we are supposed to think it's funny). Also, the gratuitous use of guest stars is sickening. They are never funny, and serve only to promote and glorify themselves. "The Simpsons" used to poke fun at these pretentious celebrities. If this show stays on the air just a few more years, there will be more bad shows in syndication than good ones.

The DVD season-by-season sets are great, and really serve to remind us of how far this once incredible show has fallen. I'd advise everyone to buy these boxed sets and remember the great writing, inventive plots and brilliant characterizations that flourished during the first 8 seasons of the greatest cartoon series in history.
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This may be the best show on Television.
mr_monkey132 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely the best ANIMATED show on television. I have been a Simpsons fan for a long time, and over the years it has been going downhill, but recently its been really funny! I think that this is best for people who LOVE SEEING GREAT COMEDY AT WORK! Matt Groening is one of the funniest TV people ever (though I should be fair, a lot of the Simpsons is the writers, if not most of it). For those who don't know, it's about a dysfunctional family living in a town called Springfield (the state is unknown!!!!). There's Homer, the dimwitted father working at the Nuclear Powerplant. Then there's Marge, the housewife who is the classic mom. There's Bart, the spiky haired hell-raiser who has a knack for getting in trouble. There's Lisa, the intellectual middle child who plays the Saxaphone and is the smartest one in the family. Then finally there's Maggie, the baby that only talks in sucks on her pacifier. All in all, each episode includes their many misadventures including a meteor hitting the earth, and Homer causing Y2K. Bottom line, totally funny!
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The Greatest
BubbaFro13 April 1999
The Simpsons is the greatest show ever to grace the screen! You have Homer always making funny comments and stupid remarks which never get old. While Bart, Lisa, Marge, and Maggie are always doing hilarious things. Then there is still the rest of Springfield such as Barney, Skinner, Ralph and such. This is the greatest show and I hope they never end it.
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No longer that great
Atreyu_II14 August 2007
When the animated TV series "The Simpsons" first came out, nobody could image how successful it would become. But they made this a clever TV series: that original family with their silly humor conquered many people. From 1989 until (maybe) almost the end of the 1990's, this was a great TV show. It was very humorous, highly creative and had all the needed ingredients to be a classic.

All of the characters are very peculiar and eccentric: Bart, Lisa, Marge and Homer. On the other hand, Maggie is innocent because she's a baby. Marge has that weird hair and Homer is more than just the silliest of all Simpsons: he's the silliest "family chief" ever!

However, in these last years "The Simpsons" has been notoriously going downhill. It isn't that great anymore. It doesn't have that classic status any longer and its humor has become more irritating. It isn't so funny anymore.

Now is definitely time to put an end to this TV show. They should have done that years ago. The more time they'll take to finally do it, the more they'll ruin it.
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Blind loyalty and network greed has ruined what used to be an animated masterpiece
liquidcelluloid-125 January 2004
Network: Fox; Genre: Animated Comedy, Parody, Satire; Content Rating: TV-PG (language, adult contend and animated nudity); Available: DVD and syndication everywhere; Perspective: Classic (star range: 1 - 5);

Seasons Reviewed: Season 12+

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would one day be bored by 'The Simpsons', I would have called them crazy. But here we are and while 'The Simpsons' has become the longest running show on TV at the cost of its core integrity. "Simpsons" in its prime was the best things to grace the small screen. A funny, ground-breaking animated comedy with lightening-quick wit, insightful social and brilliantly integrated parody. It created its own universe with an entire town of original characters. Most importantly, it actually helped shape the sense of humor of an entire generation. That generation which has now grown up and is now creating animated shows in direct competition.

"Simpsons" is a pale shadow of its former greatness. It gradually slipping this way for several years, but it wasn't until the 2002 and 2003 seasons that the show really smashed up against the rocks for good. I used to delight in each new episode of "Simpsons". But now the show clunks along each week in what appears to be filling time. The free-wheeling gags it used to deliver with such ease are now weighted down by an unnecessary over importance on story. The show at its best may get off a funny, sharp one-liner every now and then. It's biggest asset currently is it's willingness and given latitude to slam its own network. I do delight in their "Joe Millionaire" on-air promo parodies or a recent episode where Homer calls to give the network an idea and the recording says something like "If you know of another network's reality show we can rip off, press 2..."

So what happened? There really is no one thing that can easily be pointed out to all the late-commers and say "this is what happened" - you have to have traced the history. The 'jump the shark' moment could have come as early as the infamous Frank Grimes episode where our vision of The Simpson family was suddenly turned into something to aspire to instead of parody. It could be the legion of big name celebrities forced into every episode. To bring down a show as great as this, it was a slow convergence of several things.

Watching it, 3 differences are evident on-screen at any given time: First, the stripping down most of the characters to 1-note cartoons. Notably, British favorite Homer Simpson going from child-like, hard-luck father to a rag-doll for wild animals to rip apart as each episode closes. I'm particularly appalled at its attempts to use Homer as a political mouthpiece. Did you know that a guy who once lit a Q-tip so he could see inside his brain has an active concern for global politics? Yeah, I didn't either.

Secondly, the classic Baby Boomer voice of the series has evaporated and was replaced with contemporary generation X and Y jokes. Now, it's the internet and Tony Hawke. The voice of the series used to be one of creator Matt Groening's, seen through the eyes of Homer and Marge. That voice has been lost as the show has turned into an assembly line institution, repackaged and been homogenized for the masses and a new generation of writers lead by Ian Maxton-Graham has come in to "keep it fresh".

Thirdly, it has run out of creative juice. Anyone who has stuck with the show long enough can see it literally re-telling jokes and recycle previous story lines. When the recycling becomes too obvious or the episode makes no sense, they merely double back and declare it all a big self-parody. Not even Al Jean (architect of the show in its prime and the Larry David of "The Simpsons") can save it now.

Since the talented voice cast has remained the same low these many years, I put all the blame on this squarely with the Fox network who refused to let this show go out gracefully when Groening siphoned off his role to work on his dream project, the now far superior 'Futurama'. In Fox's race to claim this endurance record they have turned a once edgy and visionary show into an institution with an assembly line production and revolving door of writers to match any of the other lame shows on TV. Behind the scenes, maybe the condescending we-can-do-no-wrong attitude of Maxton-Graham has dealt the show its biggest death blow, while producer Mike Scully sat back and ineptly let Maxton-Graham run it into the ground.

In the end, the biggest blame may actually land with the "die-hard fans" that embolden the show by letting it get away with this junk. Yes, "The Simpsons" was ground-breaking and every adult animation in the future owns it a bit of gratitude, but blind loyalty to a show only for how it performed in the past isn't healthy.

Since it has hit long-running status the critical bandwagon jumping has begun and "Simpsons" is more popular than ever amongst critics that want to be on the inside of history. We've now reached a point where the bad episodes and bad entire seasons outweigh the good and that, I'm afraid, is going to be the sad legacy of "Simpsons" . A train-wreck of crass, childish humor, grainy animation, oddly misplaced satire and forced parodies of only the most obvious pop culture targets.

10 years ago I didn't know what I would do without "The Simpsons" but now, particularly with the emergence of satisfying new adult animated shows ('Futurama', 'Family Guy' and 'South Park'), living without it might be pretty good.

* * / 5
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Heads and Tails
dlpburke5 November 2015
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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Hell, I love it
Snrub10 November 1998
This has to be one of the best darn cartoons/comedies ever to grace the T.V screen. The fact that it has been going for nearly 10 years says it all. The comic timing is just right and the jokes are so funny that you're guaranteed to be begging for more! The reason why the show works so well is not because of just the family,no. The minor characters are spot on and they will have you rolling around the floor in fits of laughter more often than Homer, Marge and co. Mr Burns is THE best person on the show in my opinion. People often say that Matt Groening is a genius after every time they watch a show. Okay, I give credit to Matt due to him making up the Simpsons but it is the massive crew which make the Simpsons what it is today. It is the dozen or so writers that give us the dialogue which is unbeatable by any other programme. ( a big cheer to my fave writer John Swartzwelder is in order here!). It is the many gifted animators which give us the many hilarious moments on the show. Without these people and the rest of the crew there would be no Simpsons. Also, another key element in it being enjoyable is the cast. The many talented actors who supply their great voices. (Another big cheer for my favourite voicer Harry "Handsome" Shearer.He is my Hero!) Anyhoo, enough is being said. Just don't forget all the crew and praise them as well as Matt Groening. Simpsons Forever!
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The Simpsons - is there any better show?
hhh444-114 May 2006
With all my collection of video tapes and d.v.d.s I seem to find myself digging through my Simpsons box, when I need something to watch. It would be hard to pick a favorite episode, because of so many. It would be even harder to pick a least favorite because there is very few that could be less appealing. But boring is one thing that the Simpsons could never be considered. The writers have changed ideas, episode structure, and kept the Simpsons on a continuous exciting adventure. Anytime of the day or no matter what seems to be the mood , the Simpsons is always satisfying to to view even over and over and hours on end.
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Lost it's touch years ago
kristian_k871 April 2017
I'd give a higher rating, but The Simpsons's died long time ago and should have ended when it had some dignity left. Now every episode seems like the same.

That said The Simpsons was solid stuff years ago. It was funny, touching and thought provoking. Best episode that comes to mind must be Bart gets an F (I hope that is the real name or this is really embarrassing).
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Easily one of the best cartoon shows (or shows) of all time!
Electrified_Voltage31 July 2007
This show may have gone downhill significantly over the years, but we have to remember how amazing it once was! After being introduced in animated shorts on "The Tracey Ullman Show" in 1987, the Simpson family started out in their own show late in 1989, with a Chrismas special. The first season continued in 1990, and during the show's early days, it was controversial. At that point in time, it seems that society wasn't used to cartoon shows not being 100% kid-friendly. However, "The Simpsons" also turned out to be one groundbreaking series of the decade, and the controversy eventually died down (less kid-friendly cartoon shows have come since)!

The Simpsons are a dysfunctional American family who live in the city of Springfield. The parents are Homer (an overweight, lazy, aggressive simpleton who works at the local nuclear power plant) and Marge (usually a stay-at-home mother who tries her best to keep the rest of the family in line). The kids are Bart (a ten-year-old boy who very often gets in trouble, and doesn't usually do so well at school), Lisa (a very intelligent, gifted eight-year-old girl who plays the saxophone and usually does very well at school, but often has trouble with her social life), and Maggie (the youngest in the family, only a baby). The family owns two pets, a dog named Santa's Little Helper and a cat named Snowball. Various kinds of trouble for this family often arise, including Marge and Homer having trouble with their relationship, Bart or Lisa experiencing a problem at school, and so many other things! Wherever the Simpsons go, trouble seems to await!

The show has many excellent supporting characters, probably more than most shows do! They include Krusty the Clown (a wacky clown whose #1 fan is probably Bart), Mr. Burns (Homer's evil 104-year-old boss at the power plant), Waylon Smithers (Burns' assistant), the Flanders' (the Christian fundamentalist family who live next door to the Simpsons), Seymour Skinner (the principal of Springfield Elementary who is middle-aged and still lives with his mother), Agnes Skinner (Seymour's bossy mother), Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (a man from India who runs the local Kwik-E-Mart), Edna Krabappel (Bart's teacher, who often gives him trouble), Abraham J. "Grampa" Simpson (Homer's silly father, who lives at a retirement home and has a lot of history), Patty and Selma Bouvier (Marge's nasty, chain-smoking sisters, who hate Homer), Moe Szyslak (a local bartender who is easily fooled by Bart's crank calls), Barney Gumble (Homer's alcoholic friend who is usually only seen at Moe's), Lenny and Carl (two more of Homer's friends, who drink at Moe's with him and work at the power plant), Milhouse Van Houten (Bart's nerdy friend)...the list goes on!

Aside from all the funny characters, "The Simpsons" has several other notable features, including lots of brilliant humour, excellent writing, social commentary, a lot of voice talent (most of the cast members provide the voices of several characters), impressive animation (even if the main characters are simply drawn), etc.! The Halloween episodes are a highlight as well, each featuring three short stories, which are generally less realistic than the plots for most regular episodes. There's really not much (if anything) to be said about the long-running, groundbreaking series that hasn't already been said many times, so I'm basically just repeating things that others have mentioned!

It has now been nearly eighteen years since "The Simpsons" started out in full episodes, and it currently holds the record for the longest-running cartoon show! Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, it hasn't been the same in recent years, gradually declining in quality. Personally, I can't stand watching new episodes. I certainly don't think they're horrendous, but they seem very stale, and certainly can't compare to the classics, making me feel as if I've lost something in my life. I know I'm certainly not the only fan who avoids new episodes, many others believe that it should have come to an end long ago. However, it's best not to dwell on the negative. What "The Simpsons" was in its heyday is not something to be forgotten, and clearly, television in the 1990s wouldn't have been the same without it!
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Way past its prime
matthewcs2530 January 2010
The Simpsons was a wonderful show. In its heyday in the 90s, it was probably the best show on TV. To call it a defining show of the 90s is an understatement. The Simpsons is probably one of the most obvious examples of 90s pop culture. The show has the distinction of being the one with the most guest appearances. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine TV without The Simpsons. However, the show has been dead for the last ten years. It started to decline, appropriately enough, at the end of the 90s. Here are the reasons for its decline.

1) It tried to be like South Park and Family Guy. The Simpsons was a novelty for many years. It was a prime time cartoon. However, in 1997 South Park premiered. This was a cartoon that used violence and profanity for shock value. In 1999, Family Guy premiered and was also much racier. In 1999, The Simpsons began experimenting with this on their shows. This was never a staple of them before.

2) The character of Maude Flanders was killed. She was a major character that was killed off about 1999 or 2000. Having her die completely changed the tone of the show and especially the Flanders family, who are major characters.

3) Plots became wacky. The original charm of the show was the fact that it was somewhat realistic. The show soon started having ridiculous plots like Homer and Ned marrying floozies in Las Vegas.

4) Phil Hartman died. The loss of Phil Hartman was devastating to the show. His characters provided much depth into the show and interesting plots.

The Simpsons was a great show and it is sad to see it go downhill so much.
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The greatest animated comedy of all time but its probably time to call it a day
brianethomas200113 December 2005
The Simpson's is with out a doubt the greatest comedy to come out of America,

it has covered everything, from everyday life, endless special guests. to parody's of famous movies. but now 16 years on and many laughs later the Simpson's has become a house hold name. But now i think the creators are running out of ideas, the jokes from the new episodes are going from classic to desperate and kind of dumb i think they should get the movie over with and then finally close the book of the greatest piece of animated comedy.

Over all the best ever. but unfortunately all great things must come to an end and i think the time is near.
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