Even though The Simpsons haven't been culturally relevant for over a decade, it's always great to put the show in perspective by looking at its origins, its inspirations, and its eventual malaise. Tonight's special did just that.
Fox called upon Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame to cram all the cultural, satirical, and comedic impacts The Simpsons have had over the past 20 years into one hour-long over-stylized fluff piece. And frankly, Spurlock (who is obviously a Simpsons fan), did a fine job summing up the significance of one of the most influential shows in of all time. And it definitely made any Simpsons fan nostalgic for a show that—to put it lightly—is a shell of its former self. It almost made me forget how big a pile of suck The Simpsons have been for the past decade. Almost.
I saw Matt Groening more in this hour-long special than I did throughout my whole lifetime as a Simpsons fan. And he gave some great nuggets of information. Sure, every fan knows that the names of the Simpson family members are autobiographical; but did you know that almost every ancillary character during the early days of the show is named after a different street in Portland? And that Springfield Elementary was modeled after a Portland high school? I can say, without any sarcasm in my voice, that learning these facts made me gitty.
Cameos! Cameos! CAMEOS!
Everyone loves The Simpsons, even famous people! They're just like us, you know. You like Bumblebee Man? So do Sting, Moby And Brian Williams! The Simpsons is one of the few shows that transcends the socioeconomic statuses of their fans. Both multi-millionaire tantric rock stars like Sting and people who had a Manwich for dinner like you watch the same show? Awesome. Here are some big time celebrity journalists waxing poetic about Kent Brockman.
No show has a fanbase like The Simpsons. Sure, maybe CSI: Miami fans are fanatical, but have you ever seen anyone with a tattoo of David Caruso on their ass? Let's hope not.
The Simpsons still suck
Ask any true Simpsons fan: The Simpsons have been awful for the past 10 years. This is an irrefutable fact. There was even a little segment where current Simpsons writer Matt Warburton (2000-Present) talked shit about all the naysayers. I hope he knows that no matter what he says, it doesn't change the fact that throughout his tenure the show has been awful. You can tell by the trembling in his voice that his argument was weak. It seems that for current Simpsons episodes, if they increase the number of songs, cameos, and plot lines, it will somehow be good. Untrue!
Want a strong argument for how good The Simpsons used to be and how bad they are now? Watch this clip about everyone talking about why they love Homer, the best character from show. None of the example clips used to illustrate the best character on the best show ever were from after season nine. NONE.
So after watching a special like this, it simply just makes me pine for the days when Homer needed a triple bypass, and when Lisa needed braces, and when Springfield needed a monorail. It also just reaffirms that Ian Maxtone Graham, the current Executive Producer and complete bane of The Simpsons, can kiss my hairy yellow butt.