- closing in on its 3rd decade of syndicated hilarity (and occasional disappointment), and there seems to be no end to this milestone-setting juggernaut. And why should there? Like its counterpart, Futurama
, it can create some truly heartwarming and depressing moments that will set off massive Mood Whiplash
, sometimes when you least expect it. The characters, despite some obvious Flanderization
into the personalities everyone knows and loves, have potential to evolve beyond the status quo, taking what they learned throughout the course of the episode to overcome that episode's difficulties.
It is also capable to step beyond the limitations of a animated sitcom, capturing the heart and soul of the genre it parodies. The "Treehouse of Horror" episodes perfectly capture the essence of classic horror, sci-fi, and thriller movies. "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" perfectly reflects the rise and fall of The Beatles, while "Rosebud", as the name implies, retells Citizen Kane
by replacing the title character with someone who is absolutely evil. Unlike most animated sitcoms out there, this one knows when to hold the punches, replacing one target with another and making their stereotypes seem less incompetent.
This is one of those rare series that can cope with an art medium that is constantly evolving. When it first started out in 1985, it was remarkably crude-the overbites were practically dangling over their lower jaws, the hair stuck out to ridiculous heights, whenever they laughed, their teeth seemed like they might fly out of their mouth, and the family themselves were massive. As time went on, the overbites were reduced, the characters shrunk in height, and the loose jaws were corrected. Now, the animation is starting to look more modern and fluid, despite copious amounts of Conspicuous CG
. But, in time, that conspicuousness will naturally disappear as the animators get used to the new technology.
Over thirty years in syndication, and The Simpsons
has made some milestones. It was the second prime-time animated sitcom to appeal to its adult audiences, since 
in the 1960's. It has surpassed Last Of The Summer Wine and Gunsmoke
in the longest-running prime time series in history, yet there seems to be nothing stopping it. And why not? Viva la Simpsons!