Reviews: The Simpsons

The Simpsons: THE Cultural touchstone

What can be said about The Simpsons, a series that has been running for nearly twenty-seven consecutive years, saw the changing of the guard of no less than four American Presidents, and can be indirectly referenced by people who haven't even heard of it? Not much. A very daring show, even for The '80s, The Simpsons was a concept like no other- a bumbling, but well-meaning father who tries to raise his kids, one a pint-sized hellion dubbed "This century's Dennis the Menace", an intellectual outcast middle daughter, an infant who's much more than she seems, and care for his loving wife and dangerously senile father in a world that seems to throw curveball after increasingly bizarre curveball that the universe seems to throw their way, yet, despite any sense of logic, prevail against all odds in a wonderfully crafted 'verse filled with refreshingly diverse and fleshed-out characters.

In a nutshell, The Simpsons is THE cultural milestone, an experience that, even in its darkest and worst episodes (YMMV on those), that someone will find something worthwhile to look back on, whether it's the constantly evolving animation (compare the crude, The New Yorker-esque style of the first season, the gorgeous animation of the later seasons and The Simpsons Movie), the attempt to convey daring stories within a half-hour animated format, or even the brilliant, snappy humor that's the series' trademark, you can't stop The Simpsons.
  • Buck
  • 19th Sep 15
  • 7

Great show but terrible morals

What can be said about The Simpsons that hasn't been said before. It's a great show and it has the most memorable jokes in the past.

Currently The Simpsons are going through a bit of a dry of spell and you can see that the producers are running out of ideas for episodes and jokes to make but now they are slowly getting better with the episodes and jokes.

As you read in the title my main issue with the Simpsons is that the morals are absolutely stupid with my main problem being with episodes Brake My Wife, Please and Jazzy And The Pussycats.

Brake My Wife, Please is about Homer losing his driving license and Marge becoming a driver for all members of the family until she hits Homer with the car and numerous other times where she tries to hurt him until they consult a marriage counsellor to find the root of their problem.

Jazzy and The Puzzycats is about Bart taking up drumming to tone down his attention seeking ways until he unintentionally upstages Lisa by joining a jazz group which causes Lisa to become depressed and adopt several animals which results in a baby tiger damaging Bart's arm tendons which prevents him playing the drums.

My main problem with these episodes is that both Homer and Bart are not antagonists in any way in these episodes Homer actually tries to de-stress Marge by inviting her to walk with him which she denies due to helping another member. while Lisa is simply jealous of Bart even though she was just unlucky. Both Bart and Homer both apologise and do things for them like Homer throwing a party for Marge. Bart donating the funding for repairing his arm to an animal sanctuary to prevent the animals from being euthanised.

I hate these morals because it puts Marge and Lisa as victims even though they did more harm than Bart and Homer. Lisa gets no punishment for permanently disabling her brother and harbouring dangerous animals in a house. while Marge seriously injures Homer by hitting him with a car, scalding him with soup and knocking away his cane even though he struggles to walk. Marge and Lisa should get punishment for their actions not praise and apologies.

Overall its a great show but it needs to work on the morals but The Simpsons will soon return to its former glory.

A Great Show

I'm only talking about Seasons 1-5. I haven't seen any of the episodes in other seasons, and I've only seen some of the episodes in 1-5.

The Simpsons is a great show. The writing is great, the characters are likable, the voice acting is amazing, and the plots are clever. Let me explain each of those one by one.

Writing: The jokes are clever. For example, take Bart's catchphrase, "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" Take the Running Gag of Homer strangling his son Bart, which is hilarious. Take Ned Flanders, the ultra-nice, ultra-nice, ultra-Christian neighbour of the Simpsons family. He's hilarious just by being all of those characteristics that I just mentioned.

The characters are likable: Bart isn't exactly an ideal role model for kids, but he's not a Jerkass: he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He loves his sister Lisa deep down. Lisa is so intelligent. An average adult couldn't come up with most of the things she says. Homer is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold like his son Bart. He's not a great role model, but deep down, he loves his family. Marge often points out why Homer's behaviour is bad, and rightfully puts him in his place. Maggie, the baby, only communicates through sucking noises, but that's what defines her character.

The voice acting: Go on the internet (which you are presumably already on, given that you're reading this on TV Tropes) and search for "homer simpson", and find a video of Homer Simpson talking. Could you talk like that? Not likely.

The plots are clever: Take the episode "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", for example. In that episode, a 3-eyed fish is discovered in a river that's near the power plant, and Mr. Burns (the owner of the power plant) doesn't want the plant to be shut down (since it's being investigated), so he decides to run for governor. That is a great plot.

Overall, 5 out of 5 stars.

A Franchise Zombie scarier than any Treehouse of Horror.

Holy fucking skunk shit in a duffle bag, nothing makes a guy feel older than the semi-yearly realization that it's been at least some 16 years and counting since The Simpsons stopped being the mind-blowingly funny, insightful, and just plain likeable show that ensured its placement in the pantheon of over a half-century of televised entertainment. Back then, I was too young to really notice, but the show changed someway, somehow along the way.

Hundreds of people and situations have been fingered as the "culprit" of The Simpsons' breath-taking downfall. I'm no different than the rest, I ain't the guy with the answers. But I am a guy who believes that any long-running fictional construct comes with an unknowable metaphysical "expiration date". It's up to the creators (or people perpetuating the construct in lieu of original creator input) to determine when this has happened. The sensible thing to do when this time comes would be to just let it go before it inevitably becomes a cruel mockery of what once it was. The real reason's probably just some boring old money, though. Though not the pop-cultural genre-unto-itself that it once was (to make probably the biggest understatement on the entire internet today!), it still has a sizeable audience and pop-cultural presence.

Yeah yeah, I know I come off as an overly nostalgic dude what fails to bring up the many flaws the show had even back then, but if you are watching and/or enjoying the show's new episodes, chances are you never really liked the show for what it was intended to be in the first place. I'm not gonna act condescending towards ya for doing that—enjoy what you will, more power to you and that—but this is pretty much a fact.

Today's Simpsons is more often than not just an awkward, embarrassing thing to watch. Zany pop-cultural references and hot-button issues abound (about five months after they were relevant, of course). It's a show that's all but forgotten its core identity. It's become a sad parody of Grandpa Simpson's statement from way back about being "with it." These sociopathic Family Guy-light assholes on the screen right now are like looking at victims of body snatchers. There isn't even the tiniest gleam of the people they once were to be found in their eyes.

Fucking scary.

End already.

The simpsons has been going on for too long after the movie. The jokes are too predictable, the plot is overused, and the series in general is bland. Some people say South Park has been going on for too long, but have they LOOKED at the Simpsons? My point is, good before, the movie came, big hit, and it all started to go downhill from there just like Spongebob. I give it a 3/10.

When it finally ends, it won't be missed

By now, virtually everybody can agree that The Simpsons has declined in quality significantly over the years. Once the envy of all of the other cartoons on the block, the show inevitably started to run out of steam, making a sizable chunk of the classic fans increasingly disinterested. This of course didn't prevent the show from becoming one of the biggest franchise juggernauts in history, bringing in plenty of new fans in the process. But although the show still managed to entertain both old and new fans, it constantly failed to equal the quality of the classic episodes produced throughout the 1990s. But personally, I'd much rather watch almost any of the episodes made in the 2000s than the ones being produced at the moment.

Simply put, by this point in time, The Simpsons has become so completely incapable of actually justifying its own continued existence that it's resorted to simply parodying everything it can possibly parody, popular or not. While most of the episodes created during the show's decline were hardly anything special, they at least retained the spirit that made the show so likable. There were quite a few duds in the 2000s era, but in the 2010s era, pretty much every new episode is an automatic dud. The show wasn't meant to go on this long, and it shows in every way imaginable. Every single facet of the show is tired. Every character has become a charmless stereotype of their former self. Every single new plot is pathetically predictable and uninteresting. The attempts at humour are now painfully weak. Instead of creating believable, relatable stories like before, the show's writers now take completely mundane ideas, combine them with other mundane ideas to make absurd mish-mash narratives, add a guest star or a few, and put it out there. If an idea hasn't been tried yet, there's a good chance that the Simpsons will try it in the future - and fail at it.

Because of this, the show has become a cultural plague; a worthless, attention-hungry zombie that hardly anyone can pity. It constantly makes a mockery of itself, forcing everybody to keep in mind that it's here to stay like a pesky fly, never making any effort to be anything more than a disposable parody machine. Had the show ended after the movie, it could have at least ended with some of its dignity still intact. Now though, it just needs to end.

The MMORPG Episode

This is one of my favorite episode of the show. I daresay I even like it more than the World of Warcraft episode of South Park. The jokes were good and both stories of the episode were interesting in their own right. Here are some of my favorite lines:

Bart: I'm heading off to the Valley of Lagrimmar.

Marge: I'm going to bed.
Bart: But it's only 5:00 in the afternoon.
Marge: Who cares?! I'm dead!

Marge: Bart, you brought me back to life! (notices her character has goat legs) best you could.

Now this was a good episode. :) It did have one drawback, though, in the form of this line: "I'm so proud of you, Mom. You're like Christopher Columbus; you discovered something millions of people knew about before you."

...Worst. Compliment. Ever.

Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"

This is my personal favourite episode of The Simpsons. It's as funny as one expects from an episode of the show, but it is also surprisingly well-plotted and heartwarming. The story is based on the "Hellfish Bonanza", a treasure trove of valuable paintings stolen in World War II. Abraham "Grampa" Simpson and Mr. Burns were members of the Flying Hellfish unit, which agreed that the last surviving member would inherit the treasure. Naturally, Mr. Burns, being the greedy Corrupt Corporate Executive he is, decides he will kill Abe for the treasure. One who is familiar with Abe Simpson will suspect him of telling his usual tall tales, and in fact his typical characterization is played with through Bart's embarrassed eyes, who of course doesn't believe him. However, when Mr. Burns comes along and steals the keys to the treasure from Abe's resigned hands, Bart is determined to make sure his more deserving grandfather gets the treasure.

The backstory is based on actual historical tales of stolen paintings in World War II, along with the concept of the "tontine". This learning experience elevates the plot into something enriching as well as entertaining. Also notable about this episode is Abe Simpson getting his character meaningfully fleshed out as opposed to being portrayed as a stereotypical Grumpy Old Man. He acknowledges that he is seen as a failure, but despite this, Bart shows his lesser-shown sympathetic side and encourages his grandfather. This ultimately makes the ending especially touching, as after Abe shows his inner badass against Mr. Burns, he tells Bart that he wanted to show him that he wasn't always a pathetic old coot, and Bart denies this self-portrayal. This is one of the many great family bonding moments of The Simpsons, and I would even go on to say this is the Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming.

With a well-developed plot, great action, and heart, this is one of the exemplary episodes of The Simpsons.

See Homer Run

An amazingly underrated episode with lots of funny moments (the bit with the fridge magnet, Lisa's drawing about her soccer game, Milhouse getting run over off-screen) and a lovely ending with Homer and Lisa. And before you say it, the first act wasn't too mean-spirited!

5/5, A*

Nearing 30 years, The Simpsons is still one of the funniest animated series on prime time television

The Simpsons- 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 [1] 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!

Weirdest. Episode. Ever.

As we all know, The Simpsons quite often switches between satirical humor and zany humor, but for the weirdest humor, I nominate the episode "Smoke on the Daughter." It started off normally (for a Simpsons episode, that is), but towards the end, it got pretty bizarre. I thought the ballerinas' cigarettes had tobacco, not Mary Jane. Of course, to be fair, there's one line that I have to admit is funny because of its weirdness: "I hope Sleeping Beauty never wakes up." Boy that would be one awkward conversation to have on a date.

"Hey, Aurora, I got to be honest. A small part of me...sort of wishes that you never woke up from your magical sleep."
"You bastard!" (Armor Piercing Slap)

Overall, I'd give the episode a C+. The ending was, like I said, kind of out there, but for the rest, at least they tried.

Season 2 in retrospect

Season 2 of The Simpsons, upon looking at it one more time, was quite possibly the most human and down to earth season in the simpsons history. It may not have been as polished as the golden years simpsons (seasons 3-8) in terms of animation or comedy, but the animation was a hell of a lot better than season 1 and the humour was still quite good.

However, my main focus is on the sheer reality of this season. Watching episodes like "Principal Charming", "Bart Gets an F", and "Bart gets hit by a car" among others made me realize that the simpsons, as funny as they were in the later seasons, never really revisited the kind of tragic pathos and moral dilemmas these characters faced.

I like this season because it was an excellent balance of humor and tragedy. These characters made you laugh, but made you care for them because you saw their vulnerabilities on display. Bart's a bad boy, but he hates being a failure. Selma is lonely, and Patty feels bad about stealing away her chance at love. I mean, the list goes on and on. Homer gaining his hair, Marge's dilemma between her loyalty to homer and breaking the law, etc.

But the maturity of this season can be seen with "Itchy and Scratchy vs Marge". The Simpsons were a very controversial series for the time, and THIS is how they responded to their enemies. Not mockeries or caricatures, but an insightful analysis over the morality (or lack there of) of tv and a thought-provoking issue over what can be seen as "art" and "filth".

I could go on, but i don't need to repeat myself. Season 2 was one of their best seasons because it was their most heartfelt season. Not too crude, not too zany, not too strange. Just the perfect blend of tragedy and comedy.

Bart the Mother: Great Episode in a Troubled Season

Season: Ten

Showrunner: Mike Scully


Bart the Mother is one I remember well as a classic,although originally a Love It Or Hate It episode,time has very much vindicated it. It has all the heart and drama of an episode you would find in the stereotypical "Golden Age" from 1990-1998 as all the critics and hardcore fans will tell ya'. Admittedly they were right and that Season 9 was the last gold season.However they were wrong to call this season one of the worst and episodes like this one prove it (It's still better than the David Mirkin seasons)

It begins with Bart hanging out with Nelson for some odd reason,Marge being a JerkAss about everything and then Bart accidently killing a mother bird,and while some might consider it sappy,I consider it the one of the few times we see Bart's kind/tender side. But then Marge apologizes and helps Bart raise the two remaining eggs which is good Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming in a season fluctuating between Darker And Edgier and Denser And Wackier. These turn out to be lizards that eat other birds

The rest of the episode lives off of the Marge/Bart relationship which is one of the few of its kind not focused on Homer.But it also has a few good chuckles here and there such as the Fantasy Kitchen Sink segment where Bart gets judged by a flock of birds,and Homer falling down the stairs,and even the overly long list of predators mentioned by Skinner at the very end.

The characterizations are still like the Golden Age what with Lisa not being Al Jeans Black Hole Sue Author Avatar,Mike Scully for once actually putting Homer on the backburner and not a JerkAss,Bart gets his sensitive side shown,Marge is justified,and Troy Mc Clure makes his last appearence.The animation is superb to with the nice yellow,and the fluidity of the lizards Bart raises

This makes for an A,best episode of the season.

Final Note: Season 10 I'd consider troubled because this was where plot-lines began to repeat,Homer got heavily Flanderized, and most of the humor was low-brow.However even with it's stinkers like "Make Room for Lisa","When You Dish Upon a Death Star","Monty Can't Buy Me Love" and "Viva Ned Flanders",it still had episodes like these and they still outnumbered the bad (Wasn't the case the next season)