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The Simpsons
THE SIMPSOOOOONS!!!
Genre: Animated sitcom
Running Time: 21-24 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: December 17, 1989-May 16, 1999 (Seasons 1-10)
November 6, 2001-May 23, 2004 (Seasons 13-15)
September 29, 2019 - present (Season 31-present)
Network(s): Fox (US)
Network Ten (1991-2011, Australia)
Eleven (2011-17, Australia)
7mate (2018-present, Australia)
Sky One (1989-2021, UK)
Sky Showcase (2021-present, UK)
BBC One (1996-97, UK)
BBC Two (1997-2004, UK)
Channel 4 (2004-present, UK)
Created by: Matt Groening
James L. Brooks
Sam Simon
Distributed by: 20th Television (1989-2020)
Disney–ABC Domestic Television (2020–present)
Starring: Dan Castellaneta
Julie Kavner
Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith
Hank Azaria
Harry Shearer
Seasons: 32
Episodes: 13 (Season 1)
22 (Seasons 2, 4-5, 13-15, 31-32)
24 (Season 3)
25 (Seasons 6-9)
23 (Season 10)
Previous show: The Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show


The Simpsons is a long-running adult animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It's widely considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Why These Seasons Rock

  1. Adult animation in its purest form, as this is the first adult animated TV series to garner major success.
  2. Clever humor and writing.
  3. Good voice acting.
  4. Likable and memorable characters, such as:
    • Homer Simpson
    • Bart Simpson
    • Marge Simpson
    • Lisa Simpson (pre-Season 7, post-Season 31)
    • Maggie Simpson
    • Ned Flanders (pre-Season 11, post-Season 31)
    • Principal Seymour Skinner
    • Gary Chalmers
    • Groundskeeper Willie
    • Nelson Muntz (depending on your view)
    • Milhouse van Houten
    • Ralph Wiggum
    • Otto Mann
    • Krusty the Clown
    • Sideshow Mel
    • Üter Zörker
    • Martin Prince
    • Abraham Simpson II
    • Lenny Leonard
    • Carl Carlson
    • Moe Szyslak
    • Barney Gumble
    • Clancy Wiggum
    • Mr. Burns
    • Waylon Smithers
    • Patty Bouvier (depending on your view)
    • Selma Bouvier (depending on your view)
    • Jimbo Jones (depending on your view)
    • Kearney Zzyzwicz (depending on your view)
    • Dolph Starbeam (depending on your view)
    • Professor Frink
    • Hans Moleman
    • Timothy Lovejoy
    • Kent Brockman
    • Todd Flanders
    • Rod Flanders
    • Sophie Krustofsky
    • Ling Bouvier
  5. Great, fluid animation.
  6. Each of the family members has a very distinct personality.
    • Homer is the dimwitted, but well-meaning dad.
    • Marge is the strict, but loving mother.
    • Bart is the trouble-making son.
    • Lisa is the overachieving daughter.
    • Maggie is the silent member of the family, but is often implied to be smarter than one would expect.
  7. Impressive balancing of an extremely large cast of side characters, most of whom have clearly defined and likeable personalities.
  8. There are so many hilarious and unforgettable running gags.
    • Sideshow Bob repeatedly trying to kill Bart Simpson after the events of "Krusty Gets Busted".
    • A different kind of couch gag at the beginning of every episode.
    • The many catchphrases like Homer Simpson's famous catchphrase: "D'oh!", Nelson Muntz's famous laugh, and Bart's rotated catchphrases "Ay Carumba!", "Don't have a cow, man", "Eat my shorts!" and "I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?"
    • The way Superintendent Chalmers says "Skinner!".
    • Itchy & Scratchy, which parodies the violent cartoons of the early-to-mid 20th century.
  9. Lots of great episodes, such as:
    • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
    • "There's No Disgrace Like Home" (although the personalities are different)
    • "Bart the General"
    • "Moaning Lisa"
    • "The Call of the Simpsons"
    • "The Telltale Head"
    • "Krusty Gets Busted"
    • "Some Enchanted Evening" (despite it's animation)
    • "Bart Gets an F"
    • The "Treehouse of Horror" episodes (except Treehouse of Horror XXII)
    • "Bart the Daredevil"
    • "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish"
    • "Brush With Greatness"
    • "Lisa's Substitute"
    • "Stark Raving Dad"
    • "Homer Defined"
    • "Lisa's Pony"
    • "I Married Marge"
    • "Homer Alone"
    • "Homer at the Bat"
    • "The Otto Show"
    • "Kamp Krusty"
    • "Marge Gets a Job"
    • "New Kid on the Block"
    • "Lisa's First Word"
    • "Marge vs. the Monorail"
    • "Selma's Choice"
    • "Duffless"
    • "Last Exit to Springfield"
    • "Whacking Day"
    • "Homer's Barbershop Quartet"
    • "Cape Feare"
    • "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"
    • "Bart Gets an Elephant"
    • "Deep Space Homer"
    • "Burns' Heir"
    • "And Maggie Makes Three"
    • "Bart's Comet"
    • "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'"
    • "Lemon of Troy"
    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (Parts 1 & 2)
    • "Bart Sells His Soul"
    • "Mother Simpson"
    • "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming"
    • "Team Homer"
    • "Two Bad Neighbors"
    • "Bart on the Road"
    • "22 Short Films About Springfield"
    • "Summer of 4 Ft. 2"
    • "You Only Move Twice"
    • "Lisa's Date with Destiny"
    • "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer"
    • "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show"
    • "Homer's Phobia"
    • "Homer's Enemy"
    • "Lisa's Sax"
    • "The Joy of Sect"
    • "King of the Hill"
    • "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrance"
    • "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (which ended the 'Golden Age' of the show on a high note)
    • "Jaws Wired Shut"
    • "I Am Furious (Yellow)"
    • "Weekend at Burnsie's"
    • "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
    • "Old Yeller-Belly"
    • "Moe Baby Blues"
    • "Smart And Smarter"
    • "The Way of the Dog"
    • "Undercover Burns"
    • "I, Carumbus"
    • "The Road to Cincinnati"
    • "Uncut Femmes"
    • "Podcast News"
    • "Diary Queen" (even though the ending feels a bit rushed)
    • "The Dad-Feelings Limited"
    • "Thanksgiving of Horror"
    • “Mother and Child Reunion”
    • "The Last Barfighter"
  10. Memorable opening theme music, composed by Danny Elfman and arranged by Alf Clausen.
  11. Most of the in-episode musical numbers are well-written and funny, including:
    • "We Do" (the Stonecutters' song)
    • "The Monorail Song"
    • "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart"
    • "We Put the Spring in Springfield"
    • The "Planet of the Apes" musical number
    • "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders"
    • "They'll Never Stop the Simpsons"
    • "Sold Seperately"
    • "The Garbage Man Can"
    • "Checkin' In"
    • "Cut Every Corner"
    • The Musical Numbers in "All Singing, All Dancing"
    • "Jazzman"
    • "Flaming Moe's" (not to be confused with the episode of the same name)
    • "Scorpio" (not to be confused with the character of the same name)
    • "See My Vest"
    • "Baby On Board"
    • "Talkin' Softball"
    • "Happy Birthday, Lisa"
  12. It's sophisticated and generous in its humor.
  13. Gives out a lot of good morals and lessons for viewers of all ages, like "be careful what you wish for".
  14. The episodes where The Simpsons travel around the world to other countries and other US states are great (except for "Kill the Alligator and Run" and Simpson Safari").
  15. Loads of hilarious moments, funny couch gags, great stories and relatable pop-culture references like references to Dr. Seuss, South Park, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Scooby-Doo, The Beatles, Nintendo, Looney Tunes, SpongeBob SquarePants, Michael Jackson, Marvel, etc.
  16. The "Treehouse of Horror" specials are funny, terrifying and unforgettable at the same time.
  17. Gives us decent facts and real-life events about celebrities, politicians, etc.
  18. Many supporting side characters (Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson, Ned Flanders, Moe Szyslak, Krusty the Clown, Milhouse van Houten, Chief Wiggum etc.)
  19. It also has its share of many entertaining antagonists (Mr. Burns, Sideshow Bob, Frank Grimes, Hank Scorpio, Kang and Kodos).
  20. Unlike most FOX shows, The Simpsons takes aim at both the Democratic and Republican parties, depicting Republicans as corrupt warmongers and Democrats as brainless idiots. (and the opposite, indeed!) Not even presidents were safe from criticism, as Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all been subjected to mockery on the show.
  21. The Simpsons has many famous celebrity guest stars in their episodes (Ringo Starr, Barry White, George Carlin, Leonard Nimoy, Mark Hamill, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, etc).
  22. During the show’s dark age, seasons 16-30, the show spawned a movie adaptation, The Simpsons Movie, which is great and stays faithful to these seasons.
  23. While the series won't revert back to its classic form anytime soon, the show managed to recover from its downfall after complaints from fans and critics when Season 31 aired (not counting the holdover episodes from season 30 as they aren't that good).

Bad Qualities

  1. On some occasions, the humor is done at the wrong time and barely makes any sense.
  2. Season 1's animation isn't that great, as it has a ton of errors, washed out colors and mediocre character designs.
    • "Some Enchanted Evening" is the worst offender, especially the original version of it. Matt Groening and his crew wanted a show with more restricted, less cartoonish animation, while Klasky Csupo wanted something fluid and expressive a la the Tracey Ullman shorts. Nobody seemed to have told AKOM anything, meaning the animation of the episode was wildly inconsistent, and 70% of the animation had to be redone by David Silverman's domestic unit (only a few scenes from the original director, Kent Butterworth, remained). James L. Brooks is on record as calling the original version "crap". As a result, the episode (which was originally intended as the series premiere) was pushed back as the season finale.
    • Anivision had worse animation than either AKOM or Rough Draft Studios or Funbag Animation Studios Inc; the DVD commentary mentioned that they had issues with keeping the characters' pupils the correct size (they weren't mentioned by name, but the staff pointed to "I Married Marge", which was animated by Anivision). Simpsons Archive also considers them the worst overseas studio, citing that they specialize in "lousy colors, misshapen figures (especially the eyes), and generally unfinished-looking, sloppy work." [1] They were let go by the end of Season 10 (either because of the quality of their work or because this was around the time Anivision was absorbed into Sunwoo Entertainment).
  3. The FXX reruns of Seasons 1-20a are remastered and cropped from 4:3 to 16:9. Even though the colors are restored for the cel-animated episodes and the picture quality looks better, it looks really off-putting and claustrophobic compared to the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
    • Disney even used the 'remastered' 16:9 versions for Disney+, but they luckily fixed this issue by giving an option to view the series in the original 4:3 aspect ratio in May 2020 (not counting any of the episodes after the series switched to 16:9).
  4. Unlike most Western and European shows being localized to Japan, it's Japanese dub lasted only 14 seasons, and after the movie was released in Japanese, starting in Season 15, the show is no longer dubbed by Japanese voice artists but is rather shown subtitled, an oddity for a foreign animated show in Japan.
  5. It sometimes overuses pop-culture references, even in the earlier seasons. This also means that a lot of these references will go over the heads of younger viewers, as the Simpsons have always been intended as a more family oriented show compared, say, to the crassness of South Park.
  6. Many of the moments in the earlier seasons intended to be controversial and unexpected feel fairly tame by today's standards. This is inevitable for a series from that era, though.
  7. The series gradually declined during Seasons 9 to 15, then experienced an even bigger decline in quality during Seasons 16-30. Thankfully, the series has finally improved once again since Season 31 after years of complaints from fans and critics.
    • Seasons 9 and 10, while their apart of the "Golden Age" of the series, are seasons where fans and critics are starting to notice a decline, as they have more bad episodes when compared to the previous eight seasons, such as "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", ""Kidney_Trouble"_(The_Simpsons) Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"" and the infamous episode ”The Principal and the Pauper", which is widely considered to be a jump the shark moment for the show.
    • Seasons 13-15, while improvements to Seasons 11 and 12, still have amount of bad episodes to make them not as good as the first eight seasons of the show as well as some jokes rehashing jokes from other shows, like the one joke from Season 13's "Homer the Moe", where Homer attempts to turn on a jukebox by hitting its glass, but ends up cutting his hand open. The exact same stunt was pulled by Peter Griffin in the Family Guy episode "Let's Go to the Hop" over a year earlier, with the only difference being that The Simpsons's version was a lot bloodier, and some jokes are even flat-out disturbing, like Marge pressuring Homer into having rough sex with her in "Strong Arms of the Ma".
    • Season 31, while an improvement over Seasons 16-30, still has some of the characters' personalities flanderized and has quite a few bad episodes, with some being considered one of the worst in the series, like "The Winter of Our Monetized Content" and "Marge the Lumberjill". The original personalities for most of characters thankfully somewhat reverted back to their original ones in the following season.
    • Season 32 was known for being the season where white actors would no longer voice non-white characters because Al Jean, being an SJW with a BLM-persona, forced all of them to step-down their roles due to the George Floyd protests, which is pandering SJWs and political correctness. To be fair, most of the new voice actors do a fine job with their work and sound close to the original actors, but Alex Désert, the new voice actor of Carl, sounds like he's trying way too hard to imitate Hank Azaria. Even Kevin Michael Richardson does a mediocre job voicing Doctor Hibbert, since he lacks any charm that Harry Shearer has and just comes across as Doctor Hibbert sounding more like he is making a voice impression of Mr. Gus from Uncle Grandpa.
  8. Sometimes, the series overuses lowbrow forms of humor such as burp jokes and slapstick humor to the point that they overstay their welcome. However, this was much rarer in the first eight seasons or so.
  9. Even Seasons 1-10, 13-15 and 31 onwards have their fair share of bad episodes. They once even cluttered the Terrible Shows & Episodes Wiki with their individual pages before they were all removed and sub-sequentially banned on that wiki and were later relocated to the Horrible TV Show Episodes Wiki (though the episodes have been restored on the wiki after they were both merged), such episodes include:
  10. Some of the couch gags (whilst very enjoyable) can get pretty weird or outright disturbing to some viewers (the "Treehouse of Horror" ones being notable examples).
  11. Some of characters the characters are not very likable, like Lisa (since Season 7, pre-season 31), Homer (in some episodes), Agnes Skinner (after The Cepes Of Wrath), Miss Hoover, Sherri and Terri, Patty and Selma Bouvier, Helen Lovejoy, Mr. Largo, Luann Van Houten, Jimbo Jones and Nelson Muntz.
    • To be fair, Lisa isn't too bad in the early seasons, but since Season 7, she is portrayed as a soapbox for whatever liberal viewpoints the creators want to push. And even in the early seasons, she behaves less like an actual child and more like a teenager or young adult, expressing knowledge that no kid her age (at least back then) would know or care about, such as when Texas became a state, what a revolver is, who Mel Brooks and William Shatner are, or that Monaco has a prince. Not to mention her feminist Thanksgiving centerpiece in "Bart vs. Thanksgiving". However since seasons 31-onwards, she is now more tolerable and keeps most of her charm.
    • Though Patty and Selma Bouvier are likable in their own ways from earlier and 31-present since they just make simple mean jokes about Homer, in seasons 16-30, they were flanderized into even more unlikable by kidnapping him and locking him in a dirty bathroom; luckily later seasons tones it down.
    • In some episodes, Homer is miswritten as being totally selfish and uncaring, and as borderline abusive towards his family and friends, such him making his father lose his kidneys in "Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" and framing his own wife as a drunk driver in "|Co-Dependents' Day".
      • This was much rarer in the first eight seasons but still occasionally cropped up.
  12. The show has spawned some controversies which caused the creators to make some horrible and/or unnessessary changes to the show:
    • "Stark Raving Dad" was banned after allegations against guest star Michael Jackson resurfaced in 2019 with the release of Leaving Neverland. It's bad enough to ban the episode from airing on TV, but to make matters worse, said episode was also removed from digital distribution and future reprints of the Season 3 DVD set, and remained absent on Disney+. Thankfully, it was back on the air through FXX on October 9th, 2019 and it can be bought digitally through Amazon Prime in the UK, but even that wasn't enough.
    • The recent seasons have removed the character of Apu due to him supposedly being a racist caricature, despite him actually showing reasonable levels of nuance and being no more exaggerated than other characters who have been allowed to stay on the series.

References


Trivia

  • The show is a spin-off of a successful series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show from 1987 to 1989.
  • The first episode (The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire) was a Christmas special.
  • "Some Enchanted Evening" was originally going to air on September 1989, but due to delays with said episode during production, the episode's plot had to be rewritten and pushed to a decade later.

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