aaaaa….The Simpsons…

The Simpsons has been on TV for exactly half my life. I must have sometimes watched the Tracy Ullman show, on which it of course debuted, because I remember one short about Bart stealing cookies and saying Maggie did it, also one about Bart and Lisa pretending to be tribesmen or something using Homer’s ties, and getting yelled at by Homer’s original voice. On the other hand, I don’t remember anything Tracy Ullman did on the show.
I was 16 and a junior in high school when it started. Well I remember its, and my, early years. I remember I had to watch it on a tiny black and white TV because my mom wanted to watch something else in the living room–Monday Night Football maybe? Did it used to be on on Mondays? I remember writing an essay for an Earth Day contest in 1991, while watching The Simpsons on the tiny TV. For my Civics class, I had to volunteer at a community center, and I remember one time trying to watch it on a TV mounted to the wall, without sound, while kids swarmed about kicking up a ruckus. And of course, I had one of the T-shirts.
I was so pleased with myself that I understood the literary references in the Kamp Krusty episode; and wished I could understand what Bart was saying in the one where he goes to France and learns French. I didn’t understand the controversy over Bart being a bad influence–and now I understand it less than ever. Though I wouldn’t let any children of mine watch hardly anything on TV now, which shows you the difference between 16 and 32.
I didn’t watch much TV while I was in college, but kept watching faithfully when I could. Who could forget the Halloween episodes, Otto’s wedding, the death of Maud Flanders, the time Ralph went on a date with Lisa, the Monorail, and the proud day that Homer was promoted to Safety Manager at the power plant.
I never thought the show could get bad, and I hoped it would keep going on even if it did, because I thought it could be just as funny if it became a deliberate parody of itself. But I haven’t watched many of the new episodes in the last few years, and those I have seen haven’t done much to bolster my confidence. Bart joining a boy band? Which is really a front for Navy recruiting? Huh? Then there was an incomprehensible one which culminated in the Mad Magazine building blowing up. I seem to remember that one was on shortly after 9/11, and I couldn’t believe they put it on at all.
If this trend of badness keeps up, and if the show is still on in another 16 years, you can bet I won’t be allowing any of my kids to watch it…instead, I’ll be making them watch the DVDs of the first 10 seasons or so with me. Won’t they be thrilled?

Comments are closed.