Friday, September 17, 2010

Yes, it's an essay on the Simpsons; deal with it

I had several ideas for my new post, which is good because I want to keep it once a day for as long as I can before the inevitable forgetting and "I'll do it tomorrow." For now, I have ideas and intend to use them.

Now up: The Simpsons.

True, not books. However, I feel looking at a television show that has been around for more than two decades will give quite a bit of insight into the creative process behind both televised and print media. The Simpsons has taken a lot of hits online for being stale, unfunny, and no longer the edgy comedy that shocked and intrigued a nation. With regards to the latter, it's not. There is no denying it. Certain other shows have gone much further than the Simpsons ever did or would, thus neutralizing the family that George Bush senior once gave much disregard to in a speech.

As for "stale" and "unfunny," both are more opinion than fact. Because I have watched the show, found there are still humorous jokes and still interesting plot lines. So what, in an objective sense, makes the show boring? For one, there isn't much territory to cover after twenty-one seasons have passed. Another is that many episodes, though different in the details, suffer from boringly similar plots. Some of the most common examples seem to be: Homer and Lisa at odds; Bart's prank backfires; Marge gets a new job; one family member has to help another Springfieldian/guest star. In a show where the characters don't age much less change, it can seem like watching the same episode even when it's not.

In the end, it's still a good show. I'll turn it on when it returns, maybe enjoy a laugh. But if something else is on, I'll probably turn to that, or else enjoy my DVDs of the earlier seasons, when things were wacky enough to seem original even when it was not.

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