It was at its best when the plots were somewhat grounded in reality, when you could actually feel emotional about what was happening or relate to it. Now they're just daft and relying on cheap laughs or celeb cameos.
The Simpsons Is Still Funny - Pt. 1
The Simpsons isn't bad, you just grew up.
Dear Bob, I agree with you (so hell must have frozen over)... ok so I've agreed with you before and hell is still a fiery domain of suffering and pain known still as New Jersey...
But I digress. I love the Simpsons, and I always have. The semi-self aware knowledge it has combined with the fact that it hasn't succumbed to what I'm calling "Generation Irony" syndrome (in that all comedy shows must be totally awkward an ironic to be funny) makes it one of the greats. Sure not every show will be comedy gold, thats the downside of a season thats been running since I was IN GRADE SCHOOL (I'm 31 by the way).
The other thing I noticed a long while back, and having been in a private Christian School at the time, out of all the TV shows on mainstream TV (Cable or Broadcast) the Simpsons are the only show that the family actively visits church on the notion that it is a PART of their lives, and something that holds meaning to them. This fact was actually pointed out to me by a Christian newsletter (I'm paraphrasing) that stated The Simpsons are the forefront of otherwise secular TV shows that actually portrays a family going to church and believing in God, and not mocking the religion (well too much anyway). Sure the stereotypes are there, Bart tends to cause mischief (who can for get the ever famous "In agadda da vita" hymnal vignette). But all in all, according to the article, despite their dysfunctional tendencies, the Simpsons are a model of a good church going family. They sing along with hymns, show devotion to Jesus and the Lord and even pray in multiple episodes. And none of this is done in the spirit of irony or making fun of religion, something no other "adult-style" cartoon has done.
While I am not a fanatical Christian (in fact I'm non-denominational who doesn't attend church but practices his religion in his own manner) I do tend to agree with that article.
Despite the dysfunctional nature of the Simpsons, they are a (semi-satirical) model of what a family should be. Loving parents who dote on their children without spoiling the hell out of them, instilling (attempting to at least) family values and allowing their kids to pursue their own interest with little interference with only some corrective guidance and constructive criticism (and sometimes constructive punishment).
I know the latter half of the series has stepped up their humorous aspect and dropped some of their more serious notes in the spirit of competition with shows like Family Guy, but I believe the core essense of the Simpsons is that they ARE the American family. Dysfunctional sometimes, but loving caring and well meaning.
But that Lisa Simpson is a total bitch and I'd never in million years date her if she were of legal age cuz she's just the adolescent version of a hipster wannabe.
Theres my two cents, go buy yourself a clue... oh yeah inflation, here's a nickel.
I still make a habit of watching every new episode, but even the Treehous of Horror didn't do it for me this year.
Uh you sure the recent Treehouse of Horror was because of The Simpsons' being over exposed and not because of the plain fact that it had nothing to do with Halloween and was just basically The Simpsons making a bunch of bad movie parodies that felt like Friedberg and Seltzer were hired to write the scripts? Because that was my problem with it.
As much as I love The Simpsons, I can't deny that it sucks now. Mainly Season 15 is where I stopped laughing. I believe it was whoever was writing Homer decided he needed to be more unnecessarily obnoxious that did it. Or if it not that, then whoever writes the god awful dialog Marge got regularly saddled with.
example: Marge: "Bart, run like the wined!"
Lisa: "Mom, it's wind."
Marge: "Well I've only read it in books."
I'm sorry, but I'm supposed to laugh at that? Other than the movie, Season 14 is where I'll inevitably cut myself off in terms of DVDs as that was the last good season in my opinion.
So it was like... a reverse MLP:FiM? Made for adults, but loved by kids?
Oh for christ's sake, I hate these arguments about the Simpsons because everybody always over-complicates absolutely everything. If you still enjoy the Simpsons, good for you, but at one point it was an absolute triumph of entertainment and now it's average at best.
So why is it bad now? It's not because they ran out of decent stories or they jammed it full of pop-culture references or that the characters got too cartoony or because the art style isn't as interesting as it used to be - all that stuff happened a good three or four seasons before it really started to suck - the only real problem with it now is that the jokes are badly executed. That's all there is to it. Am I pissed off that the new writers are always shitting all over the characters I love? Of course! I miss the smart character drama but I'm also not such a die-hard fan that I can't see a good joke when it's staring me in the face.
I watch new episodes fairly often, and yeah there's the occasional good gag, but 90% of the time they completely miss their mark. They deliver the punch line at the wrong time or they overdo it or they don't give a big gag enough space to play out. Whatever the problem is, the result is that I'm barely laughing anymore. I agree with Bob that you can't top the nostalgia that comes with loving a series for the vast majority of your life but the fact is that every single episode of the Simpsons used to deliver 5 fantastic jokes every minute and these days you're lucky if you get five in a whole episode.
So yeah maybe the Simpsons is still funny, but it certainly isn't anywhere near as consistent.
The problem is: South Park, Futurama (specially Futurama), in this day and age, all these shows are better Simpsons than the Simpsons.
Is basically the same than compare Tim Burton's Batman with The Dark Knight.
Any mention of Futurama? Would like to here what you have to say about that.
Because I think it's the best show on TV, or will be until Arrested Development comes back.
I always loved The Simpsons and I agree with Bob that the first few seasons were great, if not awesome. Here in my country, Fox broadcasts 3 random episodes of The Simpsons every day, except for saturdays and then in sundays, it's new episode time.
I watch it almost everyday, with episodes wildly jumping from older seasons to newer ones and I still greatly enjoy the older ones and just like Bob said, some of them just got better over time. I still enjoy the one where Bart steals a videogame, that almost happened to me (long story) and I still feel that episode is very personal for me.
And yes, the Apple references are just lame.
I mean...the episodes were legit worse for a while because many of the good writers were working on the movie, which is pretty funny. Furthermore, as someone who, while in college, went back and watched many episodes from all the seasons, I can say that, while recent seasons have a lot of good episodes, there are far more worse ones now than there was in the first several seasons. The main things are homer and Bart can be annoying. They seem to be aiming those two characters at a younger audience (I think they've admitted to doing as much), which sucks because they are the best when they are at their most sincere. But still, I will agree, it is still funny show.
You know, I think a lot of the specific point's Bob used here could have "The Simpsons" replaced with "Final Fantasy" and it would explain a lot of how fandom treats JRPGs now.
The problem with the simpsons is that it's never really brought anything new to the table in terms of the setting or the characters.. and so as the same old chaarcters in the same old places are forced into more and more ludicrous situtaions, inevitably it will get boring.
So yes Bob; its has stayed consistant... but consistancy is boring when applyed over a long enough time period.
For example; If I played you an absolutley fantastic song once a week for 23 years, even with slight variations, you can't tell me you wouldn't get bored of it.
The Simpsons has been on for too long for it to stay funny without adding something new, and this is a problem which could potentially effect any sitcom running for as long as this one has.
I feel Moviebob is overlooking the all-too-prevalent problem The Simpsons has had in the last decade in that the characters have, ironically (being cartoon characters) become less human. The Springfield world itself has become less based in reality and so the more fanciful jokes are lost where before they would have been more out of place, and therefore more funny. No one acts like real people, where before the humour came from observations of real life and realistic people, and how they react to situations, these days it's about as realistic in scope as Spongebob.
Another problem is most of the characters also became less sympathetic and more mean spirited, and the jokes became more crude and adult, sure the old episodes had some of that, but far more subdued compared to the latest ones. Everyone besides Lisa has become more stupid and she's become alot more prominent, but also less likeable, presenting a Soapbox character who mainly exists to spout the views of the writers rather than a character who acts like an 8 year old girl.
I sometimes see an older episode I hadn't seen before (Picture quality as an age guide) and find it funny but then the next episode will be a new one and it just isn't that funny, the stories have gone the way of Family Guy (Which is a crap show, by the way) and pretty much just does self-parody now; it's just not funny anymore, that or dems young whippersnapper kids have terrible senses of humor.