Monday, March 28, 2005

Yellow Fever

I like the Simpsons a lot, no doubt. I don't like them enought to watch every fucking syndicated repeat every night like my roomate Joel, but nonetheless I enjoy the Simpsons. For this reason it came as a shock to me that there appears to be a debate in the blogosphere about the supposed "decline of the Simpsons."

Jumping the Shark - a website dedicated to tracking the decline of sitcoms - is the place for quantitative analysis of the show's peak and decline. The website offers a poll where nerds can vote on when they think the show peaked. The top moments/reasons include: Homer getting too stupid (1), the death of Maude Flanders (2), Conan O'Brien leaving the show (7) and Phil Hartman dying (8).

Both Pandagon and Norbizness offer quasi-interesting takes on the data, but I offer the best...always. The Simpsons began with Bart Simpson as the main character - a renegade fourth grader who fourth graders could watch. As we grew the Simpsons grew and now the show's appeal is no longer for a elementary school crowd. This change in audience has allowed the show to change frequently and has kept it running for this however many year stretch. But its ass may be dragging.

The decline is parodied by the South Park episode in which Cartman can't think of a new Simpsons episode, they have all already been used. And its true. What I predict we will see from this tired staff are two trends: 1) More celebrities. Our culture loves them, I want to bang them and they take over the plot of a show. Easy writing and not very funny. 2) More current events. That is why there's that show that has been running for like a hundred years. What's it called again...oh yeah, the news. By talking current events there is always something new and controversial. It is a cop-out that Simpsons writers have been employing lately and that South Park has already mastered. Don't worry though because Aqua Teen Hunger Force will never decline, because I am always high.


Blogger Grotesqueticle said...

Dude, the Simpsons was never a show for fourth graders.
Unlike some of the commenters in both blogs you mentioned, I laughed like a demented idiot when Homer got pounded by the panda. And I wasn't even high, at least not when it originally aired.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simpsons can't really embrace current events since the production time for each episode is approximately one year. They can predict current events and hopefully the topic will be hot in a year. South Park, on the other hand, can get an episode done in two weeks without breaking a sweat.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look im the biggest sinpson reak you will ever meet. I watch it for an hour and a half everyday plus I have all the dvds, but I hate to agree with my brother that they are falling off a bit, though people still watch. So if you dont know there has also been problems with the payroll between Julie Kavner and Nancy Cartright (were getting paid $250,000 per episode and wanted $500,000). Also after 300 something episodes no current events and years of production for 24 episodes a year, its kind of hard to think of ideas.


3:03 PM  

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