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Time to watch the Simpsons
This fall, I've decided to do something I haven't done in more than ten years: I'm going to watch a full (all-new) episode of the Simpsons.
I distinctly remember the last time I saw the Simpsons: it was 1999 and I was in a Penn State dining hall. It was the one where Mr. Burns masqueraded as a doped-up alien.
When I was at Penn State, the Simpsons was the show. If the Simpsons was on any channel in the lineup back then, every public TV would be showing it (the only exceptions to the rule being football games and this movie). And since I had to eat, and since the dining halls had public TVs, I ended up seeing it pretty often.
Back then I expected maybe three or four more years out of the Simpsons, since it clearly wasn't as good as it had been in the early 90s. At some point I probably uttered something under my breath like, "I'm never watching the Simpons again. Well maybe if it's still on ten years from now (yeah right) I give it another try."
I don't know if I uttered those exact words, but it has been ten years, it's still on, and so I will give it another try.
Looks like seasons typically start around the end of September. I will keep this blog post updated.
I watched the Simpsons on October 3, 2010; first time I watched a full episode in more than a decade. Because I haven't watched it in so long, I am uniquely qualified to assess how well the show is now compared to how it was ten or more years ago, since I am not biased by ten years of new shows in between. Admittedly this is a small sample size, but here's my verdict:
No, it's not as good. The Simpsons characters always seemed to be stereotypes to me and not real people, but now they seem to be nothing more than substrates to carry jokes. Nothing remotely made me go, "Ha, that's so Homer" or "That's so Bart", but I had lots of "Marge being Marge again" moments.
And the show is still using the same old storylines. I'm not sure if I happened to watch the first episode in ten years implying a Lisa/Nelson romance, or if it's a running thing.
Nevertheless I did chuckle a few times, meaning it's still better than a lot of shows out there.
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