Ahoy-hoy there mateys! Fairly warned ye be says I. Yonder post be a matter of opinion and may put wind in yer sails and barnacles in yer treasure chest.
Channeling a little Horatio McCallister today I guess. Probably because I re-watched Season 8, Episode 9: El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer and laughed my pants off at the Sea Captain wrecking a cargo ship full of hot pants at the end.
I watched the episode just to hear Johnny Cash’s voice but the ending is really funny too. It’s often the little cameos that I love the most. Can’t shake a stick at Homer and Marge confirming their status as soulmates, right?
Anywho… that little bit of information actually segways into what I wanted to write about today. On Sunday, our open thread was great as usual. I love all the readers that show up just to comment about life, the universe and everything. One of the comments though really got my brain working.
Reader pkkao (welcome back btw) wrote this little snippet:
“…here’s a question for you guys. A lot of people on the Internet say The Simpsons have been declining in quality, and the newer episodes are “unwatchable,” “boring,” and “terrible.” I still think the new episodes are great. They’re not as amazing as some of the older episodes, but they’re really entertaining and anything but unwatchable. Have you guys seen a decline in the show, or is it as good as ever?”
Wow… isn’t that the age old question for any lover of The Simpsons? Oh, if I could count the times I’ve had this discussion with somebody you’d probably know how many nerdy friends I have that are Simpsons fans. It’s one of those “lightning rod” conversations that all fans of the Best. Show. Ever. eventually have.
Here’s my answer… NO!
To say that The Simpsons has declined in quality is to me like saying Chewbacca is not the most awesome character in the Star Wars universe. It’s simply “inconceivable” and yes that word means what I think it means in this context (some of the comment threads on this site are so much fun). I love the show. New, old, OG, HD, it rocks my socks off. Sure a lot of the older episodes are considered “classics” but so are a lot of old cars.
So allow me to ramble for a bit. My car is a 1985 Chrysler LeBaron. My talented and wonderful mama is the owner of it but for all extensive purposes, the car is mine. When “The Woody” (her name) rolled of the assembly line in 1984, it was a luxury sports car and also marked the return of the convertible. With its turbo engine and wood panels, she was a beauty and anyone who owned one was considered pretty cool. Almost 30 years have passed since my beautiful lady first debuted but today she’s still driving and IMHO, not any less awesome. Sure she looks different than the 80s and is probably driven a little differently. Sure her wood panels are a little faded and there’s a spot of rust on her hood but I wouldn’t change my gorgeous baby for the world. She’s a classic. There’s no point in talking about her glory days. She’s still here, she’s still kicking and no matter what anyone says, she’s cool even in her old age. If you don’t like her, oh well.
Make sense? You picking up what I’m throwing down? I could argue for the venerability of Seasons 1 thru 10 of the show. I could also pull episodes from Season 11 thru 25 I think are “must-sees”. At the risk of being publicly derided, I’m even honest enough to admit there are early episodes I think are just entertaining and not mind-blowing game changers. Most of my arguments for the “oldies” definitely stem from nostalgia for a youth well spent. I’ve grown up with The Simpsons and am so happy both of us are still around. I only wish I was as funny and topical as they continue to be.
Just for giggles, I asked the Little Ewok and my mudder about their opinions on this question. I thought it’d be interesting to get their viewpoints.
xaskingkazx aka my daughter: I prefer the new episodes because of the quality and I understand more of what they talk about because it’s “new-age”. The episodes done in the 80’s and 90’s often have references I don’t catch. I still love old episodes but if I had to choose between new and old, I’d pick the new ones. The Simpsons is probably like my second favorite show ever. Nothing beats Adventure Time. It’s pretty amazing that the show has lasted so long. 25 seasons is a long time. Like almost as old as my Dad. The animation is as good as other cartoons but I doubt any of those could last long as The Simpsons… except Adventure Time. NOTHING BEATS ADVENTURE TIME!
wookieemama: I don’t think they’ve declined in quality. Admittedly, I’m watching all the old and new ones now because I didn’t watch them before but I appreciate the humor of all the episodes. If it wasn’t for my son telling me what is a “classic” vs. new, many times I wouldn’t even know. Sometimes the references are dated enough that I get when it aired and any one can see the differences in animation quality, but I enjoy the satire of American society. That this show has survived in spite of parents like me who thought it should be cancelled is a tribute to the quality of the show and its writers.
Well, that’s me and my family’s two cents. Special thanks to pkkao for the idea. TTFN… Wookiee out!
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