Count me as one of the legion of former Simpsons fanatics. I can quote most every episode of the first 7-8 seasons. I still do so quite often. But over the past 5-6 years I’ve gradually stopped watching the new episodes. In fact, I haven’t seen a first-run Simpsons in over 3 seasons. So the arrival of The Simpsons feature-length movie is a non-event for me.
Ian Jones, writing in the Guardian, pretty much nails the decline of a once great TV series. The “Rise and Fall of a Comic Genius”
True, a long-running series has to evolve. Nobody would expect Simpsons episodes to still be solely about Lisa getting a pony or Bart failing a school exam. But, in the second decade of its life, The Simpsons evolved into a dreadfully predictable monster. With each new series came the same questions. Which foreign country will the family just happen to end up visiting this time? Which pop star will the family just happen to encounter while there? And what unsubtle bit of physical violence will Homer be subjected to en route? Contract leprosy, perhaps; get raped by a panda; or maybe get his head trapped between two halves of a lowering drawbridge?
This was change all right, but change as an excuse for idiocy. It was desperately disheartening for those who cherished and loved the show’s early years. Watching Homer hold forth on the topless women he’d seen on holiday in Florida, or Marge accidentally getting breast implants, you wanted everything to be revealed as a huge wind-up, or a cunning satire on trashy TV. But there was no hidden agenda. What you saw was what you got: a base, repetitive, unfunny cartoon.
The show has been ruined for me for many years. Everything that made the show great has been lost for a long time, replaced with “a base, repetitive, unfunny cartoon.” The “raped by a panda” scene is the series low point by a mile. I despise that scene so much that I cannot bear to hear Hank Azaria’s voice anymore because of his play-by-play narration of the, eh, courtship of a male panda by Homer in a panda suit. “Yep, he’s doing the Lindy Hop…” Damn, just thinking about it makes my blood boil.
I don’t even care about the movie and I doubt I ever see it. Does anyone really believe it will be any good?
This writer thinks so. Although based on the following statement, I remain unconvinced:
In short, it looks like The Simpsons Movie is going to be worth the wait. Still sceptical? Consider that this joke, revealed by Groening, didn’t make the movie, as Bart inadvertently gets stuck in an Egyptian sarcophagus:
Marge: “Homer, get him out of there!”
Homer: “Honey, he has to get over his fear of coffins one day.”
Excited? Based on that “joke,” not in the least.