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I've Had Enough, How About You?
on January 19, 2012
I wouldn't exactly say that The Simpsons have jumped the shark. It's not like they've gone off in strange new directions that have caused the show to lose its original appeal. They haven't. In fact, the show itself is pretty much as it ever was. Maybe that's the problem. I don't know. But what I can tell you for certain is that these days I do have trouble making it through the whole episode. I mean that literally. Increasingly, I find myself just erasing these things half-watched. Often I find that I'd actually rather watch an old "classic" repeat.
Perhaps, after twenty-two seasons, it really is the sheer lack of change that's the problem. After keeping the main characters in what has essentially been a holding pattern for almost all of that time, we seem finally to have reached the point where each new episode is now _all_ about the wacky premise. "What if Homer... " or "How about if Krusty... ". You get the idea. This kind of thing is fine so far as it goes. But when that's truly all there is to a show, something's missing.
I remember back when Bart swore that "as God is my witness, I can pass the fourth grade!" I can't help but think that it's way past time to finally allow him to make good on that pledge. I also find that I can't help but think of Troy McClure's famous rhetorical question: "Who knows what adventures they'll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?" My great fear is that that's really the way The Simpsons are going to end. Which would be genuinely very sad. Or at least, I certainly think so.
Fundamentally, to whoever's calling the shots here, I'd say simply this: I'm bored. I've had enough. Please quit while you're still at least respectably close to being on top, or else have the guts to take some real risks with this show. Let the core characters - the Simpsons themselves - actually develop a bit. Bring in some CHANGE for heaven's sake!
For the first time in a long, long while, you might even try surprising us.
As God is my witness, you can get past the fourth grade.