• 104 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
#1 Edited by GristleMcThornbody (162 posts) -

I grew up watching the Simpsons.  In the second grade, 1990, I owned an incredibly controversial sweat shirt with Bart stating "Don't have a cow man!" (I was not allowed to have the still more controversial "Eat my shorts!" t-shirt).   By 2000, when I went to college, I had seen every episode that existed, but was getting progressively disappointed by episodes that followed cliche plots that writers from a few years earlier would have parodied.  Eventually, I got more into Family Guy, which I find intermittently hilarious yet lacking the depth that the Simpsons has achieved at points, as well as a host of adult swim shows, ie Home Movies, Venture Bros, Aqua teen, Sealab etc.  Lately, I've been loving Frisky Dingo and Archer.  
 
But I digress,  recently I watched a relatively new " ret-con flashback" episode of the Simpsons where Homer was in a Nirvana-esque grunge band and Marge was in college.  It was pretty hilarious.  After watching this ep, I remembered that my cousin had mentioned to me that Simpsons has been pretty good these last few seasons.   
 
So back to my question, does anyone else agree that Simpsons hit a low in the early 2000's but has made a comeback the last few years?  If so, can you pinpoint when the change began? I want to get some recent seasons and start catching up.  All opinions welcome. 

#2 Posted by iAmJohn (6127 posts) -

I remember that exact episode and remember how lame I thought it was.

#3 Edited by DeeGee (2140 posts) -

I haven't seen anything since like, season 12.

Have they stopped making every single episode "Homer and Marge have marital trouble, uh oh. Will they break up?" yet?

Oh, and have they stopped with the "We must have a celebrity guest in every episode" agenda? I mean, sure, there were a bunch of celebrities in the show when it was good, but they were spread out and made contextual sense. Not just "Oh look Marge, [celebrity name here], let's have [him/her] [do the thing they're famous for], wouldn't that be great?"

Simon Cowell judging babies for talent, shoot me now.

#4 Posted by yakov456 (1917 posts) -

The Simpsons is all over the place. It just depends on who the writers are for certain episodes. I've noticed way too many culture references lately and political agendas going on. The Simpsons of old had none of that, it was original and creative writing. If they are that out of ideas it's time to stop.

#5 Posted by B0nd07 (1699 posts) -

I wouldn't know. I haven't seen a new episode in a long time. Also, it's "Eat my shorts".

#6 Posted by Vinny_Says (5719 posts) -

I have the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons on DVD, I do not own the rest, guess why. Those 10 can easily be considered as the best sitcom of all time had they been the only seasons made. I have not watched any "recent" Simpsons but I remember that Nirvana episode, I don't recall anything funny about it.
 
I totally had one of those black Bart Simpson shirts, got it in Mexico and had no idea what Bart was saying. I would come home and watch the Simpsons Monday through Friday after school, it was saddening seeing them fall in the end. I can't pinpoint a specific moment but it was in the late 90s/early 2000s.

#7 Edited by GristleMcThornbody (162 posts) -
@B0nd07: Thanks, typing too fast again.
@iAmJohn: I was a teenager in that era so it hit a lot of funny nostalgic moments for me, and I had been drinking.  Nevertheless, to each his own.
#8 Posted by StaticFalconar (4849 posts) -

Simpsons rebounded a bit, but its still never as good as say the first 5, 7, 10 seasons. I just know that I stopped watching it when they had every episode start off with some idea and halfway through, just abandon it for another. 

#9 Posted by CuddlyKnife (83 posts) -

I enjoyed it up to season 14, then it got pretty lame, Milhouse. Thank Jebus for Futurama, the best thing to ever be canceled by Fox. Seriously, Futurama is the show The Simpsons wish it could've grown up to be. Oh Yeah!

#10 Posted by amir90 (2164 posts) -

I have never understood why people tend to overanalyze mature cartoons.
Enjoy and have fun.

#11 Posted by GristleMcThornbody (162 posts) -
@CuddlyKnife: I concur, Futurama, although not always the funniest thing out there, is consistently entertaining from start to finish, seasons after season. 
#12 Posted by PenguinDust (12553 posts) -

"That 90's Show" is the name of the Nirvana-esque show and it's among my least favorite because it completely screws up the timeline in my mind.  I know it's crazy to be put off on such an impossibility to begin with, but after season 8 or 9, anytime they have too strong a reference to the current year (whatever that might be) I feel off center.  Marge and Homer were in high school in the mid 1970's, Bart and Lisa were born in the early 80's, so why are they still so young in this flashback episode?  I can accept one line gags related to current events, but an entire episode?  It disorientates my perspective and disrupts my ability to reason why the family hasn't aged in 20 years.  
 
As for when it became good again, I would say right after the movie; however that only lasted one season and I think it's slipped back to mediocrity again.  It's not the worst cartoon on TV but it's not worth the effort to watch. 

#13 Posted by TobbRobb (4732 posts) -
#14 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

i havent watched a Simpsons episode since last year.  i watched the Vancouver Olympics one and i didnt think it was very good... 

#15 Posted by TobbRobb (4732 posts) -

I think the real question is, when was The Simpsons good?

#16 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

I bought all Simpsons DVDs that's been available in my country and I still think the shows great to watch. It was kinda "mjeh" a couple of season back but I think the last 1-2 seasons have been awesome.

#17 Posted by NickBOTT (481 posts) -

I agree that the Simpsons haven't been good since early 2000, I still can't believe the show is still on!  I remember in the good Simpson days you could describe an episode in a sentence like the Itchy and Scratchyland ep, or the Flaming Moe ep, or the Mr. Plow ep, etc.  These days I would randomly give an episode a chance and the story lines are fucking insane!  They're like, well homer gets some donuts and sees an ad on the box for a chance to win a lifetime supply of Duff beer by competeing in an X-Treme mountain bike tournament so he tells Apu who remembers his childhood days of mountain biking and the two go together to the tournament in Montana.  Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa cover for Homer at the nuclear power plant with the help of Marge who distracts Mr. Burns and Smithers by challenging them to a race across the US.  While racing across the US, Mr. Burns somehow manages to enter the same tournament Homer is in and ends up winning the lifetime supply of Duff beer, only to have it disposed of bc Mr. Burns doesn't drink Duff, D'OH!   Hey I think I can be a writer for the Simpsons!  lol

#18 Posted by GristleMcThornbody (162 posts) -
@PenguinDust: I thought the professor using bullshit philsophy/feminism to seduce Marge was the funniest part of that episode. Freshman intellectualism is always a good target IMO. The fact that timeline is so blatantly false somehow let me still enjoy the episode, even though it ruins "When I was 17"

  
#19 Posted by GilbertMordinAndSullivan (442 posts) -
@TobbRobb: Seasons 2-8 are almost universally accepted as great. Some people will argue for 1, 9, and 10. Beyond that, every season has a defender or two but no season has stood out as being as great as the earlier years. 
#20 Posted by mnzy (2915 posts) -
@TobbRobb said:
I think the real question is, when was The Simpsons good?
Probably before your time if you ask that question, but they were really good in the 90s.
 
I tried watching a few episodes last year and they weren't bad at all but I couldn't get myself to care.
#21 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

I definitely had a shirt with Bart saying both "Don't have a cow man" and "Eat my shirts" (it also said something like, "Raising hell and proud of it"? or something).  
 
Also, double points for Frisky Dingo. Adult Swim's best show. 

#22 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I still think it's better than Futurama. But that's not saying much, in my opinion.

There's so many good animated shows on now, that I just kinda don't care about The Simpsons anymore. I don't know why people turn the quality of it into such a big deal though. They've been on twenty seasons. And they still do pretty good in the ratings. You do the math.

#23 Posted by Korolev (1714 posts) -

It has gotten slightly better over the past 3 or 4 years - it still isn't very good, but it's a long way away from the dreadful years in which nearly every single episode was terrible (Last half of Season 9 till..... well.... Season 18. So.... yeah, nearly half of all Simpsons episodes are pretty bad.

I've only watched a few episodes past Season 14, but most of them have been pretty awful. Even the better recent ones are a pale imitation of the Simpsons at their height (Season 4 to Season 8). I've pretty much given up hope on The Simpsons - there are so many better shows on these days anyway.

#24 Posted by Korolev (1714 posts) -

@NickBOTT said:

I agree that the Simpsons haven't been good since early 2000, I still can't believe the show is still on! I remember in the good Simpson days you could describe an episode in a sentence like the Itchy and Scratchyland ep, or the Flaming Moe ep, or the Mr. Plow ep, etc. These days I would randomly give an episode a chance and the story lines are fucking insane! They're like, well homer gets some donuts and sees an ad on the box for a chance to win a lifetime supply of Duff beer by competeing in an X-Treme mountain bike tournament so he tells Apu who remembers his childhood days of mountain biking and the two go together to the tournament in Montana. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa cover for Homer at the nuclear power plant with the help of Marge who distracts Mr. Burns and Smithers by challenging them to a race across the US. While racing across the US, Mr. Burns somehow manages to enter the same tournament Homer is in and ends up winning the lifetime supply of Duff beer, only to have it disposed of bc Mr. Burns doesn't drink Duff, D'OH! Hey I think I can be a writer for the Simpsons! lol

Yep. This plot is about as lucid as some of the newer simpsons episodes. I remember one particularly egregious episode in which the Simpsons discover a box of animal crackers and it leads them to the most implausible nonsense imaginable. The last straw for me was the Episode in which Marge and Homer join a Meals-on-Wheels service for some stupid reason I can barely remember, and someone end up being convicted of first degree murder and Homer is going to be executed before the whole thing is revealed to be some sort of reality-TV show at the very last minute. I was laughing so hard - not because the show was funny, but because of how low the writers had fallen. That they actually thought that plot was acceptable was beyond belief. After that, I pretty much stopped watching. Oh sure, if a new episode just happened to come on, I'd watch it for a few minutes to see if it make me even smile. They rarely did.

#25 Posted by Agent47 (1900 posts) -
@GristleMcThornbody
@yakov456 said:

The Simpsons is all over the place. It just depends on who the writers are for certain episodes.

Yeah pretty much.I watch it from time to time, they occasionaly have a good episode once in awhile.I mean it's not like The Simpsons isn't any good now.It's just not as good as it used to be.It is still watchable(usually)
#26 Posted by PenguinDust (12553 posts) -
@Korolev said:

....I was laughing so hard - not because the show was funny, but because of how low the writers had fallen. That they actually thought that plot was acceptable was beyond belief. After that, I pretty much stopped watching. Oh sure, if a new episode just happened to come on, I'd watch it for a few minutes to see if it make me even smile. They rarely did.

Yeah, but I have mixed feelings on who's to blame.  The series has over 480 episodes.  At this point they've done every conceivable plot two or three times and now seem to be tossing darts at a storyboard to "write" the next show.  It's too much and with respect deserved from those first 9 or 10 seasons it should to be put to rest.   Besides that opens a time slot for more Seth MacFarlane comedy gold....hurrah.
#27 Posted by TooWalrus (13235 posts) -

@TobbRobb: Well, you're the lucky guy. I've now seen that picture the exact number of time it takes for me to be completely sick of a giantbomb meme. What's it been... a little over a year?

Anyway, Simpson's is OK, and always OK. Family Guy however, has always been garbage. I've been watching a lot of Archer and Metalocyplse lately, they're probably the best cartoons out there that are still in production.

#28 Posted by TooWalrus (13235 posts) -

I was just reading about the latest season of Simpsons, and two things stood out. First, it's only the second season to end on a cliff-hanger, the last time that happened was in 1995, with the episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". I was 5 years old, and I actually remember that episode. In fact, reading that struck me with instant nostalgia, is there a place I can watch old simpsons online without illegally downloading it? Because they don't sell the season old seasons at Best Buy anymore, I don't think. Oh, that second thing. All of the episode titles are crappy puns based on other shows or movies- that's thoroughly depressing.

#29 Posted by chrissedoff (2152 posts) -

you'll never trick me into watching new simpsons episodes

#30 Posted by TobbRobb (4732 posts) -
@TooWalrus: You have no idea how proud I am.
#31 Posted by Swoxx (3003 posts) -

I'm like you, grew up watching it. I don't like it anymore though, I've given it a try a few times but nah :/

#32 Posted by JCTango (1364 posts) -

I haven't watched a single Simpsons episode in almost a decade.  I think I sort of grew bored of the whole thing.. I grew up with Bart and Lisa.. and not seeing them grow up with me, kinda puts me off watching them.  Weird excuse I know, but it feels weird.

#33 Posted by TekZero (2674 posts) -

I haven't stopped watching the Simpsons since they first came on in 1989.  The show has it's great moments and other not so great moments.  But it is still consistently funny and entertaining. 

#34 Posted by Ramone (2975 posts) -

I'm a massive fan of the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons however the new ones have just gotten progressively worse; bad pop-culture references a la Family Guy, weird non-jokes and rehashed plots. It's disappointing but I guess that's what happens if you run for 20+ years

#35 Posted by DAFTPUNK (1213 posts) -

Dragon ball Z bitches! but yes I used to love Simpsons, stopped watching and carried on watching Futurama, and south park, Randy and Bender have to be one of the funniest characters in cartoon history.

#36 Edited by MegaMetaTurtle (414 posts) -

@GristleMcThornbody:

Season 12 was the last good season until season 20/21, according to general consensus.

Still, the fact I keep forgetting about one of the shows that I was a massive fan of when I was younger, and own all seasons of on DVD up to 12, is quite depressing :(

#37 Posted by MisterChief (832 posts) -

I can't watch new episodes because it just fills me with murderous rage.

#38 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -
@iAmJohn said:

I remember that exact episode and remember how lame I thought it was.

Just what I was going to say.  It didn't even make sense with what we've been told about their past before and was just an all round terrible episode.  Amongst those that really pushed me away from the show.
#39 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I also grew up watching The Simpsons. I still remember being excited for the Christmas special that was the first episode after being a fan of the shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show. I'm not as old as you might think, my parents just didn't mind me watching stuff like that. As a young kid I'm guessing The Simpsons segments were some of the few that I understood the jokes in and I liked the animation.
 
I don't think I missed a single episode from the first 10 seasons or so and when syndicated episodes starting playing in evening on multiple channels I would watch all of them. However, once the seasons hit the double digits I noticed the quality slipping. I no longer cared if I caught the episodes when they were on. It may have been me losing interest or just because I was older and had more going on socially. I'd tape them and watch the next day. Soon, the next day became sometime that week. Then, I'd start getting two or three episodes behind before catching up. After a couple of years I just stopped caring. 
 
Now I only watch episodes occasionally. I got rid of cable a couple of years ago and watch most of my TV through Hulu. The Simpsons isn't even one of the shows I subscribe to. I still watch a couple of episodes per season, but they never do anything for me.

#40 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -
@GristleMcThornbody
The Simpsons died a LONG time ago. 
#41 Posted by iAmJohn (6127 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

@iAmJohn said:

I remember that exact episode and remember how lame I thought it was.

Just what I was going to say. It didn't even make sense with what we've been told about their past before and was just an all round terrible episode. Amongst those that really pushed me away from the show.

Even the "Sonic sez: wait until marriage" joke from that episode that made the internet rounds for a while was dumb. :\

#42 Posted by TekZero (2674 posts) -

In my opinion, the Simpsons never stopped being good. 

#43 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4827 posts) -

The Simpsons was never good. I've never liked it, yet do you know how many pairs of fucking Homer Simpson socks/underwear I get given every Christmas? I have NO IDEA why people think I like it. I never watch it, never talk about, yet still the socks keep coming!

#44 Posted by lord_canti (1517 posts) -

in my opinion since the movie its been slowly creeping back up to being pritty good

#45 Edited by MattyFTM (14417 posts) -

I don't think The Simpsons ever got bad. It just got a bit repetitive & it fell into one or two clichés. It was still quite funny & entertaining. The problem is people holding more recent episodes up to the high standards of the early ones. It was never going to be that great forever. And when it stopped being that great, it was still decent, but people couldn't see that because they were comparing it to earlier episodes. If you take each episode on its own & don't compare it to others, there are very few bad episodes of the Simpsons. They've all got laughs and can be entertaining.

Moderator
#46 Posted by Surkov (992 posts) -

The last episode I enjoyed was when they went to Japan, and that was Season 13. 

#47 Posted by AndyAce83 (118 posts) -

The Episode where Maude Flanders dies is the episode I decided The Simpsons has become *bleep*. An important background character dies, and they stir no emotion just "laughs". They stopped caring about their characters, so did I

#48 Posted by Surkov (992 posts) -
@AndyAce83 said:
The Episode where Maude Flanders dies is the episode I decided The Simpsons has become *bleep*. An important background character dies, and they stir no emotion just "laughs". They stopped caring about their characters, so did I
No foot-longs
#49 Posted by MightyDuck (1523 posts) -
@GilbertMordinAndSullivan
 
Well said.  I have season 8 on DVD and I think it is my favorite.  It seems as if the Simpsons have been bad longer now then they have been good.  I guess that's what happens when you're on tv that long though.
#50 Posted by AndyAce83 (118 posts) -
@Surkov said:
No foot-longs   

I needed to Google that reference, that's how bad the Simpsons had become ;-)