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A Seth Pohorence Pop-Ed: It's Time to Retire 'The Simpsons'

I know that recently I voiced my opinions on one of FOX’s best shows: Bob’s Burger’s. Once again, my friends, I need to get on my animated TV soap box, but this time with a call to action. I want us to force the ending to The Simpsons.

If you remember that Bob’s Burger’s Pop-Ed, I pretty much mentioned that FOX’s Animation Domination is filled with tired, old animated shows that have overstayed their welcome. While I've absolutely abhorred Family Guy since its return, I am puzzled to see The Simpsons still on the airwaves.

I love The Simpsons, well I mean, I loved the golden era of The Simpsons. Once upon a time, let’s say the 1990s, FOX revolutionized TV with the reintroduction of a primetime cartoon aimed at adults and, honestly, families. As a kid growing up in that era, my highlights each week were little league games, weekends and The Simpsons. Now as an adult, I wished they would just terminate the program.

Ever since I hit puberty and actually came to understand comedic writing, I saw the elements that made The Simpsons ironically wholesome. The show was grounded to a realistic idea. It was the first show that allowed Americans to admit that our families are messed up, but no matter what, we persevere. I didn’t say we win, like it’s an episode of The Brady Bunch. Not all dads are architects living in sunny California with artificial grass backyards. We have dads who are terribly flawed. Our moms have ulterior motives for things. Yet when pressed in a tough spot, the Simpsons would always pull through, not for the benefit of the audience but to survive as a family.

I still catch the occasional episode now and then, and I still run through all the jokes, set ups and references, like a computer running a diagnostic check. All that I see and hear in those 22 minutes is a tired hackneyed sitcom that happens to be animated. The jokes are now watered-down and topical to help keep them relevant. The characters have suffered too. The Simpsons characters had their quirks, but they were always tethered to a middle ground. Now it feels like they are robots used to help set up weak lines and jokes. The numerous secondary characters that inhabit Springfield have lost their touch as well. I loved reading that Matt Groening created them to add more depth to the show because it worked for SCTV. That’s true — the townspeople added color plus provided richer and more creative storylines through the show’s run. Now the origins of many characters make them obsolete, and you see these diluted versions essentially reduced to catchphrases that the show fought in its early life.

With a wide cast of characters came the guest voices. At first, the show used celebrities to voice unique characters. Now, whenever celebrities are on, it’s mainly a lame cameo. Ugh, in the old world of The Simpsons, a cameo was never central to a main story plot. Now cameos are bandied about to prolong tangent jokes.

Seeing the show in a state like this reminds me so much of a legendary athlete, playing well beyond his time. You remember the athlete for being invincible, yet he continues on as merely a worthless filler piece to a fuller team. The Simpsons no longer fill a need in our TV lives. Our friends from Evergreen Terrace need to retire and fade away into our memories and DVD sets.
A Seth Pohorence Pop-Ed: It's Time to Retire 'The Simpsons' Reviewed by Seth Pohorence on 1/15/2014 Rating: 5

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