There is a real chance that The simpsons is the greatest phenomenon in the history of script television. After more than three decades on the air, it is the longest running American animated series of all time, the longest running American sitcom of all time, and the longest running American primetime television series of all time. And there are more consequences.
Long-time fans have been complaining for years that the show just isn’t as good as it used to be. That’s a little unfair as there have been some hilarious episodes over the past few seasons. That being said, there are a few things that Golden Age fans are right to miss.
10 The late, great Phil Hartman
Not so long ago, Phil Hartman was one of the greatest rising stars in comedy. He had come from SNL with a lot of positive hype, and for good reason. He was a hilarious person what was like by his work on shows NewsRadio and The simpsons.
Hartman was murdered in 1998, an incredible tragedy. After his death, key characters he talked about The simpsons such as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz were permanently retired. Obviously, the actor’s death was the worst part of it, but the loss of these characters was detrimental to the series.
9 Plot & character about crazy antics
A big part of what drew fans into the series was unique storylines that depended on genre-defining characters that were kind of original and at the same time other people’s caricatures. Putting all of this together might not have been an easy task to say the least.
But a common complaint among fans who have been on board since day one is that the series is now too often prone to wacky antics about character and story. And that’s definitely the case in some situations. At the same time, Homer used to be pretty crazy too.
8th It hadn’t been repeated yet
Perhaps the most impressive achievement there is The simpsons was achieved remained fresh for so long. There is some debate about when the Golden Age ended. Some critics have argued that it was season 12 while others say it already ended in season 9.
Regardless, nine seasons of high quality television are unknown, and twelve are borderline legendary. Now in season 33, some plot points have been reused far too many times, like Homer getting a new job or family going somewhere and causing problems. The Simpsons travel to Atlantis!
7th Conan O’Brien’s days as a writer
One of the biggest stars of late-night television is Conan O’Brien, who recently retired from hosting a regular show to pursue other pursuits. His unique style of comedy and sketching got him on the map while hosting Late night on NBC from 1993 to 2009.
Before that he wrote for SNL from 1987 to 1991 and The simpsons from 1991 to 1993. Although he was obviously not the only one in the writer’s room, he is credited with being responsible for absolute classics like “Marge vs. the Monorail” and “Homer Goes to College”.
6th Less obvious celebrity walk-ons
Celebrity cameos have been a huge part of the series since season one. Dustin Hoffman and Michael Jackson have infamous uncredited cameos in the show’s early days. And some of the best celebrity cameos have been recurring characters, like Kelsey Grammer as the villainous sideshow Bob.
But those cameos have evolved into something a lot less interesting over the past few seasons. Producers will find ways to put random celebrities into an episode instead of making them the least bit necessary to the plot. They tend to stick out like sore, uncomfortable thumbs.
5 It had something to say
If there’s any truth about the first ten seasons of The simpsons that made it a tie, it’s the fact that the series had something to say. There was an ongoing commentary on the culture of the era that made it incredibly relevant.
This is true, to a certain extent, in the modern seasons as well. But it’s kind of less subtle than it was then. And it does so in a much less revealing way, which has not escaped both fans and critics.
4th Less shocking twists
No one will ever claim that the series’ first ten or so seasons had no twists and turns. The real Seymor Skinner returned in season 9. Homer’s half-brother Herb made his season 2 debut. But back then there were few twists and turns.
As the seasons went on, the plos twists became more frequent, more drastic, and much less sensible. The series has reached a point where every relatively important supporting character has gone through a major turn at least once. Moe seems to go through them at least twice a season.
3 Alf Clausen as a serial composer
A big part of what does The simpsons tick is the music. Danny Elfman created the theme song for the series, but it was Alf Clausen who scored the vast majority of the episodes. His tenure began in 1990 and lasted until 2017, when he was unceremoniously dismissed.
Clausen created the audio identity for the series and developed music that is as iconic as the characters themselves. His followers did a perfect job, but it’s not hard to argue that Alf’s run was far superior to Clausen’s run. The score has been noticeably different since he left.
2 Concise comment on pop culture
During the main season of the show, The simpsons more pop culture references crammed into one episode than a Douglas Coupland novel. Somehow the writers and producers got everything working. And they always did it in an interesting way.
The pop culture commentary has been voted way down in recent years, and what’s in it is more open, less insightful, and not as funny. It’s hard to imagine Homer referencing Scar face while guarding a sugar mountain happening today.
1 It was less cartoonish back then
Strange as it sounds The simpsons was much less caricatured in its golden age. Although it was crazy and strange at times, the characters still felt like real people while watching the series.
These days it definitely feels like watching a cartoon. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but transitioning from what it was to what it is has been a difficult transition for some fans. People can argue whether the show is good or bad now, but it’s hard to argue against the notion that the overall mood has changed dramatically.
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