the simpsons rewatch

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“Oh Captain Janeway, your mission ended too soon! TOO SOOOON!!!”

*cries and runs out of room*

last month i decided to start rewatching the simpsons (well, okay, i’d never seen a lot of these episodes before, my dad and i used to rent season box sets and watch a handful of episodes from each season back in 2006-2007) and now i’m on season 4 and here are some miscellaneous thoughts

  • i forgot how clever the opening is. it conveys everything you need to know about the simpsons family in a little over a minute without lyrics
  • season 2 was surprisingly straightforward, like there were some really funny parts but it was mostly a pretty realistic show about an average american family. a ton of early episodes revolve around the family’s financial problems and bart’s performance in school
  • many early episodes have their plots set in motion by mr. burns
  • danny devito plays homer’s brother multiple times
  • i forgot that martin is about as important as milhouse and more important than nelson. nobody talks about martin
  • season 3’s premiere guest starred michael jackson and that’s pretty clearly the episode where the simpsons begins to morph into what it is today
  • the couch gags started getting WEIRD in season 4, before then the family would just fall off the couch or santa’s little helper would hog the couch or whatever
  • there have always been a lot of pop culture references, but the earlier ones largely focused on, like. classic works. a clockwork orange, poe, lots of hitchcock. the big references were rarely topical, unlike today’s simpsons, and if anything they just made the show seem more cultured in a weird way
  • basically every adult in the show is apathetic towards their job and a LOT of the humor comes from the adults of springfield being awful at and/or disinterested in what they do. the only real exceptions i can think of are marge (obviously) and ned flanders, who at this point in the series is still a really genuinely kind person
  • since almost every side character appears while doing their job this makes the show WAY more cynical than i remembered. it’s basically a show about homer, marge, bart, and lisa struggling to live their lives against a backdrop of a world that’s largely out to get them, or at least a world that’s set up for them to fail repeatedly due to every adult other than marge and ned flanders being a total jackass. of course that makes bart and lisa more likeable by totally justifying their rebellious attitudes, and that’s probably part of the reason why the show took off with gen x
  • they made fun of abc’s dinosaurs
  • homer really is getting meaner and stupider every season