Sunday, 5 June 2011

Alas Poor Simpsons...

So this year in March has seen the 24th anniversary of the Simpsons - who at this time boast of 26 seasons, 486 episodes and a feature-length movie to boot, all the time earning billions and billions and billions of dollars in whatever merchandise Matt Groeing and his crew can come up with next.

.....but at what cost...?

Any long-term Simpsons fan will tell you that the show, the characters and its creativity today are far from their glory days - they've long since scraped through the barrel and have since been digging up dirt. Characters are now stereotypes, continuity has been "restarted" several times over and any couch gag that runs longer than the episode is a sure sign that the writers are, ever so slowly, running out of decent ideas.

The sad fact is that the only way Simpsons is ever going to remembered by was for how far downhill it has run with every new season that is made. More to the point, since Family Guy came on the scene, the Simpsons's attempts at trying to "better" them in terms of cutaway gags and unnecessary shock value is stupefying.

There is a VERY thin line between quality and quantity - look at any short-lived series that lasted only 1 Season, 13 episodes tops. I'd sooner rewatch those over and over again then have more episodes produced and run into the ground, thus losing every inch of the original quality.

And speaking of quality, even the animation has taken major steps back. The original Opening Sequence was the last-remaining speck of good quality the show has ever had, and comparing it to the new version, there's no contest which I prefer.

I am fully aware also that the first few seasons plus the original shorts that aired on The Tracy Ullman Show are not everyone's cup of Joe since they were originally produced and animated by Klasky Csupo - of Rugrats and Duckman fame - which have often been criticised of being "ugly" and "crude".

Personally, going by the current Simpsons in animation and writing - as well as Fox Network having at least 5 shows sharing the same art style and "dysfunctional family" concept - I'd happily settle for "ugly" than "bland" any time in this life.

And just for the Hellavit, here's some screenies of how the Simpsons used to look and act, as well as a selection of some of my favourite Tracy Ullman shorts - ugly they appear, but they're short, sweet and FUN.

Now view a selection of the shots from the brand new playlist!


  1. Here's a classic Tracey Ullman moment I'll never forget!

    Incidentally, the early animators behind those Ullman films during the first couple seasons include Wes Archer, Dave Silverman and Bill "Eek!" Kopp. I bet that twisted pic of Maggie above in your screengrabs was probably one of Bill's scenes.

  2. Chris Sobieniak; Cool! I had no idea those guys worked on the early Simpsons. Might have helped to make this blog post that bit more interesting. Thanks =)