The Last of the Great Simpsons

2011 March 23

A few months ago, I picked up Seasons 7-9 of The Simpsons on DVD for $14 each. It is somewhere in these seasons that the greatest cartoon to air on television lost its infallible tag. Some people see Seasons 3-7 as the absolute golden age of the show, with others extending it to Season 8. Eye on Springfield, pretty much the official unofficial site of The Simpsons, claims Seasons 1-9 as the time “when it was still funny.” Slowly going through the episodes again once I created a digital library by ripping Seasons 1-6, I’ll say the show didn’t really get funny until its third season. The first season is way too wholesome for my modern irreverent tastes (remember, these episodes are over twenty years old), and the second season features a show that still hasn’t hit its stride.

I’ve only gotten through the fourth season when it comes to my comprehensive re-watch, but just looking at the titles of the fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons I see a multitude of classic titles. Even Season 8 has its share of memorable episodes. Looking at Season 9, I’m not sure I remember too much after the premiere “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” — an episode which would obviously stick in the head of a native of New York (State). I’m sure this will change once I get around to finishing my now complete collection of worthwhile seasons of the show.

So when I resume my oft-interrupted marathon, I look forward to spotting GIF-able moments and scientifically calculating the season which first hinted at the long, long decline that has lasted longer than anyone could have imagined. It’s a decaying process that has created a terrible monster that resides on Sunday nights on FOX. If The Simpsons are Law and Order, Family Guy is SVU, American Dad is Criminal Intent, and The Cleveland Show is Los Angeles. This analogy is really unfair to Law and Order, but it’ll have to do.

In the meanwhile, I put up a poll to see what my five readers think. I refuse to vote until I’ve watched all my episodes.

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