The Actual Simpsons Thread (But everyone finally got over their Steamed Hams thing.)

Yeah it’s true they’d be fucked from the 2008 recession for instance

Oh hold on is that the lesbian reveal episode?

yeah Patty almost gets married to a women but it turns out to be a man

Absolutely would have been one of the ones to lose their houses in the mortgage crunch. Homer would’ve become deeply embittered and be a full-on MAGA boomer in the present day.

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Jesus is that how that ends? Christ.

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My two-pennyworth. It’s easy to score cheap points off the Simpsons for being problematic, especially old Simpsons, but people should try and consider where it started. Looking at with the hindsight of 700 (!) episodes gives its own bias. It was a 2 minute section on the Tracy Ullman show in the late 80s, which became a series in its own right. In all likelihood it would last a season, two at most. The show was about the Simpson family, with a stay-at-home mum and a working dad, and that was entirely normal. It wasn’t about the other characters, they were stereotypes (Apu, Krusty, Smithers) because they kind of had to be, they had to take shortcuts to flesh them out because there was no time to work them in as fully fledged characters. And really there was no need to because there would be plenty to work with with just the Simpsons for a couple of series before everyone moved on. Except….

Success meant expanding the remit and the stereotypes gradually had to become characters, but their origins couldn’t be erased. I would argue that Apu in particular actually became so much more than he might have been although the likes of Flanders went the other way. A lot of the treatment of what you could count as sensitive issues wasn’t especially sensitive, but it was still just a stupid cartoon show which wasn’t expected to be a bastion of progression, not the 30 year cultural behemoth it became. The most damning criticism to me was their reaction to criticism of Apu, instead of trying to move with the times and listen to genuine criticism, making relatively simple and minor changes, they doubled down – as was the style at the time.

There’s also plenty of individual episodes which are definitely problematic in their own right and I’ve got no problem with people pulling up episodes like the one @ttf mentions above.

The family model does also look very weird these days, but all solutions to that are unsatisfactory. Should Marge go to work? Well it fundamentally changes the show now and in hindsight, and if you want realism, Marge should be 70 by now. Should they leave it as it is? Well it looks more and more out of touch if you do. It’s just an occupational hazard of having a show run for 30+ years. The further they get away from those beginnings, the more anachronistic the whole show appears and the most sensible option would have been to end it after series 9, which thank god they did.

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i’m a big fan of classic era simpsons, dont think it is a case of scoring points off of pointing out problematic stuff, its more that I dont like it when people put other stuff down and give simpsons a pass because it is a better programme, like friends gets a lot of stick for being problematic, simpsons is just as bad. dont think that cancels out the good stuff about it, best bit of the simpsons is the absurdist humour and the wordplay, and real character based moments, rather than the broad stereotypes and cheap jokes. simpsons is a mixture of good and bad

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Hank Scorpio episode is on ch4 now

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