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View Poll Results: When Did The Simpsons Lose It's Spark/Soul?
Season One 1 1.30%
Season Two 0 0%
Season Three 1 1.30%
Season Four 0 0%
Season Five 1 1.30%
Season Six 1 1.30%
Season Seven 3 3.90%
Season Eight 5 6.49%
Season Nine 11 14.29%
Season Ten 7 9.09%
Season Eleven 5 6.49%
Season Twelve 4 5.19%
Season Thirteen 5 6.49%
Season Fourteen 5 6.49%
Season Fifteen 2 2.60%
Season Sixteen 0 0%
Season Seventeen 0 0%
Season Eighteen 0 0%
Season Nineteen 0 0%
Season Twenty 1 1.30%
Season Twenty-One 0 0%
The Simpsons Is Still Good 25 32.47%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 14 2009, 12:21 PM   #1
J. Allen
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The Simpsons

I'm sitting here watching Season Two of The Simpsons, and I'm remembering just how much I love these characters, and how that fondness is pretty much non-existent when I see new episodes on television today.

So when did it end for you? When did The Simpsons lose that spark? For me, it happened around Season 10. After that, the characters started changing to the point where they were nothing like their former selves. Now, I can watch any episode from Seasons 1 to 10 and thoroughly enjoy them (although my absolute favorite seasons are 2 to 7). I have no interest in purchasing Season 12 (I bought Season 11 because it had a couple of great episodes).

So vote in the poll and drop your comments here.
What do you think?

J.
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Old November 14 2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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Re: The Simpsons

I still enjoy the show today but the golden years ended around Season 8/9/10, who can remember anymore. Also, the first three years or so weren't very funny and the animation was truly terrible.
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Old November 14 2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: The Simpsons

J. Allen wrote: View Post
I'm sitting here watching Season Two of The Simpsons, and I'm remembering just how much I love these characters, and how that fondness is pretty much non-existent when I see new episodes on television today.
That's funny. I was channel surfing and was then so delighted to catch an old episode of the Simpsons that I sat down and watched the double bill. Part of me had forgotten how wholly and how completely I had once loved this series - there may not be a single other comedy show ever I've enjoyed as much as the Simpsons in their prime.

I'd say that things more or less entered a slide around season 10 or so. The show didn't just become bad, it merely slowly rotted into becoming less and less good, an incremental decrease that withered the series year after year. I think I realised the series had passed over the hill when I watched the episode where there was a joke about Dr. Frink and his robo-spider (don't remember the name or any of the other jokes, but it just felt so stale all of a sudden).

I only have season six on DVD, but I do revisit it occasionally. That for me was the pinnacle of the show.

Maybe I'll get season seven sometime, because "You Only Move Twice" and Hank Scorpio was some of the funniest stuff the show ever did (and maybe season four, because of, naturlich, "Last Exit to Springfield"). There was one joke in the former episode that for years could send me and other fans into conniptions of laughter just by mentioning it:

"You ever see a man say goodbye to his shoes?"
"Yes, once."

Eh. Doesn't seem so funny anymore, I'm afraid.
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Old November 14 2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Re: The Simpsons

The Simpsons is still good, but it does lack the heart it used to have. I think that heart was Brad Bird at work, and after he left the show it started to fade away. But I am no expert on the inner-workings of the show, could be wrong.
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Old November 14 2009, 03:11 PM   #5
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Re: The Simpsons

It was never the same after Phil Hartman died. Seemed like the show lost its soul.
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Old November 14 2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: The Simpsons

When I chat with another fan, or even someone with even more than a passing familiarity, you almost always share and recognize quotes from the 90s. Since then the show remains a fixture, but very little is still memorable for anyone.

Dental plan!
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Old November 14 2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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Re: The Simpsons

I still find it hard to believe that its been more than 20 years!!!!

I think i still love them because its timeless in a way, the animation and the underlying butt of their jokes may change, but in the end its still the same old Bart or Homer, etc.

and now, just for old times sake DO THE BARTMAN!!!!
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Old November 14 2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: The Simpsons

After looking at the episode listings on wikipedia I'd say that season 8 was very solid and season 9 is when the rot began to set in. That was the first season where two or three episodes weren't just unfunny, they were anti-funny, trying so hard to be funny that it was actually annoying. I agree with Kegg that is was a very gradual process, so season 9 was still very good overall, and while the number of anti-funny episodes grew each year I'd still say that seasons 10-12 were good. Season 13 seemed to be the point where the good episodes were too average to outweigh the badness of the growing anti-funny episodes, but I still watched it for the occasional magnificent outing. Season 17 was the point where I gave up, it clearly wasn't going to recover and I didn't have the time to spend half an hour a week on a show I was finding more annoying than amusing.
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Old November 14 2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: The Simpsons

The show was at its best through the end of the seventh season. The eighth season is also fairly strong, and is the last one I own on DVD. The decline, for me, started in the ninth, and the show now in no way resembles what it used to be, at least not in the ways that matter.
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Old November 14 2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: The Simpsons

it HAS actually been about 3 or 4 years since i've pro-actively gotten myself to the tv on a sunday night just to watch a new episode.

on the flip side of that though, th 6pm daily rerun IS the point at which i usually turn on the tv for my habitual daily zombie-time routine... lol
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Old November 14 2009, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: The Simpsons

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I still enjoy the show today but the golden years ended around Season 8/9/10, who can remember anymore. Also, the first three years or so weren't very funny and the animation was truly terrible.
I found that Season 2's animation wasn't bad. I think we're just used to the spit and polish it has today. King of the Hill had the same problems at first.

Kegg wrote: View Post
That's funny. I was channel surfing and was then so delighted to catch an old episode of the Simpsons that I sat down and watched the double bill. Part of me had forgotten how wholly and how completely I had once loved this series - there may not be a single other comedy show ever I've enjoyed as much as the Simpsons in their prime.

I'd say that things more or less entered a slide around season 10 or so. The show didn't just become bad, it merely slowly rotted into becoming less and less good, an incremental decrease that withered the series year after year. I think I realised the series had passed over the hill when I watched the episode where there was a joke about Dr. Frink and his robo-spider (don't remember the name or any of the other jokes, but it just felt so stale all of a sudden).

I only have season six on DVD, but I do revisit it occasionally. That for me was the pinnacle of the show.

Maybe I'll get season seven sometime, because "You Only Move Twice" and Hank Scorpio was some of the funniest stuff the show ever did (and maybe season four, because of, naturlich, "Last Exit to Springfield"). There was one joke in the former episode that for years could send me and other fans into conniptions of laughter just by mentioning it:

"You ever see a man say goodbye to his shoes?"
"Yes, once."

Eh. Doesn't seem so funny anymore, I'm afraid.
Oh man, Season 7 is one of my favorite seasons. I just finished watching Season 5's "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" and it's so much fun, I just have a blast with that one.

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
The Simpsons is still good, but it does lack the heart it used to have. I think that heart was Brad Bird at work, and after he left the show it started to fade away. But I am no expert on the inner-workings of the show, could be wrong.
I agree. I think the heart of the show is missing. There were Simpsons episodes that would literally bring me to tears, they were so touching and you could really feel the emotion that was put into it. I haven't felt that way with a "new" episode in a long, long time.

BillJ wrote: View Post
It was never the same after Phil Hartman died. Seemed like the show lost its soul.
Phil Hartman was the greatest. So many characters, so much fun. You miss Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, and all the other great voices he did. What a terrible loss.

jkladis wrote: View Post
When I chat with another fan, or even someone with even more than a passing familiarity, you almost always share and recognize quotes from the 90s. Since then the show remains a fixture, but very little is still memorable for anyone.

Dental plan!
I love it because you're right. You say "Dental plan!" and Lenny's voice pops up right away, with Marge's "Lisa needs braces!" "Dental plan!" "Lisa needs braces!" "Dental plan!".

AnyStar wrote: View Post
I still find it hard to believe that its been more than 20 years!!!!

I think i still love them because its timeless in a way, the animation and the underlying butt of their jokes may change, but in the end its still the same old Bart or Homer, etc.

and now, just for old times sake DO THE BARTMAN!!!!
Everybody if you can, do the Bartman!

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
After looking at the episode listings on wikipedia I'd say that season 8 was very solid and season 9 is when the rot began to set in. That was the first season where two or three episodes weren't just unfunny, they were anti-funny, trying so hard to be funny that it was actually annoying. I agree with Kegg that is was a very gradual process, so season 9 was still very good overall, and while the number of anti-funny episodes grew each year I'd still say that seasons 10-12 were good. Season 13 seemed to be the point where the good episodes were too average to outweigh the badness of the growing anti-funny episodes, but I still watched it for the occasional magnificent outing. Season 17 was the point where I gave up, it clearly wasn't going to recover and I didn't have the time to spend half an hour a week on a show I was finding more annoying than amusing.
There was a general decline. I personally feel like Season 10 is where it's the most notable. I wasn't going to buy Season 11 at all, but my completism won out. I have restrained myself from buying 12, because I'm going to wait until more seasons come out and buy them used and very cheap. I doubt if I'll watch them very much, though.

Goji wrote: View Post
The show was at its best through the end of the seventh season. The eighth season is also fairly strong, and is the last one I own on DVD. The decline, for me, started in the ninth, and the show now in no way resembles what it used to be, at least not in the ways that matter.
Oh, definitely. Season 8 had "In Marge We Trust" with Homer and the Mr. Sparkle ad. I love that episode. Bart's "Yep, there's your answer, fishbulb."

AnyStar wrote: View Post
it HAS actually been about 3 or 4 years since i've pro-actively gotten myself to the tv on a sunday night just to watch a new episode.

on the flip side of that though, th 6pm daily rerun IS the point at which i usually turn on the tv for my habitual daily zombie-time routine... lol
I don't even really pay attention anymore. I watched the Halloween Special, Treehouse of Horror XX, but it was only mildly amusing at best. I can go back and watch Treehouse of Horror V and giggle myself into fits.

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Old November 14 2009, 05:26 PM   #12
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Re: The Simpsons

When a show lasts as long as The Simpsons, it's quite possible that a viewer's tastes change and they no longer relate to it as much anymore. It doesn't mean the show itself has "lost its way" or gotten significantly worse, but just that the viewer has moved on and just isn't interested anymore.

What's funny and hip to a viewer at 13, isn't always the same at 34.

Or else the show actually could just become stale.

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Old November 14 2009, 05:28 PM   #13
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Re: The Simpsons

Kegg wrote: View Post
Maybe I'll get season seven sometime, because "You Only Move Twice" and Hank Scorpio was some of the funniest stuff the show ever did (and maybe season four, because of, naturlich, "Last Exit to Springfield"). There was one joke in the former episode that for years could send me and other fans into conniptions of laughter just by mentioning it:

"You ever see a man say goodbye to his shoes?"
"Yes, once."
You Only Move Twice was Season Eight

Although there would be nothing wrong with getting Season Seven as well...
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Old November 14 2009, 05:33 PM   #14
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Re: The Simpsons

Round about Season 12 was the last hurrah for me - it wasn't as good as it used to be even then (the true golden age for me was about seasons 5 through 10), but I still enjoyed it and about a third of the season is good old genius. After that, it became under 1 in 5 and by season 15, a gem was a rare thing among the duds.
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Old November 14 2009, 05:37 PM   #15
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Re: The Simpsons

TGTheodore wrote: View Post
When a show lasts as long as The Simpsons, it's quite possible that a viewer's tastes change and they no longer relate to it as much anymore. It doesn't mean the show itself has "lost its way" or gotten significantly worse, but just that the viewer has moved on and just isn't interested anymore.

What's funny and hip to a viewer at 13, isn't always the same at 34.

Or else the show actually could just become stale.

--Ted
Well, the reason I think the show has become stale (at least for me) is because I can go back to Seasons 1 through 11 and enjoy them, particularly my favorite seasons 2 to 7. They never get tired or dull. The more recent Simpsons episodes just don't hold my attention, have no "soul" or "spark", they have no "heart" to me.

Phillip Culley wrote: View Post
You Only Move Twice was Season Eight

Although there would be nothing wrong with getting Season Seven as well...
I picked up Season 8 on Amazon.com for $5.88 "Like New" about a year ago. The deals are out there.

cultcross wrote: View Post
Round about Season 12 was the last hurrah for me - it wasn't as good as it used to be even then (the true golden age for me was about seasons 5 through 10), but I still enjoyed it and about a third of the season is good old genius. After that, it became under 1 in 5 and by season 15, a gem was a rare thing among the duds.
True. It's easy for me to rattle off great episodes from Seasons 2 through 10. After that it gets much more difficult. Once you hit Seasons 15 or 16, I can't name one, because I can't remember the names, that's how much I care.

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