The Simpsons

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Coloratura, Nov 14, 2009.

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When Did The Simpsons Lose It's Spark/Soul?

  1. Season One

    1.3%
  2. Season Two

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Season Three

    1.3%
  4. Season Four

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Season Five

    1.3%
  6. Season Six

    1.3%
  7. Season Seven

    3.9%
  8. Season Eight

    6.5%
  9. Season Nine

    14.3%
  10. Season Ten

    9.1%
  11. Season Eleven

    6.5%
  12. Season Twelve

    5.2%
  13. Season Thirteen

    6.5%
  14. Season Fourteen

    6.5%
  15. Season Fifteen

    2.6%
  16. Season Sixteen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. Season Seventeen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  18. Season Eighteen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  19. Season Nineteen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  20. Season Twenty

    1.3%
  21. Season Twenty-One

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  22. The Simpsons Is Still Good

    32.5%
  1. The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I voted season 11. Season 4-10 were the height of the series for me, I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode from that stretch at least a couple of times.

    The show still has it's home runs, and I really enjoyed the movie. It's just not a show I make time to watch anymore and it hasn't been for about ten years.
     
  2. Goji

    Goji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Yeah, definitely two of the season's highlights. My favorite of the eighth year though is absolutely the Prohibition one. Which was also probably the last time on the show Homer was allowed to be clever. The gag at the end involving the testing of the catapult is a classic moment.

    But I could have done without the so-so X-Files crossover episode, or the "Itchy & Scratchy & Poochy" episode, and I hate the one-joke "Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase". That last one is probably why I don't count it as part of the show's best run.
     
  3. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I'm not sure when The Simpsons lost it for me. At some stage, though, it just stopped keeping my attention. I'd watch it out of habit rather than interest, and eventually I didn't bother with it at all. The handful of new eps I've stumbled on in the past five or so years didn't do anything for me.

    When it was good, it was fantastic. I agree that Phil Hartman's death was a turning point, but the family themselves aren't the same people any more and that's probably my biggest problem with it now. As Homer became more stupid, Marge became more shrewish, Bart became more prat than brat, Lisa became more insufferably preachy and Maggie just kept being Maggie, it became harder to give a damn about them. They're just not interesting "people" to me any more.

    Yep. Quite obviously I'm older now than I was when I started watching the show and yes, people's tastes (sometimes / often) change over time. But I can watch those early episodes now and laugh as much as I did back in the day. The newer ones generally don't keep my attention much past the couch gag. So while I certainly don't enjoy some things as much - or at all - now as I did back in the day, and therefore my tastes have changed, the fact I still enjoy those old Simpsons eps suggests that for me at least, it just ain't as good now as it used to be.

    All these years later and I can still almost recite that episode word for word. :lol:
     
  4. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I do agree that the show slide after season 10/9, I really enjoyed last season. So much that I would put it up with season 9.
     
  5. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    Someone once said "Otto's Wedding", which is "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Marge", but it was a season earlier, season 10, which had some good episodes, but some really weak ones, too.
     
  6. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland.
    I definitely think it's that the show has gone stale rather than I've become old (though both is true, I remember what a big deal it was for me to be the same age as Bart.) The old episodes still do it for me and not for mere nostalgia, they're just very sharp, very funny half-hours of TV. Often I understand some of them much better than I did then. The new seasons are clearly the product of a series that's been spinning its wheels for way too long. There are laughs (I caught an episode a while back and really enjoyed the couch gag of Simpsons characters appearing in old, iconic sitcoms - seeing the Simpsons run away from Sideshow Bob on the Cheers set was funny), but not as good and nowhere as frequent.

    I really shot fact check more. Or, ever. My greatest failing as a self-important internet know-it-all is I just run off a few paragraphs and figure that my memory's more-or-less excellent when in fact it's decreipt, foggy, and hopelessly confused.

    You'd think I'd learn, but no.

    True! Those were good years. "The Brother From Another Series" was another hilarious episode from season eight, and I say that very much as a Frasier fan.

    "The Cappadocians, fine."
     
  7. MichaelDornFan

    MichaelDornFan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    I've been re-watching a lot of The Simpsons and have been trying to pinpoint where it got bad. Season 9 is where it felt like it was starting to go bad for me.

    If I had to pick a particular jumping the shark episode, I would have to go with the Armin Tanzarian episode (The Principle and the Pauper). It's one of the first episodes for me to really tamper with well established characters in a bad way and to just have a ridiculously dumb and out there plot.
     
  8. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    The Mike Skully years (seasons 9-12) were for me the low point of the series, although individual episodes were very good and even then, compared to other contemporary shows, it's still a pretty good animated half-hour or so. Certainly the infamous "Homer gets raped by a panda" episode wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered it, but it was definitely not among the best episodes from that period.

    Having seen some of the episodes after that period (when Al Jean became showrunner again) I actually started to like it again - can't really place a finger on it, but it seemed to be from the middle of season 13 onwards. However, it was becoming somewhat gimmicky at times, with heavy reliance on guest stars to lift the episode.

    For me, the show really became brilliant from the middle of season 2 onwards - "Bart the Daredevil" for me was the tipping point, the moment the show jumped the gorge. (Funnily enough, that episode featured a character jumping a gorge. :bolian: :guffaw:) That season we were also treated to gems like "Lisa's Substitute", and then onto seasons 3 and 4 which were just perfect.

    "Lisa's Wedding" from season 6 is still my all-time favourite episode. :D "I get me brain medicine from the Nartional 'Ealth!" :rommie:
     
  9. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    I think season 1 is a little too crude to embrace entirely (due to the primitive animation and less developed writing), but it's not terrible, and definitely better than about the last 12 seasons. Season 2 and 3 are better, but still a little clunky in pace and lack the sophistication of some later season writing/humour, although it has its share of bonafide classics (i.e. "Lisa's Pony").

    I consider seasons 4 to 7 "The Golden Era", when just about every episode was great, and the episodes that weren't great were at least very good. They started experimenting a little in season 8, resulting in a few episodes that were a little disappointing, but I don't think the show got consistently bad until season 9.

    I bought seasons 4 to 8 on DVD. I was hesitant about 9, so I rented it, and it didn't take long for me to realize that I made the right choice not buying it and it is definitely when the show started running out of ideas.

    It's the first season (after about 5 in a row) that I thought had consistently bad episodes and did some absolutely atrocious character assassination. What they did to Skinner in "The Principal and the Pauper" was shameful and after 7 seasons of loving him dearly, I think "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" was the first (and unfortunately not the last) episode that made Homer annoying and painfully grating to me.

    I like to pretend everything after season 8 never happened. I wish it hadn't, even though there have been a handful of really good episodes since then (i.e. "Girly Edition" and "Trilogy of Error").
     
  10. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    I'd have been horrified if they had stopped at season eight. They did tons of brilliant stuff after that, including Homer's Enemy, arguably the funniest episode of the show.
     
  11. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    At the Piano
    It looks like a lot of folks are in agreement as to the general time when the show lost it's edge. Looks like quite a few people think it's still good. I would agree and now that I think about it should have rephrased the voting option on that last one a bit better.

    J.
     
  12. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I feel that the last 1-2 years have been an improvement over the past decade.
     
  13. T.Geiger

    T.Geiger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    The show had a noticable downturn in quality around season 12.5 for me. But I can pinpoint the exact episode where the entire thing jumped: S13E06 "She of Little Faith". Lisa became completely insufferable at that point and the show took a big hit for it. Also the first season I didn't keep the Treehouse of Horror from.

    In my opinion, the five worst seasons, in order: 17, 20, 1, 19, and 13. I do give the first season a lot more respect than the other four in that list, but it wasn't really the same show it became even just a season later; it was written more like an 80's style family sitcom. I've kept only four episodes from it, all of them for classic moments / scenes.

    I find season 18 to be quite the anomaly though. While no return to the golden era, its a noticeable improvement from the seasons surrounding it. Easily one of the better post-gold seasons.
     
  14. Thespeckledkiwi

    Thespeckledkiwi Vice Admiral

    When Mike Sully took over. Shows became...uneven and ended weirdly. Just non-linear and non-sense plot lines. It got better after Al Jean took over for Sully.
     
  15. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
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    The episode "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot" of season fifteen is when I made a mental decision not to watch the Simpsons anymore. It really seemed heartless to me -- the way they killed off cat after cat; the way Homer was getting violently hurt while being in the robot suit.
     
  16. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Homer stopped being a good guy with misguided ideas and terrible planning and became a heartless boob who was callous and selfish in every way. There was a fine line regarding Homer, to keep his humanity, but they crossed it completely and never looked back.

    J.
     
  17. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

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    ^^ I think, despite their better judgement, the creators secretly wanted Homer to be more like Peter Griffin.
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^I think you hit the nail on the head, Z.
     
  19. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Uh, "Homer's Enemy" was in season 8. People blame Mike Scully for the show's decline because it started to falter in season 9 when he took over, but I think it was doomed at that point no matter who took over. Few shows can stay fresh even after five seasons. That "The Simpsons" maintained such a high degree of quality after 8 was an amazing achievement and the creators of the show should have quit while they were ahead, but they got greedy.
     
  20. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

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    ^^^ This I agree. That Mike Skully happened to be showrunner from seasons 9 to 12 may imply a causal relationship to the decline of quality of the show, but I think it's more complicated than that, with many factors playing a part.

    I will say that I do agree with Matt Groening's criticism of the episode "A Star Is Burns" (from season 6) which led to him removing his name from the opening and closing credits of that episode - as well as being merely a tie-in with The Critic, it just simply wasn't a particularly funny or good episode in itself. (Thank goodness for the episode that followed it, though... :D)
     

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