Surprise, The Simpsons Are Worth Watching Again

Jesse David Fox writes in Vulture about a resurgence over the last two seasons
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
Psst, Simpsons Fans, It's Worth Watching Again
The Simpsons clan: Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Marge, and Homer at the grill.   (Fox via AP)

The Simpsons have now churned out 750 episodes in 34 seasons, and Jesse David Fox is out with a tribute in Vulture. The surprise is that it's not an homage to the early "classic" years or a lament about how the show became (gasp!) irrelevant after those years. Instead, in news that may surprise old fans who may have tuned out, it's an essay about how good the show has become again, particularly over the last two years. The staff is infused with youth (including Broti Gupta, the first writer born after the series debuted) and a new mindset to writing under main showrunner Matt Selman, writes Fox. As a result, they "are putting out some of the most ambitious, poignant, and funny episodes in the show's history—episodes that, after all these years, have managed to broaden our understanding of these familiar characters and why they remain so important to so many people."

Fox cites as an example an episode written by Loni Steele Sosthand. Drawing on her own experiences as a person of mixed race, she had the Black character Carl venture into Springfield's Black neighborhood (a first for the show) as he explored his history as the adopted son of white parents. Another, "Lisa the Boy Scout," revolves around hackers who interrupt the episode, resulting in "one of the wildest, all-out funniest episodes in the history of the show." Selman tells Fox he is pushing what he calls a Groundhog Day approach, in which writers aren't bound by what has happened previously. Fox, though, thinks a more apt comparison is to Everything Everywhere All at Once and its parallel universes. "There isn't one Homer and Marge that resets; there are 750 and counting," he writes. "What these past two seasons revealed is that there are still new dimensions of Homer and Marge and new visions of their world worth watching for 22 minutes." (Read the full story.)

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