The Simpsons is an animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox network. It centers on the Simpsons, a dysfunctional family of yellow-skinned freaks, who live in the town of Springfield with a strange cast of characters. While the show's more recent episodes can elicit an occasional chuckle, fans prefer the glory days of seasons 1–10, aka "The Phil Hartman Saga". During its first decade on the air, The Simpsons was renown for its biting satire, quotable moments, and satire of the American condition — traits that have generally vanished from the show in its current state.
The show received critical acclaim during its heyday, and won several awards, among these was three D'ohs: the award for having great material from which other sub-par television shows can steal from. It has also won four Grammies, but nobody cares about those. The show continues to pull in ratings, as its current audience thoroughly refuses to accept that any remnant of humor has long since disappeared from the show.
The show centers on the Simpson family: Homer, a bumbling father who consumes copious amounts of beer and donuts; Marge, Homer's dotting wife with an elongated blue tumor on the top of her head; Bart, their son who has a spiky head and an attitude to go with it; Lisa, their daughter who is the only smart person in the whole family, not that anyone cares; and Maggie, a living substitute robot who was reprogrammed as the family baby. The family pets are Santoz "Lil' Hopper" Santario, a dog with the brain of an immigrant worker from Peru; and Snowballs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, cats who were all (except 5) a series of unsuccessful devices to spy on the Simpsons, which were all "accidentally" killed by Lisa.
Secondary characters include Grampa Simpson, Lenny, Carl, Krusty the Klown, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Comic Book Guy, Ned Flanders, Maude Flanders, Rod Flanders, Todd Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Milhouse Van Houten, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Martin Prince, Moe Syzlak, Itchy and Scratchy, Montgomery Burns, Mr. Smithers, Principal SKINNER!, Superintendent Chalmers, Mrs. Krabapple, Groundskeeper Willie, Professor Frink, Patty Bouvier, Selma Bouvier, Sideshow Mel, Bill Cosby, Sideshow Bob, Barney Gumble, Jimbo Jones, Duff Man, Chief Wiggum, Spider Pig/Harry Plopper, Jasper Beardly, and so much more. Did I forget anyone? Oh well, this show must have a million different characters, far too much to list here.
The Simpsons started off as a joke when regular drug store worker Matt Groening met with Tracey Ullman in 1987 when her car broke down by the store. For such a nice car fix, Tracy was in dept toward Matt and eventually decided to invite him over to a KFC for an eat out. Matt drank too much and later that evening confessed to Tracy that his life long dream was to create a robot from scrapped trash cans that would gamble and drink booze...actually, that was his second dream, the first one being to create a yellow-skinned moron (and I don't have to link this one out to you because you're on the right page).
Later the same year, Tracy dumped Matt for Jay Leno, so Matt had to keep working on crappy jobs. As some point, however, something happened, and this the history does not disclose, that made Tracy realize all of the talent Matt Groening had in him, and eventually she decided to give it a shot and invite him and his crappy yellow cartoons to the show. Groening has taken interest in drawing his main character off of Dan Castellaneta when he was visiting Matt and chilling out in his basement. Hence, Homer Simpson was born as a fatal error of cartoon creation. When Tracy saw this abomination, she said Matt had better come up with an excuse to show such a cartoon on television. And Dan kicked his ass right after.
In 1988, the Simpson family was finalized and complete. The original set included Homer Simpson, a happy Greek-turned-Turkish-turned-Muslim with his two wives Patty and Selma, their inbred parents Abe and the other Marge (also called Midge the Bountiful), and their kids: Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Poochie and Hans Moleman. Once again, Matt overdid it, especially insisting on his vision of having Maggie, a 1 year old baby, talk with a British slang in the series, as well as having an anthropomorphic animal within the house. Unlike Seth MacFarlane, however, Groening's childhood passion was not the Huckleberry Hound, hence he did not do the same mistake.
Present day study concludes that Matt Groening might have been color-sensitive with enhance vision of yellow before slowly regaining his normal state during the Clinton era. Although this statement was never proved to be true
Early years (1989–91)
The Simpson family finally made it to TV screen in 1989, after it was judged explicitly correct and represented an image of middle Americans, not the OJ freaks Matt had in mind (to his bitter disappointment). Matt had to hire his school mates Nancy Cartwright and Yardley Smith to voice respectively Patty and Selma, later on moved to Bart and Lisa, but not limited to (also trying out) Maggie, Santa's Little Helper and Snowball. Castellaneta was covering all the other roles, and Hank Azaria was hired to voice Maggie's pacifier.
What followed was a pretty boring first two seasons, during which some strange characters, such as Dr. Marvin Monroe, Lester and Eliza, this long nosed mascot whose name I don't remember, Black Smithers, etc., etc. have developed their character traits, only to be cut from the general storyline a couple of years later. You have to take it from me, this Groening guy was a very deranged lunatic, and still is, to this day, a bat fuck weird guy.
Golden Age and apogee (1991–99)
The show became famous after receiving a lot of pop culture reference injections toward the early 1990s, starting about the third or fourth season. Though the main cast changed little (Snowball II replaced Snowball) and Wiggum dyed his hair blue from black while Krusty the Clown somehow got his make-up to become his face, the show lived off the same jokes. And suddenly, they started to become funny, maybe because no other sitcom was airing at the time, beside that lazy propane instructions course, or perhaps a couple or two Sids and Nancies... Whatever it was, the show received a certain boost and by 1995 was considered number one sitcom of yellow-freaked reality.
During this time Matt made two episode specials, first the 100th episode, for which he hired an actor named Troy McClure who personally had sex with John Wayne but never admitted it, hence grew up as a child molester... Whom you might remember from some movie somewhere in the something but come on, refresh your memory, you surely remember him from somewhere! And the second show, "Behind the Laughter", which revealed things people did NOT know about the Simpsons, e.g. the fact that Bart's real name was Bartolomiej Czej Szymcki.
Despite the fact that it usually takes from 3 to 5 years to a middle-class viewer to get used to the show he or she sees on TV, or maybe due to a big increase in fame starting off with the 11th Season, Groening felt that he finally accomplished something important and that he was also good for something, after all. Rumors have it he proposed to Julie Kavner same year in 1999, only to hear a disgruntled runt from her side. Others would say that this part never happened. More others don't even read this shit, so there is no point I would even go on inventing all these lies.
Decline in quality (1999–2007)
Basic fact, The Simpsons started to decline around season 10, when Groening let the main project go and took the good writers to work on Futurama, a sci-fi sitcom designed to re-adapt the same Simpsons drawing style to a more realistic, more sensible, and less yellow universe. At this time, the show was rehabilitated by Mike Scully and later Al Jean, who shifted its focus from clever humor to zany antics and celebrity guest cameos. Another staple of the decline era was the Simpson family traveling to foreign locations once per season, starting with Japan in season 10 and continuing with Florida in season 11, Africa in season 12, Brazil in season 13, a dude ranch in season 14, England in season 15, China in season 16, Italy in season 17, and Unamerica in season 18.
In 2007, a
two-hour-long extended episode movie based on the series was released, creatively titled The Simpsons Movie. It was known for being somewhat wittier than seasons past and restoring a bit of the show's popularity, especially the "Spider-Pig" sequence, though there were still a few cringeworthy moments typical of the modern show (i.e. Bart's wang being shown uncensored). The movie rejuvenated interest in the show, and it was hoped that the show would continue to improve on the movie's strengths in season 19 and beyond.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
Present day (2007–present)
After the movie, the Simpsons turned back to their first episodes by trying to revive the past in order to save the future by reinventing the storyline first with Homer and Marge as a young couple in the mid-1990s (which does make even less sense than the characters themselves never growing up), then with them as the same young couple in the beginning on 2000, which is just stupid. In all of the sitcom history, it is the first time when an episode refers to another episode which aired about 10 years earlier by retelling the whole storyline (if any) and completely confusing the viewer.
Today, The Simpsons represent that part of the shows which you "watch only because there is not much things to watch on a Wednesday night and honestly you don't feel like getting up for the remote even though it's just underneath your ass" along with things like "Fox Comedy Central", slowly but inevitably making its way to the total boredom of "King of the Hill". Matt Groening has been known to pay blind people to sit and watch the show, kidnap stars for guest appearances and even trying to raise the dead from the graves in order to lure people away from real sitcom rip-offs into gaining the audience back in all the ways possible.
Some say Groening even had sex with the Queen of England like, a year ago, to get PBS viewers to watch the Simpson's and avoid signing petitions which would land him as a missionary in Latin America. Whatever it is, there rests only one single question you want to ask Matt: Why? Why all that crap? Why just not start another show up to today's social trends which would fit in just fine with weird sitcoms as the Simpsons did with The Flintstones back in the 80s? We might never find out why, as the question remains unanswered...
Criticism and controversy
A major criticism of the show is that many episodes have gone unwatched. The clip-show episode "All Singing, All Dancing" is yet to receive a single viewer on account of awfulness as well as Simpson's singing and dancing. Currently, the only viewer of the show who is not old, young or lonely is Ms. Catherine Muttonchop - pictured right - who bought an entire collection of Simpson merchandise for $0.65 on eBay.
Many have found that the show to be lacking in cultural substance even in it's later years when it showed it's political nature and leaning towards secular values. Episodes with Homer performing partial birth abortions, Marge engaging in lesbian sex with Patty and Selma and Lisa and Bart becoming members of PETA and Maggie starting a Jesus website and it turned away as it was purely for shocking and overly unnecessary preaching to its audience. Fox News anchor Bill O' Reilly cited unfair and unbalanced political leanings. Many ignored the report. The show while leaning back at times towards its humbler and wackier beginnings with jokes and situations more of a sitcom if you will, the hollow and opinionated episodes later only acted as though they had more weight. The show still has over 132,664,331 viewers around the world.