TV Roundup: The Simpsons, #17
It's just me, listing my top TV shows of all-time. Because the first three happened to be comedies, several people thought that this was a list of top comedies. I'm just going to go out on a limb here and think that those people were pretty confused by my choice of Dexter at #18.
The list so far:
21. Kids In The Hall
19. How I Met Your Mother
And, of course, I made a series of rules -- and while you can go look at the whole set in my original post here, one of the main elements is that if at anytime, I lost interest in the series, it is going to suffer in the ratings as a result.
longest running prime-time entertainment show ever, at this point there are more seasons that I haven't watched than those that I have. I know that it's returned to form., and I've enjoyed the rare episode I've caught ... but, I stopped watching it not because I couldn't find it on my TV, but because the episodes I was watching really started to bore me.
So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you'd say. -- Abe Simpson
Sorry, but a lot of shows on this list suffer from that fate. It's a rare show that holds me captive throughout its entire lifespan, and I suppose one of the downsides to being so successful and long-lasting is that you have more seasons set up to disappoint. (See: Saturday Night Live.)
Obviously, I don't have to describe the travails of the Simpsons family -- I can't imagine there are too many people who don't know about the Simpsons, whether they've watched an episode or not. When the show first launch, the breakout star seemed to be Bart, and though it was awhile ago, there was a time where you couldn't walk into a supermarket without seeing an "Ay Carumba!" t-shirt on a fellow shopper. However, the true hero of the show is, of course, Homer Simpson. To say he's an "Everyman" is to insult Everymen, badly. But he probably has the best collection of lines of any major character, while lesser but important other characters make this show the fully rounded comedy that it is.
Burns: Oh, quit cogitating, Steinmetz, and use an open-faced club. The sand wedge!
Homer: Mmm...open-faced club sandwich.
From the Wiggums (Chief and son Ralph) to Krusty the Klown, the Flanders family, Apu, Millhouse, The Comic Book Guy, Nelson Muntz, and of course Mr. Burns and his lackey Smithers, so many characters on this show have classic story lines and quotes. It should come as no surprise that there are literally millions of websites that discuss or focus on the show.
Ralph Wiggum: Me fail English? That's unpossible!
|Homer in a muumuu. Priceless.|
There's probably a "coaching tree" of sorts out there showing the talent involved with this show and what else that went on to create - an obvious example is, of course, Conan O'Brien who left his role as a writer on this show to begin hosting late night television. He wrote the "Marge vs. the Monorail" episode that I still think warrants consideration as the funniest half-hour of comedy, ever. (And is just one of the many reasons that I miss Phil Hartman, who among his many hilarious contributions was the voice of some of the very best 'guest stars' on this show.)
Bart: Nothing you say can upset us, we're the MTV generation.
Lisa: We feel neither highs nor lows.
Homer: Really, what's it like?
Lisa: (shrugs) Meh...
Had The Simpsons stopped before I grew disinterested, I would probably rank this in my top-10 favorite shows. But to be honest, #17 feels just about perfect.
Homer: Doughnuts ... Is there anything they can't do?