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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Worst Simpsons Episode or Why I hate "Status Quo is God"

   
Author Topic: Worst Simpsons Episode or Why I hate "Status Quo is God"
Blayne Bradley
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I'm certain some of you would remember an episode of The Simpsons where Marge became for a single episode a police officer, not just any police officer but what could be considered by the standards of the show the best one in Springfield.

And at the end of the episode she resigns ostensibly because she didn't like arresting Homer every 3 days for some offense with maybe some 'under her breath' allegations of the police force being cartoonishly corrupt.

So instead of us say getting a plotline of Marge trying to shape the police up, or fighting a political campaign (which she's done often enough) to shape up the police force and receive more funding or something we just have her being a strong policewoman for one episode and then kaput without a trace.

This is why I loved Boy Meets World, things happened, actions had consequences that remained for seasons, the characters grow up and sorta mature.

Missed moment of opportunity that possibly could have had a proper strong and subtle! aesop that was abandoned because status quo is god.

This is probably why I haven't watched a single episode in about 4 years.

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kmbboots
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Blayne, this is a classic element of comedy since the beginning of comedy - that at the end of the play, order (status quo) has been restored. Don't blame the Simpsons; blame Aristotle.
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LargeTuna
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The Simpsons is one of my least favorite shows of all time. It's so childish and idiotic at times that I simply have failed to understand the entertainment value. But I also hate family guy so mabe it's just my personal tastes of types of shows interfering.

I find it strange that the Simpsons is so universally loved by so many people. The appeal just isn't there for me, and I've managed to have seen dozens of episodes of the show over the years (mostly unwillingly)

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mr_porteiro_head
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Actually, I'm right there with Blayne. I find extremely episodic TV shows far less satisfying than ones with longer plot arcs.

But then again, it's the Simpsons. [Roll Eyes]

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Dante
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The high point of The Simpsons--say, season two to season 10 or so--is easily the best thing ever shown on television. There is no close second.

That said, even the episodes shown these days are still better than 80% of the crap out there.

However, I agree that if you really enjoy shows like Boy Meets World, The Simpsons is probably not for you.

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LargeTuna
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Actually, I'm right there with Blayne. I find extremely episodic TV shows far less satisfying than ones with longer plot arcs.

I generally agree, since the only exceptions I can think of are the office, and Psych. Back in season 2 of the office when very little storyline was actually going on it was a much better show. But that might just have to do with writers trying to get more creative the longer a show is on air.
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TomDavidson
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It's worth noting that the show has lampshaded this a few times, Blayne. Not that it helps much, I'm sure. [Smile]
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kmbboots
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Hey, I am not defending The Simpsons. I am just saying that they can hardly be blamed for this particular fault.
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Mucus
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It is a bit frustrating since Futurama demonstrated better plot persistence with a very similar staff with pretty good results IMHO.
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The White Whale
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But the Simpsons has been around for 20 years. How long did Futurama last?
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0Megabyte
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I heard they might be getting a new season in addition to the recent four movies, so it's hard to tell since it isn't totally dead.
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Mucus
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That question has yet to be answered.
(Not that I necessarily accept the premise)

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The White Whale
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I like Futurama, but I don't think it had the mindless mass audience appeal that the Simpsons did/does.

You really don't have to understand much when watching the Simpsons. In fact, it's better not to. With Futurama, I remember there being more of an episode-to-episode story.

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Xavier
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The Simpsons supporting cast is allowed to break the status quo (Maude dying, the Van Houten's getting a divorce, Apu getting married, Skinner and Edna getting together, etc).

I think having the status quo be firm for the core family worked out pretty well for a great many years, it's just that they've been moving toward zanier and zanier plots as they've run out of semi-realistic drama to script. If they'd started gradually changing the status quo (like King of the Hill did), then maybe they'd have some better quality episodes now. To some extent, I think it just ran its course.

It really should have ended years ago. What was once my favorite show, I haven't watched at all the past several seasons.

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Foust
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LargeTuna, I've gotta ask, how old are you? You're right, The Simpsons has become entirely childish and idiotic, but once upon a time, it was the gold standard of what television comedy could be.
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Clive Candy
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Shows with "arc storytelling" can be very tiresome. Often the mistake I see people make is to think the mere presence of arc storytelling and "actions having consequences" means that a good story is being told. It doesn't.
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Sterling
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The rare occasions I've watched the Simpsons these days, it seems to amount to: "Gimmick, gimmick, pad pad pad pad pad pad pad pad pad." Sometime's it's still fairly funny- the writing can be pretty sharp- but characters and plotlines seem more like props for the gimmick of the day to shuffle around than set stones that the show flows through.

After 20 years (Geez, has it really been that long?!) this isn't surprising. I remember reading an article by a writer for the Simpsons who was told early on his job, "We already did a joke where Homer blew into a pig."

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TomDavidson
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*nod* There isn't 20 years of original but universal humor available to a family sit-com. There's probably about seven years' worth; after that, the situation is tapped out. Which means you either have to change the situation or, as The Simpsons chose to do, rely on topical humor and silly gimmicks for variety.

Sadly, this means that little after Season Seven and nothing after Season Ten is likely to be amusing to someone who found Season Two wonderful.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Blayne, this is a classic element of comedy since the beginning of comedy - that at the end of the play, order (status quo) has been restored. Don't blame the Simpsons; blame Aristotle.

I blame TV tropes for providing a vocabulary without the sense to use it properly.
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Blayne Bradley
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And I blame you for being a hack, care to provide some evidence as to how this is inaccurate usage? OH SNAP! You can't can you amirite? Because this is an accurate usage of the term.
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Orincoro
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"Missed moment of opportunity that possibly could have had a proper strong and subtle! aesop that was abandoned because status quo is god."

Can you explain that sentence? Because from where I'm sitting, it makes very little sense.

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Blayne Bradley
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It was a missed moment of opportunity, there was much more they could have done with it, the proper aesop for the situation could have been very subtle and very 'strong' if done right but they didn't because it would have progressed the series, by god character development! Can't have that.
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Orincoro
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Yeah, that wasn't so strong... but thanks for trying!
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LargeTuna
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Yeah I am only 17 years old, so when the Simpsons was a really big show I was too young.

But I do remember liking the show when I was around 12 years old. I have since grown out of it, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to television shows.

So I do get confused that the Simpsons does seem to have had a universal appeal that som many people like when I can't even stand the older episodes. I guess I just like shows that make you think, have characters I care about, or are exciting. The Simpsons doesn't check any of my boxes. [Wink]

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PSI Teleport
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Blayne, I'm curious which actions in Boy Meets World had lasting effects through the series. I'm not challenging; I just love that show, too, and I'm trying to remember what you might be talking about. (Other than the disappearance of Morgan. [Wink] )
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aeolusdallas
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quote:
Originally posted by The White Whale:
I like Futurama, but I don't think it had the mindless mass audience appeal that the Simpsons did/does.

You really don't have to understand much when watching the Simpsons. In fact, it's better not to. With Futurama, I remember there being more of an episode-to-episode story.

is that a joke? The Simpsons is a very smart show. Particularly the first 10 to 12 years
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The White Whale
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Is that a joke?

I think of the Simpsons and I get images of Bart speaking with his butt cheeks, Duff Man, jokes about Smither's strange attraction to Mr. Burns, fat jokes, drinking jokes, Itchy and Scratchy, "Ha-Ha", and Faux-Arnold saying "I came here to lead, not to read."

Funny, yes. Clever, yes. But not something that requires a time investment to understand. You can watch any episode from any of the twenty seasons and not need to have someone explain what's going on.

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Strider
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quote:
The high point of The Simpsons--say, season two to season 10 or so--is easily the best thing ever shown on television. There is no close second.
I think you're giving it too wide of a range. I'd say 3-6 were the golden years. With 2, and a few years after 6 still fantastic. I haven't watched in many years though.

I still have memories of the old Tracey Ullman shorts!

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Yeah, that wasn't so strong... but thanks for trying!

Uh, care to learn how to read? Of course it wasn't strong they didn't bother to try to make it strong and that was what I was trying to say but your more interested in being a lazy arse to bother to understand.

quote:

Blayne, I'm curious which actions in Boy Meets World had lasting effects through the series. I'm not challenging; I just love that show, too, and I'm trying to remember what you might be talking about. (Other than the disappearance of Morgan. [Wink] )

I don't actually remember any particular negative actions I only recall it vaguely but I'ld say Petanica's and Cory's relationship would be one of those things.
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MidnightBlue
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By Petanica do you mean Topanga?
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Blayne Bradley
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Yes, my memory is bad.
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scifibum
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Petanica would have been a better choice than Topanga. No offense, Topengi.
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Foust
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quote:
Is that a joke?

I think of the Simpsons and I get images of Bart speaking with his butt cheeks, Duff Man, jokes about Smither's strange attraction to Mr. Burns, fat jokes, drinking jokes, Itchy and Scratchy, "Ha-Ha", and Faux-Arnold saying "I came here to lead, not to read."

So how many episodes have you seen? It's pretty clear you aren't familiar enough with the show to distinguish between golden years jokes and the later trash.

I suppose we've come to the point where there are more terrible episodes than good ones, and and the good ones are so distant that anyone younger than, maybe, 25, wasn't around for the good stuff, and now stand shaking their heads at our claims of the Simpsons' former greatness.

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