One: You could be saying, what's wrong with the Simpsons that they need a solution?
Two: What...you mean you have a solution!!!!!
The Simpsons hold a hallowed place in everyones' heart. I don't know anyone that doesn't watch them, and I'm certain that anyone and everyone stuck for something to watch would gladly sit down and flick to one of the Sky channels and watch an old classic episode of America's favourite family.
That's the catch isn't it. "Old classic episode". If you are from my clique of sorts, you will know that we highly disapprove of the Simpsons "new" episodes. I can remember when I was smaller, waiting until 6.00 (or 6.30 depending) every Sunday to watch the 'new' episode of the Simpsons. I even remember the landmark 300th episode, the build up, the hype, the excitement. That was when the Simpsons were funny, so many jokes that you would laugh for ages afterwards.
Then we heard that the Simpsons were going to come to an end. Yes we were sad and we'd hoped for more. Little did we know what the Simpsons would become afterwards.
In case you haven't got it by now, I don't don't find the new Simpsons to be funny at all. It has become a kids programme. Rarely will we hear nowadays words such as 'bastard' or 'sex' in the Simpsons. Why did we used to? Because the Simpsons when they began were aimed at an older age group, kindof like what Family Guy is aimed at. All in all I don't like the Simpsons anymore really. They rely now on celebrities to make the show interesting. For instance, word had spread as early as 6 months in advance that Metallica (my fav band) would appear in the Simpsons. Now naturally I assumed they would have a role similar to what U2 had in their episode. No. Not the case. Instead we get a lame scene with Otto driving by, seeing that their tour bus has broken down, and some suck ass joke about Lars' mother dating Moleman or something like that. Absolutely shocking. What happened to funny moments like the ones we had with N'Sync. The hype to that episode was that Bart would be in a boyband, not that N'Sync would feature.
The biggest sign of how bad things have gotten for the Simpsons is that we are going to have a movie this summer. Quite possibly the most obvious commercial money hoarding ploy EVER. I don't have to watch it to know how much ass it's going to suck. If the new episodes are anything to go by, I can safely say I won't be going to see it....unless I'm dragged along by Donal, Chrissy and co. to check it out, then get pissed and bitch about how bad it was.
So what do I think can be done to make it better? Well the idea occured to me when I was watching one of my favourite programmes of all time - Red Dwarf. Between the end of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3, the show "Red Dwarf" went under a major overhaul. The sets were redesigned, characters costumes (namely Rimmer) were changed and an old character who was originally not intended to be a permanent character - Kryten - joined the show on a permanent basis. They also replaced male Holly (that's the computer) with the female Holly which we met in the final episode of Season 2. The same happened from Season 5 to 6 and from 7 to 8. From Season 5 to 6, we learn that they had actually LOST the Red Dwarf ship and were now stranded on Starbug (that's a drastically smaller shuttle type craft). In Season 7, they were still on Starbug, except Rimmer left and was replaced by Lister's love icon Kristine Kochanski. Then from Season 7 to 8, the Red Dwarf was rebuilt, along with the original crew (including Rimmer) which allowed for a whole host of new plot lines and character development.
It was this change that allowed Red Dwarf to grow in popularity, and ultimately the addition of both Kryten and Kochanski were the right way to go. Needless to say the jokes got better with each series, and arguably when Rimmer returned in Season 8, that was by far the most hilarious series of the lot.
The same can be said for South Park. As a bloke, I find South Park to be one of the funniest programmes ever, though it seems to be a male thing, as a lot of women don't like South Park for whatever reason. They too changed the scene and characters, namely with the exit of Kenny and the introduction of characters like Butters, Timmy and Jimmy. Like Red Dwarf, Kenny came back in the same manner as Rimmer and the programme only got better.
So how does this solution apply to the Simpsons. Well programmes such as Red Dwarf and South Park have shown that both change and progression in the timeline make the shows better. This is what I believe the Simpsons need to do. Look at it, we have had over 300 episodes of the exact same characters, in the exact same time period (and by time peroid I mean where they are in school. I'm aware that the years change). Would it hurt them to move them on a few years, have Bart get out of 4th grade, Lisa move up, Maggie go to Kindergarden (sp?) etc. That opens up for new characters and places. It's at a point where we can nearly predict what each of the main characters will do or say. Let's face it, the episode when Lisa sees into the future was interesting and entertaining because we were seeing Springfield several years on, yet we had no new characters. The introduction of 'Roy' in the Poochie episode could've gone places in my opinion. Why not introduce new kids to the class? We get one episode with Alison, and then we only see her in subsequent episodes thereafter. Killing Maude off was the right way to go, it added a whole new aspect to the Flanders' lives.
That's the only thing they've been consistent with. Lisa's change to Buddhism didn't really have any kind of effect on the whole thing. Why not give Bart a (permanent) girlfriend or something? Have Maggie talk now and then? Some new corporate tyrant to match Mr Byrnes? Simply anything to give outselves a change. A change which I know would be for the better.
Am I being too harsh on the matter? Is the Simpsons still as funny as it used to be? What's your solution?
Leave it in the comments if you have a chance, I'd greatly appreciate other peoples' insights!
Holy water is made of J2O, Jesus Dioxide!