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Eggy-wegs, lomticks of toast, and crappy yellow cartoons that used to be good

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All righty, my chance to be a shameless fanboy. I have decided to focus on a television show that I have watched since I was about five, not only one of the longest-running, most internationally-recognizable animated TV programs ever made, but a bitingly clever satire of Americans, and more broadly, humans in general. Of course I’m talking about that quintessential yellow-skinned family, The Simpsons. If there were no Simpsons, how would anyone know the definition of Qwyjibo (n. – a big, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin) or that Thomas Edison invented those annoying dorm-room desk chairs that recline at the slightest application of pressure. Here’s a little something I took a screen capture of a memorable and applicable episode (S7E8) and did a little addition using my cheap Photoshop-knockoff:

So why do I think “the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and the longest-running American prime-time entertainment series” (Wikipedia), not to mention my cherished childhood favorite, is long dead?

I can’t relate to most of the shows on TV nowadays. I feel like roughly two-thirds of everything televised is some B.S. “reality” crap meant to completely stupify and numb the brains of anyone foolish enough to watch into thinking that it’s pretense is not simply 100% true, but the least bit entertaining to boot. Think about it, you have the Jersey Shore, and then afterwards, you have the Jersey Shore Afterhours where MTV somehow manages to round up all of the “personalities” (maybe that last word should be singular, actually) from the show and squeeze another half-hour of advertising profits so people can watch them ludicrously soft questions about WHATEVER GENERIC AND BANAL ISSUE YOU JUST F$%KING WATCHED THEM ACT LIKE THEY WERE ARGUING ABOUT FOR AN HOUR (well, more precisely, 42 minutes of footage [roughly a quarter of which is transitional shots of them f$&king around set to crappy engineered rock bands that have also probably sold their souls to Viacom] + 18 minutes of commercials)!!! I have to hand it to the faceless multi-national conglomerates though, they really know how to brainwash or trick the masses into believing they are entertained by this crap. If you haven’t seen the Situation bomb at Donald Trump’s Roast, please do so now, and, even if you have, watch it again anyway. How’s THAT for brainwashing?!

ANYWAY, sorry to digress, but television nowadays is utter pig feces, so given that there is so little on that is worth devoting time and brain space to, nothing gets my goat more than when my favorite show show jumps the shark. This term refers to the point-of-no-redeemability for a television show, originating from a 1977 “vacation” episode of Happy Days in which one Arthur Fonzerelli literally jumps over a shark on waterskis. Even worse, though, if the metaphorical shark-jumping isn’t accompanied by a large-enough exodus of viewership because people are still stupid enough to tune in, the show could be vegetative, kept on life support for many years before everyone realizes just how crappy it’s become. Happy Days itself continued for seven more years after the now-infamous ratings stunt, but I think no modern program exemplifies this case more than my beloved Simpsons.

Source: 3:AM Magazine

Springfield’s favorite family are a virtual golden calf that I’d like to tip way over. The show is now entering its 23rd season. I repeat, twenty-f#*king-third. I’ve tried to avoid watching it for many years because it only depresses me now, but the plotlines of the few “new” episodes I’ve seen range from “mildly unbelievable” to “immensely stupid,” and most of them try to stay topical, either by encountering a superficial aspect of some hot button topic, injecting guest starpower, or, most often, both. I just don’t understand how something can go from so good to so bad for so, so, SO long.

Since this post is all fanboyism, I can and will, in fact, pinpoint my personal Simpsons’ shark-jump: Season 11, Episode 14 (240-14) “Alone Again, Natura-diddily”  (to re-reiterate, almost exactly the end of the first half of the show’s current run! Hard for me to believe it’s been more than a long, Simpsonsless decade between now and then, and counting!), after the voice actress who played, among other small roles, Maude Flanders left the show, the writers got the bright idea that, even though the character was incredibly minor, they would base an episode around killing her off in a freak speedway t-shirt gun accident. From here, the episode devolves into a lame plot about Flanders meeting a Christian rock singer.

Appropriately enough, though, this season ends with a parody entitled “Behind the Laughter,” which mock-chronicles the fictional disputes that have challenged the continuation of the show, which seems to hint at the inextricably declining quality of the show.

I will concede this though, one minute of post-season 11 Simpsons is more entertaining than most fictional programming today. Then again, I still watch a lot of cartoons.

I’ll want to make some more Simpsons art that’s less critical of the show and focuses more on its actual awesomeness, but it’ll have to wait.

 

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