On The Simpsons Movie.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know oh come on. The show’s been on forever, which means that you’ve essentially already seen this movie.

Once upon a time, there was a very funny TV show called The Simpsons. It was well-written, clever yet unpretentious, and was always good for at least one bout of hysterical, side-splitting laughter per episode.

A show by the same name is still on the air, but for the last several years, it hasn’t been funny. They started making episodes that I could smirk at, or maybe chuckle at if I stretched it, but none that would elicit a good belly laugh. There were rarely any jokes worth remembering, much less telling anyone about at work the next day. There were so many guest stars occupying so much screentime that the show came to resemble Scooby Doo—which was never known for its wit. I could go on and on about how badly The Simpsons has sucked during this millennium, but I’d like to address the movie.

The movie was good; far better than the show’s been in years. It had a few touching moments. There were several moments that made me laugh out loud. There were hardly any guest stars, and they were almost negligible. It was absolutely worth seeing in the theater; in fact, some of the gags are funniest seen in a theater.

That said, there were a few moments that, to me, would seem more at home in a South Park show or movie rather than a Simpsons production (specifically: Bart’s privates, Homer’s fingers, Otto’s drug use, Marge’s “G-d damn”). Why? The Simpsons (at least, back when I watched regularly) was rarely, if ever, vulgar or harsh–rather, it was suggestive and sly. Perfect example from an old episode: Homer is suddenly infuriated and asks the kids to step outside. They scurry away in fear. Homer takes a deep breath, brings his lower lip back to his top teeth, begins to say, “Fffff–” and is cut off by the blast of the church’s organ pipes as birds fly away from the house. The town comes to a halt. It was hilarious.

On the other hand, South Park is deliberately harsh and vulgar in its satire–in fact, vulgarity is often a major plot point (see the movie or the “Words of Curse” episode). When they want to get something past the TV censors, they’ll merely use black bars, blurring, and bleeps. The creators of South Park simply would’ve had Homer say the “F-Word” and bleeped it out. No organ pipes. No birds. No shocked onlookers. No cleverly placed fig leafs, so to speak.

But I nitpick. The Simpsons Movie was fun. It was good to once again watch these characters in action and actually laugh, rather than pray for the show’s swift and merciful cancellation.

My God, the Celtics might actually be good again before I die. Please let this trade go through.

2 Responses to “On The Simpsons Movie.”

  1. Andrew Jackson Says:
    August 9th, 2007 at 9:23 AMAye, indeed.

    I must proclaime, however, that the funniest gag was the “Titanic”-inspired sinking of the Green Day concert barge.

  2. VDV Says:
    August 9th, 2007 at 3:49 PMThat was amusing.

    I noticed that in one scene where the townsfolk were looking up at something, one of the mayor’s girlfriends/secretaries/whatevers was dressed and posed as Raquel Welch from One Million Years B.C., a.k.a. the chick from Andy’s last poster in The Shawshank Redemption.