The Simpsons (1989 IMDb)

Viewing

Review refers to pretty much everything up to and including season 14.

Categorization

Sitcom in animated time suspension.

Subject

As in Tokyo Chorus (1931), an impulsive but good-hearted man provides for his wife and their three children.

Commentary

Brilliant at its height up to season 8, with occasional sparks of good humour in any season, but inconsistency and lack of creative direction—after the three founders left the team—completely tear it apart. It punctured the object of its satire so effectively, and became so big as a cultural phenomenon, that the satirical edge disappeared completely. I love the fact that it's animated, but of the many freedoms this fact provides, the freedom to prevent children from ageing at all for several decades is singularly unattractive. Instead of the stupid parade of guest stars and self-contradictions, Fox should have cancelled the show and funded the creators’ next effort, but the logic of merchandising forbade that.

References here: Hold Anything (1930), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Urusei yatsura (1981), High Spirits (1988), Family Guy (1999), Futurama (1999), Azumanga Daioh (2002).

animation series

The movie:

The Simpsons Movie (2007 IMDb)

Categorization

Sitcom on film. Most of the things that are good and bad about the TV series after its peak, squashed together into 87 minutes with a lot of money.

Subject

Ties together several motifs familiar from the series: Environmentalism (which is portrayed ambivalently, with “perspective”), Marge doubting Homer (threatening the marriage yet again), Bart doubting Homer (examining Flanders as an alternate father figure, again), Homer screwing up and redeeming himself, etc.

Commentary

The most annoying detail is the choice of Schwarzenegger (who cannot be elected) instead of Wolfcastle, the established Schwarzenegger stand-in, as the “timeless” President.

animation movie