The Simpsons were the average modern day turbulent American family that were first brought to life for three seasons in the Tracy Ullman Show. Everyone liked it so much that it got a spot on prime time television with Fox. From there on started the journey of the most famous family in America and quite possibly the world. Throughout the early seasons the show gained critical acclaim, becoming an instant global hit. For years, the writers and producers of The Simpsons created some of the most hilarious sitcom moments in television history and who would have thought that this golden period was going to end?
It is argued by many as to when a decline in quality actually first started. For some it is from season 10 on-wards, for some it is from season 17 on-wards but what everyone can agree on is that a decline happened and the factors that began to cause the decline of what used to be a great television sitcom.
The Simpsons was indeed an animated sitcom. The word ‘cartoon’ when used refers to something that only little children would like but when The Simpsons began, they weren’t your Jetsons or Flintstones or Tom ‘n’ Jerry’s but a very much realistic impression of the world that was open to a much wider audience.
The animations were not phenomenal but they never needed to be. The animations were good enough to show emotion on screen and over the years built up the characters that we saw on screen everyday and we became as fond of how the way looked as we did anything else. Unfortunately, with advancements in technology and more usage of computer generated imagery, The Simpsons on screen became more gimmicky and computer generated, that same feeling that we got back from the older seasons is lost by the usage of high-tech computer generated imagery. Over recent years there has been a gradual decline towards a sort of a Microsoft Paint direction…that doesn’t mean that they actually use Paint.
The Simpsons has been running for over two decades now and of course the voice actors are getting older and this has had an effect on the voices of the characters. This can be another good reason why Matt Groening should finally end The Simpsons, there’s no reason to wait for one of the main actors to die first. But the problem with voicing nowadays in The Simpsons is that they have completely changed. Sure, they have changed throughout the history of The Simpsons but back then, they were evolving. The voices now have taken a step back. If I only listen to an episode, I won’t be able to differentiate with certain side characters such as Moe or Chief Wiggum, they maybe voiced by the same person but there was a time when there was a difference.
One of the main reasons why The Simpsons was such a success were because of their side characters. What on Earth happened to Professor Frink, Lindsay Neagle, Crazy Cat Lady, Gil Gunderson and many more? Either the creators have accidentally forgotten them or are just focusing on trying to squeeze out as much money from the more famous characters. That’s not to say they do not always appear, they do sometimes appear but these appearances are not as constant as they used to be, and with that the laughs that they provided are not as constant as a consequence.
But of course, coming to the end of my article, I think the biggest problem now is creativity. With a show going on for more than two decades, it will obviously be hard to come up with new attractive stories and intelligent jokes and as a result, the creators seem to have lost that edge that they had in the 1990′s and early 2000′s. Senseless plots are created in which the eyes of Springfieldians pop out and Bart notices a scar years after he gets it, leading to a senseless flashback. These stories do not fit the purpose of the Simpsons nor do they have the depth that would bring good tasteful jokes.
The problem now is that The Simpsons are mostly too childish and sometimes very adult. The creators seem to have forgotten the aim of the game and constantly switch between audiences, leaving us, the poor audience confused as to what The Simpsons actually are.
They may never return to their past glory, but Matt Groening can end The Simpsons and still leave them with dignity…and with an IMDB rating higher than 8.