Season 30 of The Simpsons has just hit TV screens, with season 29 seeing them overtake Gunsmoke as the longest running TV show of all time. While those early episodes are endlessly quotable and feature scenes that belong in a pop-culture museum, the newer episodes have not captured the public's heart.
Sure, they still pull in decent viewing figures and get the occasional Emmy nomination, but these days its perfectly possible to be a Simpsons fan who hasn't watched a new episode in the decade since the movie came out. While it would be foolish to argue that the quality is still as consistently high as it was in the Golden Age, there are certainly still enough bright spots to keep fans entertained.
And more than that, these are characters we've loved and grown up with; characters we identify with. You might have stopped watching, but their lives have kept on going. Yes, some episodes reek of a lack of ideas, so palpable in some episodes you can hear the sound of a barrel's bottom being scraped, but others have offered some surprising new turns for Springfield's residents.
Stacey Henley is a published author, avid gamer and all-round nerd. She can most often be found roaming through vivid expansive spaces and discovering the world around her, but only in video games. In real life, she mostly stays home.