Over my winter break, I had a whole month off to relax and goof off. I spent time with my family and friends through the holidays. I sharpened my writing skills, penning movie reviews and poetry. I even spent time with my church family whom I hadn’t seen since Thanksgiving. I also took part in my guilty pleasure. I dimmed the lights, broke out the snacks, and binged on old seasons of “The Simpsons” via my DVD player.
Yup. That’s my confession.
But before you cast your judgmental glares, can you blame me?
I came across this yellow American family two years ago when I realized I had FXX. It seemed like “The Simpsons” was the only show that came on aside from movies. After watching a couple episodes, I was hooked. I saw a lot of episodes when FXX showed 600 episodes for 13 days straight in late November 2016.
Like most families, each Simpson has a unique personality. Homer is the screw-up alcoholic husband and father that gets himself into sticky situations, but would do anything for his family. Marge is the loving mother and loyal wife that loves Homer no matter how many times he screws up. Bart is the hell-raising 10-year-old boy who breaks the rules to be popular, even if it means getting in trouble.
Lisa (my favorite Simpson) is the 8-year-old genius and activist who stands strongly by her beliefs even when her own family is against her. And baby Maggie (my other favorite Simpson) hardly says anything and continuously sucks on her pacifier. She occasionally does things that no ordinary baby would do.
Firstly, what impresses me about “The Simpsons” is their incredible longevity. “The Simpsons” have taken over our TVs since 1989 with over 600 episodes. That’s almost 30 years. The main cast includes Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith who are well into their 50s’ now. It surprises me that they’re still doing this show (and they’re still good at it!).
Next, the humor is easy to swallow. A lot of the episodes include slapstick humor that is impossible not to laugh, or at least chuckle, at. Whether it was Homer punching Mr. Burns in the face when Smithers went away or Bart making prank calls to Moe at his bar to make him say stupid things like, “a man to hug and kiss” or “my crotch.”
Unlike “Family Guy,” “American Dad” or any other Seth MacFarlane spawn, “The Simpsons” can make a celebrity joke without going overboard. “Family Guy” will make a celebrity reference and show a whole scene to visualize said-reference. To me, that ruins the show because it takes my attention away from the story. Plus, I find it completely stupid. With “The Simpsons,” either you get the joke or you don’t and that’s that.
Unlike “South Park,” “The Simpsons” aren’t grotesque to look at. Each character has his/her own special look to fit his/her purpose. Homer wears a white shirt and blue jeans (sometimes with a tie) to show that he’s casual everywhere he goes. Marge wears a green dress with a red necklace to look like a natural housewife. The characters of “South Park” are disgusting with their disproportioned heads and bodies. The “Family Guy” bunch aren’t pretty either.
Third, “The Simpsons” have plenty of guest celebrities. These guests lend their voices and fit right in with the Simpsons world. Guest voices have included Mick Jagger, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Barry White, J.K. Rowling, Jackie Mason, Bette Midler, Hugh Hefner and even Michael Jackson
Lastly, although the Simpsons dabble in crazy shenanigans, there are plenty of touching moments. The most touching episode I like is “‘Round Springfield.” Lisa met with her jazz friend and mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy (voice of Ron Taylor) at the hospital. He told her about his life in jazz and they played saxophone together. Murphy gave Lisa his old saxophone to play at her school recital and she did an exceptional job. When she returned to the hospital, she was told that Murphy passed away.
In order to spread Murphy’s legacy, Lisa wanted to buy his only album and play it on the radio. But it was $500. After winning a settlement against Krusty the Clown, Bart won $500 (after all the legal fees). He broke down and bought Lisa the album. He said she was the only one that believed him when he said his stomach hurt from eating Krusty’s cereal.
After getting the record to play at the radio station, Murphy appeared in the clouds (parodying a scene from “The Lion King”) to say goodbye to Lisa. When she asked if they could jam together one more time, Murphy disappeared. Then he came back with his saxophone and played their favorite song, “Jazz Man.”
Although “The Simpsons” doesn’t appeal to everyone, it appeals to me. Not only is it a funny cartoon for adults, but it’s heartfelt. It can make you feel good inside. That’s why every chance I get, I take time to watch my favorite episodes on various DVDs. Not every episode is good, but a lot of them make me laugh. After all, a show that makes people laugh and cry for almost 30 years nonstop can’t be all bad.