Thursday, 14 January 2016

Things I miss about the old school The Simpsons

I'd like to say that I grew up on a healthy diet of The Simpsons, Neighbours and Seinfeld. But Seinfled finished when I was 12, Neighbours in simply unwatchable and The Simpsons... well, they're still rerunning them, but the newer eps. Not the ones I'm going to write about., which are Seasons 1-5. Of course after 24 seasons, of course it going to evolve. But here's what I miss all the same.

1. Homer being a reasonably good dad.
In the first few seasons, Home was actually a pretty good dad. Okay, sometimes he could be irresponsible, but often he had his kids' best interest at heart. Take, for example, when Bart was going to jump over Springfield Gorge, Homer goes and stops him. Okay, so Home accidentally fell down the gorge on the skateboard, but still. He was a nice dad then.

2. Some continuity please!
My second favoruite episode is 'The Way We Was', in which we first learn about how Homer and Marge got together after their prom. Why do I love this one? It's just really sweet. The other flashback episodes had some continuity with this one... but ones of late really have not.

3. Homer has a boss.
I realised this today while watching the episode where Home gets sent to India to manage the company over there. Homer was often called to see Mr Burns in his office. As someone who now has a real job where I have to see a boss in an office, I forgot that for awhile there, Homer was just like us working class people. Now days he is fired, hired and off doing a whole bunch of random stuff.

4. Bart was bad, but actually nice too.
I liked how Bart would always have a change of heart about his bad behaviour, and then come good - as in "I got a D minus... I kissed the teacher, yuck!"

5. Lisa and Bart actually get along for another reason than plotting against their parents
My favourite episode is 'Stark Raving Dad', yes, the one with the song 'Happy Birthday Lisa' in it which may or may not have been sung by Michael Jackson himself (Wikipedia says yes, but Simpsons insiders have always been quiet about it). Why? Because Bart actually tries really hard to do something nice for his sister.

6. Otto is the bus driver! (except that time he was briefly fired)
Otto was one of my fave characters as a kid. Actually, I wanted to catch the bus so I could have my very own Otto Man friend. Now he only randomly appears in places. Sad face.

7. Lisa is an actual kid without too much activism
Look, I get my namesake is very intelligent, but does she have to take a stand on everything? I liked Lisa when she was into horses, Malibu Stacy and hanging out with Marge (like when she learned to sew, so cute!). Now days, if there's some kind of cause to stood uup for, Lisa's all for it. If it's PC, Lisa's all for it. I know that's part of her character, but somehow she was much more endearing (and easy to relate to) when she was a smarter-than-smart eight year old.

8. The creator's take on pop culture
Radioactive Man, wherever you are, come back!

9. Quotable quotes
I'd like to estimate that in our household (Stephen, Lisa and a cat), we average some kind of Simpsons reference at least once a day. Sure, maybe I have mentioned the guy we sat next to on the cruise who ordered "chowder" every time I think of crab meat or cruises, but that doesn't really count. Maybe it's because I haven't had to watch the last few seasons as reruns for years, I don't know.

10. The extended family
More Selma and Grandpa Simpson is requested. I love Grandpa Simpson - he is hilarious. He was better in the good old days (which, I guess for him were the good bad old old days), but when he did things like Sunday family visits and baby-sitting the kids, he was a lot of fun.