Every Simpsons Ever: Top 5 Reasons Simpsons is One of the Greatest Sitcoms Ever
In case you missed the massive Simpsons marathon aired on the new channel, FXX, I’d like to let you know that you shouldn’t have! It had been a while since I sat down and tuned-in to this childhood gem, but it only took me a few minutes to remember why I was so hooked. The Simpsons is a hilariously epic commentary on the notion of family and society in this age. Although the meaning is often lost in the humor, I’d like to encourage adults who have either never seen the show or who haven’t watched it in a while, to give it another shot!
Why? I’m glad you asked! I now present to you the top 5 reasons The Simpsons is one of the greatest sitcoms ever!
5. Conspiracy Theories−Long, long before the conspiracy culture emerged onto the scene, The Simpsons were weaving these ideas throughout their story lines. There was the notorious “Stone Cutter” episode dealing with the Free Masons, the Navy Blue Angels, the usage of boy bands to brainwash the youth, pandemics, Apocalypses, and hysteria. The episode contains almost every element of society infused with a potential grandiose conspiracy…just like in real life today. There’s no denying this show was before its time.
4. Lisa Lionheart−No, this is not all about the doll she made to try to counteract male chauvinism. Lisa Simpson is one of the best characters in the history of cartoons. Though she is only 8 years old, she has the fight of a lioness. Lisa routinely takes on issues such as unfair treatment to animals, patriotism, mindlessness, bullying, corporatism, and the like. A “truther” in her own right, she is one of the first characters capable of exploring and expressing her concern about grandiose conspiracy theories.
3. TV Violence−The Simpsons attack the issue of television violence with a bit of irony, as with many topics. On the one hand, we have a father and two siblings who readily, (an unhealthily) use violence to settle their issues with one another. On the other hand, the kid’s favorite cartoon “Itchy and Scratchy” is a satirical parody of the violence that appears on supposedly “child-friendly” shows of yore, i.e. “Tom and Jerry.” The overall message is that television influences even those of us who have the mental fortitude to understand its impact on our psyches. For example, Lisa is the most sensible Simpson, yet she too reacted quite instinctively with brute force when feeling wronged by her own kin.
2. Big Brother Burns−One of the most controversial characters on the show, Montey Burns, is a lovably sinister, wealthy, entrepreneur. Complete with hounds to release on the less fortunate and a sidekick (Smithers), who literally would take a bullet for him, he is frail yet extremely well protected. Burns is likened to the “elite,” “blue bloods,” “Illuminati,” or whatever it is that you call the top 1% of earners. Though this character is hated by most, he is the one who provides most of them with the means to feed their families. Sure he’s cut healthcare and blocked out the sun…but he can’t be all, bad…right? Either way, the cameras in his office show that he’s always watching…so watch your words, folks!
1. Unhappy Endings−This may seem like a minor deal, but The Simpsons is one of the first shows I know of that often has unhappy resolutions to their issues. Failed business ventures, failed campaigns, failed classes, etc. The Simpsons is one of the first shows to give it to us straight; life is not always fair. Time and time again each of the characters attempt to make the world a better place, often to no avail and very little credit even when triumphant.
To me, the unhappy endings are the crux of the show. Rather than model their formula after the “everything will be fine in 30 minutes” model that most shows use, The Simpsons is notorious for leaving viewers with the unsettling feeling of defeat, which serves as a commentary on society at large. Just because you are well-intentioned doesn’t mean things will always work out in your favor.
Speaking of unhappy endings, we have reached a close. Nothing more to see here, go watch The Simpsons!