I wasn’t allowed to watch The Simpsons when I was a kid. We were churchgoers at the time and The Simpsons was on the list of shows the church didn’t approve of (which was most shows even in the late 80s). I remember I had a bumper sticker with Bart Simpson on it with his phrase “Don’t have a cow, man!” on it, but that was all I knew about The Simpsons.
Flash-forward to today where The Simpsons is now the longest-running animated series of all time. It’s an icon, a part of pop culture spanning two decades. Most everyone, even if they’ve never seen an episode of the series, can identify who Bart, Homer, Marge, Maggie, and Lisa are just by the distinct look the characters have.
The series never shies away from satirizing politics, religion, society, and pop culture. Its writing is constantly funny, witty, and entertaining. The fact that the writers have been able to generate over 450 stories out of the world of Springfield is an amazing feat.
Toys, shirts, The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios, The Simpsons Movie, and tons of other products, the longevity of The Simpsons remains strong, and there doesn’t appear to be any sign of slowing down.
It’s still the anchor of FOX Sunday’s Animation Domination, and remains the most worthwhile animated series during that programming block. I love Family Guy and American Dad, but let’s face it: without Homer Simpson, there would be no Peter Griffin or Stan Smith.
In a lot of ways The Simpsons broke new ground when it came to animated comedy. Much like The Flintstones before it (also one of the first hit animated series in prime-time), The Simpsons showed that cartoons didn’t have to be just for kids. Adults still enjoyed animation, and The Simpsons provided enjoyment with adult-oriented humor.
The Simpsons: The Complete 20th Season is the first Simpsons box set on Bly-ray Hi-def. It looks great, sounds great, and delivers plenty of laughs. The only special feature is a sneak peek at the 20th Anniversary Special hosted by Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock. I wonder why they didn’t include the entire hour-long special?
Honestly, for a TV milestone like this, I was hoping for audio commentary on at least a few of the episodes. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent toward it, The Simpsons will always be a part of American culture. And to think it all started with animated sketches on The Tracy Ullman Show back in the mid-1980s.
The Simpsons: The Complete 20th Season, on DVD and Blu-ray now!
What is your favorite Simpsons episode, character, quite, moment? Leave a comment and let us know!