The Simpsons is a long-running American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening airing on FOX since December 17, 1989 with 29 seasons as of October 1st, 2017.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989 - 1990).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 626 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. Its 29th season began on October 1, 2017. It is the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program, and, in 2009, it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American scripted primetime television series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. On November 4, 2016, the series was renewed for a twenty-ninth and thirtieth season of 22 episodes each, extending the show to 2019.
The Simpsons received widespread critical acclaim throughout its first 9 or 10 seasons, which are generally considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. Despite all of that, the show has also been criticized for what many perceive as a decline in quality over the years, generally since about the late 1990s.
The show involves the titular family in the town of Springfield in an unidentified U.S. state. The head and father of the Simpson family, Homer, is not a typical family man. Homer is a nuclear-plant employee, he does his best to lead his family but often finds that they are leading him. The family includes loving, blue-haired matriarch mother Marge, troublemaking son Bart, overachieving daughter Lisa, and baby Maggie. Other Springfield residents include the family's religious neighbor, Ned Flanders, family physician Dr. Hibbert, Moe the bartender, police chief Clancy Wiggum, Krusty the Clown, and even Charles Montgomery Burns, Homer's boss, and Robert Terwilliger (better known as Sideshow Bob), a murderer who often threatens Bart.
Why It Rocks
- It's not only the longest-running show on FOX, but also the longest-running American animated show in general, having put out episodes non-stop since 1989.
- Had crossovers with Family Guy, The Critic and Futurama.
- Clever humor.
- Good voice acting.
- Great animation.
- Likable and memorable characters, especially Homer Simpson himself.
- Each of the family members have a very distinct personality. Homer is the dim-witted but well-meaning dad, Marge is the loving mother, Bart is the troublemaking son, Lisa is the overachieving daughter, and Maggie is the silent member of the family.
- Many, MANY hilarious and unforgettable running gags.
- Sideshow Bob repeatedly trying to kill Bart Simpson after the events of Krusty Gets Busted.
- A different kind of couch gag at the beginning of every episode.
- Homer Simpson's famous and signature catchphrase, "D'oh!".
- The way Superintendant Chalmers says "Skinner!".
- Itchy & Scratchy, which parodies the violent cartoons of the early-to-mid 20th century.
- Nelson's famous laugh.
- Memorable opening theme.
- It's sophisticated and generous in its humor.
- Gives out a lot of good morals and lessons for viewers of all ages.
- Hilarious moments, great stories and relatable pop-culture references.
- They've made and promoted commercials for many famous products (Butterfinger, Domino's Pizza, Burger King, etc.)
- The "Treehouse of Horror" specials are funny, terrifying and unforgettable at the same time.
- Gives us decent facts and real-life events about celebrities, politicians etc.
- Many supporting side characters (Lenny and Carl, Ned Flanders, Moe Szyslak, Milhouse, etc.)
- It also has a share of many entertaining antagonists (Mr. Burns, Sideshow Bob, Frank Grimes, Kang and Kodos).
- The series was so popular that it had its own film adaptation in 2007.
- Unlike most FOX shows, they take aim at both the Democratic and Republican parties, depicting Republicans as corrupt warmongers and Democrats as brainless idiots. Not even presidents were safe from criticism, as Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were subjected to mockery on the show.
- The Simpsons had many famous celebrity guest stars in their episodes (Ringo Starr, Barry White, Leonard Nimoy, Mark Hamill, etc).
- Even though the series had a little decline from quality as said by fans, the show still makes good episodes and good (or at least average at best) seasons.
- The two couch gags John Kricfalusi made for 2011 and again in 2015 were wacky and entertaining.
- On some occasions, the humor is done at the wrong time and barely makes sense.
- Overuse of pop-culture references at times, even in the pre movie and post movie seasons.
- Patty and Selma's voices are pretty horrendous for women.
- The couch gags get more and more lazy as the show goes on (with many of them, especially the circus one, getting re-used often).
- It has its share of bad/mediocre episodes (especially in the later seasons) like "Lisa Goes Gaga", "The Principal and the Pauper", "Alone Again, Natura Diddly", "The Boys of Bummer", "That 90's Show", "Co-Dependents' Day", and the list goes on, but not too many.
- Bart's antics can get pretty mean-spirited and over-the-top at times.
- It's often argued that the show's quality went rapidly downhill after Seasons 9 or 10.
- Some of the couch gags (whilst very enjoyable) can get pretty weird or outright disturbing (like the Don Hertzfeldt one in "Clown in the Dumps").
- Wasn't well recognized in Japan, in fact, the Japanese dub of the series was long gone after the thirteenth season of the show.
- Many of the episode titles can feature pop-culture references at times (i.e. "Yellow Is The New Black", it is a good episode, but it's pop-culture references are overused).
- The show is a spinoff of a successful series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show from 1987 to 1989.