Simpson forever | GQ Germany

Of course, The Simpsons expected the reaction of this audience, too. Namely, in an episode called “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show”, which was about the beloved animated series of Bart and Lisa. Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie is kind of a very violent update to Tom and Jerry, and a minor replacement for The Simpsons. When the “itch and scratch” starts to drop in ratings in that episode, the kids end up in a survey that network executives use to try to diagnose the problem. Lisa, who’s always the smartest person in the room, offers an explanation that also seems to explain the Simpsons development: “The thing,” she says, with “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” is actually “it’s all right. She’s as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters don’t have the same effect they had before.” Or, as Tom Sacks put it to me: “The avant-garde is being copied by the mainstream and a decade later it has lost its appeal.”

This happened in the eighth season of The Simpsons. This usually happens when even the most popular sitcoms start to come easy to you. As cartoon characters, the performers had the advantage of never getting old, but burnout was inevitable. The creators of “The Simpsons” seem to be indicating their potential failure. Although it’s incredible, they hadn’t produced a single weak episode yet, but they knew it was coming.

As is often the case in sitcoms, the “Itchy & Scratchy” problem resolves itself at the end of the episode: Bart and Lisa find the show funny again. “We should consider ourselves lucky that they are still doing a show of this level after so many years,” says Lisa, then stares straight into the audience. “The Simpsons” is as close to true morality as ever at the moment. Then, after a short pause, Bart asks “What else is playing?” And Lisa moved to another channel.

Will The Simpsons End?

In this age of endless remasters, sequences, and pre-cuts, we never change channels. Death in the movie is not the end. In 2019, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, the company that owns the Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars franchises. This means that The Simpsons is now officially one of the biggest giants in entertainment. This demonstrates better than anything how the fundamental way in which entertainment is consumed has changed. The idea of ​​picking a show from one of the few stations each night is now an old idea from the late ’90s. At the time, you had to wait until Sunday night or talk to your parents about the news program to watch the replay early in the evening on weekdays. Today, the image of the family gathering in front of the TV every evening is a thing of the past. Unlike other TV relics from decades past, The Simpsons is more accessible, replays are easier to find, and now that the show is on streaming services, we have a greater connection to it – “The Simpsons is a skit that will live for us.” all.

Al Jean told me about his vision of ending the series, if it comes to that. It will be a throwback to the first episode, which begins with the family attending a Christmas show at Springfield Elementary School. “I always had the idea that in the last episode we’d be going back to the original Christmas show,” he says. “The whole series is an endless loop, a cartoon that has no beginning and no end, where no one grows up and no one learns. That’s what I would have done.”

“I don’t think it will stop,” he concludes.

MH Miller It is the feature manager in T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

Adaptation
Anne Horn


current GQ

You can find an interview with the creators of The Simpsons in the current GQ. Also: Interviews with A$AP Rocky, GmbH and the queen of the Spanish dance floor Rosalía. The new GQ has been available in stores and online here since May 3.

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