Saturday, May 02, 2009


A thought occurred to me not that long ago:

Back during they heyday of The Simpsons, there were a number of different writers and show runners with their own distinct styles that nerds who watch the show enough (or listen to the DVD commentary) can be able to pick out. Soon enough, you'll be able to figure what was Oakley/Weinstein episode, what was a Mirkin episode, etc. So, during that period, there were talented people who had an impact on the show.

So, here is my query: What is stopping a group of talented writers and directors from coming onto the show now and making it good again? Given that the people who grew up on the show, now my age or older, could now be entering the creative industry, possibly as TV writers. If the show refuses to go down in the future, is it not possible that new recruits to bring the show back up again?

Now, considering that, I must remember there are some other factors to consider:

1)What is the creative environment on the show like today? I wouldn't necessarily think that the show is under more corporate scrutiny now than ever before. The execs have given the show a lot of creative space, and they probably recognize that any sort of exercise in control would hurt their image in the eyes of the audience. Even so, there's still the possibility that the show, which is now considered a staple (ubiquitous, even), may have a different atmosphere for the writers than it did during the earlier seasons.

2)Who are the creators on the show now? I honestly don't know, since I stopped watching. When did they come one? How long have they've been on? Where did they come from? The answers to these questions would likely have an impact on new writers coming onto the show.

3)Is it possible that the show has simply run out of possibilities? That there are no more stories to tell with these characters, this setting? That seems to be a very possible thing, too. As I said, I don't watch the show anymore, but any glimpse I get of it seem, for the most part to be spinning its wheels. Oh look, more marital problems for Homer and Marge! Bart/Lisa finds another possible love interest! I also notice a growing number of fantasy episodes, which in a show like The Simpsons really should be kept at a minimum. All this seems to suggest that there's really nothing left for the show to say, although it could also just be that we have a bunch of hacks in the monkey house.

4)Do any of these creative types even really want to work on The Simpsons, rather than go off on their own? This is an issue that is common for people who want to break into the comics world as well. Especially when you're a big fan, writing your favourite characters would be a dream come true, whether it's Homer Simpson or Spider-Man. But even if you are a big fan of some property, you could still be incredibly savvy about what working on that property would entail. I would think just as many Simpsons fans (myself included) would rather go off and create their own thing using the inspiration they got from the show. This is not a bad thing. It is likely that most of the good comedy we see today and will see in the future comes from people who grew up on The Simpsons (although I won't discount that the major creative figures from the show, Greg Daniels and Oakley/Weinstein for example, have also become diffused among these shows as well).

It was just a thought, though. I thought that would probably have been more relevant three years ago, as by now everyone just wants Fox to let the show finally die with whatever dignity it has left. But that's unlikely to happen any time soon.

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