My Shocking Confession: I Don’t Get ‘The Simpsons’
I have to admit something. It's been weighing on me for awhile. I've kept it to myself, too embarrassed to say it out loud. Then I saw online that this exists, and I finally had to say something. I don't get The Simpsons.
I know that I'm putting my Generation X Comedy Nerd credibility on the line here. The Simpsons is suppose to be part of my DNA, a building block of my superior comedy snobbery. I watched every season on Mr. Show as it aired on HBO. I laughed out-loud while walking across the campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney listening to Bill Hicks albums (on cassette, Represent!). I can trade Holy Grail quotes with the best of them. But, I do not have any connection to The Simpsons.
I should, I know I should. Conan O'Brien is my favorite late night host, second only to Dave. He wrote Marge vs. the Monorail, what I am told is one of the best episodes ever. But, I watch it and I just get board.
Dana Gould, Greg Daniels, and so many other very funny people have worked on the show, but I still can't get into the show.
I was there from the beginning (#OldGuyComedyBrag). I'd watch a power-hour of Married With Children and The Simpsons every week. I was told it was funny, I recognized the jokes. But I could not catch on to the hype.
Even on of my favorite jokes ever comes from an episode of the show. In season two, episode 5, when Dancin' Homer get called up to the big leagues in Capital City and Lisa is worried about leaving her friends, Homer says to her "You'll make new and better friends." I love that line and still say it today.
That gets to the heart of my Simpsons Complex. when I hear people talking about the show it sound so great. When people are making references, talking about the jokes and saying the lines I love it. I laugh and think 'I'm wrong about the show, I need to revisit it.' Then 'Nope, still don't get it.'
Then add in that I love Futurama! A Simpsons companion show, from people that worked on The Simpsons. I enjoy the stories, the characters, the humor, all of it.
Well, maybe most of it. I think I just hit on what I may be turning me off on The Simpsons. I do love almost everything about Futurama, except when Nibbler is involved. Then the show get frustratingly sappy. If a Lela and Nibbler coming of age, sweet, squishy, cuddly story-line pops up I go 'next episode' quicker than [insert appropriate Futurama reference here-probably something about Santa].
Even the episode where Fry believes that Yancy stole his name and went to Mars, then he learns the truth and comes to love his brother; falls far off the mushy continuum for me.
It seem like every episode of The Simpsons has that undercurrent of sap.I guess that's exactly why some people love that show, but the 'loving and learning' tone does not click with me. I can't tell if it's because I'm super well adjusted, so I don't need to try to relive my broken emotional life through fiction; or if it's because I'm so emotionally broken that I can't identify with simple human feelings. Either way, my cheap nature and Midwestern upbringing will continue to percent me from exploring those topics with a professional, so I'll just keep focusing on how much I don't get The Simpsons.