The Simpsons 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee

King Size Homer12

“Push out the jive.  Bring in the love.” – C.M. Burns

If there is one persistent misperception about this blog on the wider plains of the internet, it is that we simply hate Zombie Simpsons and that’s it.  Beneath that strong and oft expressed dislike, however, is the real reason we’re all here: love.  We love The Simpsons.  It was a show beyond even the most enthusiastic superlatives, and it remains so more than two decades after it took America and the world by storm.  Its creation was a once in a lifetime alignment of immensely improbable coincidences that came together with perfect timing.  It never should’ve happened, but it did, and the world is a much funnier place for it. 

That incredible show has endured so well that, in nearly four years of weekly Reading Digest posts, we’ve been able to link to thousands of Simpsons related pages that were viewed by untold millions of people, and that’s just the stuff that came into the narrow slice of the internet that we survey.  Every week there are blog posts about favorite episodes, fan art of various kinds, and an endless stream of people who quote the show when something in their life resembles that collection of twenty year old television episodes.  All the time, thought, attention and creativity that goes into generating that endless torrent of words, images and real world stuff is a testament to how much joy The Simpsons still produces.  It seems unlikely that any other two decade old piece of culture – in any medium – still generates even a significant fraction of that interest and activity.  So we are hardly alone in our love of this show.

To celebrate that, and keeping in mind the show’s traditional disdain for meaningless milestones, today we are launching The Simpsons 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee.  What is that?  Well, we’re not entirely sure yet.  For starters, we’re going to be watching Season 1 and following along as the episodes move through the 23rd anniversary of their original broadcasts.  Starting today and continuing throughout the week with “Bart the Genius”, we’ll be looking at the DVD commentaries, the animation, the quotes, the sign gags, and the episodes as a whole.  As for what precisely that entails in terms of recurring posts, well, that’s what we’re still figuring out.

And we want to hear from you.  (Yes, you!)  Whether in comments or via e-mail, we want to hear about your favorite parts of the episodes, personal memories, and anything else you can think of.  Guest posts about each week’s episode are most definitely welcome, but this is much more “Do What You Feel” than “Do As We Say”. 

The important thing is that we’re watching television.  So if you’ve got the DVDs at home, know where to watch them elsewhere [legally unactionable stage cough], or can score them from a library, Netflix, or Amazon (Season 1 $25 new, ~$6-10 used), sit down and bask in television’s warm glowing warming glow with us. 

16 Responses to “The Simpsons 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee”

  1. 1 Al Gore Doll
    14 January 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I think the reason the Simpsons holds such a place in my heart is because it was the only time I really felt connected with my family. Most of the time my siblings and parents annoyed me, but when we all sat down to watch the show, it was so good we would quote the jokes to each other the following week and it did wonders.
    I pity other generations who won’t have the same experience, but there’s always DVDs.

  2. 3 RaikoLives
    14 January 2013 at 5:50 pm

    To a degree – a lesser degree – Family Guy is doing the same thing. They don’t “stick” as well, since they’re usually more “jokes for jokes sake” but I’m pretty sure you’ll find that “quoting with the family” aspect there. But then, we are in an environment of “memes” and “sound bites” almost all the time, and The Simpsons managed to do the same thing in “the time before the internet”. So, as I said, a LESSER degree, but its still there. So, y’know, not ALL bad news, right?

  3. 4 abra cadaver
    14 January 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Every time I see these weird looking clouds and The Simpsons logo (in that familiar Matt Groening wobbly nervous chicken-scratch typeface) pop up like God himself designed it, I get a tingle in my loins. Unless I find out it’s a Zombie episode. But luckily those are a bit easier to distinguish now with the HD opening shit. But still.

    “THE SIMPSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONS” gets me every time. That and Lisa’s blue sax

  4. 5 Stan
    14 January 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Be as it may, and let those who won’t agree with me cast me out, but I think at present time my hatred for Zombie Simpsons surpasses well my love for The Simpsons. For two basic reasons:

    1) I’m not such a “die hard” fan of the show, I mean it’s good, some of it is even very good and still funny so many years later. BUT! it’s an old show and multiple things in it are outdated. And as with everything outdated, I only tend to treat it like a “classic”, i.e. once in while – to take the object from the shelf, wipe it a little, admire it for some short time, and finally put it back – rather than something to praise upon every single day.

    2) I don’t like most of today’s animated sitcoms in general, although compared to ZS they are still being not so bad. If there was a way to start something like an alternate script writing for new episodes, not necessarily going fan art or fan fiction – just this – I think I’d find myself much more interested for the process than point 1.

    With this being sad, plus with whatever I wrote in comments when you decided not to review ratings for every new episode anymore, I must unfortunately hereby resign from further activity…

    Oh that’s right, I never enlisted in any in first place. Nobody forced me to. So whatever.

    Oh, and your book was very good. It’s in My Documents. I’ll read it again in five years or so.

  5. 15 January 2013 at 11:05 am

    Presumably you’ve seen it, but there was a great article on AVClub.com some months back listing (I think) 10 episodes of The Simpsons in recent years that are as good as anything they’ve ever done. On one hand, it’s sad to have to scrape through years of programs to find 10, but on the other it was a nice reminder that they can still deliver the goods from time to time.

    • 10 Al Gore Doll
      15 January 2013 at 12:47 pm

      “deliver the goods”
      please explain.

      • 15 January 2013 at 1:32 pm

        Capture that indefinable something they had during their prime – the humor that manages to be broad and refined at the same time (where sometimes you can’t even laugh, you have to just sit there and contemplate the cleverness). Fresh, interesting plots. Developments that feel like expansions of the characters, not betrayals of them (*cough* Armin Tamzarian *cough*). Actions that seem consistent with the characters, instead of “now let’s have Lisa be shallow for a bit for the sake of the joke” type stuff.

        That sort of thing.

        • 12 Frank
          15 January 2013 at 1:37 pm

          Off topic, but since you mentioned Armin Tanzarian, I just happened to watch that episode this weekend for the first time in a while, but – and I don’t know if this says more about me then about ZS – I found that while I hated it the first time I saw it, other than the ending, it wasn’t so bad. The characters weren’t Flanderized (see TV tropes), the script wasn’t trying to be completely off the wall, and the premise was somewhat reasonable.

          • 15 January 2013 at 4:18 pm

            It does have its moments, hard as it is to admit. “Well if that’s corny, then corn me up” and the incredibly useful, “And no one will ever mention it again, under penalty… of torture.”

    • 14 Stan
      15 January 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Wasn’t looking too hard, but here’s the best 10 Simpsons episodes (according to Some Dude): http://www.tv.com/news/the-10-best-simpsons-episodes-of-all-time-so-far-27855/

      Spare me the need of asking if there is at least one mentioned in there from a double digit season.

  6. 15 Monty Python Forever
    16 January 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I have an idea for how to do this: One great episode followed by one bad episode, again and again until you catch up to the point where you started this blog. You like most of the episodes in the first 10 seasons and hate most of the episodes from season 10 through 20, so there should be a roughly equal distribution before the point you started commenting on the new episodes. You can skip Saddlesore Galactica, though: No one should have to suffer through that episode.

  7. 16 John K.
    24 January 2013 at 9:08 pm

    >linking to reddit

    shiggy diggy

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