On May 4, it was announced that the once unstoppable FOX animated comedy The Simpsons has been renewed for another two seasons. While dedicated fans of the series will undoubtedly be thrilled at this news, it is in the end one of the worst decisions ever made by the network, and there are several justifiable reasons to back this up.
One of the most feared outcomes every producer has for their creation is that it will end up in the dreaded “cancel this, already” list of formerly uber-popular shows. Unfortunately for Matt Groening and the rest of the crew, this once dynamite series was placed on this blacklist some time ago, and the desperate attempts to revive it are getting nothing short of sad and overdone.
Things really hit a low point last April, when ratings for The Simpsons fell to an all-time low of 3.4 million viewers near the end of the series’ 25th season. Viewership was high when the season began back in September of that year, as the series was celebrating a milestone event of 25 years on the air, but interest quickly fell away due to poor plot lines and badly scripted humor. Indeed, the episode during which the aforementioned ratings plunge took place, entitled What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting, was essentially devoid of any decent humor and subjected viewers to 20 minutes of over-tired jokes and unoriginal script. This episode is one of the core reasons why renewing the series for another two seasons is the worst decision ever.
This was not the first time that The Simpsons had been subject to a less than stellar ratings night. Adding to the proof that the show has severely declined in popularity for some time now, comes the detail that an episode of the series from a few seasons previous nearly did just as bad in terms of viewers; The Great Simpsina, which was aired during the 22nd season, garnered a mere 4.9 viewers. While dedicated fans make the excuse that The Simpsons has broken records in terms of being the longest running show on the air and try desperately to mention the fact that the series was incredibly ground-breaking and created a new mold for animated comedies, this does not change the fact that over the years better and brighter series have burst onto the scene.
To add to this point, the reference must be made towards the awful crossover episode between The Simpsons and Family Guy that occurred at the beginning of the primetime season. The episode was aired as a Family Guy episode, due to the limitations on crude humor the producers of the former series put on their program. This was nothing short of irritating for fans of Seth MacFarlane’s masterpiece, who had been patiently waiting for a new season to start only to have to share the premiere episode with a declining series that led to one of the most boring hours in animated comedy’s history. The entirety of the crossover essentially consisted of comparisons between the two series and how they were different, and the worthy jokes were far and few between. The crossover was a seemingly desperate attempt for The Simpsons to bring back their viewership by way of latching on to a far more humorous and worthy show, an effort which by all means fell short of its goal.
The only reason for renewing The Simpsons for an additional two seasons seems to be to keep the record going for longest running television series. Other than this, there is not any evidence that denies the fact that this is one of the worst television decisions ever made.
Opinion By Rebecca Grace
Photo by Ole Olson – Creativecommons Flickr License