It is hard to maintain creativity and romance for 27 years – in real life and in reel life. So, with The Simpsons heading toward Season 27 rumors are running rampant on a possible Homer and Marge split or even the death of their son, Bart.
The animated comedy has tackled numerous topics and featured an amazing Who’s Who of guest stars (or voices) through the years. But, if the rumors are right, the show could undergo a radical change that will reinvigorate The Simpsons or be their version of “jumping the shark” (Hollywood jargon for an episode that uses a gimmick to lure viewers but is a sign of creative desperation).
Just about every highly visible Hollywood marriage is ripe for rumors of a split, although for cartoon ones to head that way is unheard of. However, Homer and Marge Simpson have split before and, based on a clerical error unveiled in Season 20, are probably not legally married anyway. So, news that they will separate in the next season give the writers some new material with which to play.
The forthcoming story line, which the executive producer Al Jean told Variety, is different. It is not a cartoon D’Oh or played up for humor. Apparently, Homer will fall in love with a new character to be voiced by Lena Dunham. The character will undoubtedly wear more than Dunham’s Girls character and, hopefully, not be drawn with the awful wig Dunham wore on Scandal.
There have been flirtations and temptations before (e.g., the bowling instructor and Lurleen Lumpkin). It is just surprising that Homer actually moves on – the guy is not exactly a one to take a risk and certainly is not a catch. It would seem more likely that Marge would get tired of his antics and inconsiderate behavior.
Besides dropping the news about the Homer and Marge Simpson’s split, Jean started talk running rampant on the future for bad boy Bart Simpson. He reportedly revealed that Sideshow Bob may kill off Bart, but the death rumors could be a plot or ploy to attract attention (or a shark). Shows rarely kill off a main character without a reason and typically do not announce it ahead. Grey’s Anatomy and Downton Abbey are two shows that shocked viewers with the death of major characters.
Additionally, some sources say the “death” will take place during this year’s Halloween episode. Those shows, which are often a send-up of something else, are vastly different from the norm; they are shows where anything can happen and unhappen the next week.
The Simpsons is the longest-running scripted show in prime time today and is the longest-running sitcom ever. But all good things come to an end. The show is reportedly ending about Season 28. So – queue the Jaws theme – the split between Homer and Marge on The Simpsons and rampant rumors about the death of Bart or any other major character could be the start of the end. D’oh.
By Dyanne Weiss
People: 10 Important Lessons We Learned from Marge & Homer Simpson’s Marriage
CNN: D’oh! Homer and Marge set to split on ‘The Simpsons’
Los Angeles Times: Relax everyone, Marge and Homer Simpson have already been divorced
The Atlantic: The Simpsons Are Separating: A Rant