Converts are the worst. Much like the ex-prostitutes in the choir, I sing loudest about TV’s dysfunctional Simpson Family.

In its twentieth season, the Simpsons overtakes the venerable Gunsmoke as the longest running fictional series.

Through obsessive channel surfing I was enticed into my first episode and straightaway transformed by the intelligent and adept writing. There are no taboos. The Simpsons writers relish the edgy topics and shrewdly expose today’s hypocrisy with piercing humor.

Kids get it right away, they always do. I was disinclined to watch initially and I identify a similar reaction with certain adults, but it’s not just for kids. Some parents condemn the show, asserting that their children will never see an episode. This is the early onset of parental delusion, which precedes “I didn’t inhale” or “we were only wrestling”. Your kid has seen the Simpsons, believe me.

The show depicts small town America, with characters representing every lifestyle. Dialogue riddled with unsaid truths, satirical plot lines and cynical characters so true that they are credible, even as animated figures.

Mental disorders and vegetarianism are sliced with the same satirical knife as alcoholism, senility and organized religion. The cast is diverse with rednecks, criminals, gays and Jewish clowns as regulars.

Dialogue is too clever to offend as it simultaneously entertains multiple levels of audience, much in the tradition of English Pantomime. The demographic is unparalleled, 7 to 70 with spectacular ratings. It is simply funny.

Music is a heavy component of some episodes and the top artists of all time line up. Cameos are sought after featuring ex-Presidents, philanthropists, captains of industry and quantum physicists.

The cast has expanded over the ensuing years and character development is superb with story lines easy to pick up with masterly sub plots.

The inept, blatantly corrupt Police Chief Wiggim with nasal Edward G. Robinson cadence commands a force of two, Lou and Eddie who are only permitted first names, ‘kinda like Cher’ is the explanation.

The Simpsons writers display particular disdain for the media at all levels. The local TV newscaster Kent Brockman is scripted the cleverest lines throughout the series, next only to Ralph Wiggim, the Chief’s bedwetting son. “Oh boy, sleep! That’s when I’m a Viking!”


Longest running sit-com

Longest running animated show

Twenty-six Emmys 2006

Eight Peabody’s

Inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary

Time Magazine declared The Simpsons the best television show of the century
*Time also voted Hitler Man of the Year in 1939.

Gracie Films have developed the sharpest show ever and sustained this sterling standard over the past two decades, bringing The Simpsons to cult status, translated into six languages.

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