Has The Simpsons gotten better?

I had stopped watching a few seasons. I was actually pretty vocal about how bad I thought the show had actually gotten, and that some of the people who thought otherwise were in denial, (heh). I didn’t like the movie, and even stopped watching reruns. But I’ve seen a few this season, and I’ve liked most of them.

What have others thought about the show lately? Is it me?

I think it’s gotten a lot better the last three years, especially after the movie - my feeling is that the producers got a better understanding of what people like about the show and what they don’t. I think the latest season was the best since season eight or nine.

Well I was amazed when I recently discovered that the Simpsons did an entire act devoted to The Fountainhead in one of their trilogy episodes. This is the only direct exposure I’ve had to the show in the last couple of seasons. The exception being the Ralph Wiggum for President episode which was pretty much the worst thing ever.

The show went totally downhill during season 9, and by season 12 I couldn’t bear it any longer.

Does the show still focus around the guest character of the week, always playing THEMSELVES rather than an actual story character? Does Bart still exist only to be Homer’s voice of conscience in his wacky new job of the week? Does Marge only open her mouth to say totally cringeworthy lines (the way they changed her character reminds me of the “it’s hip to be square” conversation at the end of Homerpalooza)?