The Simpsons Need to End

They’ve been doing the same episode over and over again. Homer or Marge gets a new job selling weed or avocado toast or hybrid cars or tiny houses or whatever else is trendy and one shot hipster characters mentor them annoyingly. Comic Book Guy or Principal Skinner makes a cameo appearance. Dwindling home audience stares at screen in bored silence.

Ay Caramba, pull the plug already!

The Simpsons has never claimed to be an important cultural touchstone or mirror on society. It’s just twentyish minutes of easy yuks once a week. So long as it’s profitable and the half-dozen most important actors are willing to put in the studio time,it’s not going anywhere.

Them yuks haven’t been easy for the last ten years

Enough people disagree with you that the show still makes money. That’s the only relevant metric as far as Disney (that’s weird to say) is concerned.

As a kid, watching reruns of “The many loves of Dobie Gillis” and “My Three Sons”, it was disappointing to realize that all these shows were limited by the age of their cast. The kids grew up, and the show couldn’t go on.

So my first reaction to The Simpsons, was that the creators had found an innovative way of solving that problem.

Then “The Simpsons” helped me realize that “having the kids grow up” was actually the solution to the real problem: writers don’t have enough content to continue forever.

I wonder if they’re holding off till they lose one or more actors at which point they’ll attempt a time jump forward to squeeze a few more seasons out of the franchise.

Huh, I guess they ARE still on. I don’t remember the last time i saw a “new” one. Probably has been more than a decade.

See, this is the problem. The “new” ones play exactly like the “not-so-new” ones. I’m not even sure if humans are writing the show anymore. Maybe it’s just a repeating software program.

Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable

Unless something in a contract somewhere prevents other people from voicing that person’s character(s), I don’t think a main voice actor leaving would be a huge issue. The show has had such a long run that a lot of other people have had a lot of time to master those voices. And with the invention of youtube, the casting directors can easily go and search for ‘best simpsons impression’ and probably come up with dozens of well qualified candidates for just about any role, and that’s not even counting people that already do dozens of cartoon voices (ie Billy West, Tara Strong)

I’ve been watching since the beginning (well not Tracy Ullman) and I don’t mind it going on. I have it set up to record and I’ll watch them when I need something light. I usually get a few laughs out of each episode. I’m still partial to the 1990s episodes even though I’ve seen them all

The Simpsons is still pulling in about 1 million viewers a week. That’s way down from its heyday, but it still makes money.

(Speaking of shows with long legs, and yes this is a massive tangent, I did want to point out that 60 Minutes is still pulling in 6-7million viewers a week. That’s some amazing longevity.)

That might actually be an interesting idea. Have an episode written by GPT-3, see if anybody notices. If not, just switch to that format. Gradually phase out human voice actors and animators, as well—the AI tools needed for each seem to be on the verge of maturity. Then just set a weekly cron job, and collect your paycheck.

If the show is so consistently worthless, why are you still watching it?

Or, if you aren’t still watching it, how do you know it’s worthless?

I occasionally watch new episodes, but not nearly as regularly, or with as much pleasure, as I used to. Still, they’re welcome to keep pumping them out, as that means there’s at least a chance they’ll occasionally make a new episode that’s worth watching.

It’s don’t dissimilar from Saturday Night Live, Some seasons are better than others. Kinda depends on the writers at the time. I still like it.

Yeah, The Simpsons is not a show that demands consistent viewing. There are no real story arcs to keep up with and no plot lines to tie up. It’s not like we viewers are being held captive by a desire to see how it ends. There’s no island to escape, no mystery to solve, no mother to meet, no white walkers to kill.

The actors are making lots of money and a lot of people still enjoy it enough to watch regularly. What’s not to like?

This is a stop having fun situation.

Man being a voice actor on a show like The Simpsons has to be the best gig ever.

Oh yes also the show should have ended at least 15 years ago it hasn’t been clever or fresh in at least that long, they could have stopped after the movie too. Every aspect of the show and characters has basically been explored all to hell, the show can’t really evolve anymore without it being a new show entirely.

By God when Matt Groening does something he repeats the living shit out of it.

I wish Futurama could have gone on a little longer without being cancelled, it was never quite the same when it did come back on for a little while.

I’m not sure I understand; if the current writers are out of ideas, then can’t new writers just get swapped in?

Even if The Simpsons goes off the air, I’d figure that some show with a bumbling dad and his long-suffering wife and their wisecracking kids — this one bratty, see, and that one brainy — will get put out there, and sitcom plots will get written for it; so, as long as writers don’t run out of that sort of content in general, why would it be a problem for this show in particular?

When the SImpsons got started it was rather way out there. Now it’s familiar as sunrise and McDonalds.

The fact the sizzle is gone doesn’t mean there’s not still lots of steak money to be had by the producers.

All long-running shows get stale. Cheers, Seinfeld, M.A.S.H., etc. Ones with large ensemble casts, or (ref @Melbourne above) with lots of kids run into production challenges sooner than do shows with smaller child-free casts. Animated shows age more slowly than IRL shows. Choosing adults to voice Bart & Lisa was a genius move at the time.

All these factors give Simpsons a LOT of staying power. But even they will eventually fade to unprofitability and disappear except from the online equivalent of syndication. It will have faded from cultural phenom to tired serial at least a decade earlier if not more. Such is showbiz in the era of mass entertainment.