Fans of The Simpsons have said for years now that the animated series is past its prime. They believe the halcyon days of seasons 3 through 10, where almost episode of the comedy series was brilliant, are over. Instead, they say the show has slowly declined, getting worse and worse as each year rolls by.
And yet those who work on the show believe the TV series is as good as it ever was. In a recent interview with ComicBook.com to celebrate the release of a new Simpson’s short, showrunner Al Jean said the team working on the show care as much as ever, praising one episode as “as good as anything we’ve ever done.”
“Obviously, I have a big stake in all the seasons, but we’re nominated for two Emmys this year, and the episode, which I didn’t have much to do with, that’s nominated for the series is fantastic,” he said. “I think it’s as good as anything we’ve ever done. And quite objectively, I say that. We’re also nominated for a short, and that’s a thrill, too, for the Billie Eilish short. So I can’t be objective, but I know we work as hard, and we care as much as we ever have.”
Jean also said he’d head the complaints that the show was getting worse but added, “the bar seems to move the later people are born.” I’ll be honest, he’s not wrong. Growing up I was a purist (aka a jerk) who thought that the first few seasons were great while the later seasons sucked.
But I’ve been going through each episode on Disney Plus, and you know what? The later episodes are perfectly cromulent and actually quite funny. I’d even say that some of the more modern episodes are actually brilliant. Specifically, season 27’s Halloween of Horror, which reminded me of the show’s early days.
So maybe give the later episodes a go; they might surprise you. But seriously, skip the Lady Gaga episode.