This interview with Ricky Gervais is exactly the kind of incestuous entertainment industry fellatio that has helped allow Zombie Simpsons to stagger forward year after year. Here’s the opening paragraph, in which he employs perhaps the most cliched defense possible for why Zombie Simpsons should still be on the air:
The Simpsons is quite simply one of the best TV shows of all time. When people nitpick and say, "That wasn’t a very good season", I want to go, "No, it wasn’t the best season. But it was still the best thing on TV that year".
Ah, the old “it’s still better than other TV” excuse, that one will be with us forever. Even if we’re willing to grant that Zombie Simpsons was one of the best shows on television last year (and quite frankly I don’t think there are a lot of people left who would say that), so what? Television is almost entirely shitty, being the best piece of shit isn’t exactly cause for celebration.
But wait, it gets better. Right after saying that, Gervais goes on to discuss how great The Simpsons is by talking extensively about “And Maggie Makes Three” (Season 6) and “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” (Season 5). That’s it. He sings the praises of Zombie Simpsons and then immediately undermines his own statement by citing not one but two episodes from the before time and not mentioning anything from the last fifteen seasons.
Obviously Gervais is speaking extemporaneously here, it’s not like this is something on which he spent a lot of time or thought. But it’s still very telling that when he chose examples of why the show is great he reached back to the olden days.