“So how long before you shipped Grandpa off to the old folks home?” – Bart Simpson
“About three weeks.” – Homer Simpson
Well, okay, he didn’t use the word “senile”, but he came awfully close:
For those who say the show is no longer funny, Reiss has a simple answer: "Well, don’t watch it!" He likened the 450-episode show to a person. "The Simpsons change the way people change. Think of your grandparents. The either get boring or crazy and weird. I like to think ‘The Simpsons’ has gotten crazy and weird."
First of all, most of the people who say it sucks don’t watch it. Until we started this here blog, I hadn’t seen a new one in years. But that doesn’t mean they don’t suck, nor does it mean I can’t say so as loudly and as often as possible.
Secondly, I’m sure he meant “crazy and weird” in only the most positive way, but it’s not a good comparison. This is especially true when you consider that, when The Simpsons was still on the air, old people got it worse than any other group. Tacitly comparing the show to Grandpa Simpson is an admission of defeat, isn’t it? It means you’ve become everything you used to mock.
Everybody tolerates Grandpa, but nobody goes out of their way to spend time with him. And secretly they’re all just waiting for the clock to run out. That’s a pretty good description of Zombie Simpsons, and it’s not the least bit flattering or positive. We just want it to end so we can remember the good times instead of the sickly shadow that shits itself once per week.
I have no desire to pick on Reiss. He is vastly funnier than me, and moreover I love the guy. He was a big part of what made The Simpsons great, and he co-created The Critic. But if the best defense he has is comparing Zombie Simpsons to the doddering remains of a once vibrant person, well, that kinda says it all.
(There’s other stuff in that article, some of it funny. But the Nasty Internet Critic Act of 2003 only allows me to discuss the parts I hate.)