Saturday Morning Cartoons

When Flanders Failed13

“Don’t you think you should get a little fresh air and maybe some exercise?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Bart Simpson

In the early days, when the show routinely came in for social criticism from cranky old people, the writers liked to use Marge as a way to shoot back.  The most famous example of this was “Marge’s” letter to then First Lady Barbara Bush, but they often worked it into episodes as well.

The quote above comes right after Marge asks Bart how many hours of TV he watches per day, and he casually replies “Six.  Seven if there’s something good on“.  That’s the show heaping scorn on brow-furrowing magazine articles and solemn pieces on 60 Minutes and the like about how television is terrible.  It then really drives the point home:


“Marge, TV gives so much and asks so little.  It’s a boy’s best friend.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s the problem.  Even as we speak, millions of children are staring at the TV instead of getting some much needed exercise.  Those children’s parents should be ashamed of themselves.” – Marge Simpson

This is The Simpsons being meta before that was even a term people used.  Marge is parroting all the criticisms, while Homer is listing the simple reasons those critics will always be ignored.  The whole thing ends with Homer asking Marge to apologize to the television after it gives Bart the idea to enroll in karate class.

Despite being on teevee, The Simpsons is perfectly happy to agree that television is terrible for people.  It just isn’t going to pretend to care.  What it is going to do is make fun of people who do care by showing how utterly ineffective all their shame throwing is.  The joke, as with so many of their best, is on all of us.

12 Responses to “Saturday Morning Cartoons”

  1. 1 Stan
    3 October 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Charlie, could we please get an idea of how many viewers there were at the Season 27 premiere? TY

    • 2 Disenchanted Viewer
      3 October 2015 at 7:03 pm

      The final national numbers are: 1.53 in the 18-49 demo and 3.279 million viewers (source: tvseriesfinale.com).
      Numbers are down 62% compared to last year season premier, but last year it had a football lead-in, so it’s not comparable.
      This Sunday late football is on again on FOX boosting the ratings again (I guess about 3.0 in the demo and about 7 million viewers).

      • 3 Stan
        4 October 2015 at 1:37 am

        So, 3.2 is the final number? Shitwad that’s low for a premiere!

        • 4 Sara Soulman
          5 October 2015 at 1:35 pm

          I think it’s because it was so overhyped and because of the news that Harry Shearer was leaving the show (and then he came back) a lot of people stayed away. Or maybe people aren’t as dumb as we think and they’re not sticking around to watch this piece of shit when there’s so much they can watch and do on their Sunday nights (especially in this day and age when people are online watching TV rather than watching an actual TV).

  2. 5 Tom S. Fox
    3 October 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Aren’t you going to do a Behind Us Forever?

    • 6 Disenchanted Viewer
      3 October 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I hope posts criticizing new episodes are not discontinued.
      As much as I appreciate posts praising old episodes, the main reason I read this blog is for blaming Al Jean and his writers.
      I mean, until the show is on in this current format I think a web site of old school fans should be present to emphasize the objective decline in quality compared to the old incarnation of the show.

      • 7 The Artist Formerly Known As Rob K.
        4 October 2015 at 3:04 am

        I strongly agree.

      • 8 Sara Soulman
        5 October 2015 at 1:25 pm

        “A website of old school fans who emphasize the objective decline in quality of the newer Simpsons episodes compared to the older ones?” Jump the Shark did do that (though it focused more on other TV shows) and Me Blog Write Good tried but gave up after season 22. Simpsons Archive (snpp.com) also was one, but it quit after season 13 (as the show in general should have).

        So…yeah, I guess this website is the only place where you can do that. Oh, God…

  3. 9 Stan
    4 October 2015 at 1:40 am

    C’mon Jean, don’t be a fucking khuilo! Cancel the show!

  4. 10 The Artist Formerly Known As Rob K.
    4 October 2015 at 3:03 am

    TV: Lover, Mother, Teacher(?)

  5. 12 The Artist Formerly Known As Rob K.
    4 October 2015 at 11:03 am

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