Monday, 16 February 2009

There Is Nothing Good About This

Well, alright, there are a couple of good things, but they are drowned out somewhat.

The Simpsons is going HD, and that means that the opening sequence, which is two decades old and beginning to show its age as the animation in the main show evolves, needs remaking from the ground up. What it doesn't mean is that FOX had any excuse to do something like this: 

The big, flat, cardboard-cutout-looking town is dismal. You're celebrating going HD, you morons -- draw something worth broadcasting in HD. The bird on the title card is pointless and detracts from the image. (And since when were there three-eyed birds in The Simpsons? Has Burns been dumping waste in the sky now?) Why are Kearney and Jimbo sawing the statue's head off when Bart already did it? Adding a belch to your theme music is rarely wise. The baby with one eyebrow thing is just change for its own sake, and the Texan oil baron doesn't need to be in the title sequence. He's only in a handful of episodes and then only for a few seconds each. See also the crazy cat lady. And why is Hans Moleman in the sewer? The whole thing makes no sense. The old sequence was a massively exaggerated version of the show, as if it was designed to introduce the programme or something. The new one is like a grotesque parody of it. Homer getting hit by the car and smashed through a door is indicative of everything that is wrong with the show these days. And how many times is a TV falling off a bracket going to be funny? It's passably funny now that at the same time the show goes HD the family get a widescreen (but still purple) TV and that it isn't secured properly, but unless you're planning on changing it again next year that's going to get old. Really old. The 'zaniness' of the new episodes is one of the worst things about them, and this is predictable zaniness. That's the worst kind. (Speaking of which, if that sign advertising Krusty's funeral service is the same every week then I'm massively unimpressed by that too.) The couch gag is dismal too, but at least that's presubably a one-off. As for the chalkboard lines... well, they're just ironic.

Of course, none of the above matters a damn because The Simpsons is shit anyway these days and even if you are dumb enough to watch it they're never going to actually show this sequence because that would take precious seconds away from the endless, tedious, repetitive scenes of Homer getting repeatedly hit with things. They actually stopped employing the cast in series 18. Since then they've made all episodes by repeating a stock reel they made of Homer getting hit by things and one of Nancy Cartwright's Scientologist robo-calls.

This is, of course, everything I expect from FOX, but presumably at one point everyone involved liked the show as it was? That said, I don't think it's possible to write more than a week of solid quality screenplay on any topic, 24 being the obvious example. And that's how much of this show there is now.

There exist six hours of Fawlty Towers. There exist eight hours of The Office. There is a day and a half of Red Dwarf (and no more). There is a full week of The Simpsons. Why? I mean, the only thing comparable to that is Star Trek, and that's not just twenty years of the same thing (or even ten years of the same thing and ten years of shit pretending to be the same thing).

Just stop it. Let it be. Make your money some other way. And everyone else, stop watching programmes that aren't any good. Learn to judge a show by its content and not by how familiar its title is.

Bah. People.

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