Sunday, March 24, 2013

Victory Has Defeated The Simpsons

(Programming note -- my goal is to post at least once a week at the beginning of the week, and so far this year, my track record hasn't been horrible.  Recently, I've been devoting a lot of my non-work-hours to planning a move from New York to Seattle, and this blog has suffered as a result.  I can't promise anything, but tune in on Mondays and I'll do my best to stick to a weekly schedule.)

I had a near perfect New York weekend a few weeks back, starting with a Louis CK benefit show for PS3 Elementary on Friday (minus the fifteen minutes he had to spend lecturing rambunctious PS3 teachers to stop heckling him), the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts at the best cinema house in all the five boroughs -- the Nitehawk -- on Saturday, and unstoppable party machine FM Belfast at The Studio at Webster Hall on Sunday.  It was an embarrassment of riches and left me with far more to contemplate than I had time to write about ... the fine art of heckler confrontation, the spinelessness of the Academy awarding the Oscar to the flavorless Pepsi-commercial that was Paperman instead of Adam And Dog, the challenge of convincing friends to take a chance on a new band they haven't heard before ...

Instead of all that, the winner this week is The Simpsons, and specifically the question that stuck with me now weeks later (now that my schedule has opened up enough to type this post out): Why can't they make a modern-day TV episode of The Simpsons as simple and clever as "The Longest Daycare"? Maybe they were angling for the Oscar and, thus, needed to release the short in theaters to qualify. Maybe they were brushing up their animation chops as a trial run for the next Simpsons Movie (which is apparently not going to happen any time soon)? Or maybe it was just too experimental -- a dialogue-free segment without B- and C-plots or celebrity stunt casting to keep things "zany." But ... why does it have to be zany? If I'm right, if it's the latter explanation, then I'd like to spend a minute lamenting this staple of my childhood before casting it off the iceberg of Great TV Shows That Were.