The Simpsons is quite possibly the greatest sitcom to ever air on television.
Strong statement, huh? Let me explain.
You can take the show at face value and see nothing more than a mildly-amusing to consistently-yawn-inducing cartoon which has run its course and needs to be put down mercifully. Or you can be one of the people who see the show as neverendingly fresh, scathing social commentary.
Judging from my opening statement, I suppose it's clear which set of beliefs I subscribe to. I used to belong to the first group, though. I didn't care for the show because I refused to buy into the popular culture's obsession with it. You know, "Cowabunga, dude" and all that. I remember growing up surrounded by that and failing to understand what was so special about this mere cartoon.
Now that I'm older and can appreciate its layers and subtext (yes, it's there, I promise), I am constantly amazed at the ways the show's writers never fail to come up with new material or rather, since most material is based upon real-life events, crazes or hypocrisies, never fail to find new ways to put a satirical spin on modern life.
All these years and the show just keeps going. And why not? We Americans never cease to give the writers new material to work with! Still, the fact that the show is consistently on the ball and funny is a miracle in a culture which has seen the quality of television get unceremoniously flushed down the toilet. And those of us who can take a moment to look beneath the surface are all the richer for the laughter that we derive from it...even if that laughter is sometimes directed at ourselves.
-Review by Jennifer Morgan, Helium.com