You know something? If a television series stays on the air for two decades, eventually you'll get around to a storyline involving slavery. It's just a fact. And so we have Sunday night's The Simpsons, where we were taken back to the 1860s to learn about the history of the Simpson family tree. Though the episode contained this sensitive subject matter, they avoided the kind of shock humor other animated series are known for. Unfortunately, the episode also seemed to be avoiding the laughs. Putting more effort into the roundabout telling of the story, "The Color Yellow" just wasn't all that funny.
It began with Miss Hoover randomly assigning her class the project of researching their family tree. Lisa was hoping to find something noble in her family's history, but only came across thieves, killers and alcoholics. Looking through heirlooms in the attic, Lisa uncovered the diary of Eliza Simpson dating from the 1860s. Lisa thought she found her noble spark, until Eliza wrote of being happy that "tomorrow I get my first slave." This line, and the accompanying gasps from the Simpson family, ended the first act. Except for Groundskeeper Willie's battle with a tree stump, the majority of this opening was a dud.
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