23 Shows You Need To Be Watching: #21, The Simpsons

More on my look at the 23 best shows on TV today…

21. The Simpsons
Synopsis: Oh, come on.
Why You Should Be Watching: Look, if you’re not by now, you never will. It’s a cultural icon, a touchstone for the late twentieth century, blah blah blah. It’s one of the best tv shows ever, and the only reason it’s so far down on this list is that it’s deep into retread mode now. After what, 17 years? it’s only natural for the show to lose a few feet off its fastball. It’s settled into a comfortable rut…this week, Homer becomes [insert occupation] or the Simpsons visit [insert exotic location]. It’s still funny stuff, but it’s mostly very, very familiar funny stuff.
Key scene: Where to start? My personal favorite was the Halloween “Harry Potter” episode where Bart was to turn a frog into a prince, but he forgot to do his homework and so just babbled out nonsense, turning the frog into a vomiting half-human that gurgled “kill me!” The show also still has a surprise or two, as with the recent Halloween episode that mocked the U.S. occupation of Iraq–and ended with a long, silent shot of a demolished Springfield.
Best line: Again, so many to choose from…”Hoy! Hoy!”…”Alcohol–the cause of–and solution to–all of life’s problems”…”I wash myself with a rag on a stick”…and so on, and so on, and so on.

Previous Shows:
#22: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
#23: Friday Night Lights


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