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Could the end be near
April 30, 2002 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Could the end be near for cult television cartoon family "The Simpsons?"

"I think we are closer to winding it up," the television show's creator, Matt Groening told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday."
posted by jcterminal (25 comments total)

 
Start planning the reunion show now!
posted by girlhacker at 2:31 PM on April 30, 2002


I think they should have cancelled it after Bart Star?so out of character!
posted by rschram at 2:32 PM on April 30, 2002


Must....resist....urge....to.....shoot...messenger......
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:34 PM on April 30, 2002


last episode (with the homer roast) kicked ass by the way.

i mean it had homer jumping a shark.

and people think they ain't got it anymore...
posted by jcterminal at 2:35 PM on April 30, 2002


"Cult?" The Simpsons is one of the longest running and most popular shows on television. It is hardly a show with a "cult" following.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:37 PM on April 30, 2002


Well Fox cancelled Futurama, and now if the Simpsons is winding down, what are the animators and writers going to do?
posted by riffola at 2:40 PM on April 30, 2002


I think that there have been hints in episodes over the last two or three years that the show was on it's way out. The musical montage at the end of the show with Homer's roast, where they basically admitted that they were out of ideas, was the strongest I've noticed yet. But then I've probably given this more thought than is healthy.
posted by guyincognito at 2:41 PM on April 30, 2002


Obviously, when a show's been on the air for 13 seasons it's more likely to be closer to its end than its beginning. That being said Matt Groening has had very little to do with the show for a very long time (oh, say, season two on...), so we shouldn't read too much into comments like these. It brings money in hand-over-fist for the good folks at FOX, so the network's in no hurry to pull the plug. And consider that the same names appear in the credits year after year (Al Jean, George Meyer, et. all...) it certainly seems that the writing staff seems happy to stay put. Throw in that it was only recently (last 4 years or so) that the cast started to make decent money (relative to other sitcom stars) and it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Simpsons had primetime's first "1000 Episode" party.

Maybe then Burns will remember Homer's name.
posted by herc at 2:43 PM on April 30, 2002


Obviously, when a show's been on the air for 13 seasons it's more likely to be closer to its end than its beginning. That being said Matt Groening has had very little to do with the show for a very long time (oh, say, season two on...), so we shouldn't read too much into comments like these. It brings money in hand-over-fist for the good folks at FOX, so the network's in no hurry to pull the plug. And consider that the same names appear in the credits year after year (Al Jean, George Meyer, et. all...) it certainly seems that the writing staff seems happy to stay put. Throw in that it was only recently (last 4 years or so) that the cast started to make decent money (relative to other sitcom stars) and it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Simpsons had primetime's first "1000 Episode" party.

Maybe then Burns will remember Homer's name.
posted by herc at 2:45 PM on April 30, 2002


Sorry 'bout the double post. I'm a long-time lurker, new poster. Still getting the hang of things...
posted by herc at 2:46 PM on April 30, 2002


herc, the proper thing to do is just say "D'oh!"
posted by ColdChef at 2:55 PM on April 30, 2002


if it does end soon, it will be sorely missed,
but it's had 13 years of excellent situational comedy, which will surely continue to entertain in the countless hours of re-runs broadcast over stations catering to college campuses (yehaw!).
at least the content is still quite strong in comparison to other shows that have wound down after a shorter running time.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 2:56 PM on April 30, 2002


My god. Next thing you know they'll be contemplating a movie!

Oh, why not just hang the poor fool and get it over with.
posted by DaRiLo at 2:57 PM on April 30, 2002


I wish the Simpsons could stay on forever, I really enjoy each episode. However if the show was over, the DVD episodes could come out faster.
posted by patrickje at 2:58 PM on April 30, 2002


The musical montage at the end of the show with Homer's roast, where they basically admitted that they were out of ideas, was the strongest I've noticed yet.

y'know, i honestly thought this was pure genius. they screw us all with a completely unfunny clip show, and then, THEN, poke us in the damn eye on the way out.

beautiful. i loved it.
posted by fishfucker at 3:10 PM on April 30, 2002


Seems to me the show has been stronger in recent weeks than the last couple of seasons. I was glad to see them stay in Springfield than reaching for a trek to Rio or Australia or -

By the by, is Mr. Burns the best villain on TV? I challenge you to name another that was/is better...
posted by blefr at 3:23 PM on April 30, 2002


I'm getting really tired of the "we've been on for a long time, we're out of novel ideas" excuse given by the show's producers. HORSESHIT! GET BETTER WRITERS! They've got a bunch of amateurs churning out formulaic, humorless scripts, and they have the gall to blame the show's downward spiralling on something else? WTF? The problem is right under their noses - THEIR WRITERS SUCK!

Sorry for the rant, but I really feel that replacing the current talentless crew of Tulane dropouts with some writers who have a sense of humor would make a world of difference. Just my .02.
posted by Stumpy McGee at 4:51 PM on April 30, 2002


blefr: Marvin the freakin' Martian! :)

I think the show is doing fine. The clip show/roast was great; "we are not crying, we are merely vomitting from our eyes!"

I think the show still has a lot of life left in it. As long as there is news, and world coverage of it, then The Simpsons will have material. The show won't last forever, but I'm not hearing any death knells currently.

I don't see how Fox could shit-can The Family Guy, Futurama AND The Simpsons within a 1 year time-frame. I mean, When Dust Mites Attack!! sure isn't going to fill the void.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:54 PM on April 30, 2002


Homer Simpson sound board here
posted by mikegre at 4:54 PM on April 30, 2002


the beauty of a cartoon is all you need is newer, better writers.

these characters are gold. work with them and entertain us and our generations to come.

for free.

thank you.
posted by tsarfan at 5:28 PM on April 30, 2002


I posted this to slashdot but it applies here.

I don't think the current heads at Fox want angry characters or self-referential satire. For some reason television has climbed that hump and has moved back to Spelling-like plain-jane sitcoms.

The mid to late nineties TV landscape was covered with amusing shows that took pot-shots at everything, including themselves and especially the sitcom formula. Mr. Show, Upright Citizens, Simpsons, Family Guy, The Daily Show, etc were groundbreaking shows. They didn't take anything as above-criticism and developed an intelligent edge through insightful comedy.

Now look at the popular comedies on Fox. Bernie Mac, King of the Hill, Malcolm in the Middle, etc. They're more based in the Love Boat tradition of wacky sitcom than in the Simpsons tradition of satire and irony. This is what people want. The Neilsons have spoken and Fox isn't listening to the raves, but only to the complaints about shows being too brainy, mean, or smartassed.

Cable seems to be picking up the slack with shows like the Man Show, Sealab 2021, etc. Hopefully the Simpsons spirit will live on in the minds of writers willing to take a small risk.
posted by skallas at 5:41 PM on April 30, 2002


Sorry to state the obvious here, but...when the series creator is doing interviews in Financial Times, you've pretty much exhausted all the outlets you're going to reach with this particular product. I love the show dearly, but it's probably best to move along...
posted by ColdChef at 8:27 PM on April 30, 2002


picking up the slack with shows like the Man Show

Then I have to say Let There Be Slack.
posted by gluechunk at 10:59 PM on April 30, 2002


How soon is soon? It fell out of the Lycos top 50 last year and yet continues to make money. As long as there is enough interest in the show, it will stay on so it's up to the fans now. How long will they continue to be amused? I for one still laugh out loud at least once during almost every episode.
posted by jaden at 11:37 PM on April 30, 2002


If they do cancel the Simpsons (even if they don't) and you need a fix, try the Fairly Odd Parents over at Nick. It's my favorite animation du jour. And there's enough "adult" dry humor to keep you happy. My favorite subplot: The Crimson Chin (voice of Jay Leno) and his sidekick: The Cleft Boy Wonder!
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 6:45 AM on May 1, 2002


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