The Simpsons: That 90's Show
(S19E11) "This is Kurt Loder, reporting from the 90's" -- Kurt Loder as Kurt Loder
Ladies and gentleman, as a change of pace I will be debating myself during this week's review of The Simpsons.
Rich: Hello, everyone and welcome to this week's review of The Simpsons. I would have to say that, overall, this episode was entertaining and really grabbed the essence of what the 1990's was all about.
Rich: Excuse me?
Rich: You heard me. I said HA! This wasn't entertaining at all. In fact, this week's installment was downright infuriating!
Rich: Why, pray tell, would you say that, Rich? I mean, it's only a cartoon for Pete's sake. Why so emotional?
Rich: One word: continuity
Rich: Oh, come on! Like you don't know what I'm talking about. I mean, you are me.
Rich: Explain it to me.
Rich: Oh, all right. You see, with this week's episode, in which we flashback to the 1990's and a dating Homer and Marge, the whole continuity of the series was totally blown. Well, at least whatever continuity there was.
Rich: Ah, you're talking about all of the other flashback episodes that established how Marge and Homer came to be and how the family emerged.
Rich: Right! I'm a purist in many ways, and for me the season two episode "The Way We Was" established the time frame of when Marge and Homer got together.
Rich: You mean, 1974.
Rich: Correct. From there the timeline was followed pretty well, with Bart and Lisa being born in the 1980's, and Maggie somewhere in the early 1990's. Now, it looks like the whole history has been retconned.
Rich: Retconned? What the hell does that mean?
Rich: Retroactive continuity. It's in Wikipedia, dummy. Why don't you read sometime!
Rich: Oh, you mean like the way DC Comics re-established the origins of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman back in the 1980's.
Rich: Yep. Although I don't know how many of your readers out there peruse comics. So, I would say it was more like the reworking of the new version of Battlestar Galactica or Bionic Woman.
Rich: Got it. Continue.
Rich: Well, with this week's episode the whole Homer-Marge relationship was retconned nearly 20 years, putting their first meeting somewhere in the mid- to late-1980's. That pretty much voids any other flashback episodes they ever did!
Rich: Who cares? Like I said, it's a friggin' cartoon!
Rich: I care, and so do plenty of fans out there who have watched the old episodes dozens of times and consider them rote. There is very little continuity when it comes to The Simpsons that we try to hold on to whatever there is at the moment.
Rich: All right, I can almost see your point here. But, do you really think the writers had any choice in this?
Rich: They were going for a feel of the 90's, of young singles, of the Grunge, um, revolution. By putting Homer and Marge in this scenario as their later selves that would have ruined the imagery.
Rich: Well, sure, but...
Rich: Add to that the fact that Homer is perpetually near 40 and Bart is always a youthful 10. In order to put them in this time something had to be done. If not, then they would have had to say that the Simpson family were actually older than they were.
Rich: Okay, well you have a point there. Still...
Rich: Plus, you have a bunch of new fans out there as a result of the success of The Simpsons Movie that may have never seen "The Way We Was" or any of those other ones. Or, they may have forgotten about them. So, this is all brand new to them.
Rich: Okay, okay, you've made your point! I don't agree with it, but I understand.
Rich: Well, I'm glad. So, you're saying that there wasn't anything you enjoyed about this week's episode?
Rich: Well, I have to admit I did enjoy how Homer went from being a white, R&B, smooth jazz signer to a grunge rocker. It was also fun to see and hear all of the 90's references. The one that was my favorite was Kirk telling Luann that a picture of her cheating on him would download to his computer in six hours as long as no one picked up the phone.
Rich: I was glad to see Weird Al making another appearance on the show and doing a parody of Homer's grunge classic. That harkens back to the actual parody he made of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". There were also some nice references to Zima, Seinfeld (sponge-worthy), Melrose Place and the fact that Comic Book Guy said that The Lord of the Rings could never be made into a movie. And, we did get one additional piece of information about Marge: she was a college graduate from Springfield University.
Rich: I particularly like Bart's mention that he never even heard of the 90's. Then, there was Homer's mention that Matt Groening was working hard on launching a show called Futurama. Although, that show began in March of 1999, so I don't know if that would really be part of the 90's or not.
Rich: Well, do you do have a point on that one. See, we're not as different as you think.
Rich: I know. Can you forgive me?
Rich: Of course I can.
Rich: You are the man.
Rich: No, you are the man.
Rich: Let's just agree that we are both the man.
Rich: So true.
|I'm pissed off! They destroyed what little continuity the show had.||568 (32.4%)|
|I'm not happy with it, but I could understand why they did it.||401 (22.8%)|
|I'm happy that they made the change, since it keeps the show fresh for new ideas.||387 (22.1%)|
|I don't care one way or another.||399 (22.7%)|