I am afraid.
The Simpsons movie comes out this weekend. It comes out today, actually. Some of you may have already seen it by the time you read this. Disappointment is inevitable, I suppose – while they supposedly got most of the greatest writers back to work on the script, can it really compare to 4 of the best episodes, even chosen randomly? Am I going to wish I had spent those 2 hours watching The Monorail, Treehouse of Horror IV (the one where Homer sells his soul for a donut), Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk, The Last Temptation of Homer? Quite possibly.
How is the movie supposed to compare? The show has been around for 18 seasons, almost as long as my brothers, and funnier, too (couldn’t any of you have been banned or kicked out of a foreign country this summer? You guys were everywhere!) Whole friendships have grown out of shared love of individual characters. Hours and hours and hours have been spent in deconstruction and nostalgia, more than were spent, say, studying, or trying to attract a mate. As the whole of TV is to Homer, The Simpsons is my teacher, mother, secret lover.
But Phil Hartman is dead. Patty is out of the closet. And Ralph doesn’t even have to wear rubber pants anymore. These things won’t ever change.
So we move on. We hope the movie at least attempts to live up to our unattainable imagined ideal, and give Groening & Co. props for the effort.
Unless it blows, in which case we weep into gallons of sweet delicious beer, the kind you’d step over your own mother just to get.
Today is devoted to the show. So proclaim your favorite episodes, characters, lines. And let us all share in The Simpsons’ glowing warming glow.
For me, Ralph Wiggum is the beginning and end of Simpsons randomness:
“What’s a battle?”
“I bent my Wookie!”
“It tastes like…burning!”
“Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me.”
“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”