Since they first appeared on our TVs on December 1989, The Simpsons have stretched their irreverent comedy conquering viewers all over the world for now three decades. At that time, religious zealots (including myself) saw the show as just another threat to American family values. These yellow characters were far from the ones we’ve come to love since childhood: Disney‘s Pinnochio, Cinderella, Bambi or Hanna-Barbera‘s Top Cat, The Flintstones and Huckleberry Hound. The Simpsons was just another breed in the animation planet. They didn’t shy away from controversial issues, mocking in the process our most and highly regarded concept of ourselves, society, type of government, religion and culture, etc. Nothing was taboo! Clearly, this was not a cartoon for kids. Most of its jokes were only caught by adults. They appealed to our own inner rebel child, the one who thinks like these characters but refrains from saying it loud so to appease society’s norms. They have shown us how to laugh at ourselves courageously, at our insanity, our outdated and nonsense rules, our sacred history and cherished dogmas.
After all this time, I’ve come to appreciate and love The Simpsons‘ clever humor now more than ever. They are a very welcomed pill of mental health in the midst of today’s chaos and absurdity.
Lately, the controversies still exist. The most recent regarding the character of Apu, the Indian inmigrant who works at the Kwick-E-Mart. Some people attacked the show trying to dismiss the obvious fact that its comedy is mostly about stereotypes, not real people. From Mr. Burns, Homer‘s millionaire boss (“Release the hounds!”), to Nelson, the bully kid with a stripper mom, if you redact (in fashion lately) one character, you probably will have to redact them all!
The creativity exhibited by its creators, writers, artists, voice actors and their joint talent to those of celebrity guests who have provided their voices also, have made this TV program unique and loved all over the world for its outrageous humor even with the limitations that dubbing it in another languages involves.
Although The Simpsons Movie (2007) is one you shouldn’t miss, their impressive vault of TV episodes is the one major source of laughter you should keep close. It’s very difficult to choose the best, but here are some of my favorite episodes:
- Homer vs. Lisa (Season 2. Episode 13). Homer in the times of Moses and the Ten Commandments, Lisa at Sunday School learning the 8th commandment, Bart repeating the word hell.
- Havana Wild Weekend (S 28. E 7) The family travels to Cuba to get better medical care for Grampa.
- Kamp Krustier (S 28. E15) Bart and Lisa return traumatized from summer camp ran by Krusty the Clown.
- Sky Police (S 26. E 16) Chief Wiggum gets a jet pack, crashes into the church. The congregation board decides to raise funds to fix the temple by counting cards in casinos with Apu‘s help.
- Steal This Episode (S 25. E 9) Homer, annoyed with movie theaters, begins downloading illegal movies.
- Married To The Blob (S 25. E 10) Comic Book Guy meets a Japanese woman who is writing a manga and asks Homer how to date her.
- Homr (S 12. E 9) Homer gets smarter after a medical treatment, but everything else changes.
- Beyond Blunderdome (S 11. E 1). Homer befriends Mel Gibson who is making a remake of the movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
- The Wettest Stories Ever Told (S 17 E 18) The Simpsons take on classic stories The Mayflower, Mutiny On The Bounty, and The Poseidon Adventure with most of the cast included.