Last year it was announced that 'The Simpons' was being cancelled. This news, created some conflicting feelings for me. I love 'The Simpsons', its always been there, but like a elderly pet, or annoying grandparent, its gotten to the point where I'm ready to put it down.
We later found out that the cancellation of 'The Simpsons', was just a tactic by Fox to pressure the voice actors to take a substantial pay cut. This pay cut has resulted in 'The Simpsons' getting renewed for two more seasons. Again, I have mixed feelings.
Like I said, the yellow faces of Springfield have been around for my whole life. I've watched the show weekly for 23 years... okay, lets be fair, I probably didn't cognitively watch it until I was like, four or five. Still though... a long ass time.
'The Simpsons' at the beginning, (as its own series, not on the 'Tracy Ullman show'), was a satirical slice of the American middle class. The early seasons of 'The Simpsons' were genius. Norman Rockwell, for the 90's, with a whole lot of yellow.
Over time though the show succumb to gimmicks and guest stars. There was frequent changes of showrunners, but it wasn't until the era of Mike Scully (season 9-12) that the golden age of the Simpsons ended.
That is not to say, there wasn't still good episodes, just not as frequently. There was a gradual change in the humour of the show. Witty, subtle, satire, grew into wacky out of this world humour, and ridicules slap stick. These different facets of humour were always present, but not always as prominent.
That's something about the show I have to acknowledge. The show never stopped being funny, it just stopped being... 'The Simpsons'. It lost its balance of humour and heart. You watch a modern episode of 'The Simpsons', and the first ten minutes of the show are a write off. Its just random gags, that distracts from the plot. The episode starts, and from what the first 8 minutes suggest, you think episode is about, Apu being annoyed by Homer shopping at a different chain of grocery stores. Even the episodes title suggest it... but really its a episode about street artist Banksy, made... like a year after Banksy was popularized on the internet.
The problem with 'The Simpsons', is that its attempting to be topical. People compare the show to 'Family Guy'. People like to say that the show is trying to be like 'Family Guy'. But I don't buy that. I think that someone influential said it, everyone thought, 'that sounds like smart, critical thinking... perfect bandwagon to jump on.'
No, the show isn't much like 'Family Guy', no more then 'Family Guy' was like 'The Simpsons'. Cause if you recall, 'Family Guy' was originally called a rip-off of 'the Simpsons'. Either way, I think 'The Simpsons' is more like 'Saturday Night Live', or 'South Park'. Both shows are topical comedies, and in the case of 'SNL', there is a reliance on guest stars, and musical guest. This doesn't work for 'the Simpsons', because unlike those other shows I mentioned, an episode of 'the Simpsons' isn't produced in a week. It takes 6 to 8 months to produce a finished episode of the Simpsons. You know what that means? Those “awesome” topical episodes, are dated. And thus... not actually topical.
If this season of the Simpsons had ended up being the last, do you know what the last episode would have been?

Springfield is rated the town with the lowest self-esteem, so Lisa and Lady Gaga set out to raise everyone's spirits—through the power of a flash mob. 

First off, it would have been a Lisa episode. Second. Remember how last year flash mobs were cool? Well its not last year anymore. And to a lesser degree, as a member of the general audience, I care even less about Lady Gaga then I did when she first bleeped onto my radar.
Lady Gaga, is not how the show should have ended. We have two seasons left, why not make them count? Bring back past writers and show runners. Lets hear all the different voices this series had again, and bring back some of that gold. This series should end with fireworks, it shouldn't drift off into the night quietly.
The last Sunday night this show airs, should have EVERYONE, with their asses bolted to their seats, watching the triumphant finish of one of the greatest shows ever made.

UPDATE:
I just finished watching the episode, LISA GOES GAGA. And I have to say... Its probably the worse episode of the season.
The description given for the episode isn't even accurate. Lady Gaga, raises Springfield’s sprites by singing a 2 and half minute song about how, “Were all special, in our own way!” You know, contrived bull shit like that. But Lisa is still sad, since shes been voted most unpopular kid at school.
So Gaga, who has psychic abilities to predict unhappiness... For real... decides she must help Lisa. The flash mob in the description is a lame 30 second gag. The episode is an awful,PR stunt by Gaga. One of the easiest demographics to get a hold of, is the downtrodden. Just faking you give a shit, is enough to satisfy the masses.
This episode was so shallow. Sincerity was so vacant from this episode, it was painful to watch. Its the problem with having a guest star. You couldn't do an episode putting down Lady Gaga, and expect her to actually lend her voice to it. You have to build up your guest stars like they're fucking gods. And its SO annoying.
Its something 'South Park' has always gotten right. Do awful impersonations of celebrities, and really take the piss out of them. This episode was just pure trash, but at least it started a plot line and kept going with it.
The second last episode of the season, NED'N EDNA'S BLEND, starts with a SIX AND A HALF MINUTES! of Homer getting the role in the church passion play as Jesus, Homer worrying he may not remember his lines, Homer doing the play, and Homer accidentally injuring Ned, which leads to the reveal of Ned and Edna are married.
WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE FIRST SIX MINUTES! IT DOES NOTHING! Its pure filler, that has nothing to do with the actual plot of the episode. Its frustrating. GOD DAMMIT! Pick a narrative, and stick with it.




 
WATCH VIDEO BEFORE READING, TAKE THE TIME. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THIS EVERYWHERE MAY AS WELL BE HERE.
This is really important, this is serious, they are doing something insanely noble. BUT! There is a few things people will have to realize and accept if they are to capture Kony.

1. Capturing him wont mean peace. Capturing Kony will mean violence. A military force wont just knock down his door and arrest him. There will be a fight, cause Kony has an army. An army that does include children. Which brings the next point.

2. Capturing Kony will mean killing child soldiers. These kids are highly damaged individuals, they are not like any children you've ever seen before. They aren't going to recognize salvation, they are going to shoot at who ever is sent to capture Kony. Its important that we all realize, and accept this. Because in any other conflict we'd turn on the soldiers that kill children. And we cant its a harsh reality.

3. War crimes will be committed BY both sides. The moment a soldier is captured and mutilated by one of Koney's men, is the moment that the “good guys” will earn their quotations. Of course whatever crimes are committed by the “good guys” will probably be wiped away by victors justice.

4. Capturing Kony will not be the end, its just the beginning. His capture wont mean a magical ending, it'll mean YEARS of conflict. Because chances are they wont be able to capture all of Kony's senior officers. Plus there is the children, what about them afterwords? Is the situation simply going to be “Ok we cut off the lump, walk it off. What? Stitches? Be a man!” Cause these kids are going to need a very different type of aid in the end. Maybe send in Psychologist without Borders?

At the end of this all, I was left with thoughts of Romeo Dallaire. He has a similar program called 'Zero Force'. I'm curious to see if 'Zero Force' will work along with 'Invisible Children'. And if, or when, The Canadian Government will get involved. Because like Mrs. Lovejoy always said.