The Simpsons turns 25 this year which means that it has been 25 years since I graduated from high school, 25 years since I started BYU and 25 years since I sat in the common room of my Provo dorm anxiously awaiting the show's premiere. Just me and my poor, unsuspecting boyfriend at the time.
A fan of The Tracey Ullmann Show and owner of Matt Groening's Love is Hell, Life is Hell and School is Hell, I had no doubt that I would love The Simpsons. And I did.
From Life is Hell
The Simpsons was a hit from the start but it generated its share of controversy, particularly over its "bad role models" in the characters of Bart and Homer.
In 1989 Provo it, yet again, set me apart as a cultural misfit. Finding all the wrong things funny. Melissa, why?! Sigh.
Soon you'll be able to access every single episode or watch the longest television show marathon ever when all are aired on FXX starting August 21st.
I don't watch the Sunday night airing of The Simpsons anymore, but when I do manage to catch one it invariably makes me laugh. I'm probably still always finding the wrong things funny.
The Simpsons isn't just D'oh and donuts though. It requires its viewers to know their stuff to truly appreciate the wit and writing. Unafraid, to skewer music, film, history, marriage, parenthood, politics and religion alike, you needed to know what was hot at the time as well as what was hot 20 years prior. One episode guest starred Elizabeth Taylor and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the same time. Everyone seemed to be game: from Isabella Rossellini to Jack LaLanne. Of course there were tons of appearances by 1980s SNL alum including Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks. Another episode featured both Sonic Youth and Peter Frampton. My 15-year-old recently got into some old episodes. I relish explaining all the cultural references that are otherwise going over his head and he returns the favor by listening to the first sentence or two before tuning me out in favor of the television. It's still a good time.
So here's my humble ode to 25 years of irreverence, epic pop cultural references, donuts, D'oh! and possibly the best bad role models ever.