Mourning the Loss of Mourning

Just a relatively quick note to let you know that I’ve got a guest post up at Dead Homer Society, a site that is far more intelligent than it has any right to be when discussing modern day Simpsons episodes. So check it out. It’s called Mourning the Loss of Mourning, and it’s guaranteed to be a laugh and a half. Or a vaguely emotional personal reflection on some genuinely touching moments of a show long dead. EITHER ONE WORKS.

I’ve also got some great site news that’ll be coming in the near future, so stay tuned for that, and another Noiseless Chatter Spotlight going up tomorrow. It’s a reworked piece from my Noise to Signal days, but being as that essay, and a few others I did around that time, were direct forerunners to what I’d like to accomplish with the Spotlight series, it is perfectly acceptable for me to do this and if you argue I will quite literally gut your dog.

So, that’s happening.

But seriously, go read that post. It’s destined to be the shittiest one on their entire site, so read a lot more while you’re there. I heartily endorse their event or product.

And finally, friend of the website David Black wrote a piece on Alan Partridge and the current state of British television for Cult Brittania, and it’s rightfully lighting the internet on fire as it’s fucking fantastic. Therefore I’m glad to do my part to keep it circulating by INSISTING THAT YOU READ IT NOW.

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4 thoughts on “Mourning the Loss of Mourning”

  1. It’s funny. I’ve always thought where the show went astray — in a point sort of parallel to yours — was when it got away from being about a typical dysfunctional American family. Things always bled into hyperbole and certainly I couldn’t call every plot believable, but it was grounded in its own very broad reality. Homer could be an astronaut, but there were other things he couldn’t do, and that was the show’s foundation. Certainly by violating that the show has lost its heart, but I also think it lost its humour there too; the jokes are no longer tethered to that foundation of family and now simply float aimlessly. (That the jokes themselves today are not as timeless and that the writers are probably too concerned with not treading on 500 previous episodes worth of jokes is also a factor.)

    To use an example as summary — and in wrapping up not rival the length of your excellently written article — it seems The Simpsons fell apart when the show became less concerned with how little money the family had (“Money’s too tight for steak,” needing to take another job to pay for a costly renovation or a pony) and more concerned with wanting to do an episode about tennis so, hell, Homer builds a tennis court in the backyard, why not.

    1. Good points. And I loved that in the astronaut episode, about 2/3 of it was devoted to discussing how strange it is that Homer WOULD be going into space, and crafting fair enough reasons that he’d end up there. Ultimately, sure, he goes…but he goes because the writers bent reality just enough that they could justify it. Nowadays, you’re right. The episode would want Homer to go to space so he’d go to space. Maybe they’d have Apu or someone say, “Why would they let you go to space?” and Homer would shrug and that’d be the writers acknowledging that it makes no sense which would be the closest thing we get to a justification of the plot. We really are a far cry from the fairly logical progression of yesteryear.

  2. Think I’ve mentioned this before but my enjoyment of The Simpsons left with D’oh-in’ in the Wind. Didn’t like Treehouse IX either and they were the start of the production code AABF– in Season 10. (Though I do think things have improved with Season 21 slightly.)

    Also, is this a good place to mention that I genuinely dreamt a couple of months ago that you had released “Phil Reed’s Christmas Boogie”?

    1. I think I’ve only seen Doh-In’ in the Wind when it was new…I recall liking it more than I expected to like it, but by that point in the show’s run that doesn’t say much. Re: Phil Reed’s Christmas Boogie…I wouldn’t put it past me.

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