Friday, October 7, 2011
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of The Simpsons. I own the first seven seasons on DVD. Okay, I'm a big fan of the first five seasons of The Simpsons, and the sixth and seventh seasons have their moments. But at some point in the mid-90s, we turned to one another and acknowledged the truths that we dared not admit -- even to ourselves -- for many years. Our favorite show no longer amused us. The gags were all familiar, the meta-fictional, self-referential games had all been played. It was time to move on with our lives. So long, Matt Groening, hello, Jerry Seinfeld. And so, we survived the 90s.
Over the years I've had my share of fruitful debates.
JT: The Simpsons just isn't funny anymore.
Person who discovered The Simpsons in 2000: Yes they are!
JT: No, really, if you watch the first five seasons and compare them to what's on now, you will notice a huge difference
PWDTSi2000: I still think they're funny.
Bowled over by this reasoning, or having nothing else to do, I re-mounted the couch and turned on Fox at the appointed hour. A few good gags and hope springs eternal, but after five minutes, it's just a bunch of recycled schtick and the sort of incoherence and forced plot lines that clearly indicate a sit-com that has irretrievably jumped the shark.
So, now there is news that the voices behind The Simpsons (heroes all!) are being asked to accept a mere $4 million/year instead of the $8 million/year they were making under their previous contract. In fact, HuffPo reports that even if the actors agree to the pay cut, next season will the show's last. If the actors don't agree to a pay cut, this season will be the finale. I hope the actors insist on an early exit. After all, if actors are willing to lend their voices to animated television programs for a mere $4 million/year, where will it end? Will Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford have to accept a mere $10 million per film? Will television news anchors have to take pay cuts too. It's stuff like this that drove the irreplacable Glenn Beck from the airwaves!