After a series of tense negotiations and relatively baseless media speculation, FOX renewed “The Simpsons” for two more seasons on Friday, which will extend the show’s run through a 25th season. (I’m not one to toot my own horn on these types of things, but TOOT TOOT EMMEREFFERS.) Terms of the agreement between the studio and the voice actors weren’t disclosed, but most reports indicate a 30% pay cut for the actors.
I suppose this is where I should push up my glasses and make some dismissive statement about how the show isn’t good anymore or something, but I don’t have that in me today. If anything, I’m just happy that a show that influenced the culture in the way it did won’t come to an end because a bunch of rich people decided to blow up the house because the sink was leaking. At least for now. In an excellent reaction post to the news, Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix wrote this:
It’s comforting to me knowing that there are still new stories involving the citizens of Springfield. They may not be as brilliant as “Marge vs. the Monorail” or “Homer the Heretic,” but the new episodes’ existence also doesn’t somehow invalidate the greatness of the good old days. Even periods when I’ve strongly disliked the show (what some fans refer to as the Jerkass Homer Era) never made me retroactively dislike earlier seasons. Ted Williams and Stan Musial hung around baseball forever, but they were still capable of putting together good-to-great years in their final seasons (Teddy Ballgame famously homered in his last at-bat at Fenway, in a year where he hit 29 home runs and batted .316; Stan the Man hit .330 in his next-to-last season). These last few seasons have given me episodes like “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind,” “Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words,” and even this season’s premiere, which wrung a lot of laughs out of Homer befriending a Jack Bauer-esque former killer played by Kiefer Sutherland. (We also got “The Simpsons Movie,” which came out in 2007 and was a reminder of just how vibrant those characters remained after all these years.) And for those who just wish the show would end already, there’s always been the very simple option of not watching anymore.
The analogy to aging athletes is a good one. I only hope these two seasons play out more like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s celebratory retirement tour, and less like whatever the hell Brett Favre was dong doing with the end of his career. BOOM PENIS JOKE, BRO.