Monday, 30 August 2010

Early Simpsons

Today I'll be more or less discussing my talks on one of my favourite animated-television shows; who guessed it...The Simpsons.
No, I won't post the final pages of the play at the moment - I promise I'll post the remaining pages tomorrow but not today because I've had a very fun and exhausting day. Earlier this morning about from 10:30 - 11:15 I've been having a morning jog in the woods with a friend of time - and then I went home for a shower and when I got out I got a message if I wanted to go free-running so I dressed quick, got out of the house and arrived at town at 12:20, and I've spent about four hours in town today free running. Boy, are my feet exhausted, and I'm too tired to use the scanner, sorry.
Anyway, on to the Simpsons:

The Simpsons (as we know) is the longest prime-time animated television sitcom which was won tons and tons of awards, and yes I am a fan of the show. Why (?), because its funny, the jokes I think are clever and memorable and The Simpsons made our universe change, because everyone was familiar with Homer's 'D'oh!', and Bart Simpson was very popular earlier on the series, and the town Springfield is like a whole town with so many people. Yes, I've got the Simpsons' DVD collection series from Series One all the way up to Series 10, and no I don't have Seasons 11 and 12 or Season 13 which will reach the HMV store soon!
But, one of my MAIN talks is about the earlier episodes of the Simpsons, and I'll express my opinions on the first series of it.
We know that the Simpsons started off as one-minute cartoons on the series The Tracy Ullman Show, and it achieved some success although it wasn't as popular as the show is today. The company that distributed the series, Fox decided to pitch the show into a 30-minute series, and it did require a lot of effort and development into the character's personalities and new characters onto the show.
The personalities of the characters of course, different from what we know today: Homer was a lot strict father and often showed abuse a lot to his son Bart, and Lisa was more of a female Bart: naughty and mucking about, and of course the voices were quite different from what we know of today's standards, and Marge hadn't changed a bit, and Maggie was just Maggie.
However, here's my thoughts about the first series - I like parts of the first series, and at times I was quite uncomfortable with the animation and jokes, and I liked the ideas for like the early prank calls for Moe the barman and humiliates himself - I also like the ideas of Bart cheating in an intelligence test and ended up in a school full of nerds and impossible questions. But, I think ideas like Bart going on war with a bully or Homer doing some weird dance with a belly dancer was a bit too over the top or extreme.
(This is an episode of the Simpsons named Bart the General - Bart gets picked on by a bully who is of course Nelson Muntz and goes to war on him!)
However, one of my dislikes about the first series is the animation, its just so extreme and they are like completely out of their minds! However, I the animation does burst into enthusiasm, but its just that they're so stretchy and its nothing like you'd get from The Simpsons today, and if you look at it - its just the animation is so weird and they could do anything. I know that one of the reasons is because, when one of the episodes was sent to the animation department and it was the first to be animated, although they were just pulled off the Tracy Ullman shorts - and the animation of the one-minute Simpsons cartoons were so crude and rough and the animators for the spin-off series, and it was difficult for them to make the characters move real and apparently during the screening of the animation - one of the producers and developers James L. Brooks described the animation as "shit", and wanted the animation to be redone and the episode to start from scratch! So, that's probably why the first few episodes had crude animation, but the problem was solved by the second series ;).

(See how Bart and Lisa's scream is exaggerated and looks so cartoonish?)
There was one part of the first series I really enjoyed in the opening credits where Bart skates through a street and people are waiting for a bus to come, so Bart steals the Bus Stop sign at the scene, and the bus continues to go through and the people awaiting for the bus quickly rush to the passing bus, I thought it was funny that and its a shame that they had to remove it.
However, that's all I pretty much have to say, although the first season of The Simpsons isn't one of the best seasons ever, but you can't expect perfection the first time - it takes effort and a while to get the show exactly what it needed. The jokes in the first season may not have been too funny but it was a good attempt the first time round.
However, the first season isn't perfect - it has its moments!


Eric Noble said...

I liked those early years of The Simpsons. I thought the animation was more lively and more human. Plus, the early years had real heart. Even though Homer goofed up, he still tried his best to make it right. You honestly felt for him. That's more than Family Guy has ever done.

Steven Hartley said...

I know that you liked the animation - but apparently the animation was an error for the producers and wanted it to be redone and the earliest episodes were so crude and as the last episodes were shown of the first season the animation got better.

Also, my favourite seasons would run from Season 2 to Season 11 and afterwards the humour altered and I still found it funny and it still had its moments!

Anonymous said...

i pretty much agree. although i would say seasons 1-8 are the true classics, 9 and 10 were still good but i think those are where it started slipping. right around the death of Phil Hartman.

Steven Hartley said...

Well, Anonymous person. I have to say I actually agree with you. Seasons 1-8 were definately the crowning achievements of "The Simpsons", and I must say I'd like to include season 9 in there as well, there's a lot of episodes there that I love a lot.

So yes, from Season 10 onwards the episodes weren't really that great. Although, I liked some Season 10 and 11 episodes, there were some great ones.

Thanks Anonymous person.