Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The end of The Simpsons?

By CitizenBot, courtesy of Big Shiny Robot!

Fox executives have threatened the voice-actors who do the Simpsons that if they do not take a 45% pay cut, they will end the show at the end of this, their 23rd season. 

What a bunch of fucking morons.

 Apologies for the language, but here it is completely apt. The actors have already agreed to a pay cut of one third, but that simply isn't enough. Fox is looking into further syndicating the show on cable, and the actors are also negotiating to get a piece of those syndication rights.

Fox has threatened to bring in sound-alike actors to do the show, but I'm sorry- The Simpsons is NOT The Simpsons without Dan Castellaneta, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Julie Cavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith.

This is not to say that it may not be the time to end the venerable show. I certainly agree that the best days of the show are behind it, but, frankly, the show hasn't been as great as it once was for nearly a decade and a half, the pinnacle (obviously) being when Conan O'Brien was writing the show back in seasons 3-5.

Which is not to say that it is not still one of the best comedy shows on TV. An average episode of The Simpsons is still better than 90% of what passes for TV these days. I'd gladly watch any of the past few seasons over watching the dreadfully unfunny 2 & 1/2 Men, Mike and Molly or, my personal definition of the 9th level of hell, The Cleveland Show. And The Simpsons Movie was one of the best comedies of the last decade, animated or not. And there's a certain sweetness and innocence in The Simpsons when compared to Family Guy and American Dad. Amazing that Barbara Bush once thought it was so corrosive, eh?

Almost ten years ago, in the Season 13 episode Gump Roast, they apologized for "the clip show" and promised "you'll never stop The Simpsons," promising they've got stories for years

At the time, I doubted the Simpsons would make it past 2010, and yet here we are.  And, ironically, in the song, they talk about future episodes "Maybe Moe gets a cell phone" (check) "Or how about a crazy wedding. . . " (ditto), so I'm still waiting on Marge becoming a robot. So, we can all agree, this is terrible.

But yet another example of how the corporate elite-- the "guys in suits"-- are ruining the artistic ability of the true creative geniuses.  And why? Not so they can pinch pennies in a time of need, but to turn hundreds of millions in profits to tens of billions in a time of already record-shattering corporate health, wealth, and profitability.

And the real losers, as always, are us, the loyal fans-- the little guy.

Thanks, Fox. Add this to your list of miserable failures, like Glenn Beck, canceling Firefly, canceling Family Guy, hacking the cell phones and invading the privacy or innocent people and political enemies, restarting Family Guy, Sean Hannity, making The Cleveland Show, X-men 3, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie. . . . I'll stop now because my umbrage cup runneth over.

Yay for the suits and your stock options. Boo for all the rest of us.

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