Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simpsons

For those of you who know me, you've undoubtedly heard me make reference to The Simpsons on more than one occasion. If you don't know of The Simpsons, it's the longest running primetime cartoon of all time appearing on FOX at 8 pm on Sundays. And welcome to Earth.

I find The Simpsons relevant to many aspects of life and am constantly amazed at how new episodes and content are generated each week. The introduction and opening credits have remained the same throughout the show's 20 seasons save Bart's chalkboard message and the couch gag which are changed nearly every episode*. And I suppose they also do a new one for the Treehouse of Horror episode each year. But the point is over 20 years they have stayed with the same intro with only minor variations. That's pretty cool. They like to keep it real. Here's one of the more recent couch gags that really exercises the breadth of characters and ideas developed throughout the life of the program.

*Lisa's sax solo also changes but much less frequently.

Due to the advent of HDTV, something big has happened.

I have long talked about this day with my fellow Simsonians, Kyle being the first to comment on the staid genius of the classic intro. I argued that an updated version, tastefully done mind you, might just be the best present a Simpsons fan could ask for. While paying my full respect to the unflagging lead-in of the last 20 years, I am thrilled to see a new, re-tooled intro complete with chalkboard, sax, and extended couch gag. And it's all in HD or so it says. I wouldn't know, my TV still has a VCR built into it.

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