Last night’s 450th episode of The Simpsons was nothing special. It was a pretty tame and laffless story about Krusty the Klown, although I suppose one could draw some kind of topical meaning from the network forcing him to change his program to appeal to a broader audience. But not really. The Simpsons is not ripped from the headlines, it was written a year ago and took nine months and 40 Koreans to animate, or whatever. All in all, it was a reminder of why I don’t watch The Simpsons anymore: because the show is slowly treading lukewarm water, miles away from the funny shores of its past. (Good metaphors today!)
Far more interesting and enjoyable was the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special! In 3D! On Ice! There were interviews with Conan O’Brien, and Sting! Andrew WK opened the show? And just to show you how important The Simpsons is as a social and cultural phenomenon, Morgan Spurlock waited 30 WHOLE SECONDS before inserting himself into the documentary. (Seriously, what is wrong with that guy?)
Oh, Morgan Spurlock got a free trip around the world? Neat! (HUH?) Morgan Spurlock is insanely confused about how interested people are in what Morgan Spurlock thinks and does. Like, he is good at putting documentaries together: they tend to be well paced and have a good “energy” to them, but he basically ruins them by completely losing focus on what the documentary is even ABOUT in his attempts to insert himself into the situation. I was genuinely interested to hear interview clips with former and current writers of The Simpsons, and it’s fun to see Dan Rather talk about Kent Brockman, or whatever, but then HERE COMES MORGAN SPURLOCK shifting the focus back to MORGAN SPURLOCK. Because what is most important about The Simpsons’ contribution to pop culture is MORGAN SPURLOCK. Yuck. Also, the dude had more outfit changes than Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie! Relax, Fashionplate!
You know who else needs to relax? Moby. Him and Morgan Spurlock should get married and spend the rest of their lives patting themselves on the back. “I love me!” “I love me more!” It’s fine that Moby did seven remixes of the Mr. Plow theme song (Just one question: why?), but stop pretending like the Mr. Plow theme song is a governing Buddhist philosophy, you impossible clown.
Probably the funniest part of the entire documentary was during the end credits, when former Simpsons writer Conan O’Brien was asked how he would end the show:
Which sort of hints at the one thing that I took away from the whole night (besides that Morgan Spurlock is the worst and needs to have someone who loves and cares about him break the hard truth that he’s self-obsessed and obnoxious and needs to change for his family’s sake), which is that The Simpsons needs to end. They have done great things! But those days are behind them. At this point it just feels like the show is sapping all of its remaining goodwill with an out-of-breath suicide sprint towards some non-existent finish line that is going to put it in the hospital (I am telling you, GREAT METAPHORS TODAY). You can rest now, The Simpsons! You did it! You won! Go to sleep! Here, I got you a cake:
Don’t be upset. Everything dies. Phoebe (doesn’t) knows what I’m talking about.