I enjoyed Vulture’s “tournament” of the best sitcoms ever, and while I’d have chosen Cheers or Seinfeld over eventual winner The Simpsons, I really loved Matt Zoller Seitz’s final essay:
Every episode of The Simpsons is about television, comedy, popular culture, history, human nature, America, the world, the universe, time, space, head and groin injuries, gluttony, piety, lust, greed, hypocrisy, dogs, cats, living together, mass hysteria, parenting, marriage, maturity, immaturity, and the exquisite pleasures of the prank phone call, plus anything else that Groening and his murderer’s row of writers felt like stirring into the mix… Cheers is a flawless pearl glinting on a beach. But The Simpsons is the beach. It’s bigger than Cheers, bigger than sitcoms, in some ways bigger than television. It’s our virtual Smithsonian and Library of Congress, our collective data cloud, the Force, or Farce, that surrounds us, binds us, and holds the galaxy together.
I haven’t watched new Simpsons episodes in years. But will it last long enough for my kids to one day enjoy it? I wouldn’t be surprised.