Friday, October 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Personal connections part of ‘Simpsons’ as marathon airs

decicco column sig

By
From page B1 | August 22, 2014 |

As you read this, Fox network FXX is in the midst of a 12-day series marathon of “The Simpsons,” which began at 10 a.m. Thursday with the pilot, 1989’s holiday special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”

After 25 years, “The Simpsons” is such a cultural touchstone that it seems everyone has some sort of attachment to it. It’s omnipresent and unavoidable, like Mr. Burns’ plan to block out the sun.

Think about it like this: There are airmen serving their country at Travis Air Force Base today who have never lived in a world without “The Simpsons.”

Those individuals may not remember the show at its prime – irreverent, whip-smart, setting the cultural tone, proving that cartoons were viable primetime programming while legitimizing Fox as one of the major networks.

In that sense, the younger crowd and I have something in common in that I didn’t watch many of them when they first aired, either.

I wasn’t allowed to watch “The Simpsons” when I was little.

Throughout the show’s first few seasons – those good, classic years, especially seasons four through eight – I saw a sum total of zero episodes.

I knew Bart said something about cows and eating shorts, but I had no context. Who eats shorts?

It’s a weird sort of exclusion that doesn’t exist anymore in pop culture terms. Now there are too many channels and too many shows to keep track, so we just assume everyone else might not view the same shows. I love “Mad Men,” but finding another fan of the show is like finding $20 on the ground.

I wasn’t allowed to watch “The Simpsons” because it was subversive and may have polluted my mind, or something like that.

I guess Mom and Dad fell more on George H.W. Bush’s side of the ledger. The former, elder President Bush once said he wanted to make American families “more like ‘The Waltons’ and a lot less like ‘The Simpsons.’ ”

For that, “The Simpsons” put him in the episode “Two Bad Neighbors,” in which the former president and Homer have a feud that continues to escalate.

In the late 1990s, I was finally allowed to watch the show. I joked every night that there was a classic episode of “The Simpsons” in syndication because, at that time, they all were.

For all of the times I felt left out when I was little, I grew an unusual appreciation for it.

It helped to be a little bit older when being introduced to the show, a little more pop-culture savvy.

Knowledge of Stanley Kubrick’s films came in handy when seeing the “Treehouse of Horror V” gag “The Shinning” – not “The Shining” because, as Groundskeeper Willie asks, “You wanna get sued?” Homer filled with murderous rage due to his family’s seclusion in a cabin was morbidly funny in its own right, but piling on awareness of the reference made it even funnier.

It’s a style many shows have since copied and made “The Simpsons” a little less special for it. That’s been part of the show’s decline in quality.

I held out longer than many. My final episode as a habitual viewer came more than a decade ago, during season 14. That was around the same time the show’s merchandizing exploded, reshaping Krusty the Clown’s willingness to slap his name on any product available as self-referential.

That means that despite my voracious commitment to catch up on the series in high school and college, I’ve seen just more than half of its run.

The most recent episode I’ve viewed was “Brick Like Me,” one made earlier this year in cooperation with Lego. It was a touching installment, reminiscent of the show’s best years.

That one will come in the waning hours of the final day. The 552-episode marathon – plus the 2007 movie – ends as Labor Day does.

After existing for a quarter-century, I suspect many people have seen or have their own personal stories about “The Simpsons” and their attachment to it. As the late Phil Hartman’s Troy McClure said in “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular,” “Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?”

To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cassette tapes used for music and more

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Industrial space hot, office not in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

News out of Ferguson about what you’d expect

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My husband and I don’t share anything anymore, including a bedroom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

James Corden to take over ‘Late Late Show’ March 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘Rocky Horror’ a participatory treat

By Tony Wade | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Realign the Bulldogs? Not a good a idea

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9