Saturday, February 28, 2015
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

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    US / World

    Man shoots wife, himself at Northern Calif. retirement home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
     
    Thieves crash car through electronics store in San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Some California farmers to go without federal water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    US appeals court: Marathon bombing trial can stay in Boston

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Congress OKs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments | Gallery

    US rescinds rule requiring judges to move to Guantanamo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    US, Liberia start 1st formal test of ZMapp Ebola virus drug

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Woman knocked out by eggs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Mexico official: Police capture top capo ‘La Tuta’ Gomez

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Well-educated ‘Jihadi John’ no surprise to experts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Unmasking of ‘Jihadi John’ as a London lad shocks Britain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Opinion

    How GOP can resolve immigration mess

    By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

     
    Unlikely winners of Greece’s surrender on euro

    By Mark Gilbert | From Page: A8

    A remedy for veterans’ care

    By Bill Frist And Jim Marshall | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Feb. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    Poem about heaven helps dog owners when beloved pet dies

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

    Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta’s High Museum takes a look

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Entertainment

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

    .

    Sports

     
    Vaca advances three wrestlers into semis at Masters

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Spurs snap 4-game skid, beat short-handed Kings 107-96

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Thompson scores 25 points, Warriors rout Raptors 113-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Casey McGehee’s move to Giants a homecoming of sorts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Bulls expect Derrick Rose back this season from knee surgery

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Testimony: Several Hernandez texts are missing from phone

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Approaching ‘last call’ for NHL GMs to tweak rosters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    PGA Tour to move Match Play to Texas

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Notre Dame president credited for transforming school dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    MLS Commissioner Garber: Hopeful season will start on time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR car stolen from hotel before race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    McIlroy to miss cut at Honda Classic; Reed leads

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NHL fines Sharks’ Couture $5,000 for tripping from behind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Browns agree to terms with quarterback Josh McCown

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Kyle Busch released from hospital following foot surgery

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
     
    This date in sports history for Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Business

    Gas prices soar in California as supply shrinks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Uber says database containing driver info was breached

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Fiat Chrysler recalls 467K SUVs for possible stalling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Southwest nearly done inspecting planes that were grounded

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    5 reasons US economy is stronger than Q4 GDP suggests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

     
    Tribes from around US gather to discuss legal marijuana

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Obituaries

    Gabriel T. Traub

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Maria Kraszewski

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Home Seller 2/28/2015

    Right at Home: Decor made of bicycle parts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

    Real estate transactions for Feb. 28, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

    Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.80 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3