This week, I wanted to write about the great games and cool surprises trickling out of the Los Angeles Convention Center and the E3 gathering as a whole. Unfortunately though, this has been a decidedly dull year where everyone from Microsoft to EA has played it safe and returned to the well of familiarity which the games industry as a whole used to be so much better at avoiding than their Hollywood counterparts. I suppose that was what gave me the idea to write this.
Like a bizarre version of the AIDS virus, the Simpsons arose from obscure beginnings in the 1980’s to become one of the most well-known intellectual properties on the planet. After 10 positive seasons, the cartoon about America’s finest yellow skinned family has continued and limped on into the 21st century. Though not the cultural mainstay it used to be, Fox still renews the show and thus staves off any speculation about how it will eventually come to a conclusion.
Today, I’d like to end that trend. As a man who is good at conceptualizing different things, I’ve often postulated about how to bring the show to a close. Some of my ideas have been mocked by my peers whilst others have been showered with praise. They’re posted below for you to read.
Remember Professor Frink? I do. First appearing in the second season episode “Old Money”, the mad scientist has gone on to become one of the most well recognized side characters in the world of Springfield. But, what if his experiments weren’t just confined to his lab? What if they’d been affecting the town for decades without anyone being aware? In this ending, it is revealed that due to a prior study, the Professor had accidentally displaced the residents of Springfield in time itself. Thus explaining why they don’t age and technology around them continues to advance. You can explain character deaths as him getting close to solving the problem and when he finally does, the characters rapidly advance to look how they should be had the show had a chronological progression. Yes it’s a little too sci-fi for the average person, but it works.
Getting to a more logical and still clichéd space, the series could also end with the greatest hero in American history coming out of a state of disrepair. For those that aren’t aware, in a 1993 episode, Bart caused his doofus of a father to fall into a coma due to a shaken up beer can. Well, what if he never came out that? It certainly would explain the increasingly absurd scenarios that the family get themselves into in modern episodes and also does a nice job of justifying the celebrity cameo’s that have come and gone through the years. A Redditor picked up this argument a while ago as well, but was eventually dismissed by current showrunner Al Jean.
In my own view, the cartoon is a fun space to make television because it allows you to do things that you can’t get away with in the live action arena. So, if the Simpsons were to pick an ending to go with, they could always go with one that honors this background. Instead of a Sci-Fi ending or anything of the like, why not reveal that the show is merely a cartoon, in the Futurama universe? Yes, there are some references and crossovers between the two that have occurred through the years, but with enough digging one can easily discover that the connections are not canon. In my own view, this would be a fun nod to a far better show that doesn’t get the admiration from the world or nearly half the critical praise that it so richly deserves.
And so, that’s it everyone, some musings from a 23 year old head shaving, world traveling and generally weird guy. I may be right and I could be wrong, but I think we’ll be dead before we find out.