Still going…and going…and going…

Who turned America’s best TV show into a cartoon?

The Simpsons no longer marks the elevation of the sitcom formula to its highest form. These days it’s closer to It’s Garry Shandling’s Show—a very good, self-conscious parody of a sitcom (and itself). Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset (perhaps while Bart gagged in the background) now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge’s neck. The show’s still funny, but it hasn’t been touching in years. Writer Mike Reiss admitted as much to the New York Times Magazine, conceding that “much of the humanity has leached out of the show over the years. … It hurts to watch it, even if I helped do it.”

It’s sad how the Simpsons have no soul anymore, and that Fox keeps the show going but buried and cancelled Futurama.