I know I talk a lot about movies, but I’ve been thinking I want to discuss some television/streaming shows. Following my life-long passion, going to start with animated television shows.
Of course, there were animated shows long before the 1980’s, but it happened to be The Simpsons created by Matt Groening (along with a handful of amazingly talented writers) which changed everything (for the better). As many of you who watch/watched the show know, Simpsons began as animated skits on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987.
I know they were immediately taken in by my family and friends. The Simpsons became part of my life. It provided many laughs and quite a few touching moments. One could argue about the quality of the show currently, but in the grand context, no show has changed the animated landscape and inspired more than the Simpsons.
In 1989, the Simpsons had their Christmas special as the first full episode.
After a series of unfortunate events, Homer seeks to ensure his family has a nice Christmas. Even taking a job as a mall Santa to do so. I love this episode because we see the first glimpse of why Homer is an awesome character. Of course, he is dumb and does incredibly stupid (and sometimes hurtful) things. However, when put into a corner, his good heart shines through. Homer longs to be a good father and husband. Just so happens his shortcomings with intelligence prevent this.
Homer is representative of the general American man (at least many people’s perception of what they are). Someone who is overweight, simple minded, wears his emotions on his sleeve, but with good heart and capable of doing some incredible things.
The Simpsons have created their own universe very well and you see it in full display in this episode. Many familiar faces like Mr. Burns, Moe Szylak, and the Flanders family are present.
This episode has a good mix of humor and heart. (Something the Simpsons to this day do better than all the others.) It taught us about this unique family and The Simpsons were well on their way to entering the mainstream world.