When it comes to adult animation, there’s no show more famous than The Simpsons. The FOX network staple has been on the air for over three decades. Whether you watch it live on Sunday nights, or just catch the classics on Disney Plus, there are a variety of ways to enjoy Homer, Marge, Bart, and the rest of the Springfield community.
Every fan of The Simpsons knows that there’s an indisputable argument against the show right now: Its quality is clearly several rungs lower on the ladder than when it first premiered in the late 1980s. One Reddit user took it upon themselves to chart the decline of the show to see where things started to dip, and whether it’s ever gotten better since.
This chart tracks the score every episode of The Simpsons has gotten on IMDB since the premiere. The scores range mostly from 7.5 to 9 between the first season and the ninth season. Starting with the 10th season, the scores started hanging around 6 to 7.5. Episodes started ranking as low as 5.5 to 6.5 in the 25th season. This shows the program has really had three distinct eras: the golden age of the first decade, the mediocre era in the middle, and the current underwhelming material being given to viewers on a weekly basis since the late 2010s.
The reason for the decline in quality is certainly subjective. There’s no single reason why a show fails to maintain its best stuff as the years go on. Some could argue that any program is going to have a rough time coming up with creative ideas and new storylines after 34 years. Really. How many shows have been on the air this long?
Stagnancy and a lack of ingenuity are hard to overcome across a long period of time. Another strong argument for the dip in The Simpsons is the complete overhaul in the writers’ room over the years. As different creative minds come and go, the types of jokes and the delivery of the lines are going to change as well.
Fans need to appreciate the legacy of The Simpsons no matter what the current state of the show is. The program paved the way for many other genre-defining adult comedies, such as Family Guy, South Park, American Dad, and Futurama. Whenever the show comes to a close, it should be remembered as one of the landmark shows to have ever existed. Overstaying your welcome doesn’t diminish the greatness that came before the end.
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