“Nothing lasts forever,” begins Stuart Heritage, editor of the British Guardian, in his article about the Simpsons discovery. “All the continents will collide again one day, the sun will swallow our planet and some time long after that the Simpsons series will end,” he further glosses, alluding to the apparent immortality of the American animated series. This does not mean, however, that the series with the yellow family, which has been occupying television screens for the thirty-fifth season, will not change from time to time.
It is in the third part of the current thirty-fifth series that Homer himself admits that he will never strangle his son Bart again. “Homer greets the new neighbor with a handshake. And when the neighbor comments that he didn’t expect such a tight grip, Homer calls out to his wife, ‘See, Marge? It paid off to strangle the boy!’ And then he admits that he doesn’t really do it anymore,” observes the British journalist. “Times have changed,” Homer is said to add.
At the same time, the image of Homer strangling his unadopted son has been one of the brands and symbols of the series since its inception. Homer did so with such gusto that Bart’s tongue waggled and his eyes popped out of their sockets. In typically comic hyperbole. You can find a compilation of such moments from the first to the thirty-second series here.
Homer’s words aroused outrage among the series’ fans, that even the creators of the previously often controversial series rode the “woke” wave and that the once uncompromising Simpsons are grinding their edges for the needs of today’s generation of so-called snowflakes.
The Simpsons seemingly confirm that they have retired their long-running gag of Homer strangling Bart in the latest episode:
“See, Marge, strangling the boy paid off. Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.” https://t.co/EHQWUdOHgZ
November 7, 2023 at 1:05 a.m. Post Archived: November 7, 2023 at 3:25 p.m.
However, this part was not some kind of Homer’s insight. The father of the family only announces the “news” here. According to the Guardian or even the website of the American magazine People, the famous scene with the strangulation of Bart last appeared in the 31st series, which premiered in the fall of 2019. Even before covid.
So no one probably noticed until Homer himself admitted it. “Which shows that the outrage machine starts outside of human rationality. Or that people don’t watch The Simpsons anymore,” Heritage comments.
And he adds that despite the current buzz of opponents, this is only good. “Homer strangling Bart never quite fit into the series. Early in the series in 1992, when President Bush said Americans should be more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons, it didn’t go over well. The sentence merely pointed to the fact that the president did not understand the series. The Simpsons often argue with each other, yet they are firmly bound to each other by a permanent and lasting love. If you watch the series, you certainly understand,” writes the Guardian.
So strangling Bart didn’t fit that message very well. “I basically grew up with The Simpsons. I was about Bart’s age when the show started airing. And the strangulation always felt a little too much for me. I couldn’t have explained it at the time, but it undermined the whole show,” the editor thinks, adding that even the iconic phone calls to Voček have changed over the years, but Homer’s strangling of his adopted son has always remained the same.
Heritage also mentions previous cases where the creators of the series had to solve whether black and Indian heroes could speak with the voices of non-black and non-Indian actors. “So Today’s Simpsons is a show that doesn’t want to burn its fingers again. It may just be a coincidence, but since they made these changes, the series has regained much of its old form,” concludes the Guardian’s culture editor.
November 7, 2023 at 1:50 pm, Post Archived: November 7, 2023 at 5:22 pm