Last Friday Questions of the year.
David leads off:
The Simpsons has just hit 600 episodes, has been renewed through season 30, and the 13 day fxx marathon is ongoing. So what is your current opinion of The Simpsons? It's endurance? The popular opinion of its drop in quality? The movie? And any other thoughts you may have on the unstoppable juggernaut you once worked on? Given the opportunity would you ever go back and write another episode?
I’ll be honest, I rarely watch it these days. It’s not on a season pass and Sunday nights I’m usually away from the TV so months can go by between catching new episodes. When I do watch I still enjoy it. The show is certainly not as “fresh” as it was 550 episodes ago, but the writers are all very funny (I still know a few) and I get the sense that they’re still trying, unlike FAMILY GUY, which to me is just on fumes.
Under the right circumstances, sure, I’d be happy to write another SIMPSONS episode. But I’m very proud that the episodes David Isaacs and I did were from the early Sam Simon days when the show was new and firing on all cylinders.
cd1515 is next.
Just saw a few minutes of Joel McHale's new sitcom, which has him in an office with a bunch of millennials and there's a TON of facebook/instagram humor (or attempts at humor).
Just as Murphy Brown got dated with the Dan Quayle references, are shows like this dumb to go down that road, or smart to tailor it to today's young viewers? (if there are any)
Networks are flailing, desperately trying to attract Millennials. At this point they don’t give a shit whether the show has a shelf-life of eleven minutes if it’ll draw the right demographic for its first run.
But they sign a Faustian contract, because yes, all of those topical pop culture references date the show instantly, and its chances for a long run syndication deal are slim to none.
Inspired by the brilliance of Bill King, thank you for bringing him to our attention:
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and all the facts are in ... are you noticing a plethora of clichés in lieu of valid commentary?
The way you phrased your question made me laugh. Yes, clichés substitute for insight, but that’s the way it’s always been. There are just more games and more mediocre talent. And that extends to the play-by-play ranks as well. Watching all the bowl games over the last week it’s shocking how plastic and interchangeable these play-by-play guys are, and how inarticulate most of these “analysts” are. At least the clichés we can understand.
Barry Traylor asks:
I have noticed that during football season the shows that have the misfortune of being on Sunday evening have their shows pushed back much later. What does that do to the ratings of those shows?
In many cases, it elevates their ratings. Football is a great lead-in, especially following an exciting finish, and the primetime lineup benefits.
What’s your 2017 Friday Question?