Monday, August 13, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

It is very much preferred to see The Simpsons Movie in a crowded theater. A real-life laughtrack would make the experience more enjoyable-- and I can confidently say that the audience would indeed be laughing out loud. But instead, when I watched the movie alone in Ayala Center Cebu last week, there were just about fifteen other people in the place. There's a slight twinge of sadness in the experience of watching the movie on such a large screen in a large room and having hardly audience to be part of. I was seated just a few seats away from a pair of girls, and I suppressed my own laughter to avoid giving off the creepy impression that I was this loner guy that pays money to spend the afternoon watching a cartoon movie alone and laughing my head off (and yet, that was exactly what I was).

When I was a young one my parents didn't allow me to watch The Simpsons because of its reputation for relatively adult humor. That reputation seems to have fallen away over the years and now it's praised by everyone as the pinnacle of... I dunno, something. I don't think the series has toned down it's humor, but that the society we live in has just learned to catch up with it. Anyway, my parents couldn't stop me from watching The Simpsons when no one's looking over my shoulder, and I'm proud to say I caught the premiere of Who Shot Mr. Burns? way back in 1995.

So, as for the movie: My least favorite parts were the jokes that were already spoiled for me by the trailers and ads. That's why I don't want to even mention any of the jokes... spoiling the humor of the movie is far more damaging than spoiling the plot. It wouldn't just shave off some of the enjoyment of the gags, it would spoil them in the truest sense of the word. I'll just say this: The beginning of the movie is the best part, when the writers are free to throw all their best jokes and Bart's penis at you. Things start to lose some steam when the actual story comes into focus, but always stays well within the range of funny.

It is tempting to think of myself as a Simpsons fan but the truth is I haven't watched The Simpsons on television for years. Luckily most of the Simpsons references that everyone knows seem to be from the earlier seasons. Watching the movie made me want to catch up on all the years of Simpsons that I have been missing. Only recently have I bothered checking out recent episodes (hooray for the internet), and I'm glad to know that the humor is still sharp. In recent years when someone mentions The Simpsons my reaction is "Wow that show is still going?". And yeah it's still going after 17 years! Most TV shows would be considered dinosaurs at half that age, but The Simpsons remains an old show only in form but still fresh in substance... it will be a solemn day when it finally goes off the air.