I've been pretty disappointed with this season of "The Simpsons" so far, and while I'm not willing to go all "Comic Book Guy" on you and call Sunday's entry "worst... episode... ever", it's definitely the episode that made me realize we're in for a rough season.
This was another episode in which it seemed the writers spent more time coming up with an overly-long couch gag rather than writing the episode itself -- and the gag itself wasn't even that funny. Then the episode felt like it was assembled from the scraps of "Simpsons" episodes of the past. Bart has to take care of a bird? Simpsons did it. Bart gets attached to another animal, causing tension between him and Santa's Little Helper? Simpsons did it. Santa's Little Helper is causing too much trouble and has to go away? Simpsons did it.
Look,"The Simpsons" is still better than a lot of shows on television, but a lot of shows on television (including the three that immediately follow "The Simpsons") suck. Even when "The Simpsons" started slipping in the ratings, it was still a font of creativity. Now it's all about cobbled-together jokes, cheap celebrity cameos (seriously, why was Danica Patrick even in this episode?) and the hopes that you'll keep watching and buying DVDs out of some misplaced sense of nostalgia.
So, effective immediately, I'm dropping "The Simpsons" from my regular watching schedule. Does that mean I'm never watching it again? Of course not. But I'm taking it off the Series of Tubes home page, and it's no longer a must-watch at 8pm on Sundays for me. Which, I guess means more video game time, because I'm not gonna watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "The Amazing Race" or highlights of football games I spent all day watching. Or, ya know, I could pick up a fucking book once in awhile.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.