The first episode of “The Simpsons”, which aired on Fox Network on December 17, 1989, made humorous mockery of American culture and society from multiple perspectives, covering video games, video games, Fast food brand mascots, horror movies, popular TV shows, bands, etc.
But what makes 1990s “The Simpsons” so interesting is not just a reference to pop culture. The character of the animated character is easy to identify, and the storyline structure of each episode is good. These jokes are not just funny, they can also be black humor.
Most importantly, the references to pop culture do not promote animation, but rather enhance them. After all, the secret to successful reference humor is that it must make sense in the plot itself, not just to mention pop culture.
In other words, The Simpsons understands the audience’s age, interests, and pop culture knowledge. If it’s genX viewers who watched “The Simpsons” in the ’90s, it’s relatively easy to catch all of these points, especially in “Who Shot Mr. Burns.” But as The Simpsons updates year after year, it doesn’t seem to be that interesting any more. The reliance on pop culture references – sacrificing character development and plot structure – became more apparent after season 8 (especially since many producers left).
Most episodes produced after 1998-99 feel that the series is more focused on hot topics or celebrity guests than on the main character.
Since the late 1990s, “The Simpsons” has been met with strong fan backlash and low ratings. In May, “The Simpsons” recorded a record low in ratings, especially among viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.
In particular, some jokes may not resonate with millennials’ current audience. For example: In the latest season of “The Winter of The World Of Monet Conten” (season 31, Episode 1), a YouTube live stream captured homer and Bart fighting, and the video was a hit. Bart and Homer’s unwitting lying ideas are nothing new to the animation, but the show isn’t focused on their relationship or even why they fight, but rather on constantreferences to pop culture to keep the show relevant.
Media believe that “The Simpsons” used to be mixed with high-profile and low-key satire, which made it timeless, but now it feels like a pop culture reference “machine” to tell the strangest things in a playful way.