bathimpact advent calendar, december 17th 1989: The first episode of The Simpsons airs

What is the greatest TV show of all time? Some would say Breaking Bad, but that’s got underdeveloped female characters, and is far too draining on one’s soul. The same goes for Game of Thrones, far too hard to keep up with the endless series and politics. Although these two may be the highest rated on IMDB or whatever, they still fall way behind the true best TV show- which of course, is The Simpsons.

I know you’ll disagree initially, but when you harp back to the days of your childhood, you’ll remember how much you hated waiting for the 6 O’clock on BBC2 for it to come on (this was before the internet, remember, and before the swine at BBC sold it to Channel 4). Some recent episodes can be a bit crap, but the bulk of the episodes are pure gold (or should that be yellow?)


The Simpsons have turned 25 today, and by God, are they still looking good. Today is the anniversary of the first Simpsons episode ever aired, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”. I’m pretty sure all of you would have seen this one; Bart gets a tattoo and Marge spends all the Christmas money to get it removed. It ends with Homer and Bart picking up Santa’s Little Helper from the dog racetrack and everyone’s happy. This episode perfectly encapsulates what makes the Simpsons so fantastic, they’re a family who club together when they need each other, sometimes against ridiculous odds, and episodes always end happily. Whereas Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones or Lost may keep you watching through gripping, ridiculous scenarios and horrible gut-wrenching parts (but mostly incredibly dull mid-season filler episodes) none of these shows truly engage one’s emotions as the Simpsons can, with episodes being tense, sad and hilarious all within a short 20-ish minutes.

Not bad for a show which Matt Groening made up on the spot! The Simpsons began when Matt Groening went to pitch a cartoon version of his comic strip, “Life in Hell.” He realised at the last moment, however, that he would have to sign away the publishing rights to his one-eared humanoid bunny he had spent most of his life drawing. So, at the very last moment he put together the idea for a (yellow) dysfunctional family. This was a remarkably lazy start to the most successful television show of all time! To emphasise Groening’s Homer levels of laziness, his own mum and dad were named Margaret and Homer, and he has two sisters named Lisa and Maggie.

But, to wrap it up (get it?), and link it all into Christmas- the Simpsons reminds us of what we all enjoy at Christmas; family, hijinks, Dad getting a little too drunk, siblings being know-it-alls. Being brats or just being silent the whole time, Mum juggling everyone about and still managing to keep it all together, but most of all, showing us what we love about family.

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