This yr’s San Diego Comedian-Con panel for The Simpsons was substantial, however essentially the most telling second occurred throughout a 20 minute recreation of “Simpsons Pictionary.” The group of present writers and animators, moderated by voice actor Yeardley Smith, have been paired off, with the writers tasked with guessing characters and episode titles from fast sketches by the animators.
The bit was cute, and an excellent likelihood to see the animation crew’s expertise on show, however there was some presumably unintentional subtext within the second spherical that grew to become more and more arduous to disregard: all of the episode titles come from the present’s first six or seven seasons. Not a single reply was drawn from the previous twenty years. It’s turn out to be a cliche at this poke to rag on The Simpsons for coasting on its previous success, and it’s maybe mean-spirited to be too vital to such a genial group, however, nicely. If the shoe suits, why not put on it? Even if you happen to purchased it in 1993.
The panel did spend a substantial period of time attempting to construct pleasure concerning the present’s thirty third yr. There was a gag concerning the “streaming wars,” an excerpt from the upcoming Halloween episode (author Al Jean defined, “We have now 5 segments on this yr’s Halloween present,” a primary time for the sequence), and a few hints about what’s to come back.
Author Matt Selman talked enthusiastically about how “the premiere this yr is essentially the most musical episode we’ve ever finished. Nearly wall-to-wall music. It’s like a Broadway musical episode.” Kristen Bell will carry out Marge’s singing voice, and there was a narrative panel preview of Homer singing in his underwear to a disgruntled Marge within the lavatory. There’s one other romance in Moe’s future, and Al Jean teased a narrative concerning the “biggest tragedy Homer ever confronted,” with Rachel Bloom visitor starring.
By far the largest announcement was what Selman described as a “a two-part epic love letter to status crime dramas.” Airing in November, the episodes will characteristic a stacked visitor solid together with Timothy Olyphant, Cristin Milioti, and Brian Cox; “It’s like nothing we’ve ever finished earlier than, and I actually hope it is smart,” Selman defined. As for which “status crime drama” particularly the story will riff on, Selman name-checked Fargo, prompting long-time animator David Silverman to say simply how a lot he loves the present, a micro instance of the final gee-whiz enthusiasm that drove many of the panel, whether or not speaking concerning the Simpsons, alternate jobs, or nicknames.
That enthusiasm is nearly sufficient to cowl for the truth that the little bits and items of contemporary Simpsons proven off through the video weren’t all that thrilling. The panel opened with a gag a couple of new streaming service known as “Simplix” that places Simpsons characters into well-liked streaming exhibits, which resulted in a fast succession of posters that do exactly that, to various levels of impact.
The section from the upcoming Halloween episode had an identical “low-hanging fruit” vibe, as Maurice Lamarche delivered a advantageous Vincent Worth imitation narrating an Edward Gorey-like poem about Bart getting as much as shenanigans.
The animation was beautiful, a Simpsonsized model of Gorey’s acquainted eerie fashion, however whereas the couplets have been sometimes intelligent, there was no construct to them, no actual twist or shock, and the section resulted in an anti-climax so rote it would as nicely have “beer o’clock” stamped throughout the underside.
The components of the dialog not targeted on selling the upcoming season or taking part in Simpsons charades have been taken up with fan-sourced questions concerning the writers and animators that will likely be acquainted to anybody who’s watched this kind of panel earlier than. Yeardley Smith kicked issues off together with her personal question: “Can we please have an episode the place Lisa Simpson befriends The Rock?” Stunt casting is nothing new for the sequence, and Smith’s apparent pleasure was charming; principally it was only a shock that Dwayne Johnson hasn’t already appeared on the sequence.
Smith’s plea was adopted by a run of upbeat softball prompts: “What present would you want to jot down on?” (author Carolyn Omine was into At all times Sunny In Philadelphia; Selman had good issues to say about Bob’s Burgers, amongst others); “What does engaged on The Simpsons means to you?”, directed at Silverman, who stated “It means an incredible factor occurred to me in my profession,” and in addition talked about his consciousness of simply how lengthy he’s been drawing for the present; whether or not or not the animators draw of their spare time (Debbie Mahan has an Instagram for off-hours work; Mike Anderson apparently doodles nearly in all places), and so forth. One viewer requested if the present had any plans for a sequence finale, and whereas there have been just a few fascinating concepts, Selman gave what is likely to be essentially the most becoming prediction, with a cheerful, if chilling, “In some kind or one other, Disney won’t ever let the present finish.”
Nobody appeared notably bothered by this concept, and whereas it wouldn’t be stunning if longterm Simpsons vets had extra difficult emotions concerning the present’s longevity, there was no signal of such sentiment right here. Possibly the closest the panel got here to self-awareness was the late arrival of Matt Groening, warmly welcomed by all however visibly exhausted, briefly coming alive for a dialog about nicknames (“I received’t even go into my highschool nickname which was ‘Matt Groin-Harm.’”), however probably not current for anything. Nonetheless, a reputation’s a reputation.