Jackie Mason | January 23, 2004
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Scott Hardie | January 23, 2004
My suspicion is that it started as a parody of homophobic men in general, implying that they don't realize how much they have in common with gay men. But it probably turned into a running gag that Homer really is gay on a subconscious level, and the writers figure that most viewers don't pick up on it. (Considering that "The Simpsons" is one of the most scrutinized and nitpicked series on television, that's unrealistic.)

From what I've read, the show is experiencing a creative renaissance. I wouldn't know; I've seen only one episode this season (same night that article was published) and it was lousy and creatively bankrupt.

Anna Gregoline | January 23, 2004
They self-reference too much. It's become a show of in-jokes and weird snippets that make no sense (I like some of those, but when the whole show is carried on them, it sucks). I think that The Simpsons should face an end soon.

Scott Hardie | January 23, 2004
And the celebrity cameos. I hear they're not quite as frequent as they used to be, but it seems like there are more celebrities in a year of "The Simpsons" than in a year of the goo game.

Anna Gregoline | January 23, 2004
Heh, I'm positive you're right. I hate to say it, but I think the Simpsons should end. Sometimes, it's better to cut something off when it starts to flag.

Jackie Mason | January 25, 2004
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Kris Weberg | January 27, 2004
They also had a running gag about Bart and/or Milhouse being gay as well. In one of the flashback episodes, the school psychiatrist talked to Marge and Homer about their son's "flamboyantly homosexual tendencies," then quickly realized that he wasn't talking to Milhouse's parents and shoved the file away. In anotehr episode, Homer discovers Bart and Milhous wearing 60s bouffant wigs and dancing in the bedroom, and demands "a non-gay explanation." This has since been dropped.

And of course, there's Smithers....

But to Homer and Bart and so on -- basically, the Simpsons has gradually junked characterization for wacky gags. As I'm sure a lot of you guys already know, the way the show is written changed around 6-7 years ago, such that the writers now all gather and contribute random gags to bare-bones plots, and from there go on to make an episode. For awhile, they even had Dana Gould in the credits as "humor consultant" or somesuch, which should give you an idea. The writing process is less like that used in a sitcom, and more like like an edgy and clever sictom -- those are written byu committee as well, but there's usually a "primary" writer or two to a greater extent than on the Simpsons -- and more like a late-night monologue.


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