Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simpsons Marathon on FXX starts tomorrow

A couch scene opens every episode. This one is from a Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special, my personal favorites.  

Just in case you've missed the announcements, FXX network will be airing the complete 552 episodes of The Simpsons in chronological order beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, August 21, 2014. The marathon will run through midnight on Labor Day, Monday September 1st.

FXX is a cable channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, who owns Fox Broadcasting network, the owner of the Simpsons franchise. Though both are part of the same network family, FXX paid a record 1 billion dollars in November of 2013 for the rights to show reruns on cable, bidding out TBS and Adult Swim. In fact, tomorrow will be The Simpson's first ever airing on cable.

Though there are only 552 episodes totaling 11.5 days of air time at a half hour each, the 2007 feature film, The Simpsons Movie will add an extra two hours of viewing time. The movie will air at 6 p.m. Friday August 29, right after Season 18's final episode, "You Kent Aways Say What You Want." Interviews and bits of trivia will also be interspersed in short breaks during the marathon.

The Simpsons began as a short animated feature shown on Tracy Ullman's variety show in April 1987, then got it's own half hour time slot beginning with a Christmas special airing on December 17, 1989 titled, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." Twenty five seasons later, the show is still going strong.

I am particularly interested in seeing reruns of the annual Halloween holiday specials, titled "Treehouse of Horror." The first one debuted during season 2 in October 1990 and contains a memorable dramatic reading by Lisa of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."

The Simpsons are time capsules of pop culture, known for their parodies of famous works of literature and movies, as well as their political satires. Watching the old shows in order will be a bit like reliving the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s as we are reminded of important events from the day. Though many cities claim to be the setting of the show, creator Matt Groening says the city of Springfield is a composite of several cities. Though he won't reveal the true locations, these are most likely all located within Washington State and Oregon where Groening spent all of his early life. Occasionally, a specific landmark or news event can be pinned on a place, such as the one-mile monorail to nowhere in Seattle featured in S4E12 "Marge vs. the Monorail," and the nuclear power plant found outside Portland Oregon, close to where Groening himself grew up.

If you'd like to follow along, here is a useful episode guide published by Wikipedia:
Simpson's Episode Guide