My biggest beef with The Simpsons nowadays is how much it feels like fan fiction. Characters speak in the same stilted voice, their personality traits are either ignored or sacrificed so they can be crammed into a ridiculous situation, and storylines tend to revolve around shocking new revelations, origin stories, and pairing characters together. So I’m not surprised that the show is actually giving control to shippers.
This Sunday, after a new episode where Mrs. Krabappel (she and Mr. K should really get that divorce finalized) starts dating Ned Flanders, viewers will get to decide whether their relationship continues, in a half-assed attempt to generate “buzz.” It’s exactly like that Batman thing from the 1980s where readers decided whether Robin lived or died, except with “Nedna.” Yes, they’ve already coined a name for it.
The Simpsons has a good track record of cleverly subverting their shameless stunts: Mr. Burns was shot by the least likely suspect; a fan-created character was killed instantly. But I highly doubt even a hilarious twist could salvage this desperate gimmick. Will it be a forgettable waste of time? Or will it be a forgettable waste of time? (Answer: It will be a forgettable waste of time.) [TVbytheNumbers]