Positive Reviews Are Virtually Indistinguishable From Negative Reviews

homer streetcarAlan Sepinwall is a big-time TV critic whose opinions are highly revered by the industry (TV producers Dan Harmon and Michael Schur both mention him in their respective AV Club walkthroughs, for example). When he talks, people listen.

Well, recently he set his sights on The Simpsons and wrote a DEVASTATING TAKEDOWN of the latest episode. Just peep these biting excerpts…

“The Food Wife” felt in many ways like a mirror of the A-story from “Co-Dependent’s Day.” …[T]he overall structure was fairly similar… I’m sure there are other episodes in the previous 490 you could also compare it to – Marge’s initial fear, then love, of the Ethiopian food was pretty similar to Homer’s experience at the sushi restaurant waaaaaay back in season 2’s “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish,” for instance…


But at this stage, every episode of “The Simpsons” feels like it’s recycling a story the show has told before – usually several times, in fact.

flamedHello, burn ward?

After all this time, it’s incredibly rare for the show to present a new idea,

Hold that thought. I just want to point out how much this barrage of ownage sounds like a typical Dead Homer Society rant. OK, carry on.

After all this time, it’s incredibly rare for the show to present a new idea, but “The Food Wife” was a good reminder of how well it can still repackage the old ones.

Wait, wait, wait… upon closer inspection, this is actually a positive review. And now that I actually read it instead of just skimming it, I see that Sepinwall is apparently friendly enough with the Simpsons staff to be invited to do audio commentary for the Season 15 DVD. Whoops.

Everyone can agree that The Simpsons nowadays is undoubtedly just a mishmash of recycled and rehashed plotlines from yesteryear. But apparently the only major difference between reviewers praising the show and reviewers trashing the show is whether or not they thought the “repackaging” was done well.