Week of Geek: Springfield, New New York and Dreamland

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Hi again Geeklings!  Welcome to July!  Hope you had a great Canada Day!

So last week we got a first look at a new show airing in August on Netflix, and I’m pretty darn stoked.

This is our first look at Disenchantment, the third series from Matt Groening, who created The Simpsons and Futurama.  You may have heard of at least one of those shows.  While the above clip is really short, any longtime fans will definitely get a sense of the type of humor that often runs through all three shows (and that’s gotta be John DiMaggio as the king; his highness sounds way too much like Bender).

I’m excited for this new show because I literally grew up with Groening’s cartoons.  The Simpsons first aired all the way back in 1989, when I turned 8 years old.  Futurama debuted in 1999, when I turned 18.  So head’s up, a lot of this post is just going to be me gushing, because while I may not be good at a lot of languages I am fluent in Simpsons quotes.  My brothers and I still quote lines to each other to this day.  Treehouse of Horror episodes are still required viewing at Halloween.  I cannot understate how much of an impact The Simpsons has had on my life.

And it’s hard to describe how much of a big deal The Simpsons was when it first aired.  In the early 90s they were EVERYWHERE!  Merchandising, commercials, t-shirts, toys, even music.  There was a single called “Do the Bartman” and it is one of the most 90s things you will ever come across (also Michael Jackson had a hand in writing it and singing backing vocals).  The show was ahead of it’s time and considered quite risque in it’s day.

Countless guest stars, a theme park ride, a movie and some weird predictions later, the show has had almost 30 seasons by now, and there’s quite a bit of debate amongst fans when it may have gone off the rails (or definitely, depending on who you ask).  There have been quite a few recent episodes I’ve enjoyed but even I have to agree that it’s just not as funny as it used to be.  That can easily be chalked up to franchise fatigue, which is what happens when any show has been on for too long or had two many episodes.  It’s just impossible to keep that same level of quality over 30 years; you run out of jokes, ideas, storylines and character plots.  Most fans think the ‘Golden Age’ of the show was roughly between seasons 3 and seasons 9, and I’m inclined to agree.  I personally would tell any new viewer to start with seasons 4 and 5.  There are some classic episodes there.

Now Futurama doesn’t have the same problem of franchise fatigue as The Simpsons, as it hasn’t lasted nearly as long, but it has still had a bumpy history.  As I mentioned it started in 1999… but was cancelled in 2003.  It was then brought back in 2008… but was cancelled again in 2013.  But even with it’s first cancellation it had a strong fanbase, one that continues to this day.  There are people who feel Futurama surpassed The Simpsons in terms of quality, and while the show may not have had as much of an impact on me as the residents of Springfield did, the Planet Express crew and their wacky adventures and endless skewering of Sci Fi tropes still holds a special place in my heart.  They did a whole episode with the original cast of Star Trek, how could I not love them?

Besides, it has one quality that I don’t think The Simpsons quite managed; some episodes of Futurama will make you cry for days.  I still won’t watch ‘Jurassic Bark‘; once was plenty, thanks.

As was perhaps inevitable, the Simpsons and Futurama even did a crossover a few years ago.

And now we’ll see how Disenchantment does.  From what we know so far the story follows Bean, Elfo and Lucy, a princess, elf and demon respectively.  While The Simpsons is more slice of life and Futurama is more sci fi, Disenchantment will play around with fantasy.  I can’t wait!

What do you guys think?  Excited?  Couldn’t care less?  Eager to check out more Groening shows if you haven’t already?  Which one is your favorite?  Post in the comments or head over to WriteIt.

Thanks guys!  Have a great week, don’t forget to sign up for the Teen Challenge and get those ballots in, and until next time, End of Line.

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