The Simpsons - Worst Episode Ever
The Nicks dive deep into personal nostalgia (that's good), the divide between fans (that's bad), the different shows that the Simpsons has been (that's good), and more for this long running (that's bad) media franchise! Can I go now?
## Episode Outline
### Fandom Facts
**History and Origins:**
> The Simpsons is a long running animated TV show, spanning 27 seasons over as many years, and counting (As of Dec 2016). It revolves around the lives of a supposedly average American middle class household; Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
> Over the years, The Simpsons' cast grew from the original five family members into over a hundred unique characters, along with numerous cameos.
> — [Fanlore - The Simpsons](https://fanlore.org/wiki/The_Simpsons)
Created by Matt Groening, _The Simpsons_ debuted as a series of shorts on the _Tracy Ullman Show_ in 1987 and since then has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon spanning hundreds of episodes and many comics, video games, and so much more. It is the longest running TV show in history and airs in over 180 countries. "The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition" (Wikipedia).
Using Google Trends data, there is about as much search data available as there is missing, since it starts back in 2004. That being said, search interest in the show [has been on a slow decline](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F07c72) since approximately May 2010 (despite being relatively stable from 2004 - 2010). The show has had a particular spike in interest in July 2007 (_The Simpsons_ movie), but otherwise, no major peaks in interest.
The top ten countries for _the Simpsons_, by search volume, are as follows: Argentina, Lithuania, Czechia, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, and Slovakia (Canada is 27th; United States is 42nd).
There is lots of data available about viewing habits and ratings... but not so much about the fans themselves. An article from the L.A. Times in 1990 has [some interesting tidbits though](http://articles.latimes.com/1990-10-16/entertainment/ca-2464_1_bart-simpson):
> Fifty-six percent of kids 2-11 and more than 50% of youngsters 12-17 tuned in "The Simpsons." What's more, 50% of men 18-34 and 42% of men 18-49 also watched Bart Simpson and his animated family.
> The figures for women fans of "The Simpsons" were slightly lower but still impressive--41% of females 18-34 and 36% of those 18-49 watched the show's fall premiere.
> Among folks 50 and older, there was almost no "Simpsons" audience: 8% of the men and 6% of the women.
As well, we know that folks see the show mostly positively even after its long run, even against other contemporaries like [The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy](https://www.statista.com/statistics/917969/us-audience-tv-show-attitudes/) with 56% positive opinion (compared to 23% negative opinion). We also know that there have been [less viewers, less awards, less top ten episodes](https://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/tv/a-scientific-search-to-find-out-when-the-simpsons-became-shit/71477), and not a lot of representation (by the numbers)... but none of that is about the fan demographics, unfortunately.
[//Archive Of Our Own has approximately 300 fan works... but like, the simpsons has done it everywhere. THERE'S EVEN A SUBREDDIT FOR IT.]: #
### [Last Episode's](https://fanthropological.com/alien) Famous Last Words
What did we have to say before doing the preparation for this week's episode?
**T:** What is the fandom like now compared to the beginning? Or in the mid 90s?
[// Didn't really find anything on this; moreso found things about watching the show then, or how the show changed]: #
**G:** Do Simpsons shitposters tend to be fans of those first few seasons? Have they gone through all iterations?
**Z:** At this point in the Simpsons, what kind of interaction is there between "Simpsons HQ" and the fandom?
**Jaime:** Do you choo-choo-choose me?
### Main Discussion
**Topics covered in this episode:** TBD
### Spotlight: [Frinkiac](https://frinkiac.com/)
> Frinkiac is a search engine for Simpsons quotes. It contains nearly 3 million screenshots (every episode from season 1 through 151) indexed by the quote they are associated with and has a variety of features to help you find the exact screenshot you’re looking for. Once you’ve found it you can share it with your friends or make a quick meme. Never again find yourself wishing you could pinpoint the second his heart rips in half. You’ll feel like god must feel when he’s holding a gun.
> — [Frinkiac - The Simpsons Screenshot Search Engine](https://langui.sh/2016/02/02/frinkiac-the-simpsons-screenshot-search-engine/)
### Spotlight: [Dark Simpsons](http://www.darksimpsons.com/)
> Welcome to Dark Simpsons Comics! If you are reading this, you have probably already taken a look at the comics we make here and have a sense of what we do. But I am here to explain a bit more about our approach to making these comics. Our goal here is to make the most ridiculous, dark, outrageous and offensive comics/memes/GIFs that we can out of screenshots from The Simpsons. We mix and match screenshots from many episodes, trying our best to maintain a solid storyline that does not require any dialogue to understand.
> — [Dark Simpsons](http://www.darksimpsons.com/about-us/)
### Famous Last Words
Our chance (and yours, if you're watching on [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast)) to have some (in)famous last words about next week's topic before we've done any prep work! Next week, we'll be talking about the fans and fandom of _Earthbound / Mother_!
**T:** I want to know more about starmen.net
**G:** Is anyone drawn to Earthbound because of it's contemporary, American-ness?
**Z:** Itoi has gone on record to say that there will be no more Mother games... are fans making continuations of the series since there will be more more official releases?
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## What is "Fanthropological"?
Every week, Fanthropological delivers over an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation!
We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture.
- All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!
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