Julian on the Simpsons. I’m sure he’s right, but I’ve never quite managed to get into it. I realize I ought to, and I feel as if I ought to – not in a moral sense, obviously, but in the sense that I’m sure I’m missing something worth not missing – but usually when I try, I find it irksome; I find I’m forcing myself to keep watching, as a duty, as if it were medicinal, at which I always get impatient and switch to something I like better. Though I also have an ongoing intention to do better some day.
I’m pretty sure I know why I find it irksome, too: it’s so ugly, and the animation is so bad. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that stands in the way. (What the hell else would it be? I’ve seen it enough to know I like the content.) I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I just get tired of looking at Homer’s face and Marge’s hair, very quickly. Almost instantly. I’m sure the ugliness is part of the joke, but the joke palls just as fast as the ugliness does, which is pretty much immediately. I can’t help it. I grew up on Warner Brothers cartoons; they’re part of my syntax, my grammar, my earliest mental furniture. Sub-Warner level animation has just never done it for me – it always has to compete with the Warner template, and it can’t do it. Rocky and Bullwinkle could be very funny (they were kind of a premonition of Jerry and Kramer, come to think of it), but man the drawing and animation were crap. Hanna-Barbera were just synoymous with bad animation. So I have this block about the Simpsons. Sad, isn’t it. (Imagine if all editions of Alice came with very ugly, crude illustrations on every page – and there were no plain editions in existence. That would be too bad. On the other hand I have a cartoon edition [yes, really] of Lear [complete text], and it’s brilliant, I love it. But I can’t learn to love Homer. I’m sorry.)