Avinash's lists regarding the top 10 whatever of the decade caused me to pause for a moment of reflection. My reflection led to a realization, its been nearly a decade since I stopped watching The Simpsons religiously. Initially overwhelmed with joy as I reminisced over all the humorous moments, this joy soon turned to fright as I pondered what I might have missed over the last decade of episodes.
Sure, the edginess of this imperfect TV family was gone after the early 90's, but quality laughs might still have been had. I scoured over 20 lists of the all-time best episodes, and with exception to one episode that aired in 2000 (the behind the scenes parody) all of the episodes listed in the top 10 originated in the 90's. After, back checking the lists' publication dates I confirmed all the great episodes are from the 90's, and I had deprived myself of zero new classics. Although The Simpsons is still a great show, the writers are simply unable to reach the levels of success established two decades ago. In reviewing these top 10 lists, I was also able to establish a top 10 list of episodes most commonly listed in the top 10, aka the Most Important Top 10 List EVER!
After an informal count, the Top 10 most common episodes listed in the Top 10 episodes of all-time were:
10) Treehouse of Horror - I'll start everyone off with a cop-out! The Treehouse of Horror usually appeared once in the top 10 lists, which Treehouse of Horror changes from list-to-list. I'm not choosing a specific episode, rather simply honouring all the Halloween episodes as one body of work.
9) Homer's Phobia - Homer freaks out when a gay man spends time with Bart.
8) Homer vs. the 18th Amendment - Homer starts bootlegging.
7) Homer and Apu - Apu gets fired from the Kwik-E-Mart leading to a complete loss of identity and purpose.
6) Marge vs the Monorail - Marge fights an incoming monorail project.
5) Deep Space Homer - Homer becomes an astronaut.
4) Homer the Great - The Stonecutters episode
3) The Mysterious Voyage of Homer - Homer eats a chili pepper that illicits a psychotropic drug sequence ending with Homer questioning if Marge is his soul mate.
2) Homer at the Bat - Homer plays baseball for the company team, only to be benched for professionals.
1) Cape Fear - Sideshow Bob attempts to kill Bart, but Bart tricks him into singing a musical.
Agree or disagree? What are some of your unlisted favourites?
A small sample of the lists I consulted:
http://animatedtv.about.com/od/mattgroening/tp/groeningtop10.htm (Matt Groenings Favorites)