This is a guest editorial about the public opinion of The Simpsons' first Season. Written by "Malachy", March 2 2006.
Season one is generally accepted by fans as better than the Scully years, but not quite up to par with seasons two through seven. However, there is a somewhat large percentage who consider is to be a terrible group of episodes, and even rank it with or below the teen seasons. What could cause this irrational hatred of the premiere season? Episodes such as Moaning Lisa, Bart the General, and Krusty Gets Busted all held very nice characterization and above average humor, though I often feel like I'm alone in my love for the first of that trio. There are a few possible reasons for the backlash at Season One, which we will examine here.
First and most probable, the animation in season one is rough and somewhat hard on the eyes. This can be a major turn-off for fans, especially those who only jumped in during Season Nine or upward and were spoiled. Even I admit, though I consider season one to be part of the golden age, I sometimes avoid re-viewings, almost solely because of the shoddy animation. Quite simply, the scenes are all a bunch of eyesores.
Second, the pace is somewhat slower, even when compared to other early seasons such as two and three. It is possible that fans who have been accustomed to the fast-paced episodes of the later years could grow bored with the season one episodes. A great example of contrast is Family Guy, which has been put into the group of 'joke a second' on several occasions, by those in the business and its own staff. Season one is far from joke a second, and you might even be hard-pressed to find a joke a minute. Much more time and effort were devoted to characterization and plot development, which has both its pros and cons.
Third, and plausible, if you think about it, is the want of fans to show a definite progression, and eventual decline, in the quality of the show. Rather than group season one in with the classic years, which rarely ever get wider than two to nine, they like to think that the show started at the same quality that it is at now. These sorts of cases have been seen before, and it all relates back to the anal-retentive natures of many Simpsons community netizens. Many like to see their findings line up, so that they are in a definitive order. They are willing to alter their own opinions so that The Simpsons progression becomes a nice, clean mountain, whose bases are at the beginning and end, and peaks right in the middle.
Whatever the case, it is unsure whether season one will ever receive a large amount of respect. Even I admit; it always appears below the golden years on my rankings, though never below the Scully years. It holds some classics, and the major flop, Homer's Odyssey, is at least watchable. I suggest going through all thirteen of the 7G's with an open mind, which is not too daunting a task, punching in at just under four-hundred minutes.