Al Jean reveals that Marge and Homer Simpson will legally separate in the upcoming season.
Get ready, Simpsons fans, because the 27th season of FOX’s long-running comedy seems to be filled with the most buzz the show has seen in almost a decade.
We knew already that this upcoming season of The Simpsons would be quite different, as long-time voice talent Harry Shearer left the show. Shearer, the voice behind Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and Mr. Burns, couldn’t reach a contract agreement with showrunners Matt Groening, Al Jean, and James L. Brooks. Instead of killing off the three iconic characters, Groening and company have decided to recast them. The showrunners released a statement saying, “Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed. The show will go on and we wish him well. Maggie took it hard.”
Rumors have been swirling the past few days about the direction the show would be taking this season, and Executive Producer Al Jean dropped a bombshell in an interview with Variety’s Debra Birnbaum. When asked what viewers could look forward to in the upcoming season, Jean very nonchalantly had this to say:
In the premiere, it’s discovered after all the years Homer has narcolepsy and it’s an incredible strain on the marriage. Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist, who’s voiced by Lena Dunham. We’ll have cameos from the other women from “Girls.” We have an episode coming up where Lisa befriends a homeless woman who turns out to be an incredible singer. The woman’s voiced by Kate McKinnon, but the singing is done by Natalie Maines. In another episode, Spider Pig makes his return. Sideshow Bob appears in a segment, and we finally see him do something he’s wanted to do for 25 years. And we have an episode based on the film “Boyhood.” It’s a flashback/flashforward about Bart. We go to various points in his life and his life to come which I think came out really well.
Wait….WHAT?!? After the initial reaction of “Oh great, Spider Pig!”, and the “Here they go trying to ‘kill’ Bart again with Sideshow Bob…” there is the thought that perhaps you’ve read that second sentence incorrectly.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SEPARATING MARGE AND HOMER SIMPSON?!?!
I’m fine now. Promise.
I was a HUGE fan of NBC’s The Office, and really hated that the show even ended anyway, but the last season left me with mixed emotions throughout. There was a storyline through the final season with the allusion being made over and over again that things between Pam and Jim weren’t going so well. They even wanted you to think that maybe Pam had feelings for/was messing around with one of the documentary crew members. There was lots and lots of “You can’t do this now!” and “Don’t touch that Halpert!” What purpose did it serve the show, really? It helped remind us that we were still watching a documentary all along. The Halperts were fine, and everything seemed settled in the end.
The same sentiment holds true for the Simpsons – well, for me anyway. I can’t imagine this show without Homer and Marge being a long-term pair. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it will be watchable for me; it totally changes the whole dynamic of the show. I don’t care what anyone says, no one is going to kill Bart Simpson, do you know why? He’s Bart Freakin’ Simpson.
So don’t you “Halpert” me, Matt Groening; don’t do it. It’s going to be weird enough with a different sounding Flanders and Mr. Burns; don’t mess with this. Yes, Homer Simpson is a jackass, but he’s been the most lovable one on television for 27 seasons. The chemistry of this show works because Marge knows deep-down that through it all Homer truly loves her no matter what. The marriage of Marge and Homer Simpson outlasted the marriages of plenty of kids’ parents I knew growing up. I’ve gone from a “Bart” to a “Homer” during their ups and downs, and there’s no better example of a real life working relationship than Marge and Homer Simpson.
We screw up. Someone does something incredibly stupid. The other forgives. We all know that, while there are probably some Halperts out there, just about every married couple on the planet sees a little Simpson in their relationship. It’s about the forgiveness, the good times and bad, and how – in the end – everything might just be alright.
So, here’s to the 27th season of The Simpsons; don’t mess it up, Groening.
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