Yesterday I discussed the inevitable but seemingly impossible end to the story of a bunch of clever kids and their cars: The Fast and the Furious. There are plenty of jokes to be made about just how fast and/or furious these folks may or may not be by the time they have been at the business of squealing tires and launching incredibly expensive cars out of even more expensive skyscrapers. If, after two decades of living life a quarter mile at a time they are all still up to the task, one wonders if they will be having to race their heavily modified motor vehicles on the moon just to create anything that seems new or vibrant. You know: for kids.
Speaking of kids, today I was reading about cartoons. Not that cartoons have been the domain of children waking up early on Saturday morning for a very long time, but it could be that this was only a sliver of the reality that I remember from my own youth. The Warner Brothers shorts that I watched as a kid continue to amuse me today even more than they did way back when. I get the layers. The same can be said of Rocky and Bullwinkle and all manner of other mildly subversive fare from the olden days.
I remember the first time I saw The Simpsons. I was watching Tracy Ullman's show and there was this jaggedly animated bit between skits that featured an angry yellow family that reminded me of Matt Groening's cartoons. Because they were. I remember thinking what a treasure this was, and how lucky I was to have discovered them. That was back in 1987. It was only a few years after that when Fox TV gave Mister Groening his own half hour to put the funk back in dysfunctional family. Twenty-six years after their premiere, everyone's favorite Nuclear Family has become less jagged and more round. Less harsh and more thoughtful. It had to. I watched them all when Otto's bus was first pulling out of the station. I watched the reruns to catch what I might have missed. And somewhere along the track, I think it was about the time I started having a son of my own to strangle, I stopped watching. I had switched to harder stuff, like South Park and Robot Chicken. And sometime after that, I lost track of them too.
Now I hear that Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean is thinking it's about time to pack it in. I bought my T-shirt way back when. I had a lunchbox. I got it. Now it's time to turn the page, even though I haven't read those comics for years.