“The Simpsons” return for their 33rd season on FOX. The show has been a staple to television for over 30 years. It is crazy that the show writers have not run out of ideas just yet.
The series premiere, ‘The Star of the Backstage’, starts with the Simpsons family attending a funeral for Marge’s high school theater director. There, she reminisces about her time as a crew member in the drama club. However, she wishes she could be on the stage performing. This daydream then cues Marge into musical mode where she sings about her ambitions and dreams. She sounds amazing in her head (Marge’s singing in this episode was done by Kristen Bell).
The iconic opening theme for “The Simpsons” was not featured in this episode. I was shocked, but I’m sure after 30 years, audiences know what to expect from the show. Instead, the traditional opening jingle with the clouds cuts immediately to a funeral scene. It did not set a serious tone, but it brought us right into the plot of the show.
Marge is the star of the premiere. As an avid fan of “The Simpsons”, it is interesting to see her develop from Homer’s housewife to a woman with a passion. Over the 33 seasons, there have been plenty of episodes focusing on Marge. In season five, episode 10 titled, ‘$pringfield (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)’ focused on Marge’s addiction to gambling. Her addiction takes a toll on the Simpsons’ family as she neglects Homer and the children. The season 33 premiere, dedicated to her happy theater days, definitely sets the tone for the diverse and creative content to come later in season 33.
The premise of the episode reminded me of “Grown Ups” starring Adam Sandler. In this film, Sandler and his best film buddies: Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider all join together after their coach’s death. A common theme of death is that it reminds you of things you enjoyed in the past. “The Simpsons” episode and “Grown Ups” comparably had their characters relive some of their greatest moments from their childhood.
A musical episode as the premiere of season 33 is different from what we see from other shows. “The Simpsons” established their characters and settings long before I was even born. The specialty of this show is they have the creative freedom to do whatever they want.
I often see musical episodes to be filler episodes throughout a series season. However, this episode appeals to an audience that loves the musical industry. Kristen Bell has a recognizable voice from her role as Anna in “Frozen.” I’m sure Disney fans would appreciate the familiar talent in their living room while watching “The Simpsons.”
“The Simpsons” has a niche for incorporating pop culture into the series. That is probably why the show retains relevance after almost 32 years. For future episodes in season 33, I would not be surprised if recent events were mentioned, such as Lil Nas X’s “Montero” era or bringing up topical political issues with good humor. Season 33 will feature guest stars like Alan Cumming, Maurice LaMarche, Tree Rollins and Pamela Reed.
New episodes of “The Simpsons” are on FOX at 8 p.m EST on Sundays.