Friday, May 15, 2015

831. If Harry Shearer really is done...

If Harry Shearer really is done with The Simpsons I can think of two things that might or should happen as a result.  Here they are:

1) Don't recast the characters he helped make iconic.  I mean seriously, the voice cast on The Simpsons is as iconic as anything else about the show, and it's been the same since the very beginning.  You could do mimics, or change the voices of all Shearer's character entirely...The better, the best option is to retire those characters.  The Simpsons is known for its sprawling cast.  It hasn't added many new characters in years, and even if it doesn't now, it could easily survive a trimming.  Part of the reason so many fans think, have thought for years that the show has been stale, stagnant, is that nothing has changed for years.  Every time something does change, it comes off as a publicity stunt.  Think of this as an opportunity to prove everyone wrong, once and for all.  I mean, South Park survived losing Chef (even though he was probably the best thing about it).  Shearer doesn't even voice any of the main characters.  And The Simpsons already survived losing its best voice actor, Phil Hartman, and retired his characters, right?  If worst come to worst, simply bring on Kelsey Grammer full-time.  That would be a challenge.  But it could also be the Sylar-ing of Sideshow Bob.  I think I could live with that, though.

2) This is a sign that The Simpsons is finally winding down.  Finally losing one of the iconic voice actors, after incredibly keeping all of them for twenty-six seasons, is already historic.  But if they've lost one, chances are becoming better that they will lose more.  And as I've already suggested, The Simpsons is nothing if not its voice cast plus everything else.  Emphasis on voice cast.  The show will end.  I'm not saying this because I'm gleeful about the prospect.  But it is inevitable.  And now we have a better idea of how it will happen.  And it seems pretty obvious now, doesn't it?


12 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

The show should have packed it in at least 10 years ago, if not longer. At this point I think the creators are just too greedy to let it go down gracefully. The idea of two seasons without Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, etc. is as lame as Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen. (Though I never watched that show I think they kept going a few more seasons just out of spite.)

The Armchair Squid said...

I think retiring the characters is a good idea. It would certainly change the show but maybe that's not so horrible, as you suggest.

Tony Laplume said...

They kept Two and a Half Men going because at that point it was still a major ratings hit. It was a business decision. What's gratifying for me is when, and this is something that is more or less a matter of course these days, a good show gets to continue even when its ratings are terrible.

Leslie S. Rose said...

I remember being freaked out when some Peanut characters got different voices.

Tony Laplume said...

And clearly people were freaked out the first time it wasn't Sean Connery playing James Bond.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I agree with Pat - the show should've ended years ago. This would be a good time to call it quits.

Tony Laplume said...

I think they're literally waiting until the whole thing falls apart.

Jay Noel said...

I can't believe the show is still on the air. The Simpsons broke away from Tracy Ullman back when I was in high school. And I'm an old man!

I hope they pull the plug on The Simpsons before it crumbles into nothingness.

Tony Laplume said...

Its longevity is astounding. I think competition from Family Guy and South Park, and those shows eventually acknowledging it in their own programming, is part of the reason why it still exists.

Spacerguy said...

Game over man, game over! Ok seriously the reason I believe Simpsons has survived is because of the stories and characters. Without Shearer, re-creating the voices in digital format just wouldn't be the same.

Tony Laplume said...

I've moved quite healthily on to hoping they don't do any sort of recasting.

Tony Laplume said...

It's worth noting for those keeping score that Shearer agreed to come back.

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