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The Simpsons Season 35 Parody Risks Repeating A Major Recent Mistake


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Summary

  • The upcoming episode of The Simpsons season 35 will spoof the popular HBO show The White Lotus, potentially repeating a past mistake of introducing unnecessary new characters.
  • The show’s recent parodies of other TV shows risk losing focus on existing characters and spending too much time introducing new ones, as seen in the poorly executed Succession spoof.
  • The Simpsons’ best prestige TV parody succeeded by incorporating existing characters and telling an original story, rather than relying on the addition of new characters to recreate another comedic series.


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The news that The Simpsons season 35 will soon spoof a popular HBO show could see the series repeat a recent mistake. The co-showrunner of The Simpsons, Al Jean, posted a photo of an upcoming episode’s script to X with the caption “Very fun The Simpsons read today,” and a title page that read “The Yellow Lotus.” From this context, viewers can discern that an upcoming episode of The Simpsons season 35 will spoof the popular HBO dramedy The White Lotus. This could lead the series to repeat a recent mistake from season 33, episode 21, “Meat Is Murder.”

Many of the show’s recent outings have featured parodies of other popular TV shows. This harkens back to the Golden Age of The Simpsons when it spoofed the likes of Twin Peaks and The X-Files at the height of their popularity. “Meat Is Murder” saw the series devote an episode to parodying Succession, while “The Yellow Lotus” will seemingly repeat this approach by spoofing The White Lotus. Unfortunately, this upcoming outing runs the risk of repeating the mistakes made by the show’s earlier Succession spoof when it comes to casting.


The Simpsons Keeps Parodying Comedy Shows

Both Succession and The White Lotus are admittedly a lot drier and subtler than The Simpsons. However, at their core, they are still comedy shows, and it is tricky for The Simpsons to parody shows that are already funny. While this can be done, the problem is that parodying popular comedy shows results in The Simpsons adding tons of unnecessary, soon-forgotten new characters. The biggest problem with The Simspons‘ spoof of Succession was that “Meat Is Murder” introduced four new characters played by Kristen Ritter, Paul F Tompkins, John Lithgow, and Seth Green, instead of relying on existing characters.

The Succession parody could have worked perfectly if the show’s writers used an existing character like Mr. Burns as its stand-in for Brian Cox’s Logan Roy. However, The Simpsons instead added numerous new one-off characters to the show, spending most of the episode’s screen time introducing them and leaving the series with little room to substantially satirize Succession. Similarly, ”The Yellow Lotus” runs the risk of adding a ton of famous cameos instead of focusing on the existing supporting characters from The Simpsons universe, many of whom could slot perfectly into a parody of the HBO hit. This could ruin the episode.

The Simpsons’ Best Prestige TV Parody Fixed This Issue

Ned smiles at an annoyed Homer in The Simpsons A Serious Flanders

There is nothing wrong with The Simpsons repeating familiar plots if the show finds a fresh spin on these storylines. For example, season 33’s two-part special “A Serious Flanders” was also a parody of prestige TV, but that outing worked because it incorporated existing characters like Fat Tony, Ned Flanders, Moe, and Mr. Burns. “A Serious Flanders” spoofed the tone and style of Breaking Bad, Barry, and Fargo but the two-parter still boasted an original story that utilized the show’s huge existing cast, rather than simply recreating another comedic series by adding tons of new characters to The Simpsons.

Source: X

The Simpsons

Release Date
December 17, 1989

Cast
Tress MacNeille , Julie Kavner , Harry Shearer , Pamela Hayden , Nancy Cartwright , Hank Azaria , Dan Castellaneta , Yeardley Smith

Seasons
35



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