Saturday 18 February 2012

The Simpsons at 500

The Simpsons, Matt Groening's brainchild, the most iconic show in recent memory, the mould from which shows like Family Guy and South Park seek to establish themselves, has reached the gigantic milestone of 500 episodes. The show, which started on The Tracey Ullman Show way back in 1987 as a series of shorts, has been a mainstay on TV as a series for 23 years.

The practically unparralleled achievement is a true feather in the cap of arguably one of the greatest TV shows of all time and The Simpsons has been getting a lot of well deserved coverage because of the approaching accomplishment. The Guardian has compiled a list of the top ten episodes of The Simpsons here, crowning the 007 spoof, You Only Move Twice the greatest episode of The Simpsons ever. Personally, I'd agree with The Guardian's choice of that and of Cape Feare as the top two, although I'd probably rank their first full episode, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, in the top three though. Although, fans and critics alike seem fairly unaminous that the show's finest hours were in its first decade or so, there is no arguing with the fantastic brilliance of the show, and recent episode's like Angry Dad: The Movie showed the show's timelessness and how it is still capable of utter brilliance and witty self-parody. The Guardian also has an article about its choice of the top ten things that make The Simpsons great.

BBC News has a couple of clips from the upcoming 500th episode here, as well as some words from Wallace and Gromit creator and Aardman head honcho, Nick Park, about the honour of guest starring in The Simpsons.

Matt Groening has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Valentine's Day (read more here).

The Simpsons' 500th episode will feature guest appearences by controversial WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange and will air in the US tomorrow.

For more on the show's creator, Matt Groening, read our Bitesized Biography about him.

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