Everyone knows The Simpsons isn’t what it used to be, but besides the lower bar for jokes, there has been a fundamental shift in many of the memorable moments of the series too.
The picture below is perhaps a wee bit biased (no mention, for example, of the death of Homer’s mother), but it is nonetheless an indication of just how much the show has changed. The latter series’ emphasis on guest stars as the center of attention only highlights how subdued guest stars were in the earlier seasons; Tom Jones was a plot device not the plot itself.
I can’t speak for the character analysis at the top seeing as I gave up watching new episodes almost two years ago, but it is nonetheless disheartening to see the degradation of the family. When characters in kids TV shows have more depth than the show that set the gold standard, that’s a huge sign of trouble.
Anyway, click through to embiggen the gory detail.