^Yeah, ironically I'd probably still be interested in watching it once in a while if there were still panda rapes and rhinos hatching out of eggs. Enraged by it, I'm sure. But more interested in it just to see how low it could possibly sink.
Obviously I can't speak for them but I think Eric and Co. have sort of a catch 22. I agree with Tomacco in that a general pop-culture forum isn't something many people would join randomly. If something keeps this place alive it'll probably be word of mouth and people telling their online friends to join, which is partly what's kept it alive and active in the first place I think. But tethering it to a series that might as well be dead by now would probably have a much worse effect. What is there to left to talk about with such an old, tired, boring show?
I kinda think that's a bit too broad a generalization. While the show might not be as popular and "hip" or whatever as it once was, it is legendary and timeless. Throughout the rest of time, there is no question there will always be SOME people looking to board about the show and discuss it, and trying to find the best spot to do so. The show transcends generations, despite it not being as popular now as it used to be.
I don't doubt that this is true. Trouble is, it's also true for MASH. And All in the Family. And I Love Lucy. And The Twilight Zone. To the best of my knowledge, none of these shows have really huge, dedicated forums (subforums at other appropriate websites, sure) for the simple reason that they don't have new material being put out. And while The Simpsons may still be in production, my gut feeling is that the market for a huge, dedicated forum for The Simpsons just isn't there anymore...or, at least, rapidly shrinking. And the show itself can only last so long.
No doubt for decades there will always be someone, somewhere wanting to discuss the show, but again, that's true of all those other shows too. I'm just not sure any of them could sustain a forum like the NHC's Simpsons section at its height at this point in time. Those looking for that sort of thing would (or could) find other avenues, anyway. And The Simpsons will soon enough enter that phase and the television graveyard, as with all shows.
I mean, there ARE big dedicated forums for standalone movies like Ghostbusters, so who knows. I could be wrong. That's just my suspicion.
While I do think you have a point, I think there is a generational gap there that can't necessarily be ignored. MASH, I Love Lucy, ect.. these shows never ever had an internet following. In my opinion, having a hardcore internet following is something unrelatable to older generations. The Simpsons was one of the first TV shows to garner an obsessive internet fanbase, despite not even being a notoriously nerdy sci-fi show. It's a comedy cartoon, but people treat it seriously.
But wasn't part of the point that The Simpsons is cross-generational and timeless, and its appeal will outlast its run of new episodes? I mean, this is true of those other shows too, and why I mentioned them (and why I didn't mention generation-specific nostalgic trash, like I dunno, Family Matters). Hell, I have the entire series of The Twilight Zone on my DVD shelf. Our generation is still interested in these shows.
But ALL shows will eventually succumb to some amount of burnout, and won't sustain really huge, dedicated forums unless otherwise kept alive through franchising (Star Trek, Law and Order). Even at the NHC's height, I never had any doubt that if nothing else The Simpsons would eventually go off the air, and this site would be forced to either shut down or evolve away from it. Even at that height, most of the discussion was about new episodes - something that one day, inevitably, The Simpsons will lack. This is true of any pop-culture entity with an eventual endpoint, and it doesn't destroy the cultural impact of that entity, but it does put webmasters in a difficult spot once there just isn't anything new to discuss anymore. Factor in the dropping ratings and the general lack of interest in the actual new Simpsons shows, and you have a problem for the websites.
heeey can there be SOMETHING next to the url? i don't really care about homer being there, but it makes me think there's something wrong with the page when there's no image