Which half of the classic era is better?

Which half is best?


  • Total voters
    36

LukeMM95

Edgy McEdgeEdge
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
2,536
Location
Castle Graveskull
The first half being seasons 1-4 and the second half being seasons 5-8. Personally, I think the first half has more charm due to it's more down-to-earth feel, whereas the second half is wackier but arguably funnier.

But if you could only have one half, which would it be? Also for the sake of argument, the holdover episodes in season 9 can be included.
 

dman360

Banned
Joined
Jul 18, 2013
Messages
2,089
Location
Wisconsin
i'm gonna have to go with the second half being seasons 5-8 because of the animation and humor also those seasons had some great episodes. the first half is great too in terms of quality.
 

hutz

I'm a real user of women
Global Moderator
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
12,622
1st half obviously
 

The Spruce Moose

oh dear, I say!
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
17,171
Location
Partying in the burbs
Cut it straight down the middle, 3-6 > the rest. But if i'm forced to vote, since 4 is marginally better than 6 and 3 marginally better than 5 i'll say the first half.
 

Kaine

SuperFriend
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
7,517
Location
The Netherlands
As much as I like 1-4, they are still slower in terms of humor compared to 5-8. I would say 3-6 would've been the absolute best.
 

Insanity Pepper

A Lonely, Insignificant Speck
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
8,496
Location
A Has-Been Planet Orbited by a Cold, Indifferent S
Based on the ratings I have given to each season, I like 5-8 slightly more. They're pretty evenly split, though; my favourite seasons are 6, 7, 2, and 3 (in that order), followed by 4, 5, 8, and 1. In terms of style, I tend to prefer the more down-to-earth stuff of the earlier classic era to the wackier stuff of the later classic era, but there are a lot of other variables here that affect my opinion of a season. Season 1 was the most down-to-earth season, but neither the writing nor the characterizations were very consistent yet. Season 2 is incredibly consistent. I would call Season 3 and Season 4 a transition state between the Brooks/Groening/Simon era and the Mirkin era, since it has elements of both. However, Season 3 has a stronger group of episodes, perhaps because it is less far removed from Season 2. Given my preference for stuff that's not wacky, the relatively wacky Mirkin era should be my least favourite part of the classic era. However, Season 6 uses its wackiness impeccably, both in terms of humour and story. Some of the wackier stories are just more interesting, such as Bart discovering a comet that threatens to destroy Springfield or Homer joining a secret society and discovering he is the chosen one. As much as I like the more relatable stuff of Season 2, being more adventurous with the story has its value as well. Season 5 is where the wackiness hurts it more than it helps it. The humour is a lot more inconsistent, and the stories tend to be less interesting. Not that every single episode is like that, though. Season 7 is possibly the season that balances emotion, humour, and story the best. First of all, I think its humour is second only to Season 6's. Then it has some great emotional episodes, and it continues with the often less realistic-yet very interesting-stories of Season 6. Season 8 is very inconsistent, which makes sense considering the writers were taking more risks. There is a very noticeable drop in quality from Season 7, though, which becomes even starker to me when I consider that my favourite episodes of Season 8 are Season 7 holdovers. My point is that dividing the classic era in this way is pretty meaningless to me; I wouldn't even be able to decide which is my favourite showrunner(s), since I have one season from each in my top 4 seasons and one season from each in my bottom 4 classic era seasons.
 

Jerkass Homer

Banned
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
7,371
Location
Sweden
Season 5-8. Don´t get me wrong i love the early seasons but season 5-8 were more entertaining to watch as a whole then the first half.
 

Swartzweldian

So.. Chinese or Japanese?
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,032
As much as I love the Mirkin era and much of the O&W era - I've been rewatching a lot of the first 4 seasons recently and they are pretty amazing. I think I'd have to go with them.
 

AngusCastle

Perfect Organism
Joined
Jan 26, 2013
Messages
1,987
The second half for sure. It was funnier, whackier and the show knew where it was going. I liked the first half but it some places, it lacked in humour and focused a little bit too much on sentiment.
 

LukeMM95

Edgy McEdgeEdge
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
2,536
Location
Castle Graveskull
I just can't vote in the poll if you only include season 1-8!
I only included 1-8 because I knew there would be people like myself who don't consider seasons 9 and 10 as "classic". I like those seasons, but they're definitely flawed. Remember, you can still include the holdover episodes in season 9 if that will help your decision.
 

Infinity183

Nature's Cruelest Mistake
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
4,677
Location
San Diego, CA
I think Season 1 is somewhat lackluster and not even as deserving to be considered "classic" as Season 9. I love Seasons 3 and 4, but Season 6 is easily my favorite of the entire series, and even Season 8 has grown on me over time.
 

pilcrow

nsfw
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
20,018
Location
Californiaphile
As much as I love the Oakley/Weinstein era, easily the first half. (In fact, part of the reason why I like the Oakley/Weinstein seasons is because they tried to emulate the earlier seasons in their episodes while maintaining Mirkin's mile-a-minute gags.) Simply put, it was able to balance realistic plots and genuine heart with gut-busting humor, some of which I'd say are on par with the Mirkin seasons. I have nothing against the Mirkin era, but it's much more skewed toward humor than the other classic seasons; I don't mind that, but it does make the Mirkin era my least favorite of the classic era.

Whenever I read through old alt.tv.simpsons posts, I've noticed that there was a crowd that considered the classic era to only be seasons 1-4, citing the same realism and balance that I mentioned (and criticizing Mirkin for introducing "stupid Homer" the same way we criticize Mike Scully for introducing Jerkass Homer). I'm not that conservative with my opinion, but I agree with most of their arguments in that regard.
 

Dr. Cactus

making people happy
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
1,067
Location
Wales
The show had fully developed its style, sense of humour, characters and themes by the fifth season. So the episodes were generally of a higher quality, and classic episodes happened more frequently.

Oakley and Weinstein, the best showrunners the show has ever had, ran two seasons in that half. The vast majority of the episodes they oversaw were brilliant; and I would argue that they produced more masterpiece episodes in their short time as showrunners than any others have.

Comparing each half's seasons on an individual basis; S1, whilst by no means a bad season, is certainly the weakest of the 8 'classic' seasons. And I think most people would agree that S2 is the second-weakest season. So really only two of the first half's seasons compete with S's 5, 6, 7 and 8 on a quality level.
 

Patches O'houlihan

I'm baaaack!
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Messages
14,250
Location
Wisconsin: "More bars in more places."
Whenever I read through old alt.tv.simpsons posts, I've noticed that there was a crowd that considered the classic era to only be seasons 1-4, citing the same realism and balance that I mentioned (and criticizing Mirkin for introducing "stupid Homer" the same way we criticize Mike Scully for introducing Jerkass Homer). I'm not that conservative with my opinion, but I agree with most of their arguments in that regard.

I used to know a lot of the 'critics' of the Mirkin era back then and the biggest reason they hated the Mirkin episodes was he broke the "Groening" rules of reality, i.e. "If Simpsons characters fall down, they bleed, like real people". The Mirkin critics hated his work because it felt like the show was becoming a generic cartoon, instead of a show that was a cartoon that addressed reality. (If you want to empathize with the S1-4 crowd, read some of the early interviews with Groening, Brooks and the first generation of writers on the Simpsons archive.)

Too bad the Scully era couldn't go back in time so the fans of first four seasons could really get freaked out. :P
 

AChristmasCarol(w/oCarol)

Ghost From Sitcom Past
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
18,753
Location
Gothenburg, Sweden
I just calculated and it's very close.
My overall ranking of season 1-4 is 9.55/10 while 5-8 (and a couple episodes from season, can't just leave out The Joy Of Sect) is 9.65/10.
I find season 6 a little overrated though, but it's still a brilliant season.
 

Patches O'houlihan

I'm baaaack!
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Messages
14,250
Location
Wisconsin: "More bars in more places."
i swear shit like this is posted 20 times a day on this board

"this comedy is pretty good but i dunno, it's a little too humorous for my taste "

- a boring, STUPID person

There's nothing wrong with slapstick, wacky humor, but the characters need to be written a certain way to have the Simpsons charm. Mirkin had plenty of jokes, but lacked the charm of the first 4 seasons and the O&W days.
 

PreciousBodilyFluids

her cocoa is so chuggable
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
92
the original staff's seasons are better than mirkin's, but mirkin's are better than o&w's. i'm sure his seasons also have "charm" whatever the fuck that is
 
Last edited:

LukeMM95

Edgy McEdgeEdge
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
2,536
Location
Castle Graveskull
the original staff's seasons are better than mirkin's, but mirkin's are better than o&w's. i'm sure his seasons also have "charm" whatever the fuck that is
I said in my original post: "the first half has more charm due to it's more down-to-earth feel"

Seasons 5-8 have charm, it's just different to the earlier seasons. The episode "Radio Bart" starts with Lisa happily dancing to a music video on TV. You'd never see something like that in the later half of the series. Little moments of realism like that are what I'm referring to. Another example would be the first act of Bart vs Thanksgiving, where we're literally just watching the family getting ready for the thanksgiving meal in their own way. There's a short moment where Marge walks through the living room where Maggie is watching TV. She's humming to herself and quickly glances over to the TV before entering the kitchen. Later episodes wouldn't bother showing something so trivial but it breaths so much life into these characters.
 

PreciousBodilyFluids

her cocoa is so chuggable
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
92
hey bart vs. thanksgiving is a top 3 episode 4 me and i think season 2 is infinitely better than any other season
 

CousinMerl

too legit to quit
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
9,836
Location
Spittle County
Both are great; Seasons 1 to 4 are classic and great stuff, but I'm leaning towards 5 to 8. I'm not the biggest fan of 5 but 6 and 7 along with 8 are pretty much my favorites; the show had developed really well by that time and I love the way they combined great writing, humor and emotion during this period.
 
Top