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It’s more than a little amazing how quickly a show can grab headlines while preparing for Season 27. During this summer we have “learned” that Bart’s going to die and Marge and Homer are splitting up. The latter news turned out to be the major bomb that got fans up in arms. We’ve all been waiting patiently since then for a public comment from Marge and Homer to assuage our fears and tell us everything is going to be alright again. You can stand down everybody, Homer and Marge say everything is going to be fine.
In their first public statement since news of the alleged separation was leaked a couple of weeks ago Homer and Marge Simpson released a video on YouTube Friday to assure the world that their marriage is doing just fine. The two are very clear that their marriage has never been stronger, and if you don’t believe them just check out the giant, obviously-not-compensating-for-anything, diamond on Marge’s finger and the ornate set with the not at all subtle “Together Forever” banner in the background. It’s ok, our long national nightmare is now over. Except now Homer is blind, forever. That will likely cause a strain on their relationship. Oh no, they’re going to split up!
The internet went slightly bonkers a couple weeks ago when it was announced that one of the story lines in the upcoming season of The Simpsons would involve Homer and Marge legally separating and Homer falling for his pharmacist, voiced by Girls’ star Lena Dunham. There seemed to be some fear that the issue would not be resolved at the end of a 30 minute episode, as nearly all issues have been in the previous 574 episodes since 1989.
While it’s unlikely that producer Al Jean was actually expecting this level of response when he mentioned the plotline, it’s nice that they’re having fun with the result. There are still several months before The Simpsons Season 27 hits and we have no idea when this already infamous episode will air. That’s a lot of time available to mess with your audience and expect producers to do exactly that. While the show was still one of Fox’s top rated shows, overall ratings did drop slightly last season so if they can do anything to be sure that doesn’t become a trend they will. If some of the fans who did drift away are interested again because of the news, so much the better.
In the end, it’s fitting that that the show is starting to become reminiscent of a soap opera, a few of those are about the only shows that can compete with the longevity of The Simpsons. We know Marge and Homer will never leave each other. The thing we can’t fathom is them ever leaving us.