Season Analysis: Watching modern-day Simpsons renders quite the existential toll: it does not look like it will ever die, even though it seems like it has already lived its entire life.
“The Day the Earth Stood Cool”
Classic Simpsons is known for its spot-on cultural homages and parodies. Modern Simpsons still takes aim in the same direction, but it is rarely memorable anymore, so it is especially gratifying nowadays to have an episode like “The Day the Earth Stood Cool,” which is essentially an animated episode of Portlandia. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein voice a couple of Portlanders who pave the way for a Portland-to-Springfield migration, thus turning the Simpsons’ hometown into a hipster paradise (that is to say, Portlandia). Considering that there is already an entire show built around the concept of hipster paradise, one might think this episode would suffer from lack of originality. But there may not be any original concepts left for The Simpsons anyway, so they might as well borrow another show for an entire episode. As a loyal A.V. Club reader, I must point out the gag with the print version of The Onion, in which Marge mistakes it for a real newspaper and then mistakes the A.V.’s harsh reviews of The Wizard of Oz and The Graduate for fake reviews. This gag paints The A.V. Club as harsher/more alternative than it actually is, but it still hilariously gets the point across.