John Swartzwelder, the reclusive former writer for The Simpsons, states that the iconic animated series’ third season is its best. In recent years, many fans have argued that the quality of The Simpsons has diminished and its best days are behind it. While this might be a rather common opinion, there are still plenty of fans who feel the best is yet to come.
After 32 seasons – and also another 2 seasons already secured, the Simpson family, in addition to the other inhabitants of Springfield, have certainly been through a lot. Through time, a very impressive number of celebrity guest stars have also lent their voices into the fun, and when asked to select a favourite episode, long-term Simpsons fans have their work cut out for themselves. Intended to represent an average middle-class American household, the Simpsons are anything but, together with Homer having been to space, Marge once gaining popularity as a folk performer, Bart briefly working for the mafia, Lisa hanging out with former Beatle, Paul McCartney, as well as Maggie inadvertently shooting Springfield’s richest man, Mr. Burns. So much has happened (and continues to occur ) on the series, that picking a favourite season feels much more difficult than choosing a favourite episode or moment.
However, for one former writer out of The Simpsons’ heyday, determining which season is your best isn’t that much of a challenge at all. After leaving the show 18 decades back, Swartzwelder hasn’t given one meeting. Now, as a result of The Guardian, data from Swartzwelder’s recent interview with The New Yorker has made it crystal clear that the former Simpsons author feels that the third season, which first aired in 1991/1992, is your best Simpsons year old. Swartzwelder said:
I’ve always thought season three was our greatest individual season. [By then] we had discovered how to mill first-class Simpsons episodes with surprising frequency, we had developed a significant cast of characters to use, we had not even come close to running out of storylines and the team hadn’t been worn down by overwork yet. Season three was a fun season to maintain the Simpsons writers’ room, and I think that it shows in the job.
Swartzwelder wrote 59 episodes of The Simpsons in total, leaving the hit series in its 15th season. However, despite leaving, he did return to co-write The Simpsons’ 2007 feature film. For Simpsons fans, year three offers some absolute highlights, including Sideshow Bob’s marriage to Selma, a humorous guest appearance with Spinal Tap, Mr. Burns’ sale of the nuclear powerplant to German buyers, and Homer’s unfortunate purchase of a pony for Lisa. The next season finds the Simpson household and the people of Springfield coming into their own, with the entire series feeling far more solid regarding both its characters and extent.
As for definitively labelling season three of The Simpsons the finest of all of them, that’s a highly contestable argument. Long-term fans have a tendency to feel that the best work on the series came in these early seasons, together with the third, fourth (that features Conan O’Brien as a writer) and fifth seasons particularly popular. It is tough narrowing down one particular season in a string that has perpetually offered so much to its viewers over time. In the end, it’s a subjective decision to make, but for Swartzwelder at least, the decision is clear.