Why Homer Simpson Has To Die

Homer-Simpson-Images-540x405Homer Simpson has to die. 

You may think this is a crazy thing to say. After all, The Simpsons have been in a bit of a renaissance of late.

First there was the “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon on FXX, which shattered ratings records for the struggling cable network. Then the cast celebrated 25 years on the air with a live performance of classic musical moments from the show at The Hollywood Bowl.

Just last night featured the highly anticipated Simpson family crossover on an episode of “Family Guy”, which, aside from a bizarre and laugh-less fight scene between Homer and Peter Griffin. was surprisingly clever and funny.

Plus there was the actual season premiere of “The Simpsons” which garnered a good amount of mainstream buzz for promising to kill off a major character.

Of course, despite a few teases, Homer Simpson didn’t die on either episode. And I’m not saying I want to live in a world where “The Simpsons” actually kills off their patriarch.

I just think to truly be appreciated that “The Simpsons” must die. 

This is coming from the 28-year-old who still has a life-size Homer Simpson cardboard cutout in his living room. It’s no secret I’ve been an unabashed Simpsons fan for as long as I can remember.

It’s also no secret “The Simpsons” television show is not what it once was. I once vowed to own every season of the classic program on DVD and watch them all. I made it to Season 14 before I just had to stop.

“The Simpsons” still has the power to be funny. Every now and then I’ll catch a recent episode and I’ll chuckle. But I’m not the first person to attest that the glory years of “The Simpsons” have come and gone.

Which is why I was so happy to see “The Simpsons” be appreciated again the past few months. Fans were revisiting and remembering what made them fall in love with Springfield all over again. The animated show was being respected as an influential classic, as it deserves to be.

I thought to myself as this was all going on, “Wouldn’t it be nice if ‘The Simpsons’ could go out like this?”

I’d love to see my favorite show end on top, being adored by all generation. I think it would be wonderful for creator Matt Groening to see his life’s work get a victory lap across pop culture and take it’s rightful place in the television pantheon.

The problem is executive Producer Al Jean does not share the same mindset as me, as he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about last night’s season premiere:

“I’d lose my job in two seconds if I killed Homer; nothing is happening to him, trust me!” he said with a chuckle.

Later in the interview, Jean admits he does have an ending for the series in mind, but he “hopes he never has to use it”. “The Simpsons” really might go on for years and years and years.

This really troubles me. I think the longer “The Simpsons” lasts the more we take for granted how amazing it once was. Every season the show marches on producing below average episodes chips away at the legacy of its first decade.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Homer Simpson. But can you imagine if Jesus never died?

What if Jesus were still around today? Certainly He would be revered and worshipped. He would still be performing miracles I’m sure, healing the sick and raising the dead.

He’d be a frequent guest on “60 Minutes” offering incomparable wisdom for our troubling times. Then He’d probably go on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and do a silly sketch that trended on Twitter all week.

Who knows? Maybe if Jesus were still around He would have done a guest spot on “The Simpsons” at this point, poking fun at His flawless image.

If Jesus were still around today He would be an immensely fascinating and powerful figure – an agent of change and of good in a broken world.

But if Jesus never died He would not be the same God we worship today. 

It is not the life of Jesus but the death of Jesus which sets Him apart from any other prophet, teacher, or do-gooder to ever walk the earth. Without dying Jesus never could have conquered death.

If Jesus had never died He never would have risen. Without His resurrection the rest of the world would still be at the mercy of death, fearing what would come on the other side.

The death of Jesus was not a bad thing. It was the best thing to ever happen to the world.

Yet despite Jesus’s death the people we love and the experiences we love and the shows we love still have to die as well.

No one wants to see the things they love pass away. It’s a consequence of living in this broken world.

We must however learn death is not a bad thing. For every death we experience calls to break us from the grip we have on this temporary life. And every time we loosen our grip on this life we move closer to the One whose hand offers life everlasting.

If “The Simpsons” never ends a lot of people would be happy. I’m sure it would still manage to be funny at least once an episode. There would be new fans who would catch on, never knowing about the classic “Simpsons” they were missing out on.

Yet I hope the producers of “The Simpsons” are bold enough one day soon to take the brave step into the unknown. I hope they will let go of their creations and let them begin enjoying their next stage of life. I hope they will stop diminishing the show’s legacy by trying to further it.

As much as it pains me to say it, Homer Simpson has to die. For only then can “The Simpsons” truly live forever.

What do you think? Is it time for Homer and the rest of the clan to ride off into the yellow sunset? Or should they go on and on as long as humanly possible? What do you think the world would be like if Jesus never died? How does Jesus’s death comfort us when the things we love pass away?

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