10. The Runaways
With the rest of Marvel’s TV series faltering this year (Inhumans and Iron Fist tanked, Agents of Shield is tired, Defenders and Punisher were okay but pale in comparison to the heights achieved by Jessica Jones and Daredevil), leave it to this mashup of the OC and the Avengers to bring a new twist on super heroic teen angst. While the comic was one of my favorites, the TV series has done a great job of broadening the scope beyond the basic premise of group of teens discover their parents are evil. Honestly, while the TV show has pretty awesome and faithful adaptations of the kids, it has done an amazing job of making the parents infinitely more interesting and adding a dose of mystery to keep things interesting.
Kind of funny how this and the last entry are both about the Simpsons when they really haven’t been relevant to me in over a decade (and in both cases, the focus of each project was on the first 10 or so years of the show), but here it is.
Last weekend I was able to see The Simpsons Take the Bowl, a live event honoring animations first family at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a three-night activation and I attended on the first night. Hosted, ostensibly, by Hank Azaria (busting out live his characters of Apu, Moe, and Wiggum, among others). He was joined by show creator Matt Groening who introduced the evening, and fellow cast members Nancy Cartwright (Bart, and others) and Yeardly Smith (Lisa). Guest stars included Beverly D’Angelo, Conan O’Brien, Jon Lovitz and more).
With FXX doing their EVERY EPISODE EVER marathon, I’ve been seeing a lot about The Simpsons lately. I started watching the show when I just a little older than Bart. Now, I’m just a little older than Homer. I actually gave up on the show a few years ago, but for many years it was one of my favorites. I’d rather keep the joy I get from those early years (and we’re talking more than a decade here) than have the show continually tarnished by lackluster episodes. I still catch it every so often, but the lack of regularity has softened the pain that it is no longer at the heights it once was.
The heights were high though and because I love lists and reasons to critique things, I offer my favorite episodes of The Simpsons. There were so many more I wanted to include – Lisa the Iconoclast, Bart’s Girlfriend, Mr. Plow – but the following are some of the best the show has to offer.