Turning Points

Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week I’ve been trying to think of points in the series, when there has been a turning point.

Okay, what made me think of it was last Wednesdays post I wrote on the new Disturbed album. What I didn’t mention is that I felt the decidedly dark tone of their last album asylum marked somewhat of a turning point in the bands history. The same could be said for their second album Believe, when their original bass player Steve kmak was fired and replaced by John Moyer. In the former case it is a hiatus that was impending but I of course, had no idea at the time it was happening. However, something was different about the album and it gave me pause for thought, about the future of the band at the time. Of course, their hiatus is over and they are back with a new album and all is right again. What I am saying is I couldn’t go into detail because I knew something was going to happen but I couldn’t really tell what it was, as I am not a psychic or any type of fortuneteller. However, I did hear something different but I just couldn’t put it into words.

I get the same feeling with a lot of albums that come out at times, for bands that I follow closely. For example: when Korn released their last two albums with the original lineup something was telling me that a change was possible but I ignored it for once. I really didn’t think someone in the band would be leaving because I thought they were that close, like a family. However, over the next two albums 2 key members would depart, with one returning for their latest album in 2013. What usually happens is the band stops celling as many albums or isn’t heard on the radio as much and that is usually the signal that I look for that change is afoot.

In the case of The Simpsons, it is all in the hands of the Show Runners and the voice actors, as to whether a turning point in the series is on the way. I first noticed something was coming when during the episode lisa’s Wedding there was mention of her being a vegetarian and of course, that came to fruition a few months later, in the episode Lisa The Vegetarian. Of course, that character change stayed, along with her becoming a Buddhist in season 13’s She Of Little Faith.

Season 8 also saw a turning point in the series in that the stories became different and the plots were conceived with a thought to what if a character such as Homer has or does something. If that didn’t happen, would we have had such a good episode as Homer’s Enemy? I would probably guess not because that would be a much different plot structure, from the silly and weirdness of Seasons 3 to that point.

Another turning point was the death of Ned Flanders first wife Maude Flanders. This was due to her voice actor Maggie Roswell leaving the show, dew to a pay dispute. However, her other characters she voiced continued existing as they were, with another voice actor taking over the roll in her absence. This changed a lot of things about how the characters reacted to her. For example: Homer could no longer lust after Maude in front of, or behind Marge’s back in earlier seasons.

A more recent turning point is with the death of Marcia Wallace in 2013 and the retirement of Mrs. Krabappel. This also spelled the end of Ned’s second marital relationship too. Of course, the character has been retired in her memory and well, not much more to say about that.

Another important turning point was with the unfortunate death of Phill Hartman back in 1998. He of course voiced: Troy McClure and springfield’s shyster lawyer Lionel hutz. Phill’s voice was last heard in the Season 10 episode Bart The Mother. After this episode other characters have taken over the roll as The Simpson family’s lawyer such as: Gil Gunderson and The Blue Haired Lawyer, both voiced by Dan Castellaneta. Of corse, nobody took over the roll Troy filled because all characters voiced by Phill Hartman were also retired in his memory. Other people could have taken over the rolls but it just wouldn’t have been the same.

I’m sure there are more turning points in the series which mark character changes and voices coming in and out of The Simpsons but I can’t think of them now. That’s about it for this weeks post. In the mean time, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you can comment directly to me that way too.
You can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.

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