TUES: What Can We Learn from The Simpsons?
My first Bart Simpson poster went up on my wall when I was nine years old and it said, “Eat my shorts.” This year, at my age of 35, the show marks its 29th uninterrupted season.
Since the show started, they have made 629 episodes, leading it to be the longest running sitcom, prime time series, and animated program in the history of American television.
In an era where we demand new all the time, how on Earth has this show been able to last on its most demanding network in its most demanding time slot for 30 years? How has it been able to appeal to multiple generations?
There is no doubt, the Simpsons is a funny show, but so are a lot of other shows, so you can’t just tie it to humor and quality of the writing, it has to be more than that.
Among other attributes, The Simpsons are radically consistent.
They do not veer out of their lane. They do not deviate. They have never fixed what isn’t broken.
They have had the same introductory song for all 29 seasons, the exact same main characters and supporting cast of misfits, and they have never once strayed from what the show was supposed to be about.
When you sit down to watch The Simpsons, you know that you are going to get Bart causing trouble, Homer’s stupidity as the plot foundation, Marge nagging Homer, Lisa tirelessly working her agenda, and Maggie sucking her pacifier. While each episode will take the characters in a number of difference directions and include different secondary characters like Mo, Otto, and Principal Skinner, by the closing credits, everything is always back to the familiar and predictable dynamics we depend upon.
We really don’t crave constant innovation. We crave emotional reliability.
If we want to build something that lasts, whether it’s a goal, relationship, or a business, radical consistency must always be at its heart and soul. Unpredictable and erratic is exciting for a while, but sooner or later the excitement will turn to stress. Deep down, despite our clamoring for new, shiny, and better, ultimately we all crave predictable and compatible.
That’s how a cartoon becomes the most popular television show of all-time and a catchphrase like “D’oh” ends up up in the dictionary.
Long haul consistency.
First, for Structure.
1 Rope Pull to Reverse Drag
25 DB Punches
Perform 1 set every 4 minutes for 20 minutes.
Then, for Conditioning.
A: 4/s Rotational Clean and Press
B: Lawnmower Row
C: Kneeling Pec Press
8 Ring Rows
4/s Renegade Side Raises
5 Box Jumps
80m Farmer Walk