The Simpsons Hit 400

Simon Maxwell Apter in The Nation:

Lisa_saxTerribly animated (at least by Pixar or Dreamworks standards), unabashedly crude and, at times, prone to deus ex machina endings (including one featuring a robed, sandaled and bearded God who actually booms, “Deus ex machina!” as he sets things right), The Simpsons will present its 400th episode on Fox on May 20. It’s important to note the “on Fox” part, as there would be no Fox, let alone a Fox News, without The Simpsons. Indeed, the importance of The Simpsons to Fox was perhaps best illustrated in an episode of Family Guy, another Fox cartoon (and cheap Simpsons knock-off to some, delightful refurbishment of the genre to others), in which its protagonist rattles off some twenty-nine failed Fox programs that network execs had used to try and bolster the paltry Simpsons-Cops-America’s Most Wanted triad they were currently (and quite lopsidedly) using to entice primetime viewers.

More here.