The Simpsons 600 Marathon

Starring the voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer

Created by Matt Groening

Rating: TV-PG

Network: FXX, Marathon Started Thanksgiving Day at Noon/11 Central

Since the launch of the TV network FXX, one of the most common programming blocks is a marathon of “Every Simpsons Ever,” consisting of the bulk of the long-running animated sitcom “The Simpsons.” It’s proven to be one of the easiest ways to draw viewers to the network; so much so that a marathon of all 600 (and counting!) episodes has starred on this past Thanksgiving day.

While the series has seen much change since it began life as a series of shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” it still commands a sizable fanbase. Although not every episode or season may be a classic, the look at life in the small town of Springfield has appeal to many people in some way, shape or form.

The marathon began with the pilot episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” where the family must pull together in order to salvage their Christmas season; and will conclude with the milestone 600th episode of “Treehouse of Horror XXVII.” The latter episode contains delightfully twisted sendups of films such as “The Hunger Games Saga,” “Hide and Seek” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service;” among other films. The episode even acknowledges in a James Bond-inspired end slate that there are entire series that don’t even manage a fraction of the episodes “The Simpsons” has accumulated, to the point of playfully listing them off in song.

Even if the series has had a massive variation in quality since the early seasons, it still holds considerable appeal in its premise. While not every family is as dysfunctional as this one, the numerous characters in the cast provide someone for any potential viewer to relate to. The humor the series mines from poking fun at life’s foibles and popular culture still continues to this day, with celebrity guest stars being a continued staple and a recent viral video showing that not even Homer is immune to the craze of the “Pokémon Go” mobile game.

With the series being renewed for a record 30th season, it’s clear that “The Simpsons” has left its mark on popular culture since it first began airing. So, this marathon will be an ideal way to deal with one’s turkey coma, since it will be taking place over the course of 13 days. Thanks to the idea of “binge-watching” being an increasingly popular concept in modern TV viewing, watching “Every Simpsons Ever” is indeed something to be thankful for in a time when we need to the most. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Preview By Steven Pryor

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