The most recent episode of The Simpsons was kind of good in that the plot stayed pretty stringently on-course with no bizarre tangents, the characters behaved like I thought they were supposed to, and there were a decent amount of clever puns and funny observations.
One complaint is that all the movements to make the ending happen came very rapidly and consecutively, but, more importantly, the whole thing just felt nearly fine and I didn’t laugh a huge amount, but mostly knowingly chuckled and thought “Hmm, this is pretty decent.”
This is the inescapable aura surrounding new Simpsons. It kind of doesn’t matter what they do because it’s always too late for it. Even when I can feel the people behind it trying a little harder than usual, it still isn’t enough because it’s over. It’s been over. It’s done.
The only exception to this I can think of is the bizarre fluke that was the previous season episode “The Book Job,” which, though (or perhaps because) it wasn’t like classic Simpsons, was—without any caveats or excuses—the only good thing the show has done since… I don’t even know. Since before the movie, certainly.
And there’s a good chance it’ll be the last good thing the show ever does, too.