Archive for January 17th, 2010

Simpsons Classics: Bart Gets an F

"Look, John Hancock's writing his name in the snow!"

The Simpsons, despite how it appears retrospectively, had a fairly auspicious start in its first season. In fact, the show was so successful that Fox made the controversial decision to move it from Sunday to Thursday, placing it in direct competition with NBC’s ratings behemoth (and The Simpsons’ ideological foil), The Cosby Show.

The first episode of The Simpsons’ second season, then, was set up to be one of the definitive moments in the series’ history. Could the Simpsons compete with the Huxtables, and if not, just how badly would they fare? It’s a good thing, indeed, that Matt Groening and Co. decided to air what was originally intended to be the third episode of the season as its premiere; “Bart Gets an F” virtually equaled The Cosby Show’s ratings and, to date, stands as the single highest-rated episode in the series’ illustrious history.

That is why it is not an overstatement to call “Bart Gets an F” the most significant Simpsons’ episode in its now 21-year history. Continue reading