Another year, another season of “The Simpsons” that’s pretty good, but far from great. At this point it’s become a cliché to whine that the show isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s, well, true. There are some terrific jokes scattered across all 23 episodes, but there’s something missing: I’m not sure if it’s the timing or pacing but many jokes have a tendency to fall flat, while the episode plots have become rather redundant. There’s not a whole lot of heart to this season, as it’s mostly just a series of barely-related threads peppered with good-but-not-great lines, and while the characters were thoroughly developed long ago, they don’t quite seem like themselves anymore. Most of the episodes are fairly forgettable but pleasant nevertheless, but there’s something to be said for stronger writing and tighter pacing, which could improve the experience. It’s remarkable that the show is still going, but the show’s longevity has become the most interesting thing about it.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)