In my Google alerts today, I saw a discussion thread on which users were chiming in with their least favorite episodes of The Simpsons and “You Only Move Twice” (the complaint: there were no jokes) and “Homer at the Bat” were listed.
In the word of Moe, “Whaaaa‽”
The other night, I saw a talk given by Mike Reiss after which I overheard a fan telling Reiss that his all-time favorite episode is season 14′s “I’m Spelling as Fast as I Can.”
Another fan told Reiss that his least favorite is “Mountain of Madness.”
I butted in, “What‽ That episode is brilliant. It’s a Swartzwelder gem!”
“Yeah,” he said, as if he wasn’t committing heresy, “I don’t really like his episodes.”
Aside from the tackiness of fans telling a Simpsons creator what they don’t like (which I’m not even going to get into, but really, who does that?), these events all just serve to remind me that tastes are subjective. The idea that someone’s favorite episode (out of 501) could be one that I think is pretty good and that someone can actually hate an episode in my top five shows that all of us who argue this stuff (yes, “us”) are wasting our time–time that we could be using to read! Or watch The Simpsons! Or make lesson plans! Or bake cookies for the boys!