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The Simpsons Season 34 Could End The Show’s Worst Trend

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  • Posted on 08th Aug, 2022 14:14 PM
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Recent seasons of The Simpsons have been damaged by the show's use of big-name celebrity guest stars, but could season 34 secretly be fixing this?

While The Simpsons has spent years prioritizing flashy guest stars over original storylines, the show's season 34 plans are promising in this regard. The Simpsons has a guest star problem. The long-running animated sitcom has been able to attract big-name celebrity guests for decades now but, for some years, The Simpsons has (not unreasonably) been accused of caring more about its weekly big-name cast additions than the show’s plots and characterization.

Much like The Simpsons season 34’s Treehouse of Horror is set to fix the show’s anthology episode issues, news out of the show’s recent San Diego Comic-Con 2022 panel is also promising in terms of The Simpson's guest star problem. The Simpsons panel saw the show’s creators name fewer new guest stars for the upcoming season 34, which may imply that the series won’t be relying as heavily on big names in the coming episodes. This would be a great step forward for The Simpsons season 34.

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The most notable Simpsons season 34 guest star announced at SDCC was Melissa McCarthy, and that star is a veteran comedic performer who hasbeen working for decades. Meanwhile, plans for two Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials (including the show’s first-ever full-episode movie parody) proved that the series could get fans excited without relying entirely on famous faces. This means that The Simpsons season 34 could potentially put an end to the pointless celebrity cameos that the show has relied on for some time now, with almost every episode in season 33 featuring at least one guest star. However, given that the penultimate episode of season 33 featured TikTok star Charli d’Amelio, Seth Green, John Lithgow, Nicholas Braun, Kristen Ritter, Susan Egan, and Paul F Tompkins, and even the comparatively reserved Simpsons season 33 finale included a role for Hugh Jackman, fans may not want to hold their breath just yet.

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Why The Simpsons Needs Less Guest Stars

The reliance that The Simpsons has on celebrity guests is not merely an issue of the show eventually running out of celebrities to call up. Guest stars, whether they play themselves or new characters, unavoidably mean that The Simpsons needs to add new characters to the show’s already-massive cast. This means that valuable screen time of each Simpsons episode is spent introducing characters who will likely never be seen again, meaning less and less of each outing ends up focusing on the eponymous family and their misadventures.

In contrast, even The Bob’s Burgers Movie didn’t make a new villain to the show's cast (unlike The Simpsons Movie), instead selecting an antagonist out of the show’s existing lineup. This left The Bob’s Burgers Movie with more screen-time to focus on its central characters and their existing supporting cast, instead of forcing the theatrical spinoff to devote its runtime to characters viewers had never seen before and wouldn’t see again. This is the pitfall that The Simpsons season 34 must avoid, as the approach leaves fans with precious little reason to tune in when the titular characters themselves are often overshadowed by one-note, one-episode guest stars.

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