The Simpsons was started with a Christmas special back in 1989 and has been going strong ever since. Many consider the first few seasons to be the show’s peak, so I’ve decided to take a look at the episode that started it all: Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire. Does it hold up?
The short answer is yes.
What the episode does brilliantly is establishing the setting, characters and overall atmosphere of the show. It’s not a standout in terms of comedy or story, but its set up for the show’s future is what makes it great.
The animation is dated, but it still has that Simpsons aesthetic that many viewers have grown accustomed to. I love the classic art style.
Homer is looked at as a drunk, but the episode makes very clear his true intentions. While he is a dope, he also cares about family deeply – this aspect of the show is what makes it more family friendly than other shows it’s often compared to: South Park, American Dad, and Futurama are among the competition.
Additionally, this episode introduces the family’s dog, Santa’s Little Helper. It’s interesting that the show devoted the episode to rescuing the dog, as this makes him more of a character when there is potential conflict.
Overall, Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire holds up very well. Although dated in various ways, the characters and simply story make it a classic that every fan of the franchise should watch at this time of year.