The Simpsons Golden Age, also known as the Classic Era, is a term that describes roughly the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons being credited as an influential time period for fans and critics. Although there is no exact date when the "Golden Age" started and finished, most critics say seasons 3-8 were the prime seasons during The Simpsons tenure. The "Golden Age" ended for many reasons such as Mike Scully’s arrival as the show runner for Seasons 9-12, many of the classic writers had left as well as Matt Groening, David S. Cohen, etc. left The Simpsons to work on other projects such as Futurama.
The Simpsons gained fame by the early 1990s known as "Bartmania". Fans and critics were obsessed with the show, but the show has further roots tracing back to the late 1980s when American TV shows became popular. Unlike these shows, The Simpsons satirized the American family and contained creativity, edge, heart, and comedy. By the end of Season 1, The Simpsons gained popularity across the United States. Season 2 became a lot more developed in style, and animation, which continued to Season 3. The episodes were described by critics as “pure gold”. Much of the jokes were also well-thought, and thorough. Their jokes broke down in parts and described the character such as Homer. The jokes would describe Homer as a dumb, fat, lazy, but loving dad. This time period was decscribed by critics as the “Golden Age”. The Golden Age continued from Season 3 to Season 8 with some memorable episodes such as “Marge vs. the Monorail”, “Last Exit to Springfield”, ”Homer at the Bat”, "You Only Move Twice", and more. Unfortunately, it was around Season 9 to Season 10, when the show declined in quality.
Reasons of Decline
There were several reasons for the decline in the Golden Age. Many writers, and producers had left and Mike Scully became the series showrunner and many critics debate that Scully‘s tenure included more comedy, and edge than heart which is one of the first reasons why the show declined. Subjectively, the characters became more “unlikable” such as Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart onto Marge‘s neck. Some critics also debate when the "Golden Age" ended. Most fans agree Season 9 to Season 10 are the objective endings to the Golden Age. Some fans stretch it until Season 11 believing that "Behind the Laughter" would be a fitting finale to the show; however, others exclude Season 11 because of it containing "jump the shark" episodes like "Kill the Alligator and Run", "Saddlesore Galactica", and "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily".