The Simpsons Folder

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Fan Interview: Jouni Paakkinen

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Lets start with an easy one. I remember your ‘Poll Page’ which was a huge success, where you asked people’s favorite characters, but who is your favorite character on the Simpsons and why?

I’d say my favorite character is Homer of seasons 1-4. I’m sure most of the dedicated fans have noticed the unfortunate change in his character. Homer used to a believable character, a little bit dumb, but still in the end a caring head of the household. Nowadays he is mostly a total idiot and a selfish jerk and I simply don’t find his character as amusing and enjoyable as it used to be. I’m a fan of many minor characters, like Itchy and Scratchy, McBain, Frink, Kent Brockman, Comic Book Guy, etc. And I greatly miss Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure.

How do you see the future of The Simpsons?

Unfortunately, not too good. Seasons 9 and 10 have been disappointing to most of us “old-timers”, and I have no reason to believe that season 11 will be any better, if the writers won’t give up their current obsession with Homer the idiot. The quality in general has been decreasing ever since season 5 and the 1Fxx episodes. Before season 5, practically every episode was great, but since then there has been fewer and fewer highlights on each season.

Fox is not likely to give up The Simpsons easily after the next season, so there will probably be season 12 too, but I very strongly believe there won’t be a 13th one. And after the series is over, they will most likely do a movie, of which I have mixed feelings about.

What do you think about Matt’s other animated cartoon, Futurama?

I’ve only watched the pilot so far, but it looked very promising to me. It reminded me of the first season of The Simpsons, when they didn’t try to squeeze in 10 jokes a minute, but it still was entertaining. The show hasn’t yet premiered where I live, but I’m looking forward to it.

Are there days when you’re not thinking about The Simpsons at all, or is The Simpsons in your life everyday?

Whenever I’m home and near my computer, the Simpsons are there too. Only when I’m out of town, visiting friends or parents, I have a Simpsons-free day.

Is there any career – other than the Simpsons Archive – you’d like to pursue?

I graduated a year ago and have now worked my first year as teacher, a “Mr. Krabappel” if you like. Since it’s not likely I’ll ever get to produce The Simpsons in Hollywood, I guess my career will be a teaching career. The kids are aware of my hobby too, by the way. When the term ended, among the gifts I got from them was a cool Simpsons tie and a t-shirt.