A producer of The Simpsons has defended the show after the latest episode caused consternation among some viewers.
The episode, entitled “Do PizzaBots Dream of Electric Guitars?”, features a flashback in which Homer Simpson is shown as a teenager (and aspiring DJ) in the 1990s, making the character ostensibly younger than Bart was when the series began.
Early seasons of the long-running cartoon showed Homer as a child of the 1960s, although as the years went by and the characters all stayed the same age, the timeline of his backstory was shifted forward.
Simpsons fans had complained about the new episode, with one fan writing that the series “reaches new depths of existential horror every year”.
“HOW LONG CAN THEY KEEP IT UP?” asked one perplexed Twitter user.
However, veteran series writer and executive producer Matt Selman explained the episode’s premise in a series of Twitter posts, writing: “Continuity Alert: Sunday’s @TheSimpsons playfully re-interprets the show’s timeline to allow Homer to be a teenager in the early ‘90s.
“The Simpsons is a 32-year-old series where the characters do not age, so the ‘canon’ must be elastic / contradictory / silly,” he added.
“This does not mean other beloved classic @TheSimpsons flashback shows didn’t happen. None of this happened. It’s all made up. Every episode is its own Groundhog Day that only has [to] make sense for that story (if that).”
Selman continued: “There is no @TheSimpsons ‘canon’ or ‘non-canon.’ There are only stories. If all these crazy things really happened to one family the characters would be in a mental hospital.”
The Simpsons is currently midway through its 32nd season, and has been renewed for two more.
In the UK, new episodes air on Sky One, with the episode in question expected to premiere in April.
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