Television

The Simpsons: The First 200 Hours

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Fox

The Simpsons is airing its 400th episode tonight, and that's as good a hook as any to note that the show is wrapping up its strongest season since the mid-'90s. Those of us who kept watching the series through the thin times, confident that even a weakened Simpsons is funnier than most ordinary TV comedies at their best, have been blessed for the last eight months with a sharp satire that rarely showed any signs of weakness at all.

I'm not going anywhere with this. Just thought it deserved to be noted. If you gave up on the series a few years back, you might want to watch the reruns this summer.

(Unless you're one of those people who gave up on it many years ago, when it started to get really good, because you wanted more standard-issue sitcom stories with "character realism," i.e., characters who make up for being unrealistic by being predictable. You won't like this year any more than you liked any of the other good years.)