It’s hard to imagine a time when The Simpsons, the longest-running scripted show in television history, was controversial. A lot has changed since the yellow family from Springfield first appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Working-class family comedies, adult-oriented animated shows and satire are all a part of today’s TV landscape, and The Simpsons led the way for these ideas. Get reacquainted with Marge, Homer, Bart, Lisa and the whole Springfield clan during FXX’s “Every Simpsons Ever” 12-day marathon, which continues through Monday night at midnight.
The Simpsons has its legion of hardcore fans — ads for the marathon suggest an apocalyptic state resulting from so many folks hunkering down to watch the entire thing. But, for casual watchers, the marathon is a great excuse to revisit the classic and see just why it’s lasted 25 seasons — Season 26 premieres Sept. 28 on Fox. The jokes and characters of the early seasons still shine, and the newer episodes still offer that same humorous commentary.
The over-the-top nature of a 12-day, non-stop TV marathon solidifies the growing popularity of binge-watching, which is so “now” and “America” it seems ripped from the pages of a Simpsons script.
WEDNESDAY AUG. 27
Epic Ink (10:30 p.m., A&E) – Chris Farley tattoos? OK, I’m listening…
Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project (11 p.m., VH1) – Everyone records a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” which Linda Perry wrote. The No. 1 rule of Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project: Be more like Linda Perry.
The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (12:30 a.m., Comedy Central) – TV show hosts; performances by Todd Glass, John Hodgman, Jared Logan and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The designers pair off to create unconventional wedding dresses. Dita Von Teese guest-judges.
Married (10 p.m., FX) – Lina pushes Russ to buy a house, even if it is through the shady AJ; Jess’ boss puts her in an “uncompromising position.”
Garfunkel and Oates (10 p.m., IFC) – It’s Kate and Riki’s 1,000th show together and they share it with a pesky heckler (Eastbound & Down’s Steve Little) and a calculator magician.
Snack-Off (10:30 p.m., MTV) – Amateur cooks invent a hangover cure using leftover items from a party.
FRIDAY AUG. 29
Jonah From Tonga (10 p.m., HBO) – Jonah adapts to locked-up life with his Juvelicious crew; Kool Kris and Mr. Joseph surprise Jonah with a visit from his dad on Father’s Day.
SUNDAY AUG. 31
Breaking Bad (5 p.m., AMC) – Don’t get too excited — AMC has been airing past seasons of this hit drama every Sunday, punctuated by episodic bonus footage. And after the show’s many wins at the Emmys (Outstanding Drama Series, Writing for a Drama Series, Lead Actor in a Drama Series — Brian Cranston, Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — Anna Gunn, Supporting Actor in a Drama Series — Aaron Paul), it’s never a bad time to check back in with Walt and Jesse. Season Three marathon continues until 1 a.m.
2014 Cincinnati Bell/WEBN Fireworks (9 p.m., Fox) – The 38th annual local fireworks display adopts a retro theme this year (“Back to the Fireworks”) complete with mullets, neon attire, an air guitar ensemble world record attempt and more. Avoid all of this while still taking in the show by tuning in from home.
Ray Donovan (9 p.m., Showtime) – HBO and Cinemax take off for the holiday weekend, but Showtime still offers its regular Sunday programming. Lee goes back on his deal with Ray and Cookie, deciding to keep Marvin; Kate reopens her investigation.
Masters of Sex (10 p.m., Showtime) – Johnson attempts to treat a patient by herself; Libby witnesses a hate crime.
MONDAY SEPT. 1
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story (Premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime) – What is a holiday weekend without a dramatized Lifetime tribute to stars of the past? Take a Zack Morris time-out and remember the ’90s with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Dylan Everett), Tiffani Amber Thiessen/Kelly Kapowski (Alyssa Lynch), Mario Lopez/A.C. Slater (Julian Works), Elizabeth Berkley/Jessie Spano (Tiera Skovbye), Lark Voorhies/Lisa Turtle (Taylor Russell McKenzie) and Dustin Diamond/Screech (Sam Kindseth) as they grow up on screen, deal with fame and learn that “It’s alright…”
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern