One of (if not) the most popular television show in history and the first hit for the Fox network, The Simpsons is a show about an average family living in an average town. The show has changed drastically over the years but after seventeen seasons they are still one of the most loved television families of all time.
The first season began with a rocky start. The intended first episode, Some Enchanted Evening, contained animation so bad that the premiere of the series was put on hold until some changes were made. It was planned to launch the series in September 1989 but the producers postponed it until December 17, 1989 with The Simpsons Christmas Special, also known as Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.
The themes of the first few seasons dealt with real life situations, like Bart getting picked on by a bully and learning how to stand up for himself, and most often dealt with the fact that the Simpsons were a low income family. Many episodes had Homer losing his job, spending their savings or making a mess of his marriage. In this Christmas episode, Homer doesn't get his Christmas bonus and tries to hide it from the family by taking a job as a mall Santa to raise the money needed for gifts.
The animation is very crude, the voices have not yet been developed, and if you are used to the newer seasons you may find the pacing of this episode quite slow.
But when this show aired and the public was shown that Homer would do anything to give his family a good Christmas, everyone knew that this was a family that they cared about. They are the average family. They are your family. They are my family. Everyone can relate to the characters and this is the appeal of the show. Plus, it's really funny.
Simpsons Christmas episodes are becoming as common as their Halloween episodes but I wanted to talk about this one in particular because it was the world's introduction to the series, and while it is not a great episode, it is a classic.
It can be found in The Simpsons, Season One box set and the other Christmas episodes can be found on the compilation discs Christmas With the Simpsons and The Simpsons Christmas 2 and a brand new Christmas episode of The Simpsons, entitled Kill Gil, Vols. 1&2 airs on December 17, 2006, the 17th anniversary of Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire!