Have no fears, they’ve got stories for years. With season 27 of the arguably running-for-too-long The Simpsons swinging towards the airwaves, the crew has the unenviable task of coming up with new stories for the people of Springfield, having to somehow manage to avoid any major crossover with the 574 stories already told.
Honestly, when you look at it that way, it’s little wonder the show has to do a little reaching from time to time.
One area they’ve touched on on more than one occasion, but never really gone full bore with it, is the strain on Homer & Marge‘s relationship. But according to executive producer Al Jean, that’s about to hit a critical mass in the new season.
Speaking to Variety, Jean detailed the narrative plotline from Season 27’s premiere episode, in which Homer’s various foibles finally become too much for Marge, leading to the frankly unthinkable scenario of them actually separating.
“In the premiere, it’s discovered after all the years Homer has narcolepsy and it’s an incredible strain on the marriage. Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist, who’s voiced by Lena Dunham.”
Homer? Marge? The integral parental relationship that the lives of the show’s core children hang their lives on? Splitting due to insurmountable emotional duress?
For probably the first time in modern TV history, this can be said: “South Park already did it.” And they did it WELL, too.
It’s entirely likely that the plot is just a single-episode sticking point, and won’t actually represent any major systemic change to the makeup of Springfield.
Unless they’ve got giant balls and plan on throwing everyone a major curveball that sets off a chain of events that eventually winds their way towards the looming final ever episode of The Simpsons.
But the chances of that not happening and the show reverting back to the status quo are about as even money as anything has ever been.
After all, Marge offers Homer the one thing no one else in Springfield can. Complete and utter dependence.