Last Sunday, I gave in to curiosity. Waiting for "Cosmos" to come on (still shamelessly plugging that), I dared to dwell on Fox between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday. That magic timeslot that brought me many hours of joy (and I dare to share I remember when it was on Thursdays).
"The Simpsons" was on. As all fans know, the past dozen seasons or so have been less than kind. I know, after 25 seasons the idea trough starts to go dry (I began recycling column ideas halfway through my second year - '90s nostalgia, boy howdy!). The show is precariously close to "The Simpsons meet The Harlem Globetrotters."
But I will always love those yellow goofballs, and the show is still leagues above any real housewife. So, I turned it on live instead of reading the dismal reviews online Monday and wondering if I should give up the ghost.
The Simpsons were not in their usual animated form. Lo, I stumbled upon the latest a slew of crossovers - Simpsons meet Lego. Homer was more of a blockhead than usual (take away my English degree; just rip it into tiny pieces and burn it).
Of course the Simpsons were Lego. They were already in 3D, they went to Australia, they met 'N Sync. The Globetrotters must be busy. Simpsons are Lego. "Star Wars" is Lego. Marvel heroes are Lego. My mailman is Lego.
Crossovers between universes and genres are nothing new. Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein in 1948. Scooby-Doo met Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, Batman - even those Globetrotters made time to solve mysteries.
My beloved "Community" (which sadly met the network ax on Friday) made good use of the crossover. In five seasons the Greendale Community College gang were puppets, 8-bit video game characters, stop-motion Christmas specials, G.I. Joes - they got canceled before they could all be animatronic animals from the Chuck E. Cheese band.
"The Lego Movie" was cute. But stop now before it's a Lego movie between Marvel/Star Wars/Ninja Turtles universes. Cowabunga, Jedi Iron Man!
Hath "Alien vs. Predator" taught us nothing? Crossovers must be met with caution. For every fan who loved "Freddy vs. Jason" there are 50 who sadly put their razor glove and hockey mask into a box, vowing never to enjoy the senseless killing of co-eds again.
Lego will get too big for the movies, and the studios will realize that Tinkertoys work for scale - then it will be Tinkertoy Muppets, Tinkertoy Bieber, Tinkertoy "Taken." Liam Neeson is back, and this time, he's made of wooden sticks!
Next time you see "The Simpsons," pray they aren't Transformers wandering through Middle-earth with The Jonas Brothers. Kevin's a Decepticon! Eat my shorts, Gandalf!
Do you have a favorite crossover? Tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.