AVClub: There’s nothing wrong with repetition on The Simpsons. Apart from having 26-plus years of backstory to adhere to, The Simpsons operates from the same base every episode. The dynamics of the Simpson clan are where we start each week, and continuity is far less important to the success of an episode than originality—not so much of plot, but of execution. Homer needs to learn to be a better person? Bart’s going to wreck up the place before discovering a core of humanity that pulls him back from further destruction? Lisa’s neglected? Marge realizes how stifling her chosen role is? All those stories can be told and retold dozens of times (and have indeed been) and still be the core of a great episode of TV, as long as the writers find a way to make the story feel alive.