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The jokes may be recycled, but The Simpsons: still worth repeat visits 

The Simpsons: 21st season premiere (FOX)

Repetition remains an important component of popular culture. And so it is with specific pop-culture vehicles, such as The Simpsons, now in its 21st season. Last week's premiere, penned by Seth Rogen (him again?!), tells the story of Comic Book Guy and his superhero creation, Everyman, who absorbs the powers of every established hero he touches. The obscure hero leaps from a few private pages, pen-and-inked by the rotund retailer, to the big screen faster than a falling star to the most ill-thought reality show. This episode basically repeats the gags and themes from 1995's classic Radioactive Man movie episode---this time Homer stumbles into the hero's costume as Everyman (naturally), while it was Millhouse playing Fallout Boy, Radioactive Man's sidekick, in season seven. It's telling to compare the two shows: it used to be only kids sucked into this part of the celebrity machine, now it's adults too. Both installments point out---point and laugh at---how fast and foolishly we construct heroes, only to watch 'em crash. And that bears repeating.


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