Thursday, December 6, 2007

Just because you stopped developing as a person years ago, it doesn’t mean long-cherished art cannot continue to grow and improve

The Simpsons enters its 20th year next fall equaling Gunsmoke as the longest running fictionalized TV show in American history. Though the extent of overlap between fans of the two shows is undetermined and highly contentious in certain parts, they will nevertheless soon share a special distinction in American pop culture history. Somewhere out there Dennis Weaver, aka Buck McCoy, is smiling in his grave (and still preaching vegetarianism). Despite, or perhaps because of, its accolades, influence, and increasingly entrenched position in the pantheon of TV history, the prevailing wisdom, and it has existed for years now, is that The Simpsons is simply not as good as it once was. I have heard this refrain from commentators, pundits, strangers, and most stingingly, friends, fellow rabid Simpsons fans whose sense of comedy, and in fact their sense of self-identity vis-à-vis this cruel world, was derived from years of watching the Simpsons and retelling and reliving its greatest moments. Not sharing this opinion, I have set out to explain why they feel the way they do (Part I, below), and why they are wrong (Part II, coming soon).

There is a narrow range of maneuverability within this discussion: The Simpsons can be considered anywhere from great but, self-evidently of course, not as great as at its peak, to not particularly good and unworthy of remaining on the air. What goes unasserted in the contemporary canon is that The Simpsons has continued to develop over the years, adding new elements, particularly a sophisticated visual aesthetic, redefining and refining the absurdist comedy, and bringing multi-dimensional nuances to its brilliantly crafted characters. Put simply, The Simpsons is as good today as it has ever been.

Part I: Examining the Reasons for the Perceived Decline

Maintaining that The Simpsons are still producing at a high-as-ever level these days is not to suggest that the show hasn’t seen dramatic changes in its timbre and touch over the course of its life. Both an explanation for and the inevitable result of its incredible longevity, The Simpsons has undergone significant transformations in style and substance from its first tentative steps out of the shadows of The Tracey Ullman Show, to the loudly recognized heights of the Conan O’Brien days, and on and on through its most recent and increasingly experimental version.1 This broad arc of change could by itself contribute to the audience’s change in perception. (It COULD lead to the change in perception…) However, it is the changing context of the audience itself, encompassing the psychological needs of the individual viewer, working in tandem with the changes in the show, that has created the diminished “assessment” of the show in recent years. The audience has necessarily moved on from a time and place when and where a particular era of The Simpsons possessed special meaning in its lives. As people must leave that time and place at some point, and as that particular era of the Simpsons becomes further removed, with current era Simpsons resembling it less and less, those feelings of familiarity, nostalgia, comfort, et al. begin to fade. Ultimately, that same enjoyment one received from watching the Simpsons is no longer there, and diminished quality is offered as the explanation.

Formative Years Theory

The core of The Simpsons’ most devoted, rabid fanbase, those that began watching from the beginning and have literally grown up with the show, come from a range of, basically, ’75 to ’82 birthdays.2 These are the viewers that were old enough to remember watching their first Simpsons from the first season; and young enough to think it was new and exciting, that it spoke to them in a way that other shows and other people didn’t; old enough to continue watching and get drawn in as the show moved away from catchphrases into darker material, expanding the cultural references and directing its lens beyond the family and towards broader society; and young enough to have the time and desire to watch a cartoon slowly grow and progress into something more mature and sophisticated, in many ways its own chronology of development mirroring that of its audience.

What is the significance of Simpsons uberfans coming from basically the same narrow age group? It helps to explain why there is such an evaluative consensus on the general timeline of the series, including notably the presumed mid-series-ish “golden age,” as well as the near unanimity on its recent, or at least post-golden age, decline. Simpsons fans fell in love with the show during the show’s early years (’90 – ’94),3 which were not incoincidentally its fans’ “formative years,” that is, the pre-adolescent to adolescent, highly influencable period in which one’s comedic sensibility and even broader outlook on American society and culture could be derived in large part from art: a film movement, the written word, a musical group, or a TV show, in this case, The Simpsons. The mechanism, beginning for most sometime between late elementary and early high school, was essentially the same: a semi-dysfunctional ensemble of characters in Anytown, er, Springfield, USA, portrayed with equal parts sarcasm and earnestness, condescendence and flattery, helped craft a Weltanschauung in its devotees, comprised of a rebellious conscience, a suspicious view of authority figures, a japing attitude toward ambition, and a taste for the ironic and the hilarious.

Beyond the means to digest their surroundings, The Simpsons created in its vanguard the ability, if not necessity, to often, if not almost always, relate specific personal experiences in the context of Simpsons episodes. This process does not take place in the subconscious; rather, these people are extremely self-aware (super-liminal perhaps?) of the role The Simpsons has played in their lives.4 Beyond mere fandom and allegiance to a particular series, the genius of The Simpsons created in its fans a particular identity and a particular taste in comedy that informed subsequent creative enjoyment and discernment. The Formative Years Thesis presumes that individuals are most susceptible to developing longstanding creative and cultural tastes during a particular gestational period. However, it is once they identify with the specific influence that the effect bears its imprint: they are so enamored with their cherishment that they often cannot appreciate different styles of art antithetical, or even subtly different, from the influence itself. Their appreciation of comedy or art is so idiosyncratically tied up with the influence, they are unable to find deviations from that specificity worthwhile or impressive. Popular music provides illustrative examples. Individuals who grew up loving The Beatles and The Beach Boys, beyond mere enjoyment but to the point of self-identification (“part of who I am, an important part, is that I love this music”), are likely to require the prominence of melody in later choices of music; consequently, a-melodic styles (for example, The Fall) often will not be appealing, not because of poor quality or an inherent listener disinclination, but as a vestigial affectation born from preferences determined during their formative period.

Supplementing the thematic and substantive appeals to its formative-state fans, temporal considerations also participated in their burgeoning fixation, and ultimate reprobation. That the series’ core fanbase hopped on the trolley at a specific, and specifically young, age group is significant in that this demographic was generally free from worldly responsibility and had the luxury of devoting time and energy to the show, a necessity given that The Simpsons possessed features daunting to the non-obsessed: many more characters than a typical live-action TV sitcom, non-obvious visual cues as jokes in addition to dialogue, and subtle references to past material (not just storylines, but little-used character cameos, self-referential jokes, repeating themes). Like any powerful art, the more you gave, the more you got. Animation allowed for more freedom than live-action TV, and The Simpsons were able to pack content into an episode that a first-time or casual viewer may have missed. The guerdon for its fans’ investment was a special bond that placed the identity of the viewer within the context of the show. However, this identity changed. Formative-year fandom subsidized by the halcyon frivolity of youth would eventually give way, for many at least, to the heightened responsibilities of older age and interests that go beyond watching what is essentially a cartoon. Watching every new episode plus up to 10 per week in syndication (high school and college provided ample time and opportunity for Simpsons fans to indulge in their interest, while at the same time allowing them to become fluent in the lexicon and style of The Simpsons of a particular milieu, strengthening the bond) became simply not possible, again, for many at least.5 So as the individual necessarily grew and matured, entering a new stage of life, The Simpsons became a smaller part of the personal experience. This was exacerbated by The Simpsons’ dramatic change in style and content (as we shall see, infra) which further alienated an already distanced fan. The viewer no longer defines him/herself by a television show, and decreased quality is offered as the easiest explanation (I haven’t changed, you’ve changed). This phenomenon is not unique to the animated subject. Musical interest often follows this dark and stormy road through the tunnel of obsessive consumption and down the gravely grade to feeble abstinence. That frequently heard and always soporific argument, “they’ve stopped making good music since 1969” (or 1989 or 1993 or enter the year the speaker graduated from high school), is as frustrating to hear as it is easy to unpack: youthful discovery of a band or a style (“punk rock changed our lives”) leads to fanatical interest before the well of angst-driven interest dries up and is filled instead with other interests and obligations, the listener moves on, musical styles continue to move on without him/her, and the listener has ultimately eschewed most if not all musical pleasures. The mechanism is not much different than the Formative Years Thesis with respect to The Simpsons and is perhaps more common.6

The Emergence of the Absurdly Experimental Comedy

The changing backdrop of The Simpsons’ audience coincided with a gradual but marked shift in the style and type of humor employed on the show. Though there were other significant technical and substantive developments on the show which help support the claim that The Simpsons is as interesting and peerless as ever (Part 2, coming later), the current section deals with the emergence of a specific brand of humor that correlates well to the aging of the audience and helps explain the thinning of the show’s widespread adulation. Though also a charm that can be used to justify the current grandeur of The Simpsons, this change in the nature of joke tenor is better placed here because of its off putting and heightening effect on certain fans.7

From its inception The Simpsons utilized an expansive arsenal of comedic elements to simultaneously create biting yet playful cultural satire. Sarcasm, realism, and surrealism were hallmarks of the show both then and now and throughout. However, at some palaverously vague Abaddon-like tipping point, but clearly over time, the show began to focus less on the reality-based jesting that hitherto was its brioche and I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter, that is, humor acting as a way to address and lampoon reality, and more on the hilarity of the absurd and the comicality of the bizarre, that is, the joke being akin to a 2nd order differential equation where the x is Homer becoming the mayor of New Springfield following an area code dispute and the y is Homer becoming the crazy mayor of New Springfield following an area code dispute.

The Simpsons got weird as fuck. The show not only put its characters in crazier and zanier situations – one criticism asserting that it had finally become a cartoon – but made the references more obscure and the jokes more abrasive. What once was an homage to The Shining turned into screams of “I feel like I'm in Fitzcarraldo!” An endearing portrait of Homer as a reformable drunk gave way to Krusty “smelling the flowers” and the homeless guy vowing to buy “a suit of drugs.” Even the classic Simpson misdirection was intensified and floridified: “I’m not easily impressed. Wow! A blue car!” became, “This is a crowbar,” accompanied by Moe’s picture of crows sitting down at the “Old Crow,” complete with little stools. Whereas earlier era jokes, such as the famous “Lisa needs braces – Dental Plan” repetition interrupted only by the always classy pencil in the butt crack gag, cast a wide enough net to bait a mainstream audience, recent bits like Homer butchering Mr. Bojangles while begging (“Mr. Bo-jangles, we’re all, bo-jangled, who killed, Bo-jangles?”) were more likely to appeal to the devoted, possibly demented, few.

This creeping shift towards comedic inaccessibility was borne out of, more than anything, necessity. Yes, the humanity of the show’s early years was touching and moving, but how many times can an episode end with Homer and Marge riding into the sunset before staleness sets in and you begin inching towards Growing Pains territory? While adhering to methodical formulae done expertly (hello Golden Girls) may be sufficient for great art, even one that boasts the most subversive spirit found on TV since M.A.S.H., it is not the wisest course for those aspiring to be truly, once-in-a-lifetime great.8 So, The Simpsons went for broke, broke out the Buňuel references, and turned up the crazy on all of its characters (Moe is a suicidal poet-genius, Lenny lives next to a jai-alai court, and even Lisa corrals up a strutting gang of vagabond animals, including a raccoon and a canary, all to the sweet sounds of George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag”). The cost of such insanity was leaving behind a hefty portion of former diehards (current squares) to clutch the tattered, faded rags of beautiful memories from a past long gone as they shiver in the barren wasteland that their lives have become, while watching Entourage. Stay warm, friends.


1 The quality of the show has certainly seen fluctuations over time. The general consensus is that after a season or two of the show coming into its own and finding its groove, The Simpsons reached an impressive golden age unmatched in creative output by any TV show of its or any other time. This two-dimensional xanadu lasted from around ’92-’95 (though some would argue that the downturn began in ’94 after Kogen and Wolodarsky penned their last episode together). Many simply write off the Maxtone-Graham reign as increasingly garbage, and while even I will agree that there were a few lean, sub-par years approaching the millennium, the show rebounded in a big way in 2000 with Season 12 and backed it up the following year in what is perhaps the single greatest, and most experimental, season in the show’s history. The show continued to incorporate bizarre references and joke structures while magnanimously revolutionizing the visual representation of the show. I think it's fair to describe the last few seasons as general quality with a certain amount of hit-or-missness. The early returns from the first two months of this most recent season, however, are somewhat disappointing. I think it’s too early to make definitive conclusions, but I think we can legitimately ask, for the first time in a while, is this the year the ever looming Simpsons decline takes place? It’s probably not a good idea to question your entire thesis in the very first endnote, but here we are.

2 The high end of this range were those still young enough (around 14 years old) to get into what was essentially a cartoon at its inception and stick with it as it grew into something much more involved and much more intelligent than those who still considered it to be just a cartoon would have imagined. The low end were those old enough (around 8 years old at inception) to follow a prime time television show from week to week and season to season and to be able to understand the various pop-cultural references. Essentially though, it’s just my age plus or minus a few years on each side. I can safely say that I do not know a core Simpsons fan whose birthdate falls outside the range. Regarding the professional TV critics who praised the show from the beginning and who clearly fall outside the older end of the range: I do not consider these people to be in the core. These people had their taste in comedy shaped long before The Simpsons were born. There were also likely singing similar praises for The Cosby Show, Cheers, and Friends during their careers. Not evaluating the quality of those shows, but real Simpsons’ heads did not sing the praises of those shows.

This narrow age range of Simpsons followers contrasts sharply with that of the at-one-time contemporary, Seinfeld, whose fan base certainly included the Simpsons-age gang (teenagers through the bulk of the show’s run), and expanded into college students, young professionals (John Stewart recently claimed to Jerry Seinfeld that he knows every episode line by line), older professionals (the peer group of the actors on the show), and even the baby boomers (my parents watched the show almost as often as I did).

3 This seems axiomatic. I guess it’s possible that certain hardcore fans could have arrived at the show later, but they would then not meet the requirement of having grown up with it. Though fans certainly could have caught on at the tail end of Conan’s days and beyond, a glorious time no doubt, they would have missed the first evolution of characters and writing style, as well as the important "I was there from the beginning" of any interest that becomes so involved as to be self-identifying, that is, part of how you identify yourself is through the interest. Also, personal experience tells me that most Simpsons-heads were already watching within the first few years.

4 One of the more unique experiences being a Simpsons fan provides is the oft-repeated conversation where you and your friends each discuss how much The Simpsons has meant in your lives, not just in terms of giving you endless hours of enjoyment and laughs, but in making you the person you are, shaping your sensibilities, telling you which aspects of our government are ridiculous, and emboldening your hatred of aliens, illegal and extraterrestrial. More so than your family, friends, religion, or the state, The Simpsons is perhaps the easiest and most honest vehicle for its fans to analyze the tragedy and fortune of who they are and where they came from.

5 I somehow am able to make this work.

6 I have had the misfortune to hear two different people on two different occasions proclaim that music “stopped being good since Metallica’s ‘… And Justice For All.’” Perhaps more unpleasant was listening to a level headed friend’s earnest rebuttal to the proposition and the ensuing drunken back and forth. I think most people have at least overheard if not participated in that conversation.

7 Truth be told, the features described in Part II as attributes of the current version of the show could easily be placed in Part I as well, as they were likely to have also had an effect on deterring certain viewers, but categories rarely have firm boundaries and are used here for ease and clarity of organization and presentation. As almost always.

8 Could Arrested Development have sustained that level for significantly longer than it did? It’s hard to say, but it seemed they reached for too much too soon up against an audience that wasn’t ready, or wasn’t able, to plunge in. R.I.P.


Arun said...

wow, you really like the simpsons.

Peter said...

I'm pleased with this development.

Seth said...

nice. what's your day job again?

Anita said...

awesome, can't wait for part 2!

rananda said...

seth - does reading hockey blogs and illegally downloading music count as working? cuz it certainly did at my old job.

anita - i think we may be waiting quite some time for part 2. in fact, you might say, there is no part 2.

Odo said...

most cloyingly perspicacious theory since AES

rananda said...

strong company, no doubt.

Kid Nix said...

quite twee

mohan said...

Great review. Looking forward to more.

John said...

i was totally planning on making some awesome comment like this blog hasn't been good in years but then you made fun of entourage and totally won my heart.

Jake said...

I think there's more to the "decline" of the show than simply telling everyone who reads your blog entry that those who believe there's a decline are simply unflexible "period pieces" with no love for anything different. Eh...

In return, I could easily say the people who think the Simpsons are "as good as ever" have become so inert, and so dependent on the show for a source of entertainment, that they will say anything "acedemic" to validate their shamelessly existant, non-existant fandom.

rananda said...

jake - i agree, there is more to the perceived decline than inflexibility of viewers - it's also that the show started doing more experimental humor (the unbuttoned shirt wearing, gold chain draped, persian cd salesmen in "please homer dont hammer em") and more bizarre references (fitzcarraldo and un chien andalou) that made the show less accessible, not to mention the storylines themselves which have become nothing short of insane. this touches of the distinction between quality and taste. i think while it's easy to make the argument that modest mouse, for example, is more accessible or more popular than the mars volta, for example, i think it's hard to argue that modest mouse is of a higher quality than the mars volta. i think it's quite reasonable and predictable that the show's obvious changes have alienated certain fans, especially given the special place it held and holds in the hearts of many, but it's not necessarily due to a drop in quality.

as for my crowd's own inertness, im not sure i see that. i've explicitly discussed how the show has fluctuated in quality over it's run, specifying both the nadir and resurgence, and admit that season 19 appears to be not as good thus far. that doesnt exactly jibe with a mindless defense.

Mr. Hari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Hari said...

One might argue (although I do not) that your premise is based on your own feelings of fleeting happiness you associated with the show during your own formative years. That is, your own strong emotional attachment to the show is what spurs you on to defend it so, despite the obvious decline in quality. For you to admit that the show has declined is to admit that a crucial part of your own identity is fading, a psychologically unnerving admission for anyone to realize. Therefore, you find yourself essentially clutching at straws, praising jokes and episodes in far excess of their merit, in an attempt to hold on to that part of your self. I am well aware, as i'm sure you are yourself, of that feeling when a new Simpsons episode airs. I can only compare it to the feeling of a powerful opiate entering the bloodstream, not that I have any idea what that actually feels like. Its the physical reaction Homer experiences with each bite of a Ribwich. It is a sense of relief, of comfort, that lets me forget about the horrors of our world. Were I to lose that, I would fall into the withdrawl-induced sickness of a man who has been a hard addict for 19 years (20 years next fall). In order for me to continue to receive the same pleasures from the show, I must continue to watch and find a laugh wherever I can, for my own sanity.

Another fact I think you should address is that the new group of writers for the show grew up as we did: completely dedicated to the show. In essence you now have a show whose writers were in their formative years when the show first started. As a result the show resembles a product of some unholy inbreeding; jokes are rehashed, minor elements of plots from earlier episodes are changed and presented as new episodes. Whereas the first wave of writers (seasons 1 - 10 maybe?) were troubadours on the frontline of a new phenomenon, the second wave of writers came into their jobs in awe of the show and themselves. That said, I would give my left arm to be a writer on The Simpsons.

rananda said...

a couple of fair points, mr. h. re the first, it brings to mind the classic sitcom, "head of the class," when the teacher from wkrp in cincinnati was replaced by billy connolly. two of the students were best friends and both huge fans of the wkrp dude, and they each had opposite reactions to the new guy: one loved him off the bat as a reaction to his mentor's departure, the other hated him and thought he could not do right. i guess the lesson was that it's hard to be objective in either direction when you have so much personal history with the precedent. while im worried that that could be a part of what's happening here, we cant do anything but be conscious of these pitfalls and use as much cold, hard, analysis backed by facts and devoid of sentiment, to at least give the gleam of objectivity. if i were to follow up on this with a discussion of why the simpsons is still sweet, i would do my best to do this.

as for point 2, yes that it interesting as well. it's almost like the new writers are members of some kind of enduring cover band. to them i say, "get to the working overtime part!"

Arun said...

I too would give Mr. Hari's left arm to be a writer on The Simpsons.

Sandip said...

As I read the end of your blog, Fox aired the commercial for the new episode, where apparently Ralphie is a candidate for President. Most likely not a plot one would have seen in the Golden Years (or Girls), but something more fitting in the over-absurdity of these latest seasons. These days, my guffaws are often aimed at the randomness of any particular 10 second bit that may or may not be germain to the plot of the episode itself, which is the biggest difference I see between Then and now. What happened to the Monorail and Mr. Plow and Mr. Scorpion, err… Scorpio, in which I actually thought about the whole episode in addition to rolling with the one liners ("Have you ever seen a man say goodbye to a shoe?")? The very nature of absurdity makes it much tougher for the writers to weave a coherent story line. As a result, I now get my fix from the random lines and bits, in which case it may as well be Family Guy (ah, the irony).
If the Simpsons were truly as great as they always were, then why are there no new fans? Where has the appeal gone? If appeal was a necessary casualty in an attempt to "grow" (along with a certain viewership), then what does it mean to have those in that targeted demographic arguing about it?
One last thing I would mention is that these days I also see a dearth in the social commentary, as well as fewer cultural references that used to pervade the earlier episodes (although the upcoming episode of Pres. Wiggum has the makings of proving me wrong on both counts). The brilliance of these, however, was in their subtlety of presentation, arguably tougher in the more absurdist realm. But then again, they may be there, and I may just not be getting it. (any more)

Inder said...

Where is Part II?

rananda said...

Sandip: Jeesh, if I knew I would have to defend my views against every quacky, quaggy attack, I probably would have not bothered. (I’m just playing, dude. Glad you could make it!) There, now I remember why I didn’t go to grad school. (Marge: Bart, don’t make fun of graduate students. They just made a terrible life decision.)

Your points as I’ve enumerated them:

1) But is there a good in and of itself associated with one coherent, not too far weaving, story line? It’s directly related to, not sure “cause” or “effect” are much worth differentiating here, the increased bizarreness or non-sequiter-ness of the punch-lines and references. Easier to draw insanity from less than sane circumstances, I figure. But, so?

2) I’m surprised someone who would compare The Simpsons to Family Guy actually knows how to use and spell the word ‘irony.’ Might have to rethink this whole thing.

3) New fans aren’t there because they don’t have the years of episodes and scrolls of back-story to appreciate these most out-there and demanding of times. And because the sensibility of humor required to be on top of it now could have really only been shaped by the show’s slow evolution of comedic aesthetic, participants, by definition, could not be considered ‘new’ fans.

4) Social commentary is alive and well. The FOX ridicule is ever present, with the show specifically taking blame for nursing and creating an unimaginable villain in its namesake’s “news” network. And with even more gall-soaked beauty, the last act of Season 18’s Halloween episode has Kang and Kronos grimly and directly taking on the role of Americans, as questioning and perplexed occupiers, as they look over a destroyed and hopeless Springfield, all while Eddie Sieler’s, Sol Marcus’, Bennie Benjemen’s, and Eddie Durham’s, “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” somberly plays on. A more devastating Simpsons shot I have not seen.

rananda said...

inder - im not sure part 2 is going to see the light of day, at least, not anytime particularly soon. i think it's a matter of cost vs gain: it would take a monumental effort and im afraid ultimately only be a collection of anecdotal evidence that probably isnt that convincing.

the basic argument, that the simpsons is has not reduced in overall quality, are supported by two points:

1) the visual presentation in the show has developed significantly in recent years and the show routinely has some jaw-dropping cool as hell shots. i'd have to go with just random examples of impressive visual tricks from my memory or whatever's recorded on my dvr. off hand, the 24-themed episode contains some amazing stuff, as does the episode where recounts the tale of "dark stanley." the weird animation and music they use during that story is so far beyond anything the simpsons was trying to do 10 years ago, it's just amazing stuff. even in the random episode i watched today, where marge joins the cheery red tomatoes women's gang or whatever, there's a montage to r.e.m's "everybody hurts" where marge is walking under a sky that kinda divided into rows and moving a bit. it's subtle but looks really cool, kinda like a fellini bit. i guess none of this matters if you dont care about this stuff. but then youre missing out. the only sentence i have written of part 2 is:

"If you cannot or do not want to appreciate the aesthetic of portraying objects and characters on a two-dimensional plane using shape and color and distance, then you will not find the recent visual attempts interesting or even noteworthy. But if you cannot or don't want to appreciate the aesthetic of portraying objects and characters on a two-dimensional plane using shape and color and distance, then you have a bigger problem than watching The Simpsons."

2) and the second point was basically how much smarter and funnier some of the off the wall insane shape of the jokes now. it's basically the same point from part 1 but rather than an objective description of the change, there's a subjective valuation of it now. also anecdotal and hard to capture. maybe some day i'll try to write all this down but i dont plan to anytime soon. we'll see.

jabran said...

nice try

rananda said...

awesome dude. welcome to the party.

Arun said...

Inflammable means flammable? What a county!

rananda said...

wow, arun, youre still reading this? and more importanly, youre still alive?

Arun said...

Someone had to resuscitate this -- doing the Lord's work here.

rananda said...

Did you see the way Ameile was looking at Mindy?