The Simpsons marathon is a smash hit for FXX, but the 12-day airing of every episode has hardcore fans noticing something a little strange.
In order to get older episodes into a format that fits modern televisions, network execs apparently did a bit of chopping. The changes may be subtle, but fans of The Simpsons have definitely noticed a change.
“[Hardcore] fans of the series have noticed something off about the early seasons: they’re in the wrong aspect ratio. Instead of running the episodes in their original 4:3 standard definition format, frames have been cropped, zoomed in and stretched to fit 16:9, or the current format for HDTV, complete with heavy digital noise reduction to make it look cleaner (not always a good thing, and certainly not here). At its most benign, it looks slightly off.”
Fans on The Simpsons board on Reddit noticed the changes, with some of them posting screenshots of poorly cropped episodes.
“The one I saw that bothered me was the one from ‘Duffless’ when they’re at the Duff Brewery and they see where they make the Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry,” wrote one sharp-eyed fan. “They hold to show that all three are the same thing, but the zoom ruins the joke.”
But others were not so bothered by The Simpsons cuts.
“I saw the cropped screenshots on Reddit. They do not bother me,” wrote another Simpsons fan. “At least they took the time to crop it based on what’s going on in the scene and not just a lazy “cut the same amount from top and bottom no matter what’s in frame.”
The screen alterations have done little to keep Simpsons fans away from the marathon. As originally reported in Variety, the marathon has given FXX prime time viewership a 618 percent boost the all-important 18-34 years old demographic. The Simpsons earned a point-49 rating, which translates to 1.01 million viewers, beating out other more-established networks including TNT, USA, and even FXX’x parent network FX.