Watching the latest episode of "The Simpsons," I had a realization - this show might be good again. I've enjoyed the last few episodes, but a subtle, yet very specific reference made me smile.
Moe turned his bar into a gay bar and business was booming. When Smithers was chastising him for leading his gay clientele on, Moe responded, "We can have actual pretzels, instead of 'trompe-l'oeil'ing them on the bar." Brilliant.
Trompe-l'oeil is the technique of painting something to make it appear three-dimensional, when it's actually not. Examples:
No other show could pull this off. A trompe-l'oeil reference thrown in without batting an eye? In The Simpsons's heyday, they would throw pop culture and academic references at you at lightning speed. Then it went downhill. It seems they are back, with a resurgence in quality most shows in their 21st season wouldn't dream of. This makes me happy.