TV

Disenchantment’s Ending Shows The Simpsons What It’s Missing


Matt Groening’s opportunity for closure and finality in Disenchantment opens the door for how The Simpsons may one day end.

Disenchantment Season 5 Ending
Photo: Netflix

This article contains spoilers for the Disenchantment series finale.

A new animated series from Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, should have been a clear winner and modern cartoon classic. Oddly enough, Bean’s misadventures through Dreamland and its constant fantasy genre subversions in Disenchantment have barely left a mark on the medium. It initially seemed like Disenchantment had somehow learned the worst lessons from The Simpsons and Futurama through a focus on dense lore and heavy serialized stories. Disenchantment, while fun, would struggle with its growing scope and undergo a perpetual identity crisis on the type of series it wanted to be and what it does best. 

It’s been a bumpy journey, but Disenchantment impressively pulls everything together for its final season. This last batch of episodes finally figures out how to use this big world and its many supporting characters after seasons of awkward attempts to connect these dots. Disenchantment’s disparate ideas, themes, and worlds don’t work on their own or when delivered through a drip-feed seasonal approach. However, this bold long-form storytelling helps Disenchantment finally flourish and get out of its own way. The machinations of Dreamland, Steamland, the Enchanted Forest, and beyond all make sense when Disenchantment’s entire story can be digested and appreciated as a whole.

It should be quite interesting to see how Disenchantment will do in the following years now that its story is finished and that audiences can experience it without compromise. Like many Netflix series, Disenchantment could be completely forgotten in a year or two (especially now that Futurama is back), but its strong concluding season and finale will hopefully mean that the show catches a second wind and goes on to find more viewers. Disenchantment has been a mixed bag throughout its run. However, the best thing about this series is that it has an ending and that it completes its story, which is an area where The Simpsons–and even Futurama in some ways–have seriously struggled for years. Disenchantment’s successful series finale set up a promising path for The Simpsons’ and Futurama’s inevitable endings. 

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