Tomorrow is the high holy day of the NFL. There have been three episodes that prominently featured the Super Bowl. One of them is amongst the finest 22 minutes ever committed to television. The other two are the opposite of that.
Archive for January, 2009
Contact Music reported that her role will be the girlfriend who testifies in court in defense of Krusty the Clown who is wrongly-accused of committing a crime.
An extended mid-season break has bitten The Simpsons dearly in the ratings, with Sundays episode ‘Lisa The Drama Queen’ fetching just 5.75 million viewers at 8:00pm, a new all time low for the show.
a new American Dad scored 5.73 million viewers at 9.30.
“Hey, when I was your age fifty cents was a lot of money.” – Homer Simpson
One of the many horrible side effects of the fact that there hasn’t been a genuine Simpsons episode in more than a decade is that we are now raising a generation of Simpsons cripples. Anyone born after the late 1980s didn’t become old enough to really appreciate the show until well after it’d fallen on hard times. These days even the syndication runs are so polluted with Zombie Simpsons and its semi-lifeless forbearers that a decent appreciation of the classics needs to be deliberately sought out or instilled.
For example, I have a bunch of nieces and nephews ranging in age from six to thirteen; they all like watching The Simpsons. But they have a hard time distinguishing real Simpsons from Zombie Simpsons. When I get out my laptop at family gatherings and queue up some of the classics they’ll sit there, riveted to the screen, and laugh out loud. They TiVo the syndicated episodes at home, but until I started showing them the original seasons they had hardly seen any of those episodes. To them, The Simpsons is just another television show; there was never a time in their lives when it stood head and shoulders above everything else.
“Well, we cut corners; sometimes to save money our animators will reuse the same backgrounds over and over and over again.” – Roger Myers Jr.
I have a few questions that remain unanswered about that episode…
1. Other than needing a plot idea, was there any reason to “parody” Bridge to Terabithia? (Incidentally, the guy who directed Terabithia, Gabor Csupo, worked on The Simpsons back in the before time.)
2. Which producer’s kid is Josh Groban holding hostage? That was almost a commercial.
3. If you are going to have an episode filled with iPod and Facebook references, why would Groundskeeper Willie flashback to his immigration in the first half of the 20th century?
There are two things for which I will give this episode ‘credit’, but only because I want to appear unbiased:
1. There was a quick sight gag where Homer was sitting at the kitchen table drinking from a cup that said “Ned” on it. It lasted two seconds and nobody said anything about it. It wasn’t great but they managed not to fuck it up.
2. Homer didn’t suffer any deadly or incapacitating blows.
Besides that I have only bad things to say. What reminded me that I wasn’t actually watching the Simpson’s the most was when Marge and Homer are talking about what Lisa might be doing at the model UN conference she was supposedly at. When Marge asks if Homer thinks Lisa has enacted the ‘rice tariff’ Homer comes back with a Model UN procedural joke which I am sure the writers thought was witty. Homer is not a comedy writer; he shouldn’t sound like one.
This was classic modern Simpsons: toss in a celebrity or three, throw in a recent, half-assed and superficial cultural reference, and call it a day.