Archive for April, 2009

30
Apr
09

The End is Near

 

Season 20: VERY not worthy.

Season 20: VERY not worthy.

Image used under CreativeCommons license from Flicker user windy_sydney

The end of Season 20 is finally in sight.  Simpsons Channel now has promo images and plot descriptions up for all three of the remaining episodes.  It’s almost over.  

First up is Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D’Oh, in which Bart and Lisa go to a rich kids school while Homer enjoys the bachelor lifestyle in the apartment he and Marge rented to get their kids into said school.  Also, we’re getting Ellen Page voicing Miley Cyrus Alaska Nebraska.  

  • Jon’s Thoughts:  Didn’t Homer live the bachelor lifestyle with a couple of gay dudes a few seasons ago? Oh God, I think Weird Al was in that episode as a musical guest.  Since this can’t possibly be as good as that awful episode, hopefully it will at least spur some derogatory remarks from Miley Cyrus that will help accelerate her career towards the heroin induced asphyxiation death on which I’m counting.
  • Dave’s Thoughts:  I have the sinking feeling this will be another empty celebrity guest appearance. Not sure I have enough of an emotional connection to tween pop starlets to give a shit about them skewering Hannah Montana.
  • Charlie’s Thoughts:  When I first read this about a week ago there was a faint glimmer of hope in my Zombie Simpsons scarred mind because the plot is relatively original.  Then we had that helicopter parent episode and the tiny ember of hope died.  

Next Sunday is a short-story episode titled Four Great Women and a Manicure.  We’ll let Brian from Simpsons Channel describe it:

they spin four tales of famous women featuring famous Springfield faces: Selma as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa as Snow White, Marge as Lady Macbeth and Maggie (guest voice Jodie Foster) as the idealistic architect protagonist from Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”.

  • Jon’s Thoughts:  God fucking damn it, nothing pisses me off more than these short story episodes. These are always death.
  • Dave’s Thoughts:  When was the last time Zombie Simpsons did a decent multi-story episode?
  • Charlie’s Thoughts:  I have nothing to add here except to point out (again) that Maggie did once organize the resistance at the Ayn Rand School for Tots, I’m not sure Objectivism is her cup of tea.  Also, “The Fountainhead”?  That’s not even the well known Ayn Rand novel.

Finally we come to the season finale, Coming to Homerica.   The Simpsons Channel description is only two sentences long, but really all you need is this:

Homer organizes a border patrol group.

  • Jon’s Thoughts:  You just know he’ll start as some xenophobic bastard that learns that culture mixing is what made America great and then he’ll end the episode on the side of the illegal aliens ala “Much Apu About Nothing.”
  • Dave’s Thoughts:  No more vigilante groups. Once in a series is more than sufficient.
  • Charlie’s Thoughts:  My colleagues pretty much nailed it: mix “Homer the Vigilante” with “Much Apu About Nothing”, strain out all the intelligence and wit, and shake well.  If we’re lucky, and I wouldn’t count on it, Homer will at least learn his lesson a little faster than he did in “Mypods and Boomsticks”.  
30
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

“Wow, my father an astronaut, I feel so full of . . . what’s the opposite of shame?” – Bart Simpson

“Pride?” – Marge Simpson

“No, not that far from shame.” – Bart Simpson

“Less shame?” – Homer Simpson

“Yeah.” – Bart Simpson

29
Apr
09

Alcohol and God, a winning combination

Reverend Lovejoy, hittin' the sauce on the job

Another Wednesday, another sight gag: two out of these six vignettes are explored in some detail, but there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gem hidden in the upper right. Yep, there’s Reverend Lovejoy, hittin’ the sauce on the job. Classic.

29
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

marge-gets-a-job1

“Oral thermometer my eye!  Think warm thoughts boy, cause this is mighty cold.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson

28
Apr
09

Synergy Outdoes Itself

“It’s times like this that I’m thankful Dad has little to no interest in almost everything I do.” – Lisa Simpson

Compared with the Fox Network, IGN is a tiny dingleberry on Rupert Murdoch’s ass, so I expect some sycophancy.  But this week’s IGN Simpsons review is truly a stunner.  Not only does it ignore the B plot completely (again), but it uses the word “wretchedly” in reference to something other than the show.  Bravo.  

As per usual, I’ve edited the synergy right out of it.  Enjoy:

April 27, 2009 – It’s surprising that The Simpsons has never used the title “Father Knows Worst” before this, after all, they’ve been doing episodes like this for a long time. Homer is not known for his competent parenting, and but this episode seems like a very easy pun didn’t involve ‘parenting’ so much as it did ‘wacky shenanigans’. But no. It’s taken 20 seasons to come across an episode where “Father Knows Worst” would fit. And it’s funny, because in this episode, Homer was actually making things better… to a point.

The path taken in the opening minutes to reach the main plot were delightfully odd and very funny was, sadly, a preview of the thoughtless pratfalls in store. The “truth in boardwalking law” offered up a number of great mediocre lines that were still better than what was to come as Homer, Bart and Lisa strolled along the Springfield Squidport. “Fried dough! America’s worst legal food! Never leaves your body!” and “Shoot an oversized basketball into an undersized hoop! It’s impossible!” were my favorites undercooked, but not inherently retarded. Also at the Squidport, Then, because being even mildly clever is antithetical to Zombie Simpsons, Homer goes on a kabob binge, which mistakenly stupidly included a fire kabob torch. Bart made things worse kept this going a while longer by offering up lighter fluid instead of water, which led to a tacked on, Mario style, fireball laden ‘action’ sequence. This led to Homer’s taste buds being burned off and replaced by new, highly sensitive taste buds, for some reason.

There was nothing Homer could eat without being wretchedly overwhelmed, until he discovered elementary school cafeteria food, for some other reason. So Springfield Elementary’s cafeteria became Homer’s new hang out, becuase . . . yeah. While there he met some kid named Noah and his mother, a self-described “helicopter parent” who hovers around her child to make sure he does well. Having explained the joke before even trying to use it, the writers had Homer took take to the idea, especially after seeing the Bart was a loser and that Lisa had no friends Bart and Lisa act exactly as they always do, and began interfering with filling the pair’s school lives with wacky antics even the Family Guy Manatees would be ashamed of.

At first, this was working This went immediately to shit. He was able to help Bart decide on a balsa wood project for class by expositing needlessly on some posters, and he was able to make Lisa popular with the snobby girls of her class, because we said so. For Lisa, Homer got the book “Chicks With Cliques” to learn all the latest techniques for getting into a clique. The strategies — Unsults, Envytations, Hate Hugs — were kinda funny when they were in ‘Mean Girls’ five years ago, and altogether too close to reality. Then, to drive home the point that once Zombie Simpsons thinks it has found something funny it will cram it into any situation no matter how inapplicable, Tthe Toledo Takeback sent Moe running away in tears.

Bart, too, was enjoying the positive effects of playing an ineffective straight man to Homer’s meddling. Even after his father accidentally trashed their model of Westminster Abbey for no reason other than time induced plot resolution, Bart nearly won the contest because his most resembled a project completed with no help from the parent.  (I’m Idaho.)  But even with victory close at hand, Bart, completely out of character, had to admit what was happening and ask that all the parents give their children some space, because Zombie Simpsons thought it had been ‘funny’ long enough and felt the need to lecutre us. Lisa, too, though popular, found it too hard to be so shallow wrapped up her plot with a moralizing, humor free monologue. So Homer gave them their space and realized the episode was over and summed up the entire ordeal with this sorrowfully delivered, instantly classic, hilarious line a final piece of comedyless exposition: “I tried to fix the kids’ lives, but instead I led them to rich and rewarding personal decisions of their own.”

Even though I knew it would be bad, I enjoyed “Father Knows Worst” quite a bit managed to disappoint. The main story was entertaining an excuse for weak slapstick and social criticism so tepid I hesitate to use the words, and the random jokes throughout the episode added to the quality. The aforementioned Squidport scene was great did nothing to prepare us for the parade of shit in store. I also loved noticed the randomness clock eating of Groundskeeper Willie sweeping kids into their classrooms, the old comedy writers working in the cafeteria, the reference to Project Runway (“Kenny, he said your show.” “Oh, I watched it once.”) and Homer’s dream at the abbey (“Anne of Cleves?!”). This is Zombie Simpsons at its most vile: when in doubt, fill time with pointless digressions, preferably ones that make no sense and aren’t funny.  All in all, it’s tough to way too easy to complain when the story is solid obvious and self-serving and the jokes are funny repetitive and stupid.

28
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

like-father-like-clown11
“And in order to keep our broadcasting license we devote Sunday night dead time to public service shows of limited appeal.  In that spirit we bring you ‘Gabbin’ about God’, sponsored by Ace Religious Supply where they say, ‘If we don’t got it, it ain’t holy’.” – KBBL Announcer

27
Apr
09

The Pictures Speak For Themselves

Last night’s seriously unfunny and slapdash episode may as well have been titled “Homer Does Dumb Shit For 20+ Minutes… Again.” No, we’re not killjoys, we just call them like we see them. Here’s the proof, presented chronologically and without comment, in eleven screengrabs.

Does the first shot mean that the creators of Zombie Simpsons have been reading our blog and taking our name rather literally? I’d like to think so.

27
Apr
09

The Unrestrained Id of Caffeinated “Comedy” Writers

the-war-of-the-simpsons2

“Hey everybody, look!  I’m the funniest guy in the world!” – Homer Simpson
 
After twenty-two odd minutes of Rock Star Homer acting like an invincible buffoon I’m not sure there’s much to be said.  

Plenty of painfully stupid exposition? Check.

Slipshod plot used to setup new and different ways for Homer to act out?  Check.

Wretchedly boring?  Checkmate.  

What’s really brain twisting about this whole thing is the fact that, several months ago somewhere on the Fox lot in Los Angeles, a bunch of people sitting around a table laughed out loud at the idea of Homer spinning around like a helicopter, crashing into some lockers, and the screaming “Black Hawk Down!”  The same goes for Homer stripping to his underwear to serve jello (huh?), Moe crying in bed and Homer’s bizarre Westminster Abbey dream sequence.   

Then you remember that this show ran out of ideas ten years ago, and it all makes sense.  I try to set aside my intolerance of Zombie Simpsons when I set the over/under on the ratings, but that was truly awful so I’m going to be optimistic and say only 6.2 million people had their time wasted by that shit.

Update: The numbers are in and they’re even worse than I’d hoped.  Sweet.  Last night’s Zombie Simpsons was seen by only 5.94 million unfortunate people.  My completely meaningless goal of less than 7.26 million per episode this season is now well within reach.  

27
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

actionhero

“With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero.” – Bart Simpson

26
Apr
09

Sunday Morning Cartoons

three-men-and-a-comic-book1

“We worked so hard and now it’s all gone.  We ended up with nothing because the three of us can’t share.” – Bart Simpson
“What’s your point?” – Milhouse van Houten
“Nothing, just kinda ticks me off.” – Bart Simpson

That is how you end an episode between Bart and Milhouse.  Or, if you need them to reconcile, you can have Bart smash open a Magic 8 Ball on Milhouse’s skull, but it’s a sweet moment because he didn’t use the brick, broken bottle or pair of scissors.  

Flowers and apologies?  Fuck off, Zombie Simpsons.

26
Apr
09

Sunday Preview: “Father Knows Worst”

Father Knows Worst

For those keeping count at home, tonight’s episode is one of four left this season to ridicule and summarily reject on the basis of mediocrity. Usually Fox trots out a promo image for new Zombie Simpsons episodes, but they opted not to this time around. No matter, ours is way better. In fact, Fox might as well save themselves the trouble and borrow our format: screengrabs from old episodes magically repurposed into something new and daring.

Anyway, gazing into SNPP’s crystal ball, we get the following synopsis about “Father Knows Worst,” which is guaranteed to be forgettable:

Homer tries to solve Bart and Lisa’s academic and social problems with a bit of overparenting; meanwhile, if anybody is looking for Marge, she’s probably in the sauna in the basement

Are the writers even trying anymore? Even the shoddy premise signals that they’ve thrown their arms up like so many cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

26
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

theres-no-disgrace-like-home11

“Boy, I’m glad that’s over, now we can go home and act normal again.” – Homer Simpson

“What do you mean?” – Perfect Father

“Oh, come on (kiss kiss kiss kiss), that cornball routine?  ‘I love you, Daddy.’  Gimme a break.” – Homer Simpson

“I pity you.” – Perfect Father

“Why?” – Homer Simpson

25
Apr
09

If you stop Praising it: The Good, the Sad and the Drugly

I still haven’t watched last Sunday’s Zombie Simpson offering, but according to Charlie Sweatpants I didn’t miss much. And that guy is a straight shooter. Unless theres profit to be had… but since he is a blogger I don’t have to worry about that.

Anyway I thought I would peruse the usual fansites to see what the Zombie Legion had to say about it before I sat down for my weekly lobotomy:

“I need to see this episode again if I want to give a more in-depth review, but for now, I’ll be generous and give it a 4/5.” – linonelhutz123 (nohomers.net)

With any luck you’ll be the judge at my next DUI trial.

“Springfield Elementary has only 2 N’s and no Z so there is no way the could have 3 z’s next to willy’s head” -Ben S. (hulu.com)

At least someone had the nerve to point this out.  (note: As I haven’t seen the episode, this comment almost made me vomit in terror.)

“This episode is worth your time for the laughs.” – meathead704 (tv.com)

Especially if you value your time like Zimbabwe values their currency.

“I had no real problems, though limited patience for Anne Hathaway.” – striz (nohomers.net)

If you are picking Zombie Simpsons over Anne Hathaway you do indeed have real problems.

“it made me laugh i dont know why nobody is wirting good reveiws” – Katie H. (hulu.com)

I bet you can’t figure out why your school bus was always so short either.

“I do like Nelson giving him advice from the bushes “Punch her! Punch her!”” – Limbonaut (televisionwithoutpity.com)

So Nelson was guest-voiced by Chris Brown this week?

“Particularly enjoyable is that the episode manages to contrive two equally engrossing plotlines that echo the previous episode’s sentimentalist approach.” – amazingwebhead (tv.com)

I can see how that would be enjoyable, but what did you think of this week’s Simpsons?

Despite the various warnings I have copied and pasted here, I’ll have to watch the episode tonight as my wife and I have a bet riding on it. Apparently there is a scene where Homer kills a fly at the dinner table:  My wife bets the fly lands on Homer’s forehead and he stabs it with a knife while the camera pans back to a view of the house as Homer screams, I say the fly lands on his hand and he tries to stab it with a fork leading to an equally unfunny scream scene… Either way I guess we both lose.

25
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

Get out!

“That’s preposterous! Now get out! You’re banned from this historical society! You, and your children, and your children’s children… for three months.” – Hollis Hurlbut

24
Apr
09

Friday Link Dump – Faux Environmentalism and Excellent Usage

the-old-man-and-the-lisa1

“Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?  Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys.  Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she’s losing?  Well, I say: hard cheese.” – C.M. Burns

Earth Day was this week, which means perfunctory environmentalism from large corporations whose executives basically agree with the above  statement.  We’ve also got numerous examples of good-to-excellent usage and a fellow blogger who’s seen the light and thinks the show needs to end.  

Green Tips From ‘The Simpsons’ Family – Television networks are now morally obligated to pretend to care about the environment, not do anything mind you, but at least put up the appearance of doing something.  As a result, somewhere a guy in a suit said something like, “Find me the cheapest way to look like we care, use the word ‘green’.”  The result?  Cheap, slapped together promos for Zombie Simpsons that, in what I’m sure is an unintentionally ironic move, use plenty of recycled footage.  

D’oh! It’s the Bichons – Some family in New Zealand dressed up their dogs like the Simpson family.  It’s just as thrilling as it sounds and I’m sure the dogs enjoyed it.  

Evolution of TV mothers – This is about different types of TV Moms, citing Marge as the “Functional Mom in a Dysfunctional Family”, but the only other two examples in that category are Lois Griffin and Peg Bundy, so wouldn’t a more appropriate heading be “Fox TV Moms”?

Research and Markets: Global Animation Industry: Strategies, Trends and Opportunities 2009 Contains Timely Data on One of the Fastest Growing Industries Today - Would you pay some ditzy consulting firm to tell you about cartoons?  Me neither.

Odell Brewing offering up sweet tweets – If you’re combining beer and Twitter, why not cite Homer Simpson?  You can vote on new beer flavors and if you live in Fort Collins, CO there’s even a party you can go to at the end of next month.  Mmmm, micro-beer.

Homer Simpson will protect your food from you – From the annals of dumb shit merchandise, I give you a plastic Homer to sit in your fridge and criticize you for opening it.  This is supposed to shame you into eating less.  In other dumb shit merchandising news, Homer can also . . .

Daily Crest picks Homer for new Friji flavour – . . . help you get fat with a cookie-dough flavored milkshake to go.  The lesson?  Whether you want to lose weight or taste something great, you’ve got to pay the freight.  (That almost rhymes!)

RSVP Round 2 - The St. Louis Blues may have gotten swept by Vancouver, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compare their coach to Ned Flanders.

Too much idle time at the Statehouse? - Iowans sure do like their letters to the editor.  But this guy, unlike the woman who thinks Frank Sinatra is a positive role model for kids, seems to have a valid point; a state legislator, Rod Roberts, is trying to make a floating bar near his condo illegal:

Roberts owns a condo near the bar and is a self-described evangelical Christian, so this boils down to a neighborhood dispute that has found its way to the Capitol because the “Ned Flanders” in the dispute happens to be a state legislator.

Brian Vakulskas of Sioux City, we at the Dead Homer Society salute you and your defense of aquatic alcohol consumption.  

Movie Reviews: Alien TrespassParis 36Sugar - A movie called “C Me Dance” about a Christian who fights the devil with the power of, you guessed it, dance came out a few weeks ago.  As of this writing the movie is sporting a 1.4 on IMDB (on 65 votes) and a flat 0.0 on Rotten Tomatoes.  Sure those numbers look bad, but the LA Weekly does those one better:

C Me Dance plays like a fake Christian movie Troy McClure might end up starring in on an episode of The Simpsons, though it’s apparently for real.

I always thought fiddles and donuts were the preferred method of devil fighting.  (via)

The torture story – This is about America torturing the shit out of people (woo Bush the Younger!), but it rates a mention here because commenter Jonathan D, while screwing up the quote slightly, cites Homer effectively.

Canning solves slow food prep dilemma – Jonathan D got a B for his usage, but Mary Keller of Wyoming’s Cody Enterprise gets an A+ by not only getting the quote right, “Isn’t there anything faster than a microwave?”, but also having it make perfect sense in context.  

Draft inflation has turned top pick into a curse – Speaking of proper, in context usage the Detroit Free Press‘s Michael Rosenberg, writing at foxsports.com, refers to the Lions as “the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.”  That’s about right.  

Best of Fourum – Kansas State’s campus paper has a free form section called the Fourum, the link is to some of the best of it and this also gets an A for usage:

“Dear Fourum, I own your soul. Love, John.”
:: No, John, you don’t. I sold it to Milhouse for $5 and spent that on some inflatable sponges.

If you love something…let it go. – Elsewhere in the Sunflower State, last week’s Zombie Simpsons caused one young man to finally come to a painful conclusion: 

Some have said that the time for you to go was long ago, and maybe they were right all along. I wanted to return to our former glory so badly that I overlooked so many negative signs in the recent times.  Maybe we’ve both been ignoring the writing on the wall, but this ends today…

It is time for The Simpsons to be cancelled.

Yes it is, welcome to the fold.

24
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

Handsome Pete

“That’s Handsome Pete. He dances for nickels. Pete! Ye got some customers.” – Captain McAllister

23
Apr
09

Happy Birthday Steve Austin

burns-heir1

“Hello Marge, I’m Lee Majors.  Will you come away with me?” – Col. Steve Austin

The Six Million Dollar Man turns 70 today.  Happy birthday from all of us here at the Dead Homer Society and, may I say, that you are in remarkably good shape for a man your age.

23
Apr
09

Quote of the Day

Panaphonics, Magnetbox, and Sorny

“Look at these low, low prices on famous brand-name electronics!” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t be a sap, Dad. These are just crappy knock-offs.” – Bart Simpson
“Pfft. I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there’s Magnetbox and Sorny.” – Homer Simpson

22
Apr
09

Simpsons Did It – The Eternal Cliche

College Humor created a Billy Joel parody video about the cliched stupidity of many comment threads.  I found it on boing boing a couple of days ago and I’ll let them explain:

College Humor made a hillarious [sic] (NSFW) music video about the deterioration of comment threads, to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” As a wise man once said, “It’s funny cause it’s true.” We Didn’t Start The Flame War (Thanks, Vann Hall!)

The “Simpsons did it” line comes at the 0:25 mark, followed immediately by the “southpark did it too” line (the entire 2:40 is worth your time if you’re bored).  I bring it up to point out two things.  First, it’s now been seven years since the South Park episode “Simpsons Already Did It”.  And second, College Humor has a pretty keen sense of popular culture, the inclusion of the “Simpsons did it” line speaks volumes about just how worn the continuation of Zombie Simpsons really is.  

Also: Excellent usage by boing boing’s David Pescovitz.

22
Apr
09

Tell me more…

Tell me more...

In The Simpsons’ colorful history of improbable and hilarious video game ideas, surely the “My Dinner with André” game Martin plays at Noiseland Arcade takes the cake. For a game based on a movie that consists almost entirely of two guys having a conversation at a restaurant, the controls are both completely appropriate and hilariously pretentious.

(This, by the way, is the first in a series of “Sight Gags” posts we’ll be doing, highlighting the little bits of visual joy that make The Simpsons such a rewarding show to watch. Today seemed as good a day as any to kick it off, so enjoy!)




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