Archive for June, 2010



26
Jun
10

Quote of the Day

My Sister, My Sitter3

“I’m here to pick up the ambassador from Ghana.” – Ghanaian Chauffeur
“Well he’s not here!  Nobody’s here!  And none of you should be here, you’ve all been tricked!” – Lisa Simpson
“Why would the ambassador do such a thing?” – Ghanaian Chauffeur

25
Jun
10

Reading Digest: Futurama Returns Edition

Futurama Garbage

“Fry, this stuff was garbage when it was new.  Let’s blow it up already.” – Leela 

I have not yet watched the new Futurama episodes that were on last night, so I have no opinion on whether or not they suck.  The reviews, both professional and from fans, have been almost universally positive, and I take that as a good sign.  But in one respect the return of Futurama has already been a success, because every time someone mentions it they also mention The Simpsons, and that often leads to discussion of how badly the elder show has decayed.  So this week we’ve got not one, not two, but three people who bashed Zombie Simpsons.  It’s nice.  There’s also some love for Lisa, something I didn’t know about “Homerpalooza”, a truly bizarre short story loosely based on “Lisa the Vegetarian”, Marge in both cake and fruit form, and the usual usage.

Enjoy.

Homer Simpson’s Duff Beer: Barley, Hops, and Cultural Stories? – Simpsons merchandise and the real Duff in Rome. 

Ten Great TV Cartoon Geeks – Lisa checks in at #3. 

Marge Gets Sweet – Marge done with fruit and what looks like whipped cream and chocolate. 

Celebrating and Nurturing the Miracle of Life – This is a rather long post about fatherhood, and this is poor usage:

Homer says, “Hey boy! Wanna play catch?” Bart says: “No thanks dad.” Homer mutters under his breath, “When a son doesn’t want to play catch with his father something is definitely wrong.” Grandpa Simpson over hears his son and chimes in, “I’ll play catch with you son!” Homer says, “Go home old man.”

It’s really not even close.  The actual exchange is:

Homer: Bart, son, you want to play catch?
Bart: No.
Homer: When a boy doesn’t want to play catch with his old man something is seriously wrong.
Grandpa: I’ll play catch with you, son.
Homer: Get the hell out!
Grandpa: I’m gone.

Disturbing Simpsons – A very strange, bizarrely animated take on “Lisa the Vegetarian”.  Dr. Nick steals her kidney at one point.  (via this and Springfield Springfield’s Twitter feed)

Senior Quotes – Homer Simpson did, indeed, have a great quote in his yearbook. 

Simply The Best #36 (Cartoon Television Shows) – Simpsons is #1, though it comes with the usual Zombie Simpsons cliche:

I don’t feel like it’s been at the top if it’s game for a while but it’s still better than 95% of the shows that currently air.

Oh well. 

I Dreamed a Dream – Summer Story Tellers – I long ago lost count of the number of things I discovered through The Simpsons, this guy discovered show tunes. 

Homer Sees Homer – Click this, right now.  Sadly there’s no location given, which probably saved me a lot of money because I would travel a very long way to get my picture taken in front of such a work of absolute genius. 

Here come the girls! – One writer’s list of her favorite female characters.  Mom and Leela from Futurama are on here, as is this:

Lisa Simpson – “The Simpsons.” (Pretty much my hero when I was growing up. She gave an extremely erudite voice to nerdy bookworm girls everywhere! I wanted to play the saxophone because of her. Sadly I lack any form of musical talent.)

Maggie, but not Marge, also makes the list. 

Is this the very first Homer Simpson? – A root shaped like Homer Simpson was found in China.  (via Springfield Springfield’s Twitter feed, again)

Happy Father’s Day! – Click through for a picture of a sweet looking Marge Simpson cake. 

Hey cartoons, enough with the counting and on and on with the fucking colors. – An impressively unhinged rant (accompanied by lots of images) against today’s gentler cartoons.  Lots of references to Simpsons (sadly there is one image from the Zombie Simpsons era), and only a little bit racist.  Personally, I don’t hate these shows that much – except for Dora the Explorer.  You can get high and watch Teletubbies and be pretty entertained, but Dora should not be watched by anyone over the age of two.  I’m serious about that, it’s actually too juvenile for three year olds. 

American citizens are the mob from The Simpsons, example 25,367 – The quote here is slightly off, but I’m still calling this excellent usage because he’s quoting tv.com, and they’ve got it wrong.  Here it is from tv.com:

Crowd: Down with taxes! Down with taxes!
Mayor Quimby: Are these morons getting dumber or just louder?
Aide: Dumber, sir. They won’t give up the bear patrol, but they won’t pay the tax for it either.

It should read:

Crowd: Down with taxes! Down with taxes! Down with taxes!
Helen Lovejoy: Won’t you think of the children?
Mayor Quimby: Are these morons getting dumber or just louder?
Aide: Dumber, sir.  They won’t give up the bear patrol, but they won’t pay taxes for it either.

Nit, picked.

Courtney Love: Behind the Music – The restart of Behind the Music did Courtney Love recently and Alyx at Feminist Music Geek goes into all the details.  I had no idea Hole had that many albums, shows what I know.  Here’s the Simpsons part:

I found including footage of Love hanging out with Sonic Youth noteworthy, as there were no interviews with band members. Kim Gordon’s insights would be especially useful, as she co-produced Hole’s caustic debut Pretty On the Inside. However, Gordon believes Cobain was murdered, and veiled references to Love’s potentially amoral quest for celebrity in songs like “Becuz” suggest that no love is lost. I remember hearing in the commentary track for The Simpsons‘ “Homerpalooza” episode that Love was originally cast in the episode, but one unnamed act who was in the episode refused to participate if she was involved. I can’t help but think it’s them.

I guess Sonic Youth did more than just steal shit from Peter Frampton’s cooler. 

It’s back! – The first of our three Futurama fans who don’t like Zombie Simpsons:

It was easy to be fearful that Futurama would have come back with the quality of a Simpsons episode from the last decade. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t a little worried even after the movies gave hope. But somehow, Futrama kept things awesome and it all just felt right.

TV Wasteland: Bite My Shiny Metal Butt – More:

Futurama hasn’t taken anything for granted; it fought for its spot in the TV sun and while it hasn’t always been perfect, one at least gets the impression that its creators are laboring to entertain us. The Simpsons, on the other hand, let success go to its head a long time ago. After Brad Bird left the show in the middle of its 9th season, it underwent a slow, steady decline into utter irrelevance, embodying the same lazy clichés it once skewered with such efficiency. It’s a bloated whale looking for a beach–a living tragedy for those of us who adored it in its heyday–and whatever relevance it once possessed has been squandered by decades of creative neglect.

Futurama is BACK! – And finally (though I thought Family Guy only got canned once):

With the premiere of the new season now over and fans around the globe rejoicing in the Matt Groening created masterpiece’s return, I am left, still in awe at the fact that Fox made one of the worst decisions in the history of TV (Ok, they have made WAAAAY more than one). Fox, you SUCK! I really cannot stand the fact that you can keep a piece of shit like “The Simpsons” on air yet have cancelled Family Guy twice and Futurama years ago. At least they gave King Of The Hill a fair run/final episode.

Fuck you Fox.

Well done, all around.

25
Jun
10

Quote of the Day

“I hear reading!” – Principal Seymour Skinner

24
Jun
10

Crazy Noises: Simpson Tide

Simpson Tide3

“I was on PT 109 with John F. Kennedy.  I was the first to discover his terrible secret.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson
“Ich bin ein Berliner.” – John F. Kennedy
“He’s a Nazi!  Get him!” – Abraham Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “Blaxploitation”).

Today’s episode is 919 “Simpson Tide”, 917 “Lisa the Simpson” was yesterday.

Charlie Sweatpants: "Simpson Tide" is 50% gold, 50% shit, but the shit is so black and stinky that I never watch the gold parts. There, I said it.

No, not black, green. That awful "what did I eat?" color.

Dave: Of the two we’re bitching about this week, this is clearly the weaker one.

Charlie Sweatpants: There are long parts of this episode that would not be out of place in Season 12+, and I hate them so very, very much.

Dave: Though to my point earlier, more watchable than I remembered.

Mad Jon: Meh, fair enough. There is definitely too much shit here. I do like the beginning. Probably my favorite part.

Charlie Sweatpants: Definitely.

Dave: It starts off strong.

Mad Jon: Pretty Classic Homer, wakes up from a nap, decides he’s earned a coffee break.

Charlie Sweatpants: Until they get to the submarine this one is amongst the top of 9, then they get to the submarine and it all goes to hell.

Dave: The intro wouldn’t be out of place in a classic episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it’s a little slower than "Dawn of Man", but it’s in the same ballpark.

Mad Jon: I like the scene in the recruiting office too, not as much though,

  Yes, Dawn of Man comparison is apt.

Charlie Sweatpants: But the recruiting video is great.

Mad Jon: Also true.

Charlie Sweatpants: And the Blaxploitation movies are hilarious.

Dave: Oooh, funky.

Charlie Sweatpants: Of course, two of them are real, but that hardly makes it less funny. [Ed Note: That would be Blacula and Blackenstein.]

Dave: Naturally.

Charlie Sweatpants: The first warning of danger here is that Moe, Barney and Apu join too.

Mad Jon: Most assuredly a loud, red, flaming alarm.

Charlie Sweatpants: The "Deer Hunter" scene is funny as hell, but it was a forerunner of just how boring the plot was to get.

I don’t have a problem with Homer getting into adventures in theory, but this is just noxious.

It’s one insane leap of story-breaking logic after another, and the horns of suspense are everywhere.

Mad Jon: The fact that all of those guys, after 1 week, understand how to operate in various roles on the sub is particularly angering.

Charlie Sweatpants: Or that Homer is left in charge. That’s just lazy. Admiral Baby made more sense.

Dave: Ha.

Mad Jon: Admiral Baby makes me laugh.

At least more than most of this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: This just keeps going on! Enemy submarine! Pinhole leak! Surrounded by battleships!

Dave: Sparkle sparkle!

Mad Jon: The endless use of "it’s my first day"

Charlie Sweatpants: And all of them are played for action/suspense.

Mad Jon: And the recycled Nu-cu-lur joke that went on for 20 seconds.

Charlie Sweatpants: Most of the drill instructor stuff falls flat.

I get that they’re making fun of Hollywood drill instructors (Trademark 1987 R.Lee Ermey), but they have nothing to do with anything.

Dave: The stupid bodyguard song, ugh.

Charlie Sweatpants: And they’re not funny. It’s Homer acting invincibly.

  I hate that.

Pretty much the only thing that doesn’t suck in the second half of this one is the whole Soviet Union thing. "Must crush Capitalism" is grand. But it’s not enough.

The rest is just blindingly bad and boring.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah the Russia into the USSR is really funny. Kind of drags on, but ends with Lenin which is worth the wate.

  Wait.*

Dave: Is the answer more Lenin, less Homer?

Mad Jon: Apparently I now spell phonetically when I’ve been drinking.

Charlie Sweatpants: The answer is less "action".

Mad Jon: Well, nowadays I would be happy to have 8-9 seconds of Homer per episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: It also kinda bugs me that Homer gets fired and it’s not a big deal.

Homer’s left the plant before, but he finds a way back. This time you get the feeling that they’re just working from their template.

Mad Jon: Ah yes, but this breaks us down for the fact that in the next 10 seasons he spends approximately 10 minutes at work.

And 9 of those are in season 10.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much.

They made a joke about it in 11 or 12. It didn’t help.

  Or maybe that’s 10. I forget.

Mad Jon: Something along the lines of "the timing’s good, I just got fired again."

But I couldn’t tell you what plot line that is from…

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s not the one I was thinking of.

I looked it up, it’s from the one where Maude dies: http://www.snpp.com/episodes/BABF10.

Mad Jon: Well, I’m not surprised there are multiples.

Charlie Sweatpants: It didn’t matter as much in "You Only Move Twice", but even at the time it felt downhill.

Dave: Did it?

That’s a pretty good episode in my book.

Charlie Sweatpants: A little, but this one kinda confirmed it.

Dave: Well, I’m not going to damn the former because of the latter.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not at all.

  "You Only Move Twice" is as good as Season 8 gets, there’s a reason we didn’t do a Crazy Noises on it. This one is much, much worse. They’re not even in the same conversation, and it’s with this one that I really began getting the feeling that they were phoning it in.

That one was a good idea that had Homer in it, this one was "Hey, we haven’t made him a sea captain yet!".

  If that makes sense.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I can see that, although I never really have taken much time to sort out when I thought they started phoning it in. Not that I at all disagree with you.

Dave: Yeah, the inflection point is less clear in my book, but your point is well taken.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else? Thinking about this episode is making me cranky.

Mad Jon: A just feeling my lord.

Charlie Sweatpants: What have you been watching lately?

Mad Jon: Nothing. It’s summer.

24
Jun
10

Quote of the Day

“The common box kite was originally used as a means of drying wet string.” – Martin Prince

23
Jun
10

Crazy Noises: Lisa the Simpson

Lisa the Simpson2

“Me and Frostillicus go back a long ways, I used to share a bathroom with Frostillicus.  In fact, I got a real funny story about that, actually it’s not so much funny as it is long.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “Frostillicus”).

Today’s episode is 917 “Lisa the Simpson”, 919 “Simpson Tide” will be up tomorrow.

Charlie Sweatpants: Which one do we want to start with: the submarine or the dumbening?

Mad Jon: Dumbening to starts off please

Dave: Good, that’s still fresh in my memory.

Just finished it 10 minutes ago.

Charlie Sweatpants: In my humble opinion, this one is near the top of 9.

Mad Jon: I kind of agree

Dave: Let me backpedal a bit from my statement a couple weeks ago about much of 9 being unwatchable. This was far more pleasant than I remembered.

Charlie Sweatpants: It has a few small problems, but they’re awfully minor.

Damn it, we’re agreeing again.

"Get Rich or Die Bloggin’" by that White People guy says we have to disagree.

Mad Jon: I think there is plenty of good stuff, and even the wacky Homer stuff is pretty tame. Also the wacky stuff actually figures into the plot.

Charlie Sweatpants: But it’s more stupid than wacky.

Dave: Lisa’s proselytizing at the end was about the only thing I really didn’t care for

Charlie Sweatpants: What part?

Dave: And even that was mild by modern Zombie Simpsons standards

Mad Jon: My biggest problem is the beginning

Dave: The shit about loving your brain.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, but that was okay because a) it was in character and, more importantly, b) it used both ends of the Proposition 305 joke. And the Proposition 305 joke is fantastic.

Dave: Indeed it is.

Mad Jon: Moochin’ war widows

Dave: I kinda liked Ralph’s "But you’re suffering" line too. I use that more often than I realize

Charlie Sweatpants: The biggest gripe I have with this one is the soup skin thing.

Mad Jon: Explain

Charlie Sweatpants: Much as I like to not harp on inter-episode continuity, Homer’s line in "Bart Gets an F" about hating "that icky soup skin" is funnier than Homer scarfing it down. They’re contradictory, but what really gets me is that it feels like a more Jerkass/Xtreme Homer thing to do.

Dave: Yeah, okay. Didn’t even think about that.

Charlie Sweatpants: It just feels like I’m watching the death of a character I love, and I don’t like that.

Mad Jon: I can see that.

But that seems to be a general complaint we have about these mid series seasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, but this is really specific.

Jerkass Homer is remarkably absent from this one.

For the most part.

Mad Jon: I just think it plays into the episode.

If Lisa wasn’t worried about losing her brain, his actions would be jerkass.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ll disagree in most instances.

Mad Jon: Do that then.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, take the game where they crash into each other with pots on their heads. That’s a bit jerkass, I’ll grant, but only a bit and it ends quickly.

They move right on, but they imply that it goes on longer by having Homer note that the score is 22-16.

Mad Jon: So the candy bars on the ground don’t fit?

Charlie Sweatpants:  The candy bars thing goes on a beat too long, you’re right about that.

Dave: Eh, we’re a pedantic Simpsons blog, but even that’s a bit much for me.

Charlie Sweatpants: Huh?

Dave: The implication that it goes on longer.

Mad Jon: I agree, shallow AND pedantic.

Dave: I’m okay with that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, it’s a funny idea, but it stretches out way too long before getting to Lisa’s hilarious vision of her dumb future with Ralph.

Mad Jon: That was very funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: I love that her TV is set up sideways.

Mad Jon: But what happens when the buildings say no more?

Charlie Sweatpants: But the candy bar thing (and Lisa’s decision) going on longer than they need to are small complaints.

Mad Jon: I agree

Dave: Yep, tiny.

Mad Jon: And as I said I feel they fit in with the plot.

So’s I’m ok with it.

Charlie Sweatpants: This one has a ton of good stuff, from the extended Simpson clan, the desperate jazz musician, Troy McClure’s DNA video.

Mad Jon: The DNA video is great.

I really don’t have any valid criticisms for this one. It’s not quite as good as my favorite episodes, but I’m not bored either.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the B-plot isn’t as good.

It’s not bad, but it’s not up to par with the rest of the episode.

Mad Jon: I don’t mind it, it was kind of mindless and random, but I like the oddities Apu sets up and the whole plot is worth a few chuckles. It’s still Season 9 after all.

Dave: It’s not up to par with the rest of the episode, but it’s perfectly watchable.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, what I appreciate about it is that, unlike the next one, it has only one weird leap of logic: Jasper gets frozen. They establish that and move on instead of layering them one after another.

Mad Jon: Moon Pie… What a time to be alive

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m partial to "Time has ravaged your once youthful looks".

Mad Jon: I like how Jasper asks for the Time Traveler Discount at the Nude-E-Mart

Dave: "Come on in!"

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, if we’re going to close with some good quotes, I love Grandpa in this one. The haircut is good, but his description of life with Frostillicus "Actually it’s not so much funny as it is long" is great.

Mad Jon: That is a very good one on which to go out.

Charlie Sweatpants: But the champ of the episode is "You have to listen to the notes she’s not playing", "I can do that at home". I like jazz, but pretentious jazz defenders, some of whom I’ve met and who can be unbelievably un-self-aware, deserve that.

That is a highly usable quote.

And I love the little chat Lisa has with the musician. That Lisa takes inspiration from a shop worn sales pitch really makes the ending.

"Damn, that felt like a sale."

And on that note of cynical storytelling, shall we move on?

23
Jun
10

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror II4

“It has the power to grant wishes to its owner.” – Merchant
“Oh yeah, how much?” – Homer Simpson
“Sir, I must strongly advise you to not purchase this.  Behind every wish lurks grave misfortune.  I, myself, was once president of Algeria.” – Merchant




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