Archive for October, 2011

31
Oct
11

And the Children Were Silent

Chalkboard - Treehouse of Horror XXII

“That doll is evil, I tells ya.  Evil!  Evil!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
Grampa, you said that about all the presents.” – Marge Simpson
I just want attention.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

I happened to find myself at my brother’s house yesterday, keeping an eye on three of his kids, two nephews (13 and 11) and a niece (8).  Though they’re well aware that the new episodes are subpar, they wanted to watch the new Zombie Simpsons.  When Homer farted for the first time my niece got a goofy grin on her face, but the boys only looked up from their laptops intermittently.  Not a single one of them laughed out loud during the entire episode, and when it was done my niece said, and I quote, “That wasn’t very good.”  Allow me to agree with the eight-year-old.

Of the various crimes against comedy that went into those four segments, the farting was the most tiresome, but the entire episode was an exercise in stretching weak jokes and weaker ideas to fill that unforgiving time requirement.  The premise of the opening segment is Homer getting trapped a la 127 Hours, but even though that whole thing was supposed to be an introduction, it took nearly two minutes just to get Homer out into the boonies.  Once he was there they dragged it out even more by having him chew off a limb three (3) times.  The second segment had such a weak premise that it couldn’t make it through even its limited runtime without a classic Zombie Simpsons swerve, having Homer suddenly become Spiderman.  The Dexter thing suffered a similar fate as it ran out of steam and needed divine intervention to make it to the commercial break.  The Avatar segment, easily the longest, clocking in at nearly eight minutes, spent more than a quarter of its runtime on the goofy battle/action/whatever sequence at the end that was light on jokes, thought and satire and heavy on surprisingly boring cartoon violence.

There were a couple of lines I actually liked, notably Flanders telling the hooker to “Spend less time on your back and more time on your knees” and Chalmers’ windy but accurate “This is a delicate mission that requires utter loyalty.  I can think of no better candidate than the resentful guy in the wheelchair who has just arrived.”  But for each of those there were a dozen or more cringe inducing duds like the alien repeatedly screaming at Milhouse.  When she yelled at him for kicking the rock my instant reaction was, “I wonder how many times they’re going to repeat this.”  The answer was three.

All in all, this was about what to expect from Zombie Simpsons in a Halloween episode.  Turned loose with no limits on their creativity, they hash together a few tepid pop culture references and call it a day.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they are the worst ever for a Halloween episode.  Last night’s unworthy successor was silently endured by just 8.01 million viewers.  That’s below last year’s 8.20, which was itself a record low for Treehouse of Horror.  The Halloween episode is often one of the strongest numbers of the year, and if that’s the best Season 23 has to offer then it’s going to plummet to unheard of depths by the end of the season.

31
Oct
11

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror II6

“Before last year’s Halloween show, I warned you not to let your children watch, but you did anyway.  Well, this year’s episode is even worse.  It’s scarier and more violent, and I think they snuck in some bad language too.” – Marge Simpson

Happy 20th anniversary to “Treehouse of Horror II”!  Original airdate 31 October 1991.

30
Oct
11

Sunday Preview: Treehouse of Horror XXII

zombietreehouse

Image from here, photoshop by Dave.

Well, that was a nice two weeks, but Zombie Simpsons returns tonight with another indifferent and slow witted entry in the once proud Treehouse of Horror series.  Simpsons Channel has the lackluster details:

Homer takes a dangerous dive into an isolated canyon on Candy Peak, but when a crashing boulder traps his arm, he channels Aron Ralston (guest voicing as himself) to save himself. In “The Diving Bell and Butterball,” the first of three hair-raising Halloween tales, a venomous spider bite leaves Homer paralyzed, but when Lisa discovers Homer’s ability to communicate through natural gases, he is able to express his love for Marge. The killer spells continue in “Dial D for Diddly,” when Ned Flanders, devout preacher by day, transforms into a cold-blooded vigilante by night. In the final terrifying tale, “In the Na’Vi,” Bart and Milhouse are assigned on a mission to access a sacred extract on a distant planet. They morph into the land’s indigenous one-eyed avatars, but when Bart finds love and an eternal mate abroad, he is caught in planet warfare.

For those of you scoring at home, that’s two times Homer gets paralyzed/trapped, as well as two topical segments that no one will care about by this time next week. 

30
Oct
11

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror III7

“Hey, who’s this ‘Homer’ dude?” – Captain Otto
“He’s either a fifty foot prehistoric ape, or a tourist trap concocted by the Ape Island Jaycees.  Either way, we’re going ashore.” – C.M. Burns

29
Oct
11

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror V5

“Come family, sit in the snow with Daddy and let us all bask in television’s warm, glowing warming glow.” – Homer Simpson

Happy birthday Dan Castellaneta!

28
Oct
11

Reading Digest: Marge Costume Edition

Marge in Costume

As I’m sure everyone knows, Monday is Halloween, and while there were lots and lots of previews for Sunday’s Zombie Simpsons episode, you will find none of them linked below.  Why bore yourself more than once?  Instead we have several links to Marge costumes past and present.  Sadly, the only picture is of a lame store bought one, but a quick Google Image search will net you plenty of great looking homemade ideas and tips.  In addition to that, we’ve got a Homer video game customization, a wildly overzealous copyright takedown notice, lots of usage, a kick ass home made skateboard, and a guy who agrees with us so much that he actually uses the word “zombie”. 

Enjoy.

Duff Brewery – Jaw dropping, fan made, wood burned, skateboard of Captain McAllister.  Here’s a picture from slightly farther back with a bottle opener attached.  Wow. 

by TW Collins Minimalist Lisa Simpson – The blue makes it look a bit more like Maggie to me, but the resemblance is uncanny. 

10 Sitcoms That Actually Moved Women Forward – Simpsons checks in at #9 among good company.  Unfortunately, the YouTube is from Zombie Simpsons (via).  Which leads me to . . .

What’s the deal with airline food and Asian people? – . . . this article about 2 Broke Girls and where the line gets drawn between stereotype comedy that’s funny, and stereotype comedy that’s just stereotypes.  I’d like to add this sentiment to the cost of Zombie Simpsons:

Buuut, comedy isn’t just pointing and laughing. If it were, all comedy would be incredibly mean-spirited. A good chunk of comedy is laughing with the protagonists, at ourselves. “We’ve all been there.” This means that while our protagonists may get humiliated and hurt, they also get the character development, the funny lines, the big checks—while the women and black people stand off to the side, being kind of sagely and disappointing and not funny. In a comedy. Call it the Lisa Simpson Problem.

That Lisa has become a scold, set off to the side to cast disapproval, and not funny is all on Zombie Simpsons.  She didn’t used to do that, she used to do things like lose her faith in democracy, gamble on pro football, and play hockey, and it was hilarious.  Now?  Not so much. 

The Critic–The Live Action Movie – Attempting to cast a live action movie of The Critic.  There are some good choices in here, but I can’t see Gary Busey or Robert Redford as Duke Phillips.  We’d need someone who can play a megalomaniacal Southerner, did Jerry Reed have any kids that went into acting? 

Mike Argento: A burger and a shake, all in one – Excellent usage:

"We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham and a fried egg," the announcer, a woman with a voice soaked in sex, intoned, breathlessly. "We call it the Good Morning Burger."

That episode aired in 1994. Since then, reality has taken to beating satire into a coma.

He goes on to compare it to some new gigantic burger they have at Denny’s. 

There is no such thing as bad publicity – Bart and Martin’s competing posters for class president.

Midnight Club Los Angeles Homer Simpson’s Car – A YouTube video of a rather impressive Homer customized car for Midnight Club: Los Angeles. 

Simpsons – A picture of a Marge Halloween costume that is sadly of the “sexy X” variety rather than the “homemade and cool” variety.  That looks more like a bustier than a dress.  (Also, thanks for the link!) 

Trick or treat – Aww, (future) family togetherness:

And then there were other times when I was one of the few weirdos dressed up on the 31st of October. Like 17 years ago when I worked for a large conservative government agency and showed up at my new place of employment decked out like Madonna. With half of my eyebrows shaved off and drawn into an arch, a high Jeannie-style ponytail, and two pointy prominent cones poking through my pin-striped suit, I thought I looked good.

My boyfriend’s sister, who also worked there and was not in costume, called their mother immediately to report my attire.

The following year my future mother-in-law looked relieved when I showed up at her house trick-or-treating with her son as the less sexy Marge Simpson and Krusty the Klown.

Three-Eyed Nuclear ‘Simpsons’ Fish Caught – It’s a real three eyed fish caught (apparently) near a nuclear plant.  It’s definitely not appetizing. 

♥ Girls Get Busy ♥ | WE ♥ LISA SIMPSON zine contributors needed – This is the same thing I mentioned last Saturday, just a reminder that the deadline is next week. 

The problem with people’s problems – Nice reference:

RADIO REVIEW: THERE IS an episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa, the smart one, sees her belief in the irretrievable dim-wittedness of her family confirmed by their choice of television viewing, a reality show called When Surgery Goes Wrong . Oh, how we laughed. Little did we know that the fictional programme’s apparently outlandish subject would become a staple – nay, a triumphant highlight – of one of Ireland’s most popular radio shows.

Kane County Chronicle | Face time with Sara Harrigan – Woman on the street interview reveals this:

What was your best Halloween costume? Marge Simpson.

It’s Only a Movie: Films For All Hallow’s Eve – Some old, campy, or just plain fun Halloween viewing, including, of course, Treehouse of Horror. 

[Vídeo do dia] Abertura humana dos Simpsons – There’s a YouTube video here, but it doesn’t play.  It’s been taken down by the dimwitted legal eagles at FOX.  Normally I just skip these kinds of things, but here’s the preview image:

Dastardly Copyright Infringers

Looks like a real threat to FOX’s bottom line to me.  I mean, that nine-year-old in the back has cymbals! 

Late but never forgotten. – Fan made drawing of Maggie as the spawn of Kang. 

Tax Court Refuses to Allow Man to Save Him from Himself – This is a blog by two accountants, and it features almost excellent usage:

Reaffirming my long-held belief that everything in life can be related back to The Simpsons, there’s an episode in which Homer is investigated by the IRS for tax fraud. In lieu of prosecution, Homer is told that he will “work for the IRS” to help the Service bring down Homer’s boss, Mr. Burns. Homer’s reply to the proposed arrangement?

“Sure, but can you pay me under the table?….I’ve got a little tax problem.”

Homer’s actual quote is “Okay, but could you pay me under the table? . . . I got a little tax problem.”

Floated in an Isolation Tank – A first hand account:

Have you ever seen that Simpsons episode where Home and Lisa lie in isolation tanks? When Lisa experiences a hallucination wherein she becomes the family cat and Homer believes that, when his isolation tank is reclaimed by repo men and dropped down a hill, he has also gone on a wild mind ride? I’ve done that. Floated in the isolation tank, that is, not been inadvertently repossessed.

“Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!” -Troy McClure (The Simpsons) – Freakoutville, FTW.

Die, Simpsons, Die – And finally, I get to end with someone who vehemently and epically agrees with us.  Seriously:

I say let the pulvarized zombie horse keel over and die instead of throwing it a goodbye party first.

There’s much, much more at the link, and it’s so much like my dreams it’s scary.  Highly recommended.

28
Oct
11

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror V6

“In case all that smiling didn’t cheer you up, there’s one thing that never fails: a nice glass of warm milk, a little nap, and a total frontal lobotomy.” – Ned Flanders




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