Archive for the 'Living Life to Its Fullest' Category

28
Sep
13

Season 8 Marathon: 9h:31m:19s

Homer vs. The 18th Amendment8

“Listen, rummy, I’m going to say it plain and simple: where’d you pinch the hooch?  Is some blind tiger jerking suds on the side?” – Rex Banner
“Yes?” – Barney Gumble

Good morning and welcome to the Season 8 Simpsons-Beer Marathon.  Thanks to everyone who voted, because I do love me some Season 8 and this is going to be a lot of fun.  As with previous marathons, I’ll be pausing or reversing a little to get a quote right or take a screen grab, but I won’t be touching the fast-forward button, even for credits and openings.  This is also the first time I’ve done this since the demise of my beloved old laptop, so we’ll see if this new fangled fancy one (Snowball II) is up to the task of its predecessor. 

The comment section is open and the plan is to put a few things on Twitter as well (the kids seem to like that), but I’ll be busy and drunk, so don’t be miffed when I don’t respond with anything but further updates.  And so, acknowledging that an episode about excessive drunkenness is waiting for me eighteen beers ahead at around 3pm, let’s get going.

1. Treehouse of Horror VII

  • Treehouse of Horror VII7
  • I would read Homer’s autobiography.
  • Gotta love the misdirection of them hiding in the closet instead of the vases.
  • “So we did the only humane thing.”  “We chained Hugo up in the attic like an animal and fed him a bucket of fish heads once a week.”  “It saved our marriage!”
  • It’s the second smack on the head that really makes the pigeon-rat.
  • The narrative economy of the Halloween episodes is amazing.  The Hugo segment has time for a full backstory and a twist ending, and it doesn’t get in the way of the jokes.
  • “Mold! That’s science fair paydirt.”  Yup. 
  • Smith’s grumbling delivery about the waffle iron being “in the shop forever” is why she’s so good.  It’s sincere and silly all at the same time.
  • The animation when the ships fly out and attack Bart is great, especially that one that flies through his ears.
  • He lives in the Clark building.  Heh.
  • The tiny, super brief and clever references, like the woman with her baby as the little people run from Bart or the way the alien claw behaves like one of those crappy games when it picks Homer up, are what we won’t be getting next Sunday with Zombie Simpsons.
  • “Oh my God, space aliens!  Don’t eat me!  I have a wife and kids, eat them!” – Homer Simpson
  • Phil Hartman’s Clinton is the best Presidential imitation that ever came out of SNL, including Ferrell’s Bush the Younger and Carvey’s Bush the Elder.
  • That’s right, the DNC rides around in a cargo van, what of it?
  • Only The Simpsons could have a campaign satire where the sitting President and his challenger both show their butts, right before being killed.

2. You Only Move Twice

  • You don’t need me to tell you how great this episode is, but what I maybe love most about it is the simplicity of the concept.  The entire thing, right from the start with the job offer and benefits, is predicted on a Bond villain who cares about his henchmen.  That’s it.  If there’s one thing that unifies all Bond villains it is a complete disregard for their underlings, so they came up with a perfectly plausible Bond villain and made him the most employee friendly boss ever.  The word “genius” gets used way too much these days, but that is stone cold genius. 
  • The Simpson family: early pioneers of jingle mail.
  • Never before has the enormity and majesty of Redwoods been described so poetically. 
  • Other Simpson innovations: robot vacuum cleaner.
  • And even though Scorpio is the best boss ever: he’s still a jerk who doesn’t want you to call him the boss. 
  • “Matter of fact, I didn’t even give you my coat!”
  • You Only Move Twice11 
  • Albert Brooks is just amazing here.  Everything he says is quotable.  (And his reprise of this role was – by far – the best thing about the movie.)
  • Anyone besides me ever notice the slight nasal note to Bart’s voice when he talks about cursive?  Did he have the allergies in an earlier draft of the script or something?
  • Oh, the kids in the Leg Up Program.
  • I use “case of the sposedas” all the time.
  • Someday I want to open a hammock store called Put Your Butt There.
  • Nobody every says Italy.
  • The animation for Lisa’s allergies and the chipmunk is just phenomenal.
  • I don’t remember precisely, but I laughed so hard I may have peed a little when Homer tackles Bund and they do what no Bond villain ever does and just shoot him. 
  • Kill it with fire!
  • And, because this episode wasn’t awesome enough already, we get the song at the end.

3. The Homer They Fall

  • Weren’t there three Indians last year?
  • “A fat, sarcastic Star Trek fan, you must be a devil with the ladies.”  And you know they know their Trek because Comic Book Guy calls it “illogical”. 
  • The Homer They Fall5 
  • I’m gonna regret it around 5pm when I’m courting a genuinely unhealthy BAC, but so far I’m glad you guys made me include this one.  I’m also gonna regret it during the fight at the end, but the first 2/3 of this one are fantastic.
  • “That’s what we get for living in a state founded by circus freaks.”
  • It’s not just a surgical 2×4, it’s a sterile surgical 2×4.
  • All hobos must have bindles, it is Simpsons law.
  • Paul Winfield’s Don King take has everything: gibberish, fake dignity, completely amoral deal making. 
  • Tasteful Attire Prohibited
  • The fake tension at the end drags this out and makes it feel so much longer than it is.  It just keeps going . . . and then there’s the oddity of Moe with the fan . . . and then everyone they just left is waiting for them outside.  As many great things as this episode has, the end is a terrible preview of Zombie Simpsons.
  • “Due to popular demand, we will forego our national anthem.”

4. Burns, Baby Burns

  • Just like the previous one, the first two acts here are very solid before everything goes to hell.  This was about when people I knew, both kids and adults, really started to bitch about the decline in quality.
  • Homer’s brain leaving Flanders’ cider lecture is perfect, right up to and including his nodding and collapse.
  • Burns, Baby Burns3 
  • This episode did give us “keen on Jesus”, though, and for that I am very grateful.
  • Dangerfield at the snooty cotillion (or whatever) is his best part here.  Very Caddyshack
  • Gotta love the deadpan from the Yale guy on “Semper Fudge”.  All credit to Azaria.
  • I really need a “Gone Drinkin” sign.
  • No regard or esteem.
  • Oh, shit, here we go with the phony kidnapping.
  • The little points, like Too Many Grandmas, Brockman in the chopper, and the theoretical deaths of Homer are good, but this and the heavyweight fight are the kind of filler with which we’ve become all too familiar.
  • “It doesn’t have to make sense.” It used to.

5. Bart After Dark

  • Ah, the V-chip.  It was stupid at the time and is even stupider in hindsight.
  • More great delivery from Smith, “Playing on my peach tree, Mom!”
  • “Cat in the furnace.”  “You know, I think I’ll take Maggie.”
  • I would pay to see the World Series of Bumper Cars, and I would pay a lot to see it in a European ballroom.
  • And speaking of great deliveries: Cartwright as Bart laughs at his impending death.
  • “Are you wearing a grocery bag?” “I have misplaced my pants.”
  • Bart After Dark1 
  • Yet more great delivery, that little yip Castellaneta does when Grampa sees Bart as he walks in and turns around. 
  • “Not pictured, Mrs. Eisenhower.”
  • Ha, never noticed Swartzwelder in the audience when Homer shows up at the, uh, back house before.
  • Among the many, many reasons it sucked when they killed Maude: her, Flanders and the Lovejoys were great as the resident squares (here as the Citizens Committee on Moral Hygiene).
  • Eugene and Rusty are just perfect.
  • Even with his eyes blacked out, it’s great how sad and dejected Smithers is in that photo of him leaving. 
  • And then Grampa and Jasper vote because it isn’t the bordello.  It’s the little things.
  • There’s no way to name a best song from The Simpsons (or even in Season 8), but The Spring in Springfield is one for the ages.  It’s got all the characters in character and it’s funny as hell to boot.

6. A Milhouse Divided

  • Homer is reading Hot Lotto Picks magazine.  This show hated many things, but it really hated the lottery.  (And with good cause!)
  • If I could make .gifs easily while I’m drinking and watching TV, I would make one of Maggie in the non-stick wok.
  • “The only thing I asked you to do for this party was put on clothes, and you didn’t do it.”
  • A Milhouse Divided12 
  • Table Time and Allied Biscuit!  I’d love to know what other things they had before they settled on those. 
  • Casa Nova: A Transitional Place for Singles
  • “I don’t recall saying good luck.”
  • Kirk sets the bar for pathetic divorcees.  The apartment (race car bed included), the clothes (with gold chain), and Starla, it’s a masterpiece of male failure.
  • Yeardley Smith has a lot of great Lisa deliveries, but her deadpan, as in “buns in the cabinet”, is maybe the one with the most depth.  She’s an 8-year-old who has seen it all, and it wouldn’t work without that mix of resignation, contempt and pity.
  • This episode is nigh flawless, but you can already see the absence of Doris Grau with the clerk who files Homer for divorce.  It’s funny, but it’s not Grau. 
  • “Poorness is underlined.”
  • Man there are a lot of good songs in this season.  There’s already been “Spring in Springfield”, now we get “Can I Borrow a Feeling” and we’re still a ways away from the Shary Bobbins episode.

7. Lisa’s Date with Density

  • Great reversal with Kearney yelling at those punk school officials messing with his car.
  • “A Jolly Rancher is not a sprinkle, sir.  Perhaps in Shangri-la they are, but not here!”
  • Lisa's Date with Density12 
  • Jimbo has a chain mace in his locker.
  • “But you’re going to annoy thousands of people just to make a few measly dollars.” – Replace thousands with millions and you’ve got Zombie Simpsons.
  • Nobody likes Milhouse!
  • Milhouse has always been pathetic, but he really takes it to a new level here.  Especially once they pack his ears with gauze.
  • My high school girlfriend once told me how she had to cringe her way through the part where Lisa tries to impress Nelson with the cat.  There really is nothing quite as deeply horrifying as noob romantic fumblings.
  • Nuke the Whales is funny, the look on the whales faces is funnier.
  • “You kissed a girl!” “That is so gay!” – As usual, the show was ahead of the times.
  • I gotta start using “assbutt” more often.
  • That is exactly the kind of dog Milhouse would have.

8. Hurricane Neddy

  • Fire?  Earthquake?  Hippies?
  • Attention to detail: when the National Guard guy gets Grampa to evacuate the nursing home, he does a perfect heel turn.
  • Topwise!  Always topwise.
  • Gotta love not only a town that has a harpsichord store, but one that is destroyed in a hurricane.
  • If you’re going to have a business teetering precariously on top of a mountain, it might as well be a bowling alley.
  • Most textual Biblical scholars do believe that Job was right handed.
  • Short answer, long answer.
  • “You ugly, hate filled man!” “Hey, hey, I may be ugly and hate filled but I, um, . . . what was the third things you said?”
  • Hurricane Neddy10 
  • “Most of those books haven’t been discredited yet!”
  • Poor Jay Sherman.  Got his show cancelled and ended up at Calmwood.
  • “I engaged in intercourse with your spouse or significant other . . . now that’s psychiatry!”
  • The little mono-blink from Flanders at the end is a nice touch.

9. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)

  • I have completely copied Marge’s pronunciation of oregano.
  • Jungle primeval.
  • Homer’s insanity pepper trip is one of the most gorgeous things they ever put pen to paper for. 
  • There should be a .gif of the tortoise nodding in the dictionary next to “smug”.
  • If you’re gonna have a drug induced space coyote, it couldn’t be anyone but Johnny Cash, a man who knew from drugs and had a voice for the ages. 
  • “And I bet that crazy pyramid was just the pro shop.”
  • El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer11
  • So I says to Mabel, I says . . .
  • “I’m a lonely insignificant speck on a half bit planet orbited by a cold, indifferent sun.”
  • Aye, the hot pants.

10. The Springfield Files

  • No one is going to catch Takei for Trek Veteran Who Best Understands 21st Century Pop Culture, but Nimoy is uncontested in second place. 
  • Hey, I’m on the same beer number that Homer was! 
  • Let’s all take a moment to enjoy Mulder’s man-thong ID photo.
  • “His jiggling is almost hypnotic.” “Yes, it’s like a lava lamp.”
  • The Springfield Files12 
  • Tibetan numerologists of Appalachia!
  • “Now, son, you don’t want to drink beer.  That’s for daddies and kids with fake IDs.”
  • For those of you too young to remember some of the lowlights of Nimoy’s TV career, this was a thing.  TV was really awful back then.  This shit was rerun on cable well into the 1990s.
  • The green glow, both on Burns and on the rest of them looks great. 

11. The Twisted World of Marge Simpson

  • When are the pancakes coming in the mail?
  • That Moon money is mine!
  • “Scientists say 40% of America’s pictures are hanging crooked.”
  • Gotta love the Travolta painting behind Disco Stu, who is doing his people’s native dance.
  • I don’t know if it’s real words or just mumbling, but the chef’s bitching as the franchise lady closes the window on him is hilarious.
  • Can’t beat Jack Lemmon’s disgusted but professional delivery on “check for millipedes”. 
  • More easy usage: “shoulda but didna”.
  • “And here come the pretzels!”
  • “A barrage of pretzels now knocking Whitey unconscious.”
  • The Twisted World of Marge Simpson9 
  • Only Fat Tony’s mob would leave the Girl Scouts out at the county line.
  • What husband wouldn’t reach out to violent mobsters?
  • Mantegna’s pretzel money speech also has it all: threats of violence, domestic tension, and good, old fashioned extortion.  Also: “C’mere you little squirt.”
  • Forgiveness please.

12. Mountain of Madness

  • Not only does Homer barricade the door so no one else can get out, but later all the windows are broken, the wall is smashed, and yet Homer’s blocked door is intact.
  • All the points to Azaria for the park ranger.  It’s Adam West-y when he says “Budget cutbacks have forced us to eliminate anything the least bit entertaining.”
  • “If you can take advantage of a situation in some way, it’s your duty as an American to do it.”
  • Marge has such wonderfully insane earmuffs.
  • “From the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn’t enjoy a good sit?” – Shearer’s so good at Burns that you almost don’t notice it because the excellence is utterly consistent. 
  • Humor the children.  Ouch.
  • “Something’s wrong with it’s brakes.”
  • Mountain of Madness3 
  • No one ever learns anything about teamwork, which is why that glum, collective “Yes” when Burns asks is so good.

13. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious

  • Not only are Carl and Apu Confederates in the re-enactment society, but Barney(!) is Abe.  Awesome.
  • “I hide a bottle of Schnapps in the baby’s crib.”
  • Is it a minor animation goof on “anyone but him” in the first song where Bart and Lisa start pointing before they get to that line, or am I just missing something?
  • Text can’t do it justice; Willie’s Flashdance is beyond description.
  • I watched a documentary about the Sherman brothers, who composed many of the classic Disney songs, and they used to play “Feed the Birds” for Walt Disney all the time.  He’d just walk into their office and ask them to “play the song”.  The Simpson version may be the most touching thing about destructive alcoholism ever put to music.
  • Between the animation and Maggie Roswell, original creation Shary Bobbins is one of the best parodies ever.
  • If you’re going to end a satire of a movie about magic and fun competing in a technological age, why not have the hero sucked into an airplane engine and diced into confetti? 

14. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

  • This episode may be about crappy Itchy & Scratchy, but it does have some great I&S moments.  Pouring gasoline into the disemboweled intestines of a cat dangling over an active volcano, case in point.
  • Focus groups: significant to idiots.
  • “Please refrain from tasting the knob.”  Dirty.
  • To this day I try never to use the word ‘paradigm’.
  • Homer’s tryout for Poochie is a tour-de-force from Castellaneta. 
  • “Very few cartoons are broadcast live.  It’s a terrible strain on the animator’s wrist.”
  • “Rest assured that I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.”
  •  The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show8
  • Alex Rocco doesn’t even get a line when he gets frustrated that the actors won’t read Poochie’s death line, but his wretched wails of frustration say plenty. 
  • The sworn affidavit is on a scroll!
  • So long, Roy.
  • What else is on?

15. Homer’s Phobia

  • Bart would have the presence of mind to put a legal disclaimer on the back of a ticket for a lottery he’s running out of a dryer.
  • John Waters!  John Waters!  John Waters!
  • John is a ho-mo-sexual!
  • “I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming!”
  • Homer's Enemy12 
  • Castellaneta’s delivery on “I don’t know” at The Anvil should be in the Smithsonian or something.
  • “Just my bones and organs.”
  • Keep reaching for that rainbow!

16. Brother from Another Series

  • “He explained his reasons for trying to kill us all, and I assure you: they were perfectly sane.”
  • Brother From Another Series7 
  • Nice dissolve from Cecil’s flashback back to his face at dinner with his brother.
  • Why The Simpsons is The Simpsons: there’s a great joke about a dead dog (the old smell hound).  Dead dogs are comedy poison, and they pulled it off.
  • Nice animation/music/directing when Bob and the kids slide into the grate.
  • Brother From Another Series8 
  • “I think I wet my bed.”

17. My Sister, My Sitter

  • Allied tradespeople.  Heh.
  • They make no sense out of context, but both Quimby’s “Stop you idiot” and Homer’s “I was once like you” fit perfectly where they are.
  • “Hey, this isn’t faux dive, this is a dive.” “You’re a long way from home, yuppie boy.  I’ll start a tab.”
  • My Sister, My Sitter10 
  • Hey look, it’s the NASA guy who doesn’t have to give Lisa the amnesia shot for seeing a UFO.
  • Everyone in the waiting room at the ghetto clinic is great: Snake with his lies, Smithers with his shame, and, of course, the nurse who just doesn’t care.
  • The end of this episode is way too serious, but there is Maggie’s innocent wave when the adults finally discover Lisa.
  • And we end on the perpetual desperation of parents for babysitting, because if there’s one thing that’s worth risking your children for, it’s getting away from them.

18. Homer vs. the 18th Amendment

  • Cheapskates.
  • “Everybody, everybody get naked!  Come on, don’t be stuck up, it’s going to be great!”
  • “Ladies, please, all our Founding Fathers, astronauts, and World Series heroes have been either drunk or on cocaine.”
  • It’s so great that Bernice is a drunk and Hibbert doesn’t even know.  I wonder if Phylicia Rashad drank.
  • Dave Thomas, who did the voice for Rex Banner, doesn’t get near enough credit.  He was also on Oakley and Weinstein’s Mission Hill and he was Doug McKenzie.  Thanks again, Canada.
  • I’d like a bathtub mint julep.
  • “Go to your room, Lisa!” – Homer, Marge & Bart Simpson
  • “Hey, Banner, how’s it hanging?” “None of your business.”
  • It’s true, if there’s one group of people who don’t know what laughter sounds like, it’s vice squad killjoys who are against fun.
  • “On behalf of the city, I’d like to apologize and ask how long it will take for you to flood this town with booze again?”
  • Here it is: “To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems!”.
  •  Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment12

19. Grade School Confidential

  • I don’t remember Nixon, but my Dad can’t let go of “let me say this about that”.
  • “Is this how you imagined your life, Edna?” “Well, yes, but then, I was a very depressed child.”
  • What kind of total horror must it be to get puke out of a bouncy castle?  Well done, Milhouse.
  • Good lesson.
  • Nice callback to have Skinner humming Beethoven when he calls Bart to give Krabappel the note.
  • Agnes forcing Bart to look at her cake book would be bad enough on its own.  It’s so much worse because by Season 8 we all know that if there is one group for which this show has zero pity, it’s old people.
  • “Willie hears ya, Willie don’t care.”
  • Grade School Confidential10 
  • But I am a public servant and not permitted to use my own judgment in any way.
  • Sex Cauldron!
  • Long before there was the 40-year-old virgin, there was Skinner.

20. The Canine Mutiny

  • It isn’t even spoken, but “Covet House” is basically Sky Mall except with more taste and discretion.
  • You a winner, ha ha ha!  You a winner, ha ha ha!  You a winner, ha ha ha! 
  • I have won so many truth telling contests two towns over that I barely remember them all.
  • Why did Milhouse have the bowl?
  • Yup, the Taco Bell dog is among those who get shoveled into the ship’s furnace with Santa’s Little Helper.
  • Be sure: Baby Gerald not only kills butterflies, but he also blinks one eye at a time.
  • “There, there, shut up boy.”
  • The Canine Mutiny9 
  • He un-holied the holy water!
  • Cops who like weed?  Once again, The Simpsons was way ahead of the times.
  • Jammin

21. The Old Man and the Lisa

  • Are there any real questions? 
  • “We collected enough paper to save one whole tree.”
  • The Old Man and the Lisa11 
  • “And I’m sure a pro wrestler such as yourself will appreciate all the closet space, Hit Man.”
  • Yeah, those dairy cases are death traps.
  • “We’re not allowed to read newspapers, they angry up the blood.”
  • Burns multi-movie montage with Lisa is already smart as hell, and then they end it with a doorbell ding-dong that fits the music. Jebus, this show cared about the little things.
  • The local news is and always has been a vicious little creature, and they knew it when they wrote lines like Brockman taunting Burns about smelling terrible.
  • There’s such a comedy viciousness to the spikes, blades and other industrial dismemberment tools in Burns’ new plant.  Horror can be funny.
  • Code Blue

22. In Marge We Trust

  • Lousy God, should’ve made the week an hour longer.
  • “I don’t feel like going to a trash pile today.” “It’s your life.”
  • Contestant for greatest Flanders quote ever: “I’m meek, but I could probably stand to be meeker.”  And, of course, it’s better because Harry Shearer.
  • “That’s ridiculous, nobody is watching us right now.”
  • Gotta love the timid yet horrified look on the librarian’s face when Homer starts dialing.
  • “Hello Chief, let’s talk, why not?”
  • Eleutherius Nicomedia is almost wearing a Captain Picard suit.
  • Home prefecture.  I could type more, but why?
  • “Come on, kids, let’s go home.” “We are home.” “That was fast.”
  • The end of this episode is awful dumb, but it doesn’t drag like the boxing one or the Dangerfield one.  There’s some useless danger tension, but it takes less time and there’s much less of it. 
  • Also, we get Lovejoy telling the “heathen baboons” to say their prayers. 

23. Homer’s Enemy

  • In the context of this show it barely qualifies as a joke, but Brockman’s Horatio Alger enthusiasm for the doomed Grimes is really mean.
  • And then he gets shelved by Burns on his first day.
  • If you’re going to murder an otherwise sympathetic guy, you could just do it, or you can make him a real person by doing things like make him always wipe his palm on his pants before he shakes hands.  The pitch black conclusion works better that way.
  • Grimes also does the one eyed blink; they really liked that in this season.
  • Another nice callback, with Lenny talking about pencils and erasers.
  • And great rotating animation as Grimes is at his desk plotting Homer’s demise.
  • Yeah, and Homer beat their brains out.

24. The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase

  • Want to make fun of and reinforce dumb TV conventions?  The head turn on McClure at “spinoff” .
  • “Daddy, these rubber pants are hot.” “You wear ‘em until you learn, son.”
  • You want 80s cop show verisimilitude?  It’s Wiggum kicking the airboat guy into the water for no reason. 
  • This may just be my innate hatred of laughtracks talking, but the hoots, hollers and laughs of fake laughtracks like this always get me.
  • “I’ve suffered so long, why can’t I die?” – This counts as hopeful on this show.  It’s great.
  • “Daisy Daisy” from broken Grampa has to rank as one of this show’s subtler Kubrick references.
  • “As you may have guessed, it’s inhabited by the ghost of my friend’s dead father.”
  • “He’s haunted” – a nice little sotto voce joke from Moe at the end.
  • McClure’s remote sparkles before he puts on the variety show.
  • “Preppy blonde and stunning”, if you’re going to pretend to ditch Lisa, that’s how it’s gotta go.
  • “Well, I know one thing in this world that’s still pure and good.” “Christian love?” “No.  Candy!”
  • The whole Osmond thing is a nice preview of what they were going for three seasons later in “Behind the Laughter”:  Death by pop culture cheese.

25. The Secret War of Lisa Simpson

  • Not only is Wiggum incompetent, but his brakes squeak like hell because he isn’t the hero Springfield needs, but he is the one they deserve right now.
  • There are always behavior modifying drugs. 
  • I don’t know how deliberate it was, but casting the good sergeant from Platoon as the commandant and making him bang his shin on someone’s foot locker is funny as hell.
  • “A challenge I could do!”
  • “That’s more cursing than I like to hear from a cadet in peacetime.”
  • And that’s it.  You may or may not have noticed a slowdown in updates for the last few episodes, but I can assure you that it was entirely alcohol based. 

Thanks for reading, I’m gonna go take a nap.  Season 8 is wonderful, and while Zombie Simpsons lurks in many of its moments, it wasn’t there then; and Scorpio, Belle and Rex Banner can’t be any better than they are, so we win. 

25
Sep
13

Idiot to Damage Perfectly Good Liver For Your Amusement Again [Updated Thursday]

Liver Escape

“I just got a bunch of fruity Easter eggs.” – Kearney
“Eww, another liver transplant!” – Dolph
“Oh, no, not again! . . . You’re not getting away that easy, little fella.” – Barney Gumble

It’s been almost a year since the last time I sat down for an extended Simpsons-Beer marathon, and it’s about time I did so again.  Having already done every Season through 7, it’s time I got to the last two single digit Seasons: 8 and 9.  As we’ve done in the past, there is now a poll in the sidebar at right so you can vote on which season I get to watch.  Voting will be closed at 9pm Eastern (US) time on Friday.

As with previous marathons, I will watch the season from start to finish, drinking one beer per episode.  I’ll start at 8:00am Eastern time, and drunkenly finish up around 5:00pm.  (The episodes total about 8h:30m, plus pauses for typing and bathroom breaks.)  While I reserve the right to pause or reverse a little to get a screen grab or a quote, the fast forward button absolutely, positively will not be pressed.

When I did the Season 7 marathon, I didn’t include “Marge Be Not Proud” because these are supposed to be about relaxing and just enjoying the show, and I find “Marge Be Not Proud” to be far from enjoyable.  In that vein, I’ll also be skipping two episodes on Saturday, regardless of which season gets chosen.  If it’s Season 8, I’m going to pass over “The Homer They Fall” and “Burns, Baby Burns”; if it’s Season 9, I’ll excise “The Principal and the Pauper” (obviously) and “Lost Our Lisa”.

Season 25 is just four days away.  If one thing can fortify me for another year of forgettable mediocrity, it’ll be revisiting a year that was neither.

[Update 26 September 9:00pm EDT:  I’ve been taking some well justified flack in the comments for wussing out on not doing the entire season.  Having given it some thought, I can’t come up with a good counterargument, so, point taken.  Season 8’s well ahead at the moment, which means that Larry and Lucius are back on Saturday morning’s course.  I left them off because they are the only episodes in Season 8 that I rarely ever watch, but plenty of you seemed surprised by my choices, so maybe that’s just me.  Besides, I actually like both of them better than “Marge Be Not Proud”, so screw it.  And, yes, if Season 9 stages a comeback, I’ll do both Tamzarian and Risk Homer.] 

29
Sep
12

Season 7 Marathon: 25 Episodes, 25 beers, 9h:32m:18s

Homerpalooza6

“Anyway, get ready beer belly, we’re gonna show Springfield what we’re made of!” – Homer Simpson

Good morning and welcome to the seventh and final Simpsons-Beer Marathon.  Today I get to spend my whole Saturday watching Season 7, and it is going to be awesome.  As with previous marathons, I will be using the pause and reverse buttons to get a quote down or take a screen grab, but the fast-forward button is strictly verboten.  Since I was way too drunk by the end of the Season 6 marathon (I blame Dave) to comment intelligently on “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”, I’m going to start with Part 1 instead of Part 2.  And with that, let’s get going.

1. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)

  • “Ah, poor fellow, crushed by his own water bottle.”
  • I really need to start using the word “dunderpate”.
  • The whole candy box scene, where Burns remembers Maggie, Bart, and Santa’s Little Helper, is another exhibit for why this show should’ve ended not too long after this. 
  • The statues outside the animal hospital are a nice touch.
  • Great animation when Homer’s pupils contract as he realizes Burns didn’t thank him.
  • “Hey, if you guys are getting loaded off them fumes, I’m gonna have to charge you.”
  • Not sure if it counts as animation or directing, but the way Grampa falls out of the shot during the earthquake is really well done.
  • They just don’t write Burns dialogue this evil and insane anymore: “Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the Sun.”  That’s batshit crazy and completely hilarious. 
  • Heh, “blubberpot”, lotta good words in this episode. 
  • There may never be a funnier delivery of “You bastard” than the one by Old Jewish Guy at the meeting. 
  • I screwed up with my VCR when this one was first broadcast so I couldn’t rewatch it to figure out who did it (my guess was the dog), but it is always fun to see the little clues they left: Smithers pointing to the sundial, Maggie being the only one who doesn’t look away, the rolled down window on the car.  Even by the Himalayan standards of The Simpsons, this episode is crafted with outstanding care for detail. 

2. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)

  • Fantastic delivery by (I think) Azaria on “Speedway Squad, in color!”
  • Great subtle joke, the crappy hospital is the Veterans one.
  • There aren’t a lot of shows where a father can lovingly say that he considers his children potential murderers.
  • Speaking of great Azaria delivery, Dr. Colossus everybody.  “When is my lawyer coming?”
  • “And with the prime suspect cleared and found completely innocent, we must now ask ourselves: Who could possibly be as bloodthirsty as Waylon Smithers?”
  • The Tito Puente song alone was worth buying that CD.
  • The oyster guy and the guy at the condom machine are great.
  • This episode is rife with great little scenes, especially Moe and the lie detector. 
  • Only on The Simpsons can you bribe lab techs with cigarettes.
  • I haven’t seen The Fugitive in a long time, so I’m not sure how well it’s aged, but that escape scene was cool as hell in 1993. 
  • “You chose fruit, you live with fruit.”

3. Radioactive Man

  • It’s partly just alt.tv.simpsons, but this show was way ahead of the times on internet movie fans.
  • The Scoutmaster!  If you’ve never actually bothered to watch any of the Adam West Batman show, this is exactly what it was like.  It was on in reruns constantly when I was a little kid and even then I knew it was terrible. 
  • Great sign at the hospital: “Our Extra Patients Make Patient Extras”.
  • Another sign this show should’ve ended soon after this: Nelson “ha ha”ing himself in the mirror.  It’s great here, but it’s also what you do when something is starting to get played out.  This will happen again in seven hours or so when we get to “22 Short Films About Springfield”.
  • “You’re right, Lis, I can suck up to him, like the religious people suck up to God.”
  • Fantastic animation on the full power X-ray machine.
  • It’s great that the town is scamming the movie so hard that even Quimby is ashamed of it.
  • Goggles, people!
  • Also, the whole acid scene is beautifully drawn.
  • The spirograph guy is great.
  • Great guest voice by Mickey Rooney.  Every line.  He bounces back and forth between pathetic Hollywood shill and wise old  man beautifully.

4. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily

  • Homer’s monocle is a fantastic double gag.  It’s a terrible prop, one that only Homer would think makes him look rich . . . and it works! 
  • “See ya in hell, you wingless bloodsuckers!”
  • The shrieking of the lice and showing Bart’s ass for no reason other than just to do it are yet more nice touches.
  • Speaking of which: the child welfare van crushing that bike.
  • I can’t put a fresh roll of toiler paper in without thinking about “improper overhand fashion”.
  • The kids being taken from Homer and Marge is a genuinely wrenching scene, and they move it along at the perfect pace.
  • Rod and Todd aren’t just traumatized by Itchy & Scratchy, they’re actually paler. 
  • “The number you have dialed can no longer be reached from this phone.  You.  Negligent.  Monster.”
  • Brilliant character touch to have Flanders not quite be able to say “Jesus” as he goes back and forth between blasphemy and being incredulous at Bart’s answer. 
  • Lovejoy’s exasperation with Flanders never gets old.
  • Homer falling down the hill is them still knowing how to hurt him without it being overdone or stupid.
  • The Godfather musical cues during the baptism are pitch perfect.
  • Maggie may be an almost entirely silent baby, but they use her really well here by having her want to stay with the Flandersesses until she sees Marge. 

5. Bart Sells His Soul

  • Iron Butterfly sounds pretty good on an organ.  Just sayin’.
  • Milhouse’s idea of what a soul is and can do feels appropriately kid like. 
  • Great animation on the “natural light” as Hibbert and company come into Moe’s.
  • More great animation on Bart’s imagining of the giant sponge dinosaur.  It’s exactly as blocky as it should be.
  • And again on Bart’s face getting squished on the automatic door.  Man, this one has a ton of great animation.  Never noticed that before.
  • The way the Space Needle crashes into Scratchy’s eyeball always cracks me up.
  • Ditto Homer getting stuck in the stairs. 
  • “Why isn’t anybody helping?”
  • Never understood what’s with Moe’s gap tooth look in this one.  It’s not bad or anything, just kinda odd.
  • Crazy crap on the walls remains the best description of all those mid-range chain restaurants.
  • “Aw, look at all the cute little minors.” – He’ll always be a sleazy bartender.
  • Moe’s hapless attempt at a real haircut also adds to the way he’s plainly uncomfortable doing anything but handing out booze to alcoholics. 
  • Cartwright shines in this one.  Nothing really specific, but Bart goes through a lot of shit here, and she knocks it out of the park every time, whether he’s excited, scared, sad, whatever.
  • Milhouse’s grandma’s apartment is dead on perfect.
  • When did Comic Book Guy become a Red Sox fan?  He is a self absorbed douchebag, I just never noticed that before.

6. Lisa the Vegetarian

  • The sound effects at Story Town Village (the broken speaker on Mama Bear, the creaking cottage with the three little pigs, the way mother goose gets decapitated) are outstanding.
  • Lord Thistlewick Flanders.  I wish that was my XBox gamertag.
  • “You might say the extra ingredient is salt.”
  • The Independent Thought Alarm is straight genius.  As a man who went to an incompetent and authoritarian school, I will always love that joke.
  • Great work when Scratchy’s headless torso falls onto the table.
  • Scientician.
  • Lisa the Vegetarian8
  • “Go back to Russia!”
  • “It’s still good, it’s still good!” is a wonderfully useful quote.
  • Lisa admitting she’s going to marry a carrot is another perfectly kid type moment.
  • It’s a very good thing that they got through all three (at the time) surviving Beatles when the show was still awesome.  Can you imagine the shitshow it would’ve been if they’d had McCartney on in Season 14 or something?
  • “Then you must think I’m a monster.”  “Yes, indeed I do think that.”
  • Has anyone ever run the credits backwards to see if there is a lentil soup recipe there?  I can hear the odd sounds, I’ve just never tried it.

7. Treehouse of Horror VI

  • “Dude, you’re huge!”  No idea why, but that gets me each time.
  • Gotta love the malevolent glee on Lard Lad’s face when he gets the donut and then proceeds to smash stuff and kick that dog.
  • “Remember the story, we’re newlyweds on our way to Earth Capital.”
  • Skinner is great in the second segment.  He couldn’t help “monitoring” their conversation. 
  • Two spaghetti meals in one day. 
  • Skeleton Willie is awesomely creepy.
  • All the dream sequences are animated with just the right amount of shine compared to the usual.
  • Movies, teevee and such started getting crazy with computer graphics in the very early 1990s (Terminator 2 had a lot to do with it).  Most of them looked like shit immediately or very shortly thereafter.  Well done, they can still look great even years later, and this segment does exactly that.
  • There’s a wonderfully simple terror to Frink’s chalk drawing of the “doomed individual”.

8. King-Size Homer

  • Smithers and the hired goons dragging Homer out of the john is wonderful misdirection. 
  • “Hey, where’s Charlie, how’d he get out of this?”  I stayed home all day drinking beer, thank you very much.
  • Assal horizontology.
  • In the annals of Shakespeare gags that take less than one second, Much Ado About Stuffing has to be up there.
  • Is “the subway ran over my hat” a Superman joke?  I’ve never been clear on that.
  • Of all Smithers’ descriptions of Homer, “chair moistener” might be the best.
  • “Oh no, the corn, Paul Newman’s gonna have my legs broke.”
  • Castellaneta’s reading of “Flanders?” when Homer knows things are fucked it brilliant.
  • Gotta love the fear in the ice cream man when Homer hijacks his truck.
  • Burns’ Yale sweater is a nice touch.
  • Though Homer driving on the side of the cooling tower is an ill omen.

9. Mother Simpson

  • “The Profit People”
  • The quick shot of the empty hammock is perfectly funerary.
  • Glenn Close fucking rules.  That is all.
  • I inherited a lot of 60s/70s toys from my older siblings, and Homer’s room is full of them.  We had a flip open kid record player that looked exactly like the one in his room.
  • That the Super Bowl once needed support is just hilarious.
  • The Spiro Agnew clock is excellent.
  • Kenny Brockelstein.
  • Phrenology, add that to list of things I found out about because of this show.
  • “Do I know what rhetorical means?”
  • Nothing’s quite like Bart(!) reciting right wing slogans in a tie-dyed t-shirt.
  • ABBA and Wagner, hells yeah.
  • The image at the end is great, but the music is just as gutting. 

10. Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming

  • So far we’ve had Homer’s mom, Bart selling his soul, Lisa becoming a vegetarian, Burns getting shot, on and on and on, and now it’s time for a Sideshow Bob episode.  The consistent genius of this show is unbelievable. 
  • Remember when this show actually made fun of Rupert Murdoch and FOX? 
  • “dollar intensive ordinance delivery vector”
  • “Sweet Enola Gay, son!” – R. Lee Ermey is also awesome. 
  • When I used to have to watch these on syndication, the part where Bob hits the bump with the bomb always got cut off.  Thank Jebus for DVD (and ripping all the DVDs to .avi).
  • Tyrannovision.
  • Gotta love Frink in the Strangelove glasses.
  • Only Brockman and Channel 6 could lump together the end of the Soviet Union and premium ice cream price wars.
  • The static-y look of Krusty’s emergency broadcast is just right.
  • Chattering cyclops, that’s every inch as good as “vast wasteland”.
  • Krusty jumping back after he drops the scorpion takes a tiny fraction of a second.  That’s the kind of attention they put into this show.

11. The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

  • “America’s favorite non-prehistoric cartoon family.”
  • If they tried to do a montage of modern couch gags like the opening of this one, it’d take an hour and a half.
  • 138th Episode Spectacular4 
  • It’s relatively gentile satire, but Groening as a tequila swilling lunatic is a great joke.
  • The unused clips are hilarious: “I can ride a bike again!”
  • The robotic Richard Simmons, it’s a testament to how densely awesome “Burns’ Heir” is that this didn’t make it.
  • Old time video technology alert: on the alternate ending where Smithers shot Burns, you can see the VCR distortion at the bottom of the frame.
  • Hard core nudity!

12. Team Homer

  • That’s right, Lunchlady Doris is the Squeaky Voiced Teen’s mom.
  • Skinner’s ’Nam flashbacks and remembrances saw the show toeing a very fine line, and it was great.
  • Even Ether Burns is more evil than Zombie Simpsons Burns.
  • As a storytelling move, not showing Otto pick up the 7-10 split while the rest of them are cheering is brilliant.  We already know what’s going to happen, so why bother showing it?
  • Springfield Police Framers, fantastic team name.
  • “They were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.”
  • Love the one gay “Home-Wrecker”.
  • The shots where the bowling ball is right on the edge of the gutter are very well drawn.

13. Two Bad Neighbors

  • No Parcheesi Sets, Please.
  • SCUBA squishy machine repair!
  • Oh, Disco Stu, why couldn’t you have remained as a one or two off character?
  • Mrs. Glick’s old person insistence that her candy dish be used for nothing else is one of those things that seems like it came from real world old people experience.
  • Great aside joke with the guy who says “yes” to the Ayatollah.
  • We used to laugh at the Bushes, then it was less funny for awhile, and now it’s funny again.  Things are better when it’s funny.
  • “Just happy to be here among good, average people, with no particular hopes or dreams.”
  • Homer’s “my taxes paid for that horn” line is wonderfully layered.  It’s not just wrong, it’s also a stereotypically dumb complaint about anything. 
  • “And since I’d achieved all my goals as President in one term, there was no need for a second.”
  • Two Bad Neighbors6
  • “Grover Cleveland spanked me on two non-consecutive occasions.”
  • The green, CNN-Live-From-Baghdad glow to the fireworks explosion is wonderfully subtle.
  • Ah, if only Bush the Younger had stayed a cardboard cutout, not that Zombie Simpsons had anything to say about that.
  • Blowback!
  • Gerald Ford, president of football and nachos.  Fuck and yes.

14. 1Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield

  • “We can’t afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy.”
  • Sorny! 
  • The rich women are awesomely over dressed, under brained (except for Sus-an), and generally clueless.
  • “We microwaved our own soup!”
  • Tom Kite is another well used, unobtrusive, sensible, and still awesome guest voice.  “You can keep the shoes."
  • You can tell they’re paying exquisite attention to story here because while Lisa bugs Marge before she fucks up the Chanel, that isn’t why it get ruined.  Marge can’t and doesn’t need to blame Lisa, it’s entirely her fault because it’s entirely Marge’s story. 
  • “Peppery” is the nicest possible way to describe that atrocious dress
  • Gotta love that the rich people really were going to let the Simpsons in before they walked away.

15. Bart the Fink

  • I doubt that Castellaneta’s fake-sad delivery while mourning for Aunt Hortense could be done any better.
  • Cayman Islands Offshore Holding Corporation! 
  • Leave it to Krusty to think that his legal problems might be about popcorn that wasn’t bought “fair and square”.
  • “Avoison, it’s a crime, look it up.”
  • Thirty-two cartons of pornography, ah the days before internet porn.
  • The side shadows on the scene where Bart and Krusty talk on the sidewalk are really well done.  They’re consistent, and Krusty really looks like a blossoming degenerate drunk.
  • Great that Sideshow Raheem and Luke Perry are at the funeral.
  • There’s no getting around a headstone that says “See Ya Real Soon Kids!”.  Not a lot of shows will put up a message that basically says: Children, You Will Die.
  • Newhart’s eulogy denigrates Krusty and fails to praise him.  It’s awesome.
  • Call me back, Ishmael.
  • Handsome Pete!
  • Scrap iron has never seemed so romantic.

16. Lisa the Iconoclast

  • Cromulent, embiggens, land cow?  This episode rules.
  • “Here’s Johnny Cakes!”
  • Donald Sutherland owns this episode from start to finish.  It takes a rare talent to read the term “Emancipation Retraction” with the requisite old-white-guy gravity. 
  • “I support most any prejudice you can name, but your hero-phobia sickens me.”
  • All good meetings end with someone digging up a corpse.
  • In Springfield, George Washington strangles men with his bare feet.  Hell yeah!
  • Sutherland wins forever: “I’m an antiquarian, damn it!”
  • Only in Springfield would there be a police sniper who comes *this close* to killing a little girl before the mayor decides to see what she has to say.
  • And then we let the lie continue.  This show is the best.

17. Homer the Smithers

  • For anyone who’s never been to a drag race, this is a fair approximation.
  • Well, except for the funny way the drivers eye each other after Burns tells them to slow down. 
  • Casually letting the water out of the water cooler is a great Burns move.  He won’t let Smithers drown, but he’s not going to expend any emotion or energy saving him either.
  • This episode is very good in general, but it’s also the beginning of the Burns who’s incompetent and useless instead of evil and effective.
  • Great delivery from Kavner on “If he’s alive.”
  • “We’re going to have to put a steel rod where your spine was.”
  • Burns’ Mom has a wicker wheel chair.
  • Great ending: http://deadhomersociety.com/2009/02/07/quote-of-the-day-13/

18. The Day the Violence Died

  • “hilarious atrocity” – awesome.
  • Kirk Douglas, for the win.
  • Manhattan Madness is fantastic, as is Milhouse’s bloodlust.
  • The first scene with Lampwick in the kitchen is just him poking through every cabinet and then the cat fucks off at light speed.  It’s wonderful.
  • This is one of the last great Hutz episodes: “If I hear ‘objection’ and ‘sustained’ one more time today, I think I’m going to scream.”
  • Roger Meyer Jr’s rant is awesome.
  • And it ends in Ghost Mutt.
  • Amendment to be!

19. A Fish Called Selma

  • “People don’t do that type of thing with fish.”
  • Hartman totally channels his inner Heston with “you wouldn’t ask a handsome man like me to wear glasses?” rant.
  • Patty’s disgust at Selma’s infatuation is almost too funny for words. 
  • “Jury duty is work”, well done, Jeff Goldblum.
  • Leper in the Backfield
  • Stop the Planet of the Apes, say what you will about Hollywood’s insistence on remaking and rebooting everything, but it does make a lot of old Simpsons jokes contemporary again.
  • “Gay?  I wish!” Jebus, I miss Hartman.
  • McBain 4: Fatal Discharge, heh.
  • “Like how we built that snowman together in that Newport ad?  Remember how alive with pleasure they said we were?” Seriously, Hartman was uniquely fucking good at everything.

20. Bart on the Road

  • Hell yeah, cracker factory. 
  • They did like staplers spewing staples this season.
  • Despite my current inebriation, I do like the way Bart, Milhouse and Nelson quietly push away their beers when Barney, of all people, tells them to join the party, exposing the basic patheticness of drinking this much.
  • “That’s it, back to Winnipeg!”
  • “Well, I didn’t think I was rehabilitated, but I guess they needed the extra bed.” – Drifter
  • Andy Williams!

21. 22 Short Films About Springfield

  • “Don’t worry, I’ll tell everybody you were untouchable.”
  • “If I remember my Heloise, the trick to getting out gum is peanut butter.”
  • “Now pump those scrawny chicken legs, you stupors funker!”
  • “Holy smokes, you need booze!”
  • “Goodbye student loan payments!” – Snake
  • “Good Lord, what is happening in there? . . . Aurora borealis. . . . Aurora borealis, at this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within your kitchen? . . . Yes. . . May I see it? . . . No.”
  • Cheesy Does It
  • “McDonald’s restaurant, I never heard of it either, but they have over two thousand locations in this state alone.”
  • “Ay, naranjas en la cabeza!”
  • “We gotta swap insurance info!
  • “Do your dirty, sinful business.”
  • “Hey, what’s going on on this side?”
  • “You may purchase this charming Hamburgler adventure, a child has already solved the jumble using crayons, the answer is ‘fries’.”
  • “Oh my gosh, sorry, mister.”
  • “You keep squirming, there’s going to be a little bald girl with no lollipop.”
  • “Everyone needs to drive a vehicle, even the very tall.” (Like I said back during “Radioactive Man”, this is how a joke ends.)
  • “That monkey is going to pay.”

22. Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"

  • A Low-Cost Outing for Seniors
  • Damned Kaiser.
  • Burns’ rolodex is fantastic.  Who else would have an entry for Zoroastrians?
  • Nod to continuity: the senior home has the same big screen TV bought in “Old Money”.
  • It is best not to “obstruct” “probes” from J. Edgar Hoover.
  • No way around it, this episode is a bit weak.  There’s just too much poorly handled weirdness.
  • Grampa and Bart at the cemetery is really well animated, though.  There’s even a fresh grave for Asa.
  • Flanders giving up his boat is hilarious, though.  
  • Plot goofiness aside, it is funny when Bart won’t take the rebreather from Grampa.
  • The German baron is fantastic.  Body-control.

23. Much Apu About Nothing

  • Stupid “Impson” family.
  • Mustache parades tend to offer a lot of catchy slogans.
  • No one shall argue against the essentiality of the Bear Patrol B-2.
  • Grandpa’s insane immigrant remembrance contains approximately fifty immigration cliches in just thirty seconds or so, and it includes a statue head full of garbage to boot.
  • Charles Norwood is awesome (if somewhat painful for Buffalo Bills fans); also, “adultivity”.
  • “Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman staring at me from Entertainment Weekly with their dead eyes!” – The “dead eyes” quote makes crappy supermarket tabloids so much easier to mock.
  • “From now on I’m only marrying for love, and possibly once more for money.”
  • Bear Patrol Steps up Bombing Campaign
  • Just say slavery.
  • When Homer’s giving his soliloquy at the picnic, Lovejoy has Buzz instead of Duff.  Well done. 

24. Homerpalooza

  • “In perpetuity throughout the universe” – The Simpsons, saving lawyers time since 1996.
  • For an episode that gave us the best ever generational quote “weird and scary”, it’s funny to see their “new bands” be horribly out of date. 
  • Homer’s rejection in strobe light is awesome.
  • “For authentic refreshment, eat Clark bars.”
  • Register Not to Vote does need to be next to Bungee Jump Against Racism.
  • Peter Frampton is a great guest voice: self parodying and game for lines that involve Pink Floyd’s yard sale.
  • “Are you being sarcastic, dude?” “I don’t even know anymore.”
  • Rover Hendrix!
  • Pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’d pay decent money for an album authored by Cypress Hill and the London Symphony Orchestra.
  • “It’s a policy that ensures a healthy mix of the rich and the ignorant, sir.”
  • There’s nothing better than youth oriented product positioning.

25. Summer of 4 Ft. 2

  • “Was President Lincoln okay?”
  • In terms of being believably kid-like, this episode is as good as it gets.  Lisa, for all her adult capacity, is a real kid in this episode.
  • “He actually wrote ‘diddly’.”
  • Gotta love how suspicious Christina Ricci is when she says “Are you in to books?”, like it’s some kind of plague. 
  • “Hey, he looks just like you, poindexter!”
  • I’m not going to even try to describe Homer trying to buy fireworks.  Text does it no justice. 
  • It is awesome the way Marge just turns around with the rice crispy squares and tang.
  • Speaking of things that are indescribable, Homer panicking after lighting the M-320.
  • At the Grammar Rodeo, Lisa’s holding a sign that just says “Gerund”.  I hate grammar, but that’s funny.
  • A hermit crab in a Buzz cola can, that’s a great out. 

And that’s it, folks.  Thanks for reading, try not to watch Season 24.  Barring a level of miraculous improbability equal (or greater) to the meteor the killed the dinosaurs, it’s gonna suck. 

28
Sep
12

Reading Digest: End of an Era Edition

D'Oh-in' in the Wind3

“We used to have a bus.  In a way, the Sixties ended the day we sold it, December 31st, 1969.” – Munchie

Before we get to today’s links, a brief site announcement:

Season 24 starts on Sunday.  There is no reason to expect that it will be any different than Seasons 23, 22, 21 or any other Zombie Simpsons run.  In just the first episode, they’re spamming retread celebrity guests, getting Bart romantically involved yet again, and having the Simpson family take a trip to a place they’ve already been.  You couldn’t design a more stereotypically pathetic episode if you deliberately set out to do so.

As announced back in May, we aren’t going to bother with minute analyses of these episodes anymore.  Quite frankly, they’re just not worth it.  The writing and creativity of this show bled out a long time ago, and it has shown no signs of life since.  At some point you have to declare the autopsy over and send the carcass to the medical board.

Of course, this particular corpse won’t be zipped up that easily.  The shambling zombie of the greatest show ever is currently signed for two more seasons, and it’s unlikely we’ll have any news about whether or not Season 25 will be the end until at least this time next year.

In the meantime, the two mainstay posts of this blog, Reading Digest and Quote of the Day, will continue indefinitely.  And there will probably still be the occasional post about DVD commentaries, random episodes, and other little stuff.  What there won’t be is a Monday morning wrap up or Crazy Noises for new episodes.  Those two are kaput.

On days with new episodes of Zombie Simpsons, we’re going to put up a preview/open thread post.  My personal goal is to watch no more than half the season, so while I make no promises to cover specific episodes, I am planning to do Compare & Contrasts for at least some of them.

Before Season 24 arrives to waste everyone’s time, however, I’ll be wasting my own doing my final Simpsons/beer marathon tomorrow.  Season 7 (minus “Marge Be Not Proud”) is the only one I haven’t done yet, so there’s no need to vote this time.  Check back tomorrow morning at 8:00am Eastern (US) and then throughout the day for all the drunken fun.

As for today’s actual links, we’ve got two pieces of great fan art, several instances of moderate usage, some fantastic YouTube collections, Apu graffiti in Vegas, true life Hollywood, and a great Simpsons analysis that agrees with us.

Enjoy.

New Book on Lupe Velez Debunks the Myths of “Hollywood Babylon” – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week contains everything you’ll ever need to know about the false story behind this:

Ask the average person about Lupe Vélez and you’ll probably be met with a blank stare. But query those same folks as to whether or not they’ve heard of the classic film star who “drowned in the toilet,” and they’ll likely perk up with smirking recognition.

We have Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon to thank for that.

Of course, there are other (perhaps unwitting) accomplices: The Simpsons, wherein guest John Waters joked about the store where Vélez bought her toilet in the 1997 episode Homer’s Phobia;

Old Hollywood was weirder than current Hollywood.

Simpsons’ Al Jean On Season 24, ‘Treehouse’ and the Show’s End – There’s two things worth noting here.  First, there remains no reason to expect Season 25 to be the end:

The Simpsons has been renewed through its 25th season, but Jean said he doesn’t see any reason to stop there. He gave the sense that he’ll keep writing as long as Fox keeps letting him.

“The pickup was definitely open-ended. Nobody ever said we’re going to stop the show after we produce these episodes,” he said. “So, you know, at the beginning I was hoping for five years, much less 25. I wouldn’t even guess where we’d end up.”

And second, when I say that many of the items in a given episode are completely unconnected to anything and could easily be swapped out, Al Jean may agree with me:

Fans might have noticed the promo ad for the 24th season that follows Homer Simpson as he casts his vote for president. That scene isn’t in any specific episode, but Jean said they might find a home for it yet. After the good response to the scene in which Homer voted in 2008, Jean knew he wanted to try to tie in the 2012 election.

We’ll see if it turns up in an episode or not.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Breaking Bad – The Simpsons Mash-Up – Awesome fan made drawing of Walt and Jesse in a stylized Simpsons way.

My Top 3 Favourite Simpsons Loops – Fantastic YouTube.

The Simpsons Funny Moments – More fantastic YouTube, and nothing from Zombie Simpsons.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival – An American in Britain offers a Simpsons based warning:

Another word of warning. Avoid comedy shows.  This mostly applies to those of us not from the UK. I wish I could find video of this, but there was an episode of the Simpsons where Groundskeeper Willie did some comedy. He said something like  “Did you ever notice that people from Aberdeen hold their golf clubs like this, and people from Glasgow hold their golf clubs like this…” with accompanying motions.  Get it? Me neither.  That’s rather the point.

Excellent reference, though only moderate usage, Willie actually says, “So, have you noticed how north Edinburgh golfers putt like this, and south Edinburgh golfers putt like this”.

The Simpsons in the Classroom – Our old friends Denise and Karma’s book gets a nice writeup from a real teacher.

VIDEO: Wake Forest WR Michael Campanaro song parody, Simpsons-style – The Canyonero song adopted for college football.

Lisa Simpson tinta by ~GuverFourElements on deviantART – Black and white fan made drawing of Lisa that looks like it might be how she imagined herself in the Tango de la Muerte.

Sabbath, bloody Sabbath – A lament about British Sundays that includes a .jpg of Homer’s “picked the wrong religion” joke from “Homer the Heretic”:

Incorrect Homer Quote

Sadly, the quote is pretty badly mangled here.  It actually goes:

And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.

Jazz Hands? – A Krusty t-shirt the author bought.

Last Night – A collage of Homer’s “Scene Missing” night.

The Simpsons Pasta for kiddies – Cooking with Simpsons pasta.

Vintage Chanel? – A jacket that looks oh so much like Marge’s Chanel suit.

TV dinner art recalls the ’60s – Moderate usage:

I thought of Homer recently, however, when I decided to try my latest crafty project because there’s an episode of The Simpsons in which he becomes an outsider artist. He is hitting a lump of clay, trying to create work for a new exhibit. I haven’t seen this one in a while, but I think he yells something like, “Come on, be art!”

Homer actually yells “Why won’t you be art?” while sticking a chainsaw into something, but that’s pretty close.

Escaping the horror of a boring Halloween night – Live in Vancouver?  There a Simpsons Halloween party you can attend:

Better yet, Glory Days at the Biltmore Cabaret will host a Simpsons Halloween Party on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Dress as Krusty, Bart, Lisa or whatever Springfield resident you can think of to join the fun. Tickets are $30 and details available at biltmorecabaret.com. It may sound cartoonish but it’s definitely not for children.

Hey, speaking of drinking next month . . .

When is the Octoberfest? – More moderate usage:

If you nodded in agreement and applauded his profound wisdom when Homer Simpson shared his unique insight on beer with his son (“Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good and you’d step over your own mother just to get one!”), then Kingfisher’s Great Indian Octoberfest is the right event for you to meet fellow beer-lovers and celebrate the golden elixir.

Homer actually says, “A woman is more like a beer.  They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one!”  Again, though, that’s pretty close.

GRAFFITI-Las Vegas Baby! – Scroll down from some awesome Vegas graffiti, including a cool Apu with squishy machine.

Alf Clausen | Scoring The Simpsons – A nice little profile of Clausen in the News Corp owned Wall Street Journal.

Phil Hartman’s Greatest Hits – It was indeed Phil Hartman’s birthday on Monday, this is a nice writeup of his career with plenty of YouTube.

The Simpsons: the 10 best supporting characters – This is just pageview whoring, but the comments are great for how many people got upset that this or that person wasn’t included.

An Adventure Game That Should Have Been Called Milhouse: The Later Years – The grandfather here really does look like an aged Milhouse:

Countdown to Bacon…3 – Why, indeed?:

Only three more days until Call Me Stormy’s marathon — A DAY OF BACON — a full-throttled, non-stop, 24-hour salute to bacon. Why bacon and why now?

In the words of Homer Simpson, “You know that feeling you get when a thousand knives of fire are stabbing you in the heart? I’m having that right now…Ooh, bacon!”

Excellent usage.  Homer actually says “I got that right now”, not “I’m having that”, but that’s close enough for bacon related excellent usage.

NFL Week 4 – Excellent usage:

To quote one of the best Simpsons episodes ever, “Well folks, when you’re right 52% of the time,you’re wrong 48% of the time.”  I didn’t exactly bring the heat last week, going 8-8. But since I picked the Packers, I’m taking the win. 9-7!

I don’t know that Smooth Jimmy’s associates would accept not paying on the Packers-Seahawks, but you never know.

Letters: Our cartoonish campaign – A letter to the Los Angeles Times contains excellent usage:

Here is Lisa, for example: “I will iron your sheets when you iron out the inequities in your labor laws.” And here is Mr. Burns, after being told he’s very wealthy: “Yes, but I’d trade it all for a little more.”

Both quotes are dead on.  Well done to Ona Russell of Solana Beach.

Doctor Who Monday: The Power of Three…In 10 Words – A third dimension?  Slow down, egghead.

NFL Replacement Refs…In 10 Words – I would’ve gone with “like that day I hit the referee with a whisky bottle”, but that’s just me.

The 2012 Emmys…In 10 Words – This concludes our exhaustive Emmy coverage here at Dead Homer Society.

How to draw: Bart Simpson – A step-by-step Instructables guide.

Photos of the Day – You can click through for the photo, but this is the caption:

A man dressed as cartoon character Bart Simpson passes a billboard as he leaves the underground passage in central Kiev September 26, 2012.

Top 5: Television Spin-offs – Sadly the show comes in at a lowly 4th.

30 Day Television Challenge: Day Eleven – And finally, I get to end the way I like to, with someone who not only agrees with us, but really gets into the decline and fall of the show.  The whole thing is recommended:

There are few  works – literature, music, film, television, etc. – that have influenced me in the way The Simpsons has. Not only did I inherit my sense of  humor from The Simpsons, my entire stance towards the world was sharpened on its whetstone.

The first 8 seasons of The Simpsons are unimpeachable. They are the pinnacle of comedy and television.

Testify!

26
May
12

Season 2 Marathon: 22 Episodes, 22 Beers, 8h:23m:51s

Dancin' Homer7

“I can’t think of a better place to spend a balmy summer’s night than the old ball yard.  There’s just the green grass of the outfield, the crushed brick of the infield, and the white chalk lines that divide the man from the little boy.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa, honey, you’re forgetting the beer.  It comes in seventy-two ounce tubs here.” – Homer Simpson

Good morning and welcome to the sixth Simpsons-Beer Marathon.  Today we’re doing Season 2.  As with previous efforts, I will make use of the pause and reverse buttons to get a quote right or take a screen grab, but the fast-forward button will go totally unused. 

Since I’ll be in no condition to do it later in the day, Chapters 11 & 12 of the book are on-line right now.  That gets us through the bulk of the text.  Most of the appendices are short, and I’ll put them up sometime next week.  Serious thanks once again to everyone who has read the book, found one of my mistakes, linked it somewhere, or actually bought it.  And now, it’s been Simpsons-Beer Marathon day for hours and I’m still not drunk yet, so let’s get going.

1.    Bart Gets an F

  • And we start off with Martin’s book report, which is simultaneously flattering to Hemmingway and making fun of people who take him too damn seriously. 
  • “I will not fake my way through life”
  • They made all those crappy video games based on this show, and yet they never made Escape from Grandma’s House in real life.  For shame.
  • This show that jokes about school bus crashes.  That is all.
  • Ah, faking sick to leave school. 
  • “As a result, Bart is an underachiever, and yet he seems to be, how should I put this, proud of it?” – Less than ten minutes into Season 2, and they’re already making fun of “Bartmania”. 
  • The defeat in Martin’s voice as he retreats to the “forecastle of the Pequod” is just awesome. 
  • Speaking as someone who was the same age as Martin and Bart when this episode was first broadcast, I can’t say enough about how recognizable the two of them were to me and my friends.  We didn’t get into as much shit, but they felt like real kids to us. 
  • Case in point for the above: waiting for the radio guys to announce if school was closed.  These days they do it by e-mail and there’s no suspense, but at the time that’s exactly how it happened.
  • It actually says “Diamond” on Quimby’s podium. 
  • “John Hancock’s writing his name in the snow!”  Yet another great example of how they snuck things past the censors.  Joking about bodily functions is right at the top on the list of things that aren’t allowed, and they did it with the Declaration of Independence. 

2.    Simpson and Delilah

  • “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” was/is (not sure if it’s still on) yet another case of life imitating The Simpsons.  Hitler, North Dakota?
  • I love how the doctor is willing to sell him the Hair in a Drum even though he knows it doesn’t work.
  • “It’s in the union contract, sir.  One token promotion from within per year.”
  • It’s great how Marge tells Homer to hire Karl without realizing that he’s much more of a sexual threat than any of those bubbly women who make kissy faces at her husband.
  • Homer in a suit with a real haircut looks just like Herb Powell. 
  • “Management Caves In To Condiment Outcry”
  • The transition from the executive bathroom floor (with the ultra-deferential towel guy) to the office tower is gorgeous.
  • The scene in the back yard where Marge worries about a rainy day always used to get cut in syndication.  I’d completely forgotten it existed by the time Season 2 finally came out on DVD.
  • Great callback on the ivory backscratcher, which is itself two jokes in two words.
  • Homer calls it a “dirty trick” when Bart says he loves him.  It’s just fantastic.
  • Hey, Zombie Simpsons, you’re twenty-two years behind the times:
    Simpson and Delilah8

3.    Treehouse of Horror

  • Marge’s intro to this, about telling people not to write letters, is a really fantastic piece of satire.  They take a character who would very likely hate their show if she were real, and use her to preemptively respond to the arguments actual critics make. 
  • The entire Bad Dream House segment is them flexing their new animation capabilities.  It’s lit and colored wonderfully, and still looks creepy by today’s standards.
  • The house’s voice is exhibit four and a half thousand or so of Shearer doing brilliant, original work on this show. 
  • And they snuck in a quick “Bitchin!”.  You’re watching FOX.
  • The first appearance of Kang and Kodos! 
  • I am physically incapable of thinking about “If you wanted to make Sarak the Preparer cry, mission accomplished” without giggling.
  • It’s been said before, but the James Earl Jones rendition of “The Raven” has made more kids get this poem than thousands of English teachers.
  • The shadow effects as Homer investigates his chamber door are really well done.  They even fade as they get further from their source.
  • As great as Jones is, Castellaneta totally holds his own: “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take they form from off my door!”. 
  • Clausen deserves a lot of credit here as well.  The music as Homer’s chasing the raven is pitch perfect.

4.    Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish

  • Speaking of Clausen, the music in this episode goes through an enormous range of emotion and feeling with aplomb. 
  • Love the inspection team and the bribe. 
  • “Why are my teeth showing like that?” “Because you’re smiling.”  “Ah, excellent, this is exactly the kind of trickery I’m paying you for.”  It takes a real villain to be unfamiliar with smiling as anything other than a trick.
  • An actor portraying Charles Darwin!
  • “So far the only negative thing we have found is from some guy who dated her when she was sixteen.”  “Ah, and?”  “He, uh, he felt her up.”  “Bah, not good enough!”
  • “I love dogs, babies too.” 
  • Burns’ barely concealed contempt for regular people, voters, and everything else he has to do to be governor is perfectly him.  He sees the whole thing as an inconvenience.
  • It’s great how Lisa gets up and leaves the table before Burns is even done answering her question with his well worn catchphrases. 
  • I always thought it was kind of unfair for Marge to serve him the head, but it does make for a great visual.
  • And now, a first tier, hall of fame, etch-it-in-stone Burns quote: “Ironic, isn’t it Smithers?  This anonymous clan of slack jawed troglodytes has cost me the election.  And yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail.  That’s democracy for you.”

5.    Dancin’ Homer

  • The comedy density of these episodes cannot be overstated.  They’re starting a flashback with a bus arriving at a stadium, and they turn it into Otto escaping from the cops and skid marks on the parking lot.  If they’d actually shown the chase it would’ve sucked, but just referring to it makes it hilarious and takes less time.
  • “Springfield Savings, Safe from 1890-1986, 1988-”
  • The digitizing effect on “Jumbo-vision” is another subtle piece of animation that does a lot to make things feel more realistic and recognizable than they otherwise would. 
  • “I felt an intoxication that had nothing to do with alcohol.  It was the intoxication of being a public spectacle!”
  • The blink-and-you-miss-it look of annoyance on Big Bill McClosky’s face when the PA guy calls him “mediocre” shows once again how much they paid attention to every frame and detail.
  • Yet another little touch: the beefcake posters on the walls where Helen the organist plays. 
  • Hey look, Homer asked to leave the plant before taking a new job.  That doesn’t happen much these days.
  • Tony Bennett!  And it isn’t contrived or dumb!
  • Great guest voice from Tom Poston.
  • And the player’s ex-wife sitting right behind Bart sounds suspiciously like he does.

6.    Dead Putting Society

  • God I love old Flanders.  He’s just as much of an unwitting tormentor to Homer, but he’s also a recognizable human being. 
  • The first call to Reverend Lovejoy.  That was a tremendous running gag.  Damn Flanders.
  • Lovejoy’s sleeping mask (frilly pink trim!) is just fantastic.
  • Bosom.
  • “Homer, I couldn’t help overhearing you warp Bart’s mind.”
  • That is exactly the sound that one hand clapping makes.
  • Bart doing the Crane on top of the trash can is a great little joke.  Incidentally, The Karate Kid has aged really well. 
  • It’s great how terrified Bart is when Homer wakes him.
  • Words fail to describe how hilarious the British announcer guy is.  Half of his lines aren’t even jokes, and yet everything he says is funny because golf announcers are masters of unintentional self parody.
  • After the boys declare their draw, the way they cut to a reaction shot of the Lincoln robot while it makes that little noise is another deft touch of genius. 
  • And I have finished my first 72oz tub.  Only two and two-thirds more to go.

7.    Bart vs. Thanksgiving

  • Ah, the inanity of parade announcers.
  • On my .avi rip, the Bart Thanksgiving parade balloon lasts only 27 frames.  Not seconds, or even tenths of a seconds.  Frames.  That is quick comedy.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody got it worse on this show than old people.  The joy on Mrs. Spencer’s face because her family sent her a fax is cruel, heartbreaking and hilarious.
  • Nice touch having Bart sing the FOX fanfare as he comes in to destroy Lisa’s centerpiece.
  • The “ruined Thanksgiving” line is devastating but as brief as it could possibly be.  It’s masterful storytelling.
  • “Things like that always happen in this family.”  “I’ve noticed that too.”  Meta jokes before anyone knew what the word “meta” meant. 
  • Ah, the corner of Croesus and Mammon.
  • The security guard is reading Les Miserables!  This show viewed wasted screen space as a grievous sin. 
  • Support for the above, there’s scare quotes around “Massage” parlor and the liquor store has a sign that says “Yes!  We have rot gut!”. 
  • Hey, it’s Lou sounding like Eddie! 
  • “Children need discipline!  You can ask any syndicated advice columnist.” 
  • I love the happy endings of Season 2.  They set the bar for family success so low that seeing the Simpsons struggle to cross over it really is both sweet and funny. 

8.    Bart the Daredevil

  • The dirt riding dunk masters always get me.
  • Skinner’s casual drop that it’s the start of a series of concerts, and Homer’s moaning “series?”, are just more wood for the pyre of Homer’s life being something he hates.  Miserable Homer is and always will be funnier than happy Jerkass Homer.
  • “Sunday: Bear Baiting”
  • I laugh every time the lion pops up to pull him back into the tank.  Every time. 
  • Love the scrawl:Bart the Daredevil5
  • “But the fact of the matter is, bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor to daredevil ratio in the world.”
  • The Homer-gorge scene is the best argument for how you can do insane things with these characters so long as you do it well.  The ambulance hitting the tree is such a great joke that the callback to it in the movie is one of the two or three funniest things in that whole bloated film.

9.    Itchy & Scratchy & Marge

  • This is about the part in the marathon where I get amazed at the unrelenting excellence of these episodes.  This is a famous classic, there hasn’t been an even vaguely weak episode yet, and the next few introduce Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz.  I have loved many television shows other than this one, but I don’t think anything can compete with The Simpsons in terms of an unbroken streak of consistent excellence.
  • Ah, the way Scratchy’s limp body falls into the crater just before they pile onto him.
  • Psycho is a famous enough movie that I got that reference even though I hadn’t seen the movie the first time I saw this episode.
  • The one that’s cut off at the top is “Cats Blown Up” with three checkmarks next to it:Itchy and Scratchy and Marge10
  • “And the horse I rode in on?”  That’s as close as you can come to saying “fuck” on network television.  Fuck yeah.
  • Bring Back “Wagon Train”
  • More great work from Clausen and company in this one.
  • Gotta love the dry, understated execu-speak for “drop an anvil on her” and the like.
  • Smartline!
  • Marvin Monroe is in Vienna!  Of course he is.
  • Alex Rocco for the win in this one: “It’s different, I’ll give you that”. 
  • “It’s a tool that every home handyman needs.  It’s a jigsaw, it’s a power drill, it’s a wood turning lathe, it’s an asphalt spreader.  It’s sixty-seven tools in one!”
  • More small notes of care: the massive pupils on Itchy and Scratchy for the opening of their “love and share” episode.
  • Well done, Ludwig
  • Also, the marbles animation is spectacular.
  • “It’s filth!  It graphically portrays parts of the human body, which, practical as they may be, are evil.”
  • More subtle touches, the sign that says “Kancel David” at the house is the same one that had “Kancel Krusty” at the studio.  The Simpsons is in the details.
  • The ever more gigantic pistols are great.

10.    Bart Gets Hit by a Car

  • Hartman!
  • Satan uses a Mac.  Just sayin’.
  • Love the quick sight gag of the guy who looks like Jacques getting nervous while the doctor puts on the rubber glove.
  • And we have a Wizard of Oz joke, because why not?
  • It’s the second season, and they’re already making little jokes at their own expense for never letting Burns remember Homer.
  • Aww, Grau and Hartman in the same scene.
  • Dr. Nick’s degrees are hilarious.  “I went to medical school for four years and all I got was this lousy diploma”.
  • Credit to Azaria for nailing Dr. Nick’s voice right from the get go.  It never changed from this one and didn’t need to.
  • Love the quick look Bart gives to Hutz as he says he sometimes wishes he had been killed.
  • “What are you looking at me like that for?  You believed his cock and bull story.”
  • Marge on the stand could’ve easily been heavy handed and boring, but they pulled it off.
  • Homer trying to keep himself mad at Marge in Moe’s is the same way.

11.    One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish

  • This episode is a useful reminder that it wasn’t that long ago that karaoke was considered weird and insane.
  • Takei!
  • “No need to panic, there’s a map to the hospital on the back of the menu.”
  • “Well, if there’s one consolation, it’s that you’ll feel no pain at all until sometime tomorrow evening when your heart suddenly explodes.” 
  • Homer’s progression through the stages of acceptance needs no further praise from me, but . . . damn, that’s funny.
  • Those three little sentences of father-son advice have definitely helped at times.
  • On the other hand, I’ve never had any luck with toilet paper to stanch shave related bleeding.
  • Homer loves “When the Saints Go Marching In” but doesn’t even know the chorus. 
  • This episode has an emotional dexterity that borders on surgical.  Homer goes from not caring about his Dad to wanting to make up with him and back to being sick of him in no time flat.
  • The “atmosphere” harmonica guy also always gets me.
  • I know I said this last Saturday, as well as two bullet points above, but the way this episode handles sadness and death is amazing.  Even Marge’s desperation can be funny when Bart asks why they’re really waiting for Homer.  And it’s not just a matter of making a joke for the sake of making a joke, the comedy is totally in character and part of the story.
  • And then there’s the bowling announcers, who are just dead on, “Well, he’s an erratic bowler”.

12.    The Way We Was

  • The first McBain clip: “I don’t want to hear it, McBain!”
  • This is also the first time we get a look at one of Hibbert’s period haircuts, in this case a giant, late 70s afro.
  • There’s no way not to enjoy the petty authoritarianism of Dondelinger, especially since I’m not in high school any more and I never had to be there in the 1970s, when it was probably even worse.
  • Marge takes a stand about not taking a stand. 
  • Among the many great firsts of this episode, we get to see that Grampa was just as terrible a father to Homer as Homer is to his kids.
  • More attention to detail, check out the outfit on the debate teacher.  That is 1970s chic:The Way We Was11
  • Kavner does a really great job in this episode of making Marge’s voice sound younger even though it’s basically a rasp.
  • Artie says “Aachem!” (or however it is you spell Jay Sherman’s catchphrase/catchhack).
  • The sarcastic limo driver is such a great part that the same voice became a recurring character.  His “okay, but I’m only paid to drive” never gets old.

13.    Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

  • “Good evening, Zohar the adulterer, my wife sends her warmest regards.”
  • And then Zohar starts hitting on that woman as soon as Homer tells everyone to look busy because Moses is there.
  • Cable companies are big faceless corporations, which makes it okay.
  • And there’s Troy McClure, today he’d like to talk to you about a pleasant tasting candy that actually cleans and straightens your teeth.
  • Hey, it’s also the first time we get to see the shopping cart rolling backwards into the street.
  • When Homer stands up at the ad for Watson-Tatum 2, Lisa gets dumped on the ground.  It’s funny precisely because it’s understated.  If they’d made a big show of him being such a jerk to his daughter it would’ve been creepy and bad, instead it’s just funny.
  • “You haven’t lost the common touch, sir.”:Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment7
  • Gotta say, if I ever caught my son charging admission for other kids to see soft core porn, I might have to act mad for the other parents, but I’d likely be proud of him.  That’s enterprising as hell. 
  • Even the police don’t care that the cable hookup is illegal.

14.   Principal Charming

  • One of the all time great wedding welcomes, “Friends, relatives, work related acquaintances”. 
  • Another great if subtle piece of animation, see how the cross line on the “A” bleeds into the “R”:Principal Charming8
  • Selma cutting out the coupon for “Muffins” while complaining about Patty having “bosoms till Tuesday” is another time when the background makes the whole thing better.
  • Schnapps?
  • Barney is such a wonderful disaster of a person in this one.  He’s a complete failure, and yet doesn’t mind in the least.

15.    Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

  • So many 1980s action movies, so many evil drug kingpins, so many exploding tanker trucks.
  • I mentioned this idea earlier, but Grampa’s contempt for Homer is not only funny on its own, but also a great explanation for why Homer is such a terrible father in his own right.
  • Herb’s boardroom meeting, complete with pomegranates, is awesome.  DeVito hits every note, pissed off, sad, exasperated, everything.
  • “All born in wedlock?”  “Yeah, though the boy was a close call.”
  • More things that are funnier for not being on screen, Bart spitting on a guy from the hot air balloon.
  • Herb making Homer say “Sort of!” with self confidence is magnificent contradiction. 
  • No further comment necessary: http://deadhomersociety.com/2010/01/04/quote-of-the-day-343/
  • “To think I wasted my life in boardrooms and stockholder’s meetings, when I could’ve been watching cartoons!  This old fool has wasted his life.”

16.    Bart’s Dog Gets an F

  • Nice dig at the Cosby clan with that shot of Hibbert at home.
  • Gotta love the quilt square of the woman shooting the buffalo while ridding side-saddle.
  • “How many of these guys are named Corey?”
  • Like DeVito, Ullman owns every line she has.  Even the ones that aren’t explicit jokes, she makes funny.
  • “I just dip in and out.  I’m only watching today because Brandy is coming out of her coma and she knows the phony prince’s body is hidden in the boathouse.”  A better description of soap operas may never be written.  “Father McGrath!  I thought you were dead.”  “I was!”
  • The shoe store has a section called “Street Crime”.
  • It takes a special kind of show to turn a little girl defending her dog into a joke about end of life care. 

17.    Old Money

  • As bad as the old people usually get it on this show, this episode shows us how much they old people hate the young as well.  No one and nothing escaped this show’s attention.
  • “Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than a military antique.  Let’s take a look at the bayonet case.”
  • The second line after the announcement of Bea’s death is a gag.  This show never lets up.
  • The ordinariness of the unlimitedly sleazy guy who tells Grampa that money will buy him better care is yet another example of something that’s sad, cruel and hilarious. 
  • The scene where people ask Grampa for money is great both because of all the insane, stupid, greedy and inhumane requests (“I need the money to buy a baby”), and because Grampa considers all of them.  It isn’t random, it makes sense because Grampa just wants to make people a little better off.
  • To be honest, the ray only has evil applications.
  • Funny to see the old people watching Itchy & Scratchy, even after they got upgraded.

18.    Brush with Greatness

  • After asking the kids not to make him a liar, “I want to go to Mount Splashmore.  Take me, take me, take me, take me now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!  Now!”
  • Ah, for the days when TV promos for upcoming episodes could use lines like, “This is a rather shameless promotion”.
  • When they’ve got the pipe with Homer in it in the air, the clouds behind it are supposed to make it look like the pipe is moving, but it actually looks like the clouds are moving since there’s no fixed point of reference.  One of the rare animation notes that bug me in Seasons 1-8 or so.
  • It’s great the way Smithers’ first analysis of having Marge do the portrait is to note that she’ll be easily intimidated.
  • “Beatles, eh?  Oh, yes, I seem to remember their off key caterwauling on the old Sullivan show.  What as Ed thinking?"
  • Harvard, Yale, Oxford, the Sorbonne, the Louvre, this should hang in all of them:Brush with Greatness9
  • “He’s bad, but he’ll die, so I like it.”

19.    Lisa’s Substitute

  • A great Skinner moment is his absentminded meanness describing Lyme disease in front of Hoover.
  • “Three, you seem to be of the Jewish faith.”  “Are you sure I’m Jewish?”  “Or Italian?”  “I’m Jewish.”
  • “And for the record there were a few Jewish cowboys, ladies and gentlemen, big guys who were great shots and spent money freely."
  • Great shot:Lisa's Substitute6
  • More asbestos!  More asbestos!
  • Hey, Zombie Simpsons, I want you to watch this scene with Lisa, Homer and Bergstrom at the museum.  See how it’s relevant to the plot, character driven, and funny?  Do at least one of those and you’ll only suck two thirds of the time.
  • “That’s the problem with being middle class.  Anybody who really cares will abandon you for those who need it more.”
  • The “You are Lisa Simpson” note is great, but it would be weird and half-empty if Bergstrom didn’t already understand that Lisa needs Homer more than him, which we saw at the museum and which forms the end of the episode. 
  • By the way, all four family members give excellent voice performances at the dinner table for the baboon scene.  There’s something that doesn’t happen much (if ever) on Zombie Simpsons.

20.    The War of the Simpsons

  • Moe resenting Flanders by dismissively saying ‘college boy’ always gets me.  It’s one of those great double jokes, where the resentment is funny, but the fact that Moe doesn’t get it that no one actually gives Ph.D.s in “mixology” makes it even better.
  • “Remember last year at the Winfield’s party when you threw up in the laundry hamper?”  “No.”
  • And Barney has his shirttail hanging out of his fly again. 
  • “You stink!  You and your whole lousy operation stinks!  I quit!” 
  • How I see myself doing these marathons (especially this late into one):The War of the Simpsons8
  • How it probably looks:The War of the Simpsons7
  • Queen of the harpies!
  • And right after Lovejoy’s greatest success, he tips his hand with “Remember my saving your lives and bringing you happiness when we pass the collection plate next week”.
  • One more McBain clip, “I don’t want to hear it McBain!”
  • Another entry for the bulging file on I-can’t-believe-they-got-away-with-it: “Cherry party, Bart.  Any chicks over eight?”
  • You vile burlesque of irrepressible youth!
  • “That’s right, you heard me, pretending to cry!”
  • “I’ll never trust another old person.”
  • For completeness:
    Store Guy: Yeah, General Sherman.  They say he’s five-hundred pounds of bottom dwelling fury, don’t you know?  No one knows how old he is, but if you ask me, and most people do, he’s a hundred years if he’s a day.
    Customer:  And no one’s ever caught him?
    Store Guy:  Well, one fella came close.  Went by the name of Homer.  Seven feet tall, he was, with arms like tree trunks, and his eyes were like steel, cold and hard.  Had a shock of hair, red, like the fires of hell.

21.    Three Men and a Comic Book

  • Yet more attention to detail, how “12th” is pasted over all the previous numbers.
  • “I’m Bartman”.  Gotta say, the original Keaton/Nicholson Batman movie has also held up remarkably well.
  • Comic Book Guy when he was actually, you know, a comic book guy.
  • Fucking Wonder Years.
  • Nothing like a ten-year-old bribing police with alcohol. 
  • Ribbon candy is disgusting.  It’s from a time when sugar was precious, which it isn’t now. 
  • Gotta love Mrs. Glick being genuinely aroused while she goes back and forth in her rocking chair. 
  • Great the way they have the narration pronounce “(choke)” as it’s being read.
  • Ah, having a fight interrupted by somebody’s mom, like I said all the way back during “Bart Gets an F”, these kids were very recognizable to people who were kids at the time.
  • Gotta love how the usual message of “sharing” is deliberately undercut by the ending here.

22.    Blood Feud

  • Core Explosion, Repent Sins
  • I can’t usefully convey it, but the story of Hercules and the Lion is as great as something is possible to be.  “How did a lion get rich?”  “It was the olden days.”
  • That Burns has hired goons is funny.  That said hired goons are regular, if overly loyal, men makes it even better.  “Yeah, nice guy, play poker with him once and a while.”
  • And the plot turns on Smithers actually being a person instead of a cartoonish outline of one.
  • Final animation note: Burns and Smithers going up the escalator with the mirrors behind them looks great.
  • Love the Triceratops skull at Plunderer Pete’s.
  • But no, it’s Xtapolapocetl!
  • This seems a fitting way to end:
    Lisa: Perhaps there is no moral to this story.
    Homer: Exactly; it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.
24
May
12

Strange New Places

Homer's Barbershop Quartet10

“And where’s Barney?” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, he’s with his new girlfriend, the Japanese conceptual artist.” – Principal Skinner
“Barbershop is in danger of growing stale. I’m taking it to strange new places.” – Barney Gumble

In the interest of not burying the lead: mocking Season 23 has been fun, but it’s also the last time we’re going to go full tilt for a new Zombie Simpsons season around here. Don’t worry, we’re not taking the site down or anything; in fact, for the next few months you shouldn’t notice much difference. Quotes of the Day will continue as normal, and, just like the last three summers, we’ll be doing Crazy Noises for old episodes. This year it’s going to be Season 11, the last one the Manifesto lists before Zombie Simpsons.

After that, the Magic 8-ball becomes less clear. Season 24 (ugh) will likely start sometime in late September, but we won’t be doing our full Preview-Ratings-Crazy Noises-Compare & Contrast schedule. I’m sure we’ll do something (and suggestions are welcome), but whatever it is will be much less comprehensive.

As for why we’re doing this, there’s only one real reason and it is not intended ironically. We think it best to stop before we get dull and do nothing but repeat ourselves.

For all its manic bumbling and endless stream of pointless cameos, the only enduring characteristic about Zombie Simpsons is how blandly repetitive it is. Episodes consistently have no coherent story, few jokes, fewer funny jokes, wasted guest voices, hacktacular pop culture references, and all manner of things poorly lifted from old episodes. And then every once in a while the animation goes off the rails too, though that’s usually because the writers have once again managed to string together something too dumb to convey.

In Crazy Noises and elsewhere, I’ve begun to get the sense that we’re often doing little more than citing examples of the same kinds of things each week: it sucked when they made Homer do this, that joke went on too long, that’s not even a joke, this voice sounds terrible, that was done better years ago, this made no sense, etcetera etcetera. We are trying to put a tiny thrill into these gray little episodes, but they rarely give us something novel enough to make criticisms we haven’t already made dozens of times before. Whatever points we’ve tried to articulate over the past few years here, another few thousand words per episode are unlikely to change them. In short, it seems very unlikely that most of the episodes in Season 24 (or Season 25, or Season 26, or Season Whatever) are going to be worth a close examination and serious criticism.

On a related personal note, I simply find Zombie Simpsons boring. I stopped watching regularly sometime in Season 13, and didn’t catch more than a handful in total from Seasons 14-19. When Dave, Mad Jon and I started getting serious about this site in early 2009, I picked up at the beginning of Season 20, and very little had changed. I’ve seen every episode since, four full seasons, and I can honestly say that’s enough. Apart from its vague resemblance to my favorite show ever, Zombie Simpsons just isn’t that interesting; and I’d rather not spend my time watching it.

Long story short:

  • No change to Quotes of the Day
  • Still doing Crazy Noises for Season 11 this summer
  • Greatly reduced schedule for Season 24 this fall

On two happier notes, Chapters 7 & 8 of the book are now on-line, and to celebrate the end of Season 23, I’m going to do another Simpsons-Beer Marathon this Saturday.

For those of you who’ve started reading this site since the last time I did this, you can find a full explanation of how this works here. Basically, I watch an entire season of the show, drinking one beer per episode, and post updates along the way. I’ve done marathons for Seasons 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 already, and you can check them out by clicking on our “Living Life to Its Fullest” category.

You can vote for which season you’d like me to watch on Saturday in the poll at right. And, no, if Season 7 is selected, I won’t be including “Marge Be Not Proud”. I dislike that episode, even if it does have some very funny parts (see the freshly posted Chapter 7 for details).  The marathon begins at 8:00am Eastern Daylight Time (US), which is 12:00 UTC, Saturday May 26th.  The poll closes at midnight Eastern Time tomorrow.

Update 26 May: It’s Season 2 in a landslide:

Season 2 Beerathon Poll

Thanks to everyone who voted.

17
Dec
11

Season 1 Marathon: 13 Episodes, 13 Beers, 4h:59m:07s

Homer's Odyssey6

“Beer.  Now there’s a temporary solution.” – Homer Simpson

Good morning and welcome to a special, unannounced, Simpsons Day Beer-Simpsons marathon!  For the last two years I’ve been stuck at work on Simpsons Day.  That resulted in a lot of YouTube and regular posts.  Of those, the 1989 Groening interview on Letterman is probably my favorite.  He’s wretchedly adorable in his nervous, pre-fame earnestness.  (The embedding’s been disabled in the two years since I posted it, but you can click through to YouTube to see it.)  For Simpsons Day this year my butt is planted right where it belongs: squarely in front of my television.

As with previous marathons, I’ll be drinking one delicious, cheap domestic beer per episode and posting updates along the way.  The pause and reverse buttons will be employed so I can get quotes or screen grabs, but the fast forward button will not be touched.  I’ll try to keep an eye on the comments, but I make no promises on that score.  Let’s get started, and happy Simpsons Day!

1. Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

  • Having witnessed and performed in a number of craptacular grade school Christmas pageants, I can attest that this is far and away the most accurate portrayal I’ve ever seen on television.  (Parental boredom most definitely included.)
  • Among the many things about this season that were horrifying at the time but now seem quaint is the way they repeatedly deny the existence of Santa Claus.  People actually thought this was a show for little kids. 
  • As far as great character introductions go, it doesn’t get much better than having Flanders unwittingly humiliate Homer with a Christmas display.
  • “One ‘Mother’, please.”  “Wait a minute, how old are you?”  “Twenty-one, sir.” “Get in the chair.”
  • I don’t have anything to add to this, but Homer stands in for pretty much every Christmas themed hero in the history of American pop culture in this episode. 
  • Homer’s shiver on the way up the stairs when Marge says her sisters are here should be in some kind of in-law hall of fame.
  • There is nothing to dislike about this episode’s total contempt for Christmas television.
  • I love the way Lisa destroys Patty & Selma over Homer.  It’s especially awesome when you remember that we (the audience) don’t really know who she is yet.
  • I make much of this in the post from last year I linked above, but it is essential to Homer that he takes in the dog out of sympathy instead of as a way to save Christmas.  Homer sucks at everything here, and it wouldn’t work if he consciously saved Christmas. 

2. Bart the Genius

  • Aww, it’s the first time we see the opening, compete with bus stop.
  • This probably puts me in the minority, but I always liked the story problems in math.  Once you got the numbers out of the text they were always really easy.
  • I have no idea if George Meyer had a hand in the scene with Bart and his parents in Skinner’s office, but this oft quoted article sums it up perfectly:
    “Once, I was sent to the principal’s office, and when I went in my parents were sitting there. They had been summoned somehow. God, that was scary; I would have been very unhappy, but not particularly surprised, if they had said, ‘This time you have gone too far. Now you must die.’”
  • All these years later, I remain in awe of the contempt for school authority this show had. 
  • Animation question for those more knowledgeable than myself: what is with all the backgrounds in Season 1 with gradient colors?  So many walls are a color on one end and dissolve into white in the middle or at the other end.
  • There is an insane genius to having fourth graders debate free will vs. fate. 
  • Words I learned from The Simpsons: cuspidor.
  • An underrated aspect of this episode is the fact that the genius school never catches on to Bart’s scam.  They’re just as full of shit as the regular school.
  • The control hamster gets away!

3. Homer’s Odyssey

  • Lost in the mists of time is the way that having an admittedly hungover bus driver was kind of offensive in 1990. 
  • Black Smithers.
  • This filmstrip is the precursor of all the Troy McClure bits.  You can tell because he literally sweeps nuclear waste under the rug. 
  • Hey, there’s Blinky!
  • Sherri & Terri’s dad is an asshole.
  • “There, there, Homer, you’ll find a job.  You’ve caused plenty of industrial accidents and you’ve always bounced back.”
  • Marge Simpson: roller-skate MILF before there was such a term.
  • This show makes a (serious) suicide note funny.  Nothing else need be said.
  • I don’t think Marge’s vocal but non-verbal description of what the “Dip Sign” describes can be improved upon.  That’s exactly what it feels like. 
  • This episode really demonstrates how much of the later show was present in the beginning.  Even the serious/sad/important moments are frivolous and cynical. 
  • Yes, Homer dismisses the possibility of a serious nuclear accident with a silent “Nah”. 
  • This episode has two morals.  First, that industrial safety is the least of management’s concerns.  Second, that the appearance of such can be bought cheaply. 

4. There’s No Disgrace Like Home

  • The initial establishing shot of Burns Manor includes a sign that says “Poachers Will Be Shot”.
  • Yet another topic that didn’t get made fun of much before The Simpsons: wifely competition.  Also, drunk Marge is awesome.
  • One of us, one of us, one of us.
  • “Dear Lord, thank you for this microwaved bounty.”
  • Subtle Season 1 joke: Homer saying he wants to be alone with his “thought”, singular. 
  • That’s right, Springfield cops extort drinks on the job.  Bless ’em.
  • The pawn shop guy is appropriately sleazy.
  • Marvin Monroe: total swindler.  I love this show.
  • Openly denigrating the idea of the nuclear family is just one more of many civic contributions of  The Simpsons.
  • Realistic flesh tones! 

5. Bart the General

  • “Bart!  You’re saying ‘butt kisser’ like it’s a bad thing.”
  • Homer gives a wonderful ton of awful fatherly advice this season. 
  • That’s right, Bart considers “honor student” to be pejorative. 
  • It’s great that, in his imagining of his own funeral, Bart figures that Homer would care more about missing work than the death of his first born. 
  • Homer’s “code of the school yard” speech should be thought in upper level sociology classes. 
  • Scratch that, this entire episode should be taught in upper level sociology classes.
  • C’mon Grampa, you can be a vibrant, sex loving maniac and a bitter, resentful individual.
  • Google seems to think that there is not, repeat not, a large type edition of Soldier of Fortune.
  • They made a lot of movies about World War II, Patton is one of the best.
  • Gorgeous animation much?:
    Bart the General6
  • Grampa’s nostalgia for the horrors of combat is one of those things you probably couldn’t get away with these days.
  • This episode has a child say “We were only following orders”. 

6. Moaning Lisa

  • Grade school band practice is so inherently awful as to be beyond mockery, right until Lisa starts talking.  That’s good mockery.
  • There’s no way to watch Bart and Homer play the B-plot without wanting to fire up an emulator and play the Mike Tyson game.
  • Maggie picking the TV over both of her siblings is a joke that can only be seen, but is no less great for being so.
  • It’s sad, but the original Bleeding Gums died in 2002.  Still awesome.
  • “Oh, so that’s it, this is some kind of underwear thing.”  Homer’s cluelessness and Marge’s resigned competence are perfect here. 
  • Marge’s horrible advice to Lisa about dimwittedly smiling, and her subsequent recantation of said advice, is yet another thing for which this show should be canonized.  Here’s what many parents tell their kids, and here’s why that’s stupid beyond belief. 
  • Speaking of excellent animation: the jazz club and everything afterwards.  There are things in Season 1 that don’t look right.  This is not one of them. 

7. The Call of the Simpsons

  • Albert Brooks, RV salesman. 
  • “You ever known a siren to be good?”
  • I’m not trying to make this a theme or anything, but the RV falling off the cliff and blowing up is  animated really well.
  • The ballistic failure of Homer’s rabbit trap is one of the best visual jokes this show has ever done.
  • People say the news media sucks these days, and they’re right.  But remember that it sucked in 1990 too.

8. The Telltale Head

  • Ever been to church?  This episode will let you giggle through that awful waste of time.
  • “You don’t need an introduction, you’re the worst kid in school.” “Thanks.”
  • Gotta love the school bus on fire going off a cliff.
  • There are a lot of shows that will use a distressed cat’s meow as a punchline.  There aren’t a lot of shows that will use it twice by starting and stopping it.
  • Gotta love the murderous, vigilante rage of Krusty.
  • There is also a disturbing “why so serious” vibe to Krusty in this episode. 

9. Life on the Fast Lane

  • Even in Season 1 animation, Lisa’s insane macaroni birthday card is hilarious.
  • “The Springfield Mall is now open for your spending needs.”
  • The singing waiters sing “Nearer My God”.  And it’s during a birthday celebration.  Once again, I love this show. 
  • God bless sleazy horn music.
  • Helen Lovejoy is a great television villain.  Let’s hope something runs over her.
  • There are a lot of genuinely sad moments in this episode, but everyone one has some gags to let you know that they aren’t really serious.

10. Homer’s Night Out

  • Almost all of the time, bachelor’s parties are wretched.
  • Hey, look!  They’re developing photos with chemicals instead of Mac OX X.
  • Research indicates that over fifty-percent of power is used by women.  The gall!
  • This is another episode that has a brutal hilarity to its conclusion.  Yes, women are pathetic drooling objects, but men are salivatory jackasses.  

11. The Crepes of Wrath

  • “The boy.  Bring me the boy.”  If there has ever been a better expression of parental frustration I have yet to encounter it.
  • Marge looking through the peep-hole to see Skinner is great.  It makes him seem as odd for them as he naturally would be.  Also, he wants to deport an American citizen. 
  • “Don’t mess up France the way you messed up your room.”
  • Skinner’s jingoistic love of that duplicitous Albanian is great. 
  • 5% of the people controlling 95% of the wealth, Adil was ahead of the curve. 
  • Even when his son has been replaced by a Commie spy, Homer still has to be baited into thinking his own kid isn’t worthless.
  • Yup:
    The Crepes of Wrath5
     
  • It probably won’t even blind him.
  • The child spy exchange is awesome.

12. Krusty Gets Busted

Krusty Gets Busted3

  • Character wise, the repressed valet parking of Sideshow Bob comes through wonderfully.  
  • Sideshow Bob: proof that homicidal maniacs can also be authoritarian.
  • An invocation of “meddling kids” can also serve as a reminder that children are oft smarter than we give them credit for.

13. Some Enchanted Evening

  • Harsh reality time: Homer’s a boob and Dr. Marvin is as useless as those guys on Oprah.
  • “We’re all pigs.”
  • I can’t do Homer’s mispronunciations in this episode.  But that it involves babysitting, work, and nominal child abandonment is good enough for me.
  • “Video library”, there’s one of the 1980s worst innovations.
  • And we end on Homer giving cash to an armed fugitive. 



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