Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category

02
Jul
15

Reading Digest: Pancakes Edition

Life on the Fast Lane8

“This is gonna be the best birthday breakfast Mom ever had.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hey, Lis, you think that’s enough for her?” – Bart Simpson
“Maybe one more.” – Lisa Simpson

Since the Fourth falls on a Saturday this year, making tomorrow a de facto holiday, here’s Reading Digest a day early.  The holiday mean that it’s shorter than usual, but we’ve got several excellent pieces of fan art, an unofficial Lego house, and pancakes, pancakes, pancakes!

Enjoy.

The Big Lebowski vs. The Pin Pals: Who Wins a Fictional Bowling Game? – He had to exclude Otto and Burns to make the teams even, but the analysis here is pretty good:

Like his personality Sobchak blows hot and cold so you never know what you’re going to get. If Cynthia’s dog is taken care of and his laundry is clean, he could put up a 250. If the slightest little iota is out of order, he might not break 100.

Rick and Morty Season 2 Premiere Trailer: Mr. Meseeks and Intergalactic Customs Return, Comic-Con Footage Comes to Life: Heh:

A Rick and Morty Season 2 promo trailer is here. Apparently this first look trailer for Rick and Morty Season 2 aired during The Simpsons Season 26 finale but Rick and Morty fans are only just noticing its existence. Does anyone still watch The Simpsons?

Not really, no.  In other news, I am looking forward to more Rick and Morty.

The Future of TSTO game – Pt. 1 – The main Tapped Out site is expanding to cover other topics.  Having been off Tapped Out for a year and a half now, I find this amusing:

Step-by-step instructions on how to proceed in an event. While we know this information is helpful to our readers, it is one of the least enjoyable topics to write about. As events become more complicated and cumbersome, this process become more of a chore.

Nothing says “fun” like “complicated and cumbersome”.

I Got In Touch With People Who Abused Me Online To Ask Why – A BuzzFeed writer wrote about never having watched the show, and, being female, got death and rape threats.  One dude finds a bit of absolution for it.

7 Reasons to Visit San Francisco – Scroll to #6 for some excellent Simpsons art.

LISTEN: The Simpsons – ‘The Call Of The Simpsons’ Review – You ever know a siren to be good?

Danny Elfman on Film Scores, ‘Simpsons’ and Working With Tim Burton – Every time there’s an interview with Elfman, he tells the story basically the same way:

I told Matt Groening, “If you want something contemporary – television contemporary – I’m not the guy.” ‘Cause I didn’t understand TV themes in the Eighties at all. “If you want something really retro, I’m the guy.” ‘Cause it felt like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that never was, and there was something reminiscent of The Flintstones: going through the city, even though Fred Flintstone was running and Homer’s driving the car. And he said, “Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for.” I wrote it in my head in the car on the way back. By the time I got home from the meeting it was all done. I ran downstairs, recorded a demo, sent it out, got a call back, Matt says, “Yeah, great.” It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

DOH-ceptively spacious – Fan made mini-version of the Simpsons Lego house.  Well done.

HOMIE – Fan made drawing of Homer with an alien piercing his skull.  Neat.

We Got Presidential Hopeful Ted Cruz To Do An Audition For “The Simpsons” – As I said on Twitter, he butchers the “magical animal” setup, but overall he isn’t terrible.  The .gifs, especially Twirling for Freedom, will come in very handy if he wins the nomination.

Max (movie)…In 10 Words – We’ll get you a new dog, one with an untwistable psyche!

Ted 2…In 10 Words – Hug, him, squeeze him, tug at his fur.

▶ Pancake Art – Homer Simpson (Simpsons) Easy – This doesn’t look all that easy to me, but I can’t draw for squat:

There are also videos for Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.  Bravo.

26
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Moaning Lisa Has Aged Very Well Edition

Moaning Lisa10

“Just take mine.  A simple cupcake will bring me no pleasure.” – Lisa Simpson

This week we’ve got two links hearkening back to Season 1’s melancholy masterpiece “Moaning Lisa”, and two different fond remembrances of the first time someone ever watched the show.  Season 1 often gets overlooked for the very understandable reasons that it both looks and sounds quite different than it would even in Season 2, but those episodes still resonate with people, and that’s astonishing.  In addition to that, we’ve got a great Spider-Man put down, new old bootleg Bart, some .gifs, and a horrifying soccer mascot.

Enjoy.

Tom Holland is Spider-Man’s New “Hat” At A Time When I Wanted a Lisa Lionheart – Excellent usage:

The makers of Malibu Stacy, the Simpsons stand-in for Barbie, respond with an all-night brainstorming session where it is decided to release a Malibu Stacy which is exactly the same but has a new hat.

A River of Melted Hot Butter – This is a transcript of a diary from when the author was a kid, and this is great:

After dinner we went to ACE and got some candy.  I got some gum.  It was so good.  I’m chewing the gum right now.  I am also watching The Simpsons.  It is my favorite episode.  At 7:00, Jamie is coming to spend the night.  Anyway, it’s almost seven and she’s going to miss The Simpsons.  That’s okay, she saw it when she came over today.

But what episode is it??

Three Men And A Comic Book – This is true:

-Wow, they got away with Homer saying “T.S.” on prime-time television, in the early 90s. Sure, it was just an acronym, but it was still pretty bold for the time.

Also, too, I was about the only kid I knew who hated The Wonder Years, so I’ve always loved when Homer keeps interrupting Bart’s narrative staring.

Sex and The Simpsons – And none of the examples are from Zombie Simpsons, hooray.  Also, there’s a .gif of Homer in the Mr. Plow jacket.

The Shearer Situation: An Overview – Our old friend Noah takes a look at the why of Shearer’s departure:

So, why would he leave then? Well, these seem to be the three prevailing theories:

Be Street – Bootleg Bart Creative Contest – Modern takes on classic Bart.  Notorious B.A.R.T. is great.

Hank Azaria on Harry Shearer’s Simpsons Dispute – No real news here, but at least Azaria’s got a sense of humor about it:

Azaria, who conceded, “If he really doesn’t come back, the show has to continue in some way at least for a while … Maybe we’ll do a YouTube thing, like how they found that Asian guy that sings for Journey.”

LISTEN: The Simpsons ‘Moaning Lisa’ Review – Just what it says.  I love that episode.

Caitlyn Jenner is given The Simpsons treatment with her Vanity Fair cover – That same Italian artists strikes again.

Is Pixar’s Inside Out Just a Herman’s Head Rip-Off? – Excellent usage:

Oh, really, Pixar, you’re going inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl to visit the personifications of her primary emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black), all of whom congregate in “headquarters.”  In the immortal words of George Harrison watching the Bee Sharps perform on top of Moe’s Bar on The Simpsons, “It’s been done.

Incidentally, Inside Out was fantastic.

Pixar’s Inside Out: Riley is a feminist hero. – Double excellent usage:

They’re clearly well-meaning, but they’re guilt-tripping their kid. (The scenario echoes a 1990 Simpsons episode in which sweet Marge Simpson implores a down-in-the-dumps Lisa to “take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down past your knees, until you’re almost walking on them.”)

And:

The only thing to do is forgive yourself and try to do better next time. (Marge Simpson came around, too; she apologizes to Lisa and says, “Always be yourself. If you want to be sad, honey, be sad. We’ll ride it out with you.”)

Perfectly quoted and apt (and have I mentioned Inside Out is really good?).

Eye On Springfield: Ross Mckendrick – Fantastic:

What is your history with the Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
I was born in 1988, so The Simpsons has been around pretty much my whole life. I was aware of it from a very young age but my family never had satellite TV, which was the only way you could see episodes in the UK at that time. The first time I ever saw the show itself must’ve been Hallowe’en 1994, because it was the Treehouse Of Horror episode with ‘The Shinning’ in it.
I only managed to catch it because my mum had taken me out guising (which is what we call trick-or-treating in Scotland), and as we reached the house about 2 doors down from ours the episode was just starting. I invited myself into this family’s house, plonked myself in front of their TV and pretty much refused to leave for most of the episode.
I was totally enthralled by it, I didn’t even bother doing my ‘trick’, which was my pretty killer Jim Carrey impression (I had dressed as The Mask; green face, zoot suit and everything). I thought the fact they had a Scottish character was awesome, and even more awesome was the fact it was a cartoon, but it had axe murders in it. I seriously thought the whole show was like that; a twisted cartoon take on movies I wasn’t allowed to watch yet.
It was love at first sight.
 

Al Jean has 90 hours (and counting) of Simpsons commentaries under his belt – Not a great deal of big information in this Jean interview, but this is kinda funny:

AVC: Have you found that people know your voice from the commentaries now?

AJ: Yes, in a very spooky fashion. I was at an airport restaurant in Arizona, and I hadn’t given my credit card, and the guy goes, “Oh, you’re Al Jean from The Simpsons!” That is a bizarre feeling.

Homer and Marge address the ‘split’ rumours – The show put out a ninety second video to keep attention on them for CNN’s fuckup.  You will be unsurprised to learn that it contains a lot of exposition and Homer gets badly hurt and yells.

Partick Thistle’s new half sun/half Lisa Simpson mascot is absolutely terrifying – That is serious nightmare fuel.

Top Five TV Sofas and Chairs – Even British furniture companies know that the Simpsons couch is iconic.

Fashion Spotlight: Fighting Scottish, Doof Warrior vs The Mad, and Fight Like A Princess – Groundskeeper Willie as athletic mascot.

agoodcartoon: fumbling but well-meaning, the… – Reader Ethan P sends in this Tennessee political cartoon featuring, Burns, Homer, and a mouthwatering donut.  Thanks, Ethan!

New trending GIF tagged reaction the simpsons simpsons… – It’s TS for Ralph.

New trending GIF tagged reaction the simpsons laughing… – Burns laughing maniacally.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons via… – Barney turning into Minday and back again.  Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.

Eye On Springfield: Kathy Bejma Of Metalcakes/Faberge Egg Salad – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  This is an interview with the blog author who did the recipes I linked last week, and in addition to having some great Simpsons patches and buttons (which you can see at the link), there’s this:

Do you still watch the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
I don’t watch the show anymore. I’m a fan of seasons 1-10. There are 2 or 3 episodes I like in season 11, but that’s it.
I stopped watching when the jokes weren’t clever anymore. More times than not, I was laughing because I was uncomfortable, not because it was actually funny.

Amen, sister.

19
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Why Yes, It Is Time for Zombie Simpsons To End Edition

A Milhouse Divided20

“Homey, I know you love me.  We don’t need to get married again.” – Marge Simpson
“Yes we do!  I got us a divorce this afternoon!” – Homer Simpson

The internet was still digesting the fact that Homer and Marge are not getting divorced for part of this week as the news slowly filtered down to small town paper blogs and other low traffic sites that aren’t very swift on the uptake.  We do have a couple of links from people taking the story as a starting point to advocate for the show finally being sent to a farm upstate, however, so it’s not all bad.  In addition to that, we’ve got Castellaneta singing, fan art, fan food, several lists, the staff doing something nice, and a new podcast.

Enjoy.

17 ‘Simpsons’ Cultural References Explained for Younger Viewers – Great list (no Zombie Simpsons), and I learned to Lupe Velez was.  (via @DailySimpsons)

▶ Two Lips (Dan Castellaneta) : Dog Who’s Chasing After A Ball – Reader Adam S. writes in:

did you know Dan Castellaneta released a very excellent Beatles – sounding album under the name of ‘Two Lips’ a few years back?

I did not know that.  Sample is above, full album link is here.  Castellaneta is a true renaissance man, and I say that not even knowing how many different types of meat he’s eaten today.  Thanks, Adam!

Is it time for The Simpsons to end? – Yes, it is.  This goes into more detail than that. (Again, via @DailySimpsons)

Top Ten Simpsons Episodes – Part One – An excellent half a list, with no Zombie Simpsons and “Homer the Vigilante”, which I don’t often see on top ten lists.

Five Times ‘The Simpsons’ got to Real for Us – There’s one Zombie Simpsons on here, but the rest are excellent choices, especially “The Way We Was”.

Jurassic World…In 10 Words – Saw this on Wednesday.  It’s better than the other sequels, but nobody’s going to care about it in twenty-two years, either.

WATCH: The Top 10 Treehouse Of Horror Segments – According to two Australian guys.  One item from Zombie Simpsons, but it’s not terrible or anything.  These guys also have some podcasts discussing old episodes.

Faberge Egg Salad – Some real recipes from the show, courtesy of our new friends at Xtapolapometal.

Photo Gallery Of The Simpsons Characters Re-Voiced Sans Harry Shearer – Don Draper would be an excellent Reverend Lovejoy.

10 business lessons from The Simpsons – Reader Robert sends in this YouTube heavy list of business tips he wrote.  I particularly like #2, “Don’t break the law”.  Heh.  Thanks, Robert!

I’m not commodity – A real life recounting of the “Lawyer Bird” test.

You Can Now Play Video Games Featured On ‘The Simpsons – I downloaded but have not actually tried these yet.

10 times Marge and Homer Simpson weren’t exactly winning any parenting awards – A little bit of Zombie Simpsons here, but there’s some good YouTube and a .gif of Homer running gleefully around the overturned beer truck.

Round 1, Battle 26 – (S.1 Ep 3) Homer’s Odyssey vs. (S.6 Ep. 20) Two Dozen and One Greyhounds – Season 1 is probably doomed here, but both of those are great.

Fish weirs, Doctor Who and Fort Knox – things you didn’t know about Magna Carta – But I did know this one!:

4 – Lisa Simpson sang a song about Magna Carta in episode 187 of The Simpsons cartoon series.

US Outlook: Set banks free to stop another crisis? A successful man can be stupid too – Moderate usage:

There is an old episode of The Simpsons in which Homer is falsely accused of sexual harassment after reaching for a gummy bear that is stuck to a lady’s backside. At the end of the episode, Marge asks Homer what he has learnt from his experience. Homer replies: “Marge, I haven’t learnt a thing.”

Homer actually says, “Marge, my friend, I haven’t learned a thing”, but that’s pretty close.

Car dealer and Rotary team to distribute Little Free Libraries – This was nice:

On Monday, the Little Free Library headquarters in the town of Hudson received a Little Library designed and painted by the artists of “The Simpsons” television show.

“It’s got all the Simpsons characters on it — Bart and Lisa — and is signed by Matt Groening,” Bol reported.

“He’s a friend of ours,” Bol said of Groening, the creator of “The Simpsons.”

The show’s artists made the library for Bol to use to raise money for the Little Free Library organization.

Homer Simpson on Temperament – Heh.

10 | Texts From A Stoner – Heh again.

Geek Art for the masses – The Van Gough Willie painting is on here, along with some other very good ones.

The Simpsons House – Not sure who the original artist is here, but this is pretty good.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – Precious Venus…

TV Pick of the Day – You could do a lot worse than “Lisa the Iconoclast”.

The Simpsons – “Kill the Alligator and Run” – Like this one, which the author has the good sense to pick apart.

The Anti-Love Story of Homer and Marge – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us, in this case in a long essay about the hopelessness of the ever continuing Zombie Simpsons.

 

 

12
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Fucking CNN Edition

Homer Defined14

“Forget the hair, just give me the blush!  Oh, we’re on.” – Kent Brockman

Fucking CNN.  This one is bad even by their impressive standards of idiocy and misinformation.  Thanks to their sloppiness, the internet went briefly nuts this week over the supposed “revelation” that Homer and Marge were going to permanently separate in the upcoming season.  Here’s what happened.

On Sunday, Variety published a bog standard publicity interview with Jean about the upcoming season.  The penetrating and hard hitting questions included, “How does it feel to reach season 27?” and “How do you still manage to keep it fresh and timely?”.  Articles like this are the reason Variety exists, so the entertainment industry can let the public know about its new stuff.  (Know how you can tell it’s straight PR?  The word “Shearer” does not appear.)  The headline was “‘Simpsons’ EP Al Jean on Homer’s 2016 Vote, Another Movie & the Star He Still Wants”.

Here is the relevant section:

What’s ahead this season?

In the premiere, it’s discovered after all these years Homer has narcolepsy and it’s an incredible strain on the marriage. Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist, who’s voiced by Lena Dunham. We’ll have cameos from the other women from “Girls.” We have an episode coming up where Lisa befriends a homeless woman who turns out to be an incredible singer. The woman’s voiced by Kate McKinnon, but the singing is done by Natalie Maines. In another episode, Spider Pig makes his return. Sideshow Bob appears in a segment, and we finally see him do something he’s wanted to do for 25 years. And we have an episode based on the film “Boyhood.” It’s a flashback/flashforward about Bart. We go to various points in his life and his life to come which I think came out really well.

Jean rattles off a few episode plots, one of which is about Homer and Marge legally separating.  This wasn’t considered big news, and most of the follow on articles I saw were about Sideshow Bob finally killing Bart in the Halloween episode.  For three days, that was the biggest piece of information anyone cared about in this article.

Then, on Wednesday morning, CNN got around to writing it up:

(CNN) – We already knew that it can be hard to make a marriage work in Hollywood, but it looks like it’s also tough to keep things afloat in Springfield.

According to an executive producer for “The Simpsons,” Homer and Marge will legally separate in the upcoming season.

The animated series is heading into its 27th season, and the show plans on keeping fans intrigued. Executive producer Al Jean told Variety that one of the plot points for the new season is Springfield’s supercouple splitting and the appearance of a surprising other woman.

In terms of whether or not Homer and Marge are permanently separating, those four sentences are pretty vague.  Since four whole sentences in three whole paragraphs is way too erudite for the modern internet media company on the go, there’s also a “Story highlights” box for people who are really pressed for time:

CNN'sFinest

The “Story highlights” read, “A producer says the longtime couple will split in new season” and “‘Girls’ star Lena Dunham will appear on the show”.  The first one greatly lessens the ambiguity by strongly implying that the “split” will last for a whole season.  The second one introduces a currently popular and reliably controversial celebrity.

That alone might have done it.  But what to do when even the misleading “Story highlights” take too long to read?  That’s what seriously misleading headlines are for!  Behold:

CNN'sStupidHeadline

Combine “‘D’oh! Homer and Marge set to split on ‘The Simpsons'” as a headline with the “Story highlights”, add in the internet’s notoriously poor reading comprehension skills, and you get a completely untrue viral story echoing around the internet, radio, and teevee.  It got out of hand enough that the show’s official Twitter account felt the need to rebut it.

Now, sometimes I get it when mainstream publications completely misunderstand a long running franchise, like a couple of years ago when they did the hapless “Nedna” thing.  Anyone still bothering to watch knew it wouldn’t matter in the least if they stayed a couple, but news from Springfield equals pageviews, so everyone wrote it up anyway.  But to think that Homer and Marge are permanently divorcing on a show like Zombie Simpsons is a whole other matter, especially when one or two clicks is all it takes to get to the original that clearly states that it’s just for a single episode.

Partly this is due to the Lena Dunham Effect.  She causes all kinds of people to flip out and yell at each other for reasons that I cannot fathom.  (I’ve never understood square dancing either.  Some things in life are mysteries.)  If this had been just about anybody else, I doubt it would’ve blown up this big.

But Dunham wasn’t the cause.  The cause was CNN writing up three day old news with a headline and teaser that strongly implied something that the article itself was basically silent on.  So, thanks for wasting everybody’s time.

On the bright side, and even though it was unintentional, the sheer reach of this easily debunked rumor might be the most biting satire of the media the show has done in fifteen years.  The links below are by no means an exhaustive list of the major publications, old and new, that apparently consider two clicks to be too much fact checking.

Anyway, I did manage to pick out a few fun regular links from all that nonsense.  This week, we’ve got a donut sensation, a metal band that uses Simpsons quotes in their lyrics, a fan made hat, a great story about “Who Shot Mr. Burns”, and more.

Enjoy.

The making of “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this great article from the A.V. Club about the show’s famous cliffhanger.

Eye On Springfield with Jono Colliver of Dr. Colossus – Awesome:

There is a fine line a band has to walk when writing songs based on TV shows or movies. Do you full on quote from the source material or do you try to compose your own lyrics? Do you try to make your band funny or keep it serious? Add to that something as serious as heavy metal and it seems like an impossible task. Enter Australian doom metal/rock band, Dr. Colossus. Consisting of Nathan Johnston on drums and Jono Colliver on guitar and vocals, the two piece manages to meld some seriously good doom with lyrics all based off episodes of The Simpsons. Combining original lyrics with classic lines taken straight from the show, the lyrics paint a cryptic picture while also adding a fun feel any time you recognize a quote from the show.

What if The Simpsons Had Only Lasted One Season? – The world would be a dark and terrible place and even newscasts would have laughtracks (via @DailySimpsons).

7 Times Marge Simpson Should Have Divorced Homer – And here we go with the divorce links.  Uproxx at least realized it was a joke, but then went ahead with a very Zombie Simpsons heavy list.

Worst. Idea. Ever. Marge and Homer will ‘legally separate’ on ‘The Simpsons’ – First up on our list of total shame, The USA Today:

In the equivalent of The Brady Bunch adding Cousin Oliver, The Cosby Show adding Olivia or any other aging sitcom adding a new character (usually under six years old) that doesn’t have a Oliv- prefix in order to spice up plot lines and stories that have become stale, The Simpsons will have Homer and Marge “legally separate” in the 479th season premiere of the Fox animated show. Or maybe it’s the 27th season — does it really matter anymore?

Simpsons producer Al Jean described this desperate attempt at relevancy interesting twist to Variety.

While it agrees with us that the show is garbage now, it’s not exactly helping the cause.  The whole thing is very sarcastic, which is not a tone you want to deploy when you’re being this gullible.

The Simpsons: Homer and Marge Split Will Join Other Famous TV Breakups – While we’re in the “Print Publications No One Will Miss” category, Time magazine, everybody:

What’s surprising about The Simpsons returning to this well is that the show hardly needs to; it’s not as though Homer or Marge is going to be written off the show. With few exceptions, the show resets back to where it began at the end of every episode.
But perhaps that makes The Simpsons ideally placed to feature divorce; so few comedies deal with the end of a marriage as something other than a way to expediently get someone out of your life forever that The Simpsons‘s reconciliation plotline will, at least, be novel.

I read this article twice, looking for any sign that they understood that this wasn’t permanent.  Zilch.

After 35 years, Homer and Marge Simpson are breaking up – But let’s not limit ourselves to old media, here’s new media darling Vox going all in on it.

Homer, Marge separated (or not) when new season of ‘The Simpsons’ begins – After using the word “revelation” un-ironically, Canada’s Global News at least had the decency to add that, “Jean took to Twitter to seemingly suggest he was playing the media for fools.”.  Seemingly?  What about this is so hard for people to get?

Marge and Homer Simpson to call it quits (thanks, Lena Dunham) – This one’s a twofer, as it’s Canada’s National Post unthinkingly reprinting a writeup in the Washington Post: 

Yes, Marge will be as blue as her towering hair, because Homer seeks a cure for his narcolepsy, and soon “falls in love” with the woman who can treat what ails him: a pharmacist voiced by Girls actress-writer Lena Dunham.
[…]
Homer and Marge have physically split before — such as when Alaska beckons in The Simpsons Movie — but have never legally separated.

Simpsons bosses set the record straight on Homer and Marge’s ‘separation’ – Metro UK bought it hook, line and sinker, even after the correction.

‘View’s’ Whoopi Goldberg on Homer Simpson Leaving Marge for Lena Dunham: ‘What About a Sister?’ – This is another twofer, with an uncritical writeup from entertainment industry rag The Wrap about the ladies on The View complaining about this.  It’s also evidence for my Dunham Effect theory, when Whoopi Goldberg says it’s Dunham, they put up this graphic and the crowd gives one of those “Ooohs” of disapproval:

BooLenaDunhamBooThisWoman

I could do twenty more of these, but I think I’ve made my point.  Fuck you, CNN.

The Simpsons Nancy Cartwright Is Working On Her Own Animated Series ♫ theMusic.com.au – Hey, look, actual news that got swamped by panicky idiocy:

In an interview with theMusic.com.au’s Daniel Cribb, Cartwright – who you probably know as the voice of Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, and wealth of other Springfield characters – revealed she has been developing an animated comedy series called Unassisted Living.
“We’re in development and pitching, but it is fully fleshed out and ready to go,” Cartwright revealed.
“It takes place in a retirement facility and everybody thinks they’re dying and somebody comes in to run the place that is only 22 years old and she gets them all working and contributing.

I’d give that a shot.

Sideshow Bob to finally get his boy – Enh.  Even the Halloween episodes are lifeless these days.

Here Are 10 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future – Some of these are a bit of a stretch, but if you’ve got six minutes to kill, you could do worse.

The 5 Worst Sitcom Doctors Of All-Time – Needless to say Dr. Nick makes the list.  There’s also a lot of good YouTube (Simpsons and otherwise).

DIY Painted Sun Hat – Turning a sun hat into a fan made Simpsons masterpiece.  Bravo!

Donutella-uva bomb: the experience – Excellent real life reference:

He couldn’t bloody believe it. Neither did I. I made him re-tell several parts of his story bit by bit. “And this is the milkbar I used to hang out at? Corner Vic Drive and Carrington?” I was still in disbelief.
“Yes.”
He said it was crazy like the ‘Flaming Moe’s’ fad from that popular Simpsons episode. Everyone was going there, everyone wanted one, and it was making the people mad. A little place, turned into a sensation, just because of a simple variation on a regular food item. Nothing extraordinary. Just Nutella on a doughnut.

90s Bart Simpson Radical Dude Don’t Have a Cow Original 1989 White Vintage t-shirt Youth Large – Everything old is new again.

Ralph Wiggum T-Shirt | Ralph Laurel – Heh.

Sounds of the City: Springfield! Springfield! – An appreciation of the music of the city, with some excellent YouTube.

New trending GIF tagged food the simpsons eating… – Well, well, well, finishing something?

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons eating… – At the Copa, Copacabana!

New trending GIF tagged reaction sexy the simpsons… – Oh, what the heck, give me your number.

It’s time to finally end The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:

Dear Al Jean, Matt Groening, Jebus, and anyone else who might be listening:
It’s time for The Simpsons to end.
Year after year, I watch the venerable cultural monolith that helped shape me as a person wither and twist in the wind – and I wish that it hadn’t come to this.
A show that was once defined by unparalleled writing, topical humour and brilliant voice acting has been reduced to a gimmicky, one-note shadow of itself that exists more as a merchandising vessel than as the greatest sitcom of our time.

He then calls the Dunhan thing as an “obvious gimmick”.  Amen, sir.  (Click through for the bitchin’ Blinky tattoo, as well.)

05
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Pondering the Absence of Shearer Edition

Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk13

“Oh, sir, what will you do next?” – Mr. Smithers
“Well, first I’ll get that new hip I’ve been hankering for, then, who knows?  Beekeeping, boxing, bocce ball, the world is my oyster, Smithers!  Farewell.” – C.M. Burns

I’m finally digging out all the Shearer related stuff I didn’t have time to get to over the last couple of weeks, and I have found a couple of gems.  There’s a Hollywood insider take, a journalist take, and a fan take, all on what his (potential) leaving means for the show.  In addition to that, we’ve got some excellent references, great fan art, a bunch of .gifs, and a wildly dickish local news team.

Enjoy.

Harry Shearer’s excellent Simpsons adventure – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this Hollywood insider perspective on Shearer’s situation from a longtime TV writer who actually knows him:

“What is he thinking?” asked dozens of text messages from people who know that we’re friends. “Is he insane?”
He is not insane, I told them. Harry Shearer is a fantastically gifted writer-performer-director, and after 26 years of voicing the characters of Mr Burns, his devoted assistant Smithers, school principal Skinner, irritating neighbour Ned Flanders, and many others, Harry simply decided to do something else.
“He’s ill, isn’t he?” asked one person. No, I said. He isn’t ill, either mentally or physically. He just can’t see how he’ll be able to devote the time his future projects require if he’s also committed to several more years of The Simpsons.

He goes on to make the case that the money is the least important part of this.  I still don’t know whether or not Shearer’s actually leaving, but this is very good perspective.

Why a Shearer-less ‘Simpsons’ can survive – I like this article.  The basic premise is that the show sucks anyway so who cares if they replace Shearer?

Variety bash team Simpsons Car 1111 hosts a charity golf day – That is phenomenal Simpsons swag from Australia.

Q & A With Bill Oakley on Portland Playhouse’s “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” – Heh:

Have you seen the play? If no, why not? If yes, thoughts?

BO: I have not seen the play because I do not like to leave my house. If they want to come over here and perform it, I can push back a couch in the living room and maybe provide Cheetos and Snapple.

And:

There have been so many celebrity cameos on The Simpsons. Who has not been on the show yet that you would like to see make an appearance.

BO: We could never get Stockard Channing to appear on the show for some reason and I’m pretty sure she is still alive. So STOCKARD CHANNING it is.

The Simpsons – Absolutely outstanding Simpsons tablecloth which can be yours on Etsy for $200.  Click through for lots of detailed pictures and real Simpsons love:

The tablecloth was found in a thrift store, like all of my accoutrements. The lace edge and sunshine yellow called my name, screamed my name, and I was truly giddy taking it home. I first envisioned stitching Yellow Submarine on this gem. When The Simpsons also came to mind, I went with the franchise I felt was less likely to sue me.

Heh.

Breaking Bad, Simpsons, True Detective Fictional Foods – The Duff can and Krusty burger are phenomenal.

The War Of The Simpsons – Fantastic line:

“…That music always sends a chill down my spine…”

TV Legends Revealed: What’s the Secret, Lazy Origin of ‘The Simpsons’ Opening? – Time has always been hard to fill, no doubts there.

Sepp Blatter…In 10 Words – He’s crossed that line from everyday villainy into cartoonish super-villainy.

FOX 46 Charlotte – Bart Simpson graffiti sticks again, City of CLT says it needs to – See, this is why nobody likes local news:

The City was unaware of the NoDa graffiti until FOX 46 News notified them. There has been no word yet from the owner of the apartments if the graffiti will stay.

The media called the cops.  Boy, you guys suck.  There are, of course, good pictures at the link, if you’re interested.

Model Antonina Petkovic’s Simpsons T-Shirt – Apparently, Bart can be “grungy-chic”.

19-year veteran AP English teacher fired for reading Allen Ginsberg poem to class – Excellent reference:

Oilo’s colleagues, friends, and students were quick to defend him. Said one former student “There has been a definite tonal change since I grew up here. It makes me think of Mrs. Flanders from The Simpsons: ‘Will no one think of the children??’ I mean, if there are parents in town who think their teenagers don’t know what a blow job is, they are sorely mistaken.”

We got to Check Out The Simpsons Springfield Grand Opening at Universal Studios, Hollywood! – There was a ceremony at an amusement park.  Here’s a 1 minute YouTube video of it.

The Simpsons, Doctor Who, More Coming to Lego Dimensions – It took awhile, but Lego turned into the King of Licensing so gradually, I didn’t even notice:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today confirmed that its Lego Dimensions title, slated for release this fall, will include gameplay from The Simpsons, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Jurassic World, Scooby-Doo!, Portal, Midway Arcade, and Lego Chima.

4 Reasons Why ‘Simpsons’ Dimwit Ralph Wiggum Might Be Secretly Smart – He’s not, but that was a decent read with plenty of good YouTube and no Zombie Simpsons.

Eye On Springfield with Dan Jackson of Void Ritual & Desu – This blog is called “Xtapolapometal”, “A blog about metal and The Simpsons”.  Excellent.  (Also, the interview is good, too.)

Eye On Springfield with Chris Alfieri of Vattnet Viskar – Same blog as above:

It depends on my mood really, I do like when they take on cultural issues without trying to outwardly make a fool out of people who may not share their view. They have a lot of tact which I respect a ton. But occasionally I just need to see a brainless but well written episode like the Trilogy of Error episode.

That is a great way to describe “Trilogy of Error”.

Disney princesses and Marge Simpson turned into breast cancer survivors to celebrate ‘courage’ – This is by that same Italian artists who’s been doing these lately.

Simpsons joke origins: Sideshow Bob’s campaign ad – And to think, that commercial was only aired a single time.

Someone has made the actual gummy Venus De Milo from The Simpsons and it’s incredible – This is at least the second time someone’s done this, and maybe the third.  Bravo, everyone.

Hall and Oates – An essay about Homer (well, non-Zombie Homer, anyway) as a classic Fool.

Homer’s Heaven – Lego Homer, real donut.

Five Fandom Friday: Five Characters That Get Me – Lisa tops the list, but it’s nice to see Wednesday Addams on there too.

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Fictional Characters You Most Identify With – Homer makes this one.

Photo of the day: Christen Press and Christen Press – One of our forwards got life size Simpsonsized.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run – Old video game review complete with .gifs.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons homer… – Clean as a whistle!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons smoking… – He’s got money to singe!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons bye goodbye… – Poochie goes home.

Etsy: Patty and Selma Cross Stitch – It’s not just Patty & Selama, it’s Patty & Selma freshly back from the beauty parlor.

Tristin Hopper: Like the Vatican, the Church of the Simpsons will go on – And finally, I get to end with someone who not only agrees with us, but does so in rousing, theological ways:

For someone who grew up on the Simpsons but stopped watching in the 1990s, seeing a contemporary episode is akin to Jesus Christ walking into the Vatican. The basic tenets may be familiar, but the presentation is shockingly dissimilar from its origins.

Throw out the heretics!

29
May
15

Reading Digest: Open Audition Edition

A Star is Burns20

“Sir, the actors are here to audition for the part of you.” – Mr. Smithers
“Excellent.” – C.M. Burns

It’s a short Reading Digest this week because I’m still behind the eight-ball, and the Dead Homer Society inbox still has rainbow wigs and floppy shoes everywhere, but some Reading Digest is better than no Reading Digest (right?).  Since the announcement of the (possible, still very unconfirmed) departure of Harry Shearer, plenty of people have been throwing their voices into the ring.  This week, we’ve got three of them (kinda).  We’ve also got some excellent usage, another Simpsons recasting, globetrotting Nancy Cartwright, (Britain, hurt feelings of), and a free silent movie starring Weird Al.

Enjoy.

I Hate the Sea and Everything In It: JAWS – Our friends at FLIM Springfield have done another of their .gif-tastic recastings, and this one is maybe their best yet.  Here’s some chum to get you swimming their way:

frink-hooper

Prof. Frink as Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss)
Elementary chaos theory tells us that all Great White Sharks will eventually turn against humans and run amok in an orgy of blood!

Here’s What The Opening of “The Simpsons” Looks Like Recreated With Stock Footage – This was making the rounds last week.  It’s impressive, but pretty uneven.  Some of the shorts are really good and pretty close to the intro.  Others are a bit tenuous.

This dude could easily replace Harry Shearer on ‘The Simpsons’ – This guy is very good (though some of the voices are a lot better than others), but it’s not hard to tell the difference, either.

▶ 28 Simpsons Impressions! Comedy Brian’s tribute to the Simpsons. – This is more than just Shearer voices, and again there are some very good ones in here (Burns and Patty & Selma, particularly).  (Thanks for sending this in, Brian!)

Harry Shearer Replacements for Mr. Burns – Reader Gary Lee sent in this compilation of clips with celebrities doing Burns lines.  Way more Zombie Simpsons than I would’ve used, but some of them are very good.

Michiana man aims to break world record for largest Simpsons collection – That is a lot of Simpsons stuff.

What If The Simpsons Became Our Post-Apocalyptic Mythology? – A nice writeup of the play in Portland.

‘The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright Interview: Cannes Film Festival – Cartwright went to France to promote a small movie she did based on a one-woman show she did twenty years ago called “In Search of Fellini”.  She does talk a bit about doing French for “The Crepes of Wrath” and artfully dodges a question about Shearer leaving.

Nancy Cartwright Added To Supanova Perth & Sydney – And then she’s off to Australia.

The Moving Picture Co. 1914 – Remember that silent movie with Weird Al that Mark Kirkland made?  Well, now you can watch it.

Movie review: Even the cast is too familiar with the plot to be scared by ‘Poltergeist’ – Excellent reference:

The 1982 Tobe Hooper-Steven Spielberg film is an oft-telecast classic. But generations have been exposed to the plot and its loopiness, thanks to reruns of “The Simpsons.” Hard to get too worked up about a “Treehouse of Horror” tale.

Skyler: Parents, foster the success of dealing with failure – Another excellent reference:

Eighty percent of the baby boys continued to pull on the string, yanking harder and harder, some even getting a foot into the pulling action, until they were exhausted with anger and frustration.

Eighty percent of the baby girls tried the string once or twice, realized immediately it no longer worked, then began to cry.

I was reminded of the “Simpsons” episode in which Lisa devised an experiment called “Is my brother dumber than a hamster?” Every time Bart reached for a cupcake, his hand was shocked. Despite this pain, he reached for the cupcake over and over and over.

Someone got a Drake as Bart Simpson tattoo (Photo) – The headline says it all.  Well done, someone.

The myth of bad British teeth – The BBC takes exception to a stereotype:

Having bad teeth is one of the stock American jokes about British people. In the world of film, spoof super-spy Austin Powers cavorts around London as a would-be sex symbol, not realising that his discoloured, crooked grin is being mocked.
In one episode of the Simpsons, a dentist scares a young patient into better oral hygiene by exposing him to a horrific publication called The Big Book of British Smiles. It features mocked-up pictures of gappy, unaligned teeth belonging, among others, to Buckingham Palace guards, the Prince of Wales and Sherlock Holmes.
Chris van Tulleken, a British doctor and TV presenter, has joined the criticism by telling Radio Times magazine that British dental standards are globally infamous and having “brown, foul teeth doesn’t really bother us”.
But are British mouths really in such a state and is there such a lack of vanity?

Oinkster Burger Week 2015 is here! Get ready for seven days of burgers – Heh:

Also, for the first time, the folks at Oinkster have collaborated with their neighbors at Highland Park Brewing to create a Burger Week beer. Red Tick ale is a sessionable red ale, the name for which is an obscure “Simpsons” reference (one episode from the eighth season).

Here’s what it sounds like when Generation X runs for president – The Washington Post – Weak reference:

Declaring Tupac Shakur superior to The Notorious B.I.G. Listing off favorite Clinton-era episodes of The Simpsons. A romantic epiphany that involved a foam party and a pay phone.
It could all be late-night chatter in a mid-1990s dorm room – or the recent musings of Republican men vying to be the leader of the free world.
Generation X has hit the campaign trail.

[Rant]There is no such thing as “Generation X”.  There is no such thing as “The Greatest Generation” or “The Silent Generation” or “Millennials” or “Generation Y” or (and I have seen this) “Generation Z”.  There was a “Baby Boom“, it was the result of a unique set of historical circumstances, the big one being that it was a lot harder to have and raise kids from 1929-1945 than it was after that.  Once those circumstances faded, population growth went back to normal.  The only demographic bulge is the post-WWII one, everything else is just lazy shorthand for trend piece writers that means nothing.[/rant]

08
May
15

Reading Digest: The Show Will Go On, The DVDs Will Not Edition

Lisa the Skeptic6

“Come on, who wants to complain with me?” – Lisa Simpson

The obvious big news this week was the renewal.  For those of us who were paying attention, it wasn’t the least bit surprising.  For the overwhelming majority of people who have the good sense not to be paying attention, it was big news.  So the Simpsons signal-to-noise ratio went bonkers and, as is always the case when that happens, this is a pretty short Reading Digest.  We’ve only got one renewal link, and that was just because it has a marvelous headline.

In other not-news news, there will be no more Simpsons DVDs.  Once again, we have a lone link because there just isn’t much here.  When they did that cash grab Blu-Ray/DVD release of Season 20 (sans extras or commentaries) back in 2009/2010, I joked that they were probably never going to catch up because at the rate they were doing them, Season 20 on DVD wouldn’t be coming out until like 2018, and does anyone really think people are going to be buying DVDs in 2018?  Well, it turns out there are some people who thought that, and they are upset about this.  We have an outraged YouTube video from one of them, but I only made it about a fifth of the way through the fifteen minutes runtime.  I have long experience caring about things most people don’t care about, but there are limits.

But, hey, we’ve also got some fan art, more cross stitch, an excellent piece of usage from a financial analyst (of all people), and more.

Enjoy.

MR BURNS – Fan made drawing of Burns and Smithers in what I assume is one of Smithers’ favorite positions.  (NOTE: It’s not as dirty as I just made it sound.)

Etsy: Moe Szyslak Cross Stitch – The Moe cross stitch has been completed.

The Simpsons go to the boards in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – Backstory on the play coming to Toronto.

128th-Final, Round 8: Homie the Clown vs. Bart’s Girlfriend – Oof, that’s tough, though that is a great screen grab of Homer and Flanders from “Homie the Clown”.

Lisa’s Subsitute – This:

-I like Skinner explaining, in excruciating detail, how Lyme Disease works…to a second-grade class.

Meanwhile, Hoover’s standing there getting queasier and queasier.  The Simpsons: making malignant spirochetes funny.

Round 1, Battle 11 – (S.3 Ep.13) Radio Bart vs (S. 9 Ep. 22) Trash of the Titans – That’s “Radio Bart” by knockout in the first so hard that the sanctioning body should be ashamed of itself.

Round 1, Battle 13 (S. 9 Ep. 18) This Little Wiggy vs. (S. 5 Ep. 15) Deep Space Homer – Going against Season 9 again, for sure.

Round 1, Battle 14 – (S.4 Ep. 9) Mr Plow vs (S.4 Ep. 14) Brother From the Same Planet – But this one is too close to call.

The Simpsons First-Impression Matrix – Su-san from the country club would probably scoff at this.

‘The Simpsons’s Nancy Cartwright Made A Bartman Statue Out Of Clay – That Bart statue from last week was actually made by Cartwright.

Postmodernity in ‘The Simpsons’ – Always one of my favorite aspects of the show:

Metanarratives play a key role in the structure of ‘The Simpsons’. Authority and authoritative figures are ever-present in Springfield and are almost always cast in a negative light.

And people wonder why kids who were born after the show went south still love it.

Twenty Quotes from The Simpsons That Prove This Show is THE GREATEST – One from Zombie Simpsons, but other than that it’s a great list (and quite original, too, don’t often see some of these on quote lists).

No More “The Simpsons” DVD Sets – I have a hard time caring about this, but that is an inspired .gif choice.  In related DVD news, reader Dastardly Devious sent in this YouTube rant about the DVDs.  I stopped at the three minute mark when he said he wasn’t addressing people who are capable of admitting the show sucks now, but if you seriously care about Zombie Simpsons DVDs and teevee DVDs in general, I guess you might like it.

Deutsche Bank Bart Simpson ASX chart – Excellent financial/visual usage:

Morgan noted a chart he’d seen which attempted to show recent market tops on the S&P500 were spread 1897 days apart and showing we’re now at the end of the next point in that cycle. Which prompted this:

I usually put this sort of analysis in the same bucket as astrology and tarot card reading, but I had a technical look at our own market and was also alarmed with what I saw. Do you see what I see in there? A Patrick Star gave way to a half-Batman and then yielded to a full Bart Chart. Janet Yellen is right – there is nowhere to go but down from here.

bart-stock-chart

It’s even the Michael Keaton Batman!  Well done.

Bart’s Nightmare Review (A Doug Walker Tribute) – No, it was not a great game.

Fox Renews THE SIMPSONS, Water is Wet – Old news, but great headline.

Guessin’ Ages – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons dad bod… – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons awkward laughing… – Troy McClure catching himself laughing from “138th Episode Spectacular”.

Arctic Characters and Character Arcs – Excellent usage:

This is partially a legacy issue. The original crucible for the characters was in the form of short stories, almost like a TV anthology series, where each episode ended with the characters back in the position they were in at the start.

[…]

In the words of philosopher and influential third-wave feminist Lisa Simpson:

“Don’t worry, Bart. It seems like every week something odd happens to the Simpsons. My advice is to ride it out, make the occasional smart-alec quip, and by next week we’ll be back to where we started from, ready for another wacky adventure.”

It is the nit pick of nit picks, but Lisa does say “an occasional” not “the occasional”.  Still, that hardly matters.  Great quote and very apt.

JOYRICH SIMPSONS SWEATSHIRT POLKADOTS / BLACK – More high end Simpsons clothing.

Parleok Baut – And knockoff but kinda looks like high end Simpsons clothing.  No idea what language that is, though.

 




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