Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category

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.

 

01
May
15

Reading Digest: Real Life Soul Donut Edition

Treehouse of Horror IV20

“Well, well, finishing something?” – The Devil

This week, someone not only made Simpsons donuts and posted the recipe, they made the Soul Donut!  Excellent.  In addition to that we’ve got fan art everywhere from crosstitch and felt to statues and house paint.  Plus there’s some excellent usage, more episode rundowns and reviews, and more.

Enjoy.

Note: Still no news on contract renewal.  I continue to assume there will be a full Season 27.

Homer Simpson’s Donut Recipe – Just what it says, with easy to follow instructions and this:

real-forbidden-donut

Etsy: Marge Simpson Cross Stitch – Excellent and for sale.

Works in Progress – And coming soon from the same woman as the link above, Moe!

Simpson – Fan made Homer out of felt.  Excellent.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Episodes That Could Have Been The Series Finale – “Behind the Laughter” still gets my vote.

This website archives everything Bart Simpson has ever written on the blackboard – Metro.co.uk rediscovered that site that has all the chalkboard images on it, so it was making the rounds this week.

Brighton students wake up to massive Simpsons mural being painted on their home – Neat:

Renowned Brighton graffiti artist Aroe MSK was commissioned by the landlord to paint the striking artwork on the house in Hartington Road as a result of his Viaduct Road piece last month.

There’s a couple of good pictures at the link.

Weekend Gaming Goodness – Awesome:

The Simpsons trivia tournament was, as many predicted it would be, perfectly cromulent.
The questions were tough, the players were nerds. I went into that tournament all but certain we’d win; we placed fourth.

I am an early Simpsons nut and the questions were all from seasons three to ten. How could I fail? I’ll tell you how: questions like What is the name of the gun store from which Homer buys his gun?

Fourth. Shameful.

Really though, my friends and I had a blast. The host was dressed as Otto and the prize for winning was an inanimate carbon rod.

Our team name? Worker and Parasite.

PeteSnyder on Twitter – Apparently there’s now a “Bartman” sculpture in front of the FOX News headquarters:

BartmanFoxNews

Old Money – I love that wool shawls are in “Activewear”:

-“Grandma’s World” has to be real store somewhere.

Brush With Greatness – Ah, for when Homer’s screams were quick and meant something:

-My favorite part of the episode? Probably Homer’s reaction to seeing Burns in his house. He screams the most abrupt scream in the history of television.

Round 1, Battle 6 – (S.9 Ep. 16) Dumbbell Indemnity vs (S.2 Ep. 1) Bart Gets an “F” – That’s an easy one.

Round 1, Battle 7 – (S.8 Ep.14) The Twisted World of Marge Simpson vs. (S.7 Ep. 11) Scenes from a Class Struggle in Springfield – That’s close, but I gotta go with those stuck up rich snobs and their abalone sandwiches.

Round 1 – Battle 8 – (S.8 Ep.16) Brother From Another Series vs (S.8 Ep. 20) The Canine Mutiny – Yeah, gotta go with the Sideshow brothers there.

Round 1 Battle 9 – (S. 2 Ep. 22) Blood Feud vs (S. 3 Ep. 5) Homer Defined – Oof, that’s rough.

TV Pick of the Day – Heh:

Watch it for: Some dark Simpsons gags (think cops and brothels), a lesson in the dangers of the household rake.

You may remember me from such shows watched from the set of $ale….. – Heh.

Tao of Homer – Philly sports bar heh.

Hello Kitty x The Simpsons – One of the shirts in the wild on a real person.

This leaked Sony email helps explain why most Hollywood movies are garbage – Excellent usage:

Shore’s email (Subject: “Spidey thought”) reads like the pitch scene from the Poochie episode of The Simpsons (“He needs more attitude!“) It imagines an EDM blasting, Tough Mudder-running, Snapchat-obsessed douchebag Spider-Man.

Sony: The Studio That Makes FOX Look Competent.

Doctor Who and The Simpsons among the most important television articles on Wikipedia – Well, most referenced, anyway.

The Simpsons Transcend the Apocolypse in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – The Vegas version of the play has some seriously creepy Simpsons masks.  Bravo.

Ignore the news and watch The Simpsons – Good advice:

Thoughtful investors know their job is to restrain the reflexive response, which produces behaviour that is the very antithesis of intelligent investing.

I follow the maxim of a commentator who said: “The best thing to do at key turning points is to ignore the news completely and watch the Simpsons”.

I have found this to be good advice.

Minecraft PS4 Adds The Simpsons DLC This Week – That is all.

Cate Street deal shows danger of crony capitalism – Excellent reference:

Given all that, the idea that Maine might end up playing Springfield to Cate Street’s Lyle Lanley should come as no surprise. The only difference between the Cate Street scheme and Lyle Lanley selling Springfield a monorail in “The Simpsons” with the city’s nuclear fallout settlement money is that at least Springfield was lucky enough to have Marge Simpson as a lone voice of reason. Though she was completely ignored, she argued to use the settlement money on traditional infrastructure improvements, like repairing Main Street.
Under the dome in Augusta, there was no Marge Simpson: the New Market tax credit plan sailed through with bipartisan support.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Burns and his favorite word.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Nerd!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons woody allen… – That’s noted taxpayer Willie Nelson, not Woody Allen.

24
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Perfectly Timed Door Slam Edition

Lisa's Substitute11

“I’m glad I’m not crying, because I would hate for you think that what I’m about to say is based on emotion.  But you, sir, are a baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“Me?” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, you!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t think you realize what you’re saying.” – Homer Simpson
“Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson

First off, sorry for the lack of Compare & Contrast this week.  I’m still in the thick of it at work and didn’t have time.  (Things will – he typed hopefully – ease off starting next week.)  In regular news, we’ve got some great links this week, including outstanding fan art (there’s a whole exhibition of the stuff!), a brand new Simpsons blog, some excellent usage, and an on-point article about one of those perfect little subtleties in “Lisa’s Substitute” (which, coincidentally enough, aired for the first time twenty four years ago tomorrow).

Enjoy.

The Timing of a Door Slam on The Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this fantastic observation about the end of “Lisa’s Substitute”.  It’s one of those things you don’t notice because it’s so flawlessly done.  Well worth a click.

Simpsons-inspired art exhibition opens in Liverpool – With lots and lots of pics!  The Marge mirror and the Thrillhouse thing are outstanding.

The Simpsons’ top 30 movie references – Great list (although it bafflingly leaves out The Shining) at Den of Geek.  Two unsurprising things deserve note: 1) none of the entries are from Zombie Simpsons and 2) they don’t mention that at all because nobody wants the hassle.

Ted Cruz loves ‘The Simpsons,’ but he botched his favorite quote – He was close enough for moderate usage.

A Trap Music-Style Remix of Homer Simpson’s ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Meltdown – Pretty good.

10 Simpsons Characters As Real Humans – A decent collection of comparisons that have mostly been done before.

Cocktail Recipe: The Marge Simpson – I’d probably go with gin over vodka, but that’s just me.

MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY to Run 5/13-6/7 at Portland Playhouse – And the play goes to Portland.

The Character Files: Rafael – He’ll always be the Sarcastic Guy to me.

The Character Files: Very Tall Man – I do find him comic while driving his automobile, but I probably wouldn’t say that to his face.

Catch-23 No. 27 ‘Big Other’ Part 8 – Heh.

Instagram Crush: @madnails – Great set of Simpsons nail art.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Characters You Didn’t Know Were Voiced By Hank Azaria – Uproxx must do good pageviews on their endless array of Simpsons posts.  I’m certainly in favor of them keeping it up.

‘Simpsons’ Photos To Describe Losing Your Virginity – What about that Stock Footage Festival the kids went to?

Moving Away from Evergreen Terrace – For anyone wondering why the DVDs got canned, this, from a longtime fan, should explain things:

When the season 17 set was released last December, I held off on buying it because it didn’t feel worth the week-of-release sale price. We have to have it someday because Sideshow Bob is on the cover, but perhaps we can wait for Black Friday pricing. No hurry. We haven’t even cracked open the season 16 set.

Habit buying ain’t gonna pay the freight.

Top 5: Television Cartoon Dogs – Santa’s Little Helper comes in at #3, though I can’t really argue with Scooby at #1.

The Classic Simpsons Battle Royale! – Another site is going through the episodes, tournament style.

Round 1, Battle 1 – Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy VS I Married Marge – That’s a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 2 – Old Money vs Like Father Like Clown – Also a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 3 – (S. 12, Ep.6) The Computer Wore Menace Shoes vs (S. 10, Ep. 23) Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo – Whereas here I can just go with Season 10.

Crack open a virtual Duff with Homer Simpson on his legendary couch – Someone created a virtual Simpson home you can wander about if you happen to be wearing one of those VR headsets.

This episode of Mad Men felt like a spinoff – Excellent reference:

Todd VanDerWerff: Do you guys remember that one episode of The Simpsons “The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase”? Airing in season eight, it purported to show three separate proposed spinoffs from the series, including a cop show, a stupid gimmick sitcom, and a variety show. The terribleness of the ideas was the point — this is what television networks do when left to their own devices, the episode seemed to snark.
Well, I feel roughly similarly about “New Business,” which feels for much of its running time like “The Mad Men Spinoff Showcase.”

All shows must die — even Game of Thrones – Excellent usage:

In The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie” — which, by virtue of being a Simpsons episode about the internal machinations of television, makes it one of our best excoriations about how stupid the internal machinations of television are — Homer is drafted to provide the voice of Poochie, a hip dog brought in to revitalize the flagging cat-and-mouse cartoon show. For his first voice session, he’s understandably nervous: “Is this episode going on the air live?” he asks. “Very few cartoons are broadcast live,” an old hand reassures him. “It’s a terrible strain on the animators’ wrists.”

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – a deer, a female deer!

New trending GIF tagged simpsons weed homer simpson… – Homer disappearing into marijuana instead of a hedge.

CMW 2015 Preview: First You Get The Sugar – “Foreign Lands” – We’ve got another band named after a Simpsons quote.  I do so enjoy these.

“A Star Is Burns” – The Simpsons Season 6 episode review – A little love for one of Season 6’s many gems.

Ten funny gene names – part 2 – I learned something today:

2. Maggie – Fruit flies with a mutated Maggie gene results in arrested development, like Maggie Simpsons from the cartoon series The Simpsons.

Trial and Error – And finally, I get to end with some academic types who agree with us:

For the group survey and interview assignment my group and I have decided to look at how families are represented in television sitcoms and if it has changed over time, with specific reference to The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family.

No point going beyond that.

10
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Still Waiting For Renewal Edition

New Kid on the Block23

“You’ve been flushing for twenty minutes.  Is there a problem?” – Principal Skinner
“Uh, no, Principal Skinner.” – Jimbo Jones
“Very well.  I’ll continue to wait.” – Principal Skinner

As near as anyone can tell, the show remains without an official renewal.  Eika Isabel Vega, who’s been a real good sport about me using her Twitter feed to track the potential death of her job, tweeted this an hour ago:

VegaTweet2My guess is still that it’ll be renewed, but it looks like production is beginning to shut down, so we’ll see what happens.  In regular link news, this week we’ve got some great fan art, the death of DVDs, emoji Simpsons, a look back at when the show knew how to inject culture into its episodes, and more.

Enjoy.

11 Minimalist Simpsons Posters – Oh, wow, some of these are outstanding.  And you can download them as wallpapers if you like.

And now for something completely silly – Classic Simpsons quotes told through emojis.  A sample:

emojiquote

There’s a few more at the link.  The dogs with bees in their mouths in inspired.

The Similarities Between Saul Goodman And Lionel Hutz – Pretty much the same guy.

Jerkface – The Donut Mobile – Someone painted a small truck with Homer and donuts.  Excellent.

The Simpsons Outlives DVD Market – Darn, I guess I’ll never get to own all those great Season 18 episodes.  Then I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes.

No More Simpsons Seasons Released on DVD – Reader John H. sends in this IGN link, with a picture/headline juxtaposition that doesn’t quite convey the sadness the article presumes to be occurring among fans:

WooHooNoMoreDVDs

Heh.

Pixar’s Brad Bird Talks French Food, Animated Rats And New Film ‘Tomorrowland’ – Bird was on some NPR show and they gave him a truly dumb Simpsons quiz near the end.  He missed one, but the impression he was supposed to be guessing was terrible.

128th-Final, Round 6: Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul – That’s a tough one.

11 best uses of bad grammar from The Simpsons – There are about three Zombie Simpsons entries on here, which is three too many considering they left out “perfectly cromulent”, “no more apples in the vending machine please”, and Lionel Hutz not working on contingency.

iOS 8.3 Emoji with ‘Simpsons’ complaints – Definitely a bit of resemblance there.

Locating Springfield, A Simpsons Theory. – Enjoyably pointless.  Heh.

The Simpsons and King Arthur – Ah, for when the show made pointed little cultural insights a habit:

During its second season, The Simpsons aired an episode entitled “Dead Putting Society,” about a miniature-golf match between Bart Simpson and his neighbor Todd. What qualifies this episode as a “medieval afterlife” is the miniature-golf setting itself. On Bart’s first visit, it’s introduced by a sign at the entrance: “Sir Putt-a-Lot’s Merrie Olde Fun Center,” with a cartoon icon of a jousting knight; further attractions listed include “Her Majesty’s Batting Cage” and “Merlin’s Video Dungeon.” The “Merrie Olde Fun Center” itself, shown in the background, is a pseudo-medieval castle, and throughout the episode attentive viewers may catch sight of signs for “Ye Olde” everything: “Ye Olde End of Course,” etc.
I’m always charmed by this episode because these post-medieval features are treated as throwaways: they’re not necessary to the plot, and no one calls attention to them; indeed, the viewer has to slo-mo through the entrance sign if s/he is to appreciate the Fun Center’s features. It’s all just part of the lower-middle-class decor, and thus reflects an important aspect of the medieval Arthurian afterlife in the USA: its association with class aspirations. Everyone has seen a trailer park or motel named “King Arthur’s Court,” and the creators of The Simpsons clearly understood this phenomenon as widespread enough to be satirized for the TV audience.

Welcome to Springfield, U.S.A!!! – Having a few of the Seven Duffs as shrubbery is pretty cool.

My New Favorite Cardigan – One of those Hello Kitty/Simpsons sweaters out in the wild on a real person.  Looking good.

this makes me really want donuts – Animated .gif of Homer in Hell, eating all the donuts in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv dancing the simpsons… – Homer wants candy.

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons martin… – Finland, let’s see that native dance.

03
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Eating Like Homer Edition

Simpson Tide9

“Gentlemen, there’s only one solution: we place this last donut in the reactor core, exposing it to radiation, thereby making it big!” – Homer Simpson

This week we’ve got two links to great moments in food related Simpsons fandom, one on the consumption side and one on the production side.  Happily, both of them are even videos, so you don’t have to reduce your boredom by reading anything.  In addition to that, the play is spreading like the Osaka Flu, we’ve got three late obituaries, lots of drawings of Milhouse, a couple people who agree with us, another Simpsons-movie casting mashup, and more.

Enjoy.

Man recreates scene of homer pigging out on couch – Fantastic:

Bye bye belt!

10 illustrated tributes to The Simpsons’ Milhouse – More of “Milhouse from Memory”.  Damns, some of those are really cool.

Gone Girl: Cool Girls and Yellow Trash – Our friends over a Flim Springfield have done another of their .gif heavy casting calls.  Officer Marge as Kim Dickens is inspired.

The ‘Simpsons’ Episode That Introduced Homer To The Real World – A nice writeup of “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” by our old friend Johnny Sugar.  Also, there’s YouTube.

Principal Charming – Love this line:

“Homer, lighten up. You’re making Happy Hour bitterly ironic.”

Also, Noah would like some suggestions:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: While this will always primarily be a “rewatch-’em-all” blog, I’m thinking about occasionally doing posts about other Simpsons-related things, such as characters, locations, lists, what-have you. I’m criminally wishy washy, so if you’ve read this far, I beg you [please?] for some input. Advance thanks!)

Hmm, how about Ghost Mutt?  Or, like Hans Moleman in this episode, a look at the first (or only) time we see characters?

In search of some Modern Art – Tastefully and artistically done nude of Patty & Selma.

Posters from McGarnagle: The Movie and other films from The Simpsons – I’ve seen some of these before, but whoever put a Jay Sherman “Reprehensible” quote on the McBain poster was a genius.

‘Simpsons’-‘Goodfellas’ Lawsuit: Fox Wants To End $250M Suit – FOX has responded to that weird, longshot lawsuit.  I continue not to care.

The Simpsons Expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood [Video Walkthrough] – Would you like to watch a three-and-a-half minute YouTube of someone else walking through an amusement park in California?

VR vs. School – I will buy a VR system as soon as I can go where Genghis Khan goes, defile what he defiles, and eat who he eats.

Confusion Is Sex (1983) – A discussion of Sonic Youth that includes the obligatory Simpsons mention:

It’s obvious Sonic Youth didn’t get on The Simpsons off the back of this record. Nor did they want to. This is not the album of a band whose objective was mainstream success, rather the album of a band who just wanted to do their own thing and cater for the fans of their local music scene.

Of course, the blog header for their month of Sonic Youth is those damn kids eating Peter Frampton’s watermelon.

OakOak pays tribute to Banksy & Homer Simpson – Excellent Homer donut art.

Giant Donut Cake – And speaking of donuts, holy shit:

Full recipe at the link.

Twentieth Century Fox readies merchandise with new ally – If you live in India, FOX is preparing to blast the merchandising cannon at you directly:

Dream Theatre has tied up with Bio World, a Delhi-based manufacturer and distributor, specialising in licensed merchandise. It had earlier partnered with The Simpsons’ franchise outside of India.
“The Simpsons has a huge fan following and with direct-to-retail now an option, thanks to e-commerce, we plan to launch the apparel range in the coming months. The fact that our audience is also an avid user of the e-commerce platform makes it better for business,” says George. He adds that with a franchise that has been around for 26 years, it makes sense to have as many merchandising options as possible.
“We want to go as horizontal as possible with The Simpsons. Apparel and accessories are the most obvious routes, but there is a lot of scope in the novelty, gifts, collectibles and figurines segments. In fact, within accessories, we have products like mobile cases which are popular with young adults. So, you see, the scope to scale up is huge with The Simpsons,” he says.

I know those words, but that sentence makes no sense.

Tickets to Outside the March’s ‘MR. BURNS’ Now on Sale – The play goes to Toronto.

The Ball State Daily – And Indiana.

‘Simpsons’-inspired ‘Mr. Burns’ presents Bart as art – And here’s a review of the Minneapolis one.

Analog Stick’s – Top 3 most overrated games of all time – Simpsons Hit & Run makes the list.

Phil Hartman – Our old friend Gran2 has a new project called “Late Obituaries”.

Leonard Nimoy – They’re short but informative.

Sam Simon – And many, but not all, have a Simpsons bent.

Las Enseñanzas de los Simpsons – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons the simpsons… – Homer getting back with the people, the young people.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – His jiggling is almost hypnotic.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Homer doing the standard scream.

New trending GIF tagged love simpsons talking phone… – Sounds delish, he’ll just throw on some jeans and . . . wait, who is this?

117 – Adaptation and Bart’s Soul – Don’t feel bad, lots of people were unfamiliar with the works of Pablo Neruda:

I learned about Pablo Neruda from the Simpsons in an episode where Bart sells his soul. I learned about classic film, scientific theories and television history from them as well. The Simpsons led me to consume better art and comedy. It may be the easiest pop culture touchstone to praise.

Day 198- Simpsonized – Continuing from last week, more simpsonized portraits.

Day 199-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 200-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 201- Simpsonized – Last one, since from here it moves onto The Jetsons.

“You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had a electrified fooling machine!” – With a little YouTube.

TV Pick of the Day – Wednesday 1 April – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Lemon of Troy is a classic Simpsons episode in which the neighbouring town of Shelbyville (boo, hiss etc) steals Springfield’s prized lemon tree. This may not sound like much of a plot but, in the capable hands of The Simpsons’ finest writers, it becomes one of my favourite episodes of all time. My favourite gag centres around Springfield’s belief that the residents of Shelbyville have a tendency towards inbreeding. Awesome.

Watch it for: The incest gag, the Shelbyville doppelgängers, a reminder of how good this show used to be.

But their cousins are so attractive!

27
Mar
15

Reading Digest: The Simpsons Will Outlive Us All Edition

Bart's Friend Falls in Love17

“Hey, Bart, according to this magazine, in another million years man’ll have an extra finger.” – Lisa Simpson
“Five fingers?  Eww, freakshow.” – Bart Simpson

For obvious reasons, this site takes the position that The Simpsons was and is the greatest show ever.  (Zombie Simpsons naturally excluded.)  Of course, plenty of people disagree about that for one reason or another, but the nice thing about being a Simpsons advocate is that I get to cite examples, lots of them.

For instance, this week we have a link to an article about the best sitcom of the 1990s, the author presumes that The Simpsons is grander than all of them and excludes it because it isn’t quite a sitcom.  We also have an interview with Anne Washburn, author of the Mr. Burns play, in which she discusses considering and rejecting a number of other television shows for her premise.  We also also have someone explicitly saying the show will never die while pretending to praise Zombie Simpsons.  And that’s before we get into the tattoos.  And while I can think of no reliable source of information to prove it, I’m willing to bet that Simpsons is the most tattooed show in history.  Oh, and we’ve got usage, fan art, and all the other usual stuff.

Enjoy.

35 Simpson Tattoos – Whoa, are there some good ones in there.  I’m partial to Homer as the jack-in-the-box from “Treehouse of Horror II”, Rod and Todd on the thumbs, and Floreda.  Baphomet Lisa is pretty evil too.  As a bonus, here’s another one via Maggie Roswell’s Twitter:

C.M. Burns tattoo

BWW Interviews: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY’s Anne Washburn Ponders Pop Culture After the Apocalypse – The play is coming to Minneapolis, and this is a great observation:

Q: What about “The Simpsons” do you think captures people’s imaginations enough that it would survive a nuclear meltdown?
A: I think people would remember really enjoying it. And it’s a show in which the humor is so verbally precise that lots of people enjoy the act of remembering it even now, and so I think chunks of it would be in readiness.

“verbally precise”, yes.

NewsRadio was the best sitcom of the 1990s – The link above also has a bit about other shows she considered, but statements like this are part of the reason why The Simpsons won out:

This is a high honor. The ’90s featured a host of great sitcoms. There was Seinfeld and Roseanne and Frasier and Friends and The Larry Sanders Show, all shows that are the ancestors of so many great shows on the air right now. (They also had the golden years of The Simpsons, which I don’t classify as a “sitcom,” because it’s animated. Accuse me of splitting hairs, if you must.)

You can have a debate about Newsradio versus other shows.  You cannot have one about The Simpsons.  It’s so absurd that it gets its own explanatory parenthetical in the opening paragraph of an argumentative article at a mainstream media site.

The Simpsons Get A Film Noir Makeover – Some of these paintings I’ve linked before, but I think the Mr. Plow one might be new.  It is gorgeous.

Don’t Have A Cow, Man – This is true:

As a child, I was allowed to watch The Simpsons.

Other children my age weren’t so lucky. Some parents considered The Simpsons as an evil that could negatively effect the minds of their innocent children. It was to be avoided at all costs.

Usually when I see that statement, it’s “As a child, I was NOT allowed”.  Good on your folks.

Northland, Politics, Transport, and Pork – Via reader James T. comes this piece of excellent visual usage from New Zealand:

Why is this important? Well, I suspect what all of these conservative parties have done, including National, is held focus groups where they’ve asked people whether they support more investment in roads. In response, many of these people have said “yes”. Something like these guys.

itchyscratchypoochieNewZealand

The Simpsons makeup! – The Marge makeup as used by an actual person.  Bravo on the two tones.

Simpson Characters V2 – Fan drawings, including the rather clever and awesome “Sideshow Warhol”.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Became Immortal – This is one of the most halfhearted defenses of Zombie Simpsons I’ve seen in a while:

I quite enjoy the new Simpsons’ episodes. Granted, they are not as great as the glory years, but I quite enjoy the long-running series’ hot takes on political issues.
And, I can always keep re-watching the old stuff, too.

Talk about damning with faint praise.

Tampa Bay Lightning with the A+ Simpsons reference to mock Bruins fans – This is truly excellent usage:

Bruins-Lightning

Hiekkamyrsky Helsingissä – I’m not sure what this all says, but if you scroll down you’ll find a well done Simpsons family, with couch, in beach sand.

March 19, 1990: America loves ‘The Simpsons'; Buffalo, not so much – There’s an image of a TV column from The Buffalo News from twenty-five years ago.  Apparently, “Life on the Fast Lane” didn’t do so hot in the local ratings that week, though the guy (who looks like Ron Swanson) does note that it’s doing much better nationally.  He even closes with this little zinger:

“Elvis” is being marked return to sender, address unknown. ABC is removing its critically acclaimed series from the scheudle and says it will return at a later date. Despite a strong lead-in from “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Elvis” has been getting destroyed in the rations nationally by Bart, Homer and the rest of “The Simpsons”.

According to IMDb, ABC dumped the rest of the episodes in the summer then canceled it.

Day 196-Simpsonized – A simpsonized caricature, part the first.

Day 197- Simpsonized – And another.

The Joy of Glitches – I gave up on Tapped Out a while ago, but that is pretty cool looking.

Bartkira! – Is Bender sneaking in there too?

Homer Vs. Lisa And The 8th Commandment – The Mt. Sinai parts are just fantastic:

-The animation of Mt. Sinai is terrific. It’s the kind of quality you can only get with hand-drawn animation. I really wish at least one animated show nowadays would go back to hand-drawn. There was a Peanuts special a few years ago that did that, and it gave the cartoon some nice, charming feel.

-There are lots of funny things going on in the background at the beginning. People beating the crap out of each other, guys chasing woman, and my personal favorite: Homer (the thief) stuffing his shirt with calf idols every time the carver-guy turns around.

Don’t worry, they’ll be wandering out there two weeks, tops.

Brazil legend Pele to lease forehead for commercial advertising – Pele is king of the soccer field, to be king of your lapels, use Crestfield wax paper.

How I’m Feeling Of Late – Heh.

Has ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Surpassed ‘The Simpsons’? – Zombie Simpsons?  Of course.  I think they did that about ten minutes into the pilot.

New trending GIF tagged television the simpsons the… – Remember The X-Files?  They’re back.  In .gif form.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons season 8… – Poochie would like you to recycle.

Happy Birthday, Spock! – No reason not to have some more Nimoy love, including Simpsons YouTube.

SMARCH with the Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Every Sunday at Tattooed Mom, there are free arts and crafts. For the lousy Smarch weather, we’re going to have a Simpsons themed night. Classic Simpsons episodes will play, Ninties episodes only! You will learn how to draw the Simpsons, color the simpsons and paint eggs from Vincent Price’s Egg Magic.

If you’re in or around Philadelphia, that’s happening Sunday night.

20
Mar
15

Reading Digest: Moar Sam Simon Tributes

LandOfChocolate

Sam Simon was so widely beloved that there was no way to sort through even a part of people’s tributes to him last week.  Now that the noise has settled down and big media outlets are on to the next thing, this week we’ve got a ton more great stuff about the man.  There’s other stuff too, of course, but mostly it’s Simon.

Enjoy.

My buddy Sam Simon. – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this long and loving encomium for Simon by a writer who met him over poker.  It’s long, but it’s a great read.

Someone built all of Springfield in Minecraft to recreate the ‘Simpsons’ opening – Now this is an impressive act of geekery:

There’s a little tour of the place at the link.

Dark Ink Art To Release Dave Perillo’s Second Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Print On March 17, 2015 – I do not have $50.  But that is gorgeous.  (And no Zombie Simpsons!)

The secret heart of The Simpsons – Our old friend Alec Nevala-Lee takes a look at the creative mix that made the show and how it’s impossible to either pin down or overstate Simon’s contribution.

Remember Sam Simon – Well put:

 Sam Simon’s legacy for The Simpsons was the creation of a cartoon that an educated person could watch and not be ashamed at; the humor would be intelligent and not dumb itself down for the lowest common denominator.

The Simpsons pub trivia is SUPER SERIOUS. – A great writeup of the last trivia in Chicago.

Easton Hospital buys site for new hospital in 1915 – Almanac March 11, 2015 – Look at all the neat stuff you can find digging through newspaper archives:

25 years ago: Be cool, dude: In answer to an Express Street Talk question about U.S. Postal Service plans to raise the price of stamps from 25 cents to 30 cents, “Who do you think should be on the new stamp?” Donna Snyder, of Allentown, said, “Tom Petty. I like his tunes.” Joanne Panulla, of Belvidere, said, “Boomer Esiason, he looks great on a football card and he would look even better on a postage stamp.” Said Phillipsburg student Robin Torquati, “Bart Simpson. He’s a cool dude and he’s my idol.”

Bartmania lives on.

Simpsons Homer Dan Castellaneta Remembers Sam Simon – Some nice words from Homer himself:

“I first met Sam while we were doing “The Tracey Ullman Show.” My first memory of him from those days was that although he had already been in the business for a while, he was still kind of a wunderkind.
He’d be sitting there with all these experienced guys — Jerry Belson, Jim Brooks — and there’d be times when people would be stuck for a line. I’d see Sam thinking and talking to himself, and then he would say something. At least 70% to 90% of the time, it would be a really great, succinct line.

Mad Men’s Peggy Olson and the allure of TV spin-offs – Excellent usage:

“Spin-off”! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul?” Troy McClure, the Simpsons’ fading actor once asked. It’s a question you’d imagine AMC would respond to with a resounding “yes”, given how eagerly they seem to be churning out the things.

Akira, Redrawn Using The Simpsons, Is Incredible – More Bartkira, including a .gif of Bart on the motorcycle.

Robyn Urback: An ode to ‘Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon, the most cromulent guy around – We’ve all had moments like this:

Indeed, The Simpsons facilitated a type of cartoon-osmosis through which I learned the songs of an 1878 comedic opera, though that was just one of many worthwhile literary and cultural references I absorbed by staring at the show every weekday. There were references to the Salem Witch Trials, the Freemasons, contemporary American politics, religious and environmental issues and so forth, all delivered through a cartoon cast that was somehow made real. And if you ask those who know the behind-the-scenes of the show best, that was Sam Simon’s doing.

The Glesga Simpsons: student gets creative with Scottish inspired drawings of hit show – Fan made Scottish Simpsons images.

Here’s exactly what would happen if EastEnders characters were in the Simpsons – Heading South from Scotland, here are some fictional Londoners done the same way.

Ranking The Simpsons Season 8 – a review – I’d probably only have “Burns, Baby Burns” and “The Homer They Fall” under the “Meh” category, but at least they’re both there.

Groening and Barry Take New York – I think these two might just make it in showbiz.  Not everyone gets a writeup in The New Yorker.

‘Milhouse From Memory’, A Book Featuring Artists’ Illustrations of Milhouse From ‘The Simpsons’ Drawn From Memory – The link has a couple of samples.  Cool.  (via @DailySimpsons)

RIP: Sam Simon – Our old friend Noah says goodbye in cartoon form.

Let’s NP-Ify: The Simpsons – And has some great sketches of the rest of Springfield.

The Thrill: Kimmy Schmidt, Can-Con, and the Simpsons – A CBC podcast that discusses Simon and his legacy starting at the 26:50 mark.  They also spend some time agreeing with us that the show has gone to hell.

Ron English x Garageworks Industries x The Simpsons 1:1 Bart Grin Sculpture – A four foot tall Bart sculpture with teeth that are borderline H.R. Geiger.  Neat.

The Way We Was – Love this line:

“Get off the edge of your seat. They got married, had kids, and bought a cheap TV, okay?”

Homer Simpson’s Profound Quotes In One Place – Some of these are a little screwy, but at least there’s some YouTube and very little Zombie Simpsons.

128th-Final, Round 4: Homer and Apu vs. Sideshow Bob Roberts – That’s a tough one.

128th-Final, Round 5: The Homer They Fall vs. Lady Bouvier’s Lover – But this is not.

7 Wild ‘Simpsons’ Fan Conspiracy Theories – Reader Dan O. sends in this list of pretty out there theories.  As he said via e-mail:

5. THERE ARE MULTIPLE MOLEMEN. LOL

The Simpsons Meets Metal! – Great fan made metal version of the opening theme song:

The Simpsons – Building an Icon Set by Oliver – Fan made set of Simpsons sketch icons.  Bravo.

Hey, Kwik-E-Mart truck: Where’s the (wadded) beef? – A picture of that truck they sent to SXSW.

Bruce Vilanch to Lead SIMPSONS Writer Mike Reiss’ RUBBLE Reading Next Week – Reiss wrote something (play? movie? I’m not sure):

The story of RUBBLE is as follows: Alvin (Vilanch), an aging, down-on-his-luck comedy writer who — much to his chagrin — has narrowly escaped fortune, fame, and Emmy awards, is on a last-chance meeting with a network executive. During a spirited pitch of his new series idea, “My Brother, The Pope,” a massive earthquake hits LA, leaving him buried up to his neck in a pile of rubble. What ensues are a series of hilarious visits – from his older-and-more-useless-than-dirt agent Lee (Adler) and his ex-wife Brie (Wilson), to a pompous Dad (Still) and a singing and dancing Jesus (Maroulis).

Lisa Simpson’s Guide to Geek Chic (Book Review) – They released another officially licensed book.  Here is a review of it.

April ’15 – Sonic Youth – Once you were on The Simpsons, it defines you forever:

JAMIE: I still remember the very first time I heard of Sonic Youth. It was about 1996 and a 12 year old me was watching an episode of The Simpsons called Homerpalooza.

Vintage-loving hipsters can eat my shorts – Excellent usage, albeit copied and pasted direcrtly from Wikiquote.

Hold on to your hats! – Nebel with a great pull:

In the episode “Brother from the Same Planet,” Homer engages in a long, drawn-out fist fight with Bart’s Bigger Brother, Tom. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD set of season 4 in 2004 that I learned this was a direct reference to the 1952 John Ford film.
Showrunner Al Jean explains in the episode’s audio commentary:
“We were looking to rewrite the ending of the show, and [Sam Simon] suggested that we look at the movie ‘The Quiet Man,’ the John Wayne movie where he and Victor McLaglen have this huge fight that goes all the way across Ireland. And I remember we came in on a Saturday to watch that movie, or to watch at least the fight sequence, which goes on for a long time.
It’s a great fight. Just two huge guys pounding each other all the way across Ireland. And the people in the community really love the fight. John Wayne, at one point, is dragging his wife across town, and a woman comes up and goes, ‘Here’s a stick for you to beat the pretty lady with.’ It’s these attitudes you certainly couldn’t put in a movie now.”

VIDEO: Conan And Zachary Quinto Remember Leonard Nimoy – O’Brien recalls freaking out when he first met Nimoy.

The Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart Comes to LEGO and Second Series of Minifigures – Want to see lots of pictures of the Lego Kwik-E-Mart?  Here you go.

“Stupid sexy Flanders” – True:

During times like this, it may be better to try not to think about the thing we want to remember. Rather, just relax and let your mind wander back to what it’s supposed to be thinking off in the first place.

It includes YouTube.

Ballarat Swap Meet: Barney – Streaking Barney as a hood ornament?  Awesome.

Good Old Classic Homer – “And Maggie Makes Three” really should be the official episode to get parents to let their kids watch the show.

100 Funny Signs From Around Springfield on “The Simpsons” – And very little Zombie Simpsons.

Sam Simon – Please to be forwarding this to the Zombie Simpsons staff:

Simon cuts straight to the heart of the matter. He tells Maron there are 3 rules for good writing:
1. Story above all.
2. Don’t be afraid of the quiet moments.
3. Love your characters.

Can’t Do It: TV Shows I Stopped Watching – This is about when I quit:

When I Bailed: Midway through Season 14

A Sam Simon lament: Depression in the creative industry – Among a discussion of how writing and sadness seem to go together, here’s a full George Carlin quote:

“The biggest problem, though, was that Sam Simon was a fucking horrible person to be around. Very, very funny, extremely bright and brilliant, but an unhappy person who treated other people poorly.”

Universal Studios Hollywood: March 2015 Harry Potter and Simpsons Construction Update – The Simpsons land is coming to California, and there are construction pictures.

Annoying Popcorn, and Some Stuff About Sam Simon – Plenty of us did this:

People think it’s ridiculous to say some entertainment was important for your childhood, but “the Simpsons” really impacted me. I remember watching it in kindergarten, but others say I was interested in it from birth. One of my favourite feelings in the world is lying around on a lazy Saturday, maybe when it’s raining outside, and watching reruns of the show. I did that all the time when I was a kid, and sometimes I still indulge. When I felt lonely being the little kid in the house, I watched the show. When I dreaded going to school the next day, I watched the show. When I came home from the mall where I was supposed to meet my dad – separated from my mum – and he didn’t show up, I watched the show.

It’s a guaranteed pick me up.

The 8 Tragic Misfortunes In ‘Homer At The Bat,’ Ranked – Ozzie Smith needs to be higher here.

Man Seeking Woman Creator: The Simpsons is Behind Every Great TV Comedy – It’s true!:

I’m sure the cause is a lot of factors as to why TV has gotten so good, and some are cultural, some are just a shift in commercial realities, but if I had to point to one thing, I would say it’s The Simpsons. I know that sounds simplistic, but I think 25 years ago, nobody had ever seen The Simpsons, and now, every comedy writer has seen The Simpsons, and as a result, comedy in America has gotten funnier. I’ve never been in a writers room before where somebody didn’t reference The Simpsons once an hour. I don’t know how you would ever write a good show without constantly trying not to rip off a specific Simpsons script. So if I had to point to one factor, it would just be the fact that every comedy writer in 2015 has seen between 50 and 200 episodes of The Simpsons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons mr burns… – Mr. Burns tenting his fingers.

New trending GIF tagged cartoon the simpsons the… – Blinky blinking.

New trending GIF tagged cartoons & comics cartoon… – Homer lounging in Herb’s pool.

New trending GIF tagged kiss 90s retro simpsons… – Homer kissing Flanders.

The Password Is: The Simpsons – How the show can warp on-line dating.

R.I.P. Sam Simon (1955-2015) – A fitting send off ends with:

There was a great outpouring of mourning and gratitude on social media following the news of Simon’s passing. All that can be said has been said by the right people.
So all I can say is: Thanks, Sam.

Amen.




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