Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category

20
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Over the Gorge Edition

Bart the Daredevil14

“I’m the king of the world!  Woo-hoo!  Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

The first and best link we have this week is a fan made poster of Homer’s disastrous attempt to teach Bart a lesson.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  After that there are a bunch of other links to great fan made stuff, including Legos and crayons.  And after that, we’ve got the play moving to America’s wang, a whole website dedicated to Simpsons tattoos, idiotic donut marketing, and more.

Enjoy.

Cool Stuff: Official Mark Englert Simpsons Poster – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this high res poster of Homer not making over Springfield Gorge.  Outstanding.

It’s December 1941 in Casablanca. What time is it in Springfield? – As usual, the fading .gifs for the casting images are great, and “Dr. Wolfe as Major Strasser” is an inspired pick.  But I don’t think Wiggum is smart enough to be Captain Renault.  Rex Banner, maybe?

Milhouse – A fan made Lego Milhouse head.  Click this.  It even has his little cowlick.

Crayola Mini-Scultures of Bob’s Burgers, Simpsons, Groot, and More – The family carved into crayons.  Excellent.

Worst. Tattoos. Ever. – There is an Instagram just for Simpsons tattoos.  Neat.

Matt Groening and Lynda Barry: A loving and productive friendship. – Always nice to see them together:

“We disapprove of each other,” Groening said, after he revealed that he’d once asked Barry to marry him. (Her response: “THE HELL!”) She hates his swank Malibu house, and he calls Wisconsin, where she lives, “colder than Scott Walker’s tit.”

Bart Gets Hit By A Car – Season 2 often creeps up on the unsuspecting:

Well, here’s an episode that’s even better than I remembered. It’s sorta like “Simpson & Delilah”; I remembered it being good, but not as good as it actually was.

I barely moved all day the first time I got my hands on the Season 2 DVDs.

Pop culture unplugged: ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ opens at The Hipp – The play goes to Florida, where “post-apocalyptic” just means “Wednesday”.

This Website Tells You Which Episode Your Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Quotes Come From – Daily Simpsons alerted me to this on Twitter.  It’s kinda fun.

Every Scene In “22 Short Films About Springfield,” Ranked – Our old friend Johnny Sugar naturally puts Skinner and the Superintendent at #1.  (Good YouTube there.)

[VIDEO] Christopher Lloyd On ‘The Simpsons’ — Plays Taxi’s Jim Ignatowski – Yes, that was Doc Brown last week on Zombie Simpsons.  No, nobody cares.

Homer Simpson Desk – A fan made animation of a desk way more complicated than Homer would ever use, but that is pretty cool nevertheless.

‘The Simpsons’ Fan Theory: Has Homer Been In A Coma For 20 Years? – No.  This has been simple answers to simple questions.

The Simpsons Is Now Streaming At 4:3, Too – Our long national nightmare is over.

Krispy Kreme Accidentally Promotes KKK Wednesdays, You Know, For Kids! – Via pretty much everyone, British outlets of American donut factories are not the best at marketing.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #2! – I might’ve gone with this as #1, but that’s just me.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #1! – But this isn’t a bad choice:

The police spotlight shining through the colander provides a romantic backdrop while they slow dance to a wonderful version of “Embraceable You”…is it any wonder we chose this for #1? The look of bliss on each of their faces says it all.

Plus there’s honorable mentions.

Happy Valentine’s Day! – Great .gif of Ralph’s empty Valentine’s Day box.

Electric Needle Room… – If you’re going to get facial hair burned off, you might as well cite Homer and Bart.

Bored Gaming: Simpsons Tapped Out – That game is evil, I tells ya, eviiiiil.

2015-16: New Competition in Disneyland’s Local Realm – Looks like the California park is getting the same expansion the Florida one got.

NECA To Release Wave 5 Action Figures Featuring Matt Groening, Lenny Kravitz, Adam West, Stan Lee & Tom Petty – Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the teevee show is made.

When Fiction Meets Fiction – And speaking of merchandising, Lego put Homer’s head on the Wolverine figure (plus some other combos).  Meh.

The Simpsons on Twitter: “RT to congratulate Moe on his new position as supervisor! – Twitter interns are the lowest level of the Hollywood totem pole, and pathetic crap like this is why.

The Simpsons has been on for a long time… – Some well deserved love for “Lisa’s Wedding”.

Know-This-Geek of the Week- The Tale of Two Apples….er…One Apple and One Apple… – Some well deserved love for Rich Appel.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons the simpsons… – Homer’s thought process.

13
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Fan Made Donuts & Zombies Edition

King Size Homer21

“Aww, honey, that looks just like a real donut.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, it says ‘non-toxic’.” – Bart Simpson
“Well, that’s a plus.” – Homer Simpson

This week we have two excellent pieces of fan art, one a painting the other some CGI zombies, and both are great.  Since Bacon Day is tomorrow, we also have a bunch of links involving “I Love Lisa” one way or another, plus some excellent references, Groening on live TV, a protest south of the equator, someone who agrees with me about the lameness of last week’s Zombie Simpsons, and much more.

Enjoy.

Zombie Simpsons by Dan Osborne – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the week are these fan made images of Zombie Krusty, Zombie Krabappel, Zombie Otto and Zombie Willie.  Outstanding.

Rrrrrrrgggggggh~ dOnut on canVas – A picture history of a fan made painting of Homer’s favorite pink donut.  Awesome.

Don’t They Have A Job? People In Bolivia Protest For ‘The Simpsons’ TV Slot – I really wasn’t sure this wasn’t a hoax or a prank, but it appears to be legitimate.  Viva Bolivia!

Tele Tuesday: The Simpsons is Bad and Matt Groening Should Feel Bad – Yup:

I didn’t walk into last Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons expecting anything great. It hasn’t been great—hell, it hasn’t been tolerable—for quite some time. Regardless, I still found myself impressed by the lack of quality.

[…]

mention current affairs–but don’t talk about them in any meaningful way!–in a stream of consciousness storyline whose only humor lies in half-baked one liners. If the show was a horse I wouldn’t suggest taking it out back to shoot it; that would imply it’s alive and suffering. It’s been dead for some time, we’re just looking at a taxidermied corpse, foolishly expecting it to majestically gallop at any minute.

It goes on about how lazy and one dimensional “Walking Big & Tall” really was, especially with nothing but one note fat jokes.

SMarch at Tattooed Mom- Sunday Smarch 29th – For those of you in and around Philadelphia, this sounds pretty neat:

Screening CLASSIC Simpsons episodes … from the 90’s!

[…]

FREE craft projects including
The Infamous Vincent Price and his diabolical Egg Magic kit,
How to Draw the Simpsons,

7 February 2015. WTF! It’s Got to be Russia! – Some cool (and colored) snow sculptures of the family.

A Guide To The Many Loves of Bart Simpson – This is, for obvious reasons, mostly Zombie Simpsons.  I’m only linking it because the comments are about half things like this:

Oh God. I’m only familiar with the first two. And after reading this, I think I’ll keep it that way.

Itchy & Scratchy & Marge – I always thought this too:

-I wonder if Bart’s line about the soapbox racers was intentionally foreshadowing season 3’s “Saturdays Of Thunder”; like they already had that episode set to run.

Probably?

Bye, Boooooook! A Review of Bongo Comics McBain One-Shot – Just what it says.

Whatcha Realizing, Jerk? – Trying to figure out what you do and don’t care about other people’s thinking with help from the show.

Why I am choo choo choosing me – A few Bacon Day resolutions, complete with lots of Simpsons .gifs (though there is some Zombie Simpsons, there’s not much).

Best Episode of the Simpsons Ever: I Love Lisa – Point.

The Best Episode of the Simpsons Ever: Cape Feare – Counterpoint.  (Both are pretty well argued and illustrated.)

The top ten most romantic moments in Simpsons history (seasons 1-10) – It’s a countdown:

For Valentine’s Day, and another special reason you will hear about soon, your favorite Film Crickets compiled a list of the ten most romantic moments from the first ten seasons of the Simpsons.

We will be posting one or two a day until Valentine’s day!

And each one gets its own graphic and explanation.  Here we go:

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #9! – Homer and Smithers.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #8! – The family and Mrs. Krabappel.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #7! – Mr. Bergstrom and Lisa.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #6! – Milhouse & Samantha.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #5! – Lisa & Ralph.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #4! – Homer & Marge

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #3! – Marge & Homer (with bonus real life cake for you to ruin).  Check back over there to finish up the run between now and Bacon Day tomorrow.

Simpsons-Themed Doughnuts Are Coming, Courtesy of Dynamo and A.C.T. – Not only is the play coming to San Francisco, it’s getting donuts to go with it.

[The Simpsons] Homer Simpson is a vegetable in a coma, and has been for over 20 years. : FanTheories – Long story short, Homer’s still in the coma he lapsed into in “So It’s Come to This”:

‘He is subconsciously aware of time passing, so his mind will often “update” his memories so that the year they occurred matches up with the age he thinks he is (eg. That 90’s Show contradicting other flashback episodes).’

His theories are subsequently backed up by pointing out how different the plots became after this point – with the relatively low-key episodes such as Lisa’s crush on her teacher and Bart cheating on an IQ test replaced by far grander stories.

Yeah, that could be it.  Or FOX could just suck at developing new shows and this one stayed around forever because it still earns bread.  (Thanks to reader Richard J. for sending this one in!)

7 Valentine’s Day episodes to warm your heart – I think you can all guess which Simpsons episode makes this list.

The Greatest Quotes From Your Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Characters – It’s one big long image, and there are some good ones, but there’s also way too much Zombie Simpsons for my taste.  (Thanks to reader Daniel P. for sending it in!)

The Television List – I’m all for people watching TV, but spare yourself the horror of Zombie Simpsons:

I foresee a lot of Netflix bingeing in my future. Some it would probably kill me…like to watch all of The Simpsons…so that show I may just watch some from each season ( There are like 25+)

Just let it peter out around Seasons 9/10/11.  There isn’t anything worth it past that, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

What I Watched: Week 5 (Feb 1-Feb 7) – Gotta have at least some:

And like usual, I watched a few episodes of The Simpsons here and there. This week I was watching the 1st disc of the 5th season which features the Cape Feare, Treehouse of Horror IV, Homer’s Barbershop quartet, and Homer Goes To College episodes.

Great disc.

Aussie duo’s pixel art Simpsons tribute to become the show’s next opening – The behind the scenes story:

Twelve hours after the video was uploaded Ivan received an email from the show’s creators, asking him to call them straight away.
“The email went to my spam folder, so I actually thought it was a hoax, ” said Ivan.

Good on Jean and company.  That thing really was well done.

Farmington Hills church shares gospel according to the Simpsons – Speaking of Jean:

JeanTweetChurch

Revisiting The Simpsons as Lego – There are more Simpsons Lego sets coming.  Much more.

Different Dollhouse Occupants- Simpsons Chess Set – Nice photo of Simpsons chess pieces all lined up, family like.

Just don’t. – A poorly translated (?) Bart t-shirt.

Portlandia Rips Off The Simpsons In This Awesome Clip – Groening did a guest spot on Portlandia.  That is all.

A brief history of The Simpson’s Radioactive Man – Just what it says.

The Quietus – Excellent reference:

There’s a great episode of The Simpsons where for several weeks the residents of Springfield are repeatedly bombarded with the name ‘Gabbo’ and informed by billboards and Kent Brockman alike that ‘Gabbo is coming!'; everyone, it seems is “saying ‘Gabbo this’ and ‘Gabbo that'” until the moment Gabbo is finally revealed to be a ventriloquist’s dummy, whose variety show antics captivate and enthral the entire town. Given, then, that the band are self-confessed Simpsons fanatics it seems somewhat fitting that it was in similar circumstances that the Quietus first became aware of the psyche-bludgeoning exploits of Portland-based trio Prizehog.

It started about nine months ago, as most things do these days, on Facebook. Little by little, the odd mention here and there – “Prizehog this” and “Prizehog that”; “Prizehog are melting my brain”; “Look Smithers, ‘Prizehorg’ are coming!” and remarks of that nature seemed to be popping up in newsfeeds with some regularity

New York City: 1 Homer Simpson: 0 – And finally, this look back at the Season 9 premier agrees with us right on the nose:

Hot off the wildly successful marathon of The Simpsons that launched FXX, I decided to watch the first 10 seasons of the series in succession. Paramount among my reasons to sit back and binge watch over 220 episodes of one of the greatest TV shows ever created was to try and analyze when exactly the series started to fly off the rails.[1]

[1] Around season 10, but the writing on the wall was evident as early as season 7.

Sadly, it was.

06
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Pixels Pixels Edition

Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood16

“Keep cool, Simpson. Be in the game, but not of the game.” – Bart Simpson
“No es bueno!” – Panamanian Strongman

There was one link that dominated the Simpsons internet this week.  Usually when that happens it’s yet another lame publicity stunt or the latest celebrity to do a guest voice.  This time, however, it is truly worthy:

Watch it.  Then watch it again.  It’s so slick and professional that at first I thought it was another one that Zombie Simpsons had commissioned.  Nope.  Just some guys who have serious skills and love the show.  Excellent.  Bravo.  Well done.  Kudos to you, Paul Robertson, Ivan Dixon, and Jeremy Dower!

In other news before we get to the links, this Monday will be the first ever Woo-hoo Simpsons Trivia here in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  If you’ve ever been to one of the ones in Toronto, New York, Chicago or elsewhere, this’ll be pretty much the same.  I even went to the trouble of hacking together this little flyer:

Flyer1

My apologies to everyone who gets tired of me flogging this on Twitter all weekend, but I would vastly prefer not to be the only one who shows up.  There will not be free balloons for everyone who enters, but we do have prizes for first, second and third place.

In actual links this week, we’ve got a couple of arcade games, Al Jean accidentally endorsing the idea that Zombie Simpsons sucks, lots of .gifs, frivolous lawsuits, and fan made Homers in the mediums of snow and banana.

Enjoy.

13 Things You Never Noticed About ‘The Simpsons’ Pilot Episode Because A Lot Has Changed In 25 Years – My guess is that most of you have noticed these things, but there are some very good .gifs here, and it’s always nice to see Season 1 get some love.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Macedonia man builds winter wonderland – He’s got an Xtapolapocetl sized Homer snow head in his front yard.  Bravo.

Bart The Daredevil – Noah takes a look at Homer falling down the cliff, and I agree completely:

This Gorge-jumping scene with Homer is truly the start of the Homer pain gags we’d see often, especially post-season 9. However, here it’s done in a different manner than the latter-season beatings. In this episode, the Homer beating may be brutal, but it’s fairly quick, isn’t overly graphic, and doesn’t involve him screaming for the entire time. Now, we have seen post-classic-era beatings that have been relatively funny, however I feel that this is truly the “right” way, if I may call it that, to beat the living hell out of Homer Simpson.

And he doesn’t bounce right back, he ends up in traction next to Lance Murdock.

The Jazz Hole – A very early look at a Lisa poster they’re apparently releasing next month and that will also be at Comic Con this summer.  You can’t quite see the whole thing, but it looks great.

the wit and wisdom of homer j. simpson – A collection of quotes without even a hint of Zombie Simpsons.

Stephan Brusche transforms bananas into icons and famous artworks – Yes, this man turned a banana into Homer Simpson.  He will be our new god.

Eddie Huang Rates the Best (and Worst) Coming-of-Age TV Shows of All Time – Publicity interviews are usually a complete waste of time, but occasionally you get a gem:

Okay, let’s go a little more recent: Bart Simpson.
I love Bart, man. One of my first CDs was that Simpsons soundtrack with Bart doing the Bartman. Bart was fucking a downtown New York cartoon character.

I don’t think he’s aged well, though.
He got that Asian dolphin skin. And hey: The Simpsons might be the first Asian-American family on television.

Because they’re yellow?
They are!

That’s fucked up, Eddie.
My last name means yellow.

10 Favorite Arcade Games – A little arcade nostalgia, with the Simpsons game coming in at #4.

Game NOT Over: Pasadena couple resurrects Monster Bash, other retro arcade games – And speaking of the arcade game:

The frustrating difficulty of these games might be their biggest charm. Guenther recalls a group of patrons gathered around The Simpsons Arcade Game on opening night, “They finally beat it just at the end as we were closing down, and I’ve never seen the closing credits on that machine.”

The Simpsons: Road Rage (2001) – A harsh review of an old game.

8 People Who Tried To Sue The Simpsons – This is one page per entry click whoring, but it’s at least got some novel information.  I’d only heard about a couple of these.

Harley visits Springfield – A well done photo of a tiny plastic Bart in a tiny plastic Simpsons living room getting visited by a tiny plastic Harley Quinn.

Lisa it’s your birthday – The “Lisa It’s Your Birthday” song works for anyone so long as their first name has two syllables.  There’s no way not to think about it.

Look of the week – Hey, hey, hey, there’s nothing “tacky” about Simpsons socks!  Oh, wait, yes there is.

A.C.T. Partners with San Francisco Institutions for MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY Events – Not only is the play headed west, it’s getting a pretty awesome guest:

Following the 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 7, Emmy Award winner and former head writer of The Simpsons, Jon Vitti, will participate in a postshow symposium with Carey Perloff. Vitti has written 25 episodes of The Simpsons, including the “Cape Feare” episode.

TV’s top entrepreneurs: Homer Simpson as Mr. Plow – Homer Simpson, businessman, evaluated.

HIGH FIVE! Homer Simpson’s Parenting Quotes – There’s some good quotes here, and there’s a great YouTube video of Homer getting hurt that’s all non-Zombie Simpsons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons pixel art… – Part of that awesome pixelated opening.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons super bowl… – This mashup of “I Love Lisa” and Richard Sherman’s reaction to the interception that won the Super Bowl was making the rounds this week, for obvious reasons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons angry snow… – Brockman cursing the storm that never happened.

Deals of the Week: $30 DualShock 4, Seasons of The Simpsons, $36 Xbox Live – And finally, Al Jean tweeted out this link:

JeanDVDTweet

Where it says:

A few Simpsons Seasons Are Suddenly Cheap

We’re talking good seasons too. Season 4season 5, and season 6 are all just $10. Our best Simpsons episodes list makes a nice buying guide.

Heh.  (That list of best episodes also has no Zombie Simpsons.)

30
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Suggested Search Edition

Deep Space Homer11

“I suggest a lengthy, inefficient search, at the taxpayers’ expense, of course.” – NASA Scientist
“I wish there was an easier way.” – NASA Director

It’s a very short Reading Digest this week.  The WordPress “Simpsons” tag wasn’t working, those Auschwitz images I linked last week went kinda big, plus all the chatter about Elon Musk meant the signal to noise ratio went to hell again.  We’ve got some usage, some more play reviews, a couple of cool fan doodles, and the first few instances of Bacon Day cards, so it’s not like it’s completely barren.  Things should smooth out by next week.  But first, in the silly fun category, reader Feodor sent in this search suggestion:

ZombieSuggestion

Heh.  Thanks, Feodor!

Enjoy.

Definitive proof that The Simpsons is getting worse – This is just the IMDb ratings put into a nice graphic.  It’s been done before (here and elsewhere), but it’s nice to see people paying attention to how clearly different The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons are.

Simpsons Star Wars Doodles… – The one of Homer in the famous Episode I poster is great.

The Avocado is the Hipster of Vegetables! – Scroll down for a printable Choo-Choo-Choose You image.

New Valentine’s Day Cards! – And here’s a fan made Etsy version for all your Bacon Day needs.

The I, Omnibus Top Ten (US) Cartoons of the 1990’s – A short history of why cartoons became much better in the 90s:

There were three major factors that brought US animation out of its “Ghetto Age” that lasted throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and into its “Golden Age” of the 90’s. One was the Disney Renaissance – its rebirth of motion picture animation, which funnelled over to the television side. The second was the success of The Simpsons, which brought animation back to “Prime Time.” And the third was the success Ren and Stimpy, which reminded network executives that cartoons were once catered towards adults, and could be once again.

Reviews: Theater for thought and laughter – The play in Chicago gets some more critical love.

THEATER REVIEW Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play – Oh, hell, one more.

The Minimalists – Excellent usage:

The rigidity of minimalism’s reductionism has been parodied in mass entertainment, from Absolutely Fabulous (which taught us that if you make your home a white cube, there’s nowhere to stash the booze) to The Simpsons – think of the early 1990s episode in which a Yoko Ono-esque character sits at Moe’s bar and orders “A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat”.

New trending GIF tagged happy the simpsons excited… – Here’s an appealing fellow.  They’re a-peeling him off the pavement.

The Full McBain – YouTube of all those McBain clips stitched together.

A kid-filled day – Adorable 4-year-old discovers Simpsons arcade game at a roller rink.  Aww, the kids love it too.

Boo-Urns Night. – Heh:

Nonetheless, Burns Nicht is celebrated all over Scotland (and indeed in many other places worldwide) and the celebration typically features more outlandishly Scottish stereotypes than a heroin-fueled Caber-Toss between Groundskeeper Willie and Ewan McGregor.

Excellent reference.

Rod McKuen, Prolific Poet and Lyricist, Dies at 81 – And finally, this is Critic rather than Simpsons, but this scene always cracks me up:

23
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Cranky with the Media Edition

Bustling Newsroom

“Wow, a bustling metropolitan newsroom, funneling scoops from all over the globe.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hi, are you interested in a subscription to the Shopper?” – Sales Dude
“Low introductory rates.” – Sales Lady
“No, please, you gotta help old Gil.  What’s it gonna take to keep you on the phone?  Dance for you?  But you wouldn’t even see it.  Alright, I’m a dancin’!” – Gil

This week, I make only tangentially relevant complaints about several linked articles: lazy sourcing, inappropriate pageview whoring, and two instances of recycled content that sort of, somehow had something to do with the show.  Happily, we’ve got a lot more stuff as well, including more Season 2 breakdowns, a couple of great pieces of fan art, Lego Grampa, and a real life electric hammer.

Enjoy.

Snowpiercer: “Sorry Mom, the Mob has spoken!” – How would you cast a dystopian train movie with Simpsons characters?  Start with Mr. Burns taking Ed Harris’s part and work backwards.  (Thanks to JRC & Diana for e-mailing their post in.)

Bart Vs. Thanksgiving – Our buddy Noah continues his adventures through Season 2.

Dead Putting Society – This is the episode that really turned Flanders into Flanders.  It’s not just that he’s richer, nicer, and more popular than Homer, there’s a real guy under there, one who can get pissed off but who’s still relaxed enough to not care about mowing the lawn in his wife’s Sunday dress.

Dancin’ Homer – The original story of degradation and humiliation.

Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish – Heh:

The first time I saw this episode, I honestly thought Mary Bailey was a real governor (I was young, OK?), and I was wondering why the show was kissing this person’s butt so much.

But it’s “Not Just Another State”.

Abe Simpson – Click this.  It’s Grampa made out of Legos.

Gr8at: The Simpsons Jokes – Just some gags from the show.

29 Jokes Only “Simpsons” Fans Will Find Funny – This is a Buzzfeed link, so the headline is misleading clickbait and the actual post is mostly a rehash of stuff that’s been floating around forever.  That said, there were a couple I’d never seen before.

‘The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening will attend Saturday screening of his father Homer’s films – The headline tells you pretty much what you need to know.  If you’re in or around Portland, tickets are $15.

My Favorite Simpsons Quotes – It’s a twofer, with YouTube.

The Top 5 Best Movie-Inspired Theme Park Rides – The Simpsons ride comes in at #3, but it’s worth the click for the aerial photo of the Harry Potter ride.  The castle the visitors see is dwarfed by the warehouse that actually has the ride.

One Image Shows Just How Talented The Simpsons’ Voice Actors Are – This old chart of who does the Simpsons voices was making the rounds this week.

TV’s best shows mostly exist because of crappy sitcom reruns – How reruns of The Simpsons and other shows pay for all those critical darlings.  I have no real objection to the article, but I must object to this:

FXX paid so much money — $750 million — for The Simpsons because it knew this, and because The Simpsons was one of the few remaining cash cows without a cable deal.

That link takes you to this:

The deal also is set to make TV history as the priciest off-network pact ever, expected to fetch at least $750 million, and the first one to include full digital rights. The enormous size of the deal — which some say could potentially reach $1 billion if the series keeps producing new seasons — stems from the staggering volume of Simpsons episodes available

Not only is the $750,000,000 number just “expected”, but it also doesn’t have a source.  It’s like numbers for how much each cast member makes per episode of Zombie Simpsons: a rumor repeated so many times that people take it as fact.  The reality is that nobody outside of News Corp really knows what’s in that deal or how much it’s worth.  I get that writers need to cite facts and stuff, but the entertainment press is really sloppy and lazy and publishing these numbers again doesn’t make them any more trustworthy.

Homer Simpson’s Electric Hammer Created In Real Life (video) – Good idea, but sadly it doesn’t appear to actually hammer nails very well.

Dudeoir Photography – Remember when Homer got Homerotic for that boudoir photo shoot?  Turns out there’s actually a term for that:

Dudeoir is Boudoir for men wrapped up in the “macho” phrase to make it more appealing to men who are insecure of their masculinity.

The Simpsons: three notes that pay composer Danny Elfman’s health insurance – Heh:

“Those are the three notes that kept me in health insurance for 25 years,” composer Danny Elfman says of the opening to The Simpsons theme music.

REVIEW: Mr. Burns a Post-Electric Play at Theater Wit – The Chicago version of the play gets a nice review.

Artist aleXsandro Palombo depicts The Simpsons as Jews in a concentration camp to mark 70th anniversay of Auschwitz liberation – This is that same Italian guy who’s been on a roll with these lately.  (Pro tip: if the word “Auschwitz” appears in the headline, maybe don’t make the related stories sexy celebrities and a bikini model so emaciated I can count her ribs.)

Mr Sparkle – Homer Simpson by Lucas Jubb – Fan made Homer, complete with sunshine, stars and those creepy eyes.

Five Questions For A Blogger. (3) – Including some Simpsons love and a .gif of Milhouse petting that nice doggy on the beach.

What I Watched: Week 2 (Jan 11- Jan 17) – This is wise:

The Simpsons is by far my favourite TV show of all time. I own the first 12 seasons and they’re definitely the most watched discs in my collection because I often grab a season and put in whatever disc. This week I was watching some of season 8 which features Homer’s best buddy Frank Grimes (or Grimey, as he liked to be called).

Monday has spoken… – Heh.

Simpsons at its finest – Heh.

Osteology everywhere: Graffiti – Explaining the lack of graffiti in Kazakhstan with “Lemon of Troy”.

That’s a Coconut Cake! Part 1 | You Can’t Have That One, That’s a Coconut Cake – Trying to recreate Agnes’ inviolable cake on a blog named after it.  Good luck.

An Open Letter to Great Indian Litterbugs – Never having been to India, I can’t comment much on the main subject here, but there is a .gif of Homer and Bart making garbage angels.

16
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Yet Moar Anniversaries Edition

I Married Marge14

“I was twenty-four years old with a beautiful girlfriend and a job with a future. . . . Hey, you’re supposed to be listening to my story!” – Homer Simpson
“I thought it was over.  You had a problem turning blades, you overcame it, the feel good story of the year.” – Bart Simpson

So the 25th anniversary of “Bart the Genius” was this week, which gave lots of people another chance to go back and talk about all the things the show has done.  Most notably, this included internet pop culture factory The A.V. Club, which had a “Simpsons Week“.  We’ve got a few of their articles linked below as well as a bunch more, plus the usual assortment of usage, fan made stuff, and weird stories from foreign countries.

Enjoy.

10 Simpsons from the last 10 seasons that aren’t the… Worst. Episodes. Ever. – I’ll admit that part of the reason I’m linking this here is that it mentions us (thanks for the extra few thousand pageviews!).  More importantly, however, are the pretzel like word-knots needed to in any way shape or form defend Zombie Simpsons.  Observe:

Placed one episode after the other, 220-plus hours of Simpsons episodes doesn’t look like a steady rise through the early years, a pleasant plateau from seasons six through 10, and then a precipitous drop. Viewed in this context, with the filters of nostalgia and goosed-up memories removed, The Simpsons maintains a remarkable consistency through its 25 years on the air.  Yes, it’s produced a few genuine clunkers over the years, but between the truly great moments and the truly regrettable ones, there’s a midrange of Simpsons episodes that any other series would be proud to claim.

That’s the opening paragraph.  It would seem to not agree with the third one:

To admit that the “good” version of The Simpsons couldn’t last for 26 seasons is to admit that the greatest TV show ever made is also just another TV show. The Simpsons was so transcendently good for so long, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to the vagaries of inspiration and production that every other show deals with.

So, wait, where’s the twenty-five years of “remarkable consistency” if it was “transcendently good for so long” before falling victim to the same forces that destroy all television shows?  It can be consistent, or it can be great and then fall apart, hard to see how it can be both.  Here’s the kicker, the last sentence of that paragraph:

Quality be damned, the show remains a cultural force.

Under all the verbiage, there remains no denying that the show that’s on now isn’t the same one that started all those years ago.

What’s your favorite Simpsons quote? – For further evidence, here’s nineteen A.V. Club people picking their favorite quote.  Eighteen of them pick from a non-Zombie Simpsons season (including the author of “10 Episodes” link above).  The one dissenter writes this:

I’m going to court controversy—and possibly incite a whacking stick-wielding mob—but my choice comes from an episode that aired within the last 10 years. “Papa Don’t Leech,” from the 19th season, is not, by any conceivable measure of quality, a good episode of The Simpsons. Its sins are various—the opening dream sequence of Homer gleefully murdering Abe is bad, but that’s nothing compared to the way the episode craps on the show’s past by unnecessarily revisiting country music seductress Lurleen Lumpkin, from the classic “Colonel Homer.”

You’ve got to pick through a lot of shit to find something worthwhile in Zombie Simpsons.  The same cannot be said of The Simpsons.

The irrational rightness of The Simpsons – Our old friend Alec-Nevala Lee on the show’s inexplicable weirdness:

What I’d like to highlight here is a quality that doesn’t get mentioned often enough: the show’s underlying strangeness. Looking back at the golden years of the series, it’s striking how many lines, scenes, and images are both inexplicable and totally right. They’re often tangential beats that go on longer than seem comedically possible—not just the rake gag from “Cape Feare,” but Mr. Burns laughing over the crippled Irishman in “Last Exit to Springfield,” or Homer twiddling his thumbs in “Bart’s Comet.” They’re the comedic version of what Donald Richie, in his discussion of Kurosawa, calls “the irrational rightness of an apparently gratuitous image in its proper place,” and as Richie points out, they’re often the things we remember.

The Simpsons: The Genius of “Bart the Genius” After 25 Years – Den of Geek with a tremendous write up of “Bart the Genius”.  A sample:

The episode crystallized the Simpsons vision. The writers turned intelligence and authority on its head. They ridiculed open education and peppered it with subversion. Left, right and center are all off-kilter in Springfield. Blue noses were tweaked and ratting was rewarded. Bart runs bare-assed across the family living room.

Top 5 Kubrick References in ‘The Simpsons’ – With no Zombie Simpsons whatsoever.

On Endings – Very true:

The truly sad thing about these endings is that they can all be done so well, yet many shows never get a chance to try them, since it is far easier to milk a show until it stops paying, then cancel it abruptly. If The Simpsons had ended when it seemed appropriate to wrap it up, a lot of money would have been lost.

Judd Apatow’s ‘Simpsons’ Episode — Season 26 Interview With Writer – Jean and Apatow doing a short publicity interview.  I’d kinda like to read this:

JEAN | I actually had a Golden Girls [spec script]. … It was one where Dorothy had an auto accident with Mother Teresa and everyone hated Dorothy.
APATOW | Did you get the job?
JEAN | No, they hated it. [Laughs]

Springfield Stitches – Excellent fan made versions of Ralph not getting any valentines and Kirk van Houten’s master pictionary skills.  Some are even for sale if you click through.

Here’s the unfinished first line of paintings at about 97% complete all around and many more to come soon on Etsy! – The devilish look on Bart’s face is great.

Russian Man to Build Copy of ‘The Simpsons’ House in Moscow Region – That’s a much better headline than “Man to Build House”.

This guy recorded alternate versions of your favorite TV theme songs, and they’re incredible – Here’s the Simpsons one:

Find Your Somate, Homer – Heh:

Sometimes, though, the curtain gets pulled back, and great search terms come through. Today, I was treated to this:

“Find your somate, Homer.”

This was either a typo (“find your soulmate, Homer” are the immortal words of Johnny Cash, in his guise as Space Coyote, to Homer Simpson) or an earnest call for Homer Simpson to manifest in the physical world.

What’s Marge Simpson’s problem? – Never thought of it like this:

The thing that bothers me is that in many previous episodes, Marge has consistently stood by Homer no matter how stupid he was, but in this episode, Marge is always against Homer and is constantly locking horns with him over religion. What I’m wondering is, in “Homer the Heretic”, why does Marge get so easily flared up over religion? In every episode where the family goes to church, Marge always has to play the role of the traffic cop, rushing the entire family to go to church looking clean.

Seems pretty Marge like to me for her to pray (“he just likes to sleep in on Sundays”), invite Reverend Lovejoy over, and just keep going back, but that’s just me.

Simpson And Delilah – Some Season 2 love.

Treehouse Of Horror – And some more.

Ript Apparel: Future City, Action Packed 1st Issue!, and Police Dept. of Springfield – Wink wink, indeed.

Wade Boggs — 107 Beers – Pitt the Elder!

Simpsons did it: Springfield’s denizens coming to Minecraft for Xbox – The headline tells you pretty much everything you need to know, but click through and try to count all the references in the actual article.  I dare you.

Photo of the Week: The Simpsons in NYC – Nice.

The Simpsons Serves Up a Stinker – Man, people really didn’t like that alien episode.

Mobile Gaming: The Simpsons vs Family Guy – Heh:

I agree: You can’t really compare The Simpsons to Family Guy on television. They’re different shows and comparing those two would be like comparing cats to dogs. Whichever you like best is your own opinion. But, their mobile games… Those I can compare.

If You Can Do The Bartman, You’re Bad Like Michael Jackson – A history of the show’s early musical success.

Orange juice – Heh.

Why ‘The Simpsons’? – The show remains very useful:

do worry that one day “The Simpsons” will be completely out of date and every year I find fewer students who are able to fill in “how does this episode end?” questions. However, I still get good reception from students on the whole. I’ve had older students who said before class they avoided the show because it was “trashy” but really enjoyed the clips. That being said, most of my clips are from the first eight seasons when the show was focused on the characters much more than the newer episodes are.

Stick with those and you’ll be okay.

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker-snax! – A guinea pig (I think) wearing sunglasses and a tiny Duff foam dome.  Excellent.

Random Photos – Jan13 – Ah, the world of Legos, where Spider-man can drink a coffee next to Marge.

Flaming Moe’s – Episode #045 – Ash heads to a place right down the block where you can drink your misery away.

No Need To Worry When Playing With House Money – Oregon’s crushed football hopes put into perspective with excellent usage:

Homer: Will you remember this the next time I wreck your life?
Lisa: It’s a deal.
That episode reminds us that we can’t look at tonight’s game from the filter of where the season is now, but rather from where the season began, through a lens of the preseason narratives that the cynical fans believed and the optimistic feared going into the season.

Kitty Says Cobrashark – Pretty creepy Burns/skull design.

I hate being Ill but its a great excuse to watch Simpsons under my duvet and not move. – Well put:

Unfortunately after all of those cuddles from the children within the nursery I am not poorly I’m all flued up with a poorly stomach so this is my perfect excuse for not moving and watching Simpson episode after Simpson episode there is something about the Simpsons that cheers me up im not quite sure whether its cause it takes me back to my childhood and sitting with my dad to watch them or whether its just because they are awesome and by awesome I mean seasons 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 there are none of the newest ones I don’t like them end of lol.

09
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Roots Edition

Treehouse of Horror VI11

“I am the wondrous wizard of Latin!  I am a dervish of declension, and a conjurer of conjugation, with a million hit points and maximum charisma!” – Martin Prince 

This seems to be the week for rare, higher quality stuff, and while there are fewer links than usual below, what we lack in quantity we make up for in quality.  There are three or four that would be a Link of the Week most of the time, including the Latin language link, the six eras of the Simpsons link, the 9 minute video about Homer, and the one about movie plots.  And that’s not all!  We’ve got the family made out of snow, a great fan painting, a couple of looks at Season 1, and more.

Enjoy.

Latin on “The Simpsons” – An impressively thorough recounting of the many ways Latin has been used and abused on the show.  Also, there could even be a Latin root for cromulent:

The most famous coinage on “The Simpsons” is “cromulent,” which has become a perfectly cromulent word meaning “authentic” or “legitimate,” ever since its initial appearance in “Lisa the Iconoclast” (3F13, 1996). I’m sure writer David X. Cohen coined it with no thought for its possible etymology, but given that adjectives ending in “-lent” are usually derived from Latin, I propose an etymology from the Latin word “croma,” a first declension noun defined by the 1982 Oxford Latin Dictionary as a “surveying instrument for taking bearings to fix lines of orientation.” The noun’s diminutive form would notionally be “cromula.” I know no other Latin word with the root “crom-,” and it’s easy to imagine that a small instrument whose purpose is to measure straight, accurate lines could yield an adjective meaning “legitimate” or “authentic.”

Watch S2E17 – Homer Simpson – This is a 9 minute video with a talking cardboard box describing the rise and fall of Homer as a character.  The premise gets a little wobbly near the end (I only buy one shift in Homer, not two; and I don’t think According to Jim and various other terrible shows influenced Zombie Simpsons much, if at all), but overall it’s very well done and uses big words in addition to simpler ones:

“The Homer of today is very different from the Homer the show started out with.”

Bristles Babbles #22: The Simpsons Season 1 Review (1989-1990) (SPOILERS) – I got the above link from this thoughtful dissection of Season 1, including this which I’d never noticed before:

Yet another slip-up in episode 8 that I managed to catch on to just by being lucky enough to pause at the right moment comes when the chalkboard gag “I DID NOT SEE ELVIS” changes for a frame before it goes off screen to “I WILL NOT WASTE CHALK”, which was the gag from episode 2.

It really was just a single frame:

The Telltale Head16

Good eye.

Season One: In Retrospect | You Don’t Win Friends With Simpsons – And speaking of Season 1, our old friend Noah P has started a rewatch them all blog.  Here’s his Season 1 retrospecticus with links to each episode.

Saturdays Of Thunder – Episode #044 – And speaking of watching every episode, Ash is up to the National Fatherhood Institute.

Movie plots I have pieced together from The Simpsons – We’ve all had the experience of seeing a movie and thinking, “Wait, I saw that on Simpsons”.  And there’s nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  Well done.

Review: The Simpsons: “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” – I rarely read other reviews of Zombie Simpsons, but this being kind of a weird week, I did read this one.  I am unimpressed.  The author has given a “B-” or higher to every episode so far this season, then he writes stuff like this:

It would be a lot easier to make the case that The Simpsons still has value if the people behind the show seemed to give a damn. But an episode like “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” is a product of such slapdash, breezy disregard for what makes The Simpsons The Simpsons that it functions as a dispiriting signpost to the show’s hastening irrelevance.

And this:

The Simpsons has survived because of that world and the characters in it—that’s why it can stretch itself into ludicrous shapes for an episode and spring back to its original shape unharmed by the next. The show has rules, the characters have integrity, and actions and emotions have consequences. When “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” just says, “fuck it” and throws the show’s reality out into space, The Simpsons is left just drifting there, unmoored from what makes it itself.

And that’s not true of pretty much all Zombie Simpsons . . . how, exactly?  Everyone gets their own opinions on the internet, but if you’re willing to swallow – just so far this season – Moe coming down the chimney, an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon without Itchy, Homer getting repeatedly washed overboard during a hurricane, a giant & secret drilling rig in the middle of Evergreen Terrace, and all that weird, magical shit at Burning Man, how does Kang and Kodos cross a line?  The show lost all of its dignity and rules a long, long, long time ago, lamenting that this episode somehow damaged something is illogical and inconsistent at the very least.

The Way They Was: Six Totally Different Shows The Simpsons Has Been – Thanks to reader Cory F. for e-mailing this in, and thanks to the at least two people who linked us in the comments.  I don’t think you can chop up the early seasons with quite that much granularity, but this is one of the more inventive takes on the show I’ve read in a while.

The Simpsons Go Original Star Trek – A rundown of some of the Star Trek references from last week’s closing credits.

In the veganning: Part 1 – A conversion to veganism explained (partially) through the medium of Simpsons references:

When I figured out that lamb chops came from lambs (my Lisa Simpson moment), I refused to eat them anymore.

In Tune With The Drip by Duane Gavins Jr. – Absolutely excellent fan made painting(?) of Lisa and her sax.

Making the Best of Snow – Among other things, there’s a guy next to the entire Simpson family on a snow couch.  Bravo, good sir.

The ‘Mythbusters’/’Simpsons’ Crossover Finally Has A Trailer – Crossover seems like the wrong word here, anonymous headline writer person.

Characters tackle post-apocalyptic challenges in Simpsons play – The play is headed to Albuquerque.

TV Legends Revealed | What Famous Guest Wouldn’t Let ‘The Simpsons’ Make Fun of Him? – But that’s because he was the greatest entertainer in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv the simpsons pizza… – We got everything we need on you.

‘Bartman’ Outsells ‘Batman’ In France, And So Do These Other Comics – Not much to this more than the headline, but it’s kind of interesting.




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