Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category

24
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Hopeless Lawsuit Edition

Bart Gets Hit By a Car14

“I’m going to write a figure on this piece of paper.  It’s not quite as large as the last one, but I think you’ll find it fair.” – C.M. Burns
“I think we should take it.” – Lionel Hutz

There were two big Simpsons news stories this week.  First, the “Simpsons World” app/website finally launched.  I took a quick look, but it spent lots of time buffering and seemed to be struggling under launch-day loads, so I’ll come back to that next week.  (We do have quite a few links about it, however.)  The second was that an actor who played a minor character in Goodfellas is suing the show for [Dr. Evil pinky] two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollars [/Dr. Evil pinky] because Legs looks like him.  It doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, and even if they someone convince FOX to pay them (which would be very un-FOX like), it’ll be a teeny tiny fraction of that.  Yet for some reason this hopelessly longshot lawsuit got tons of press.  It was linked all over the place, with plenty of them just mindlessly repeating the big scary number.  We’ve got a link, but there’s basically nothing to it.

More importantly, Halloween is next week, and the annual crush of costumes (and tattoos!) has begun.  There are some really good ones in our first link, and there’s more where that came from.  And, of course, there’s lots of other random items as well: the Homer computer doll with infrared eyes, Harry Shearer just being himself, Jean dutifully slogging through another interview, a decidedly unlicensed music video, and much more.

Enjoy.

Classic Simpsons Trivia Chicago Costume Contest 2014 – I put this up on Twitter, but it’s really worth a look.  I can see why the Clown Bed won, but Dr. Hillbilly and the Iron Yuppie should’ve at least gotten some kind of couples or group costume award.  Ashley Grant and the Luann in her jacuzzi suit are also pretty damned awesome.

Never miss an episode with smart Homer Simpson – This is awesome.  Someone took a Homer doll, slapped some electronics into it, and now it automatically turns on the doll’s eyes whenever the show is on.  Bravo, tech geeks.  Bravo.

5-sentence review of ‘The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXV’ – Heh:

The appearance of the Simpsons characters as the originally appeared in animated shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” is proof that even “The Simpsons” is nostalgic for the pre-dull “The Simpsons.”

Good one.

The Simpsons in Retrospect – A thorough breakdown of the decline of the show that includes a chart of the ever declining popular opinion of the show.

How Harry Shearer Discovered the Soul of Richard Nixon – There’s a little bit of Simpsons stuff in here, Shearer calls Burns more purely evil than Nixon, but this is my favorite part:

MJ: Is there any other president you’d like to play?
HS: Well, I’ve, on my radio show I’ve played every one since—
MJ: How’s your Garfield?
HS: Poor. But who’s to know?

Ha!  Shearer is the best.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #1 – These are a series of posts about just what makes the Treehouse of Horror episodes so great.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #2 – This one’s about Marge’s warnings before the first ones.  It’s good to remember this:

What few people realize however is that in the very first Treehouse of Horror this warning was not a gag or gimmick as it became later but was meant to be taken seriously. In 2014 The Simpsons have pretty much become part of the furniture in western society so its easy to forget that when it first aired in 1989 it was a highly controversial show.

I’d say it’s still a gag, even if, yes, it was meant to actually deflect anger.  But that speaks to the brilliance of the show: they knew they were going to piss people off, so why not pre-ignore them as well?

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #3 – Amusing tombstones.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #4 – Scary credits.

DisfiguredStick – Milhouse – That is a great Milhouse costume, and the backpack is a nice touch.

It’s Never Too Late to be Marge Simpson – Husband and wife go as Homer and Marge.  Great wig.

Essential Halloween Viewing – “Treehouse of Horror V” makes the list here, along with several other old cartoon specials.  I actually remember that episode of Ghostbusters.

Top 10 TV Halloween Specials – V and VI make this list.

Goodfellas Actor’s $250 Million Lawsuit Against The Simpsons – This looks like a hopeless attempt to squeeze some money from FOX.  The headline number is just there for press attention, which it got a ton of.  (Thanks to Rob K. for sending it in.)

Poochie? That you? – An ad for hot dogs with a serious Poochie look alike.  Nice find.

Do You Even Stretch Bro? Stretching and the gym. – Exercise advice for when you go to the all night gym.

Top Man Simpsons Prints – High fashion Simpsons stuff is no longer just for the ladies.

On this day in history… – Celebrating the anniversary of “Rosebud”.  Go to hell, you old bastard.

Things Get Violently “Simpsons”-Like In Girl Talk’s New Video – Indeed they do:

“Suicide (Remix)” is the latest video to come from the collaboration between mash-up artist-turned-beatmaker Girl Talk and journeyman rapper Freeway. In it, artist Lisa Ramsey unleashes a violent stream of animated mayhem that was clearly, ahem, inspired by The Simpsons. The colorful pastiche puts shotgun-toting Bart Simpson and Milhouse van Houten on skateboards–and the skateboards themselves are about as far as the faithfulness goes. By the time a fully grown and blessed out Lisa makes the scene, sway-dancing while puffing on a joint–it’s clear that we’re worlds away from Springfield. Still, it’s mandatory viewing for anyone who has ever wanted to see the sailboat painting from the Simpsons’ living room attain sentence and spit bars.

Don’t forget the daggers that come out of Krusty’s eyes.  Video at the link.

How Do I Get The Simpsons World FXX App? Everything You Need To Know. – I’d quibble with “Everything”, there, but the main outline seems solid.

Simpsons World: A Streaming Archive of American History – A hands on look at the site.

‘Simpsons’ go streaming: Al Jean talks new site – Jean doing a publicity interview.  No real news, but he was talking to CNN, so that goes almost without saying.

How ‘Simpsons World’ Went from Deal Point to Immersive App Via FX Networks – Apparently Brooks insisted that if they were going to sell streaming rights, the streaming had to be something special.  Of course, this is Variety and it uses phrases like this, “The app…allows lean-in users to customize their searches”, so take it with ten thousand grains of salt.  (I’m not sure what marketing dictionary “lean-in users” came from, but please put it to the torch immediately.  Thank you.)

Catching Up With The First Family Of TV – This is a nice writeup of how one guy came back to the show through the marathon.  It’s also yet another example of how gun shy people are about bringing up Zombie Simpsons.  Every example he cites is from early in the show, and there’s even this:

Every episode ever. Whatever you want to watch. Not sure if your in the mood for season 3 or 17? Hit random and maybe you’ll get something nice from season 6.

Season 17 is a wasteland, Seasons 3 and 6 are not, but to say so explicitly is to invite trouble when all you want to do is relax and laugh.  I get it.  I just wish it wasn’t so prevalent.

Embiggened: Here’s a Look at “Simpsons World” From A-Z (GQ) – An alphabetical list of stuff on the site, like the above link, mentions only stuff from non-Zombie Simpsons seasons.

Some Changes Need to be Made to Simpsons World – Seems like they’ve still got some kinks to iron out:

However, there is one change that needs to be made and it needs to be made immediately.
The placement of commercials is goofy. Last night while watching “A Star is Burns” I was awaiting my favorite quote from the episode when Hans Moleman says “I was saying boo-urns.” I love that quote and say it all the time.
What I got was Moleman saying “I was saying boo” cut to a commercial “oo-urns”.
Now while watching “You only move twice” I was greeted with a commercial, in the middle of the opening title sequence.
During “Lard of the Dance” I saw a commercial in the middle of a sceen.

Get your spook on: Hallowe’en flash sheets in Brighton and beyond – Some cool Simpsons Halloween themed tattoo designs.

Tattoo Artist Turns Bart Simpson Into Horror Icons! – These are from a different source, and they’re all Bart.  Candyman and Beetlejuice are pretty cool.  More at his website.

Stark Raving Dad Episode #036 – Ash starts in on Season 3.

The 10 Greatest Simpsons Horror Movie Parodies – There’s one from Zombie Simpsons at #10, almost out of pity.

When you get the last slice, you be all like… – Animated .gif of Bart laughing after Homer brings him pizza in “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie”.

New trending GIF tagged tv the simpsons eating… – Homer snacking while watching football.

New trending GIF tagged horror cartoon simpsons marge… – Marge’s hair exploding into bats.

The Simpsons has now officially been bad for longer than it was ever good – And finally (via @dailysimpsons), I get to not only end with someone who agrees with us, but it’s even in a real publication:

The first segment took the Simpson family to Hell: a city, it seems, very much like Springfield. It was amusing to begin with, but soon pointlessly repeated itself. The last segment had the family confronted by doubles of themselves: a comment, I think, on the endless proliferation of Simpson images and on the repetition compulsion referenced above. The middle segment — well, I can’t tell you about the middle segment because I’ve forgotten it already. Honestly.

[...]

The Simpsons has now been bad for longer than it was good, but when it was good it was great. Television has never provided as many inspired jokes per minute, sometimes per second, as The Simpsons did; has never been as consistently, ruthlessly, creatively
irreverent as The Simpsons was. It taught a generation to revere wit and to distrust authority, two hugely important achievements. Now the irreverence has shrunk to mere random rudeness, and the jokes are flabby and far between. Everything’s gone slack.

Testify!

17
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Local Boys Make Good Edition

Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment15

“The challenger learned how to fight in the notorious projects of Capital City, and honed his skills while serving time for aggravated assault and manslaughter in Springfield Prison.” – Boxing Announcer
“Alright, a local boy!” – Barney Gumble

With the hoopla around the premier and the crossover now safely in the rear view mirror, and Halloween stuff not yet ramping up to full volume, it’s a pretty short Reading Digest this week.  We do have hometown articles about both Al Jean and Mike Reiss, however.  In addition to those, we’ve got some excellent fan art, a couple of interesting lists, and some stuffed animal based charity.

Enjoy.

[TV Talk] Top 10 Simpsons Horror Movie Parodies – This is a pretty good list.  There is one Zombie Simpsons segment, but it’s #9.  #10 is the Guillermo del Toro couch gag, which was pretty entertaining even if it wasn’t part of the show proper.

Cakes Raise Cancer Awareness – Simpsons cakes, specifically, and there’s even art of one of Comic Book Guy.  Bravo.

Sometimes words just get in the way – Longtime director Mark Kirkland has made a short, silent movie:

A romantic comedy that takes place, as the first title card explains, in a “long-forgotten movie studio,” The Moving Picture Co. 1914 has a 22-minute running time that Kirkland notes is the same length as a Simpsons episode if you cut out the commercials.
“I’m used to that time length and meter,” says the California Institute of the Arts graduate, who double-majored in film and animation. “The Simpsons are in my blood.”

Weird Al is playing the guy who’s playing Jesus.

Reboot The Simpsons – Instead of flashing everyone forward, I guess you could go backwards instead, but either way I remain convinced that the current show has to die before anything new and interesting can come out of Simpsons-world.

Reproduction of Lisa Simpson, The Scream – Excellent fan made painting.

Four sitcoms past their prime – Zombie Simpsons is such a fixture on lists like these, that the lists themselves have taken a meta-note of it:

The Simpsons
This show has been on every past-their-prime list published in the last decade.

Bargain Bin Games – The Simpsons: Bart Vs. The World  – A YouTube review.

Say Anything Parodies on TV: 8 of the Best – Otto proposing to Becky is on here, but I’d probably go with Itchy & Scratchy’s “Spay Anything” in “Cape Feare”, though that doesn’t have the boombox over the head thing.

On TV: 5-sentence review of ‘The Simpsons’ Season 26, Episode 3: ‘Super Franchise Me’ – According to the ratings, a lot of people do this:

Truth be told, I only watch about four “The Simpsons” episodes a year, until they choke out their “Treehouse of Horror,” and then I go on my way forgetting that they’re on TV, basically having vague memories that this was something I once looked forward to watching.

WTF Wednesday: Questionable Trends in Fashion – The trend of fashionable Bart clothing spreads.

Hype launches The Simpsons apparel with Topman – See above.  Retro cool now, I guess.

Young Glendale sisters lend a helping hand – Cute:

There’s one thing 9-year-old Karis Zavala rarely puts down: a miniature doll of Lisa Simpson from the animated sitcom “The Simpsons.”
She’s vowed for the past seven years to never let it go.

She and her sister are going a charity thing to collect plush toys for kids.

Library dedicates section to ‘The Simpsons’ writer, Bristol native – You gotta love Reiss:

“When I won my first Emmy for ‘The Simpsons,’ I told my wife ‘Take a picture, I’ve got to send it to the hometown paper,’ and she did,” he said. “Four days later it was on the front page of The Bristol Press — me in a tuxedo holding an Emmy, over the caption ‘Local Man Claims To Win Award.’”

‘The Simpsons’ founding writer Al Jean on his Detroit roots – And speaking of local-boy-makes-good, Jean talks about his roots, and what they have to teach us.

BWW Reviews: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY with The Catamounts in Boulder – The play gets good reviews even a couple thousand miles from Broadway.

Did The Simpsons Predict A Hot-Button SCOTUS Case 22 Years Ago? – No.  This has been simple answers to simple questions.

robocall – Excellent illustrative reference:

The pre-recorded, automated telephone call, almost as widely reviled as it is exploited, has benign and malevolent uses. Professor Frink, in The Simpsons, envisioned using the technology to tell children about school cancellations, which seems harmless enough. But in the same episode, Homer demonstrates a range of abuses. An appointment reminder from your auto dealer or the doctor’s office may not be so bad. But no one likes non-human solicitations, or repeated entreaties to vote for this candidate or the next.

Patty or Selma, you are a real woman … – A multi-colored animated .gif of Patty based on one of the vacation photos from “Flaming Moe’s”.

Awesome Character #1: Milhouse Van Houten – Just a little appreciation for everyone’s favorite dorky doormat.

Thrift Store Halloweekends – Barney Gumble, The Simpsons Spooky Light-Ups (Burger King) – Someone found a fast food toy left over from 2001.

Homer Simpson Stonecutter by deathbycartoon – Fan made depiction of the Chosen One leading the Stonecutters to glory.

Simpsons Collection Vol:1 – Fan made Simpsons sketches.

The Simpsons predicted Ebola outbreak in 1997, some people on the internet actually believe – I’d say most people just think it’s weird, but I’m sure there are some believers out there.

Blood Feud – Episode #035 – Heh:

We are now at the end of the episode here and I have one thing to say… How the hell did the delivery guys manage to get the gift of Xtapolapocetl into the house? There is absolutely no way! Well, that cartoons for you.

The Simpsons Arcade Game retrospective: How Konami struck yellow gold – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  In this case, in a video game retrospective:

Family Guy’s Peter Griffin spoke for most of us when he declared “I am over the Simpsons,” during a recent crossover episode with Springfield’s famous five, but such talk would have been dismissed as sacrilege when Matt Groening’s creation was at the peak of its popularity.
It’s been misfiring for as long as most of us can remember, but The Simpsons remains one of television’s greatest achievements.

Indeed.

10
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Mr. Burns Play Spreads

Blood Feud15

“I want the whole world to hear the story of my harrowing struggle with hypohemia.” – C.M. Burns

The post-apocalyptic Mr. Burns play continues to spread.  Local theater companies in both Arizona and Colorado are putting it on the next couple of weeks, and we have links to both.  At this rate, the play itself might survive the apocalypse.  In more regular links, we also have a couple more unhappy reviews of the crossover, some excellent usage, several .gifs, an in-depth look at the varieties of Duff on sale in Florida, and the relentless filler of Zombie Simpsons demonstrated in YouTube format.

Enjoy.

(Oh, and in case anyone cares, Season 17 will be released on home video on December 2nd.  I got a nice press e-mail from FOX about it, including this image that has the entirely predictable details:

SimpsonsS17FactSheet

The only interesting thing is that they’re including “Krusty Gets Busted” and “Cape Feare” on the Blu-Ray versions, and since I could get either of those with a good season, it’s a pretty weak upsell.  That is all.)

Bort license plate: Simpsons fans get them in real life, comprise nerdy club – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is a story about license plates that comes with lots of cool anecdotes and pictures.

All 554 Simpsons couch gags in one video – This was making the rounds this week, and is kind of neat.  I would just like to point out that this is what it looks like halfway through:

ZombieSimpsonsIsSlow

Please note that it’s almost entirely Zombie Simpsons, the only exception being (what I assume) is “The 138th Episode Spectacular”, where they replayed a bunch of them.  They eat clock with this thing regularly (even when they do it themselves).

4 Ways The Simpsons Might End – Our old friend Bob Chipman lays out four scenarios.  I’d suggest a fifth, if only because it almost happened three years ago: FOX cans the show and they have to pick something that’s already in production as the finale.

Curtain Critic: ‘Mr. Burns’ at Space 55 manages dark, apocalyptic pop-culture comedy – Oh, cool, you can go see the Mr. Burns play in Phoenix for the next three weekends.

Boulder troupe imagines ‘The Simpsons’ surviving apocalypse – And in Arizona too.

Hey Internet, I Tried. Part 2: The Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover – There was no way to fit all the reviews in last week, but the ones from this week aren’t any more positive:

They might as well have had Maggie shoot Peter.
Nothing sucks more than missed opportunities. The Family Guy/Simpsons crossover had a lot of that.

So… the Family Guy and The Simpsons crossover – Oh, what the hell, one more:

Was as we all expected, a flaming ball of excrement. I will keep this brief, as not much can, and not much needs to be said.

Lukas Podolski posts picture of Danny Welbeck as a skinny Homer Simpson – And tall.

‘Simpsons’ Fan Complains About Too Many Quotes In Facebook Group – I am reminded often, if not quite daily, that I’m glad I never joined Facebook, but this is pretty damned funny.

5 Fandom Friday: Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today – You have chosen . . . wisely:

My love for The Simpsons knows no bounds. I’ve been a fan ever since I was about 7 or 8. My mom won some radio contest and the prize was any DVD/Box set we wanted. They had so many choices and I almost picked up King of The Hill, but I picked up The Simpsons season 5. That was probably the best decision I’ve made in my whole life thus far.

‘The Simpsons Are Going To..': Ranking Every ‘Simpsons’ Travel Episode – No surprise, the couple from the single digit seasons are at the top here.  (Though I’m not sure I’d count “Itchy & Scratchy Land” as a travel episode since it’s not a real place, but to each his own.)

The Simpsons ‘Springfield’ as you’ve never seen it before – You’ve actually probably seen these before, since I’ve linked them a couple of times, but they remain as gorgeous as ever.

Brew Review – Duff Beer at Universal Orlando – A serious beer fan takes a look at what’s on offer at the amusement park.  There’s actually a “Duff Dry” that looks pretty good.

The Simpsons Family History by Matt Groening (2014) – A short review of that new book they published.

Aurora Borealis?! – Excellent usage:

“BIG NEWS: People in Sydney, New York, the UK and other middle latitude cities may be able to see the Southern or Northern lights this weekend, thanks to two huge solar storms heading our way.”

My first thoughts?

Aurora borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localised entirely in your kitchen?!

Heh.

New Techniques: Cold Smoked Cheese – Heh:

I thought I would start with cheese as it’s the cheapest and least complicated, plus cheese rules everything around me.
Marge: Have you been up all night eating cheese?
Homer: I think I’m blind.

Get the gouda, chedda chedda bill, ya’ll.

Start with a T – All the ways you can rock a Simpsons t-shirt.

Only the Lonely – A review of The Zero Theorem starts with excellent usage:

FXX is running classic episodes of The Simpson’s, but I just couldn’t allow myself to watch another three-hour block and then call it a night. Unless A Fish Called Selma is showing, that might be my favorite episode (“No, what I have is a romantic abnormality, one so unbelievable that it must be hidden from the public at all cost. You see…”).

And it comes with a .gif of Troy McClure repairing his beanbag chair.

New trending GIF tagged cartoons & comics dance… – Homer’s missing the chili cook off.  It’s going on right now and he’s missing it!

On TV: Review of ‘The Simpsons’ Season 26, Episode 2 – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

I start every fall optimistically. I think Lucy will let Charlie Brown kick the football. And I think they’ll be a funny episode of “The Simpsons.” I’m wrong on both counts.

If I’d thought of that sentence five years ago, we might never have needed this whole damn blog.

03
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Crossover Fallout Edition

Sideshow Bob Roberts11

“Bart, we can’t let Bob steal the spotlight.  We’re gonna have to stoop to the lowest common denominator.” – Lisa Simpson
“I can do that.” – Bart Simpson

Seemingly everyone with an internet connection weighed in on the Family Guy crossover this week.  I couldn’t possibly read or link them all, so the below is by no means a definitive, or even a representative, sample, but broadly reactions seemed to fall into two categories.  There were people who hated it and there were people who liked it.  The difference is that the people who hated it, really hated it, while the people who liked it qualified their admiration with lots and lots of caveats and reservations.  So the below is mostly reviews of the crossover leavened with some other stuff that somehow made it through all the noise.

Enjoy.

We Met the World’s Leading Authority on Bootleg Bart Simpson T-Shirts – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this interview with a guy who collects bootleg Bart t-shirts.  There’s a neat little video, lots of examples, and he even says this:

A lot of people bash the show now for not being like how it used to be, but the couch gags alone smash anything I’ve seen on TV. You don’t need to watch the full episode if you don’t want to, but man… watch those couch gags.

I keep saying it because it’s true: nobody cares about what’s actually in the episodes.

Is The Simpsons relying too heavily on gimmicks? – Yes.  (The article makes a number of good points that will be familiar to anyone reading this site, namely that the actual episodes are now by far the least important and visible part of the show.  Maybe they should pull the plug or something?  Nah, that’s crazy talk.)

Don Hertzfeldt’s Simpson’s Couch Gag is about relationships and mental illness – That couch gag got kind of lost in the shuffle this week, what with the death and the crossover.  I’m not sure I agree with this, but it’s by far the most thoughtful and careful writeup of it that I saw.

They did it! They actually did it! Why critical old me is pleasantly surprised by The Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover – I guess it’s time to get started with the crossover links.  This is from someone who liked it:

This crossover was nothing less than a big “jokes-on-you” to everyone who was getting way too hyped about this crossover. Everything from the Griffin’s first conversation to the widely-predicted chicken-style end fight between Peter and Homer is a slap in this face to whoever thought this was going to be the best thing that’s ever hit Fox’s Sunday night line up.

Couch Potato: “The Simpsons Guy” B+ – Again, this is from someone who was generally pleased:

the special was smart to begin with Chris basically breaking the 4th wall and explain that crossovers are mostly a marketing ploy. Stewie then tells him to shut up, acknowledging that even if so, so what?

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover – This is fairly typical:

Throughout the episode, characters from each of the two shows popped up in different scenes. It was fun to see some of the characters interact with one another and during these moments, we could easily identify how The Simpsons has inspired elements of Family Guy, but as the episode wore on, these interactions became less funny. Ultimately, an episode’s success has to rely on its ability to tell a story. An endless stream of interactions between characters from two different worlds does not accomplish this.

6 Other Potential TV Crossovers – This “it was okay but still lame” opinion was widespread:

In a television event that is almost as historic as the final episode of M*A*S*H, The Simpsons crossed over with Family Guy this past weekend, creating a relatively mild episode for both shows. I liked it, in the same way I generally like any new episode of The Simpsons or Family Guy. I will always be a fan of both shows, but I think we’ve all settled into a general state of mediocre acceptance. Still, whoever though it would happen, right?

The Simpsons/ Family Guy Crossover Review – See what I mean?:

With The Simpsons entering it 26th season, and Family Guy entering its 13th, these two much loved shows are perhaps both past their primes, but the novelty of seeing both families duke it on screen is a something that provides in part moments of greatness, in part missed opportunities, as well as a smattering of simply bizarre moments.

The 5 Worst Things About The ‘Family Guy’/’Simpsons Crossover – Uproxx gives it the blow-by-blow.

Family Guy: The Simpsons Guy (13.1) Review – An actually positive review with no sarcasm, irony, or sarcastic irony.  Also, the only one I saw.

Why Brandscaping Works – Unless you count the guy who saw it as a brilliant marketing ploy and actually used the word “brandscaping”.

9 ways the Family Guy/Simpsons crossover was a blight on humanity – Only nine?

The Simpsons Guy had Everything… Except Laughs – Yup:

No soul means that there is no organic drive. Neither the Griffins nor the Simpsons feel like real families anymore. Instead they all feel like actors, lining up to do the same routines regardless of whether or not there is any comedy left in them. When both shows were at their peak, they contained scripts that made the audience able to relate to the characters.

A Bomb in the Lasagna: “The Simpsons Guy” Was Slightly Less Horrible Than I Imagined – Nice one:

As a lifelong Simpsons fan who admittedly subscribes to the common wisdom that the show’s halcyon days are behind them (the new seasons middling premier didn’t help) and as someone whose enthusiasm for Family Guy has dwindled pretty markedly over the past several years, to say that I was less than thrilled about the crossover would be an understatement hovering somewhere between “the Hindenburg explosion was kind of a drag” or “John Wilkes Booth wasn’t really vibeing with what Lincoln was laying down” in terms of severity. But, a combination of failed self-restraint and journalistic integrity (the six of you who actually read this will remember that promise here) led me astray my better judgement and in front of Fox for an hour this past weekend. And, while “The Simpson’s Guy” might not have been the eldritch monstrosity that I believed it would be, it wasn’t much better.

Family Guy/Simpsons Crossover: Bad For Both Shows – The headline says it all, but the article has some fun moments:

“The Simpsons Guy” is a lame Family Guy episode that would never be talked about by anyone outside of the series’ core fanbase if it wasn’t also for the appearance of America’s favorite animated family. Family Guy is never going to be as great as The Simpsons, and both shows are aware of that. But “The Simpsons Guy” is bad for both of them: Family Guy comes off worse than usual, and it’s both frustrating and sad to see it try so hard to bring The Simpsons down to its level.

‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’ came together and it was awesome and sad – You know things were bad when USA Today (America’s Favorite Pencil!) trashes the show on a sports blog:

It was funny, but also really sad. Mostly because after 26 years, The Simpsons isn’t funny. It’s been a very long time since The Simpsons had its edge,

‘Simpsons’ fans are totally underwhelmed by the death of (spoiler) – And speaking of McPaper:

So that was it?
That’s what a lot of Simpsons fans are saying after Sunday’s season premiere, when, after the show hyped that a character was going to die, the one who actually kicked the bucket was Krusty the Clown’s dad Rabbi Krustofski. Many fans were expecting a major character, like Krusty himself, to die, and they felt pretty underwhelmed after all the hype.

The Simpsons & the One-Trick Pony – Heh:

The crossover episode put the husband to sleep. It left me feeling like I’d spent an hour watching Seth MacFarlane’s therapy session. And I felt like I should send him an invoice and a list of suggestions for better handling his insecurities.

On TV: Review of ‘Family Guy’ and ‘The Simpsons’ cross-over – Feel the enthusiasm:

The crossover proved largely entertaining if unsurprising. Both “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” are mature shows that have little room for growth. Their tropes are well-established and all-too predictable.

The Simpsons Guy – Another less than overwhelmed viewer:

Overall I did not like this crossover. The reason? Because it didn’t seem to know what it was supposed to be.

So there you go: lots of “meh” and more than a few “ugh”.  That was a worth a year of buildup.

Simpsons fake out on major death – As for the death of Krusty’s father, this seems to be a pretty typical reaction:

so he will be missed by the shows crew and cast, but maybe not as missed by the fans.

The Simpsons: Krusty’s Dad Dies — Rabbi Krustofsky Dead On Season Premiere – Jean doing a little post death publicity.  Nothing in the way of actual information, though.

Sunday Discussion: Comparing Alabama Political Leaders To The Simpsons – I know nothing about politics in Alabama, but these are some pretty good comparisons.

The Simpsons, Maths and Museums – A writeup of Jean and David X. Cohen at a British science museum talking up the math book.

Girl Gang – Very cool fan art of a Simpsons clad gang.  Bravo.

Don’t Make People Pay for Media, Let Them. – Yet another person whose parents tried and failed to prevent her from watching the show.

And Now: Breast Cancer Action Month – Excellent usage:

My problem is with the name. I’m okay with “breast” and “month,” but the rest?

The Simpsons once had an episode that cleverly poked fun at the idea of awareness of this or that. They had the Awareness Awards (for Awareness of course):

From The Simpsons episode “Behind the Laughter”

Bart: When Willie [Nelson] asked me to be a presenter at the New Awareness Awards, I had to think about it … for about a microsecond!

Marge: You just don’t say no to the redheaded stranger … and when I heard that it was for awareness, that sealed the deal!

But awareness in the social media age seems to be all about putting something, a cause or a product, in front of you early and often and then doing little else.

Kwik-E-Mart Reusable Bag Styled in Honor of ‘The Simpsons’ Convenience Store – Rabbi Krustofsky may be dead, but merchandising will live forever.

The Simpsons USB Sticks 8GB – I enjoy a decapitated head sticking out of my laptop.

We meet the guy who draws Homer Simpson in the sand on the South Bank – Our old friend Martin Artman got his name in the paper, and there’s more pictures of those giant beach drawings.

Wauseon students paint to win pizzas – Art students painted the family on the front of a snow plow.  No Mr. Plow, though, so that’s weird.

What to do with a Simpson’s house – Legos are always more fun when you don’t follow the instructions.

The logo 1.0 – Heh.

springfield nail game – Bart, Homer, Milhouse and Duff on fingernails.  Cool.

Bartsock – Some socks, including Bart and Homer ones.

‘Simpsons’ Creator Matt Groening Talks about Early Life, Cartooning – No real news or anything in this Groening interview, it’s just his usual stuff, but the picture of him with yellow hands was pretty clever.

On TV: Review of ‘The Simpsons’ Season 26 premiere – Someone agreeing with us:

I can’t do it. I can’t be generous to “The Simpsons” anymore. I just can’t. It’s dull. And I watched the premiere of the 26th season Sunday night. I chuckled once or twice.

Bart’s Right, Let’s ‘None Of Us Have A Cow’ – And finally, I get to end with someone who really agrees with us:

Well, because the problem is, that killing off a character, can’t possibly rekindle anyone’s interest in the Simpsons; I rarely tune in these days and lament the fact that Maude Flanders isn’t in it anymore. But the main reason that a ‘death’ can’t solve the Simpsons’ problems, is because it is already dead.

Testify!

26
Sep
14

Reading Digest: Flock of Vultures and Parasites Edition

Kamp Krusty19

“Is it true you attempted suicide when you heard the news?” – Vulture #1
“Are you and Princess Di just friends?” – Vulture #2
“You people make me sick!  You’re vultures!  Where were you when I sang at Farm Aid?  Out of my way, you parasites!  I said out of my way!” – Krusty the Klown

This week we’ve got four (count’ em four!) links to Vulture, which is doing yeoman’s work to promote the new season of Zombie Simpsons, which starts, ugh, on Sunday.  The first one is by far the most interesting, but all of them have their moments, even if those moments serve as yet more evidence that nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons.

Other than that, this is a pretty short Reading Digest because the ever obsequious entertainment press is pimping both the Family Guy crossover and this goofy stunt about a character dying as hard as they possibly can.  There’s no point to any of it, so I didn’t link any of it.  There are some other lists and .gifs and the usual what-have-you, of course, but the marketing machine was at full power this week and that always screws up the signal-to-noise ratio.

Enjoy.

David Silverman on 8 Early Simpsons Sketches – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this guided tour of some very early sketches, including from “Bart the Genius”, “Life on the Fast Lane”, and a Butterfinger commercial.  Really cool.

Simpsons Showrunners on the ‘Classic Era’ Myth – The headline for this interview with Jean, Mirkin and Selman is a little misleading in that they only mention their “myth” a little near the end.  As per usual, the Soviet fiction of “the show is still good” is officially maintained while almost all the examples they cite are from single digit seasons.  The intro even contains this:

Matt Selman is arguably the greatest Simpsons writer of the latter seasons, and many of the newer episodes on our list of the 100 best were written or co-showrun by him.

Talk about damning with faint praise!

28 Simpsons Quotes Every Fan Must Know – Our next Vulture link pretty much proves what I’m talking about above.  There are 28 quotes.  One (1) is from Zombie Simpsons (and it’s Season 16, which ain’t exactly recent in its own right).

Hank Azaria on 5 of His Many Simpsons Voices – And our final link from them is Azaria talking about some of the voices he does.  There’s nothing really new here, but it’s kinda neat, and he repeats what he’s said before about how he really has no new voices to do, whereas he used to do tons of new ones.

“Land of Chocolate” by Alf Clausen – Fear Alf Clausen’s terrible gaze:

Hank Azaria As Chief Wiggum Sings “Let It Go” – Azaria went on the Conan O’Brien show and they talked about the Hollywood Bowl thing.

Miley Cyrus Wears Her Love Of ‘The Simpsons’ On Her Sleeve—You Can, Too – I feel dirty just for linking to this, but it’s an MTV link about a (probably paid promotional) celebrity selfie to flog Itchy & Scratchy pajamas.  MTV is so naked about their sales job that they actually wrote this:

Drop Dead has developed a boutique Itchy & Scratchy Show collection in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products featuring iconic Simpsons characters.

The name “MTV News” has never been synonymous with high journalistic standards (or really, any journalistic standards), but I find it hilarious that they actually bothered to use the full name “Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products”.  Did they copy and paste it directly from the press e-mail they got?

Kevin Cuneo: Golden age of ‘Simpsons’ flew by – A columnist old enough to have kids in their 20s laments the death of the show.  Please refer to this the next time someone tells you people outgrew the show and that’s why they say it sucks now.  This guy was an adult from start to finish, and he can see how crappy the new ones are.

‘The Simpsons’ Outfit Grids by Bryan Espritu – Nice touch giving Barney his jumbo thong bikini.

The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson, 17 Years Later: Gothamist – A quick look back at the Twin Towers episode that morons pulled from syndication for a few years.

10 of Our Favorite Quotes from ‘The Simpsons’ – Nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons, and plenty of good YouTube.

Our 10 Favorite Simpsons Moments – From the same site as the above, there is a Zombie Simpsons one in here, but it’s surrounded by the acknowledgement that it was a “bad era”.

The Simpsons Family Book Comes Out Next Week! – There is a new reference book.  That is all.

Round 127: Love, Springfieldian Style vs. Homer Goes to College – First up, Nebel’s exclusive interview with the Pope.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – A reversed one of Homer’s attempt at breakfast catching fire.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons money make… – Money fight!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons surprised homer… – The suckers’ll think it’s beer nuts.

Culture Shock Part II: The things you watch – I learned something today:

While consuming my regular intake of The Simpsons (Les Simpsons) I noticed another thing that brought up some questions about French broadcasting. The good ole’ Duff beer Homer J. Simpson was enjoying was blurred out! What the Duff!? After raising the question of why, I was informed that in France there is no alcohol promotion allowed whatsoever.

The Simpsons Took the Bowl – And finally, one last recap of the Hollywood Bowl show, one that happens to agree with us:

I was fairly worried that if they were trying to encapsulate the last 25 years of the show, I might be bored during the numbers I didn’t know, but if there was a song created on the show in the last ten years, I didn’t hear it. What I did hear were most of the greats over the show’s early run.

No, I’m not still jealous, why do you ask?

19
Sep
14

Reading Digest: Everybody Else Went to the Show Edition

Itchy and Scratchy - The Movie7

“How was it?” – Bart Simpson
“It wasn’t that great.” – Lisa Simpson
“Be honest.” – Bart Simpson
“It was the greatest movie I’ve ever seen in my life!” – Lisa Simpson

This week we’ve got lots of links to those lucky bastards who got to see the Hollywood Bowl show last week, many of them with cool pictures.  Sure, YouTube is better than nothing, but it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.  In addition to that, we’ve got a bunch of .gifs, Duffman in the big leagues, a couple of disappointing lists, and a huge Sam Simon profile.

Enjoy.

D’OH! Eat my shorts! Ha-ha! Don’t have a cow, man! Ay, caramba! – Looking at the long history of the show and its influences on subsequent cartoons.

How The Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon Is Facing His Own Tragedy – A full blown writeup of Sam Simon’s life in Vanity Fair.  It’s chock full of stuff like this:

“I’m the best contract negotiator in the world,” he says. “But I had help. I had lawyers and stuff. Relative to the average person Don King negotiates with, I think we were bringing somewhat of an advantage to the situation.” Sam laughs as he recalls a memorable dinner with Don King at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. “So, I call the lawyer in, and we start talking about a contract to join the stable of fighters that Don King promotes and hopefully to get a shot at the heavyweight championship of the world. We negotiated for three and a half hours, running back and forth, making Xerox copies in the lobby. I just remember how thick the thing was; even though it was only about eight or nine pages, there’s so much sweat from people handing it back and forth and all the scribbling and initialing. Anyway, Don King says, ‘O.K., we have a deal. And I’m going to have my lawyers type up everything that we’ve discussed. So: Here. Sign the bottom of this blank piece of paper. And let me get all three of your signatures. And then I will have everything else typed in above it.’ ”

Sam laughs. Hard.

Graphs of every word used on The Simpsons (Also: all other TV and movies) – There is a link at the bottom to a tool dedicated to just The Simpsons.

Hank Azaria: Simpsons, Ray Donovan Star on His First Time in Variety – An interesting little interview with Azaria about his career.  The drawing of him at the top is also pretty cool.

90s Cartoon Party by Makomali – Cool fan made drawing of various 90s cartoon characters.

Possibly The Best Simpsons GIF – I don’t know if it’s the best, but an old tape of Homer, Lenny and Carl working is pretty good.

The Simpsooooons – Pictures and an account of the Hollywood Bowl show.

The Simpsons Take the Bowl at the Hollywood Bowl last night was so amazing – Lots of pictures and video and one gigantic donut.

Highlights – Great picture of the start of the show, even getting the sign in the background.

Guest Post – The Simpsons Hollywood Bowl Show! – Another write up by some lucky person.

The 6 most memorable moments from ‘The Simpsons’ Hollywood Bowl concert – And the official write up from Entertainment Weekly.

My Absolute Favorite Video on Youtube of All Time – Heh:

There’s just so much purity in this moment. It’s my ‘plastic bag flowing in the wind’

Trambapoline!

Tee 452 – Clever Homer/Jaws shirt.

Lisa Simpson Loses Out in Mensa Poll – Bart is the favorite of people who belong to Mensa, the group for people with low self esteem.

The NFL Simpsonized – Some NFL players in yellow.  Nice of them to have Jay Cutler smoking.

Dear Baby: You Need To Sleep Now – Heh:

I guess you just have to do your best in making your baby comfortable. Unfortunately, sometimes that means being awake at all hours of the night. Remember that episode of the Simpson’s where Homer’s brother (did you remember he had a brother?) invents that machine that can translate baby talk into English? Someone needs to get on making that a reality. Now.

New trending GIF on Giphy – Milhouse being literally labeled “Fat”.

New trending GIF on Giphy – Homer thinking.

New trending GIF on Giphy – Ha ha, you love me.

Crazy Cat Lady Begin – Fan poem that ends with the beginning of Crazy Cat Lady.  Neat.

Matt Duffy of the Giants Has Duffman on the Ends of His Bats – Cool:

MattDuffyBats

5 Things The Simpsons Predicted – The Yard Work Simulator has come terrifyingly true.

‘The Simpsons’ star Yeardley Smith heads to ‘The Mindy Project’ – Everything there is to know is in the headline.

Return To The Idiotbox! – Four Cartoons That Are Great To Revisit As An Adult – The show comes in at a mere #3.

The Top 10 Lists: Top 10 Cartoons (Part 1) – And #6 here.

12
Sep
14

Reading Digest: Live Concert Edition

SpringfieldBowl

“Devilishiously satirical!  I wonder if anyone else got that?” – Dr. Hibbert
“We’re out of here!” – Homer Simpson

That very cool Hollywood Bowl show is this weekend.  I won’t be able to attend, but if any of you fine Simpsons fans out there make the trip, please let us know.  (I’d be happy to post pictures, an account, what have you.)  In more provincial news, I saw my first Halloween display in a store this week, and I thought, “wow, that’s pretty early”, then when I was going through WordPress tags for this week’s post I came across tons of spam sites selling Homer costumes, Bart costumes, Radioactive Man costumes, Duffman/woman costumes, etc.  I guess it’s already that time of year.

In regular news, Simpsons stuff is getting back to normal, though we still have a couple of people writing and reminiscing about the marathon.  In addition to that, there’s new shoes, Duff Beer getting banned in Australia, the theme song covered by Ohio State’s marching band, and much more.

Enjoy.

A Day In The Life Of Simpsons Quotes – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this day long diary of all the Simpsons quotes that go through someone’s head.  I think many of us can relate.  (Also, thanks for the nice mention.)

Fireworks Finale: The Simpsons Take the Bowl – Some PR agency sent me the little press kit for their series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend.  That’s the ticket link, and it looks like a blast.  I’m particularly intrigued by this under the “Artists” section:

Kipp Lennon

Nancy Cartwright singing “Lisa It’s Your Birthday” with Lennon would be pretty fucking cool.  Come on, YouTube, don’t let me down!

‘The Simpsons’ Marathon Ratings Prove The Animated Series Is Here To Stay; EP Al Jean Comments On Massive Success For FXX – I still have no way to watch FXX, but these could be fun from time to time:

FXX, who according to Saftler is planning one day marathons in the future (including a Halloween marathon of every “Treehouse of Horror”), should be able to profit from “The Simpsons” for a long time.

The Halloween episodes are an obvious candidate, as are whole seasons, but if I were them I’d be thinking along the lines of all the flashback episodes, episodes with classic Itchy & Scratchy bits, episodes written by Jon Vitti or Jeff Martin, and things like that.  Also, too, this is yet another reminder that the business press is just as incurious and obsequious as the entertainment press; they cite the syndication deal as $750 million authoritatively, but their link just speculates about the number.  Just like with the voice actors’ salaries, repeating a number doesn’t make it true and the real one is a tightly held secret that nobody involved would ever want public.

‘The Simpons’ Marathon: FXX Sets 8-Episode, Music-Themed Marathon – Looks like they got started last night:

Just as America is recovering from FXX’s recent 12-day marathon of every episode of the “The Simpsons,” the cabler has set an eight-episode, music-themed marathon of the cartoon, beginning at 8 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Since this marathon is “songs created by the show”, there’s nothing after Season 8.

Australia Bans Sale of ‘The Simpsons’ Duff Beer – Oh, well:

However, the Alcohol Policy Coalition complained about the fictional beer to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code adjudication panel in June, claiming that Duff beer is very popular with children and adolescents, and therefore might draw their attention to it.
“The association of The Simpsons with the product name and packaging is so strongly entrenched in Australian popular culture that the name and packaging will draw the attention of under 18 year olds,” the panel wrote on its decision on Tuesday.

When Will ‘The Simpsons’ End? FXX Marathon Raises Series Finale Date Question – I don’t know when the show is going to end anymore than anyone else does, but people, professors of pop culture included, seem weirdly focused on numerology to me:

But Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University told IBTimes that the show will have to end sometime. “[The end of 'The Simpsons'] is going to have to happen sooner rather than later,” predicts Thompson. “It’s not going to go another 26 seasons.” Thompson guesses the powers that be of “The Simpsons” may be trying to hit 30 seasons before they call it quits, saying “30 seems to be one of those numbers that has some magical tradition behind it,” but he says no one could fault the show at this point for ending at any time.

It was the same with the last renewal, when people were saying things like “25 seasons seems like a good number”.  As mentioned above, I do not know when the show will end, but the ruthless people in charge of that decision won’t be factoring “that’s a nice number” into their thinking.

Can a China Deal Breathe New Life into ‘The Simpsons?’ – There’s now a streaming deal for China.  I’m sure all the writers and staff will be properly compensated.

*The Simpsons Theme* – Ten favorite Simpsons quotes.  There’s some famous ones on there as well as some old fashioned silliness, “Bake him away, toys!”.  Heh.

Watch Ohio State’s Marching Band Cover ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Themes – The Simpsons theme starts at the 1:40 mark:

Converse x The Simpsons Pack – Fall/Winter 2014 – New Converse shoes appear to just be a regular thing now.  Shoe fiends, prepare to be separated from your money.

Automobiles Of The Future. – “Well, Jimmy, that’s a Homer, only the prototype was ever made.”

KSK Mock Draft: The Next NFL Commissioner – I’d vote for the Rod to replace the Rog.

The Patients NO Doctor Likes – Oof, this would be bad:

-The Abe Simpson- For those of you who are unversed in The Simpsons, grandfather Abe is a character who tells pointless stories, and these patients do the same thing. You will get sucked into a ten minute diatribe about something that you assume is relevant only to find out that they have lured you down a rabbit hole into a vortex of nothingness. THEY don’t even remember the point to their story. I once listened to a fifteen minute account of a women’s relationship with her Welsch Corgi. I incorrectly assumed this was going somewhere with her medical condition, maybe flea infestation, or worms or something, but NO, it went nowhere. Later I found out that the Corgi had been dead for six years, and we still hadn’t discussed anything about her medical condition.

The Simpsons Casting Couch – This actually is bad, but I chuckled.

The Simpsons Life – Cool fan poem.

Adventure Time Syrup, Independent Thought Alarm Button – I have friends who are teachers, I would definitely buy them an Independent Thought Alarm gag gift.

LisaSimpsonStudent – This list of Lisa episodes goes way too deep into Zombie Simpsons for my taste, but there are some very good ones listed as well.  I am slightly disheartened by the lack of “Lisa’s Pony” or “Lisa the Greek”, but that’s just me.

D’OH – Heh.

Póngalo en la H / Put it in H – That would be the car they had in mind.

How Do *You* Like to Party? – Excellent reference:

While I was thinking about potential party and promo ideas, and trying to tie elements of the party into the book, I remembered that for most of the book, Denny carries a shotgun, and it kind of becomes an iconic weapon for her. Then, unfortunately, because my mind inevitably slips into Simpsons references, I pictured Homer out in front of the bowling alley with a shotgun… Bowling! Get your bowling here!
I have a feeling that this marketing plan would attract record numbers of police and fire officials, but few would stay to purchase books.

You’ll never know till you try.

D’oh! – A personal essay about the show that plenty of us can relate to:

So the question is “What do I owe The Simpsons?”. Well, to be honest, probably more than even I realize. It was the first thing that I can really remember immersing myself in; it was the first time that I felt like something was mine. The very foundation of my sense of humor is cemented in the early Conan O’ Brien, John Swartzwelder episodes, marked by absurd but engaging situations, and witty dialogue. It was the first time in my short life that I was able to see something and then try to mold myself from that model in emulation of it. I think everyone of us has that at some point in our childhood, and I think it’s a pretty big psychological development. It represents cognizance, analysis, and repetition, but also a degree of self-awareness since you have to be aware that you’re trying to change your behavior, or yourself in order to emulate, or replicate some external stimuli. For me, that stimuli was The Simpsons, and for this I owe the Simpson family, and Matt Groening a Duff.

Daddy Duty: Homer Simpson – Someone dads can relate to – Columnist loves the show, doesn’t mention the decline, cites only episodes from single digit seasons, yeah, this is one of those.

C. Montgomery Burns’ Handbook of World Domination Book Review – Sounds nice.

When did ‘The Simpsons’ go downhill? – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us, this time in the Kankakee, Illinois Daily Journal:

Before the marathon, I would have been hard-pressed to tell you exactly when the show went downhill. Now I can tell you that it was probably in season 12 (I missed season 11, so it could have been then, too. Many critics point to this time as the start of the downfall).

[...]

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that at some point, the characters became almost caricatures of their worst traits. Now, Marge is not much more than the nagging wife, Lisa the sanctimonious vegetarian, Bart the troublemaker, Homer the drunken buffoon. They’re not as nuanced as they once were, and they’re definitely lacking a lot of the humanity they once had.
There’s also the matter of the millions of guest stars. The later episodes are too focused on cameos from whoever is popular that millisecond, and the writers are more interested in sucking up to the celebrities, instead of parodying them.
For instance, in the “Lisa Goes Gaga” episode in season 23, Lisa learns from guest star Lady Gaga that’s important to be true to yourself, which, yawn. I was unaware “The Simpsons” had turned into “Sesame Street.”

Heh, too true.  Too true.




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