Archive for the 'Simpsons' Category


Behind Us Forever: Lisa With an S

The Last Temptation of Homer13

“Dad, why are you singing?” – Lisa Simpson
“Tell a lie!  Tell a lie!” – Homer’s Brain
“Because I have a small roll in a Broadway musical.  It’s not much, but it’s a start.” – Homer Simpson
“Bravo.” – Homer’s Brain 

I gave up on this episode halfway through (read more and you’ll see why).  The basic idea is that Lisa wants to go to band camp, but Homer loses money in a poker game to Moe’s elderly, ex-Broadway star girlfriend.  (I am not making that up.)  Said ex-Broadway star comes over to the house and then takes Lisa on tour, wacky hijinks ensue, etcetera etcetera, and then at some point the credits roll.

The couch gag is a kind of Star Trek doodle that probably never should’ve left the upper right corner of some bored person’s script.

We open with a West Side Story “Tonight, Tonight” song opening for poker night.  Most of the lyrics are the word “tonight”.

Lisa: “to save time, I’ll start describing the favor.” There’s an extra layer of laziness and audience contempt when they pre-exposit the exposition.

Lenny just fell out a window.

Poker montage!

Now they’re doing an Inside Out thing in Homer’s head.  Helpfully, it restates what’s going on (again).

And Homer loses at poker.  Barney is now driving a dart board like a steering wheel.  Feh.

Late at night, Bart pokes his head into Lisa’s room to re-exposit the plot.  Thanks, Bart!  I was confused as to whether or not Homer losing at poker would impact Lisa going to band camp.

The old Broadway lady is at dinner with the family now.  They’re recounting stories.  Tell, don’t show!

Here’s a typically boring and haplessly constructed series of events:

  1. Homer tries to flatter the old lady by saying “tell me you’re writing a book”.  Then . . .
  2. Bart starts choking himself with his necktie, which causes the camera to pan away from her and over to him.  Then . . .
  3. Homer grabs Bart and says, “sit down, boy, we’re trying to show this dame that we’re deserving of her pity”.  That neatly restates the thing we’d just had explained to us twice.  He continues:
  4. Homer: “Where’s that crutch I gave you?”
    Bart: “There’s nothing wrong with my leg.”
    Homer: “There will be!”
  5. Bart then bashes Homer’s leg with a crutch, so . . .
  6. Homer screams in pain, then . . .
  7. He pretends to hobble around on the crutch when the old lady, who’s been sitting there the whole time, is put back into frame.  Homer then restates the plot once again.  Pre-explained jokes, repeated exposition, no sense of object (or character) permanence; Lordy, this show is bad.

Lisa is now playing saxophone for the old lady, then pulls out “Laney’s” albums and reads the covers to us while she shows them.  This form of storytelling, reading out loud while showing us the accompanying picture, is usually reserved for librarians reading to kindergartners.  It is also sadly typical of Zombie Simpsons.

Marge is arguing with the old lady, then Grampa chimed in before saying, “I’ve been here, I’ve just been quiet”.  Things like this are why I’m convinced the writing staff knows how shitty these scripts are and is long (LONG) past the point of caring.

You know what?  Fuck it.  Let’s skip forward three minutes and see what’s happening . . . the screen is panning over a bunch of empty theater seats and balconies before Milhouse appears from nowhere to tell us he got a ticket and then Lisa describes what we just saw.

Let’s skip ahead another three minutes . . . the old lady is singing (Lisa’s part of the band).  Moe, in the audience, then tells us what we just saw, “Cheering for someone getting a word right.  That is a low bar.”  Indeed.  Three more minutes, please . . .

Moe and the old lady finish the episode in a “visiting New York City” montage.  But there’s one of those post-credit sketches where Homer is arguing with an Amish guy who’s related to Flanders.  I watched 51% of this carcass, that should be enough.

So, the ratings for the last two episodes are in and very little has changed.  The one from two weeks ago, “Friend With Benefit”, did not have the benefit of an NFL lead-in and was endured by only 3.5 million viewers.  (Fun fact: the headline of that article includes the words “family”, “guy”, “series”, and “low”.)  This one did have an NFL lead-in and managed 5.64 million viewers, almost exactly a million less than the previous episode that had football protecting it from apathy.  Overall, ratings: still atrocious.


Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXVI

Brother From Another Series12

“At last, I’m going to do what Bob never could: kill Bart Simpson!” – Cecil Terwilliger
“By throwing me off a dam?  Isn’t that a little crude for a genius like you?” – Bart Simpson
“Ooh, I suppose it is.  Enh.  If anyone asks, I’ll lie.” – Cecil Terwilliger 

The annual Halloween episode has come and gone, and this year’s was just as bland and forgettable as last year’s, and the year before that, etcetera.  Perhaps next year’s will break the cycle of boredom, but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

– Before we get started, let’s just pause for a moment to note that this is the twenty-sixth(!) edition of this. Jebus.

– Another weird opening, this time a bad “Grinch Stole Christmas” take off. Took the better part of two minutes, though, so at least there’s that.

– Segment one opens with Bart spinning Wendell on a merry-go-round so the kids can gamble on when he’ll puke. Wendell both barfs and doesn’t, so Bart somehow keeps the money and no one cares. This is off to an incoherent start.

– Sideshow Bob shows up to tell us what we just saw and explain a joke about the wallpaper on Milhouse’s phone.

– Bob’s dancing around with Bart’s intestines on his shoulders. Kinda weird.

– Bob is now drinking Bart’s blood with some wine. You know how you can tell these segments are slapdash? We’re two minutes in and barely anything has happened except Bart and/or Bob explaining what we’re seeing at that moment. For a brief comparison, by the two minute mark of “The Shining”, the family has arrived at the house, Bart’s met Willie and had his power explained, and Burns and Smithers are cutting off the cable TV and beer supply.

– After nothing happened for another minute, Bob is now using Bart’s corpse for putting practice.

– Bob stepped on a rake. Good work, guys.

– Bob is expositing again. Seems he misses Bart.

– Now we’ve got a montage of Bob killing Bart and reanimating him. This is gonna go on for a while.

– Homer just exposited what the “Reanimate” lever does after we saw a montage of it working.

– Anyway, that ended.  On to segment two, “Homerzilla”!  (There’s a fresh idea.)

– You know that joke where dubbed Japanese dialogue is deliberately offset from the character’s mouths (they did it at the juicer factory in Season 4)? They just did that joke, but had Comic Book Guy pre-explain it by saying, “Yes, let us show disrespect with poorly dubbed laughter.” Woof.

– Two minute mark. Still expositing the setup.

– Homerzilla is attacking now. It’s just a series of disconnected and not terribly clever sight gags. Ooh, Homerzilla has the fighter planes on yo-yo strings!

– And now we’ve swerved into a movie parody where Hollywood executives remake Homerzilla as a big, American extravaganza. Still mostly just Homer doing weak sight gags like plugging Buzz cola.

– And it ends on them narrating text we can read.

– Segment three just started with Lisa, off screen, expositing at Bart and Milhouse. Milhouse then fell down a hole, but told us about it so we wouldn’t get confused. Then Lisa and Bart talked about getting in the hole, then they got in the hole.

– Apparently we’re doing a Chronicle thing here, so the annoyances of found footage movies can come to the small, animated screen. Lisa and Milhouse have powers, Bart doesn’t and . . .

– Montage!

– Now Lisa lets us know that, “Milhouse has gone mad with power”.  K.

– Now Maggie has superpowers and the episode finally gets around to ending with another montage.

– And we end on another admission that the show sucks, with Kang and Kodos yelling that it isn’t Season 4 anymore.

Anyway, since I’ve been blissfully slacking on this, let’s take a look at the numbers for the last three episodes.  Two weeks ago, “Puffless” pulled just 3.29 million viewers, which places it at #10 on the all time least viewed list.  A week ago, “Halloween of Horror” was watched by 3.63 million viewers.  That makes it #16.

Of course, neither of those episodes had a football lead-in the way last night’s did.  “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” was seen by an appropriately spooky 6.66 million viewers, which counts as a good number for Zombie Simpsons these days.  That’s about a million people less than last year’s Halloween show, a dropoff that’s been pretty consistent this year.


Reading Digest: In Denial About Season 27 Edition


“Homer, I want you to look at this drawing Bart did.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, it’s beautiful!  Oh, let’s put Bart’s beautiful drawing up on the fridge-” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, stop!  Would you please look at the drawing?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, alright . . . Ahh!  Burn it!  Send it to hell!” – Homer Simpson
“I think we’re going to have to get Bart some help.” – Marge Simpson
“Get it away.” – Homer Simpson

Very short Reading Digest this week as pretty much everything tagged “Simpsons” on the internet was linked to FOX’s big marketing push for the new season, which is now a terrifyingly close nine days away.  I did pluck one link from the publicity spew, but it’s just Jean saying things you’ve seen him say before.  Other than that we do have some excellent fan art, Korean rock stars getting in on the fashionable clothing thing, world record tattoos, and a well thought out top 25 list.


Simpsons season 27: Al Jean talks Homer and Marge’s separation, and more: Interview – Jean doing a publicity interview for the new season.  No real news here, he’s just pimping this year’s version of zany stuff with lots of celebrity guest voices.

Man with over 200 tattoos of The Simpsons characters confirmed as record holder – Well done, sir (though how you get a total number out of that impressive scene is beyond me).

Homer LED Shirt – A shirt that lights up in the shape of that Homer x-ray picture with his tiny brain.  (via @RoyceMCutcheon)

Why Labor leader Bill Shorten is posing with a mysterious green rod – The inanimate carbon rod takes Australia by storm. (via @DailySimpsons)

Perfectly timed image captures hilarious moment between Marge and Homer Simpson – Cute.  (via @AlJean)

Happy birthday to The Prophet of Love, Larry, I mean, Barry White – Great YouTube here, including Simpsons clips.

A Fonz Gift Set: Embroidery & Painting – Great inscription usage on the bottom of the painting.

Creating My List of Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – This is why I don’t do lists.  It’s too stressful:

I will certainly be on there again tomorrow as even now I am feeling guilty about episodes currently not on the list and doubting whether I have got this right. There could definitely be some last minute changes.

My Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – And the results.  “Lemon of Troy” is an unusual but very worthy #1, and “Lisa’s First Word” at #2 is pretty good as well.

WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #3 – Outline completed, and the beginnings of color.

S02 E21 – Three Men and a Comic Book – Glick is dead-on:

He goes and starts working for her, doing all sorts of terrible manual labor while Mrs. Glick watches soap operas, and just generally acts like every super old lady I’ve ever met in my life. Mrs. Glick was hilarious. To the old candy and the creepy décor, everything about her was perfect. I also laughed my ass off when she was watching the soap opera and said “Filthy…but genuinely arousing.”

S02 E22 – Blood Feud – It is nice to just hang out with the old ones:

Season finale! Already through 2 seasons, and man do I have to say that I’m loving this show again. I’d really forgotten how great it was, and just focused on how bad it got. And now I’m remembering why I was obsessed with this show growing up. It’s so hilarious, and manages to mix in just the perfect amount of humor that really makes for a perfect series. Although I have to admit, as much as I’m loving these classic episodes, I’m starting to dread when I get to the seasons that made me quit. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly where I fell off, and I’m not quite positive, but man this blog may change when I get there. Instead of a lovefest for an amazing show, it may become the bitter ramblings of a crazy person, before I fall into self-imposed Stockholm Syndrome.

S03 E01 – Stark Raving Dad – Remember when they knew how to use big name celebrities well?

S03 E02 – Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington – There’s nothing Homer wouldn’t do for that magazine.

Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington – Dueling reviews of twenty-four year old episodes!

STAYREAL ~ Simpsons ft. Jung Yonghwa – High fashion Simpsons clothing now comes with Korean boy bands.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons alone bart… – He’s becoming isolated and weird.


Reading Digest: Arty Milhouse Edition

Radioactive Man13

“Ever since I became a movie star I’ve been miserable.  I had to get up at 5am just for makeup.  I like the way the blush brings out my cheekbones, but it’s not worth it.” – Milhouse van Houten

There’s a simple and very creative Lego Milhouse picture this week that headlines a collection of cool fan art in the mediums of Lego, ink, cross-stitch and more.  We’ve also got a bunch of lists, more Season 2, Burns memories, a couple of pieces of great usage, and more.


May-August developments in new works… – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the week is this collection of freaky Simpsons collages.  Stop the Planet of the Apes on top of young Master Burns’ eyes is particularly good.

The Character Files: Mr. Burns – This list of recommended episodes is, of course, very long.  And:

Well, to his friends he’s known as Monty. But to you it’s Mr. Burns.

I can’t read that without singing it.

Movie Music: Danny Elfman – I forgot he did Men In Black.

My 6 Favorite Simpsons One-Off Characters – Oh, you gave him a quarter!

Professional Lego builder’s life-sized Homer heading to Edmonton Expo – A giant Homer made of Lego and dressed as Spock?  Well done, sir.

Mirror – And speaking of Legos, Milhouse sees himself as Fallout Boy.

Piggie-gang – The Lego boys with pig bodies.  There really should be more easily decapitate-able toys.

The Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – Reader Eric P. sent in yet more proof that nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons.

The Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – And here’s someone else observing:

My absolute favourite show is The Simpsons. Older episodes of the Simpsons that is. There are barely any good new episodes.

I’d go with none, but that’s just me.  (Looking forward to your list, though!)

Eye On Springfield With Diego Fernandez of Eye Of Horus – Remember when the Devil told Bart to listen to heavy metal music?  Looks like it works:

Like most people, I started watching over the shoulder of my parents, then when I was old enough, I would watch them on my own. I remember the first time I saw the show because it was also the first time I heard ‘ass’ being said on TV. Obviously hearing that at such a young age is what set me off into being a death metal musician!

Stark Raving Dad – Other things that enjoyably warped my childhood brain:

-“Marge, I can’t wear a pink shirt to work. Everybody wears white shirts! I’m not popular enough to be different.” And then, of course, Mr. Burns commenting on the pink garb: “Well, judging by his outlandish attire, he’s some sort of free-thinking anarchist!”

Friday Conversation: The Geekiest Pop Culture Merchandise You’ve Owned – One of us:

Stacey Ritzen
Like many people who grew up with The Simpsons, I used to be an enormous fan, until the gradual decline in quality a decade or so ago began to disenchant and eventually disinterest me in the series. But when Playmates Toys released their World of Springfield action figure line in 1999, I was still very much obsessed with The Simpsons, and obsessively collected the toys. I’d even cut out the UPC codes to get the limited edition ones you had to mail away for, and buy ones I couldn’t find on eBay.

S02 E16 – Bart’s Dog Gets an F – Always liked this:

While she’s home, Marge shows Lisa the Bouvier family quilt, and informs her that she’s going to learn how to stitch so she can contribute a square herself. Marge is a sewing master, which is she demonstrates by lighting flame under her calloused skin.

It’s a very Simpsons combination of sweetness and horror.

S02 E17 – Old Money – Indeed:

They end up going to the Plato’s Republic Casino and Hotel (that joke is amazing)

Probably took me ten years to get that one.

S02 E18 – Brush with Greatness – Season 2 really was when the writing became itself:

I absolutely love the interaction Burns and Smithers have when Burns realizes his good fortune of having an artist dropped into his lap: “Somebody up there likes me Smithers.” “Somebody down here likes you too sir.” “Shut up!” Oh Mr. Burns, you’re the worst.

S02 E19 – Lisa’s Substitute – This is true:

Another classic Lisa episode. Man, I really forgot how consistently great Lisa episodes were.

From time to time I’ll find someone complaining about how Lisa episodes are boring, and my only response is that you’re right, but only because you’re watching Zombie Simpsons and all the episodes are boring.  Lisa episode in the actual Simpsons are fantastic.

S02 E20 – the War of the Simpsons – Here’s your crown, your majesty!

thank you comedy – Lisa to the rescue again:

I realized I wasn’t a freak or alone in my skepticism of Christianity when I saw an episode of the Simpsons called “Lisa the Skeptic” in which she digs up a skeleton that looks like an angel that sets the town into a religious fervor and Lisa questions the existence of god. Hearing Lisa question it made me feel more confident to question it myself and that episode has stuck with me for years.

Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors Retrospective (Pt.1) – Podcast the first.

Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors Retrospective (pt. 2) – Podcast the second.

Katie Hopkins – I do not know who Katie Hopkins is, but Paul Anka is a wise man.

H is for Homer Simpson – Great fan made Homer drawing.

WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #2 – The couch cross stitch I linked before is coming along nicely.  It’s even got the bag of chips on the floor.

Str8 up Menace – Having Bart’s skull and crossbones logo on a slingshot tattoo is a very nice touch.

Combating “The Homer Simpson Effect” – Excellent usage:

There really is a “Homer Simpson” effect in neuroscience. The phenomenon was given this name in honor of the Fox network character, Homer Simpson. Homer once told Marge, “Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.”

Bloomberg’s terminals face threat from start-ups like Goldman Sachs’s Symphony – Excellent reference:

Mr Khan at ING Bank said that even if Money.Net did not catch on, for his generation, the prestige of the expensive terminal was losing its allure.

“They are like Grandpa Simpson. They used to be with it, but then it changed,” Mr Khan said of both Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.

How to handle online sexism: Laugh at the trolls and fight back – Excellent strategy:

Ford said she had tried to develop a thick skin, with a dash of humour. “What I’ve found has worked has absolutely not been stoicism or silence or just getting on with things, but has been a combination of exposure and also laughing at them,” she explained. “It comes back to that Margaret Atwood quote: ‘Men are afraid women will laugh at them, and women are afraid men will kill them’.”
When she gets abusive emails, she sometimes responds with a picture of Poochie from The Simpsons. “I love the idea of them getting indignant about the fact I didn’t read their email properly,” she laughed.

“Paid In Full” – Lenny and Carl, the album cover.

“Insane Sideshow Posse” – Chalk Bob, but no mention of his thoughts on magnets and how the fuck they work.

Tooned Series (2015 New Model): THE SIMPSONS FAMILY CAR – You can now get a diecast model of the family sedan in addition to The Homer.

Mr. Burns: A comedy of the darkest variety – The play goes to Virginia.

‘The Simpsons’ gets an imaginative treatment in a dystopian drama – And St. Louis.

Concert Review: Ned Flanders Metal Band Okilly Dokilly – Sudden fame has advantages and disadvantages, but the crowd liked ’em, and that’s what counts.

Erroll’s Top 10 Favorite Games (In No Particular Order) – The arcade game makes the list.

My Five Favorite TV show Credit Sequences – The Simpsons entry has a Halloween flavor.

Hank Azaria Cast in HBO’s Bernie Madoff Movie – Azaria gets to play Robert DeNiro’s right hand man, which I suppose is better for him than when they were in Heat together.

Dissolving into the Ether – The Homer into the bushes .gif, but with video static.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons leonard nimoy… – His work is done here.

New trending GIF tagged swag the simpsons chill… – She can’t hear you, son, she’s wearing a Jacuzzi suit.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons bart… – Staring down his nemesis, Lester.


Reading Digest: So Short It Barely Exists Edition

In Marge We Trust15

“Well, it was a good ride while it lasted.  Come on, kids, let’s go home.” – Homer Simpson
“We are home.” – Bart Simpson
“That was fast.” – Homer Simpson

It’s a holiday weekend and I’m very pressed for time as I am going away from the internet for a few days, so this is a very short Reading Digest, but we do have an alternate reality Simpsons, some fan art, plenty of Season 2 recaps, some great usage, and moar Lego stuff.


NOTE: I am aware via e-mail and such that the comments section has gone to hell lately.  I will fix it when I get back.  I’ve only ever had to ban one person on this blog, if you are the person(s) who are making this less fun for everyone else, stop being a jerkass and I won’t have to up that number.

An amended Simpsons timeline – Our old friend Stefan Grasso has constructed an elaborate alternate timeline where the Simpson kids actually grow up:

Lisa, meanwhile, develops a romantic relationship with an intelligent boy named Langdon Alger, and continues pursuing her dreams of being a great jazz musician, and graduates from high school in the year 2000.

Lots more at the link.

The Middle of the Road – Anaesthetics for the Heart Kids – Even sophisticated doctors use the Simpsons:

“It was like that when I got here”

You might remember a bunch of life lessons from The Simpsons. Babies can be relied upon to deliver justice to old tycoons. The coroner is tiresome after a while. Don’t eat the insanity peppers.

Well that eight word phrase comes from Homer to Bart, purpose built for shifting the blame. But it turns out to be a pretty good phrase to remember for the “standard” heart kid needing your help.

I will take your word for the rest.

LEGO Dimensions Unleashes New Screenshots Of The Simpsons And Midway Arcade Gameplay – Mmm, franchises.

Welcome: The Simpsons Files!!! – Simpsons blog gets renovated, promises to get back to the important things in life: watching old TV and blogging about it.

Tales from an Empty Bar – Excellent usage:

She’s outside. She has to cover the patio, the lounge and the bar on Saturday afternoons.

But I’m thirsty now.”

So you do remember the episode.”


The Simpson’s episode, you do remember it.”

No, I don’t watch the Simpson’s

That’s weird, ‘cuz In the episode, the gun store owner told Homer that he had to wait five days to buy a gun. Homer replied ‘But I’m mad now’ and then they did this little sequence with Tom Petty playing in the background.”

Can you count… SUCKAS?! – Scroll about halfway down for a heavily marked up Simpsons poster in a Beijing bar.

S02 E11 – One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish – Haven’t had time to read these, but I do adore Season 2.

S02 E12 – The Way We Was – I’ve always wanted to moon for rebuttal.

S02 E13 – Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment – Something about covet?

S02 E14 – Principal Charming – Possible Homersexual.

S02 E15 – Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Your holiness.

The EGOTist On: My First Stage Win – This is fantastic:

I was 3 years old and the Simpsons were doing a big promotional event at a bookstore just outside the city. My grandmother packed my older cousin and I into the car and drove us out there.

The place was swarmed. I remember super tall people everywhere (because who isn’t tall to a 3 year-old). The man onstage announced a contest. It echoed out over the loudspeakers. Whoever gave the best Maggie impersonation would win a prize.


Each person gave their best pacifier-sucking impersonation. And then they finally got to me.

“What’s your name?”

“Brittany,” I said directly into the microphone.

“How old are you?”


I grabbed hold of the mic and gave it my best shot.

The crowd went wild!

The emcee went down the line again, holding a hand over each of our heads to measure the audience’s reaction. When he got back to me, they went bonkers. The winner was obvious.

I don’t know if I won because I was an adorable and precocious toddler or if it’s because I was actually the best. I like to think it was the latter but it doesn’t really matter because I was the one who left that stage with the adult large Simpson’s t-shirt that fit me like a ballgown.


TV Review: Classic Simpsons— “Lisa The Skeptic” – This one was always disappointing because it should’ve been great, it had all the pieces, but ended up less than the sum of its parts:

And double-especially, when, in rewatching this episode, I realized that I liked it less than I remembered.

Smartline – Aww.

Master of Horror – This is a feeling shared by many:

It took Groundskeeper Willie to make me truly appreciate Wes Craven. The Simpsons‘ 1995 Treehouse of Horror segment Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace stripped back the Freddy Krueger mythos to its fundamentals – a man burned alive and swearing vengeance on the residents of a sunny suburban town, haunting the dreams of their innocent children.

“Groundskeeper Lemmy” – Fantastic chalk Willy/Lemmy mashup.  Bravo.

“Six Pack” – Barney has painted himself into a corner, literally and spiritually.

WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #1 – The early stages of a very elaborate cross stitch of the family on the couch.  Can’t wait to see the completed product.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons smoking… – Homer’s got money to burn, or at least singe, anyway.


Reading Digest: What Do You Want, It’s August Edition

Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious10

“Lisa, don’t sit in front of that telly like a fly stuck in a toffee.  It’s a great big world out there!” – Shary Bobbins
“Been there, done it.” – Lisa Simpson

Very short Reading Digest this week on account of the fact that there’s always a lull at this time of year because people with more sense than me are outside and away from their keyboards.  We do have some love for Season 2, some extremely crappy merchandise, some excellent usage, some more Bart art, and an Icelandic Homer, so it’s not all bad.


The Dark Past Of Your Favorite Cartoon Characters And More… – This only mentions the show in passing, but it’s a great collection (complete with lots of YouTube) of the smoking, drinking, and wildly racists past of such favorites as Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny.

10 Simpsons mash-ups will make you smile – Some more excellent Bart art from that show a couple weeks ago.  Bart as Spike Lee from Do the Right Thing is spot on.

Timeline Photos – Via @RealJeffJ on Twitter is an old Icelandic comic strip that looks familiar:


The Family’s Best Friend – A short, familial history of television, complete with excellent usage:

Whether black and white or colour, big and bulky or sleek and high definition, the purpose of the television is one every generation can understand. In the word’s of Homer Simpson, “Come, family, let us all bask in television’s warm glowing warming glow.”

Homer actually says, “Come, family, sit in the snow with Daddy,” first, but the rest of the quote is dead on.

Okily Dokily and The History of Simpsons Inspired Bands – A list of some Simpsons named bands, some famous, some not.  I’d see a band called “The Speedholes”.

5 top pacts with the devil in literature – “The Devil and Homer Simpson” makes this Faust heavy list, but “The Devil and Daniel Webster” does not.  Score one for television.

Fear the Walking Dead, Rogue One, and why Hollywood makes prequels – Almost excellent usage from Entertainment Weekly:

Hollywood has gotten more thesaurus-y in pitching these projects: companion series, expansion, reimagining, “palate cleanser.” And doesn’t “spin-off” sound wrong, classless, shamefully capitalistic? But we shouldn’t kid ourselves: The de facto Hollywood playbook right now is The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase, except now it’s The Simpsons Cinematic Universe.

128th-Final, Round 12: Bart Gets an “F” vs. Homer the Vigilante – Oof, that’s tough.

128th-Final, Round 13: Lost Our Lisa vs. The Front – This, however, is a very easy one.

S02 E06 – Dead Putting Society – Read the bosom part again:

Homer then mocks the letter endlessly with the family, especially the fact that Ned used the word “bosom” several times.

S02 E07 – Bart vs. Thanksgiving – They certainly nailed a lot of my family Thanksgiving experiences:

It’s episodes like this that really show why your parents were crabby on holidays when they hosted, everyone’s a judgy jerk

S02 E08 – Bart the Daredevil – Always cracks me up:

And I love when Flanders cries at Todd’s solo, and Homer says “c’mon Flanders, he’s not that bad.”

Itchy & Scratchy & Marge – This is true:

I love that the other kids in school give Bart sympathy for not getting to watch Itchy and Scratchy anymore. There were kids in school growing up that didn’t get to watch TV, and everyone treated them like they were bereaved.

Gr8at: Visual Jokes from The Simpsons – Heh, “Make a List”.

HAVE YOU CONTRACTED TV? – Excellent usage:

“Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.” ~ Homer Simpson (Flaxen-faced sexegenarian philosopher)

Bart Simpson Dart Board – Even by the usually low Krusty Brand Seal of Approval merchandise standards, this one is piss poor.  It’s just Homer and Bart painted on the outside of a crappy looking electronic dart board.

LEGO The SIMPSONS Minifigures SERIES 2! – YouTube of blind bags of Simpsons legos being opened.

‘Simpsons’ Writer: Trump Presidential Run ‘Not as Fun as It Should Be’ – Dan Greaney wrote “Bart to the Future”, which isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other crap in Season 11:

Greaney says he had completely forgotten about the episode until it was cited—by The Washington Post, Mashable, and Deadline, among other news outlets—as yet another example of the Simpsons writing crew’s uncanny ability to see into the future. (“Entertainment Weekly said it was the worst episode in the history of the show, [so] I was hoping to have an opportunity to have the episode reevaluated, anyway,” he said.)

Galway Comedy Carnival has the last laugh – Mike Reiss goes to Ireland:

An eye-catching offering is The Simpsons Backstage Tour with The Simpsons long-time writer and producer Mike Reiss, which includes secrets, rarely seen footage and gossip, on some of the 300 celebrities who appeared over the years. This will be an afternoon show in the Town Hall Theatre followed by a Q & A session.

Ay Caramba! – Famous interjections, one of which was popularized by Bart.

New trending GIF tagged television the simpsons cats… – Nothing but cats.

The cone of ignorance (Simpsons) – Heh.


Reading Digest: Marriage Through Simpsons Edition

I Married Marge17

“There certainly are a lot of stains on the ceiling.” – Marge Bouvier
“Marge, I’m sorry.  I wish I could afford a better place.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, I’d be lying if I said that this is how I pictured my wedding day.  But you are how I pictured my husband.” – Marge Bouvier
“I am?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, you may not look like Ted Bessell, but you’re just as nice.” – Marge Simpson

A cultural touchstone as broadly known and deeply loved as The Simpsons is bound to bring people together, and someone wearing small pigs for cufflinks at their wedding probably comes across my screen twice a year or so.  But this week, we have a happily married couple that was brought together because one of them got a Stonecutter tattoo, and the other Googled “Stonecutter tattoos”.  The story just gets more fun from there.  Truly we live in the future, and The Simpsons makes it a better one than it otherwise would be.

(Oh, and we’ve also got more Bartkira, a couple people who agree with us, some excellent usage, a Flanders band, a couple of lists, and all the other usual stuff.)


My Simpsons Destiny – A few years back, I used to regularly link to a blogger who did these neat Simpsons embroideries.  Well, she’s back with one of the greatest Simpsons fan stories ever and it is Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week:

Last summer I received an email alert that someone had commented on my blog. Since I abandoned it 3 years ago I was pretty surprised. Apparently he did a Google search for Stonecutters tattoos, saw mine and said to himself “I must know this woman immediately!” and left a comment. And that’s how it began. Just some random Google search and BAM, life changer.


I mean it wasn’t just the Simpsons that made us realize we were soulmates, there were many other weird coincidences that were uncovered later. But the Simpsons was most definitely the catalyst for us meeting each other while he lived in Chicago at the time and I was in Kansas. He flew down last August to meet me in person and proposed. …with an onion ring!

Yes, you can see a picture of the engagement onion.  And, yes, there is a “Whale of a Wife” cake.  And yes, there’s a picture of the Stonecutters tattoo that started it all.  Congratulations, Amanda!

Joke Origins: I wish I could retire / The State Hospital – Our friends over at Flim Springfield have an interesting theory in regards to Homer’s dream of retirement from “Marge Gets a Job”, namely that it might have been inspired by a piece of 1960s installation art set in a mental institute.  Highly worth the read.

Okilly Dokilly: Metal with a Ned-edge – And because Flim Springfield was on a roll this week, I’m pretty sure they’re the ones who got the Ned Flanders metal band to go moderately viral:

Some friends in our Phoenix music community just started a Simpsons themed band, Okilly Dokilly. I think you can tell by their promo picture what they’re aiming for…

that sounds like rock and/or roll

THRILLHAUS – Some absolutely outstanding Simpsons designs on buttons, shirt, etcetera.  Found via Xtapolapometal.

The Simpsons Best Moments – Reader Steve sends in a link to a Facebook page that indeed has some of the show’s best moments.  “Core Explosion Repent Sins” always cracks me up.

My (possibly) favorite episode of The Simpsons: “I Love Lisa” – It’s a fine choice:

Finally, on a more subjective note, I just feel like “I Love Lisa” is a perfectly structured, perfectly paced, perfectly plotted episode in which everything comes together more perfectly than any I can remember—the dialog, the jokes, the story, the characters, the emotions. Like “Marge vs. the Monorail”, “I Love Lisa” doesn’t have a B plot, but I feel like there’s more to this episode. I never get to the end of this one and think, “Oh, that’s it? It’s already ending?”

(via @SimpsonsShowPod)

John Baird’s post-politics Twitter feed is a bizarre menagerie of cat photos, Simpsons references – Good for him, I guess?:

The Ottawa MP abruptly resigned from cabinet last February, and stepped down as an MP the following month. Widely seen as one of the top contenders for power within the Conservative Party, Baird is now an advisor to Barrick Gold, and has joined the board of Canadian Pacific Railway.


The most striking detail is the sheer tonnage of cat images: Dozens of retweeted videos and animated gifs depicting cats stretching, napping or adorably swatting at things.

Typical for many who were in their 20s during the 1990s, Baird is also a devoted Simpsons fan, posting regular references and in-jokes from the series.

S01 E09 – Life on the Fast Lane – That does put a different perspective on things:

Dang. This is a heavy episode. I don’t remember it hitting so hard as a kid. I assume that would have something to do with the fact that I haven’t seen this episode since I’ve been married. Well, let’s talk about marital infidelity everyone!

Top Ten Simpsons Episodes – Part Two – This completes a list I linked back in June.  No Zombie Simpsons and “Homer Badman” at the top spot, which is both a solid choice and one I don’t see at the top of these lists too often.

Eye On Springfield with Dustie Pitstick of Duderus – Good way to put it:

My backup favorite is Lenny. As I’ve grown older I’ve watched him in my mind develop from Homer’s drinking buddy into this beautiful parody of the modern “guy’s guy”. He’s always got a smile on his face and a beer in his hand, but he’s secretly facing some horrible misfortune at every turn.

Milhouse – Bartkira – Why, he’s almost a military strongman.

If anyone wants me, I’ll be in my room. – And here’s some Duffman Bartkira.

Top 8 Grown-Up TV Cartoons – I think we all know what comes in at #1 here.

The Unsung Heroes of Hollywood: Alex Rocco – A little more appreciation for Roger Meyers Jr.

The Occasional New Post After a Few Months Delay… – Excellent usage:

And then I seemed to think that my blogging delay was getting too long for just a casual post to be my return and that I should come back with a REALLY deserving post. And then I’d built up the expectations of it and so never got around to actually writing it- until now. (“It’s going to be better than 10 Super-Bowls! I don’t want to oversell it… judge for yourselves!”- Yes. This post is Poochey… and that’s okay.)

Review: When the world becomes Springfield – A very positive review of the Indiana version of the play.

Review: The Simpsons Hit & Run – The death of console memory cards has been a boon to humanity:

I used to play this game for hours, along with my brother who did the harder missions. We eventually got 100% and because we were so paranoid that our data was going to be lost from our PS2 memory card, we transferred it onto two different memory cards just to be safe. It was one of those games that we would go back and play again from the start and still have so much enjoyment from.

Punch them! – Heh.  (The black and white is a nice touch.)

The Simpsons jumped the shark . . . in 1999 – Finally, and just like last week, I get to end with two people who agree with us (via):

At its peak, the show was incredibly sophisticated, working at a level that appealed to children and adults alike. Episodes featured slapstick, visual gags, incredibly sly wordplay, and cultural references. Now, in its Abe Simpson-like dotage, the show’s jokes seem obvious, the wordplay more crass, and the references less subtle. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems afflicting the fine folk of Springfield.


Memories of Springfield, Part 1 – And finishing up:

The majority of these episodes, barring only a few exceptions, were extremely well-written and packed practically beginning to end with moments that were any to all of the following: clever, perfectly-timed, hilarious, and infinitely quotable. In the seasons that followed, due to the exodus of the show’s best writers, and having apparently run out of good story ideas, the episode plots became fragmented and outlandish, and the attempts at humour lacking in any real wit, instead being almost entirely reliant on sight gags. Episodes went from generating LOLs per minute to eliciting no more than a chuckle or two in the entire half hour. The show has never since regained its former glory.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


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