Archive for the 'Simpsons' Category

23
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Cranky with the Media Edition

Bustling Newsroom

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

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

Enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it’s “Not Just Another State”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That link takes you to this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday has spoken… – Heh.

Simpsons at its finest – Heh.

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

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

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

16
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Yet Moar Anniversaries Edition

I Married Marge14

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

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

Enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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

Quality be damned, the show remains a cultural force.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Endings – Very true:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find Your Somate, Homer – Heh:

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

“Find your somate, Homer.”

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

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

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

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

Simpson And Delilah – Some Season 2 love.

Treehouse Of Horror – And some more.

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

Wade Boggs — 107 Beers – Pitt the Elder!

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

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

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

Mobile Gaming: The Simpsons vs Family Guy – Heh:

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

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

Orange juice – Heh.

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

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

Stick with those and you’ll be okay.

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

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

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

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

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

Kitty Says Cobrashark – Pretty creepy Burns/skull design.

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

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

09
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Roots Edition

Treehouse of Horror VI11

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

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

Enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It really was just a single frame:

The Telltale Head16

Good eye.

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

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

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

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

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

And this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

02
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Year End Cleaning Edition

Bart Gets an Elephant8

“Now, each one of you take a floor and get started.” – Marge Simpson
“I call the basement!” – Homer Simpson
“Fine.” – Marge, Bart & Lisa Simpson
“D’oh? . . . D’oh!” – Homer Simpson 

With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Thursdays this year, the last two weeks have been somewhat disorienting.  With two of the biggest holidays of the year in the middle of the week, I’ve had to constantly remind myself what day it is.  And so, this morning, it dawned on me that not only was it Friday, but that I hadn’t put up a Reading Digest last week.  Whoops.  Anywho, we’ve got several year end wrap up links below, along with an unusually large amount of kick-ass fan art (including painted fingernails, Lego posings, sketches, and more), a couple of people who agree with us, and plenty more.

Enjoy.

“Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” and the nature of stories and storytelling – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this detailed look at how they’re getting ready to put it on in Chicago.  Theater looks hard.

Fan Art Friday: The Simpsons by techgnotic on DeviantArt – A huge collection of fan art, much of which I’d never seen before (via).  Bravo, internet.

The Simpsons Road to Ruin (Ramones Album Cover) – And speaking of fan art, here’s the family as The Ramones.  Hey, I think they liked us!

That Name Again? It’s Mr. Plow! – Mr. Plow themed nail art (with underpants)!

The Refinement of the Decline – A 2014 review of the year in pop music illustrated with many Simpsons .gifs.

Using The Simpsons to Enhance Literature at Every Grade Level in High School – A high school teacher runs down some of the episodes she can use to teach literature.  There’s some Zombie Simpsons, but it’s mostly very solid.

Was the McBain movie planned, or are we watching The Simpsons with rose-coloured glasses? – Plenty of McBain clips here, but I don’t disagree with the conclusion in the least.  Nobody ever said it was all planned, it’s just that most crappy action movies are so formulaic that you only need a handful of scenes to basically recreate the whole thing.

Simpsons tour includes stops outside Springfield – Visitors to Eugene, Oregon can take a tour of some city sights that look an awful lot like those in Springfield.

25 Years at 742 Evergreen Terrace – A loving appreciation of the show includes this accurate if very weak defense of Zombie Simpsons:

We’re nowhere near the heydays of the mid-nineties, but it’s absolutely not the worst animated show on television.

The Perfect Nativity? – No nativity scene is complete without Homer, Marge, and some storm troopers.

The NBA’s ‘Simpsons’ Superfan Reveals His Favorite Episodes – I just got a new favorite NBA player:

This was clearly a man who’d spent his formative years at 742 Evergreen Terrace, so I asked him to come up with his top five (or actually six or seven) episodes.

“I’ve been thinking about this and it’s tough,” he says by phone. “That Golden Age is so good. There’s not really a bad episode – in my opinion – in seasons one to eight. Can’t find a bad episode.”

Lots of good YouTube and nary a Zombie Simpsons sighting at the link.

They Live! – An alternate casting of camp alien movie They Live! with Homer and company.  He came here to eat donuts and kick ass . . . and he’s all out of donuts.  Well done with dissolving .gifs to give you the right idea.

[Review] The Simpsons Minifigure Series – A detailed review of all of the individual Lego figures you can buy that comes complete with instructions on how to tell which one you’re getting.  At the end, he also staged some scenes from the show, and the “Grampa is shrinking one” is fantastic.  Plus there’s this:

Much like the house set, this minifigure series falls into the better-late-than-never category. “The Simpsons” as a show is long since past it’s glory days as the cultural phenomenon it once was. This is clearly evidenced by the show-specific accessories included with the figures, with all but one (Marge’s magazine) being from 10+ years ago. It’s kind of a double-edged sword as by finally getting these iconic cross-over figures, such merchandising is probably only further delaying the merciful plug be pulled on the TV show.

Thanks to reader Zach P. for sending this in!

Lego has new Simpson minifigs and a Kwik-e-Mart set coming in 2015 – And speaking of Legos, a certain subsidiary of Nordyne Defense Dynamics appears to be getting the block treatment.  All hail merchandising.

Character Profile 1: Lisa Simpson – Another internet love letter to Lisa.  You can probably guess which of her many famous scenes it ends on, but it’s too good to not revisit again.

Itchy and Scratchy – Good move:

Instead of being productive, I decided to draw Itchy and Scratchy as humans.

You can really see the resemblance in the mouths.  Excellent.

December Loot Crate Review: Anniversary – Including a cool Simpsons wallet.

Did Michael Jackson Actually Sing On The Simpsons? – A complete breakdown of Jackson’s appearance in “Stark Raving Dad”.

Q&A: Mitski on Losing Glasslands and Watching ‘Simpsons’ Reruns – Awesome:

How is Bury Me At Makeout Creek different than your previous albums?
It really comes down to instrumentation. My past two records were written on piano, with orchestral instruments. My third record was written on guitar for guitar, with traditional “band” instruments.

You referenced The Simpsons on the record’s title, are you a diehard fan?
I’m not! I just grew up abroad where there was very little English-speaking television, and The Simpsons was one of the few shows that aired on TV. During the creation of this record, I was casually watching an episode when Milhouse said that line [“Bury me at makeout creek”]. In that moment I just thought, “welp, that’s the album title.” Often times the most important decisions I make are the ones I don’t put much thought into.

The Biggest Reason We Steal Other People’s Ideas – George Meyer is wise:

To combat kleptomnesia, psychologists recommend reducing distractions and cutting down on multitasking. It can also be useful to minimize exposure to similar work. For example, comedy writer George Meyer avoided watching “Seinfeld” while writing for “The Simpsons” (16 seasons!). “I was afraid I might subconsciously borrow a joke,” Meyer told me.

The 10 best Christmas TV episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” comes in at #4.

tvDownload’s 2014 Rewind: The Ten Best Holiday Episodes EVER – The first episode comes in at #3 here.

We Love Legitimate Theatre: Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play – A review of the play when it was in Arizona, like most it’s very high on it.

Worst TV Moments of 2014 – The Family Guy crossover makes the list at #8.

The 5 Worst Pop Culture Moments of 2014 (Chris ZF version) – And #5 here.  It really was bad.

Scenes I Love: An Officer and a Gentleman – Indeed:

You know that a scene has become a cultural mainstay when The Simpsons did a parody of it which ended up being just as memorable as the original.

The D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons – Our old friend Denise DuVernay makes an appearance here, but if you’re reading this blog then you already know how inadvertently educational the show is.

Macro Photography : Maggie Portrait by LCoutinho – Simpson Lego figures working a camera.  Neat.

Day 5 in Peru, Part 2 — Ollantaytambo is a Fun Word to Say – Attention everyone: there is a Kwik-E-Mart in Peru.  That is all.

Fact Check: Episode of ‘The Simpsons’ didn’t really predict Ebola – Uh, Florida newspapers?  No one actually thinks they did.

Homer – Pretty good Homer pea-brain sketch.

Sketch O’ This Day: 12/31/2014 – And one of America’s favorite cat and mouse team.

Happy New Year! – Itchy & Scratchy on a wall in Vancouver.

Maggie Simpsons Earrings – Do it yourself Maggie earrings.

2015 “Homer at the Bat” Lineup – What might Burns’s lineup of ringers look like with today’s pros?  Click the link to find out.

Mini MAC Haul! – A photographic look at the Marge branded cosmetics.

A Quick Thought: Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons – Don’t worry:

Now as I see the newer episodes I can’t help but think either, “Wow that was clearly just a stupid gimmick episode.” or just plain, “Meh..” However, despite this, I would hate for the series to just be straight up cancelled, because like Bob’s Burgers, I believe this series still has the potential to become great. The Simpsons has been torn up and down multiple times in its lifetime, and I believe that it can once again rise up from the ashes to become something great once more.

[…]

I would honestly much rather The Simpsons die as a beloved cartoon icon that was great than as an average cartoon that was just really old and had to be put down.

When the show does die, my hunch is that while people will remember that it was on forever, they’ll almost exclusively rewatch the good ones.

How To Watch The Simpsons…These Days – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Certainly The Simpsons’ should have died over a decade ago- likely with a finale viewed by the most of the world in possession of a television, but as much as that affords you in artistic merit (e.g. Breaking Bad), it doesn’t bring in the assured pennies. The Simpsons- a most regrettable Cash-Cow.

Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?

23
Dec
14

Quote of the Day

Homer the Smithers11

“This novelty foam hand is ludicrously oversized.  Go swap it for a smaller one.” – C.M. Burns
“It is a bit ostentatious, sir.  I’ll be right back.” – Mr. Smithers

Happy birthday Harry Shearer! 

19
Dec
14

Reading Digest: Everyone Loves “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” Edition

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire14

♫”Then all the reindeer loved him/
And they shouted out with glee/
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer/
You’ll go down in history!”♫ – The Simpson Family
“Like Attila the Hun!” – Bart Simpson

Simpsons Day was on Wednesday this week, and with it being a (relatively) big number, 25 years and all, it got more than the usual attention.  So we’ve got a lot of lists and retrospectives mixed in with some usage, a bit of fan art, one hapless defense of Zombie Simpsons, a couple of Hutz tributes, a pre-Simpsons David Silverman project, and several people who used the show to protest whichever high profile police killing we’re on now.  In addition to that, we’ve got several links about “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and just how well it stands the test of time.  It’s true, and it’s nice to see people agreeing.

Enjoy.

(Oh, and I’ve still got that Christmas Compare & Contrast saved in the draft folder.  I’ll get to it, I swear!)

Christmas Merriment Review #17: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire [The Simpsons] (1989) – Like so many other links this week, Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is about that very first episode, and it’s spot on:

Yet the Simpsons don’t go unrewarded for their deeds. And that’s something that should also be brought up. The situation Homer puts himself through is not because of his own greediness (like in the later episode”‘Tis the Fifteenth Season”), but simply due to circumstance. He does what he does because he wants his family to have a merry Christmas of their own, even if it means he has to overwork himself to do it. He goes through his own internal struggle trying to be as successful as Ned, but never finding the means to. Yet his actions in this instant are pure and we root for him to succeed because of it.

This and that: “Um Dasher, Dancer… Prancer… Nixon, Comet, Cupid… Donna Dixon?”* – More love for “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” (among other things).

bathimpact advent calendar, december 17th 1989: The first episode of The Simpsons airs – I keep telling everyone the kids are alright, and here’s more evidence with a college kid talking about how well “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” has aged.

The Simpsons’ First Episode Is 25 Years Old And You NEED To Watch It Again – Yes:

Sometimes it’s odd to go back to the first episode of a long-running show and see just how drastically different everything became since, but while it’s fun to notice little things like Moe’s appearance and Ralph Wiggum’s lucidity, it says a lot that, actually, this episode feels like any other golden 20 minutes in Springfield. The script is peppered with sharp one-liners and running gags (“And Bart… well… we love Bart”, notes Marge after already listing how well everyone else is doing) but behind it all is a heartfelt story driven by flawed and larger-than-life but rounded and empathetic characters.

Many standard Christmas movies will be doing the rounds over the next few weeks but for a quick bite-size gem, definitely see if you can dig out Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire. It’s 25 years old but it’s a little piece of television history that’s as enjoyable today as it was in 1989.

Embiggening English: The Simpsons and changing language – Via a whole bunch of places, a high falutin’ English blog takes a look at some of the words from the show.  I am distressed that “Yoink” isn’t mentioned, but otherwise it’s a fine read.

‘MythBusters’ to test scenes from ‘The Simpsons.’ Here are five that should be re-created. – Good suggestions.  As always, it’s worth noting that none of them are from Zombie Simpsons.

5-sentence review of ‘The Simpsons: I Won’t Be Home Christmas’ – Heh:

4. The got the dog, Santa’s Little Helper, at the end of that episode.
5. Fortunately, “Simpsons” characters don’t age, otherwise that dog would be as dead as I feel inside when I watch the show 25 years later.

Germany’s Homer Simpson is actually 85 – The guy who does Homer in Germany has no plans on quitting.

Simpsons 25th anniversary: Why every woman should love Lisa – There’s some Zombie Simpsons in here, but it’s pretty solid.  And there’s this:

8) Lisa won’t date Millhouse, no matter how persistent he is
The only person who loves Lisa more than us might be Bart’s BFF Millhouse Van Houten. He’s been trying to get her attention for 25 seasons, but Lisa won’t let herself be distracted. Why? Because she doesn’t like him “in that way”. When I was a teen I had many moments when I thought I’d probably go out with anyone who asked (who doesn’t want a boyfriend?) Then I remembered Lisa and Millhouse, and thought again.

Nobody likes Milhouse!

20 Normal Things Simpsons Fans Can’t Hear Without Laughing – Some of these are a stretch, but “Aurora Borealis” and “Default” routinely get me to snicker, even among company that doesn’t get it. (via @woohootriviaCHI)

The Simpsons: 25 times real life echoed the show – Some of these are also a stretch, but there are some good ones:

11. When the Rolling Stones toured, despite being in their seventies

Lisa is given a glimpse into the future in the 1995 episode Lisa’s Wedding, which was actually set in 2010. One of the episode’s jokes was a poster advertising the “Rolling Stones Steel Wheelchair Tour 2010”. In real life, the Stones toured in 2005, 2012 and 2014, and are still going strong. Singer Mick Jagger is 70, as is lead guitarist Keith Richards; drummer Charlie Watts is 72, and guitarist Ronnie Wood is a comparatively sprightly 66.

via @DailySimpsons.

Sorry haters, The Simpsons, which turns 25 today, is still really good. – This is your standard “but it’s been better recently” whine.  Here’s our permanent rebuttal to these tired argument.

Artist imagines the Simpsons joining the “I can’t breathe” protests – That same Italian guy who did celebrities and such as Simpsons goes whole hog on “I Can’t Breathe”.  There’s even a little story in there, with Wiggum doing media and such.

Art In Wake of Eric Garner’s Now Famous Last Words – Subway art in New York with Homer as the cop instead of Wiggum.

Mashup: Eric Garner + Simpsons – Not sure where this is from, but the CCTV cameras pointing away are a nice touch.

Lisa Simpson’s Yeardley Smith, shares her memories of The Simpsons. – Points for comedy:

2. “The day U2 came to record with us and one of the band members mooned our music director because he told him he was singing off-key.”

And for honesty:

5. “The money. Because it’s given me incredible freedom of choice — the greatest gift of all.”

The True Meaning of The Simpsons – Some love for both “Marge Be Not Proud” and “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace”.

Top 10 Holiday Sitcom Episodes of the ’90s – Both of which also make the list here.

The Simpsons Arcade Game – A video game review as a 25th anniversary celebration.

Los Simpsons y un mundo sin abogados – I can’t read this, but it’s about the show’s anniversary and has Spanish language Lionel Hutz YouTube.

An Ode “The Simpsons'” Lionel Hutz – And speaking of Hutz, who doesn’t love him?

Saturday morning routines – Good idea:

So here is the challenge: Pick a saturday, any saturday and instead of following your regular routine, stay in bed a little while longer and stream some saturday morning cartoons. Why not even check out Marge vs. the Monorail* and tell me if you agree.

The 10 best movie parodies in The Simpsons – There’s no Zombie Simpsons on here unless you count the Guillermo del Toro opening.

The Proton Transmogrification vs. Round Springfield – Someone did a compare & contrast between The Big Bang theory and “Round Springfield”.  You can guess which wins.

TV: My Christmas With…The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers – Comparing “Marge Be Not Proud” to a Bob’s Burgers Christmas episode.

“Chanukah at Bubbe’s” is the best Hanukkah special you’ve never heard of – It’s like Jewish 80s Muppets, and David Silverman did the puppets (one of whom looks a lot like Bart).

D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons – The gospel of putting the show into schools spreads.

mmmmm donuts at work – .gif of Homer getting slowly closer to the poisoned donut.

New trending GIF tagged horror vintage cartoon the… – Sit with your family, Lisa.

Day 293: Keep digging! There’s a Simpsons reference in here somewhere! – Heh.

25 Best Simpsons Episodes Ever – This is from Time, and since Zombie Simpsons sucks so bad, they didn’t even have to change the list much from 2003.

Today Is The 25th Anniversary Of ‘The Simpsons’ Debut On Fox – This is an Uproxx open thread for Simpsons quotes.  Zombie Simpsons is not well represented in the comments.

Throwback Thursday – The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991) – Well put:

Bart vs. the Space Mutants is a licensed video game in the worst sense of the term. Something strictly for fans and something that will only become a worthy experience if you’re willing to overlook its shortcomings and spend an inordinate amount of time making small, incremental, and frustrating, progress. It’s not a terrible game by any measure, but it’s not something that has stood the test of time either. Not that it would have, as by the end of 1992 a further 7 video games starring Bart Simpsons were released on home console. And this is generally considered to be one of the good ones.

Happy 25th Anniversary – The Simpsons – Quoted in its entirety:

Forgot to say Happy Anniversary to my childhood – I mean, The Simpsons. 25 years ago, on December 17th, this beautiful, dysfunctional family was born.
I don’t remember a time when they weren’t on TV or in my life. So, thank you: Marge, Bart, Homer, Maggie and Lisa. Oh, and Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball V. Thank you all for being a constant in my dreary life.

Preach it, sister.  Preach.

12
Dec
14

Reading Digest: Xi’an Bart Edition

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson9

“Look at how disciplined they are.  They’re just like the terra-cotta warriors of Xi’an.” – Lisa Simpson
“They sure are.” – Homer Simpson

First off, apologies for no Compare & Contrast this week.  I’ve got an unfinished draft that I promise I will finish next week, but this week my stupid real job got in the way.  For links this week, we’ve got a terra-cotta Bart Simpson, a Bonestorm blanket, some excellent references, a teaser for a Weinstein interview, a couple of lists, quite a bit of YouTube, and a chance to win a copy of the Mr. Burns play.

Enjoy.

This Is What Happens When The Terra-Cotta Warriors Meet Pop Culture – Oh, cool.  That Bart Simpson one is fantastic.

The Simpsons spinoff was once planned, reveals ex-showrunner – Twitter seems to be treating this as news, but I thought everyone already knew this:

A spinoff show from The Simpsons was once considered, according to former showrunner Josh Weinstein.  Springfield would have focused on the fictional town’s other inhabitants and was conceived in the mid-’90s.

The better news is that they’ll have a full interview on Monday.  Bonus: this is a nice backhanded slap at Zombie Simpsons:

“We felt at that time – around season seven – that we all knew the family so well, so let’s start exploring all these great side-characters,” he explained.

Two scientific journals accepted a study by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel – This was making the rounds this week:

“I wanted first and foremost to come up with something that gives out the fake immediately,” the actual author of the paper, Alex Smolyanitsky, told Vox. “My only regret is that the second author isn’t Ralph Wiggum.”

Me fail science?  That’s unpossible to within a probability of 5%

Naming Rites: A Team Name and Mascot Blog – Destination Springfield: Celebrating Some Perfectly Cromulent Team Names – An exhaustive look at fake and real sports teams that have popped up in the show and on Zombie Simpsons.  (Thanks to @TeamNicknames for sending it in.)

Dan Shaughnessy vs. MLS: To Troll or To Ignore, That Is the Question – I’m with Paul & Lisa:

Petke’s retort is fun and makes for good blog headlines, no doubt, but the best course of action here is to ignore commentary for an columnist stuck in a 1987 world view about sports. Lisa Simpson’s and Paul Anka’s “Just Don’t Look” song from an old Halloween episode of The Simpsons often feels quite applicable under the premise if you don’t pay attention eventually (hopefully) they’ll go away.

Excellent reference.  (Shaughnessy is like 60 Minutes, his keen days are far in the past and he mostly exists to outrage old people.)

15 Best Comic Book Guy Quotes From ‘The Simpsons’ – There are far too many Zombie Simpsons quotes here, especially when things like “I have a master’s degree in Folklore & Mythology!”, “No groaning in my store.”, and “We’re racing for the title of the champion of the universe.” didn’t make the cut.

Every Christmas Episode Of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked – They did have the good sense to put “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” at #1.  And this may be the understatement of the week:

Oh, and the bit with Katy Perry and the Muppet Simpsons at the end was just a bad idea.

I still think that needs to be considered the “Star Wars Holiday Special” of Zombie Simpsons.  It’s that bad.

15 Homemade Gifts For the TV Fan In Your Life – #11 is a pretty awesome Bonestorm blanket.

The Animated Sitcom – A look at how animated comedies fit into the wider world of them.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – He’s getting a pretty good sound out of that guy.

Cyclocross: the Groin Punch of Cycling Disciplines – Heh:

I am Hans Moleman. See my masterpiece, my finest production, it is me getting hit in the groin by a football. It is never not funny. In fact, the more it happens, the funnier it gets. It is pure parallax. High art medium, low art content. The two are not reconciled, and the impact could not had any other way. I am Hans Moleman, and I am racing cyclocross.

With YouTube.

The pointless Twitter accounts that will make you laugh every time – Our friends over at @simpsonsgreats make the list.

The Ten Greatest Songs of All Time: #9 – Rock Me Amadeus – A trip down memory lane, complete with Troy McClure YouTube.

Celebrities Who Look Like Cartoon Characters If You Add Variations To Their Face – I guess Jim Belushi could pass for Milhouse.

I Love Lazy Saturdays – We all sleep in sometimes.

Win A Copy of Anne Washburn’s Mr Burns! – The question isn’t the least bit difficult, but it would be cool to own a copy of that play that I swear I will see someday.

My 2nd Favorite Simpsons Gag – YouTube of the longest church hymn ever.

These Absurd Chinese Cop Cars Look Like Homer Simpson’s Designs – Photoshopping it in with Homer was a nice touch.

Long-lost teddies: The joy of being reunited with a beloved bear – And finally, here’s your “aww” usage for the week:

While in the car travelling down the M6 near Cannock, Staffordshire, recently, four-year-old Daisy Jewkes’s favourite bear, Old Teddy, flew out the car window. Distraught, she cried all the way home.
But there is a happy ending. After Daisy’s mother emailed the Highways Agency, the little girl was reunited with her toy bear last week.
David Smith, a manager for construction company Carillion, said: “I got the email and asked the guys to look out for the teddy and within days we found him in the central reservation. The look on the girl’s face was absolutely fantastic when she got him back.”
The hold a beloved bear can have on a young mind is quite remarkable. Just think of The Simpsons’ mean-spirited Mr Burns, whose otherwise concealed humanity is revealed in the episode “Rosebud” in which he reminisces about the stuffed teddy Bobo that he gave away as a child. He is overjoyed when he is eventually reunited with the raggedy toy through Homer’s daughter Maggie.

 




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