Archive for the 'Simpsons' Category

21
Nov
14

Reading Digest: Passing Time

The Old Man and the Lisa14

“Egad, man!  How are we supposed to pass the time?” – C.M. Burns
“Best bet is to stake yourself out a good spot at the starin’ window.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

It’s another short Reading Digest this week.  As always we’ve got some good stuff, including an insane Lego video, the magical touch of Harry Shearer’s Twitter account, a sexually unusual farm animal, more clothing, and several great pieces of usage, but overall volume remains pretty low.  Not sure why.  Anyway . . .

Enjoy.

Fast Food Formations: Homer Simpson Built From Junk Food – Some crazy geniuses constructed a life size Homer (waist up, anyway) out of things like marshmallows and licorice, and there’s a video of the construction.  Excellent.

The Simpsons: 10 Deleted Scenes You Must See – This is one of those annoying pageview whoring things that makes you click for each entry, but they are all deleted scenes from the DVDs, so there’s some good ones.  Sadly, no video, though (via @DailySimpsons).

▶ Itchy and Scratchy in STAR GORE – (Lego Simpsons Star Wars) – Lego Star Wars, meets Lego Itchy and Scratchy in this blood soaked YouTube video.  I laughed when Scratchy got sucked into the engine on Luke’s speeder.  Thanks to reader David for sending this in.

GIF Life Lessons: The Simpsons – Seven Deadly Sins – Pretty much what it says, and only one is from Zombie Simpsons.  Personally, I’d have gone with Homer fantasizing about his body in “Duffless”, but that’s just me.

Bartman Simpsons Pins // Bart Simpson Vintage 1.75″ Pinback Button Badge 90s 1990s Avenger of Evil Bartman Rules Comic Book Super Hero – Ye olde Simpsons merchandise.

The Simpsons El Barto / Monorail / Pin Pals Badge Set 3 Original Pop Art Pinbacks 90s TV Pins | Picture Blog About Pinback Buttons – Three more.  An “El Barto” tag on the monorail is a nice touch.

Homer V. Simpson gets honorary street sign in Madison – This may be the most Wisconsin story you’ll see all day:

Homer Simpson made his mark in Madison long before a character of the same name became a cultural icon on the small screen.
Legend has it that Homer V. Simpson, a prolific gambler, won half of Antler’s Tavern in a poker game and bought the owner out of the second half in 1943. He also bought land around the West Broadway bar, eventually donating some to the city. Simpson Street — which runs parallel to Broadway — was named in his honor.

Everything’s Coming Up Millhouse – Awesome Milhouse van in Sacramento, photographed by a woman wearing her Milhouse t-shirt.  So . . . this is what’s it like . . . when doves cry.

On My Wish List: The Simpsons x Hello Kitty – The fashionable clothing has now had some crossovers of its own.

Ireland’s gay bull Benjy saved from slaughterhouse – National – Simon continues his good deeds:

He faced execution for failure to perform. But Benjy, the gay bull of Ireland, has been saved following a worldwide appeal backed by The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon.
Ireland’s Animal Rights Action Network said Tuesday that Simon is paying for Benjy’s transportation to an animal sanctuary in England.

Every Sideshow Bob Episode Of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked – Unsurprisingly, the Zombie Simpsons episodes are all at the bottom.  Of course, they’ve crammed him in as a cameo a couple of times now as well, but I don’t think those are on here.

B+ Blogging – Excellent reference:

Due to recent injury to my left pinky finger, typing correctly is currently tricky. If using proper home row typing form, which I insist upon doing to eschew greenhorn-ish hunting/pecking, multiple keys become impossible to type, including one biggie directly preceding “b.” I’ll try to blog without using these letters, much like how Lenny, the Simpsons’ self-described “good work guy,” once begged for continued employment without use of the letter “e.”

Think before you speak (but not too much) – Another excellent reference:

The whole thing reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons where Marge thinks a woman named Becky is trying to steal her family away from her. While driving to the store, Marge laments over the fact that she didn’t use her brilliant comeback of “Shut up, Becky!” when she got the chance. Of course, by the time she gets around to use it, it makes absolutely no sense but in typical Simpsons fashion, it’s still pretty hilarious.

Tee 469 – The Sgt. Pepper’s cast image.

How to Germans Adapt to Watching American Television? – Germans might not like Uter, so in Germany they made him Swiss.  I learned something today.

Brush with Greatness: Harry Shearer and Me! – Nothing will improve your standing with your kids like getting a tweet from the voice of Otto and Burns.

“I am not steak. You can’t just order me.”* – A discussion of Mike Nichols movies ends with something that never hurts:

So what to recommend? How about “Lady Bouvier’s Lover” from season five of The Simpsons? Mrs. Bouvier!!

Hello, Grampa, my old friend . . .

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons snow winter… – Homer getting doused in snow in “Mountain of Madness”.

10 Categoric Reasons Why The Simpsons Is Better Than Family Guy – Reader Arvin sends in a pretty good list.  “Quotability” alone is probably enough to win this.

This Day in Music History — November 21 – Know your history, kids:

1991 : An animated Aerosmith perform Walk This Way on the “Flaming Moe” episode of The Simpsons. The band is one of the first musical guests on the show.

And Mrs. Krabappel stole Joey’s drumsticks.

14
Nov
14

Reading Digest: Futurama Crossover Reviews, Edition

Lemon of Troy13

“Say, let’s bring him back to life by using technology!” – Future Guy
“Aye caramba!” – Bart Simpson
“Yay!” – Future Crowd

Unsurprisingly, there were a boatload of crossover reviews this week, everything from big publications to regular ole bloggers who just wanted to chip in their two cents.  We’ve got a bunch below, but having read even more of them than I linked, this appears to be the general consensus:

1.  It was better than the Family Guy crossover.

Outside of that, opinions diverged.  Some people really loved it, others thought it was just plain bad.  More than a few people from both camps wished it had been a double episode, either to extend the fun or to give it time to fix the problems.  In addition to those, we’ve got a couple of old episode reviews, plenty of .gifs, an unusual best episode list, a fan video, and lots more.

Enjoy.

Moaning Lisa: New Feelings on an Old Episode – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this heartfelt rewatching of “Moaning Lisa”:

I don’t watch The Simpsons as religiously as I used to. Though I catch the occasional rerun, I usually have to wait a while until the station gets back to the earlier episodes since I have little interest in watching reruns of the newer seasons. And even then, I tend to avoid the first two seasons of The Simpsons mostly due to the rough animation, which is hard to watch sometimes. However, on this particular night, after a long day at work, I decided to just leave the show on in the background even if it was from the first season.

And I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. From the moment Lisa sighs her way through a day at school, uncaring, searching for an outlet through music only to be squashed creatively by her music teacher to the friendship she forms with Bleeding Gums Murphy, I could not focus on anything but the episode. Something clicked in my head and I felt the deepest and most sincere empathy for Lisa because, at one point in my life, I was just like her.

The whole thing is worth reading, especially for those of you who’ve felt the way Lisa does there (and who hasn’t?).

The Lydians – I don’t know enough about music to follow this deconstruction of the theme song, but it certainly seems knowledgeable.  It’s even got a correction at the bottom.

The Simpsons: Season 10, Episode 19 – “Mom and Pop Art” (1999) – A look at the episode, and some of the art and artists in it.

Task 4 – Kinetic Typography Outcome – A short text video of part of the SpiderPig song.  Neat.

“The Simpsons” (Season 5 episode 15: “Deep Space Homer, FOX) – This is what I keep saying:

By virtue of having a science-fiction plot there are plenty of set pieces that parody science fiction classics like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Right Stuff.” Thankfully, “Deep Space Homer” doesn’t rely solely on references for its jokes. The bulk of the comedy comes from seeing Homer act in a situation where he’s plucked severely out of his element.

Zombie Simpsons writers, please take note.

“Simpsonrama” brings about nostalgia for cancelled “Futurama” – The headline sums up quite a few of the reviews I found, with this being a widely shared sentiment:

The crossover is a love letter to Futurama fans, the rabid fan base who had to recently go through a second cancellation over at Comedy Central won’t have much to complain about. However, it lacks in plot and motivation. While the character interactions are great and there are countless one-liners, it seems tacked on compared to some of the great story arcs that Futurama has produced.

Simpsorama: The Simpsons and Futurama Crossover Episode Review – Similar to the above, but more forgiving:

It was great, but could have been an hour long episode. Putting these two shows together was a great idea. the flow of the story went smoothly, but for the fans that wanted to see more of an interaction between the two shows, it could have been done better.

TV Review: Simpsorama – A very positive review of the crossover.

5-sentence review of ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ crossover episode – And a not so positive review.

Simpsorama! The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Review – Again, this seems to be a common sentiment:

Whereas The Simpsons and Family Guy crossover episode earlier this year mirrored its double billing with a double length running time, Simpsorama is a brisk 20 minute jaunt which whilst is certainly funny, simply doesn’t have enough time to become anything more meaningful than an interesting footnote in each show’s history.

The ‘Simpsons’/’Futurama’ crossover: Two great tastes that go pretty well together – Entertainment gossip rag Entertainment Weekly did its best to be enthused:

“Simpsorama” wasn’t a great episode of The Simpsons or of Futurama, but it was a lovely little celebration, a tip of the hat from the class president to the kid who spends lunch breaks inventing new rules for Dungeons & Dragons. Also, Homer twisted the necks off of little green Bart mutants, which isn’t nothing.

Simpsorama – Seeing as how I thought the second production run of new Futurama was much better than the first, I wholeheartedly agree with this:

This crossover within Matt Groening’s universe is a lot more The Simpsons than Futurama. It is nice to see the Planet Express gang, but it left me wanting more after blurting “That’s all they can come up with?”
Now, can we get new Futurama episodes that would definitely be written better than “Simpsorama”?

The Simpsons: Simpsorama Review – That would be sad:

Excuses are the refuge of cowards, crossover shows are the refuge of cowards who have run out of excuses. Someday the future will be here, I mean, when you think about it, the future will be here tomorrow, but there will be a not-too-distant future in the far future and that future may be a future without The Simpsons or Futurama. Of all probably futures, the worst would be that this episode would be the only testament remaining of these two shows.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Every ‘Futurama’ Reference In ‘The Simpsons’ Crossover – I don’t know if it’s every one or not, but it’s not a great sign for the overall quality of the episode when so many are from the end credits.

Long gone. – Duffman graffiti in an abandoned building in Belgium.

Interview with Will Stateczny on Monkeys Need Love Too -But did you use your main finger?:

Where did you come up with the name “Topwise” and what are your hopes for Topwise Games?
Topwise comes from growing up watching the Simpsons. Most Simpson fans will know exactly what I’m talking about and where the reference comes from.

Indeed we do.

Interstellar…In 10 Words – Giant space ants would’ve helped, actually.

The TMCC’s Top Ten Episodes of “The Simpsons” – Unusual to see two Season 12 episodes on one of these, but there’s nothing past that.  Also too, this is more thoughtful and explained than most lists.

Treehouse Of Horror II – Episode #042 – Always liked that Homer and Bart bonding was so terrifying to Bart:

Now, what is it that jolts Bart awake? is it the idea that he has the power to turn his father into anything or was it the exchange of “I love you’s” Hmmm…..

Homer Simpson Wallpaper – Heh.

I used it be with it – Still one of the most timeless quotes in a show that has an awful lot of them.

PHOTO: Peter Budaj’s new Jets mask features fighter pilot Ned Flanders – Just what it says.

Lisa Simpson Hipster Pin – And she looks like Blossom.

Simpsons Homer Mr. Sparkle Pin – Join him or die.

Kitty Says Simpson Ay – Simpsons socks.  That is all.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 11/11/14 – Heh.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 11/12/14 – Comet heh.

Siblings’ intimacy – Some .gifs of Bart and Lisa’s memories from the end of “Lisa on Ice”.

07
Nov
14

Reading Digest: Fan Made Treats Edition

Homer Badman16

“My only hope is this homemade Prozac . . . Hmm, needs more ice cream.” – Homer Simpson

I’ve long been of the belief that the stuff ordinary fans come up with is far, far superior to all that crappy merchandise FOX allows to be pumped out.  This week we have several kick ass examples, including two that you can eat, a cake and a chocolate Homer.  In addition to that, we’ve got a couple of election related links, the original Monkey’s Paw, a couple of lists and a Lego Flanders.

Enjoy.

The Simpson’s Ralph Wiggum Cut-Out Cake – Pictures of that Ralph Wiggum cake that went slightly viral this week in all phases of its construction.  Excellent.

“You call that a knife”: Knifey Spoony now a real game…kinda – I put this up on Twitter earlier this week, but you really need to see it for yourself.  Someone went way above and beyond.  It’s fantastic.

Chalkboard Drawings: The “All Treehouse of Horror” edition – A teacher drew himself into Simpsons Halloween moments in chalk.  Cool.

Photo by henry_hargreaves_photo – Homer Simpson, frozen in chocolate carbonite.  Bravo!

Heroes of Cult: John Swartzwelder – He got a whole county named after him!

The Simpsons’ Halloween: Top 5 – There’s always a few stragglers, and there’s no Zombie Simpsons here.

Pic: This Ralph Wiggum protest banner from La Liga is just great – Indeed it is.  And there’s even a point to it!

Torcida faz protesto na Espanha fantasiada de Simpsons – And speaking of Spanish soccer and the show, this YouTube video from which I do not understand one word.  Lots of effort appears to have gone into both the banners and the costumes, though.

Blackney Spears – Heh.

You won’t believe how much these phone games make per day… – Sure I would.  Though according to these numbers, TSTO is way down in revenue.  A mere 157 ivory back-scratchers per day?  This time last year they were doing double that.

MATURE Cumming up Milhouse Bart Pinback Button Limited Edition – It’s just a button, but it involves Bart having a vagina and googly eyes, plus the birth of Milhouse.  You have been warned/intrigued.

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs – Want to read the original?  Here you go.

The Best Things About the 90’s – Of course the show is on here.  It couldn’t not be.

The Sea Captain syndrome – How is writer’s block like a casino pitch?  Find out!

Magnificent 7 – TV Kids – The Simpson kids make the cut.

5-sentence review of ‘The Simpsons: Opposites A-Frack’ – I really like these:

Anyway, I was, as usual, bored by an episode that feels like a lecture from somebody who listens to NPR than actual satire or comedy.

New trending GIF tagged black and white halloween… – The couch gag where they all run in as skeletons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons time driving… – If only Lenny had someplace to be.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons jumping trampoline… – Bart will never get tired of this, and Lisa’s gonna have her wedding there.

Could You Go a Month without Social Media? – As explained with a couple of .gifs.

The Top 10 Simpsons Episodes – No Zombie Simpsons here, though you don’t often see “Simpsons Tide” on lists like these.

Hey-Diddly-Ho! – Flanders made out of Lego bricks.

Homer Simpson on Politics – Just like that rainforest scare . . .

Bart Simpson on Voting – The 2014 electorate wasn’t dead.  Getting there?  Sure.  But not yet.

Today on the tray: Vinegar – Heh.

Story of My Life – I think this almost every morning.

Evil Says “Excellent” – Burns on Tuesday’s results.

How many treehouses of horror do we need? – And finally, our old friend Stefen agrees with us:

In the older seasons, they’re the one time where the Simpsons universe gets to reject reality in the spirit of sending up various horror clichés and films. As the series wore on, however, the actual show began to lose touch with reality, becoming yet another cartoon, and in the same manner, the Treehouse of Horror specials became even more redundant.

Pretty much.

31
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Ranking ToH Segments Edition

Treehouse of Horror III13

“What kind of show you got for us, Mr. Burns?” – Reporter
“Well, the ape’s going to stand around for three hours or so.  Then we’ll close with the ethnic comedy of Dugan and Dershowitz.” – C.M. Burns
“Sensational!” – Reporter

Happy Halloween, everybody!  This week we’ve got a bunch of Treehouse of Horror related links, include quite a few to people who decided to list individual segments.  As always, some are better than others and Zombie Simpsons only gets the occasional pity mention (if that).  In addition we’ve got some live sightings of Simpsons clothing, video game ideas, cool tattoos, and a new food blog.

Enjoy.

Patented Space-Age Out of This World Moon Waffles – Someone actually made them.  And it’s part of a new Simpsons food blog.  And that blog is called “Eats Like a Duck”.  Yes!

Along came these two cool dudes…. – Some truly excellent Simpsons tattoos, including donut-headed Homer, Kirk van Houten’s album, the Space Coyote, and Scrabble letters.

The Definitive List of the Best Simpsons Episodes Ever – This certainly isn’t definitive, but it’s a very good list and has lots of great YouTube.

Five Simpsons Games that Need to Get Made – The kart racing idea pops up from time to time, and done right it would be excellent and have tons of things that put the Luigi Stare to shame.

What Do You Think of the Simpsons World? – Let us hope that these things will be fixed:

Not all the features FXX promised are up and coming yet, the video playback is not quite as consistent as that of Netflix or HBOGo, and most importantly, the show isn’t screened in its original 4:3 ratio, cropping the older episodes and hurting many of the sight gags (fortunately, FXX has promised these problems will be resolved soon).

Have they actually said that they’re going to change the player to do 4:3?  I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere, and they seem really wedded to everything being widescreen.

Simpsons World: Maybe Not The “Worst. App. Ever.” – One more very mixed review.

Does Anybody Want the Last Homer? – A clever cartoon, possibly from the Planet of the Donuts.

13 great Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror Halloween stories – The only thing from Zombie Simpsons is “Night of the Dolphin”, which I’ve always kinda liked, so hooray for this list.

The 9 Best Treehouse of Horror Segments According to Critics – Some schmuck from NPR picked a Zombie Simpsons segment, but other than that this one is great.

Top 5 Halloween TV Episodes – Wisely, the kids at the University of Arizona didn’t try to cram all the Treehouse of Horrors in, they just said watch ‘em.

Spooky Wednesday List: Top 5 Halloween Specials – This one just recommends “Treehouse of Horror V”, but sagely points out that there are many more.

Big Ten Power Poll: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Edition – Two of these are from Zombie Simpsons, but it’s mostly very good.  (And, dear god, does Michigan need access to a time machine.)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe – It just wouldn’t be Halloween without Poe, James Earl Jones, and The Simpsons.

Subsequently Strange – A top five list of Treehouse segments, with nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  Bravo.

Where Have I Seen Dan Castellaneta? All His Non-Simpsons Acting. – Shame on you, Uproxx, you neglected to include his stint as the very Hibbert like “Dr. Stein” on Arrested Development.

All 25 ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ Episodes Of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked – Better, Uproxx, better.  Though why you ranked this year’s above “X” or “XI” is beyond me.

Halloween 2014: The best Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes to watch this Halloween – There’s one Zombie Simpsons episode in here for some reason, but other than that it’s solid.

Now that it’s happened how do we hide the fact that it’s happened? – Bad husbanding, here:

Apparently when your pregnant wife tells you to hold her drink while she goes to the toilet you’re supposed to drink it, not stand there like an idiot and return it in its undisturbed state. This happened to me more than once. I’m pretty sure that Jo viewed me like this scene from The Simpsons.

Heh.

New breed of dolphins venture on land in hunt for food – The dolphin apocalypse is still a long way off, but you can’t talk about them eating on land without mentioning that one segment from Season 12 (with .gif).

Today on the tray: Greasy foods – Apparently last Saturday was Greasy Foods Day.  Dr. Nick approves.

Enjoying a Beer With Irish Zombies on the Boardwalk: A Quick Recap of the Last Five Days – Now that’s truly scarifying:

I took a vacation day to await the arrival of my new pantry. David Henne told me that was the least manly reason to take a day off from work, but I think that’s hyperbole. Maybe it would’ve been more acceptable if I spent the day watching 10-15 episodes of The Simpsons, but the best my DVR had to offer was latter-day “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.

Classic Vintage “The Simpsons” Neck Tie – That’s actually a pretty good Simpsons tie, what with it having just the kids and an actual pattern on it.

It’s a Simpson’s Family Pizza Dinner – Lego Simpsons sitting down to eat.

Artist creates comic posters titled ‘Homerization': Indianised version of Homer from Simpsons – And lots of them.

When Flanders Failed – Episode #038 – Ash is back on his game with a twofer this week.

Bart The Murderer – Episode #039 – Nobody ever said Homer was a good parent:

Two things I noticed during the scene with Bart’s room being stocked with cigarettes due to his boss’ warehouse being full:
1. How did that amount of cigarettes get into the house without anyone even noticing? That was until Homer walked by and
2. How does making Bart smoke every single cigarette teach him a lesson? What lesson was Homer trying to teach him here? How to smoke?

The life of a Writer … – Heh.

#TBT post – Simpson fashion in the wild at Universal Studios.

New trending GIF tagged tv television the simpsons… – Teacher.  Mother.  Secret Lover.

New trending GIF tagged cartoon loop the simpsons… – Homer, trying to see what Bart wrote on the back of his skull.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons nicki minaj… – Skinner tying his shoe, and the Sir Mix-A-Lot subtitle is great.

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!

20
Oct
14

Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXV

Treehouse of Horror III12

“Stupid party, wish we was trick or treatin’.” – Bart Simpson

The annual Halloween episode tends to be pretty bland in the hands of Zombie Simpsons, and this year was no different.  The first story was about Bart going to school in Hell, where he does better than he used to do at Springfield Elementary.  The second is a bunch of meandering references to Stanley Kubrick movies that ends with Kubrick himself staring right at the camera for some reason.  The third one involved the old Tracey Ullman versions of the characters being ghosts.

- Give them this, if they’re going to sneak in Kang and Kodos for no reason, at least this opening didn’t take too long.

- Oof, this thing about “penal”, “penile” and “penis” was probably funnier when it was doodled on an actual fourth grader’s notebook.

- Hey, now Lisa’s here.

- The Hell chalkboard punishment “Eternal Torment Is The Only Just Punishment for the Unbaptized” is pretty good . . . and they didn’t even read it off to us!  Happy Halloween!

- But it didn’t last long.  Lisa just explained to us that snow is cold.

- Then Bart told us how he’s feeling about his teacher.

- The “Burns Hellport” wasn’t terrible.

- Guh, even in Halloween episodes though, we’re reminded of how cushy and comfortable the writers have gotten.  Homer just went on a rant about private schools sending parents twenty e-mails a day.  I bet they also hate it when your worthless butler washes your sock garters but they’re still covered with schmutz.

- And now Hell-Chalmers is expositing pointlessly.

- The montage didn’t even take too long.

- So, this thing with Bart torturing Homer was supposed to be some kind of ending?  Even here they need exposition:

Bart: That’s my Dad, I can’t hurt him.
Homer: No, boy, I want you to do it.
Bart:  What, why?
Homer: Bart, you went to Hell and came back a winner, like Jesus.

Tedious crap like this is why even when they do manage some decent jokes, these segments will always be bland and unmemorable.  “Hell School” is a decent enough little concept, but they can’t give it a coherent plot or not spend time explaining the jokes even in just seven minutes of runtime.

- For a show that got a little pious over Family Guy‘s rape joke, this “In-out” thing sure goes on a long time.

- Moe’s cutesy narrator language is already grating:

“Everything was all fish and chippie until Dum collected himself a twiggy-wick”

- The montage in the first segment didn’t take too long.  This one . . . not so much.  Homer just bounces around his room for a while.

- And we’re back to explaining things.  Homer’s going to marry Marge, then Moe asks a rhetorical question/joke setup, then Marge explains things.

- I get that this segment is just a scattershot of Kubrick references, but it kinda undercuts the joke of Moe being forced to watch FOX when he pleads to have it turned off, and then immediately takes the Clockwork Orange helmet off without a problem.

- Now Nelson, Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph are beating Moe up.  Nelson was already in the house, thus making Moe talking to Kearney at the door pointless.  Is five consecutive seconds of narrative coherence really too much to ask?

- Speaking of sloppy writing, despite the fact that we saw a title card called “Years Later”, Homer just said it’s been a few months.  If that’s a joke, I sure don’t get it.

- And on the topic of narrative incoherence, Moe reacts to his beating by trying to get his old gang back together.  I assumed it was to get revenge, but we never see the bullies again.  Instead we’re off to an incoherent mash up of various Kubrick references.

- Topped off by more expository narration from Moe, and Kubrick himself getting hit on the head with a pen.  This one seems to have just petered out rather than ended, but maybe that’s for the best.

- Onto segment three, where the TV is apparently only playing Married With Children.  I get that’s a show from forever ago, but it might’ve helped for there to be more to it than that.

- Homer and Marge are in bed, then Marge leaves because Grampa was there too, then . . . you know what?  Screw it.  Basically nothing happens and what little does happen is explained to us.

- Lisa just called ghost-Bart burping “unmotivated”.  Maybe they do know what motivation is.  That’s the only evidence from the last five years or so, but still.

- Also, it’s nice that they’re trying to do the old style voices, but twenty-five years has made that impossible.

- Speaking of “unmotivated”, what’s with ghost-Marge and regular-Homer falling in love?  Ghost-Homer just kinda stands there.

- And now Marge killed herself.  Uh, okay.

- Good question from new-ghost-Marge, “Won’t the other Homer be a problem?”.  That little reminder slightly preceded Homer getting killed by ghost-Homer.

- And now Lisa and Bart are dead too because . . . I really don’t know.  I guess they all want to be ghosts for some reason?

- Dr. Marvin Monroe is now also back as a ghost.  His butt gets stuck in the wall.  (Comedy!)

- “Let’s not fight anymore, let’s make him decide between us!” – Not only are they telling us what’s happening, they’ve once again forgotten the older Homer.  Then both Marges explain themselves, because ghosts explaining themselves is a significant fraction of the dialogue here.

- Now both Marges are hugging their respective Homers.

- And we end on many different Simpsons versions.

I expect basically nothing from this show, so it’s hard to call myself disappointed in any of this, but that final segment is still kinda disappointing.  It’s a neat idea to bring back the original character models and you could probably have some fun with the old and new versions interacting or going at cross purposes, especially in a Halloween episode where you’ve got basically no rules.  Instead, Homer and ghost-Marge have a weird non-romance and most of the segment is people killing (themselves or others) and explaining how they feel.  What a waste.

Anyway, the ratings are in and it remains good to be behind football.  Last night’s dutiful episode reminded 7.64 million viewers that this show used to do much better Halloween specials.  As with previous weeks, that’s good for this year and very bad historically.

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.




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