Archive for the 'The Simpsons' Category

20
Apr
15

Behind Us Forever: Peeping Mom

Sideshow Bob Roberts13

This single shot from “Sideshow Bob Roberts” contains a more coherent story than the entirety of “Peeping Mom”.

After four weeks off, Zombie Simpsons is back.  Not much changed.  This week, Chief Wiggum accuses Bart of going on a bulldozer rampage, he then hands Bart to Marge so that the two of them can have the same idiotic conversation several times in a row.  Because that one note attempt at emotion couldn’t possibly fill twenty whole minutes of screen time, the Flanderses get a new dog who likes Homer better than Ned.

– Decent couch gag.

– We’re not off to a good start here as Marge walks into the Apple store (or whatever they’re calling it) and has a random stranger exposit things at her before taking off his shirt and waving it around.

– Marge is in the car, brakes suddenly, then asks what happened so Lou can appear out of nowhere to tell her.

– Chief Wiggum, handcuffed to Bart (who is weirdly silent) continues this week’s parade of telling us what’s happening.

– Now Lisa is using a magnifying glass to look at, in order, “monarch butterfly, earwig, rollypolly, doodle bug, beer cap, ant, beer bottle, Barney”.  She then tells us that the Flanders got a new dog.

– Oof:

Ned: Now it’s time for her Christian doggy training.
Lisa: This will be interesting.

Guess what comes next?

– This conversation between Marge and Bart is really bad.

– Sigh:

Homer: Marge, Bart, I’ve noticed neither of you has said a word all meal.  Are there feelings going unexpressed here?

He then holds up his fist and threatens . . . both of them?  It’s not clear.  It is awful writing, though.

– Marge and Bart are now in the kitchen going through the exact same conversation we just saw them have . . . again.  In a sick way, it’s almost impressive how many words they can use to describe basically nothing.

– Ooh, a popped eyeball!  When it doubt, go with what you know.

– They’re still having the same back-and-forth conversation.  Bart says something, Marge doesn’t believe him, repeat until time on the episode expires.  For extra stupidity this week, neither of them is acting like even a vaguely sentient person.  Marge hasn’t asked Bart for an explanation and Bart hasn’t offered one.  In what parent-child conversation has that ever been true?  And we’re on the third go round of this.

– Marge is now following Bart onto the school bus.

– Homer just said, “Oh, you must be Flanders’ new dog.”  We’re looking right at him!

– Marge is in class with Bart now.  Even if this did make sense it wouldn’t help when Nelson just ran screaming out of the room because he thinks she’s a zombie.

– The bullies just zinged Bart while Marge stood there.  Nice to see they still don’t care who’s present for a conversation.

– Now we’re on the playground.  Milhouse just told us what we were about to see, then we saw it.

– Now we’re at dinner and Marge told Lisa to lean back so she could keep looking at Bart.  Here’s one of the problems with this: we’ve already seen Marge not look at Bart several times.  Her focus on looking at him at all times is so stupid they can’t even keep it up, but they keep bringing it back up.

– Lisa and Homer are now having a fully expositive conversation, with both of them say how they feel at all times.

– Now Bart and Milhouse are in the woods.  This will make it even stupider the next time Marge insists on focusing her gaze at all times on Bart.

– Bart and Marge just rehashed their conversation again.  Neither one of them offering or asking for an explanation.  Ten minutes to go, I’m setting the O/U on times this happens again at 2.5.

– Oh, goody, half the family is dressed like ninjas now.

– The b-plot about Flanders dog just checked in.

– Now we’re rehashing the opening credit sequence as Marge chases Bart.  Filleriffic!

– Even by the rock bottom standards of their chase/action sequences, this is bad.

– Yet another bulldozer conversation rehash.  Two and a half minutes since the last one.

– The b-plot is winding down, so Homer’s Brain is now expositing what he’s feeling for us.

– After telling us what he was feeling several times, Bart changes his big, end-of-episode prank.  That took a lot of time.

– Bart just ran up and told us what we just saw him do.

– And, naturally, we get one final bulldozer conversation.  The under has it at 2.0 since I set it.

– Since they remain completely unwilling or unable to structure an episode to actually fill their allotted time, we’re now getting one of their bizarro post-plot series of sketches.  This one involved dog’s butt sniffing and the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they continue to be real bad.  Last night, just 3.23 million people couldn’t understand why Bart and Marge had the same idiotic conversation over and over again.  That’s #4 on the all time least watched list and keeps Season 26 on track to be the least watched season ever.

19
Apr
15

Sunday Preview: Peeping Mom

Peeping_Mom_promo_1

Bart’s tall tale about not being involved in a bulldozer accident is a doozy, but a skeptical Marge decides to dog him all over the place until he ‘fesses up. Meanwhile, Flanders gets a new dog which leads Homer to overlook Santa’s Little Helper.

I wonder if there will be as many horns as the One Bad Episode from season 7.  Who am I kidding, of course there will be.  Also, I am offering even odds on Flanders’ new dog being named “Laddy”.

18
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Marge vs. the Monorail14

“I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogendville, and North Haverbrook!  And, by gum, it put them on the map!” – Lyle Lanley

Happy birthday, Conan O’Brien! 

17
Apr
15

Epic Agreement (And Show Still on Hiatus)

Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish12

“Holy moly, nine-thirty!  Hello, Marge, sorry I didn’t call, but it’s been a madhouse down here.  Yeah, these twelve hour days are killing me.” – Homer Simpson

My apologies, but there won’t be a Reading Digest this week.  I am eyeballs deep in my stupid real job.  However, there are two things I’d like to note.

First, the radio silence regarding the show being on hiatus continues.  I checked a few staff Twitter accounts and haven’t seen peep outside of Jean responding to someone from No Homers that the negotiations are ongoing.  (Sadly, Isabel Vega has deleted her Twitter account after her tweets kept popping up here and elsewhere in Simpsons fandom.  Sorry, Isabel!  Really didn’t want to get you in trouble or anything.)  One of the last tweets from Vega was that increasing numbers of staff are being told not to come in and that people around the office are worried:

That moment when a director goes around saying good-bye to the remaining crew saying “See you next season, if there is one…” #TheSimpsons

So we’re about where we were last week: nobody’s saying squat.  That is probably for the best, since swirling rumors and ill sourced media speculation don’t have any bearing on the negotiations but do get a lot of people agitated for no reason.  My money continues to be on the show getting renewed.

Second, and far more fun, is this fantastic article (that mentions Zombie Simpsons by name) about the unrivaled cultural legacy of the show:

The Simpsons – the Shakespeare of our time?

We’re automatically programmed to know that Dickens was the greatest writer of his day. It’s reasonable to assume that in the 19th century he was just really, really popular. Nobody in that age would have guessed that they would be teaching his work in primary schools a century down the line. The reason they do so is because it was the most accurate satire of Victorian England, much like The Simpsons to the modern West.

I highly recommend the whole thing.

11
Apr
15

A Little Weekend Reading

When Flanders Failed11

“Oh, right as rain!  Or, as we say around here, left as rain!” – Ned Flanders
“Just stamp the ticket.” – Guy

There are two things I didn’t have time to properly explain in Reading Digest yesterday. The first is our old friend Noah P, who’s adding a new twist to his “watch ’em all” blog: Character Files. Similar to that “Permanent Record” thing we tried to do here a few years ago, he’s taking a look at one character’s appearances through the show. He’s done a couple of big name characters (Troy McClure, Frank Grimes), but my favorite so far is the “Just Stamp the Ticket Guy”:

When Flanders begins to start taking about non-parking-related things, he scolds, “Just stamp the ticket”, hence his nickname given to him by the hardcore Simpsons fan community. But…is that all we saw of him?

No. His legacy would not end there.

Turns out JSTTG is a jerk all the time. When the Squeaky-Voiced Teen tries to talk to him, he scurries away, saying, “Don’t touch me”. Then, when he sees Barney Gumble dressed as a baby, passing out fliers, he says, “You disgust me”. He also tells Marge that his kids aren’t stupid enough to want one of her wishbone necklaces, and for an encore, he punches a hippie, and later, Homer. A man of a few words, most of them rude.

Anyway, if you’d like to put in a request for another character, click through.  Surely the Sarcastic Guy (“Okay, but I’m only paid to drive”) can’t be too far behind?

Second is our old friend Wesley Mead on that Nigerian princess episode in Bakwa Magazine:

It’s significant that the characters featured are an unnamed King and his daughter, a Princess. This allows for Moe’s initial concern that they are connected to a “Nigerian prince” who had scammed him on the Internet. But in aid of a silly, predictable subplot (one that’s not too timely, either— 419 scams were parodied in Fox stable mate Futurama eight years ago), The Simpsons’ crew have failed in their responsibility to reach beyond the lowest common denominator.

The same site also asked yours truly and some other writers to comment on that one. My favorite was this, from Ikhide Ikheloa:

This episode is disappointing on at least one level— the script was poorly written. As someone who used to watch The Simpsons religiously in the past, it just seemed disjointed and contrived. Sarcasm, snide retorts and brilliant takes on society’s dark sides are her trade mark, but this episode struggled.

Indeed it did.

10
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Still Waiting For Renewal Edition

New Kid on the Block23

“You’ve been flushing for twenty minutes.  Is there a problem?” – Principal Skinner
“Uh, no, Principal Skinner.” – Jimbo Jones
“Very well.  I’ll continue to wait.” – Principal Skinner

As near as anyone can tell, the show remains without an official renewal.  Eika Isabel Vega, who’s been a real good sport about me using her Twitter feed to track the potential death of her job, tweeted this an hour ago:

VegaTweet2My guess is still that it’ll be renewed, but it looks like production is beginning to shut down, so we’ll see what happens.  In regular link news, this week we’ve got some great fan art, the death of DVDs, emoji Simpsons, a look back at when the show knew how to inject culture into its episodes, and more.

Enjoy.

11 Minimalist Simpsons Posters – Oh, wow, some of these are outstanding.  And you can download them as wallpapers if you like.

And now for something completely silly – Classic Simpsons quotes told through emojis.  A sample:

emojiquote

There’s a few more at the link.  The dogs with bees in their mouths in inspired.

The Similarities Between Saul Goodman And Lionel Hutz – Pretty much the same guy.

Jerkface – The Donut Mobile – Someone painted a small truck with Homer and donuts.  Excellent.

The Simpsons Outlives DVD Market – Darn, I guess I’ll never get to own all those great Season 18 episodes.  Then I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes.

No More Simpsons Seasons Released on DVD – Reader John H. sends in this IGN link, with a picture/headline juxtaposition that doesn’t quite convey the sadness the article presumes to be occurring among fans:

WooHooNoMoreDVDs

Heh.

Pixar’s Brad Bird Talks French Food, Animated Rats And New Film ‘Tomorrowland’ – Bird was on some NPR show and they gave him a truly dumb Simpsons quiz near the end.  He missed one, but the impression he was supposed to be guessing was terrible.

128th-Final, Round 6: Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul – That’s a tough one.

11 best uses of bad grammar from The Simpsons – There are about three Zombie Simpsons entries on here, which is three too many considering they left out “perfectly cromulent”, “no more apples in the vending machine please”, and Lionel Hutz not working on contingency.

iOS 8.3 Emoji with ‘Simpsons’ complaints – Definitely a bit of resemblance there.

Locating Springfield, A Simpsons Theory. – Enjoyably pointless.  Heh.

The Simpsons and King Arthur – Ah, for when the show made pointed little cultural insights a habit:

During its second season, The Simpsons aired an episode entitled “Dead Putting Society,” about a miniature-golf match between Bart Simpson and his neighbor Todd. What qualifies this episode as a “medieval afterlife” is the miniature-golf setting itself. On Bart’s first visit, it’s introduced by a sign at the entrance: “Sir Putt-a-Lot’s Merrie Olde Fun Center,” with a cartoon icon of a jousting knight; further attractions listed include “Her Majesty’s Batting Cage” and “Merlin’s Video Dungeon.” The “Merrie Olde Fun Center” itself, shown in the background, is a pseudo-medieval castle, and throughout the episode attentive viewers may catch sight of signs for “Ye Olde” everything: “Ye Olde End of Course,” etc.
I’m always charmed by this episode because these post-medieval features are treated as throwaways: they’re not necessary to the plot, and no one calls attention to them; indeed, the viewer has to slo-mo through the entrance sign if s/he is to appreciate the Fun Center’s features. It’s all just part of the lower-middle-class decor, and thus reflects an important aspect of the medieval Arthurian afterlife in the USA: its association with class aspirations. Everyone has seen a trailer park or motel named “King Arthur’s Court,” and the creators of The Simpsons clearly understood this phenomenon as widespread enough to be satirized for the TV audience.

Welcome to Springfield, U.S.A!!! – Having a few of the Seven Duffs as shrubbery is pretty cool.

My New Favorite Cardigan – One of those Hello Kitty/Simpsons sweaters out in the wild on a real person.  Looking good.

this makes me really want donuts – Animated .gif of Homer in Hell, eating all the donuts in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv dancing the simpsons… – Homer wants candy.

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons martin… – Finland, let’s see that native dance.

03
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Eating Like Homer Edition

Simpson Tide9

“Gentlemen, there’s only one solution: we place this last donut in the reactor core, exposing it to radiation, thereby making it big!” – Homer Simpson

This week we’ve got two links to great moments in food related Simpsons fandom, one on the consumption side and one on the production side.  Happily, both of them are even videos, so you don’t have to reduce your boredom by reading anything.  In addition to that, the play is spreading like the Osaka Flu, we’ve got three late obituaries, lots of drawings of Milhouse, a couple people who agree with us, another Simpsons-movie casting mashup, and more.

Enjoy.

Man recreates scene of homer pigging out on couch – Fantastic:

Bye bye belt!

10 illustrated tributes to The Simpsons’ Milhouse – More of “Milhouse from Memory”.  Damns, some of those are really cool.

Gone Girl: Cool Girls and Yellow Trash – Our friends over a Flim Springfield have done another of their .gif heavy casting calls.  Officer Marge as Kim Dickens is inspired.

The ‘Simpsons’ Episode That Introduced Homer To The Real World – A nice writeup of “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” by our old friend Johnny Sugar.  Also, there’s YouTube.

Principal Charming – Love this line:

“Homer, lighten up. You’re making Happy Hour bitterly ironic.”

Also, Noah would like some suggestions:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: While this will always primarily be a “rewatch-’em-all” blog, I’m thinking about occasionally doing posts about other Simpsons-related things, such as characters, locations, lists, what-have you. I’m criminally wishy washy, so if you’ve read this far, I beg you [please?] for some input. Advance thanks!)

Hmm, how about Ghost Mutt?  Or, like Hans Moleman in this episode, a look at the first (or only) time we see characters?

In search of some Modern Art – Tastefully and artistically done nude of Patty & Selma.

Posters from McGarnagle: The Movie and other films from The Simpsons – I’ve seen some of these before, but whoever put a Jay Sherman “Reprehensible” quote on the McBain poster was a genius.

‘Simpsons’-‘Goodfellas’ Lawsuit: Fox Wants To End $250M Suit – FOX has responded to that weird, longshot lawsuit.  I continue not to care.

The Simpsons Expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood [Video Walkthrough] – Would you like to watch a three-and-a-half minute YouTube of someone else walking through an amusement park in California?

VR vs. School – I will buy a VR system as soon as I can go where Genghis Khan goes, defile what he defiles, and eat who he eats.

Confusion Is Sex (1983) – A discussion of Sonic Youth that includes the obligatory Simpsons mention:

It’s obvious Sonic Youth didn’t get on The Simpsons off the back of this record. Nor did they want to. This is not the album of a band whose objective was mainstream success, rather the album of a band who just wanted to do their own thing and cater for the fans of their local music scene.

Of course, the blog header for their month of Sonic Youth is those damn kids eating Peter Frampton’s watermelon.

OakOak pays tribute to Banksy & Homer Simpson – Excellent Homer donut art.

Giant Donut Cake – And speaking of donuts, holy shit:

Full recipe at the link.

Twentieth Century Fox readies merchandise with new ally – If you live in India, FOX is preparing to blast the merchandising cannon at you directly:

Dream Theatre has tied up with Bio World, a Delhi-based manufacturer and distributor, specialising in licensed merchandise. It had earlier partnered with The Simpsons’ franchise outside of India.
“The Simpsons has a huge fan following and with direct-to-retail now an option, thanks to e-commerce, we plan to launch the apparel range in the coming months. The fact that our audience is also an avid user of the e-commerce platform makes it better for business,” says George. He adds that with a franchise that has been around for 26 years, it makes sense to have as many merchandising options as possible.
“We want to go as horizontal as possible with The Simpsons. Apparel and accessories are the most obvious routes, but there is a lot of scope in the novelty, gifts, collectibles and figurines segments. In fact, within accessories, we have products like mobile cases which are popular with young adults. So, you see, the scope to scale up is huge with The Simpsons,” he says.

I know those words, but that sentence makes no sense.

Tickets to Outside the March’s ‘MR. BURNS’ Now on Sale – The play goes to Toronto.

The Ball State Daily – And Indiana.

‘Simpsons’-inspired ‘Mr. Burns’ presents Bart as art – And here’s a review of the Minneapolis one.

Analog Stick’s – Top 3 most overrated games of all time – Simpsons Hit & Run makes the list.

Phil Hartman – Our old friend Gran2 has a new project called “Late Obituaries”.

Leonard Nimoy – They’re short but informative.

Sam Simon – And many, but not all, have a Simpsons bent.

Las Enseñanzas de los Simpsons – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons the simpsons… – Homer getting back with the people, the young people.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – His jiggling is almost hypnotic.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Homer doing the standard scream.

New trending GIF tagged love simpsons talking phone… – Sounds delish, he’ll just throw on some jeans and . . . wait, who is this?

117 – Adaptation and Bart’s Soul – Don’t feel bad, lots of people were unfamiliar with the works of Pablo Neruda:

I learned about Pablo Neruda from the Simpsons in an episode where Bart sells his soul. I learned about classic film, scientific theories and television history from them as well. The Simpsons led me to consume better art and comedy. It may be the easiest pop culture touchstone to praise.

Day 198- Simpsonized – Continuing from last week, more simpsonized portraits.

Day 199-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 200-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 201- Simpsonized – Last one, since from here it moves onto The Jetsons.

“You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had a electrified fooling machine!” – With a little YouTube.

TV Pick of the Day – Wednesday 1 April – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Lemon of Troy is a classic Simpsons episode in which the neighbouring town of Shelbyville (boo, hiss etc) steals Springfield’s prized lemon tree. This may not sound like much of a plot but, in the capable hands of The Simpsons’ finest writers, it becomes one of my favourite episodes of all time. My favourite gag centres around Springfield’s belief that the residents of Shelbyville have a tendency towards inbreeding. Awesome.

Watch it for: The incest gag, the Shelbyville doppelgängers, a reminder of how good this show used to be.

But their cousins are so attractive!




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