Archive for the 'The Simpsons' Category



12
Oct
14

Quote of the Day

GreaseMeUpWoman

“Lunchlady Doris, have you got any grease?” – Groundskeeper Willie
“Yes.  Yes, we do.” – Lunchlady Doris
“Then grease me up, woman!” – Groundskeeper Willie
“Okie-dokie.” – Lunchlady Doris

Doris Grau would’ve been 90 today. Happy birthday!

10
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Mr. Burns Play Spreads

Blood Feud15

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

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

Enjoy.

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

SimpsonsS17FactSheet

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

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

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

ZombieSimpsonsIsSlow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aurora Borealis?! – Excellent usage:

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

My first thoughts?

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

Heh.

New Techniques: Cold Smoked Cheese – Heh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05
Oct
14

Sunday Preview: The Wreck of the Relationship

the-wreck-of-the-relationship-promo-2-108138

Bart’s disrespectful behavior leads Marge to book him and Homer for a conflict-resolution cruise on the Relation Ship, and while Homer’s away, Marge takes charge of his fantasy-football team, with surprising results.

Nick Offerman guest voices tonight, and one of the ‘plots’ involves fantasy football apparently.  These are two of my favorite things, but not watching this episode will still be the best decision I make today.

03
Oct
14

Reading Digest: Crossover Fallout Edition

Sideshow Bob Roberts11

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

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

Enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Simpsons Guy had Everything… Except Laughs – Yup:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Simpsons & the One-Trick Pony – Heh:

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

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

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

The Simpsons Guy – Another less than overwhelmed viewer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Now: Breast Cancer Action Month – Excellent usage:

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

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

From The Simpsons episode “Behind the Laughter”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The logo 1.0 – Heh.

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

Bartsock – Some socks, including Bart and Homer ones.

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

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

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

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

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

Testify!

02
Oct
14

On the Family Guy Thing

A Star is Burns18

“And if you ever want to visit my show…” – Jay Sherman
“Nah, we’re not gonna be doing that.” – Bart Simpson

Family Guy has been a raw nerved subject for Simpsons fans pretty much since it began.  This owes in part to the fact that no less a person than Harry Shearer has said that it was cooked up by FOX for the express purposes of squeezing the underpaid voice actors on The Simpsons.  (I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but it certainly sounds like something FOX would do and Shearer is orders of magnitude more trustworthy than they are.)  Whatever the initial motivation, however, the fact remains that Family Guy came on air right as The Simpsons was crumbling, on the same network, and with the same basic setup, and that’s more than enough to put the word “rip-off” on the tip of people’s tongues.

Chasing the white rabbit of “who copied who” and “how closely” can be fun, but questions of creative influence and credit slip down bottomless holes when you try to pin them down.  There’s no doubt that Family Guy wouldn’t have existed without the success of The Simpsons, but there’s also no doubt that Family Guy is a different show with a different sense of humor and a different creative core.  Flame wars and exhausting discussions can rage in the borderlands between those two certainties, but, like most rabbit chases, they rarely produce any tangible insights or results.

Further complicating matters is the way that Family Guy itself has fallen into the same kind of comedic mediocrity as Zombie Simpsons.  It fell from a much (much) lower height, but, like it’s elder, it’s been reduced to going through the motions for years now.

Being cartoons, both shows are immunized against the inevitable aging that kills even successful live action comedies after a few years.  But critical attention and media interest have mostly moved on, and here in 2014, both shows are kept alive by habit and routine, on the part of the audiences and the staffs.  The people watching know what they want to see (Homer get hurt, Stewie say something evil, etc.), and the people making the show know how to meet those minimal expectations.  Both have become rote and safe entertainment, the kind of dull monotone that keeps enough people tuning in not because they want to see something new and exciting, but because they want something familiar and predicable.

That is the context in which the crossover episode must be understood, and the irony that a show long criticized for mindlessly copying The Simpsons has blithely followed it into senility is easily the most amusing thing about its bloated, double-episode runtime.  Family Guy, long a show that will happily acknowledge criticism even as it ignores the substance of said criticism, basically said so itself on Sunday:

Chris: Yay!  A crossover always brings out the best in each show!  It certainly doesn’t smack of desperation.  The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing or-
Stewie: Okay, that’s enough.

As a one off joke or deflection, that’s not bad.  But the rest of the episode is a long, drawn out exercise in proving Chris’s sarcasm right.  The episode is laden with one-note crossover jokes about how this or that is slightly different on one show or the other.  Each character gets matched up with their rough equivalent (Peter and Homer, Lois and Marge, Lisa and Meg, Bart and Stewie), and things plow forward from there.  Homer and Peter are both irresponsible jerks, so let’s watch them be so in their slightly different ways: animate, rinse, repeat.

When they announced this ploy last summer, my official reaction was “meh“.  Having now sat through the thing, I don’t have much more to add.  The godmother of this kind of crossover is The Jetsons Meet the Flintsones, where, you guessed it, George and company go back in time to Bedrock while Fred and his family go into the future.  Each family member has to deal with living their life in the other time, fish out of water hilarity ensues (<- not really), and then everyone gets back at the end.  “The Simpsons Guy” is pretty much that.

It’ll be a curious little footnote in the history of both shows, but nothing that happened in the episode was particularly memorable or even really risque (at least by Family Guy standards).  Meg cuts herself, there’s a pointless rape threat (shock comedy is weak and often not even comedy), a waste of time music video, cameos from other FOX shows, and then Peter and Homer engage in one of Family Guy‘s trademark “chicken fights” before it ends.

The repetitiveness and lack of imagination on display are the real reason so many people said this was a bad idea.  Both sets of characters are long since played out, and watching them go through their motions with each other isn’t any more entertaining than when they do it a half hour apart.  Mostly, it’s just boring.

02
Oct
14

Quote of the Day

Buried Stuff

“I think there’s really something wrong with Santa’s Little Helper.  He was up barking all night and dug up the back yard worse than ever.” – Marge Simpson
“My bongo drums!” – Lisa Simpson
“My strobe light!” – Bart Simpson
“My Best of Ray Stevens, featuring The Streak album!  So it was the dog that buried all our stuff.” – Homer Simpson
“Yes.  The dog.” – Marge Simpson

Happy birthday Mike Scully!

01
Oct
14

Compare & Contrast: Krusty’s Struggles

Like Father, Like Clown13

“Hi, kids.  Today’s show is gonna be the funniest, side-splittinest, cavalcade of . . . ah, the hell with it.  Roll the cartoon.” – Krusty the Klown

There are a lot of big, flashing similarities between “Like Father, Like Clown” and “Clown in the Dumps”, most prominently that both are about Krusty and his father, and, even moreso, about Krusty missing his father.  But there are also a lot of small, individual scenes and jokes that are very similar.  So let’s consider one of the former and then one of the latter.

For our overarching theme, just look at how each episode handles Bart and Lisa.  In Season 3, Bart and Lisa have a reason to meet Krusty (their saving him in “Krusty Gets Buster”), and then we follow them as they set out to help him.  We see them asking Reverend Lovejoy how to find a rabbi, we see them meet Rabbi Krustofsky, get rejected, and then their attempts to win him over.  (The Simpsons being The Simpsons, Sammy Davis Jr. succeeds where the Talmud fails.)

Meanwhile, the episode checks in on Krusty as we see him wallowing in depression: watching a TV movie in a bus station, cracking up on his own show, and dialing his father over and over again.  It’s genuinely sad, but it’s still funny because the movie is Hercules vs. the Martians and Krusty’s on-air break down is his touched response to a particularly brutal and gory Itchy & Scratchy.

Like Father, Like Clown12

“And didn’t Scratchy Jr. look happy playing with his Dad until they got run over by the thresher.”

By contrast, in the blasted wasteland of Season 26, Bart and Lisa are just sort of there for the ride.  Lisa because she was shunted off to an unrelated (and very repetitive) B-plot; and Bart because we don’t see him do anything except show up and explain to us the stuff we didn’t see him do.

In addition to this not making sense, it sucks out a lot of the fun.  Instead of getting to see Bart and Lisa as active characters who get to do things like lie to Reverend Lovejoy about liking his radio show and dress up in curls and a hat to argue Jewish philosophy, we watch Bart talk to Krusty, talk to Krusty, and then talk to Krusty again.

ThrillingConversation

Great, good conversation there.

And it’s not like what we do get to see is any better.  Krusty bounces from one manic episode to the next, but they fall flat over and over again, which brings us to our individual scene of wretchedness, Krusty hosting his show and airing what I almost hesitate to call an “Itchy & Scratchy” cartoon.

Things open with Sideshow Mel helpfully expositing everything that’s happening:

“Boys and girls, you know that we’ve been dark for a couple of days because of a tragic loss in the Krustylu family.  Now, put your hands together for the man who’s falling apart before our eyes, Krusty the Klown!”

That is quintessential “tell don’t show”: not a single word of that needs to be there.  It’s filler from start to finish.  We already know what’s going on, and while there’s something to be said for a dry description of the obvious from time to time, Zombie Simpsons uses it so much that it’s impossible to tell if they’re even trying to be funny with it.

The really bad part, though, is that they’ve become so bad at showing things, they almost have to resort to this sort of thing.  After Krusty appears and tells them to roll the cartoon, we see a very short Scratchy cartoon (Itchy isn’t in it), and then this:

MildlyUpsetKrusty

Krusty, looking a little miffed.

Krusty is kind of upset, but he looks completely normal, and his dialogue is just him setting up a rimshot worthy punchline:

Oh, my God, who made this monstrosity?

Which is immediately followed by a recording of him on the TV claiming credit (rimshot), then more exposition:

Kids, I’m experiencing a crisis of conscience.

It goes on from there while he explains each joke as it happens and tells us what he’s going to do.

Compare that to Krusty also barely holding it together in “Like Father, Like Clown”.  For one thing, we get a real Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, one of the bloodiest and most violent ever, “Field of Screams”.  Just like in Zombie Simpsons, it starts with Scratchy playing with Scratchy Jr..  Since Zombie Simpsons ends it right there, that’s where the similarities stop.  “Field of Screams” has Scratchy and Scratchy Jr. run over by a mechanized thresher driven by Itchy and Itchy Jr., whom we then see playing catch with Scratchy’s head.  There’s a lot of blood, Bart and Lisa (watching from home) laugh uproariously, and then we see Krusty:

Like Father, Like Clown11

 Now that’s sad, and he didn’t even need to tell us what he’s feeling.

Take a look at those two images.  In one, we see Krusty acting perfectly normal (or what passes for it for him), in the other one, we see a broken man just barely holding it together who chokes up and starts crying as he desperately tells them to go to commercial.  The Simpsons doesn’t need to have Krusty tell the audience how he’s feeling because we can see it plainly on his face.

Both episodes have the exact same scene (Krusty bombing his show because he’s upset about his father), but the version from The Simpsons has no gratuitous exposition, a much better Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, and enormously more emotional punch, all while letting the jokes speak for themselves instead of explaining or pre-explaining them.  Furthermore, that incident is what prompts Bart and Lisa to go in search of Rabbi Krustofsky.  They can see Krusty is in pain, and they try to do something.  In Zombie Simpsons, Bart just kinda shows up from time to time.

It’d be one thing if Zombie Simpsons was just repeating things.  Twenty-six seasons is a lot of stories, after all.  But they can’t even repeat things competently, and the way they bungle characters, scenes and even jokes over and over again gives the distinct impression that they don’t care enough to try.




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