Archive for the 'The Simpsons' Category



30
May
14

Reading Digest: Call for Guest Posts Edition

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge18

Between the holiday, the end of the television season, and the fact that it’s now basically summertime, the Simpsons had a pretty sparse week on-line.  All those things also mean that it’s time for my annual solicitation for guest posts.  If you’ve got something you’d like to say about the show, send it in.  We accept rants, cranky letters to the editor that end with “I am not a nut”, well thought out analyses, and just about anything else.  Pictures and images are welcome, and we’ll be happy to link back to your Twitter account, blog, or what have you.  String a few sentences together, and a tiny slice of internet fame can be yours.  You’re certainly welcome to send in something completed, but if all you’ve got is an idea, I’m happy to help you think it through and flesh it out a little.

As for this week’s actual links, we’ve got a beaded Bart, memories of Phil Hartman, a Lisa inspired music video, a couple of lists, and one of the junior Murdochs being such a ridiculously callous business executive that I could almost believe he was just trolling poor, hapless Variety.  Almost.

Anyway, enjoy, and get thee to a keyboard if you want to publish a guest post.

What HiFi stereo system is in The Simpsons house? – Stereo geeks take a guess at what kind of system the Simpsons have.  Perhaps a Pioneer C-5600?

Dear Phil – A nice remembrance for Hartman:

I still hear your voice, you know. It’s one of the most soothing sounds in life. Seriously!!! Hahahaha and not disembodied as I go through my day – though it does happen from time to time. Picture it: I’ll see something funny on the subway, and you’re narrating it like Troy McClure. It just takes the hilarity to a whole new level.

WWLSR – What Would Lisa Simpson Read Project – Now this is a project idea:

since I have been so involved in book clubs recently I thought it would be fun to read the books that Lisa reads on the show, in the order that she reads them. There is a Lisa Simpson book club out there in Tumblr land, but their reading list is missing a few titles, and is also not in chronological order. I’m a little OCD, so I’m rewatching all the episodes from se01ep01 to the current season so I can make a complete list of books read or referenced by Lisa Simpson. I’ve created a group on the Goodreads website (find it here!) but will also post about it and include my screenshots (Yes, I am ridiculously thorough). This post covers seasons 1, 2 and most of season 3.

That’s gonna be a lot of reading, and don’t forget that at the end of Season 3 she finally gets a copy of Ethan Frome to call her own.

: in remembrance : – Aw:

That’s my dog, his name was Bart. Together, we were Bart and Lisa. You know, The Simpsons?
He was one of the world’s great dogs and we were inseparable.

Sniffle.

Sexism in Springfield – On the less than stellar dialogue of Tapped Out.

D is for diorama – Pretty sure I learned that word from the show, too:

but it is only down to The Simpsons that I knew what was expected when Child 3 came home announcing she needed to make a diorama. I first heard the word in this context in the episode Lisa’s Rival (1994), where Lisa fears another girl’s diorama will be better than hers and plans to sabotage it.

James Murdoch on Cord-Cutting, ‘Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Simpsons’ Syndication – I forget which one of Murdoch’s kids he is, but he has certainly mastered the content-free timbre of corporate speak:

“We are in an environment of really extreme plurality for customers … you have to have things that are differentiated,”

What does that even mean?

“Over the next three-to-five years we see a lot of really attractive filmic product coming through,”

Ooh, I love “filmic product”!

“The challenge for us is how do we monetize that video?”

Fry, get back to the office, shift some paradigms, revolutionize outside the box!

Classic Album Covers Get The Pop-Culture Parody Treatment – You’ll have to scroll through a few, but the Homer/Radiohead one is pretty good.

Family guy the quest for stuff – Uh-oh, dedicated Tapped Out players are migrating to Quahog.

The Simpsons: 10 Best Episodes Focusing On Minor Characters – Serious pageview whoring on this list, but at least there’s no Zombie Simpsons.

The Simpsons: 10 Greatest Movie Spoofs – Same as above, except there is some Zombie Simpsons.

Simpsons casting director chosen Expat Finn of the Year – Awesome:

Bonita Pietila, a name familiar to every Simpsons fan, was in Finland this week to accept an award for Expatriate Finn of the Year from the Finland Society.

Congratulations!  I always assumed that name was Spanish of some extract, guess not.

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ – Musical usage:

The video stars Ellie Roswell, who explained the video in a statement: “‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ was inspired by our favorite 8 year old girl, Lisa Simpson. We wanted to create a Lisa-type character and follow her in a pursuit to happiness. Although faced with obstacles in the shape of some nasty bitches, Lisa soon finds the group who make her feel like she belongs.”

The video’s pretty good, and certainly has a more coherent story than any episode in the last decade.

Perler Beads : Bart Simpson – Just what it says.  Well done (and the skateboard is a nice touch).

WATCH: Wisconsin police officer escorts ducks across busy road – Excellent usage:

You may remember a scene from “The Simpsons”, when Apu (in his role as a volunteer firefighter) is racing to the scene of a fire – only to be halted by a mother duck and her ducklings, lazily strolling across the road.

“You ducks are really trying my patience!” Apu complains. “But you’re SO cute!”

There are likely a few commuters in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who can appreciate that sentiment.

Dining to the Oldies at Stewart’s Busy Apron – I’m not quite sure what it means in context, but it’s a great reference:

The blinds are always down at Stewart’s Busy Apron in Anaheim, but not to keep out the sun. This is the diner version of that sign on The Simpsons outside the retirement home announcing to visitors, “Thank You for Not Discussing the Outside World,” for here is a museum piece.

Duff beer labelled dangerous by Australian Medical Association – Expect more like this as Duff spreads around the globe.

Variety bash team takes on Dave’s obession with The Simpsons – While we’re on the subject of Australia, remember that Simpsons car from a couple of weeks ago?  Here’s the team, complete with Duffman and Duffwoman costumes.

Aaaah, so that’s how you ruin The Simpsons. #PicOfTheDay – Still of what I assume is some kind of Korean game or lottery show with people dressed as Bart, Marge and Homer.  I’d say the weird french fry looking thing on Bart’s head is the oddest part, but the white circles around Homer and Marge’s eyes aren’t far behind.

Music From The Simpsons – Spinal Tap – Lotta good YouTube, here, including the immortal, “These go to eleven.”.

Round 115: Trilogy of Error vs. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show – “Trilogy of Error” is possibly the best episode in Season 12, it just happens to not really be funny at all, which is a bit of a handicap if you’re going up against Season 8.

de kooning – groening – Can you see Bart with “woman lips” in that?  I kinda can.

D’OH Boy – I think there’s like four puns in there, and I maybe get two of them.

Best Summer Vacation TV Episodes – “Summer of 4 Ft. 2″ naturally makes the grade.

Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie & Maple Bacon Ice Cream – Yet more good food with Simpsons YouTube and a .gif of Homer trying to eat pie with his eyes closed.

Memorial Day: Which pop culture cookout would you crash? – And speaking of summer themes lists desperate for pageviews, here’s one that manages to list both “Lisa the Vegetarian” and Bad Boys 2.

 

29
May
14

Quote of the Day

Mirror

“The mirror . . . the mirror!” – Lisa Simpson

Happy birthday Danny Elfman!

27
May
14

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Substitute9

“I think he’s taking the next train to Capital City.” – Apartment Woman
“The train, how like him: traditional yet environmentally sound.” – Lisa Simpson
“Yes, and it’s been the backbone of our country since Leland Stanford drove that golden spike at Promontory Point!” – Apartment Woman
“I see he touched you too.” – Lisa Simpson

Happy birthday Jo Ann Harris!  
23
May
14

Reading Digest: Lots of Clothing Edition

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield9

“I need a formal dress for tonight!” – Marge Simpson
“You’ve come to the right place.” – Patty Bouvier
“We’ve got classy duds up the yinyang. . . . I call this one, ‘Fantasy in Maroon’.” – Selma Bouvier
“It’s got some cigarette burns, but we can patch ‘em up with new vinyl.” – Patty Bouvier
“It’s a bit peppery for me.  Why don’t we put this in the maybe pile?” – Marge Simpson

Season 25 rolled unmourned into the past this week with hardly a peep from the internet.  I was sort of hoping for a few more stories about how the ratings are historically low, but Zombie Simpsons has become such a dull and ordinary thing that even that didn’t rate.  But we do have the usual smattering of fun stuff, including three links to officially licensed clothing and one to a (far superior) fan made jacket.  In addition to that, we’ve got two pieces of Australian usage, some love for Lisa, great Lego pictures, a couple of people who agree with us, and more sand Simpsons from England.

Enjoy.

A Hypothetical Aside and Round 113: Homer Badman vs. The Wandering Juvie – Smooth Charlie’s link of the week is our old friend Nebel asking what if the show had gone off the air after Season 9?  I agree that they probably would have rebooted it by now.  I wonder if that would’ve been worse or better than Zombie Simpsons?

I am the Lizard Queen – Homemade punk Lisa jacket.  Yes.  Ten thousand times, yes.

The Simpsons™ LEGO® Minifigure Series – Excellent series of fan photos, including such notable pairings and Nelson and Milhouse, Burns and Maggie, and, of course, Homer and Flanders.

I used to be with ‘it’… – Excellent .gif of one of Grampa’s greatest lines.

Round 111: El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer) vs. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily – Oh, bitch, bitch, bitch.

Round 112: In the Name of the Grandfather vs. Beyond Blunderdome – Nice that “winner” is in quotes for Season 20 vs. Season 11.

How Do You Solve a Problem like Animation? – Nice catch on the Chomet couch gag:

Even the light switch is French, guys.

So it is.

Simpsons character leering over Tweed Heads motorists – An enterprising Australian graffiti artist has a mostly complete Burns-as-Dracula done on an embankment overlooking a highway.  Fresh victims for his ever growing army of the undead, no doubt.

WA’s ‘Flanders’ jokes amid budget gloom – And speaking of Australia, our old friend D.N. sent this in a couple of weeks ago (and I completely forgot about it):

Western Australia’s state government has just announced the 2014-15 budget, hiking up prices, hitting families, and selling off billions of dollars’ worth of assets to regain the state’s AAA credit rating. The announcement is not going down well. What does this have to do with The Simpsons? Well… Take a look at the attached photographs. The first is of the front page of the state’s leading daily newspaper, The West Australian (Friday 9 May); the second is from the inside. Both pictures were drawn by cartoonist Dean Alston.

StupidBudgetFlanders01

And:

StupidBudgetFlanders02

Thanks, D.N.!  (And good luck with Budget Flanders.)

Family Guy Review: Toast House – A sad, but I think accurate, observation:

Fifteen years ago – when I was a devoted Simpsons fanatic who dismissed this show as knock-off claptrap – I certainly never would have dreamed that I’d be looking forward to Family Guy each week, while I haven’t caught an episode of the Simpsons in years.

But Family Guy’s joke machinery – rather than The Simpsons’ warm character development – has better weathered the test of time. I’m shocked to hear myself say it, but I really think the Griffins are the ones doing the Simpsons a favor with this crossover.

Outside of post-football, I can’t recall the last time I saw Zombie Simpsons with higher ratings than Family Guy.

Burps Sea Doodles! – Neat fan sketch of Bart and Homer.

How To Start Planning My Creative Future While Watching The Simpsons – I’m envious:

Anywho…recently, my retail job and watching early seasons of The Simpsons have taken up most, if not all, of my time. I had never seen an episode of the Simpsons until this year and now I’m addicted. It’s like a meteor of stupid and relevant humor landed in my lap and I can’t get rid of the stains, no matter how hard I try. So far, my favorite seasons are 3, 5, 6, and 8 and I go on amazon a lot to find others.

I’d stop around 9.

I Was Mint For You – Me too:

It also reminds me of a fantastic visual gag from The Simpsons where Homer strides into his kitchen and declares to Lisa, who is lamenting her lack of power as an eight-year-old girl, that as part of the coveted 18 to 49 white male demographic, everyone listens to his ideas, upon which he promptly pulls a can out of the cupboard bearing a label for “Nuts and Gum, Together at Last!” and starts chowing down.  Slays me every time.

Things we love: Drop Dead Clothing – High fashion clothing embraces Itchy & Scratchy.  Never thought I’d see the day.

Cartoon Feminists – Lisa naturally headlines the list, but there’s more, including a good Bob’s Burgers .gif.

DeadstocksVA Conceptual Art Collection – I don’t think they’ve ever done a merchandising tie in with Nike, but if they did, that’s probably what it would look like.

The Top 25 Simpsons Episodes Of All Time – From Paste magazine.  There’s only one pick from Zombie Simpsons, and it’s #24.  You also don’t see the Poochie episode take #1 on these very often.

Beer and bacon – together at last! – Wow, that looks good.  Also, there’s a .gif of Homer’s epic escape from the candy convention.

Let’s get this started – YouTube of a couple of girls taking that quiz where you call the episode based on a single screen grab.  Excellent guesswork on the last one.

simpsonized game of thrones – Sure, stick Jaime with all the ladies.  He’s pretty enough.  (Also: well done.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Works of Art? – Bart, Maggie and Santa’s Little Helper painted on an East German car long, long ago.  Bravo.  (I think that’s Homer on the roof.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art – More beach Simpsons in England.  I wonder if this was our old friend Martin Artman?

Our students met The Simpsons writers & creator! – Groening and company may not be able to turn out a decent episode anymore, but they remain comprehensively nice people.

Maureen Lipman and The Simpsons’ Harry Shearer Will Star in West End Transfer of Oliver Cotton’s Daytona – Is the title of Hardest Working Man in Show Business currently vacant?  Because Shearer is making a serious run at it.

Ralph Wiggum amigurumi – Cool:

This is an amigurumi doll I made for a friend two years ago at her request. Her boyfriend’s favorite character from The Simpsons was Ralph Wiggum, and I think this was a gift for his birthday or Christmas, I cannot recall!

This is the kind of project I love, fan art. It’s always fun to re-create characters using a crochet hook and yarn, you never know what you are going to end up with, but the challenge makes it fun.

And it looks great.

ELEVENPARIS x The Simpsons x colette Capsule Collection – Officially licensed t-shirts tend to suck, but this one is pretty clever.

The Simpsons x New Era x PORTER 25th Anniversary Collection – Case in point of the above.

Good Beer Week kicks off – Excellent usage:

WHILE Homer Simpson’s beverage of choice is Duff – “the beer that makes the day fly” – Bendigo’s beer connoisseurs, it seems, prefer more sophisticated malts.

The commercial actually calls it, “the beer that makes the days fly by”, but that’s close enough.  (Plus it gets bonus points for being from Season 1.)

Now they’ve apparently just stopped trying – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, this time a for real newspaper writer:

I still watch “The Simpsons.” I don’t know why. I think I’ll be relieved when I finally just stop, and then watch the highlights or check out the show when social media makes a fuss. Right now, I’m one of the people who posts on those rare instances when the show is creative or clever.
But every once in a while, “The Simpsons” pushes things with me a little too much.

He’s upset about that dumb and pointlessly gory Itchy & Scratchy cartoon from a couple of weeks ago, and justifiably so.

22
May
14

Compare & Contrast: Homer and 4th of July Fireworks Disasters

Summer of 4 Ft 2(15)

“This baby’s sure to kill something!” – Homer Simpson

There is little doubt that a man who famously likes his beer cold, his teevee loud, and his homosexuals flaming, is a big fan of the thundering light show that is Fourth of July fireworks.  Of course, Homer is also the exact opposite person who should ever actually be involved with them.  He is thoughtless, careless and impulsive, and those are not traits that mix well with gunpowder.  In “The Yellow Badge of Cowardage”, Zombie Simpsons played with that combustible mixture and blew itself up.  In “Summer of 4 Ft. 2″, The Simpsons used the same ingredients to put on a masterful display.

To see the difference between that crowd pleasing spectacle and the kind of disaster that makes people run away screaming, there’s only really two things we need to consider: 1) getting the fireworks and 2) using them.  For the first, Zombie Simpsons makes things easy because they barely bother to show us anything.  Homer and Not Don Vittorio initially go to Cletus’s farm (why? who cares?) where they fail to buy anything.  The very next scene with the two of them is this:

Homer: Okay, let’s make some fireworks.

InstandGunpowder

Uh, I guess they found some?

There’s no explanation of where it came from or how they got it, and certainly not because of time constraints.  After this we get the interminable and mechanically narrated “drive around with gunpowder” scene, which is nothing but the two of them telling us what they’re about to do and then doing it: cobblestone streets, a rickety bridge, gaslights . . . it just keeps going.  So not only did they skip over something important, but they did so with forty-five seconds of filler.

Compare that to Homer’s immortal attempt to act casual like he buys illegal fireworks all the time.  Text is a weak excuse for Castellaneta’s exquisite delivery, and can never hope to reproduce that blithely misplaced confidence that he’s being smooth, but here it is anyway:

Homer: Hi, um, let me have one of those porno magazines, large box of condoms, bottle of Old Harper, couple of those panty shields, and some illegal fireworks . . . and one of those disposable enemas.  Nah, make it two.

This is lunatic insanity of the absolute best kind.  Homer is precisely himself: clueless and utterly incompetent.  The items he thinks are innocuous are the kind of thing that might get a real convenience store owner to tip the police off to this weirdo in his store.  Better yet, the Apu stand-in doesn’t even flinch, calmly explaining that he has no fireworks right up until the coast is clear, whereupon he instantly takes Homer back to his storeroom/arsenal:

Summer of 4 Ft 2(14)

Hey, look, multiple sign gags in just one shot.  I’m particularly fond of “Tang Tse Doodle”.

Once there we get to the M-320 (“Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it.”) and Homer’s quick and happy response: “Alright”. Coincidentally, the entire scene, from the time Homer walks into the store until he purchases the M-320, takes almost exactly the same amount of time as the pointless gunpowder driving scene in “The Yellow Badge of Cowardage”.  This is the entirety of the dialogue from that fiasco:

Not Don Vittorio: Now drive slowly and carefully to my workshop.  It’s in the cobblestone district.
Homer: Oh, thank God, a rickety bridge.
Not Don Vittorio: Don’t worry, we’ll be safe in the gaslamp district.

That’s it.  In the time The Simpsons showed us Homer’s hilariously moronic attempt to be smooth and gave the world the M-320, Zombie Simpsons managed three lines of hapless exposition. The comparison doesn’t get any better for Zombie Simpsons when we move along to the actual using of the fireworks.

Befitting the sudden nonsense that got Homer and Not Don Vittorio the gunpowder in the first place, we see the two of them get into an argument on the fireworks barge over whether July 2nd or July 4th is the right day to celebrate.  The barge then instantly tilts over somehow and points its fireworks at the crowd. This is yet another example of the complete apathy Zombie Simpsons has for even the tiniest bit of story cohesion.  Not Don Vittorio is supposed to be a retired fireworks expert, so it’s not like it would’ve been hard for him to have shown just a little impatience with Homer leading up to this part.  Instead, the two of them just start battling it out over nothing with no warning whatsoever.

Compounding matters, the barge they’re on manages to (again with no warning, no foreshadowing, no nothing) conveniently tip over in way that barges like that are physically incapable of doing.  It’s one thing to have a rubber band reality where things can be stretched a bit from what physics allows here in the real world.  It’s quite another to toss weird, unexpected and just plain stupid events into scenes because you need to cut a very big corner.  This particular one is even worse than usual because this odd break with the audience’s expectations is immediately followed by people screaming in fear, as if we’re meant to take the danger posed by the fireworks seriously.

BargeoftheImagination

Somehow it manages to stay like this, and we’re supposed to be worried.

You can have physically impossible craziness, or you can have serious physical danger; you can’t have both.  The Simpsons, of course, understood that, and that understanding is crucial to making Homer’s disastrous attempt to light the M-320 pitch perfect.

Having purchased all of his fake items anyway despite not needing or wanting them (because he really is that dumb), Homer heads back to the Flanderses beach house, excited to play with his new toy.  Bart not having any matches, Homer heads into the kitchen for another scene that cannot be described in text.  What’s important to remember is that from the time he lights the middle of the fuse all the way through his casually walking away from the grotesque, brackish sewage that comes burbling up from the sink, there’s never any attempt to treat the danger seriously. Instead, we’re treated to Homer’s panic:

M-320

A .gif, is a poor imitation, I know, but you get the idea. 

There’s no attempt to make this serious, it’s just pure, uncut fun.  And while Homer is scared, he’s still Homer; so he’s willing to risk life and limb to save the beer once he realizes it’s in the fridge with his gargantuan firecracker.  Having destroyed the dishwasher and trashed the kitchen, he calmly walks away.  After all, it was like that when he got there.  (And, of course, the episode later shows them using broken dishes and Marge cleaning up Homer’s mess, because unlike on Zombie Simpsons, events on The Simpsons are actually connected to one another.)

In “The Yellow Badge of Cowardage”, Bart eventually saves the day by driving a bus in front of the fireworks Homer and Not Don Vittorio have managed to fire at the crowd.  It’s a cheap ending for the same reason so many of the stories on Zombie Simpsons are cheap: it comes out of nowhere.  Bart conveniently sees the bus, conveniently finds the keys, conveniently drags Milhouse (who’s supposedly furious with him) along, and conveniently wraps everything up with some more of their oh, so helpful exposition.

Homer’s fireworks disaster wasn’t his own doing, it was just a thing that happened because the story needed to be wrapped up.  It was dumb; it was weird; and it was ultimately hollow since the Homer we know and love, the doofus who adores fireworks but it far too dimwitted to know how to use them, didn’t have anything to do with it.  By contrast, the Homer who destroys his neighbor’s kitchen and leaves his wife an unholy mess to clean is the destructive but malice free idiot who can make us laugh with nothing more than a frantic flailing of his limbs.

21
May
14

Last Night, On Twitter . . .

Homer's Barbershop Quartet12

“I can’t remember the last time we were all together.” – Principal Skinner
“Last year, on that stupid Dame Edna special.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Al Jean continues to ever so gingerly dip his toes into the never ending torrent of love, hate and general bullshit that is Twitter.  Last night, he tweeted out this undated picture of some of the old staff:

JeanWritersPic

I wasn’t sure who everybody was, so I asked him, and he was kind enough to reply.  From left to right it’s him, Mike Reiss, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jay Kogen, Jon Vitti, and Jeff Martin.  He also said this:

Aren’t you the guys that trash us every week? Peace and love, man.

I’d quibble with “trash” and substitute “criticize”, but I don’t begrudge him his point of view on that.  Al, we love you all the same, and thanks for the picture!

18
May
14

Sunday Preview: The Yellow Badge Of Cowardge

 

The_Yellow_Badge_of_Cowardge_Promo_4 (2)

Bart is plagued with guilt when he wins the annual “last day of school” race around Springfield Elementary, with an assist from Nelson, who beats up frontrunner Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display after it’s canceled for budget reasons.

 

This is the season finale, so we got that going for us. However, based on the description, there will most likely be lost of guilt horns, so that sucks.  I also read that Glenn Close will be voicing Mona Simpson tonight. I am almost certain she is dead, unless they brought her back in one of the many ZS episodes I neglected to watch,  so maybe its in a dream sequence. Whateves,  I am less interested in solving that mystery than I am in figuring out why Bart gives a crap about winning a race around the school in the first place.

16
May
14

Reading Digest: No One Cares About the Season Finale Edition

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge17

“Aren’t you going to watch the rest of your cute cartoons?” – Marge Simpson
“Nah, come on Lis.” – Bart Simpson
“Maybe there’s something else to do on this planet.” – Lisa Simpson

Thank Jebus, most of the Lego hoopla has fallen down the internet memory hole and we’ve got a full set of great links for what feels like the first time in forever.  There’s crazy people driving a Simpsons car across Australia, tons of cool fan made stuff (everything from Homer as a serial killer to a nice Malibu Stacy cross stitch), some fun lists, several people who agree with us, and the most bizarre Bart(ish) statue I’ve ever seen.  Better yet, even though the season finale is two days away, nobody seems to care in the least.  A few people linked to the typically lifeless preview video, and that was it.  Even the recently announced (and sure to be godawful) Family Guy crossover didn’t get any internet love outside of the dutiful stenography of the entertainment press.

Enjoy.

Are Weezer The Simpsons of the Music World? – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this excellent comparison of two faded 90s icons that completely agrees with us:

When looking at the latest Weezer song or the latest Simpsons episode, what’s maddening is that they come off as imposters of their past selves – almost like a cover band or bad fan fiction.

Worth the click.

Part I: The End of Easter – There is much discontent in virtual Springfield:

It is no secret that the Easter event was met with a variety of negative emotions; including disappointment, anger, stress, and frustration.

Part II: What Went Wrong – And it’s well justified:

Investing your time was the priority, as it should be. Players who stick with something for years are more likely to buy something down the road, as oppose to this event which clearly just wanted players to invest their money, because there was never going to be enough time to win all of the prizes through regular game play.

Part III: Economic Voices – But not unexpected:

If you truly don’t like these types of events, you’ll have to break the Pokémon mentality (i.e. “Gotta catch ‘em all!”) and accept that you’re not going to be able to earn certain prizes, no matter how often you play the game. Of course this is easier said than done.

Much easier said than done, deliberately so.

Malibu Stacy – Fan made cross stitch with quote.  Bravo, Chloe.

Dan LuVisi – Cartoon Heroes As Serial Killers – Very impressive fan made art of just what it says.  Homer and Yoshi are particularly cool.

For My Bucket List: With gratitude to The Simpsons – A second “to do before death” list inspired by the family.

Round 109: Lisa’s Wedding vs. Treehouse of Horror XIV – Welcome back, Nebel.  (Oh, and Season 6 obliterates Season 15, but you knew that already.)

Losing the Why and How for the What: A Case for Spoilers – There is no such thing as “overfamiliartiy” when it comes to the show:

While I can’t speak to the specifics of the original Dallas story line (as neither was I born, nor have I ever watched Dallas), I have a fair understanding of the story entirely based on my familiarity (some say overfamiliarity, I say go fuck yourself) with The Simpsons episode.

Huzzah.

Wishlist – This is (partially) about collecting the Lego minifigs, but it’s also worth clicking for the awesome Milhouse blog header.

Return of Bartzilla! –  We must flee!

From the extended edition. – From the same blog as the above, Marge would’ve made those much better movies.

umm That ain’t me kid. – One more.  Heh.

The Zombie Simpsons Family – Not sure of the source, but it’s a black and white image of the family as zombies.

cape_town – Reader Frank C. sent in this picture of a statue in Cape Town, South Africa writing simply “Don’t know what it means, but here you go”.  Well put:

Africa Bart Statue

Thanks, Frank!

In Defense Of Zac Efron: We’ve Rounded Up Some Of TV’s Worst Neighbors – You know who’s #1:

The Simpsons — Homer Simpson

Offenses: Uh, let’s see. Being indirectly responsibly for the death or your first wife. Getting you married to a Las Vegas hooker. Not returning borrowed household items. To list them all would require more time than this writer has.

Bad Neighbor Rating: 10.0

The episode where Maude dies sucks, but “War Rocks” always gets me.

List O’ the Week: 20 Worst episodes of The Simpsons (Classic era) – Part. 1 – Oof, picking bad episodes out of Seasons 3-8 seems basically impossible to me, but to each their own.

Scanning the Simpsons – Scanner pictures of the Simpsons Lego characters.  Cool.

It Was A Simpsons Sky – Fan poem.  Neat.

Why ‘The Simpsons’ Is the Best TV Show Ever – A long love note to the great years of the show.

The Simpsons! – Cool fan made sketch of the family.  But how come Maggie’s head isn’t being vomited out by someone else?

It’s The Simpsons! – A handy fan made fact sheet, including the depressing fact that FOX owns the show until 2082.

Tuesday “News:” 90s-Related Media I Discovered Last Week – The 90s Project rolls on.

Simpsons – Gun Accessories – Big screen grab of Homer’s gun purchase.

BREAKING: Beloved TV series eerily predicted Hank Scorpio’s takeover of the eastern United States – A lot of people wrote up that goofy story about Syria’s government blaming the show for something.  This one is the best I’ve seen:

OK, first of all, “New Kids on the Blecch” is a mediocre effort at best. The boy band parodies are OK but too on the nose, and the navy stuff is just flat. Second of all, say whaaaaaa?

Toy Review – LEGO Simpsons House (71006) – Serious minded review of the Lego set:

I also really like the items the family gets. Not just the things like the couch and a kitchen table, but they also get a piano, and accessories for every bedroom. It also may be the first product to feature an official LEGO toilet.

If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

GAME REVIEW: The Simpsons – Bart vs The World – A review of the second Simpsons game.  Bonus points for using the Sega Master System version instead of the NES one.  Don’t see that much.

A “Simpsons” and “Family Guy” crossover episode is coming whether you like it or not – Oh, relentlessly positive corporate PR, don’t ever change:

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly was delighted to share the news, saying, “Generations of fans will be talking about this one.”

What was I laughing at now?  Oh, yes, that crippled Irishman.

Yeppoon trio ready to drive The Simpsons through the bush – Some rather awesome people are going to drive a Simpsons themed VW Bug around Australia.  That license plate is fantastic.

Chomet the way to Springfield: Sylvain Chomet on turning TV’s favourite family French and the virtues of hand-drawn animation – A little more about how that couch gag came about:

The 50-year-old can trace his relationship with The Simpsons back to when he had a studio in Scotland while working on The Illusionist. “We had this actor, Harry Shearer, who does a lot of voices for the show, including Mr Burns,” he explains. “He said ‘you know they [Groening and long-time Simpsons producer Al Jean] really like your work’.”

Even in its senile years, Harry Shearer does what he can to brighten Zombie Simpsons.  Also, that would be the animated 2010 The Illusionist, not that crappy 2006 Edward Norton movie.

The 10 Worst Simpsons Episodes of All Time – A perfectly cromulent list:

With that in mind, we present the 10 worst episodes in The Simpsons’ history. Unsurprisingly, none of these episodes come from the peak of the show’s run, when it was considered nigh universally great. Perhaps surprisingly, they all come from a period in the show’s run even later than the time when you most likely stopped watching. (You’re such a quitter.)

I kinda thought the talking bar rag would be higher, and there’s no Lady Gaga, but those were all certainly terrible and forgettable.

Product Launch – AUS: Duff Beer – The real Duff soon won’t just be for Aussies and tourists at Universal Studios:

Duff has only been available previously through counterfeits and imitations.
“Australia as a beer-loving nation felt like the perfect place to launch the official Duff Beer,” a spokesperson told just-drinks.
A global roll-out over “the next few years” is planned, the spokesperson added.

I’ll bet it is.

The Simpsons x Johnny Cupcakes – The merchandising has now reached the frosted arts.

THE SIMPSONS x CONVERSE JAPAN JACK PURCELL SLIP-ON JP – Also, more shoes.

The Simpsons 25th Anniversary 5″ Celebrity Guest Stars Action Figure – Series 03 – And more collector crack.

Brief thoughts on the Simpsons – This is far gentler on Zombie Simpsons than I’m willing to be, but this is a pretty cool story:

When I was five my family was called by the Nielsen people wanting to know what we were watching on television, it just so happened that we were watching a very early episode of the Simpsons. While I might not have fully understood what I was watching, I knew that I liked the show. I can remember my mom telling the woman on the phone that we enjoyed the show and hoped to see more of it.

Crossover: The Simpsons x Family Guy – I smell another cheap cartoon crossover.

The Simpsons: The first year – Our old friend Stefan Grasso does an epic writeup of the entirety of Season 1.  He concludes:

25 years later, the show’s producers had betrayed Groening’s original vision, causing The Simpsons to become the same mainstream trash that Groening didn’t want to make, and that’s where The Simpsons had gone wrong. Unfortunately, by the time Mike Scully’s reign of terror ended, the damage had already been done.

I maintain that Scully attracts way more blame than he deserves, but there’s no arguing that when he stepped down the show was kaput.

Nielsen Infographic: How Long It Takes To Binge Watch Popular TV Shows – Uh, Nielsen?  I think you’re missing one there.

The Simpsons Sucks Now – And finally, I get to end the way I prefer, with someone who epically agrees with us:

We have been sucked dry by the series and have little to show for it aside from distant memories. The Simpsons sucks now.
Gone are the detailed plots that show the shenanigans of the town. There is no longer a running story. The episodes now are simply a one and done experience. We are hit over the head with “guest appearances” and it is painful. It legitimately upsets me how little the writer’s care about the loyal fans who have been keeping up with the show for the 20 plus seasons.

Preach, brother.  Preach.

12
May
14

Behind Us Forever: Pay Pal

Chalkboard - Pay Pal

“And this is Lord Thistlewick Flanders.” – Ned Flanders
“Charmed . . . Uh, googily doogily.” – Lord Thistlewick Flanders

Every once and a while we get episodes like “Pay Pal” that seem to be made up of B-plots that got discarded from other episodes and were found lying on the writers’ room floor.  The first thing that happens is that there’s an Evergreen Terrace block party, then John Oliver shows up as a new British neighbor.  Then he gets into a fight with Homer and vanishes completely from the episode.  With the “British neighbor” story concluded, there’s a new (more or less unrelated) story about Marge paying a kid to be friends with Lisa.  Neither story underpins or overlaps with the other and you could easily see either one being the subplot to some larger and wackier A-plot.

Despite the fact that the zaniness is about a low as Zombie Simpsons is capable of setting it (no magic powers, no fantasy worlds, not even any nuclear explosions), things still manage to make absolutely no sense.  Marge and Homer throw a giant party for Lisa but cover it up before she can arrive because none of the other kids showed up.  Grampa tells a story about paying Lenny and Carl to be friends with Homer that falls apart as it’s happening.  There’s an elementary school gym square dancing scene that has so little to do with anything else that it might have been accidentally copied and pasted in from another script.  But, hey, next weak is the season finale and then we can all forget about Zombie Simpsons for four months, so as silver linings go that’s a pretty good one.

- Couch gag is the usual excessive filler, clocking in at  forty seconds.

- This Itchy and Scratchy episode takes way too long, but the real problem is the competely pointless amounts of gore: cats drowning in their own barf, skinned corpses, lots of popped eyeballs.  They do know that a big part of what makes cartoon violence fun is that the coyote’s blood and guts don’t splash out when the boulder lands on him, right?

- What’s with Bart watching TV on a massive and ancient looking portable television, anyway?

- Shauna and Gil are not what you’d call a strong comedic pairing.

- And  now Gil is singing.

- “Now let me taste some of Ned Flanders no alarm chili”.  Ah, for the days when it was two or two and a half alarm chili.

- Homer and Marge are talking in bed and Lisa appears in the door to make an observation about not having any friends.  That’s exposition fairy!

- “That’s the saddest thing I can imagine my daughter saying to me”, characters should always tell you exactly what they’re feeling said no screenwriter ever.

- Now it’s Bart’s turn to appear mysteriously outside of his parents bedroom.  They really make it hard to tell if they just don’t care about constructing scenes or if they drop characters in and out just because they can.

- Did Homer just look directly at the camera?  Yes, yes he did.  That was odd.

- Well, at least this couples party didn’t take long to get to its perfectly silly fighting between Homer and this dull British guy.

- On the walk home, Homer climbs across people’s roofs.  Weird.

- Hey, a partying montage!

- So Homer and Marge threw a party for Lisa but then tore it down before she could get there, so the whole thing was completely pointless.  Also, they seem to think “Gus Hubner” is a really funny name and worth repeating as a punchline several times.

- Lotta scenes that really drag their feet this week.  First the gym teacher had to explain why there was a wall in the gym, then we had to wait for it to open.  Only then did we get to the exciting square dancing scene.

- Okay, this was kinda funny: “Nobody likes jazz that much, even the guy playing it had to take drugs.”

- This girl Lisa is friends with is the very definition of characterless.  She’s so bland I’m surprised she got a name.

- Bart had a nice “pace and exposit” scene until Milhouse showed up from nowhere.

- And then Lisa explains what’s happening, because we didn’t just see it ourselves or anything.

- Hey, another montage.  That ate up some time.

- Lisa’s confrontation with Marge is hacktacular from start to finish.  The two of them just explain stuff past each other, and it’s made all the worse because they’re both being weird and serious.  They really have no idea how to let characters act like people anymore.  Everyone sounds like their reading cue cards: “I would’ve found a friend eventually.  You couldn’t wait a damn decade until I got into college.”  Who talks like that?

- At least they acknowledge at the end of Grampa’s weird flashback that it doesn’t make any sense.

- And now Marge and Lisa are confronting each other again.  This time Lisa is mentally expositing just to us instead of out loud, though.

- And now also out loud: “It’s funny, but hurting your feelings made me feel better.”

Thank goodness that’s over.  I kept expecting John Oliver’s character to briefly show up sometime in the second half of the episode, but he just vanished completely after his fight with Homer.  He wasn’t really all that wacky and kinda seemed like he might have a bigger story purpose that “eat time in Act 1″, but I guess not.  On any other show that’d be weird, but on Zombie Simpsons its just a regular week.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they remain in the same sorry state that they’ve been since January.  Last night just 3.61 million people wondered what happened to John Oliver’s character.  That’s good for #4 on the all time least watched list and has dragged Season 25’s average viewership down to 5.07 million per episode.  Next week is the season finale, and if it comes in at 3.40 million or less, Season 25’s average will slip below five million.  That number doesn’t hold any real significance, it’s just easy to remember.  Either way, Season 25 is already the least watched season ever.

11
May
14

Sunday Preview: Pay Pal

the-simpsons-pay-pal

When Marge swears off becoming friends with couples, after Homer insults the new neighbors, Lisa declares she doesn’t need friends either.

Not much to go off of there.  However, Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell are guest starring as themselves, so you can be sure there will some good ol’ fashioned NPR humor for you tonight.

09
May
14

Reading Digest: Floodwaters Receding Edition

Flooded

“Marge, I’m going to look for the kids.” – Homer Simpson

The Lego episode is now five days in the past and the internet is starting to move onto other things, but this week’s links are still a little thin from that deluge of marketing.  Amusingly enough, though this is just my informal observation, there were a lot more links (on commercial publications and personal blogs) before the episode aired than after.  Prior to broadcast, my news feeds and Google Alerts were inundated with people posting links to images and that trailer video.  Afterwards there were quite a few reviews, mostly of the “it was pretty good” variety, but far far less overall chatter than there’d been for the build up.

Anyway, we do have a nice smattering of fan made stuff this week, including two professional artists, some Simpsons inspired heavy metal, a Lego Homer car, and an excellent modification to a couple of those recently released Lego characters.  In addition to that, we’ve got some excellent usage, a new makeup merchandising tie in, more on Bartkira, and two people doing some grilling, because it is now that time of year.

Enjoy.

Custom Lego Zombie Simpsons Homer Marge Treehouse Horror Glow Dark Minifigures – Someone took the Lego versions of Homer and Marge and detailed them to look like zombies.  Excellent.

The Simpsons at 25: Satire in serious times – A nice writeup of the show and what made it great that is, nevertheless, curiously absent examples from the last fifteen years or so.  I wonder why?

“Simpsons Doom” band Dr. Colossus release debut EP for streaming – Awesome:

So… do you like… stuff?

“Imagine if we started the heaviest band in the world, like real doomy, Sabbathy kinda stuff. What would we call it…what’s huge?…’Colossus’?…”
“…Or like Dr. Colossus from the Simpsons…
Why don’t we just make a doom band where all the songs are based on episodes of the Simpsons?”

That’s a basic summary of Melbourne duo Dr. Colossus. It’s the doomy riffs of Black Sabbath and Kyuss meeting The Simpsons’ funniest quotes re-written into lyrics. And the duo have released their debut EP – simply titled “IV” – for streaming on SoundCloud.

The dental plan riff has never sounded so heavy.

Amazon.com: Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics eBook: Joshua Hall – It isn’t being officially released until next week, but there’s a new book that attempts to explain economics through Simpsons.

The Art Of ‘Bartkira’ At Portland’s Floating World Comics – The Bartkira project rolls forward.  You can now buy a 96-page “exhibition book” for $15.

See Every ‘The Simpsons’ Character In LEGO Form – The fine young folks at Uproxx seem to have about the right take on “Brick Like Me”:

was it worth the hype? As a novelty episode of television from a show in its 25th season, yes; otherwise, not really.

For the curious, they’ve got screen grabs of what each character looked like in Lego.

Welcome To Springfield – The Simpsons and MAC Collaboration for Fall 2014 – The 25th anniversary marketing barrage continues, this time with cosmetics.

Rare NEW Fire King Stacking Mug Cup Simpsons 25th Anniversary Made in JAPAN – Further down the merchandising totem pole, plastic cups from Japan.

Homer Simpson Is ‘El Chapo’ In Prophetic Drug War Art Series – An Italian artist created some simple drawings of Homer as a couple of famous drug lords and Barack Obama selling weed to Bart.

Jaimie Warren: ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ – And speaking of art, here’s dueling self portraits, one as Boy George and one as Ralph Wiggum.  Click through for the pictures.

Woolies launching Duff Beer at Moe’s Tavern pop-up in Sydney – Aussies will soon be able to buy Duff legally, but this was just a totally blown marketing opportunity:

Kingham said that while the beer has “good novelty value”, the liquid itself will not disappoint.
“We needed to make sure the beer would stack up. It’s a perfectly good lager,” he said.

Don’t call it “perfectly good”, call it “perfectly cromulent”!

‘Simpsons’ Lego episode: Behind the writers’ favorite inside jokes – There’s some decent stuff in here, but an awful lot of it is “brick” puns.

29 Things You May Have Missed in the ‘Simpsons’ Lego Episode – And speaking of brick puns, here’s a list of them.  The duck was a nice touch and I actually didn’t notice #26, the “Lego brick separator”, but that’s because I pry those things apart with my teeth and fingernails like a civilized Lego user.

Ill-Fated Simpsons Car “The Homer” Built Out Of LEGOs – Cool:

Now that LEGO is producing sets based on The Simpsons, LEGO enthusiast Brain Williams has taken it upon himself to build an incredible replica of The Homer. You can see the model in person at Brickworld or head over to Williams’ Flickr account, loaded with pictures of plenty of awesome LEGO creations.

The link has pictures as well.  Bravo.

The Beaten Path: Aaron Pico Is the Future King of Fighting – Excellent usage:

During one episode of The Simpsons, they catch Bart committing some schoolyard prank, and he must meet his principal for disciplinary activities at 4:30 in the morning.
His response to the punishment: “There’s a 4:30 in the morning now?”
Indeed there is, even if most kids (and adults) aren’t overly familiar with it. This drives to the heart of what makes Aaron Pico so unusual. He knows 4:30 in the morning like the back of his hand

Cue the Opening Theme – YouTube of some famous TV show openings which obviously includes The Simpsons.  It’s also nice to see Looney Tunes included.  Their opening is just as iconic, but it’s not a typical montage, so it’s rarely on lists like this.

The Gusface Traveller Chilli Con Carne – The chili looks incredibly good, but while you can’t eat it through the internet, there’s a great .gif of Bart’s time for chili hat that you can see.

‘The Simpsons’ Get Better Ratings In LEGO Form – I imagine that tepid spin like this was not the big publicity bump they thought it would be:

amidst a national epidemic of LEGO fever, The Simpsons fared about 20% than usual last night with its LEGO episode. Now, I’m sure with the expense and marketing behind it, the producers were hoping for/expecting a higher number, but with the show getting some of its worst ratings in history these days, any upward movement is welcome.

That sounds like the last thing someone says before a plane crash.

Game of Thrones – Via Text – This is mostly about the most recent Game of Thrones episode, but there is a delightful .gif of Burns laughing at that crippled Irishman.

Sorry, Moe – Apparently, ogling the ladies in the Sears catalog isn’t as shameful as it used to be.  Heh.

Scientists reverse aging in mice by giving them young blood – You can’t steal blood from the young and give it to the old without referencing “Blood Feud”.

Hank Azaria Settle on the Upper West Side in $9.2 Million Co-op – Azaria is moving from one massively expensive New York City apartment to another one.  That is all.

Hank Azaria on Late Night with Conan O’Brien (Simpsons Voices) – Speaking of Azaria, this is from a few years ago and Azaria does some voices and is generally charming, including a story about an Indian guy who yelled at him for doing Apu.  Near the end, they briefly discuss the origins of Jub-Jub.

The Simpsons: Television Royalty – There’s nothing here that your typical Simpsons fan doesn’t already know, but it’s a nice little love letter to the show.

Eat My Shorts! – First hand review of the Lego figures complete with detailed images.

#019 COM: Elizabeth and Ezekiel – Cool fan made drawing.

Help it’s Allergy season! – Oh, man, Milhouse would not last long there.

Tonight we’re grilling beef! – Is that an officially licensed Simpsons grill or a decal?  I can’t quite tell.  The color is nice, though.

09
May
14

Quote of the Day

Saturdays of Thunder15

“Ugly . . . ugly . . . butch.” – Patty Bouvier
“What’s the matter, can’t you find a hairstyle you like?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, hold the phone, that’s the one for me.” – Patty Bouvier
“Ed Asner?” – Marge Simpson
“No, next to him: Mary Tyler Moore.” – Patty Bouvier

Happy birthday James L. Brooks!

08
May
14

Compare & Contrast: Comic Book Guy As Villain

Treehouse of Horror X3

“Tonight’s episode: Enter . . . The Collector.” – TV Announcer

There are basically no characters on the show who haven’t undergone a serious dumbing down in the Zombie Simpsons era (Gil, maybe?).  Some of them gradually devolved, others had sudden changes in a single episode; either way, there’s often a moment when you knew that the original version was never coming back.  For Comic Book Guy, I’ve always thought that moment came in Season 11 when he materialized out of nowhere to complain about the Simpsons getting a horse again.  Homer asks if anyone cares what “this guy” thinks, and the assembled crowd shouts “No!”.

He’d been used as a stand-in for the audience before, of course, but that was them dropping all the subtlety and treating this strawman approximation of their audience seriously.  They knew people were going to bitch because they were nakedly repeating something, and instead of thinking “maybe we shouldn’t repeat things”, they thought “haters gonna hate”.  Comic Book Guy has been a way for the show to paper over its own shoddiness ever since.

The difference between the two is on full display when you consider the ways they used him in very similar positions in “Brick Like Me” and as “The Collector” in “Treehouse of Horror X”.  (Which aired, incidentally, just a few months before the second horsey episode.)  In both cases he’s playing a science fiction bad guy who knows how cliched his actions are, but in one that’s the basis of a wide ranging satire, in the other it’s a contradictory and expository excuse.

This is Lego Comic Book Guy’s first line in “Brick Like Me”, right after Homer asks him for the Lego princess set:

Lego Comic Book Guy: Ah, always good to meet a fellow AMFoP.
Homer: Huh?
Lego Comic Book Guy: Adult Male Fan of Princesses.

As a punchline, “Adult Male Fan of Princesses” isn’t bad, but to have Lego Comic Book Guy just explain it to the audience doesn’t do it any favors.  At least it’s got a punchline, though.

In Lego Comic Book Guy’s next scene, after some extended Homer freaking out scenes, he doesn’t even get a line.  He just stands there while Homer grabs the toy box to go back to regular Springfield.  After that, Homer returns and we get what may be the clunkiest lines in an episode that had an awful lot of them:

Lego Comic Book Guy:  Okay, apparently our whole world is a fantasy in the mind of an emotionally devastated Homer Simpson.
Marge:  One of the main questions I have about that is, why?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  The real Homer fears losing his daughter’s love so he invented this toy world where nothing will ever change.
Marge:  How can you be sure?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  I have devoted my life to second rate science fiction.  Trust me, that is what we are dealing with here.
Homer:  So if I don’t find my way out of here, I could be trapped in a fantasy forever?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  I’m afraid so.

That would be bad enough if we hadn’t already had that explained to us several times, including by Homer immediately preceding it (“I wish I lived in little Springfield, everything fits together and no one ever gets hurt.”).  But it gets worse when you remember that he’s supposed to be the damned villain.

Not only is he unnecessarily telling us things we already know, but if he really is supposed to be the part of Homer that wants him to stay in Lego land forever, then it’s 100% against Lego Comic Book Guy’s interests to explain everything.  The writers actually know this, because they tell us directly in yet another masterpiece of unnecessary exposition later in the episode:

Homer: Now tell me how to get out of here!
Lego Comic Book Guy: All you need to do is open the box back to your so-called reality.  But I can’t let that happen.
Homer:  You’re the bad guy?  I thought you were the rule explainer guy!
Lego Comic Book Guy:  As an adult who surrounds himself with child’s toys, I represent the part of your psyche that prefers this artificial world.

Sometimes villains don’t get revealed until right before the final confrontation, and that’s fine provided that the villain’s previous actions make sense in light of that reveal.  But literally telling the audience that Lego Comic Book Guy is the bad guy while offering no reason whatsoever for his behavior up to that point is hacktacular almost beyond comprehension.

As if that wasn’t enough, right before the final confrontation, Comic Book Guy quickly builds a castle to keep Homer from reaching the princess set:

Homer: How did you do that?
Lego Comic Book Guy: Because, as the ultimate collector, I have every playset ever made!

Here you can see the damage that their utter contempt for storytelling does to the rest of the episode.  As a villain in a Lego universe, Comic Book Guy makes perfect sense.  If there’s anyone in Springfield who’d have every Lego set, it’s him.  But instead of using his time in the episode to show us some of his sets, or maybe (heaven forbid) foreshadow it a little bit in his previous scenes, they just have him say why he did what he just did and then hold up the things he’s talking about.  The script is full of so much explanatory clutter that there’s no room for any kind of humor beyond “ooh, look at that”.

Video Exposition

Good thing this video program has live narration, or we’d never know what was happening.

And that’s how Zombie Simpsons portrays Comic Book Guy as the villain in their big budget, heavily advertised, and no doubt delicately negotiated Lego episode: as a manic narrator who can’t even be called one dimensional after they basically negated his already thin character with an unrelated and contradictory one at the end.

Now compare that to the regular budget, just another Halloween episode portrayal in “Treehouse of Horror X”.  Like the Lego episode, a Halloween episode lets them put their regular characters into way out and wacky personas.  Unlike the Lego episode, they gave Comic Book Guy’s “The Collector” everything that a good and funny character needs: motivation, foibles and weaknesses, jokes and a coherent story.

Consider this, from right after he kidnaps Lucy Lawless:

The Collector: Care for a Rollo, sweet Xena?
Lucy Lawless: Alright, Collector, stick this in your tweezers, I’m not Xena!  I’m an actress, you lunatic!
The Collector: Oh, please, I’m not insane.  I simply wish to take you back to my layer and make you my bride.

Eating candy while he drives a rusted out hatchback, he claims to not be insane while doing something clearly insane.  He’s not directly explaining anything because his actions and words convey the basics so the jokes can float on top.  He doesn’t need to say, “I’m caricature of a collector geek as an Adam-West-Batman cheesy villainy” because it’s written into the fabric of the episode.  Similarly, Lawless’s contempt for tweezers using collectors doesn’t need to be explained because we know her and can see it.

Treehouse of Horror X4

Characters doing stuff without concurrently narrating it.  Even Season 11 knew how to do this.

Even when the characters do talk about what they’re doing, it’s descriptive, not explanatory:

The Collector: I have here the only working phaser ever built.  It was fired only once, to keep William Shatner from making another album.

He’s describing the concrete thing in his hand right now, not explaining the overarching background of what’s happening.  And when he fires, he doesn’t explain what a phaser is or how it works.  The show trusts its audience to be know that already.  Moreover, calling it a phaser also acts as setup for the Shatner punchline, and who doesn’t love a good Shatner joke?

The rest of the segment is just like that.  When they describe something, they don’t explain what it is or how it works, they expect you to know it.  So when Lawless points out that he’s removed the light saber from it’s original packaging, she doesn’t have to explain why he’s suddenly distraught.  Ditto for when the Collector ends his death in “classic Lorne Greene pose” and when Lisa points out that Xena can’t fly.

The Collector is Comic Book Guy as a character within the show who’s been turned, for this one episode, into an exaggerated bad guy version of himself.  He’s still a person under there, though, so when he cackles about being “unbelievably amused” or whines that he fell for a “ruse so hackneyed it would make Stan Lee blush” it fits with who he is regularly as well as the character he’s inhabiting.  Lego Comic Book Guy, on the other hand, is a kind of stand-in proxy narrator for the writing staff who spends most of his time on screen explaining a very simple concept that had already been explained several times before.  Having used him as a crutch instead of a character right until the end, it makes a certain kind of lazy sense to just keep leaning on him and have him be the bad guy as well, coherent narrative be damned.

None of that is unusual for Zombie Simpsons, of course; nonsensical exposition, plot swerves, and bizarre character behavior are are in every episode.  But it neatly illustrates the fact that, for all the hoopla, “Brick Like Me” was just another episode.

07
May
14

Quote of the Day

A Star is Burns16

“Bart Simpson, meet Jay Sherman the critic.” – Homer Simpson
“Hello.” – Jay Sherman
“Hey, man, I really love your show.  I think all kids should watch it!  Ew, I suddenly feel so dirty.” – Bart Simpson

Happy birthday Mike Reiss!  

04
May
14

Sunday Preview: Brick Like Me

Brick_Like_Me_promo_3

Homer finds himself in a world where everyone and everything in Springfield are made of LEGO pieces.

Oh boy I do love Legos. At least I used to play with them a ton when I was but a wee lad. Coincidentally, it was around the same time in my life I loved The Simpsons as well.  Ah, to be young again.

Anyway, aside from all the hype for this episode, and the multitude of news articles with Al Jean quotes about how this is not a marketing ploy, I imagine this is much like the moment when your significant other decides they no longer need to hide the ongoing affair they are having, and instead decides to have sex with your best friend right in front of you.

I am not accusing The Simpsons of secretly hiding any cross-promotional plans or anything for the last 25 years, because frankly their marketing war machine has been an open book.  I am also not saying this is wrong, as I would guess that Simpsons merchandising has to be pushing a billion a year, and in all fairness this is a business.  I am just saying that the idea of this episode in general makes me feel pretty greasy.

 

 

 

04
May
14

Quote of the Day

Bart Gets an F8

“Who cares about some test?  Life’s too short for tests!” – Martin Prince
“Hey, I thought we had a deal!” – Bart Simpson
“The Martin Prince you made a deal with no longer exists!  Come on, fellows, to the arcade!” – Martin Prince

Happy birthday Russi Taylor!

02
May
14

Reading Digest: Marketing Success Edition

Gabbo This Gabbo That

“Everyone is saying Gabbo this and Gabbo that!  But no one is saying worship this and Jericho that!” – Reverend Lovejoy
“What’s this about Gabbo?” – Jasper 

Yet another clipped Reading Digest this week because there are two idiotic pieces of public relations sucking up the internet’s attention.  Firstly, they released a trailer for this week’s much hyped Lego episode.  For the record, I quite liked The Lego Movie and it would be a welcome and pleasant surprise if Sunday’s episode was even half as entertaining.  But I do not have my hopes up.

Secondly, Jean, a practiced hand at managing PR stunts, compared whatever that upcoming “major character” death is to Game of Thrones, a show that (despite being on premium cable) is watched by far more people than Zombie Simpson.  He called it the “Yellow Wedding”, and pageview desperate bloggers and magazines swooned at being able to tap people’s insatiable need to click on anything Game of Thrones related.  My money remains on it being a total head fake nothingburger, with the “death” being a reincarnated Dr. Nick or something else that won’t affect the show at all.  Remember when they ran that big contest to have people create a character and then killed him five seconds after they introduced him?  This looks an awful lot like that.

What we do have though is quite a few very solid links, including cool fan art, an internet retelling of “Cape Feare”, Poochie used to lampoon How I Met Your Mother, a couple of cromulent lists, and a nightmare inducing fan made Mr. Burns mask.  Also, there are several factually incorrect links about the low ratings of the show.

Enjoy.

6 Fictional Beers you’d love to drink – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this list of fake beers (with plenty of YouTube), half of which are from The Simpsons.

48 reasons ‘Cape Feare’ might be the greatest episode of The Simpsons – The whole story of “Cape Feare” told in .gifs and screen grabs.  Outstanding.

A Chat with the Cast and Crew of ‘The Simpsons’ – A writeup of a panel discussion Groening, Jean and some of the other big names did:

At one point in the panel they are asked if they’re ever worried about running out of story ideas and Matt admits that they really aren’t. More often, “we find ourselves wondering if we’ve already done a joke.”

That was in 2003.  Jebus.

“The Simpsons” Movie Poster Parodies – More fake movie posters.  Some I’ve linked before, but “Re-Hominator” is new (I think).

Animated sitcoms punching up arcade’s past – The Simpsons – A writeup of the arcade game, and worth the click for the Japanese promotional flyer at the top.  (Also, “World 1-1″ is a great blog name.)

Sweet 17 Syrup and Cinnamon Cake – Cool Simpsons birthday cake:

If a list of TV shows that summed up our early years together were in existence, The Simpsons would be pretty near the top, so I’ve tried to incorporate a resemblance to the classic Simpsons donut. It kinda works.. but the icing is white because I didn’t have pink food colouring and nobody’s perfect.

Bet it was good, though.

DUFF BEER BATH – That is one happy looking wooden Bender.

Complete Collection Of Celebrity ‘Simpsons’ Couch Gags – Lots of YouTube of the only thing on the show anyone talks about.

9 TV Roles From Hank Azaria’s Early Days You Might Have Missed – Azaria had guest spots on such classics as Family Ties and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Cartoons that made me feel something (Spoilers) – “And Maggie Makes Three” and “Mother Simpson” both make the list here.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale: Poochie Edit – Heh:

Immortalizing Mr. Burns – A creepy looking Mr. Burns ceramic mask and charcoal painting.

Major ‘Simpsons’ death will be a ‘bigger deal’ than Game of Thrones’ Purple Wedding, show producer Al Jean says – There were a lot of these this week.  This is one of them.  No, there is no actual news.  The closest thing to news is Jean saying that whoever dies may still come back in future episodes, but we already knew that.

Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist? – Audio – Say what you will about the impracticalities of anarchism, but at least they don’t get flustered about using copyrighted stuff on their posters.

Best Episodes of The Simpsons – Excellent list, nothing from even close to Zombie Simpsons.  Plus there’s a poll.

My 6 Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – Another explicitly non-Zombie Simpsons list:

But we were hooked from that very first episode, and I have been a lifelong fan of The Simpsons ever since.
Even if I haven’t seen a new episode in years…

Good move.

Best TV Episodes of All Time – “Cape Feare” comes in at #4 here.

5 Timeless Cartoons – The show comes in handily at #1.

I’m All Tapped Out – On deleting a deliberately addictive app:

It was a great move deciding to play Simpsons Tapped Out at the start of the year. I’m not joking here, I played that game every single day from the day I downloaded it, to yesterday evening. It controlled my life. I wouldn’t sleep until certain characters tasks were done and I was constantly tapping away. It’s absolutely for the best that I deleted the app.

Nancy Cartwright Talks ‘Simpsons’ Lego Episode, Charity Poker Tournament & More – The publicity for that music live show they’re doing at the Hollywood Bowl this summer is getting started.

Springfield bar scene offers craft beers to broaden patrons’ palates – Excellent reference from Springfield, IL:

On a tour of Duff Brewery, Homer Simpson discovers that Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry all come from the same vat. The joke is that the different varieties of beer are indistinguishable by taste. For craft beer lovers, it spoke to what they believe is a larger truth — that the popular beers from domestic mega breweries don’t taste like much at all.
If Homer were to venture outside of Moe’s and visit the real Springfield, he would discover a cornucopia of beers that vary greatly in taste and style.

The Simpsons play Mr Burns is coming to London’s Almeida Theatre – The post apocalypse play is crossing the Atlantic.

The Simpsons Lego Episode Could Be the Show’s Best in Years – Low bar, very low bar.  (The trailer they released is there, too, if you haven’t seen it.)

Check Out The Simpsons Lego Episode Poster – Also, there is a poster.  Too bad they don’t put this much care into writing the episodes.

The Simpsons ‘ratings crisis': Matt Groening favourite pulls in all-time low with just 3.4 million viewers – This is from Britain’s Mirror, so the scare quote in the headline (‘ratings crisis’) isn’t anywhere in the article and they get their lead fact wrong:

It looks like the magic of The Simpsons could be over.

The animated adventure following the Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and the residents of Springfield achieved its lowest ever ratings last night in America.
Just 3.4 million viewers tuned in to watch What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting on Fox in the US, signalling an all-time low for the long-running series which is in its 25th year.

It wasn’t an all-time low, it was second.  More importantly, the show is already renewed for another season and its demographic numbers hold up a lot better than the awful topline number would indicate.  So there is a lot of slapdash lazy journalism there.  And yet . . . I’ve long maintained that the only way they’ll cancel Zombie Simpsons is if the ratings get bad enough that they become embarrassing to the far more important merchandising brand.  Replicated enough times in other mainstream publications, headlines and articles like that (missed facts, made up scare quotes and all) could bring enough public embarrassment that the monkeys who run FOX might start thinking that the world doesn’t really need that full 27th season.

‘The Simpsons’ falls to all-time ratings d’oh! – No, Entertainment Weekly, it didn’t, but thanks for furthering the impression.

‘The Simpsons’ Hits All-Time Ratings Low – The same goes for you, Splitsider.  Jebus, the entertainment press is wretched.

Last night’s Simpsons episode set an all-time ratings low – Not sure where the A.V. Club is getting its facts:

Given that The Simpsons has been long been on the decline in the eyes of critics and fans, it’s only logical that it will routinely set new records for all-time low ratings as it carries on. Season 22’s “The Great Simpsina” last held the title, but last night’s episode, “What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting,” dropped ratings to a new low, nabbing only 3.4 million viewers in the show’s Sunday night slot.

At 5.00 million viewers, “The Great Simpsina” would be a certified hit by today’s standards.  I’ve got it at #31 all time on my list.

Batman: “Pure West” – Excellent shakycam YouTube.

2faced homer – Neat fan made image.

Council clears way for gigabit Internet service – Nice reference:

City Council members have OK’d a contract that helps clear the way for AT&T to begin installing gigabit-speed Internet service in some parts of Durham sometime in 2015.
The 5-0 decision didn’t come without some skepticism, expressed most forcefully by Councilman Don Moffitt.
“All of this is vaporware until we start seeing connections,” he said, adding he was “reminded of ‘The Simpsons’ episode where they came in and sold the town a monorail.”

Cartoons of a Generation – And finally, I get to end with someone who very efficiently agrees with us:

Anyone who, like myself, grew up as a child during this era would be aware that there were some epic cartoon adventures that just aren’t matched these days.

[...]

(the best of) The Simpsons

What could possibly match it?

01
May
14

Compare & Contrast: Moe Pulls a Gun

The Homer They Fall8

“Hey, there’s something wrong with this guy, he’s not falling down!” – Kearney Sr.

“What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting” was such a shambles of a story that trying to compare the whole thing to another episode would be futile.  Finding just a few coherent seconds is hard enough.  But there was one moment that lines up perfectly: Moe pulling his shotgun on people threatening Homer.  Moe did almost the exact same thing in “The Homer They Fall”, only there it was quicker, funnier and made more sense for all involved.

To start, compare why Homer is there in each case.  In “The Homer They Fall”, he’s trying to squeal about Bart getting his belt stolen to the parents of the bullies who stole it.  Moe’s is a pretty natural place for that, especially once we see the parents in question (who presumably wouldn’t be hanging out at the next PTA meeting).  In “What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting”, Homer is at Moe’s with Bart, and both of them sit there looking like regulars (with Bart having a chocolate milk).  Is there any reason for them to be at Moe’s?  Well, no, there isn’t.  They were just fighting because Homer caught Bart selling his voodoo fertility services and then they’re at Moe’s.

Is Homer taking Bart to Moe’s to have heart-to-heart talks now?  That could be funny, but Zombie Simpsons doesn’t even try, it just has them say expository things that they could say anywhere:

Homer: What is your problem, boy?
Bart: Maybe when I’ve got a Dad who shows up in the morning with no shirt on and rocks on his face it sets, I don’t know, a low bar?

They make a bar nuts joke and then the gangsters show up, and that’s the scene.  What’s really incredible about this is that the heavily exposited subtext here is about Homer being a bad father, but instead of Bart pointing out that taking a 10-year-old to a bar is bad fathering, they have him recite something we already saw earlier in the episode.  It didn’t need to be Moe’s, it just was because Homer and Bart needed to get kidnapped someplace, damn it, and they didn’t care about anything else.

Along similar lines, consider the two groups of men who get threatened by Moe.  In “The Homer They Fall”, it’s three guys who are the beaten down and broken fathers of Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney.  They each look like their sons and the scene is a quick way of moving to the story about Homer becoming a boxer.  So we see Homer taking the grown-up version of the beating we just saw Bart take because Homer is no better at dealing with bullies than his son.  The guys are exactly the kind of fathers you’d expect, and the show lets us know without disrupting the dialogue:

Jimbo Sr.: That’s for telling me how to raise my lousy kid.
Dolph Sr.: And this is for the crummy life I’ve had to live.

The Homer They Fall7

Quick and funny one off characters, what a concept.

So while it’s just a quick throwaway scene to get the plot moving, we get three characters with a reason to be there, a reason to beat Homer, and a couple of good lines.

By contrast, in “What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting”, Legs and Louie just show up brandishing guns.  Why?  Well, because Fat Tony decided to act like a moron and kidnap Bart and Homer so that he can, that very night, perform a voodoo ritual to get a horse pregnant.  In addition to not making even the driest lick of sense, there’d been no intimation of any of that right up until drawn guns appear next to Bart and Homer’s heads.  A completely unexpected and massive plot swerve like that would be jarring if it weren’t so common.

Finally, we come to Moe himself.  Right after Kearney Sr. laments their inability to knock him down, we hear Moe pump his trusty shotgun and say:

“Fun’s over fellas!  If you’re gonna beat up my friend in my bar, there’s a two drink minimum.”

It’s a typically well crafted Simpsons line.  It fits in with who these characters are and what they’re doing, and it’s got a nice little punchline at the end.  The elder bullies back out cautiously, and we’re ready to move on with the plot.

Now contrast that smooth, short interaction with the hacktacular sitcom banter in Zombie Simpsons.  Legs and Louie grab Homer and Bart, and then this happens:

Moe: Not so fast!  Nobody comes into my bar and kidnaps two paying customers.

In addition to this being a repeat, it’s a much weaker repeat.  Why?   Well, for starters, there’s no punchline.  There isn’t even a setup for a punchline.  There’s part of a setup for a punchline, which Homer then completes:

Homer:  Aw, thanks Moe! . . . I, uh, must have left my wallet at home.
Moe: Take ‘em!  Take ‘em!  Fill their pockets with corn and toss ‘em to the pigs!
Louie: Don’t tell us our business.

That’s an awfully long way to go for a joke that was done better seventeen seasons ago.  On top of that, the whole thing is drained of whatever life it might’ve had by the sheer weirdness of what’s going on.  Remember, we hadn’t seen Legs and Louie until just a few seconds before (as per usual, they just appeared out of nowhere) and we have no idea why they’re there.  The preceding scene was Bart doing voodoo for people and the next one is them getting threatened by Fat Tony in a stable.  The sheer randomness of it not only saps the scene and the jokes of any punch, but it makes it basically impossible to mentally engage with the show since nothing you’re seeing matters much for what comes next or even what’s going on right now.

When the bully dads were beating up Homer, we knew what was at stake and why and Moe acted like you’d expect Moe to act.  When Legs and Louie beamed in from wherever they were, nobody needs to be there and all anyone does is repeat worn set ups and banter like bored comedy writers.

27
Apr
14

Sunday Preview: What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting

What_to_Expect_When_Bart's_Expecting_promo_3

 

Bart can’t stand art class. So he makes a voodoo doll of his art teacher. But when his spell makes her pregnant instead, he becomes a savior to Springfield couples trying to conceive. Then, he’s kidnapped to help conceive a thoroughbred race horse.

Cool. I was hoping there would be some voodoo this season. I guess I am slightly curious to find out what kind of spell Bart was attempting that would backfire and create life.  Only slightly though – only slightly.

25
Apr
14

Reading Digest: Easter Disappointment Edition

Lisa's Wedding18

“And here, out of the mists of history, the legendary Esquilax, a horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body of a rabbit. . . . Ooh, it’s galloping away!” – Chief Wiggum

The Easter update for Tapped Out has been live for a little less than two weeks, and the complaints are rolling in.  We’ve got three links this week about how the Easter update hasn’t been the greatest, which, having recently re-installed the game, I agree with.  I realize they have to keep releasing updates to keep people who’ve maxed out their levels interested, but some of these really should be optional.  Of course, that would require EA to not suck . . . so, probably not gonna happen.

In other news, I am very ready for this Lego episode to be in the rear view mirror.  They are putting on a full court publicity press and every time they release some new images or someone from Lego says something about the show seemingly everyone with access to the internet links to it.  We’ve got two this week, but both are just entertainment industry fluff jobs.  In addition to all that, there are some cool t-shirts, a Flanders coin, the story of how Harry Shearer met his wife, and some excellent clip show usage, so it’s not all bad.

Enjoy.

Worst Zine Ever – Some excellent Simpsons tattoo designs with links to more.  Funky See Funky Do would be very obscure but very awesome.

Exclusive: Inside The Simpsons’ Very Special LEGO Episode – Today’s News: Our Take – Oh, TV Guide, I’d ask you never to change, but you never do:

Cheekily titled “Brick Like Me” and set almost entirely in a LEGO world, it’s also episode No. 550, a staggering accomplishment for a primetime series. This has left the well-seasoned
wisenheimers on the production team feeling an odd combination of over-the-moon excitement and enough-already boredom.

And let me say a “very special” well done to you cheeky wisenheimers (assuming an algorithm set to 1960s didn’t write that dreck for you).

‘The Simpsons': See the first image of Lego Homer! – This is an interview with Selman and Brian Kelley, it doesn’t tell you much.  I did like this quote from Jean, though:

And how will this episode stack up against The Lego Movie, which has earned more than $250 million at the box office? “I think it’s just as good and it’s free,” quips executive producer Al Jean, who adds: “If anyone out there has an idea for a new material that the Simpsons can be made out of, please write to us. Cardboard? Yarn? Anything is up for grabs.”

Spoiler alert: it will not be as good as The Lego Movie.

Two by Two, Eggs of Blue – The game is fundamentally exploitative . . .:

Honestly this whole event feels unnecessarily complicated. Why can’t decorations just be in the shop and purchased for cash, do we really need to work hard collecting eggs for fences?

. . . so, yes.

The bait-and-switch of Easter – More discontent in the land of the disembodied finger:

I imagine this is the same for many of you playing, and it’s starting to get frustrating. It should not be this hard to win prizes, but it is.

Donuts aren’t going to help you, not unless you spend $100+ or more on eggs.

Easter Glitch – Trick or Treat? – It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes the glitches actually benefit the players.  So it’s not all bad.

Next Couch Gag Animated by Michal Socha – I’ve mostly enjoyed the new couch gags, but it really doesn’t speak well of Zombie Simpsons that the only part of the show anyone wants to talk about is the part that they farmed out to someone else.

What The Simpsons teaches us about Rob Ford and other mayoral mysteries – Rob Ford: If You Were Running for Mayor He’d Vote for You.

April Fools 2014: Alex Raphael – No list of TV idiots would be complete without Homer.  (Some good YouTube here as well.)

‘Nashville’ to air quirky clip show: 5 more that stand out – Excellent usage at the top of an article about clip shows:

So it’s come to this: A Nashville clip show.

Bonus points for having the Simpsons episode mentioned not be “So It’s Come to This”.

Pop Culture… Coins! – Fan drawn Flanders on a Brazilian coin.  Neat.

Judith Owen reveals how husband Harry Shearer – star of This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons – helped her music flourish – Aww:

Owen met Shearer in 1992 while she was resident bar pianist at the Conrad in Chelsea Harbour. “They were trying to make it into a rock’n’roll hotel. I played one of my own songs and heard this incredible applause behind me. I turned around and it was Christopher Guest and Harry with the full facial hair of Derek Smalls. I jumped up and ran over to them. It was truly one of the most surreal, ridiculous moments of my life,” she remembers.

Tee 394 SWW – Simpsons/Star Wars t-shirt.

Photo by trillblazin – And a Rasheed Wallace/Bart shirt (via @treykerby).

Rewinding the Week (4.20.2014) – Even forgiving reviews of last week’s Zombie Simpsons episode didn’t like it:

The episode was titled “Days of Future Future” which made me think that there would be some X-Men references, but sadly there were not.  Instead, the whole thing was set in the future with clones of Homer living for an extended period of time and Bart encountering a Eternal Sunshine-like process.  Kind of weird, but okay.  I think they truly are running out of ideas now.

Best TV Shows of All Time – The show only checks in at #2 here, but it’s entered well:

2. The Simpsons (Seasons 1-9)

Who needs the Kwik E-Mart? – Heh (x2).

The Simpsons Lego Figures – The official one-page brochure.

The Simpsons To Marathon Every Episode, Release New Streetwear [PHOTOS] – This is blatant pageview whoring of the one-page-per-picture variety, but of you want to check out a bunch of new Simpsons clothing you can click through (and click through and click through . . .).

Two Gym Visits… and 2,500 Legos In Between – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

One of the big childhood obsessions were Legos. I had tons of them, and at one point, had built an entire town on a folding table in the basement. Then, when I was in high school and college, I became a die-hard, hard-core fan of “The Simpsons.” For a couple years in college, I wrote a weekly “Simpsons”-based newsletter, which grew to have over 5,000 subscribers all over the planet. (For the record, I’m still of a fan of the show, and it will always be one of my favorite shows of all time, although I think the quality of new episodes has really gone downhill.)

Indeed it has.




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