Archive for the 'The Simpsons' Category


Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror VI12

“What’s going on here?  I’m so bulgy.  My stomach sticks way out in front and my- ahhhh!” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Treehouse of Horror VI”! Original airdate 29 October 1995.

And happy birthday to the one, the only Dan Castellaneta!


Sunday Preview: Treehouse of Horror XXVI


After killing Bart, Sideshow Bob doesn’t know what to do with himself; Homer wakes up with short-term memory loss; Because of radiation, Lisa, Bart and Milhouse gain super-powers.

Ah Treehouse of Horror.  My favorite Halloween ever was probably the last time i ever tricked-or-treated, and FOX ran THOH I-IV back to back. In fact, I think nothing sums up The Simpsons more for me than when the house from “Bad Dream House” ultimately decides to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpson family. I doubt anything as epically awesome as that will happen tonight, but that seems like an unrealistic goal anyway.


Sunday Preview: Halloween of Horror


When Lisa becomes scared at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night, Homer is forced to take down his Everscream Terrors decorations. Halloween pop-up employees seek vengeance on Homer for causing them to lose their jobs, and rob his house while Homer and Lisa hide out in the attic. Homer and Lisa light up their stored holiday decorations to attract attention and stand up to the intruders.

I guess we are having a pre-THOH Halloween episode tonight. Apparently in this episode, taking down decorations that I presume have already been bought and paid for causes employees of the decoration manufacturing company to lose their jobs and take to lives of crime. Nick Kroll and Blake Anderson will be wasting their talent tonight as guest stars.

Can you believe it has been almost 17 years since George Carlin and Martin Mull guest voiced in “D’oh-in’ in the Wind”? Not that it’s relevant, I just thought of them when I saw a pair of comedians lending their voices to a show that is almost 20 years past its expiration date.


Quote of the Day


“Hey, man, if the line’s this long, it’s gotta be good.” – Bart Simpson
“Get bent.” – Complaints Window Lady

Doris Grau would’ve been 91 today.  Happy birthday!


Sunday Preview: Puffless


Upon learning that their father really died of lung cancer, Selma and Patty agree to quit smoking. When Selma relapses, an angry Patty moves in with Marge and Homer

Yo-Yo Ma will guest star as himself tonight, which is probably because it is conceivable that his guest appearance would be even more meaningless if he played a random character.  Apparently the sub-plot involves an adventure for Maggie in the animation style of “The Longest Daycare”, so prepare for that to be ruined.  Also of note is that even though I am getting considerably lazier about doing these previews, as impossible as that would seem, I am not the only one. The above image was the only usable one I could find during a 15 minute search. I couldn’t find a promo image of the A plot at all. Again I searched lazily, so there is probably something out there, but I have exhausted my effort looking for something that is usually readily available. End of rant.


Saturday Morning Cartoons

Bart the Murderer22

“For the next week, I stayed alive by eating my mother’s delicious preserves; and maintained my sanity by dribbling a nearby basketball with my one free hand.  I made a game of it, seeing how many times I could bounce the ball in a day, then trying to break that record.” – Principal Skinner

There are usually a lot of easy to spot differences between something that’s done slapdash and something that’s done with creative care.  Among the more subtle, are the little, inconsequential details that let you know that the people behind something genuinely gave a shit about what they were doing.  There are plenty of these in “Bart the Murderer”, but I wanted to quickly point out two of them.

The first is the look on Bart’s face above.  After being force to lick envelopes for the PTA, Bart correctly pointed out that seeing how many he could lick in an hour and then trying to break that record was “a pretty crappy game”.  But there’s Skinner, every inch the earnest dork we know and love, following his own advice in a much worse situation.  Bart, manacled and in no mood for lessons from Skinner, rolls his eyes and gives it a classic “whatever” look.

Bart’s reaction is on screen for about two-tenths of a second, and it isn’t the least bit necessary.  The callback is plenty, but because the writers, animators and director cared about every frame, we get a lighting fast Bart reaction that probably no one noticed until their second or third viewing.

The other comes during the mob summit, as we pan across the over-boss’s league of goons.  First we get the arsonist and the guy stabbing the table:

Bart the Murderer24

They both look like tough and unscrupulous characters, and they perfectly set up Goon #3, who is playing the most intense game of jacks ever:

Bart the Murderer23

This guy is on screen for about two seconds while we hear his boss castigate Fat Tony.  Like Bart’s reaction, it doesn’t in any way need to be there.  But it’s quick, unobtrusive, and gives the scene and the episode just a little more depth.  Finishing touches like that pervade great Simpsons episodes, helping each one to be far more than the sum of its parts.


Numbers Coming Up Short

Bart the Genius13

“We’ve got a stowaway, sir.” – Not Peter Lorre
“I’ll pay!  How much?” – Dream Bart
“Twice the fare from Tucson to Flagstaff minus two-thirds of the fare from Albuquerque to El Paso!” – Dream Martin

I didn’t watch last week’s Zombie Simpsons episode; I did watch this week’s, but ran out of steam long before I could write a whole post about it.  Long story short, “Cue Detective” has a meandering and incoherent story (that apparently involves alien technology that fell to Earth, but nevermind), lots of exposition to explain that story (plus whatever hapless jokes got stapled to it), and plenty of filler to take up those contractually obligated twenty minutes of airtime.  If you haven’t seen it, you aren’t missing anything.  If you have seen it, well, at least you don’t have to watch it again.

I do plan to get back to Behind Us Forever and Compare & Contrast posts, but my stupid real job has been eating all my time and energy.  Un/fortunately, there are new episodes for at least the next three weeks, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities.

Before we get to the ratings for Zombie Simpsons, we should pause for a moment to note that network teevee, which has been ailing for a long time, may now be entering serious death throes:

Networks have always banked on Premiere Week as an interval of peak sampling, but Tuesday night’s PUT (or people using television) levels were discouraging. The number of adults 18-to-49 watching primep-time programming dropped 8% versus the year-ago period and overall usage in the demograhic for the last two nights is down 10%.

But the most disconcerting PUT data concerns younger viewers, who are ditching traditional TV faster than anyone could have anticipated. TV viewing among adults 18-to-24 is now down 20% versus the first two nights of the 2014-15 season, and male usage in that age range has withered by nearly a quarter (24%). While last fall was blighted by disappearing female viewers, this year it’s the menfolk who are pulling the old Invisible Man routine. Per Nielsen, male 18-to-34 PUT levels over the last two nights are down 18%.

First of all, AdAge, Jebus, run a spell checker.  Second, if that’s the best the networks can do during premier week, before people even realize how crappy most of the shows are, you’ve got to start wondering if there will even be a premier week ten years from now.  That’s a lot of valuable spectrum that’s not serving a whole lot of people, and advertisers seem to finally be getting sick of paying big bucks to reach a shrinking and difficult to measure audience.  FOX has an option on Zombie Simpsons that goes through Season 30, I wonder if it’ll outlive its medium?

With that grave decline in overall network television audience in mind, let’s take a look at the numbers for Zombie Simpsons:

TV Ratings Sunday: ‘CSI’ Finale Up, ‘Once Upon A Time’ Down + ‘Quantico’ + ‘Last Man on Earth’ – “Every Man’s Dream” was swiftly forgotten by just 3.26 million viewers.  That is very ungood.  It took Season 26 until February to post a number lower than that, and premiers have been in the 6-8 million range the last few years, so that number is basically in freefall.  Last year’s premier, which admittedly had a football lead-in, scored 8.50 million viewers, and was 3.9rating/11share among the nuts and gum set.  This year was 1.5/5.

TV Ratings Sunday: ‘The Good Wife’ premieres lower, ‘Quantico’ holds in week 2 – “Cue Detective” had a football lead-in, and fared better than the premier, but still only had “6 million” (no decimals at the link) viewers.  Football lead-ins last year were in the seven million range this early in the year, so that’s down too; and the nuts and gum numbers are 2.6/8, also down from last year’s first football lead-in.

Two data points do not make a trend, but things are looking grim for the numbers this year.  Oh, and there’s no football lead-in this Sunday.


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