“I’m going to write a figure on this piece of paper. It’s not quite as large as the last one, but I think you’ll find it fair.” – C.M. Burns
“I think we should take it.” – Lionel Hutz
There were two big Simpsons news stories this week. First, the “Simpsons World” app/website finally launched. I took a quick look, but it spent lots of time buffering and seemed to be struggling under launch-day loads, so I’ll come back to that next week. (We do have quite a few links about it, however.) The second was that an actor who played a minor character in Goodfellas is suing the show for [Dr. Evil pinky] two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollars [/Dr. Evil pinky] because Legs looks like him. It doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, and even if they someone convince FOX to pay them (which would be very un-FOX like), it’ll be a teeny tiny fraction of that. Yet for some reason this hopelessly longshot lawsuit got tons of press. It was linked all over the place, with plenty of them just mindlessly repeating the big scary number. We’ve got a link, but there’s basically nothing to it.
More importantly, Halloween is next week, and the annual crush of costumes (and tattoos!) has begun. There are some really good ones in our first link, and there’s more where that came from. And, of course, there’s lots of other random items as well: the Homer computer doll with infrared eyes, Harry Shearer just being himself, Jean dutifully slogging through another interview, a decidedly unlicensed music video, and much more.
Classic Simpsons Trivia Chicago Costume Contest 2014 – I put this up on Twitter, but it’s really worth a look. I can see why the Clown Bed won, but Dr. Hillbilly and the Iron Yuppie should’ve at least gotten some kind of couples or group costume award. Ashley Grant and the Luann in her jacuzzi suit are also pretty damned awesome.
Never miss an episode with smart Homer Simpson – This is awesome. Someone took a Homer doll, slapped some electronics into it, and now it automatically turns on the doll’s eyes whenever the show is on. Bravo, tech geeks. Bravo.
The appearance of the Simpsons characters as the originally appeared in animated shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” is proof that even “The Simpsons” is nostalgic for the pre-dull “The Simpsons.”
The Simpsons in Retrospect – A thorough breakdown of the decline of the show that includes a chart of the ever declining popular opinion of the show.
How Harry Shearer Discovered the Soul of Richard Nixon – There’s a little bit of Simpsons stuff in here, Shearer calls Burns more purely evil than Nixon, but this is my favorite part:
MJ: Is there any other president you’d like to play?
HS: Well, I’ve, on my radio show I’ve played every one since—
MJ: How’s your Garfield?
HS: Poor. But who’s to know?
Ha! Shearer is the best.
Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #1 – These are a series of posts about just what makes the Treehouse of Horror episodes so great.
Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #2 – This one’s about Marge’s warnings before the first ones. It’s good to remember this:
What few people realize however is that in the very first Treehouse of Horror this warning was not a gag or gimmick as it became later but was meant to be taken seriously. In 2014 The Simpsons have pretty much become part of the furniture in western society so its easy to forget that when it first aired in 1989 it was a highly controversial show.
I’d say it’s still a gag, even if, yes, it was meant to actually deflect anger. But that speaks to the brilliance of the show: they knew they were going to piss people off, so why not pre-ignore them as well?
Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #3 – Amusing tombstones.
Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #4 – Scary credits.
DisfiguredStick – Milhouse – That is a great Milhouse costume, and the backpack is a nice touch.
It’s Never Too Late to be Marge Simpson – Husband and wife go as Homer and Marge. Great wig.
Essential Halloween Viewing – “Treehouse of Horror V” makes the list here, along with several other old cartoon specials. I actually remember that episode of Ghostbusters.
Top 10 TV Halloween Specials – V and VI make this list.
Goodfellas Actor’s $250 Million Lawsuit Against The Simpsons – This looks like a hopeless attempt to squeeze some money from FOX. The headline number is just there for press attention, which it got a ton of. (Thanks to Rob K. for sending it in.)
Poochie? That you? – An ad for hot dogs with a serious Poochie look alike. Nice find.
Do You Even Stretch Bro? Stretching and the gym. – Exercise advice for when you go to the all night gym.
Top Man Simpsons Prints – High fashion Simpsons stuff is no longer just for the ladies.
On this day in history… – Celebrating the anniversary of “Rosebud”. Go to hell, you old bastard.
Things Get Violently “Simpsons”-Like In Girl Talk’s New Video – Indeed they do:
“Suicide (Remix)” is the latest video to come from the collaboration between mash-up artist-turned-beatmaker Girl Talk and journeyman rapper Freeway. In it, artist Lisa Ramsey unleashes a violent stream of animated mayhem that was clearly, ahem, inspired by The Simpsons. The colorful pastiche puts shotgun-toting Bart Simpson and Milhouse van Houten on skateboards–and the skateboards themselves are about as far as the faithfulness goes. By the time a fully grown and blessed out Lisa makes the scene, sway-dancing while puffing on a joint–it’s clear that we’re worlds away from Springfield. Still, it’s mandatory viewing for anyone who has ever wanted to see the sailboat painting from the Simpsons’ living room attain sentence and spit bars.
Don’t forget the daggers that come out of Krusty’s eyes. Video at the link.
How Do I Get The Simpsons World FXX App? Everything You Need To Know. – I’d quibble with “Everything”, there, but the main outline seems solid.
Simpsons World: A Streaming Archive of American History – A hands on look at the site.
‘Simpsons’ go streaming: Al Jean talks new site – Jean doing a publicity interview. No real news, but he was talking to CNN, so that goes almost without saying.
How ‘Simpsons World’ Went from Deal Point to Immersive App Via FX Networks – Apparently Brooks insisted that if they were going to sell streaming rights, the streaming had to be something special. Of course, this is Variety and it uses phrases like this, “The app…allows lean-in users to customize their searches”, so take it with ten thousand grains of salt. (I’m not sure what marketing dictionary “lean-in users” came from, but please put it to the torch immediately. Thank you.)
Catching Up With The First Family Of TV – This is a nice writeup of how one guy came back to the show through the marathon. It’s also yet another example of how gun shy people are about bringing up Zombie Simpsons. Every example he cites is from early in the show, and there’s even this:
Every episode ever. Whatever you want to watch. Not sure if your in the mood for season 3 or 17? Hit random and maybe you’ll get something nice from season 6.
Season 17 is a wasteland, Seasons 3 and 6 are not, but to say so explicitly is to invite trouble when all you want to do is relax and laugh. I get it. I just wish it wasn’t so prevalent.
Embiggened: Here’s a Look at “Simpsons World” From A-Z (GQ) – An alphabetical list of stuff on the site, like the above link, mentions only stuff from non-Zombie Simpsons seasons.
Some Changes Need to be Made to Simpsons World – Seems like they’ve still got some kinks to iron out:
However, there is one change that needs to be made and it needs to be made immediately.
The placement of commercials is goofy. Last night while watching “A Star is Burns” I was awaiting my favorite quote from the episode when Hans Moleman says “I was saying boo-urns.” I love that quote and say it all the time.
What I got was Moleman saying “I was saying boo” cut to a commercial “oo-urns”.
Now while watching “You only move twice” I was greeted with a commercial, in the middle of the opening title sequence.
During “Lard of the Dance” I saw a commercial in the middle of a sceen.
Get your spook on: Hallowe’en flash sheets in Brighton and beyond – Some cool Simpsons Halloween themed tattoo designs.
Tattoo Artist Turns Bart Simpson Into Horror Icons! – These are from a different source, and they’re all Bart. Candyman and Beetlejuice are pretty cool. More at his website.
Stark Raving Dad Episode #036 – Ash starts in on Season 3.
The 10 Greatest Simpsons Horror Movie Parodies – There’s one from Zombie Simpsons at #10, almost out of pity.
When you get the last slice, you be all like… – Animated .gif of Bart laughing after Homer brings him pizza in “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie”.
New trending GIF tagged tv the simpsons eating… – Homer snacking while watching football.
New trending GIF tagged horror cartoon simpsons marge… – Marge’s hair exploding into bats.
The Simpsons has now officially been bad for longer than it was ever good – And finally (via @dailysimpsons), I get to not only end with someone who agrees with us, but it’s even in a real publication:
The first segment took the Simpson family to Hell: a city, it seems, very much like Springfield. It was amusing to begin with, but soon pointlessly repeated itself. The last segment had the family confronted by doubles of themselves: a comment, I think, on the endless proliferation of Simpson images and on the repetition compulsion referenced above. The middle segment — well, I can’t tell you about the middle segment because I’ve forgotten it already. Honestly.
The Simpsons has now been bad for longer than it was good, but when it was good it was great. Television has never provided as many inspired jokes per minute, sometimes per second, as The Simpsons did; has never been as consistently, ruthlessly, creatively
irreverent as The Simpsons was. It taught a generation to revere wit and to distrust authority, two hugely important achievements. Now the irreverence has shrunk to mere random rudeness, and the jokes are flabby and far between. Everything’s gone slack.