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Posts Tagged ‘Brother From the Same Planet
“Tonight on Wings . . . Ah, who cares?” – TV Announcer
The FOX marketing blitz for the new season (and all their other shows) is in full swing, so this week there were a ton of “Hey, remember The Simpsons?” type articles on blogs, magazines and newspapers. Most of them are worthless, but we’ve got a couple below and what’s really amusing is how very little they say about the season that’s about to start. Oh, sure, they’ll note that the premier is a Homeland take off or that the Halloween episode is coming soon, but in general the preview articles are mostly about how long the show has been on and its status as a pop culture behemoth.
Partly that’s just the daily grind of the media: you’ve got to do a lot of stories about new seasons of television shows, and it’s easiest to just grab the first hook about a show and build the article around that. But that’s not all it is, because, as you’ll see with the link from The New York Daily News below, nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons. You can say polite things about how it’s still going strong, but when it comes time to discuss favorite moments or enduring appeal, nothing past the early seasons ever gets mentioned. The continued quality of the show really is a Soviet fiction. In addition to that we’ve got some more video game news, two pieces of show history, a couple of instances of excellent image usage, and a YouTube heavy obituary for the Pillsbury Doughboy.
bootlegbart on Instagram – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this outstanding achievement in the field of excellence: a collection of bootleg Bart shirts/images, most from the height of Bartmania. There’s black Bart, stoner Bart, tons of anti-Iraqi/Saddam Hussein ones, and even just t-shirts people had made up for trips or parties. There’s even a BDSM one!
[Note: Season 8 remains well ahead, but if you haven’t voted for tomorrow’s marathon yet, there’s still time at right.]
The history of Simpsons message board alt.tv.simpsons. – Not a ton of new information here, but it’s a nice writeup of what made that thing so impossible to resist and how it foreshadowed pretty much everything the internet now does about television. Plus it agrees with us (“the show is indisputably not as hilarious or groundbreaking as it was in its magical early years”) and has this great quote from Oakley:
“There’s people who really take the show seriously and really know a lot about it,” Oakley says. “Many of their critiques are correct. That was the thing. You had to be able to sort out the valid criticism from the insane blather."
Black Girl Dangerous and Julio Salgado radicalize childhood cartoon characters – A couple of weeks ago I linked to some high fashion drawings of characters like Lisa and Daria and joked that they looked terribly out of place. Well, I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Here’s Lisa and Daria not waltzing around in high fashion, which seems much more appropriate for both of them.
Lay off Apu . . . and Hank! – I’ll agree with pretty much everything our old friend Denise says here in defense of Apu as an Indian character on television, with one addendum. Apu debuted on television just six years after Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which an Indian buddy of mine always describes as “the most racist movie ever made”, was #3 at the box office. If you were creating an Indian television character for a network show in 2013 (or 2012, when the video she’s rebutting was recorded), you’d never in a million years make him a convenience store owner. But in 1989/90? That was different, and they didn’t just leave him in the background to do nothing but say “Thank you, come again”. In just the first three seasons we see him on the cover of a gun magazine, dating Princess Cashmere, and hanging out at Homer’s with all the other guys to watch a heavyweight championship fight; not to mention he’s there every time Springfield has a meeting or a riot. This is (yet another) thing that pisses me off about Zombie Simpsons: the show used to be way ahead of the curve on stuff like this, and now it are far, far behind.
How "The Simpsons" Fixed Apple’s iPhone Keyboard – Do you like the nice, responsive touch keyboard on your phone/tablet? Thank “Lisa on Ice”. Seriously:
"In the hallways [at Apple] and while we were talking about the keyboard, you would always hear the words ‘Eat Up Martha,’" Ganatra recalls. "If you heard people talking and they used the words ‘Eat Up Martha,’ it was basically a reference to the fact that we needed to nail the keyboard. We needed to make sure the text input works on this thing, otherwise, ‘Here comes the Eat Up Marthas.’"
The 2013 Groom Expo’s Creative Styling Tournament wows dog lovers in Hershey, Pa. – There is a poodle groomed and dyed to look like Marge in the front and Homer in the back. It’s both pretty and terrifying.
#fbf: The Be Sharps (The Simpsons) – People discover even famous pieces of culture through The Simpsons:
Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate this episode even more so as I became a fan of The Beatles. You know, as a kid, I was never a fan of The Beatles. I thought they were some outdated band I was forced to listen to on long car rides, thanks to my dad’s incessant request to play The Beatles’s “1″ album.
I got basically none of the Beatles references the first time I saw that episode, and I don’t think I’m alone.
EA: AAA franchises on mobile will not cannibalize console counterparts – Tapped Out is responsible for, wait for it, nearly a quarter of all of EA’s mobile profits:
“We’ve seen this phenomenon manifest itself with the success of some of our biggest titles; The Simpsons: Tapped Out generated $23 million in digital net revenue last quarter alone and our overall mobile business last quarter generated about $100 million, which was a substantial increase over the prior year’s performance,” he said.
It’s A Nice Normal Show – Excellent usage:
The mother blows up a grocery store because of contentious flak from the French owner. The father blows up a turbine to purify his tap water, and the daughter and son come to blows with their schoolmates. That’s how seriously you should take the Blakes’ claim for normalcy, as the film’s title We’re A Nice Normal Family intimates.
Then again, since Homer Simpson, the bumbling father in long-running cartoon series, The Simpsons, said, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice normal family.” that’s been code for the exact opposite.
Stage Review: Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play – Full circle at Time magazine:
I go way back with The Simpsons. Back to the very start, in fact, when I gave the show a decidedly mixed review in TIME during its first season (I complained about the crude animation). I saw the error of my ways soon enough and have followed the show avidly ever since.
But I never thought the show could save the world — as it does, at least ostensibly, in Anne Washburn’s odd and fascinating new off-Broadway piece, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, which opened last week to some rave reviews, a few equally passionate dissents and sellout crowds.
In Performance: Matthew Maher of ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ – And here you can watch one of the actors perform an early scene for The New York Times.
Phil Hartman Remembered On 65th Birthday – A nice tribute to Hartman, including YouTube of many of Troy McClure’s self introductions.
Jon Lovitz on Obama, The Simpsons and playing likable jerks – Not too much new here, but I remain steamed about this nearly two decades later:
Westword: Straight off, I want to say that I was a huge fan of The Critic in the early ’90s. I really wish it had been given more of a chance. Do you think it was cancelled because audiences couldn’t sympathize with a film critic?
Jon Lovitz: Thanks. The thing is, the show was actually making fun of critics, and at the time the show was a hit with audiences. But for whatever reason, the network didn’t like it. Jim Brooks was like, "They’re canceling a hit, what are they doing?" Al Jean and Mike Reiss didn’t have a clue. It was disappointing. It held 90 percent of The Simpsons audience at the time, which was at its peak.
FOX: Making terrible decisions for coming up on three decades!
The Cheers Legacy: Season 4 – Well, I certainly didn’t know this:
But there it all was in the strangely titled “2 Good 2 Be 4 Real” season 4 episode of Cheers, staring me in the face and assaulting me in the eyes and ears–a plot that I had seen before on The Simpsons.
But long before The Simpsons did it.
South Park famously proved that every comedy in some way or the other has ripped off The Simpsons, a theory summed up in the line, “Simpsons did it!”
So when “2 Good 2 Be 4 Real”’s plot was that the men of the bar decide to cheer up Carla by inventing a perfect man for her to correspond with after placing an unpopular personal ad in the local rag, it shook me to the core. Of course, there were differences to this and “Bart the Lover”: the picture the guys used was of some unseen male model found in wallets, and not Gordie Howe. Carla finds out about the deception when Sam feels guilty, while Bart, with some counseling from his family, decides to take the high road and let her down easy by way of a touching letter (spoiler?).
It’s true what Mr. Garrison and Chef say in that South Park episode:
Garrison: Every idea’s been done, Butters, even before The Simpsons.
Chef: Yeah, in fact, that episode was a ripoff of a Twilight Zone episodes.
On Humour as Ideology – A long post about when and why laughter is appropriate and just what comedy is that, naturally, takes off from The Simpsons.
Weekend Words #29: The popcorn incident – Well, what Simpsons quote would you think of for the time you accidentally snorted an un-popped popcorn kernel as a child?:
Moe: Yeah, hey, I’ve got a gift. As a child, I was bitten by the acting bug. Then it burrowed under my skin and laid eggs in my heart. Now those eggs are hatching and I…the feeling is indescribable.
Homer: I know what you mean. Our dog had that.
Perfectly quoted, excellent usage.
How Costco Made And Ruined my Day – Excellent usage:
You could almost say it was a warehouse, but I think the term bewarehouse is more fitting.
Stacks and stacks of products, bigger than your face could be found wherever you turned. I felt like I was in this episode of the Simpsons:
She’s got Barney accidentally decapitating the giant Mrs. Butterworth there, and really, if that’s not Costco, what is? The actual quote is, “Oh, no, I’ve killed her. It’s all happening again!”.
Rise of the Novella? – More excellent image usage:
It’s the difference between Monty Python ending a scene abruptly vs. SNL stretching one out to fill up 90 minutes of airtime on a thin week. How many times have authors, plugging away to get to some arbitrary minimum that their traditional publisher demands, felt like Krusty in the Big Ear Family?
A Robo-Desk for Weary Office Workers – Desk goes up:
There’s an old episode of The Simpsons in which Homer lies in a hospital bed while waiting for heart surgery, raising and lowering the bed while saying, “Bed goes up, bed goes down.” That’s the first thing that came to mind when I checked out the Stir Kinetic desk, a “smart” height-adjustable desk with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a built-in touch screen that aims to get you moving around while you work, instead of just sitting at your desk all day.
Desk goes down.
TV’s longest-running sitcom family, voiced by Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith and other vets, greets new season on ‘The Simpsons’ – The New York Daily News has a nice little puff piece about the show being on for so long. There’s nothing terribly new, but I think they need to update their file photo of Jean. It’s not as out of date as Jasper’s picture when he goes on that date with Mrs. Krabappel, but it’s gotta be fifteen years old. He’s wearing a tie! Oh, and at the end there’s this:
With more than 500 episodes to choose from and thousands of hysterical moments — some subtle, most not — it’s impossible to even attempt “The Simpsons” top five jokes. So we’ll just settle for some of our favorites instead.
None of them come from after Season 6, and that comes right after they do the obligatory “it’s still funny!” section.
“Mountain Dew mouth” rots teeth, costs taxpayers – Excellent usage:
“Blecch! Ew! Sheesh! I’ll take a crab juice,” replied a thirsty Homer Simpson to a vendor’s alternative offer of Mountain Dew. I side with Homer on most issues, including this one.
3D 101/Basics Part 2 – Want to create an illusory but very convincing parking structure in Tapped Out? Here’s your guide.
Cotton Candy Grapes available in Newton in Newton, Iowa – As usual, life imitates the show:
Marge Simpson once famously said, “Fruit is nature’s candy” in a classic episode of The Simpsons. Little did she know that modern day growers would take those sentiments to heart and thus Cotton Candy Grapes were created.
The grapes were created by the Grapery, a company based out of Bakersfield, Calif., that specializes in unique and high flavor grapes, such as Cotton Candy Grapes.
Cartwright’s long-running career has provided her the time and financial resources to help others, and on Friday night she was named the 55th recipient of the Fernando Award, considered the Oscar of volunteerism in the San Fernando Valley. She won on her third nomination.
“Wow, thank you so very much,” Cartwright told about 300 people attending the annual award dinner at the Warner Center Marriott. “Bart might say about volunteering, ‘It’s a kick in the butt.’ I am not Bart Simpson. I’m Nancy Cartwright.”
R.I.P. Pillsbury Doughboy – Remembering the gooey little guy with his many pop culture appearances, including The Simpsons and The Critic.
The Simpsons’ secret formula: it’s written by maths geeks – Haven’t read the book, but pretty much all the nice things you can say about math in Zombie Simpsons can be said more about Futurama.
Quenneville used to dislike cutting guys, but now he’s cool with it – You can’t have a headline like that and not mention Homer:
While normally the toughest part of any coach’s job (save Homer Simpson), Joel Quenneville has become more comfortable with the idea of giving someone the axe.
REVIEW: “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play” Pushes The Simpsons Beyond the Apocalypse – A very positive review of the play that agrees with us:
I’m sure it will come as no surprise if we tell you that the 24th season of The Simpsons will not stand the test of time. In fact, if Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, is any indication, not much will be remembered beyond season six.
Two for the Price of None – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:
And now, we move onto a matter which has also been highly thought of (couldn’t think of the world I was supposed to write down) in the last few years – The Simpsons’ downhill-ism. (Probably not a word, but meh.) In the last few years, the plots have gone downhill and it seems the writers are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Take season 25′s premiere, “Homerland”, to be aired in a few days. Terrorists brainwash Homer Simpson into blowing up the town. Wow. To be honest, without an interesting wraparound, it’s not that exciting.
I’m certainly not looking forward to it. Tomorrow should be fun, though, so don’t forget to vote at right if you haven’t already.
“After sixteen glorious seasons, the Green Bay faithful bid farewell to Brian Bartlett Starr.” – TV Announcer
“Hmm, I keep thinking I’m forgetting something.” – Homer Simpson
“Bart! Bart! Bart! Bart!” – Green Bay Faithful
As I went to post yesterday’s Reading Digest, I had that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I was forgetting something. As is often the case, it was there because I was indeed forgetting something. In this case, two somethings that were e-mailed to me and which managed to get lost in the shuffle:
Then came the MacFarlanders. They were not as fierce as the Parkerstoners, nor did they have the strength of beliefs. What they did have, was their speed, their stamina, and their talent for distraction. One would lob a popular cultural artifact at a Parkerstoner, and the other would ambush him. “They were pillagers,” the Elderlisa said.
Ha! The whole thing isn’t that long, and it’s quite clever.
The 25 Best Onetime "Simpsons" Characters – And from our old friend Conor comes this perfectly cromulent list. There are a lot of good quotes and nothing past Season 8. (But, come on, no Brad Goodman?)
Just as a reminder, Google Alerts can’t be everywhere, so if you see something Simpsons related on-line, please drop me a note. I usually remember to include them.
“Anyway, we got a great show for you! Well, actually, the last half hour is a real garbage dump. Ugh. We’ll be right back.” – Krusty the Klown
Ever since the entire text was finally published back in June, the web pages for the mini-book have been among the most popular here at Dead Homer Society. The daily numbers bounce up and down like a carnival ride, but the biggest ups come when someone links to it on Reddit, 4chan, a message board, or something similar (note to everyone: please keep doing that). What’s remarkable is how consistent they are relative to one another. The chart below is September pageviews for each chapter:
Now, WordPress doesn’t have really slick stats that show individual click-throughs, navigation chains and the like, but the numbers displayed above aren’t all that complicated. Only about 40% of people who click on the first chapter go on to read the second one. However, people who make it to Chapter 2 tend to read all the way through to the end.
The dropoff comes at Chapter 13, the first appendix, which sees less than half of the traffic of the main chapters. Less than half of the people who get through all the main chapters bother to read the appendices. But even then, people who read the first appendix are highly likely to keep going all the way to the end.
There’s nothing terribly important about all this, I just thought it was interesting how stable the numbers are. There are basically three groups of people: 1) those who click on the first chapter, get bored and bail, 2) those who click on the first chapter, get hooked, and read through the nominal end, and 3) those who click on the first chapter, get hooked, and read all the way to the last pixel.
Thanks go to anyone who has linked the main book page somewhere out there on the ever expanding plains of the internet. Word of mouth (or keyboard, or whatever) is this book’s only real friend, and I’m grateful for every single href. Please keep it up.
[Speaking of gratuitous link whoring, the new site is finally starting to get its legs under it with non-me authors. These aren’t strictly Simpsons related, but if you’re curious about how American culture is viewed in Britain, the relative merits and awfulness of network television’s realization that non-white people live in America, or just how godawful NPR and company can really be, there’s plenty to check out. End self promotion.]
“And what are your reasons for wanting a little brother?” – Bigger Brothers Employee
“Don’t say revenge, don’t say revenge.” – Homer’s Brain
“Uh, revenge.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s it, I’m getting out of here.” – Homer’s Brain
“Welcome aboard, Mr. Simpson.” – Bigger Brothers Employee
“Eye of the tiger, Bart.” – Bart Simpson
Check out what I found on UK eBay:
Yeah, it kind looks like Bart’s got the 12 stuck in his teeth, but that’s still pretty cool. The little bit of a collar to make his usual shirt look more like a soccer jersey is a nice touch. And it’s only £3. Now you’ll never forget to pick your son up from practice again.
“He’s not dead, is he Bart?” – Edna Krabappel
“Nah, but I wouldn’t give him any homework for a while.” – Bart Simpson
“Very good Bart, thank you.” – Edna Krabappel
“Oh don’t thank me, thank an unprecedented eight-year military buildup.” – Bart Simpson
“Ughhh, this goes on for twelve more minutes.” – Krusty the Klown
“Trilogy” or “storytelling” episodes like this one, where they have three independent segments, have always been maligned, even by people who think Zombie Simpsons doesn’t suck (check out the ratings, poll, and comments here if you don’t believe me). I’ve always thought the reason for this is that there are no genuinely good trilogy-type episodes. They didn’t do the first one until Season 10 (“Simpsons Bible Stories”) long after the show had begun transforming into Zombie Simpsons and so there’s no well of built up good will from which they can draw.
This is the second entry in the series and it’s no winner, although I think it’s noticeably less boring that most of the rest of Season 12. Which is to say that it’s got a small handful of decent jokes as opposed to the one, two, or none that’s more typical of 12. Of course, to get to those you need to wade through painfully unfunny stretches like the hobo making out with himself, the ineffective derringer fight, and the horrifying second segment (where they shoot all the buffalo). The buffalo bit in particular reminds me of nothing so much as the fake SNL skit The Big Ear Family from “Brother from the Same Planet”. There’s a single joke (buffalo die easily!) and then it goes on for four awkward minutes with nothing but exposition to accompany it.
Nine guys on this one.
1:25 – “That couch gag, that was one of my favorites, and I’d completely forgotten it and this was at a time when it was really hard to come up with those couch gags unlike in Season 20.” General laughter. For the record, the couch gag for this one has the family jumping on the couch in a subway station, the train pulls up and then leaves and the Simpsons are gone. If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s almost identical to the couch gag from “Homer the Whopper”.
1:45 – Remembering that the Delaware thing was a call back to “Behind the Laughter” episode about how lame their ideas were.
2:15 – Talking about hobos as a way to avoid the episode.
4:00 – Talking about how now they’re on a “new” four act structure and that’s going to spell the end of these. Gotta pay for that HD animation somehow.
4:30 – Long discussion of how great the animation looks. I don’t think that’s ever been disputed, but who cares?
6:00 – Someone points out that the Paul Bunyan story doesn’t make sense, but then someone else reminds them that it’s okay because they have Lisa point that out.
8:00 – Very little going on right now.
8:45 – They can’t remember if they had to delete some stuff but the trilogy episodes always come in long. Then someone else says “This segment already seems pretty long.” They chuckle.
9:15 – More discussion of how they can’t show butt crack any more.
10:00 – Long silence on the hobo’s craziness as he talks to himself, then as the silence becomes embarrassingly long and the hobo is writhing on the ground, someone deadpans, “I’m surprised we never called this character back.” Indeed.
12:00 – Once again not talking too much about what’s actually going on in the episode, instead discussing how the design is like a Halloween episode and how this got shown at somebody’s kid’s school. Also, silences.
13:20 – Long silence as Homer freaks out.
14:00 – Long, long silence as the cannibalism ending plays out really slowly and then fades back to the Hobo’s list of apple stuff.
15:00 – More discussion of hobos in general.
15:35 – Discussing how great the outfits are. Again with the outfits.
16:50 – Marveling at their ability to swap Nelson for a pig. I realize that some of the guys commenting have done a lot of really funny stuff, both on the show prior to this and in other places, but on these commentaries all they ever seem to be is pleased with themselves for not being able to tell a coherent story or come up with decent jokes.
18:15 – Silence as things get strange again.
19:15 – More silence and uncomfortable non-laughter as Bart and Nelson are fired into the sky and then into the riverboat saloon. It goes all the way through to when the guns get pulled and then someone compliments the animation and then more mostly silence for the ineffectual gun fight.
21:00 – Mostly silence as it gets weird again for the end.
Go and read this thread over at tv.com. It’s only two pages, and a lot of it is box quotes, so it really won’t take long.
I hope the show improves and all the characters go back to their old ways. Bart has become too sensitive in the past few seasons, such as caring for that cow and being sad when Homer stole things as a fireman. Season 5 Bart would have thought that was so cool.
Like when Bart stile [sic] Bonestorm, and was guilty about it?