Posts Tagged ‘Das Bus

08
Aug
14

REMINDER: Even In The Early 1990s ‘The Internet’ Didn’t Hate On The Simpsons

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“Go apple!” – Bart Simpson
“Go orange!” – Nelson Muntz
“Go banana!” – Ralph Wiggum

This was originally going to be part of today’s Reading Digest, but this silly Warming Glow clickbait is making the rounds and needs a more thorough rebuttal:

REMINDER: The Internet Hated On ‘The Simpsons’ During The Golden Era

Let’s get started, shall we?:

As it’s been noted around these parts, FXX will be airing all episodes of The Simpsons over 12 days in August along with an all encompassing website. As with anything regarding The Simpsons on the internet, there are also plenty of comments about it being nowhere near as good as it used to be (“So only three days of good episodes?,” “It’s all downhill after season x.” etc.). It made me wonder what the internet thought of the classic episodes when they first aired. Well thanks to The Simpsons Archive, we can observe just that, via the Usenet reviews in their episode capsules.

So far, so good.  But this particular Spruce Caboose is about to jump the tracks:

The results were as expected: while there was plenty of praise to go around, many episodes highly regarded today were drawing as much ire as the more recent ones.

No, they weren’t.  In fact, this premise is so thin that it falls apart right here in this single sentence.  Not only do they have to note the praise first, but to say these were drawing “as much ire” is just transparently false.

Don’t take my word for it, the author, “Chet Manly” (<- great screen name), has some examples:

Here are some criticisms starting in season four:

“Kamp Krusty”

Larry Schwimmer {las}: Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
it was often predictable and drawn out.

Chris Baird {cjb}: Rushed. In the past I’ve attributed poor storylines to
the unsuccess of a show, but the voice direction for the first part of
this episode (including that from the usually splendid Ms. Smith) was
that abysmal, it should accept the responsibility for most of the jokes
falling flat. If this happens again, I’m buying a tin of red grease paint.

To be fair, and to my slight surprise, the SNPP capsule linked there is clearly incomplete and has only those two reviews.  Since usenet is no longer with us, the complete original may be gone forever, but Google can find some of it, and there’s plenty of praise:

I really liked the scenes with Mr. Black and the evil camp consellors.
In once scene, they toasted “Evil!”.  Later, during the revolt, they
were going to escape by hydrofoil!  In other words, they were acting
like James Bond villians …

And:

A good show, but not great. You can’t have a *great*
: Simpsons episode when Monty Burns *and* Itchy & Scratchy
: are absent.
I quite agree!!

And:

For some reason I liked Homer’s quote:
“Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. D’oooh!”
And in classic Homer style
“If you want something you have to work for it,” he says to Bart
about getting good grades to go to kamp, then we see he has a
lottery ticket. Ha!
I also like the scenes of most of the family (except Marge, of course)
eating like animals. The sound effects are great.

Is every comment positive?  Of course not.  And these guys (and it does seem to be all guys) were hung up on the animation, since this was right around the time it switched from Klasky-Csupo to Film Roman and Akom to Anivision and Rough Draft.  (Oh, if only they knew the horrors of lifeless computer animation that awaited them!)

Moreover, and to reiterate my point from five(!) years ago, the people talking about the Simpsons on-line in 1992 were a very odd and unrepresentative bunch.  Just click that Google link above and you’ll see things like this:

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Campus Office for Information
Technology, or the Experimental Bulletin Board Service.

A ton of the posts are from university IT departments (I counted Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Temple, Boston, and Stanford among others), and plenty that aren’t are from computer companies (there’s even a “HaL Computer Systems”).  There’s nothing wrong with all that, of course, but you’re talking about a time when new episodes were watched by 15 million people, only a tiny slice of whom had the technical skills to get to this message board.

Finally, he’s very selective about what he quotes.  Here’s the full “Larry Schwimmer” review (Uproxx parts in bold):

Larry Schwimmer {las}:  I wondered if I would ever pan a show.  Well, I
    need wonder
    no longer.  Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
    it was often predictable and drawn out.  Also, a lot of the animation
    was not up to par (a few scenes were quite well done, though -- like
    Lisa giving the letter).

    Highlights:
        The couch sequence
        Goodbye scene with the parents
        "I no longer fear hell" - Lisa
        Krisis at Kamp Krusty
            - the play on TV news coverage
            - Lord of the Flies (including the skewered pig)
        Marge and Homer

    Midlights:
        Mail give-out
        Martin and his imitation gruel
        TV Video voice-over

    Lowlights:
        This is already a tad on the analytical...  If you loved this
        show, great.  That makes one of us. :(

This is deliberately misleading editing, at best.  And while I’m not saying that Schwimmer liked it, he had an awful lot of positive things to say about it.  That’s hardly comparable to “as much ire as the more recent ones”, about which people here and elsewhere frequently have nothing good to say.

Moving on, the next episode Uproxx quotes is “Itchy and Scratchy Land”:

By the time season six rolls around, there are much stronger critiques, where even the compliments are backhanded.

Again, the parts they decided to include are in bold:

Bailey Irwin: This makes my Top 5 worst list of all time, easily.  The
    racing form in the 1st 60 seconds of the show was the only thing
    that made me laugh out loud.  After that, it was nothing but about
    10 jillion stupid "Jurassic Park" jokes.  Killer robots?  Puh-LEEZE.

Scott Oak: I thought the beginning was good, but those silly robots
    kinda killed it for me.

Rod Arz: I liked it a lot.  Agreed that the robots were a bit on the
    lame side, but not as bad as the James Wood sub plot in Homer and
    Apu.  We still haven't seen Mr. Burns yet!  I wanna see him soon.

Shawn Metcalf: The first episode this season that I found myself
    laughing out loud at.  A marked improvement.

J. D. Baldwin: Well, that *was* more like it.  Now, what was that I was
    just saying about the long dry spell just prior to "Flaming Moe's"?

Matt Snyder: That show just didn't cut it.  The best episodes are plot
    driven, this was just one long excuse to make fun of Jurassic Park.
    I thought it was a big wasted opportunity.

Aaron Varhola: If this is any indication of how the sixth season will
    be, we're in for a treat.  After a dragging first act, the second
    and third acts were some of the best OFF I've seen; vicious shots at
    Disney, meta-humor about cartoon violence, and Bart as his
    mischievous self.  [...] A-.

Brian Fox: Not one of the best, not one of the worst either though...

Philip Hebbes: The show was great, I was laughing through the whole
    show.

John J. Wood: Finally...a *real* Simpsons episode [...].  The plot tied
    together well, and plenty of choice gags.  I watched this twice last
    night, and the second time was even funnier -- kudos on the
    blackboard and couch scenes, too.  Grade: A.

Carl Mueller: I'd have to say this WAS a pretty mediocre episode, but
    compared to what has been shown so far this season, it was a marked
    improvement.  Mainly it was the Disney jokes that got me, the last
    10 minutes (w/ the Robots and stuff) seemed to drag quite a bit.  C-

M. Coale: Was it just me or did "Itchy and Scratchy Land" overstep the
    bounds of parody and become what it was mocking?  The violence, IMO,
    was quite extreme and came very very close to crossing "the line" or
    possibly overstepped it?  It got to the point when it just stopped
    being funny.

Don Del Grande: A-minus - the only things that stood in the way of this
    episode getting a maximum rating were (a) the animation was weak at
    times, and (b) the ending was much too abrupt; it was as if there
    was 20 minutes of material written for a 21-minute show and they
    just tacked on something at the end.

Joel Recht: I thought the Disney barbs were great (recall the "Evil
    Gene" from The boy who knew to much.), the fantasia and Pinnochio
    spoofs were top notch.  I loved the detention center when Bart got
    arrested.  I give it an A.

Benjamin Dreyfus: One of the best episodes ever.  This episode contained
    all of the positive, but none of the negative aspects that were
    characteristic of 5th-season.  [...] In pure absurd-humor power, the
    Bort scene was second only to the rake scene.  This also proved that
    OFF could still be funny outside of Springfield.  Grade: A.

Matthew Kurth: This episode was a vast improvement over most of Season
    Five.  The "Jurassic Park" refs were well done, although the
    revelation that flashes disabled the berserk robots was poorly done
    with no atmosphere.  And finally - a decent ending! 8/10

Tony Hill: A very funny episode, IMHO.  The takeoffs on amusement parks
    were grandly amusing.  Once again we see OFF poking fun at Disney.
    It's no pleasant commentary on our society that a funland called
    "the violentest place on earth" is conceivable.  I give it an A.

Yours Truly: Excellent episode.  I'm in awe of the "Fantasia" parody...
    Elfman's music was spot on.  Loved the Disney and Jurassic park
    jokes, the writing was fast and furious, the violence was so
    prevalent but so blindly accepted that it was hilarious.  Grade: A.

Note that of the seven people who gave it letter grades, Uproxx included only the “C-“.  The other six were all “A”s.  Just as important, there are a lot of straight ahead compliments, not just backhanded ones.  There are more examples and I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Were there internet criticisms of The Simpsons during its heyday?  Yes.  Were those criticisms representative of the entire population of Simpsons fans?  No.  Were those criticisms even representative of just the tiny number of fans who were on-line?  Again and emphatically: no.

Comparing that narrow slice of a narrow slice to the widely held and statistically evident opinion that Zombie Simpsons sucks doesn’t even reach the level of comparing apples to oranges.  It’s a dropped banana.

27
Sep
13

Quote of the Day

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“Good luck, Ralphie!  If your nose starts bleeding, it means you’re picking it too much, or not enough.” – Chief Wiggum

22
Aug
12

Quote of the Day

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“Ugh, this high speed modem is intolerably slow.  Hey, what the, huh, the Internet King?  I wonder if he can provide faster nudity.” – Comic Book Guy

09
Mar
12

Reading Digest: Jealous of Canada Edition

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Oh, Canada, you guys get all the cool stuff.  Not only is tomorrow the one night only engagement of the Simpsons burlesque show in Toronto, but Canada is also now home to a wine called “D’Oh”.  I would very much like to attend the former, preferably while imbibing the latter.  Sadly, I am stuck Stateside.  This week we’ve also got two awesome paeans to the show from people who grew up watching it, interviews with Groening and Reiss, a video game mishap, two people making fun of the Game of Thrones opening from last week, and a “needs more weed” television conspiracy theory. 

Enjoy.

13. On the Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this epic open letter to Matt Groening.  It’s got everything: love of the good years, a life changed by The Simpsons, pain at the decline. 

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from ‘The Simpsons’ – Life lessons learned from The Simpsons, with nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  And yeah, cat in the furnace is one of the greats. 

We Put The Spring In Springfield: A Simpsons-Themed Burlesque Show – Want to go:

On March 10, Underground Peepshow will unveil their newest burlesque show, a tribute to what they dub “one of the most influential shows of our geeky generation”: The Simpsons. Expect sexy takes on classic characters – Marge has already received the Playboy treatment, but over a dozen performers will show off their sexy interpretations of the classic animated show – I’m hoping for a Selma and Patty-inspired performance, myself. I’m also looking forward to what are quickly becoming hallmarks of Underground Peepshow performances: elaborate costumes, and fearlessly tarting up and playing homage to some of nerd culture’s least obvious characters. Get ready to look at Groundskeeper Willy or Edna Krabappel in a whole new light.

Here are the details:

Toronto Underground Cinema, 186 Spadina Avenue, Toronto ON

Hours

Saturday March 10, 2012

Doors: 9:00 PM
Show: 9:30 PM

Pricing

Advance: $12.00
At the door: $15.00
Advance tickets available at Toronto Underground Cinema, Silver Snail, Eyesore Cinema, Suspect Video

19+

Happily, the official site has a gallery page, so we should get some pictures. 

Project 365 or 366 – #31 – They may have Duff beer in Britain, but in Canada they’ve got “D’Oh” wine.  I can only hope that a nice liquor (“Crumulent” perhaps?) comes to America soon.  

D’OH! The Simpsons: Tapped Out Pulled From App Store – I guess people like Simpsons games:

The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been pulled from the App Store just days after launch. Due to the overwhelming demand for The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the app has suffered connection problems with EA’s servers, D’OH!

For whatever reason, EA simply did not account for a Simpsons game being so popular, that it might cause a meltdown in the EA server power plant.

That’s pretty funny.  According to what I can find on-line, it’s still down. 

Appointment Viewing: March 5-March 11 – Lenny, bringing her weekly thunder to Sunday’s Zombie Simpsons:

8:00 – The Simpsons (Fox): Following a traumatic incident, Homer’s bed-wetting problem worsens, and his family decide to infiltrate his dreams to get to its subconscious source. And in Homer’s dreams is where his late mother (voice of Glenn Close) resides. Coincidentally, a couple days ago I was trying to decide on the worst Simpsons episode title ever and now here comes an episode that wins by a landslide. “How I Wet Your Mother.”

Let’s see, it’s been about a year and a half since Inception came out, yeah, I’d say we’re due.  Bed wetting?  Jebus.

“Oh, boy! The deep fryer’s here. Heh heh, I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds.” -Moe Szyslak (The Simpsons) « Freakoutville Xpress – Forty seconds?  But I want it now!

leme simpsons – Cool fan made photographic montage of a glass of water and a TV playing what looks like “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”. 

Who Said It? Mitt Romney or Mr. Burns? – Putting up quotes of Mitt Romney and Mr. Burns, and you didn’t use “What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”.  For shame, Mad Magazine, for shame.  (via)

Mike Reiss – Reiss will be in Charlotte, NC this weekend for the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival’s closing program. 

Homer and Marge Simpson in my glasses – It’s a blog that’s nothing more than pictures of the famous with this guy’s glasses.  Neat idea. 

Bart Simpson – It’s a 3D printed Bart walking toy, and you can download the file to print your own.

The Simpsons also love Game of Thrones – The couch “gag” with Game of Thrones was obvious linkbait, and lots of people went for it.  This one deserves special commendation however:

Of course the rest of the Simpsons episode kinda went downhill from there – Bart becomes a street artist a la Shepard Fairey to get back at Homer for locking him in a rabbit cage. It was as bland and convoluted as it sounds.  As has been said on the show so many times in so many way, Meh.

Indeed.  I’ve watched it twice, and what bugs me most of all is that everything works.  Shouldn’t some of the gears have seized, causing the power plant to collapse or something? 

Game of Thrones/ The Simpsons – Okay, one more:

Possibly the one good thing to come out of the Simpson’s in like 12 seasons, as featured on /Film today– The Simpsons parody of the Game of Thrones opening sequence.

Homer Simpson – Experimenting with an online doodle application by drawing Homer. 

The Joy of Sect – Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and The Simpsons – A long but amusing comparison of “The Joy of Sect” and the travails of one professional soccer club. 

So Many Possibilities – A bunch of other take offs on “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, including that Simpsons one. 

The price of eating well – This post is better at making fun of overly expensive food than this week’s Zombie Simpsons, and it comes with appropriate Homer YouTube. 

Rompi Anak Branded Murah Simpsons A2503 – This isn’t in English, but there is a picture of what appears to be an officially licensed baby vest that looks like it might have something to do with soccer and that I don’t recognize from any episode.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this is some goofy bootleg, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if it’s legit. 

March Madness: TV Conspiracy Theory – The Last Five Minutes of St. Elsewhere – I’d never heard of that.  It seems like the kind of thing a stoned Tom Hulce in Animal House would think.

YouTube of My 25 Favorite Original Songs from TV Shows. – Lenny provides a ton of excellent YouTube here, including a couple of great songs from The Simpsons

“Simpsons” creator visits UW-Madison and longtime friend (March 9, 2012) – Groening was the surprise guest an art lecture.  And this is great background:

Though the accounts of their meeting differ – Groening, for his part, says he wanted to meet Barry because she struck up a correspondence with author Joseph Heller by pretending to be Ingrid Bergman – they agree that their work on the college’s newspaper solidified their relationship.

And it comes with a nice plug for college papers. 

Matt Groening: I could easily fill up my entire life just working on Futurama – Heh:

You have these two hugely successful shows. Do you have an idea for a third show bubbling away in the back of your mind?

I certainly have enough on my hands to do with these two. But the really great thing about having two TV shows  going on at the same time is that I can go to one and say that I have to go and visit the other and then I can just go home and they don’t know.

The Perfect Moejito – I chuckled.  It’s the look on Moe’s face. 

Cindy’s Return to the Universe – The always tricky, “I vow to blog more often” post comes with two pieces of Futurama fan art and YouTube of two favorite Simpsons quotes.  I love Flanders’ cider enthusiasm. 

Downtown Jersey City bar to host "The Friday After" exhibit featuring local artist – Cool fan made sculpture of Bart standing in front of what kinda looks like the church windows. 

Two Things That I Like But That Are Now Dead – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

The first thing that I like but that is now dead is The Simpsons.

[…]

A week or two ago The Simpsons aired its 500th episode. It was really bad. For a hardcore Simpsons fan like myself, it was even depressing.

Indeed it was.  The other dead thing is David Foster Wallace.  Though if he came back as a zombie it might be even worse than Zombie Simpsons. 

17
Jan
12

Quote of the Day

Narration Mic

“So, the children learned to function as a society.  And eventually they were rescued by . . . oh, let’s say . . . Moe.” – Guy with Great Narrator’s Voice

Happy birthday James Earl Jones!

07
Jun
11

Quote of the Day

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“You don’t look so rich.” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t let the haircut fool you, I’m exceedingly wealthy.” – Bill Gates

28
Nov
10

Quote of the Day

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“I can’t go on.  You two go ahead.  And carry me with you.” – Milhouse van Houten

Happy birthday Pamela Hayden! 




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