“But those shows all look so crummy.” – Homer Simpson
“We could dress it up a bit. We could bring a fern, and a folding chair from the garage, and the most decorative thing of all: the truth.” – Marge Simpson
FXX got a lot of good press out of this Simpsons marathon thing. Then they went and stretched the image in a way so dumb that I initially didn’t even consider it a possibility:
Oof. As plenty of people on Twitter have pointed out, that looks atrocious. Maybe you don’t want to just have black bars on either side, but there are ways to do that without making the entire run of The Simpsons (and a lot of Zombie Simpsons) look like that bad old early days of HD when people wanted to use the whole screen regardless of how it looked. Put a backdrop around the sides, maybe add some running info about the episodes or the marathon itself, do that thing where there’s an extra blurred out edge . . . something, anything but stretching the image. Shit like this is why I’m glad I don’t have cable anymore.
(Incidentally, that image came from our old friend Sebastian Nebel’s Twitter feed. He’s tweeting great images from each episode as they air. Highly recommended.)
Anyway, this week’s Reading Digest is incomplete for the simple reason that there is lots of Simpsons chatter on-line right now because of the marathon, but the marathon is itself has only just begun. (They’re in the middle of Season 3 as I type this.) So there are marathon links below, as well as the more usual stuff. I’ll cull some of the best marathon stuff I find into it’s own post next week.
The Greatest Line Every ‘Simpsons’ Character Ever Delivered – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this great list (with lots of video). I saw one quote from Season 12, but everything else was from earlier.
The Simpsons said it: 9 times ‘The Simpsons’ embiggened the American lexicon – The FXX marathon has prompted a lot of retrospective type articles and posts, most of which are kinda similar. This one, however, takes a good long look at several of the show’s new words and has a healthy list of honorable mentions to boot.
My Favorite Frames from Homer Defined – Nebel couldn’t pick just one from “Homer Defined”, and it’s easy to see why.
The Best. Show. Ever. Zings Libraries – Some non-Zombie Simpsons library moments.
See the world’s magazine covers from the day ‘The Simpsons’ premiered – Sting was on the cover of GQ.
Moe Szyslak is The Simpsons’ best character, and the heart of its comedy. – This is so perfectly a #SlatePitch that it’s almost painful. I stopped reading after this:
The most important decision The Simpsons ever made in its early years was to reimagine itself out of being a show about Bart Simpson into being a show about Homer Simpson. Through this transition—which happened so seamlessly that it was barely even noticeable—The Simpsons moved from being a show about a mischievous kid and his genially dysfunctional family to being a show about an idiotic everyman let loose on the world
Sigh. It was “barely even noticeable” because it never happened. At all. Ever.
‘Revenge’ taps ‘Simpsons’ star Yeardley Smith for season 4 – Pretty much everything you need to know is in the headline there.
My Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – “Cape Feare” gets the top spot and there’s not a drop of Zombie Simpsons.
My Ten Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – Only one episode of Zombie Simpsons makes the list.
FilmOn’s Alki David: Comic-Con’s Homer Simpson hologram violated my patent – The Homer hologram they used at ComicCon has generated a lawsuit. Meh.
Simpsons Marathon Weekend: 10 Episodes to DVR – Those are some pretty good suggestions.
The 3 Biggest Problems Plaguing TSTO – Surprising no one who has played the game, the fact that it crashes a lot is #1.
Harry Shearer, ‘Bob’s Burgers’ win first Emmys – Shearer won an Emmy of some kind.
The Simpsons: I Got Smashed At Wimbledon – I’ve always kinda wanted a shirt like that, but I don’t think most people would get it as a Simpsons reference.
Welcome back to Springfield! *Duh* – More Simpsons memories and some YouTube.
16 Classic Episodes from The Simpsons, season 6 (and 9 memorable ones!) – Season 6 is that good.
‘The Simpsons,’ a Guide to Outlasting the FXX, All-Episode Marathon – Some very good .gifs here.
Homer Simpson on Decisions – All he sees are “Esk”, “C-tarl”, and “Pig Up”.
The 15 Lisa Simpson Episodes Every ‘Simpsons’ Fan Should Like – I’d probably include “Lisa’s Sax”, but if you want to stop at Season 8, I’m not going to argue too hard.
Laughing at Hitler – for credit – You can’t talk about Hitler jokes without The Simpsons:
The idea first occurred to me as a whimsical and convenient way of feeding my near-obsession with The Simpsons, but I’m still convinced that there is value to this prolonged exercise beyond entertainment. The nature of Simpsons humour is that it is enhanced by revision; apparently zany and throwaway, reflection aids the understanding of a deeper, more subtle comedy.
As such, the cursory cutaways to Hitler – and their insignificance to the problematics of the narrative – have to be important to this study. The Simpsons has had an extraordinary impact on a generation’s cultural and political understanding, so there is an importance to its representations. The image of Hitler we get from the Simpsons – nearly assassinated after seduction by a transvestite Abe, raving at an inanimate bear, and possibly still alive and untroubled in South America – is a deliberate construction.
Robyn Urback: Does Toronto need air and ground raccoon surveillance? – Excellent usage:
“I’m sick of these constant bear attacks,” Homer says as he watches animal control haul away the beast. “It’s like a freakin’ Country Bear-Jamboroo around here.”
“Well, now, realistically Homer, I’ve lived here some 30-odd years,” Ned Flanders says. “This is the first and only bear I’ve ever seen.”
“Hey, if you want wild bears eating your children and scaring away your salmon, that’s your business,” Homer replies. “But I’m not gonna take it. Who’s with me?”
Best gifts 2014: Simpsons Bart Cruzer Skateboard by Santa Cruz – The graffiti stencil on the bottom is a nice touch.
25 ‘The Simpsons’ Facts You Didn’t Know – There’s nothing terribly new here, but at least it ends before getting too deep into Zombie Simpsons.
Miss Fickle Reader’s Boring-Ass Beach Blog! Part 1: Why I Haven’t Been Blogging – You can get garbage bags of popcorn in New Jersey:
Now, when you say “open,” the teenager sticks your tub and lid inside a clear plastic garbage bag and shovel as much popcorn as could be expected to fit in or around your tub.
Anyone see the Simpsons reference here? “King-Sized Homer,” when Homer decides to make himself “hyper-obese”? He goes to a matinee of “Honk If You’re Horny,” and the manager says they don’t have wide enough seats for him, but if he leaves quietly they’ll offer him–you guessed it!–“a garbage bag full of popcorn.” Matt Groening, give yourself a gold star. “The Simpsons” has now become completely enmeshed with reality.
Indeed it has.