“If you don’t start making more sense we’re gonna have to put you in a home.” – Homer Simpson
“You already put me in a home!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Then we’ll put you in the crooked home we saw on 60 Minutes.” – Homer Simpson
“I’ll be good.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
Posts Tagged ‘Itchy and Scratchy the Movie
“I regret nothing!” – Doomed Guy in Movie Ticket Line
If any of us had been wondering what it would be like if Zombie Simpsons took the unrelated tales from one of their four-part storytelling episodes, jammed them together with a bunch of expository and often unrelated flashbacks, and dropped in a self voiced celebrity, we need wonder no more. Proving that Season 25 can employ all the same flat out lazy shortcuts as Seasons 24, 23 and so on, we had characters telling us exactly how they feel, people wandering in and out of scenes seemingly at random, and a self voiced celebrity introduced by name so we know just who they are. This show has a lot of chronic problems, and this episode featured most of them. Here we go:
- The chalkboard and the sad look on Bart’s face is a nice gesture.
- The Hobbit opening is kinda fun and all (Irish not welcome at the elf inn), but it doesn’t speak well of the status of the show or the quality of the writing when silent, minute long shorts that retell other people’s stories are the most talked about aspect of the program.
- To the surprise of no one, the “major character” to die was a red herring.
- And the funeral scene is off to a typically slow start whereby Selma and Marge get into an out loud argument in church that’s mostly exposition and some Family Guy flashbacks, complete with giant Gene Simmons tongue.
- This is Homer’s mental dialogue: “I made the worst financial decision of all time. I can’t think about it. I won’t think about it. I don’t want to think about it. Oh, I’m thinking about it.” Castellaneta is a very funny man, but saving that is impossible.
- Here’s how you can tell even they know that “Mapple” is weak sauce: they don’t want to use it.
- Okay, using Milhouse’s nose as a dick was at least clever.
- But now Flanders is trying to put money into tithe baskets that the boys are using as sticks because . . . nevermind.
- Burns being nice and incompetent? Never seen that before.
- Lazy celebrity introduction alert: “Well, well, well, Rachel Maddow”.
- And now, Krusty’s in the woods.
- Ralph is there too, of course.
- Even the FOX News parodies are basically expository, and they’re mega easy to make fun of.
- As if to prove that they can no longer help but repeat themselves, they’re doing a montage of Homer set to “Memories“. The first time they did this it was for Homer’s stomach before he started subliminal weight loss tapes. Now it’s for a bowling ball we’ve never seen before.
- Bart, previously way away from Evergreen Terrace, is now floating over the Flanders house.
- If Burns’ sweetheart going to die without getting to do much of anything, why did they bother to make her a Buddhist monk?
- At least Jean can still make fun of himself with that Brockman “no regrets” line right before his name comes up.
Anyway, the numbers are in and they are just as atrocious as we’ve come to expect. Sunday’s exercise in poor plotting and worse “regretting” was regretted by a mere 5.46 million people. That’s actually one point below the record low average for all of Season 24, and we’re just three episodes into the season. CBS has the late national NFL game again next week, so don’t expect much of an improvement.
“Now this is exactly what Bart’s teacher was talking about. Our son did something wrong and you look the other way.” – Marge Simpson
“But Marge, look at that hang dog expression; he’s learned his lesson. . . . Lets’ get him a present.” – Homer Simpson
As expected, another short week on the internet led to another short Reading Digest. For some reason, people just didn’t want to spend a lot of time between Christmas and New Year’s putting meaningless crap on-line. (Weirdos.) Anyway, we do have some people quoting the show, and talking about the show, and making animated .gifs about the show. We even have two links that agree with us. But first, it’s time for the programming note:
Seeing has how next week will be the first regular week in the better part of a month, including new Zombie Simpsons on Sunday, I wanted to highlight a couple of comments from the New Year’s Eve post:
Bring back compare and contrast! Or atleast post some sort of content examining the new episodes.
What happened here? Lightning hit the transmitter?
My original plan for Season 24 was to do Compare & Contrasts for about half the episodes, but Zombie Simpsons has been through eight episodes so far and I’ve only managed to mock two of them. That simply will not do. I wouldn’t call this a New Year’s resolution or anything, but those should be cropping up with more frequency here in 2013. The spinoff took way more of my time last year than I thought it would, but now that it looks like a site you wouldn’t be embarrassed to take your family (it’s even got a Quote of the Day), it should be easier for me to get Compare & Contrasts done.
Anyway, here’s to less neglect in the new year.
Eight Awesome Voice Actors and What They Actually Look Like – This is mostly Futurama and other non-Simpsons shows, but Castellaneta makes an appearance and there is a ton of great YouTube. Maurice LaMarche’s in particular is awesome, in no small part because making fun of William Shatner never gets old.
Jokealong: HAMMOCKS – It is possible that Scorpio’s riff on hammocks is the best hammock joke in the English language.
The Simpsons and a Dance Party at the 2013 Tucson International Jewish Film Festival – Mike Reiss is going to be in Arizona:
Opening night of the festival kicks off at The Loft and features special guest, Mike Reiss, longtime writer/producer of The Simpsons. Reiss will share rare clips and inside stories from one of the longest running shows in T.V. history.
He’ll be at the Loft Cinemas next Thursday, January 10th.
Are the new episodes of the simpsons not as funny as the older episodes? – Yahoo Answers has this as a “Resolved Question”:
The rest of the answers aren’t any kinder to Zombie Simpsons:
I’ve seen a few new episodes, they aren’t that funny anymore :(
Been watching Simpsons for years!
Definately the old episodes are better.
Once you’ve seen Homer fall over or bash himself so many times, it just isnt funny anymore.
Siblings – Animated .gif of Bart sharing his ice cream from the end of “Lisa on Ice”.
Seems legit – Save that for court.
Poor Milhouse – A big, subtitled .jpg of nobody liking Milhouse.
[News] Sky Ferreira Has A Video For “Lost In My Bedroom” That I Found While Lying In Bed – Excellent reference:
Any video that opens with an epilepsy warning has got to be a winner, am I right? When the message first appeared I immediately thought of The Simpsons episode where the family visits Tokyo and seizes on the floor every time the flashing Japanese television shows come on.
Ned Flanders Soundboard – An Android app that appears to do little besides play Flanders sounds. Seems neat, if quickly tiresome.
Stupid Risks – Quoting Homer’s admonition to take risks in “Lost Our Lisa”. I’ve never really liked that episode, but Marge being the “stable type, and that’s fine in small doses” is a pretty good line.
Doctor Who Monday: The Snowmen…In 10 Words – No, we’ll make real men out of snow.
2012…In 10 Words – Somewhere, Flanders gets started on his income taxes.
Django Unchained…In 10 Words – What I’m trying to say with this cartoon is that violence is everywhere in our society, man, it’s like even in breakfast cereals.
2012 Year-End Roundup – Some Top 5 Lists – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us, in this case, our old friend ilmozart. Zombie Simpsons came in #1 for “Things that Disappointed Me”, and justifiably so:
I feel like this is a given. Considering how important this show has been to me during my life, some of the worst episodes the series has ever done aired this year – notably “Lisa Goes Gaga” the season 23 finale. Pair that with “Moonshine River”, the season 24 premiere, and it is a wonder I still watch the show at all. It has totally forgotten its heritage and has turned its back on what made the show great in the first place. A constant and continued disappointment.
Amen, sister. Amen.
“Captain’s log, stardate sixty-fifty-one, had trouble sleeping last night. My hiatal hernia is acting up. The ship is drafty and damp. I complain but, nobody listens.” – Captain Kirk
“Star Trek XII: So Very Tired. See the original cast in their latest, greatest adventure.” – TV Announcer
“Captain, Klingons off the starboard bow.” – Mr. Sulu
“Again with the Klingons. Mr. Scott, give me full power.” – Captain Kirk
“It’s no good, captain, I canna reach the control panel.” – Mr. Scott
Happy (belated) 20th Anniversary to “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie”. Original airdate 3 November 1992. (Got lost in the craziness and confusion and mishegoss of the election.)
“Dad, I agree that Bart should be punished, but the Itchy and Scratchy movie is the defining event of our generation. How would you have liked it if someone told you that you couldn’t watch the moon landing?” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong
“Yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy and I feel like loving you.” – Homer Simpson
“But the following year Scratchy was teamed up with a psychotic young mouse named Itchy, and cartoon history was made.” – Kent Brockman
A few weeks ago, David Silverman tweeted the following:
In case you can’t see the image, it says “Came across first known sighting of "worst episode ever" 11/3/92. This guy HATES ep 9F03 – just hilarious.” Indeed it is. Here’s the wonderfully archaic alt.tv.simpsons post from 4 November 1992 (the “>” on the top two lines are where he’s quoting a previous post):
>Wow, what an intense episode. … I didn’t know it was
>going to be so cool so I didn’t take notes. Anyway……
Intense? I thought this was easily the worst episode ever. Simply not
funny. "Where did he put the firecracker?" I can’t imagine child abuse
being funny. Now, somebody being eaten by a gorilla, somebody being hit
by lightning, that’s funny. Child abuse is not. The way I interpreted it,
this was a reference to a standard technique of using dolls to get physically/
sexually abused children to talk about the abuse incidents.
Bart dropping his pants. How many times is this funny? Well, it was
funny when we saw it in a previous episode. But I don’t think that
Bart’s butt is inherintly funny. Also, we have never actually seen
Homer spank Bart, have we? So why does Bart expect it so readily?
Bart as a stripper. Really more repulsive than funny. The bad thing about
things like this is that I used to disagree with parents who didn’t let
their children watch the Simpsons – I no longer disagre with them. I
would not have wanted my children (if I had any) to watch that scene.
Star Trek. In Living Color has done it. Saturday Night Live has done it.
Mad magazine has done it. Local high school talent shows have done it.
Now, the Simpsons have done it, and they didn’t do it any better than anyone
else. Should have left it alone, and come up with something original.
Homer being very familiar with Chief Justices. (BTW, the title is ‘Chief
Justice of the United States’, not ‘Chief Justice of the Supreme Court’ –
don’t know if this error was intentional or not, it’s not really important.)
Once in a while, when Homer throws out something like that, it is funny.
Yes, it is out of character for Homer to say anything too intellectual, but
I admit one of my favorite Simpson’s moment is when Homer is intervening
in an argument between Lisa and the Albanian kid (Adil?) and he says
something about ‘the blood of the workers oiling the machinery of
capitalism’. But that was just a one time thing. maybe it was something
that Homer heard once, and it got stuck somewhere in his brain. But
we know that this is an aberration, Homer is simply not a bright guy.
I can’t believe he is that familiar with the names of the Supreme
court justices. (However, I did laugh at ‘Warren Burger…Mmmmm….Burger…’)
It would have been more in character if Lisa had recited the names…
And I didn’t like the bit about 40 years from now, although I don’t really
have an argument against it. I just didn’t like it.
This episode was an appeal to the lowest common denominator. It exploited
cliches instead of exposing them. It twisted character traits in order to
go after laughs. It relied on gimmicks that got a laugh in the past. It
became a parody of itself. I repeat, this was by far the worst episode ever.
I hope it was an aberration – I don’t think I have seen these trends in
other recent episodes, so I am hopeful.
"Good Idea, Boss." – Homer Simpson
That’s right, he drops “worst episode ever” twice! Upon first reading this I thought I’d fisk it, and point out how the kind of counterexample rich criticism we do here is much different than “I don’t really have an argument against it. I just didn’t like it.” But then it occurred to me that, despite the vast technical changes in the interceding twenty years (the first web browser didn’t even exist then), internet arguments really aren’t all that different in 2012 than they were in 1992. So I read the rest of the thread and the overwhelming majority of the comments on “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie” from 1992 are so positive as to border on glowing (deservedly so).
The first post in the thread is from a guy who liked the episode but “couldn’t find a suitable tape to record it on in time” so he couldn’t offer a very detailed analysis. Here’s the second post:
God, I can’t say how much I loved Steamboat Itchy. It moved me.
And the third post:
BTW, I loved `Steamboat Itchy’ too… Every one of the early I&S
shorts were great!
And the fourth:
It certainly was a thing of beauty.
And the sixth:
I think Kent Brock man said it was 1928, the year you could see Al
Capone (is that who it was?) doin the Charleston (is that what it was)
on a flagpole (I KNOW it was a flagpole ;-). I thought ti was great
that they took 3 unrelated things from the 20’s and said you could see
them together! :-)
The post Silverman linked was the fifth in the thread; and just two posts later someone did a detailed, point by point rebuttal of the “worst episode ever” guy. The thread goes on from there with the kind of internet back-and-forth that will be familiar to anyone reading this site. Things got to the point that the “worst episode ever” guy actually had to defend his sense of humor. After that there was some discussion about whether or not Disney could or would sue over “Steamboat Itchy”, and whether or not the original “Steamboat Willie” was still under copyright (an actual lawyer eventually weighed in to explain how copyright law worked).
There’s no point digging into a nearly twenty year old flame war, but the thread is more than a time capsule. It’s also a great piece of evidence against the contention, which I still see from time to time, that the internet has always been filled with mindless, vitriolic hatred of the show. That just isn’t the case. There have always been dumb things on the internet, but, at least as represented in this thread (which is not on SNPP), the on-line opinion of Season 4 at the time of broadcast was overwhelmingly supportive.
When the real grumbling about the show started, it wasn’t because disliking the show was cool, or because the most involved fans all have mean streaks. It was because the show got worse, a gradual process that had precisely nothing to do with the internet and everything to do with the show itself.