“We’re screwed! Use your lightsaber!” – Mayor Quimby
“What, and break it? You know, George Lucas makes me pay for these!” – Mark Hamill
"Tell me, how do you feel about forty-five year old virgins who still live with their parents?" – Comic Book Guy
"Comb the SweetTarts out of your beard and you’re on." – Comic Babe
"Don’t try to change me, baby." – Comic Book Guy
[Note: Sorry for the extremely late posting on this one. That kind of week. Compare & Contrast should be along tomorrow.]
Over the last ten years or so, Hollywood has become extremely adept at giving "geeks" (for lack of a better term) what they want. The most visible expression of this is the way that comic book movies have come to be routine fixtures in each year’s list of box office champions, but down on the small screen things have been going along just as well. Between the Battlestar Galactica remake, yet more comic book properties, the uneven but occasionally glorious return of Futurama, and plenty more, there is stuff beyond Star Trek that your stereotypical fat guy geek can love. Over that same span of time, The Simpsons went from one of the most beloved things on television to the pale imitation of itself that exists today, something so cluelessly mediocre that pretty much nobody outside of the entertainment industry and its various paid shills will say anything good about it in public. "Married to the Blob" is like a tiny microcosm of that, with the once razor sharp satire of Comic Book Guy getting the full Moe treatment of lovesick lonely heart before falling ass backwards into a one-dimensional wish fulfillment girlfriend who is, wait for it, a hot, Asian manga artist. I guess there’s something to be said for the completeness of that collapse into hapless pandering, but it sure doesn’t make for entertaining television.
– Once again, the couch gag goes on for a very long time and is possibly the most creative part of the episode.
– This Radioactive Man movie/show/comic-imagining/whatever it’s supposed to be would have worked better without each character explaining themselves, sometimes twice.
– Lisa just walked in from nowhere to tell us what’s about to happen . . . and now it’s happening.
– A pointless, self voiced celebrity. Thanks, Mr. Ellison. No, there won’t be a check in the mail.
– So this other comic book guy, whom they had to remind us who he is, just barged in front of Homer in line to exposit and get the plot started and brag about being married. I don’t think it would kill them to have at least one scene make sense, but they seem to think it would.
– And now Homer’s impatient at being made to wait. He wasn’t for the minute it took them to have rival comic book guy appear and disappear, but the show conveniently forgot he was there for that stretch of time. Infants have a better sense of object permanence than Zombie Simpsons, and it’s not even close.
– Well, give them this, they know their songs suck even if they do hide it behind their mask of low key, Comic Book Guy hostility calling it cliched. Seriously, they rhymed "it" with "it".
– Stan Lee’s here as both a real person and a hallucination, and they still had Comic Book Guy exposit exactly what he did.
– Kumiko’s first lines involve her telling us what she’s doing and the pulling out a copy of her manga which she then tells us about as we see it.
– Comic Book Guy immediately goes to the Simpson house for advice because what else would he do?
– They switched it up, now Marge is telling us exactly what’s going on.
– Okay, Mr. Sparkle being a popular form of suicide is kinda funny.
– Nothing says good writing like conflict free explanation of what a character is feeling at exactly that moment: "Oh, I don’t mind. If you think it’s stupid, say it’s stupid."
– Which is followed quickly by "I’m in love, and yet still a little bitter. It’s surprising."
– They say the first rule of screenwriting is "show, don’t tell". The post-montage scene is Comic Book Guy and Kumiko telling Marge and Homer that they’re moving in together, which is followed by Marge and Homer in the backyard telling us about a housewarming gift. They broke it twice in two scenes. Three more and they get a free Subway sandwich.
– The guy who is obviously Kumiko’s father is here, but Homer told us who he was because otherwise it would’ve been confusing.
– They are really angling for that free sandwich: "So an obese nerd has stolen my daughter to live in his basement?".
– Comic Book Guy is on the couch and straight up telling us who he’s referencing. I can almost smell the low grade meatballs.
– Now Kumiko’s father is drinking with Homer . . . even though we just saw him walking off screen saying he was going back to Japan with his daughter. It’s amazing, when they do almost show us something they don’t seem to think it counts.
– And we’re back to montage, though at least this one is kinda pretty in that, "Hey, we’ll animate something in someone else’s style so people will say nice things about us on-line for a change" way. This is their go to stunt these days.
– And yet they still had Bart and Lisa show up to explain what’s going on in the montage. Honestly, it’s like a neurosis.
– "Enough non-sense, I came here for my daughter" – who was with you two scenes ago. How you lost her again will never be explained or even mentioned, but you did have her back not all that long ago.
– And now Kumiko is singing the exposition.
– That’s like ten scenes in a row: "Homer, drinking that rice wine and going to White Castle really opened my eyes." That punch card has been filled out, free sandwiches for all!
– And because all that exposition didn’t fill up enough time, we’ve got a completely unconnected final scene where Milhouse lays an egg. A fitting metaphor for this piece of dreck.
Anyway, the ratings are in and, as expected, they crashed back to earth with no football as a lead in. Just 4.71 million people wondered why they weren’t watching a Miyazaki movie instead on Sunday. That’s not quite enough to break into the ten least watched all time, but it’s not far off the pace either. There’s no Zombie Simpsons this Sunday because of football, but non-football-lead-in Zombie Simpsons appears to be just as bad in 2014 as it was in 2013, and 2012, and 2011 . . .
“And now, the conclusion of our thousand dollar movie, Roger Corman’s ‘Titanic’.” – TV Announcer
“We’re safe now, Clarice. We made it away from that cursed ship.” – B-Movie Guy
“Now I can relax and take off this stifling bikini.” – B-Movie Gal
Next Sunday is the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Since there’s apparently some money out there that he still doesn’t have, James Cameron will be re-releasing his movie of the same name. This prompted two links, one of which may be the only time in the coming hundred years that I say something nice about E!. In addition to that, we’ve got lots of excellent usage, a list of potential Simpsons spinoffs, several fan made drawings, and a refined epicurean’s guide to beer and donuts.
The Audacious Epigone: Ranking The Simpsons seasons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is someone who agrees with us, and went through the IMDb ratings to prove it. We’ve done the same, and it’s nice to see confirmation.
Best of Geekery: Top 10 Potential Simpsons Spin-Offs – Exactly what it says. I would definitely watch “Future Maggie in High School”.
Bart’s Complex House of Mirrors – Very cool fan made image of Bart and Homer (who has hair for some reason).
All My Simpsons: Lionel Hutz – A slew of great Hutz quotes that is shockingly missing the one about Judge Snyder.
Frampton, Omaha fans love your way – Here’s why you have to be creative with celebrity guests:
A lot of laughs came in the middle of "Do You Feel Like We Do." After dozens of photos moved across a video screen behind Frampton, a clip played from the "Homerpalooza" episode of "The Simpsons" that features him. The bit involves him trying to launch an inflatable pig into the crowd by stomping on a pedal labeled "PIG."
A member of Frampton’s crew placed a "PIG" pedal onstage and he held it up and said "Where’s my pig?" while the video played.
Frampton only has a few lines in that episode, but he still gets to do and say things that are memorable and funny. Most guests these days just show up and say their names. Frampton has something that people still recognize a decade and a half later.
Marge Simpson teasing mr. Burns by ~kuroishin on deviantART – Great fan art that almost looks like a discarded idea from “Marge Gets a Job”.
Feminist Reading of “The Simpsons” – Collegiate essay that sadly cites two Zombie Simpsons episodes instead of far more interesting offerings like “Marge on the Lam”, “Principal Charming”, “Lisa the Beauty Queen” and, of course, “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”.
You Are What You Wear – Science sez: the clothes you wear have a psychological effect on you. However obvious that may seem, there is this:
The concept for the research stemmed from an episode of “The Simpsons.”
The episode featured a group of children in gray uniforms who were very quiet. After a rainstorm came and washed the clothing into color, their behaviors changed.
“[I] started thinking about how the clothes you wear and the meaning” behind those clothes, Galinsky said. “If you put on a black T-shirt, you become more aggressive. You put on a nurse’s uniform, you become more helpful.”
Homer Simpson Delight: Pairing Donuts and Beer – Which kinds of beer go best with which donuts? This handy guide has you covered.
Movie Review: Titanic 3D’s Impressive Effects Do the Epic Story Justice…for the Most Part – Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut:
The best 3-D enhancements include any scenes where somebody looks over the deck—Rose’s suicide attempt, for example, or the now-infamous "King of the World" scene (does anyone else remember that, in fact, The Simpsons did that first in the 1990 episode "Bart the Daredevil"?).
Well done, E-online. Now please go back to sucking, otherwise I might have to start taking you seriously.
Let’s talk about sex, baby – Excellent usage:
There was a time, not too long ago, when the mere mention of the word "sex" had me cringing in my seat, cautious of what was about to happen on screen. Naturally, I’m talking about an episode of The Simpsons from 1995.
The episode was titled The Last Temptation of Homer, and it featured Homer Simpson contemplating whether to start an affair with co-worker Mindy (voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer)*; late in the episode, the pair go to a hotel room and Homer starts crying. Mindy asks what is wrong. "Oh, yeah, like you don’t know," cries Homer. "We’re gonna have sex!"
Perfectly quoted, and bonus points for that slightly lusty look Timothy Olyphant is giving Ian McShane in that Deadwood picture.
Technology: Helping you get a useless education faster! – More excellent usage:
In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Homer changes his name to “Max Power” and declares to Bart and Lisa, “Kids, there’s three ways to do thingsT the right way, the wrong way and the Max Power way!” Bart asks, “Isn’t that the wrong way?” And Homer replies, “Yeah, but faster!”
The belief that using the Internet to teach the same old college material will magically fix higher education is the equivalent of believing in the Max Power way — “Let’s keep doing education wrong, but faster!”
I wouldn’t call that episode a classic, but that is a great line.
Simpsons Nuclear Street Art in Chernobyl – YouTube from Chernobyl of that Simpsons mural from last week.
Team Retrospective: Denver Broncos – The Broncos are worth approximately a billion ($1,000,000,000) dollars, won back-to-back Super Bowls not that long ago, and just signed a four time MVP as their quarterback. Nevertheless, Homer once said they suck, and so they shall suck forever. Excellent usage.
Mad Men…In 10 Words – Without it we’d have had no fun since March of 1961!
Funk Dance 101 – YouTube of Moe’s dancing/shotgun lesson.
04.01.12 Danny Elfman and…well…Danny Elfman! – Lots of links for various Elfman projects.
Arranged – Photographic proof that they don’t just sell Duff the beer in England, they also sell Duff the energy drink.
Ulster Unionists’ Mr Burns should take a look at Rab C Nesbitt – A lengthy (and somewhat inaccurate) comparison of Burns’ run for governor with some Irish politician who said he should maybe spend some time with poor people to get to know them.
100 Best Comedy Characters Currently On Television (10-1) – And the list concludes with Homer falling just short at #2.
Stupid Sexy Flanders! – The animated .gif.
Friday March 23 2012 | The CatBeard Project – A fan made Scratchy looking cat with a cat pirate hat and cat pirate uniform.
Quote Hanger – Homer Simpson on the movie that made Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock stars, though he says “it would explode”, not “the bus would explode”.
Santa’s Little Helper Doodle, AKA. Woof Woof! – Very accurate fan sketch of Santa’s Little Helper.
Modern Gentlemen … – YouTube of Homer’s most famous alcohol quote.
Draw Something With Kirk Van Houten – How could anyone make a word out of these lousy letters?
‘The Big Lebowski’: A cloud of weed descends on Jason Reitman’s live-read – It’s always good to have someone on hand who can do a shitload of impressions:
Another slight hitch came just moments later, as Reitman read the stage direction about The Dude, writing out a check for .69 cents in a grocery story, seeing a clip of then-President George H.W. Bush on television. A long pause followed. “Oh, we never assigned that to anybody!”
Hank Azaria jumped in to rescue, with a quavering impression of our 41st president slamming Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait with, “This aggression will not stand, this … this will not stand.” Azaria, an infinite supply of voices on The Simpsons, was also playing the pornstar nihilist Karl Hungus, Steve Buscemi’s Donny, and the private eye Da Fino — doing an incredibly spot-on imitation of character actor Jon Polito (which is an unusual impression to have in one’s repertoire.)
"Lisa Simpson is my president" – At an anti-war protest a few years ago, someone got a great picture of a sign that says “Lisa Simpson Is My President” in front of the White House. The only odd thing is that the image is of her wearing a Movementarian uniform. (via)
ObscureSimpsonsQuotes – Someone on Vimeo has been putting up, as the user name would imply, “obscure” Simpsons quotes. No doubt the fun police will be along at some point, because watching five second clips will naturally destroy someone’s urge to buy a DVD. In the meantime, enjoy.
The Weekly Listicle: Will Find Weaker Listicles And Attack – A list of famous bullies includes Nelson alongside the likes of Biff Tannen and Rachel McAdams from Mean Girls.
Tele-Tuesday: A Pick Per Night 2012, The Funny Results – A fan poll result:
Reader’s Choice: Family Guy came in first with 30% of the reader’s vote, with The Simpsons following close behind with 26%. Is anyone else with us who can’t believe The Simpsons is still on air, airing new episodes? How many seasons is this? CRAZY!
Yeah, Zombie Simpsons sucks.
Lenny & Steve’s Excellent Adventure Through the 100 Best TV Episodes of the Past 20 Years: Part 3 – “Lisa’s First Word” and “A Streetcar Named Marge” are on here. As for the latter:
S: The review “EPISODE ENJOYED BY ALL” speaks for itself.
Did he expect too much from fourth graders?
Lenny & Steve’s Excellent Adventure Through the 100 Best TV Episodes of the Past 20 Years: Part 4 – And this one has “A Fish Called Selma” and “The PTA Disbands”.
SPOILER ALERT! – I like Titanic, but that’s funny.
April 3: cartoon architecture – Talking about Frank Gehry’s appearance on Zombie Simpsons:
Honestly, it’s not a great episode, but if you’d like to see the Gehry part, you need only watch the first twelve minutes are so
Celebrities are pretty much interchangeable – More heh:
Sitting opposite us at breakfast was Matt Groening, genius behind The Simpsons. He said all cartoonists were also considered interchangeable: “One guy came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you’re a cartoonist? Wow, can you draw Garfield for me?’”
‘The Simpsons’ 9 Best Movie Parodies – This list isn’t what you’d call insightful. Basically, it just points out things you already knew, like that “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds” took some inspiration from “101 Dalmatians”, but it doesn’t have a whiff of Zombie Simpsons, and for that it deserves a link.
Simpsons Did It – And finally, nice little piece of Zombie Simpsons snark:
Quick, what was Richard Nixon’s middle name? Milhouse. What cat and mouse used to actually blow each other up on Saturday mornings? Tom and Jerry. What clown actually had a live TV show for kids that included variety acts and cartoons? Bozo. Matt Groening and his generation would have taken all of this, and the American nuclear family sitcom – pardon the pun – for granted. Today’s kids have Modern Family, making The Simpsons look increasingly like a time capsule of pop culture and American history.
“Hey, thanks everybody. You know, I’m here today as Luke Skywalker, but I’m also here to talk about Sprint. As you can see, you stand to save up to seventeen cents a month over the more dependable providers.” – Mark Hamill
“Ahh, talk about Star Wars!” – Data
Here’s your fun trivia fact of the day: Harry Shearer did voice work for the original Star Wars movie! He’s not sure who he was, but he did come in and record a few lines for them. I had never heard this before, and it’s not on his IMDb page, but confirmation comes from the man himself:
Image shamelessly yoinked from the link above.
In case you can’t get the image, blogger Drew Stewart asks Shearer:
I just heard a rumor that you dubbed 1 of the Imperial Officers in the original Star Wars. True?
Shearer says “Yes.”; Stewart then asks:
Did you also voice some Rebels? How did you get involved?
To which Shearer replied:
Not clear on what-all I did. Just some words on paper. They called me in, I did it, I left.
This all got started when Stewart saw a forum post on a Star Wars site and decided to run it down via Twitter. Well done. There’s some speculation at the link about which lines may have been his. None of their suggestions seem implausible, but I don’t think they’re exactly conclusive either (via).
[Programming Note: There’s no new Zombie Simpsons for two more weeks, and while I can usually fill in the gap well enough, things are likely to be sparse around here for at least this week. Hopefully I’ll come across more easy stuff like this. Maybe Dan Castellaneta was a background Klingon in Star Trek III or something.]
“Thank you, Fat Tony. However, in the future, I would prefer a nondescript briefcase to the sack with a dollar sign on it.” – Mayor Quimby
For the third summer in a row, we at the Dead Homer Society are looking to satisfy your off-season longing for substandard commentary on substandard Simpsons. This summer we’ll be looking at Season 10. Why Season 10? Because we’ve already done Seasons 8 and 9 and we can’t put it off any longer. Prior to Season 10, we watched as the show started falling over, this is when it fell over. And while the dust wouldn’t settle completely for another season or so, there is no bigger gap in quality than the one between Season 9 and Season 10. Since we prefer things to remain just as they were in 1995, we’re sticking with this chatroom thing instead of some newer means of communication that we all know just isn’t as good. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “harassing”).
Today’s episode is 1009, “Mayored to the Mob”. Tomorrow will be 1010, “Viva Ned Flanders”.
Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get going?
Mad Jon: Let’s do it
So, starting with "Mayored to the Mob"?
Charlie Sweatpants: Yes.
And the start of the one we’re starting with is easily the best part of either of these two.
Mad Jon: I agree. There were some Zombie issues, but it was definitely the most watchable part of either episode.
Dave: I suppose it’s up for debate where it starts to fall apart.
Mad Jon: The thing that bothered me was the way they end up at the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con
Charlie Sweatpants: How so, Jon?
Granted, making fun of sci-fi geeks isn’t the world’s most terribly inventive thing, but they didn’t screw it up.
Mad Jon: The "Beats work" "Beats school" kind of rings out to me as the first ‘we need a reason to be at this thing, and not at school and work.’ They didn’t do that for the candy trade show in "Homer Badman".
Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, that didn’t quite sit well, but at least it was brief.
Mad Jon: Brief it was.
Charlie Sweatpants: But compared to the shit that doesn’t make sense later, it was small potatoes.
Mad Jon: Yes, agreed. Still, like we all agreed to start, it wasn’t bad, I just noticed that, among a few other things, that can be described as trending as far as I am concerned.
Charlie Sweatpants: Oh there were several things here that have gotten much worse over time, like why are Willie, Lenny and Carl all there?
Mad Jon: None of which are dressed up, neither is Frink.
Charlie Sweatpants: Frink and Skinner I get, and I can see Krabappel going (though a joke about how she got dragged there by her boyfriend wouldn’t have hurt).
Mad Jon: I always enjoy the CBG/CBG exchange.
Dave: Yeah, Lenny and Carl’s exchange is cringe inducing.
Charlie Sweatpants: But for the rest of them, it’s one of the earliest examples of how they just cram in characters.
Mad Jon: Agreed.
Charlie Sweatpants: The Comic Book Guy/Girl part is among the best things in the episode.
He goes right for it and flirts with her, but then dismisses it (with great contempt) when she wants him to just comb the sweet tarts out of his beard.
It’s so wonderfully in character for him, and that’s after he bitches about comic book organization and corrects her about the stain.
Mad Jon: It was the best use of CBG in a while, and is the last… forever…ish.
I guess I don’t remember enough about upcoming episodes to defend that contention.
Charlie Sweatpants: Me neither, but at the very least it’s close.
Dave: I mean, even without knowing what’s next I think we can all agree CBG was portrayed in top form here.
Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of nice exchanges, I always get a crack out of the Neil Armstrong part. The whole thing, including his line about "This is one small step towards firing your ass" always gets me.
Mad Jon: You can actually feel the amazement/panic from his agent.
And, I say this as a complete assumption as I have never been to a comic-con, was probably reasonably accurate.
Charlie Sweatpants: Well, until the riot.
I’m normally very pro-riot in Springfield, but this was so damn canned.
Mad Jon: Of course, I was referring to the fact that the attendees were more interested in the comic book characters than actual space travelers.
Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, that part I very much like. But once Homer starts yelling at and beating the geeks, it’s all downhill.
Dave: Homer’s outrage comes incredibly quickly. And it feels so contrived.
Charlie Sweatpants: The episode doesn’t die fully, there are some good parts pretty much all the way up to the end, but they get fewer and farther between as things go along.
Mad Jon: The scream was reminiscent of the time he punched Mr. Burns in his 104 year-old face.
Charlie Sweatpants: When he punched Burns though, Burns kinda had it coming and Homer’d been simmering for a while. But this was just out of the blue.
Mad Jon: Completely agreed. Not defending the scream, merely stating what came to mind.
There are a few things over which I am torn. I think I like the Body guard school, I most definitely like that it was a division of Ray-Ban, but I think that it needed to be about half as long.
I generally liked Quimby in the episode, but again, he was used to such an extreme he more or less loses the flavor.
Charlie Sweatpants: Body guard school could’ve easily been half as long. Just cutting the damn song would’ve gotten you most of the way there.
Dave: I enjoyed the song. I could have done without the other crap.
Charlie Sweatpants: Quimby, like the episode, goes downhill as things go on. When he’s shamelessly collecting brides and harassing women, he’s pretty good. But when he’s trusting Homer with his life or jogging in front of an open window for some reason, not so much.
Mad Jon: Also, Homer used the sleeper hold 5 times. The first one is sudden and unexpected, and I like it. The other 4 times (over two scenes) didn’t need to happen, and in fact detracted from the first.
Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed.
Mad Jon: But that’s about all I got for things over which I am torn.
Charlie Sweatpants: Of course, they also had him bang his head on the table in case anyone didn’t get it.
Mad Jon: Oh yeah.
Charlie Sweatpants: I’m kinda torn about Mark Hamill. On the one hand, he’s clearly a good sport about everything, and he has quite a few good lines. (When he proudly exclaims that that’s his face next to the pepper steak, for example). On the other hand, there’s way too much fake suspense and "huh?" factor about why he’d even have Homer carry him around or protect him.
The give a shit level is plummeting right before our eyes, and it gives even the good jokes a rather spoiled aftertaste.
Mad Jon: Agreed. I thought I liked Hamill, then I didn’t, but I think he was an appropriate guest voice.
The wackiness quotient is rising for sure.
Charlie Sweatpants: Right when you’ve made peace with the whole insane premise of Homer being a bodyguard, a job for which he is demonstrably unqualified but which doesn’t seem to bother Quimby or anyone else, they ratchet up the fake tension and just keep making this wackier.
Fat Tony wants to kill Quimby? Fine. Fat Tony just happens to be at the dinner theater? Uh, okay. The mobster on stage while Fat Tony beats Quimby with a baseball bat in front of everyone? Fuck.
Mad Jon: He was quite the tap-dancer.
Charlie Sweatpants: At some point I just feel like, "How much more am I going to be asked to put up with before this finally ends?"
Mad Jon: And you were answered with a second helping of the theme to "The Bodyguard".
Dave: And some nonsense about forgetting a light saber to drag it on another 10 seconds.
Mad Jon: Electrifying.
Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else here? I just want this to be over as well.
Mad Jon: Let’s move on then.
I’m readier than ready.
Charlie Sweatpants: To Las Vegas! (Which is apparently a short drive from the Midwest now).
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