Archive for January, 2009



28
Jan
09

Quote of the Day

“If only we’d listened to that boy . . . instead of walling him up in the abandoned coke oven.” – C.M. Burns

27
Jan
09

End The Simpsons #1 – The Less Than Seamless Opening

“Wow, it must be expensive to produce all these cartoons.” – Lisa Simpson  
“Well, we cut corners; sometimes to save money our animators will reuse the same backgrounds over and over and over again.” – Roger Myers Jr.

There are often jarring incongruities in Zombie Simpsons.  Stories twist and turn, characters jump in and out of scenes, exposition and repetition destroy anything that could be called flow.  You never know what you’re going to get, you just know that it’s probably going to be shitty.  However, there is one jarring incongruity that is as reliable and neverending as the renewal of the show.    
The opening sequence, panning over the nuclear plant, into the school, and then all over town, hasn’t changed since about 1990.  Unfortunately, the couch gag has to be produced anew all the time and it looks nothing like rest of the opening.  (Bart’s chalkboard message is a little out of place as well, but it’s not nearly as bad.)  The opening is old school from “The Simpsons” chorus through Homer’s scream as he escapes the car hole and then – bang – it’s semi-CGI time for the latest couch gag.  As if that weren’t off putting enough, it goes back to being old school during the television credits for Groening, Brooks and Simon (praise be their names).
I’ve seen that opening sequence (and heard that song) many thousands of times by now; I’m conditioned like one of Pavlov’s dogs to expect excellence when it ends.  Then the couch gag pops up and I’m ripped back into the harsh, clumsy reality of Zombie Simpsons.  It’s like being the Memento guy; right when I wake up I don’t remember that my wife is gone, but the cost of those precious seconds of hopeful naivete is having the pain always be as sharp as if it were still fresh.  
27
Jan
09

Quote of the Day

“Bart!  Are those liquor bottles?” – Mrs. Krabappel
“I brought enough for everybody.” – Bart Simpson
“Take those to the teacher’s lounge; you can have what’s left at the end of the day.” – Mrs. Krabappel
26
Jan
09

Lisa Wastes Her Time And Mine

I have a few questions that remain unanswered about that episode…

1. Other than needing a plot idea, was there any reason to “parody” Bridge to Terabithia?  (Incidentally, the guy who directed Terabithia, Gabor Csupo, worked on The Simpsons back in the before time.)  
2. Which producer’s kid is Josh Groban holding hostage?  That was almost a commercial.  
3. If you are going to have an episode filled with iPod and Facebook references, why would Groundskeeper Willie flashback to his immigration in the first half of the 20th century?  

4. By my clock that episode was just over 19 minutes from opening credits to closing credits.  Of that time, approximately 1:45 was devoted to montages accompanied by either Groban songs or swirling string music; that’s almost 10% of the screen time used strictly as filler material, and that doesn’t count the fight scene at the end. 
5. You’d think a band that named itself after a minor character would have the self interest and good sense to get better billing that being stuck over the credits of this piece of shit.
6. Seriously, what does Josh Groban have on Fox?

There are two things for which I will give this episode ‘credit’, but only because I want to appear unbiased:

1. There was a quick sight gag where Homer was sitting at the kitchen table drinking from a cup that said “Ned” on it. It lasted two seconds and nobody said anything about it. It wasn’t great but they managed not to fuck it up.
2. Homer didn’t suffer any deadly or incapacitating blows. 

Besides that I have only bad things to say.  What reminded me that I wasn’t actually watching the Simpson’s the most was when Marge and Homer are talking about what Lisa might be doing at the model UN conference she was supposedly at.  When Marge asks if Homer thinks Lisa has enacted the ‘rice tariff’ Homer comes back with a Model UN procedural joke which I am sure the writers thought was witty.  Homer is not a comedy writer; he shouldn’t sound like one.   

This was classic modern Simpsons: toss in a celebrity or three, throw in a recent, half-assed and superficial cultural reference, and call it a day.  


Old Doc Washburn prescribes viewing Lisa’s Rival” (Season 6 Disc 1) to clear the stench of product tie ins and endless montages.  


26
Jan
09

Quote of the Day

“Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable.” – Troy McClure




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