16
Feb
10

Synergy Skips to the End

Lackey Monkeys

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Rose Robinson.

“I’m sorry, but my mother always said if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.” – Marge Simpson
“Will that hold up in court?” – Homer Simpson
“No, I’ve tried it before.” – Lionel Hutz

On previous occasions I have described IGN’s Simpsons reviews as being written in a style known as “corporate fanboy”.  It has the same willful blindness to mediocrity that characterizes fanboy screeds, but there’s an air of discomfort about it that its formality cannot fully conceal.  Case in point, this week’s review of the curling episode.  It is five paragraphs long, the first three of them detail events that occur before the eight minute mark (or what would’ve been the first commercial break if the show still only had three).  The fourth paragraph, a mere 20% of the “review”, breezes through the bulk of the episode (the multiple curling sequences, several of the montages, the Agnes/Skinner melodrama, and the self serving Bob Costas cameo).  The fifth paragraph covers Lisa’s skeletal subplot and pronounces everything awesome.

See what they did there?  Rather than try to praise the horrifyingly thin final 2/3 of the episode they simply skipped it.  A real fanboy would’ve taken the worst parts and lauded them unconditionally (e.g. the comment from Maddox at Simpsons Channel, “I really loved this episode and all of the jokes in it were great!”).  IGN can’t quite bring itself to that level and simply ignores what it doesn’t like hoping that no one will notice.  As always I’ve edited the synergy out of the review.

 

February 15, 2010 – Often with animation Zombie Simpsons, due to the lengthy production process, it’s tough to be topical. Because of that, The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons usually steers clear of of-the-moment humor references. When a topical reference does get through, it will often bomb, or at the very least date when production on the episode likely took place display how out of touch the show has become. If When they do get topical, they do so in broad, clumsy strokes, like in Sunday night’s "Boy Meets Curl." It was an episode about the Winter Olympics, just days after the opening ceremonies in Vancouver. It was a safe bet the scheduled start date of this major sporting event would not change, and The Simpsons took advantage Zombie Simpsons proved that while it can’t make good television it can read a calendar.

Not that this episode needed to air during the actual Olympics, but it did help add a bit of knowing familiarity to the comedic references of the Canadian-based event desperation to be relevant again. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The episode began with Marge and Homer separately preparing for a night on the town, though no explanation is offered for why Homer is at the plant. Instead of making it on time, Homer got stuck at work for some reason. This opening act moved fast and had lots of laughs but the time they saved would be spectacularly wasted later. The fact that Homer prepared for date night in the same fashion as Marge was a good chuckle just a taste of the repetition we were in for. Funnier Blander still was their experience at the movie theater. Folks were so loud, Marge couldn’t even hear the ad telling everyone to be quiet (topical called from 2004, by the way). Homer declared, "We came here to enjoy the movie, and we’re going to enjoy the movie," until "starring Ben Affleck" appeared on screen and the couple walked out, right after topical called from 2003.

Homer and Marge made one last effort to salvage the night by stopping by an ice skating rink, only to discover it was closed for a curling plot event. That’s right, curling — the punch line of Olympic sports that didn’t get made fun of here. As it happened, the pair were naturals for some reason. Homer: "This is perfect for both of us. It has bowling for me, sweeping for you." and boredom for the audience.  They were asked to join the Springfield curling team with Agnes and Seymour Skinner, for some other reason. Soon after, they learned they’d be attending Olympic trials, because . . . you know. Two of my favorite the many dull and time eating throwaway bits of the episode soon followed. I found Homer’s image of the Winter Olympics — Santa high diving into a frozen pool with penguins as judges — absurdly funny took a little while. Funnier Longer still was the "Olympic Curly Trials" being held across the street from the curling trials. Anyone familiar with The Three Stooges should have found the Curly sight gags a lot of fun cheap and weak, and Moe ending the bit with his "wise guy" face-slapping was superb wasn’t even funny by the standards of Shemp.

The Olympic and Canadian humor montages of the episode was a lot of fun ate a lot of time, too. Heading to Vancouver, Homer stated, "We’re going to Canada’s warmest city." This was very funny accidentally topical but not funny in the least, especially since the actual Winter Olympics have found it necessary to truck in the snow. This was perhaps the most topical of the references the episode could get right. The Canadian Milhouse ("Milhoose") was fun pointless and derivative, as was Nelson’s "hoo-hoo" laugh. There was also a great montage cameo appearance of the medicine woman from The Simpsons Movie. Agnes Skinner as a former Olympic hopeful was also very funny took way too long and added some depth to her disdain for her own son more convoluted backstory to characters who’ve already been crushed beneath it. It was Seymour’s "involuntary pre-conscious" reflexive fetal kick that cost her the gold medal in third trimester pole vaulting. Adding to the fun topical desperation of this episode was Bob Costas as himself, commentating on the proceedings. His best line came after Marge injured her sweeping arm: "This is the sort of bittersweet melodrama Olympic coverage feeds on. I admit it — we’re vampires who suck on shattered dreams." which could’ve been clever if it wasn’t so hopelessly expository.

The episode was filled out inflated to fill the runtime with a story C-plot surrounding Lisa’s sudden addiction to Olympic pin collecting. This was an entertaining a humorless plot that was at least germane all but unconnected to the rest of the episode. Lisa’s "addiction" reached the point of trading in her pearl necklace for a rare pin. This labored scene set up a great line later in the episode when Bart started to help Lisa break her addiction. After admitting she had given away her pearls, Lisa tearfully declared, "Without my pearls, I’m just a big Maggie." Not surprisingly, Lisa was on her way back to normal by episode’s end, and Marge overcame her injury plot-related-incident to bring home the gold. With or without the timeliness of the story and setting, "Boy Meets Curl" was a fast and funny episode certain to be a highlight of the season hopelessly stretched and painfully unimaginative, even by the sewer level standards of Zombie Simpsons.


51 Responses to “Synergy Skips to the End”


  1. 17 February 2010 at 1:14 am

    Willful blindness? Just because I have a different opinion than you? Are you saying that I was purposely ignoring the flaws of the episode? Can it be that I just have different opinions of it than you? Is it shocking to you that since my opinion is different from yours, that doesn’t mean that I’m “willfully blind”? An opinion is neither fact or false. It’s just an opinion. You can break down and explain your opinion all you want throughout the whole episode, but it doesn’t mean your opinion is right and the people who think differently are “willfully blind”. I know it may be shocking, but something you like could be broken down by someone who thinks. I could just as easily call you “willfully blind” because your opinion is different. Different people like and dislike different things, but it doesn’t make anyone “willfully blind.” I have no reason to say that I liked the episode if I really didn’t. What you call the ‘flaws’ of the episode could be seen to another person as the best parts of it.

    I’m just going to sum up your article for the readers.

    Synergy skips to the end:
    This is my opinion. My opinion is fact. You have no right to have your own thoughts and opinions. If you think the opposite of my opinion, then you’re automatically “willfully blind.”

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      17 February 2010 at 1:50 am

      You quoted one phrase six times, methinks I hit a nerve. I would, however, ask that you point me to the part of my post where I said my opinions were facts, because I don’t see it. Nowhere do I state or imply that any of the above is anything but my opinion. I think this episode was boring as hell, you obviously disagree. You have every right to your opinion; you do not, however, have the right to keep your opinion from being criticized or mocked. (Certainly not once you’ve posted it on a public website.)

      “something you like could be broken down by someone who thinks.”

      I welcome it, and I’m plenty prepared to argue my position without screeching about irrelevancies like the differences between facts and opinions. If anything your, shall we say, “energetic” reaction (which doesn’t make a single effort to defend the content of the episode in question) reveals a lack of confidence in your own opinions. If you want to tell me why you love this episode so much, go ahead. I’ll listen and consider it. Then I’ll most likely tell you why I think it stinks out loud. But acting offended and haughty because someone disagreed with you doesn’t make you look anything but willfully blind.

      • 17 February 2010 at 2:08 am

        Saying that I’m ‘willfully blind’ is the same thing as saying that my opinion is the same as yours, but I’m trying to ignore it and say the opposite of what I think. You assume that I’m being ‘willfully blind’ just because my opinion is different from yours. Think what you want. I honestly don’t care. The only point that I was making is that you’re a douche.
        I’m sure you’re willing to argue your position on this episode. You must really have no life to be willing to do that with a random stranger from the internet. The reason that I didn’t argue my position on it is because there’s really no point to it. It’s a waste of time. Why argue opinions when they’re neither fact or false? That’s why I just stated that different people have different opinions. I accept that your opinion is different from mine, but I’m not going to be lame and call you willfully blind for it. I don’t have to break down my opinion for you for my opinion to be valid.

        • 17 February 2010 at 2:26 am

          You want me to break down my opinions for you and argue them, but since opinions aren’t facts or false, then neither of us would be right or wrong. That’s why I see no point in arguing opinions.

      • 5 Santos L. Halper
        17 February 2010 at 2:31 pm

        “methinks I hit a nerve” ?

        Forget being an arrogant lame ass who obsessively hates a show enough to continue watching it every week just to say everything about it sucks on a web site you made about how the show sucks, you really came off as a huge douche when you said “methinks.”

        • 6 Charlie Sweatpants
          17 February 2010 at 2:42 pm

          I have now achieved triple douche status in this thread. I’m kinda proud of that. And besides, “methinks” is from Shakespeare, if I can’t steal words from him, where am I going to get them?

          • 7 Santos L. Halper
            17 February 2010 at 2:51 pm

            I’m not a fan of you or your website but I’ll help you out anyways. Throw around some Dr. Seuss words and you’ll be a lot more likeable.

        • 17 February 2010 at 9:46 pm

          Yeah, this douche even implies that even some of the people who watch it don’t really like it. How the fuck would he know what people think?

  2. 17 February 2010 at 3:58 am

    To answer your request, here’s where you implied your opinion to be fact:

    “On previous occasions I have described IGN’s Simpsons reviews as being written in a style known as “corporate fanboy”. It has the same willful blindness to mediocrity that characterizes fanboy screeds”

    A real fanboy would’ve taken the worst parts and lauded them unconditionally (e.g. the comment” from Maddox at Simpsons Channel, “I really loved this episode and all of the jokes in it were great!”). IGN can’t quite bring itself to that level and simply ignores what it doesn’t like hoping that no one will notice”

    You think that just because I think the opposite of you, and don’t thoroughlly explain my opinions like you did, that I’m willfully blind. Don’t say you didn’t imply that as a fact, because it’s obvious that you did. It would be possible for someone to say they like the episides, and not really think so, but you stated it like a fact that I personally was being willfully blind when in fact I’m not. I honestly liked think that it was a great episode and of the jokes in it were great. I even gave examples of some of the jokes that I found great on my post on that website. I’m welcomed to my opinions, and just because I don’t explain why I think that way, that doesn’t mean that I think the same as you and am being willfully blind. I have no reason to say I liked the episode if I really didn’t.

    • 11 Charlie Sweatpants
      17 February 2010 at 9:47 am

      Wow man, I don’t know what to say except that I hope for your sake that English is not your native language.

      • 17 February 2010 at 11:13 am

        You don’t know what to say because you know that I’m right. You talk about how I was saying irrelevant things, but you insult my English because you have nothing valid or relivant to respond with. Good job.

        • 13 Charlie Sweatpants
          17 February 2010 at 1:06 pm

          No, I insulted your English because you wrote things like this:

          “I honestly liked think that it was a great episode and of the jokes in it were great.”

          You wrote that. Not only is that not a sentence, it’s not even a thought. And it’s not a typo either, those are all real words, but the way they’re arranged makes them meaningless. If you are capable of writing shit that incoherent it doesn’t surprise me that you think I’m stating facts when I’m clearly stating opinions.

          You also wrote:

          “I’m sure you’re willing to argue your position on this episode. You must really have no life to be willing to do that with a random stranger from the internet. The reason that I didn’t argue my position on it is because there’s really no point to it. It’s a waste of time.”

          After declaring it a “waste of time” you then came back *twice* to post further even though I had not responded. Do you know what “waste of time” means? Or did you change your mind in the intervening 18 minutes?

          What led me to make the crack about English not being your first language is your rigidly correct use of your/you’re. It’s clear you know at least some of the rules of the language. And in my experience people who know some of the rules but still construct nonsense sentences and occasionally miss the point of what someone’s saying are often not native English speakers.

          • 17 February 2010 at 9:11 pm

            You implied that I distorted my opinion when I didn’t. It’s obvious that you implied it as a fact. If you don’t see that, then you’re a fucking retard.

            Here it is one last time for you. I’ll try to break it down for you a little more, and if your retarded ass doesn’t see that, then oh well.

            On previous occasions I have described IGN’s Simpsons reviews as being written in a style known as “corporate fanboy”. (((HERE IT IS DOUCHEBAG))) It >>>has<<>>>>same willful blindness<<>>>>>>>(e.g. the comment from Maddox at Simpsons Channel<<<< (This is where you use me as an example to your fact. By using me as an example, you're stating as a fact that I personally am distorting my opinion. Do you not see how that implies that you think you can read minds?? Even if it were just an opinion, then you must feel strongly enough about my actual opinion to use me as an example of this fact.)

            Make fun of my English because I make occasional grammar errors. Yes, I saw when I made them. I wasn't really caring enough to pay attention to exactly how I was arranging my words. I was just typing casually. I would've went back and corrected them if this site would allow me to do that. And so what if I came back 18 minutes later to restate myself? You're too retarded to see where you implied that I was exaggerating my opinion so I thought that maybe I should restate myself for you in case your retarded ass missed it the first time. Saying that you don't know what to say and making fun of my English only proves that you know that I'm right. I left your retarded ass speechless with your cock in your mouth.

            • 17 February 2010 at 9:17 pm

              It cut out some of the point I made for some reason, but oh well. I don’t care. I’m done coming to this shit.

              • 16 Charlie Sweatpants
                17 February 2010 at 10:32 pm

                “By using me as an example, you’re stating as a fact that I personally am distorting my opinion.”

                You are aware that “example” and “fact” are two different words with two different meanings, right? Furthermore, and I do not understand why you find this so objectionable, I never said or implied that you were distorting your opinion, quite the opposite. I took your opinion at face value. There was no need for me to distort it because the words you used supported my argument that real fanboys loved every part of the episode:

                “I really loved this episode and all of the jokes in it were great!”

                That is a very clear statement. So when you ask:

                “Do you not see how that implies that you think you can read minds?”

                The answer is “no”, I do not see how my quoting your statement verbatim and accepting it as your true opinion implies that I have psychic powers. The only ability I’m claiming is the ability to read words in English.

                “Even if it were just an opinion, then you must feel strongly enough about my actual opinion to use me as an example of this fact.”

                This is a contradiction. At the beginning of the sentence you concede that I am stating an opinion, by the end of the sentence you’ve changed your mind and are back to confusing my opinions with facts. But your real admission of utter failure comes right at the beginning:

                “(((HERE IT IS DOUCHEBAG))) It >>>has<>>>same willful blindness<>>>>>>(e.g. the comment from Maddox at Simpsons Channel<<<<"

                If we eliminate your excessive , we get:

                “It has same willful blindness (e.g. the comment from Maddox at Simpsons Channel”

                That does not appear in my original post. In fact the “willful blindness” that you’re so obsessed with (which I find adorably cute, by the way) occurs in a completely different paragraph from where I quoted you. You failed to even copy & paste correctly.

                • 17 February 2010 at 10:42 pm

                  I’m not obsessed with any willful blindness. I gave my true opinion. I saw nothing wrong with the episode. We just have different opinions. Accept it, douchebag.

                  • 18 Charlie Sweatpants
                    17 February 2010 at 10:48 pm

                    “I’m not obsessed with any willful blindness.” – The rest of your comments here indicate otherwise.

                    “I gave my true opinion.” – Which is what I’ve been saying all along. Thank you for finally agreeing.

                    “I saw nothing wrong with the episode.” – Which is why I quoted you – accurately and without bias – in the first place.

                    “We just have different opinions.” – Again, this is what I’ve been saying. You’ve been saying that I was stating my opinions as fact. Once again, thanks for finally seeing it my way.

                    “Accept it, douchebag.” – Okay.

                • 18 February 2010 at 4:15 pm

                  He said it cut part of it out. That’s probably why it didn’t copy and paste right.

  3. 20 Vladimirovich von Hammersmark
    17 February 2010 at 5:00 am

    I completely agree with Maddox. How the hell do you know what strangers from the internet REALLY think anyway? Just because their opinions differ from yours and they don’t explain why they think that way it makes them willfully blind? What a douchebag!

    • 21 Charlie Sweatpants
      17 February 2010 at 9:52 am

      Where did I say that I “know what strangers from the internet REALLY think”? I mean that as an honest question.

      • 22 Vladimirovich von Hammersmark
        17 February 2010 at 11:13 am

        You implied it here:

        See what they did there? Rather than try to praise the horrifyingly thin final 2/3 of the episode they simply skipped it. A real fanboy would’ve taken the worst parts and lauded them unconditionally (e.g. the comment from Maddox at Simpsons Channel, “I really loved this episode and all of the jokes in it were great!”). IGN can’t quite bring itself to that level and simply ignores what it doesn’t like hoping that no one will notice.

        • 23 Charlie Sweatpants
          17 February 2010 at 12:44 pm

          I don’t mean to be obtuse, but I don’t see how that implies that I’m reading minds. In support of my contention that fanboys laud even the worst parts of an episode I quoted Maddox saying that he thought “all of the jokes” were “great”. The “worst parts” are, by definition, covered by Maddox’s use of the word “all”.

          He said he loved the whole episode, I didn’t put any words in his mouth. I didn’t distort what he said to mean something he didn’t. All I did was quote him. If he was lying or exaggerating then that’s on him, not me. I freely admit I made fun of him for saying that, and if that makes me a douchebag in your eyes I’m fine with that. But I never claimed to know his secret thoughts, I merely took what he said at face value.

  4. 17 February 2010 at 6:19 am

    Haha, great post. Keep it up.

  5. 26 Steve
    17 February 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Here are some thoughts, not a reply to anybody in particular.

    “here’s where you implied your opinion to be fact”

    When people speak an opinion it can only ever be implied as an opinion. The only people who ever try to construe that the initial opinion are facts, are the people the initial opinion stands against**. They do this as to make the person seem like an “arrogant douche.”

    Let us suppose that Charlie was to say: “Maddox is being willfully blind, that is a fact”. It would only be a “fact” in Charlie’s opinion and it would be an inappropriate use of the word fact. So even then it could only ever be implied as an opinion, not a fact.

    People have argued the right to express their opinion, but then tried to argue against another opinion by saying that it wasn’t an opinion at all. A person shouldn’t have to include “in my opinion” for every statement that they make.

    Now to really make my argument inpenetrable, this is all my opinion.

    Oh and by the way, Boy Meets Curl was complete trash. Thats a fact.

    **this doesn’t include debates about Religion. As that is a genuine case of opinions (or “beliefs” as they preferred to be called) being lauded as facts.

  6. 17 February 2010 at 9:55 pm

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  7. 17 February 2010 at 9:57 pm

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  8. 17 February 2010 at 10:49 pm

    You really must be a loser to make a website about why you don’t like a show. If you don’t like it, there’s a simple solution. Don’t watch it and move on with your pitiful life.

    • 33 Charlie Sweatpants
      17 February 2010 at 10:51 pm

      Spoken like a true fanboy.

      • 17 February 2010 at 11:04 pm

        Even if I was a fanboy, which I’m not, I didn’t make that opinion based on my view of the show. I just think that there are better things that a person could do with his/her life. You seem to be pretty intelligent. Why not put that intelligence to better use? Is everything that you do in your life based on your hatred of this show? Why not focus on something that you actually do like instead of something you hate? You probably wouldn’t come off as such a miserable creep. We get it. You don’t like the show. You make your opinion very clear OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.

  9. 42 P. Piggly Hogswine
    18 February 2010 at 5:32 am

    Isn’t there a rule here that prevents 10 year olds who are dumber than Ralph Wiggum from posting here? I wouldn’t be surprised if all these trolls are one and the same person.

  10. 45 Celia
    18 February 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Can I be comment number 40? Many more comments than a post here usually gets, how exciting!

  11. 18 February 2010 at 4:27 pm

    What has really gotten old is the fact that all of you losers waste your time on a show that you don’t even like. I guess it makes you guys feel important to have your opinions of the show expressed. We get it. You don’t like the show. Move on with your miserable lives.

    • 47 D.N.
      18 February 2010 at 6:43 pm

      Thing is, Charlie has quite lucidly deconstructed every “argument” you’ve presented, whereas you can only splutter and resort to hoary old insults like “douchebag,” “douche,” “retarded ass” and “loser.” I bet you were an invaluable addition to your school debate team.

  12. 48 Charlie Sweatpants
    18 February 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Okay, it’s time for this to end (at least as much as anything can end on the internet). I’m alright with Maddox calling me a douchebag and a loser, and I don’t even mind his goofy “sdfsd” posts because I thought they did a marvelous job of exposing him for the jerk he is. But the comments from “John” above are from the same IP address that Maddox uses. So now he’s sock-puppeting too and that’s dirty pool.

    Therefore I’ve blacklisted that IP address from further commenting. I’ve never done this before (I had to look up how), so I’m not sure how effective it’ll be. And obviously he can just go to a Starbucks or something and he’ll be on a different IP address, but this level of no-win trolling isn’t fun.

    But thanks to everyone else who’s commented in this thread, those I agree with and those I don’t. I do love to talk Simpsons, even when I’m drinking my chicory.

  13. 49 D.N.
    18 February 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I know you’ve just called for this to end, but I have to mention that the whole pretending-to-be-multiple-people thing reminds of nothing so much as this:

    “Hey Homer, I’m worried about the beer supply. After this case, and the other case, there’s only one case left! Yeah, yeah! Uh, Barney’s right. Yeah, let’s drink some more beer. Yeah!Hey, what about some beer? Yeah, Barney’s right…”

    • 50 Charlie Sweatpants
      18 February 2010 at 8:44 pm

      Good call.

      And sorry if I was unclear, everyone but Maddox/John is still welcome to chime in here. I just meant it was time for his bullshit to end.

  14. 21 March 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Wow, what a read this comment section was.


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