Mediocrity Punished

Chalkboard - Postcards From the Wedge

“I’d like you to explain why we should build a mass transit system in a small town with a centralized population?” – Lisa Simpson
“Ha ha, young lady that’s the most intelligent question I’ve ever been asked.” – Lyle Lanley
“Really?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, I could give you an answer, but the only ones who’d understand it would be you and me . . . and that includes your teacher.” – Lyle Lanley

The numbers are in and they’re wonderfully bad.  That typically boring and nonsensical Zombie Simpsons episode was endured by just 5.23 million viewers.  That’s the third lowest of all time.  This number is bad enough to give me fresh hope that Season 21 can still end up the lowest rated season.  Not much hope, mind you, but some. 

As for the episode itself, we’ve seen things like this before, haven’t we?  Bart is no longer Bart, freaking out about a letter from school is not something he’d ever do.  Homer and Marge got into a nonsensical fight that, surprise surprise, resolved itself effortlessly.  To top it all off the plot was based on not one, but two stupid and unlinked concepts; even if we grant that Springfield has an abandoned subway system why on earth would it cause earthquakes?  Silliness can be funny, but these ploys are just lazy ways to try and flesh out plots that have nowhere to go.  Oh, and there was an Itchy & Scratchy episode for the first time in forever, and they even managed to screw that up. 

13 Responses to “Mediocrity Punished”

  1. 1 Derp
    15 March 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Shitty viewing figures to accompany a shitty episode.

    *It took eight minutes to establish the plot where Bart would play each parent against the other.

    *The original hook of the plot (Bart not doing his homework) was also forgotten at the eight minute mark. He stopped doing it and it wasn’t addressed again.

    *Homer and Marge have marriage problems, again.

    What great writing!

  2. 15 March 2010 at 6:22 pm

    If you go to the NHC, bring an umbrella. You’d think the “True Fans!” over there had an orgasm over this episode.

    • 3 Celia
      16 March 2010 at 9:14 am

      Isn’t that every episode, though? It could be an episode of nothing but Homer sitting on the toilet for twenty minutes and certain NHC members (I’m sure you can imagine which ones) would give it 5/5 and a glowing write-up. I’m thinking some of them must be trolls at this point.

      • 16 March 2010 at 7:21 pm

        Sadly, even some of the posters who think the current show is a far cry from the first 9 seasons were even saying “Postcards” was some kind of modern masterpiece.

        • 5 Charlie Sweatpants
          16 March 2010 at 8:13 pm

          That’s unfortunate.

        • 6 Celia
          16 March 2010 at 11:37 pm

          Perhaps this season’s “Eeny Teeny Maya Moe” then?

          • 7 D.N.
            17 March 2010 at 6:15 am

            “Eeny Teeny Maya Moe”

            I’ve never seen that episode, but the title alone is just about the worst thing in the history of the universe.

            • 8 Celia
              17 March 2010 at 10:35 am


              In essence, Moe meets a woman over the internet and she turns out to have dwarfism of some kind. I seem to recall a lot of people thought it was awesome, even though it made me ill. Still, it’s about a year old, maybe I’m misremembering.

              • 17 March 2010 at 6:04 pm

                I bet they came up with the (shitty) title first and then came up with the (shitty) plot for it.

                • 10 Celia
                  17 March 2010 at 6:23 pm

                  I feel that about a lot of things. Also, I’ve noticed the show began doing more “clever” punning titles as it progressed. I mean, this does go back to the good days, but they wouldn’t be content now with something like “Homer the Smithers” or “Whacking Day”. I don’t know what those episodes would have to be called instead, but it’d be some movie or song reference or pun about snakes.

                  • 11 D.N.
                    17 March 2010 at 7:35 pm

                    Last week I watched the first half of “The Italian Bob” (half the episode was all I could take before I switched channels in disgust). I’d heard about that episode previously, but never watched it – and I was kinda left with the impression that the only reason Sideshow Bob was in Italy was because the writers probably came up with the lame title first and then crafted a story to fit it (“Hmmm…”The Italian Job”…I got it! “The Italian Bob”!).

                    It’s sort of pitiful when you consider the decreasing quality of episode titles, especially when they’re repeating their references. I mean, in season 1 there was an episode called “Moaning Lisa.” In season 18 there was an episode called “Moe’N’a Lisa.” I’m sure Zombie Simpsons could make another hilarious episode title riffing on “Mona Lisa” – hell, given their proclivity for shoehorning “D’oh” into episode titles, maybe we’ll get an episode entitled “D’oh’na Lisa” at some point.

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