Archive for March, 2010


The Zombies Have Spoken: The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed

“Be they Christian, Jew, or miscellaneous.” – Rev. Lovejoy
“Hindu.  There are seven hundred million of us.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Aw, that’s super.” – Rev. Lovejoy

It was pointed out to me today that there are some extra poignant comments on Simpsons Channel’s preview for tonight’s Zombie Simpsons episode. I would normally wait until after an episode has aired to poke fun, but I’m bored and I feel like being mean. So here goes:

“you are so stupid Jesus was spend most of his time in the holy land thtats why is called that damm ass” – Borusmat

Wait, are you calling Jesus stupid? Or are you saying that Jerusalem wasn’t holy before Jesus was born? ‘Cause Jesus was called you a stupid damm ass for saying that…

 “yea that’s what jesus would have wanted people calling people damm ass’s, you know not everyone on this planet is muslim, jew or christian.respect jesus by not swearing. and rome is the holy land for Catholics!!” – Tyrone McBlacklebee

Thanks for that tidbit. I’ll make sure to remind the Pope about Rome next time I’m in the Vatican. Also, usually when I inform people that not everyone is Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, I don’t follow up by telling them to give it up to Jesus. But that’s just me.

 “There are still a small amount of Christians in Israel and the Palestinian territories. About 2% of the Citizens of Israel, an uncertain percentage of Palestinians (1 – 8% ?), and an additional number of temporary guest workers (perhaps equivalent to 1 – 3% of Israel’s Population). Not to mention tourists and students who constantly come and go. So it is in no way inaccurate to show all three religious groups in the Jerusalem, although there are also Bahi, Druze, and Bedouin, although that might make it too complex for a cartoon!” – Daniel

Definitely not inaccurate. There is perhaps an equivalent of 1-8% room for error, and that doesn’t even include an additional unknown number of opinions from people who don’t puke up meaningless stats about religion on a thread about a shell of a cartoon. FYI at least 5-90% of Bedouins are Sunni Islam.

So there you have it. The only thing I hate more than a Zombie Simpsons fan is a Zombie Simpsons fan feigning knowledge of world religions, and using poor grammar to do so. Also, I’m putting the over/under on how many jokes are recycled from “Homer the Heretic” at 3.5.


Quote of the Day

Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment2

“There’s something wrong with that kid.  She’s so moral.  Why can’t she be more like . . . well, not like Bart, but there’s gotta be a happy medium.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations4

“Bart Simpson on the side of law and order?  Has the world gone topsy-turvy?” – Principal Skinner
“That’s right, man.  I got my first taste of authority . . . and I liked it!” – Bart Simpson

Happy Birthday George Meyer!


Reading Digest: Excuses Edition

 Dog Eaten Homework

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Kyle Kesselring.

“You ate my homework?  I didn’t know dogs really did that.” – Bart Simpson

This week’s Reading Digest is shorter than most, but I have two and a half excuses.  The first is that for some reason the “Simpsons” tag on WordPress isn’t working correctly, and I often get several links from there.  The other one and a half excuses are the fact that we are sitting in between two talked about Zombie Simpsons episodes.  Last week they had two guest stars and one of them was playing Michelle Obama, this week Zombie Simpsons is going to Jerusalem.  Much like the whole “Marge in Playboy” thing, this has caused a flood shallow and uninteresting Simpsons commentary on-line.  When the signal to noise ratio gets this out of whack I have a hard time finding good stuff, and I’m much too lazy to plow through it all.  But we still have some usage (excellent and poor), a Zombie Simpsons fan who blunders right into a classic cliche, two links about Simpsons words, and two YouTubes of the same scene (one in German, one in Spanish). 


DON’T BUY THIS!!!!! ~~"The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season" – A rather wonderful review from Canadian Amazon. 

‘The Simpsons’: Their greatest gift to us? ‘Yoink.’ – In defense of “Yoink” as the best Simpsons contribution to the English language.  The real treat here is the comments section, which breaks out into a rash of quotes.  It goes for nine pages and I didn’t bother with them all, but there are, as you’d expect, very little Zombie Simpsons. 

Cartoons that still run after 10+ years – I never knew the color yellow was so powerful. 

‘The Simpsons’ is Still Awesome – I really should start cataloging these:

For the record, even when everyone else stopped watching "The Simpsons" I stuck with it. Admittedly some of the years out of the past decade have not been its finest, but if you were once a "Simpsons" fan and quit, you should really pick it back up.

This has occurred to me over the course of the current season, and specifically during a moment from the episode "Postcards From the Wedge."

Zombie Simpsons fan (“I stuck with it”) saying that it’s getting better.  How surprising. 

22 Theme Songs In 7 Minutes – This has been making the rounds recently.  It’s all teevee-theme songs.  I almost stopped it right away because it started with “Two and a Half Men”.  I saw seven seconds of that show once, almost killed me.  Anyway, the Simpsons part starts right after that but is only about seven bars long and bleeds almost immediately into “The OC”.  Feh.

Links for Wednesday – The word “Waterloo” has been getting thrown around a lot in political circles here in America this week.  This man had the proper response:

* And Jim DeMint gets Waterlooed. Hasn’t happened to a nicer guy since Mr. Burns. (Sorry, German and Spanish only!)

I cannot resist embedding such excellent YouTube:


I now have Abba stuck in my head.  It was worth it. 

The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down: Why I can’t get enough of those celebrity sex scandals – I consciously avoid celebrity news, but this is excellent usage:

Just because they once pretended in a movie, like Homer Simpson said, to be on “a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode! I think it was called, ‘The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down’”;

Don’t worry – Poor quotation here:

“Don’t worry son. You could wake up dead tomorrow.” – Homer Simpson, “The Simpsons”

The actual quote is:

“Don’t let Krusty’s death get you down, boy.  People die all the time, just like that.  Why, you could wake up dead tomorrow.” – Homer Simpson

The Simpsons like you’ve never seen them before: gambling, doing drugs and soliciting prostitutes – A bar in Shanghai has public service announcements (No Prostitution) with Simpsons characters.  Click this, it’s too fun to miss (via).

D’oh! – Simpsons grunt has global clout – This list is not cromulent – literally.

Cinematical Late Night: Little Brother, Miley Cyrus, Asian Film Awards & The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us.  This is a catchall post most of which has nothing to do with the show; but in the course of mentioning the kiss montage from last week’s episode we get this:

I haven’t been watching The Simpsons with any regularity for some time now because, well, The Simpsons hasn’t been all that good for some time now.

Damn straight. 


Quote of the Day

Corporal Punishment

 Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Wesley Fryer.

“My mother’s inside, Mrs. Simpson.  Please go right on in.” – Laura Powers
“Oh, you speak so politely to adults.” – Marge Simpson
“My upbringing was painfully strict, ma’am.” – Laura Powers
“That’s sweet.” – Marge Simpson


Compare & Contrast: Absent Teachers

There were a lot of recycled ideas, gags, and scenes in “Stealing First Base”.  Besides the narrative repetition of Bart getting another girlfriend and Lisa feeling unloved, there were a few specific things as well.  The most direct of these came near the beginning, when Bart walked into class to see chaos in Mrs. Krabappel’s absence.  Of course, this is extremely similar to the opening of Season 2’s “Lisa’s Substitute”.

In “Stealing First Base” the opening chaos in the classroom runs for twenty seconds before we have any dialogue.  It includes Nelson spitting in books, Lewis putting a firecracker in the pencil sharpener, and the school snake puking up a mouse who enjoys stealing lines from space ants.  Skinner finally arrives and spends the next twenty seconds telling (not showing) why Krabappel isn’t there and then expositing another fourth grade into existence.

By contrast, in “Lisa’s Substitute” we move immediately to dialogue, with the kids speculating that Ms. Hoover drank drain cleaner or fell down a well.  Less than ten seconds in, Hoover and Skinner appear, with Hoover crying.  That prompts Lisa to say, “My god, she’s been dumped again.”  (That one single line, just six words, tells us volumes about both Hoover and Lisa.)  The episode then moves immediately to Skinner’s detailed description of the horrors of Lyme disease, while a terrified Hoover looks on.  The entire episode set up is shot through with jokes, we are shown what’s going on instead of told, and there’s no need for improbable plot leaps.

Both of those sequences take forty seconds.  But when placed within the larger context of their respective episodes, the one from Zombie Simpsons looks even worse by comparison.  Not counting the opening or the credits, “Stealing First Base” clocks in at 19m:5s, “Lisa’s Substitute” clocks in at 21m:13s.  In “Stealing First Base” we don’t even get inside the school for more than a minute (on account of a GPS scene* that is never referenced for the rest of the episode).  On the other hand, “Lisa’s Substitute” starts at the school immediately.  The very first shot is of the classroom clock showing 9:15, so we know Hoover is late.  Add all that up and “Lisa’s Substitute” has three and a half minutes more screen time left to play with after the initial set up.  So not only is Zombie Simpsons shorter, but it has to drag its feet right from the opening just to fill its abbreviated time.

Brilliant Writing

Zombie Simpsons, clearly still a “writer’s” program.

What we can see here, in simple terms of screen time, is the way Zombie Simpsons has to huff and puff to fill its quota.  And while it’s not exactly news that Zombie Simpsons is shorter, if you subtract out the more than two minutes “Stealing First Base” spent on dialogue free montages you get an episode that’s almost 20% smaller than “Lisa’s Substitute”.  (Not only is this food terrible, but such small portions!)  I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: this is not the same show as The Simpsons.  It’s not even close to the same show.  If you took the “Stealing First Base” script to a network as a pilot, it would never get made.  This is low quality television masquerading as a long-lived classic, nothing more, nothing less.

*Lest you think I’m being overly harsh about the GPS thing, consider that “Marge vs. the Monorail” opens with Homer doing his own version of the “Flintstones” opening.  That too ends with a car crash is never referenced again, but it takes half as long, involves a genuine parody, and is never played for action/suspense, only humor. 


March 23rd was a special day in Simpsons history

Image "borrowed" from the lovable Boing Boing.

David Silverman shared an interesting, obscure piece of Simpsons history with Boing Boing a couple days ago:

23 years ago today on March 23rd, 1987, we had a meeting with Matt Groening. And then Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and I started animating the very first Simpsons short for The Tracey Ullman Show, in a studio on 729 N. Seward Street. We all thought it was pretty funny.

It was pretty funny David. You had a good run that has long overstayed its welcome. Our brief PSA to you is this, and simply this: Do your part to salvage the show’s legacy by helping end Zombie Simpsons. Yes, you can.


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