07
Mar
11

Somewhere, Klaus Kinski Weeps

Chalkboard - The Scorpion's Tale

“Have any of your workers ever had their hands cut off by the machinery?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Box Factory Guy
“And then the hands started crawling around and tried to strangle everybody?” – Bart Simpson
“No, that has never happened.” – Box Factory Guy
“Any popped eyeballs?” – Bart Simpson

In some alternate universe the basic premise behind “The Scorpion’s Tale” could’ve been used for a decent half hour of television.  It would need to be done on a show that isn’t five hundred episodes old, but a drug that gets geezers stoned could’ve worked.  On Zombie Simpsons it never had a prayer.  As sometimes happens when they do “topic/destination” episodes like this, they got in a few good one liners at the expense of their targets (Werner Herzog helped a lot).  But the whole thing was sunk beneath an acidic tidal wave of bad slapstick, the fact that they’ve done all of these things before, and a disregard for basic storytelling that almost has to be deliberate.  And all of that was before they went out with four minutes of a popped eyeball gag that shouldn’t have lasted one. 

About the eyeball thing, it doesn’t even qualify as gross-out humor because it’s totally antiseptic.  It’s a little creepy the first time, but since they make it immediately apparent that these are “cartoon” eyeballs, that can’t be hurt, that aren’t going to get gory or dirty or anything else, there’s nothing to it.  The old people didn’t mind at all.  It’s the visual equivalent of those Halloween novelties that make it look like your finger has been severed (see: Horror, Treehouse of); it’s worth a quick chuckle, maybe a yelp from the more unsuspecting, and that’s it.  Nobody wants to hang around the person at the party who keeps pulling the same cheap stunt every time someone new walks in the room. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and it looks like we’ve settled nicely into the annual late winter swoon.  Last night’s experiment in exasperating novelty humor was goggled at by a mere 6.20 million viewers.  That is the second lowest number all season, knocking “Angry Dad: The Movie” out of the spot it occupied for only one episode.  Unfortunately, it’s not quite low enough to bring the average of Season 22 below that of Season 20, but I still have hope.


13 Responses to “Somewhere, Klaus Kinski Weeps”


  1. 1 Zoinks
    7 March 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Yhe, the episode was far from good but “Made up plot device”. Non of those plots and stories are real man ;)

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      7 March 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Yeah I know, I just meant the way the eyeball thing had no relation to anything else or consequences for those affected.

  2. 3 Stan
    7 March 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Here’s how to write a cheap-ass episode on The Simpsons today, in case you wonder, taking the present as example:

    1) One-minute-long stupid couchgag.
    2) Blah-blah-blah something unrelated happens, Skinner-Chalmers, more blah-blah, Hans Moleman, some more blah.
    3) Lisa makes a discovery
    4) 1ST COMMERCIAL!
    5) Finally, enter the plot…
    6) Bart acts like a moron.
    7) blah-blah-blah, Skinner again, etc. etc.
    8) 1ND COMMERCIAL! (woo-hoo, we’re just seven minutes away from the end now!!)
    9) Everybody starts popping their eyes out
    10) Nonsense
    11) The end.

    Can you pleeease leave your teevee on so Mr. Fox guys don’t get us off the air? Pretty please?

  3. 7 March 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Yeah, this was pretty sad. It was tough going for the first 15 minutes or so, with the only the occasional funny line (“If you were a boy, you’d be a scientist!”) and Werner Herzog’s voice to make it bearable, but once the eyes started popping out… all bets were off. So pointless, so disconnected, so GROSS (at least the first time). Then Homer’s car was on fire, and the episode forgot what its own plot was, and then it ended. It’s none too surprising, but still tiresome.

    Oh, and speaking of gross, did we really need to have Nelson (supposedly around 10-11 years old?) apparently masturbating behind a cactus? Ugh.

    • 5 Stan
      8 March 2011 at 8:37 am

      Nelson’s supposed to be 13-14, actually. He’s stuck in the 4th grade because of his Fs. And I wouldn’t even call it masturbating. It was just… filler.

  4. 6 Anonymous
    7 March 2011 at 8:09 pm

    its pathetic to look on the imdb boards and see how much praise this atrocious episode is getting…in fact, its sickening to see people on imdb defend zombie simpsons and saying its still fresh and funny…

  5. 8 Anonymous
    8 March 2011 at 1:25 pm

    You have to remember a large chunk of those people are probably children.They probably find this show “fresh” because they grew up (at the very least) around season 9 and really once things turned zombie was there any real decline? It just seems like a lingering bad smell that doesn’t get better or worse with time.

    • 9 Stan
      8 March 2011 at 5:50 pm

      If they were children around Season 9, we’re talking about at least 8-year-olds (because younger than that I simply don’t think you’ll have enought ADD to sit through that), they should be in their early 20s right now, and these are hardly children, than they are brainless morons simply devouring chips or pizza in front of a TV, getting their belly and ass fatter and probably, mayhaps most likely, under marijuana effect.

      If this is the audience ZS is trying to “dig”, count me waaaay out. I’d stand in for more Family Guy violence than passive vegetablefecation.

  6. 10 Celia
    8 March 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I only looked at the framegrabs, but the eye thing was just nasty even in those thumbnails. I have nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said. Still, at least it (apparently) wasn’t full of MY CELEBRITY FRIENDS, LET ME INTRODUCE YOU like the last one (which I also didn’t watch, but you don’t mind me complaining anyway, right?)

  7. 11 Sean
    9 March 2011 at 9:51 am

    The eyeball thing is just a rip-off of an old cutaway gag from Family Guy. Observe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=704Ykj6wpC4&feature=related

    Zombie Simpsons REALLY wants to be Family Guy now and is failing pretty badly. Whereas Family is sometimes funny and clever on occassion, ZS just seems like that annoying ‘me too’ kid on the playground that follows the popular kid around.

    Does this mean we can move on from “Simpsons did it” to “Family Guy did it”?

    • 12 Patrick
      9 March 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Family Guy and American Dad have become the better Animation Domination shows now I mean watch FG’s ‘And then there were fewer’ and compare it to current simpsons episodes.


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