Welcome Back, Zombie Simpsons! (Now Please Go Away Forever.)

Chalkboard - The Falcon and the D’Ohman

“This celebration is a sham, and it’s all my fault.” – Hollis Hurlbut

If anyone out there was worried that Zombie Simpsons might have taken time over the summer to sharpen its rusty stories or tighten its blundering dialogue, last night’s clumsy splatter-fest should put their mind at ease.  I suppose we can give them points for consistency, but that’s about it.  In a mere twenty minutes they told a hopelessly stupid ten minute story and filled the enormous gaps around it with their favorite kinds of filler material.  There was a pointless celebrity cameo voicing himself.  There were untethered non-sequiturs of the flash-forward, flash-backward and dream scene variety.  And there were several “action” sequences so bereft of narrative or action that they had to slow the passage of time to drag them out long enough to get to the credits.  I know it was the season premier, but they were in mid-season form last night.  After all, nothing says “well written” like cutting to a previously unknown Ukrainian mob boss two thirds of the way through the episode.

As for that ten minute story itself, there actually was the germ of a decent episode somewhere in there.  Making fun of 24 isn’t exactly hard to do (though Zombie Simpsons did manage to blow it a few years ago), but taking Jack Bauer, the trigger happy scream prone lunatic, and having some fun with his uncomfortable retirement isn’t an inherently fucked idea.  The bad ass dude who has to deal with normal life isn’t the world’s most original premise (see: here and here), but it is a decent “fish out of water” setup. 

Unfortunately, that wasn’t at all what Zombie Simpsons did.  Instead of having some fun with Bauer-deals-with-retirement, they just had him still be Bauer, which is neither creative nor funny.  Worse, they spent a great deal of the episode with origin story type flashbacks that didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but did eat up a healthy chunk of screen time.  So instead of jokes or comedy we were treated to a lot of suspenseful music while cartoons pretended to fight one another. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and they are acceptably bad.  Last night’s punchless 24 rehash was viewed by a mere 7.91 million people.  That’s a slight improvement over the Season 22 premier (though both are well below the Season 21 premier), but last night had the advantage of a late national football game leading into it.  (Season 22 didn’t.)  Football hangover would also help explain why Zombie Simpsons managed to best Family Guy (7.26 million), which basically never happens.  So we’ve got an encouraging start to this year’s ratings disaster, with even an NFL boost still resulting in a lame number.  Next week FOX doesn’t have a late national game and it’ll be interesting to see if Family Guy pulls ahead like it usually does.  Assuming it does, Zombie Simpsons should be in for another record low season.

24 Responses to “Welcome Back, Zombie Simpsons! (Now Please Go Away Forever.)”

  1. 1 Patrick
    26 September 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Just remember that The Sucksons season primers these days are holdover episodes and next sunday is hurricane sunday (which was pulled in may due to the tornados) so expect a landslide which the ratings :P

    • 2 Stan
      26 September 2011 at 2:23 pm

      I second that – next Sunday episode will suck major ass as it’s one against three sequintur bits of MacFarlame’s Cup of Mindfuck. If they are smart they’ll think in advance and prepare their best artillery to beat that, but seeing this is Zombie Simpsons, it likely won’t happen, and another 20 mins of scrapped post-it from Groening’s paper bin will take their toll.

  2. 5 lennyburnham
    26 September 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I swear Kiefer Sutherland got more lines than all the female cast members combined. Maybe I was projecting, but I felt like in the Marge-cooks-fancy-food scene you could hear the bitterness in all three voices.

  3. 26 September 2011 at 7:05 pm

    my local cw affiliate aired an original simpsons episode last night… it was heaven.. havent kept up with zombie simpsons… i stopped watching after season 11.. k, maybe 12….
    but watching bart & lisa solve the mystery of who framed krusty the clown again, on tv not dvd, made me feel all twitchy inside.. like i had just witnessed something historic & a bit magical..
    this is not a lending library.. if your not going to buy it then but it back… im armed to the teeth… ~ apu nahasapeemapetilon

    ~ cheers…

  4. 8 Anonymous
    26 September 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Just wanted to say i’ve stopped watching Zombie Simpsons and instead read this blog. You guys rock!

  5. 10 Dave Davis
    27 September 2011 at 1:44 am

    I enjoyed the episode. You can’t tell me the that Police song wasn’t good.

    • 11 Stan
      27 September 2011 at 9:21 am

      What Police song? Homer singing gibberish while going to work? Oh absolutely, Land of Chocolate and Flinstones intro with hitting a chestnut tree don’t stand a chance.

      BTW, Family Guy also did a montage, but they came up with their own 80-s song with lyrics about checking lottery tickets, which is both fresh and very funny.

      This show’s a Freankenstein stiched together with bits of jokes from long dead shows and pieces of previously shown and already disected episodes.

      • 12 Patrick
        27 September 2011 at 10:22 am

        I fully agree with that and just to add even tho IMO the family guy episode was mediocre and had some disgusting scenes it was still vastly superior to this trainwreck

      • 13 Philip
        27 September 2011 at 10:40 am

        I was with you until you called that miserable laughless Family Guy dirge “fresh and very funny.”

        • 14 Stan
          27 September 2011 at 11:53 am

          One has to have his or her humor sense tingling to watch Family Guy. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re just a regular Simpsons fan (pre Season 10), then you probably won’t get it. I’m not saying the whole show is gold material (thou some episodes are), but it surely gets well today’s society to kick a good chuckle out of it here and there.

      • 15 kokairu
        27 September 2011 at 4:03 pm

        I suppose Zombie Simpsons’ manitees just aren’t as good at picking the right idea balls as Family Guy’s are.

  6. 16 Stan
    27 September 2011 at 10:40 am

    Also, just a side note: I agree with this post in general, because a retiring agent coming to Springfield is not a bad idea actually, as from the top of my head I don’t recall that being a recycled plot either (though with 22 years behind it’s not always obvious).

    However since this show is now run by those who were in their milky age in the mid-to-late 80s, early 90s and whatnot, a good idea would’ve been parodying movies such as “Kindergarden Cop”. Instead they went with “Red Heat”. This is exactly what’s wrong with the show – they go backwards in the right direction.

    And they never make it, like zombies trying to chase an unhap victim at 2 mph (not the 28 days type thou, those seem to come with dynamite up their asses).

  7. 18 Philip
    27 September 2011 at 10:51 am

    I agree that there would have been a better episode in the Bauer-character actually trying to live a normal post-retirement life. It was touched upon here, but only barely, and that’s a shame.

    The episode had some good moments, but they did tend to go on too long. The CGI re-enactment was a funny idea, but it should have lasted about 5 seconds max. The “autotuned disaster victim” is a funny idea, but we shouldn’t have actually seen it. (The concept is far funnier than the execution.) And the idea of a Kim Jong-Il musical isn’t a great one, but a simple mention would have been much more effective (and less awful) than having to watch/listen to it afterward.

    Flanders’ big lifestyle change being switching to with-pulp orange juice was funny, too…but the explanation of his conversation with Lovejoy about it was not.

    One genuine lol: “My fresco!” I actually enjoyed that line.

    • 19 Stan
      27 September 2011 at 12:04 pm

      See, turn those around the following way and I’ll call it watchable:

      1) auto-tune disaster victim, Top Chef cutaway and Japanese shit 3d storytelling style – too much wannabe like Family Guy. Just… don’t. Do your show and that’s it. You’re trying to put a g-string on a 50 year old here.

      2) Kim Jong musical is a very lame outro, actually. They should’ve ended it there with just an acting. That was trying too hard doing too much once again.

      3) Flanders talking about juice with pulp = Lenny BBQing on his parking lot. Have him say something like “I like it with a hint of breast milk… just like Edna loves to make. Here you kill both birds at hnting at him being with Edna (instead of the TOO OBVIOUS them being in bed) and you get away with a sexist remark

      As per Lenny, come on, even the good ol’ “lot already taken by a smaller car” joke could’ve worked. Homer comes out of the car, pours some radioactive ooze over it and it becomes the size of a matchbox, then he puts it in his pocket – even this would’ve been funnier than a screw this I’m parking on top of Burns’ car or whatever…

      See, the potential is there. But they never use it. Instead they try to be like someone else. Teenager mentality.

    • 20 Stan
      27 September 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Another thing that just plain strikes me is that nowadays everyone forgets Bart and Lisa are kids. Sure, they have parents, sure they go to school, do their homework and so on. But having Sutherland babysit them would’ve been lot funnier (as a side plot of course), instead we didn’t see them being babysat since Lisa was babysitting Bart. Remember “Some Enchanted Evening”? Well, why not today? What exactly has changed? Computers, cellphones, Facebooks and Youtubes – all this doesn’t help our parents with babysitting today. And intelligent robots weren’t invented yet. There’s still some ground for that today, dunno why not use it.

      • 21 Charlie Sweatpants
        27 September 2011 at 4:58 pm

        “Another thing that just plain strikes me is that nowadays everyone forgets Bart and Lisa are kids.”

        They forgot that a while ago. These days they’re usually acting like adults, as when Lisa said something about doing the family accounting for years. The only time the show remembers that they’re kids is when they want to explore some pre-adolescent turmoil in a new segment Sideshow Bob calls “Choices”.

    • 22 Lovejoy Fan
      27 September 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Am I the only one who’d rather have seen this conversation with Lovejoy? It might’ve been more interesting that way. I miss the days when Flanders did that, and not just ’cause of my username, either.

      • 23 Charlie Sweatpants
        27 September 2011 at 4:54 pm

        If they were capable of not screwing it up it probably would’ve been fun to see, but that’s a pretty big “if”.

  8. 24 Brain Freeze
    4 October 2011 at 3:42 pm

    It’s truly a sign of the show’s decline when the people on this page could write a better episode from the same premise for free.

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