Didn’t Groening Already Make a Show About This Kind of Stuff?

Chalkboard - Holidays of Future Passed

“What’s normal to him, amazes us.” – Future Guy #1
“He will be our new god.” – Future Guy #2
“Yay!” – Future Crowd

I’ll start right off by saying that this is easily the best Zombie Simpsons episode so far this season.  That alone isn’t much of a compliment (if it is one at all), so let me clarify by stating unequivocally that the “First Church of Lard Lad” is the funniest thing I’ve seen on Zombie Simpsons in a long, long time.  Even better, it was accompanied by a couple of other decent little set pieces that were more than a little reminiscent of some of the less boring new Futurama episodes.  The show only really had one kind of joke (“look at how things in the future are exaggerated versions of things now”), but did wring a few entertaining iterations out of it. 

Sadly, all was not smiles and sunshine.  Many of those same set pieces either didn’t work at all or were dragged on far longer than they should have been.  The plots, three of them in one tangled mess, didn’t make any sense individually or as a whole.  Half the ideas were directly or indirectly recycled from “Lisa’s Wedding”.  And by the end it felt like they were ticking off a list of their most used characters just so we could check in with the future versions of all of them.  The Ralph one was as painful and long as it was predictable, though, to my surprise, Comic Book Guy didn’t rate an appearance while Lenny and Carl did.

Sadder still, this was basically a Futurama episode and they can’t do that every week, so it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.  When they’re stuck back in present times in boring old Springfield we’re all but guaranteed to be back to getting the kind of undifferentiated garbage that we’re accustomed to on Sunday evenings.

Anyway, the numbers are in, and, as expected without a late FOX football game, they have plummeted back to earth like an insane airliner with the cockpit windows boarded up (which was funny).  Last night’s trip through time caused only 6.45 million viewers to wonder if Zombie Simpsons will be on Season 53 in 2041.  That’s back to being well below the Season 22 average of 7.10 million viewers, and it’s lower than any fall episode in either Season 21 or Season 22.  So while for one night I didn’t totally regret watching Zombie Simpsons, I’m still glad only a few people bothered to do the same.

15 Responses to “Didn’t Groening Already Make a Show About This Kind of Stuff?”

  1. 1 Stan
    12 December 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Everyone has his or her own p.o.v. on jokes, but honestly, the Lard Lad and St. Beatles were scrap. The only decent joke I saw there was the Google anniversary mockery. Yet the virtual search engine stuff, just like virtual Facebook, just like voice-programmed objects and systems – not more than a meh.

    I think if anything you should compare&contrast this one to “Lisa’s Wedding”, especially the way they mock the future (now past) back then: WWIII, Gay president in 2084, fat Homer (which is much funnier than jackassier grumpy old Homer). Yes, they do show gadgets, but they don’t make a joke out of in not because back in 1995 it wasn’t as much present, simply because, we get it with crying malfunctioning robots already.

    This being said, IMO this ep got what it deserved and 6,5 million is a fair number. I’m pretty certain some of the viewers tuned in only because FG and AD were coming thereafter, and if FOX starts airing the SImpsons last starting next year – the number will go below 4 even before the end of this season IMO.

    • 2 Stan
      12 December 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Like I said, for example showing that even in 2041 cars still “drive” instead of flying and then have someone say: “And what did you think of? Flying cars? What a load of bull!” is a much funnier joke than still have them show it. We didn’t get flying cars by 2010, I don’t think it will be a reality in 2041 either. You know, just saying.

      Also, comparing this to Futurama is a tad absurd: futurama happens in 3000. Between now and then, we don’t even know whether the world would exist by then.

    • 3 Stan
      12 December 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Also, another funny idea, come to think of it: instead of showing Carl and Lenny switch brains and have Ralph Wiggum clone it, have Ralph switch brain with Clancy, but kinda IQ wise: Ralph is now a smart adult cop chief, and Clancy – an old demented fart the size of Ralph. And he comes and says: “sonny sonny look I ate a butterfly” or something, “That’s great dad, don’t touch my gun dad. Go sit in the car.”

  2. 4 lennyburnham
    12 December 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I thought a lot of the funniest ideas really could’ve used a re-write. The tree talking about how trees are sentient and Selma’s lovebot running away with Patty’s lovebot were both really funny ideas, but the actual dialogue was way too expositional, so it felt like I was hearing a writer explain the future to me instead of watching an episode that took place in the future. Still, funny ideas with a lackluster execution is a lot more fun to watch than shitty ideas with a lackluster execution, so I completely agree with you that it’s the best of the season.

  3. 6 Anonymous
    12 December 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Futurama doesn’t have talking Earth trees nor the devil walking into a hospital. It wasn’t just Futurama-lite, it was Family Guy.

  4. 12 December 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I actually like it. Nice to see a Homer being a good grandpa/father for a change.

  5. 9 Lovejoy Fan
    12 December 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Don’t tell me; Lovejoy doesn’t merit an appearance either?

    I have to say, I’m curious about this one. This episode has recieved more praise than any other episode in years.

    • 12 December 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Don’t set yourself up for too much, but it is a decent episode. The kind of zaniness that normally bugs me in Zombie Simpsons gets channeled into inventiveness here because of the setting.

  6. 11 Thrillho
    12 December 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I think this is proof that Charlie and Co are more open-minded than the average lurker gives them credit for. When something funny happens, they note it.

    I’ll admit this episode wasn’t my cup of tea, but it had a few things I liked, which is more than I can say for a lot of the episodes I’ve watched recently. In short: it was weak, but it was a high level of weak.

  7. 12 December 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Now would be a good time to end the series. It’s a high note, by Zombie standards, and there would be a certain symmetry to ending on a Christmas episode.

    • 13 Alan
      12 December 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Definitely… the plot and theme of this episode couldn’t be a better fit as a finale, in contrast to the Christmas-themed series premiere.

  8. 13 December 2011 at 1:12 am

    Probably the best review/post on this blog thus far, that first paragraph was genius. I especially enjoy this line..

    “…reminiscent of some of the less boring new Futurama episodes…”

    Exactly. Most of Futurama since the reboot and around the 3rd or 4th movie has been pretty boring and hard to sit through. This at least felt about as good as most of that.

    ……..I don’t remember laughing at this episode but I do remember not being bored. And in Zombie simpson world, that’s HIGH praise.

    …I do want to check out some of the freeze-frame jokes, like the crime scene at Moe’s and the “Simpsons go to…” Friends List thing. Those looked fun..

    I’d say this season has been an improvment over last season. Not saying much but meh.

  9. 13 January 2012 at 2:10 pm

    The shows are completely different. One is about a dys/functional family. The other is about a bachelor in the future. The storylines aren’t event remotely similar.

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