Archive for July, 2012


Crazy Noises: Little Big Mom

Little Big Mom1

“That suit’s a little revealing, isn’t it?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, it allows for maximum mobility.  Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all.” – Ned Flanders

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “vacuum”).

Today’s episode is 1110, “Little Big Mom”.  Yesterday’s was 1109, “Grift of the Magi”. 

Charlie Sweatpants: I want to like this episode, I really do, but it’s got too many problems for me to want to watch it much.

Dave: Why do you want to like it, out of curiosity?

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m willing to set aside the weirdness of Lisa being the mom who takes care of Bart and Homer. I’m even willing to set aside Homer and Bart being best friends.

  As a role-reversal setup, that’s not terrible.

However, they take everything way too damn far. Did they have to actually go to Hawaii? Did the fucking ghost of Lucy have to appear before Lisa?

  Did the "practice" chore hat thing have to take that long?

  Couldn’t they have done something other than beat the shit out of Homer in a lot of these scenes?

When I say I want to like this one, what I mean is that there’s the germ of a good episode somewhere beneath all the crotch hits and Homer and Bart screaming about leprosy.

Mad Jon: It’s a Lisa Learns a Lesson episode, which tend to shift focus and allow for different types of stories. That has often worked in the past, but as most of my notes are just a list of Jerky things done by Homer and Bart, it is easy to see that shifting the focus didn’t get rid of any of those zombie problems.

Charlie Sweatpants: The Funzo one is just nuts, this one could’ve easily been something decent.

  For example, Otto is teaching the snowboard class which is all about lingo rather than snowboarding.

It’s kinda funny, and I like "duke on!", but there was no reason for that to be Otto. Would it have killed them to create a snowboard instructor character?

Mad Jon: An actual instructor would have been nice.

  Although I guess Otto isn’t that much of a stretch.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, he’s not, but there are so many things that could’ve been better in this episode. Like the scene where Homer and Bart go over to the Flanders house. Seeing the Flanders get guilted into something is enjoyable, having it take that long, including (off voice) Maude setting the vacuum cleaner on fire and Flanders getting his moustache ripped off, not so much.

Mad Jon: Imagination Christmas was good.

  But I more or less agree with you.

Charlie Sweatpants: Getting there was too much of a pain.

Mad Jon: That being said I have never looked at this episode in that manner, like there is something good at the roots, but it got dug up with dynamite.

Charlie Sweatpants: How about the Itchy & Scratchy at the beginning?

  No need for Scratchy to have a voice there. It’s filler.

He could’ve just invented the cloning and killing machines like a regular episode. (And I love it when he hits Scratchy in the face with the mace.)

Mad Jon: I do enjoy the cloning/killing machine idea. But you are right, took way to long to get to the funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: I really do try to avoid playing Monday Morning Screenwriter, but fuck, this episode really could’ve been a standout in Season 11 if it had just pulled itself back into some vaguely recognizable boundaries, and I find that frustrating to watch.

Mad Jon: Well put.

Charlie Sweatpants: For all that, though, I actually think this is one of the more quotable episodes in Season 11.

Mad Jon: Agreed on that as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: There’s Moe’s call to Lisa, Lisa’s cross country skiing admission, Homer and Bart watching the Lucy show, this one isn’t a comedy desert unlike so many others this season.

Dave: It’s all a nauseous blur to me.

Mad Jon: Flanders and Homer at the top of the mountain.

  I use the "feels like I’m wearing nothing at all" line all the time.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, "stupid sexy Flanders" is great, and then immediately pissed on by Homer getting hit in the groin with snow mounds over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

Mad Jon: and over and over and over.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly.

  Still, by Season 11 standards, I think of this one as above average even if it is still mostly unwatchable.

"You’ve got . . . leprosy".

Mad Jon: I would agree with that rating. Of course it is disqualified in general by the fact that the ending is overlain by Homer’s screams.

  That’s a deal breaker for me.

Charlie Sweatpants: It is a wretched way to end an episode.

Especially one where Homer has already spent so much time getting the shit kicked out of him.

Any other particular high or low points here?

Mad Jon: Meh. There are a lot of mostly low points. Just not worth the effort to type. Especially in complete sentences.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m fond of the Jesus joke where Homer says, "I think we’re on the outs with him", and I’m going to mention Moe’s phone call again, because the way he says "don’t hang up on me" gets me every time.

Mad Jon: Some good quotes and lines, but not enough to pull it out.

  I also like Moe’s call.

Dave: Yep.

  Better than the more overt suicide neediness he often displays.

Mad Jon: Just a standard desperate loneliness here, eh?

Charlie Sweatpants: Right.

  I don’t mind him being bitter and suicidal if it’s because one of his customers didn’t come in for an eye opener. I do mind him being heartsick and lovelorn over no one loving him.

It is a fine line between stupid and clever, and that’s it, right there.

Anything else here, or can I head for the electric needle room?

Mad Jon: I got nothing. Enjoy your view.

Dave: Let’s all go.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, but I get to go first.


Quote of the Day

Make Room for Lisa3

“But you can’t just repossess our merchandise.  The I Ching said I had six months till bankruptcy.” – Karma-Ceuticals Owner
“Hey, channel somebody who gives a damn.” – Repo Man


Crazy Noises: Grift of the Magi

Grift of the Magi1

“So have a merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, kwazy Kwanza, a tip-top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.  Now a word from my god: our sponsor.” – Krusty the Klown

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “coccyx”).

Today’s episode is 1109, “Grift of the Magi”.  Tomorrow will be 1110, “Little Big Mom”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get started?

Mad Jon: Let’s go.

Grift of the Magi?

Dave: Blech. Yes

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, this episode is all over the place.

Mad Jon: And right out of the gate too.

  It really didn’t screw around.

Dave: Pretty schizophrenic. And not particularly enjoyable either.

Mad Jon: No, I felt like Milhouse when he was being chased by the Christmas time ozone layer hole sunbeam thingy.

Charlie Sweatpants: The sunbeam from space is a little lame, but at least it doesn’t take long. And the kids hanging out around the house isn’t too bad. But once we head for the hospital, and then the school, and then Fat Tony walks out from behind the tree, things go to shit and stay there.

Mad Jon: Ditto the butt bone problem.

Charlie Sweatpants: The whole Fat Tony (what, 2 minutes or so?) is just a waste of time and space.

Mad Jon: Although I did enjoy when everyone chuckled at "coccyx"

Charlie Sweatpants: From a story point of view, all they need to do is get the school poor so that the evil company can come in. They didn’t need to go through all the histrionics to get there.

Mad Jon: Agreed

Charlie Sweatpants: The play for Burns, for example, is particularly stupid, especially in that it has Weak/Stupid Burns instead of the always funnier Evil/Smart Burns.

Mad Jon: I can’t stand that scene.

How the hell did they get in?

Dave: Yeah. Excruciating.

Charlie Sweatpants: The "Rat Poison" one is the worst. This is a man who actually consulted his lawyers about whether or not he could poison a lazy employee with a donut.

Mad Jon: That is such a Simpsons joke. Charity, children, old people, nobody gets into Burns’ mansion.

But Zombie Simpsons? We’ll just let that go I guess.

Charlie Sweatpants: And then they have this emergency meeting about closing the school, because apparently no one noticed all the construction.

Mad Jon: A catered meeting at that


Charlie Sweatpants: And why the hell is Moe there?

Mad Jon: Gutsy question.

  You’re a shark.

Charlie Sweatpants: Then allow me to revolutionize outside the box for a second. As a "huh?" type moment, it’s pretty minor for this episode, but it’s still too weird not to be noticeable.

Furthermore, it’s part of the show’s overall devolution into Zombie Simpsons, where characters who have no business being places be there because . . . well, because we had a joke we kinda liked and were too lazy/apathetic to come up with something that fit in with the story, the characters, or Springfield as we know it.

Dave: That more or less sums it up.

Mad Jon: But the scene did give Homer a chance to stuff his pants full of free appetizers.

  So we got that going for us.

Dave: Lindsay Naegle, in her various incarnations, shows up way too much in this and in future episodes.

Mad Jon: She does show up a bunch in this epoch of seasons…

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ve always thought she’d have been a great character if she’d been introduced in Season 6 or 7. As it is, she came along too late. She’s got some decent lines in a few episodes, but she never had that one killer introductory episode where she became a real part of the show.

  More specifically to this episode, there’s just too damn much going on here.

Mad Jon: I know, look at all the insanity to this point, and we aren’t even to Gary Coleman.

Charlie Sweatpants: You could have a toy company that infiltrates the school, fine. You could have a for-profit school, fine. You could have a must-have robot toy, that’s okay. But to have all those things, plus killer robots, Gary Coleman, Homer breaking into houses, the list goes on.

Things just keep getting further and further out of hand until they actually have to have a narrator come on to squeeze everything in.

Mad Jon: If Funzo is designed to kill other toys, why don’t the Funzos try to kill each other?

  Then we could have a Funzo fight club or something.

Charlie Sweatpants: Don’t give them any ideas.

Funzo could’ve been a decent idea if all it did was suggest to kids that they buy more Funzo crap.

Mad Jon: I am just saying. There were 30 of them in the bag that Homer had….

Charlie Sweatpants: Instead they stretched it long past the breaking point by having it snap Malibu Stacey in half and toss her into the fire.

Mad Jon: Don’t forget the two heads on pencils.

  That was creepy.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the burning, melted kinda gross one that Coleman fights was my personal "wow this is really not like Simpsons at all" moment.

Mad Jon: Just couldn’t help themselves, I guess. Had to throw one more visual gag in there.

  Also it got Gary out of the shot, so he could stand by himself before the dinner invite.

Charlie Sweatpants: Stuffing this one with anything and everything with little to no regard for editorial control did seem to be the order of the day here.

I do like Krusty’s non-denominational holiday special, especially his "Now a word from my god, our sponsor" as he bows down.

That’s some enjoyably old school Krusty shilling, right there.

Mad Jon: That was funny. I also liked the court room show. "Donde Esta Justice" was a good name.

Dave: Donde esta justice was the highlight of the show for me

Charlie Sweatpants: Right. But for everyone one of those, there were five total wastes of time, like that odd discussion Homer and the kids have with Coleman, or Lenny for some reason wanting a Funzo even though he doesn’t have kids.

Take the end, for example. It’s kinda funny that Burns went through "A Christmas Carol" and Moe did "It’s a Wonderful Life" (the "No Funeral" sign on his back is good). But why did they have to rush over to the Simpsons house?

Mad Jon: Yeah, agreed.

  Forcing more wrap up style stuff.

Dave: Yep, they found a loose thread and had to either snip it or put it back in place

Charlie Sweatpants: I like the idea that Fat Tony’s construction company is called Valdazo Brothers Olive Oil, but that doesn’t mean I needed to see him work on the school right away.

Dave: Yeah that happened absurdly quickly

  Not that the benefit of additional time would’ve improved things

Charlie Sweatpants: Same old. For every thing that’s good here, there’s a lot more that’s bad, and many of the good things get stretched much too far.

Shall we move on to fake leprosy? (There’s something I never thought I’d have to say again.)


Quote of the Day

Bart's Inner Child9

“The lesson here is that self improvement is better left to people who live in big cities.” – Marge Simpson
“No!  Self improvement can be achieved, but not with a quick fix.  It’s a long, arduous journey of personal and spiritual discovery.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s what I’ve been saying: we’re all fine the way we are.” – Homer Simpson


The Longest Daycare: Maggie in the Spotlight

Baby Beef

“We didn’t invite the other babies.  Maggie doesn’t seem to get along with the other babies.” – Lisa Simpson

Though I still haven’t seen it a second time, after a weekend of mulling it over, “The Longest Daycare” is doing that thing that high quality movies/television shows/books do where it gets better the more I think about it.  The story is sweet without being saccharine, exciting without being scary, and plausible without being fanciful.  The animation is very similar to the movie and HD Zombie Simpsons, but there’s a not-quite dreamlike quality to it that makes it fit in will with a story that’s told from the perspective of a baby.  Finally and most importantly, “The Longest Daycare” has a genuine sense of humor to it, one that doesn’t feel repetitive or played out. 

The last part comes about in no small part because the format of “The Longest Daycare”.  A dialogue free short film leaves no room for the typical comedy and story telling problems that plague Zombie Simpsons and spoiled the movie.  Since there’s no Homer, no need to stretch things to fill an arbitrary runtime, and no dialogue of any kind, “The Longest Daycare” is protected from Jerkass Homer acting insane, pointless celebrity voice cameos, dull exposition to explain whatever nonsense is happening, and the need to stretch jokes and ideas as a way to kill time.

By operating in a new format that makes so many of the usual shortcuts unavailable, “The Longest Daycare” is free to both indulge its imagination and tell a simple story without getting bogged down in ill timed act breaks or any of the other routine necessities of television.  The result is a short story about Maggie, Gerald (the baby with the one eyebrow), and a caterpillar that she wants to protect and he wants to squish.  The setup is simple but sturdy, and the short moves along briskly while covering quite a bit of physical and emotional ground given that it takes place at a daycare center over only a short time. 

The animation plays a very clever two-track game with the audience.  On the more adult level, there’s a steady stream sign jokes and background gags, much of which goes by very quickly and requires you to pay attention lest you miss something.  On the more kid level, the perspective both of the setting and of the events is decidedly baby-like.  Everything from hallways to other kids to the caterpillar/cocoon that’s the focus of the conflict is shown from the mental and physical viewpoint of Maggie, so when she’s concentrating on something, we see it up close.  When she’s frightened by Gerald, we see him as a towering figure instead of the tiny baby he is (these images are from the trailer, which “Captain Squid” at No Homers was nice enough to grab):


The ceiling and cabinets are all much higher off the ground than he is, but not from Maggie’s point of view.

The short uses this kind of perspective a lot, so that we see things the way Maggie would see them, both physically and emotionally.  For example, when Marge drops Maggie off, she walks down a hallway away from Maggie, but we don’t see it as a straight passageway, instead it’s got an arc to it that exaggerates the distance and reinforces the fact that we’re seeing it the same way a baby sitting on the floor would see it.  Even though Marge is only a few adult steps away, by Maggie’s standards she’s much further. 

You can see that baby-perspective in a couple of the other stills from the trailer.  Here’s Maggie in a hallway that looks much too small for her:


And here she is flinging mud at Gerald from what looks like about six inches away:


From a strict size perspective, neither of these shots makes much sense.  Look how large she and Gerald are compared to the hallway, how close in the bookshelf and the paining look, to say nothing of how close Maggie must be to Gerald as she tosses the dirt.  But they do an excellent job of conveying how Maggie feels, that Gerald is this massive, close-in threat. 

None of this is accidental, Maggie is the undisputed star of “The Longest Daycare”.  It’s a story where the audience gets to follow her, and root for her, and sympathize with her, and so it’s told from her point of view.  So while the animation isn’t as technically impressive or “ooh-ahh” worthy as, say, Pixar’s La Luna (which appeared before Brave), it’s much more entertaining than the usual HD animation on Zombie Simpsons because it doesn’t look like stale computer templates, but rather like a living part of the story. 

The soundtrack, which I’m pretty sure was done by Hans Zimmer (though it isn’t on his IMDb page yet) kept things bouncy and moving, though I can’t recall any part that really stood out as memorable.  And there were a few things that seemed excessive, unnecessary, or out of place.  But on the whole, “The Longest Daycare” was very good, and I look forward to seeing it again whenever it manages to hit the internet or home video. 

In the meantime, if you happen to find yourself in a big multiplex sometime in the next week (cough, Batman 7, cough), duck into an Ice Age 4 theater about fifteen minutes after the listed showtime and watch “The Longest Daycare”.  (I didn’t see it in 3D, anyone could’ve just walked in.)  It really is worth seeing, and I’m slightly surprised that even at No Homers (in this thread or this one), very few people went out to see it this weekend.  Sure, it’s only five minutes, but it’s still Simpsons on the big screen, and it’s definitely fun. 


Quote of the Day

Lisa the Simpson8

“What do you do, Dr. . . Simpson?” – Homer Simpson
“Doctor?” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s right, I’m chief of complicated surgery at the invasa-care clinic.” – Dr. Simpson


Quote of the Day

Lemon of Troy8

“People, our search is over!  On this site we shall build a new town where we can worship freely, govern justly, and grow vast fields of hemp for making rope and blankets.” – Jebediah Springfield


Quote of the Day

Marge in Chains9

“Now, Marge, you’ve come to the right place.  By hiring me as your lawyer, you also get this smoking monkey.  Better cut down there, smokey, ha ha ha.” – Lionel Hutz
“Mr. Hutz-” – Marge Simpson
“Look, he’s taking another puff!” – Lionel Hutz


Longest Daycare Open Thread

A Streetcar Named Marge4

“Don’t like to nap, eh?  We have a place for babies like you: the box.” – Ms. Sinclair

On a single viewing, The Longest Daycare, which premiered this morning in theaters near and far with Ice Age 4, was very good.  I say on a single viewing because this has the feel of elder seasons way more than the movie did, and way way more than Zombie Simpsons does (including the animation), so I’m sure once it inevitably finds its way to home video most Simpsons fans will watch it at least a couple of times.  I’ve changed my opinion on a few episodes as we’ve done Crazy Noises, so I don’t want to say that I’m going to love it forever, but on first impression, it impressed.

Consider this an open thread.  Jebus willing I’ll have a longer post up on Monday.

WARNING: Comments is a spoiler friendly zone.  By reading this with your inner monologue, you have waved any right to bitch about spoilers in perpetuity throughout the universe.

P.S. Whoever replied to the QotD on Twitter with the “buy your rock” line, I tried to retweet that but got an error and now I can’t see it.  If it got eaten by Twitter or if you took it down, consider it retweeted should it show up in my feed.

[Update (5:49pm Eastern): Here’s the link to the new site’s review of Ice Age 4.]


Reading Digest: Unasked Replacement Edition

Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood7

“Aw, c’mon kid, quit cryin’, it’ll be fun.  I promise!” – Ernest Borgnine

This week’s Reading Digest contains at least two important concepts.  The first is that Ernest Borgnine was fucking awesome and beloved by all the peoples of the world.  We’ve got a lot of links to Borgnine memorials below (and a couple of them are chalk full of cool videos).  The second is that things can always get worse, as demonstrated by today’s final link.  In addition to those, we have a bunch of awesome fan made artwork this week, including a partial skateboard, an oil painting, and a drawing of the Simpson clan as characters from Watchmen.  There’s also two links to Batman stuff, someone who thinks Matt Selman can actually write, a 7-11 YouTube video, and a Briton who likes American theme parks.


Semi-original news anybody! – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is a new blog from an old friend.  Gran2/generalsherman67 has begun watching all the Futurama episodes.  He’s following the Me Blog Write Good template and writing reviews followed by highlights (or lowlights).  He’s about halfway through Season 1 so far, and it’s very much on par with Mike Amato’s thorough Simpsons reviews.  (Personally, I tend to skip the synopsis and read the bullet points.  I’ve seen the old episodes, of both The Simpsons and Futurama, so many times that my eyes tend to glaze at reading another rendition of stories I know by heart, but the opinionated observations are always worth reading.)  Good luck!

The Simpsons: What Matt Selman’s Potential Takeover as Showrunner Could Mean – I disagree with pretty much all of this for two basic reasons.  First, it attributes way too much credit/blame to the showrunner.  Second, the episodes Selman produced this year were just awful, see here, and here, and here.  (via)

To prove he was the only God, Caligula had all the pilots killed and still made the people take their flights – Wow, check out the Mr. Burns head in the upper left of this oil painting.  There’s a zoomed in view if you scroll down.  He looks appropriately malevolent, twisted and powerful.

I’m Cold and there are Wolves after Me PAGE 1 – Awesome fan made drawing featuring one of Grampa’s most pathetic quotes.  Bravo.

Detention in the ’90s – A (borderline) professionally inked school desk with about two dozen 1990s cartoon characters expertly drawn on it.  That’s a lot of detention, methinks someone was a rogue hall monitor. 

Quotes -Homer Simpson – This link has a ton of well formatting Homer quotes, and while I don’t have any personal experience with how Pinterest works, if it spreads the word about hitting referees with whiskey bottles, then all is well.

The Simpsons Art – A Tumblr site dedicated to art on the show.  I didn’t see any Zombie Simpsons, and there are some neat juxtapositions.  I never noticed that Salvador Dali painting in the background of “Homer the Vigilante” before. 

Monetary policy isn’t helping ‘The Simpsons’ – The president of the Dallas Fed said this:

“We’re not helping, as I put it, the Homers and the Marges,” Fisher continued in a session moderated by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. “We’re helping the Mr. Burnses.”

But what about the Flanderseses?

Who Watches The Simpsons? – Cool fan made drawing of the family as characters from Watchmen.  Maggie as Rorschach is a nice touch. 

The Dark Knight Rises – the Simpsons by ~MOROTEO56 on deviantART – Batman and Bain both get Simpsonized.  (via)

A 10 Word Tribute to Ernest Borgnine – For me he’ll always be the wise cracking Russian in Ice Station Zebra, Dominic Santini in Airwolf, or possibly the narrator in that weird Merlin movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Damn, Borgnine was in a lot of stuff.

12 True Stories About Guest Stars On ‘The Simpsons’ – Inspired by Borgnine, here’s a slideshow of tidbits taken from Wikipedia.  Except for that awful episode with ‘Nsync, there isn’t any Zombie Simpsons.

Ernest Borgnine: Remembering the legendary actor’s best roles – Lots of YouTube here, including Borgnine’s introduction of himself in “Boy Scoutz ‘N the Hood”.

R.I.P. Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012) – Another video heavy Borgnine tribute includes the whole episode and this excellent usage:

"Hiya! I’m sure you kids know me best as Sergeant Fatso Judson in ‘From Here to Eternity,’ " Ernest Borgnine once quipped on a memorable guest turn on "The Simpsons." But he was that and so much more.

How The Simpsons Disproves Everything I Believe About Economics – There isn’t much here, just some guy complaining that old episodes of The Simpsons aren’t available on-line, but he writes for Forbes not Maxim, so it’s mostly a money complaint rather than an availability complaint.

Baseball All-Star Game Preview for Non-Fans – Using “Homer at the Bat” to explain baseball’s All-Star game.

This just in: SHIRTS! – Cool image of a character that I’m sure is legally distinct from both Ralph Wiggum and a Wookiee.

Homeroom is 101 – Cool fan made painting of Lisa on part of a broken skateboard.  Well done.

Fantasy Floorplan™ for The Simpsons/Residence of Marge & Homer Simpson – $36 seems a little steep, but for that price you can own detailed floor plans of the Simpson home.  (via)

Matt Groening and David Silverman Talk About the Birth of ‘The Simpsons’ – This is a writeup of a panel discussion Groening and Silverman did back in 1992.  Unfortunately, it’s just the writeup, no video.

Photo a Day: July 1st-7th – Austere picture of a Duff bottle in Germany.  I’ll bet the German courts would never order two million dollars worth of it destroyed like that Australian one did.

Whose hair is this? – Pretty sure I’ve linked these before, but they’re minimalist outlines of famous haircuts, including Marge, and they are wonderful. 

What TV, Movies, and Video Games Taught Me – Heh:

I wasn’t allowed to watch “The Simpsons” because according to my mom, “The Simpsons” were “insoportable y malcriados.”  For those of you who don’t understand Spanish, she’s saying they were annoying and incredibly rude.

Top 5 best sitcoms – A brand new blog starts out with a list on which the show comes in a measly fifth out of five.  I blame Zombie Simpsons.

Created by Matt Groaning – Not sure what country it’s from, but it’s a none too subtle knockoff called “Los Stivenson”.

STEP ONE – Man, I’d forgotten about “dick in a box”.  Heh.

Excellent…. Official Simpsons and Family Guy USB Flash Drives – These actually don’t look too subpar, and $15 for an 8GB flash drive isn’t hideous. 

Florida – Okay, Fourth of July was last week, but, suck it Britain:

5. Last but not least, The Simpsons Ride.  First ride we went on in Orlando and the first of many motion simulators.  My experience up to this point had been in British-equivalent simulators where you’re meant to feel like you’re in a Red Arrow aeroplane.  US simulators take this concept so much further and shit on any simulator you’ll ever ride in a British theme park.  The effects blew my mind & this ride was only beaten by Spider-Man by virtue of SM being 4D.

America, fuck yeah.

The real icon of America – Discussing 7-11 inevitably leads to discussing the Kwik-E-Mart.  That leads to a YouTube video I don’t think I’ve ever seen before of one of those 7-11s that got a Simpsons makeover for the movie:

The lack of Zombie Simpsons on the soundtrack is appreciated.

The Simpsons will end in 2014 hints Mr Burns actor Harry Shearer – This came up on Twitter yesterday, but it’s just your typically desperate tabloid headline.  Shearer neither said not hinted at any such thing (said so himself). 

The Dark Knight Rises Character Posters – I have a feeling the amount of Batman stuff in my inbox is only going to increase next week.  I did chuckle at this.

Spinoff! – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us (though in this case it’s because I’m astroturfing):

Welcome to The Ann Arbor Review of Books (beta).  This site is a spinoff of the Dead Homer Society, a website two friends and I started as a way to help distinguish The Simpsons, one of the finest and most popular cultural institutions of our time, from Zombie Simpsons, the merchandising fueled franchise that is immune to widespread criticism about declining quality because it generates more than a billion ($1,000,000,000) dollars per year.  The Ann Arbor Review of Books aims to take that kind of criticism (skeptical, reality based, easily ignored) and apply it to modern commercial media generally.

The Simpsons is beautiful, funny and profound; Zombie Simpsons is ugly, boring and disposable.  Those two ideas are, more or less, the entire point of this site.  The linked post is the beginning of my pitiful (and like to fail) attempt at broadening that concept.  I don’t know how many of this site’s readers will be interested in Dead Homer Society-style critiques of things other than Zombie Simpsons, but this is your chance to find out (though I do plan to continue inserting my radical right wing messages into every post).  My review of The Longest Daycare (and Ice Age 4) will post there at 4pm Eastern (US) today.


Quote of the Day

Much Apu About Nothing8

“Book ’em, Lou.  One count of being a bear, and one count of being an accessory to being a bear.” – Chief Wiggum

Happy birthday to David S./X. Cohen! 


Crazy Noises: Take My Wife, Sleaze

Take My Wife, Sleaze1

“Eww, these records used to be real accomplishments.  Now they’re just gross.” – Lisa Simpson

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on the many variations of “motorcycle sword fight”).

Today’s episode is 1108, “Take My Wife, Sleaze”.  Yesterday was 1107 “Eight Misbehavin”.

[Note: We lost Dave for technical reasons before we could get going on this one.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get going?

Mad Jon: I am.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is just wretched from start to finish.

Mad Jon: It really is.

Charlie Sweatpants: With some of the Season 10/11+ episodes I can’t stand, I can kind of see where they maybe had some good ideas or what they were trying to go for.

Mad Jon: There is literally 1 scene I don’t dislike, and most of them I downright hate.

Charlie Sweatpants: But how the hell do you get to Marge being kidnapped by a biker gang?

Mad Jon: I dunno.

I am pretty convinced that the entire episode was a setup for the motorcycle sword fight scene.

  Also, someone at FOX owed John Goodman a favor.

Charlie Sweatpants: Very possible.

Even twelve years on, I’m still so confused by the sword fight that I’m not even sure I have an opinion on it.

It comes from nowhere, doesn’t make any sense even while it’s happening, and then it’s over.

Mad Jon: I was always under the impression that motorcycles weighed hundreds and hundreds of pounds.

Charlie Sweatpants: And there’s that.

Mad Jon: It really is possible that the episode was written around that idea.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t think it was written around it, my guess is that they had two things here: Homer gets a motorcycle (okay) and the fish-out-of-water/odd-couple thing with the highly domestic Marge and the highly un-domestic bikers.

Mad Jon: Yeah I know.

  But my way is more disgraceful.

Charlie Sweatpants: True.

But the sword fight feels more like desperation to me. Like, we know Homer and this dude have to fight, and we know it isn’t funny, so how do we make it funny? How about an Errol Flynn/Douglas Fairbanks style sword fight with motorcycles!

And then someone else says, "I guess", and then someone else says it’s lunchtime, and that’s about it.

Mad Jon: I pictured the table from the Poochie episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly.

  The whole thing just reeks of desperation.

But the sword fight is just the cherry on top of this pitiful excuse for a script.

Mad Jon: Yes.

Charlie Sweatpants: There are two freaking montages, no reason is ever given for why the other Springfieldians would want to hang out with Homer even though they have no motorcycles, no one (not even Lisa) notices at first that Marge is gone.

  It’s just wretched from start to finish.

Mad Jon: But they had the note! With the thumb tack in the head??!?

Charlie Sweatpants: At this point the show is of the opinion that anything is funny so long as it’s unexpected, and that really, really, really doesn’t work after a while.

Mad Jon: That would explain why the bikers, who have lived by violence for their entire lives, are now pacifists.

Also, I hated the laughing scenes that preceded the learning to ride a bike montage.

Charlie Sweatpants: Compared to Burns laughing about the crippled Irishman, it’s transparently filler.

Mad Jon: That Irishman scene was gold.

  I am laughing thinking about it right now.

Charlie Sweatpants: Who’ll provide for me little ones?

But the "anything unexpected is funny" thinking runs through the whole episode. Like, what was with Homer tossing Marge up in the air after the dance?

Mad Jon: I don’t know. That way she got to have amnesia for less than 3 seconds.

Charlie Sweatpants: I could use some of that amnesia after this episode.

Mad Jon: Me first.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d be happy not remembering the scene where Marge is offended that none of them find her sexually attractive. In general, it’s not a good comedy idea to have to preemptively deflect thoughts of gang rape.

Mad Jon: Yeah, especially since they want to take her to the orgy a few minutes later.

I do want to remember the band names, because I used to play shows with a band called "Christ Puncher". The lead guitarist actually worshiped Satan. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at him.

Charlie Sweatpants: I assume that’s the one scene you liked?

Mad Jon: Yes, that’s the one scene I don’t dislike.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can see that.

Mad Jon: It is just a bunch of offensive band names being spouted in the rumpus room of a holy roller.

  And it isn’t that long.

  And nobody got shot or burned or anything.

Charlie Sweatpants: True enough. However, the better question is, what in the living fuck were they doing in Flanders house anyway?

Mad Jon: I dunno. He wanted to be part of it or something.

Charlie Sweatpants: He just sticks his head around the fence and asks to join.

  For no reason.

  And completely out of character.

Mad Jon: Yep

Charlie Sweatpants: By that point I’m sort of numb to it since it doesn’t make much more sense for Moe, Lenny and Carl to be there either, but it still stings.

Mad Jon: Why were Homer and Marge the only ones not in 50’s garb?

You know, I ask the question, but I know the answer, so nevermind.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, why was Dennis the Menace there?

Mad Jon: Excellent rebuttal.

Charlie Sweatpants: I too ask the question and know the answer, so I’ll concur with your "nevermind".

This episode does have a few little lines that I like, but mostly that’s the product of delivery.

  For example, when Apu is chasing them off, I can’t help but smile at the way Moe shouts "forget the pennies!" It’s dumb, I know, but Azaria does a great job of it.

Ditto with Shearer’s TV disclaimer about "consult calendar for current year".

Mad Jon: It’s the little things that allow us to not enter a ritual murder suicide pact.

Charlie Sweatpants:  Episodes like this probably are cause for justifiable homicide in some states.

Mad Jon: Like one of those stand your ground states?

Charlie Sweatpants: Something like that, yeah.

The Hell’s Satans probably know a good lawyer.

  Oh wait, they’re the dumbest biker gang there is.

Mad Jon: Yep.

Charlie Sweatpants: However, those few shining moments aside (I’m also partial to "I just swept the circle of death"), this one is unwatchable from start to finish.

Mad Jon: This was a "Simpsons go to…" turns into a "Homer becomes a…" episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Good call.

Mad Jon: And there are just not enough lines in the middle to make me want to watch.

Charlie Sweatpants: This definitely has all the trappings of Zombie Simpsons with the completely unrelated first act followed by shit you aren’t even sure you’re actually seeing.

Like Homer sitting in his yard not driving his motorcycle.

Mad Jon: Making the vroom vroom noises

Charlie Sweatpants: And getting obsessed with a crappy fifties movie.

Mad Jon: Yeah that was pretty bad.

Charlie Sweatpants: And threatening Marge with divorce at the diner before taking a picture of her while she was asleep.

Even before the fucking motorcycle sword fight, Jerkass Homer was all over this one.

Mad Jon: He was.

Charlie Sweatpants: There isn’t a single moment in the entire episode where he’s even kinda sympathetic or remotely believable.

He loses Marge and asks Lisa to call the "Korean love bride" company.

Mad Jon: Ouch, forgot about that one.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah. Straight up asshole from start to finish.

  I guess we got an NRBQ version of the theme song out of this episode, but it wasn’t worth it.

Mad Jon: No it wasn’t. I had almost forgotten this episode existed, and now I realize I should have tried harder to make that a reality.

Charlie Sweatpants: Unfortunately, you’re going to be feeling that a lot as we trudge through the rest of 11.

Mad Jon: Don’t worry, I’ve started drinking more.

Charlie Sweatpants: Good idea.


Quote of the Day

Butter Duds

“I’m sorry, but we’re not supposed to put butter on the Milk Duds.” – Teenager
“You’re not supposed to go to the bathroom without washing your hands either.” – Homer Simpson
“Touche.” – Teenager
“To the top, please. . . . Swim, my pretties.” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: Eight Misbehavin

Eight Misbehavin1

“Kids are the best, Apu.  You can teach ’em to hate the things you hate, and they practically raise themselves, what with the internet and all.” – Homer Simpson
“Well, perhaps it is time.  I’ve noticed this country is dangerously underpopulated.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (happily enough, not on “octuplet”).

Today’s episode is 1107, “Eight Misbehavin”.  Tomorrow will be 1108, “Take My Wife, Sleaze”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Alright, so, who’s ready to discuss a bizarre episode about a totally nonsensical octuplet birth?

Dave: Only if we do it once.

Mad Jon: Ooh ooh! Me!!!

I always used to try and like this one.

But it never really worked.

And being this is the first time in probably 5 years that I’ve watched it, I have realized why.

Charlie Sweatpants: I know the feeling. It starts well, but after the fourth insipid plot twist you kinda go numb to it.

Mad Jon: I like Apu in this episode. I don’t like much else.

The episode seems like it means well, but you hit it there. I can only take so much insanity in 22 minutes.

At least make the insanity linear.

Charlie Sweatpants: Heh. Good point.

It’s got the same problem as “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”, where it leaps plot holes in a single bound, but then stands there and makes you watch a stupid montage.

This one alternates between confusing me and boring me, and that’s not a good combination.

Mad Jon: No, no it is not.

There are some lines, and some that I quote still to this day.

Such as “Listen, I’ll die when I want to.” and “So I got that going too!”

But I don’t feel the need to watch two men dressed like Eddie Munster get bitten by cobra robots. It is just not my style.

Charlie Sweatpants: I noted both of those lines, because Apu’s one liners are the best part of this episode (“I can’t believe you don’t shut up!”), and Azaria nails all of them.

Mad Jon: Again, I am a fan of Apu in this one.

Dave: The Apu bottle feeding mechanism is disgusting and amusing.

Mad Jon: It is unfortunate that Homer has to be around for most of Apu’s scenes.

Dave: But you’re right Jon, Azaria does a great job here.

Charlie Sweatpants: “Who will float my corpse down the Ganges?” is great. “I’ve noticed this country is dangerously underpopulated” is pretty good. And “Lamps that do not look like lamps” is one of the first of the great Ikea jokes.

Mad Jon: All high notes.

Charlie Sweatpants: But you’re right, the episode begins crashing into itself as soon as Homer becomes their fertility coach.

And then it gets worse (eight kids!), and worse (no endorsements!), and worse (in the zoo!) and worse (breaking and entering!), and pretty soon you’re just wondering if this is going to end up in a space battle or not.

I mean, by just the middle of the episode, the entire Simpson family (including Maggie) is in the waiting room and Manjula has apparently never had an ultrasound.

Mad Jon: Well, those types of plot holes aren’t even worth mentioning.

Of course the 8 babies are a ‘surprise’

Charlie Sweatpants: They certainly weren’t worth editing.

Mad Jon: Nope. But nobody noticed the “lifetime clause” in the contract?

Homer and Butch are immune to buckets of cobra venom?

Charlie Sweatpants: Wait, stop.

Mad Jon: Ahh, who am I kidding.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ll trade you fallacy for fallacy. First one to miss loses.

Mad Jon: This will be short, I wasn’t paying much attention

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, you’re already three in. You’ve got the lifetime clause, immunity to cobra venom, and the octuplets thing being a surprise.

My reply three is Maggie being the same age after nine months, why Manjula introduces the babies (with names!) to Apu, and the sheer boringness of the show. Does anyone really want to see infants sitting around?

Now it’s your turn. I’ve got like, four more.

Mad Jon: I don’t know what to tell you. That was a good one though.

The gate at the zoo was closed as they left, the Gorillas were somehow out of the cages as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well played, sir. How about Apu not complaining about the top of his car being sawed off until after they were up at make out point?

Mad Jon: Ha, that is true.

And funny when you say it, not when it happened so much.

How about the fact that Apu’s mom, who by the way forces the arranged marriage, doesn’t show up for the birth of 8 grandchildren.

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t have that one, but you’re right. That was a lost comedy opportunity.

How about Apu and Manjula being on display with the babies and being okay, but then having no clue that the nursery was actually a soundstage and that there were a dozen staff members ready to pounce?

Mad Jon: Excellent.

That does seem like it would be hard to spring on someone. What about the fact that Larry Kidkill knows where Homer lives, and that Apu and him would go there after stealing back the babies?

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty good. How’s about the way Butch Patrick just shows up in their bedroom to notarize Manjula’s signature?

Mad Jon: Ooohh, that was my next one.

Charlie Sweatpants: Got you!

Mad Jon: Yeah, I don’t have any more prepared. I may have to default to your plot hole awareness skills.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is mostly plot holes.

And while I kind of enjoy the Ikea scene at the beginning, it’s got too much Jerkass Homer.

Mad Jon: It was too slippery a slope to start that far down. That’s for sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it started weak and flatlined quickly. Dave, anything draw your ire?

Dave: Nothing that you guys haven’t already covered

Mad Jon: I don’t know what else to say either. I see a lot of minus signs on my scorecard, and again most of the pluses are one liners from Apu.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, that sucked, let’s move on.


Quote of the Day

Three Men and a Comic Book7

“Excuse me, sir, has anyone turned in a left Vulcan ear?” – Martin Prince
“Let’s see, uh, we got a utility belt, couple of tri-corders, a light saber . . . sorry, kid.” – Comic Convention Lost and Found Guy


Compare & Contrast: Buns in the Oven

I Married Marge10

“Barnacle Bill’s home pregnancy test?  Homer, shouldn’t we have gone with a better known brand?” – Homer Simpson
“But, Marge, this one came with a free corncob pipe.” – Homer Simpson
“Okay, let’s see, ‘Ahoy, maties, if the water turns blue, a baby for you.  If purple ye see, no baby thar be’.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, what color is it, blue or purple?” – Homer Simpson
“Pink.” – Marge Simpson
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson
“Hmm, ‘If ye test should fail, to a doctor set sail’.” – Marge Simpson

[Note: Crazy noises for “Eight Misbehavin” and “Take My Wife, Sleaze” will be along later this week.]

Babies and where they come from have long been staples of fiction generally and comedy specifically.  Between all the wrenching social changes that come with a kid, the biological absurdities and humiliations that come with making and birthing one, and all manner of other assorted goofiness (everything from buying children’s products to changing diapers), procreation is a rich source of material.  Like their real life counterparts, however, new fictional children must be handled with care. 

The biggest danger a “new baby” episode poses to a fictional universe, especially a television show, is the fact that it is a change in the fabric of the entire story that is both profound and permanent.  There is a huge gulf between the kind of plotlines you can do with a character who is actively caring for an infant and a character who is not, and adding a baby changes characters from one type to the other instantly.  Consider, if you will, the relative cases of Apu and Homer when each of them became a father for the first time. 

Superficially, there isn’t much beyond new fatherhood that’s similar.  Homer gets Marge pregnant accidentally and is woefully underprepared (legally, financially, socially) to be responsible for anyone.  Guys who work menial jobs at mini-golf places and share living accommodations with the likes of Barney Gumble are not what you’d call well prepped daddy material.  Apu, on the other hand, is married, reasonably prosperous, and deliberately knocked up his wife so they could start a long planned family together.  But well planned, relatively uneventful births don’t make for very compelling stories, so Apu gets the completely insane curveball of surprise octuplets. 

Surprise Babies

Ugh, from parody to reality in less than three seasons.

As a comedy or story premise, there’s nothing inherently wrong with big, multiple births.  There have been media circuses around unusually large multiple births for a long time, and if you’ve ever seen someone go through a multi-kid pregnancy, you know that while it isn’t fun, it could be funny if handled in the right way.  But Zombie Simpsons handles the octuplets so poorly that they’re introduced as a shocking cliffhanger to get people to stick around after the commercial. 

Not only does that not make any sense whatsoever, but that’s only the beginning of the comedy destroying zaniness.  After that, the episode piles one bizarre plot shocker on top of another.  First Apu and Manjula get robbed and abandoned by everyone who was supporting them, then they put their kids in a zoo, then the zoo makes them part of a crushingly boring circus act that is somehow popular and profitable, and finally they have to break their kids out of the zoo in a daring nighttime raid.  By the time all these capers wrap up, the audience has practically forgotten how this all got started in the first place and any genuine humor from such a situation has long since fled the scene. 

By contrast, when Homer finds out Marge is pregnant, they go through a much saner and more relatable story, which means that they can exploit all of the recognizable follies for comedy.  The humor is by turns cultural (the “So You’ve Ruined Your Life” pamphlet), crude (“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was trying to moon us”), silly (“This castle is impregnable”), social (“The tenth wedding’s on the house”), and everything in between, and it’s all based around an event (two twenty-somethings who didn’t use a condom) that has happened to countless people before. 

Even if we overlook the oddity of the octuplets, “Eight Misbehavin” does none of that.  It’s about a bafflingly stupid and pointlessly weird conspiracy run out of a zoo.  The octuplets themselves are never treated as anything more than props, starting with their hacktacular entrance in Dr. Hibbert’s pockets and ending with them sitting quietly in the audience at the same fucked up zoo show that they used to headline. 

Future Pointlessness

Even in the future the only thing they get to do is be wacky together.

All that would be bad enough, except that where The Simpsons cleverly set all three of its “new baby” episodes in the past, Zombie Simpsons dropped the octuplets into a bizarro, present day situation that it’s been stuck with ever since.  The octuplets show up from time to time on the show, but for the most part they exist as background filler (a similar thing happened to that baby Selma adopted).  And since the show is now locked into this new situation, Apu and Manjula have been relegated to one-note sideshow characters.  Some variation on “eight babies are a handful” is pretty much the only joke either of them has been allowed since. 

So not only did Zombie Simpsons do a “new baby” episode so needlessly exaggerated and poorly thought out that it doesn’t make any sense from scene-to-scene, but they permanently altered two of their own characters (one of whom had only been around for two seasons and was hardly in need of a reboot) for the worse by shackling them to an amorphous blob of kids that’s only really good for one kind of joke.  Apu as a character didn’t change, it’s just that now he’s a harried parent if the octuplets happen to be in a scene (he does more actual parenting in that brief scene with his nephew in “Homer the Heretic” than he does in this entire episode), and regular old Apu when they aren’t. 

Life and all its complexities are funny, and while you can exaggerate some of them, if you exaggerate everything you end up with something that’s so simplistic and weird that it’s actually boring.  Zombie Simpsons doesn’t seem to mind, but The Simpsons never would’ve stood for it. 


Quote of the Day

Bart's Comet9

“And then I sped away without anyone seeing my license plate.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Homer Defined7

“Ah, Monday morning, time to pay for your two days of debauchery you hung over drones!” – C.M. Burns
“TGIM, sir.” – Mr. Smithers

[Note: The original version of this post had the wrong image.  It’s been fixed.]


Quote of the Day

Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy12

“Legend has it, my great-grand-pappy stumbled upon this recipe when he was trying to invent a cheap substitute for holy water.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson


The Glories and Vagaries of Blogging

King Size Homer10

“Where’s the ‘Any’ key?  I see ‘Esk’, ‘K-tarl’, and ‘Pig up’.  There doesn’t seem to be any ‘Any’ key!” – Homer Simpson

From time to time the tags on WordPress don’t update properly.  I have no idea why this is, but it does happen.  This week it happened on the “Simpsons” tag:

Wordpress 'Simpsons' Tag (7 July 2012)

That’s what it looks like this morning, Saturday, July 7th.  (And please note that this is in a browser in which I am not logged in with my WordPress account.)  Some of those links I used for last week’s Reading Digest, but with the exception of yesterday’s Reading Digest up at the top, they’re all at least several days old.  Normally, a full week of posts tagged “Simpsons” would run to two pages at least, but right now you don’t see more than a handful.  This is why our old friend Galileo had good cause to bitch in yesterday’s comments.  (The tag for “The Simpsons” seems to be working fine.)  I missed some of his posts, and I am hereby laying the blame on the malfunction in the WordPress tagging system. 

So, without further ado, here’s a quick update on some of our blogging friends and allies:

Magic Mike…In 10 Words – If that phrase is actually in the movie, I’ll at least think about violating my “never pay to see McConaughey” rule. 

The Andy Griffith Show…In 10 Words – Sigh.  I miss Charles Bronson. 

Matlock…In 10 Words – Grampa no longer has Matlock to keep him company. 

Canada Day…In 10 Words – Hope you guys had fun all tucked away down there.

Announcement: Partially Moving to a New Home. – Lenny is moving up in the world:

I’m happy to announce that after being an amateur blogger for a year and a half, I’m movin’ on up to contributing to NY Press.

She recommends that you follower her Twitter feed as well.  Congratulations! 

278. Jaws Wired Shut – Mike is pressing Bravely through Season 13:

These reviews are getting harder and harder to kick off; at some point I might just forgo trying to come up with an opening statement and just jump into the episode. It’s not like there are any overarching themes or interesting character stuff to talk about, these shows are just a bunch of stuff that happens.

If he makes it all the way through to episodes that are being broadcast now, I’m buying him a bottle of something with a high alcohol content. 

Vout – Finally, check out Springfield Historical Society’s entry on a possible linguistic inspiration for Flanders.  I’ve learned a few things following his blog, but yesterday’s entry was especially cool, it even got the attention of Bill Oakley:

McGarnagle-Oakley Twitter

Watch at least the first part of the first Slim Gaillard YouTube video at the link.  I’ve seen people play piano and do comedy, but I’ve never seen anyone make the way they play piano into comedy.  It’s genuinely amazing. 


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