Reading Digest: Disastrous Return to New York Edition

The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson5

“What a magical city, can we come back next year, Dad?” – Lisa Simpson
“We’ll see, honey.  We’ll see.” – Homer Simpson

I was expecting this to be a short Reading Digest on account of the enormous number of links I’d have to discard that’d be nothing more than “Season 24 starts tonight, mark your calendar”, which isn’t exactly informative.  But I was wrong.  Apparently that New York episode, which I still haven’t seen and which I now have even less desire to watch than I did last week, was just awful.  We’ve got a ton of links to reviews that range from scathing to merely bad, and in the process I also came across a lot of people who agree with us.  There’s even a list of all time terrible episodes.  Well done, internet.

Of course, we’ve also got a bunch of the usual stuff, including interviews with Al Jean, David Mirkin and Harry Shearer, some awesome, awesome fan art, two people who recount their experiences learning about pop culture through The Simpsons, an excellent parody song, and a poem that agrees with us.


Moonshine River or the Simpsons forgets its past (updated) – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is our old friend ilmozart bringing the hammer down:

I know I swore I’d stop watching this. I’m not even hate watching it like I do with Glee. I watch every new episode, knowing how terrible it will be, but in the depths of my despair,  I hold onto hope that one day the show I love will return. And yet, I’m always disappointed.

No more so than with The Simpsons season premiere.

The plot, as always these days, is besides the point. Bart wants to prove that a girl will love him so he tracks down all his past girlfriends to ask them if … and oh my god I’m boring myself as I type this.

The whole thing is strongly recommended:

Much like Homer and the sandwich, how can I be angry at you, Simpsons? You may give me the television watching version of food poisoning, but you are my sandwich and it would seem I’m sticking with you till the bitter end. Mold, fungus, botulism and all.

Mmm, botulism.

88 Lines About 44 Simpsons – ilmozart was just on this week:

I thought I would post this great parody of the Nails’ song 88 Lines about 44 Women. This is by Great Luke Ski and is entitled 88 Lines About 44 Simpsons.


Parting Shot: Artist Nattalia Alonso Gives Pop Culture Characters ‘The Simpsons’ Treatment – Fan made Simpsonizations of everything from Shaun of the Dead and Wu-Tang to Boondocks and Jackson Pollock.  In a lesser week, this would easily be Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week.  

Moving Target: Harry Shearer on His New Album, The Simpsons, Spinal Tap, Nixon, New Orleans… – A great interview with Shearer about all of those topics.  He artfully dodges a question about Season 24, talks about recording with Michael Jackson, and there’s this, which is both sad and funny:

In terms of the climate of American culture, your current Nixon project, were you surprised that you couldn’t get someone in the United States interested [it airs on the BBC]?

HS: No, I wasn’t surprised; I just assumed it. I didn’t even try. I knew better. I knew that the first thing out of the mouth of an executive who’s purchased the American project, if I chose to do it there, would be, “You know, I understand that he doesn’t like blacks, but does he have to hate Jews too?”


Sunday 25th July 1993 – This is from a new blog where a woman is going through her diary from 1993, when she was ten-years-old.  This is awesome:

Today we never did anything.  We watched Home Alone and then the Simpsons which I don’t get.  We played Hide and Seek then had dinner then had a bath.  I had to go in last.

Better yet, she agrees with us:

I love the innocence in my comments about The Simpsons, the jokes went straight over my head so I wasn’t sure if it was funny and if it wasn’t then I wasn’t sure what the point of it was.  As I got older I appreciated the wit and satire but then it kind of went off the boil and I can’t remember the last time I watched it.

I may need to steal “off the boil”.

Catching up with David Mirkin – This is mostly about Get a Life and television generally, but it’s interesting.  Apparently, and counter-intuitively, Three’s Company was actually tough to write.

Happy soon-to-be 19th Anniversary to Homer’s Barbershop Quartet – This is a brand new blog, and this link has YouTube from exactly the episode you think.  And though the About page does say:

I’m a huge fan of the Simpsons, and unlike most, I still enjoy many of the newer episodes.

That’s no reason not to click.  The perfectly cropped header image alone is worth a look.

Top 10 Cultures I witness on The Simpsons – Everything from India to ABBA makes this list of cultural phenomena.

Please Hire You To Be The Byronic Man? – Our old friend the Byronic Man is going on baby leave and wants a guest blogger to take over for a spell.  Plus, this is one of his application questions:

2. Rate your willingness to insert obscure, virtually random Simpsons quotes into a post, knowing full well that – if it’s a good day – 2 people will get it.

  • A) Not very willing.  I think it’s more respectful remember the interests of the audience.
  • B) The Simpsons?  You mean, like, “Don’t have a cow” and that stuff?
  • C) “Lisa, if you don’t like your job, you don’t quit.  You go in there every day and do it really half-assed!”

Of course, nits must be picked.  Homer actually says, “Lisa, if you don’t like your job, you don’t strike.  You just go in every day and do it really half-assed!”  Congratulations on the kid.

Top Ten Worst Simpson Episodes – Excellent list, nothing before Season 10 and that wretched Lady Gaga episode even made #1.

#48: Radio Bart – After a couple of months hiatus, our old friend Hunter is back to reviewing all of the episodes.  Good to have him back.

Hartnett: 2012 AL MVP Race — Debating Miguel Cabrera Vs. Mike Trout – Freakin’ kid:

During my childhood, I spent a lot of time at the local baseball card store convincing the owner to take the 1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski rookie card out of the display case.  As a kid, I obviously didn’t have the funds to purchase such an expensive card just like Milhouse in an episode of “The Simpsons.”

Friends that don’t think alike – I do this routinely:

Sometimes my jokes don’t resonate with people. Usually because they either haven’t watched the Simpsons religiously or have the same capacity to remember one liners as a goldfish. Regardless of whether or not they’re a lovely person, having that ‘Simpsons connection’ often means a lot. Throwing out random Simpsons quotes into conversation is often the best way of finding out who I’m going to get along with in a group.

Dropping a relatively obscure Simpsons quote and seeing who laughs is actually how Dave and I became friends.

Let’s Play The Simpsons Hit and Run (PS2) Part 21 – I’ll bet this is your only chance today to watch a YouTube video of someone playing Simpsons Hit and Run for fifteen minutes.

Simpsons Wife – Fan made drawing of someone named “Megan” in a Simpson style.

Showrunners 2012: ‘The Simpsons’ Guru Al Jean – A relatively news-less interview with Jean.  There is this, though:

My proudest accomplishment this year:
Jean: Working on the short, silent Simpsons film The Longest Daycare, which aired before Ice Age: Continental Drift.  Someday I hope to write a two-reeler.

Longest Daycare was pretty good.

Doctor Who Monday: The Angels Take Manhattan…In 10 Words – Damn C.H.U.D.S. 

Animal Practice…In 10 Words – Mr. Screenwriter, this script of yours is nothing but a bunch of Hollywood rhetoric and technical mumbo jumbo!

Revolution (show)…In 10 Words – They fight without juicers, they fight without blenders, they fight without flunjers, capdabblers and smendlers. 

Obama & Romney’s First Debate…In 10 Words – There’s no councilman Les Whinen.

THUNDERBOLTGAMES.COM: The Simpsons: Tapped Out [iOS] – A very positive review of the now not-broken new Simpsons game app.

Lab Safety Gallery of Artwork – Lab safety drawings, plus YouTube of goggles failing.

Springfield Public Library – Simpsons portrayals of libraries.

Art, Entertainment and Fun At gGallery! – An enthusiastic review of that art gallery Gabor Csupo owns.

Ten Deep 10.4.12: Top 10 TV Moms – Marge comes in at #3.

“Moonshine River” – And now, we start the portion of this post that is nothing but negative reviews for Zombie Simpsons and people who agree with us.  Up first, the A.V. Club review of last Sunday’s episode of Zombie Simpsons, which is enjoyably brutal:

As a longtime watcher who quietly erased The Simpsons from my DVR queue several seasons ago, I have three criteria that a new episode can meet to be deemed watchable: Is there a coherent story? Does the e­­pisode make good use of the town of Springfield, one of the greatest mythological communities in all of fiction? And does the episode offer a smart take on some current cultural or political fad? To be clear, a “yes” to just one of these questions would make the 508th or 509th episode worthwhile.

“Moonshine River” doesn’t qualify on any count.

Zombie Simpsons can’t even clear even a single of his three low bars.

Off the Beat: Last Exit to Springfield – This is from the student newspaper at Cal-Berkeley, so it’s someone much too young to have grown up with the show:

After around season 10, the show had a steady decline in quality. As a person who grew up watching the show every day when it was syndicated at 6 p.m., I can attest to the fact that the show eventually lost its charm. I’m sure most people who used to watch the show regularly will agree.

We very much agree.

The Simpsons S24E01 – Even people who like Zombie Simpsons have a hard time getting through it:

Still a boring and predictable episode. I really hope at least 2-3 episodes will deserve the time that I spend on them this season.

But there are two things about this episode. One is the couch gag which the audience can now decide by going on the Simpson site and putting their idea in. I think this is a desperate plea for attention and it’s kind of sad.

It is sad.

The Simpsons, “Moonshine River”: Bart’s Huckleberry Friend – Yet another wonderfully negative review:

No reasonable viewer expects The Simpsons to be as good as it was back in its first decade on the air, but that doesn’t mean we can’t point out when the show turns in a total turkey of an episode like last night’s.

Four one-sentence reviews of ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad’ – Heh:

1. Zooey Deschanel portrays one of Bart’s ex-girlfriends because Zoey Deschanel is not on Fox enough, but cheap guest star appearances are pretty much all that’s left “The Simpsons” after 24 years.


Simpsons Haiku – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, but this time it’s in verse:

Oh, die! Simpsons, die!
For too long have you suffered,
Dragged down and abused.

Since it’s a haiku, I had to quote the whole thing, so consider clicking on the link and doing one of the WordPress “likes” I see people using, or mention it on Twitter.  That is brilliant and deserves to be recognized.

10 Responses to “Reading Digest: Disastrous Return to New York Edition”

  1. 5 October 2012 at 1:41 pm

    DAMN IT!! A mis-quote!! I’ve said it my head that way so many times that’s how I hear it, too. Well, I guess that’s why I’m the blogger, and you’re the… Simpsons… talkin’… guys…

  2. 2 Chris
    5 October 2012 at 1:47 pm

    “One is the couch gag which the audience can now decide by going on the Simpson site and putting their idea in.”

    And while I’m doing their work for them, maybe I should just write the whole damn episode. Has Bart fallen down a well yet? Okay, but did he have Zoey Deschanel save him? Are there any other tie-ins with Fox we can throw in? This isn’t nearly as hard as I thought.

    I’ll never understand when people say “this show is awful, this show is awful…I have to keep watching it.” No you don’t. This isn’t the old family dog who we wouldn’t dare put to sleep, it’s a TV show horribly written by hack writers and it deserves none of your attention. That’s what’s so brilliant about this website, it delineates between the real Simpsons and the usurper that’s been running it’s place since season 10. You only have so many half-hours to live, don’t waste one of them each week on such an awful, awful show. Trust me, you won’t be missing the Simpsons. The Simpsons hasn’t been on the air since 1998.

  3. 3 abra cadaver
    5 October 2012 at 7:43 pm

    ^ Heheh, this reminds me of a good avclub comment I read the other day.. the article writer said “The Simpsons starts season 24 tonight” and someone replied “Season 24?! HUH?! The Simpsons only aired for 8 seasons! ……………………………….or MAYBE 9 seasons……………………………….”


  4. 5 Bartist
    5 October 2012 at 8:52 pm

    If any positive Zombie Simpsons reviews pop up online this season, will your synergy feature return?

  5. 6 SharoKham
    5 October 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Are you sure you don’t want to do some Crazy Noises or C&C: New York? The show’s kinda sorta turned a corner in sucking. Did…Did anyone tell you fellas about the Sideshow Bob cameo yet?

  6. 7 abra cadaver
    6 October 2012 at 6:02 am

    So, I’m sure you guys already know but supposedly they’re bringing back Danny DeVito to be Herb for a 3rd time.

    ………so, the next question is, how are they going to ruin THIS one? (I can already see something like…

    Herb: Homer, I’m broke again, like I was 20 years ago.
    Homer: 20 YEARS AGO? I just saw you yesterday! *whispers to camera* it was ACTUALLY 21 seas.. I mean, YEARS, ago ago heheheh. *winks at audience*
    Marge [yelling from kitchen]: Quit breaking the 4th wall, Homie!

    *bart and lisa run down the stares from their bedrooms*
    Bart/Lisa [while hugging Herb]: Uncy Herb! We’re so glad you decided to visit us while broke again!
    Grandpa [outside, tapping on window glass]: “I’m broke agaaaaaaaaaain.”
    *Bart and Lisa ignore him, continue staring at Herb.*
    Herb: …wait, how’d you guys know I was broke again?
    Bart: Oh we saw it on televisio…. errr… *gets shoved out of the way by Lisa*
    Lisa: What my brother MEANT to say was we … heard it … from our rooms … yeahhhh…. *looks to audience, crickets chirp sound*
    Marge: [yelling from kitchen]:You too, Bart and Lisa!

    *cut to Marge in kitchen, Marge winks at camera*
    Marge: Time for our commercial break, people watching season 24 of our show on FOX… unless you downloaded a copy and are watching on your computer… in which case, you should be very, very ashamed.
    *zoom out on Marge’s face to reveal the whole scene was being watched a television screen by Comic Book Guy*

    Then, Homer and Herb become business partners. Herb dies. Homer pours gravy on his head. at the funeral. Grandpa Simpson dies AT the funeral and no one pays attention, until Lindsay Naegle has to fuck him to get his heart started again. Bart/Lisa watch and ask Marge about the birds and the bees. Maggie is wanted by the CIA. Sideshow Bob pops up and fucks Bart. the end.*)


    • 8 Col. Coward
      6 October 2012 at 7:21 am

      I imagine the show will somehow shamelessly plug that bad-looking sitcom he’s in.

      *Sigh* Even though I will never watch that show, it saddens me because this was one character I thought they wouldn’t drag through the mud.

      • 6 October 2012 at 10:23 am

        It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is leagues funnier than Zombie Simpsons, so I don’t think they need the extra exposure. This is just the show trying to coast off its own nostalgia, which is nothing new at ths point.

    • 10 Duvel
      7 October 2012 at 7:38 am

      Actually, it is known how they will ruin it: he only has ONE line in that episode. Homer calls him up to ask for money, and Herb answers he’s poor again.

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