Reading Digest: Variety (The Newspaper) Edition

Radioactive Man10

“So where could we shoot this picture?  We need a city that has a nuclear reactor and a gorge and can guarantee us the full cooperation of city officials.” – Movie Executive #1
“I’ll check Variety.” – Movie Executive #2

This week we’ve got three links to Variety.  (Weird.)  One is about the brand new cable deal FOX just announced with itself, and the other two are about a couple of panel discussions at USC.  In addition we’ve got the typical assortment of usage, some excellent fan made stuff, a bridge possibly getting named after Lisa, a trans-Atlantic look at “The Crepes of Wrath”, and more.


Simpsonization of Russian Art – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week are these famous Russian artworks Simpsonized by Russian art students.  Excellent.

The Simpsons – They say the children are our future, in which case I think the show will be okay.  Here’s a discussion between a nine-year-old, his five-year-old sister, and their dad about The Simpsons.  Plus there’s a drawing the brother did that has Bart stepping on Homer’s eyes.

‘The Simpsons’ Lands $750 Mil Cable Syndication, VOD Pact with FXX – This was late breaking and is filled with the typically overwrought horseshit you find in Variety.  Here are the important details minus the glamour quotes, entertainment industry circle jerking, and as much of the stupid as I could excise:

With 530 episodes and counting, the sale is valued at upwards of $750 million over the life of the deal.


The term of the deal is said to be about 10 years.


FXX and FXNow will have access to the past 24 seasons of “Simpsons” starting in August. The following month, the show’s 25th season will become available, as the show begins season 26 on Fox. It’s unclear how many older episodes will be made available at any given time on FXNow. (Details of the FXNow launch will be unveiled at a Gotham news confab on Dec. 3.) FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.

Long story short: FXX will be broadcasting old episodes starting in August of 2014.  Their new streaming thingie will be detailed next month.  No word on how they’ll choose which episodes to broadcast or stream.  It’ll be interesting to see how much higher the ratings are for The Simpsons than for Zombie Simpsons.  They’ll be higher, the question is how much.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Brush With Greatness vs. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish – I used to wonder about this when I was a kid:

The only minor blemish I find in this episode is that seeing as how Burns was so critical of the other portraits that were done of him prior to going to Marge for help, shouldn’t he have wanted to see Marge’s finished painting before the unveiling at the museum?

They sort of mention that there’s a timing issue with the opening being very soon, but it doesn’t really matter either way.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish vs. Simpson & Delilah – Don’t forget the bowling announcers:

This episode could have been sappy, but they do a good job of injecting humor into every emotional scene like when Homer ad libs while Lisa plays her sax, or the problems with the after shave during his man-to-man with Bart. It’s the Simpsons doing what it does best, mixing humor with heart.
Besides, we get one of my all time favorite prank calls to Moe’s: Seymour Butz.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Way We Was vs. Life On The Fast Lane – Not a bad suggestion:

“The Way We Was” is part of a series of episodes which I consider to be the quintessential 4 episodes of the entire series that tell the story of how The Simpson family came to be.  The other 3 episodes being, “I Married Marge”, “Lisa’s First Word”, and “And Maggie Makes Three.” I’m not sure if any of them will win this tournament, but if I met someone who’d never watched The Simpsons before, I would encourage them to watch those 4 episodes.

The Plow King – Fan made watercolor of Barney as the Plow King.  Awesome.

Treehouse of Horror – . . . and another watercolor, this one of Bart in a skeleton costume and King Homer.

Round 85: You Only Move Twice vs. Lisa the Skeptic – Our old friend Nebel has taken his Simpsons tournament to a new URL.  Herein, Season 8 crushes Season 9.

Serious As A Heart Attack About the Lisa Simpson Bridge – Absolutely:

When the Tribune’s Peter Korn first called me, I initially told him that my favorite was Ursula LeGuin (I think I said “Ged the Archmage can whip Harry Potter any day of the week”). But then I acknowledged that ideally, the bridge should be named after a female (there are enough things named after men) environmentalist (because the bike / pedestrian / transit bridge embodies our environmental values). LeGuin meets the first criterion, but she’s not especially identified with environmentalism. And then it hit me, like a bolt from the blue: the most prominent environmentalist with Portland roots is, by a country mile, Lisa Simpson, created by Portland’s own Matt Groening.

C’mon, Portland, you’re supposed to be the fun city, name it the Lisa Simpson bridge.  Think of the children!  (Vote here.)

Simpson No-No’s – An illustrated guide to animating the show from 1991!  Pro-tip: No sharp teeth “unless directed”.

How the Simpsons (And You) Can Multiply by Seven Using Your Fingers – I don’t think I’ve used that multiply by nine on your fingers thing since the third grade, but yes, in a base eight world the Simpsons could do the same with seven.  Of course, this presumes they got rid of those text books with that base six crap in them.

We’ll really miss you Mrs. K – The Argus – Canadian college students remember Marcia Wallace.

When a Tasteless Tongue Approaches the Smorgasbord of Eloquence – Explaining some of our foibles with Blazing Saddles, Seinfeld and The Simpsons.  Also, excellent usage.

It’s Been Too Long – Fun thing about Tapped Out, you can put the nuclear plant closer to houses than even Mr. Burns would be able to.

Speculation: Opening Scene – And in other Tapped Out news, here’s some people and buildings that could be added based on a scene-by-scene analysis of the opening video.

Developer creates The Simpsons entirely in CSS – The actual Github link is down, but you can see the end result here (and the crappy way it looks in IE).

Krusty Burger – A fake Krusty Burger review:

fter my first experience, I went back six more times.  Why?  Maybe I felt guilty for the owner, maybe it was because the place was a Springfield, Oregon staple, or maybe I’m that optimistic person who thinks that any bad review of a restaurant will cause the restaurant to change for the better.  Did it change?  Nope.

You want me to die??! – Could be worse, someone might want you to diet . . . Oh, I see what you did there.  Heh.

Blinky the crab has three eyes – Cool:

Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.

Gerhard Scholtz of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany found the Amarinus lacustris crab in the Hoteo river on New Zealand’s North Island in 2007.

Bacon Fantasy #15 – A (fan made?) cartoon cover t-shirt design featuring Spider-Pig.

An Albanian Spy in America? Re-watching that great episode of “The Simpsons” as an American in Albania – I’ll bet that does provide some interesting perspective:

Before I learned that I would live in Albania for two years, I was like perhaps many Americans of my generation in that my only knowledge of Albania was based on one episode of The Simpsons. Re-watching, I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of this hilarious episode .

The Simpsons Couch Gag – How about some couch gag YouTube?

“I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?” – Another new Simpsons blog . . .

Fox picks up new Seth MacFarlane ‘toon – There will be another one.  That is all.

Bob Sansevere: Vikings grasp fundamentals just in time – Excellent usage:

Rockne’s quote embodied what the Vikings haven’t been able to accomplish for much of this season.

A Homer Simpson quote capsulized what they have done more often than not: “I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”

Homer actually says “sucks that ever sucked”, but that’s close enough for excellent usage.

Quick cancellations and going back to Springfield – A TV critic writes:

At one time you couldn’t turn on a TV and not find everyone’s favourite animated family somewhere on the dial. And while the show began its 25th season this year, and is still getting big ratings, I hadn’t watched an episode of the show — a show that was once my religion — in at least three or four years.

I decided to start at Season 7, the most recent season I have on DVD, and work my way backwards.

It’s both amazing at how much I’ve retained from constant rewatchings of these classics, and how well most of the episodes hold up to this day

Preach it, sister!

Conan O’Brien, ‘Harvard Lampoon’ Alumni Dish About Modern Comedy – O’Brien, Jean and Greg Daniels were at some panel at USC last weekend, but the crappy Variety writeup doesn’t really tell you much.

James L. Brooks, David Silverman Talk ‘Simpsons,’ State of Toon Market – Another crappy Variety writeup of a different panel about the show.  They did get James L. Brooks saying this, which basically agrees with us and is an admission that Zombie Simpsons is a completely different show:

“We wanted to make (the show) about character and story,” Brooks, said of “Simpsons’” origin and longevity. “We were religious about that, we were nuts, we were obsessive about that. Anything that was farfetched we wouldn’t do, we didn’t want anybody to know who the actors were, we wanted nothing to break, and I think it’s because we started that way and held to it and then over the years let it go completely. It’s great having rules that you treat like the Bible and then throw away at a certain point.”

As per usual, when not directly doing publicity, even people involved with the show will always note how much it’s changed/degraded.

5 Responses to “Reading Digest: Variety (The Newspaper) Edition”

  1. 1 FireFlower
    15 November 2013 at 7:00 pm

    “I think I said “Ged the Archmage can whip Harry Potter any day of the week”.

    i agree.

  2. 2 Al Gore Doll
    16 November 2013 at 12:39 am

    “It’s great having rules that you treat like the Bible and then throw away at a certain point.”

    Translation: We get paid no matter how badly we do! Isn’t that swell?

  3. 16 November 2013 at 10:50 am

    Interesting news about the cable deal. Some form of morbid curiosity keeps pulling me back to Zombie Simpsons every once in a while (if nothing else, I at least enjoy analyzing the episodes to determine what doesn’t work), so this will give me a chance to check out some of the episodes I never watched the first time around. It’s like a bus crash – you know it’s going to be terrible, but you still feel compelled to sneak a glance at it.

  4. 19 November 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’m glad that there’s a possibility that some network will be airing the older episodes. My local TV stations, and the ones at my parent’s town, only play reruns from Zombie Simpsons. (they at least used to play older ones for Halloween and Christmas, but that seemed to stop) It’s really annoying.

    Buuuut I wish they put them on a network that more people got. I only have basic cable. Oy. Ah well, the TVs at the employee break area I work in have some nice cable package. If they get FXX and I’m still working there by the time it gets The Simpsons, I can probably get my supervisors to put it there once in a while.

    I’m kind of wondering why they waited so long to get reruns on cable or streaming. Were they trying to get people to buy the DVDs for as long as possible?

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