Archive for March, 2014



23
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

$pringfield15

“Are you sure this is the casino?  I think I should call my manager.” – Robert Goulet
“Your manager says for you to shut up.” – Nelson Muntz
“Vera said that?” – Robert Goulet

22
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

Trash of the Titans7

“Ow, ow, stupid trash, rotten, stinky, hate world, revenge soon, take out on everyone.” – Homer Simpson

21
Mar
14

Reading Digest: Making Life Imitate the Simpsons Edition

Bart the Genius11

“My turn: Kwyjibo, k, w, y, j, i, b, o.  Twenty-two points, plus triple word score, plus fifty points for using all my letters, game’s over, I’m outta here.” – Bart Simpson
“Wait a minute, you little cheater.  You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what a kwyjibo is.” – Homer Simpson
“Kwyjibo, uh, a big, dumb, balding North American ape, with no chin.” – Homer Simpson
“And a short temper.” – Marge Simpson
“I’ll show you a big dumb balding ape!” – Homer Simpson
“Uh-oh, kwyjibo on the loose!” – Bart Simpson

I put this up on Twitter this morning, but it is very much worth bringing up as often as possible.  Hasbro, the company that currently owns Scrabble, is having a Facebook contest to add a new word to the game’s official dictionary.   The leading “like”-getter at the moment is two different entries for “Kwyjibo”, the big, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper.  I want this to happen bad enough that I actually logged into the otherwise derelict Facebook page Mad Jon set up like four years ago to promote it.  Sure it’s nice to have all those Simpsons words in the O.E.D., but what most people don’t realize is that the O.E.D. is the garbage dump of words.  Anything that gets used by more than about four people gets put in.  But Scrabble?  That’s the dictionary people actually use, and since it’s beloved of vicious word nerds, it’s much more of coup.  Plus, this raises the possibility, nay, certainty, that at some point in time, somewhere, someone will win a Scrabble game just like Bart did.

In addition to that, we’ve got several great lists this week, a very disturbing collection of images of what Homer would look like as a real person, a chance for you to win ten whole dollars for playing Tapped Out, several .gifs, the return of a couple of watch-em-all series, and lots more.  Enjoy.

Scrabble Dictionary to Gain a New Word through Crowd-Sourcing – The gauntlet has been thrown down:

That’s KWYJIBO for 22 points, plus 50 for using all the letters and triple-word score. At least that’s what Bart Simpson claimed in Episode 2 of Season 1 of The Simpsons, “Bart the Genius.” Now, this word has been nominated for addition to the official dictionary for the word game Scrabble, the game the Simpsons were playing in the episode.

Merriam-Webster’s The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will be updated with new words for the first time in nine years and Hasbro, maker of the popular word game, is hosting a Facebook contest  ( http://bit.ly/scrabbblenominations!) to allow players and fans of the game to choose one of the words to be added in a contest billed as the Scrabble Word Showdown.

Several fans of the game have nominated KWYJIBO to be added to the dictionary. Among other nominations are: EW, GIGGITY, QUESO, ZOOT

You have to use Facebook (EW, indeed), but the top two suggestions right now are Kwyjibo, and if we can get Kwyjibo in the official Scrabble dictionary, I might finally be able to beat my cousin at it.

An Interview With Ira Brooker – Fantastic:

A few years ago I started writing an inventory of the 100 greatest influences on my sense of humor. I was going call it “Why I laugh?” which is, of course, a Simpsons quote. It eventually wound up being too big and abstract of a project for me to complete, but there was no question that The Simpsons would be in the number one slot. The only possible rival would be David Letterman, but as important as Dave was to my formative years, he never permeated my daily existence to nearly the degree that The Simpsons does even two decades beyond its heyday. I don’t think I could hope to pinpoint how those first eight seasons have influenced me. At this point they’re just woven into my being. It would be like trying to figure out what kind of influence speaking English has had on me.

Much more at the link.

Round 104: Last Exit to Springfield vs. The Cartridge Family – Whoops, I missed a week on these. 

Old Money – Episode #030 – And Ash is back with the “DISCOUNT LION SAFARI!!!!”.

Cross-Blog Contest! Tapper of the Month – It’s telling that the blogs dedicated to Tapped Out are run much better than the game itself.  They’ve got a contest running where all you have to do is send in your Springfield.

Jewish Top 10s: Simpsons Cameos – Excellent list (Nimoy #1!), though two picks from Zombie Simpsons keep it from being completely kosher.  Why not Albert Brooks and Harvey Fierstein?

The Simpsons: 10 Best Mr Burns Moments – This is also a pretty good list, if for no other reason than there are a couple of decent .gifs and no Zombie Simpsons.  But for the love of all that is pageviews, you have to click and load each fucking entry.  I did, of course, but I can’t really recommend it.

Manual of Mischief review: Bart Simpson’s guide to pranks and gags – A review of a new book they put out.

Stain glass artist to come to Austria – Remember Joseph Cavalieri, the guy who did those amazing Simpsons stained glass pieces?  Well, he’s still at it and he’s headed to Austria to teach people how to do similar stuff.  Congratulations.

One Man’’s Trash Is Another Man’’s Pizza Box Art – Click through for the fan made box with an alternate universe Homer and Bart working at a pizza joint.

Realistic Homer Simpson Is Disgusting [7 Photos] – Things like this are why it’s best the show is a cartoon.  They’re really well done, but very off putting.

Grow your own… heart, limb, or organ – Excellent usage:

In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Homer, ineffectual as usual, tries to steal snacks from a pair of vending machines by reaching his arms inside, only to end up completely stuck. When confronted with the possibility that sawing his arms off might be the only solution, he asks worriedly, “They’ll grow back, right?”

GIFs de la semaine : alors on danse ! – Lots of dancing .gifs, including depressed teenagers and Bart in a wig.

Futurama – The secret behind Philip J Fry – The Brannigan-Hartman-Fry connection spelled out in pictures.

What ‘The Simpsons’ Have Taught Us About Life, Part 2 – Another cromulent list.

Random Simpsons Screencap 3/17/14 – There’s no such thing as Scotchtoberfest!

My Top 8 Movie/TV Show Based GamesHit & Run makes the list.

What if… – Heh.

Retrospective No. 35 The Simpsons Tapped Out – Somebody hates freemium almost as much as I do.  Well done.

Drunk things to do in Dutch – Scroll to the bottom for a Smarch related heh.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – A little YouTube for everyone but the gays and the Italians.

Best TV Comedies – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us . . . Batman style:

2. The Simpsons

It’s hard to watch what this show has become. It seems The Simpsons could’ve died a hero in 2000/2001, instead of seeing itself live long enough to become the villain that it is now.

Well put.

21
Mar
14

Compare & Contrast: Marge Becomes Less Attracted to Homer

King Size Homer17

“Mr. Burns, can you make me thin again?” – Homer Simpson
“I guarantee it. . . . One . . . one! . . . one! . . . Bah, I’ll just pay for the blasted liposuction!” – C.M. Burns
“Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

The Simpsons always had an acknowledged and popular soft touch with big emotions.  For all the craziness going on in the rest of the episode, they could deftly deliver both believably sweet moments and ones that packed real punch.  The same show that has Marge finally snap at Bart’s selfishness and yell that he ruined Thanksgiving could also put Homer in a job he hates staring at his “Do It For Her” wall of Maggie pictures, miserable and happy at the same time.

Even small moments that aren’t pivotal to the plot play well, like Bart thanking his mom for sticking up for him as he runs off with his BB gun to Milhouse’s, or when Lisa and Marge quickly and silently bond over keeping Marge’s cash safe from Homer’s idiotic desire to burn it at Krusty’s stand up performance.  Neither are big, emotional moments that define the story, but they’re still given that little flourish, partly because it makes the scene flow better, partly because that’s just who the characters are, and partly just because it can be funny.

As with so many other things, Zombie Simpsons is utterly tone deaf with small emotional moments.  And since it always repeats something from The Simpsons, it’s easy to see how they can take the same emotion between the same two characters and make it much shabbier.  In the case of “The Winter of His Content”, it’s a scene wherein Marge hesitantly confesses that she’s starting to become less enamored of her husband.

It’s a weak scene in a weak episode, with Marge confiding to Patty & Selma (or at least trying to) about Homer acting like an old man.  The scene, in its entirety, consists of Marge describing things Homer does while we see him do them, then Patty asks her to say she’s no longer attracted to him, to which Marge simply replies “Maybe”.  It’s played as sad, and, as is standard with Zombie Simpsons, it has basically no connection to the rest of the episode.  It’s the first time we see Marge act with real worry and it’s the last time we see Marge at all until the very last scene after everything has worked itself out.

It’s just a quick little emotional moment.  But in addition to being left awkwardly unsupported by the rest of the episode, it also trivializes one of the core elements of the show: Marge’s loving but completely irrational attraction of Homer.  At this point, Homer acting like an old man barely rates a 3.0 on the Captain Wacky Scale and they’ve not only got Marge acting like he’s jeopardizing everything, but they also drop the subject for literally the rest of the plot.  It’s the emotional equivalent of telling someone that you have six months to live and then neither of you asking or offering any more on the subject.  It’s just weird.

Mild Concern

You can tell it’s serious because Marge takes up only a small part of the shot and looks slightly gassy.

Compare that to the same sentiment in “King-Size Homer”, when Marge makes it perfectly clear that she’s not playing around by saying: “Con, I’m finding myself less attracted to you physically.”  It’s a much more personal and appropriate line than “Maybe” because it’s the exact kind of thing Marge would say (stern but phased as gently as possible) and it fits with the gravity of what’s being portrayed.

Besides being a much better line, it’s also tied into the rest of the episode, both before and after.  The first time they bring it up is when Homer reveals to Marge his plan to get fat enough for disability and promptly blows off her objections, still too enamored of his plan to listen:

Marge: Have you thought about your health, or your appearance?
Homer: Oh, so that’s it, isn’t it, Marge?  Looks.  I didn’t know you were so shallow.
Marge: Oh, please, I would love you if you weighed one thousand pounds!
Homer: Beautiful!  Good night.

When she brings it up again at her pro and con session in the kitchen, the groundwork for a quick but sincere emotional moment has been done.  She raises the stakes by telling him quite seriously that she’s losing it for him and Homer ups them further by acting defiant instead of feigning ignorance.

King Size Homer15

Up close and personal, we can see the real doubt and pain on her face.  Shit is getting real.

That buildup works so well that the final time this serious emotion is raised, it doesn’t require a single word of dialogue between the two.  The main plot is fat Homer saving the plant from his own lazy stupidity, and when that’s over and Burns asks if there’s anything Homer wants, Homer and Marge need only share a look.

King Size Homer16

Even just drawn with simple lines, her face says it all.

In neither episode is this vital emotional risk the key to the story.  But Zombie Simpsons treats it like a single scene afterthought where – wham! – Homer and Marge are back and happy because that’s just how things were always going to go.  The Simpsons, on the other hand, made that risk an important part of the ending without even uttering a word.  It’s the kind of thing you can only do if you take it seriously enough to weave it into the entire episode instead of just tossing it off in a scene that didn’t even need to be there.

21
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

Bart Star6

“Your cholesterol level is lethally high, but I’m more concerned about your gravy level.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Now, wait a second, you doctors have been telling us to drink eight glasses of gravy a day.” – Homer Simpson
“You’re a little confused.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Oh, confused, would we?” – Homer Simpson

20
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

SnowsMelted

“The snow’s melted, we can go outside again! . . . Oh, I don’t like the looks of those teenagers.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

19
Mar
14

Behind Us Forever: The Winter of His Content

Chalkboard - The Winter of His Content

“Well, let me tell you something, boy, if you don’t stand up for yourself, bullies are gonna be picking on you for the rest of your life.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Simpson!  Give me your newspaper!” – Jasper
“Why should I?” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“I wanna do the crossword puzzle.” – Jasper
“No, I want to do the crossword puzzle.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“I said, give me that puzzle!” – Jasper
“No.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Gimme!” – Jasper
“No.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Gimme!” – Jasper
“No . . . Well, I guess I can’t help you.  But I know someone who can.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

“The Winter of His Content” is the Zombie Simpsons episode that got eaten by its own B-plot.  Not only did their weirdly literal but still nonsensical take on The Warriors take way too long in and of itself, most of what passed for jokes in it were weird asides rather than parodies of the movie.  It was as though they set out to use a movie plot as dully as possible and added all the comedy attempts as bizarre asides only after they realized how well they’d succeeded.  

Over in the diminutive A-plot, Homer adopted some old people who needed a place to live.  They still live there after the episode ends.  That was kinda it.

– I miss Redd Foxx, god bless his smutty soul.  That wasn’t him, obviously, but I do miss him.

– They can’t even do violations at the retirement home without explaining things as they happen.

– “My lifestyle is my retirement plan.” – Okay, that was funny.  It would’ve been funnier if they hadn’t made Homer act everything out, but at least they resisted the urge to have him pull a Duff and some fatty food out of nowhere.

– This scene with the pile of medicine bottles and Maggie, however, did not resist those urges.  Ditto Homer actually telling us he was going to trip and fall before it happened.

– Nelson is more fun when he’s not weak and sad.

– Count Branula was decent.  Sign gags being one of those things they can still sometimes do.

– The rest of this montage is naked filler, however.

– It’s weird, they think Itchy and Scratchy are funny because they’re gory, not violent.  Also, that did not need to repeat itself and go on for thirty seconds.

– The exposition to this point has only been heavily clunky.  But then they have Lisa drop the big one: “Dad, did it ever occur to you that we’re learning how to take care of you when you’re older by watching the way you treat Grampa.”  

– In addition to being a direct question about exactly what’s going on, I’d also like to point out that in that line, Lisa is implying that Homer is being a jerk to the three old men who have invaded his house, but everything they’ve actually showed us to this point is him doing nice things for them.

– The B-plot is doing it’s part on the exposition front with Nelson explaining exactly where they were.

– Rubberized skin noises while Grampa makes over Homer aren’t even among this show’s moderate problems, but minor as they are, they still would’ve been way, way out of place on anything before Season 10 or so.

– That scene where the old lady proposes a threesome wasn’t weird or dull or out of place at all.

– “Huh, you’re turning into your father.” – Thanks Marge, we never could’ve figured that out.

– Oh, good, now we’ve got Dolph, Jimbo and Kearny expositing a character we haven’t seen yet.

– Whatever this episode was lacking in early and unneeded exposition, it has made up for it in late and unneeded exposition.  Marge just explained in a flashback voiceover exactly what we were seeing as it was happening.

– If you want to do a Warriors thing with the bully summit, fine, it’s a decent enough premise.  Chester’s speech was even kinda funny.  But scene stopping crap like Dolph explaining that he lost his sandal and the bad guy explaining his motivations while it’s going on drains out most of the fun.  

– Case in point: Moe’s scene.

– Cases in point: Moe’s scene and Chief Wiggum’s scene.

– Cases in point: Moe’s scene, Chief Wiggum’s scene, and the old lady getting on the bus.

– Hey, look, the A-plot came back!  It was too late to prevent a filler scene with the glass bottles from acting as more parody killing filler, but it is back.

– And Homer picks up right where he left off by telling us exactly what he’s doing.

– So this ends and Bart’s still a bully, or what?

Anyway, the ratings are long in (sorry about the two day delay in posting this), and they remain historically low.  A mere 4.02 million people wondered how something as campy as Warriors could be turned into something that dull.  That’s not as low as last week’s record setting duo, but it is good for #5 on the all time least watched list.




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