Reading Digest: Crossover Reaction Edition

Behind the Laughter3

“Fans reacted to these slapdash episodes with yawns, angry yawns.” – Behind the Laughter Announcer

The big news this week was a five minute preview video of the upcoming Family Guy crossover, and it was everywhere.  There were so many links from random sites that one was in Cyrillic, but outside of fawning headlines from radio stations and other teevee industry marketing appendages, the reaction was overwhelming negative, and we’ve got several links to prove it.  You can see the video at a couple of them, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I made it two minutes in and gave up on about the third time they talked about how lame they were.   I try to keep an open mind, but this looks like it’s going to be a very dull forty-two minutes or so.

With all that garbage clogging up the internet, I’m amazed we had as much other stuff as we did, but in addition to plenty of anti-crossover bile, we’ve got a couple of other Comic-con wrap ups, two wildly different Bart t-shirts, apathy at Allure magazine, more Lego Flanders, a sand sculpture Homer, and lots more.  Enjoy.

The 30 Best Golden-Era ‘Simpsons’ TV References – No one is holding out much hope:

Despite all evidence to the contrary, maybe the Family Guy/Simpsons crossover episode will turn out not-embarrassing…possibly? As hard as I try, though, I can’t help but assume the worst about the “stupid tie-in cartoon,” which is why I’m glad it’s TECHNICALLY a Family Guy episode.

The list itself is great, though.  With lots of YouTube.

The Simpsons Guy: 8 reasons the Simpsons and Family Guy crossover will suck – These are pretty good, especially:

4. It’s not funny

Did you watch the trailer? It’s pretty laugh-free


7. It feels like a desperate attempt to be relevant

As with the Simpsons/Futurama crossover, this feels like a desperate attempt to make both The Simpsons and Family Guy relevant again. The Simpsons has been on TV screens longer than most of the World Cup England squad have been alive and no one has cared about Family Guy since around 2004. Neither are culturally relevant any more and The Simpsons Guy feels like a sad attempt for one last hurrah.


First and foremost, the number one question on my lips – and doubtlessly on a whole lot of other lips, too – is why? Why was this necessary? Who are the people, in their infinite lack of wisdom, who were asking for this? Cynical though this outlook may seem, I feel that The Simpsons Guy has its origins in little more than a desperate ploy for viewers.

WATCH: Footage from the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover that absolutely nobody wanted. – Popular conclusion:

So why now? The cynical part of me sees it as nothing more than a quick grab for money and ratings. The logical part of me is having trouble viewing it as anything more than that either. Either way, it’s happening – and it’s one part nonsensical plot points, the other part jokes that you could see coming from at least half a decade ago.

Segregate my TV – Somebody else is unimpressed with the crossover:

It just all ends up being boring.

Man Gets Hit By Football – Australian Tour!! – An Aussie punk band has one of the best posters ever (click through) and an EP called “Can I Borrow A Feeling”.  Bravo.

You’re Toxic I’m Slipping Under – The play has closed in London, but this is high praise indeed:

I think Mr. Burns is brilliant. I have never seen a full episode of The Simpsons, but from what I’ve seen I think of it as a show for small-minded people. I don’t think slapstick humor is funny, nor stupidity, and I’ve been led to believe that The Simpsons largely relies on that type of humor.

Someone that clueless about the show (though, not far off for Zombie Simpsons) still loved it.

Kayte Walsh announces the name of her new baby boy – Sideshow Bob is having another kid.  I only mention it because of how they describe him:

It is her second child with Kelsey Grammer, star of Frasier and The Simpsons.

Cheers doesn’t even rate these days.

Comic-Con 2014: ‘The Simpsons’ sets world record with Homer’s Dome – There sure are a lot of weird world records:

The canvas had 5,565 squares in a paint-by-numbers type of format that the organizers were trying to fill out over the course of Comic-Con. The FXX team behind the event hoped to break the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a painting by the numbers.

Beauty Lessons I Learned From The Simpsons – Allure magazine had one of their editors type up a little mention of the new Marge themed cosmetics line.  This is just a magazine doing an otherwise unnecessary favor for an advertiser, and you can tell because of how it ends:

Tell me: Do you have a favorite Simpsons beauty moment?

No, the internet does not:

Simpsons Beauty Tips

And that 1 person “listening” was me when I took the screen grab.

Sweat-Free SoHo Style – Nobody seems to care much about the Marge makup at Allure, but the New York Times has a “women on the street” video about summer fashion that features a woman (who is identified as a model) wearing a Bart mug-shot t-shirt.

Blog: How This Former Music Snob Loosened Up and Re-Embraced Pop Music – Excellent usage:

Part of most people’s aging process seems to be an increasingly lower tolerance for new or challenging things, and one of the most prominent ways that that manifests itself is music. It varies slightly from person to person, but there seems to be a point in most people’s life where their “best” era of music exists, and whatever comes after just sounds increasingly annoying and not-as-good as “their” music. In the wise words of Grandpa Simpson: “I used to be with it. And then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me.”

Grampa actually says “But then”, but that’s a nit.

What books are Montrealers taking out from the libraries? – The Simpsons, or “Les Simpson”, apparently.

Comic-Con’s Best Costumes So Far Include Homer Simpson, Snow White And Tons Of Superheroes – Any idiot can put on one of those creepy looking Simpsons masks, but it takes a special kind of lunatic to combine them with Homer’s full Stonecutter regalia.  Excellent work.

Watch Homer Simpson on Drugs in Mac DeMarco’s “Chamber of Reflection” Video – And speaking of creepy looking Homer masks, here’s a music video of a woman walking around wearing one.

Orlando/Universal Studios Day 1 – Getting Simpsons nails done before seeing the Simpsons area.  Cool.

Play D’oh!: The Simpsons FXX marathon schedule – A helpful little guide for those of you planning to watch some of the marathon on FXX at the end of the month.

A Suns-themed Bart Simpson t-shirt exists – Old bootleg Bart shirts are pretty amazing time capsules.

Boston MFA reportedly defaced by Homer Simpson graffiti – There’s a picture, but it’s pretty lazy graffiti.

The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown’s foul-mouthed rant prompts complaints – I’d guess this was “Bart the Fink”, but they don’t identify it:

The washed-up boozy clown was heard to use the word “bastard” during an edition of the programme screened by Channel 4 at 6pm in April, well before the 9pm watershed.

The incessant beep of outraged parents is company enough for him.

Simpsons: “Lisa’s Wedding” episode was pretty good a predicting the future – It’s a nice list, but it’s a little less than comprehensive.

UO alumnus’ firm chosen to paint city’s ‘Simpsons’ mural – The mural they’re painting in Oregon now has a designer.  It’s supposed to be done by the middle of next month.

Photos: Homer Simpson wins annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest in Belmar – The Homer pictures are near the end of the slideshow, and it’s pretty clever.

American Roadtrip, Part 6: Catching a Baseball Game in Albuquerque – Brits take in a Topes game.

Mrs Grillah’s Amazing BBQ Cake – That is a cake Homer would happily ruin.

A Story of Inspiration – Heh.

Words of the Week 23/2014 – Homer Simpson – Heh (x2).

ravingmadlunitic – Heh (x3).

Sow Seeds Of Love! – Lego Flanders proselytizing.

The Glory Days Of The Arcade – Were the attacks actually different?:

So when my friends and I saw The Simpsons Arcade Game, we knew we just had to play and finish it! Of course, no one wanted to pick Marge so I got stuck with the blue haired housewife. But I was kind of glad she was my character since I thought she had an awesome weapon: a vacuum cleaner. I kind of pitied the guy who had Homer since all he had were his fists!

I genuinely don’t remember.

Friday Conversation: What Is Your All-Time Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Moment? – And finally, I’ll end with this Uproxx post that implictly agrees with us since not a single member of the staff so much as mentions Zombie Simpsons.

27 Responses to “Reading Digest: Crossover Reaction Edition”

  1. 1 August 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I always lose it when Lisa is in the beauty pageant and Homer eats the Vaseline. Is that a Simpsons beauty moment? Oh, and Homer’s makeup gun. “Homer! You’ve got it set on whore!”

  2. 1 August 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the mention! We are in some pretty good company here. Sucks I didn’t get the quote exactly right, but I did it from memory and didn’t bother looking it up so I’m happy I at least got as close as I did.

  3. 1 August 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Liked the articles trashing the cross-over. Didn’t think of the cross-over from the Family Guy side of things because I haven’t found it funny since it returned from cancellation. Makes me wonder if there is a Dead Stewie Society of disgruntled Family Guy fans.

    • 4 Babel DeCarla
      1 August 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Not that I know of. Mostly “Family Guy” doesn’t blogged or discussed at length the way The Simpsons does…unless you count the numerous forum arguments or whether or not the show is still funny and, if not, when did the show start to lose its humor (with most people saying it happened after it came back from being canceled and/or they discovered that “American Dad” was a better show, but I think it did hit a snag when the writers went on strike in 2007 and FOX betrayed Seth MacFarlane by airing episodes that he didn’t finish, though I can tolerate post-cancellation Family Guy episodes more than Zombie Simpsons).

      • 5 Joe H
        2 August 2014 at 2:33 am

        Yeah, I don’t think there are many critical fan sites of the show. They either completely love it or completely hate it. Most Family Guy fans are very casual viewers.

  4. 1 August 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I wonder if Matt Groening will take his name off of this crossover like he did with The Critic one? (Not really; of course he won’t.)

    • 1 August 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Any shit Matt Groening gave about The Simpsons and integrity ended well over a decade ago.

    • 9 Babel DeCarla
      1 August 2014 at 11:22 pm

      If he didn’t remove his name from the crossovers with The X-Files (which was one of the good episodes, even if it was weird) and 24 (which, for a Zombie Simpsons episode, wasn’t that bad), then there’s no chance Groening will do the same here.

      Besides, Groening and MacFarlane are actually friends, despite fans thinking they’re rivals because they pretty much put out the same type of show (animated sitcom about a dysfunctional family filled with pop culture references and offensive-by-the-standards-of-free-to-air-TV humor).

      • 10 Babel DeCarla
        1 August 2014 at 11:26 pm

        (Cont’d): Besides, the Family Guy/Simpsons crossover is more of a Family Guy episode than a Simpsons episode because it starts with The Griffins on a road trip to…wherever Springfield is. And sites like Wikipedia, TV.com, and TVTropes have listed “The Simpsons Guy” as the season 13(?!) premiere episode of “Family Guy,” not the season 26(?!) premiere of “The Simpsons” (and the 26th season premiere of The Simpsons is going to be the one where Krusty retires for good and someone dies yet again. Word is it’s Krusty).

      • 2 August 2014 at 3:12 pm

        Was the episode with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny considered a crossover? I just thought it was more of a guest appearance where they were in character. By that logic it was also a Star Wars, ALF, and Looney Tunes Cross-Over since Chewbacca, ALF, and Marvin The Martian also appear in that episode.

        If you want to get weird and consider that appearance of Mulder and Scully canon for The X-Files than that makes The Simpsons part of the same universe as Homicide, Law and Order, The Wire, Arrested Development, and even 30 Rock because of Richard Belzer as Det. John Munch. Come to think of it I swear Det. Munch appeared on an episode of The Simpsons.

        For the record I like Seth MacFarlane. He is great on interviews, he seems to genuinely love animation, appreciates classic cinema and musicals, American Dad! is actually pretty decent, he brought back Cosmos, and he is just as tired of Family Guy as the rest of us.

  5. 1 August 2014 at 11:53 pm

    The only moment I laughed with that annoying trailer was at the Ralph scene. And it wasn’t even one of his best.

    Goddammit Simpsons!

  6. 15 ecco6t9
    2 August 2014 at 2:21 am

    Oh the crossover, The Cleveland Show joke was a laugh but that’s about it.

  7. 16 Anonymous
    2 August 2014 at 2:27 am

    Yeah, this crossover looks pretty bad. Definitely reeked of a ratings grab soaked in desperate sweat. The Stewie/Bart relationship was just absolutely forced and by-the-numbers that watching even the clip was a chose. Not to say the rest was much better.

    Now if there was a Bob’s Burgers crossover written by their writers that would probably be a different story. Except that would have taken an actual risk for the sake of quality.

    I keep forgetting there’s that Futurama crossover looming in the horizon. The only chance that has any chance of being good is if it was written by David X Cohen and personally directed by Matt Groening. In other words, no real chance.

  8. 2 August 2014 at 3:09 am

    ergh, too many poor attempts at being relevant from the simpsons recently – just the other day saw their take on the modern family intro – was so forced that it just wasn’t funny

  9. 18 Станислав
    2 August 2014 at 5:29 am

    That crossover’s gonna suck major ass… Unless they put a “oh no no no” Cleveland bathtub joke in it.

  10. 2 August 2014 at 10:35 am

    This furore over the “rape joke” is complete nonsense. The joke isn’t even about rape, let alone does it in any way make light of rape or the victims of rape. The whole point is to make a stupid juxtaposition between the relatively “tame” humour of the Simpsons with the “shock” humour of Family Guy. Besides, the whole reason behind inciting this commotion is quite clearly a cynical attempt by Al Jean to try and portray himself as the defender of good taste in anticipation of the inevitable backlash against this episode.

    • 3 August 2014 at 8:34 am

      The “joke” still falls flat because it’s right on the edge of the controversy scale that The Simpsons can tolerate and yet way too tame for or Family Guy. It’s just awkward as a result.

      To me, it is *marginally* offensive because it’s sort of saying that, of all the racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/”every target is acceptable” jokes that come out of Family Guy, it’s implying that the rape jokes are OK for the family audience of Zombie Simpsons.

      The one good thing that comes from this is that, to me, it really shows just how different the shows are. The whole point of Family Guy is that it mirrors The Simpsons superficially but its style of humour is completely different. I don’t know just how true it is that ZS tries to copy FG, but as it’s terrible either way I’m not bothered about debating the reasons why.

      The Metro link otherwise sums up my reaction to the trailer. Particularly its focus on the crossover’s irrelevance… I can’t imagine a time when this would’ve been relevant at all. By the time FG had such a massive following, The Simpsons no longer had a pulse. Now that both shows are tired it’s just such an awful idea.

      • 3 August 2014 at 3:17 pm

        This is all true, though for me it would seem like such comparisons are moot considering how little each of these shows represent the values of their “glory years”. For instance there’s a big difference between Quagmire the womanizing creep and Quagmire the loveable recidivist sex criminal of later seasons.

        “The Simpsons” has similarly come crawling into the gutter just in a slightly different way. To suggest it is perhaps better than a joke mentioning rape is only relevant if you are of the mind that the subject of the joke is all that matters. I on the other hand would argue that this means little if anything – if the joke is well written, well intentioned and most importantly funny, then who cares? In other words, Zombie Simpsons has been responsible for “jokes” which I would consider far more objectionable/offensive than any rape joke Family Guy has done without the subject matter being in the least bit blue.

        Basically, my point is that there could be a case for saying that “The Simpsons” is an unsuitable medium for a “Family Guy” joke but it would not be because the joke is about rape, it would be because the Simpsons would be more subtle about how they address such a topic (Arty Ziff and Jacques to name two examples). But, since Zombie Simpsons is about as subtle as a mallet to the head, then there’s absolutely no justification for saying it’s unsuitable now. It’s giving Zombie Simpsons a level of credit that it simply doesn’t deserve.

        • 22 Joe H
          3 August 2014 at 6:39 pm

          Not to mention the show has already had Homer visibly getting raped by a panda, repeatedly made incest jokes in recent years, and countless other Family Guy-ish things. Stewie simply mentioning an imaginary rape of Moe’s nonexistent sister doesn’t even register.

          I think the only people offended were those that haven’t watched The Simpsons in over 10 years or have subconsciously purged all memories of Zombie Simpsons.

  11. 23 Cal
    3 August 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Mad Magazine already did it! http://tinyurl.com/la89x9h

    I have a copy of this issue, somewhere.

  12. 4 August 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Even when The Simpsons did it’s crossover with Jay Sherman i.e. The Critic back in the 90’s, it was controversial, Matt Groening was mad and wanted no part in it, SNPP was mixed (I think) in it’s reviews and overall I myself did enjoy it.

    I will be watching that episode instead of this crossover hopefully.

    Also the article here titled “Blog: How This Former Music Snob Loosened Up and Re-Embraced Pop Music” there was an interesting fact on didyouknow via Facebook that people around 30 (maybe 40) their brain has something to do with them rejecting/not livening to new music.

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