Archive for August, 2014



15
Aug
14

Reading Digest: FXX Marketing Shifts Into High Gear Edition

WeatherVane

“Were you on my roof last night, stealing my weather vane?” – Ned Flanders
“This interview is over!” – Homer Simpson

The big 12 day marathon on a channel neither I nor millions of other people get will begin next Thursday morning.  This week we’ve got several links about it, including the full transcript of a conference call interview Al Jean did earlier this week (there’s actual news for once!) and some very cool posters.  In addition to that, we’ve got more of the fan made Lego Springfield, an unveiling date for the building sized mural in Oregon, Harry Shearer being Dick Nixon, very old sneakers, and a great vacation photo from Washington D.C..

Enjoy.

The Simpsons – Al Jean Interview – This is a full transcript of a conference call Jean did on Wednesday.  Mostly it’s just him efficiently blowing through questions he’s heard dozens of times before (Will there be a sequel? How about those upcoming crossovers?  He even makes a joke about someone asking where Springfield is.), but there is some real news buried in there:

– The app will allow for fan rankings of the episodes:

Q: can you talk a little bit about at TCA you were talking about the database of their new website and there would be a ranking of episodes based on fan favorites. How that ranking is determined?

A: It’s to be determined. It’s up to the fans. We went and listened to what it seemed that people wanted out of the show, and when the app is fully up and running, which probably won’t be until early next year, you can get clips, you can send clips to your friends, you can do an assortment of clips almost like re-edit like people did with the [indiscernible] stuff, and the voting will be up the users too. It will be whatever everybody who logs in votes for and shows they like or dislike. Shows that people dislike the most may actually get some interest viewing, and it’s not for us to say. That’s the great thing about this app.

That sounds . . . interesting.  Everything depends on implementation, but I’ll be curious to see both a) how it shakes out and b) how they react if the fan rankings massively denigrate almost everything after Season 10 or so.  Also note that while the app is scheduled to launch in October, he’s already talking about it not being all the way up and running until 2015.

– This is about the upcoming marathon on FXX:

we’re going to be live tweeting, not continuously, but every time there’s an episode I wrote or a show ran, I’ll try to get in on them. We’re asking guest stars who did the show if they’d like to tweet with the writers. So, we hope to have a discussion going on for the whole way and throw in interesting things people may not have heard.

I bet that’ll depend greatly on when the episodes air.  For example, they’re starting at 10am Eastern next Thursday, so assuming two episodes per hour, Season 3 will be starting at 2:30am Eastern.

– Answering a question about what format the episodes on FXX will be:

Well, the versions as I understand it are the original versions, but they’re expanded to HD except on the app, you can get the original 4X3 because people would want to see the 4X3 so that will be available, but the ones that they’re broadcasting, as I understand it, are the originals with the HD expansion for the ones that weren’t in HD.

I’m not sure what “HD expansion” means, black bars, that blurry extra side thing people do sometimes?

–  One more thing about live tweeting during the FXX marathon:

Yes, we’re totally encouraging it. It’s @BestSimpsons is the Twitter site reserved for the marathon. So, yes, it starts at 7 a.m. August 21st Pacific Time/10 a.m. Eastern and I’ll be tweeting then.

@BestSimpsons looks an awful lot like an abandoned fan account.  There’s only 79 tweets total, and though the most recent is about the FXX marathon, it was from last month and was the first since January.  It links to what also looks like an abandoned fan site, which hasn’t updated since May of last year.  Now, this is from a transcript, so it’s possible that this is a transcription error and is missing a character or two.  I asked Jean on Twitter right before I posted this (and went to lunch), so if he responds (and he often does), I’ll update.

Update 2:10pm: And it was indeed a transcription error.  The actual live tweet account for the FXX marathon is @EverySimpsons.  

Simpsons Trivia Night (Published on The West End Magazine) – Recently, the classic Simpsons trivia competitions have taken a step up, holding “film festivals” and doing Diorama-ramas, but the bar has been raised by this group in Australia.  They set up a fake Simpsons living room!  Excellent.

The Simpsons – FXX Posters – I don’t often get a chance to say this, but: well done, FOX marketing department.  Those are gorgeous and creative and just generally cool.  I might even go so far as to buy a poster if they got rid of the logo and the hashtag.

Watch the trailer for the ‘Simpsons’ marathon – On the other hand, this promo, while pretty, is also quite dumb.

FUSION — Fusion Announces Documentary Project with Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons – Simon continues to handle hideous disease about as well as is humanly imaginable.

The Simpsons Bart Boot Sneakers – Actual Simpsons sneakers from the early 1990s, including the stylized box.  Very cool.

Fashion Spotlight: Better Call Hutz, Bartman Begins, and Doh! Zombies! – The punctuation in Hutz’s word bubble is brilliant.

Happy birthday, Dustin Hoffman, or “Mrs. Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?” – A framed picture of Mr. Bergstrom is pretty damned cool.

HickoryDickoryDank comments on How would you like to see The Simpsons end? – This Reddit thread was making the rounds this week, but the best answer I saw came from a two year old thread on the same idea.

Get lost in a Simpsons themed corn maze – Neat:

Corn maze season starts in September and it is the busiest time of year for the Meuer Farm.

They started planing in February to get “The Simpsons” themed maze just right. The maze has two phases that have a total of around three miles of paths.

There’s an aerial picture at the link.  Looks very fun.

The Weird Minutes Before Nixon’s Resignation – Harry Shearer re-enacts Nixon’s resignation:

The recording of the minutes before the resignation is one that Shearer has always found confounding. It is so clear that the camera crew is unmoved by Nixon’s small talk. “If you were a comic, you’d stop after two of your jokes bombed like that, but he just keeps going,” Shearer said. “For years, I was puzzled by that behavior. Why didn’t he just sit quietly until the time came to deliver the speech? What was going on there?” The answer that finally came to him, as he rehearsed the scene, is that Nixon already had an eye on rehabilitating his reputation. “Those people in that room were going to go out and say, ‘He wasn’t depressed, he wasn’t angry. My god! He was the nicest guy in the world.’ I think that’s exactly who he was. That’s how he got out of his depression, on fight. And the fight starts here.”

Shearer’s the best.

“Bart! Get out of the Spirit of St. Louis!” – Now that is a great Air and Space Museum photo.  Bravo.

The Simpsons’ Town of Springfield, to Scale, in Lego – There is now a YouTube tour of that fan made Lego Springfield.

Old LA Zoo – Oh, cool:

The first Saturday of every month a local comic book store, Nerd Melt, hosts Simpson trivia, called Stonecutters. We lucked out this month because they pushed it back a weekend so we were able to attend. There are 3 rounds of trivia, which get progressively more difficult, with episodes of The Simpsons shown between each round. Every month they bring in special guests who have worked on the show and the episodes played are generally episodes the guests have worked on, so that the guests can give live commentary. This month there were two former directors and a storyboard artist.

Voice of Lisa Simpson to attend mural unveiling Aug. 25 – I guess we’ll get to see that mural a week from Monday.

doh! if only it worked that way! – Sadly, we cannot all escape from reality as easily as Homer.

15
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Flaming Moe's14

“We visit with heavyweight champion Drederick Tatum, who reminisces about growing up in Springfield.” – Kent Brockman
“That town is a dump!  If you ever see me back there you know I really fucked up bad.” – Drederick Tatum

14
Aug
14

Primetime Cartoons: Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy

Lisa vs Malibu Stacy9

“Mom!  We can go on the factory tour and I can complain in person!” – Lisa Simpson
“Honey, you’re not going to throw red paint at the executives, are you?  The Keebler people were very upset.” – Marge Simpson

Welcome to tonight’s open thread, or live blog, or live watch, or whatever it is we’re doing for the Season 5 episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”.  The comment section is open, the Twitter hashtag is #NewHat, and feel free to quote things as you see fit.  Also, please tell us, during or after, how you think we can improve this.  As I said earlier in the week, I really don’t know how this wants to work or what I’m doing.  But it seems like there’s enough Simpsons fans on-line that watching together should be more fun than watching apart, and suggestions are welcome.  Now let’s forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream.

Edit 9:00pm: Well, that was fun.  It was a controlled disaster, but first times of anything usually are.  (I’m reminded of Jay Sherman reminiscing about “the agony of my first public shower”.)  Dave and I got way out of sync on Twitter, I foolishly thought my wireless would be fine if I sat out in the yard instead of closer to the hub (it died with about three minutes to go), I got started late because I had to reboot my laptop, and running these episodes with no commercials makes quoting and commenting on the fly hard to do.  On the other hand, I got to watch The Simpsons, which I am pretty much never unhappy about.  Thanks to those who watched and commented along, here and on Twitter, and we’ll try this again next week.  

The Joy of Sect13

14
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

A Milhouse Divided18

“Hi, Dad . . . you know, there’s buns in the cabinet.” – Lisa Simpson

13
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

My Sister, My Sitter11

“Isn’t that clever?  It looks like a Cadillac drove right into the building.” – Marge Simpson
“Help me!” – Hans Moleman

12
Aug
14

Primetime Cartoons

The Way We Was20

“Back up or it’ll hurt your eyes.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, it will not.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, yes it will.” – Homer Simpson

First off, all the chapters of the “Tapped Out” minibook are now live here at the site.  If you’ve been waiting to read it for free, now you can.  Thank you to everyone who has purchased it, linked to it from message boards and aggregating sites, or simply read it.  Now onto my next hair brained scheme . . .

I’ve threatened to start a regular Simpsons watching liveblog here a couple of times now. With the upcoming release of the show on streaming (albeit with a sadly restricted audience of only cable customers and people to whom they give their logins), now seems as good a time as any to start actually doing so.   Repetitive complaining about repetitively mediocre Zombie Simpsons episodes is all well and good, but The Simpsons is always more fun to watch than Zombie Simpsons.

I don’t know quite how this wants to work, but this is what we’re thinking:

– Watch an episode every Thursday evening at 8pm Eastern (currently GMT/UTC -4)

– Put up an open thread here at DHS for comments

– Probably create some kind of hashtag so people can follow along on Twitter

– Let you fine Springfieldians decide which episode we watch

Comments, suggestions and general improvements on how we do this are welcome.  In the meantime, and with that final point in mind, I’ve put up a poll on the sidebar at right.  For no particular reason, I picked one episode for each Simpson family member.  (The numbers and letters in parentheses are that episode’s season and DVD disc.)  We can use a different set next week, repeat the ones that don’t get picked, or do something else; whatever happens, that’s a next week problem.  This week, on Thursday evening, Dave and myself  (Mad Jon’s out of the country this week, but will be along eventually) will watch whichever episode gets the most votes.

Join us here, yell at us on Twitter, or just watch them at your own damn convenience (you guys come to this site from a whole smorgasbord of time zones, so my Thursday at 8pm isn’t most of yours).  Whatever you decide, my advice is to ride it out, make an occasional smart alec quip, and before you know it, things will be back to where they started from, ready for another wacky adventure.

12
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror VI9

“Here comes something!” – Kodos
“Remember the story.  We’re newlyweds on our way to Earth Capital.” – Kang
“Oh, shazbot.” – Kodos

Goodbye, Robin Williams.

11
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Bart's Comet11

“Ah, there’s nothing more exciting than science!  You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention . . . science has it all.” – Principal Skinner

10
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Grift of the Magi2

“Ralph, there are no right or wrong answers.  But if you don’t pipe down I’m giving you an F!” – Kid First Industries Teacher
“The before teacher yelled at me too.” – Ralph Wiggum

09
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Cape Feare10

“Hey, kids, wanna drive through that cactus patch?” – Homer Simpson
“Yeah!” – Bart Simpson
“Yeah!” – Lisa Simpson
“No!” – Sideshow Bob
“Welp, two against one.” – Homer Simpson

08
Aug
14

Reading Digest: Spreading Stupidity Edition

Purple Monkey Dishwasher

“Now for operation Strike Make Go Longer. . . . You know, I heard Skinner say the teachers will crack any minute.” – Bart Simpson
“Skinner said the teachers will crack any minute, purple monkey dishwasher.” – Teacher
“Well, we’ll show him!  Especially for that purple monkey dishwasher remark.” – Mrs. Krabappel 

Sorry for the later than usual posting, but that Uproxx/Warming Glow thing was just too damn dumb to be dealt with in a snarky sentence or two.  (That it came on a blog named after a Simpsons joke is just aggravazing.)  As you’ll see, the stupid has already spread to the A.V. Club, though they were at least a little circumspect, and from there it’ll just keep going, giving rhetorical ammunition to all kinds of shallow arguments and internet trolls.  Feh.  Anywho, this week we’ve got two more people cracking wise about the looming catastrophe that is the Family Guy crossover, a sweet Lego Springfield, several cool pieces of fan art (including some mashup posters), two political links (one from Alabama, the other from Russia/Ukraine), and a new officially licensed book.

Enjoy.

The Most Iconic Buildings in Springfield From ‘The Simpsons’ Rebuilt in LEGO – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week has already been up for a while, but is damned impressive.  The tire fire is just superb.

Minimalistic Poster by Karl Bembridge – Excellent fan made poster featuring nothing but Marge’s hair.

The Simpsons get political in art pieces – The same guy who had Marge and other cartoon characters as beaten up wives now has several of them asking to free Gaza.  Say this for the guy, he knows how to attract attention.

How Bart Simpson was dragged into the war of words against Putin – Someone photoshopped the opening sequence to call Vladimir Putin a “dickhead”.  Heh.

Simpsons Mash Ups – Some of these I’ve seen before, some of them I haven’t, and there are some very good ones.

Conan to perform The Simpsons ‘Monorail’ song with gay choir – That show at the Hollywood Bowl looks increasingly impressive.  Maybe they’ll end up putting it on YouTube for the rest of us?

The Decline and Fall of The Simpsons: Rape jokes in Springfield – There was too much criticism of the Family Guy crossover for just one week to contain, so here’s some more:

I’m not being holier-than-thou. “The Simpsons” has never shied away from dark subjects – Moe himself is a case in point. He is a violent man with a history of criminal activities. He has variously been depicted as homicidal, syphilitic and even as a stalker who is also a registered sex offender. And yet the character has been allowed many moments of nuance and tenderness too. Although an especially-ugly yellow-skinned cartoon character, Moe Szyslak is a recognisably-human character who has clearly known love and loss.

Yup.

Trailer Talk- The Simpsons Guy – And along similar lines:

What bothers me most about this crossover is that “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” have very different cultures and senses of humor. The first being a “Simpsons Knock-Off” and a “frat boy” show that later evolved into satirical name dropping, left winged shout outs, cultural riffs, and senseless violence. That freedom and willingness to make people mad, groan, and complain, and then still get great viewership is what has set it apart from everything else on TV. “The Simpsons” on the other hand was built on family values, not swearing as much, nothing superficial like excessive violence (unless its a springfield riot). The stories were all “everyman” stories as well. More relatable to the original older audience the show was targeted for, before the YA crowd elevated it to current popularity. On paper you would not think two shows like this could really do a crossover.

In addition to on paper, I don’t think they can do it on a television screen either.

The Simpsons Archive dredges up some vintage Internet scorn from the show’s golden age – See, this is why I write lengthy replies to crap like that Uproxx post this morning.  On the internet, dumb ideas just ripple into the infinite future.

The Simpsons – Fan made drawing of the family on the couch.  Has a nice Season 1 feel to it, well done.

Celebrate 25 Years of The Simpsons™ With An Excerpt and Giveaway of ‘C. Montgomery Burns’ Handbook of World Domination’ – The merchandising parade continues, with a new book that you can win a copy of.

Governor or Simpson’s character? Democrat Parker Griffith enjoys laugh at opponent’s expense – Someone backing the Democrat in the Alabama governor’s race send them these:

Fire Bently

10 Badass Cartoon Characters Who’d Be Feminists In Real Life – Lisa, needless to say, makes the list.

What Happens When You Grow Up – Going back to old episodes, (of the show and others):

It’s all very surreal; you say the words that you’ve had memorised for this long out loud, but the meaning becomes warped and morphs into something new. Jokes take on new meaning due to new-found wisdom that however many years have brought you since you heard them as a kid, but they still work.

It is a very odd feeling, but there’s lots to catch.

Springfield @ Universal Studios – Some more pictures from the Springfield area, including several things I hadn’t seen before.

London actors present stories of The Simpsons after the end of the world – The Mr. Burns play is moving from London, England to London, Ontario for a week starting August 29th.

The War Of The Simpsons – Episode #033 – And his eyes were like steel, cold and hard.

The longest drawing in the world… – Awesome:

I bought a giant roll of drawing paper and wax crayons and felt tip pens.
My brothers and sisters and I are now attempting to make a really long drawing. We were inspired by the movie ‘Ramona and Beezus’.
It’s been a lot of fun so far. We started off by drawing trees and buildings, but then moved on to cartoon characters such as The Simpsons.

There’s plenty of pictures at the link.

Artistic Brain Freeze – Creativity and the lack thereof explained in comic form with an analogy to “The Mansion Family”.

100 Greatest TV Episodes: Homer the Heretic (s4 ep3) – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us during this writeup of all time great episodes (“Homer the Heretic makes The Simpsons the first series to have two separate entries into our list!”):

What’s more, he asks genuinely insightful questions of society through his actions and even his words – famously and poignantly asking God:

“I’m not a bad guy, I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to hell?”

Who knew he could say something that wasn’t entirely stupid, eh, current Simpsons writing team?

They certainly don’t, but we knew that already.

08
Aug
14

REMINDER: Even In The Early 1990s ‘The Internet’ Didn’t Hate On The Simpsons

Das Bus8

“Go apple!” – Bart Simpson
“Go orange!” – Nelson Muntz
“Go banana!” – Ralph Wiggum

This was originally going to be part of today’s Reading Digest, but this silly Warming Glow clickbait is making the rounds and needs a more thorough rebuttal:

REMINDER: The Internet Hated On ‘The Simpsons’ During The Golden Era

Let’s get started, shall we?:

As it’s been noted around these parts, FXX will be airing all episodes of The Simpsons over 12 days in August along with an all encompassing website. As with anything regarding The Simpsons on the internet, there are also plenty of comments about it being nowhere near as good as it used to be (“So only three days of good episodes?,” “It’s all downhill after season x.” etc.). It made me wonder what the internet thought of the classic episodes when they first aired. Well thanks to The Simpsons Archive, we can observe just that, via the Usenet reviews in their episode capsules.

So far, so good.  But this particular Spruce Caboose is about to jump the tracks:

The results were as expected: while there was plenty of praise to go around, many episodes highly regarded today were drawing as much ire as the more recent ones.

No, they weren’t.  In fact, this premise is so thin that it falls apart right here in this single sentence.  Not only do they have to note the praise first, but to say these were drawing “as much ire” is just transparently false.

Don’t take my word for it, the author, “Chet Manly” (<- great screen name), has some examples:

Here are some criticisms starting in season four:

“Kamp Krusty”

Larry Schwimmer {las}: Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
it was often predictable and drawn out.

Chris Baird {cjb}: Rushed. In the past I’ve attributed poor storylines to
the unsuccess of a show, but the voice direction for the first part of
this episode (including that from the usually splendid Ms. Smith) was
that abysmal, it should accept the responsibility for most of the jokes
falling flat. If this happens again, I’m buying a tin of red grease paint.

To be fair, and to my slight surprise, the SNPP capsule linked there is clearly incomplete and has only those two reviews.  Since usenet is no longer with us, the complete original may be gone forever, but Google can find some of it, and there’s plenty of praise:

I really liked the scenes with Mr. Black and the evil camp consellors.
In once scene, they toasted “Evil!”.  Later, during the revolt, they
were going to escape by hydrofoil!  In other words, they were acting
like James Bond villians …

And:

A good show, but not great. You can’t have a *great*
: Simpsons episode when Monty Burns *and* Itchy & Scratchy
: are absent.
I quite agree!!

And:

For some reason I liked Homer’s quote:
“Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. D’oooh!”
And in classic Homer style
“If you want something you have to work for it,” he says to Bart
about getting good grades to go to kamp, then we see he has a
lottery ticket. Ha!
I also like the scenes of most of the family (except Marge, of course)
eating like animals. The sound effects are great.

Is every comment positive?  Of course not.  And these guys (and it does seem to be all guys) were hung up on the animation, since this was right around the time it switched from Klasky-Csupo to Film Roman and Akom to Anivision and Rough Draft.  (Oh, if only they knew the horrors of lifeless computer animation that awaited them!)

Moreover, and to reiterate my point from five(!) years ago, the people talking about the Simpsons on-line in 1992 were a very odd and unrepresentative bunch.  Just click that Google link above and you’ll see things like this:

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Campus Office for Information
Technology, or the Experimental Bulletin Board Service.

A ton of the posts are from university IT departments (I counted Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Temple, Boston, and Stanford among others), and plenty that aren’t are from computer companies (there’s even a “HaL Computer Systems”).  There’s nothing wrong with all that, of course, but you’re talking about a time when new episodes were watched by 15 million people, only a tiny slice of whom had the technical skills to get to this message board.

Finally, he’s very selective about what he quotes.  Here’s the full “Larry Schwimmer” review (Uproxx parts in bold):

Larry Schwimmer {las}:  I wondered if I would ever pan a show.  Well, I
    need wonder
    no longer.  Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
    it was often predictable and drawn out.  Also, a lot of the animation
    was not up to par (a few scenes were quite well done, though -- like
    Lisa giving the letter).

    Highlights:
        The couch sequence
        Goodbye scene with the parents
        "I no longer fear hell" - Lisa
        Krisis at Kamp Krusty
            - the play on TV news coverage
            - Lord of the Flies (including the skewered pig)
        Marge and Homer

    Midlights:
        Mail give-out
        Martin and his imitation gruel
        TV Video voice-over

    Lowlights:
        This is already a tad on the analytical...  If you loved this
        show, great.  That makes one of us. :(

This is deliberately misleading editing, at best.  And while I’m not saying that Schwimmer liked it, he had an awful lot of positive things to say about it.  That’s hardly comparable to “as much ire as the more recent ones”, about which people here and elsewhere frequently have nothing good to say.

Moving on, the next episode Uproxx quotes is “Itchy and Scratchy Land”:

By the time season six rolls around, there are much stronger critiques, where even the compliments are backhanded.

Again, the parts they decided to include are in bold:

Bailey Irwin: This makes my Top 5 worst list of all time, easily.  The
    racing form in the 1st 60 seconds of the show was the only thing
    that made me laugh out loud.  After that, it was nothing but about
    10 jillion stupid "Jurassic Park" jokes.  Killer robots?  Puh-LEEZE.

Scott Oak: I thought the beginning was good, but those silly robots
    kinda killed it for me.

Rod Arz: I liked it a lot.  Agreed that the robots were a bit on the
    lame side, but not as bad as the James Wood sub plot in Homer and
    Apu.  We still haven't seen Mr. Burns yet!  I wanna see him soon.

Shawn Metcalf: The first episode this season that I found myself
    laughing out loud at.  A marked improvement.

J. D. Baldwin: Well, that *was* more like it.  Now, what was that I was
    just saying about the long dry spell just prior to "Flaming Moe's"?

Matt Snyder: That show just didn't cut it.  The best episodes are plot
    driven, this was just one long excuse to make fun of Jurassic Park.
    I thought it was a big wasted opportunity.

Aaron Varhola: If this is any indication of how the sixth season will
    be, we're in for a treat.  After a dragging first act, the second
    and third acts were some of the best OFF I've seen; vicious shots at
    Disney, meta-humor about cartoon violence, and Bart as his
    mischievous self.  [...] A-.

Brian Fox: Not one of the best, not one of the worst either though...

Philip Hebbes: The show was great, I was laughing through the whole
    show.

John J. Wood: Finally...a *real* Simpsons episode [...].  The plot tied
    together well, and plenty of choice gags.  I watched this twice last
    night, and the second time was even funnier -- kudos on the
    blackboard and couch scenes, too.  Grade: A.

Carl Mueller: I'd have to say this WAS a pretty mediocre episode, but
    compared to what has been shown so far this season, it was a marked
    improvement.  Mainly it was the Disney jokes that got me, the last
    10 minutes (w/ the Robots and stuff) seemed to drag quite a bit.  C-

M. Coale: Was it just me or did "Itchy and Scratchy Land" overstep the
    bounds of parody and become what it was mocking?  The violence, IMO,
    was quite extreme and came very very close to crossing "the line" or
    possibly overstepped it?  It got to the point when it just stopped
    being funny.

Don Del Grande: A-minus - the only things that stood in the way of this
    episode getting a maximum rating were (a) the animation was weak at
    times, and (b) the ending was much too abrupt; it was as if there
    was 20 minutes of material written for a 21-minute show and they
    just tacked on something at the end.

Joel Recht: I thought the Disney barbs were great (recall the "Evil
    Gene" from The boy who knew to much.), the fantasia and Pinnochio
    spoofs were top notch.  I loved the detention center when Bart got
    arrested.  I give it an A.

Benjamin Dreyfus: One of the best episodes ever.  This episode contained
    all of the positive, but none of the negative aspects that were
    characteristic of 5th-season.  [...] In pure absurd-humor power, the
    Bort scene was second only to the rake scene.  This also proved that
    OFF could still be funny outside of Springfield.  Grade: A.

Matthew Kurth: This episode was a vast improvement over most of Season
    Five.  The "Jurassic Park" refs were well done, although the
    revelation that flashes disabled the berserk robots was poorly done
    with no atmosphere.  And finally - a decent ending! 8/10

Tony Hill: A very funny episode, IMHO.  The takeoffs on amusement parks
    were grandly amusing.  Once again we see OFF poking fun at Disney.
    It's no pleasant commentary on our society that a funland called
    "the violentest place on earth" is conceivable.  I give it an A.

Yours Truly: Excellent episode.  I'm in awe of the "Fantasia" parody...
    Elfman's music was spot on.  Loved the Disney and Jurassic park
    jokes, the writing was fast and furious, the violence was so
    prevalent but so blindly accepted that it was hilarious.  Grade: A.

Note that of the seven people who gave it letter grades, Uproxx included only the “C-“.  The other six were all “A”s.  Just as important, there are a lot of straight ahead compliments, not just backhanded ones.  There are more examples and I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Were there internet criticisms of The Simpsons during its heyday?  Yes.  Were those criticisms representative of the entire population of Simpsons fans?  No.  Were those criticisms even representative of just the tiny number of fans who were on-line?  Again and emphatically: no.

Comparing that narrow slice of a narrow slice to the widely held and statistically evident opinion that Zombie Simpsons sucks doesn’t even reach the level of comparing apples to oranges.  It’s a dropped banana.

08
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Springfield Connection12

“Oh, sorry, Simpson, you’ll have to do the course again.  I was trying to get this magic eye thing to work.  Ah, look at that: a pony.” – Chief Wiggum

07
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Help Poor People

“I’ve got a weekend job helping the poor, and I’m only eight.” – Lisa Simpson
“Pfft, that’s not a job.  I’s a waste of time.  What can poor people pay you?  Nothing!  What satisfaction do you get from helping ’em?  None!  Who wants to help poor people anyway?  Nobody!” – Homer Simpson

06
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Bart on the Road11

“Bart, can we pick up that hitchhiker?” – Milhouse van Houten
“I don’t see why not.” – Bart Simpson
“Bart, can we stop for ice cream?” – Hitchhiker
“Yes.” – Bart Simpson
“Well, I didn’t think I was rehabilitated, but I guess they needed the extra bed.” – Hitchhiker

05
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Dont Trust These Guys

“Marge, can we trade?  I don’t trust these guys.” – Homer Simpson

04
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed9

“Apple . . . apple . . . apple . . . c’mon, candy bar . . . hey, I know you!  You’re that first apple I didn’t want!” – Homer Simpson

03
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Canine Mutiny11

“That’s Laddie.  Bart says he won him at a church carnival, two towns over.” – Marge Simpson
“In a truth telling contest, right, Bart?” – Lisa Simpson
“To the best of my recollection, yes.” – Bart Simpson

02
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness5

“Each two man team will work its way through the wilderness to a cabin hidden somewhere on this mountain.  The routes are treacherous, so use your maps.” – Mr. Smithers
“Uh, I lost my map.” – Homer Simpson
“You haven’t been issued a map yet.” – Mr. Smithers

01
Aug
14

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

And:

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.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE TRAILER FOR ‘THE SIMPSONS GUY’ – Sensing a theme?:

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.




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