Reading Digest: Year End Cleaning Edition

Bart Gets an Elephant8

“Now, each one of you take a floor and get started.” – Marge Simpson
“I call the basement!” – Homer Simpson
“Fine.” – Marge, Bart & Lisa Simpson
“D’oh? . . . D’oh!” – Homer Simpson 

With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Thursdays this year, the last two weeks have been somewhat disorienting.  With two of the biggest holidays of the year in the middle of the week, I’ve had to constantly remind myself what day it is.  And so, this morning, it dawned on me that not only was it Friday, but that I hadn’t put up a Reading Digest last week.  Whoops.  Anywho, we’ve got several year end wrap up links below, along with an unusually large amount of kick-ass fan art (including painted fingernails, Lego posings, sketches, and more), a couple of people who agree with us, and plenty more.


“Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” and the nature of stories and storytelling – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this detailed look at how they’re getting ready to put it on in Chicago.  Theater looks hard.

Fan Art Friday: The Simpsons by techgnotic on DeviantArt – A huge collection of fan art, much of which I’d never seen before (via).  Bravo, internet.

The Simpsons Road to Ruin (Ramones Album Cover) – And speaking of fan art, here’s the family as The Ramones.  Hey, I think they liked us!

That Name Again? It’s Mr. Plow! – Mr. Plow themed nail art (with underpants)!

The Refinement of the Decline – A 2014 review of the year in pop music illustrated with many Simpsons .gifs.

Using The Simpsons to Enhance Literature at Every Grade Level in High School – A high school teacher runs down some of the episodes she can use to teach literature.  There’s some Zombie Simpsons, but it’s mostly very solid.

Was the McBain movie planned, or are we watching The Simpsons with rose-coloured glasses? – Plenty of McBain clips here, but I don’t disagree with the conclusion in the least.  Nobody ever said it was all planned, it’s just that most crappy action movies are so formulaic that you only need a handful of scenes to basically recreate the whole thing.

Simpsons tour includes stops outside Springfield – Visitors to Eugene, Oregon can take a tour of some city sights that look an awful lot like those in Springfield.

25 Years at 742 Evergreen Terrace – A loving appreciation of the show includes this accurate if very weak defense of Zombie Simpsons:

We’re nowhere near the heydays of the mid-nineties, but it’s absolutely not the worst animated show on television.

The Perfect Nativity? – No nativity scene is complete without Homer, Marge, and some storm troopers.

The NBA’s ‘Simpsons’ Superfan Reveals His Favorite Episodes – I just got a new favorite NBA player:

This was clearly a man who’d spent his formative years at 742 Evergreen Terrace, so I asked him to come up with his top five (or actually six or seven) episodes.

“I’ve been thinking about this and it’s tough,” he says by phone. “That Golden Age is so good. There’s not really a bad episode – in my opinion – in seasons one to eight. Can’t find a bad episode.”

Lots of good YouTube and nary a Zombie Simpsons sighting at the link.

They Live! – An alternate casting of camp alien movie They Live! with Homer and company.  He came here to eat donuts and kick ass . . . and he’s all out of donuts.  Well done with dissolving .gifs to give you the right idea.

[Review] The Simpsons Minifigure Series – A detailed review of all of the individual Lego figures you can buy that comes complete with instructions on how to tell which one you’re getting.  At the end, he also staged some scenes from the show, and the “Grampa is shrinking one” is fantastic.  Plus there’s this:

Much like the house set, this minifigure series falls into the better-late-than-never category. “The Simpsons” as a show is long since past it’s glory days as the cultural phenomenon it once was. This is clearly evidenced by the show-specific accessories included with the figures, with all but one (Marge’s magazine) being from 10+ years ago. It’s kind of a double-edged sword as by finally getting these iconic cross-over figures, such merchandising is probably only further delaying the merciful plug be pulled on the TV show.

Thanks to reader Zach P. for sending this in!

Lego has new Simpson minifigs and a Kwik-e-Mart set coming in 2015 – And speaking of Legos, a certain subsidiary of Nordyne Defense Dynamics appears to be getting the block treatment.  All hail merchandising.

Character Profile 1: Lisa Simpson – Another internet love letter to Lisa.  You can probably guess which of her many famous scenes it ends on, but it’s too good to not revisit again.

Itchy and Scratchy – Good move:

Instead of being productive, I decided to draw Itchy and Scratchy as humans.

You can really see the resemblance in the mouths.  Excellent.

December Loot Crate Review: Anniversary – Including a cool Simpsons wallet.

Did Michael Jackson Actually Sing On The Simpsons? – A complete breakdown of Jackson’s appearance in “Stark Raving Dad”.

Q&A: Mitski on Losing Glasslands and Watching ‘Simpsons’ Reruns – Awesome:

How is Bury Me At Makeout Creek different than your previous albums?
It really comes down to instrumentation. My past two records were written on piano, with orchestral instruments. My third record was written on guitar for guitar, with traditional “band” instruments.

You referenced The Simpsons on the record’s title, are you a diehard fan?
I’m not! I just grew up abroad where there was very little English-speaking television, and The Simpsons was one of the few shows that aired on TV. During the creation of this record, I was casually watching an episode when Milhouse said that line [“Bury me at makeout creek”]. In that moment I just thought, “welp, that’s the album title.” Often times the most important decisions I make are the ones I don’t put much thought into.

The Biggest Reason We Steal Other People’s Ideas – George Meyer is wise:

To combat kleptomnesia, psychologists recommend reducing distractions and cutting down on multitasking. It can also be useful to minimize exposure to similar work. For example, comedy writer George Meyer avoided watching “Seinfeld” while writing for “The Simpsons” (16 seasons!). “I was afraid I might subconsciously borrow a joke,” Meyer told me.

The 10 best Christmas TV episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” comes in at #4.

tvDownload’s 2014 Rewind: The Ten Best Holiday Episodes EVER – The first episode comes in at #3 here.

We Love Legitimate Theatre: Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play – A review of the play when it was in Arizona, like most it’s very high on it.

Worst TV Moments of 2014 – The Family Guy crossover makes the list at #8.

The 5 Worst Pop Culture Moments of 2014 (Chris ZF version) – And #5 here.  It really was bad.

Scenes I Love: An Officer and a Gentleman – Indeed:

You know that a scene has become a cultural mainstay when The Simpsons did a parody of it which ended up being just as memorable as the original.

The D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons – Our old friend Denise DuVernay makes an appearance here, but if you’re reading this blog then you already know how inadvertently educational the show is.

Macro Photography : Maggie Portrait by LCoutinho – Simpson Lego figures working a camera.  Neat.

Day 5 in Peru, Part 2 — Ollantaytambo is a Fun Word to Say – Attention everyone: there is a Kwik-E-Mart in Peru.  That is all.

Fact Check: Episode of ‘The Simpsons’ didn’t really predict Ebola – Uh, Florida newspapers?  No one actually thinks they did.

Homer – Pretty good Homer pea-brain sketch.

Sketch O’ This Day: 12/31/2014 – And one of America’s favorite cat and mouse team.

Happy New Year! – Itchy & Scratchy on a wall in Vancouver.

Maggie Simpsons Earrings – Do it yourself Maggie earrings.

2015 “Homer at the Bat” Lineup – What might Burns’s lineup of ringers look like with today’s pros?  Click the link to find out.

Mini MAC Haul! – A photographic look at the Marge branded cosmetics.

A Quick Thought: Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons – Don’t worry:

Now as I see the newer episodes I can’t help but think either, “Wow that was clearly just a stupid gimmick episode.” or just plain, “Meh..” However, despite this, I would hate for the series to just be straight up cancelled, because like Bob’s Burgers, I believe this series still has the potential to become great. The Simpsons has been torn up and down multiple times in its lifetime, and I believe that it can once again rise up from the ashes to become something great once more.


I would honestly much rather The Simpsons die as a beloved cartoon icon that was great than as an average cartoon that was just really old and had to be put down.

When the show does die, my hunch is that while people will remember that it was on forever, they’ll almost exclusively rewatch the good ones.

How To Watch The Simpsons…These Days – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Certainly The Simpsons’ should have died over a decade ago- likely with a finale viewed by the most of the world in possession of a television, but as much as that affords you in artistic merit (e.g. Breaking Bad), it doesn’t bring in the assured pennies. The Simpsons- a most regrettable Cash-Cow.

Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?

3 Responses to “Reading Digest: Year End Cleaning Edition”

  1. 2 January 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks or linking to Simply Senia :)

  2. 2 LSP
    3 January 2015 at 1:56 pm

    “We’re nowhere near the heydays of the mid-nineties, but it’s absolutely not the worst animated show on television.”

    Honestly, if the Nickelodeon channel didn’t exist anymore, Zombie Simpsons could easily be considered one of the worst animated shows currently airing.

  3. 3 January 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks for the link!

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