Archive for April, 2015

30
Apr
15

Compare & Contrast: Making Flashback Episodes Worthwhile

Lisa's First Word14

“Can you say David Hasselhoff?” – Bart Simpson
“David Hassahof.” – Lisa Simpson
“Can you say Daddy?” – Homer Simpson
“Homer.” – Lisa Simpson

The Simpsons did its first flashback episode way (way) back in Season 2.  “The Way We Was” introduced us to Homer and Marge as high school kids who had never even met; and along the way answered one of the fundamental questions of the show: why, exactly, is Marge with Homer?  Over the next four seasons they flashed back three more times, each time showing the birth of one of the Simpson kids.  “I Married Marge” showed us Bart’s accidental conception inside a mini-golf decoration.  “Lisa’s First Word” put the family in now their iconic house and showed the beginning of Bart and Lisa’s never ending rivalry.  “And Maggie Makes Three” completed the set and showed us that there was no sacrifice too painful for Homer to make for his kids (well, not the boy, but you know what I mean).

And Maggie Makes Three16

Genuine character development, a concept unknown to Zombie Simpsons.

These episodes do not, strictly speaking, fit chronologically.  If Bart was conceived after his parents saw The Empire Strikes Back in a theater, there’s no way he can be two years older than Lisa, who was born in the summer of 1984.  Similarly, if Homer and Marge were leaving high school in 1976, Homer wouldn’t be twenty-four-years-old in 1980.  But it doesn’t matter because background numbers that only the dedicated will ever put together aren’t the point.

By spacing events a little further apart, they gave themselves more defined cultural targets than just borderline meaningless shorthand like “The 70s” or “The 80s”.  So not only do these four episodes form a coherent whole while filling in the background of our favorite family, they do so while making pointed fun of distinct slices of American culture.

Homer and Marge are in high school in the mid 1970s, then Bart’s birth is the early 1980s, Lisa’s the mid-1980s, and Maggie’s the early 1990s.  Poking fun at Ms. and “makeout music” becomes Yoda and John Anderson, which becomes the 1984 Olympics preceding an hour long episode of Mama’s Family, which finishes up with the “clear beverage craze” and “information superhighway”.

I Married Marge15

Homer Simpson, early pioneer of the sarcastic t-shirt.

That level of specificity is missing from “The Kids Are All Fight”, as is any meaningful background on the family and/or general cultural coherence.  They tell us Lisa and Bart are two and four, but neither of them acts anything like a two-year-old or a four-year-old.  They use film development as a justification for looking back, but it’s not like many people were still using film in 2009.  The flashback idea that used to be so carefully handled has become just another excuse for a weird, semi-magical adventure in a “past” Springfield that is indistinguishable from the one they usually use.

They do make a stab at showing us a little family development, but it’s pretty halfhearted.  You see, Bart and Lisa used to fight a lot (and they will make sure you understand by stating so explicitly many times), and now they don’t.  The eventual story reason they offer for this is that Lisa “gives in”.  There are large scope problems with that (we’ve seen them fight countless times, and Lisa clearly hasn’t given in), and there are small scope problems with that (the wacky adventure they go on is more about Bart bolting than Bart and Lisa fighting).  But what really makes the kids’ story ring hollow is the way that conclusion glosses over Lisa’s surrender.

A show with characters who are faintly recognizable as human beings, or even one with just a little heart, could do a lot with a younger sibling resigning herself to years of dangerously crazy behavior from her brother.  There’s a plenty of material there for emotion, comedy, and fun generally, but Zombie Simpsons brushes any of that off for action scenes of Bart riding a big wheel through traffic and cutesy title cards announcing each new wacky scene.

Storytime Title Card

How whimsical.

For proof of this, look no further than Ralph Wiggum’s brief cameo.  Since this is Zombie Simpsons, he appears out of nowhere, then gets into the wheel of a semi-truck, then is shipped off on a boat.  They put him next to Lisa, but he hadn’t been there the last time we saw her and the two of them don’t interact at all.  He just pops in and then starts talking.

Oh, Hai, Ralph

Hi, Ralph!  Uh, how did you get here?

Here’s the entirety of his dialogue:

Your brother is stupid.  Bye bye.  The wheel I’m inside goes round and round, round and round, round and round.  The boat I’m aboard goes up and down, up and down, up and down.

It isn’t even a good Ralph-ism.  He just tells us what we’re seeing, and it goes on so long that he uses more than twice as many words as “Super Nintendo Chalmers”, “I bent my wookie”, and “Me fail English?  That’s unpossible” all put together.  Even if you don’t care about him materializing and not having anything to do with what was happening, that’s just awful.

The final evidence that story coherence and relatable characters don’t even enter into the thinking at Zombie Simpsons comes one scene later, when we see Chief Wiggum for the first and only time.  The whole second half of the episode is about Lisa and Bart getting into trouble unsupervised and Homer and Marge’s panicked search to find them.  Ralph Wiggum is doing the exact same thing as Bart and Lisa, but all we see Chief Wiggum do is interview Gil (for some reason).

Wiggum doesn’t know that his kid is roaming the streets, and the episode seems to have forgotten it completely as well.  There isn’t even a blithe, expository explanation because, as far as Zombie Simpsons is concerned, the Chief and Ralph are just one scene props.

There isn’t even any connection to the fact that this is a flashback.  Like most of the people, places and events we see in “The Kids Are All Fight”, both of them could just as easily be doing and saying the exact same things in the show’s regular timeframe.  When The Simpsons went to the past, it went with a purpose and made fun of everything it saw.  When Zombie Simpsons goes to the past, it trips backwards, stares blankly for a bit, and then continues stumbling around like always.

30
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

'Round Springfield15

“Look, if you ignore me and I die, you’ll get in a lot of trouble.” – Bart Simpson
“Read page six of the school charter.” – Mrs. Krabappel
“No teacher shall be held accountable if Bart Simpson dies.” – Bart Simpson
“We’re also absolved if Milhouse gets eaten by the school snake.” – Mrs. Krabappel
“Hey, cool, there’s a rabbit in here!” – Milhouse van Houten

Happy 20th Anniversary to “‘Round Springfield”!  Original airdate 30 April 1995.

29
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Busted6

“You can emerge now from my chips.  The opportunity to prove yourself a hero is long gone.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

28
Apr
15

Behind Us Forever: The Kids Are All Fight

And Maggie Makes Three15

“It all began about two years ago before Maggie was even born.  Bart, you were Lisa’s age, and Lisa, you were the age Bart was several years ago.” – Homer Simpson

As it has doddered along these last few years, Zombie Simpsons has started to turn to flash forward episodes a bit more often where Bart and Lisa are adults with kids of their own.  For “The Kids Are All Fight”, they went the other way, going backwards to some indeterminate time a few years ago when Bart was four and Lisa was two.  The story, which was even more incoherent than usual, involved little Bart and Lisa escaping the house and going on a wacky adventure that consisted of a series of disconnected scenes.

– And we are off to a poor start with Moe telling us out loud that he doesn’t know how to work his cash register.

– Homer found an old roll of film in his jacket, and then Carl appeared out of nowhere to tell Homer that he can’t get film developed anymore.

– It’s okay, now they’re developing it in the bar, which leads to the whole family being at Moe’s, where the expository dialogue flows like water.

– After a brief montage showing old pictures of Bart and Lisa fighting, we get one of those adorable in-episode retcons so Marge can scold Homer for not stepping in while he took the photos.

– As an example of why this show can’t write a decent joke anymore, I present their attempt to make fun of the Planet of The Apes movies, in its bloated entirety:

Marge:  Well, it’s quite a story, a story of a special bond between a brother and a sister.
Bart:  I’d say our story’s a tragedy, like the Planet of the Apes.  The tragedy being they can never stop making them!
Marge:  Hey, come on, the first and eighth movies were pretty darn good.

It has nothing to do with what’s going on, involves Bart speaking two sentences, one of which is an explanation of the other, and then Marge finally getting to a punchline that is itself buried in the middle of another overly long sentence.  Whether or not you think that’s funny is up to you, but that mass of words never would’ve made it past the first draft of an actual Simpsons script.

– Flashback Bart and Lisa are now clubbing each other with books while Marge looks on helplessly.

– Oops, we’re back at Moe’s in the present now, where the family describes a time they went to Kwik-E-Mart.  Mmm, tell don’t show.

– Yet another example of how messy these scripts are: after once again telling us (for about the sixth time in three minutes) that Bart and Lisa were always fighting, Marge says, “That’s why we never developed that roll.”  Not only is this line completely unnecessary (the scene ends right after it) but it contradicts the fact that we just saw Homer pull this forgotten roll from his suit.  I don’t care about inter-episode continuity, and I recognize that intra-episode continuity is too much for Zombie Simpsons, but these two things didn’t even have a commercial break in between them.

– And we’re back in the past, where Bart is in the clown bed.

– They just went to slow motion and played Also Sprach Zarathustra while Homer went in to strangle Bart.  Was that supposed to be the first time that happened?  Who knows?  They had Bart smash a lamp over Homer’s head right after.  Hey, ate some time at least, right?

– Guh, this is bad:

Marge: Homer, I just the worst dream.  I lost one of the kids at the World’s Fair.
Homer:  It’s okay, which one?
Marge: Brisbane, ’88.
Homer:  Oh, that’s so horrible, baby!
Marge:  I know.  I know.

Again, you have one punchline (and not a particularly strong one, if you ask me) buried amid line after line of setup and whatever it is you call it when your joke goes on for two more lines after your weak punchline.

– Now they’re at the expository counselor’s office.

– Hey, Grandma Flanders is back, only now she’s less senile and her voice is less scratchy.  Is stuff like this and the clown bed supposed to be fan service or is it just filler?

– Now she’s babysitting and screaming.  So . . . filler.

– And speaking of filler, Marge and Homer are apparently getting dressed for brunch (and having an expository conversation about what they’re doing, Marge even informed us when she zipped up her dress).  Keep in mind they’re showing us this after the scene where Grandma Flanders looked to have been babysitting for quite some time already.  Did they put these in the episode in the wrong order, or did nobody care?

– And now Grandma Flanders is dead.  So . . . definitely filler.

– Homer and Marge stayed home to screw, so, naturally, Homer had to recap what we just saw, “My favorite kind of weekend morning, a sexy snuggle while our rotten kids are someone else’s problem.”  Homer then cackles maniacally for 10-15 seconds.

– Now Bart is riding through traffic on a big wheeler.  Jebus, I’m bored.

– Aaaaand we’re back to hopping around in the story.  Apparently, Homer and Marge did go to brunch, and now they’ve discovered that Bart and Lisa are gone.  This is chronologically confusing and sloppy even by student film standards.

– Apparently, Gil is being hired by Wiggum now.  There is yelling.

– Bart was arguing with the bullies, but then Lisa showed up even after we saw Bart drive away in front of another car.  Oof, this is a mess, none of these scenes go together at all.

– I’m zoning out now.  Bart and Lisa are at the retirement home.

– Homer just shot a pizza.  Then there was exposition.

– More random scenes are happening.  I’m done.

– And we end on a weirdly out of place Seinfeld musical beat while Hibbert talks to the Flandereses, which is itself ended by Lisa, back in the present, saying, “You’ve had three natural endings already.”  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they know these episodes are slapdash and pathetic, they just don’t care.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they remain at historic lows.   On Sunday, just 3.30 million viewers wished they were watching “Lisa’s First Word”.  That is up ever so slightly from last week’s 3.23, but still good for #6 on the all time least watched list.  There are three episodes to go, and barring a major surge in viewership, Season 26 is going to easily eclipse Season 25’s record as the least watched ever.

28
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song14

“The ingredients were, fresh pureed tomatoes, water, salt, and sodium benzoate used to retard spoilage.  Once again, if I’m not mistaken, this can contained tomato paste.” – Nelson Muntz
“Thank you, Nelson, I look forward to seeing it again next week.” – Mrs. Krabappel

27
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

In Marge We Trust14

“You’ve just got to accept it: your GameBoy is gone.  It’s at the bottom of the ocean.” – Marge Simpson
“Aye.  Aye. . . Aye.” – Captain McAllister

26
Apr
15

Sunday Preview: The Kids Are All Fight

The_Kids_Are_All_Fight_Promo_3

The family takes a trip down memory lane to see the origins of how Bart and Lisa first started fighting with each other.

Flashback episode eh?  I watched the promos for this episode earlier, and as per usual, I was less than unimpressed.

In one of the promos Homer seems to hire Grandma Flanders as a babysitter, and she is remarkably more with it than when we were first graced with her presence during “Lisa’s First Word”.   I am now going to go watch that episode to wash the promos out of my eyes.

26
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Trash of the Titans9

“Homer, that crazy lady who lives in our trash pile attacked me again.” – Marge Simpson
“That’s not the way she tells it.” – Homer Simpson

25
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the C Student3

“Milhouse, do you like the beach?” – Principal Skinner
“Who doesn’t?” – Milhouse van Houten
“Good.  I want you to pick up all this medical waste that’s washed up on the shore here.” – Principal Skinner

24
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Perfectly Timed Door Slam Edition

Lisa's Substitute11

“I’m glad I’m not crying, because I would hate for you think that what I’m about to say is based on emotion.  But you, sir, are a baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“Me?” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, you!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t think you realize what you’re saying.” – Homer Simpson
“Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson

First off, sorry for the lack of Compare & Contrast this week.  I’m still in the thick of it at work and didn’t have time.  (Things will – he typed hopefully – ease off starting next week.)  In regular news, we’ve got some great links this week, including outstanding fan art (there’s a whole exhibition of the stuff!), a brand new Simpsons blog, some excellent usage, and an on-point article about one of those perfect little subtleties in “Lisa’s Substitute” (which, coincidentally enough, aired for the first time twenty four years ago tomorrow).

Enjoy.

The Timing of a Door Slam on The Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this fantastic observation about the end of “Lisa’s Substitute”.  It’s one of those things you don’t notice because it’s so flawlessly done.  Well worth a click.

Simpsons-inspired art exhibition opens in Liverpool – With lots and lots of pics!  The Marge mirror and the Thrillhouse thing are outstanding.

The Simpsons’ top 30 movie references – Great list (although it bafflingly leaves out The Shining) at Den of Geek.  Two unsurprising things deserve note: 1) none of the entries are from Zombie Simpsons and 2) they don’t mention that at all because nobody wants the hassle.

Ted Cruz loves ‘The Simpsons,’ but he botched his favorite quote – He was close enough for moderate usage.

A Trap Music-Style Remix of Homer Simpson’s ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Meltdown – Pretty good.

10 Simpsons Characters As Real Humans – A decent collection of comparisons that have mostly been done before.

Cocktail Recipe: The Marge Simpson – I’d probably go with gin over vodka, but that’s just me.

MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY to Run 5/13-6/7 at Portland Playhouse – And the play goes to Portland.

The Character Files: Rafael – He’ll always be the Sarcastic Guy to me.

The Character Files: Very Tall Man – I do find him comic while driving his automobile, but I probably wouldn’t say that to his face.

Catch-23 No. 27 ‘Big Other’ Part 8 – Heh.

Instagram Crush: @madnails – Great set of Simpsons nail art.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Characters You Didn’t Know Were Voiced By Hank Azaria – Uproxx must do good pageviews on their endless array of Simpsons posts.  I’m certainly in favor of them keeping it up.

‘Simpsons’ Photos To Describe Losing Your Virginity – What about that Stock Footage Festival the kids went to?

Moving Away from Evergreen Terrace – For anyone wondering why the DVDs got canned, this, from a longtime fan, should explain things:

When the season 17 set was released last December, I held off on buying it because it didn’t feel worth the week-of-release sale price. We have to have it someday because Sideshow Bob is on the cover, but perhaps we can wait for Black Friday pricing. No hurry. We haven’t even cracked open the season 16 set.

Habit buying ain’t gonna pay the freight.

Top 5: Television Cartoon Dogs – Santa’s Little Helper comes in at #3, though I can’t really argue with Scooby at #1.

The Classic Simpsons Battle Royale! – Another site is going through the episodes, tournament style.

Round 1, Battle 1 – Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy VS I Married Marge – That’s a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 2 – Old Money vs Like Father Like Clown – Also a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 3 – (S. 12, Ep.6) The Computer Wore Menace Shoes vs (S. 10, Ep. 23) Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo – Whereas here I can just go with Season 10.

Crack open a virtual Duff with Homer Simpson on his legendary couch – Someone created a virtual Simpson home you can wander about if you happen to be wearing one of those VR headsets.

This episode of Mad Men felt like a spinoff – Excellent reference:

Todd VanDerWerff: Do you guys remember that one episode of The Simpsons “The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase”? Airing in season eight, it purported to show three separate proposed spinoffs from the series, including a cop show, a stupid gimmick sitcom, and a variety show. The terribleness of the ideas was the point — this is what television networks do when left to their own devices, the episode seemed to snark.
Well, I feel roughly similarly about “New Business,” which feels for much of its running time like “The Mad Men Spinoff Showcase.”

All shows must die — even Game of Thrones – Excellent usage:

In The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie” — which, by virtue of being a Simpsons episode about the internal machinations of television, makes it one of our best excoriations about how stupid the internal machinations of television are — Homer is drafted to provide the voice of Poochie, a hip dog brought in to revitalize the flagging cat-and-mouse cartoon show. For his first voice session, he’s understandably nervous: “Is this episode going on the air live?” he asks. “Very few cartoons are broadcast live,” an old hand reassures him. “It’s a terrible strain on the animators’ wrists.”

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – a deer, a female deer!

New trending GIF tagged simpsons weed homer simpson… – Homer disappearing into marijuana instead of a hedge.

CMW 2015 Preview: First You Get The Sugar – “Foreign Lands” – We’ve got another band named after a Simpsons quote.  I do so enjoy these.

“A Star Is Burns” – The Simpsons Season 6 episode review – A little love for one of Season 6’s many gems.

Ten funny gene names – part 2 – I learned something today:

2. Maggie – Fruit flies with a mutated Maggie gene results in arrested development, like Maggie Simpsons from the cartoon series The Simpsons.

Trial and Error – And finally, I get to end with some academic types who agree with us:

For the group survey and interview assignment my group and I have decided to look at how families are represented in television sitcoms and if it has changed over time, with specific reference to The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family.

No point going beyond that.

24
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Substitute10

“He says there aren’t any easy answers.  I say: he’s not looking hard enough!” – Bart Simpson

23
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

The Otto Show17

“Well, it seems some silly twit did not get a big enough oxygen pump, but that’s supposed to be a devil.” – Nigel Tufnel
“Filled up with air, it’s very evil and impressive.” – David St. Hubbins
“We salute you, our half inflated Dark Lord!” – Derek Smalls

22
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Bart After Dark16

“Jeez, look at this place.  We gotta do something!” – Homer Simpson
“Hmm, garbage angels?” – Bart Simpson

21
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Bart Gets Hit By a Car15

“Your honor, my client has instructed me to remind the court how rich and important he is; and that he is not like other men.” – Blue Haired Lawyer
“I should be able to run over as many kids as I want!” – C.M. Burns

20
Apr
15

Behind Us Forever: Peeping Mom

Sideshow Bob Roberts13

This single shot from “Sideshow Bob Roberts” contains a more coherent story than the entirety of “Peeping Mom”.

After four weeks off, Zombie Simpsons is back.  Not much changed.  This week, Chief Wiggum accuses Bart of going on a bulldozer rampage, he then hands Bart to Marge so that the two of them can have the same idiotic conversation several times in a row.  Because that one note attempt at emotion couldn’t possibly fill twenty whole minutes of screen time, the Flanderses get a new dog who likes Homer better than Ned.

– Decent couch gag.

– We’re not off to a good start here as Marge walks into the Apple store (or whatever they’re calling it) and has a random stranger exposit things at her before taking off his shirt and waving it around.

– Marge is in the car, brakes suddenly, then asks what happened so Lou can appear out of nowhere to tell her.

– Chief Wiggum, handcuffed to Bart (who is weirdly silent) continues this week’s parade of telling us what’s happening.

– Now Lisa is using a magnifying glass to look at, in order, “monarch butterfly, earwig, rollypolly, doodle bug, beer cap, ant, beer bottle, Barney”.  She then tells us that the Flanders got a new dog.

– Oof:

Ned: Now it’s time for her Christian doggy training.
Lisa: This will be interesting.

Guess what comes next?

– This conversation between Marge and Bart is really bad.

– Sigh:

Homer: Marge, Bart, I’ve noticed neither of you has said a word all meal.  Are there feelings going unexpressed here?

He then holds up his fist and threatens . . . both of them?  It’s not clear.  It is awful writing, though.

– Marge and Bart are now in the kitchen going through the exact same conversation we just saw them have . . . again.  In a sick way, it’s almost impressive how many words they can use to describe basically nothing.

– Ooh, a popped eyeball!  When it doubt, go with what you know.

– They’re still having the same back-and-forth conversation.  Bart says something, Marge doesn’t believe him, repeat until time on the episode expires.  For extra stupidity this week, neither of them is acting like even a vaguely sentient person.  Marge hasn’t asked Bart for an explanation and Bart hasn’t offered one.  In what parent-child conversation has that ever been true?  And we’re on the third go round of this.

– Marge is now following Bart onto the school bus.

– Homer just said, “Oh, you must be Flanders’ new dog.”  We’re looking right at him!

– Marge is in class with Bart now.  Even if this did make sense it wouldn’t help when Nelson just ran screaming out of the room because he thinks she’s a zombie.

– The bullies just zinged Bart while Marge stood there.  Nice to see they still don’t care who’s present for a conversation.

– Now we’re on the playground.  Milhouse just told us what we were about to see, then we saw it.

– Now we’re at dinner and Marge told Lisa to lean back so she could keep looking at Bart.  Here’s one of the problems with this: we’ve already seen Marge not look at Bart several times.  Her focus on looking at him at all times is so stupid they can’t even keep it up, but they keep bringing it back up.

– Lisa and Homer are now having a fully expositive conversation, with both of them say how they feel at all times.

– Now Bart and Milhouse are in the woods.  This will make it even stupider the next time Marge insists on focusing her gaze at all times on Bart.

– Bart and Marge just rehashed their conversation again.  Neither one of them offering or asking for an explanation.  Ten minutes to go, I’m setting the O/U on times this happens again at 2.5.

– Oh, goody, half the family is dressed like ninjas now.

– The b-plot about Flanders dog just checked in.

– Now we’re rehashing the opening credit sequence as Marge chases Bart.  Filleriffic!

– Even by the rock bottom standards of their chase/action sequences, this is bad.

– Yet another bulldozer conversation rehash.  Two and a half minutes since the last one.

– The b-plot is winding down, so Homer’s Brain is now expositing what he’s feeling for us.

– After telling us what he was feeling several times, Bart changes his big, end-of-episode prank.  That took a lot of time.

– Bart just ran up and told us what we just saw him do.

– And, naturally, we get one final bulldozer conversation.  The under has it at 2.0 since I set it.

– Since they remain completely unwilling or unable to structure an episode to actually fill their allotted time, we’re now getting one of their bizarro post-plot series of sketches.  This one involved dog’s butt sniffing and the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they continue to be real bad.  Last night, just 3.23 million people couldn’t understand why Bart and Marge had the same idiotic conversation over and over again.  That’s #4 on the all time least watched list and keeps Season 26 on track to be the least watched season ever.

20
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa16

“You mean there are actually people who will pay good money for garbage?” – C.M. Burns
“Not good money, really, each can’ll get you a nickle.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, don’t poo poo a nickle, Lisa.  A nickle will buy you a steak and kidney pie, a cup of coffee, a slice of cheesecake, and a newsreel, with enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the Polo Grounds.” – C.M. Burns
“There’s a can.” – Lisa Simpson

19
Apr
15

Sunday Preview: Peeping Mom

Peeping_Mom_promo_1

Bart’s tall tale about not being involved in a bulldozer accident is a doozy, but a skeptical Marge decides to dog him all over the place until he ‘fesses up. Meanwhile, Flanders gets a new dog which leads Homer to overlook Santa’s Little Helper.

I wonder if there will be as many horns as the One Bad Episode from season 7.  Who am I kidding, of course there will be.  Also, I am offering even odds on Flanders’ new dog being named “Laddy”.

19
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Girly Edition11

“Bart, look up here.  This is where the tears would be if I could cry.  But I can’t.  Botched facelift.” – Channel 6 Executive

18
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Marge vs. the Monorail14

“I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogendville, and North Haverbrook!  And, by gum, it put them on the map!” – Lyle Lanley

Happy birthday, Conan O’Brien! 

17
Apr
15

Epic Agreement (And Show Still on Hiatus)

Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish12

“Holy moly, nine-thirty!  Hello, Marge, sorry I didn’t call, but it’s been a madhouse down here.  Yeah, these twelve hour days are killing me.” – Homer Simpson

My apologies, but there won’t be a Reading Digest this week.  I am eyeballs deep in my stupid real job.  However, there are two things I’d like to note.

First, the radio silence regarding the show being on hiatus continues.  I checked a few staff Twitter accounts and haven’t seen peep outside of Jean responding to someone from No Homers that the negotiations are ongoing.  (Sadly, Isabel Vega has deleted her Twitter account after her tweets kept popping up here and elsewhere in Simpsons fandom.  Sorry, Isabel!  Really didn’t want to get you in trouble or anything.)  One of the last tweets from Vega was that increasing numbers of staff are being told not to come in and that people around the office are worried:

That moment when a director goes around saying good-bye to the remaining crew saying “See you next season, if there is one…” #TheSimpsons

So we’re about where we were last week: nobody’s saying squat.  That is probably for the best, since swirling rumors and ill sourced media speculation don’t have any bearing on the negotiations but do get a lot of people agitated for no reason.  My money continues to be on the show getting renewed.

Second, and far more fun, is this fantastic article (that mentions Zombie Simpsons by name) about the unrivaled cultural legacy of the show:

The Simpsons – the Shakespeare of our time?

We’re automatically programmed to know that Dickens was the greatest writer of his day. It’s reasonable to assume that in the 19th century he was just really, really popular. Nobody in that age would have guessed that they would be teaching his work in primary schools a century down the line. The reason they do so is because it was the most accurate satire of Victorian England, much like The Simpsons to the modern West.

I highly recommend the whole thing.




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