Archive for November, 2016

30
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

veryseriousoperation

“Oh, this is wonderful! You’re alive!” – Homer Simpson
“No thanks to you, Homer!” – Bart Simpson
“Why you little…!” – Homer Simpson
“Now, Homer, please, the boy’s just had a very serious operation.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Oh, right.” – Homer Simpson

29
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

avertyoureyeschildren

“Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!” – Bart Simpson
“Avert your eyes, children! He may take on another form!” -Springfield Christian School Teacher

28
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

the-curse-of-the-flying-hellfish11

“Let me in! Someone’s trying to kill me! Sweet, merciful McGillicuddy, you gotta open the door!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Who is it?” – Homer Simpson
“It’s Grampa, and it sounds like he’s gotten into the horseradish again.” – Marge Simpson

27
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

homer-badman19

“There are only forty-nine stars on that flag.” – Marge Simpson
“I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missoura!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

26
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

buzzcutalabamians

“Air show? Buzz cut Alabamians spewing colored smoke from their whiz jets to the strains of ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’? What kind of country fried rube is still impressed by that?” – Sideshow Bob

25
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

rocksthousandsandthousandsofrocks

“You mean there’s nothing left to clean?” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, there are rocks. Thousands and thousands of rocks.” – Oil Cleanup Hippie
“I’ve got rocks that need washing at home.” – Marge Simpson

24
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

bart-vs-thanksgiving19

“We’d like to thank you for the occasional moments of peace and love our family’s experienced, well, not today. You saw what happened! Oh, Lord, be honest: are we the most pathetic family in the universe or what?” – Homer Simpson
“Amen.” – The Simpsons
“Worst prayer yet.” – Selma Bouvier

23
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

rewardandpunishment

“Attention, all honor students will be rewarded with a trip to an archaeological dig.” – Principal Skinner
“Yay!” – Honor Students
“Conversely, all detention students will be punished with a trip to an archaeological dig.” – Principal Skinner
“Oh, no.” – Detention Students

22
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

doh-in-in-the-wind7

“Homer Simpson does not lie twice on the same form. He never has and he never will!” – Homer Simpson
“You lied dozens of times on our mortgage application.” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but they were all part of a single ball of lies.” – Homer Simpson

21
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

flaming-moes19

“So the next time you use a gas chromatograph, remember to thank Mr. AJP Martin.” – Martin Prince
“Brilliant, Martin! Brilliant! Once again you’ve wrecked the grading curve. I pity the poor student who has to follow you. Bart Simpson, you’re next.” – Mrs. Krabappel

20
Nov
16

Sunday Preview: Dad Behavior

Homer finds a new app that makes his life much easier and outsources his father-son bonding. Meanwhile, Grampa finds that he is about to be father again.

Matt Leinart will be guest voicing tonight, as will Dan Fouts. This app apparently must have something to do with NFL quarterbacks, although why they picked a first round hall of famer and a man who was forgotten several years ago is beyond my ability to reason. Enjoy.

20
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

mr-plow9

“But I’m a real tightwad. Can I afford this remarkable system?” – Lisa Simpson
“Absolutely! My prices are so low you’ll think I’ve suffered brain damage.” – Homer Simpson
“You are fully bonded and licensed by the city, aren’t you, Mr. Plow?” – Bart Simpson
“Shut up, boy.” – Homer Simpson

19
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

mother-simpson19

“A tombstone?” – Marge Simpson
“It came with the burial plot. But that’s not important. The important thing is: Homer’s dead.” – Patty Bouvier
“We’ve been saving for this since your wedding day.” – Selma Bouvier
“Get out of here, you ghouls!” – Marge Simpson

18
Nov
16

A Short Appreciation of “The War of the Simpsons”

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“Now, about last night, you might’ve noticed Daddy acting a little strange and you probably don’t understand why.” – Homer Simpson
“I understand why. You were wasted.” – Bart Simpson
“I admit it. I didn’t know when to say when. I’m sorry it happened and I just hope you didn’t lose a lot of respect for me.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, I have as much respect for you as I ever did or ever will.” – Bart Simpson
“Aww.” – Homer Simpson

Even all these years later, the vast range of types of episodes the show managed to knock out of the park remains astonishing. Case in point, “The War of the Simpsons” was preceded by the heart crushing “Lisa’s Substitute” and followed by the pop culture romp of “Three Men and a Comic Book”, but it’s nothing like either one. (This is one reason I’ve always found it so hard to pick favorites or even stand-out episodes.)

It starts fast with Homer immediately becoming a drunken buffoon at Marge’s fancy party. But the scene isn’t just Homer being a jerk, we’ve also got Moe resenting Flanders playing bartender, Barney getting maced, Maggie tearing up money, Lisa wanting to hear the “witty banter of sophisticated adults”, and Hibbert telling Marge what to do “if” she wants Homer to live through the night. (She doesn’t do it.) This sets up Marge’s justifiable anger at Homer as well as her solo trip to church where we get the marriage encounter weekend set up.

All of that happens before the first commercial break. Plus there’s Bart patronizing Homer about how much respect Bart has for him, Homer’s fictional Algonquin Round Table flashback, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it callback joke to Homer ogling Maude where she checks her blouse buttons in church, and more.

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That music always sends a chill down their spines.

What makes all of it work so well is that everyone is perfectly in character. So, for example, Marge gives Grampa an overly-detailed list of numbers to call in case things happen. Marge being Marge, she then sneaks a number to the kids in case Grampa falls down in the bathtub (one of the episode’s many brutal old people slams). Directly after, Bart, having anticipated this move on his mother’s part, hands Grampa a list he made that allows the kids to run wild. Lisa is initially reluctant, but she’s still a kid and more than happy to go to the grocery store and buy nothing but ice cream.

Both stories then accelerate from there: Homer botches the marriage retreat, Marge gets her patience tested more than ever before, Bart runs too wild, Lisa begins to regret what they’re doing, Grampa gets increasingly overwhelmed. The whole family is showcased, and everyone’s funny just being who they are.

Even the non-family characters get to be funny as caricatures of real people. Reverend Lovejoy’s retreat is both shallow (“A marriage can’t be reconciled in a few hours, Homer. It takes a whole weekend to do that!”) and pathetic (“Three couples, our best turnout yet!”). The bait shop guy is a dead-on bait shop guy: not in any kind of hurry and master of local lore that only he (and Homer) could possibly think is important. And, of course, there’s John and Gloria, quite possibly the bitterest couple in television history. They’re only in one scene, but in just their handful of lines we get a technicolor picture of their years of mounting anger and resentment and frustration.

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Here’s your crown your majesty!

This is the show putting all of its considerable powers on display. The writing is dense with jokes and meaning, but flows so well that it’s hilarious no matter how rapid it gets. The art and animation can handle everything from intimate scenes between couples to Homer’s epic battle with General Sherman. And the voice acting is stand-out perfect in more places than I can count: Castellaneta’s sarcastic, “I also understand bowling expressions”, Cartwright’s resigned, “You’re great at a party, Lis. Really great”, and Kavner turning a simple “No, I’m not” into a repeated punchline.

Even the ending works perfectly. Homer and Marge get back together despite Homer’s continued idiocy because for all his flaws, he is supremely dedicated and loyal to Marge (“I gave up fame and breakfast for my marriage.”). And, best of all, Grampa finally gets one over on the kids who’ve been taking advantage of him all episode, which the show turns into one of its trademark anti-authority statements, with Bart declaring: “I’ll never trust another old person.”

Like so many episodes from the show’s golden years, there isn’t another one quite like this. But being so distinct doesn’t hurt it in the least. It’s still perfectly hilarious, it’s just perfectly hilarious in different ways that the others.

generalsherman

18
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

thisisaknife

“When I say ‘Put your beer on a coaster’, I mean it!” – Moe
“You call that a knife? This is a knife! . . . Whoa, down I go.” – Hans Moleman

17
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

burns-baby-burns9

“Well, if God didn’t make little green apples, it’s Homer Simpson! How long have you been here?” – Ned Flanders
“Twenty of the suckiest minutes of my life.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh-hoho, sucking down the cider, huh? Hey, word to the wise: season pass. Pays for itself after the sixteenth visit.” – Ned Flanders

16
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

the-war-of-the-simpsons15

“Yeah, General Sherman, they say he’s five hundred pounds of bottom dwelling fury, dontcha know? No one knows how old he is. But, if you ask me, and most people do, he’s a hundred years if he’s a day.” – Bait Shop Owner
“And no one’s ever caught him?” – Tourist
“Well, one fella came close. Went by the name of Homer. Seven feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks. And his eyes were like steel: cold and hard. Had a shock of hair, red, like the fires of hell.” – Bait Shop Owner

Happy birthday, John Swartzwelder!

15
Nov
16

Behind Us Forever: Havana Wild Weekend

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“Oh, you’re gonna love it in Cuba, Marge. There’s shredded pork everywhere.” – Homer Simpson

In a world where up has become down and black has become white, I suppose there’s some comfort to be taken in the fact that Zombie Simpsons remains as incoherent and forgettable as ever. In this season’s second travel episode, the family goes to Cuba to get Grampa medical care, or something. That story line gets dropped very quickly in favor of a series of disconnected Cuban references and something about the CIA. This episode also features an unusual amount of “look a character just appeared out of nowhere” scenes.

Some lowlights:

  • We open with a Shark Tank parody that has voiceover that explains what it is. Later, they will explain this again.
  • After an expository scene with a retirement home nurse, a van drops Grampa off in skid row. Wiggum just happens to be there to tell no one in particular that this is also where he drops off mentally ill people. There are a lot of darkly funny jokes to be made about how many homeless people in America are also mentally ill. Zombie Simpsons decides to explain it with no actual joke. This show can be painful to watch.
  • Now we’re in a VA hospital waiting room where there’s a long wait time and that wait time is explained over and over again. Then a random guy walks up from nowhere to explain that Grampa should go to Cuba for cheap medical care.
  • Smash cut to a cruise ship where Fred and Ricky from I Love Lucy walk up from nowhere to banter for a bit. Yeesh, this episode is lazy.
  • Grampa sees a Cuban doctor. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that nothing else happens.
  • Montage of Grampa driving in an old car with helpful exposition from a Cuban guy who walked up from nowhere for no reason. I should be counting these, but I’m not going back and you can’t make me.
  • The family is having dinner, while Homer exposits where they are. Then they’re in a hotel. Then Grampa’s in a bar. These are just scenes next to each other.
  • “Wheels McGrath, I knew you in the Air Force!”, says Grampa as another random person walks in from offscreen.
  • Grampa’s old friend wants to start a nightclub in an old airliner. Which he got to after “hacking” through the jungle because he likes hacking. Repeating words is funny. Repeating words is funny. Repeating words is funny.
  • Second montage.
  • There’s a Ticketmaster joke that gets explained twice.
  • Now the airliner is flying away because it was all a CIA plot, or something. The episode still has two minutes to go, so there’s a random golf scene tacked on and a rehash of the Shark Tank thing from the beginning.

There are a couple of okay sign gags in all that (Marge is reading a book called “Cuban Escapes by Elian Gonzalez”, for example), but it’s hard to notice amidst the swerving plot, layers of exposition, and half-dozen or so characters who randomly appear from the ether. In other words, it’s typical Zombie Simpsons.

Anyway, the numbers are in and Zombie Simpsons once again got a nice bump from football, and once again failed to hold even half that audience. The post-game show drew 21.28 million viewers. Zombie Simpsons managed just 7.13 million.

Obviously numbers like this are enough for FOX to pick up two more years worth of episodes, but while this qualifies as a good (even great) number these days, it’d be a terribly low one even just five or six years ago. That’s the sorry state of network TV: crowing about audience numbers that would’ve been a disaster at the beginning of the decade.

15
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

dead-putting-society12

“Now, I suppose you both have to sign this. I hope blood won’t be necessary.” – Marge Simpson
“I’m game if you are, Flanders.” – Homer Simpson

14
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

forgeteverything

“I must say, Luann, you’re really handling this splendidly.” – Marge Simpson
“From now on, forget everything you thought you knew about Luann van Houten!” – Luann van Houten
“Actually, Luann, I don’t really know anything about you.” – Marge Simpson
“Forget it! She’s gone! Presto change-o, kaboom! Sweet Fanny Adams, bye-bye!” – Luann van Houten

Happy birthday, Maggie Roswell!




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