Archive for the 'Watching Cartoons' Category

28
Jan
21

Thursday Evening Cartoons

“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Dad?” – Bart Simpson
“No.” – Homer Simpson

It’s pretty rare these days that I notice something in The Simpsons that I’ve never noticed before, but even after all these years and Jebus knows how many rewatches, this show can still surprise me. I was watching “Three Men and a Comic Book” in honor of Cloris Leachman, and out of curiosity I turned the commentary on to see if they said anything about her.

They mentioned Leachman briefly, noting that she knew Brooks from back in The Mary Tyler Moore years and laughed at some of her jokes. But what caught my eye was something from shortly before she shows up.

When the family gets to Krusty Burger after the comic convention, Reiss is laughing at “Jeff Martin script padding” as Bart repetitively pesters Homer to buy him Radioactive Man #1. Then Groening (I think, the voices are hard to tell apart) mentions this guy:

In the 90s, you always knew you were at a classy place when the staff was smoking on the job.

Matt Groening: I like the guy in the background there, just watching, smoking a cigarette.
Jeff Martin: That’s a little gag, well, you had the wholesome Krusty Burger employee on the sign.
Groening (as soon as the shot cuts back): Oh, yeah!

As always with the show, no matter how many times you’ve seen something, there’s often a hidden gem you’ve never noticed before staring you in the face.

26
Jan
19

Saturday Night Cartoons

“Our first night together as man and wife.” – Marge Simpson
“Hey, lovebirds, keep it down!” – Patty Bouvier

“I Married Marge” is a wonderful example of a process that’s not quite world building, but pretty close. We already know Homer and Marge get married, we know their oldest is Bart, we know Homer works at the nuclear plant. All of these elements have already been established. But in showing us how it happened, they deepen and expand both the characters and Springfield as a whole.

How does someone like Homer end up working at the plant? He marched into the boss’s office and made it clear that he would be a terrible employee, but that he would also be an obsequious one. It’s not hard to see how that combination would immediately appeal to Mr. Burns.

How does someone like Homer end up married to someone like Marge? He knocks her up. And, sure, that makes sense, but then we get the Simpsonization of it. Bart was conceived inside a supposedly “impregnable” mini-golf castle after a date that involved watching Empire Strikes Back and consuming a lot of cheap alcohol. And all this happens at a place where Homer manually turns windmill blades on his knees and his boss talks about the place like it’s a high honor to be, “the guy who hands out the putters”.

Everything about the Springfield of 1980 leads into the modern (well, 1991) Springfield. We see Marge’s family and how they can barely contain their contempt of Homer now that he’s wormed his way into Marge’s life. We see the rathole house Grampa is living in after his only son left him an empty-nester. We see the even worse rathole Barney and Homer share, dirty, nothing more than a couch and a crappy TV balanced on one of those discarded wooden spools that were so popular at the time. We see that Dr. Hibbert was always a man with a fashionable haircut.

Everybody is in character as not quite who they are yet, but pretty damn close. And all of this is done five years after “The Way We Was”, so it isn’t just a flashback, it’s actively continuing a story. Because of that, even the cheapest of jokes endear the characters to us.

“This is the most beautiful moment of my life.”




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