Posts Tagged ‘Another Simpsons Clip Show

25
Sep
19

Quote of the Day

“Homer, young people learn about love from adults, and we’ve been setting a terrible example for our children and the community in general. I want us to deal with the issues raised by this book.” – Marge Simpson
“Hmm.” – Homer Simpson
“I knew we shouldn’t have put a fireplace in the bedroom.” – Marge Simpson

26
Sep
18

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Wake up!” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, it’s 3am and I worked all day.” – Homer Simpson
“It’s 9:30pm and you spent your whole Saturday drinking beer in Maggie’s kiddie pool.” – Marge Simpson

25
Sep
17

Quote of the Day

“So if you kind of mentally snip out the part where I already had a husband, that’s my idea of romance.” – Marge Simpson

25
Sep
15

Quote of the Day

Another Simpsons Clip Show4

“That doesn’t seem like a happy ending.  That seems more like a detached tale of modern alienation.” – Lisa Simpson

25
Sep
14

Quote of the Day

Another Simpsons Clip Show3

“Does anyone else have a love story?” – Marge Simpson
“Yes, I do.  And, just like your love stories, it’s tragic and filled with hurt feelings and scars that will never heal.” – Lisa Simpson

24
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

Another Simpsons Clip Show2

“I give up.  Did anybody learn anything about love tonight?” – Marge Simpson
“We learned it screws everybody up.” – Bart Simpson
“There’s that side of it.” – Marge Simpson

15
Aug
13

Diatribe of a Mad Housewife Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Another Simpsons Clip Show1

“This romance is so full of heartfelt passion.  I can really identify with this corn fed heroine.” – Marge Simpson

At this point, Zombie Simpsons commentaries are a known quantity: there will be compliments on the animation, lots of digressions and tangents, and Al Jean will swoop in to rescue the conversation every time the rest of them just give up and go silent.  This one is no different.  Marge writes a novel, Homer gets a new job, and there are a lot of guest stars, a couple of which Jean forgets about. 

An even ten guys on this one: Jean, Mike Anderson, Matt Selman, Matt Warburton, Steve Moore, David Silverman, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Michael Price, Tom Gammill and Max Pross. 

0:30 – As we have neither the writer nor the director present, Jean starts us off with them. 

0:40 – We’re passing on tidbits about this episodes that someone read on Wikipedia.

1:10 – Selman comes on to actually tell us some of the backstory. 

2:30 – Selman is still telling this story. 

3:00 – Selman finishes up, and Jean, aware of how unfocused and dull that was, saves the day by joking, “That sounds convincing, but now I remember I based it on this story called . . .” and then he trails off into gibberish.  It’s funny.

4:00 – Someone, I think it’s Warburton but I’m not sure, says that he kept the TV Guide from this week because the only description was “Guest starring the Olsen Twins and Thomas Pynchon”.  Everybody laughs, presumably at the odd pairing, but I don’t think they realized that such a description isn’t exactly complimentary of their work.

4:15 – Jean, right after that: “Oh, wait, is this the one with Pynchon in it?”

5:10 – Warburton’s story is still going on.

5:40 – Pynchon’s son is a fan, and that’s why he did the voice.  Jean flew to New York to record him, and he’s just a generally nice, friendly guy. 

6:30 – Someone finally mentions the episode to credit a joke to Dan Greaney. 

7:15 – After a long silence, Selman comes on to inform us that this episode was at some point screened at a Nantucket film festival or something.

8:10 – After an even longer silence, someone comes on to remark about the way they finally showed the title of the painting in the living room.  This happened a minute and a half ago on the episode, much of which was silence on the commentary.

8:30 – Jean talks about Marge being attracted to Flanders, and religion on the show.

9:30 – They’re just running down products that have shipped them stuff after they were mentioned on the air.  Marge is fantasizing about Ned, but nobody talks about that. 

10:00 – Jean compliments Mark Kirkland the director as being good at backgrounds, which is why he gets flashback and travel episodes like this one.

11:15 – The bookstore was possibly based on a Border’s in Glendale.

11:45 – Discussing Marge’s dot matrix printer and the gradual evolution of technology on the show.

12:00 – Jean notes how Groening’s original concept had the family completely out of it (doing dances and with hair styles that hadn’t been popular for years), but that at some point they couldn’t have them typing on typewriters anymore because, “it doesn’t make any sense”. 

12:20 – Just as Jean is making that point (“it’s a thin line”), Homer walks naked into the backyard, which gets a chuckle from everyone and kinda undermines his point.

13:15 – With not much going on in the episode (Homer is supposed to be reading Marge’s novel), Jean just asks if anyone’s ever read a novel at the manuscript stage.  It’s book group time, here in Season 15.

13:40 – After a long silence and some nervous chuckling, Jean says, “I usually like reading cereal boxes” just to fill space.

14:00 – Still with nothing to talk about, Jean continues to play the dinner party host, asking “Do you guys get people applying to Film Roman where they go, ‘It’s been my dream to be a Simpsons director?’”. 

14:30 – And there’s Thomas Pynchon with a bag on his head.  The bag was their idea, he just didn’t want his face depicted.

14:40 – Jean: “Is that Charles Napier?”  Everyone else: “No, that’s actually Tom Clancy”.  Jean: “Oh, that’s right.” 

15:20 – And there’s Dr. Marvin Monroe, back from the dead, asking Marge to sign his book.  Jean attributes it to his very cartoonish look and Harry Shearer thinking the voice was too much like Otto’s. 

16:00 – Mostly just guys laughing at little jokes they’re cracking.  Very little in the way of actual commentary.

17:00 – See above.

17:20 – Jean: “And this is the Olsen twins”, which does get a laugh that he remembers them.

18:10 – We’re getting into the dregs now, Selman is trying to help Jean out in filling time. 

19:00 – Long silence as Marge’s novel finishes up with Homer harpooning Ned.

19:40 – And now we’re recreating the same scene in real life, which causes someone to sarcastically note, “Hey, this is very familiar”.

20:05 – “It’s a testament to a great show when everybody shuts up and watches”.  Well, that’s one way to explain all the silences.  Jean immediately retorts, “Yes, when they watch silently without laughing”.  That gets a big laugh.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these guys know these episodes suck. 

20:30 – Jean mentions that when he found out Ann Landers and Dear Abby were sisters that it blew his mind.

21:15 – There’s a brief discussion of when Homer started wearing his reading glasses.

21:40 – And we end, via the bag on Pynchon’s head, with Murray Langston, the Unknown Comic, who at least one of these guys follows on Twitter

27
Sep
10

Getting Colder

Chalkboard - Elementary School Musical

“It was an unusually warm February 14th, so the children walked home without jackets.” – Lisa Simpson

In all its manic motion – to Europe!, to camp!, to Not Brooklyn! – Zombie Simpsons never stops to develop a character, tell a story or, heaven forbid, make sense from one scene to the next.  To take just one example, Lisa rides her bike to hang out with the Conchords in what she imagines is their cool artist abode.  She’s wearing just her usual red dress.  Once she gets inside, they have her shiver and complain that it’s cold (because they have no heat), but she’s wearing the same thing she had on outside. 

Obviously this is not a huge problem (this episode has many far larger ones), and careless things like it are par for the course for Zombie Simpsons.  But it shows how lightly the people behind the show regard their own work.  No one, writer or animator, thought to put a jacket on Lisa; no one thought that a girl leaving home in the dead of night on a bicycle might be cold, even though her being cold is on the next page of the script. 

In his oral history of The Simpsons, John Ortved recounts a scene in the parking lot of the studio during the early years of the show.  One of the writers, frustrated with an episode that they couldn’t quite get right, actually drop kicked the script and sent the pages flying all over the place.  I’ll bet you anything no one kicked the script for “Elementary School Musical”. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and they are historically bad.  Even the interior demographics, long the silent strength of the dismal top line numbers, were weak:

The Simpson’s 3.7 adults 18-49 rating was down 14% from last season’s premiere (9/27/09).

Overall, last night’s poorly plotted excuse for cross promotion was endured by a mere 7.76 million viewers.  That’s the lowest rating for a season premier ever.  But wait, it gets better.  The Season 21 premier, “Homer the Whopper” was watched by 8.21 million people, and while that too was an all-time low for a season premier, it was also the fifth highest rated episode of the entire season.  And Season 21 was massively aided by the “20th Anniversary!” and “Live Nude Marge!” things, advantages Season 22 will not have.  If 7.76 million is the best Zombie Simpsons can do with a heavily promoted season premier and all the star power of Glee behind it, Season 22 is going to be embarrassingly terrible, ratings wise. 

22
Mar
10

Just Nitpicking

Chalkboard - Stealing First Base

“Wait, that did end in heartbreak.  Thanks for opening up old wounds, Mom.” – Bart Simpson

The irrelevant and drawn out couch gag is a good indication of the lack of comedy invention within.  The comedic growth of this show cannot even be charted.  It is treading water in a sea of recycled plots and derivative montages. 

The numbers continue to be awful, with this week’s shit sandwich watched by only 5.69 million people.  That’s not as bad as last week, but it’s still the fourth lowest number ever.  Unfortunately it’s looking more and more likely that Season 21 will eek out above Season 20 in terms of average rating.  Stupid 20th anniversary hype. 

23
Feb
10

An Unmitigated Crime Against Storytelling

“What happened to Mindy?” – Bart Simpson
“Yes, what did happen to her?” – Marge Simpson
“Enh, she hit the bottle pretty hard and lost her job.” – Homer Simpson
“Hm, good.” – Marge Simpson

I am not a big fan of Season 12’s “Trilogy of Error”.  (In case you’ve blocked it out that’s the one where Lisa invents the robot, Homer gets his thumb cut off and three different stories all unfold at once.)  But I do recognize that it took a lot of skill to weave three stories together like that.  Getting all those little elements to drop into place couldn’t have been easy.  So while I think those things were largely out of place in a Simpsons episode (where suspense and dramatic tension should never be the primary goal) I can at least see that some care went into creating it. 

Then we have this week’s “The Color Yellow”, which incorporates the worst parts of “Trilogy of Error” while not even pretending to care about its story.  Just look at the ending.  Lisa spent the entire episode obsessing over her 1860-self and her efforts to help free a slave, Virgil.  But then 1860-Marge is the one who actually helps Virgil get to freedom wherein she marries him and settles down.  Except that to do so she abandons the kid she already has.  This is awful in at least three ways. 

First of all, she abandons her child.  Regardless of any other considerations it’s tough to have sympathy for a character who walks away from her kid without a second glance.  This is compounded by the fact that the ending is played as sweet and happy. 

Secondly, in terms of continuity within this episode this makes no sense whatsoever.  (Standard disclaimer: I don’t care much about backstory continuity between episodes, but it would be nice if the story within a single episode made just a lick or two of sense.)  So Lisa isn’t actually descended from 1860-Lisa?  And none of them are related in the least to 1860-Homer?  Did the family move away from Springfield and then move back?  Even this wouldn’t be so bad if the episode hadn’t spent all of its time being so relentlessly serious about how important its story was, but it did.  The whole premise here is local family history and then the ending completely undermines that. 

Have You Seen Me? Finally, and most atrociously, in terms of competent storytelling this goes beyond indifference, disregards camp, and sets up shop in the most hacktacular place imaginable.  We spend the bulk of the episode with Lisa see-sawing back and forth over whether or not 1860-Lisa managed to actually help Virgil.  But 1860-Lisa vanishes three quarters of the way through, never to be seen, heard from, or even mentioned again.  Up until the last commercial break she’s the central character of the story and then – poof – she’s gone. 

This is especially damning when you consider how much screen time this episode wasted on useless filler.  The attic scene, the whole diary in the vent thing, the completely unnecessary error messages on Lisa’s laptop when she’s trying to give her presentation, all of those things take time that could’ve been spent giving the story a real ending.  (The computer errors were especially wasteful seeing as how they were just “update” messages with nary a joke to be seen.)  “Trilogy of Error” may have wasted a lot of time doing things that weren’t funny for the sake of its overwrought narrative, but at least it had a narrative.  “The Color Yellow” wasted time on things that weren’t funny just because. 

15
Nov
09

Quote of the Day

closeone1
“Marge, I want you to stop seeing this ‘Jacques.’ You can let him down gently, but over the next couple of months I want you to break it off.” – Homer Simpson

closeone2
“Um, okay Homer.” – Marge Simpson

closeone3
“Whew, that was a close one kids.” – Homer Simpson

04
Aug
09

Sunday Preview: Auto-fellatio and Curling Edition

homercurling

“How many times can you laugh at that cat getting hit by the moon?” – Marge Simpson

“It’s a new episode.” – Bart Simpson

“Not exactly… they pieced it together from old shows, but it seems new to the trusting eyes of impressionable youth.” – Lisa Simpson

Guess what?  We’re only 54 days away from the premier of Season 21 and there’s already news of an episode of Zombie Simpsons that will coincide with next year’s Winter Olympics.  For the uninitiated, the 2010 games will be taking place somewhere in Canada, also known as America Junior (or America’s hat, if you prefer.)  And the subject for this episode?  Why it’s curling, of course!

Let’s trudge through the pertinent “plot” points as reported by the CBC:

  • Marge and Homer are on a mixed-doubles curling team with Skinner and Anges (prepare yourself for more awful Oedipal weirdness)
  • Homer sucks at curling; Marge debates whether or not to dump him to win a medal, or keep him and lose
  • In a fit of genius, the writers have opted to showcase Lisa in a B-plot collecting Olympic pins (“Heh, heh, I’m so clever.”)

Beyond the obvious banality of the story, it’s also worth noting that Zombie Simpsons basically did this episode in Season 12.  Just replace “curling” with “tennis” and “Skinner and Agnes” with “Serena and Venus Williams, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi” and you’ve got the forgettable “Tennis the Menace.”  Sure, the parings are slightly different, but we’re splitting hairs here.  Expect a contrived, flimsy setup that will lead Marge and Homer to the Olympics or some similar competition and a schmaltzy, feel good ending where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

Naturally, Canucks will enjoy the show and apologist fanboys will swoon, leaving everyone else with a shred of intellect to see this episode for what it is: pandering at its finest and yet another example of how far the apple has fallen from the tree.  Not only is Zombie Simpsons routinely – and poorly – rehashing content from The Simpsons, it’s now sucking itself off and dumping a steaming hot load on its own face.  Tremendous.

(Note: there was a NSFW picture associated with this post, but we’ve decided to let you use your imagination instead.  Need help getting started?  Here’s a list of sexy search terms that have led people to our charming blog.)

03
Jul
09

Quote of the Day

Hallmark: A Tax on Your Emotions & Relationships

Hallmark: A Tax on Your Emotions & Relationships

“Mom, romance is dead.  It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off, piece by piece.” – Lisa Simpson
Image used under CreativeCommons license from Flicker user Amanda M Hatfield.

Happy Birthday Yeardley Smith!




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