Posts Tagged ‘D’Oh-in’ in the Wind


Quote of the Day

D'Oh-in' in the Wind2

“What we need around here is some fresh blood.” – C.M. Burns
“Would you like me to drain Simpson while he’s passed out, sir?” – Mr. Smithers


Crazy noises: D’Oh-in’ in the Wind

D'Oh-in' in the Wind1

“I’ll treasure this poncho forever.” – Homer Simpson
“Uh, you might want to wash that.  The dog has a lot of skin and bladder problems.” – Seth

For the third summer in a row, we at the Dead Homer Society are looking to satisfy your off-season longing for substandard commentary on substandard Simpsons.  This summer we’ll be looking at Season 10.  Why Season 10?  Because we’ve already done Seasons 8 and 9 and we can’t put it off any longer.  Prior to Season 10, we watched as the show started falling over, this is when it fell over.  And while the dust wouldn’t settle completely for another season or so, there is no bigger gap in quality than the one between Season 9 and Season 10.  Since we prefer things to remain just as they were in 1995, we’re sticking with this chatroom thing instead of some newer means of communication that we all know just isn’t as good.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “drunkenness”).

Today’s episode is 1006, “D’Oh-in’ in the Wind”.  Yesterday was 1005, “When You Dish Upon a Star”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Initial thoughts on Homer the Hippie?

Mad Jon: I don’t really like this one, but there some good parts. I can just never get into it.

I get bored.

Charlie Sweatpants: Disagree. This is one of the precious few in Season 10 that’s in my regular rotation.

Dave: Whoa. Didn’t see that coming. (Seriously.)

Mad Jon: Well, to each their own.

I love the hippies, I like the original trip to the farm, and the cut scene at Woodstock is classic, but I just can’t keep my focus when this one is on.

Charlie Sweatpants: This one has a lot of good lines and quick jokes, enough that I don’t mind the usual “Homer gets a job” type crap.

Mad Jon: I think my biggest problem is that Homer smiles too much, for me that is a hallmark of a bad Homer episode.

Dave: I’m with Jon. Some good bits but it doesn’t hold my attention. It’s not quite miserable in the way “Dish” is/was.

Mad Jon: But that’s me.

I definitely like this one better than “Dish”, but that’s not really a high bar.

Charlie Sweatpants: Let me then admit to an equal amount of surprise that you guys aren’t as high on this one as I am.

Dave: Pun intended, I’m sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: On quotability alone, this one might outrank everything else in 10.

Mad Jon: It’s is really a separation from the normal Simpson life.

I agree with that.

There are plenty of lines worth repeating.

Charlie Sweatpants: That counts a lot in my book.

Mad Jon: Well, when it comes to The Simpsons, you are a Viking.

Charlie Sweatpants: Thanks?

Mad Jon: It was a compliment. I normally trust your opinion on teevee, no matter how jaded you get with age.

Still can’t get into this one.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ll grant that there are some distracting problems: the sudden plot shifts (factory ruined to Homer makes thing worse) are less than smooth, I could do without the fake tension at the end, and there’s the very un-Homer-like enthusiasm for new stuff.

However, in addition to the aforementioned quotes (of which there are many), I like that it did kinda make sense that Homer would like to just drop all of the near-middle class pretense that he’s no good at.

Mad Jon: Meh, that’s just a different shade of the job changing that haunts Zombie Homer.

Dave: Yeah, how is this any different?

He does it as carelessly and caustically as any of his other job transitions.

And it ends as poorly.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s not wholly different, but here Homer’s selfishness is the kind you always expected him to have, one that’s basically pro-drunkenness and pro-lazy. Him being the super competent assistant to a couple of movie stars strikes me as a lot more un-Homer than him wanting to sit around and get drunk all the time.

Mad Jon: I see what you are saying. There is a different edge to it, but to me it still gets thrown in the category.

Dave: It’s an astute distinction you make Charlie, but as Jon says it sort of feels the same.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m not saying it would pass muster in Season 6, or even Season 8, but I can buy hippie in a way that I can’t buy successful artist, mayoral bodyguard, or celebrity gofer.

Mad Jon: I can as well.

Those are all much, much worse.

But, I’m not here to compare season 10 jobs against each other, I am here to rag on Zombie trends.

Charlie Sweatpants: Combine that with all the quotes, from “You can’t like, own a potato” and “I’ll go shoot myself for bringing this up” to “the ideals our hippie forefathers refused to go to war and die for” and George Carlin’s perfect deadpan of “This man does not represent us”, and I can’t dislike this episode.

Mad Jon: Carlin was great, I liked all those things, the dog’s name, and lots of other things.

Dave: Actually the dog was great.

Charlie Sweatpants: Also, have you ever seen the video for “Uptown Girl”?

That may be the most un-hippie thing ever, in addition to being the gayest supposedly straight thing this side of the volleyball scene in “Top Gun” (Christie Brinkley or no Christie Brinkley).

Mad Jon: That was a very gay scene.

Charlie Sweatpants: For that and more (Castellaneta does a fantastic job as Young Abe, Brockman’s line about point shaving in Globetrotter’s games, Lou saying that the electric yellow has got him by the brain banana), I like this episode, warts and all.

Mad Jon: Fair enough buddy, Fair enough.

Charlie Sweatpants: Any further objections or thoughts?

Dave: None from me. I don’t hate this, but I don’t watch it regularly either.

Mad Jon: Well, I always have a love hate relationship with scenes used to describe people tripping. They are fun, but at the same time so over the top that it’s a little off putting. So maybe that also adds to the hate. But in the end – meh.

Charlie Sweatpants: Alright then, I’m going to go freak out some squares.


The Michael Bay Ethos of Zombie Simpsons

“There were script problems from day one.” – Homer Simpson
“It didn’t seem like anybody even read the script.” – Bart Simpson
“That was the problem.” – Homer Simpson

Two years ago, Michael Bay released Transformers 2, a movie that, even by his skewed standards, was vapid, nonsensical and incoherent.  At 20% (which seems very generous), it is his lowest rating as a director on Rotten Tomatoes.  It made an enormous amount of money, but was so widely pilloried as among the worst movies ever made that Bay himself publicly stated that the third one would be better.  In other words, Transformers 2 was so reprehensibly bad that even Michael Bay, a man who often protests (a bit too much) that he doesn’t care what critics think, admitted it sucks.

When the movie came out, the pop culture segments of the internet were rife with parodies, criticisms, and every form of snark imaginable.  Of those, my absolute favorite was this piece by Rob Bricken at Topless Robot.  Driven to the scalpel edge of insanity by the film, Bricken came back by splitting his mind in two and talking himself down.  The entire thing is hilarious, and near the very end is something that popped into my head while watching “Homer Scissorhands”:

If you had to pick a single scene that exemplifies Michael Bay’s utter disdain for story and continuity, what would it be?
When five Decepticons sink to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve Megatron’s corpse. A submarine tracks five "subjects" going down, and when they get there, one of the Decepticons is killed to give parts to Megatron. 5 -1 +1 = 5, right? No, because the sub somehow tracks "six" subjects coming up. Not only is this very basic math, this is the simplest of script errors. It could not possibly have been more than one page apart in the script. And yet  Michael Bay either didn’t care to notice or didn’t give a fuck. "Math? Math is for pussies. My movies are about shit blowing up, man."

You see that attitude in Zombie Simpsons a lot, all you have to do is replace “shit blowing up” with “Homer screaming” or “guest voices”.  But rarely do you see two examples in a single episode where just the tiniest script change could’ve made things make sense, and was neglected anyway.  The first, when Milhouse and Taffy see Bart and Lisa in the hall, is more immediately glaring; but the second, when the Wiggums confront Homer outside his shop, is even worse because it could’ve been fixed by changing just a single word.

In the second of Taffy’s three scenes, she and Milhouse walk up to Bart and Lisa in the hall.  She’s standing right there as Milhouse tells Lisa to lift with her legs not her back:

Four People in a Hallway

I do not possess any advanced mathematical degrees, but I can count to four.

Taffy gazes adoringly at Milhouse, telling him that he knows a lot, and then the scene goes from trite to wretched.  The camera pans left, taking Taffy out of frame and putting Bart into it:

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Now there’s three, but Lisa is still there.  She didn’t leave or anything.

Note that Taffy is still standing right next to Milhouse and looking directly at him.  Bart and Milhouse now proceed to have private conversation as though she weren’t there:

Um, She's Right There

See the red curve at right?  See the little brown bumps inside it?  She can hear you.

Despite the fact that both Lisa and Taffy are still there, Bart and Milhouse commiserate as though no one else is around, because for Zombie Simpsons out of sight is out of mind.  Though they managed to screw even that up since Taffy is so close to them that her hair is still in frame.  But this isn’t a directorial goof that left a few brown pixels in a shot, this is, like Bay’s poor math, either outright contempt or laziness that amounts to the same thing.  Two characters can’t have a private conversation when two other characters are literally inches away from them.

Nor would it have been at all difficult to fix.  Taffy doesn’t have a singe line after this exchange, so if they didn’t feel like writing parting dialogue they could’ve just sent her down the hall and had Milhouse catch up to her.  Correcting this would’ve required about five seconds of screen time and a script change that hardly rises to the level of minor, but it wasn’t done. 

Then there’s Chief Wiggum’s confrontation with Homer.  Wiggum demands Homer do his wife’s hair for the policeman’s ball “tonight”.  That’s the word he uses, “tonight”.  The next scene is when Lenny visits Homer at his very full salon:

Full Salon (Day 1)

That looks like at least an afternoon’s worth of work, doesn’t it?

The next time we see Homer, look what time it is:

After Work (Day 1)


The stars are out, Marge is in her bathrobe, Homer is back from work.  When we return from commercial, Lisa is stalking the B-plot, and look what time it is now:

Dusk (Day 2)


Once Milhouse rides the magical eagle, we finally get to the Policeman’s ball.  Hey look, the stars are out again:

Policeman's Ball (Day 2)

To be fair, “Thin Blue Line-Dance” is one of the better signs all season.

The episode went day (salon) – night (home) – day (mountain) – night (ball); that’s two days over a ton of screen time.  It’s certainly not “tonight”.  The really telling part is that this could’ve been fixed at any time right up to broadcast.  All they had to do was swap the audio so Wiggum said something like “Friday”, which has the same number of syllables, in place of “tonight”.  Such a change wouldn’t have had any effect on the rest of the episode, but it would’ve made things make more sense. 

This is, obviously, a very minor point, but so are the six Decepticons rising from the ocean floor.  If someone had taken the time to correct the number, it would not have changed the fact that Transformers 2 was unwatchably bad.  In the same way, had someone fixed Wiggum’s dialogue or bothered to get Lisa and Taffy out of the scene in the hallway, “Homer Scissorhands” would still be wretched.  But the obvious oversights, on both the big and little screens, point to an inescapable commonality between Zombie Simpsons and Michael Bay: sharing an “utter disdain for story and continuity”.


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