Posts Tagged ‘Eight Misbehavin

20
Jul
16

Quote of the Day

KangarooLaugh

“What? Everybody loves my zoo. You don’t love my zoo? I dare you to look at a kangaroo and not laugh. I dare you!” – Larry Kidkill

So long, Garry Marshall.

31
Dec
13

Quote of the Day

Eight Misbehavin3

“Are you sure you want a child, Apu?” – Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon
“You know, I do.  I mean, there comes a time in a man’s life when he asks himself: who will float my corpse down the Ganges?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

05
Dec
13

Reading Digest: The Lego Men (And Women) Cometh

Eight Misbehavin2

“How ingenious, the forks are made out of Lego.” – Marge Simpson

The internet got its first look at the Simpsons Lego people this week.  Well, sort of, all we got was Homer and the torsos of Marge and Lisa (maybe there was a clog in the leg chute?), but they look okay.  We’ve also got another great Simpsons painting, Marge as past fashion icons, more fans of the Simpson math book, the beginnings of Christmas, and some excellent usage.

Enjoy.

Tim Doyle – The Simpsons Unreal Estate – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this new painting of the Simpson home by the same guy who did all those amazing ones last year.  I love that you can see the outline of Marge and Lisa (with sax, naturally) in the house and Bart in the treehouse.  The first three remain just as gorgeous as they were last year.

Reruns of ‘Simpsons’ Episodes on FXX Won’t Change Actors’ Residuals – If I were them, I’d be looking at that contract with a microscope:

Gaudry said she hasn’t reviewed the details of the deal yet but when SAG-AFTRA receives the documents next year the union does have remedies if it believes performers were shortchanged. “We can’t dictate what companies do with their programs, but there are options under the agreements if we see an issue,” she said.

Diary of a Nerdy Kid: Back to Basics (Season 1) – Rewatching Season 1 with an eye towards things that should be included in Tapped Out.  The Jazz Hole would be cool, but who can resist a “Dip” sign?

LEGO The Simpsons Official Homer Simpson Minifigure Found – Homer’s got his tie and badge on.

More LEGO The Simpsons Minifigures Found – Marge and Lisa, though mercifully the legs they have there aren’t the real ones, as they currently look like they’re wearing sumo thongs.

Upworthy Springfield: Linkbait With A Hint of Nostalgia – Upworthy Springfield is genius, no two ways about it.

Lisa Simpson – A guide to a do it yourself Lisa costume.  Total cost: $63.

PHOTO: Ned Flanders returns to Peter Budaj’s mask, and he’s mad – Click through for art of Angry Hockey Ned.

AnOther Happy Monday – Marge Simpson does Fashion – An Italian artist drew Marge in the same pose and outfits as various famous fashion models.  Warning/enticement-to-click: you will be seeing Stephanie Seymour’s crotch and Marge with a matching tuft of blue pubic hair.

AlexSandro Palombo sposa Marge Simpson – More of fashion Marge, in slideshow format with much smaller pictures of the originals.

And now, the episode tournament/marathon portion of our show:

Round 90: Homer vs. Patty and Selma vs. Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words – Brooks was a little skimpy, but I love Sarandon’s ballet teacher.  Batman, for example, and . . . Magellan.

Round 91: Krusty Gets Kancelled vs. Treehouse of Horror – Fun fact, Johnny Carson can’t actually life a Buick Skylark over his head.  He can lift an Oldsmobile Cutlass over his head.

S1E11 “The Crepes of Wrath” – “For the first time, the show really managed to embrace its lingering zaniness, but it also chooses to pepper the episode with French culture references, and a commentary on wealth distribution and capitalism, as told through an argument between Lisa and Adil. This is what The Simpsons is like when it’s firing on all cylinders: jokes for everyone that are heavily layered, while keeping the main idea simple enough that it’s enjoyable.”

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Telltale Head VS. Dancin’ Homer – Very true:

Too often in later seasons, the bullies, including Nelson, are reduced to essentially being a teenage version of the three stooges, or worse,  hanging out with Bart & Milhouse and treating them like equals. Here, they are what they should be.  Untrustworthy little jerks who will turn on Bart in a heartbeat the second he shows he has a conscience.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 There’s No Disgrace Like Home VS. Dead Putting Society – Great George Carlin quote, and appropriate too.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Principal Charming VS. Old Money – Good point about “Principal Charming”:

This is the first episode to put three secondary characters in the lead roles. Here, the Simpson family take a backseat to Patty, Selma, and Principal Skinner.  And all three are more than capable of carrying the episode.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: Bart vs. Thanksgiving VS. Homer vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment – Never thought of it this way:

One of the programs Homer watches is an infomercial hosted by Troy McClure called “I Can’t Believe They Invented It!” So essentially, Homer “purchased” cable from a con-man cable guy so that he could watch an infomercial featuring two other con-artists, sellout actor Troy McClure, and phony physician Dr.Nick. I have a feeling whatever money Homer is going to save by stealing cable, he is going to lose even more from buying crappy infomercial products.

Homer, are you buying junk off the TV again?  Shh, they’ll hear you!

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Bart Gets Hit By A Car vs. Blood Feud – Kids these days:

But Bart spits over the guardrail and soon finds himself in Hell, which is a Hieronymous Bosch painting where the Devil’s desktop is equipped with a Windows based program.

The Devil, young man, is using a Mac.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: KRUSTY GETS BUSTED vs. ITCHY & SCRATCHY & MARGE – Great freeze frame of “how crazed Bob looked cuffed and sprawled in the back of the police wagon”.  He’s cracked and you know it.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Bart The Genius v. Bart The General v. Bart The Daredevil – Never gets old:

Grampa’s letter to TV advertisers: I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on TV. We’re not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals.

End marathon segment.

Educating [Geeks] Drinking Game – Simpsons Treehouse of Horror – I enjoy drinking games as much as the next besotted fool, but this is suicidal:

Take a shot every time Willie takes an axe

Take a shot any time there is a Marge hair gag

Harry Shearer’s ‘Le Show’ reaches 30th birthday – Congrats.

A Thanksgiving Haiku – Gotta love cranberry sauce a la Bart.

Time to Prepare! – And YouTube of the same.

Best of South Park – 10 – The Simpsons Already Did It – That episode was completely correct . . . and it first aired eleven years ago.

Do’h! Simpsons marathon farewells analog TV – Two Australian artists watched all of The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons to mark/commemorate/art the end of analog TV broadcasts down under.

Clowns: What is all the fuss about – and who are the ten scariest clowns of all time? – Krusty and Sideshow Bob make the list.

Movie Review: Good Ol’ Freda (5 out of 5 stars) – Hey, someone had to deal with that fan mail until Ringo could get around to it all.

Dag 294 – A Pulp Simpsons t-shirt of Homer and Barney instead of Lenny and Carl.

Some Fun Burlesque! – More Simpsons burlesque, this time with Marge instead of Ned.  Awesome.  Shaky cam YouTube, but still awesome (because belching and drunken stripping).

An analysis of The Simpsons as a cultural phenomenon, paying particular attention to its genre, form and place in the television schedule. – I like this formulation of it:

The gravity of The Simpsons influence can clearly be seen in a number of contemporary adult-oriented animated sitcoms still running today including Futarama, Family guy and South Park

Gravity indeed, like all the other shows are falling toward it and can never quite get there.

My Favourite Christmas Episodes – “Marge Be Not Proud” makes the list, which I’m fine with.

XMAS 25 Day 5- XMAS Episodes: The Simpsons Season 1, Ep. 1 ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ – Ah, but there’s a Christmas episode:

Even without the highest of intelligence, Homer cares about his family first, himself second. To me, that is what makes this special a true classic and gets heavy rotation on my Christmas classics list. Hopefully those reading this feel just the same.

It’s what makes him Homer.

Michigan State Police mustache contest benefits Toys for Tots – This is a local news report that doesn’t tell you much more than the title.  However, Captain Roesler won the “Ned Flanders” category, which his certificate describes as “For the creepiest or most unsavory mustache”.  You can see him on the video noting that it wasn’t the most flattering award, but he seems to be a good sport about it.

Doodle-a-Day: November 25 – Clinton and Dole, naked and in orbit.  Heh.

Singh and the Simpsons – You know it has to be a good book when the tour includes stops at university physics departments.

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets – YouTube about the book, including Singh describing how “Treehouse of Horror VI” was the one that gave him the idea.

shegot80hd – Printer: Don’t mind if I do!

BREAKFAST WITH THE SIMPSONS – Bart and wooden Bender for breakfast.

2013-11-23 – Not quite sure that’s a windup toy, but it’s definitely Milhouse as Fallout Boy.

Brunch Is Nice – That’s a nice naked Homer you got in the bathroom there.

When Dr Who Called – Oh, nothing, just a picture of a Dalek next to a frightful looking Krusty mannequin.

THE NANNY STATE AND THE MANNY STATE PART I: DON’T DO THAT, DON’T DOOO THAAAT!!! – Excellent usage:

The concept of the nanny state always misses the point. Subtle measures and incentives for ‘correcting’ social behaviour are used by whoever is in charge – whether centre-left or centre-right – but built on different concepts of both the social good and the relationship between citizen, the market, and government. These concepts typically dominate mainstream confines of both camps. This two part series addresses the rationale and consequences when both centre-left and centre-right overreach.
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Helen Lovejoy: “You’ve got to lead our protest against this abomination!”
Marge: “Mm, but that’s Michelangelo’s David. It’s a masterpiece”.
Helen: [gasp] “It’s filth! It graphically portrays parts of the human body, which, practical as they may be, are evil”.
Marge: “But I like that statue”.
Helen: [gasp] “I told you she was soft on full frontal nudity! Come on, girls…”

It’s actually Maude who calls Marge “soft on full frontal nudity”, but the quote is dead on so it’s still excellent usage.

Can’t stop laughing! – Homer as the world’s worst Nike icon.  I might want to get that on a t-shirt.

22 Hours To Live – It helps to have a plan when you accidentally swallow part of a plastic knife:

I needed to snap out of it. When Homer was given his death sentence, he didn’t despair. He quietly accepted his fate, making a list of all the things he wanted to do before he died.

I flipped to the notes section of my iPhone and titled a fresh page “Death List”.

1. Sleep In.

Heh.

Top Ten Musical Guests on the Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, even if he does put a lot of Zombie Simpsons on this list:

Remember when the Simpsons was mind-blowingly funny, and not just mildly watchable background programming? I do. I used to put on striped pajamas before my bedtime and catch reruns with my older brother and dad at the miniature white TV in our old kitchen. Much of the pop culture references flew over my head at the time but as a testament to the show’s brilliance I still bellowed my 7-10-year-old hear out.

It took a lot of post-childhood viewings for me to catch even most of the jokes.

11
Jul
12

Crazy Noises: Eight Misbehavin

Eight Misbehavin1

“Kids are the best, Apu.  You can teach ’em to hate the things you hate, and they practically raise themselves, what with the internet and all.” – Homer Simpson
“Well, perhaps it is time.  I’ve noticed this country is dangerously underpopulated.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (happily enough, not on “octuplet”).

Today’s episode is 1107, “Eight Misbehavin”.  Tomorrow will be 1108, “Take My Wife, Sleaze”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Alright, so, who’s ready to discuss a bizarre episode about a totally nonsensical octuplet birth?

Dave: Only if we do it once.

Mad Jon: Ooh ooh! Me!!!

I always used to try and like this one.

But it never really worked.

And being this is the first time in probably 5 years that I’ve watched it, I have realized why.

Charlie Sweatpants: I know the feeling. It starts well, but after the fourth insipid plot twist you kinda go numb to it.

Mad Jon: I like Apu in this episode. I don’t like much else.

The episode seems like it means well, but you hit it there. I can only take so much insanity in 22 minutes.

At least make the insanity linear.

Charlie Sweatpants: Heh. Good point.

It’s got the same problem as “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”, where it leaps plot holes in a single bound, but then stands there and makes you watch a stupid montage.

This one alternates between confusing me and boring me, and that’s not a good combination.

Mad Jon: No, no it is not.

There are some lines, and some that I quote still to this day.

Such as “Listen, I’ll die when I want to.” and “So I got that going too!”

But I don’t feel the need to watch two men dressed like Eddie Munster get bitten by cobra robots. It is just not my style.

Charlie Sweatpants: I noted both of those lines, because Apu’s one liners are the best part of this episode (“I can’t believe you don’t shut up!”), and Azaria nails all of them.

Mad Jon: Again, I am a fan of Apu in this one.

Dave: The Apu bottle feeding mechanism is disgusting and amusing.

Mad Jon: It is unfortunate that Homer has to be around for most of Apu’s scenes.

Dave: But you’re right Jon, Azaria does a great job here.

Charlie Sweatpants: “Who will float my corpse down the Ganges?” is great. “I’ve noticed this country is dangerously underpopulated” is pretty good. And “Lamps that do not look like lamps” is one of the first of the great Ikea jokes.

Mad Jon: All high notes.

Charlie Sweatpants: But you’re right, the episode begins crashing into itself as soon as Homer becomes their fertility coach.

And then it gets worse (eight kids!), and worse (no endorsements!), and worse (in the zoo!) and worse (breaking and entering!), and pretty soon you’re just wondering if this is going to end up in a space battle or not.

I mean, by just the middle of the episode, the entire Simpson family (including Maggie) is in the waiting room and Manjula has apparently never had an ultrasound.

Mad Jon: Well, those types of plot holes aren’t even worth mentioning.

Of course the 8 babies are a ‘surprise’

Charlie Sweatpants: They certainly weren’t worth editing.

Mad Jon: Nope. But nobody noticed the “lifetime clause” in the contract?

Homer and Butch are immune to buckets of cobra venom?

Charlie Sweatpants: Wait, stop.

Mad Jon: Ahh, who am I kidding.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ll trade you fallacy for fallacy. First one to miss loses.

Mad Jon: This will be short, I wasn’t paying much attention

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, you’re already three in. You’ve got the lifetime clause, immunity to cobra venom, and the octuplets thing being a surprise.

My reply three is Maggie being the same age after nine months, why Manjula introduces the babies (with names!) to Apu, and the sheer boringness of the show. Does anyone really want to see infants sitting around?

Now it’s your turn. I’ve got like, four more.

Mad Jon: I don’t know what to tell you. That was a good one though.

The gate at the zoo was closed as they left, the Gorillas were somehow out of the cages as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well played, sir. How about Apu not complaining about the top of his car being sawed off until after they were up at make out point?

Mad Jon: Ha, that is true.

And funny when you say it, not when it happened so much.

How about the fact that Apu’s mom, who by the way forces the arranged marriage, doesn’t show up for the birth of 8 grandchildren.

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t have that one, but you’re right. That was a lost comedy opportunity.

How about Apu and Manjula being on display with the babies and being okay, but then having no clue that the nursery was actually a soundstage and that there were a dozen staff members ready to pounce?

Mad Jon: Excellent.

That does seem like it would be hard to spring on someone. What about the fact that Larry Kidkill knows where Homer lives, and that Apu and him would go there after stealing back the babies?

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty good. How’s about the way Butch Patrick just shows up in their bedroom to notarize Manjula’s signature?

Mad Jon: Ooohh, that was my next one.

Charlie Sweatpants: Got you!

Mad Jon: Yeah, I don’t have any more prepared. I may have to default to your plot hole awareness skills.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is mostly plot holes.

And while I kind of enjoy the Ikea scene at the beginning, it’s got too much Jerkass Homer.

Mad Jon: It was too slippery a slope to start that far down. That’s for sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it started weak and flatlined quickly. Dave, anything draw your ire?

Dave: Nothing that you guys haven’t already covered

Mad Jon: I don’t know what else to say either. I see a lot of minus signs on my scorecard, and again most of the pluses are one liners from Apu.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, that sucked, let’s move on.

10
Jul
12

Compare & Contrast: Buns in the Oven

I Married Marge10

“Barnacle Bill’s home pregnancy test?  Homer, shouldn’t we have gone with a better known brand?” – Homer Simpson
“But, Marge, this one came with a free corncob pipe.” – Homer Simpson
“Okay, let’s see, ‘Ahoy, maties, if the water turns blue, a baby for you.  If purple ye see, no baby thar be’.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, what color is it, blue or purple?” – Homer Simpson
“Pink.” – Marge Simpson
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson
“Hmm, ‘If ye test should fail, to a doctor set sail’.” – Marge Simpson

[Note: Crazy noises for “Eight Misbehavin” and “Take My Wife, Sleaze” will be along later this week.]

Babies and where they come from have long been staples of fiction generally and comedy specifically.  Between all the wrenching social changes that come with a kid, the biological absurdities and humiliations that come with making and birthing one, and all manner of other assorted goofiness (everything from buying children’s products to changing diapers), procreation is a rich source of material.  Like their real life counterparts, however, new fictional children must be handled with care. 

The biggest danger a “new baby” episode poses to a fictional universe, especially a television show, is the fact that it is a change in the fabric of the entire story that is both profound and permanent.  There is a huge gulf between the kind of plotlines you can do with a character who is actively caring for an infant and a character who is not, and adding a baby changes characters from one type to the other instantly.  Consider, if you will, the relative cases of Apu and Homer when each of them became a father for the first time. 

Superficially, there isn’t much beyond new fatherhood that’s similar.  Homer gets Marge pregnant accidentally and is woefully underprepared (legally, financially, socially) to be responsible for anyone.  Guys who work menial jobs at mini-golf places and share living accommodations with the likes of Barney Gumble are not what you’d call well prepped daddy material.  Apu, on the other hand, is married, reasonably prosperous, and deliberately knocked up his wife so they could start a long planned family together.  But well planned, relatively uneventful births don’t make for very compelling stories, so Apu gets the completely insane curveball of surprise octuplets. 

Surprise Babies

Ugh, from parody to reality in less than three seasons.

As a comedy or story premise, there’s nothing inherently wrong with big, multiple births.  There have been media circuses around unusually large multiple births for a long time, and if you’ve ever seen someone go through a multi-kid pregnancy, you know that while it isn’t fun, it could be funny if handled in the right way.  But Zombie Simpsons handles the octuplets so poorly that they’re introduced as a shocking cliffhanger to get people to stick around after the commercial. 

Not only does that not make any sense whatsoever, but that’s only the beginning of the comedy destroying zaniness.  After that, the episode piles one bizarre plot shocker on top of another.  First Apu and Manjula get robbed and abandoned by everyone who was supporting them, then they put their kids in a zoo, then the zoo makes them part of a crushingly boring circus act that is somehow popular and profitable, and finally they have to break their kids out of the zoo in a daring nighttime raid.  By the time all these capers wrap up, the audience has practically forgotten how this all got started in the first place and any genuine humor from such a situation has long since fled the scene. 

By contrast, when Homer finds out Marge is pregnant, they go through a much saner and more relatable story, which means that they can exploit all of the recognizable follies for comedy.  The humor is by turns cultural (the “So You’ve Ruined Your Life” pamphlet), crude (“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was trying to moon us”), silly (“This castle is impregnable”), social (“The tenth wedding’s on the house”), and everything in between, and it’s all based around an event (two twenty-somethings who didn’t use a condom) that has happened to countless people before. 

Even if we overlook the oddity of the octuplets, “Eight Misbehavin” does none of that.  It’s about a bafflingly stupid and pointlessly weird conspiracy run out of a zoo.  The octuplets themselves are never treated as anything more than props, starting with their hacktacular entrance in Dr. Hibbert’s pockets and ending with them sitting quietly in the audience at the same fucked up zoo show that they used to headline. 

Future Pointlessness

Even in the future the only thing they get to do is be wacky together.

All that would be bad enough, except that where The Simpsons cleverly set all three of its “new baby” episodes in the past, Zombie Simpsons dropped the octuplets into a bizarro, present day situation that it’s been stuck with ever since.  The octuplets show up from time to time on the show, but for the most part they exist as background filler (a similar thing happened to that baby Selma adopted).  And since the show is now locked into this new situation, Apu and Manjula have been relegated to one-note sideshow characters.  Some variation on “eight babies are a handful” is pretty much the only joke either of them has been allowed since. 

So not only did Zombie Simpsons do a “new baby” episode so needlessly exaggerated and poorly thought out that it doesn’t make any sense from scene-to-scene, but they permanently altered two of their own characters (one of whom had only been around for two seasons and was hardly in need of a reboot) for the worse by shackling them to an amorphous blob of kids that’s only really good for one kind of joke.  Apu as a character didn’t change, it’s just that now he’s a harried parent if the octuplets happen to be in a scene (he does more actual parenting in that brief scene with his nephew in “Homer the Heretic” than he does in this entire episode), and regular old Apu when they aren’t. 

Life and all its complexities are funny, and while you can exaggerate some of them, if you exaggerate everything you end up with something that’s so simplistic and weird that it’s actually boring.  Zombie Simpsons doesn’t seem to mind, but The Simpsons never would’ve stood for it. 




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