Posts Tagged ‘Homer’s Odyssey

15
May
17

Quote of the Day

“That’s it, Bart! Why can’t you be more like, uh . . .” – Mrs. Krabappel
“Us, Mrs. Krabappel?” – Sherri & Terri
“Yes, Sherri and Terri. They know how to behave.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Happy belated birthday, Russi Taylor!

12
May
16

John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man

MoldersBoy

“Can I pick the song?” – Bart Simpson
“No. The song will be John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Frinkiac.com, the lovable rascals who made creating Simpsons screen grabs far easier than I ever could, have now added .gif support. It’s just you and me now, lock of hair.

04
May
16

Quote of the Day

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“Hey, Bart, our dad says your dad is incompetent.” – Sherri
“What does incompetent mean?” – Bart Simpson
“It means he spends more time yakking and scarfing down donuts than doing his job.” – Terri
“Oh, okay, I thought you were putting him down.” – Bart Simpson

Happy birthday Russi Taylor!

21
Jan
15

Quote of the Day

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“There, there, Homer, you’ll find a job.  You’ve caused plenty of industrial accidents, and you’ve always bounced back.” – Marge Simpson

24
Jan
13

Animation Alley: Homer’s Odyssey

Make no mistake, there’s a lot of really weird and wonky animation in the first season. I used to find it really off-putting, but now I’ve learned to accept it, and it actually makes these shows all the more charming to me. Just as the show was trying to find its footing with the writing, the same could be said about the animation. There’s a lot of weird shit in this show, a few moments in particular I want to highlight.

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I love the execution of Nuclear Energy: Our Misunderstood Friend; the designs, the limited, jerky animation, the scratched up film, it’s fantastic. Also it’s the first and only time we’ve seen Smilin’ Joe Fission, though he may have showed up on a logo somewhere, we’ve never seen another filmstrip featuring him. Pity.

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Much focus is made on black Smithers, but here’s a pretty glaring animation gaffe. Wes Archer brought this up in the commentary and everyone laughed about it.

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Nice quick door slamming montage of Homer’s failed job interviews. I love the shitty drawing of this guy, with dot eyes like Akbar and Jeff in Life in Hell. I also like the implication that Homer went up to the drive-thru window to ask for a job.

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Another quality background. There were a lot of washed out gradient walls like this early on, they look pretty terrible. The exclamation point on the sign is great, though. Must Be 21!

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I love how when Homer signs Bart’s report card, he’s not even looking at it. Then when the kids walk away, his arms just falls to the ground and the pencil rolls out of it, his expression never changing and his vacant stare never diverting from the ceiling. By moving as little as possible, we see that he’s a truly broken man. Also, more great portraits, this time one for Marge, and another for her hair.

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There’s so many insane background characters in this show, especially toward the end at the power plant rally. I love the guy with the red superhero mask, and the really fat guy with the humungous smile. How come those guys never took off?

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One strange but lovable piece of animation that sticks with me is during Homer’s internal monologue of whether to take Burns’ deal, as he goes back and forth with being able to support the family and stick to his principles… then notices how big Burns’ desk is and his clean shirt. He’s at the verge of a meltdown when Burns urges him to make a decision, to which Homer calmly responds, “What the hey, I’ll take the job.” Fantastic.

22
Jan
13

Permanent Record: Sherri & Terri

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“We’re gonna make you sing, Bart Simpson.” – Sherri
“Yeah, Bart Simpson, we’re gonna make you sing.” – Terri

When “Homer’s  Odyssey” was first broadcast, and The Simpsons was considered just this side of Satanic cults by much of mainstream culture, one of the best things about it was the way it mocked success.  People who did well in Springfield didn’t always deserve it, and even the ones who did were often portrayed as insufferable jackasses.  The most glaring example of that is easily Flanders, who is a genuinely nice guy but who is also grotesquely inhuman in the way he is immune to the humdrum failures and humiliations of ordinary people.

Sherri and Terri, though much less prominent than Flanders, fill a similar role.  They are goody two shoes; teacher’s pets who are plenty willing to abuse their favored status among the adults to torment Bart Simpson.  They are proof that the kids who get good grades, do their homework on time, and never get detention can be just as mean and troublemaking as anyone else.

Just as bad, both they and their father, who’s one of Homer’s bosses at the nuclear plant, aren’t above using their favored status to shame and taunt people below them.  In short, it isn’t enough for their family to be better, they have to rub it in.  Society’s betters are just as bad as you are.

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Like Milk Duds, they’re poison on the inside.

This idea of universal mockery is one of the things that differentiates The Simpsons from regular comedy, then and now.  Just having Homer crash his cart and get fired in front of his son is funny.  But even in Season 1, that wasn’t enough.  Homer and Bart losing is much better when we not only see other people looking down on them for their failure, but also the way that the people looking down on them are selfish jerks too.

From the time they deliberately misinform Bart about US history to when they narc on Milhouse’s secret birthday party all the way up to trying to make Moe sing the million dollar birthday fries song twice, Sherri and Terri enjoy picking on people who aren’t as competent and put together as they are.  They have a mean streak, and they’re perfectly willing to exploit the fact that they’re twins to express it.

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The twins enjoy the suffering and humiliation of others.  Just like the rest of us.

Unlike Zombie Simpsons, which frequently has characters show up in a scene for no reason other than to spout some piece of hacktacular dialogue, The Simpsons made even very minor characters like Sherri and Terri into real people.  It understood that even characters who only get a few lines can be recognizable people, and that no one is too minor to have some funny flaws.

21
Jan
13

Quote of the Day

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“Any new tattoo’s Otto?” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, funny you should ask, man.  This morning I woke up with this one.” – Otto
“Cool.  I want one.” – Bart Simpson
“Not till you’re fourteen, my little friend.” – Otto




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