Posts Tagged ‘Judge Me Tender

27
May
10

Crazy Noises: Judge Me Tender

Bart the Murderer7

“Your Honor, the prosecution moves that Principal Skinner’s testimony be stricken from the record.” – Prosecutor
“Denied!” – Judge Snyder

In our continuing mission to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re bringing back our “Crazy Noises” series and applying it to Season 21.  Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on  “DeGeneres”).

One of the few good jokes from Season 10’s relentlessly dull Super Bowl episode “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday”, was when they described the two teams and then the President.  In the first instance, they had Moe put a mug in front of his mouth when naming the Atlanta Falcons.  When he spoke, his voice was also recorded slightly differently.  They couldn’t properly animate his lines because they had no way of knowing who would be playing, so they made a joke out of it, using the obvious ploy to cover up his mouth.  They went on, using the same gag to joke about Bill Clinton’s impeachment, implying that he might not be the President much longer.  One of the few high points in an otherwise very bad episode.

At the end of this week’s American Idol promo, they had someone do a Jay Leno impersonation about the BP oil spill.  Only the voice didn’t match up at all, in fact, there was even a jarring change in the voice.  When it’s a wide shot, the dialog is “Have you seen this, the President says Iran has gotten a hold of the most dangerous weapon known to man.”  It then zooms in so the image on Moe’s television is the full shot, and a very different voice says, “The BP oil rig!  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, but I know how to make that leak disappear: put it on NBC!”  During the second shot the voice doesn’t begin to match the animation or the tone from the previous line.  It’s childishly clumsy.

When you’re screwing up things even Season 10 knew how to do, that’s not a good sign.

Charlie Sweatpants: Enough about BP, is it time to move onto the second biggest disaster in America this week?

Mad Jon: Sounds like a plan

Initial thoughts?

Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t decide if I want this episode to get more press, or if I want it stricken from the record.

Mad Jon: Can’t it have one because of the other?

Charlie Sweatpants: I was a little less upset by the Kesha thing a few weeks ago than you guys were, but this was too much.

Dave: It was pretty whorish.

Mad Jon: That was Simon Cowell’s second guest appearance.

Charlie Sweatpants: I saw that, good that they only work with the most non-flash in the pan people, isn’t it?

Mad Jon: Very classy.

Dave: We should expect nothing less.

Charlie Sweatpants: But he wasn’t even the worst part, the other judges were.

Mad Jon: I didn’t even know Ellen was a judge on American Idol.

Charlie Sweatpants: You learned it, you can’t unlearn it.

Dave: That tacitly implies that you’ve watched American Idol before, Jon.

Mad Jon: You can’t watch FOX without seeing commercials for it. Also I think I guess I thought I would have heard that Ellen replaced whoever was there before her. That seems like it would be a big pop culture deal.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, let’s not get into a pissing contest over who is purer when it comes to ignoring American Idol.

Mad Jon: Sorry Dave.

Dave: Oh fine. I forgive you, Jon.

Charlie Sweatpants: The point here is that they have about six judges all of whom were basically given their own "talking into the camera" moment for ten or fifteen seconds.

It went beyond lazy, and honestly, could you even tell if the actual Zombie Simpsons writers wrote it?

Mad Jon: No, I assumed they did because I considered poking out my own eyes, but I don’t really have any proof.

Dave: It may as well have been an effort from Fox’s marketing dept.

Charlie Sweatpants: You mean, this show isn’t part of FOX’s marketing department?

Dave: I guess you’re right, I was giving it too much credit.

Charlie Sweatpants: But let’s not get distracted. While the American Idol part was perhaps the most bought and sold thing this show has ever done, and I’m including commercials for Butterfinger, Coke, Toyota, and every other fucking thing, the rest of the episode also sucked.

Case in point: the monkey diaper thing.

Mad Jon: Pretty bad.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not a completely horrid idea, but then it went on for twenty seconds and ended with a man eating a diaper for no reason.

Mad Jon: Drederick Tatum none the less

Charlie Sweatpants: The Flanders evolution "joke" was in a similar vein.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I hated that less, but It wasn’t funny. Even though Flanders and Lisa were actually themselves – still not funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: But that was just a taste of Lisa’s moments of showing up for no reason in this episode.

Dave: Like Ralph showing up to swear?

Mad Jon: Oh sure. But the other show up was to help support Santa’s Little Helper in the B.5 plot.

Charlie Sweatpants: Talk about desperate time ploys, I guess even they thought DeGeneres’ dance went on too long.

Mad Jon: I had the feeling they just plum forgot to finish what they started.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was a lot of that going on.

Mad Jon: But perhaps the plot writing computer just went haywire and no one bothered to stop it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Probably wouldn’t be the first time.

Mad Jon: Or the last.

Charlie Sweatpants: Sadly, no.

But those weren’t the only ones, we had another pointless montage, Moe’s painfully slow walk across the entire aisle as dumber and dumber things get put into seats, and that scene where Homer kept sneaking up on Marge for no reason.

That Moe sitting down thing was really bad, there was more humor in the bus scenes from Forrest Gump.

Mad Jon: Ugh. And I think the XFL joke may have been, I don’t know, a few YEARS to late?

Charlie Sweatpants: Fuck, I’d blocked out that sports bar.

Dave: Me too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Take that Buffalo Wild Wings/XFL/Swanson’s.

Mad Jon: I spent many of my formative years watching Homer sitting on the couch and drinking beer. Perhaps he forgot how to do that, which would explain the need for the Marge wanting space bit.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought of that too.

Mad Jon: I’m not surprised you did.

Charlie Sweatpants: Why was Homer suddenly interested in harassing Marge like it was his job?

And what’s with the labels on the eggs?

Mad Jon: The label maker from season three must have had it’s contract option picked up.

Charlie Sweatpants: Excessive labeling (Radio Bart), and individual labeling (Summer of 4 Ft 2) have both been done before and done better.

Mad Jon: Speaking of throwbacks

Charlie Sweatpants: I see we were on the same page there.

Mad Jon: Did anyone notice the music right before the normal end credit music?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, was it the German polka for a reason?

Did I miss something?

Mad Jon: It was the music from the beer garden when Burn’s sold the plant to the Germans.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, but why?

Dave: Empty fanservice!

Like the aye-carumba

Dr. Nick

etc.

Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of out of character, Dr. Nick.

I really thought he was going to say "Spaghetti-Os" at the end.

Mad Jon: Is that supposed to be a subliminal deal to try and make me like Zombie Simpsons? You know, remind me of good times? Or have I succumbed to my rage and hatred so much that I am looking for any reason to pin a conspiracy on the Zombie writers…

Charlie Sweatpants: Conspiracy isn’t the right word. Conspiracies are secret. They’re pretty open about the fact that they’ve been mooching off built up good will for more than a decade.

Mad Jon: This seems a bit more blatant than usual…

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh, it’s no worse than that time the Plow King showed up.

Dave: It was their last opportunity for a few months. Go big or go broke

Charlie Sweatpants:  But in this case they went big and broke.

Mad Jon: Indeed.

It seems Moe has gotten a lot of play as of late.

Talk about the bottom of the barrel.

Charlie Sweatpants: He’s easy to write for.

Mad Jon: He didn’t even cry this time.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, but he did get all gushy over that song.

That was pretty bad.

Mad Jon: Oh yea, when Simon Cowell sabotaged his judging career in less then 12 seconds.

Charlie Sweatpants: I mean, when the bar is set at "sexually harass your waitress to get guilted into doing right by your friend", everything’s going to fall short. But still, he’s been awful for years and this was right along those lines.

I will admit to being mildly amused by all the fake reality show titles, but that was pretty low hanging fruit.

Mad Jon: It was very Family Guy.

Not to bring them into this.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fast Animals, Slow Children, and all that.

You’re right, though.

Mad Jon: It would have been edgy 8 or 9 years ago, a series of reality show titles that at the time would have been outrageous, but are now probably on either FX or HGTV…

But now….

Charlie Sweatpants: Another good point.

Mad Jon: Still, if you have to not hate at least one part of the episode, that would probably be the joke not to hate.

Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of whiffing on topicality, there was that Jay Leno thing at the end.

Mad Jon: I didn’t understand that at all.

Dave: It was completely tacked on.

Charlie Sweatpants: What Dave said.

Mad Jon: Was it because of all the recent late night mix ups or something?

I don’t really watch those types of shows either.

Charlie Sweatpants: They mentioned the BP spill, but the voice changed completely and they didn’t even bother to try syncing up the animation and the speech.

Mad Jon: If I’m awake at eleven I am either seriously drinking or playing Xbox.

Charlie Sweatpants: Or both.

Mad Jon: Usually both.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, anything else?

I’m quite ready to be done with this piece of shit season.

Mad Jon: No, but I’m probably just looking for an excuse to stop talking about new Zombie Simpsons for a few months

Charlie Sweatpants: Amen to that.

25
May
10

Synergy Can’t Go Along With This

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2c

“He crossed that line between everyday villainy, and cartoonish super-villainy.” – Waylon Smithers

Up until this week, IGN had been doing a bang up job of sucking up to its paymaster.  But the reeking desperation and overwhelming obviousness of making the season finale an American Idol commercial was too much, even for them.  FOX let IGN down, man, now they don’t believe in nothin’ no more.  IGN’s going to law school!

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

As a conclusion to one of the best worst seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons in the last few years, the series delivered another clunker. There was little to get excited about in "Judge Me Tender," an episode whose main storyline product placement focused on Moe and fellow Fox series American Idol. Had this been a half-hour stuck in the middle of the season, I it might not have been so disappointed passed relatively unnoticed, but choosing to end the year with it, especially after last week’s great Sideshow Bob episode, one can’t help but feel robbed that this embarrassment will be long remembered.

Besides, Lost was on.  [Ed note: No it wasn’t.  Lost didn’t start until 9:00pm]  The Simpsons didn’t hide the fact they were airing opposite an event night on ABC, specifically going up against the Lost retrospective. Bart’s chalkboard tried to spoil the whole thing for you: "End of Lost: It was all the dog’s dream. Watch us." But the episode they were trying to win you over with was less than compelling. If there were any bright spots, there weren’t, but if there were, it was would have been the first act. The Springfield Pet Fair offered up a number of great visual mildly clever gags and one-off bits. Drederick Tatum shopping for monkey diapers that wouldn’t upset his tiger’s stomach if the tiger ate the monkey was hilarious not one of them, instead dragging on much too long. "It’s a great time to be a tiger." Moe trying to find a seat at the Ugly Dog Contest was also a highlight took too long and wasn’t that funny to begin with.

The contest turned out to be the catalyst hackneyed set up for the remainder of the episode. Krusty’s unfunny commentary was outdone by no worse than Moe’s heckling, and but the “plot” demanded otherwise, and so Moe quickly became an in-demand local judge. This all worked up to this point, took quite some time and led to and I enjoyed the montage of different contests that Moe was asked to judge. But the moment Once Moe was approached by a Hollywood agent and offered a stint as guest judge on American Idol, the episode lost me went from run of the mill Zombie Simpsons crappiness to turbo-charged, unfunny network shill. The Simpsons are used to be great at taking swipes at Hollywood and parent company Fox, but the majority of bits fell very flat in "Judge Me Tender." The series has made (better) tepid jokes about AI in seasons past and very little new was offered here, except for the actual voices of Simon, Ellen, Kara, Randy and Ryan. But even these voice performances were wooden and unfunny and served to highlight just how bankrupt this show has become. Even Ellen disappointed, and she’s done the cartoon voice thing quiet well in the past, though that was with actual writing. Guess she’s better at playing a fish than herself.

The episode was padded out with Homer being forced to spend more time at home because of Moe’s Tavern being temporarily closed. Marge becoming annoyed by Homer’s presence was wholly expected and not given many any fun twists. Homer screwed up the kitchen? Oh, my! Homer took apart the washer unsuccessfully? Who knew?! It was predictable and weak. Even the The ending to the American Idol storyline was a bit transparently telegraphed. Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox, has been the butt of countless jokes on The Simpsons, but nothing great came of his guest appearance on this episode. It was just too safe. In fact, the whole thing kind felt like was a network ordered crossover to help promote the ailing AI. Whatever the case, Even for the hollowed out husk that is Zombie Simpsons, this was a terrible way to end an otherwise fantastic another terrible season.

24
May
10

Desperate Ratings Ploy Fails Miserably

Chalkboard - Judge Me Tender

“Well, your honor, we’ve got plenty of hearsay and conjecture.  Those are kinds of evidence.” – Lionel Hutz

I’ve still never seen the 24 episode of Zombie Simpsons, but it couldn’t have been any more whorish than last night’s extended American Idol promo.  Why anyone would want to watch Simon Cowell pretend to make fun of himself for ten minutes is beyond me, but that was nothing compared to the scene with the rest of the Idol judges.  It would be difficult to imagine a more formulaic, by-the-numbers, and downright lifeless segment.  They had the cast of another television show on, and had them act like themselves.  That would be bad enough by itself but, on top of that, they didn’t do anything but serial monologues, one after another.  They’ve got plenty of celebrity cameos and recycled ideas.  Those are kinds of entertainment, right?

Anyway, the numbers are in and, oh yeah, they’re bad.  Last night’s crossover reminded a mere 5.74 million people that American Idol isn’t the only show that’s worn out its welcome.  That’s the lowest number for a season finale ever, the eighth lowest of all time, and another humiliation for the perpetually humiliated Zombie Simpsons.  If you can’t even get a ratings bump by whoring yourself completely for network cross promotion, how can you get one? 

All told, Season 21 averaged a mere 7.13 million viewers per episode.  That does represent an infinitesimal improvement over Season 20’s 7.12 million viewer average.  But that tiny victory was completely due to the 20th anniversary number from the night of Spurlock’s special.  Without that, the average for Season 21 drops to a pitiful 6.79 million.  Of the ten least watched episodes ever, seven of them came this year, and more than half of Season 21 is in the bottom twenty all time. 

Of course, the show is probably still profitable, even without the merchandising money.  (With the merchandising money it is exceedingly profitable.)  But that doesn’t change the fact that fewer and fewer people every year bother with Zombie Simpsons.  Whether or not FOX thinks it’s damaging the brand by continuing a show few people watch, and even fewer actually like, is up to them.  But the downward trend is irrefutable, and with no big anniversary to help them, Season 22 is certain to become the least watched season ever.  Unless, of course, there’s a Season 23. 

23
May
10

Sunday Preview: “Judge Me Tender”

Synergy, synergy, synergy! At long last, we’re at the end of Season 21 with “Judge Me Tender,” which for all intents and purposes seems to be a tacky commercial celebrating the Fox Network.  My memory’s a bit hazy – I seem to recall Zombie Simpsons spoofing – by which I mean not ridiculing and using wholesale – an “American Idol”-like concept before, but I can’t be bothered to look it up.  Anyway, the show’s saved its big guns for the finale with guest stars aplenty, including Rupert Murdoch.  Here’s Simpsons Channel with the description:

Moe discovers a talent for judging contests and is invited to appear on alongside Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, and Simon Cowell. Ryan Seacrest will also be on hand as the host.

Yeah, whatever. I’d like to remind our readers that this is apparently the same show whose previous crossover antics with “The Critic” in Season 6’s “A Star Is Burns” so reviled creator Matt Groening that he demanded his name be pulled from the opening credits. Fifteen seasons later, to hell with principals and integrity, there’s money to be made!  Folks, if ever there was any doubt, it’s clear now that the apple has been flung far from the tree, squished, and thrown into the compost heap.




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