Posts Tagged ‘Last Tap Dance in Springfield

07
May
17

Quote of the Day

“I shall dance . . . with her!” – Eduardo
“Que malo, once again I must sugar my own churo.” – Mexican Milhouse

08
May
16

Quote of the Day

Last Tap Dance in Springfield5

“Teacher, my shoes are making noise.” – Ralph Wiggum
“You must be Ralph.” – Lil’ Vicki
“My Daddy shoots people.” – Ralph Wiggum

08
May
15

Quote of the Day

Last Tap Dance in Springfield4

“You are now carrying my child.” – Eduardo
“But how?” – Lisa Bella
“It is the mystery of the dance.” – Eduardo

17
Nov
14

Behind Us Forever: Blazed and Confused

Last Tap Dance in Springfield3

“Camp is gonna be great!  Seven days without parents, homework or ear medicine!” – Milhouse van Houten 

The best thing to say about this episode is that at least the designers and animators had some fun (including David Silverman, who even got a line!).  Other than that, this one was a cheerless, contradictory mess.  There’s a new teacher, who’s some kind of psychotic, rule crazy nutjob, but who nevertheless is a regular at “Blazing Guy”, a Burning Man parody so uncreative that they actually tried to make fun of themselves for it.  Nothing we see of this guy would indicate that he would want to be so much as near “Blazing Guy”, but he’s in line for the great honor of setting the big statue on fire.  Was Zombie Simpsons making a point about not assuming what type of people might attend Burning Man?  Of course not.  In their world, him being an uptight prick in the first half of the episode has nothing to do with the second anyway.

– Decent (and short) couch gag for once.

– This show has deteriorated to the point that Chalmers yelling is now considered a go to gag.

– This teacher swapping scene isn’t a terrible idea, but dear sweet Jebus is the execution dumb.  Chalmers yelling and being afraid of this teacher doesn’t make a lick of sense, precludes them from making actual jokes, and makes this guy’s introduction serious instead of, you know, comedic.

– Oh, look, Willem Dafoe is back.  Also, he just cut his face for no reason.  Hi-larious.

– Bart has constructed a prank in the closet with a remote controlled car and a skeleton.  Enjoy it, because this episode moves so slowly they’re going to show it to us twice.

– Now Dafoe is hassling Nelson, who is helpfully expositing everything.

– He just gave Bart a haircut, so naturally the next one minute of screen time (at the Simpson dinner table) will be a rehash of that.

– Marge says that Bart should’ve gotten a balloon with his haircut.  Bart then has a balloon.  Hacktacular!

– And here’s the big swerve.  Marge mentions that there’s a camping trip.  She also asked Homer to book a reservation.  This makes so little sense that the show has Marge weep and exposit it.

– Now the teacher just punched through the blackboard.  Don’t ask.

– Then Milhouse stuck his nose through the hole.  Please continue not asking.

– Bart just got electrocuted with lots of sad music playing.  It’s weird.

– Milhouse just plugged New Zealand’s film industry for some reason.

– Bart helpfully tells us that he set up a camera in the teacher’s lounge.  That leads Lassen (which is the name they gave this guy) to helpfully exposit that he wants to talk to Miss Hoover on-line.  Bart then exposits that he’s created a fake profile for Miss Hoover, which means they can now see Lassen’s profile.  Everybody got all that?

– Meanwhile, Homer is on the phone begging for a campsite reservation.  Then Jason from the Friday the 13th movies shows up, murders the park ranger Homer’s talking to, and listens while Homer describes his house and his “pretty wife”.  It’s also weird.

– Bart and Milhouse are now sitting outside.  After Nelson and Lassen show up real quick for no reason, Milhouse helpfully pushes the plot forward by telling us that photos of Lassen were taken at “Blazing Guy”.  He then asks what that is before saying “Oh, that’s convenient” as he clicks on a video that explains it.

– The neo-hippie in the video explains that “this year’s” guy who ignites the statue is Lassen.  While he’s doing this, the statue, already on fire, burns in the background.  Shit like this is why I call the writing lazy.  There’s no need for that.  It isn’t a “cheat”; it doesn’t move the story forward; it isn’t a joke.  It’s just sloppy.  Either nobody noticed or nobody cared, and neither speaks well for the quality of the show.

– Bart then exposits that if they go there and film him, he’ll get revenge.  This also makes no sense, and Lassen’s profile already has such pictures, but whatever.

– Marge and Lisa are packing for the camping trip that for some reason she still assumes is going to happen.  Bart and Homer then show up to stage whisper to each other about going to “Blazing Guy” instead.  Marge and Lisa are still in the room and might’ve noticed this, but Zombie Simpsons doesn’t care about that.

– In the car, Marge reminds everyone that she doesn’t know where they’re going.

– For no reason and with no consequences, the family tent just blows away.  Because this show has the attention span of an inch worm, we knew it was going to happen because a random guy popped up to tell us that it would first.

– And Marge just got high on tea offered to her by a stranger.

– And now there’s a new tent.

– Ugh, they just panned over a bunch of “Blazing Guy” musicians while Lisa narrated who they are.

– Here’s another example of how shallow and pointless all of this is.  When Lisa first sees where they are, she happily declares it, “A world of anarchic free expression!”.  A few scenes later, we see her playing her sax in a drum circle, where she is quickly joined by more musicians who it seems like might be stepping on her toes.  (This is also David Silverman’s cameo.)  But instead of adding some depth to “Blazing Guy” by saying that maybe all the anarchy can get annoying, or that Lisa actually loves it, or anything else, they just exit Silverman stage right and move on.  The sum total of the Zombie Simpsons take on “Blazing Guy” is that people dress and act weird.

– Remember the plot?  The episode just had Bart and Milhouse spying on Lassen, including Bart helpfully reminding us of what they were doing.

– Marge being stoned gives them their excuse to eat some clock with a trippy montage.  Not before Homer gets hurt in the crotch and Bart reminds us again of why they’re there.

– Oh for fuck’s sake.  Bart and Milhouse are wandering around and Bart finds some “fire retardant”.  He tells us what the cans are, even though it’s stenciled on the side of each one.  This is this episode’s “opens a box of flesh eating ants”.  Bart then explains how it will work.

– Unnoticed by anyone, Bart has now sprayed the giant statue with “fire retardant”.

– Oof, Lassen is now using David Silverman’s tuba to shoot fire at Bart and chase him around.  And then Homer fires himself out of a catapult to collapse the statue.

– Yet more evidence that Zombie Simpsons cannot sustain a thought for more than a few seconds, Marge is high again, and even asks when the tea will get out of her system.  Not two minutes ago we saw her sober and talking with Homer.  But, hey, they wanted to go back to trippy montage, so why not?

– We get one final scene where Chalmers and Skinner fire Lassen.  It too is exposited:

Chalmers: So, where do you go from here?
Lassen: A place where my talents will be appreciated.

Turns out he’s a prison guard now.  And Sideshow Bob is there for a very brief cameo.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they’re pretty much the same as last week’s.  Yesterday, just 6.64 million people wished they had whatever drugs Marge was on to get them through that snoozefest.  That’s in line with what we’ve come to expect from episodes with football lead ins.  Next week, the late national game is on CBS, so it’ll doubtlessly be much lower.

11
Nov
13

Behind Us Forever: YOLO (<- Yes, They Actually Called It That.)

Chalkboard - YOLO

“There is just one dance that will beat them, the Tango de la Muerte.” – Eduardo
“Only one man was crazy enough to dance that dance, and he is dead!” – Lisabella
“My twin brother, Freduardo!  But where he died, I shall live . . . in his apartment.” – Eduardo

Woof, this episode is awful.  The A-plot consists of little more than a series of montages with “Eduardo”, Homer’s flat, characterless Spanish guardian angel.  The B-plot involves Lisa creating an honor code which everyone except Bart follows for some reason, then she tears out some of her hair for some other reason.  It ends when Homer, in a magic wingsuit, lands on Bart.  Homer is injured, Bart appears to be okay.  It’s weird.    

– The couch gag is kinda clever and timely (for once), but it shows how one dimensional their thinking is that they have to have Homer crash through the ceiling for no real reason.

– Is Milhouse supposed to be hitting puberty?  Hayden has a really hard time doing the voice now.

– Ditto Kavner and Marge.

– They opened the exposition sluice gate early this week: "I’m so glad you’re happy with your life just the way it is.  You’ve had the same job, same car, same house for twenty years, and that’s all you’ll ever have.  A cycle you’ll never ever ever ever ever change, and you’re okay with it.  Like I say, night after night after night, nighty-night."  Everybody got that?

– Nice touch on playing the Mr. Sparkle song for Skinner’s Japanese website.

– What’s with the hidden camera in Skinner’s bedroom?

– Montage!

– Oh good, we’re getting manic depressive Jerkass Homer this week.

– Aww, Marcia Wallace.

– I get that having Chalmers scold Lisa for not solving their cheating problem quicker is a nod to how utterly disconnected from reality this show has become, but it doesn’t change the fact that school assemblies used to be both less insane and funnier.

– Did they intend to give this guy the same name as the one from the Tango de la Muerte in Season 11, or was it just coincidence?  And where’s Freduardo when you need him?

– If you’re going to bring back a Llewellyn Sinclair type with Lovitz as the voice, you could at least give us a scene of him directing a play.

– Chalmers, speaking for the audience, "Can’t you say anything in a normal way?"

– Uh, why is Flanders hanging around outside the Simpson house?

– They’re even bigger on weird asides this week than usual.  I struggle to even comprehend the thinking behind Willie doing the shifty eyes thing.

– You know, there’s nothing terrible about "Lisa designs an honor code" in theory.  But the execution here is nonsensical to the point that even if the jokes were anything more than sitcom-y punchlines they still wouldn’t land.  They have Lisa discover Bart cheating by mistaking his backpack for hers (whatever x1), only noticing after she’s at school (whatever x2) and then conveniently finding all of his tests in a row (whatever x3) before expositing the obvious fact that honor codes would be easy for someone like Bart to exploit (whatever x4).

– I should’ve known there’d be a wingsuit montage.

– And we conclude the pointless cheating plot by having the A-plot literally crash land into it.  Jebus these episodes are sloppily put together.

– So, Eduardo was staying with them?

Anyway, the ratings are in and they are holy shit bad.  Last night just 4.27 million people wasted a half hour from the only life they get.  That’s good for sixth lowest all time, and the demographic numbers are going heavily south as well:

On FOX, The Simpsons notched a  1.9 adults 18-49 rating, down 21 percent from last week’s  2.4.

And last week wasn’t exactly something to crow about.

25
Aug
13

Quote of the Day

Last Tap Dance in Springfield2

“Come on, Bart, while your Dad gets his glasses we’ll go shop for your trip.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, I hate shopping.  Just get me a deck of cards and I’ll win whatever I need from the other kids.” – Bart Simpson

13
Sep
12

Crazy Noises: Last Tap Dance In Springfield

Last Tap Dance in Springfield1

“Okay, everyone, we need big smiles out there, so line up for dimpling.  Now, this may hurt a lot . . . what am I saying, ‘may’?” – Little Vicki

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 (especially on “Revolucion”).

[Note: Dave couldn’t make it this week.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Onto more pleasant matters, it’s Little Vicki.

Mad Jon: Yay!

I most assuredly hate this one much much less.

Charlie Sweatpants: I as well. And I’m even willing to go so far as to say that, on balance, I think this one comes out ahead. Not by much, but I do like watching this one from time to time.

Mad Jon: It has some good parts. I especially like Little Vicki, and the Tango de la Muerte movie.

Charlie Sweatpants: Tango de la Muerte is mostly great, though it could’ve moved a bit swifter. Minor complaint though.

Mad Jon: Probably, but not at the expense of the dance partner selection and the "You are now carrying my child" bit.

Charlie Sweatpants: But how?

Mad Jon: I dunno, the constant interjection of the obvious by Lisa I suppose.

Charlie Sweatpants: Aw, come on, man! You’re supposed to say "It is the mystery of the dance."

Mad Jon: That would have been much better.

  Much better.

I was getting ready to explain that I can’t possibly be expected to defend any of my claims while still coming down from the last discussion.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, the Florida episode isn’t something you can just shake off.

Mad Jon: The sign in front of the Tango competition was good too. "Tonight tango, Tomorrow: Revolucion!"

Charlie Sweatpants: There is a lot to like here, especially Vicki. She’s just wonderfully nuts.

Mad Jon: Couldn’t have been written much better. Now as a homework assignment, go back in the last few years and see if I’ve ever said that before.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not gonna be doing that.

Mad Jon: Especially the tapping out codes until my shoes filled with blood, or the bit about communism.

  Both very good.

Charlie Sweatpants: Indeed. I like "Now, this may hurt a lot".

  So cheerful, so insane.

Mad Jon: Rolling out the welcome mat for the Reds…. There is a lot she does for this one.

  I would have KILLED for Tappa Tappa Tappa.

Charlie Sweatpants: I even don’t hate the B-plot here. It’s one of the last times I thought the show did Loony Tunes style comedy well, with Wiggum the primary star.

Mad Jon: Also pretty good.

  Not a lot of insanity to get them to the mall, not like they would do nowadays.

  A little bit of child endangerment? Sure. A few giant leaps of faith? I can see that. But all in all, a workable setup

Charlie Sweatpants: The mountain lion chase could’ve been dropped, and it didn’t make sense how Bart and Milhouse kept getting surprised by the store closing and them getting found out.

But Wiggum’s got enough good lines here that, again, on the whole I think it comes out ahead.

Mad Jon: Nah, that seems like something even a 10 year old would have planned a bit better. But I can live with it.

  Wiggum does have some good ones too.

Charlie Sweatpants: The worst part of the episode is how long the self-tapping shoes scene takes at the end, but, like the mountain lion, there’s enough good stuff going on around it that I don’t mind.

Mad Jon: I think, minus the whole crusty eye Homer thing that goes away, the only continuity issue that really struck me was the scene where they recital is beginning, then Lisa leaves to visit Frink, and then they are back at the recital.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s a little herky-jerky, to be sure.

But the recital itself is mostly great. "Lean, muscular children of Mars", and Little Vicki generally being lots of fun.

Mad Jon: Would have fit in many seasons ago.

  And again, Vicky was just, just great.

Mad Jon: She did once destroy Buddy Ebsen’s credit rating.

Charlie Sweatpants: She did. The episode does have a Season 9 feel to it.

Mad Jon: I can see Season 9.

Charlie Sweatpants: Though I think my favorite is "Little advice: don’t live through your child." Coming from a Shirley Temple stand-in, that’s just wonderfully brutal.

Mad Jon: And surprisingly pre-Tiger Mom epidemic.

Charlie Sweatpants: Also true.

Mad Jon: At least I assume. I wasn’t really tuned into the world in the early aughts.

Charlie Sweatpants: Again, this one has problems. The whole Homer and Marge pressuring her to be more girly thing gets raised and never explored, and this is when Frink is crossing the line from funny to annoying plot device, and there are a lot of things that don’t quite follow from one to the other, but there are some original and memorable Simpsons stuff here. Like Vicki trying to encourage Lisa by telling her she needs to save Grampa’s farm.

And that guy saying, "As your wise, but alcoholic dance instructor. . ."

Mad Jon: Agreed. I am generally happy with what’s happening, especially for the season we’re in. But there are still plenty of zombie issues, one we have yet to cite being that the episode ends with homer being needlessly electrocuted.

Charlie Sweatpants: It does, but I can’t hate this one. It’s one of the last episodes I ever watch regularly.

Mad Jon: Yeah, you’re probably right about that. There isn’t really anything coming down the pipe, in like, forever from here.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not much, no.

Mad Jon: Funny how these chats don’t take nearly as long when I don’t want to kill myself. You’d think after a few years it would be the other way around.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the first half was pretty bad. Maybe you just recover faster now?

Mad Jon: That’s reasonable, I guess.




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