Posts Tagged ‘Lisa the Skeptic

23
Nov
19

Quote of the Day

“It’s a thorny legal issue, alright. I’ll need to refer to the case of Finders vs. Keepers.” – Lionel Hutz

24
Nov
18

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Um, you know, I can’t afford to pay you.” – Lisa Simpson
“I didn’t become a scientist for financial gain. Whatever little money you have will be just fine.” – Stephen Jay Gould

24
Nov
17

Quote of the Day

“I say it’s the Angel of Peace, you idiot!” – Carl
“I say it’s the Angel of Mercy, you jerk!” – Lenny

Happy (kinda) 20th Anniversary to “Lisa the Skeptic”! Original airdate, 23 November 1997.

10
Sep
17

Quote of the Day

“Oh, Marge, don’t let go, no matter what! If they want you in Heaven they gotta take me too.” – Homer Simpson

23
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

rewardandpunishment

“Attention, all honor students will be rewarded with a trip to an archaeological dig.” – Principal Skinner
“Yay!” – Honor Students
“Conversely, all detention students will be punished with a trip to an archaeological dig.” – Principal Skinner
“Oh, no.” – Detention Students

13
Jul
16

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Skeptic8

“Well, it appears science has faltered once again in the face of overwhelming religious evidence.” – Rev. Lovejoy
“But-” – Lisa Simpson
“Go home, science girl!” – Moe
“I am home.” – Lisa Simpson
“Good. Stay there.” – Moe

Happy birthday David S/X Cohen!

23
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Skeptic7

“Technocrats are learning a lesson in humility tonight, as angel supporters lay waste to Springfield’s scientific institutions.” – Kent Brockman

08
May
15

Reading Digest: The Show Will Go On, The DVDs Will Not Edition

Lisa the Skeptic6

“Come on, who wants to complain with me?” – Lisa Simpson

The obvious big news this week was the renewal.  For those of us who were paying attention, it wasn’t the least bit surprising.  For the overwhelming majority of people who have the good sense not to be paying attention, it was big news.  So the Simpsons signal-to-noise ratio went bonkers and, as is always the case when that happens, this is a pretty short Reading Digest.  We’ve only got one renewal link, and that was just because it has a marvelous headline.

In other not-news news, there will be no more Simpsons DVDs.  Once again, we have a lone link because there just isn’t much here.  When they did that cash grab Blu-Ray/DVD release of Season 20 (sans extras or commentaries) back in 2009/2010, I joked that they were probably never going to catch up because at the rate they were doing them, Season 20 on DVD wouldn’t be coming out until like 2018, and does anyone really think people are going to be buying DVDs in 2018?  Well, it turns out there are some people who thought that, and they are upset about this.  We have an outraged YouTube video from one of them, but I only made it about a fifth of the way through the fifteen minutes runtime.  I have long experience caring about things most people don’t care about, but there are limits.

But, hey, we’ve also got some fan art, more cross stitch, an excellent piece of usage from a financial analyst (of all people), and more.

Enjoy.

MR BURNS – Fan made drawing of Burns and Smithers in what I assume is one of Smithers’ favorite positions.  (NOTE: It’s not as dirty as I just made it sound.)

Etsy: Moe Szyslak Cross Stitch – The Moe cross stitch has been completed.

The Simpsons go to the boards in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – Backstory on the play coming to Toronto.

128th-Final, Round 8: Homie the Clown vs. Bart’s Girlfriend – Oof, that’s tough, though that is a great screen grab of Homer and Flanders from “Homie the Clown”.

Lisa’s Subsitute – This:

-I like Skinner explaining, in excruciating detail, how Lyme Disease works…to a second-grade class.

Meanwhile, Hoover’s standing there getting queasier and queasier.  The Simpsons: making malignant spirochetes funny.

Round 1, Battle 11 – (S.3 Ep.13) Radio Bart vs (S. 9 Ep. 22) Trash of the Titans – That’s “Radio Bart” by knockout in the first so hard that the sanctioning body should be ashamed of itself.

Round 1, Battle 13 (S. 9 Ep. 18) This Little Wiggy vs. (S. 5 Ep. 15) Deep Space Homer – Going against Season 9 again, for sure.

Round 1, Battle 14 – (S.4 Ep. 9) Mr Plow vs (S.4 Ep. 14) Brother From the Same Planet – But this one is too close to call.

The Simpsons First-Impression Matrix – Su-san from the country club would probably scoff at this.

‘The Simpsons’s Nancy Cartwright Made A Bartman Statue Out Of Clay – That Bart statue from last week was actually made by Cartwright.

Postmodernity in ‘The Simpsons’ – Always one of my favorite aspects of the show:

Metanarratives play a key role in the structure of ‘The Simpsons’. Authority and authoritative figures are ever-present in Springfield and are almost always cast in a negative light.

And people wonder why kids who were born after the show went south still love it.

Twenty Quotes from The Simpsons That Prove This Show is THE GREATEST – One from Zombie Simpsons, but other than that it’s a great list (and quite original, too, don’t often see some of these on quote lists).

No More “The Simpsons” DVD Sets – I have a hard time caring about this, but that is an inspired .gif choice.  In related DVD news, reader Dastardly Devious sent in this YouTube rant about the DVDs.  I stopped at the three minute mark when he said he wasn’t addressing people who are capable of admitting the show sucks now, but if you seriously care about Zombie Simpsons DVDs and teevee DVDs in general, I guess you might like it.

Deutsche Bank Bart Simpson ASX chart – Excellent financial/visual usage:

Morgan noted a chart he’d seen which attempted to show recent market tops on the S&P500 were spread 1897 days apart and showing we’re now at the end of the next point in that cycle. Which prompted this:

I usually put this sort of analysis in the same bucket as astrology and tarot card reading, but I had a technical look at our own market and was also alarmed with what I saw. Do you see what I see in there? A Patrick Star gave way to a half-Batman and then yielded to a full Bart Chart. Janet Yellen is right – there is nowhere to go but down from here.

bart-stock-chart

It’s even the Michael Keaton Batman!  Well done.

Bart’s Nightmare Review (A Doug Walker Tribute) – No, it was not a great game.

Fox Renews THE SIMPSONS, Water is Wet – Old news, but great headline.

Guessin’ Ages – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons dad bod… – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons awkward laughing… – Troy McClure catching himself laughing from “138th Episode Spectacular”.

Arctic Characters and Character Arcs – Excellent usage:

This is partially a legacy issue. The original crucible for the characters was in the form of short stories, almost like a TV anthology series, where each episode ended with the characters back in the position they were in at the start.

[…]

In the words of philosopher and influential third-wave feminist Lisa Simpson:

“Don’t worry, Bart. It seems like every week something odd happens to the Simpsons. My advice is to ride it out, make the occasional smart-alec quip, and by next week we’ll be back to where we started from, ready for another wacky adventure.”

It is the nit pick of nit picks, but Lisa does say “an occasional” not “the occasional”.  Still, that hardly matters.  Great quote and very apt.

JOYRICH SIMPSONS SWEATSHIRT POLKADOTS / BLACK – More high end Simpsons clothing.

Parleok Baut – And knockoff but kinda looks like high end Simpsons clothing.  No idea what language that is, though.

 

23
Nov
14

Quote of the Day

MunicipalCode

“My attorney, Lionel Hutz, calls your attention to municipal code 147(c), Protection of Antiquities and Fossils.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s right.” – Lionel Hutz

11
May
14

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Skeptic5

“Yeah, everyone’s heard of angels.  But who’s ever heard of a ‘neanderthal’?” – Chief Wiggum

12
Jun
13

I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Lisa the Skeptic4

“Why, why was I programmed to feel pain?” – Robot

As far as Zombie Simpsons commentaries go this one is typically dull, right up until they do something actually worth listening to near the end.  (Spoiler alert: Jean and Groening both hate “The Principal and the Pauper”.  Cool.)  Before that is the usual meandering conversation and basically ignoring the episode, which is a good thing because this episode is awful.  It makes no sense, is full of fake drama and tension, tries to change something and then ignores it, and relies on Homer getting hurt in pretty much every scene.  With the exception of the animation (which they justifiably compliment in places), this one would’ve fit in seamlessly with Season 24. 

Whoa, eleven people in this one: Jean, Allen Glazier, Matt Selman, Michael Price, Tom Gammill, Max Pross, Matt Warburton, Nancy Cartwright, Lauren MacMullan, TV critic Alan Sepinwall, and a very late arriving Groening.

0:30 – And we begin with everyone jokingly wondering why Sepinwall is here.

0:45 – This was just a regular pitch, but apparently people thought it was based off of a Twilight Zone episode.  This is what happens when people give Zombie Simpsons too much credit.

1:15 – Jean compliments MacMullan, who directed, on how good the episode looks.  She says “thank you”.  That’s it. 

2:00 – Jean asks Sepinwall how they’re doing on the commentary.  Sepinwall laughs and changes the subject to what’s actually going on in the episode.  Clearly he has not listened to many Zombie Simpsons commentaries.  Nobody wants to watch the episode.

2:30 – Jean asks MacMullan how much drawing the director actually has to do: some but not much.  They had a new artist on this one who had to do a lot of the crying. 

3:30 – Long discussion of how hard it is to get tears to look like real water.  Also, Snowball II just got run over. 

4:00 – Jean’s talking about how this was loosely based on his daughter, who had three cats die on her in quick succession.  He jokes, “Like any writer I didn’t consider what her feelings might be, I just said we should do this”.  It’s funny.

4:40 – Oh, fuck, Selman’s natural ass kissing reflex has kicked in and he’s buttering up Sepinwall. 

5:00 – Apparently Selman and Sepinwall went to college together.  There you go.

5:40 – Everyone’s cracking up as Bart crashes his bicycle. 

6:20 – After a brief silence, Jean asks about the models for the fighting robots.  Some of the guys on the show- were into fighting robots.

7:00 – Gammill, trying to fill a void, points out that MacMullan and a couple of the writers also went to college together.  Meanwhile, nothing is happening in the episode.

7:40 – While Homer sets himself on fire a couple of times, MacMullan describes how they tried to make some of the uglier characters uglier in a more traditional way.  This prompts Cartwright to do Nelson’s voice in protest.  As usual, these commentaries are at their best when people are just hanging out and having fun and not really paying attention to what’s going on.

8:30 – Jean makes a very half assed defense of the emotions on the show that I don’t think even he believes.  It peters out into total silence.  Kinda awkward.

9:00 – Now they’re laughing about all the horrible things that happen to Homer here, meanwhile, another cat just died.

10:00 – There’s robot fighting going on now, and Jean has decided to change the subject completely by asking Sepinwall about Modern Family.  His response is that some people take that show “weirdly sensitively”. 

11:30 – Still going with Sepinwall about which shows he likes to criticize, whether or not anyone pays attention, etc.

12:00 – Another cat just died, and the only real comment anyone has is to note that they originally had a shot of the cat (which leapt to its death) falling toward the camera, but that it was “too much”.

12:20 – After a brief silence, Jean decides to keep things going by complimenting Cartwright on her ability to do voices for ten-year-old boys.

13:30 – Cartwright still recounting how she often got auditions for boy voices.  Meanwhile, Homer is being shot at by a Ralph Wiggum robot.

14:20 – Groening just showed up.

14:45 – Selman pops up to say that the song they used during the robot montage sounds like a real song but was actually something they made up.  Everyone immediately corrects him as it is, in fact, a real song (and they had used it way back in Season 3).  I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: I have never met Matt Selman and I have nothing against the guy, but he really doesn’t come off well in these commentaries. 

15:45 – The great song debate finally ends, and Jean fills the void by complimenting MacMullan on the animation again.  He’s not wrong.  As bad as this episode is – and it is unwatchable – the animation is noticeably less ham-handed than today. 

17:00 – They had to cut more than usual with this episode. 

17:35 – Sepinwall asks about the Armin Tamzarian joke in this one.  (Lisa says that the new cat will be called Snowball II and that they’ll pretend none of this ever happened, after which, in a very Zombie Simpsons move, Skinner mysteriously walks by to note that’s a cheat and have Lisa call him “Principal Tamzarian”.)  Jean explains that he put the joke in, and that he wasn’t running the show when they did that most infamous of episodes, and that he “never got that Tamzarian thing”.  Since he’s ever the pro, Jean casually notes that it was a great year for the show even as he’s taking a dump on it.  (There’s an alternate universe where Jean is the world’s most effective PR spokesman and he’s even richer than he is here.) 

18:05 – Groening, in outrage that may or may not be mock, says he didn’t like it but was assured that it would be good. 

18:10 – Wow, this is way more interesting than this episode.  Jean recounts, “Then when I investigated afterwards, I said to Scully, did you like it?  He goes, no.  Did Matt Groening?  No.  Did George?  No.  Did Jim?  No.  It’s like, how did it go through?  Every box had to be checked no.” 

18:35 – And they’re still bagging on “The Principal and the Pauper”.  This is great.

19:30 – After laughing at the fact that Homer’s butt was on screen, we get back to complimenting the animation because there really isn’t much else to talk about here.

20:45 – With nothing else to discuss, Selman asks Sepinwall if he has any feuds with any show runners.  The answer is yes, Veena Sud, who runs The Killing, is/was pissed at him.  A reminder: this is theoretically a Simpsons commentary.

21:25 – And we end with Jean asking Sepinwall if he thought Tony Soprano was alive after the last episode.  Sepinwall says yes, Jean thinks no. 

10
Jun
13

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Skeptic3

“Principal Skinner, remember how I didn’t sue when I found that scorpion in my apple sauce?  Well, I’m calling in a favor.” – Lisa Simpson
“I knew this day would come.” – Principal Skinner

13
Jul
11

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Skeptic2

“I find the defendant not guilty.  As for science versus religion, I’m issuing a restraining order.  Religion must stay five hundred yards from science at all times.” – Judge Snyder

Happy birthday David S/X Cohen!

02
Jun
11

Quote of the Day

Industrial Air Conditioning

Image used under Creative Commons license from Wikimedia Commons.

“There’s that new megamall they’re building.  They say the air conditioner will be more powerful than a million hydrogen bombs.” – Marge Simpson

04
Aug
10

Crazy Noises: Lisa the Skeptic

Lisa the Skeptic1

“Miss Simpson, how can you maintain your skepticism in spite of the fact that this thing really, really looks like an angel?” – Kent Brockman
“I just think it’s a fantasy.  If you believe in angels, then why not unicorns or sea monsters or leprechauns?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, that’s a bunch of baloney, Lisa, everyone knows leprechauns are extinct!” – Kent Brockman

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September, so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “Barnabas”).

Today’s episode is 908 “Lisa the Skeptic”.  Yesterday was 907 “The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons”.

Mad Jon: Sorry

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s okay.

Dave: We were listening to Jeopardy think music during your sprinkler outing.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ironically enough, the question was “What is neighborhood association enforced lawn maintenance?”

Dave: How about that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we proceed with Lisa’s foray into marketing stunts?

Mad Jon: Yes

Dave: I know a thing or two about marketing stunts.

Charlie Sweatpants: I detest many parts of this episode, but for once my complaint is more with the specifics than the underlying story.

I like the idea that marketing sociopaths would exploit people’s beliefs for fun and profit, and I like even more the idea that those who’ve been exploited would forgive them instantly once they see all the wares for sale at low, low prices.

Mad Jon: Those are both funny premises.

  Even Rat Spray.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s the kind of borderline nihilism that did a lot to make the show great.

Dave: But…

Charlie Sweatpants: The problem with it is the execution, there’s a massive overreliance on string music of suspense, Marge and Lovejoy turn into complete assholes, and there was no reason for Stephen Gould to voice himself.

  Also, there’s a great deal of Jerkass Homer.

Mad Jon: There is quite a bit of that.

Dave: Gould’s appearance always confuses me.

  I’m not sure why he’s written as a borderline malicious character.

  Or if that was even the intent.

  Either way, I could do without him.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t mind that so much, I actually think most of his lines are pretty good, what bothers me is that he was playing himself when could’ve just been some bitter scientist stuck in a dead end job that he thinks is beneath him.

Mad Jon: Every time I see him all I can do is think about punctuated equilibrium, which brings terrible memories of Bio 415.

Dave: So is that all that I’ve been missing then?

  Gould’s supposed to be arrogant?

  Not just careless?

Charlie Sweatpants: There’s no reason for him to be himself.

  He’s just some random scientist guy.

Again, the contrast with “Lisa the Iconoclast” is huge. There, Donald Sutherland plays a great character who’s willing to lie rather than admit his life was a waste.

Here, Gould plays himself, why?

Mad Jon: He is definitely too obscure to parody himself.

Charlie Sweatpants: Gould’s character isn’t half bad, more could’ve been done with it, but it’s not terrible and he’s got some good lines. What bugs me is that they didn’t bother to come up with a character for him to play, they just mindlessly plugged him in as himself.

Mad Jon: It is most half-asserly.

Charlie Sweatpants: But what really throws me here is Marge and Lovejoy and the way they turn this into a rather cliche ridden science vs religion debate, and that Lisa gets caught up in it at the end.

Mad Jon: There is the obvious comparison to “Lisa the Vegetarian” to make here. But I kind of feel that in this one Lisa is a bit more hateful.

Charlie Sweatpants: The last five minutes or so are about Lisa doubting her skepticism, and she does so largely because for once Marge acts like the bad parent. And while Marge is many things, she is not a bad parent.

Mad Jon: How is Marge being a bad parent?

Charlie Sweatpants: When she tells Lisa she feels sorry for her if she can’t make a leap of faith.

  That whole conversation has always sat bad with me. Marge expresses no sympathy for her daughter. And that’s a very un-Marge thing to do.

Mad Jon: Sometimes parents teach children things in different ways.

  Especially 8 year olds with the brains of a 32 year old.

  But I do not disagree that that particular conversation is not a pleasant memory

Charlie Sweatpants: That Marge would give some credence to the angle, fine. I’ve got no problem with that. But she’s really harsh towards Lisa, and that’s just something that we’ve never seen before.

Mad Jon: Well, fair enough to your opinion, but I disagree.

What bothers me the most is that neither of us really care for the conversation, but I, for some reason, feel the need to argue with you about parenting skills in a cartoon.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s not just that scene though, because that sets the stage for the grindingly slow ending that’s about as heavy on suspense as the show has ever been.

Mad Jon: I really don’t like most of the last act. To your point it is quite slow and overly suspenseful. But for once I think they wrapped up well for a not so great episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: It shouldn’t have taken that long. All they really did was establish that Lisa’s the voice of reason, and then they beat that into the ground for three minutes.

Mad Jon: Very good analysis. But the last 30 seconds were much better than a lot of season nine endings.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed.

Mad Jon: That is always a problem in later episodes, and for once they pulled it out.

Dave: I get it mixed up with many other Season 9 endings.

  I’m not seeing what’s worth celebrating here.

Charlie Sweatpants: I like the complete capitulation of the mob that had previously been so pious.

Mad Jon: Well, there was a pottery barn.

Dave: Both okay reasons, but I’m not sold.

Mad Jon: There isn’t a whole lot to sell. It’s like selling less failure I would suppose.

Dave: It was a “warm fuzzies” ending. No new ground treaded.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m not super keen on it, because they left more on the table by making the resolution about Marge and Lisa instead of about the town’s gullibility.

Dave: Yeah, true.

That’s why I mean. The focus is more or less on Marge and Lisa. The town’s a prop.

Mad Jon: My only point was that for once they wrapped it up with the cards they had, as opposed to Rodney Dangerfield starting a party.

Charlie Sweatpants: Precisely. The idea that you can make a buck by taking advantage of people’s deepest beliefs should’ve been the focus of the episode.

  No more sudden party endings, please.

Dave: Ok, I see your point.

How’s that for capitulating?

Charlie Sweatpants: I think that makes me 2/2 tonight.

Dave: Indeed.

Charlie Sweatpants: And not to belabor the point, but you can tell they didn’t go for it because there’s no resolution with Lovejoy or Flanders.

Their reactions are the ones we want to see, and they just disappear as soon as the hoax is revealed.

Mad Jon: Yeah, that is a swing and a miss now that I think about it.

  I was too wrapped up with all the stores, and twenty percent off too!

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, as you said, it does include rat spray.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah.

Charlie Sweatpants: Much like how they held their fire on arranged marriage, this just feels like show becoming more timid and safer.

Remember, this is the show that once had Lovejoy get rid of Flanders interference with his collection plate by telling him that there was an oil stain in the parking lot that looked like St. Barnabas.

Mad Jon: Good times.

Charlie Sweatpants: Here, Lovejoy and Flanders act like jerks to an eight year old girl, and we don’t even get a chastised joke out of them at the end.

But let’s end on a high note, because there are some good things here.

Mad Jon: Good point, I don’t really have much to say to that. I do like the court room scene, Lisa gets put on trial for a misdemeanor, and the prosecutor talks about how long the trial will take.

Charlie Sweatpants: That it would take months to try such a thing is great.

Dave: I actually like that Homer calls Agnes “peg leg.”

Charlie Sweatpants: Lisa’s calling in her favor with Skinner, and the fact that the field trip is both a reward and a punishment are also good.

Mad Jon: I like when Wiggum tells Ralph to relax and it will come.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, that’s good.

Mad Jon: The favor and the reward/punishment is great.

  I can’t help but laugh whenever the shades fall on skinner as he stares out the window.

Charlie Sweatpants: It doesn’t make sense, but I also like Hibbert’s line about ownership of the angel, “and I’d like to suggest that I do.”

Mad Jon: It is unexpected, which is why its kind of funny.

Dave: Even better, it ends with that statement.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, a season or two later that would’ve dragged.

  I always enjoyed Hibbert’s greed.

Mad Jon: If you’re so sure what it ain’t, how about telling us what it am.

Dave: Also good.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else? I’m all raged out.

Mad Jon: That’s about it.

  Most of the funny parts were inconsequential.

Dave: Well said.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well spelled.

26
Aug
09

Stained Glass Simpsons

On the same day we’re talking about St. Eleutherius of Nicomedia, I come across the work of Joseph Cavalieri, an artist who makes stained glass windows with Simpsons characters.  The one on the left is from Cavalieri’s site, the one on the right is from Stuff Boston.

"We did it, we beat cancer." - Patty Bouvier

"We did it, we beat cancer." - Patty Bouvier

"This is so much like my dreams it's scary." - Bart Simpson

"This is so much like my dreams it's scary." - Bart Simpson

Much like that hyper-elaborate Homer drawing from a couple of weeks ago, I’m just incredibly impressed by the skill it must take to create something like this.  It’s the little touches that really make it, like Patty & Selma having those conical bras and all of the scrapped televisions beneath Bart & Lisa.

(found via)




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