Posts Tagged ‘Lisa’s Wedding

06
Oct
17

Behind Us Forever: The Serfsons

“I’ll go to the first aid tent and tell them to plug in ye olde stomach pump.” – Lisa Simpson

NOTE: Sorry this took all week to post. I was traveling.

I should start out by saying that I appreciate that they at least tried to get creative here. “The Serfsons” is basically an episode length Halloween segment that gets the tiresome antics of Zombie Simpsons out of Springfield without the family having to win another contest or something. The good news is that you can tell they actually put some effort into this one; there are a couple of clever ideas and while most of the sign gags are meh, there are a few funny ones.

The bad news is that this is still Zombie Simpsons. An awful lot of the dialog is unnecessary expositions and joke explanations, characters randomly show up and vanish when needed, and the couple of good non-sign jokes get run into the ground. And, of course, the overall story is a meandering mess that resolves itself so poorly that it actually retcons its own ending twenty seconds after it happens.

If you haven’t seen it, the basic idea is that all the denizens of Springfield are in a fantasy realm that’s sort of Lord of the Rings, sort of Game of Thrones, sort of Generic Fantasy IP Project #644. Jacqueline is slowly dying and Homer needs gold to buy an amulet to cure her. Lisa, it turns out, has magic powers and can turn lead into gold. This leads to the Ministry of Magic (or whatever) kidnapping her for her abilities, and that in turn leads to a weird battle. There’s also a gelatinous cube whose super power is explaining jokes about itself.

– Gotta give them this: the Game of Thrones-y version of the theme song is kinda good. (Given the timeframe, I would assume Alf Clausen wrote it, but I really don’t know. He’s credited here as “Composer Emeritus”, which is a pretty sleazy way of saying “Fired”.)

– The actual episode starts off with, wait for it, a bunch of exposition. We see the family in their home and then this happens:

Homer: Water soup again?
[A crow lands on the windowsill. Marge bashes it with her ladle.]
Marge: Now it’s crow soup!
Homer: Ooh, I call an eye!
Lisa: Me too!
Bart: Me three!
Marge: And Maggie gets the beak.
[She then gives Maggie the beak.]

– After this, Rainier Wolfcastle, dressed as a knight, bursts in through the wall, makes Homer kiss his horse’s hooves for fifteen seconds, and then bursts out through a different wall. I am not going to transcribe all the random sketch comedy crap like this that happens. Just know that there’s a lot of it.

– Shortly thereafter, Homer yells at Lisa for “anti-feudalist” talk. Had this been brief and/or the only example, it might’ve been funny. But it goes on for quite a while and gets recited about three more times.

– Milhouse is a gremlin of some kind. And Jacqueline is in an exposited retirement home manned by giant spiders.

– At the row of severed heads we get more feudalism exposition.

– Jacqueline has been standing there for all of the above exposition, then breaks in unexpectedly by walking in from out of frame. Even when they have a character in a scene they feel the need to drop them in out of nowhere. If you wrote each line on a 3×5 card and shuffled them thoroughly it might actually improve the flow of this dialog.

– Speaking of jokes that would’ve worked once, Hibbert diagnoses Krusty with “genital smurfs”, which sing and frequently throw hats whenever Krusty looks down his pants. Once, this could’ve been fine. We’ll get several more.

– Jacqueline is turning to ice because an “ice walker” bit her on their date. Said ice walker then walks up to the window to apologize from nowhere before more exposition about how he’s a thousand years old and likes “young” women like Marge’s mom. This too will be repeated.

– Now the family needs gold to buy an amulet to cure Marge’s mom. This is stated explicitly and will be exposited several more times.

– So, in what I guess is supposed to be a Game of Thrones twincest thing, Marge’s creepy twin brother walks up out of nowhere to hit on Marge.

– The first of the two really good sign gags is George R.R. Martin wearing a sandwich board that reads, “The End Is Not Nigh” on the front and “I’ll Tell You When It’s Nigh” on the back.

– They try to cram in a Moe-prank-call with a scroll tied to a raven’s leg. It works about as well as you’d expect.

– At the “Human Power Plant” we see all the SNPP guys pushing a big wheel while Ogre Willy whips them. This leads to an extended scene where Burns explains that pushing the wheel doesn’t actually power anything and that their suffering is used to give rich people tiny, decorative wings. It doesn’t hook into the rest of the episode. It’s a one-off sketch that isn’t the least bit funny since it takes a full minute of explanation to get to the punchline, which is then repeated several times in case we missed it. I’m hard pressed to think of how the writing here could be any worse. It’s disconnected, mostly setup, and has a weak payoff. What else could it screw up?

– From there we see Aslan, wearing a big wooden cross, “come to offer solace in this difficult time”. Marge accuses him of wanting to take advantage of her while she’s vulnerable. Had this been left here, it’d be funny. Aslan as pushy missionary is a great idea. Instead, it goes on for twenty more seconds.

– Lisa turns some lead into gold to get the amulet for her grandmother. Then exposits that she didn’t do magic before because she doesn’t want to go work for the king. Also, Aslan shows up again. It won’t be the last time.

– Jacqueline gets cured, Bart shows up out of nowhere to exposit about how it happened.

– [siren emoji]Good Joke Alert[siren emoji]:

Jacqueline: I watched my daughter marry an ogre.
Homer: I am not an ogre. My father married an ogre after my mother was eaten by a different ogre.

Castellaneta nails this as Homer patiently but exasperatedly explaining something to an in-law he genuinely doesn’t like.

– Marge then decides to cook a hobbit to celebrate her mother’s newfound health. This leads to the second of the two really good sign gags in the episodes:

Is this self serving and kind of a low blow? Sure. But I laughed.

– And my joy is instantly ruined as we travel over to the hobbit cage where three hobbits exposit about which of them is to be eaten for far too long. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: these people know good jokes when they see them. They just can’t resist running them into the ground to fill time.

– There are some good fake store signs in this one, of which “Banana Monarchy” is my favorite and “David’s Merkins” is the dirtiest.

– At the town square things start to get really weird in preparation for the bizarro ending that’s coming. Homer and a bunch of other characters get into an argument about what the afterlife is like. Much exposition ensues. Also more smurf crabs or whatever.

– And Lisa gets kidnapped because “Sorcererintendent Chalmers” saw her using magic. Here are my notes from this:

As Lisa gets taken, more exposition

More feudalism exposition

“How are we going to get over these walls?”

As you may have guessed from that last part, they have to get over some walls. In transcription form, tell-don’t-show does kinda work.

– That last line leads to a bunch of Ents showing up. Homer, holding an ax, thanks them for their “sacrifice” and we then see them being made into ladders. Had this been it, great. Instead, the Ent has to exposit the joke (“We could’ve torn down the castle walls in five minutes”) before getting his face cut off with more exposition from Homer.

– During the battle, Mel literally dies explaining a joke.

– As the battle winds down, Homer declares, “Now we’re losing!” before declaring “Now we won!”. They’ve been over-using this kind of “here’s something so obvious it has to be funny” humor for a long time, but this is the worst example I can recall. Yeesh.

– And, after a dragon dies then gets resurrected, we end on Lisa expositing the end of the world.

Anyway, the numbers are (long since) in and they’re about what you’d expect. The season premier of the show that used to be The Simpsons was watched by 3.26 million viewers. That’s down a teensy bit from last year and the exact same as Season 27. As stated over the summer, though, bad numbers are fine so long as they’re not falling-into-a-bottomless-pit bad. So the mediocrity will continue. Welcome to Season 29, everyone. We can check out, but they’ll never leave.

19
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

“Yon meat is sweet as summer’s wafting breeze.” – Lunchlady Doris
“Can I have some?” – Homer Simpson
“Mine ears are open only to the pleas of those who speak ye olde English.” – Lunchlady Doris
“Sweet maiden of the spit, grant now my boon that I might sup upon sucking pig this noon.” – Homer Simpson
“Whatever.” – Lunchlady Doris

24
Jun
16

Quote of the Day

StillWarm

“Uh, enjoy.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh. Still warm.” – Hugh Parkfield

22
Apr
16

Reading Digest: Prince Non-Prince Edition

Lisa's Wedding20

“And tonight, the following celebrities have been arrested.” – Kent Brockman

If you’re binging on Prince-internet right now, there is one link for you below and that’s it. Other than that we’ve got sexy Simpsons quotes, a neat animation that I think was for FXX, and the central hub of Simpsons merchandise in China.

Enjoy.

Remembering The Prince-Themed ‘Simpsons’ Episode That Never Was ♫ theMusic.com.au – It probably would’ve been hilarious. Then again, the odds against “Stark Raving Dad” actually working once were pretty astronomical, to get that a second time…

The Simpsons ‘Stretch’ by Laundry – I don’t get FXX, so I’m not 100% sure if this is something they use or if someone just made this weird, blurry Milhouse thing. But it’s neat.

Sex With The Simpsons – Pretty as a Peanut – Reader Sarah M. sends in this theoretical conversation made entirely of Simpson quotes. There’s some Zombie Simpsons, but mostly just sexy results.

Claire Danes puts private equity on center stage – Hank Azaria is in a new play:

“Dry Powder” is a comedy-drama that focuses on a private equity firm struggling with a public relations nightmare. The same week the firm forced massive layoffs at a national grocery chain, the company’s head Rick (Azaria) threw himself an extravagant engagement party, complete with an elephant.

Big John’s Breakfast Log | Eats Like A Duck – I would eat the hell out of this:

This was actually a lot of fun to make. Molding the sausage patties was like creating a gooey, fatty, delicious masterpiece of log proportions.

A Winnipegger is using Simpsons images to poke fun at the provincial election – Forward to Winnipeg!

How The Simpsons mastered the art of neutral political satire – Our old friend Johnny Sugar notes that the political satire is among the many things the show used to be better at.

The Simpsons’ Disney Homage Couch Gag From Eric Goldberg Is Too Good – The only creative thing about Zombie Simpsons remains the part they farm out to other people.

Rewatching The First ‘Simpsons’ Short ‘Good Night’ – Of course it’s weird. It was the olden days.

‘Simpsons’ Director Teams With Social Media Stars for Animated Stoner Comedy ‘Superslackers’ – David Silverman is a good choice for this:

“Superslackers” follows a group of friends who get a bag of pot that has been switched with a drug being used in a government experiment that gives them superpowers. When a Professor Xavier-type shows up to train them, they have no interest in saving the world. They agree to move into a rent-free government compound, but all they want to do is watch TV and play video games.

China’s First Simpsons Merchandise Store Now Open in Beijing’s Taikoo Li – I wonder if FOX is getting a cut? I don’t care. But I do wonder.

19
Mar
16

Quote of the Day

NameTag

“I’ve been waiting for you, Lisa.” – Fortune Teller
“How did you know my name?” – Lisa Simpson
“Your name tag.” – Fortune Teller

19
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Wedding19

“A soy based snack will calm me down.” – Lisa Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Lisa’s Wedding”! Original airdate 19 March 1995.

25
Apr
14

Reading Digest: Easter Disappointment Edition

Lisa's Wedding18

“And here, out of the mists of history, the legendary Esquilax, a horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body of a rabbit. . . . Ooh, it’s galloping away!” – Chief Wiggum

The Easter update for Tapped Out has been live for a little less than two weeks, and the complaints are rolling in.  We’ve got three links this week about how the Easter update hasn’t been the greatest, which, having recently re-installed the game, I agree with.  I realize they have to keep releasing updates to keep people who’ve maxed out their levels interested, but some of these really should be optional.  Of course, that would require EA to not suck . . . so, probably not gonna happen.

In other news, I am very ready for this Lego episode to be in the rear view mirror.  They are putting on a full court publicity press and every time they release some new images or someone from Lego says something about the show seemingly everyone with access to the internet links to it.  We’ve got two this week, but both are just entertainment industry fluff jobs.  In addition to all that, there are some cool t-shirts, a Flanders coin, the story of how Harry Shearer met his wife, and some excellent clip show usage, so it’s not all bad.

Enjoy.

Worst Zine Ever – Some excellent Simpsons tattoo designs with links to more.  Funky See Funky Do would be very obscure but very awesome.

Exclusive: Inside The Simpsons’ Very Special LEGO Episode – Today’s News: Our Take – Oh, TV Guide, I’d ask you never to change, but you never do:

Cheekily titled “Brick Like Me” and set almost entirely in a LEGO world, it’s also episode No. 550, a staggering accomplishment for a primetime series. This has left the well-seasoned
wisenheimers on the production team feeling an odd combination of over-the-moon excitement and enough-already boredom.

And let me say a “very special” well done to you cheeky wisenheimers (assuming an algorithm set to 1960s didn’t write that dreck for you).

‘The Simpsons’: See the first image of Lego Homer! – This is an interview with Selman and Brian Kelley, it doesn’t tell you much.  I did like this quote from Jean, though:

And how will this episode stack up against The Lego Movie, which has earned more than $250 million at the box office? “I think it’s just as good and it’s free,” quips executive producer Al Jean, who adds: “If anyone out there has an idea for a new material that the Simpsons can be made out of, please write to us. Cardboard? Yarn? Anything is up for grabs.”

Spoiler alert: it will not be as good as The Lego Movie.

Two by Two, Eggs of Blue – The game is fundamentally exploitative . . .:

Honestly this whole event feels unnecessarily complicated. Why can’t decorations just be in the shop and purchased for cash, do we really need to work hard collecting eggs for fences?

. . . so, yes.

The bait-and-switch of Easter – More discontent in the land of the disembodied finger:

I imagine this is the same for many of you playing, and it’s starting to get frustrating. It should not be this hard to win prizes, but it is.

Donuts aren’t going to help you, not unless you spend $100+ or more on eggs.

Easter Glitch – Trick or Treat? – It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes the glitches actually benefit the players.  So it’s not all bad.

Next Couch Gag Animated by Michal Socha – I’ve mostly enjoyed the new couch gags, but it really doesn’t speak well of Zombie Simpsons that the only part of the show anyone wants to talk about is the part that they farmed out to someone else.

What The Simpsons teaches us about Rob Ford and other mayoral mysteries – Rob Ford: If You Were Running for Mayor He’d Vote for You.

April Fools 2014: Alex Raphael – No list of TV idiots would be complete without Homer.  (Some good YouTube here as well.)

‘Nashville’ to air quirky clip show: 5 more that stand out – Excellent usage at the top of an article about clip shows:

So it’s come to this: A Nashville clip show.

Bonus points for having the Simpsons episode mentioned not be “So It’s Come to This”.

Pop Culture… Coins! – Fan drawn Flanders on a Brazilian coin.  Neat.

Judith Owen reveals how husband Harry Shearer – star of This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons – helped her music flourish – Aww:

Owen met Shearer in 1992 while she was resident bar pianist at the Conrad in Chelsea Harbour. “They were trying to make it into a rock’n’roll hotel. I played one of my own songs and heard this incredible applause behind me. I turned around and it was Christopher Guest and Harry with the full facial hair of Derek Smalls. I jumped up and ran over to them. It was truly one of the most surreal, ridiculous moments of my life,” she remembers.

Tee 394 SWW – Simpsons/Star Wars t-shirt.

Photo by trillblazin – And a Rasheed Wallace/Bart shirt (via @treykerby).

Rewinding the Week (4.20.2014) – Even forgiving reviews of last week’s Zombie Simpsons episode didn’t like it:

The episode was titled “Days of Future Future” which made me think that there would be some X-Men references, but sadly there were not.  Instead, the whole thing was set in the future with clones of Homer living for an extended period of time and Bart encountering a Eternal Sunshine-like process.  Kind of weird, but okay.  I think they truly are running out of ideas now.

Best TV Shows of All Time – The show only checks in at #2 here, but it’s entered well:

2. The Simpsons (Seasons 1-9)

Who needs the Kwik E-Mart? – Heh (x2).

The Simpsons Lego Figures – The official one-page brochure.

The Simpsons To Marathon Every Episode, Release New Streetwear [PHOTOS] – This is blatant pageview whoring of the one-page-per-picture variety, but of you want to check out a bunch of new Simpsons clothing you can click through (and click through and click through . . .).

Two Gym Visits… and 2,500 Legos In Between – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

One of the big childhood obsessions were Legos. I had tons of them, and at one point, had built an entire town on a folding table in the basement. Then, when I was in high school and college, I became a die-hard, hard-core fan of “The Simpsons.” For a couple years in college, I wrote a weekly “Simpsons”-based newsletter, which grew to have over 5,000 subscribers all over the planet. (For the record, I’m still of a fan of the show, and it will always be one of my favorite shows of all time, although I think the quality of new episodes has really gone downhill.)

Indeed it has.




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