Posts Tagged ‘Lisa’s Wedding

19
Mar
20

Quote of the Day

“I thought you said you’d tell me about my true love.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, you’ll have a true love. But I specialize in foretelling the relationships where you get jerked around.” – Renaissance Faire Fortune Teller

12
Dec
19

Quote of the Day

“Yo, Hugh, here’s a little bit of U.S. hospitality! What do you think of that?” – Homer Simpson

20
Mar
19

Makeup Quote of the Day

“I love these new planes.” – Lisa Simpson
“Yes, it’s a good thing they reevaluated those wacky old designs.” – Hugh Parkfield

29
May
18

Quote of the Day

“I’m sorry I left you alone with Homer and Bart.” – Lisa Simpon
“No, no, honey. We had a fine time.” – High Parkfield
“How’d you get that gash on your forehead?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, that was when we hid in the dumpster after the fire alarm went off in the pornographic magazine warehouse.” – Hugh Parkfield

19
Mar
18

Quote of the Day

“First they hate each other. Now all of a sudden they love each other! It doesn’t make any sense to me.” – Librarian
“Of course, not. You’re a robot.” – Library Patron

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

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“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.

08
Apr
14

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Wedding17

“Now turn to the next problem.  If you have three Pepsis and drink one, how much more refreshed are you?  You, the redhead in the Chicago school system.” – Troy McClure
“Pepsi?” – Redhead in Chicago
“Partial credit.” – Troy McClure

13
Sep
13

Reading Digest: Meh Edition

Lisa's Wedding16

“Oh, these Renaissance Fairs are so boring.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, really?  Did you see the loom?  I took loom in high school.” – Marge Simpson
“Meh.” – Bart Simpson

It’s a very short Reading Digest this week because two old problems reared their heads at the same time.  First, the signal-to-noise ratio plummeted because smaller media outlets (local TV stations, newspapers, magazines) finally got wind of the official opening of the Simpsons area down in America’s wang.  That blotted out most of the interesting Simpsons related content on Google.  Second, the WordPress tag for “The Simpsons” crashed again.  It’s only displaying a single page of links, which is annoying as hell and means I missed about five days worth of Simpsons related blogging.  Oh well. 

We do have some good stuff, however.  There’s an unusual fan drawing of Homer, another clueless FOX executive, a guide to playing Tapped Out without actually getting tapped out, a Simpsons bowtie, and the uncertain history of “meh”. 

Enjoy.

The Unshaved Mouse’s Top 10 One Shot Simpsons Characters – Here’s a great idea for a list:

What’s a One Shot? Well, here are the rules. A One Shot character:

a) Appears in only one episode.

b) May only appear in one scene for the purpose of one joke (with possibly a second for a call back).

c) Is not integral to the plot.

d) Is not voiced by a celebrity (or at least, not a celebrity who is a regular cast member.)

So, here we go.

Needless to say, there is no Zombie Simpsons.  Excellent. 

Meh etymology: Tracing the Yiddish word from Leo Rosten to Auden to the Simpsons. – The curious history of apathy’s greatest word. 

Get Got – Death Grips – Exit Through The Empty Subway – A little street art after some youthful experimentation with the Simpsons:

Ever since I was young I had doodled, even creating my own cartoon series when I was little. I was never very good at drawing, but continued to do so out of misplaced enjoyment. I tried to invent my own characters to craft stories with. They were essentially very poorly drawn Simpsons models, with bulbous eyes, skinny legs that went on too long, and awkward arms. I even had a dog character who followed round the lead character (who was always on a skateboard), and together they had adventures killing aliens (who looked exactly like the aliens out of the Simpsons).

7 tips to hosting a throwdown Hoppy 30th Bierday bash – Now this is a good party idea:

Creating custom cup wraps are a simple way to wow your guest of honor and the guests at the same time. I was able to hit the beer theme and Brett’s love for the Simpsons with the Duff Beer solo cup wraps.

Scroll down about halfway for the picture. 

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 65) – “Homer’s Enemy” vs. “Lisa’s Sax” is a tough one. 

Homer – Cool fan drawing of a giant blob Homer who appears to have consumed a city. 

Fox Plans ‘Simpsons’ Cable Syndication Push – Only a FOX executive could say something this clueless:

“We figured out that a cable channel could play the series for 52 weeks without having to repeat. The series has only been on broadcast stations. It hasn’t been on Netflix, it hasn’t been on cable. It isn’t as exploited as one would think.”

Jebus.  I’m all for the show coming to cable, but holy shit, the lack of self awareness needed to think it is in any way under exploited is staggering. 

Q&A: Cult X The Simpsons – Case in point, there is now a Duffman brand bicycle (via).

Riddick…In 10 Words – If you don’t watch the violence, you’ll never get desensitized to it.  (Incidentally, I thought Riddick 3 was a lot of fun.) 

Spell-Mageddon…In 10 Words – You can’t spell obsequious without I.O.U..

The Million Second Quiz…In 10 Words – No, after twelve. 

Beverly…In 10 Words – Our old friend Galileo often finds things I’ve never heard of, but this one takes the cake.  Not only do I have no idea, I’m not even sure why it’s here. 

Cartoonish… – Scroll down for a picture of a cool Simpsons bowtie. 

Tunes Tuesday #29: Alright – Nothing wrong with this:

Hey, that might become a future relationship test! :P Ha ha ha ha. That and “have you seen at the very very least seasons 1-6 of The Simpsons?”.

Dating sites should have a filter for that. 

Simpsons Wrestling – Rustlemania 27 – Three guys play and make fun of a terrible Simpsons wrestling video game, and at the 6:30 mark (which that link should take you to) they very kindly mention Zombie Simpsons:

This dude was able to write like a forty page essay about why the Simpsons got bad around Season 9, and I read the whole thing.  It made me sad.

To which one of them replies “I can’t believe you read the whole thing”.  Thanks, fellas!  It made me sad too.  (And thanks to reader Connor for sending this in.) 

The Shining: The Abridged Script – Via an anonymous commenter yesterday is a parody script for that movie they based part of “Treehouse of Horror V” on.  A massive movie geek fight breaks out in the comments, and it all gets started because someone likes The Simpsons parody better than this one. 

Ode To: Futurama’s Leela, From Another Leila – Here’s a comparison I can get behind:

Now, I’m going to say something that may be downright blasphemy. The Simpsons has higher highs, but Futurama might be the better show.

I’m not gonna try to do the math or anything, but proportional to the whole run, there are a lot more good episodes of Futurama than there are of The Simpsons

Eat my shorts! Is it time to study ‘The Simpsons’ and Basil Fawlty in schools? – Why shouldn’t kids in Ireland study the show in school.  It’s smart and full of interesting words, many of which aren’t even made up!

The Simpsons: Tapped Out Guide: Spend the Least Money – A guide to playing the game without losing your wallet. 

BARTmania – A bunch of pictures of various women wearing various combinations of that fashion Bart line. 

TV Review: Futurama Series Finale (2013) – A thorough review of the end of Futurama that agrees with us:

See, when I was a kid, I grew up as a diehard fan of The Simpsons.  Long before I decided to study and work in communications and media, I knew I was hopelessly in love with pop culture, clever dialogue, creative storytelling, and comedy…especially if it was on a screen.  And, for me, The Simpsons embodied everything I loved about that kind of media.  My dad even took me to see Hank Azaria, one of the voice actors, perform in the Broadway production of Spamalot, and, on that windy winter’s night, Dad waited outside the backstage door with me, just so Hank could sign my print-out picture of Moe the bartender.  And even though I’m not the Simpsons fan I used to be (the recent seasons are lookin’ a little rough), it’s a night I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life. 

Looking a little rough is being kind, but yeah. 

06
Sep
13

Reading Digest: Futurama Comparison Edition

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“I can’t wait to see that play.” – University Student

Futurama went off the air for the third time on Wednesday.  (I’m saving the last episode for this weekend and haven’t watched it yet, but the internet seems to have generally liked it.)  That departure prompted a slew of eulogies and comparisons to The Simpsons, and we have some of them.  In addition to that we’ve got some really cool fan made stuff, a lot of video game links (two of which aren’t about Tapped Out), the return of Me Blog Write Good, and lots more.

Enjoy.

I WANT A BABY! – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week puts the Tapped Out game to a good end.  The author used shrubs, lawn chairs and various other in-game items to create a great picture of Maggie . . . with Bobo!  Excellent. 

So… – Our old friend Mike is back at Me Blog Write Good:

Here’s the lowdown: after finishing those final extra reviews, I intended on writing up a grand finale, a “What Have We Learned?” if you will, to serve as a final recap of my thoughts about the entire series, or at least the first 444 episodes of it. But, alas, reality intervened. Hours at my new job skyrocketed, to the point that I was working six, seven day weeks up from February to about mid July, with nothing to show for it but crazy overtime pay and IMDB credit on six summer movies. At that point, my heart wasn’t up to completing the recap.

Very understandable.  Also, couldn’t have said this better:

But is it even worth it? By the last couple seasons, I felt I was spinning my wheels with my reviews, because my complaints were becoming repetitive, since the show kept pulling the same shit over and over, whether it be ineffective joke telling, piss poor characterization, or inept attempts at parody or satire.

Just remember, you’re in show business now.  Repetitiveness is your job.  Your job. 

Should Futurama Stay on the Air Until the 31st Century? – A point by point comparison of Futurama and its elder sibling (so Burns gets compared to Mom, Brockman to Morbo, etc).  Unfortunately, it makes the classic blunder of conflating The Simpsons with Zombie Simpsons:

Score: 6.75-6.5 Simpsons

But wait! The Simpsons has 727 episodes while Futuramahas 140 which means the latter has run for 19.25% as long as The Simpsons. Futuramais 96.3% as good as The Simpsons (6.5/6.75) which means that Futuramashould ideally run for 700.1 episodes.

I love Futurama, but believe me when I say that making another 560 episodes would be a soul crushing thing to sit through.  Shows that go on too long are not a good thing. 

5 Soul Crushingly Sad Fry Moments from “Futurama” – Yet more comparisons between the show and Futurama, and while you get three guesses as to which is #1, you’re only going to need one. 

i’m back. – The epic last nine months of a graduating nursing student as told with multiple Simpsons YouTube videos.  Bravo on the Simpsons references, and congratulations on everything else! 

Blog Archive Starbucks Coming To Kings Highway – Click through for the awesomely amateur dubbed Russian YouTube of Bart getting his ear pierced.  (And speaking of Russian Simpsons hybrids that deserve more attention: this, which was on the related videos.  I have no idea what it is beyond vaguely Christmas-y, but it’s wonderfully weird.) 

Homer Simpson Donuts! – Recipe with step by step instructions for how to make perfect Homer donuts.  Look at these:

A Beautiful Mess - Homer Simpson Donuts

Transcendent.  As the post says:

Dunk the donuts in the glaze and then place on a cooling rack. Add sprinkles. You have to. It’s part of the recipe. I swear. Now devour the donuts.

Yes, ma’am.  Well done. 

‘No Prostitution’: The Simpsons instruct Chinese nightclub patrons on the house rules – From Wesley comes these Simpsons warning signs.  Damn do the kids look pissed in the “No Gambling” sign, but my favorite is Bart getting picked up by a Krusty-looking officer for “No Drugs”.  Because if there’s one person you can trust to confiscate narcotics, it’s Krusty. 

IT’S THE APOCALYPSE. DOH! Anne Washburn brings The Simpsons post-electric – High praise for the Mr. Burns play, including some explanation and sample dialogue:

“In the Cape Fear movies the father is able to protect his family when he throws aside his civilized values and abilities, and engages the villain on his own primal terms; Bart can’t take this villain on; in some ways the play is about what strategies you develop in a world where you are truly helpless.”
From Act Two, Mr. Burns:

QUINCY

I hear they’ve got a stash of lithiums, and 10 of those super powerful camping flashlights, and they’re going to do a dusk to dark showing of “A Streetcar Named Marge,” with a spotlight finale at the end.

A bit of a pause.

JENNY

They can’t keep that up for long.

MARIA

Long enough though, right?

MATT

It still kills me they’ve got “Streetcar.”

A pause.

QUINCY

Our commercials are excellent though.

MARIA

Our commercials are great.

"Mr. Burns" drops the Simpsons in a post-apocalyptic musical – And a bit more about the play:

Take the arrival of Mrs. Krabappel (Nedra McClyde). She’s Bart’s teacher on The Simpsons, but here, she’s the all-knowing Chorus, guiding us through the history and ethics of what’s on stage.

Someday this play will be on in a part of the country that isn’t prohibitively expensive from me to reach, and then I will finally get to see it. 

The 24/24 Challenge – PART 1 – Cleaning out a backlog of video games with one hour samples of play.  This was the verdict on The Simpsons Game:

Another game I played before years ago and made another (soon to be regretful) nostalgia purchase. The saddest part  (like the Ghostbusters game) is that having the voice actors reprise their roles makes this seem like a lost episode, and the writing is pretty spot-on for later Simpsons episodes. Then you have to suffer thru the game by actually picking up the controller and attempting to wring fun out of the mediocre gameplay. While the levels do look amazingly well-constructed and in-line with the look of the show, actually running around the stages is not nearly as fun as it should be. It kinda has a PS2 level of unpolish on it, if you know what I mean. Just sloppy in all the wrong ways. Fighting is just basic button mashing at its simplest and laziest. And I thought we fixed crappy cameras years ago….guess not. Another one of those “looks great plays meh” kinda games (also like Ghostbusters).

HOW MUCH DID I PAY FOR THIS GAME: Around $12 on Glyde.

WAS IT WORTH THAT MUCH: If I could have got it cheaper, I would have.

DID I WANT TO KEEP PLAYING THIS GAME AFTER THE FIRST HOUR: Not really. Is it sad to wanna keep playing just to hear the dialogue?

WILL I KEEP PLAYING THIS GAME/PLAY IT TO COMPLETION: Possibly, if I can fight my way past the horrid camera and quirky controls.

DO I PLAN ON KEEPING THIS GAME AFTER I “FINISH” IT: Don’t think so.

That’s tough but fair.  Game, go with the man. 

Is “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” Worth my Time? – Speaking of video games, an enthusiastic, if slightly miffed, review of the new money fountain:

If there’s one downfall to this game, it’s the fact that it’s made by EA. EA owns the rights to all Simpsons video game media (as evidenced by the surprisingly excellent The Simpsons Game) and they will use any excuse to extract your hard earned money from you. Most games today have some sort of option to pay real dollars to help you along in the game or access premium content to make your town feel….well cooler I guess, I haven’t figured it out. In this game, donuts are the form of premium currency, as they have apparently been affected by the radiation of the nuclear blast to distort time and space. A player can use donuts to speed up the timing of a building or job, or to purchase a character or building that regular in-game money can’t buy. EA puts the opportunity to buy donuts everywhere, the items that donuts buy plentiful, and the opportunity to earn donuts virtually nonexistent. Of course it’s a free app, so people can get through without purchasing anything with real money, but it really drives someone crazy when they have to wait two days for a building to complete so you can move onto the next part of the mission.

Video: Top 10 Secondary Simpsons Characters – Just what it says.  And, of course, there are virtually no clips or quotes from Zombie Simpsons. 

Twirl n Hurl with Kang&Kodos at Universal Studios Florida…at night – YouTube of exactly that. 

Checking In – Sooner or later, everyone gives in and watches The Wire:

Pretty much ever since I posted my previous post, I have been preoccupied with binge-watching what is widely regarded as the best TV series ever* – HBO’s The Wire.

That asterisk leads to:

* Though everyone knows that title should really go to The Simpsons. wink And before you say it, the new ones aren’t terrible. :P

How I wish that were true. 

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 62) – Season 7 thrashes Season 15.  (With cause!)

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 63) – And Season 6 similarly thumping Season 11.  (Though it’s “Behind the Laughter”, so it’s easily one of the best in 11.) 

Getaway…In 10 Words – I think it was called the car that couldn’t slow down. 

Futurama…In 10 Words – It just won’t stay dead! 

Robocop…In 10 Words – That cannon of yours is against regulation! 

Homer visits Brooklyn – Oh nothing, just fan art of Homer asleep on a dumpster in a Wu Tang hat.  Cool. 

Why You Should Love Lisa Simpson As Much As I Do – What are you talking about?  Everybody loves Lisa:

Ask anyone about their favourite Simpsons character and you will be met with a variety of responses. Highest are probably Homer and Bart followed by some lesser characters like Ned Flanders, Moe Syzlack, Lenny and Carl or even some more obscure characters like Duff Man (can’t breathe). No one, but no one, has ever said Lisa. When I proclaim my personal affection for this precocious little girl, I am met with blank looks and wails of ‘Why?

I come across posts dedicated to her all the time.  Lisa rocks. 

JOL #1: Neckface Bath Time! – Picture of some sweet sneakers, with a skeletal Bart on the right and skeletal Lisa on the left. 

The Shinning – The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Poster Art by Olly Moss – Not sure I’ve seen this one before.  Awesome that’s it’s rated R. 

The Charticle: A year on from relaunch, The Simpsons is EA Mobile’s biggest earner – More data on just how filthy lucrative the Tapped Out game is.

Retrospective No.13 The Simpson’s Road Rage – In older video game news:

Copying an already successful formula is one thing but the Simpson’s Road Rage commits a second cardinal sin of failing to properly replicate the experience of the original. If you mimic an idea well then people will be forgiving of shameful attempts to piggyback on others successes but when it’s not a patch on the original any flaws in the game are magnified. In this case the driving is extremely buggy and broken causing the arcade experience to be extremely frustrating and even more so when compared to the brilliant and obvious inspiration behind this title.

Reading Chilli Cook-off adds some spice to the Tilehurst Festival – Cool:

Reading has become the epicentre of chilli cook-offs since the first one at the College Arms in August 2011.

The first cook-off in the Wokingham Road pub was the brainchild of Jon Doody, who got the idea when watching an episode of The Simpsons.

’90s Cartoon Characters Take on New York Fashion Week – I’m not sure who looks more out of place here, Daria or Butthead, but it’s close. 

THE SIMPSONS: See the Real Version of Homer’s Dream Car! Plus, Teases For Season 25 – This and the next link are blogger video from a little press event with those guys who built the Homer car.  Even Groening and Brooks are there. 

THE SIMPSONS: Al Jean on The Homer, the Very Special Season 25, and More – A little more video from the above. 

Hardly Thunderstruck – Excellent reference:

The issue was in the singer’s voice. He did a fairly passable imitation of Brian Johnson at times, but it quickly became obvious that he has not yet mastered control of that howl. Did you ever see that episode of the Simpsons where Homer’s shirts turn pink in the wash, and he gets sent by Mr. Burns to a mental institution for being a free-thinker, and while inside he meets a guy named Leon who thinks he’s Michael Jackson? This sounded like that – at times, kinda like AC/DC, at times exactly like a 40-something factory worker who smokes a pack a day. The between-song banter was all in the factory-voice, causing the whole thing to be a little surreal, and it took a few lines into the songs for him to get back up to where he wanted to be in the growl. Strange, indeed.

Day Two – what a day! – More photos from the Simpsons area at Universal Studios (which is neither universal nor a studio, but that’s another matter).  This one gets bonus points for the t-shirt with Homer and Marge as they looked on prom night. 

SONG OF THE DAY: “Do the Bartman” – Bart Simpson (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) – I’d pretty much forgotten it at one time as well:

So, I totally forgot that this song even EXISTED until someone played it for me the other day, and I DIED as I was transported back to the early nineties.

Tuesday Tropes 1: The Fourth Wall Greeting – Our old friend David on the essence of looking at the camera:

Generally, the Fourth Wall Greeting is a comic trope, which makes sense given how silly it is – Stephen Colbert and The Simpsons’ Troy McClure being two of the more notable users of the trope. (The 138th episode spectacular features the show returning from an advert break to find McClure asleep on the couch.)

But not so cool as Tarantino – Heh. 

Simpsons and Spinal Tap star Harry Shearer: ‘I never know what voice people are going to come up to me with’ – Shearer, the hardest working man in show business, is in London doing a play called Daytona.

Battle Red Blazin’ Hot NFL Picks: Week 1, Homer Simpson Opines On Physics Edition – Excellent video usage:

Get ready to double your kids’ college funds because these stone cold LOCKS are also blazin’ hot. That’s right. In this blog we do not, in fact, obey the laws of thermodynamics… unlike some people:

Lou Reed, Sarah Siskind and Bart Simpson on this week’s Anti-hit List – It’s “Do the Bartman” set to the “Blurred Lines” beat:

9. ROBIN THICKE VS. BART SIMPSON

“Blurred Bartman”

Forget all that song-of-the-summer twaddle. You know “Blurred Lines” has achieved pop-culture prominence when someone spots a potential Simpsons adjacency and decides to do something about it. After hearing this mash-up, Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” might not be the only song that “Blurred Lines” reminds you of. (bit.ly/1aFDiEz)

Should you wish, here is the .mp3 link.

20 Mind-Blowing Facts You Never Knew About The Simpsons – This is major pageview whoring since you have to click through for each one, and there’s nothing likely to be all that fresh for readers of this blog, but it’s not a bad time waster.  Also, it explicitly and frequently agrees with us:

If it had ended before the turn of the century The Simpsons would have been crowned the Greatest TV Show Of All Time. Sadly with a twenty-fifth season starting at the end of this month it’s now more deserving of the title Greatest TV Show To Ever Fall So Far Into Mediocrity.

Indeed.

Futurama is better than The Simpsons in GIF form – Just a bunch of great Futurama .gifs.  And while he agrees with us, I would like to quibble slightly with this:

For the last few years, even the most hardcore Simpsons’ fan would have difficulty arguing against the fact the show has seen a big decline in the quality of its funnies.

I realize that mainstream publications are used to thinking of “hardcore” fans as diehard defenders of whatever program or franchise they don’t think gets sufficient respect.  When a beloved show gets cancelled or has a terrible movie adaptation come out, it’s always the “hardcore” fans who make the ruckus and defend things against all comers.  But the continued march of Zombie Simpsons has reversed that when it comes to “hardcore” Simpsons fans.  For us, it’s the casual fans who defend the show and the hardcore ones who rip it.  Odd, I know, but since it isn’t going to change any time soon it’d be nice if newspapers, magazines and the like would pick up on it. 

09
Aug
13

Reading Digest: The Joys of Picture Phones Edition

Lisa's Wedding14

“Oh, this?  No, I’ve just got a touch of the rheumatis.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh.” – Lisa Simpson
“Whew.” – Marge Simpson 
“Mom, picture phone.” – Lisa Simpson

Our first link this week is to a YouTube/Google+/Google Hangout/Google Whatever interview with Al Jean.  In it he briefly mentions a non-existent video game (which in turn begets tens of thousands of words of empty, pageview chasing speculation) and discusses a number of other topics, some well trod, some not.  What makes this more fun than most Jean interviews where he repeats the same few statements over and over again (no I don’t know how long the show will go on, no we’re not working on another movie, yes we like having guest voices) is that instead of some properly lit studio, he’s sitting in front of a webcam at such an angle that you can practically see up his nose. 

It’s a very different format, and while it’s still prone to the usual pitfalls, a live, unedited chat is far more interesting than some cleverly edited clip or hopelessly intercut sit down interview.  In addition to that, we’ve got cranky Lego fans, calligraphy, excellent usage, two posts about the enduring quality of the show, a new blog dedicated to the freemium money fountain that is Tapped Out, and some handy advice on parenting with The Simpsons.

Enjoy.

8-time Emmy winner Al Jean talks ‘The Simpsons’ – Smooth Charlie’s link of the week is this video interview with Al Jean by a site that tracks entertainment awards:

It’s nineteen minutes long, which is an eternity in YouTube time, and the kid doing the interviewing has mastered the Hollywood art of asking hopelessly easy and leading questions that allow both subject and interviewer to promote themselves harmlessly, but there are some things worth your time:

  • 3:25 – Jean talks about the ratings with the kind of perspective and detail that I don’t and can’t.  Long story short: the overall numbers remain down, but that doesn’t mean it’s not attractive to advertisers and it anchors that whole bloc on Sundays, so don’t expect a ratings related cancellation anytime soon. 
  • 11:40 – This is actually interesting, and I say that as someone who can’t be roused to give a five cent fuck about Emmys, Oscars, and all the other marketing gimmicks the entertainment industry hands out as awards.  Jean points out how silly it is for people to talk about Emmy “snubs” and the like: “When people go, ‘Why did the Emmys do this?’ I go, ‘Because the Emmys isn’t something you can talk to like a person.  It’s a big, unwieldy group of people.” 
  • 13:35 – Some love for The Critic, including the fact that they successfully predicted NBC’s slide to fifth place way back in 1994.
  • 17:00 – There’s a link below about this specific comment, but they have in the past talked about writing a Simpsons RPG video game.  That’s it.  He mentions it in passing, not as an active project, so the hundred or so links I saw about it really need to cool their jets. 
  • 17:40 – In a genuinely nice moment, Jean gets a little choked up talking about Sam Simon.  If you’re going to watch just one part of this video, I’d recommend this.

(Incidentally, despite the shit I gave the interviewer above, this is still a much more informative format than the heavily edited interview copy pasta that is the bread and butter of big entertainment media.) 

The Simpsons RPG has been considered – This is the most sober writeup of that comment I could find.  Overreactions like this are why famous people speak mostly/exclusively in banalities.  One wrong word can launch a thousand blog posts and then you have to keep talking about it. 

The Simpsons: FOX Prez Expects Long Future – We should be hearing about the renewal sometime in the next couple of months:

At today’s FOX session at the TCA Summer Press Tour, FOX president Kevin Reilly offered some encouraging words about the futrue of The Simpsons.

The show hasn’t been renewed yet but he said, “I would anticipate The Simpsons to be on our air for a very long time.”

Oh, we do, but please, “I would anticipate Zombie Simpsons to be on our air for a very long time”. 

Everyone’s favourite yellow family – This is a calligraphy site with the Simpsons name and address written out in really gorgeous script.  Bravo. 

Welcome to TSTO Game – A new blog:

The purpose of this blog is to help users navigate their way through the game. Some of the information will help newcomers, while other information will help those who have been playing the game for some time. Each post will be dedicated to a specific topic within the game, such as characters, buildings, or special in-game events.

My hope is to provide a safe space for fans of the game to interact with each other.

Well, Tapped Out fans, there you go.  There’s advice for newbies, polls for experienced players, and social tips and tricks

Simpson’s Most Talked About Show on Internet, Walking Dead 2nd – The headline here is more than a little hyperbolic since all it counts is Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia, and it seems that a lot of the traffic is due to Tapped Out and not Zombie Simpsons.

Did Peanuts and The Simpsons get their box score details right? – Why yes, The Simpsons was always careful about attention to detail, even in baseball. 

Some oppose Simpsons-themed LEGOs – There were a huge number of stories and articles about what amounts to a few angry message board posts, so this whole thing is more than a little silly.  However, since I’m sure it’ll pop up again let’s just deal with it once and then we never have to talk about it again:

Earlier this year, some took to LEGO’s online message board, creating a petition calling on the company to avoid making any Simpsons-themed toys.

“I say no to Simpsons. It is not appropriate at all for LEGO’s age group. It’s not really appropriate for anyone,” wrote one contributor.

As a long time Lego fan, let me point out that they have always had blocks for different ages.  Just because Technic stuff shouldn’t be used by two-year-olds like Duplo doesn’t mean you cancel the Technic line. 

Split! Splat! – Another of the Threadless entries, this one a pretty picture of Maggie.

James Deen Doesn’t Care About You Unless You Were On ‘The Simpsons’ – Porn/regular movie star is a dedicated fan of the show. 

To infinity and beyond with 4G – Excellent usage:

‘D’oh! Isn’t there anything faster than a microwave?" whined Homer Simpson 20 years ago, in a perfect demonstration of the human race’s impatient quest for quicker technology.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 53) – Let’s get some margaritas, I’m buying.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 54) – The intrinsic horror is only going to get worse:

I really, really like ”Mountain of Madness.” It’s such a funny episode. Why couldn’t it have squared off against some double-digit season piece of dreck? Why did it have to be “Kamp Krusty”?

23 Things You Need To Know About The ’90s – Infotainment includes the show.

Book review: Discount Armageddon. – A novel review touches on the old Family Guy comparison:

Another issue are the references. I’m a big fan of pop culture references in books, since I’m a sponge of the stuff myself. But something about the way this book used them seemed a tad bit off to me. I’ll touch on more of this in a future post, but I like to compare it to The Simpsons vs Family Guy.

The Simpsons is framed around thoughtful plots, funny stories, and other shenanigans that end up flavored by a topical pop culture reference here and there that almost always score a LOL. But it’s done in a way that gives the impression that most of the references used will at least be accessible to people watching the show decades from now. Sure, some of the jokes will fall flat over time, but it’s done in a way where it’ll be classical at best, and only a slight bump at worst.

Family Guy goes straight for your throat with casual, random asides (Like that time when…. *reference here*) that typically slant toward the 80s/90s crowds. It’s bombastic, hilarious, and I’ve laughed really hard at some of them. But that’s because I am their demographic. 20 years from now, I can see middle aged people showing it to their kids and telling them it’s hilarious, and their kids just sort of saying “Um… who is the Kool Aid Man, and why is him busting through a wall supposed to be funny?” It will date itself very quickly.

Indeed.

Favorites and Tmesis – And on a further note of timelessness:

My favorite show of all time is The Simpsons. Of this there can be no question. Even though my favorite show at the moment is Family Guy, Simpsons will always be number 1 overall.

The Homer Unseats Evoque Convertible As the Most Incredible Car of All Time – Remember that real Homer car from a few weeks ago?  Well, here’s some dashboard cam video of it in action. 

“THINLY SLICED, BATTLESHIP GRAY WITH A HINT OF DEFILEMENT. “ – Excellent usage:

This is why Arby’s occupies that third rung of the fast food ladder, down among Blimpie’s and AM/PM. This is why the best-known thing ever uttered about Arby’s was during an episode of the Simpsons when a starving child said, “I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s.”

Hank Azaria, Voice of Simpsons and Movie Star Next Door, Steals His Scenes in Lovelace – Nice little puff piece on Azaria:

The other film featuring Mr. Azaria this month is a slightly less lurid offering called The Smurfs 2.

“They are very similar in tone!” he cracked as joggers whizzed by the park’s entrance. “In both movies there’s lots of sexual abuse. I disagreed with it, but the filmmakers of Smurfs, they insisted.”

2 Guns…In 10 Words – You’re off the case, Marky Washington! 

Shark Week 2013…In 10 Words – I wonder if it was a mysteriously non-extinct megalodon that broke through that glass bottomed boat?

Broadchurch…In 10 Words – Is this about a hard drinking but loving family of soccer hooligans? 

Elysium…In 10 Words – Cough – cyborgs!

5 Shows that went horribly wrong. – The verdict on Zombie Simpsons:

CRIME: Loss of direction

Not a bad way to put it.

It’s The Simpson’s – A whole bunch of pictures from in and around the new Simpsons area at Universal Studios Florida. 

The Simpsons – Just a quote from “Secrets of a Successful Marriage”, but it’s perfectly done:

It’s those TV networks, Marge. They won’t let me– one quality show after another, each one fresher and more brilliant than the last. If they only stumbled once, just gave us 30 minutes to ourselves. But they won’t! They won’t let me live!

Gino’s East (Or: Homer Simpson and pizza) – There’s a very cool looking Homer poster in a pizzeria in Illinois and this link has a picture of it.

D’ohmer! – Fan made photoshop Homer image.

How Shows Like The Simpsons Can Make Your Children Smarter – TV gives so much and asks so little. 

So, it’s come to this: A Simpson’s meme – If you’re going to procrastinate, you could do a lot worse than Season 8.

‘Breaking Bad’ – Simpsonized Characters – The whole crew in one poster. 

Umbilical cord v Homer J. Simpson – Microscope slide that looks like Homer.  (And there’s another in a link at the bottom.)

Dag 180 – A Simpsons/Skyrim shirt. 

(Late) July Etsy Finds. – And some Simpsons jean shorts.

Homerpalooza Revisited: 10 New Musical Guests for The Simpsons – This list of potentially fun guests for Zombie Simpsons also agrees with us:

Like brain synapses dulled over time, The Simpsons is not as sharp as it once was. Seasons three through eight are still a fabled goldmine of pre-internet parody and witty subversion. The Springfield residents had not yet become parodies of themselves and the guests performers – especially the musical ones – did not feel shoehorned. Over the last 15 – perhaps due to the success of Family Guy and the fleeting window of viral fame – far too many acts pop in to advance a single throw away joke rather than weave their presence cleverly throughout the story-arc. What was once crucial to the outcome – see Michael Jackson’s engaging, uncredited role as a mental patient in “Stark Raving Dad” – has now devolved into Katy Perry inexplicably dropping by to sing cheeky Christmas Carols.

But, crotchety cynicism aside, the staff at CoS would be remiss if we didn’t extend our own salute to one of the funniest shows to ever grace the small screen, especially now during music festival season. Thus, in honor of Lollapalooza, Homerpalooza, and The Us Festival, we present our own wish list of musical acts who have yet to appear on The Simpsons. Are we being sarcastic dudes? I don’t even know anymore.

Excellent reference.

03
Oct
12

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Wedding13

“You can be the first to try out the new guest bedroom I built.  Remember, if the building inspector comes by, it’s not a room, it’s a window box.” – Homer Simpson

13
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Wedding12

“I think I’ll write your performance evaluation now, Simpson.” – Mr. Milhouse

Happy birthday Greg Daniels!

31
Jan
12

Crazy Noises: Moe Goes from Rags to Riches

Randomly Determined

Image shamelessly yoinked from here as a result of search for “randomly determined”.

“I’ll get the dictionary.” – Hugh Parkfield
“Why?” – Lisa Simpson
“You’ll see when you get there, the word ‘stochastic’.” – Hugh Parkfield
“Pertaining to a process involving a randomly determined sequence of observations!” – Lisa Simpson

As part of our tireless efforts to demonstrate the many ways Zombie Simpsons fails to entertain, Season 23 will be subjected to the kind of rigorous examination that can only be produced by people typing short messages at one another.  More dedicated or modern individuals might use Twitter for this, but that’s got graphics and short links and little windows that pop up when you put your cursor over things.  The only kind of on-line communications we like are the kind that could once be done at 2400 baud.  So disable your call waiting, plug in your modem, and join us for another year of Crazy Noises.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “Michelangelo”).

This episode is such a patchwork of unrelated elements that it’s difficult to discern a structure or theme. Oh sure, there’s the rag, but the rag seems to move between kinda, sorta real history like Michelangelo and Vikings to fanciful tales like One Thousand and One Nights. (Speaking of which, and not that this episode needed more beheadings, but in the original tale the previous wives all get killed. Nice to know that’s where they draw the line.) Things made just as little sense back in Springfield, particularly when you remember that Milhouse produced Drederick Tatum from nowhere to punch Bart in the arm. I know things don’t tend to make sense these days, but this did seem like an especially “Fuck you, audience” effort on their part.

Charlie Sweatpants: Since I imagine you are very busy, want to get right to it?

Dave: Please let’s. Anagrams of "Jeremy Irons" are funnier than whatever the fuck it was that happened last night.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m at a loss for where to start with this episode. The A-plot wasn’t so much a plot as an excuse for whatever dumb historical situations they could come up with, and the B-plot was so undercooked and nonsensical that they would’ve been vastly better off just dropping it.

Dave: In two words: just terrible.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shit sandwich.

Dave: Santorum rag.

Charlie Sweatpants: Heh.

The structure of the whole thing was a contradictory mess. If the rag was in the "real world" of Springfield, how did a Homer look alike climb Mount Everest, break down that wall, etc.? If the rag wasn’t in the real world, then what the hell was all that stuff with Bart and Milhouse doing happening at the same time?

You can do a weird, historical sketch show, you can do a show about Bart and Milhouse having a fight. I don’t think you can do both at the same time, especially when the two stories have nothing to do with each other. If the rag had made and lost friends over the years, or if it had seen friendships wax and wane, okay then maybe there’s a connection or a theme. But there was nothing like that.

Dave: Stop it with that incessant logic of yours. You’re making too much sense.

Charlie Sweatpants: You don’t need a lot of logic to be confused by this, just a short term memory that lasts more than about ninety seconds.

More than once it cuts from the Bart-Milhouse thing back to the rag on the bar.

Which of course sends us back to Persia or Europe or whatever.

Dave: Everest. France. Whatever is right

Charlie Sweatpants: I mean, what was with the back-to-back executions? Was that supposed to be the same time and place, or different?

Dave: I think the former? Who knows. It was tedious either way.

Charlie Sweatpants: Even back in Springfield it was tedious. Marge stole Moe’s rag, which he apparently sleeps with, and didn’t tell him . . . except that she must have told him because he ended up at the Simpson house.

Dave: Question. Why does Moe sleep at the bar?

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t know. Has he been doing that for a long time? Back in Season 6 and Season 9 he had a house.

Dave: That’s what I remember, too. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

It was convenient for whatever sinister purpose the writers needed to advance the shred of plot they had.

Charlie Sweatpants: Though you’d think he’d lock the bar before he went to cot. Oops, there I go thinking again.

Dave: Definitely thinking too hard, that rag needed to be stolen.

Charlie Sweatpants: Moe’s panic at losing the rag was out of deep left field.

Dave: Yup.

Charlie Sweatpants: Here’s a head scratcher though, was it more or less out of nowhere than the ending with Santa’s Little Helper and Maggie?

Dave: More?

Why did Wiggum show up?

It was just nonsense end to end.

Charlie Sweatpants: I assume because that teargas joke killed at the table read.

Why were some of the historical scenes made up of Simpsons characters and others not? The monks weren’t regulars, but Homer was. The pope was a regular but Michelangelo wasn’t. It was all very strange.

Dave: Wasn’t Michelangelo one of the gays?

Charlie Sweatpants: Maybe? Of course, I wouldn’t have had time to notice all of that if there’d been some, you know, jokes. But those were few and far between.

Dave: i.e., regular by Zombie Simpsons standards

There were jokes?

Do tell.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, I guess it counts as a joke when medieval Wiggum got hit in the crotch and then went over to do cave paintings, because that’s what they did in medieval times (<– may not be true).

Dave: Go on.

Charlie Sweatpants: There were a lot of those. Like the fact that the tapestry was made in medieval France, but then found its way to Persia where they’d never heard of Christians.

I’ll admit that’s nitpicky, but damn it, if you’re going to do an episode where a rag travels through historical times, shouldn’t you maybe put a tiny bit of effort into your history?

Dave: You’d think so. But then again, you’re thinking.

Charlie Sweatpants: I know, bad habit.

But I didn’t need to think too hard to wonder why Homer was walking up the wall and onto the ceiling at the beginning.

Dave: Oh right, the dance off.

I’d nearly forgotten.

Charlie Sweatpants: And I didn’t need to think to know it made no sense for Lisa to be standing right behind Bart as he read the thing she supposedly wrote to Milhouse.

Dave: Don’t forget, Maggie was there too.

Charlie Sweatpants: And I didn’t need to be thinking to wonder why Bart was on the mountain filling balloons with oxygen while Comic Book Guy floated by.

Dave: I don’t remember that. Probably a good thing.

Charlie Sweatpants: Definitely. I don’t think there was a single scene here that made sense, even just considered on its own. Burns falls off a giant cliff and then everyone decides to beat him with sticks. Why?

Dave: Because, ha ha, the French are cowards?

Look, ripping on the French is fun. But what transpired wasn’t even close to being funny.

This from a show that has a wonderfully rich history of doing just that.

Charlie Sweatpants: But like most of this episode, that stuff is all in the past.

Dave: Indeed. What a waste of my time, Jeremy Irons, electricity, and so on.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else catch your eye here?

Dave: Nope. To quote the rag, "I’m in hell."

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, the rag was kind of a pain in the ass wasn’t it/he?

But it’s okay because after all that it was happy with the dog. Or something.

20
Jan
12

Reading Digest: One Word Off Edition

Lisa's Wedding11

In an odd coincidence, there are three pieces of excellent usage this week that are just one word away from being dead on.  Being my nitpicky self, I’ve added the correct words in, but all three still rate as excellent usage in my book.  In addition to that we’ve got lots of fan art, including a bunch of drawings of Homer and Marge as famous fashion people.  There’s also a couple of great YouTube videos, some love for Season 3 and 5, an unconvincing defense of Season 9’s most infamous episode, and lots of other stuff. 

Enjoy.

The Many D’ohs of Homer Simpson – This was linked in more places than you can count this week, and with good reason.  It’s every annoyed grunt from Seasons 1-20.  It is epic:

As a bonus, you can watch the show deteriorate before your eyes.  There’s a noticeable uptick in the horrendousness of Homer’s injuries and craziness of the situations as you get into the second half of the video.

Religious Anti-Ninja Turtle Propaganda from the Ancient World [Video] – One good four and a half minute YouTube deserves another, and this one is a doozy.  I’ll let Comics Alliance explain:

Canadian men in an early 1990s propaganda film decrying the original TMNT animated series, Vanilla Ice, Bart Simpson and other alleged evils of the ancient world.

These guys put the fun in fundamentalist dogma, but in more of a huggable Canadian way than in a fire-and-brimstone Billy Graham way.  Observe:

Mostly they’re mad at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and this whole thing screams early 90s, but they do fit in two moments of Simpsons vitriol, both courtesy of a sweater clad guy who looks like Rowsdower’s wussy cousin.  At 1:30 he cites Bart’s prayer from “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” with disbelief that modern society allows such blasphemy on television.  Sadly the video is edited so the context is missing, but the general tone is perfectly funny on its own.

You’ve got to watch the video to really get it, but let’s just say that there’s more than hint of “prefers the company of men” to these guys, which makes this at 3:35 doubly hilarious:

Another cartoon character in the script that was a homosexual that became Homer’s secretary that was continually trying to seduce him.

Karl does a lot of things in that episode, even kiss Homer, but “continually trying to seduce him”?  I hope at least one of those guys made it out of the closet.

Defending The Simpsons’ "The Principal and the Pauper" – I saw this linked in a few places this week, but having read it I can comfortably stand by what I said last year.  That episode has so many plot twists and so much retconning that there just isn’t room for anything else in a mere twenty-two minutes.  For further evidence of this, consider that the linked article is a little over a thousand words, a quarter of them are spent just describing the plot of the episode.  Also, this is just not true:

The issue isn’t that people don’t find this episode funny. Some people may find that is the case, and given the subjective nature of comedy that is a reasonable argument.

How many quotable lines are there in that episode?  I doubt I could squeeze more than two or three Quote of the Day posts out of it.  Whether or not someone finds a joke funny is subjective, whether or not something is even trying to be funny is much less so.  There’s far more straight up exposition in that episode than there are gags, and that’s why I don’t buy Ken Keeler’s defense or this one.

Struggling with the question of belief? Homer Simpson’s got the answer – It’s our second week in a row with a link using Homer to illustrate the stupidity of Pascal’s Wager.  There’s more than a hint of freshman level theology here, but he (almost entirely) gets his quotes right:

I think we can safely conclude that the probability of a liberal God fascist – one who doesn’t mind which version of him you believe in, but if you don’t believe in him at all, he’ll let you rot in hell – is negligible. As Homer Simpson put it when arguing that he shouldn’t go to church: "Don’t you think the almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week?"

There’s a small nit to pick in that Homer actually says “think that the almighty”, but it continues:

If, on the other hand, it matters which God you believe in, it’s because there are certain important rewards of belief that you will not receive if you don’t believe in the right one, or punishments for failing to believe correctly. But even Homer Simpson can see the problem with this: "What if we’ve picked the wrong religion? Every week we’re just making God madder and madder?" Choosing the wrong God might be worse than believing in none at all.

That quote is dead on, so I’m calling that the rare double excellent usage.

A Conversation with Mike Reiss: One of The Simpsons’ Original Writers Sits Down with Discord – Pretty much what it says.  There isn’t a whole lot of new information here, but Reiss is always good for a laugh or two.  I did get an enjoyable sarcastic eye roll out of this:

J: So, final question, back to The Simpsons, I always wanted to ask, why did Bart’s ‘bad boy’ persona change as seasons went on?

M: We almost ran out of ideas for Bart. We just couldn’t relate to him. We were all more like Lisa in those days. Then we grew up, and all of a sudden we were Homer.

Hello, Smithers! Gizmodo likens SOPA to Mr. Burns – A screen grab a nice little writeup of Gizmodo’s banner on Wednesday.

Lisa Simpson <3 – Image of Lisa with the text of her epic “rich husband” rant from “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”.  Except for missing the word “anything” between “be” and “more” on the second line the quote is dead on.

Xbox Live Achievements for The Simpsons Arcade Game uncovered – There are ten of these, and while I’m not sure about “easier than arm wrestling”, the ones that are specific references come from Season 10 or earlier.  Just sayin’.

The Simpsons did it. They’ve done everything. – Turns out that “Lisa the Greek” correctly called the 3rd quarter score of last week’s Denver-New England game.

White pranks youth on new show – Another quote off by one word:

As occurs with most things in life, the new series Betty White’s Off Their Rockers brought to mind a quote from The Simpsons.

Homer, speaking to his father (universally known as Grandpa), adopted a sugary sweet tone as he said, "Dad, you’ve done a lot of great things. But you’re a very old man, and old people are useless."

Homer says “very old man now”.  Oh well, still excellent usage.

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Returns And Enchants, Even In Unneeded 3-D – Heh:

Besides, there are kids out there who don’t even know where Mr. Burns’ "See My Vest" number on The Simpsons came from. And they really should.

Don’t forget The Critic!  Though I’d guess lots more kids know “See My Vest” than “Beauty and King Dork”.

Marge Simpson and Homer Simpson. Diane Pernet and Karl Lagerfeld – A blog called Humor Chic, which I’ve linked before, went off this week drawing Simpsons characters like famous fashion people.  I can’t comment on the accuracy of these as I only recognize half the names and have no idea what these people look like, but here’s the full spread of links:

Bravo.

Bart and Lisa – Bart and Lisa Simpson Photo (28324403) – Fan made drawing of Bart wrecking Lisa’s snowman.

Ned Flanders by ~MrsLemmy on deviantART – Yet another fan made drawing, this time of Flanders looking quite butch after he rakes up some leaves.

The Simpsons Fan Art – Fantastic collection of fan made stuff.  I’ve seen some of them before, but there are a lot of new and good ones as well.  (via)

Apu – I chuckled.

NailArt and things: Pink Love and Bart Simpson – A shirt with a fan painted image of Bart peering around a corner.  Cool.

The Simpsons season 3 review – A glowing review of Season 3:

I would give this season a 10 out of 10 due to the fact that it doesn’t matter how many times you watch these episodes they never get old and its worth remembering that they were brought in 1992 and are still funny to this day.

I was listening to an Oakley & Weinstein commentary a month or so ago, and they said they thought Season 3 was the best one.

Bong Of The Day: Bart Bong – I think we can safely say that this does not fall under the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval:

This awesome Bart Bong from Excellent Pipes is pretty sweet, the Bart Simpson bowl is blown with 24ct. gold fumed glass!! It has a cool twist in the tube that act as an ice catcher to cool down your hits. I love the big rounded bowl shape that the base of this bong has.

You can buy a lot of weed for the price of a bong like that. 

Broken Hill Statue Totally Looks Like Homer Simpson – Yeah, kinda.

D’oh, A Simpsons Marathon Challenge – This is a very nice writeup of that stupid marathon FOX is doing to promote the 500th episode, and it doesn’t mention anything past Season 7.

Friday Five: Five Favorite Rolling Stone Covers – The ones with the family drawn as Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and the Beatles make #1 here.

‘The Simpsons’ approaching 500th episode – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:

We’ve been watching a lot of episodes of “The Simpsons” in my household lately. Not new episodes, but classics from old DVD collections.

My son has discovered the show and is currently obsessively watching the fifth season which, I’m startled to realize, aired several years before he was born.

I haven’t watched “The Simpsons” in years. As I’ve noted previously in this blog, I think the show ran out of steam somewhere around the 10th season. The few episodes I’ve seen in the past decade seemed cheap and obvious.

The fifth season, currently in “play all” mode at my house, was a whole different story.

Got that right.  It concludes:

The show’s 500th episode is set to air Feb. 19 and I might tune in. I want to enjoy the show like I did when acid-washed jeans were all the rage. I’m afraid both are cultural icons whose time has passed, though.

Yeah.




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