Posts Tagged ‘Moaning Lisa

11
Feb
20

Quote of the Day

“Lisa, get away from that jazz man!” – Marge Simpson
“But, Mom! Can’t I stay a little longer?” – Lisa Simpson
“Come on, come on, we were worried about you. Nothing personal, I just fear the unfamiliar.” – Marge Simpson

Happy 30th anniversary to “Moaning Lisa”! 

15
Sep
19

Quote of the Day

“That was beautiful. What’s it called?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, it’s a little tune that I call The I Never Had An Italian Soup Blues.” – Bleeding Gums Murphy

Happy Birthday, Mike Reiss! 

11
Oct
17

Behind Us Forever: Springfield Splendor

“She doesn’t look sad. I don’t see any tears in her eyes.” – Homer Simpson
“It’s not that kind of sad. I’m sorry, Dad, but you wouldn’t understand.” – Lisa

After last week’s little experiment, it’s back to regular Zombie Simpsons this week, including plots that don’t make sense, two clock eating montages, several unnecessarily self-voiced celebrities, the standard hacktacular ending, and plenty of characters telling us exactly how they’re feeling. As a sort of bonus, some of this week’s exposition is written down rather than spoken.

The story here is – and stop me if you’ve seen this one a dozen times before – Lisa is sad. She goes to a therapist who tells her to do “art therapy”, which turns into a comic book that she writes and Marge draws, which turns into a Broadway musical, which turns (at long last) into the end credits. There isn’t really a b-plot this week, so they tossed in some random scenes of Bart and Homer doing brief sketch pieces.

– No couch gag or title sequence, which means this one ran long, which is not a good sign, especially when the opening is Lisa having a dream that she narrates to us.

– Waking up, Lisa runs into Homer and Marge’s room where, in the span of just thirty seconds, they manage to do the “Homer wakes up instantly” joke twice.

– The family ends up at Springfield community college so Lisa can get discount therapy. Since this episode is mostly filler, they encounter Lenny on the front steps:

Lenny: I only paid a student dentist twelve dollars for this brand new crown. [He pulls out his tooth.] See?
Marge: I don’t think it’s supposed to come out.
Lenny: That’s why I paid a student para-legal to sue him. I lost! [He tosses the tooth aside and walks off.]

After this scintillating exchange, Homer looks at the family, then smiles and nods vigorously. This is funny, but not for the reasons the show wants.

– They walk by Dan Harmon teaching a class. He gets pelted with spitballs and falls down. This is the first of many useless self voiced celebrities.

– Homer tosses Bart into a dog grooming class because, hey, that’s funny.

– We finally get to the therapist, who is clearly pregnant but who also tells us she’s pregnant. I swear they sometimes read the stage directions out loud and nobody notices.

– Effort alert: there are a couple of book titles in the counselor’s office, the only one of which I liked was “The Social Psychology of Student Loan Debt”. But, hey, they’re kinda trying. Right?

– The Bart-as-dog thing is still going on as Lisa struggles to draw her feelings. Then Marge comes in and draws Lisa’s feeling for her. This leads to our first montage as Marge’s drawings of Lisa’s life are animated. This includes thought bubbles for this week’s distinguishing feature: written exposition.

– Lisa goes back to the community college therapist to show off her drawings and, dun dun dun, they’re not in her backpack. Outside we see Comic Book Guy and that wife they gave him finding the pages and deciding to publish them as a “Sad Girl” comic. This leads to more exposition from Lisa, who says, “It’s been a week and I still can’t find my therapy comic. I’d be just mortified if even one person saw my private thoughts.” They then walk by the comic book shop which has them in the window. [sad rimshot]

– This leads to a minute long scene that involves YouTube, exposition, a bear costume, more exposition, and then even more exposition until Lisa agrees to let them sell the book. Jebus, that took a while.

– Lisa becomes famous, with random people in the supermarket asking for her autograph and Mel shouting out the word “zeitgeist”. This leads to our second montage, which is accompanied by a one-word substitution “parody” of the old Rod Stewart song “Infatuation“. The credits will later inform me it was sung by Kipp Lenon, a/k/a the guy who did the singing for Michael Jackson back in Season 3. There’s your trivia moment for this one.

– After the montage, there’s a Homer and Bart sketch that uses the Andy Griffith Show theme song. That is all.

– Moving the plot along to a comic book festival, we get a women-in-art panel discussion with Marge, Lisa, and three self voiced celebrity writers/cartoonists. This takes a while and ends with Marge being jealous because all the questions are for Lisa. No, it doesn’t make any sense.

– Later, Marge wants to write her own comic, gets in a fight with Lisa, and then Martin Short shows up doing a half hearted impression of the voice he does on the PBS version of Cat in the Hat. He’s playing an “impish genius” who wants to turn the comic into a musical. I know he’s an “impish genius” because they tell us twice.

– A big part of what they think works here is recitations of previous shows this guy did. Lisa says he did a “Waiting for Godot” where Godot showed up, and an all dogs version of “Cats”. There’s gonna be like four more of these, all recounted seemingly out of nowhere.

– The Homer-Bart sketch interludes continue with Homer now thinking he’s going to be rich. I will update you as necessary.

– The next minute and a half is Martin Short rambling and Lisa getting jealous of Marge because the show is so off beat that “Sad Girl” is barely in it. This is conveyed to the audience via Lisa’s explicitly saying it, “Mom, he’s ignoring my story and making this all about your drawings.”

– Lisa flees back to the therapist, who now has a crib that she’s gently rocking. Remember, she was pregnant and they told us so. Now she obviously has a kid and they will tell us that as well. The need to make even the most obvious things explicit is among the seven or eight most annoying tics of this show.

– Homer is now planning to get a sail boat.

– The show finally starts and it’s basically montage #3, with lots of music and crazy stuff happening because wordless musicals are a good way to eat time.

– After one final scene of Martin Short yelling and explaining things, the music devolves into chaos and the audience flees.

– And we end at a bar where everyone is drinking and Marge and Lisa exposit their reconciliation.

The numbers are in, and thanks to a late Packers-Cowboys game, 5.25 million people saw Lisa be sad and felt the same way. Remember, ratings are meaningless and no one in charge of anything knows what they’re doing.

17
Dec
16

Cruelly Bleak Simpsons Lines

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“I’m just wondering: what’s the point? Would it make any difference at all if I never existed? How can we sleep at night when there’s so much suffering in the world?” – Lisa Simpson
“Well . . . uh . . . come on, Lisa! Ride the Homer horsey! Giddy-up, weeee!” – Homer Simpson

The Simpsons always took a pretty dim view not just of human nature, but of human existence generally. Misdeeds are rarely punished, triumphs are rarely recognized, and justice is all but non-existent. After all, if there’s one thing Homer’s learned, it’s that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

So, in honor of Simpsons Day, here are some of the show’s most existentially bleak lines. This list is by no means meant to be exhaustive, so feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

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“Please don’t make me retire. My job is the only thing that keeps me alive. I never married and my dog is dead.”

We only ever see Jack Marley in “Marge Gets a Job”, and he breaks down sobbing at this short, horrifically bleak summary of his own life. Worst/funniest of all: later we see him not get his job back, which means that the reason we haven’t seen him again is probably because he died shortly thereafter.

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“Sir, six cinder blocks are missing.”
“There’ll be no hospital then. I’ll tell the children.”

The children – presumably very sick ones – who’ve been waiting for a new hospital so they can get better, will now continue to suffer and die because Homer Simpson wanted a crappy bookshelf. Truly, fate is cruel.

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“I’m trying to turn it off.”
“No, bear want to live!”

The first time I saw Rick & Morty‘s ultra-depressing butter robot, I thought of Frink’s doomed bear. It’s a sentient being staring into an unanswerable existential crises because it was somebody’s side project. At least the robots in Westworld are magnificent masterpieces, the bear and the butter robot are hopeless.

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“I used to be with it, then they changed what it was. Not what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you.”

Even youth cannot protect you from obsolescence and death. There’s a reason I see this line quoted all the time as one of the show’s best: it’s depressing when you’re a kid, and it just gets worse with each passing year.

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“Most of you will never fall in love and marry out of fear of dying alone.”

Happiness is only ever attained by a few people, and certainly not by you. Congratulations on your nuptials.

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“I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Your beliefs and activism are probably futile, and even if you succeed it won’t have the effect you wanted. Vote Trump.

bart-vs-thanksgiving20

“Before we sit down to our delicious turkey puree, I have some happy news. The following people have relatives who wish they could be here today: Antonovsky, Conroy, Falcone, Martin, Thorson, and Walsh . . . oh, and Mrs. Spencer, you too.”
“Oh, I knew they wouldn’t forget me.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nobody got it worse on this show than old people. This poor, lonely old lady has her heart warmed because the family that imprisoned her in the Springfield Retirement Castle (Motto: Thanks for not discussing the outside world) sent a fax. Forget just on The Simpsons, that’s one of the saddest things on television ever.

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“Asa Phelps spent his entire life in Springfield except for four years service in World War II and one high school day trip. He worked at the United Strut and Bracing Works as a molder’s boy, until he was replaced by a molder-matic and died.”

A funeral with no guests, save two men who were waiting to profit from his death, now that’s bleak. A life spent entirely in Springfield, his only skill made obsolete, and then an unnoticed demise, Asa Phleps had it every bit as bad as Frank Grimes. At least Grimey’s funeral had mourners.

26
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Moaning Lisa Has Aged Very Well Edition

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“Just take mine.  A simple cupcake will bring me no pleasure.” – Lisa Simpson

This week we’ve got two links hearkening back to Season 1’s melancholy masterpiece “Moaning Lisa”, and two different fond remembrances of the first time someone ever watched the show.  Season 1 often gets overlooked for the very understandable reasons that it both looks and sounds quite different than it would even in Season 2, but those episodes still resonate with people, and that’s astonishing.  In addition to that, we’ve got a great Spider-Man put down, new old bootleg Bart, some .gifs, and a horrifying soccer mascot.

Enjoy.

Tom Holland is Spider-Man’s New “Hat” At A Time When I Wanted a Lisa Lionheart – Excellent usage:

The makers of Malibu Stacy, the Simpsons stand-in for Barbie, respond with an all-night brainstorming session where it is decided to release a Malibu Stacy which is exactly the same but has a new hat.

A River of Melted Hot Butter – This is a transcript of a diary from when the author was a kid, and this is great:

After dinner we went to ACE and got some candy.  I got some gum.  It was so good.  I’m chewing the gum right now.  I am also watching The Simpsons.  It is my favorite episode.  At 7:00, Jamie is coming to spend the night.  Anyway, it’s almost seven and she’s going to miss The Simpsons.  That’s okay, she saw it when she came over today.

But what episode is it??

Three Men And A Comic Book – This is true:

-Wow, they got away with Homer saying “T.S.” on prime-time television, in the early 90s. Sure, it was just an acronym, but it was still pretty bold for the time.

Also, too, I was about the only kid I knew who hated The Wonder Years, so I’ve always loved when Homer keeps interrupting Bart’s narrative staring.

Sex and The Simpsons – And none of the examples are from Zombie Simpsons, hooray.  Also, there’s a .gif of Homer in the Mr. Plow jacket.

The Shearer Situation: An Overview – Our old friend Noah takes a look at the why of Shearer’s departure:

So, why would he leave then? Well, these seem to be the three prevailing theories:

Be Street – Bootleg Bart Creative Contest – Modern takes on classic Bart.  Notorious B.A.R.T. is great.

Hank Azaria on Harry Shearer’s Simpsons Dispute – No real news here, but at least Azaria’s got a sense of humor about it:

Azaria, who conceded, “If he really doesn’t come back, the show has to continue in some way at least for a while … Maybe we’ll do a YouTube thing, like how they found that Asian guy that sings for Journey.”

LISTEN: The Simpsons ‘Moaning Lisa’ Review – Just what it says.  I love that episode.

Caitlyn Jenner is given The Simpsons treatment with her Vanity Fair cover – That same Italian artists strikes again.

Is Pixar’s Inside Out Just a Herman’s Head Rip-Off? – Excellent usage:

Oh, really, Pixar, you’re going inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl to visit the personifications of her primary emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black), all of whom congregate in “headquarters.”  In the immortal words of George Harrison watching the Bee Sharps perform on top of Moe’s Bar on The Simpsons, “It’s been done.

Incidentally, Inside Out was fantastic.

Pixar’s Inside Out: Riley is a feminist hero. – Double excellent usage:

They’re clearly well-meaning, but they’re guilt-tripping their kid. (The scenario echoes a 1990 Simpsons episode in which sweet Marge Simpson implores a down-in-the-dumps Lisa to “take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down past your knees, until you’re almost walking on them.”)

And:

The only thing to do is forgive yourself and try to do better next time. (Marge Simpson came around, too; she apologizes to Lisa and says, “Always be yourself. If you want to be sad, honey, be sad. We’ll ride it out with you.”)

Perfectly quoted and apt (and have I mentioned Inside Out is really good?).

Eye On Springfield: Ross Mckendrick – Fantastic:

What is your history with the Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
I was born in 1988, so The Simpsons has been around pretty much my whole life. I was aware of it from a very young age but my family never had satellite TV, which was the only way you could see episodes in the UK at that time. The first time I ever saw the show itself must’ve been Hallowe’en 1994, because it was the Treehouse Of Horror episode with ‘The Shinning’ in it.
I only managed to catch it because my mum had taken me out guising (which is what we call trick-or-treating in Scotland), and as we reached the house about 2 doors down from ours the episode was just starting. I invited myself into this family’s house, plonked myself in front of their TV and pretty much refused to leave for most of the episode.
I was totally enthralled by it, I didn’t even bother doing my ‘trick’, which was my pretty killer Jim Carrey impression (I had dressed as The Mask; green face, zoot suit and everything). I thought the fact they had a Scottish character was awesome, and even more awesome was the fact it was a cartoon, but it had axe murders in it. I seriously thought the whole show was like that; a twisted cartoon take on movies I wasn’t allowed to watch yet.
It was love at first sight.
 

Al Jean has 90 hours (and counting) of Simpsons commentaries under his belt – Not a great deal of big information in this Jean interview, but this is kinda funny:

AVC: Have you found that people know your voice from the commentaries now?

AJ: Yes, in a very spooky fashion. I was at an airport restaurant in Arizona, and I hadn’t given my credit card, and the guy goes, “Oh, you’re Al Jean from The Simpsons!” That is a bizarre feeling.

Homer and Marge address the ‘split’ rumours – The show put out a ninety second video to keep attention on them for CNN’s fuckup.  You will be unsurprised to learn that it contains a lot of exposition and Homer gets badly hurt and yells.

Partick Thistle’s new half sun/half Lisa Simpson mascot is absolutely terrifying – That is serious nightmare fuel.

Top Five TV Sofas and Chairs – Even British furniture companies know that the Simpsons couch is iconic.

Fashion Spotlight: Fighting Scottish, Doof Warrior vs The Mad, and Fight Like A Princess – Groundskeeper Willie as athletic mascot.

agoodcartoon: fumbling but well-meaning, the… – Reader Ethan P sends in this Tennessee political cartoon featuring, Burns, Homer, and a mouthwatering donut.  Thanks, Ethan!

New trending GIF tagged reaction the simpsons simpsons… – It’s TS for Ralph.

New trending GIF tagged reaction the simpsons laughing… – Burns laughing maniacally.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons via… – Barney turning into Minday and back again.  Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.

Eye On Springfield: Kathy Bejma Of Metalcakes/Faberge Egg Salad – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  This is an interview with the blog author who did the recipes I linked last week, and in addition to having some great Simpsons patches and buttons (which you can see at the link), there’s this:

Do you still watch the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
I don’t watch the show anymore. I’m a fan of seasons 1-10. There are 2 or 3 episodes I like in season 11, but that’s it.
I stopped watching when the jokes weren’t clever anymore. More times than not, I was laughing because I was uncomfortable, not because it was actually funny.

Amen, sister.

12
Feb
13

Permanent Record: Mr. Largo

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“Alright, class, from the top: one and two and three and. . .” – Mr. Largo

American primary schools are filled with godawful bands.  While a few students might genuinely like playing music and even have some skill, most of the members are kids that have no particular aptitude for music, aren’t overly fond of their instruments, and/or are only in the band because their parents made them join.  In this context, “band” is just another class or after school activity, something most of the kids will go through the motions for, if only to keep the adults off their backs.  At the head of this artistically doomed enterprise is the music teacher, someone who has, for whatever reason, ended up teaching on the lowest rung of musical education. 

Mr. Largo perfectly exemplifies every bad stereotype there is about school music teachers.  He’s an authoritarian, he long ago lost whatever passion he had for music or his work, and, as Lisa would reveal in Season 2, his most profound lesson to probably his best student was that “even the noblest concerto can be drained of its beauty and soul”.  We can see all of these traits in Largo’s brief two scenes in “Moaning Lisa”. 

In the first, at band practice, he not only lashes out at Lisa for not playing along dully like the rest of the students, but evinces not a whit of empathy for her or the hardscrabble Americans she invokes as her justification for straying from the sheet music.  All he cares about is making those kids play “My Country Tis of Thee”, and if their rendition is off key, off rhythm and only barely recognizable as the song they’re trying to play, well, he doesn’t care about that. 

In his second appearance, just after Marge has given Lisa her terrible advice about smiling no matter what, he point blank tells Lisa that he doesn’t want any more “creativity” from her.  For Largo, music isn’t about being creative, it’s about muddling through with strict adherence to the original, however inadequate or terrible sounding. 

As a character, and despite his inclusion in the opening credits, Largo never developed into a standby the way many other Season 1 creations did.  He didn’t become Lisa’s foil the way Krabappel and Skinner were Bart’s, and except for background shots he rarely appeared outside of the school.  But as with so many other characters, Largo didn’t need a great deal of backstory or his own star turn in an episode to make him seem like a real person.  He was a music teacher who, by temperament, talent and good, old fashioned apathy, was cut out to be little else.  He didn’t really like his job or his students, and that made him a perfect fit in Springfield and at Springfield Elementary.

11
Feb
13

Quote of the Day

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“My friends call me Bleeding Gums.” – Bleeding Gums Murphy
“Eww, how’d you get a name like that?” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, lemme put it this way, you ever been to the dentist?” – Bleeding Gums Murphy
“Yeah.” – Lisa Simpson
“Not me.  I suppose I should go to one, but I got enough pain in my life as it is.” – Bleeding Gums Murphy




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