Posts Tagged ‘New Kid on the Block

12
Nov
19

Quote of the Day

“There you are! Thought you could get away?” – Homer Simpson
“Goodbye.” – Prospective Simpson Neighbor

05
Aug
19

Quote of the Day

“Actually, a woman is more like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one! . . . But you can’t stop at one! You wanna drink another woman! . . . So I says, yeah, if you want that money, come and find it, cause I don’t know where it is ya baloney, you make me wanna retch . . .” – Homer Simpson

12
Nov
18

Quote of the Day

“But, Marge, I think he should learn about it the same way I did.” – Homer Simpson
“Are you sure?” – Marge Simpson
“Zookeeper! Zookeeper! Those two monkeys are killing each other!” – Homer Simpson
“They’re having sex.” – Zookeeper
“Oh.” – Homer Simpson

12
Nov
17

Quote of the Day

“Homer, Bart’s at a very curious age. As his father, I think you should have a frank and earthy discussion about . . . you know.” – Marge Simpson

23
Jul
17

Quote of the Day

 

“Sometimes I think you want to fail!” – First Guy From Kabul
“Shut up. Just shut up!” – Second Guy From Kabul

12
Feb
17

Quote of the Day

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“Homer, I’ve a proposition for ye. Fair and true.” – Captain McAllister
“C’mon, Marge, let the people see your pretty face.” – Homer Simpson
“Come see Bottomless Pete, Nature’s cruelest mistake! Come for the freak! Stay for the food!” – Captain McAllister
“Oh, he’s hideous!” – Female Crowd Member
“I heard they shaved a gorilla.” – Male Crowd Member

12
Nov
16

Quote of the Day

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“Now, if you’ll excuse us, this is a sacred moment between a boy and his father. Son, a woman is a lot like . . . um, a refrigerator! They’re about six feet tall, three hundred pounds . . . they . . . make ice.” – Homer Simpson

18
Apr
16

Quote of the Day

WireHangersExpiredMedicine

“Hello, what’s this? Wire hangers? Expired medicine? Old newspapers! Okay, Homer, stay calm. Just quietly get this stuff inside your house. Homer! You’re not listening!” – Homer Simpson

Happy birthday Conan O’Brien!

12
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

Tiptoe

“I’ll send Laura over to babysit as soon as she gets home.” – Ruth Powers
“Great.  Oh, uh, and there was something else, something I was supposed to tip-toe around.” – Homer Simpson
“My divorce.” – Ruth Powers
“That’s it!  Whew, I’m glad one of us remembered.  That could’ve been embarrassing.” – Homer Simpson

10
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Still Waiting For Renewal Edition

New Kid on the Block23

“You’ve been flushing for twenty minutes.  Is there a problem?” – Principal Skinner
“Uh, no, Principal Skinner.” – Jimbo Jones
“Very well.  I’ll continue to wait.” – Principal Skinner

As near as anyone can tell, the show remains without an official renewal.  Eika Isabel Vega, who’s been a real good sport about me using her Twitter feed to track the potential death of her job, tweeted this an hour ago:

VegaTweet2My guess is still that it’ll be renewed, but it looks like production is beginning to shut down, so we’ll see what happens.  In regular link news, this week we’ve got some great fan art, the death of DVDs, emoji Simpsons, a look back at when the show knew how to inject culture into its episodes, and more.

Enjoy.

11 Minimalist Simpsons Posters – Oh, wow, some of these are outstanding.  And you can download them as wallpapers if you like.

And now for something completely silly – Classic Simpsons quotes told through emojis.  A sample:

emojiquote

There’s a few more at the link.  The dogs with bees in their mouths in inspired.

The Similarities Between Saul Goodman And Lionel Hutz – Pretty much the same guy.

Jerkface – The Donut Mobile – Someone painted a small truck with Homer and donuts.  Excellent.

The Simpsons Outlives DVD Market – Darn, I guess I’ll never get to own all those great Season 18 episodes.  Then I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes.

No More Simpsons Seasons Released on DVD – Reader John H. sends in this IGN link, with a picture/headline juxtaposition that doesn’t quite convey the sadness the article presumes to be occurring among fans:

WooHooNoMoreDVDs

Heh.

Pixar’s Brad Bird Talks French Food, Animated Rats And New Film ‘Tomorrowland’ – Bird was on some NPR show and they gave him a truly dumb Simpsons quiz near the end.  He missed one, but the impression he was supposed to be guessing was terrible.

128th-Final, Round 6: Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul – That’s a tough one.

11 best uses of bad grammar from The Simpsons – There are about three Zombie Simpsons entries on here, which is three too many considering they left out “perfectly cromulent”, “no more apples in the vending machine please”, and Lionel Hutz not working on contingency.

iOS 8.3 Emoji with ‘Simpsons’ complaints – Definitely a bit of resemblance there.

Locating Springfield, A Simpsons Theory. – Enjoyably pointless.  Heh.

The Simpsons and King Arthur – Ah, for when the show made pointed little cultural insights a habit:

During its second season, The Simpsons aired an episode entitled “Dead Putting Society,” about a miniature-golf match between Bart Simpson and his neighbor Todd. What qualifies this episode as a “medieval afterlife” is the miniature-golf setting itself. On Bart’s first visit, it’s introduced by a sign at the entrance: “Sir Putt-a-Lot’s Merrie Olde Fun Center,” with a cartoon icon of a jousting knight; further attractions listed include “Her Majesty’s Batting Cage” and “Merlin’s Video Dungeon.” The “Merrie Olde Fun Center” itself, shown in the background, is a pseudo-medieval castle, and throughout the episode attentive viewers may catch sight of signs for “Ye Olde” everything: “Ye Olde End of Course,” etc.
I’m always charmed by this episode because these post-medieval features are treated as throwaways: they’re not necessary to the plot, and no one calls attention to them; indeed, the viewer has to slo-mo through the entrance sign if s/he is to appreciate the Fun Center’s features. It’s all just part of the lower-middle-class decor, and thus reflects an important aspect of the medieval Arthurian afterlife in the USA: its association with class aspirations. Everyone has seen a trailer park or motel named “King Arthur’s Court,” and the creators of The Simpsons clearly understood this phenomenon as widespread enough to be satirized for the TV audience.

Welcome to Springfield, U.S.A!!! – Having a few of the Seven Duffs as shrubbery is pretty cool.

My New Favorite Cardigan – One of those Hello Kitty/Simpsons sweaters out in the wild on a real person.  Looking good.

this makes me really want donuts – Animated .gif of Homer in Hell, eating all the donuts in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv dancing the simpsons… – Homer wants candy.

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons martin… – Finland, let’s see that native dance.

12
Nov
14

Quote of the Day

New Kid on the Block22

“That man ate all our shrimp!  And two plastic lobsters!” – Fryin’ Dutchman Teenager
“‘Tis no man, ’tis a remorseless eating machine.  Argh.” – Captain McAllister

08
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

New Kid on the Block21

“Aww, not again.” – Clumsy Student Mover

03
Jun
14

Quote of the Day

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“That medicine’s not for you!” – Marge Simpson
“Come on, Marge, maybe I’m not getting enough . . . estrogen.” – Homer Simpson
“Gimme that!” – Marge Simpson

24
Jan
14

Quote of the Day

New Kid on the Block19

“There’s a few things you could do to help us sell our home.  First, whenever you walk in front of your window, could you please wear pants?” – Mrs. Winfield
“Hmmm, no.” – Homer Simpson

06
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

The Oldest Woman

“Grampa, I need some advice.  Did you ever have a crush on an older woman?” – Bart Simpson
“I had a crush on the oldest woman!  One-hundred-and-twenty-years old she was.  Here’s a picture of her delivering Eubie Blake.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“What happened?” – Bart Simpson
“She fell in with that Guinness Book of Records crowd.  Suddenly she didn’t have any time for me.  Oh, I wore a fifteen pound beard of bees for that woman, but it just wasn’t enough.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

05
Jun
13

Quote of the Day

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“Oh, no all you can eat seafood.  I wore my extra loose pants for nothing, nothing!” – Homer Simpson

22
Mar
13

Quote of the Day

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“Marge, we’re going to that restaurant.” – Homer Simpson
“But I think I’m allergic to seafood.  The last time I ate shrimp my throat closed up and I went into convulsions.” – Marge Simpson
“Mmmm, shrimp.” – Homer Simpson

08
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

New Kid on the Block16

“Shut up, you little monsters! . . . Hello, I was wondering if you’d like to babysit my little angels.” – Homer Simpson
“Sorry, this isn’t Abby.  This is her sister.  I look after her now.” – Abby’s Sister
“No, Bart.  Put it down.  Put it down, Bart.  Bart, put it down.” – Abby

12
Nov
12

Quote of the Day

New Kid on the Block15

“All you can eat, ha!” – Homer Simpson
“Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film ‘The Neverending Story’.” – Lionel Hutz
“So, do you think I have a case?” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, I don’t use the word hero very often, but you are the greatest hero in American history.” – Lionel Hutz
“Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “New Kid on the Block”!  Original airdate 12 November 1992.

19
Apr
12

Compare & Contrast: March-April Romances

New Kid on the Block14

“She’s beautiful.  Say something clever!” – Bart’s Brain
“I fell on my bottom.” – Bart Simpson
D’oh!” – Bart’s Brain

There are a lot problems with “Beware My Cheating Bart”.  For starters, it’s kinda sexist and disturbing.  Beyond that, it’s further evidence that Zombie Simpsons has turned its kid characters into empty, anti-human nobodies.  And, of course, it manages to lack any kind of story coherence while doing all those things.  What makes it all more glaring than usual is the way “Beware My Cheating Bart” so closely follows the plot, structure, and even jokes of the boundlessly superior “New Kid on the Block”.

One of the most handy things anyone ever told me about sexism was that the easiest way to gauge how sexist something is or isn’t was by reversing the gender roles and seeing how weird or fucked up it would seem.  Applying that little rubric, “Beware My Cheating Bart” fails miserably compared to “New Kid on the Block”.  In the latter, it would mean a ten-year-old girl developing a crush on the fourteen(ish)-year-old boy next door, showing him that his girlfriend was bad news, and then ending with them bonding as friends by making a prank call.  A little unusual, maybe, but certainly not creepy.  In Zombie Simpsons, it would mean a fourteen(ish)-year-old boy flashing a ten-year-old girl, then making out with her repeatedly, hanging around with her in little kid pizza joints, and running about town late at night.  That is creepy, no two ways about it, and that means you might not want to be doing it at all.

Felonious

Uh . . . yeah, please don’t do that again.

Leaving that unpleasantness behind us forever, the best way to shake off the weirdness of having a character the episode identifies as a “total pre-puber” getting hot and heavy in the privacy of the principal’s office is to remember that it’s been a long time since Bart was anything like a normal kid, and the same goes for Jimbo and everyone else in this episode.  Just in that first scene in the movie theater, we get sitcom-tastic clunkers like this:

Dolph: We’re gonna to be checking out a delightful Hong Kong horror remake known as ‘Crawlspace’, based on Paxing Kongjian.

And this:

Jimbo: Shauna, food for thought, if we don’t watch movies about torture in crawlspaces, how will we know what to do if someone puts us in a torture crawlspace?
Kearney: Not if, when.
Shauna: Nah.  I’m gonna go see one of those Jennifer Aniston movies where she rolls her eyes on the poster.

This kind of stilted, formulaic dialogue is hacktacular on a couple of levels.  First of all, what little humor they’re trying to wring out of these fake movies dissolves away when you have your characters basically explain the jokes as they’re saying them, not to mention the movie posters behind them that do the same thing.

We'd Better Make Super Sure the Audience Gets These

Ha!  That’s what s/he just said.  I get it now!  I get jokes. 

More importantly, nobody talks like this except comedy writers.  None of the characters here act like actual characters, instead they’re little more than animated loudspeakers.  The things they’re saying don’t work in the context of where or who they are; they only make sense if you’re sitting in a room with a bunch of people constantly hurling punchlines at one another.  Zombie Simpsons may not have a laughtrack, but it’d be awfully easy to insert canned laughter into that.  Observe:

Jimbo: Shauna, food for thought, if we don’t watch movies about torture in crawlspaces, how will we know what to do if someone puts us in a torture crawlspace?
[Short laugh]
Kearney: Not if, when.
[Longer laugh]
Shauna: Nah.  I’m gonna go see one of those Jennifer Aniston movies where she rolls her eyes on the poster.
[Long laugh, with subtle amounts of “ooh”]

Each line is its own self contained piece of cheap fluff, and there’s hardly any interaction between them.  Now, consider the first time we see some of the same characters in “New Kid on the Block”.  Bart and Laura are sitting on the curb in front of Laura’s new house while their moms are inside talking.  They don’t spit ungainly cultural references back and forth, instead they actually get to know each other as Bart tries out his little pranks and Laura impresses him by already knowing them.

Similarly, when Dolph and Kearney walk by, they don’t immediately crack some joke that’s intended for the audience instead of the other people who are supposedly right in front of them.  They speak like there really is a girl sitting there, with Kearney trying one of those hideous pick up lines that only seem like good ideas to very naive teenage boys:

Kearney: Hey, baby, how ’bout putting your finger in my ear.
Laura: Well, I don’t know, your boyfriend looks like the jealous type.
Kearney: Hey, what the?
Dolph: That chick’s messing with our minds.
Kearney: Let’s get out of here!

Each line leads directly and necessarily into the next, so not only is this funnier, but it also works naturally with who these characters are and what each of them is trying to do.  Laura continues to demonstrate how cool she is by effortlessly annihilating Kearney’s hapless pass at her, while Kearney and Dolph fail, panic and flee from a girl who’s clearly smarter and tougher than they are.  On top of all that, the audience sees Bart’s crush on Laura deepen after he watches her defeat his tormentors.

New Kid on the Block12

Sigh.  She’s dreamy. 

This sort of thing can be seen throughout both episodes.  In “New Kid on the Block”, Bart and Laura both act like kids their age.  Laura babysits, plays video games at the Kwik-E-Mart, and completely overlooks Bart’s puppy love because she has no reason to notice it.  Meanwhile, Bart falls head over heels, but has no idea how to go about it (in no small part because Homer gets drunk while failing to explain the facts of life to him).  The jokes and humor (Two Guys from Kabul, Escape from Death Row) are inserted into natural interactions for two kids like them to have.

In “Beware My Cheating Bart”, the opposite happens.  What jokes there are get blasted into weird situations, while Bart, Shauna, Jimbo, Lisa and everyone else act like dating weary adults.  They give each other sophisticated relationship advice, know every cliche, and generally act like the same kind of one dimensional characters you’ll find in those eye rolling Jennifer Aniston movies.  They couldn’t be less like real kids if they were played by hard bodied, thirty-something movie stars:

Shauna: I want to find out who I am.  And that’s something only an inappropriately older man can tell me.
Bart:  Well, that is one lucky, creepy guy.

By this point in the episode, I have no idea who these people are supposed to be, or even if they’re still people at all.  When this happens, Jimbo has apparently been patrolling Bart’s back yard for hours on end, Shauna has realized out of the blue that she wants something else, and Bart drops his entire infatuation as though it never happened.  There’s no connection between events, things happen because everyone’s been through this so many times before that, when it comes to what should be the climax of the story, they already know what to do.

By contrast, in “New Kid on the Block”, Bart thinks Laura is finally taking a shine to him when she confides in him that she’s started dating Jimbo.  Bart doesn’t see this coming, and Laura doesn’t realize how much she just hurt him.  Neither of them is really aware of what’s going on with the other because – again – they’re just kids.  Check out Laura’s swooning description of what she likes about Jimbo:

Bart: How can you like that guy?
Laura: I don’t know.  Maybe cause he’s an outlaw.  You know that dead body they found behind the mayor’s house?
Bart: Jimbo killed him?
Laura: No, but he poked him with a stick.

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Hey look!  Characters emoting. 

Just as with Laura’s dismissing of Kearney, everyone here is perfectly in character, and they sneak in that joke about Quimby murdering someone while keeping the dialogue very kid-like.  On top of that, none of them knows where things are going to go from here.  Laura likes Jimbo because she thinks he’s a good looking rebel who plays by his own rules.  Jimbo likes Laura because she’s a cool chick who doesn’t mind when he takes his shirt off.  And Bart schemes to break them apart because he knows that Jimbo is bad news.  Instead of romance veterans who go through the motions, Laura, Jimbo and Bart all act like themselves right up to the end. 

Zombie Simpsons took a bad romantic comedy template, grafted their characters onto it without the least bit of consideration as to why any of them would act like that way, and figured a few semi-clever asides would be enough to redeem it.  The Simpsons knew how to create something better than that, because on that show they understood that having kids act like kids isn’t an impediment to having them be funny.




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