Posts Tagged ‘Pranks and Greens

28
Nov
09

Crazy noises: Pranks and Greens

Separate Vocations2

“You know before I saw these test results I had you pegged as a drifter.” – Dr. J. Loren Pryor
“Wow, a drifter . . .” – Bart Simpson
“Lousy sheriff, run me out of town, he’s lost my vote.” – Drifter Bart
“Cool.” – Bart Simpson

In our continuing mission to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re bringing back our “Crazy Noises” series and applying it to Season 21.  Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough not on “antithetical”).

We’re once again getting this up at the expiration date but here’s me and Dave carping about “Pranks and Greens”. (Mad Jon didn’t come in this week, he is presumed dead or on vacation.) Since this episode was utterly terrible and it’s just the two of us, it didn’t take very long at all. Hooray for half-assing things.

Charlie Sweatpants: Are we still on that awful prank episode? Thanks to the holiday it feels like a lot longer than just last Sunday.

Dave: Yeah, what’s on your mind?

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, all kinds of shit.

Dave: I’ve successfully pushed it out my consciousness since watching it with you

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, like most of Zombie Simpsons, much as I hate it at the time it always gets worse the more I think about it.

Why did Bart care about this kid again?

Dave: Some misplaced notion about being outdone?

Charlie Sweatpants: And since when does he not think it’d be cool to be a drifter, or test dangerous food additives, or be a 19th century cockney boot black when he grows up?

Dave: That Bart died a long time ago.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah he died a long time ago, but this wasn’t just out of character, this was antithetical to everything he stands for.

The very core, the absolute heart of hearts of what makes Bart Simpson Bart Simpson (and what made him popular in the first place) is "underachiever and proud of it".

Dave: Absolutely. Sunday’s Bart spat in the face of that, and then turned into a soft, yielding reformist pushover in what seemed like three seconds

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly.

Dave: It could’ve been any other character honestly.

They chose Bart so that we could get unnecessary Skinner/Groundskeeper Willie backstory as a bonus

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh yeah, that was terrible.

  I’m a big advocate of the fact that the show doesn’t need to make sense from episode to episode, but how many times are we going to find out about Skinner’s background?

Dave: No shit.

Charlie Sweatpants: He was always a dork, no he was a rebel, no he was always a dork, at some point you can’t help but go numb.

Dave: Bingo. The idea of a "cool" Skinner is beyond preposterous

Charlie Sweatpants: And then there was the B-plot which even by the standards of B-plots was time filler. I mean, health food jokes? Ohh, take that Whole Foods.

Dave: I think we talked about that on Sunday – that’s easy comic fodder, but even they managed to fuck that up

  There was no biting insight, just hackneyed cliches. Ohhh, parents concerned about BPA, take that yuppies

It makes me long for "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield"

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much, I mean it’s one thing to take a topic that’s easily mocked and fail to mock it, but it’s another to include a little message at the end.

That’s a topic for another time, but the fact that the Simpsons really aren’t poor any more detracts from a lot of things.

Dave: There was a message?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the whole "I guess doing the best I can is alright" thing. I don’t know, maybe I was reading too much into it.

Dave: You’re right. They aren’t poor anymore…

  That’s a pretty shit message. "I like me just the way I am"

Charlie Sweatpants: Anyway, is there anything we’ve missed on this one?

Dave: Nah, I don’t think so

We’ve got tried and true characters acting not like themselves for 20-some, laughter-devoid minutes

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, do we need to discuss the ending? With the worm tank and the "suspense" of whether or not Bart can save Krusty?

Dave: I think the less said about that the better.

Charlie Sweatpants: Good because the whole Bart doesn’t know it’s a stunt (lots of string music), but then it is, and then there’s a happy ending for everyone thing was just excruciating to watch.

Dave: Well look on the bright side, no new episodes for 2 whole weeks

Charlie Sweatpants: Really?

Sweet.

Dave: That’s my Black Friday gift to you.

  I willed it so.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, you meant after this Sunday.

  Damn you for getting my hopes up.

Dave: Oh yes, sorry.

  I got my own hopes up too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Your cruelty has boomeranged on you.

Dave: And how!

24
Nov
09

Synergy Pines for Its Lost Youth and Innocence

“There has been a shocking decline in the quality and quantity of your toadying, Waylon!” – C.M. Burns

Much like last week, this week’s IGN Simpsons “review” was surprisingly long on criticism within the text before giving it a good number anyway.  I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but this episode scored a 6.9 when the actual review was mostly negative even before I edited out the synergy.  What would it have needed to do to score less than that?  True, the tone is still that of a gently cowed subordinate, but the substance of this review is pretty damning. 

November 23, 2009 – "Pranks and Greens" was the tale of two stories. The first was an entertaining  a hacktacular mystery about a boy who was once better at pulling off pranks than Bart Simpson. The second was a boring, unfunny tale about Bart helping that boy become a better person. Guest voice Jonah Hill (Superbad) added little to the loser character.

The episode had a fun start. Bart and sidekick Milhouse were spending their time pulling off pranks around the school. Upcoming pranks they were working on in their brainstorming session included stunts they called "Night of a Thousand Skunks," "Tora, Tora, Toilet," and "Untitled Skateboard Project." It was goofy and fun and ended with Skinner’s balloon-elevated engine crashing back to earth onto the top of his car. Bart’s nonsensical punishment was cleaning the playground, which led to a snortingly funny bit with Ralph being launched off the very slippery slide a bunch of clock eating physical “comedy”. Bart’s bragging led prompted Skinner for some reason to reveal that the boy may be the best prankster of his era, but not of all time.

This set Bart off on a quest to learn the identity of this mysterious prankster, for some other reason. This, too, was quite entertaining. In a piece of unnecessary retconning Bart discovered that Skinner had once been a hip and happy young principal, only to become the Skinner we know today after an undisclosed incident. After some research, Bart approached Groundskeeper Willie who, for yet another reason, retold the tale of "The Night of the Wigglers." The prank got Skinner caught in a pool full of worms for three days and the retelling revealed the prankster to be… Andy Hamilton some guy.

Jonah Hill voiced Andy Hamilton some guy and it was basically straightforward stuff. Lisa rightfully characterized the character — now 19, not in school, unemployed and living with his parents — as a loser. Seeing that he was on a similar path, and giving a shit for yet another unfathomably out-of-character reason, Bart tried to help Andy turn his life around. Bart went to Krusty for help., and Krusty’s list of things he wouldn’t do was a good laugh: "I won’t read screenplays, that’s for your protection. Oh, and you can’t ride on my private jet. And I won’t give a struggling young comic his first chance. I won’t give a broken down hack his last chance…" But the storyline itself was short on funny. There was little to like about the character of Andy, and Hill’s voice work was too unexceptional to lift the character above the weak dialogue. The twist of Andy using his old worm prank to write a bit for the Krusty show was none too surprising, but I did enjoy roll my eyes at the phony self deprecation of Lisa’s continued use of the "loser" title now that Andy was a television writer.

Filling out the episode contractually obligated running time was a silly plot about Marge making the extra effort to buy healthier foods for her family and her Midday Mommies play group. The thing I most enjoyed here were the songs played for the kids in the group was the brief relief from watching Bart act like Marge.  "I’m not gonna poop in the tub" was a nice lesson, and we also learned that "doggies and kitties don’t last forever, but they do a lot better than fish." But the The food jokes felt too were 100% generic. Healthy food is expensive and tastes bad, we know. The only other standout line came from Homer telling Marge that "Lard Glug" contains neither lard nor glug.

The episode had a good start, but veered into a less than impressive direction more or less immediately. Marge’s storyline, while cute less nauseating than the main one in parts, was really just filler more than anything else. The pranks and the mystery at the beginning of the half hour seemed to be trying to setting up something, but twas all a waste better than Bart trying to help a kid we just met who didn’t really have any redeeming qualities. A few bits had their moments, including Milhouse imagining Andy’s sidekick and Willie as Swim Coach Willie, but it wasn’t enough to save the second half doldrums.

23
Nov
09

Zombie Simpsons Ignored by 97.7% of US Population

Pranks and Greens

Last nights exercise in dull was watched by a mere 7.04 million unfortunate souls.  That number is the the lowest of the season and lower than any episode ever broadcast in the fall.  Even though I know these numbers don’t mean anything it’s still nice to see a really awful one like this.  I can’t wait for the winter ratings because if this fall’s numbers are any indicator they are going to be terrible. 

On the downside Zombie Simpsons won it’s completely meaningless competition with The Cleveland Show giving it a 4-2 lead overall.  That’s one less ivory back scratcher for Seth MacFarlane. 

22
Nov
09

Giving This post a Decent Title Would Require More Thought than Zombie Simpsons Devotes to a Whole Episode

Bart is Marge, Marge is Homer, and painfully trite exposition can take up a lot of time if you don’t care in the least about the quality of what you’re doing.  I don’t mind pointless meandering narratives from elderly relatives (the holidays are coming up and I’m 100% ready), but, rightly or wrongly, I expect more from $5,000,000 television episodes.  Making a teevee audience suffer through a 22-minute after school special about the horrors of being a slacker when they could be doing almost anything else is an outright disgrace.  Less unfunny alternatives include waiting for downloads to finish, masturbating when you aren’t horny, and watching television programs that are well paced, written with a semblance of care, and not 100% composed of suck.

This post has no ending because the Zombie Simpsons episode in question didn’t have one either.  That is all.

20
Nov
09

Sunday Preview: “Pranks and Greens”

I don’t know what a “Jonah Hill” is, but apparently there will be one guest starring in this Sunday’s episode of Zombie Simpsons. Here’s the brief description from Simpsons Channel:

Bart tracks down Andy Hamilton, Springfield Elementary’s best prankster ever (guest voice Jonah Hill) and they become fast friends until Bart gets Andy a job working for the ultimate clown.

Not much to work with, admittedly, but I’m not holding my breath for this one. And, bonus, we’ve got an encore presentation of the dreadful Season 21 opener, “Homer the Whopper.” Fox has deemed it fit to let us revel in feeling our grey matter disintegrate for a FULL FUCKING HOUR. Truly, what a god amongst broadcasters they are.




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