Posts Tagged ‘Saturdays of Thunder


Quote of the Day

“I might remind you both I did design that racer. The driver is essentially ballast.” – Martin Prince


Jumping Sharks and Riding Whales

Chalkboard - The Squirt and the Whale

“Now, Henry Winkler, there’s a father.  Listen to what he told a close friend, ‘I don’t always keep my cool like the Fonz, but my love for my kids has given me plenty of happy days’.” – Selma Bouvier

While Homer was being menaced by sharks this week, I couldn’t help but think of that most damning of cultural epitaphs: jumped the shark.  Isn’t falling into the ocean from a magically conjured motorboat, getting hit in the head by a bucket (why a bucket?), and then being saved from sharks by riding a whale at least as bankrupt an idea as having a leather jacketed stunt double on water skies jump over a pen that has stock footage of a shark inside of it?  At the very least it’s in the same category.  Sadly, Happy Days went on for six more seasons after that fateful episode, let’s hope this one doesn’t take as long. 

Before that unimaginably boring ending, however, the writers had to reach deep into their bag of tricks to fill that ever more onerous 20 minute minimum.  There was a long couch gag, a 45-second montage, a completely pointless dream sequence, and an “action” sequence that finds the cartoon trope of circling shark fins new and exciting.  And even that wasn’t enough, so they had to kill some more time by having Homer regurgitate ideas that were too stupid to even be animated.  Also, it’s generally not a good idea when the actual event you’re basing a scene on is funnier than your cartoon version. 

I’d also like to commend the writers for dumping their opening plot line in an unusually abrupt manner, even by Zombie Simpsons standards.  The opening segment is often totally unrelated to the rest of the episode, but they don’t usually completely abandon a giant plot conflict (the whole electricity thing).  I’m not sure what’s keeping them from dropping all pretense and doing those segmented mini-story episodes every week.  

The numbers are in and they’re almost identical to last week’s: 5.94 million people tuned in an hour early for Family Guy last night.  That ties the number for 11th worst all time.  Since the 20th anniversary crap wore off, Season 21 has been down an average of half a million viewers from the same period of Season 20.  I’m going to keep saying this until someone listens: the show is getting historically low ratings.  The 20th anniversary stuff will save Season 21 from being the least watched ever, but more people than ever are simply ignoring this show. 


Reading Digest: Fan Made Edition

Homeric Craftsmanship

“But you can use me, I’m good!  I built a lot of things around the house, the spice rack . . . the birdfeeder . . . the gymboree . . . what was that?  Ah, who cares.” – Homer Simpson

We’ve got lots of fan made Simpsons stuff this week, from YouTube videos, to Lego statues, to unsourced artwork.  There’s also a political divide I feel no hesitation to take sides on, some excellent Zombie Simpsons hate, Aurora Indianalis, a clever New Zealand marketing ploy, and plenty of usage of all varieties.  Enjoy.

Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester – This is a book review:

Whoops! is funny in a Jeremy Clarkson sort of way. In other words it is larded with leaden similes and blokeish "wit". So, for example, a complex but entirely accurate description of the construction of collateralised debt obligations is interrupted by such ­observations as "the initial lender was free to quote Bart Simpson: ‘sayonara, sucker’."

I don’t know who Jeremy Clarkson is, but to my knowledge Bart has never said “sayonara, sucker”.  Bad book author, bad.

my woman of the year (and this week’s column) – It’s Marge.  (Duh, or it wouldn’t be linked here.)

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien (GUEST REVIEWER ANITA DEELY) – This is a long review of Conan O’Brien’s last show and it ends with some very poor usage:

My final words of wisdom from a clown come from Homer Simpson. Hearing these words (or word) was a small awakening for me. Homer is dealing with some crisis or other that I can’t recall right now what. Sometimes, I have a terrible memory for the Simpsons which is good since it allows me to see episodes over and over again and still find them funny. The other day I caught the Monorail episode (by Conan O’Brien, if I’m not mistaken) and I marveled at it. Anyway, Homer is having some big thing happen to him and Lisa says: “You know, Dad, the Chinese have the same word for crisis and opportunity” And Homer says: “Yeah. Crisatunity.”

That exchange isn’t from the monorail episode, it’s from Season 6’s “Fear of Flying” and while the gist of it is correct the actual exchange goes like this:

Lisa: Look on the bright side, Dad.  Did you know that the Chinese use the same word for “crisis” as they do for “opportunity”?
Homer: Yes!  Crisatunity!

It’s an excellent and appropriate sentiment, but a big miss on the execution. 

Weekly Best Of: The Best Fictional Bands/Songs From TV – The Be Sharps make an appearance. 

Homer Simpson – Just a bunch of Homer Simpson background images for your computer. 

D’oh! – There is at least one person who doesn’t know who Bart Simpson is. 

I Never Ever Saw The Northern Lights. Well, False. – I’m pretty sure if you see an aurora in Indiana it isn’t the “northern” lights, but other than that, yeah.  Plus he properly quotes Simpsons and it applies perfectly.  Excellent usage.

These pretzels are making me thirsty. – From the same blog as the link above it’s a video of Seinfeld quotes (which I didn’t watch) and a video of Simpsons quotes (which I did).  All the Simpsons quotes are from the early years so if you’ve got 2:29 to kill you could do worse things with your time. 

How Air New Zealand Started the Process of Creating a New Cabin Environment – A consulting firm working with Air New Zealand identified several passenger types by associating them with Simpsons characters.  I don’t think this has as much to do with The Simpsons as it does with a consultancy knowing how to brand something, but it’s kind of neat. 

George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, The Simpsons and the perils of being a “really good one-term president” – This guy’s a lefty worried about President Obama, he cites “Two Bad Neighbors” to help make his point. 

Mayor Quimby, Homer’s alcoholism, and the federal budget – This guy’s a righty angry at Obama, he mentions two Zombie Simpsons episodes to help make his point.  I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. 

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – DVD Review – I really liked this movie, in no small part because this is basically true:

While it may have been impressive in the cinema, 3D would have detracted from a film packed with the type of gag rate and gooey centre that hasn’t been around since The Simpsons jumped the shark at the turn of the millennium.

I’ve been thinking about this line all week. – Whole post (minus the image):

Skinner: I’ve always admired your tart honesty and ability to be personally offended by broad social trends.

A great quote that’s perfectly cited, bravo. 

Simpsons Mashups. – This doesn’t have links to the original sources (some of them have deviantART watermarks), but this is a pretty spectacular collection of Simpsons crossover art. 

Something feels wrong here. – Knockoff “Bant” t-shirt featuring Evil Eyes. 

Knight Rider Starring Homer Simpson – This is a fan made YouTube video of the Knight Rider opening with Simpsons characters instead:

Can you say David Hasselhoff?  (via Twitter)

The Simpsons – Itchy & Scratchy Land for BlackBerry – Pretty much exactly what it says. 

See My Vest! – I find Hulu more annoying than YouTube, but video is video. 

Bomb Lego Sculptures » lego3 – Awesome, life size versions of Bart & Milhouse done in the medium of Lego. 

U.S. Bus and Truck Drivers Banned from Texting Behind the Wheel – Swing and a miss:

Despite The Simpsons showing us that truck drivers don’t actually do their own driving, Otto’s driving record must’ve convinced legislators that there needs to be a ban on texting behind the wheel for truck and bus drivers.

Taken on its own with no context I’m not even sure what that sentence means. 

My book report is on The Time Machine Did It by John Swartzwelder – And finally, in this review of one of Swartzwelder’s novels we get this excellent piece of Zombie Simpsons bashing:

John Swartzwelder is arguably best known for writing a good hunk of Simpsons episodes back when they were still considered good. At least, considered good by people I consider good. Fans of the current Simpsons episodes I barely consider at all.

Yes indeed. 


Everything I Need to Know I Learned From The Simpsons

I love The New York Times.  It’s full of new information and it comes right to your house; you don’t even need to turn your computer on to read it.  It’s not all good though.  Every Sunday morning it contains an irresistible nugget of shit, the “Ethicist” column.  Wealthy, mildly deranged people with slightly guilty consciouses write in to have their sins absolved by The New York Times.  They ask piddling, self justifying questions that sometimes end with the one word sentence “Ethical?”.  As much as I loathe this part of the paper it’s always one of the first things I read on Sunday mornings.  I’m impossibly drawn to it,  like sheriff Bullock said about “Family Circus”, it’s just there, “waiting to suck“.  I almost never read the answers (why should I give a shit what the NYT guy thinks?), it’s the questions that make it so wretchedly attractive and this morning’s contained a doozy:

My husband and I spent substantial time and money to entice bluebirds to our yard. This included a squirrel- and snakeproof bluebird house, special tasty food (which entailed keeping mealworms in my refrigerator), available water and other amenities. Then an interloper nested in our bluebird house and laid five eggs. When is it permissible to destroy a nest of undesirable feathered folk? We want bluebirds, not common yard sparrows.

First of all: fuck you, lady.  Second:

Homer's Birdfeeder


Quote of the Day

Saturdays of Thunder2

“Dad, you gotta come.  I just got your hat out of the fridge.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

“You know Marge, that Bart of ours is a little miracle. His winning smile, his button nose, his fat little stomach, his face alight with wholesome mischief. He reminds me of me, before the weight of the world crushed my spirit.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Bart, if she breaks up on you steer away from the grandstands or else you might kill hundreds of innocent spectators. . . . Bart, what did I just tell you?” – Martin Prince
“Kill spectators.” – Bart Simpson


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