Posts Tagged ‘Separate Vocations

27
Feb
20

Quote of the Day

“One ocean tango, we are in pursuit of a speeding individual driving a red . . . car, license number: Eggplant-Xerxes-Crybaby-Overbite-Narwhal.” – Eddie

05
Oct
19

Quote of the Day

“We’re here for the tests.” – Armed Guard
“C’mon, Emma.” – National Testing Center Engineer

 

16
Aug
19

Quote of the Day

“Hey, Bart, you see that Caddy over there?” – Lou
“Uh-huh.” – Bart Simpson
“That’s Mayor Quimby’s car. Tonight his honor is, uh, polling the electorate.” – Lou
“How would you, ah, like a street named after you?” – Mayor Quimby

27
Feb
19

Quote of the Day

“Police officer? Well, I’ll be jiggered.” – Bart Simpson
“If you’d like to learn more, I could arrange for you to ride along in a police car for a night.” – Dr. J. Loren Pryor

“Hey! I don’t need you to get me into the back of a police car.” – Bart Simpson

05
Oct
18

Quote of the Day

“Seymour, I’ll bet you a steak dinner those books are still here. All we have to do is search every locker.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, Bart, I’m not sure random locker searches are permitted by the Supreme Court.” – Principal Skinner
“Pfft, Supreme Court, what have they done for us lately?” – Bart Simpson
“Let’s move.” – Principal Skinner

20
Jul
18

Quote of the Day

“Here’s your scientifically selected career….” – Dr. J. Loren Pryor
“Architect.” – Janie
“Insurance salesman.” – Chuck
“Salmon gutter?” – Ralph Wiggum
“Military strongman!” – Milhouse van Houten
“Systems Analyst . . . Systems Analyst . . . Systems Analyst . . .” – Martin Prince
“Systems Analyst.” – Dr. J. Loren Pryor
“Alright!” – Martin Prince

27
Feb
18

Quote of the Day

“Wow! Can I see your club?” – Bart Simpson
“It’s called a baton, son.” – Lou
“Oh. What’s it for?” – Bart Simpson
“We club people with it.” – Lou

18
Jul
17

Quote of the Day

“Now, to show my gratitude, I want you to help yourself to an item of your choice.” – Principal Skinner
“Alright!” – Bart Simpson
“Ooh, now, you be careful with that crossbow.” – Principal Skinner
“I will.” – Bart Simpson

01
Jan
17

Quote of the Day

happy-new-year-2017

“I have never seen a good student take such a slide. Lisa, what are you rebelling against?” – Principal Skinner
“Whaddya got?” – Lisa Simpson

Happy New Year!

29
Feb
16

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations16

“Ooh, they used nylon rope this time.  It feels so smooth against my skin, almost sensuous.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

27
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations15

“First question: if I could be any animal, I would be a) a carpenter ant, b) a nurse shark, or c) a lawyer bird.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Happy birthday, George Meyer!

27
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

Stubbiness

“You think she has talent?” – Marge Simpson
“Sure!” – Li’l Ludwig’s Guy
“Do you think she could be a professional some day?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, Lord, no!” – Li’l Ludwig’s Guy
“But I’ll practice every day!” – Lisa Simpson
“Yeah, well, I’ll be frank with you, Lisa.  And when I say frank, I mean, you know, devastating.  You’ve inherited a finger condition known as stubbiness.  It usually comes from the father’s side.” – Li’l Ludwig’s Guy

Happy birthday George Meyer!

18
Feb
14

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations14

“That’s right, it was I.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lis, why did you do it?” – Bart Simpson
“Come on, Bart, in your pre-fascist days you knew the giddy thrill of futile rebellion.” – Lisa Simpson

25
May
13

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations13

“Bart, why’d you take the blame?” – Lisa Simpson
“Cause, I didn’t want to wreck your life.  You got the brains and the talent to go as far as you want, and when you do, I’ll be right there to borrow money.” – Bart Simpson

17
Feb
13

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations12

“You know, your father wanted to be a police man for a little while, but they said he was too heavy.” – Marge Simpson
“No, the army said I was too heavy.  The police said I was too dumb.” – Homer Simpson

11
Sep
12

Quote of the Day

Scent of Books

“The police haven’t had any luck finding the teacher’s editions.” – Principal Skinner
“The dogs have picked up the scent of books . . . send in the battering ram.” – Chief Wiggum

18
May
12

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations11

“We’re going to take a test.” – Miss Hoover
“Alright, a test!” – Lisa Simpson
“It’s called the Career Aptitude Normalizing Test, or CANT.” – Miss Hoover

28
Feb
12

“Separate Vocations” Spews Truth

Separate Vocations10

“Looks like you just bought yourself a lottery ticket, to jail!” – Chief Wiggum
“He’s unconscious, sir.” – Lou
“Ah, they can still hear things.” – Chief Wiggum

This post was originally going to go up yesterday for the 20th anniversary of this episode’s first broadcast, but about halfway through I noticed that there was a “hidden” audio track that turned out to be a one man commentary from Al Jean.  (Side note: Dear DVD people, drop the “easter egg” crap, will ya?  Just like hidden tracks on CDs, the game is up.  You can’t hide anything from modern media software.)  Apparently Jean’s basement flooded and he missed the original recording, so he came back in for a solo make up session.  I didn’t have time to do the second commentary track yesterday, so I figured, it’s already been 7,305 days, what’s a 7,306th? 

Jean says some interesting things, but through a lot of it he just sounds crushingly lonely.  The whole time he was talking all I could picture was this:

Homer Defined5

Not pictured: Mike Reiss

Just four guys here, Groening, Vitti, Reiss and Silverman.  Jean’s comments from the other track are interspersed in bold

1:30 – Lots of praise for George Meyer, who didn’t want to do commentary here.  Mostly it’s the usual stuff about how he doesn’t write many episodes because they needed him in the rewrite room.  This episode was all but final when he turned in his script.  The whole testing sequence is apparently there pretty much as is. 

1:50 – Jean points out that most of the writers were pretty good test takers, and this kind of thing was something they were used to doing.

2:30 – Jean mentions how Iowa was where these standardized tests came from, and I can vouch for that.  I was taking tests like this at the time this episode was made, and all of them were from “Iowa Testing” or whatever.  We all thought it was weird, but I loved that it was made fun of in this episode.

3:20 – The sight of Dr. J Loren Pryor prompts them to credit Vitti with the name.

3:50 – Someone took a vocational test that said he was going to be a librarian.  Couldn’t tell who, but I think it was Reiss.

4:40 – The little piece of music Lisa plays for the devastating music teacher was apparently an Alf Clausen original.

5:15 – Everyone laughs at “you know, devastating”.

5:15 – Jean mentions that they’ve had to resort to using tapes of actual crappy school bands to get the effect right sometimes because the pros just can’t play that poorly.

5:45 – Joking that they never know which one is Lou or Eddie leads to someone mentioning that Lou’s voice was sort of a Sylvester Stallone impression.

6:15 – Everyone’s pleased they got away with “polling the electorate” as a “nice dirty joke”. 

7:00 – As Snake goes speeding by, Silverman mentions how they aren’t just parodying one movie here, they’re going for every action movie cliche they can.

7:40 – Apparently Clausen actually worked on some cop shows in the 1970s and 80s, so the chase music was something he knew.

7:45 – People have always loved the milk truck exploding.

7:55 – And “Damn boxes!”.  As someone says, it’s “always empty boxes”.

8:00 – Jean mentions that if they’d done this episode today (circa Season 15), they’d have Wiggum in the car and give him a lot of lines.  But at this point, “We were still trying to maintain the fiction that the chief of police didn’t go out on every call, and you didn’t see him in every shot where you’d have the cops.”

8:20 – Generic compliments for the angles and lighting as the cops search for Snake.

8:40 – When we come back for “Death drives a stick”, someone compliments Shearer on his “Quinn Martin voice”.  This sends me to Wikipedia where I found out that Quinn Martin:

was one of the most successful American television producers. He had at least one television series running in prime time for 21 straight years (from 1959 to 1980), an industry record.

I learned something today.

8:45 – Jean’s making fun of all the old Quinn Martin shows, and how “pompous” and repetitive they were.

9:05 – Saying that Wiggum’s voice isn’t quite the one we know.  I’d disagree with that.  It’s pretty well Edward G. Robinson by now. 

9:40 – Mentioning how the layout artists had some fun with Bart and Lisa switching roles and doing things they normally don’t do.

10:20 – Everyone chuckles at the pictures of Homer stuffing himself into the cake.

10:45 – Talking about how cute flashback astronaut Marge is, how she really does look and pose like a little girl.

11:20 – The flashback leads Groening to mention how he pitched a show to FOX about doing Homer at various ages.  They didn’t bite, which leads to some quick jokes about how all they do are crappy reality shows which someone mocks as “how many midgets they can fit inside an elephant”. 

11:30 – Jean mentions how the Skinner-Vietnam thing got started here as a throwaway.  They didn’t sit down and plan things out for characters, things just sort of evolved based on what worked.  Again, I would like to point out that this isn’t something Zombie Simpsons does.  When was the last time they added to what we know about a character without it being some horrible retcon? 

12:10 – Compliments for the shot of Skinner with the desecrated puma.  Someone wonders if this was the line that set him up as a traumatized Vietnam vet.

13:20 – Groening recalls that a lot of the older writers were really geeked to have Steve Allen on as a guest voice, Swartzwelder in particular.  Apparently it took nine takes to get “Ay Carumba” out of him.  He kept making it sound Spanish.

13:20 – Apparently before he died Steve Allen went on a bit of a crusade against television crudity, and cited The Simpsons specifically.  I couldn’t find any details with a quick search though. 

14:15 – Apparently the blue dot over his face was taken from a rape trial one of the Kennedys was involved with. 

15:00 – Someone’s trying to remember if the bad girls in the bathroom reoccurred.  They don’t think so (I can’t think of anything either). 

15:20 – They’re chuckling at “Laramie Jr.” cigarettes, and how they always get letters when they show smoking.

16:00 – Laughing at all the crap in the seized property room.

16:50 – Laughing at Mr. Glasscock when Reiss fails to explain the joke.

16:50 – Jean thinks Mr. Glasscock was a teacher Reiss had, and that’s how they got it by the censor, by telling them that it was a real name.

17:30 – Neat story here about Ralph and how he wasn’t quite the world beating moron that he’d later become.  Reiss then mentions that it wasn’t until the next season in “I Love Lisa” that they made Ralph Chief Wiggum’s kid, and they only did it to flesh out the story a little because it was running short.  That leads to a longer discussion of Ralph and how he’s dumb, but he’s also got that blissful enthusiasm about things.  They don’t say this, but little evolutions in the characters like that are one of the things that helped the show.  These days everyone’s a caricature of a caricature of something they used to be.

18:00 – Jean’s very complimentary about chalk dust and cigarette smoke as transparency effects that look really good and were much better than they could do in Season 1.

19:20 – They’re enjoying the battering ram here. 

19:40 – Groening says the headshot of Bart (where it looks like a logo and zooms in and out) looks very “video-y”.  Apparently they pulled a frame of Bart’s head on and spun a picture of a police car to get the effect. 

20:00 – Noting all the dramatic angles (and ripped off Beverly Hills Cop theme) as they search the lockers.

20:20 – Interesting animation note here.  You know how in cartoons if you’ve got a lot of one object (say, lockers) and one of them is going to move, it’s always a different color?  Apparently that’s an artifact of cell depth.  The one that’s going to move is on a different layer when they film it, and even though the cell is transparent, there’s a very slight color to it, so things that are on different layers, even if they’re painted with the exact same color, appear differently.  You can compensate by mixing the paint differently, but it still happens, apparently more with darker colors than lighter ones.

21:50 – Happy to have the nice ending that’s both sweet (Bart sticking up for Lisa) and a joke (mooching money). 

22:30 – Groening rhetorically asks what Meyer would’ve thought.  Someone replies that he would’ve said, “If this made one child hate the police, it was worth doing”.  Ha.

27
Feb
12

Quote of the Day

Separate Vocations9

“Bart, the school is a police state.  Students are afraid to sneeze, and I have you to thank.” – Principal Skinner

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Separate Vocations”!  Original airdate 27 February 1992.

08
Dec
11

It’s Not a Real Hallway, But an Incredible Simulation!

“Good thing this alley got so narrow in the middle.” – Lou

Since I don’t know much about animation, I submit this with my usual caution.  But can anyone tell me what the fuck is going on with the hallway through which temporarily crazy Joan Rivers drives a golf cart?  First image:

Crooked Hallway1

Right here this already doesn’t scan.  I think they’re trying to go for some kind of fisheye type shot, except that the scale is all out of whack.  The door on the right is bowed like it would be, but the closer door on the left is only a little distorted, and the one in the back appears to be straight.  On top of that, if the perspective is supposed to be warped, then the Squeaky Voiced Teen has got to be roughly double the size of the woman on the right holding the glass.  There’s more:

Crooked Hallway2

This is one second after the first image.  Note that the woman on the right and the water cooler are totally static from the previous image.  Now, if the perspective of the first image is to be believed, the cart has to be well past the water cooler and all but past the woman.  Here’s a couple of frames later:

Crooked Hallway3

Despite the fact that it was well behind the cart and that the two never even overlap in the image, the water cooler is now falling.  You’ll also note that the camera is pulling back to reveal the turn in the hallway to the left side of the image.  The problem is that the warped not-quite-fisheye angle doesn’t track:

Crooked Hallway4

The hallway to the left is curving up at an angle that makes it look like that space station from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it completely doesn’t match the cart or the original hallway.  Also, please note that the teenager she was chasing is nowhere to be seen.  Until:

Crooked Hallway5

Oh, there he is; but how the hell did he get there?  From the angle he’s running he would’ve had to run deep into the corner below where the camera would be, except he wasn’t running that way when we last saw him.  If he’d kept going the way he was going in the first image, he’d be way up that distorted left hallway by now.  Speaking of the distorted hallway, what the hell?  The not-quite-fisheye effect seems to fade in and out at random, and there’s no way that the teenager is standing on the same floor as that panicked looking guy holding the papers.  The right side and the left side of the image have two wildly different depths, and all the angles and lines in between are fudged to make them kinda, sorta meet in the middle.  Because the two hallways are drawn so incongruously, the effect worsens as the shot moves down the left hall:

Crooked Hallway6

Blah!  Now the right hall appears to be sliding down and shrinking.  You can see the difference in the two perspectives if you look at the top of the line that marks the corner of the wall (running straight up from the filing cabinet).  See how the ceiling-wall line from the first hallway changes its angle radically when it makes the turn?  Look at what happens next:

Crooked Hallway7

Whoops, this is what happens when you animate things that can’t possible exist.  In the above shot you can see all the tricks that had been used to minimize the impossibility of this hallway fail at once.  Look at that wall on the right, it goes up, and up, and up, except it’s not supposed to do that.  That at least is away from the action, but see how the hallway narrows near the top?  The chase continues into an unfortunate clash of optical illusions:

Crooked Hallway8

The cart, which just a second prior looked like it was at most half the width of the hallway, now basically fills it.  And, based on the way it’s drawn, the cart is clearly going to come to a screeching halt in just a few more feet when the hall becomes even narrower.  They’ve kinda restored the ceiling, except that the not-quite-fisheye perspective means that the ceiling is lopsided.  And not only do the walls not match each other, they look like they change height.  Look at the guy on the left, now look at the door on the same side of the wall.  He looks like he’s standing under a ceiling that’s twice as high as the one by the door. 

Even as just a single image instead of one in a sequence these frames look weird.  When you actually watch the thing at full speed all of these clashing elements give the hallways a crooked, billowing impression that’s both distracting and disorienting. 

I suppose we should commend them for trying something interesting here, but wow did it not turn out well.  The shifting angles, the warped perspective, the variable sizes of things, the entire sequence is nothing but elements that don’t match.




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