Posts Tagged ‘South Park

03
Aug
10

Zombie Simpsons: Only Two Years Behind South Park

A little while ago it came out that some of the cast of Glee was going to do voices for an upcoming Zombie Simpsons episode.  “Ho-hum and on to the next item”, I thought to myself.  But eagle eyed reader Alice noticed something else:

‘Elementary School Musical’, which airs Sunday, September 26, sees Lisa attend performing arts camp, where the Glee stars are fellow campers.

Where have I heard that title before?  Oh, right.  Calling something “Elementary School Musical” isn’t the world’s most cunning play on “High School Musical”, but at the same time, South Park did it two years ago.  Either Zombie Simpsons didn’t notice, which means they’re disconnected from the culture they’re supposed to be parodying; or they did notice and don’t care, which means that they’re lazy and apathetic.  It’s not like “Elementary School Musical” is the only play here.  “Grade School Musical” is the same joke without making you look like a bunch of disconnected hacks. 

Thanks Alice! 

27
Apr
10

Zombie Simpsons Misses the Point

“And sure, he’s probably so insane with rage that he’d butcher you horribly if he could.” – Homer Simpson

Yesterday, it was noted in many, many different places that Zombie Simpsons mentioned the censoring of last week’s South Park in the chalkboard gag:

Zombie Simpsons Scared

There are two ways to look at this.  The first (and this seems to be the dominant on-line opinion) is to see it as a nice gesture from Zombie Simpsons, a show of support for South Park in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.  The second (which I’m more inclined to take) is a lot less positive.

First, set aside all the other issues at play here, from war and torture to religious extremism and censorship.  What happened on South Park was a brave act (at least as brave as one can be making cartoons for a living), the point of which was to demonstrate that fear about showing Mohammed is overblown.  The “death threats” that got such wide press came from an obscure website run by a nobody with no connection to anything (scroll down to point 2 in the update here to see what I mean).  Everyone pitched a fit except Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who remained quite calm and basically said that they wouldn’t give in to hysteria.  The fundamental point they were making (last week and in 2006) is that such fear is unfounded, and that the real problem is the absurd overreaction to empty threats.

Yet there’s Zombie Simpsons, declaring themselves “so scared”.  I understand that they’re trying to be supportive in a funny way.  But what Zombie Simpsons actually did was reinforce and legitimize the overhyped fear that Parker and Stone were explicitly attacking.  They could’ve said “South Park-We Support You And Wanted To Say [Bleeeeeeeeeeeep]”, or “South Park-We’d Stand By You If We Thought It Mattered”, or anything that didn’t say that they were afraid.  Instead, they bought right into the hysterical framework that South Park was criticizing.

Like all Zombie Simpsons, it was well meaning but brainless, and they’d have been better off not saying anything.

15
Dec
09

Crazy noises: O Brother Where Bart Thou?

Colonel Homer2

“If you don’t watch the violence you’ll never get desensitized to it.” – Bart Simpson
“Just tell me when the scary part’s over.” – Lisa Simpson
“It’s over.” – Bart Simpson
“Ahhhhhhhh!” – Lisa 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 (especially on “tased”).

South Park once did an episode titled “Simpsons Already Did It” where, amongst other things, they made fun of the fact that The Simpsons had been on forever and was now resorting to ideas that were less than clever.  That was seven years ago.  This week Zombie Simpsons had its own little “South Park” sequence.  It didn’t have much to do with anything (why Bart would ever take advice from Ralph is beyond me), but it did serve to highlight just how many jokes, scenes and sequences in this episode were either reminiscent, cribbed, or outright recycled from previous episodes.  We discuss a number of those below but we forgot to mention the whole Kama Sutra thing which, like so many others in this episode, took way too long and made no sense. 

Mad Jon: Anyway. I just watched last night’s episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ouch, wanna start with that one while the trauma is still fresh?

Mad Jon: Works for me.

Dave: I re-watched it

That’s how much I liked it

Mad Jon: Masochist eh?

Dave: That’s me!

Mad Jon: That’s cool. To each their own.

Charlie Sweatpants: Was anything particularly worse on a second viewing?

Dave: Nah, nothing jumped out. It was as unremarkable tonight as it was last night.

Mad Jon: Unremarkable is pretty on the nose.

Dave: The writers seem to be forgetting that the show’s supposed to be funny.

Mad Jon: It didn’t make me cringe like the Zombies usually do, but I may just be desensitized.

Charlie Sweatpants: Unremarkable is a good way to put it. With the exception of the completely unnecessary and pointless South Park thing I don’t think anyone’s going to remember this one a week from now.

Mad Jon: On the other hand, I, per usual didn’t even crack a smile.

Dave: I did, admittedly, when Chief Wiggum was tased

Mad Jon: I almost did at the weather report, but then they took it too far. Always too far.

Charlie Sweatpants: When they do come up with a kinda good idea they seem so surprised that they just feel the need to run it right into the ground.

Mad Jon: I think the writers look at jokes the way I looked at chemistry experiments in high school.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought the horse thing at the beginning had some potential, but then it just dragged and dragged. And if there is one man on Earth who knows how to work a remote control properly, it is Homer Simpson.

But no, they needed to fill time so all of a sudden he doesn’t know how to change the channel?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Dave: Don’t forget the montages. They seem to be the thing to do this season.

Mad Jon: He does have the male anatomy surmised in the most efficient way possible.

It’s too bad that became a plot point.

Charlie Sweatpants: Bingo.

That a ten year old boy – any ten year old boy – doesn’t know he can pee on things is just too damned dumb.

And, as is Zombie Simpsons want, they got them into a "dangerous" situation with lots of the horns of suspense and string music of sadness, that really wasn’t the least bit dangerous.

Mad Jon: And the Mannings showed up too.

Don’t forget the Mannings

Charlie Sweatpants: And the Smothers Brothers for some reason.

Mad Jon: They even brought the disease riddled one.

And played keep away from him. I don’t know how that makes me feel…

Dave: Dirty?

Hungry?

Angry?

Mad Jon: Gassy. Definitely Gassy.

Charlie Sweatpants: The dream sequence was just awful. The one from "Bart Sells His Soul" was half as long, had twice as many jokes and was about a hundred times less forced.

Mad Jon: I forgot it was a dream sequence until one of the characters reminded me.

Charlie Sweatpants: I was sort of hoping the whole thing was a bad dream until I woke up this morning and the internet informed that it really did happen.

Mad Jon: Snappy comeback.

Charlie Sweatpants: I know we were on about this a few weeks ago when Bart was trying to make that other prankster guy a respectable citizen, but I mean, this character isn’t even Bart Simpson any more.

He’s whiny, and sad, and cares about things that a rebellious ten year old would never care about.

Trying to get Marge and Homer to have another kid? What the hell was that about?

Mad Jon: And he played ‘dress-up’ to spend some quality time with his sisters….

Dave: Whiny, sad, rebellious… like most of today’s teens?

Mad Jon: You ever do that with your sisters Charlie?

Charlie Sweatpants: Being jealous of Lisa and Maggie because they were having a fashion show? What the hell?

Mad Jon: Oooh bold type

Charlie Sweatpants: I can assure you that I never played dress up with my sisters.

Dave: Charlie just serioused.

Charlie Sweatpants: And it’s easy to do bold, all you’ve gotta do is put * around the text and gchat takes care of it for you.

Mad Jon: I know, but you so rarely do it. You’re either very passionate about the subject, or you’ve put a good dent in your daily rum ration.

Charlie Sweatpants: Can’t it be both?

Mad Jon: Something told me it was.

Charlie Sweatpants: Zombie Simpsons is always playing up this absolutely awful angle of Bart’s character where deep down he’s this sensitive kid and I cannot think of anything that makes any less sense for him, or that could be more diametrically opposed to what made him a popular character in the first place.

Mad Jon: Yeah!

Sorry, I’ve also put a dent in my rations

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d also like to point out that not only did they ape South Park openly, but South Park had an episode where Kenny tried to prevent his parents from having another kid, which not only would make more sense but was considerably funnier.

Dave: I vaguely remember that episode.

Mad Jon: Excellent episode. Not like this one, this one is shit.

I especially liked Kenny’s note to the pharmacist.

And what the hell was with Nelson’s mood swings? Does the pill do that to people?

Dave: Having never taken the pill I have no clue.

Mad Jon: I thought it helped to regulate that crap.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, it’s more along the lines of "ohhh he’s a woman now so he’s moody."

Mad Jon: Well that’s pretty lame.

Dave: LOL now he’s a chick

chicks r funny

Charlie Sweatpants: Celia in comments pointed it out first, but yeah it was dumb.

There’s a Comedy 101 failure: role reversal is supposed to be funny.

Mad Jon: yeah, but does that apply to putting a woman in the body of a 10 year old?

Charlie Sweatpants: It could. But all they did was have Nelson show up at random moments and spout cliches that "Friends" thought were hackneyed a dozen years ago.

Mad Jon: I think this is like a Comedy 091 failure. Like the one I suffered at the community college a few years back.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ve had just about enough of your Vassar bashing young man!

Okay, I’m getting done with this one. There’s just one more thing I’d like to cover and that is the unusually rampant, even by Zombie Simpson standards, of joke recycling.

Mad Jon: Go on.

Was it the “you had me at five course” joke?

I think that one has been around a bit

Charlie Sweatpants: The tic tacs as birth control thing was the worst, but there was also the utter and massive FAIL of the school closing report (which took forever) and the useless return of the Plow King.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah, The Plow King came back. And with only 3 days ’till retirement. What a tragedy.

Dave: It was pointless fan service

Charlie Sweatpants: Plus during the orphanage scene I couldn’t help but think of when Homer went to the Bigger Brothers agency and there was the scene at the movies. Back in "Colonel Homer" Bart told Lisa the scary parts were over just as they were beginning to help get her desensitized, which is hilarious. This time the kid gets scared and Bart feels bad? Fuck off, Zombie Simpsons.

Mad Jon: The End.

26
Oct
09

Spurlock Update: Enter Stan And Kyle

Kyle & StanVia Spurlock’s Twitter feed we find that yesterday he interviewed Matt Stone and Trey Parker.  There’s no specific word on whether or not this is for the Simpsons special, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned following Spurlock these last few months it’s that he’s involved in an enormous number of projects.  But it seems unlikely that he’d be interviewing the creators of the most successful non-Simpsons animated show for something other than his upcoming Simpsons thing.  So get ready for the obligatory quotes from Stone & Parker about how much The Simpsons meant for them, how it opened doors, how influential it’s been, etcetera. 

30
Jun
09

Pointless Show Comparisons

When I was taking that quiz Dave put up yesterday I noticed that there were links to quizzes for Family Guy, South Park and Futurama as well.  Rather than add to internet’s already vast archive of arguments over the relative merits of these shows, I’m simply going to point out a telling numerical discrepancy.

In raw numbers The Simpsons quiz had 63 characters, the South Park and Family Guy quizzes had 42 each and the Futurama quiz had 30.  But the Simpsons quiz doesn’t have more characters because it’s been on longer.  In fact, all of the 63 characters were on the show by Season 9 (nary a Zombie Simpsons creation in the bunch).  But that doesn’t tell the whole tale because there are, by my count, only six characters in the quiz that weren’t already on the show by Season 3.  (Cletus didn’t show up until Season 5, Brandine, Disco Stu and Homer’s Mom appeared in Season 7, and Duffman and the Cat Lady showed up in Season 9.)  In other words, it took The Simpsons less than sixty episodes to have 57 characters memorable enough to be on an internet quiz.

Note: No Crazy Noises this week as Mad Jon is moving to Cypress Creek.

22
Apr
09

Simpsons Did It – The Eternal Cliche

College Humor created a Billy Joel parody video about the cliched stupidity of many comment threads.  I found it on boing boing a couple of days ago and I’ll let them explain:

College Humor made a hillarious [sic] (NSFW) music video about the deterioration of comment threads, to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” As a wise man once said, “It’s funny cause it’s true.” We Didn’t Start The Flame War (Thanks, Vann Hall!)

The “Simpsons did it” line comes at the 0:25 mark, followed immediately by the “southpark did it too” line (the entire 2:40 is worth your time if you’re bored).  I bring it up to point out two things.  First, it’s now been seven years since the South Park episode “Simpsons Already Did It”.  And second, College Humor has a pretty keen sense of popular culture, the inclusion of the “Simpsons did it” line speaks volumes about just how worn the continuation of Zombie Simpsons really is.  

Also: Excellent usage by boing boing’s David Pescovitz.




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