Posts Tagged ‘Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song

22
May
17

Behind Us Forever: Dogtown

“The dog has had enough excitement.” – Marge Simpson
“But Marge, dogs can never have enough excitement!” – Homer Simpson

Two years ago, as part of their “use our reputation to farm out work we’d rather not do” policy, Zombie Simpsons let the Rick & Morty people do a couch gag. It was okay, and I’ve long said that the guest couch gags are one of the few parts of the show that’s still kinda creative. Well, this week Zombie Simpsons did an extremely poor take off on the Rick & Morty episode “Lawnmower Dog”. Emphasis on “extremely”.

In “Dogtown”, Springfield passes a bunch of dog friendly laws, which for some reason causes all the dogs to go feral and take over the town. When Rick & Morty did this, it was the B-plot of an Inception parody that got very dark and disturbing (as is that show’s wont). When Zombie Simpsons does the same thing, it’s too incoherent to be anything other that vaguely weird. Remember the “Night of the Dolphin” segment from Season 12’s Halloween episode? This was like that, but stretched over the whole episode and plus pages of unnecessary exposition.

– They’ve really become fond of adding dialogue to the couch gags the last few years. This one involves them climbing to the top of a mounting, wherein Homer radios for the couch, which is then brought in by a Sherpa. The (unintentionally) funny thing here is that there’s no need for it. Having Homer use the radio pre-explains the joke and spoils it in the process. It would’ve worked fine without.

– From there, the opening gets truncated at Homer leaving the plant. He’s then in traffic with GPS yelling at him. This goes on for a bit before Homer finds himself stuck in an alley with the choice to run over Gil or Santa’s Little Helper. Homer runs Gil over and I’m finally convinced that the regular opening isn’t coming back.

– And we are quickly into exposition land:

Insurance Agent: “Now, I do have to warn you, if Gil sues he’ll end up with everything you’ve got.”
Homer: “But that’s everything I’ve got! Okay kids, give me your best worried looks. . . . Ooh, that’s good worry. And Maggie, when we visit Gil, you should think about your Mom and me disappearing forever any time we step behind a wall.”

Homer then proceeds to do step behind a wall, all the while narrating what he’s doing. Then he gets lost and screams. This is all dumb and repetitive enough on it’s own, but the really weird part is Marge is sitting right there as Homer’s basically traumatizing the baby. These are the sorts of things real Marge put a quick stop to, but Zombie Marge just sits there and watches with her computer drawn dead eyes.

– Later, at the hospital, the family visits Gil, Bart then walks in dressed as a nurse so he and Homer and exposit a plan to put Gil into a coma.

From here, Bart stabs Homer in the butt and then Homer falls down. Remember when this show was smart?

– Marge now exposits some Gil dialogue:

Gil: “Cha cha cha!”
Marge: “Cha cha cha, that’s hopeful”
Gil: “Cha cha ching!”
Marge: “Oh.”

It’s bad enough that I have to explain jokes on this here internet website, but that’s part of why it’s here. Why Zombie Simpsons feels the need to explain them on a network television show that’s ostensibly a comedy is beyond me.

– Lisa, just now grasping what’s going on for some reason, has a fantasy where they live with other families, Bart then has a different one. Hey, these twenty minutes of screen time aren’t going to fill themselves, people.

– Repeating dialogue can be funny (“The best performance of your life?”/”The best performance of my life!”), but Zombie Simpsons does it a couple dozen times per episode. Here in court, Homer testifies about how he loves the dog and that’s why he hit Gil, the lawyer then asks the stenographer reads it back with sentimental music. Guess what happens!

– After the trial, Gil gets repeatedly trampled.

It wasn’t funny the first time, but maybe it’ll be funny the third time.

– Springfield is now a dog paradise, so it’s time for a montage.

– Wiggum arrests a veterinarian, who exposits about the coming dog rebellion. Once again, tell don’t show triumphs on Zombie Simpsons.

– In yet another joke that was done better decades ago, Homer is explaining Doggy Heaven to Bart.

– Santa’s Little Helper collapses partway through the doggy door of the house. Homer picks up the cat and takes thirty seconds to use it to pull the dog through the door so he can say, “look what the cat dragged in”. This is followed by Bart and Lisa both proclaiming that muscle pulling stretch for a joke, “worth it”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they know these jokes suck. They don’t care.

This takes almost 5% of the episode.

– Kirk is outside with a little dog, which growls at him. He then lies down on the ground, exposing his belly. We know this because we see it. Nevertheless, Zombie Simpsons has him describe exactly what he’s doing.

– As a pack of wild dogs circles Homer, he lists off a bunch of breed names. [McBain Voice]: That’s the joke.

– Skinner, in case anyone has forgotten, exposits what’s happening, “Not one student showed up to school just because a pack of ferocious, masterless dogs are roaming the playground”. Thanks, Seymour.

– Vet guy now expositing the same thing Skinner just did. I’m not going to transcribe it because I respect the pixels of your screen too much.

– Gil gets volunteered to tame the dogs for some reason, which leads to some back and forth exposition between him and Marge.

– Bart and Lisa are out with Crazy Cat Lady, who is there to protect them or something. She then exposits through subtitles.

– Here’s a double whammy, action exposition and emotional exposition:

Bart: “We’re about to die at the hands of a dog”.
Lisa: “Paws. Dogs have paws.”
Bart: “Just remember, the last thing you did in life was correct me.”
Lisa: “Oh, that actually makes me feel better.”

– And then Marge just shows up to growl and kick a dog, then Lisa exposits what’s going on, then Gil shows up to exposit about what didn’t happen. I’m tired.

– Our second montage shows all the dogs going back to normal.

– And it ends on a chihuahua threatening Gil. Season 29, here we come! [♫FOX fanfare♫]

Anyway, the numbers are in and . . . yikes. Last night just 2.14 million viewers should’ve been watching a Rick & Morty rerun. That’s the lowest season finale ever, and a 20% drop from last year’s (which used to be the lowest finale ever). Given the catastrophic state of broadcast network television, there’s no telling whether or not numbers like these will ever actually get the show cancelled, but its complete cultural irrelevance is pretty well sealed.

28
Apr
17

Quote of the Day

“I thought I’d be jumping for joy the day Skinner left, but now all I have is this weird, hot feeling in the back of my head.” – Bart Simpson
“That’s guilt. You feel guilty because your stunt wound up costing a man his job.” – Lisa Simpson
“Yeah, I guess it is guilt.” – Bart Simpson

27
Feb
17

Quote of the Day

muchworse

“I’m sorry, did you just call me a liar?” – Principal Skinner
“No, I said you were fired.” – Superintendent Chalmers
“Oh. That’s much worse.” – Seymour Skinner

28
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

NotLearning

“This is great!  Not only am I not learning, I’m forgetting stuff I used to know!” – Milhouse van Houten

Happy birthday Pamela Hayden!

14
May
15

Rumor Control: Harry Shearer (Possibly/Probably) Leaving Zombie Simpsons

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song15

“Nobody’s mentioned me, have they?” – Principal Skinner
“I thought I heard someone say your name in the cafeteria, but they might have been saying ‘skim milk’.” – Bart Simpson

The internet is full of reports that Harry Shearer will not be doing voices for the recently announced two season renewal.  This being the internet, the certitude of the headlines ran a bit ahead of the actual information.  Here are the facts:

1.  Over the last couple of days, TMZ (I know, gross) reported that Shearer was not on board with the most recent renewal.

2.  Late last night (though since I think he’s in Britain it might have been morning for him), Shearer tweeted the following:

from James L. Brooks’ lawyer: “show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.”. (1/2)

This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)

Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.

Shearer subsequently turned down a couple of media interview requests.

3.  That was followed a couple of hours later by Jean tweeting:

.@TheSimpsons #everysimpsonsever The show will go on, made by people who love it and see in it the most wonderful vehicle for satire ever.

@simpsonswiki @TheSimpsons recast if Harry does not return. No yellow wedding.

Jean was very active, replying to people and generally doing his job as the public face of the show.

4.  A couple of hours later, James L. Brooks replied (also on Twitter):

Hey, we tried. We’re still trying. Harry, no kidding, let’s talk.

5.  After speaking with a couple of media outlets, Jean did a quick interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he said that they were still hoping to work things out, but that if Shearer was out the door, they would recast his parts, probably with multiple people.  As to the question of why, he gave a round-about answer (bold italics are mine):

What is that period of time? Weeks? Well, it’s pretty vague because we have seven holdover [episodes] that Harry did in the fall, so there’s a big period of time. Obviously, we just want to know what he wants. We’ve rededicated ourselves this season to making the show better and not just saying, ‘Okay, we’re just happy for the pickup.’ We really care about it and everybody’s coming to more [table reads] and doing more on the show, so if he’d like to be a part of that, we’d love him. And if not, we’d like to know and then we’ll go another way.

Would you describe yourself as hopeful then that this could be resolved? I have no idea. I didn’t know he was going to tweet last night. That was very surprising. And the tweets were confusing because he had an offer. It wasn’t like we didn’t offer him a substantial thing. No. 2, he mentioned that he wanted to do outside projects. Everybody on the show does lots of outside projects. He actually gets to record on the phone and do the [table] reads on the phone. So we’ve never kept him from doing that stuff. So that’s one confusion I had. For the last several years, he’s done reads on the phone. He doesn’t always participate. We’ve excused him for several and he records, as long as it’s done in time, when it’s convenient for him. So it’s not a scheduling thing and he says it’s not a money thing, so I’m not sure what he’s thinking.

So, all the sturm und drang aside, all that appears to have happened is that, through a couple of unexpected tweets, Shearer broke off a negotiation and dropped a big, steaming PR shitpile in the collective lap of Jean, Brooks, and FOX.

What does all this mean?  Well, it could end up meaning nothing.  This isn’t the first time Shearer has been unhappy in public during negotiations for renewal.  In the linked interview, Jean was deliberately cagey about how long they could go on without Shearer, but based on what we know about production schedules, it could easily be months before they’d actually need him to record new episodes.  If they announce new cast members, that’d probably mean it’s a done deal, but I’d guess we’re a ways away from that.

There are, however, a couple of circumstantial pieces of evidence that this isn’t a public negotiating ploy on Shearer’s part and does indeed mean he’s leaving the show.  The first and biggest is that the other five main cast members have already signed.  Jean makes it clear in that interview that Shearer has been given the same offer the rest of them already took, so even just negotiating with him at this point would upset a deal that already took them months longer than usual to reach.

There’s also the fact that Shearer has never actually called it quits before.  He’s needled the show and ragged on FOX, but to my knowledge he’s never said he was done.

Finally, there are Jean’s highlighted comments above.  If it’s true that they’ve “rededicated” themselves and want more active participation from people, Shearer might not want the hassle.  He’s been content to (literally) phone it in these last few years, but he values his time a lot more than a few extra million bucks he may never spend anyway, so why bother?  He knows damn well the show is a shadow of itself, and if everyone’s just there for the money and he doesn’t need the money . . . well, that may be all she wrote.

Whatever his specific reasons, at the moment the safest assumption is that Harry Shearer will not be a member of the cast for the UABF production run.  If that holds, the last episode with his voice will be broadcast next season, probably in November or December.  We’ll see what happens, but unlike the renewal that always seemed like it was going to get done, this is uncharted territory.

28
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song14

“The ingredients were, fresh pureed tomatoes, water, salt, and sodium benzoate used to retard spoilage.  Once again, if I’m not mistaken, this can contained tomato paste.” – Nelson Muntz
“Thank you, Nelson, I look forward to seeing it again next week.” – Mrs. Krabappel

12
Oct
14

Quote of the Day

GreaseMeUpWoman

“Lunchlady Doris, have you got any grease?” – Groundskeeper Willie
“Yes.  Yes, we do.” – Lunchlady Doris
“Then grease me up, woman!” – Groundskeeper Willie
“Okie-dokie.” – Lunchlady Doris

Doris Grau would’ve been 90 today. Happy birthday!




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