“Now, kids, instead of candy I thought I’d serve an array of healthy, fresh fruits.” – Marge Simpson
“Ohhh.” – Kids
“Fruit is nature’s candy.” – Marge Simpson
“What kind of show you got for us, Mr. Burns?” – Reporter
“Well, the ape’s going to stand around for three hours or so. Then we’ll close with the ethnic comedy of Dugan and Dershowitz.” – C.M. Burns
“Sensational!” – Reporter
Happy Halloween, everybody! This week we’ve got a bunch of Treehouse of Horror related links, include quite a few to people who decided to list individual segments. As always, some are better than others and Zombie Simpsons only gets the occasional pity mention (if that). In addition we’ve got some live sightings of Simpsons clothing, video game ideas, cool tattoos, and a new food blog.
Patented Space-Age Out of This World Moon Waffles – Someone actually made them. And it’s part of a new Simpsons food blog. And that blog is called “Eats Like a Duck”. Yes!
Along came these two cool dudes…. – Some truly excellent Simpsons tattoos, including donut-headed Homer, Kirk van Houten’s album, the Space Coyote, and Scrabble letters.
The Definitive List of the Best Simpsons Episodes Ever – This certainly isn’t definitive, but it’s a very good list and has lots of great YouTube.
What Do You Think of the Simpsons World? – Let us hope that these things will be fixed:
Not all the features FXX promised are up and coming yet, the video playback is not quite as consistent as that of Netflix or HBOGo, and most importantly, the show isn’t screened in its original 4:3 ratio, cropping the older episodes and hurting many of the sight gags (fortunately, FXX has promised these problems will be resolved soon).
Have they actually said that they’re going to change the player to do 4:3? I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere, and they seem really wedded to everything being widescreen.
Simpsons World: Maybe Not The “Worst. App. Ever.” – One more very mixed review.
Does Anybody Want the Last Homer? – A clever cartoon, possibly from the Planet of the Donuts.
13 great Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror Halloween stories – The only thing from Zombie Simpsons is “Night of the Dolphin”, which I’ve always kinda liked, so hooray for this list.
The 9 Best Treehouse of Horror Segments According to Critics – Some schmuck from NPR picked a Zombie Simpsons segment, but other than that this one is great.
Top 5 Halloween TV Episodes – Wisely, the kids at the University of Arizona didn’t try to cram all the Treehouse of Horrors in, they just said watch ’em.
Spooky Wednesday List: Top 5 Halloween Specials – This one just recommends “Treehouse of Horror V”, but sagely points out that there are many more.
Big Ten Power Poll: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Edition – Two of these are from Zombie Simpsons, but it’s mostly very good. (And, dear god, does Michigan need access to a time machine.)
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe – It just wouldn’t be Halloween without Poe, James Earl Jones, and The Simpsons.
Subsequently Strange – A top five list of Treehouse segments, with nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons. Bravo.
Where Have I Seen Dan Castellaneta? All His Non-Simpsons Acting. – Shame on you, Uproxx, you neglected to include his stint as the very Hibbert like “Dr. Stein” on Arrested Development.
All 25 ‘Treehouse Of Horror’ Episodes Of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked – Better, Uproxx, better. Though why you ranked this year’s above “X” or “XI” is beyond me.
Halloween 2014: The best Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes to watch this Halloween – There’s one Zombie Simpsons episode in here for some reason, but other than that it’s solid.
Now that it’s happened how do we hide the fact that it’s happened? – Bad husbanding, here:
Apparently when your pregnant wife tells you to hold her drink while she goes to the toilet you’re supposed to drink it, not stand there like an idiot and return it in its undisturbed state. This happened to me more than once. I’m pretty sure that Jo viewed me like this scene from The Simpsons.
New breed of dolphins venture on land in hunt for food – The dolphin apocalypse is still a long way off, but you can’t talk about them eating on land without mentioning that one segment from Season 12 (with .gif).
Today on the tray: Greasy foods – Apparently last Saturday was Greasy Foods Day. Dr. Nick approves.
Enjoying a Beer With Irish Zombies on the Boardwalk: A Quick Recap of the Last Five Days – Now that’s truly scarifying:
I took a vacation day to await the arrival of my new pantry. David Henne told me that was the least manly reason to take a day off from work, but I think that’s hyperbole. Maybe it would’ve been more acceptable if I spent the day watching 10-15 episodes of The Simpsons, but the best my DVR had to offer was latter-day “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.
Classic Vintage “The Simpsons” Neck Tie – That’s actually a pretty good Simpsons tie, what with it having just the kids and an actual pattern on it.
It’s a Simpson’s Family Pizza Dinner – Lego Simpsons sitting down to eat.
When Flanders Failed – Episode #038 – Ash is back on his game with a twofer this week.
Bart The Murderer – Episode #039 – Nobody ever said Homer was a good parent:
Two things I noticed during the scene with Bart’s room being stocked with cigarettes due to his boss’ warehouse being full:
1. How did that amount of cigarettes get into the house without anyone even noticing? That was until Homer walked by and
2. How does making Bart smoke every single cigarette teach him a lesson? What lesson was Homer trying to teach him here? How to smoke?
The life of a Writer … – Heh.
#TBT post – Simpson fashion in the wild at Universal Studios.
New trending GIF tagged tv television the simpsons… – Teacher. Mother. Secret Lover.
New trending GIF tagged cartoon loop the simpsons… – Homer, trying to see what Bart wrote on the back of his skull.
New trending GIF tagged the simpsons nicki minaj… – Skinner tying his shoe, and the Sir Mix-A-Lot subtitle is great.
“Stupid party, wish we was trick or treatin’.” – Bart Simpson
The annual Halloween episode tends to be pretty bland in the hands of Zombie Simpsons, and this year was no different. The first story was about Bart going to school in Hell, where he does better than he used to do at Springfield Elementary. The second is a bunch of meandering references to Stanley Kubrick movies that ends with Kubrick himself staring right at the camera for some reason. The third one involved the old Tracey Ullman versions of the characters being ghosts.
– Give them this, if they’re going to sneak in Kang and Kodos for no reason, at least this opening didn’t take too long.
– Oof, this thing about “penal”, “penile” and “penis” was probably funnier when it was doodled on an actual fourth grader’s notebook.
– Hey, now Lisa’s here.
– The Hell chalkboard punishment “Eternal Torment Is The Only Just Punishment for the Unbaptized” is pretty good . . . and they didn’t even read it off to us! Happy Halloween!
– But it didn’t last long. Lisa just explained to us that snow is cold.
– Then Bart told us how he’s feeling about his teacher.
– The “Burns Hellport” wasn’t terrible.
– Guh, even in Halloween episodes though, we’re reminded of how cushy and comfortable the writers have gotten. Homer just went on a rant about private schools sending parents twenty e-mails a day. I bet they also hate it when your worthless butler washes your sock garters but they’re still covered with schmutz.
– And now Hell-Chalmers is expositing pointlessly.
– The montage didn’t even take too long.
– So, this thing with Bart torturing Homer was supposed to be some kind of ending? Even here they need exposition:
Bart: That’s my Dad, I can’t hurt him.
Homer: No, boy, I want you to do it.
Bart: What, why?
Homer: Bart, you went to Hell and came back a winner, like Jesus.
Tedious crap like this is why even when they do manage some decent jokes, these segments will always be bland and unmemorable. “Hell School” is a decent enough little concept, but they can’t give it a coherent plot or not spend time explaining the jokes even in just seven minutes of runtime.
– For a show that got a little pious over Family Guy‘s rape joke, this “In-out” thing sure goes on a long time.
– Moe’s cutesy narrator language is already grating:
“Everything was all fish and chippie until Dum collected himself a twiggy-wick”
– The montage in the first segment didn’t take too long. This one . . . not so much. Homer just bounces around his room for a while.
– And we’re back to explaining things. Homer’s going to marry Marge, then Moe asks a rhetorical question/joke setup, then Marge explains things.
– I get that this segment is just a scattershot of Kubrick references, but it kinda undercuts the joke of Moe being forced to watch FOX when he pleads to have it turned off, and then immediately takes the Clockwork Orange helmet off without a problem.
– Now Nelson, Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph are beating Moe up. Nelson was already in the house, thus making Moe talking to Kearney at the door pointless. Is five consecutive seconds of narrative coherence really too much to ask?
– Speaking of sloppy writing, despite the fact that we saw a title card called “Years Later”, Homer just said it’s been a few months. If that’s a joke, I sure don’t get it.
– And on the topic of narrative incoherence, Moe reacts to his beating by trying to get his old gang back together. I assumed it was to get revenge, but we never see the bullies again. Instead we’re off to an incoherent mash up of various Kubrick references.
– Topped off by more expository narration from Moe, and Kubrick himself getting hit on the head with a pen. This one seems to have just petered out rather than ended, but maybe that’s for the best.
– Onto segment three, where the TV is apparently only playing Married With Children. I get that’s a show from forever ago, but it might’ve helped for there to be more to it than that.
– Homer and Marge are in bed, then Marge leaves because Grampa was there too, then . . . you know what? Screw it. Basically nothing happens and what little does happen is explained to us.
– Lisa just called ghost-Bart burping “unmotivated”. Maybe they do know what motivation is. That’s the only evidence from the last five years or so, but still.
– Also, it’s nice that they’re trying to do the old style voices, but twenty-five years has made that impossible.
– Speaking of “unmotivated”, what’s with ghost-Marge and regular-Homer falling in love? Ghost-Homer just kinda stands there.
– And now Marge killed herself. Uh, okay.
– Good question from new-ghost-Marge, “Won’t the other Homer be a problem?”. That little reminder slightly preceded Homer getting killed by ghost-Homer.
– And now Lisa and Bart are dead too because . . . I really don’t know. I guess they all want to be ghosts for some reason?
– Dr. Marvin Monroe is now also back as a ghost. His butt gets stuck in the wall. (Comedy!)
– “Let’s not fight anymore, let’s make him decide between us!” – Not only are they telling us what’s happening, they’ve once again forgotten the older Homer. Then both Marges explain themselves, because ghosts explaining themselves is a significant fraction of the dialogue here.
– Now both Marges are hugging their respective Homers.
– And we end on many different Simpsons versions.
I expect basically nothing from this show, so it’s hard to call myself disappointed in any of this, but that final segment is still kinda disappointing. It’s a neat idea to bring back the original character models and you could probably have some fun with the old and new versions interacting or going at cross purposes, especially in a Halloween episode where you’ve got basically no rules. Instead, Homer and ghost-Marge have a weird non-romance and most of the segment is people killing (themselves or others) and explaining how they feel. What a waste.
Anyway, the ratings are in and it remains good to be behind football. Last night’s dutiful episode reminded 7.64 million viewers that this show used to do much better Halloween specials. As with previous weeks, that’s good for this year and very bad historically.
“I’m dreading the reviews, I can tell you that.” – C.M. Burns
Last week I mentioned that the post-apocalypse Mr. Burns play was opening in London. Well, London being something of a theater loving town, we have a deluge of reviews this week. Most are quite positive, some are decidedly not, but I suppose that’s life in showbiz. In addition to that, the merchandising march continues, a couple of Simpsons alums do some charity work, there’s quite a bit of excellent usage, and people keep finding creative ways to use the Lego figures.
Family Guy vs. Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is a novel comparison. It’s not about the shows, it’s about the freemium games and compares pretty much every aspect of them.
Simpsonesque : Douglas Coupland – “Worst. Person. Ever.” – There’s an actual novel called “Worst. Person. Ever”, which inspired this:
I suppose we’ve culturally transcended the point where Shakespeare or the Bible were good places to look for titles. It’s “The Simpsons”‘ turn to shine. I took a lot at some popular literary categories I use in this blog, and here are “Simpsons”-inspired titles for them.
There are some pretty good ones. I’m fond of the “Romance” category getting “Teacher, Mother, Secret Lover” and “Theater” being “Is This the End of Zombie Shakespeare?”.
Drop Dean Clothing: Itchy & Scratchy Capsule Collection – Skinny pretty people wearing high falutin’ Simpsons clothes. Again.
The internet sarcasm detector – Oh, that’s a real useful invention!
Save the Children Names New Giving Fund for ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Sam Simon – Simon continues to put all that Simpsons money to good use.
News :: Ay caramba! Charity poker event helps children – Meanwhile, Cartwright is hosting charity poker tournaments.
TV and film-themed sandcastles – Just what it says, with everything from the show to Monsters, Inc.
Life Lessons from The Simpsons – Excellent idea:
And our children have watched the Simpsons since they could see. In fact, when they were little and hadn’t figured out “time” yet, we’d explain longer car trips in terms of the equivalent number of Simpsons episodes.
Ay Caramba! 7 Lessons Event Organizers Can Learn From The Simpsons – Just what it says and not a trace of Zombie Simpsons. Well done.
Geeky Lego Flower Pots – Star Wars, Lord of the Ring, and Simpsons all get the treatment.
Deadpool and Bobo verse the World – Well, the Lego world.
Why The Simpsons Is the Greatest Show of All Time – Those first ten years, yeah.
213. Duff – Another very “meh” review from an Aussie beer site.
D’Oh Nuts – You can now buy officially licensed “D’oh Nuts” in Britain, apparently.
Simpsons, Sedaris, and Story Structure – David Sedaris, fan of at least some Simpsons.
Groundskeeper Willie: My Not-So-Secret Crush – I’m not even gonna tell you what that guy’s into.
Products tied to not just Disney and Lucasfilm’s new “Star Wars” trilogy and spinoffs, but also Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Universal’s “Jurassic World,” and Warner Bros.’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and following “Justice League” movies are expected to boost interest in film-based products over the next two years.
But so are anniversaries like “Ghostbusters’” 30th, “Gone with the Wind’s” 75th, and “The Simpsons’” 25th. Disneyland also turns 60, while Hello Kitty is celebrating 40.
Playwright Anne Washburn enjoying ‘marmite’ appeal of the Almedia’s Mr Burns – And now we begin our extensive collection of play links with a Washburn publicity piece.
Mr Burns @ The Almeida Theatre Review – A very positive review calls it “one of this year’s theatrical highlights”.
A two and three quarter hour play based on a 20 minute cartoon – that sounds like a great id…D’oh. – A decidedly less positive review:
It is the kind of play that signifies its intent early, and the signs that title each act may as well have written on them that this is a ‘big play’ tackling ‘big themes’.
Review – Mr Burns at the Almeida Theatre – But as when it was on this side of the Atlantic, most of them are very taken:
For some of the first night reviews plastering broadsheets and blogs with flimsy star ratings failure was the first conclusion they jumped to and the one they stuck with, and I feel genuinely sorry that they missed out on one of the richest, most thought-provoking, imaginative, intricate, intelligent scripts, one of the most startling, dazzling designs, and one of the most accomplished creative teams I’ve witnessed at the theatre.
Mr Burns review – rebuilding the US on fragments of pop culture – This one is mostly happy, but I must take fierce exception to this:
Clearly Washburn is on to something in suggesting that, in the event of some future catastrophe, people would cling to their recollections of TV shows rather than Shakespeare or the Bible. But her play also suffers from its reliance on one particular episode of a cartoon comedy. Aficionados chuckle knowingly at every quotation from the original. If, however, you stumbled into the theatre knowing nothing of The Simpsons, you’d be totally lost.
First of all, if you’re going to a play that has “Mr. Burns” in the title, you don’t have a leg to stand on for complaints about not knowing the show. More importantly, at this point not knowing The Simpsons is far worse in many circles than not knowing Shakespeare or the Bible. Don’t we deserve plays too?
Mr Burns: ‘It’s not a play about The Simpsons’ – See? The BBC knows it’s a ‘classic’:
The play begins with several survivors sitting around a campfire trying to recall their favourite episode of The Simpsons.
That episode turns out to be 1993 classic Cape Feare, in which Sideshow Bob – voiced by Kelsey Grammer – is released on parole and sets out to kill Bart, forcing the Simpsons into a witness protection programme. The entire plot was a riff on Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of Cape Fear.
Mr Burns, Almeida Theatre, review: ‘three hours of utter hell’ – In the above link, the playwright says that people tend to love it or hate it. File this one under the latter:
I have to say that in this one respect the director Robert Icke does not disappoint. This is a play that appears to have been calculated not just to annoy, but to actually distress, discomfort and dehydrate audiences.
Hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos: Flanders is coming to Cork! – Enough of London, how about Ireland? Harry Shearer just bought a house there, plus there’s some YouTube.
See ‘Simpsons’ Version Of Kim Kardashian Butt Selfie – For once, the celebrity butt kissing wasn’t done officially.
Homer Simpson thief part of gang raid on store – Pretty sure “Don’t Be Conspicuous” is one of the basics of robbery, so the Homer Simpson onesie might not have been a good idea.
Ochoa Wins Sideshow Bob Battle With David Luíz – Big puffy hair always brings out the Sideshow Bob in everybody.
7 WWE Superstars Who Were Probably Alcoholics – Excellent usage:
If you’re a fan of The Simpsons then you probably remember the episode where Homer jumped on a car and said this famous line: “To alcohol! The cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” It’s a funny line that’s also true in a lot of ways. It also applies to the wrestling business very well.
Weird cases: ‘Eye-watering’ Onionhead religion – More excellent usage:
Not everyone takes Homer Simpson’s attitude to employment. Addressing his boss, Mr Burns, Homer once said: “Listen to me, Mr Bigshot, if you’re looking for the kind of employee who takes abuse and never sticks up for himself… I’m your man.”
Feisty, yet spineless.
First Look: Glazed & Confuzed opens on Leetsdale – One more:
Doughnuts have long been associated with a cop’s favorite breakfast, but even Homer Simpson appreciates glaze and sprinkles: “Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” asked the famous patriarch of the Simpson family of cartoon characters.
City reveals a glimpse of planned downtown ‘Simpsons’ mural – It’s just a drawing of Maggie and Lisa on a bike, but it’ll probably look nicer on a wall with some personal style.
Real Springfield seeks artist for ‘Simpsons’ mural – And the call for submissions and proposals is out.
5 things that I just don’t like – And finally, I get to end with someone who explicitly agrees with us:
3.shows running for too long
Does anyone remember when the Simpsons or Spongebob has had a really great episode recently? yeah neither do i, and i understand why they want them to continue because hey they practically print money, but come on enough is enough just give us something new.
“Bart, you cast the wrong spell! Zombies!” – Lisa Simpson
So, was this episode the Futurama crossover or not? I didn’t see Fry or Leela, but there was a beer swilling robot and lots of inter-species relationships, so I’m not entirely sure. Also, part of it was a coma fantasy or a dream sequence, but I don’t have access to an original script so I don’t know if those pages were on pink paper or goldenrod.
For those of you sage enough not to have watched it, we begin in the present when Homer dies. Frink, and remember, this is supposed to be the present, brings in a clone of Homer to the funeral. Homer then spends the next few minutes dying and coming back as a clone. Eventually it’s thirty years from now and Homer becomes a computer program instead. In that future, Bart is divorced from Amy Poehler, Lisa is married to Milhouse (who becomes a literal zombie because now they’re just fucking with me), and Marge eventually also becomes a computer program who gets eaten or something by Homer. Seriously, the end is so confusing that they have Moe say that he doesn’t get it.
– Hey, the couch gag was short and clever for a change.
– Ah, for the days when Homer eating in his underwear was funny instead of a harbinger of boredom.
– “You’re alive, but how?” – Time to have things explained.
– We got to the death montage nice and quick. It’s a completely unnecessary death montage, but at least they didn’t dawdle.
– Oh, look, there’s an incinerator-bot that looks like something that was reject from a Futurama storyboard back in 2003 or so. Has Zombie Simpsons resorted to dumpster diving the Futurama offices?
– “All is not lost, I was able to download Homer’s brain into this flash drive.” – They know we’re pretty much as far from Halloween as it is possible to get on the calendar, right?
– Bart’s ex-wife is dating an Alien alien named Jerry. I am not making this up.
– Okay, the “Cretaceous Park” sign (“Now Correctly Named”) was kinda funny.
– You know, all this talk of zombies reminds me that Ugly Americans had its moments. It never quite got there, but it was a hell of a lot better than this.
– At least this Total Recall scene didn’t take long.
– It’s our second song montage. The first one was Homer dying. This one is Bart getting laid.
– Clown group sex, didn’t see that one coming.
– A robot drinking alcohol . . . where have I seen that before?
– It’s pure fan service and couldn’t hope to salvage even a little bit of this episode, but they have adult Maggie and Gerald sucking on a straw together. It was quick and almost charming.
– Nice of Marge to pop out from behind that plant at Moe’s for an expository conversation about marriage with her kids.
– “Wait, Mom, does that mean you’re gonna take Dad back?”, see what I mean?
– So, Marge just digitized herself and was eaten by Homer. Moe, speaking for all of us, says “I can’t tell if that was love, suicide or a really boring video game.” The “really boring” part certainly applies.
– Oh, that couch gag was a fan idea. No wonder it didn’t suck.
Zombie Simpsons likes to take any decent joke and run it into the ground with repetition, and this was them doing that on an episode scale. A couple of seasons ago they did that “Holiday of Future’s Passed” episode where they did Christmas in the future. I wasn’t a fan, but they got a little bit of positive attention from it, so the natural thing to do would be to go back and stretch everything there way past the breaking point. It’s just their style.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are unprecedentedly wretched. Last night, just 3.59 million people hoped that this show gets canned sometime in the next thirty years. That’s good for second lowest all time, bested only by the non-8pm slot “Diggs” episode from last month. Seven of the ten lowest rated ever, including the entire bottom five, have been broadcast since January.
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