Posts Tagged ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)

17
Sep
19

Quote of the Day

“It was all a dream.” – Mr. Smithers
“That’s right, the year is 1965 and you and I are undercover detectives on the hot rod circuit. Now, let’s burn rubber, baby!” – C.M. Burns
“Speedway Squad! In color!!” – Dream TV Announcer

17
Sep
18

Quote of the Day

“Wait, that was all a dream. Hey, then maybe I haven’t become a hideous drunken wreck . . . oh.” – Mr. Smithers

13
Jun
18

Quote of the Day

“Officer, arrest the baby.” – C.M. Burns
“Yeah, right, pops, no jury in the world’s gonna convict a baby. . . . maybe Texas.” – Chief Wiggum

Happy Birthday Greg Daniels!

17
Sep
17

Quote of the Day

“Slow down! Sidewalk’s for regular walkin’. Not for fancy walkin’.” – Jasper

17
Sep
16

Quote of the Day

autolandmufflersale1

“Mr. Burns! What have I done?” – Mr. Smithers

19
Jul
16

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2j

“I had an idea, Chief. Why don’t we check out that suit Burns was wearing when he got shot?” – Eddie
“Did you have the same backwards talking dream with the flaming cards?” – Chief Wiggum
“I’ll drive.” – Eddie

17
Sep
15

Quote of the Day

Hospitals

“Burns was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.  He was then transferred to a better hospital where doctors upgraded his condition to alive.” – Kent Brockman

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)”!  Original airdate: 17 September 1995.

06
Aug
15

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2i

“At the town meeting he mentioned that he watched Comedy Central.  I made sure to note that, as it seemed quite unusual.” – Melvin van Horn

Have fun replacing Jon Stewart, Viacom. 

27
Feb
15

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2h

“And with the prime suspect cleared and found completely innocent, we must now ask ourselves: who could possibly be as bloodthirsty as Waylon Smithers?” – Kent Brockman

Happy birthday Bill Oakley!

17
Sep
14

Quote of the Day

PullDuchess

“Pull, Duchess, pull!” – Groundskeeper Willie
“Um, what town did we just crush?” – Krusty the Klown
“Shelbyville.” – Principal Skinner
“Yay!” – Hotheads 

15
Jan
14

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2g

“Officer, you have arrested an innocent man!” – Sideshow Mel
“Really?  Aw, jeez, alright, Colossus, you’re free to go.  But stay away from Death Mountain.” – Chief Wiggum
“But all my stuff is there!” – Dr. Colossus

19
Aug
12

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2f

“You accuse me of everything around here!  Who put slippers in the dishwasher?  Who threw a cane at the TV?  Who fell into the china hutch?” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

23
Mar
12

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2e

“Now where’s my hat?  I’m going to the outhouse.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“We don’t have an outhouse.” – Lisa Simpson
“My tool shed!” – Homer Simpson

18
May
11

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2d

“Dozens of people are gunned down each day in Springfield, but until now none of them was important.” – Kent Brockman

05
Aug
10

Even the Pet Sematary Couldn’t Bring Back Zombie Simpsons

New Staff

“The cafeteria staff is complaining about the mice in the kitchen.  I want to hire a new staff.” – Lunchlady Doris

The first sad news out of Comic-Con was that there was going to be a Christmas 2011 episode, which implied a full Season 23.  This was made official in a link e-mailed to us by reader Landry H:

The cast are signed through season 23, the creators see no end in sight as long as people keep watching.

Drag.  (And nevermind that “people” is a fairly loose term given the unstoppable slide in the show’s ratings.)  On the plus side, they only signed for one more season, so we might finally see the rusty machinery of Zombie Simpsons grind to a halt in the spring of 2012.

Since we’re dealing in sadness today, I might as well undermine any remaining hope even some of the most jaded fans of the show still maintain.  What hope, you ask?  Specifically, the hope that if they just got some fresh blood in there, then things might in some way improve.  John Ortved neatly expressed this while he was promoting his book (emphasis added):

There’s really two rooms working on the show: One room is [executive producer] Al Jean and his yes men, and the other room has the younger, hipper comedians. [The second room] sends jokes to the first room, and all their good stuff gets written out of it. I think if they were to save the show, they would need to get rid of the show runner and really shake up the writing room. I don’t know if they’ll ever get it back to the level they had, but they could start making great episodes again.

This is just another way for Simpsons fans to torment themselves with the cruel notion that a show about Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie could someday be watchable again.  (This is similar to, but distinct from, the “But It’s Getting Better” self-delusion, this one is anticipatory.)  All it really does is allow heavily invested fans a moment to fantasize about a future for the show that doesn’t resemble the last decade.  And it’s made all the crueler by the fact that Zombie Simpsons shows no sign of stopping despite its universally acknowledge slide into senility.

Ortved’s not the only one, either.  Here’s our sometime co-conspirator bobservo (in about the third time I’ve linked to this post of his):

I’d be happier if The Simpsons was completely restaffed with cranky, childless Harvard grads instead of these frightened old men that we have today.  There’s a certain mentality you need to write for The Simpsons, and these guys lost it a long time ago.

And here’s all around on-line Simpsons all-star Jake from comments earlier this week:

I used to think Al Jean (along with Mike Reiss) were awesome and now when I see Mr. Jean’s face, I just think: “man, just leave and let someone else try, at least!”, but that won’t be happening. :(

The basic idea here is “If only the powers that be would fire most of the staff and hire a bunch of acerbic nihilists with the words ‘Harvard Lampoon’ somewhere on their resume, then the show could perk up a little.”  As Jake points out, this isn’t going to happen.

Even if we imagine the miracle that it did happen, however, the show would continue to be forgettably mediocre.  Within the comedy template of Homer, Marge and their three precocious children, what more is there to be said?  Giving Homer new jobs, Marge new hobbies, Bart new girlfriends, and Lisa new causes, along with the occasional trip to another country, has been done to death.  I’ve seen people suggest that they flash everything forward, give Bart and Lisa families of their own, turn Homer into Grampa, and introduce a whole slew of new characters.  That would give our hypothetical team of new writers some play space, sure, but it would also be a wholly new show.  And if you’re going to do that, why not cut the crap and just make a new show without the burden of all that backstory?  A slight uptick in the number of decent one-liners won’t change the fact that “Simpsons Already Did It”.

Of course, even that fanciful notion assumes the producers could actually find a new staff capable of pulling off such a miracle.  From a creative perspective, would highly talented young people even want to write for Zombie Simpsons?  There will always be financial/career reasons for wanting to write for a show with a fat budget and an iron grip on a swanky timeslot, but that’s not going to attract daring and highly creative people.  That’s going to attract hacks.  If you’re smart and edgy and want to be a Los Angeles big shot making waves in television comedy, Zombie Simpsons is the last place you would want to work.  Just in the last five years there have been a ton of critically acclaimed new comedy programs broadcast on all variety of channels.  Premium cable has produced Party Down, Weeds, Flight of the Conchords, and Eastbound & Down; regular cable has done Archer, The League, Ugly Americans and Drawn Together; even fusty old broadcast networks have gotten high praise for shows like 30 Rock, Glee, Ugly Betty and Parks & Recreation.  Whatever your opinion of each of those programs, those are the kind of shows that get people talking these days, those are the shows that generate press and launch careers.

By contrast, Zombie Simpsons is old hat.  They haven’t done anything creative or controversial in years, and the only time the show ever pops up on the non-Simpsons parts of the internet is when they do a travel episode or nakedly piggy back on someone else’s work.  Zombie Simpsons itself is never news, the hook is always the place they’ve sent the family or that Celebrity X is guest voicing.  This boredom with Springfield-only content includes fan interest as well.  The only two examples of Zombie Simpsons in the top 100 rated episodes on IMDb we looked at a few weeks ago were the 24 episode and the one where they copied a YouTube video.  If you’re a smart and ambitious comedy writer who thinks the world of your talent, Zombie Simpsons provides no platform to show what you can do.  Cranking out cookie cutter episodes that vanish into the ever expanding garbage dump of forgettable pop culture about six seconds after they’re broadcast will never get anyone at The New York Times to call you brilliant.

So yes, there will be a Season 23 and, unless one of the big six voice actors quits or dies, there’s nothing stopping them from Season 24 or 25 or any other number you care to name.  Even if they had what Jules Winnfield famously referred to as a ‘moment of clarity’ and decided to restaff the whole show, it still wouldn’t make a difference.  The kind of crazed geniuses that made The Simpsons what is was likely wouldn’t want to work there, and even if they did, they’d be laboring under two decades worth of baggage, most of it crap.  Better writers, even if they existed and could be hired, can’t help the show.  The Simpsons ended a long time ago.  All that’s left now is a badly rotted corpse rolling down the hill of trash television.

25
May
10

Synergy Can’t Go Along With This

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2c

“He crossed that line between everyday villainy, and cartoonish super-villainy.” – Waylon Smithers

Up until this week, IGN had been doing a bang up job of sucking up to its paymaster.  But the reeking desperation and overwhelming obviousness of making the season finale an American Idol commercial was too much, even for them.  FOX let IGN down, man, now they don’t believe in nothin’ no more.  IGN’s going to law school!

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

As a conclusion to one of the best worst seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons in the last few years, the series delivered another clunker. There was little to get excited about in "Judge Me Tender," an episode whose main storyline product placement focused on Moe and fellow Fox series American Idol. Had this been a half-hour stuck in the middle of the season, I it might not have been so disappointed passed relatively unnoticed, but choosing to end the year with it, especially after last week’s great Sideshow Bob episode, one can’t help but feel robbed that this embarrassment will be long remembered.

Besides, Lost was on.  [Ed note: No it wasn’t.  Lost didn’t start until 9:00pm]  The Simpsons didn’t hide the fact they were airing opposite an event night on ABC, specifically going up against the Lost retrospective. Bart’s chalkboard tried to spoil the whole thing for you: "End of Lost: It was all the dog’s dream. Watch us." But the episode they were trying to win you over with was less than compelling. If there were any bright spots, there weren’t, but if there were, it was would have been the first act. The Springfield Pet Fair offered up a number of great visual mildly clever gags and one-off bits. Drederick Tatum shopping for monkey diapers that wouldn’t upset his tiger’s stomach if the tiger ate the monkey was hilarious not one of them, instead dragging on much too long. "It’s a great time to be a tiger." Moe trying to find a seat at the Ugly Dog Contest was also a highlight took too long and wasn’t that funny to begin with.

The contest turned out to be the catalyst hackneyed set up for the remainder of the episode. Krusty’s unfunny commentary was outdone by no worse than Moe’s heckling, and but the “plot” demanded otherwise, and so Moe quickly became an in-demand local judge. This all worked up to this point, took quite some time and led to and I enjoyed the montage of different contests that Moe was asked to judge. But the moment Once Moe was approached by a Hollywood agent and offered a stint as guest judge on American Idol, the episode lost me went from run of the mill Zombie Simpsons crappiness to turbo-charged, unfunny network shill. The Simpsons are used to be great at taking swipes at Hollywood and parent company Fox, but the majority of bits fell very flat in "Judge Me Tender." The series has made (better) tepid jokes about AI in seasons past and very little new was offered here, except for the actual voices of Simon, Ellen, Kara, Randy and Ryan. But even these voice performances were wooden and unfunny and served to highlight just how bankrupt this show has become. Even Ellen disappointed, and she’s done the cartoon voice thing quiet well in the past, though that was with actual writing. Guess she’s better at playing a fish than herself.

The episode was padded out with Homer being forced to spend more time at home because of Moe’s Tavern being temporarily closed. Marge becoming annoyed by Homer’s presence was wholly expected and not given many any fun twists. Homer screwed up the kitchen? Oh, my! Homer took apart the washer unsuccessfully? Who knew?! It was predictable and weak. Even the The ending to the American Idol storyline was a bit transparently telegraphed. Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox, has been the butt of countless jokes on The Simpsons, but nothing great came of his guest appearance on this episode. It was just too safe. In fact, the whole thing kind felt like was a network ordered crossover to help promote the ailing AI. Whatever the case, Even for the hollowed out husk that is Zombie Simpsons, this was a terrible way to end an otherwise fantastic another terrible season.

24
Mar
10

Crazy Noises: Stealing First Base

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2b

“Now, let’s discuss the, um, moe-tive” – Chief Wiggum

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 “gripe”).

Sometimes a Zombie Simpsons episode is so sloppy and meandering, so devoid of humor, that it’s nigh impossible to have a coherent discussion of it.  We started off talking about the montages, but there’s so many little things in this episode that just flat out suck that we ended up jumping around randomly, just like the episode did.  And I’m sure we didn’t get to everything.  The B-plot was three scenes, the finale of which was a helicopter landing at the school and three minutes of exposition.  The A-plot dropped its reason for existing halfway through.  The opening scene has literally nothing to do with the rest of the episode.  Homer just gets into a little adventure driving the kids to school, it’s never referenced again and has no bearing on what happens once they get to school.  And what few stabs at humor were contained within were, to put it mildly, clumsy.  I could go on, but we did that last night. 

Mad Jon: Ok then

  Shall we?

Dave: Only if we start with the first of several pointless montages

Mad Jon: Fair enough

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, that was about the worst of it.

Mad Jon: Was it Charlie who was pissing on the Itchy and Scratchy episode from last week?

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh yeah.

Mad Jon: Should have kept your mouth shut

  Look what wrath you brought on us this week

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d hesitate to call this “worse” since the last one was already approaching absolute zero, but this was awful.

Mad Jon: Hesitate not fair gentleman

Dave: Quite.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fine, you saw an artsy movie from the late eighties, I’m impressed. Did it really need to go on for, wait, let me check . . .

Mad Jon: We’ll wait here

Dave: I enjoy the “Qatsi” trilogy, but recognize that it’s fair game for a ton of ridicule. The I&S bit did none of that

Charlie Sweatpants: One minute and ten seconds, give or take. Wow.

That’s more than 5% of the episode.

  I’m not familiar enough with all of Zombie Simpsons, but that’s got to be up there for all time champion montage time waster.

Mad Jon: I&S is not for that kind of parody. I&S is supposed to be the 15-20 seconds of pure violent humor that reminds me that I am still not completely desensitized

Charlie Sweatpants: Which one next, the kiss montage or the skateboarding montage?

Mad Jon: The Kiss one

Dave: Skateboarding

Charlie Sweatpants: Jon got there first, kiss it is.

Mad Jon: Hooray for us

Once again I forgot the sarcasm emoticon

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s already been discussed in the comments, but the Alien/Critic one was terrible either way you slice it. The rest were just dumb. I mean, they did “Ghost”! If ever a movie was crying out to be parodied it was that one, but they just put it in straight.

Mad Jon: Good point

Dave: Parody takes effort, remember?

  It’s much easier to copy verbatim.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was what, like ten? And only two of them were even attempts at humor.

That’s just pathetic, especially when you consider the enormous number of famous movie kisses over the years.

Mad Jon: On the bright side the Lady and the Tramp one made me think of the parody Family Guy did with Michael Vick. That was the only time I laughed the entire 22 min.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think I remember that.

By the way, the kissing montage clocks in at about 45 seconds.

Dave: So close to 2 minutes of a 23 minute episode?

  Wasted on two montages?

Charlie Sweatpants: And we haven’t even gotten to the skateboard one.

And the episode is only 20:33 on WinAmp.

Dave: Sorry, 20 minutes.

  Yep.

Charlie Sweatpants: Before we move on, I would like to reiterate my point from earlier: this was a massively wasted comedy opportunity.

Mad Jon: That one had a bit of a scene from that Angelina Jolie movie “Wanted”. Which, btw, some schmuck decided would be a good idea to make a sequel of.

Charlie Sweatpants: Which one?

Mad Jon: The skateboard montage

Charlie Sweatpants: So that was from something?

Mad Jon: The beginning was.

But I don’t know about the rest.

Charlie Sweatpants: I did a quick scan of the No Homers thread on this episode but nobody mentioned that it was from something. On the advice of several people I have not bothered to see “Wanted”.

Mad Jon: You are a smart man.

Dave: Did that have something to do with the montage?

Charlie Sweatpants: Jon seems to think so.

Which part?

  Wait, lemme guess, sliding under the picnic table?

Mad Jon: Look, I think this doesn’t merit this level of discussion. All we are really doing right now is reminding me that I paid 8 bucks to see “Wanted” with a girl I was already sleeping with.

Charlie Sweatpants: You paid to see it? Oh, sorry. I figured you at least waited until it was on DVD or something. That is kind of embarrassing.

Mad Jon: I rest my case

Dave: Seriously embarrassing.

Charlie Sweatpants: Depending on how you want to count, the skateboard thing goes on for between thirty and forty seconds.

(Thirty if it’s just the music, forty if you start from when the joke-free skateboarding starts.)

Mad Jon: I don’t think we should provide any benefit of doubt

Dave: Let’s say 40 and round it up to a minute.

  Because it felt at least that long.

Charlie Sweatpants: This brings me to another gripe about this episode though, because there’s a skateboarding girl who goes to Bart’s school and he’s never met her before?

  They used to put some care into introducing new students.

Dave: This isn’t then.

Charlie Sweatpants: Alison Taylor skipped a grade. Samantha Stanky moved to Springfield from Phoenix. Jessica Lovejoy was expelled from boarding school.

  Girlfriend #8 was across the hall the whole time.

Mad Jon: Good point, now they are just like “whoops, how about another class of 4thies”

Charlie Sweatpants: While we’re on the subject of nonsensical school stuff, the opening needs to be dragged out back and shot.

The GPS thing was a complete waste of time that had nothing to do with the rest of the episode.

Dave: People should trust their GPSs, har har

Charlie Sweatpants: The GPS thing is classic Zombie Simpsons, because you can see the writers’ desperation right on the screen. Hey, we haven’t “done” GPS yet. But we can’t think of a way to work it into the rest of the episode, so we’ll just stick it here because we need to fill some time.

You can tell it has nothing to do with the rest of the episode because not ten minutes later Homer is shown working on a car, and it has nothing to do with the opening minute of the episode when he wrecked the car.

  It’s not even the same car.

Dave: But you didn’t enjoy the wonderful, contemporary humor therein?

Mad Jon: No, I didn’t

Also, the bit with Nelson’s blind friend. I still don’t like Nelson with feelings, it always reminds me of the scenes from that one episode where he thinks all the plant life is his father.

Charlie Sweatpants: Wait, what?

If I have seen that I’ve blocked it out.

Mad Jon: It was a running gag the entire last 2 thirds of the episode

Dave: I’m sure someone at No Homers found it brilliant though. So does that mean it worked?

Charlie Sweatpants: Ralph laughed when the flag on the mailbox was up. That doesn’t mean the mailbox was “working”.

Mad Jon: I occasionally look at No Homers and some of those people are ok. But for the most part I would listen to my dog’s suggestion to start shitting on the floor before I would take their advice on The Simpsons.

Oops, said the quiet part loud and the loud part quiet again.

Dave: I recognize that there are a few level-headed folks at NH – but they’re way outnumbered by the nutjobs.

Charlie Sweatpants: And while we’re talking about the opening, I’d also like to point out that the whole “chaos in the classroom” scene made less sense and had fewer joke than the ones when Skinner got fired.

  Oh, and they had the mouse fly out of the snake and cry “Freedom”. Where have I seen something similar?

Mad Jon: Why wasn’t Krabappel there again?

Charlie Sweatpants: Something about a cult. Might as well have given her Lyme disease and just been done with it.

Mad Jon: Did you forget the emoticon again?

Charlie Sweatpants: Forget? No. I thought it was pretty obvious what I was going for.

Mad Jon: Excellent.

Charlie Sweatpants: So what have we missed?

There was the awful Skinner/Willie kissing thing, that ate some clock. Lisa’s bizarre freakout. The pointless Angela Basset cameo, oh, and the pre-kissing montage thing where Skinner tried to stop Girlfriend #8 for some reason.

  Jebus there wasn’t a damn thing in this episode that made any sense.

Mad Jon: Oh god, I forgot about the kissing. That just kept going.

Dave: So true. But we can’t reasonably rip on everything.

Charlie Sweatpants: So you’re saying they’ve overwhelmed us with crappiness?

Mad Jon: It’s possible

Dave: Sure why not

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, I still want to bitch about the skit thing. I don’t think the length and stupidity of the kissing thing should let the rest of that scene off the hook.

Mad Jon: Bitch away

Charlie Sweatpants: There was Chalmers stupid exposition, the whole Homer strangling Skinner thing, and then there was Martin and Wendell dragging Homer off, which also sucked.

  Oh, and Chalmers sounded kinda like himself again, unlike last week when he sounded nothing like himself. Just bizarre.

Mad Jon: How bizarre indeed.

Dave: For some reason that just reminded me that Nelson was a complete fuck in this episode

Nelson, the estrogen-charged defender of the weak

Charlie Sweatpants: But he’s more sympathetic this way!

Mad Jon: Yeah, that sucked indeed as well

Charlie Sweatpants: Don’t you want all the characters to be nice? Why doesn’t Nelson share his pie, and then they would both have pie?

Mad Jon: Good reference.

Dave: No, Nelson’s better this way, you’re right.

  How dare I question any change in his character.

  This is who he should’ve always been.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah Dave, if you don’t like it, why are you watching?

Dave: I’m such a negative Nancy, ripping on others’ hard work

Mad Jon: It is pretty stupid that you would do that. Especially now that there are so many period references like iPods, GPSs and Josh Groban to make the show so much more watchable. Especially compared to season 17–18.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s just sad that it’s not obvious to you that having a pointless guest character literally helicopter into the episode and then back out of it is just like teh classic Simpons!!!11!!!!1

Dave: Head hung in shame

  I’ll go now

Charlie Sweatpants: Can I go too? Recalling the various horrors of this episode is making me nauseous.

Dave: I’ll be in bed with a bottle of amaretto

Charlie Sweatpants: Well used.

24
Nov
09

Quote of the Day

crapulence

“Smithers had thwarted my earlier attempt to take candy from a baby, but with him out of the picture, I was free to wallow in my own crapulence.” – C. Montgomery Burns

29
Sep
09

Quote of the Day

“Oh, you’re the bee’s knees baby. I missed you bad.” – Abraham Simpson
“Were you talking to me, Grampa?” – Marge Simpson
“Umm… yes?” – Abraham Simpson
“Eww…” – Marge Simpson

08
Aug
09

Quote of the Day

German Plane

Image used under CreativeCommons license from Flicker user jmiguel.rodriguez.

“You never know what you’re capable of.  I never thought I could shoot down a German plane, but last year I proved myself wrong.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson




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