Posts Tagged ‘Yolo

14
Nov
13

Compare & Contrast: James Bond Songs

You Only Move Twice12

“Ingenious, isn’t it, Mr. Bont?” – Hank Scorpio
“Scorpio, you’re totally mad.” – Bont
“I wouldn’t point fingers, you jerk.” – Hank Scorpio
“So, do you expect me to talk?” – Bont
“I don’t expect anything from you except to die and be a very cheap funeral.” – Hank Scorpio

When The Simpsons was still itself it often featured song parodies and takeoffs that were toe-tapping fun.  But those songs were never simply direct ports of existing songs with just a word or two changed.  When Shary Bobbins sings "A Boozehound Named Barney", it’s recognizable as "Feed the Birds", but only because the melodies are similar.  Thanks in part to Disney’s notorious copyright locusts, "Boozehound" has original music and lyrics that tell a completely different story.  In "Marge vs. the Monorail", there isn’t quite one song from The Music Man that the monorail song is based off of, but there doesn’t need to be.  They can blend elements of different songs, mostly "Ya Got Trouble" and "Seventy-Six Trombones", and come out with a coherent song at the end that not only sounds good and is funny, but is both of those things even if you’ve never heard the original.  I could keep citing examples, Homer singing about garbage men or about life under the sea spring to mind, but what’d be the point?  The show created songs that sounded enough like the originals so that you could get the reference, but not so much that they weren’t pretty catchy on their own.

In particular, there was the song that plays over the end credits for "You Only Move Twice".  Though it’s closest to "Goldfinger" (probably the most famous James Bond song), it’s not a direct takeoff.  Rather, it uses the generally brash and brassy sound of those Sean Connery movies as inspiration.  So while it’s an original work with freshly written music and lyrics, it’d slip almost unnoticed into a collection of Bond themes.

Like the music itself, the lyrics take familiar patterns and warp them in that inimitable Simpsons way (yoinked from SNPP):

Scorpio!
He’ll sting you with his dreams of power and wealth.
Beware of Scorpio!
His twisted twin obsessions are his plot to rule the world And his employees’ health.
He’ll welcome you into his lair, Like the nobleman welcomes his guest.
With free dental care and a stock plan that helps you invest!
But beware of his generous pensions, Plus three weeks paid vacation each year,
And on Fridays the lunchroom serves hot dogs and burgers and beer! He loves German beer!

Like "Goldfinger", it’s about the villain.  But Scorpio, unlike Goldfinger, doesn’t let Bond (or Bont) kill or otherwise defeat an entire army of henchmen.  Instead, he gives them investment help and beer on Fridays.

Compare that to the helplessly uncreative "You Only Live One" song in "YOLO".  Not only is the song note for note with the original Bond song "You Only Live Twice", but the lyrics are short, uncreative, and dominated by repeating the original, nearly word for word.  Here’s the lyrics from Homer’s depressed montage:

You only live once, or so it seems
No life for yourself, and none for your dreams,
You work every day, at a job so lame
And every night the ending’s the same

And here are the matching lyrics from the 1967 original:

You only live twice, or so it seems
One life for yourself, and one for your dreams
You drift through the years, and life seems tame
Till one dream appears, and love is it’s name

They didn’t just copy the song, they copied the rhyme scheme and almost all of the lyrics, word for word.  (And when they did change something, it was usually just to make a positive into a negative.)  The part of the song over the end credits is slightly less repetitive, but not much:

You only live once, but that’s okay
You’ll live quite long in the USA,
But, back to my point, you only live once,
You’ve got years and years, unless it’s just months

Even there half of what they’re doing is just repeating the refrain, and there’s no original music whatsoever.

Using the old Bond song like this isn’t as hacktacular as a lot of the things they do, but even a cursory glace shows just how weak "You Only Move Once" is when compared to the Scorpio end credits.  Zombie Simpsons bought a song, swapped a few words and expects you to smile at the reference.  (Though if you’d never heard the original I’m not sure quite what you’d think.)  The Simpsons sat down at a piano and wrote an entire song that works musically, fits their story, and still hews close enough to the original formula that there’s no doubt in your mind what they’re parodying.  As is always the case, The Simpsons took the time and effort to do the job right while Zombie Simpsons cut every corner they could and ended up with something that’s as slapdash as it is forgettable.

11
Nov
13

Behind Us Forever: YOLO (<- Yes, They Actually Called It That.)

Chalkboard - YOLO

“There is just one dance that will beat them, the Tango de la Muerte.” – Eduardo
“Only one man was crazy enough to dance that dance, and he is dead!” – Lisabella
“My twin brother, Freduardo!  But where he died, I shall live . . . in his apartment.” – Eduardo

Woof, this episode is awful.  The A-plot consists of little more than a series of montages with “Eduardo”, Homer’s flat, characterless Spanish guardian angel.  The B-plot involves Lisa creating an honor code which everyone except Bart follows for some reason, then she tears out some of her hair for some other reason.  It ends when Homer, in a magic wingsuit, lands on Bart.  Homer is injured, Bart appears to be okay.  It’s weird.    

– The couch gag is kinda clever and timely (for once), but it shows how one dimensional their thinking is that they have to have Homer crash through the ceiling for no real reason.

– Is Milhouse supposed to be hitting puberty?  Hayden has a really hard time doing the voice now.

– Ditto Kavner and Marge.

– They opened the exposition sluice gate early this week: "I’m so glad you’re happy with your life just the way it is.  You’ve had the same job, same car, same house for twenty years, and that’s all you’ll ever have.  A cycle you’ll never ever ever ever ever change, and you’re okay with it.  Like I say, night after night after night, nighty-night."  Everybody got that?

– Nice touch on playing the Mr. Sparkle song for Skinner’s Japanese website.

– What’s with the hidden camera in Skinner’s bedroom?

– Montage!

– Oh good, we’re getting manic depressive Jerkass Homer this week.

– Aww, Marcia Wallace.

– I get that having Chalmers scold Lisa for not solving their cheating problem quicker is a nod to how utterly disconnected from reality this show has become, but it doesn’t change the fact that school assemblies used to be both less insane and funnier.

– Did they intend to give this guy the same name as the one from the Tango de la Muerte in Season 11, or was it just coincidence?  And where’s Freduardo when you need him?

– If you’re going to bring back a Llewellyn Sinclair type with Lovitz as the voice, you could at least give us a scene of him directing a play.

– Chalmers, speaking for the audience, "Can’t you say anything in a normal way?"

– Uh, why is Flanders hanging around outside the Simpson house?

– They’re even bigger on weird asides this week than usual.  I struggle to even comprehend the thinking behind Willie doing the shifty eyes thing.

– You know, there’s nothing terrible about "Lisa designs an honor code" in theory.  But the execution here is nonsensical to the point that even if the jokes were anything more than sitcom-y punchlines they still wouldn’t land.  They have Lisa discover Bart cheating by mistaking his backpack for hers (whatever x1), only noticing after she’s at school (whatever x2) and then conveniently finding all of his tests in a row (whatever x3) before expositing the obvious fact that honor codes would be easy for someone like Bart to exploit (whatever x4).

– I should’ve known there’d be a wingsuit montage.

– And we conclude the pointless cheating plot by having the A-plot literally crash land into it.  Jebus these episodes are sloppily put together.

– So, Eduardo was staying with them?

Anyway, the ratings are in and they are holy shit bad.  Last night just 4.27 million people wasted a half hour from the only life they get.  That’s good for sixth lowest all time, and the demographic numbers are going heavily south as well:

On FOX, The Simpsons notched a  1.9 adults 18-49 rating, down 21 percent from last week’s  2.4.

And last week wasn’t exactly something to crow about.

10
Nov
13

Sunday Preview: Yolo

YOLO_promo_5

Marge convinces Homer to invite an old pen pal to stay with them, an item that was on a to-do list he created as a 10-year old. Meanwhile, Lisa is instrumental in revising the school honor code.

Oh goodie. Marge for some reason is encouraging Homer to be even more zombie-homer-ish. That outta work out for all involved.




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