Posts Tagged ‘You Only Move Twice

06
Mar
20

Quote of the Day

“Why don’t you buy it?” – Bart Simpson
“I can’t buy that. Only management type guys with big salaries like me can afford things like that. . . . Guys like me! I’m a guy like me!” – Homer Simpson

04
Nov
19

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Hey, what’s going on?” – Homer Simpson
“I’m having a little trouble with the government.” – Hank Scorpio
“Oh, those jerks, always walking all over the small businessman! Don’t get me started about the government.” – Homer Simpson

23
Jul
19

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Homer, on your way out, if you want to kill somebody, it would help me a lot.” – Hank Scorpio

Happy (one day belated) Birthday, Albert Brooks! 

25
Jun
19

Quote of the Day

“Did you notice how the people weren’t shoving or knocking each other down? I’ve never been to a place like that before.” – Lisa Simpson
“Me neither.” – Bart Simpson

01
Nov
18

Quote of the Day

“The key to motivation is trust. Lemme show you what I mean. I want you to close your eyes and fall backwards and I’ll catch you. That’s gonna show you what trust is all about. Ready?” – Hank Scorpio
“Alright!” – Homer Simpson
“Three . . . two . . . one sec. Hello?” – Hank Scorpio
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson
“Oh my God that guy’s on the floor!” – Hank Scorpio

18
Jul
18

Makeup Quote of the Day

“So, what’re you in for?” – Bart Simpson
“I moved here from Canada and they think I’m slow, eh?” – Canadian Boy
“I fell off the jungle gym and when I woke up I was in here.” – Leg Up Girl
“I start fires.” – Leg Up Boy

16
Jan
18

Quote of the Day

“Yes? What happened? When did that happen? How much of it? Oh, my goodness, I’ll be right up. Homer, I gotta go upstairs, there’s a problem. Somebody ate part of my lunch.” – Hank Scorpio

22
Jul
17

Quote of the Day

“Before we continue our tour, would you mind hanging my coat up on the wall, please?” – Hank Scorpio
“Um . . . uh, let’s see . . . um . . .” – Homer Simpson
“Relax, Homer! At Globex we don’t believe in walls! Matter of fact, I didn’t even give you my coat!” – Hank Scorpio

Happy birthday, Albert Brooks!

15
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

“Okay, the oven is clean itself, the vacuum is on dirt patrol, and Maggie is enjoying her swing-a-majig.” – Marge Simpson

09
Dec
16

New Simpsons Blog Dedicated to Those Longer Shots

bythebigcoolingtowerglobex

“You will notice, my new best friend, that we are pretty casual around here.” – Scorpio
“Yes, sir. I will notice that.” – Homer Simpson

A few weeks ago I got an email from a new Simpsons blogger who’s got a novel idea for looking at the show. You know those long shots the show uses to scroll wider or taller than a single scene allows? He stitches them together far better than I’ve ever managed:

bythebigcoolingtowershinning

This is less encouraging.

You can see more at By the Big Cooling Tower. (It’s on Tumblr, so if you are too, drop him one of those notes or however it is Tumblr works.) Some other excellent example include, all the wonderful things Mr. Burns has:

bythebigcoolingtowerburnsmanor

If you ask me, they should’ve finalized things with the “Suckers” version.

Reflective McClure:

bythebigcoolingtowermcclure

Narcissus himself.

And a street scene from Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport:

bythebigcoolingtowerpwagmattasquarmsettport

America’s scrod basket!

Each one comes with a description of how the scene is set up and some details that you might not have noticed otherwise. It’s a novel and insightful way to look at the show, and I highly recommend it. Thanks, Steven, and keep it up!

15
Oct
16

Compare & Contrast: The Family Moves Away from Springfield

you-only-move-twice20

“You took a new job in a strange town without discussing it with your family?” – Marge Simpson
“Of course not. I wouldn’t do that! Why not?” – Homer Simpson
“We have roots here, Homer. We have friends and family and library cards. Bart’s lawyer is here.” – Marge Simpson

The most obvious option for doing a Compare & Contrast for “The Town” would be to a travel episode that’s actually coherent, say, “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” or “Bart vs. Australia”. These kinds of stories and jokes work better if the family has an actual reason to go someplace. It also helps to have them do something while they’re there. Zombie Simpsons mostly sticks with having them describe what they see and then tell us how they feel about the things they’re describing.

Instead, the better comparison here is “You Only Move Twice”. In most travel episodes, the family goes someplace, does some stuff, and then returns to Springfield. “The Town” certainly contains all that, but for no real reason they also decided to have the family actually move to Boston, though not until about the 2/3 mark of the episode.

Because they did it so late, and with no build up or warning other than Marge and Homer talking about it right before it happens, the move is a great example of how inhuman Zombie Simpsons and its stories have become. The first time we see the family try to leave Springfield for good is in “Dancin’ Homer”. Once Homer gets called up to the mascot big leagues, we see the family discuss moving, we see them prepare to move, and we get scenes like Bart and Milhouse becoming spit brothers and Lisa lamenting that her parting with the other girls means very little because they’re not very good friends. In “Cape Feare”, the family doesn’t just up and move at the drop of a hat, they’ve got to go through the FBI and even then they forget Grampa and his pills. Both of those episodes treat moving as the major life change it is because to ignore all that is to reduce your characters to inanimate playthings that have no feelings or humanity.

The real parallel, though, is “You Only Move Twice”, where the family pulls up stakes for sunnier pastures and then gradually learns to hate their new home. It’s only after Marge and Bart start going nuts from boredom and Lisa gets reduced to a sniffling mess that the rest of the clan pressures Homer into returning to Springfield. It’s the kind of episode people are thinking of when they praise the show for being a family story at heart. Homer loves his new job and his new boss – partly because he’s completely oblivious to the fact that he works for a supervillain – but in the end he can’t say no to Marge and the kids.

That would all be schmaltzy if we hadn’t seen it build up so well. Bart’s misery gives us the Cypress Creek Milhouse who needs someone to boss him around, Bart thinking cursive means “hell, and damn, and bitch”, and – of course – the Leg Up Program.

you-only-move-twice17

He’s from Canada and they think he’s slow, eh?

Lisa is initially happy before the nature she reveres turns on her, with even little Northern Reticulated chipmunks sending her into a sneezing frenzy.

you-only-move-twice18

Don’t worry, Lisa, an owl will probably get him.

Marge doesn’t know what to do with herself, what with the vacuum on dirt patrol and Maggie enjoying her swing-a-majig, so the episode gives us the headfake that she’s turning into a drunk when she can only drink half a glass of wine per day.

you-only-move-twice19

Doctors say she should finish that glass, but she just can’t drink that much.

Because this is Season 8 and this script is tighter than a drum, each family member goes through a reversal. Bart’s finally at a school where he can’t get in trouble, but he hates it more than Springfield Elementary. Lisa’s in a place that’s far better suited to her than Springfield’s small town dumpiness, but she’s more miserable than ever. Marge, relieved of the housework that fills her days, doesn’t know what to do with herself.

Homer – usually the most miserable Simpson – is the only one who’s happy there, so when he makes the sacrifice of moving back to Springfield it actually matters. And, of course, all of this is going on against one of the show’s most brilliantly demented backdrops ever: the Bond villain who loves his employees and is scheming to take over the East Coast.

The Homer of “The Town” is the opposite. He takes them to Boston to spite Bart and then falls in love with the place in a single, heavily exposited scene:

Homer: One pin standing. Story of my life.
Guy Who Just Walked Over From Nowhere And Is Probably A Boston Reference I Didn’t Get And Will Disappear After His Second Line: Whoa, there, pal. Don’t forget your third ball.
Homer: Hold on, wait. Wait. Hold on. Wait. What?
GWJWOFNAIPABRIDGAWDAHSL: This is candlepin bowling. You get three.
Homer: Three balls? I see it all so clearly now!
Bart: What, Dad? What is it?
Homer: This regional bowling with its one extra roll has knocked my misguided hate into the gutter. I like Boston.
Bart: Dad, you and me are real father-son Southies now, just like Ben and Casey Affleck.
Homer: Son, show me everything this town has to offer.

Naturally, the random exposition dude disappears just as quickly as he appears.

pleasegodpushtheresetbutton

Zombie Simpsons enjoys having characters materialize out of thin air for the purposes of exposition. 

From there it goes into a montage, then we see Homer tell us what he’s eating, and then he and Marge decide that they’re just going to move to Boston. There’s no depth and no character to anything these characters are saying or doing. Homer had spent the previous five minutes telling us how much he hates Boston, then he changed his mind and told us why out loud. It’s a reversal and life change so huge and shallow that it’s basically inhuman.

The only silver lining is that it does set up an equally inhuman re-reversal five minutes later. That one involves Homer going through a giant struggle to put on a baseball cap that there’s no clear reason he needs to wear in the first place. For some reason, this also means that the family has to move back to Springfield.

What makes the move in “The Town” so spectacularly dumb, however, is that it’s completely unnecessary. The family could fall in love with Boston only to have Homer get them all kicked out without running roughshod over a major life change. But that would mean writing the Simpson family as if they were still supposed to represent real people, and Zombie Simpsons gave up on that a long time ago.

28
Dec
15

Quote of the Day

TaleOfOneCity

“Cypress Creek, a tale of one city.” – Globex Video Narrator
“Let’s watch something else.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, you’re trying to talk us into moving to this place.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, yeah, that’s right.  Let’s watch this.” – Homer Simpson

03
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice16

“It’s called Cypress Creek, a planned community designed for the workers of the Globex corporation.  Cypress Creek, where dreams come true . . . Your dreams may vary from those of Globex corporation, its subsidiaries and shareholders.” – Cypress Creek Promotional Video

07
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice15

“We’ve got it great here!  And for the first time in my life I’m actually good at my job.  My team is way ahead of the weather machine and germ warfare divisions.” – Homer Simpson

03
Nov
14

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice14

“So, you never learned cursive?” – Cypress Creek Teacher
“Well, I know ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ and ‘bi-” – Bart Simpson
“Cursive handwriting, script.  Do you know the multiplication tables?  Long division?” – Cypress Creek Teacher
“I know of them.” – Bart Simpson

18
Jul
14

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice13

“Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up two percent, and it’s all because of my motivational techniques, like donuts, and the possibility of more donuts to come.” – Homer Simpson

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.

03
Sep
13

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice10

“Oh, wow, windows!  I don’t think I can afford this place.” – Otto

13
Feb
13

Quote of the Day

You Only Move Twice9

“They laughed at me the first time I wore jeans with a sport coat.  I was the first wealthy man in America to ever do that, now they all do it!” – Hank Scorpio

08
Aug
12

Quote of the Day

Disneyland Vomit Tree

Disneyland and giant redwood images both yoinked from Wikipedia.

“It says here, one of these giant redwood trees can provide enough sawdust to cover an entire day’s worth of vomit at Disneyland.” – Lisa Simpson




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