Crazy Noises: All Singing, All Dancing

Waiting to Exhale

Image “borrowed” from here.

“We got the popcorn, did you get ‘Waiting to Exhale’?” – Marge Simpson
“They put us on the ‘Waiting to Exhale’ waiting list, but they said don’t hold your breath.” – Homer Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “convenience”).

Today’s episode is 911 “All Singing, All Dancing”, 921 “Girly Edition” is coming tomorrow.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get started? Singing clip show or media parody?

Mad Jon: Let’s start with clip show. I don’t want to end on a low note tonight.

Dave: Agreed.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fair enough, because this clip show sucks.

Mad Jon: It really does.

Dave: The clips are good. The glue is terrible.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well put.

Mad Jon: Exactly, I enjoy the songs, but did anyone else get the feeling that they just stopped caring about the glue around halfway through? The transitions sort of came and went when they felt like it.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think they stopped caring much sooner than halfway through.

Dave: Halfway is generous. I thought they stopped trying far earlier than that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ha, beat you to it!

Dave: That you did.

Charlie Sweatpants: The opening is kinda funny, and the "Paint Your Wagon" song is nice.

But after that it’s basically an exercise in time killing.

Dave: I think the "Waiting to Exhale" bit is good too.

Charlie Sweatpants: That is a good joke.

Mad Jon: I think the Snake stuff pisses me off the very most.

Dave: There’s the implicit admission at the end about how lousy everything is with the banner and fourth wall breaking.

So you knew it sucked, but you served it to us anyway. Fuck you.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, they did that in previous clip shows much better.

Dave: Right.

This wasn’t nearly as clever.

Mad Jon: I very much enjoy the first three clip shows.

Charlie Sweatpants: There were three?

Mad Jon: Yep, there was the April fools day one, the love story one, and the Troy McClure one.

Charlie Sweatpants: Troy McClure one?

You mean the 138th episode spectacular?

I’m not sure I’d define that as a clip show.

Dave: Well the banner said clip show number 4.

So let’s think about this…

Mad Jon: So how would you define a show that spends most of it’s time playing clips from other episodes?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, a lot of the clips were things that didn’t air originally.

Dave: Wikipedia counts it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not all of them, but some.

Mad Jon: Fair enough Charlie, but they were still clips that weren’t aired.

But we’ve digressed.

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh. I just don’t have this mentally filed under "clip show". We could debate the semantics all night, but I think we may just be avoiding talking about this particular one.

Dave: Jon, we all hate the Snake parts. Why do you?

Mad Jon: Well, I’m sure it’s the same reason you do, it is unbelievably unnecessary. They didn’t need him, it filled time, and was rather annoying.

And, that’s not Snake’s MO

He’s more of a convenience store and bank hold up guy, not a hostage taker or murderer

Charlie Sweatpants: The whole thing was time filling. They barely had a way to string the clips together, and all of the clips are loooooong.

And you’re right about Snake, it was more violent than we usually expect from him.

In the other clip shows, they show clips much faster and the clips themselves are shorter.

Mad Jon: Yeah, as the Devil’s advocate I could say that the song clips are inherently longer.

It reminds me of the Songs of Springfield CD.

Charlie Sweatpants: I know in this case they have to show the whole song, but several of them have lots of non-song parts around them.

Dave: Laziness, yeah?

Charlie Sweatpants: Lyle Lanley’s entire non-song introduction is there.

Mad Jon: Except that doesn’t need tie-ins

Dave: The clips don’t need contextualization.

Charlie Sweatpants: "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart" ends with Apu on the roof.

Dave: There we go again repeating each other.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was no need to do that other than filling time.

Mad Jon: When things are easy to hate, we are pretty quick at the draw.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much the only part of this one that’s decent is the very beginning.

Dave: So the episode was a time suck, Snake was pointlessly out of character, and the rest was forgettable.

That cover it?

Mad Jon: At least with a shitty clip show, the crap plot part is short.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s true enough.

It’s not like I’ve ever been bored by the Stonecutter’s song.

Mad Jon: Great song.

Charlie Sweatpants: And I always crack up when the beach ball bounces off Lovejoy’s head.

Mad Jon: I like when Homer reminds Marge they used to make out to that hymn

But I don’t feel any need to have my enjoyment of a different episode splash off on this one.

Charlie Sweatpants: Me neither. This one never makes my regular rotation.

Mad Jon: Anything else guys?

Or should we talk about something better.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t think so, there just isn’t much episode to discuss here.

8 Responses to “Crazy Noises: All Singing, All Dancing”

  1. 30 June 2010 at 4:32 am

    How did you guys manage to find anything positive to say about this episode? It’s just dreadful and lazy. One could say this applies to all clip show episodes, but the theme behind this one doesn’t bring out The Simpsons at its best (the songs are tolerable and often amusing in context… as standalones, they don’t work at all for me). The filler in between is cringeworthy too. It’s rated as the worst episode on IMDB, and I’d probably have to agree. It’s in a different league even to Zombie Simpsons, and I despise Zombie Simpsons as much as you do…

    … On that note, I love this blog and can’t get enough of it. Keep up the good work!

  2. 30 June 2010 at 4:34 am

    Stike that, I’m going to say it’s *as* bad as Zombie Simpsons but in a completely different way. Zombie Simpsons is desperate, this one was just a terrible idea.

  3. 3 Cassidy
    30 June 2010 at 5:06 pm

    “One could say this applies to all clip show episodes”

    I wouldn’t necessarily agree – I think the first clip show they did (the title escapes me and I’m lazy) was decent – rewatchable certainly. And I love and will defend to my death “The 138th Episode Spectacular”. That one is probably the best of the bunch simply because they added so many funny and creative ideas to a format that was essentially being forced on them by the network.

    All the others though…yeah, pretty barren landscape there.

  4. 1 July 2010 at 4:04 am

    I do agree with you there (sorry, should’ve elaborated) – the first three, unlike All Singing, All Dancing, do bring out The Simpsons at its best (clips from the golden years put together in a golden years format is a sure recipe for success!)… especially 138th, that is a beauty. It’s just that the 4th clip show selected a bad theme (in my opinion) and was always going to fall flat.

  5. 5 Charlie Sweatpants
    1 July 2010 at 10:20 am

    The first clip show is the April Fools one, and it’s clearly the gold standard. They don’t even show any clips until after the first commercial break, and there is a somewhat coherent story going on in that each flashback to clips has something to do with what’s actually happening. Plus, even after they start doing clips there are still quite a few original set pieces, including Frink’s “Fantastic Voyage” idea, and Barney’s awesome re-enacting of the end of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

    That was Season 4. Season 6 has the one with all the love stories and while it has a few moments of non-flashback fun, it’s clearly a step down. I watch the 138th Episode Spectacular way more often than I watch the love story clip show.

  6. 6 P. Piggly Hogswine
    1 July 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Was never a fan of this episode, the wagon bit at the start was quality and that was pretty much it. This episode and ‘Lisa the Skeptic’ were two from this time that I found unremarkable on first showing and my opinion has never changed.

  7. 7 D.N.
    3 July 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Only thing I liked about this one was the sublime “Paint Your Wagon” parody at the start – shame it couldn’t have been affixed to a better, proper episode.

    I might be wrong about this, but wasn’t this episode first broadcast around the same time as one of the albums of songs from the show was released? If so, could the episode be construed as a massive advertisement for product as well as cheap season filler?

    • 8 Charlie Sweatpants
      3 July 2010 at 6:10 pm

      The original airdate for this one was 4 January 1998. Wikipedia says that “The Yellow Album” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Album) was released in 1998, but it doesn’t say when.

      I think this one was just a byproduct of them being required to produce too many episodes in a season. 9 was the last season with 25 episodes (6 was the first), and when you see this you can understand why. It’s not like 10 is very good (personally, I consider the drop from 9-10 to be the biggest single season decline in quality), but I think they kinda realized that they couldn’t pull of 25 per season anymore.

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