Crazy Noises: Das Bus

Das Bus2

“You let us stay up to watch Troy McClure in such other Bible epics as ‘David vs. Super Goliath’ and ‘Suddenly Last Supper’.” – Lisa Simpson
“Go Lis, way to cite precedent.” – Bart Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September, 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 (surprisingly enough, not on “interminable”).

Today’s episode is 914 “Das Bus”.  Tomorrow will be 916 “Dumbbell Indemnity”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Lord of the Flies or the world’s most inane insurance scam?

Dave: They’re both miserable. Let’s start with Flies.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fine by me.

I find this one slightly less miserable, but not by much.

The A plot has a few good little set pieces, but on the whole it’s a desert of joke free horn music, and I don’t like that.

Mad Jon: Yeah, There isn’t a whole lot going on worth while, but there are a few good lines.

Dave: You miss the horn music?

Charlie Sweatpants: Miss it? Fuck no.

There’s far, far too much of it.

Dave: I misread what you typed. Carry on.

Mad Jon: I was fine with the dialog pre-bus sinking, and I liked Otto’s last words.

Charlie Sweatpants: “Zeppelin Rules!” is great. It’s also exactly what Otto’s last words would be.

Dave: The island’s a mess. I see what they’re going for in terms of parody but it’s wildly joke-free and tedious. The building of a settlement, the finding of food, the trial, the chase…. gah.

Charlie Sweatpants: They go through all that to get them to the island, and then once they get there they don’t give the kids much to do.

Dave: Patently unenjoyable, but for a few lines of dialogue.

Charlie Sweatpants: This is one of those times when they weren’t so much parodying something as they were just following the blueprint.

“Bart of Darkness” takes its cues from “Rear Window”, but it’s also an original story.

Ditto “Music Man” with “Marge vs. the Monorail”.

This is much less clever.

Mad Jon: Yeah, but this episode wasn’t following cues, like you said, they were just rewriting lines

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly, particularly the ending and that interminable chase scene.

The whole thing is very obvious while at the same time taking forever to get where I already knew it was going.

And to do so they lean heavily on exposition and pointless time filler. Why the hell did Bart have to swim underwater to get the cooler?

Was there any point to that whole scene?

Dave: To get bitten by a puffer fish, duh.

Mad Jon: So his ass could be bit by a puffer fish

But yet, when he resurfaces, his shorts are intact.

Charlie Sweatpants: Something that lasts half a minute ought to have more of a payoff than that.

Dave: What, that moment doesn’t fall into your top 10 Simpsons moments?

Charlie Sweatpants: Just outside.

There are some good lines here, including Ralph’s “They taste like burning” and Bart’s description of the world with monkey butlers.

But other than that the island is an almost completely dry hole. The opening, between McClure, Brockman, and the Model UN meeting, has more jokes than the rest of the A-plot combined.

Mad Jon: I enjoyed Lisa’s play on McClure’s intro style.

As well as Marge’s instinctual reaction to the kids staying up late.

But those were both in the beginning, which, as it has been stated 40 times already, was basically the only watchable act in this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: The Noah movie has nothing to do with the rest of the episode. It’s not like they get to Model UN and Lisa and Bart are tired, but I don’t care.

It’s the best part, though I do enjoy the B plot.

It’s small, even for a B-plot, but it’s mostly solid.

Mad Jon: I’m ok with the B-plot, but I feel like an old ex-priest trying to figure out if “the shocker” is explicit or not..

I know something’s wrong, but I can’t describe it to you.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can assure you, priests can tell you what’s wrong with “the shocker”.

Dave: Doesn’t work with young, supple boys?

Charlie Sweatpants: It doesn’t, that’s why they don’t like it.

Mad Jon: Now they can, but a few years ago I am sure there were a few confused censors at the FCC.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well look, the B-plot is basically four scenes, Homer at the mailbox, Homer setting up the office, Homer and Comic Book Guy, and Homer and Bill Gates.

Of those, two are brilliant and the other two are at least okay.

(Brilliant: Gates and Comic Book Guy)

That’s not a bad ratio for Season 9.

Mad Jon: I have no decent argument against those numbers.

Just a feeling, probably based solely on Homer’s dialog in those sequences, minus the Comic Book Guy’s scene, because that was pretty good.

Charlie Sweatpants: At this point, Comic Book Guy’s scene is one of the biggest cultural reminders that in that dark time before widespread broadband we used to have to wait for individual pornographic pictures to download.

Mad Jon: That was a daunting affliction

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer’s got some good lines though, from making fun of Gates’ haircut to writing delicious memos.

And I love the hired nerd goons Gates brings with him.

Dave: Buttered writing instruments are quite funny, yeah.

Mad Jon: The goons are great, and I like Gates too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, so the A-plot sucks, the B-plot and the opening don’t. Any final moments, bad or good, worth pointing out?

Dave: I got nothing.

Mad Jon: No, I think I’m spent on this one

Charlie Sweatpants: Onward then.

4 Responses to “Crazy Noises: Das Bus”

  1. 1 sVybDy
    21 July 2010 at 1:27 am

    “I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s,” and the reaction which followed it, is one of the funniest Simpsons moments of all time.

    • 2 D.N.
      21 July 2010 at 7:52 pm

      I’m quite partial to Otto’s “It burns! I can’t see!” I guess I have a thing for characters in The Simpsons being blinded or sustaining eye damage (x-ref: Nigel Tufnel’s “Yaah!! My vision!!”, Rainier Wolfcastle’s “My eyes! The goggles do nothing!” etc).

      • 3 Charlie Sweatpants
        22 July 2010 at 10:10 am

        Those are always good. I’m partial to Sideshow Mel at the bottom of Krusty’s “slopstacle” course.

        • 4 D.N.
          22 July 2010 at 11:30 am

          If memory serves, Mel’s line in that scene was “Please, Krusty, it burns!!” Then there’s also Krusty getting his eye stung by one of his own products in “The Last Temptation of Krust” (“That burns! What the hell’s on those things?”), Jasper regaining/re-losing his sight via laser in “Homer the Vigilante”)…Someone outta make a YouTube montage out of all these moments.

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