Reading Digest: Premier and Renewal Edition

Treehouse of Horror IV10

There were two events that generated quite a bit of Simpsons related internet activity this week.  The first, obviously, was the unfortunate refusal of Zombie Simpsons to die.  The second was the premier of Simpsons alum Conan O’Brien’s new show on TBS.  Both generated multiple links below.  There’s also some excellent usage, some fan made stuff, even more Treehouse of Horror lists, and an ex-teacher who uses the show (among other things) to get kids to learn math, er, “maths”, as he is British.

Before the links though, I’d like to introduce something new.  (I was going to do this last week, but I got distracted by that conspiracy numbskullery.)  In the comments to Reading Digest from two weeks ago, Andreas posted a link to his excellent Treehouse of Horror post:

Not to self-promote, but I did a ToH piece partially talking about the ridiculously low depths to which Zombie ToH episodes have stooped:

Hope the reading value outweighs the linking-to-myself sleaziness. Thanks for these links, and happy Halloween!

In general, posting links to your own stuff in blog comments is frowned upon, and probably for good reason.  But there’s no reason that custom should apply to Reading Digest.  After all, these posts are nothing but collections of Simpsons links, and I see no harm in people using it to promote Simpsons related things they’ve done themselves or just seen elsewhere.  Obviously, we still accept links via e-mail, of which we had quite a few this week, but if you’ve written, drawn, painted, crocheted or otherwise created something Simpsons related and it has a URL, go for it.


Moe-Saic – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week is this sweet fan made Moe image.

Not Just the Ticket — #77, Curve, November 24, 1993 – A concert story from 1993, complete with a Matt Groening encounter.

The Simpsons Squeaking Pork Chop Thing. – A heartwarming tale of one man’s quest to find a squeaking pork chop, and the awesome ending when he finally does.  I like the cartoon dog that represents, but is legally distinct, from Lassie.  Thanks to reader Galileo for the link!

Simpsons & Canada – What must be a circa Season 13 news report from Canada about Canadian references on the show:

(Via Bob’s Place… Exploring Winnipeg and Beyond.)

22 years of Coco: Conan’s Best Moments – Looking at the career of Conan O’Brien from the perspective of someone who isn’t old enough to remember all of it.

Huge Screen v.2 Review – This entertaining review of a terrible video game system comes courtesy of reader James:

The “Simpsons” part, if you can call it that, starts at about the 2:00 minute mark.  But you’ll understand it a lot better if you watch it from the beginning.  It is terrible.

Familiar Faces #42: Top 13 Treehouse of Horror – Before we get to the regular Treehouse of Horror lists, here’s a video one.  There’s some Zombie Simpsons (as usual, largely at the bottom of the list), but it’s mostly good and I ended up watching pretty much the entire thing.  If you’re not in for the whole thing (it is almost fifteen minutes long), skip to the end.  Marge’s “We’re just gonna have to wait and see” really should be the tag line for all horror movies where characters seem to be begging to get brutally murdered.  Thanks to reader Sean for the link!

Simpsons Classics: Treehouse of Horror – Another best segments list from Treehouse of Horror.  The only Zombie Simpsons on the list isn’t all that Zombie-ish:

9. “Night of the Dolphin” (ToH XI, 2000)

The last genuinely intriguing Treehouse of Horror short came an even decade ago, with Snarky talking man and plenty of imagery from The Birds (I’m such a sucker for Hitchcock that I don’t mind that the odes to The Birds in “A Streetcar Named Marge” were better). It also included another bumbling effort from Chief Wiggum (“Bottlenose bruises, blowhole burns, flipper prints—this looks like the work of rowdy teens. Lou, cancel the prom”)* and the physical comedy of dolphins beating up Springfieldianites. In the end, you’ve got to hand it to those dolphins. They just wanted it more.

I know I’ve said this before, but that segment is pretty decent.  The rest of the list is Zombie free.

The 10 best moments from The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror – The next two come via No Pun Intended (the same site as the above list).  This one’s from io9 and contains some actual Zombie Simpsons in addition to “Night of the Dolphin”.

11 Best Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Stories, In Order – This one also has “Night of the Dolphin” and the obligatory token Zombie Simpsons at #11.

Which is more real? – An odd little thought experiment:

Here are the rules: You have two choices. Select the one you feel is “more real.” You MUST choose one and be prepared to defend your answer.

Here are the two Simpsons ones:

  • Avatar vs. The Simpsons
  • The Simpsons vs. South Park

For both I’d have to say The Simpsons is more “realistic”, but Zombie Simpsons isn’t.

Renault to launch The Simpsons branded car – Near as I can tell, “branded” in this case means including that GPS system with Homer’s voice.  You know, the GPS system that keeps getting people lost.

Locutio Awarded for Homer Simpson GPS Voice – Apparently FOX has created an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence for companies that make above average Simpsons crap.  Seriously:

Each year, Krusty awards are given to a very select few of the hundreds of licensees of The Simpsons for outstanding achievement in areas such as creativity, innovation and partnerships.

Now that’s quality control!

11 Websites Featured On The Simpsons — And What You Get When You Visit Them – This is a list of URLs that have been on the show and what you get when you actually steer your browser there.  It’s almost exclusively from Zombie Simpsons for the obvious reason that there wasn’t much internet while the show was still itself, but it’s interesting nonetheless.  Again, thanks to reader Galileo for sending this in!

The freedom of speech – lessons from DH Lawrence to al-Qaeda – A censorship discussion that begins with excellent usage.

Stand-up comic using The Simpsons to get kids excited about maths – More ways to educate through cartoons.

Springfield plant tower falls the wrong way – but it’s not Homer’s fault – This is tenuously connected to the show, but when a power plant smokestack collapses in a place called Springfield, it’s probably inevitable.  It is a hell of a picture, though.

Homer Simpson’s Guide to Life – Ten Homer quotes and some ironic meanings for them.  I didn’t check the quotes, but they look close enough on a quick glance.

I usually remain humble on things. But your Level of Conan O’Brien appreciation is not on MY Level. – A fan of Conan O’Brien from his Simpsons days went to the first tapings of both his ill fated Tonight Show stint and his new one.  That’s dedication.

The Simpsons Series 2 Minis Now Available from KidRobot – I’ll Take One Zombie Homer Please – Actual Zombie Simpsons figurines.  (Of the kids, at least.)

Bart Simpson Board Android App Review – This is apparently the Android version of that Bart Simpson chalkboard generator I usually (whoops, forgot this week) use for the ratings posts.

Fox Renews The Simpsons for a 23rd Season – And now, for the renewal news portion of this post.  Even nominal fans are apathetic:

I’ll admit, I haven’t been the most faithful watcher these past few seasons, but I was once a die-hard Simpsons fan and really can’t picture Sunday on Fox without it.

Obviously, I don’t agree that renewal is a good thing.  But this is fairly representative of a lot of the reaction I saw on-line after it was announced: “Wow, that’s amazing! Now I will continue to rarely if ever watch the new ones.”

The Simpsons Renewed For One Billionth Season – Gabe at VideoGum agrees with us:

FOX has renewed The Simpsons for a 23rd season, during which they will broadcast their 500th episode. That is so many episodes! That is literally too many episodes. Go to bed, The Simpsons.

The Simpsons…Someone Needs to Cut Them Off – And finally, another Gabriel with a truly epic rant:

I was just old enough to watch this show when it first aired in 1989.  And like most folks in my generation, I believe in the Golden Age of the show that really petered off somewhere between seasons seven and nine.  The Simpsons, you break my heart.  I look at you, and all I see is someone’s parents vainly attempting to convince their kids that they’re still cool and hip.  Quit it already.  No one wants to see that level of embarassment.

Preach on!

[Edited to at least partially fix strange YouTube issues.  Not sure what’s going on there.]

3 Responses to “Reading Digest: Premier and Renewal Edition”

  1. 12 November 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Intentional or not, I still think that the Homer GPS being incompetent is pretty damn brilliant.

    It still kind of depresses me to see that The Simpsons is now the Grand Funk Railroad of the Hullapalooza of Fox Sunday’s lineup. Speaking of “Homerpalooza,” this sums up that last link quite well:

    Homer: So, I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool.
    Bart: Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool.
    Homer: You know what the song says: “It’s hip to be square”.
    Lisa: That song is so lame.
    Homer: So lame that it’s… cool?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Am I cool, kids?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Good. I’m glad. And that’s what makes me cool, not caring, right?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we’ve tried everything here.
    Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you’re truly cool, you don’t need to be told you’re cool.
    Bart: Well, sure you do.
    Lisa: How else would you know?

  2. 2 E
    12 November 2010 at 5:39 pm

    my Conan appreciation capacity knows no satiety.

  3. 13 November 2010 at 3:16 am

    Glad my article on al-Qaeda and DH Lawrence caught your attention

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