Crazy Noises: The Scorpion’s Tale

Treehouse of Horror IX2

In our ongoing mission to bring you only the shallowest and laziest analysis of Zombie Simpsons, we’re keeping up our Crazy Noises series for Season 22.  Since a podcast is so 2004, and video would require a flag, a fern and some folding chairs from the garage, we’ve elected to use the technology that brought the word “emoticon” to the masses: the chatroom.  Star Trek image macros are strictly forbidden, unless you have a really good reason why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “bludgeon”).

One of the more tedious aspects of watching Zombie Simpsons is the way it keeps making the same television-y mistakes week in and week out. For a small case in point from “The Scorpion’s Tale”, just take a look at the scene with Lisa, Homer and Grampa in the kitchen. This is where Lisa confirms her (patently obvious) suspicions that Homer is dosing his father, and where Grampa puts the (even more obvious) twist on things by telling Lisa he prefers to be happy. This is one of those grindingly slow television reveals where everyone, from the writers to people watching at home under the influence of serious pain medication, can see it coming a mile away. Despite that, they drag it out as long as they possibly can. The use of formulaic television dreck like this is one of the things that really sets Zombie Simpsons apart from The Simpsons.

Note: Mad Jon is traveling this week and couldn’t make it, fortunately Dave could.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get started?

Dave: Sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: Having been away from Zombie Simpsons for a few episodes, did you notice anything different now that you’re back?

Dave: I was taken aback at how much more of a cartoon the show has become.

I mean, this isn’t news really. But it was as blatant as ever this past episode.

  Popped out eyeballs, ad nauseum, will do that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Don’t forget the frat house on the crane, the immediate car fire, pretty much everything that happened in the desert, and Bart getting into his own suitcase for some reason.

Oh, and all the times they grabbed Grampa’s face and contorted it.

Dave: Oh, those things. Yeah.

Charlie Sweatpants: Even when the cartoon-y things were kinda funny they took too damn long. The childproof door to get into the drug company building was a nice idea, but then they had to have Homer struggle with it to kill some time.

Dave: The show’s good at killing time. You forgot about the miserable couch gag.

The 5 minutes of setup in the desert.

  That horrible exchange between Skinner and Chalmers.

Charlie Sweatpants: The couch gag was at least nice enough make how creatively bankrupt it is explicit.

Dave: There is that, certainly.

Charlie Sweatpants: The Skinner-Chalmers thing is really getting out of hand. At this point Chalmers is like one of the neighbors on an old sitcom. He just walks in, delivers one dumb line, and walks out.

Dave: Agreed. He was better in smaller quantities. Frequency here is not appreciated.

Charlie Sweatpants: Good way to put it. About the only thing to be appreciated here was Werner Herzog. He had two lines I can still remember two days after seeing this, which is two more than most Zombie Simpsons episodes.

Dave: Those lines were?

Charlie Sweatpants: The one about him being in the boat with all the lawyers, and the one about "Every night I see the tube".

Those I actually laughed at. Though it should be said that last year he damn near carried an entire episode of "Boondocks", wherein he had many many more good lines than he did here.

But he wasn’t nearly enough to rescue this thing. The plot swings alone doomed it. Just when I thought the popped eyeball thing couldn’t get any worse, they dropped it like a bad habit for their weird generation war ending.

Dave: Yeah

  It got excessive. Once wasn’t funny… I think their assumption was do it a few dozen more times for the lulz.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s a good point. It seemed like they knew how lame it was, so they thought if they just beat it into the ground that would make it funny. Shades of the worst aspects of Family Guy.

Dave: Yep. You know I’m loathe to do the Simpsons/FG comparison as much as you, but parts felt uncanny. [Ed Note: check out the Family Guy take on popped eyeballs from Sean in comments. Even the eyeball strings are the same length.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed. Anything else here worth mentioning, good or bad?

The only thing I’ve got, and it’s definitely bad, was what might be a new low for them in terms of randomly teleporting characters in and out of scenes.

Dave: How do you mean?

Charlie Sweatpants: At the very end, when they’re lecturing, Lisa has the scorpions on a stick in front of her. There wasn’t much reason for her to be there at all, and instead she’s there with two scorpions just to bludgeon the audience with a reminder of how the whole shit show got started.

Dave: We need our hands held. C’mon.

Charlie Sweatpants: Meh. Live by the two minute attention span, die by the two minute attention span.

Dave: Basically

  Otherwise nothing from me. Seems I haven’t missed much by ignoring the show for a month.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, you most certainly have not.

Dave: Hooray?


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