Everything’s Coming Zombie Simpsons! (Except the Ratings)

Chalkboard - Homer Scissorhands

“Fritz, you idiot!  I didn’t order a boloney sandwich, I ordered an abalone sandwich!” – Kent Brockman’s Daughter

Zombie Simpsons is sort of the deluded trust fund baby of television.  It has all the money and fame it could want, but had basically nothing to do with acquiring them.  (There are only a handful of people still working on the show who had anything to do with its success.)  As a whole, the program lives quietly off of its inheritance.  Only occasionally does it pause to congratulate itself, a sort of nervous tic designed to perpetuate the pleasing fiction that it really deserves all it has.

One such occasion came last night when the show invoked a magical eagle.  Ordinarily we could chalk such a pointless gimmick up to the usual mix of laziness and apathy that shoves so many obviously shoddy episodes out the door.  But this particular magical eagle wasn’t some throwaway joke, nor was it an aside or even a coherent pop culture reference.  It was, rather, a self-congratulatory stab at fan service and nostalgia, conjured up to repeat – verbatim – one of the most quoted Milhouse lines of all time. 

Yes, This Really Happened

Someone said “How about a magic eagle?”, then someone else pity laughed, and a show I already took for dead managed to die a little more.

The show has done stupider things than this, it has done lazier things than this, it has even done more boringly nonsensical things than this.  But has it ever done such a thing strictly for the purpose of outright repeating its own dialog from a time when things didn’t suck so much?  The rest of the episode wasn’t much to behold either, but it isn’t all that often that Zombie Simpsons finds a new frontier in lack of self awareness. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and there was no magic eagle to save them.  Last night’s parade of unjustified congratulation was scoffed at by only 5.49 million viewers.  That’s the sixth lowest number of all time, and the fourth episode since February to rank in the bottom ten.  Unless Wikipedia and epguides are lying to me, there are two episodes left in Season 22.  If those two episodes average 5.7 million viewers or less, Season 22 will be the lowest rated season ever.  That looked pretty improbable just a month or two ago, but the last few numbers have been really atrocious.  C’mon Zombie Simpsons, you can do it!  And it’s something you can be proud of, because you did it all by yourself. 

29 Responses to “Everything’s Coming Zombie Simpsons! (Except the Ratings)”

  1. 1 Mr.
    9 May 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Ok, this is just sad now. A pretty good episode with plenty of funny bits, and you guys dedicated an entire article to bitch about a magic eagle that’s appear for like three seconds. So you basicaly saying you didn’t found a thing wrong with this episode so you pick on the clouses thing that you found?

    I actually like the “Magic eagle” just for how over-the top that moment was

    • 9 May 2011 at 11:24 pm

      I gave this a 4/5 on the NHC, but that’s based on the show from Seasons 17- Present.

      Compared to the first 8 seasons, this would barely be a 2/5, and that’s not out of Nostalgia, or crying for my childhood, or whatever CBG snark you throw at me. Just because a new episode isn’t shit terrible like “The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed” doesn’t mean it’s the second coming of the Simpsons. This is a corpse episode that just twitched.

      • 3 Stan
        9 May 2011 at 11:39 pm

        Ummm, actually, it is shit terrible even compared to Season 22. Whatever “okay” episodes they got away with in that season or nearing it (like the one where Lisa transforms Willie into a gentleman) would be pure gold by their today’s standards.

        It’s a truth we have to accept: the show doesn’t make merch anymore, it lives from it.

        • 10 May 2011 at 2:53 am

          I don’t really blame Fox 100 percent for the keeping the show around because of merchandising, I blame the morons who buy it.

          • 5 Stan
            10 May 2011 at 7:47 am

            Well, if you happened to have bought one of the seasons’ DVD in the past (even one of the good ones), you may as well blame yourself =)

            Even paying for the FOX channel on your TV so you can watch that stupid show every Sunday night counts, as they fraction the revenue from every viewer. Downloading TPB torrent of their episode doesn’t.

            • 10 May 2011 at 11:23 am

              I did show my ‘support’ by purchasing the first eight seasons new and then Seasons 9 and 10 at my local pawn shop for about 9 bucks a set. Fox didn’t get my money, but I got the two lesser seasons, so it was a win-win. :)

  2. 7 The Truth
    9 May 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Holy Nitpick Batman! Seriously, we get it, you think The Simpsons should have ended over 14 years ago. How about trying something new and not watching it since you can only bitch about the most inane things. There are still people who get enjoyment out of the show.

  3. 13 Stan
    9 May 2011 at 5:51 pm

    1) Random appearances: “Those are some strong scissors”… No, Homer, this is some weak script writing.
    2) Homer doesn’t even need to set the waterbird at his work, or to make a bucket head dummy – he’s a hairdresser now, Burns should know!
    3) Can we have Lisa and Milhouse fuck each other already and get this 20-year-old love story done with?! Besides, Taffy… Samantha Stanky, anyone? And, why Lisa? Why not Bart, like the last time? It would’ve made much more sense with Bart, as Lisa and Milhouse barely even talk in the other episodes.

    Sadly, the writers don’t read your blog. Or they do, but they don’t care, and leave it to pathetic trolls. With this happy-go-lucky attitude they have towards the end of the season, I’m guessing they are planning season 24… And their viewer ratings won’t stop them, a couple of years from now it will be “because of the internets”. They’re the fucking Simpsons, they can’t fail!

    • 14 Bryan
      9 May 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Years ago a promising young director waived his director fee for his new sci-fi film in exchange for the licensing rights. The studio thought they were getting a good deal, but a few years later George Lucas had made a hundred thousand times more money selling toys than he would have ever made from his salary.

      Long story short, the Simpsons can’t die because it’s name is too profitable. It’s on life support, and Fox is cashing the insurance checks.

    • 15 Matthew
      10 May 2011 at 11:42 am

      Great point about the waterbird and bucket head dummy. Hahaha. Oh how I miss the days when Homer thought he was good at things but was actually terrible. Like when he tried to create his own website: “Oh, so the internet’s on computers now?” But now, he’s just magically good at things without even trying. Whether it’s hairdressing or jumping on stage with Cheech and Chong. He’s an instant success at everything. Except making me laugh.

      • 16 Stan
        10 May 2011 at 5:15 pm

        It started with his singing, when he suddenly realized that while he lies down, he can be an opera singer. The only difference is that now he doesn’t even have to be wasted, stoned, or in any unexpected position – he’s just somehow good at something. Period. And if you look closely, same shit happens with Bart, Lisa, Marge and so on.

        But the whole thing started with a crayon lodged in Homer’s brain back in Season 11 I think. It’s called creative decay, and just goes to prove you what day the show really died and how decomposed it is by today.

        How some people go along with this – I’ll never understand. Personally, the moment I see it, it makes me want to grab my baseball bat, hitch a cab to FOX Studios and whack the brains out of those morons (if they have any left, that it). Because if something, they’re taking the audience for complete idiots that they are themselves. And it’s just sad.

  4. 17 Stan
    9 May 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Seriously, about the B-plot, I was hoping that girl was going out with Milhouse only to make Lisa jealous, and once she did, she would’ve said that since Lisa got jealous, she cares. And leave these two be to themselves. This at least would’ve seemed like an appropriate b-plot ending to me. Instead, they had to conclude with everything going Milhouse…

    Well, that’s just milhousing awesome.

  5. 18 bhall87
    9 May 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Proof that Zombie Simpsons is at its laziest? They couldn’t even be bothered to spell Kristen Schaal’s name right. I know that’s not the writer’s fault but you would think an EP or someone would notice that and say “That’s not right.”

  6. 19 Henry Jones Junior
    10 May 2011 at 3:24 am

    This web page should change it nme to “The Nitpick Kings” long time ago..

  7. 10 May 2011 at 4:41 am

    All I’ll say is, I did enjoy the episode, but what a waste of Schaal. This is possibly the first thing she’s starred in where her appearance didn’t make me -at least- smile. Thank God for Bob’s Burgers.

  8. 21 Bea Simmons' rotting corpse
    10 May 2011 at 5:33 am

    I honestly think this was the same average mediocre borefest we’ve gotten all season. Yawn. 20 episodes in and this is so far the first ever season that actually has no episode I really liked and I’d concider memorable. I’m struggling to think of one, but I just can’t.

    Apathetic bloody show, I’ve no sympathy at all.

    • 22 Stan
      10 May 2011 at 7:52 am

      Lol, I’m way behind you on this. Mine “liking” of particular episodes ended with season 20, when they made one with Homer being mocked for talking to a bread. I think this one wtfked me pretty good.

      Though come to think of it, I can’t think of a memorable episode after the Mooonshine of the Simpson Mind. Their jokes and storytelling thereafter were so stale I didn’t even need the forget-me-shot for that.

  9. 23 Matthew
    10 May 2011 at 11:55 am

    In “A Milhouse Divided” (Season 8), Homer attempted to cut Marge’s hair while she was at the salon. When she tells him to stop, he says “You’re fiesty, I’m gonna give you a Madonna cut”.

    Now THAT was when the show was funny. Not to mention true to character. That’s classic Homer. Attempting to do something nice for his wife even though he has no idea what he’s doing. A trademark Homer quality which was summed up beautifully by Homer himself in another old episode when he said, “I gave that man directions even though I didn’t know the way”~Homer.

    Contrast that to this latest episode of Zombie Simpsons, where Homer is an effortless hair stylist and women flock to him to have their hair done. Homer’s gone from having Marge scream at the prospect of him cutting her hair back in the glory days, to now being the worlds greatest hairdresser.

    This is definitely one of the sharpest contrasts between zombie simpsons and classic simpsons that I’ve ever seen. These people don’t give a lick about continuity or staying true to character anymore.

  10. 24 Chris
    10 May 2011 at 1:54 pm

    This is why TV shows generally have a short life span. There’s only so much you can say or do before you run out of ideas. The fact that the Simpsons made it 9 seasons (in my opinion) with top-notch programming was a miracle in itself, and shows you just how strong the writing staff was during the show’s prime.

    Part of me feels for the current writing staff, which has the uneviable task of creating new episodes of a show that’s been around so long it’s impossible to think of new ideas. It’s not their fault that Matt Groening is a gutless coward who refuses to end his show. But on the other hand, they clearly go through the motions while writing these episodes, and don’t care one lick about quality. Or if they do care about quality and really are trying, then they are just really untalented.

    Either way, TV shows never have any business lasting this long, or even half this long. If a show can make it 9 seasons, as the Simpsons and Seinfeld did, that’s really good and they should call it a day right then.

    Am I the only one who imagines Matt Groening as Rainier Wolfcastle in “A Star is Burns?”
    Jay Sherman: How do you sleep at night?
    Rainier: On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.

    It’s tremendously appropriate that the show has now become what it once mocked.

    • 25 Bea Simmons' rotting corpse
      10 May 2011 at 2:18 pm

      I don’t think Matt Groening is a gutless coward. He actually wanted to end it 12 years ago and replace it with Futurama, right?
      Problem is, FOX bought the rights and only they can make the decision to end it, not Groening. If Groening officially quits, the show would just continue onwards without any problem. In theory, even if all the staff and voice actors would quit, Fox could still replace them all and keep it dead alive. But even Fox isn’t that stupid. Probably.

  11. 26 Stan
    10 May 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Groening’s too old to be able to run the show on his own now. Of course, FOX guys are behind this. And the reason they don’t quit is of course because of the moolah. A great point was made here moments ago stating that if before the merch was a consequence of potential customers buying epic shit “with their faces on” because the show was funny, today we see kids in Third World countries with Bart t-shirts and Lisa pencils not really giving a fuck about today’s episodes (probably because if Scooby Doo’s mug was on them, they’d have those objects anyway). And behind all this, a great shot of some FOX asshole bragging about how much the Simpsons are a phenomena now (half that 20 Season special on ice in 3d rule 34 shit was like this). And yes, there’s the show. Somehow. As an auxillary means to worldwide mass-production of their merch. Ridden with guest start because they are the only thing fresh there.

    At this point, I don’t even know what’s it gonna take them to end The Simpsons as we know it now. I was optimistic about viewer numbers, but now I’m not even so sure…

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