Crazy Noises: Homer Scissorhands

A Milhouse Divided5

“Homer, what are you doing?” – Marge Simpson
“I wanted to surprise you with a kinky summer ’do. How many husbands would do that for their wives?” – Homer Simpson
“None, they’d have more sense than that.” – Marge Simpson

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 (surprisingly enough, not on “Esquilax”).

Matthew brought this up in comments on Tuesday, but the idea of Homer as a hairdresser is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas and/or jobs he hasn’t had yet. There’s the whole “instant professional” thing, but even setting that aside, we’ve already seen Homer attempt – and fail at – cutting women’s hair, and in a salon no less.

I try not to care about inter-episode continuity, I really do. After all, this is a comedy where each episode is its own self contained story. It’s not like 30 Rock or Arrested Development where there are subplots and overarching stories that unfold over many weeks. There you need things to make sense from one episode to the next, here you don’t. And it’s just not fair to expect the writers to labor under years of accumulated personal developments and backstories when the show was never designed to evolve like that. But when Zombie Simpsons does shit like this, when they show Homer wildly succeed at things we’ve already seen him spectacularly botch, they do make it hard. 

Just for good measure:

The Front11

Mad Jon: Well, are you guys ready to get this going?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, let’s do it.

As we seem to like to start with the couch gag recently, was that some kind of record?

  For length, I mean.

Mad Jon: It may have been. It was quite over the top. Also there wasn’t a TV in the exhibit for them to watch. So all that for nothing.

Dave: It sure felt that way.

Mad Jon: I wasn’t even sure if it was a new one or not.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think it was new, I kept being surprised when they found new ways to stretch it out.

Mad Jon: I wasn’t going to be surprised either way

Dave: It was also humorless and not really all that clever. That they kept it going was quite a feat.

Charlie Sweatpants: Someone’s been the museum recently.

Mad Jon: Or broken into one. Maybe those t-shirts aren’t selling like they used to.

Charlie Sweatpants: Always possible.

Speaking of going on too long, I thought the idea of Milhouse not knowing that Nemo’s mom died at the beginning was kinda clever. Half a minute later I was less impressed.

Mad Jon: I’ve never actually seen that movie, so I had to think about it for a second. Having assumed that his Mom was sheltering him, it was actually kind of clever. But then it forced Milhouse to fall in Love with Lisa or something, so….

  …that happened again.

Does having a guest star voice someone in a recurring theme make it a new plot?

Dave: No, I don’t think that counts.

Charlie Sweatpants: That depends on how you count.

Mad Jon: Please explain

Because I am pretty certain that the Milhouse loves Lisa, yet Lisa may actually like Milhouse, but maybe not because you have to embrace life because Nemo’s mom died, was the B-plot.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t entirely follow you, but it’s still more thought than the show put into it.

Mad Jon: And the plot was based on the recurring theme of Milhouse’s love for Lisa

But whatever, I just watched the episode like an hour ago, so it may be my anger speaking. But even with the Kristen Schaal guest voice-love interest twist, I feel like that was the least original B-plot in a while. And that’s poor, even for this season.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m pretty sure this whole episode was fan service. The Lisa-Milhouse kiss was the exact kind of thing long running shows do to gin up fan interest once they’ve run out of things to say. I cite every NBC comedy ever.

Mad Jon: Touche Salesman.

Charlie Sweatpants: The A-plot was the same thing. At first I wasn’t sure if they had Homer using gardening shears to cut hair at the beginning on purpose, but after the rest of the episode, including Martin playing the lute, it was definitely a call back.

Mad Jon: That would explain a couple other things too, such as "Everything’s coming up Milhouse"

Charlie Sweatpants: Guh.

Dave: Right. That stuck out like a sore thumb.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought I was numb to this show. I really did.

Mad Jon: That was the best line of season 10, so its not that I really care that much.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d need some time to ponder if I agree completely with that, but it’s definitely up there.

Mad Jon: Yes, well, that would be a colossal waste of time.

Charlie Sweatpants: Summer’s almost here, remember. Season 10 is very much on your horizon.

Dave: Oh boy!


Charlie Sweatpants: I got it. The sarcasm sensor on my desktop spiked.

Mad Jon: Which is why we don’t need to worry about it right now. We’ll be there soon enough

Charlie Sweatpants: Good point.

There were two other gluttonous time wasters here, the first being Milhouse’s song and the other being Wiggum’s, I don’t know, whale song? What was that?

Mad Jon: Oh god, the thirty seconds of Azaria making the most annoying sound in the world?

This is the same man who makes me piss my pants when I think of the scene in "Lisa’s Wedding" when Wiggum explains the beasts of lore.

  Yeah, Esquilax!

Charlie Sweatpants: A horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body (perfect beat pause) of a rabbit.

  Gets me every time.

Mad Jon: Also I am too lazy to look up what a Theremin is? Can you please explain it to me?

Charlie Sweatpants: No, but Wikipedia can: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin

Mad Jon: Ah, Thank you.

It is similar to what I thought it might be.

Charlie Sweatpants: That was another one of this episode’s jokes that I didn’t hate until it was burned into my ear drums and retinas by going on far longer than it had any right to.

Mad Jon: I liked the beginning of the scene in the bar when Homer complains that he has to listen to people complaining, and Moe smiles. That was funny. And very short.

  The Moe part, not the rest.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed, and then it went on too long, just every other damn thing in this episode.

Mad Jon: Agreed.

Dave: It seems that this episode had a greater number of almost okay moments.

Mad Jon: That were all stretched out as long as the couch gag.

Dave: Relative to the rest of the trash this season. That still doesn’t make it good.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, no it does not.

Mad Jon: As per usual, I get the feeling that they found a couple of things and then just kept molding them in front of our faces as if to say "You still laughing? How about now?"

Charlie Sweatpants: It had three or four things that I didn’t hate straight away, but then they ran those things into the ground. And when you combine that with shit like magic eagles, Homer running through the streets crying and chopping things, and Milhouse’s song, well it does not for an entertaining half hour of television make.

  Also, what Jon just said.

Mad Jon: It is a recurring theme in the last few seasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh yeah, and in their lust for nostalgia they brought back Lunchlady Doris in a completely meaningless scene that could’ve been done by anyone. They weren’t even in the fucking school!

They would never pull shit like that with Hutz or McClure, and the double standard of that always pisses me off.

Mad Jon: She gets two paychecks this way. Sometimes I wonder if there are some guys out there who have a blog that rags on our blog for complaining about the same things each week….

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, I’ve only got two things left. First, I don’t think they replaced Azaria, but whoa did Captain McAllister sound off.

Mad Jon: I didn’t really notice, but he was coming out of a bee store or something, and not a boat or a seafood restaurant, so I wasn’t listening.

Charlie Sweatpants: Probably for the best. The second thing was just funny, though not intentionally. Did you notice Chalmers in the school, just standing there as Milhouse and Taffy walked by? He didn’t say anything this time, but I think they’re incapable of having a school scene without him.

Mad Jon: Maybe it’s in his contract or something.

  Chalmers finally has tenure

Dave: Whatever the reason, I liked him more as an infrequent character.

Charlie Sweatpants: Didn’t everyone?

Dave: Sure. As a regular, he’s tedious.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yes, he is.

Mad Jon: Well, this has been a point of emphasis for us this season.

Charlie Sweatpants: Jebus, don’t say that. We sound like referees.

Dave: Aren’t we?

Charlie Sweatpants: No.

Mad Jon: Hmmm, I meant it in a partisan commentator type style, but I guess I see your point.

Charlie Sweatpants: Like I said, Chalmers and Captain McAllister were the last things I had. Anything else here?

Dave: Nada from me. Jon?

Mad Jon: I have nothing else even remotely constructive to add.

But thanks for asking.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well aren’t you the happiest man in town.

Mad Jon: I will be as soon as we are done thinking about this episode.

15 Responses to “Crazy Noises: Homer Scissorhands”

  1. 1 Joe C.
    12 May 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Great Crazy Noises once again…week after week you guys prove that you would make better writers than those clowns currently working on ZS put together.

    After seeing this episode, I have to admit that some of the setups were decent, but the punchlines didn’t amount to anything. ZS is a cock-tease where you garner just enough hope to keep watching for the payout of a good joke, but it simply lands flat on its face.

    The A-plot (or B, I can’t really tell which ones are which anymore) was droll and unimaginative since Zombie Homer gets yet another whacky job. However, I thought the part where the woman gossiping changed each time he spun the chair was not bad.

    The B-plot was even less creative; once again, a celebrity voice is used as a ratings boost. You could tell the writers had a hard time with this one since they couldn’t even keep the continuity intact and Kristen Schaal was reduced to a few words. Why did Taffy break up with Milhouse again?

  2. 2 Stan
    12 May 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Zombie Simpsons look like they’re trying to get in time with the other shows that rival them every Sunday night. Of course, more than 3/4 of those are MacFarlane’s creations.

    More particularly, ZS decided that Homer can now suddenly be good at something. Yeah, that happens. In cartoons it does. But for the sake of interest, let’s compare it to Peter’s behavior from Family Guy. Sure, in the past, there were episodes where he suddenly took on something and became an instant hit. But even then, he was either drunk (like when he was playing piano), or something else. It required intervention to his conscience.

    In latter episodes, when Peter’s suddenly a horse breeder, for example, it’s definitely not the main plot. It’s not even a b-plot. It’s just a plot-pushing-forward device, intended to be 50% joke and 50% plot-pushing. And it just goes to show you that it’s not because ZS ran for 20 consecutive years that they are exempt of finding new ideas. I’m sure that 10 years later FG will be as fresh as they are today (especially if the producing case doesn’t change).

    Taking American Dad as another example of this kind of brilliant skill acquiring by one of the characters, we have Roger the alien. And the word says it all – alien. They resolved it with a finger snap, and every time someone complains about impossible shit happening on – well, aliens can probably do it. Period. It’s so splendidly timeless, I don’t think they’ll ever run into a plothole with it. Though they might too.

    Back to Zombie Simpsons, it’s done the boring way. They utterly and unwittingly crushingly smashingly wanting-for-brains kind of way. With as little effort put into it as a pop star announcer on some talk show. And to say they used to mock Jay Leno once…

    Also, come to think of it, American Dad’s “Jenny Fromdabloc” oddly compared to this episode’s b-plot. What’s funny though, the “serenade” Snot does for Hayley in there is probably as long as Milhouse’s theremin playing. But Snot doesn’t use some cliched song for over a minute to impress his love, he is shown doing more and more weird shit until he’s actually spurned. And it’s funny because this way he reminds us of the “are we there yet?” kids. In “Homer Scissorhands”, Milhouse just plays some crap, Martin tags along, and then Lisa literally tells him that he played some crap. Just like that Skinner-Chalmers conversation about napkins, it’s bereft of any speck of hilarity. And hence, its sense is put into question.

    • 3 Patrick
      13 May 2011 at 8:42 am

      Thank you for showing that Family Guy and American Dad are far superior to The Sucksons and WTF where did Martin come from :S just reading how awful this episode is make me want to watch it :/

    • 4 Derp
      13 May 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Funny that you mention Jenny Fromdablock. It answers the question from American Dad’s episode regarding how Roger could be both the secretary and with Stan.

      • 5 Patrick
        13 May 2011 at 2:40 pm

        And the episode where one of roger’s disguises wants to kill one of roger’s disguises.

      • 6 Stan
        13 May 2011 at 7:04 pm

        It’s a plot hole they filled up very nicely in that ep. Now here are a bunch of people who actually work out their ideas before throwing them at the audience. But as I mentioned, Roger the alien = whole array of unexplainable shit without ever feeling the need to even back it up. 20 years later they can make a joke about him moving slowly, and back it up with that episode, saying that “he now reached his mating season”. Do aliens actually slow down during mating season? Do we even have to give a fuck?

  3. 7 Matthew
    13 May 2011 at 10:02 am

    Thanks for the blurb about me!

    The first thing that came to my mind when watching Homer Scissorhands was that scene in “A Milhouse Divided”, but I forgot about the clip from “The Front” where Homer chops her hair in half with the hedgeclippers then puts it back with a twig. Luckily for Homer, these days he doesn’t need to rely on twigs or drinking birds or anything else that might actually make us laugh. Nope, he’s just instantly good at everything, be it opera singer or hairdresser.

    This has become an all too common problem with Zombie Simpsons. Just a few weeks ago, in the Cheech and Chong episode, Homer effortlessly and instantanuously became a sketch comedy star. Contrast that to his failed attempt at stand-up comedy at Mr.Burns birthday party in the classic episode “Rosebud”.

    If “Rosebud” were made today, I have no doubt in my mind that the audience (mr.burns included) would be laughing out loud at Homer’s stand-up act and the episode would be all about Homer becoming an instantly successful stand up comedian. He’d go on tour with some trendy stand up guest stars like Dane Cook and it would be yet another bland episode of Zombie Simpsons. When we all know the much funnier option is to have the audience NOT laugh. It’s always funnier when Homer fails and is publicly humiliated in the most awkward and uncomfortable fashion possible. Thankfully “Rosebud” came out during the classic years and that’s exactly what happened.

    • 8 Patrick
      13 May 2011 at 10:51 am

      Another problem with The Sucksons is that people eat food horribly quickly i’ll use 3 examples of when this happened:

      1. Nelson eating that NOT Hot dog in ‘Lost Verizon’.

      2. That couch gag with CBG in that restaurant.

      3. Homer pushing a large mother nature burger in his mouth which is weirdly animated to look and sound like a paper mache version of it :S in ‘Coming to Homerica’

  4. 9 Nick
    13 May 2011 at 11:32 am

    Yeah, what was with those Wiggum noises? Did they run out of script? God, even the earliest seasons of Zombie Simpsons weren’t THIS lazy.

  5. 10 Stan
    13 May 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I honestly think ZS producers are simply “doing it ‘rong”. Or in other words, they are going the wrong way. When, in episodes like “Flaming Moe”, the main plot idea doesn’t even come from an early recycling – it’s straight transformation of a probable joke original producers made back when they were working on “Flaming Moe’s” – that becomes the basic idea for a recent episode. That can mean only one thing: they work on a twenty-two-year-old show with an ideological approach of a two-year-old show.

    See, if FOX guys would’ve cared the least about the show itself, rather than some fucking global events and cheap merch, they’d never let such shoddy scriptwriting pass along. Because if you’re in for 30 years of comedy, the best thing you can settle on is society. Otherwise said, you just observe today’s standards, trends, what interests people the most. And base your jokes on that, rather than bringing out hackneyed ideas from the dust of the 90ies.

  6. 11 Patrick
    13 May 2011 at 2:46 pm

    No HAW-HAW or anything from Nelson when Millhouse was singing to Lisa infront of EVERYONE? :S despite the fact he was on screen from 9/10 of it? :S

    • 12 Joe C.
      13 May 2011 at 3:52 pm

      No, that would result in Nelson being Nelson instead of Zombie Nelson. I don’t even think Nelson even says “Haw-Haw” anymore.

  7. 13 sVybDy
    15 May 2011 at 12:44 am

    Surprised no one seems to have mentioned this: in the opening scene Lisa is painting Patty & Selma’s portrait, and they begin to complain.

    Selma: “Lisa, this is going too slow for me. And I work at the DMV.”
    Patty: “Mind if we take a nap?”

    Just before they fall asleep without permission, Lisa suggests switching styles in order to speed up the process. Then Bart leaps in, ruining Lisa’s painting, and she says to him:

    Lisa: “Aauuuugh! You just ruined six months’ work!”

    Absolutely none of this conversation could have realistically happened if any one part of it is true.

  8. 14 Anonymouse
    19 May 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Art Bell : George Noory :: Simpsons : current Simpsons

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