07
Sep
11

The Rest of Twitter Knows What It Doesn’t Like

Radio Bart9

“And our new number one hit, ‘I Do Believe We’re Naked’ by Funky See Funky Do, replaces ‘We’re Sending Our Love Down the Well’ which plunges all the way down to number ninety-seven.” – Not Casey Kasem

Continuing yesterday’s theme of “nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons”, I’d like to direct your attention to New York Magazine’s “The Anticipation Index”:

Rankings are based on the volume of related Twitter and blog activity. Only future events are included (movies, for instance, fall off the list after their opening day.) Flames and arrows appear when an event has jumped or fallen at least ten spots in the past 24 hours.

Basically, it’s a daily aggregation of what the twitchiest internet users are talking about.  The current #1 and #2 are the Glee and Gossip Girl season premiers, respectively. 

Two weeks ago, during Gaga-quake 1, New York’s Jillian Goodman posted an update titled “Who Got a Bigger Buzz Bump This Week, the Muppets or The Simpsons?”:

On Tuesday, two aging franchises — one long-dormant (The Muppets) and one still active but no longer culturally imperative (The Simpsons) — sparked web chatter with items tied to two of-the-moment stars: The Muppets released a video of the classic Muppet Show theme as reimagined by viral mainstays OK Go, while The Simpsons announced that Lady Gaga would be doing a voice for a spring episode. Both resulted in a cavalcade of excited commentary, aggregation, tweets, and retweets, and propelled the Thanksgiving movie The Muppets and the September 25 premiere of The Simpsons up Vulture’s Anticipation Index

How far up, you may ask?  Not far, actually:

Meanwhile, before the Gaga news, The Simpsons wasn’t even in the top 100. Unlike the Muppets, the 23-year-old cartoon family has never gone away, so there’s never much new to jolt people into commenting. It’s only when someone fresh and newsy (or, in the case of Banksy, bomb-throwing) enters their orbit that things come alive, like when the show aired its racy Katy Perry cameo in rare live action. And now, Gaga: The news that she’d recorded a voice brought the show back onto the list at 63. It’s now back off the list: Even Gaga can only keep its name out there for so long. But The Muppets still hovers at 59 today.

That was two weeks ago, where is it now?  Well, unless you have JavaScript disabled on your browser, you can’t even see it.  The list only goes to 100, and Zombie Simpsons isn’t on it.  The new Muppets movie is hanging in there at #94 though. 

If you do have JavaScript disabled, you can see all the way down to Zombie Simpsons at #126 (up from #129 yesterday!).  That’s five spots better than A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, but five spots below, ouch, “Family Guy season premier”.  Other television premiers ranking higher than Zombie Simpsons include:

17 – Supernatural

19 – Mad Men (which isn’t premiering until 2012!)

30 – Chuck

38 – Two and a Half Men

50 – Criminal Minds

64 – Suburgatory (series premier!)

75 – Gray’s Anatomy

82 – The Big Bang Theory

87 – NCIS

95 – CSI: New York

99 – Desperate Housewives

120 – Nikita

123 – Up All Night

125 – The Office

At this point I’d like to remind everyone that FOX has, theoretically at least, been running a rather large on-line promotion to get people to vote on the nauseating concept of “Fledna” (or whatever).  But despite Gaga and the “Fledna” contest, Zombie Simpsons is below The Office, another show long in terminal decline.   Goodman concludes:

To shoot up the Anticipation Index they need to do one of two things: bring in buzzier stars, or go off the air and come back in fifteen years announcing a return to the Simpsons’ George Meyer glory days.

I would submit that a “buzzier” star than Lady Gaga is pretty difficult to imagine.  I guess, if Obama got desperate and went on the show next year (like Gore choose not to do in 2000), that would command more media attention than Gaga.  But that seems farfetched, so I guess they’ll just have to announce they’re going off the air. 


4 Responses to “The Rest of Twitter Knows What It Doesn’t Like”


  1. 1 D.N.
    7 September 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I’m morbidly curious to know if Gaga will be playing herself, or merely the 1,649th love interest for Bart, but admittedly I’m not curious enough to actually look into it.

  2. 2 Mr. Incognito
    7 September 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Not a Simpsons-related question, but what are the thoughts of the DHS contingency concerning The Office, from where it once was, to where it is now? I ask, mainly because Simpsons alum Greg Daniels has been involved with it, and you seem to be somewhat familiar with it.

    I myself felt that it was the first teevee show to be excited about in a long time when it picked up its stride, and the first 4 or so seasons were good. But it’s such a bummer that another show I liked fell so far (and not just in the “Anticipation Index”) and seems to have no other reason to exist anymore besides merchandise sales, now with Steve Carrel gone.

    I see quite a few parallels between the fall of The Simpsons and the fall of The Office: Guest-star-itis, a Gradual Decline in quality, out-of-character moments, Flanderization, etc.

  3. 3 Chris
    8 September 2011 at 3:17 am

    The Office, in my opinion, suffered from a couple things. First was the romance, and then marriage, and then child, between Pam and Jim. One of the best things about the show was the sexual tension between Jim and Pam, and as soon as that was broken something was lost. Secondly, the characters became caricatures. Simpsons afficionados are quite familiar with this. Dwight and Michael were the most obvious examples, two characters whose quirks were exaggerated once the writers understood what everyone thought was funny about them.

    The Office was great durings its first few seasons. But honestly, I really haven’t watched it for 3-4 years. Everything that I knew was going on with the show was right out of the “this is when TV shows start going downhill” playbook. Hooking up Pam and Jim, throwing a baby into the mix, guest stars galore, exaggerated characters, it all happens when they start running low on ideas.

    There’s no reason for The Office to exist anymore. Michael Scott was way too integral to move on without. Could you imagine the Simpsons without Homer? Of course not. And does anyone remember that this show is supposed to be a documentary? Are you telling me a documentary crew needed THIS many years of footage? Or have they given up on that motif?

  4. 8 September 2011 at 9:27 am

    The proper Office stopped after 2 seasons and a Christmas special ;)


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