Reading Digest: Imaginary People Edition

Miracle on Evergreen Terrace3

“Any words for the Christmas thief, if he’s watching?” – Kent Brockman
“Uh, yes, Kent.  Hello, jerk, we may never find you, and we should probably all stop looking.  But one thing’s for sure, you do exist.” – Homer Simpson
“Strong words.  Strong, bewildering words.” – Kent Brockman

The American media is having a small meltdown at the moment over the fact that it got rolled by one or possibly two not very bright football players at well documented bullshit factory Notre Dame.  As usual when something bizarre happens, there’s a way to connect it to The Simpsons, in this case the time that Bart, long before the internet, Te’o-ed Mrs. Krabappel, and we have two people who did just that.  In addition, there is a cornucopia of great links this week, with lists, YouTube, some excellent fan art, a behind the scenes look at “The Longest Daycare”, another site embarking on a “watch them all project”, and lots more.  There’s also your chance to voice your opinion on which episode of the last three seasons has been the most wretched. 


Maggie Simpson Takes a Bow – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this article about the long and somewhat tangled creation process for “The Longest Daycare”.  It was worth the effort; they did a great job.

Illustrator practice – Learning computer drawing techniques by imitating scenes from “Kamp Krusty”, “Last Exit to Springfield”, and “Selma’s Choice”.  Well done. 

100 Greatest TV Episodes: You Only Move Twice (s8 ep2) – Praise for Hank Scorpio as perhaps the greatest episode of television ever broadcast.

Monday Funday: The Simpsons and NBA Players – Comparing Simpsons characters to NBA players.  Russell Westbrook to Milhouse is genius. 

The Simpsons Did It First – Going beyond the trillion dollar coin and looking at some other events that the show mocked even before they happened.

Google Translate: English to Ned Flanders – Heh.

Something I wrote for Sound on Sight for Christmas 2012 – A list of twelve awesome pieces of Christmas television that rightly puts “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” at the top.  And it agrees with us:

This is a good one to watch as many people may have lost hope with The Simpsons (as they move onto season 25 next year) and forgotten how excellent the old episodes are. It is also great to notice how not much has actually changed in terms of locations, and dynamics, just the writing now is pretty weak.

It is very weak these days.  Not so much then.

Inkbot TV — Zombie Simpsons: A Book Review – Aww, somebody said something nice about my extended internet ramblings.  Bonus points for the awesome fan made Zombie Homer, which appears to have originally come from an artist named Jared Wright.

Simpson Says Safe – We’re not the only ones going through Season 1 right now:

The Simpsons was deliberately written as the antithesis of the All-American Family seen in the 1980s. Homer losing his job and considering suicide is not only dark subject matter for prime-time animation, it is also quite dark for a sitcom.

When the old people laugh at him, in particular, strikes me as something that was really out of bounds for the time.  And here’s “Bart the Genius”.

Geek Pic 1/15/13 – Anime style fan made drawings of everyone from Marge and homer to Lenny, Carl and Sideshow Bob.  I’m pretty sure I’ve linked this before, but it’s cool enough to merit a second go round.

Some Of What I’ve Been Eyeballing From My Spot On Makeout Point – Reading the Ortved book:

The Simpsons book was, objectively, a bad book. It was littered with typos and grammatical cock-ups, it was scattershot storytelling at it’s worst, and it got bogged down in very mundane details in numerous places. Despite all that, I ate it up. I couldn’t resist all the Simpsonian goodness. I would recommend reading the chapter that focuses on George Meyer and John Swartzwelder, two staff writers who really defined the comedic tone of the show. I was laughing out loud reading that chapter, and I normally read books with a stony gaze filled with sorrow and thinly-veiled anger.

I liked it overall, but it’s definitely uneven.  And the chapters about the writers during the good times are indeed laugh out loud funny in places. 

2013 TV Predictions Roundtable: The Biggest Story of the Year – Sadly, this is very unlikely:

Fox’s combo of few hours, early orders for animation, and major hours for singing reality series leave few bubble shows, but final season news would not be shocking for Bones (which was just renewed) and The Simpsons (which, after a major contractual dispute, is renewed for last season).

I don’t see anyway they don’t get to Season 26 at the minimum.

Psycho: A retrospective – Seeing the movie the first time having seen plenty of it in The Simpsons  and other sources, complete with side by side pictures. 

I hate the metric system – Moderate usage:

Perhaps I am already crotchety and set in my ways:  In the immortal words of Grampa Simpson, “My car gets thirty rods to the hogshead..and that’s the way I like it!!”

Grampa actually says “forty rods” and “likes” not “like”, but that’s close enough.

Best Supporting Characters in TV Shows – Moe and Hans Moleman make the list here, even if the Moe YouTube is from Zombie Simpsons. 

The 365: Jan 15th “Yeah Yeah Mmm.. Okay Then” – Nice reference:

Some have said they’re happy that CDs are becoming obsolete as they don’t have to see it when they purchase it. Others are wondering where they could get some of the stuff the band have been smoking so they could also go on a “trip to the desert” (PG blog but you know what I mean, they will be a talking coyote and everything! Simpson reference! Boom!).

Now look at her records, they stink!

Guy N. Cognito – Homer Simpson’s Doppelgänger – In praise of Guy’s moustache.

Why I don’t like bubbles – Citing Burns from “The Old Man and the Lisa” as an example of how not to run an organization.

Cosmo’s Story Within a Story by George MacDonald – Great usage:

I am not certain why—perhaps because of my years watching Itchy and Scratchy on The Simpsons—but I have always been attracted to the Story Within a Story technique.

That leads to Melville and Dostoyevsky.

My saviour, Mr Plow – A salute to the real life Mr. Plows.

Another One Of Those Days – Excellent reference [BOA is Bank of America]:

So, if you’re a BOA customer, it’s kind of like that old Eagles song “Hotel California” in that you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.  Or that episode of The Simpsons were they join a cult, but when someone wants to leave, they get a spotlight thrown on them and tell them they are free to leave if they divulge why they want to.

Credit unions, people, they exist for a reason.

LISA SIMPSON – From a Tumblr about fictional characters reading books, it’s Lisa enjoying the copy of Ethan Frome she can finally call her own.

The Simpsons Episode That Scared The Crap Out Of Me – Further proof that Zombie Simpsons is terrible, the endlessly awful episode with NSYNC permanently traumatized this young man.

She Just Got That Marge Simpson Weave – A serious Marge Simpson bun.

What Homer Simpson Can Teach Oncologists About Math – Here’s your interesting neurological tidbit for the day:

In future posts, I will show you some of the work I have done to make this math easier to understand.  But meanwhile, let me leave you with another quote from Brain Bugs:

    “We may have an inherent sense of the quantities one through three, but beyond that things get hazy—you may be able to tell at a glance whether Homer Simpson has two or three strands of hair, but you’ll probably have to count to find out whether he has four or five fingers.”

Obama’s Death Star…In 10 Words – I’d say this vessel could do at least Warp 5.

Gangster Squad…In 10 Words – A better title would’ve been Rex Banner: The Movie.

‘The Simpsons’ Creator and Director Highlight Thirty-Seventh Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium – For the low price of just $350 you can see Groening and Silverman at UCLA in March.  Why is it that expensive?  It’s being run by the UCLA law school.

Oingo Boingo, “Reptiles and Samurai” – Wanna see Danny Elfman dressed up with horns from 1982?  Of course you do.

[Couch Potato Quotes] The Simpsons (Season 09 Episode 24 – Lost Our Lisa) – This is just a screen grab of Homer praying to Superman, but it’s from a blog called “Lace the Unleashed Zen Jar”, which is enjoyably nonsensical.

Top Five: iTunes Apps (Games) – The Tapped Out game makes the list and is the only one that’s free.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Explains the Manti Te’o Fake-Girlfriend Saga – A nice comparison of the most recent Notre Dame scandal and “Bart the Lover” agrees with us:

Part of the genius of The Simpsons is (well, was) its almost Dickensian ability to impart humanity and psychological depth to what lesser shows would have treated as throwaway characters.

Was, indeed.  Along those lines, reader Hender tweeted the same.

Now, because I hate myself… – And finally, our old friend (and new contributor) Mike Amato has finished his run through the show and wants to know which episodes from the last three seasons he should put himself through.  This is by no means a comprehensive or well thought out list, but just looking back through the a list of the last couple of seasons, these struck me as memorable lows:

  • 21-13 – The Color Yellow – Wherein Zombie Simpsons takes a cringe-inducingly juvenile look at slavery.
  • 21-23 – Judge Me Tender – Basically an advertisement for American Idol.  In terms of sheer pop culture embarrassment, this one is tough to beat . . .
  • 22-08 – The Fight Before Christmas – . . . though if it can be beat, the Katy Perry episode would be the one.  In its crass, unthinking stupidity I think this was even worse than the Lady Gaga episode.
  • 22-11 – Flaming Moe – Wall to wall with gay jokes that would’ve been considered dated in 1985. 
  • 22-15 – The Scorpion’s Tale – Fairly hum-drum until the eyeballs start falling out, but that’s an epic fail for the ages. 
  • 23-12 – Moe Goes from Rags to Riches – Three words: talking bar rag. 
  • 23-18 – Beware My Cheating Bart – Bart gets it on with a girl much older than him.  Very creepy.

Hit the link to offer your own suggestions.  For once, there truly are no wrong answers. 

2 Responses to “Reading Digest: Imaginary People Edition”

  1. 1 ecco6t9
    19 January 2013 at 2:31 am

    Mike should have to watch Rags to Riches.

  2. 20 January 2013 at 7:42 am

    Thanks so much for the mention of my page here. I’m working on more as we speak. Actually, the next one I finish will be another one from “Selma’s Choice.” I feel a little bad about pulling from an episode I’ve already done a screen of, but seasons 4-8 are really my favorite and each episode is just chock full of moments worthy of enshrinement. Cheers!

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