Posts Tagged ‘A Streetcar Named Marge


Quote of the Day

“Mrs. Simpson, if you set out to push the bile to the tip of my throat: mission accomplished!” – Llewellyn Sinclair

Happy Birthday, Jon Lovitz! 


Quote of the Day

“Don’t like to nap, eh? We have a place for babies like you: the box.” – Ms. Sinclair


Quote of the Day

“If you ask me, they’re all winners! We’ll be cutting our first forty contestants right after this.” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day

“Cool, she can fly!” – Bart Simpson
“I think it’s supposed to symbolize her descent into madness.” – Lisa Simpson

New Zombie Simpsons tonight. I cannot fly.


Quote of the Day

“Hello! I am Llewellyn Sinclair! I have directed three plays in my career and I have had three heart attacks. That’s how much I care: I’m planning for a fourth.” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Maybe I should’ve taken a nice calligraphy class.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, forget about it. That Mr. Takahashi’s a lunatic.” – Chief Wiggum
“Quiet!” – Llewellyn Sinclair


Quote of the Day


“Kids, I won’t be home tonight so I’m leaving you some low-cal microwaveable TV dinners.” – Marge Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Hi, Ned, I didn’t know you were an actor.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, indeed-illy-doodily. I’ve even been in Streetcar once before. I played Blanche DuBois! Just part of the fun of going to an all-male school.” – Ned Flanders


Quote of the Day

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“Marge, can I get some change for the candy machine?” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, here!” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Hey, there’s some quarters in here.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“I haven’t been in a play since high school, and I thought it would be a good chance to meet some other adults.” – Marge Simpson
“Sounds interesting.” – Homer Simpson
“You know, I spend all day alone with Maggie, and sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist.” – Marge Simpson
“Sounds interesting.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Aren’t you being a little hard on old Homie?” – Ned Flanders
“Oh, forget about him, let’s rehearse the bottle scene!” – Marge Simpson
“Let’s not and say we did.” – Ned Flanders


Quote of the Day

A Streetcar Named Marge9

“Maggie is allergic to strained pears and she likes a bottle of warm milk before nap time.” – Marge Simpson
“A bottle?  Mrs. Simpson, do you know what a baby’s saying when she reaches for a bottle?” – Ms. Sinclair
“Ba ba?” – Marge Simpson
“She’s saying, ‘I am a leech!’.  Our aim here is to develop the bottle within.” – Ms. Sinclair

Happy birthday Jon Lovitz! 


Reading Digest: Theater Appreciation Edition

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“Everybody was cheering for you!” – Lisa Simpson
“Almost everybody.” – Marge Simpson
“Kids, wait in the car.  I want to talk to your mother about this play thing.” – Homer Simpson
“Looking for a spot of fun with the missus, eh, govenor?” – Bart Simpson
“Shutup, boy.” – Homer Simpson

The Simpsons apocalypse play has officially opened and this week we got a ton of reviews for it.  They are mostly positive, with the main complaint being that it’s a bit too shallow to move as slow as it does.  (Here’s our review from last year’s run in D.C.)  But it’s not all bright lights, big city, there’s also a local theater group that’s doing a bunch of one act plays with the show as their theme. 

In addition to all the theater stuff, we’ve got a writeup of the amusement park area with an eye on geek appeal, modern gibberish art, a couple of new blogs, and a pair of Simpsons related musical releases. 


Tom C. Hunley Reads a Poem for Simpsons Bus Driver Otto – I put Smooth Charlie’s link of the week up on Twitter yesterday, and it easily rates another mention.  It’s a poem of what lessons Otto would teach the kids if he had the vocabulary of a professor of English.  It’s short, much easier to follow than most poems and quite funny in places. 

How to Write A "Simpsons" Episode, According to Original Show Writer Al Jean – I’d say this speaks for itself:

Whenever you put something into a script, no matter how funny, consider if it is something the character would actually do. When The Simpsons works, it is because people believe these animated characters are "real."

I could cite examples, but Season 25 starts next Sunday, and it’ll do that for me plenty. 

‘The Simpsons’ deconstructed, reconstructed, and turned into pop art – Somebody took “Mom and Pop Art” and went art school on it:

In "Realigning My Thoughts On Jasper Johns," a video piece by experimental artist JK Keller, he becomes an eerie cubist figure in a nearly silent landscape. Keller took apart each frame of the 20-minute episode, turned them into vector shapes, and ran them through a battery of Adobe Illustrator auto-alignment tools, then ran the audio through a similar filtering system.

You can see the video at the link.  I’ll confess I didn’t make it very far.  It’s kinda interesting at first, but it gets boring and repetitive very quickly.  This comes via reader Gabe, who accurately described it in his e-mail:

The result is nightmarish.

Review Roundup: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY – Let the reviews begin!  This one is a collection of reviews that are generally, though not hugely, positive. 

Watch Clips Of Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play – Re-Enacting The Simpsons In The Apocalypse – An interview and video clips from the apocalyptic Burns play. 

Off Broadway Review: ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ – Apparently Variety reviews plays now, and they liked but didn’t love this one. 

Homer, Marge Simpson Survive World’s End in ‘Mr. Burns’: Stage – Ditto BusinessWeek.  I get it’s a New York publication and all, but still, play reviews?

Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play – Another review, one that puts particular shine on the third act. 

LISTEN: The Spills – Spooky Roller Disco – Great title:

The band, who consist of Rob, Joe, Chad and Sam have just released a new EP on Philophobia Music titled ‘Spooky Roller Disco’. The four-track EP is a fantastic 16 minutes of music and also a brilliant Simpsons reference.

I look forward to the Abandoned Amusement Park LP. Premiere: Black Dave – Black Bart (Mixtape) – In more musical news, check out the cover for this mixtape. 

HBO Porn Spoof Applauded By Network CEO – Excellent usage:

It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO is a short film directed by Alberto Belli. The clip pokes plenty of fun at the sort of overt sexual content that can be found in a number of the network’s offerings. In the words of Homer Simpson: It’s funny because it’s true.

The clip, while not Simpsons related, is pretty funny. 

449. O Brother, Where Bart Thou? – Mike is back to the grind over at Me Blog Write Good:

A lot of these episodes feel so thin and unmemorable so far. At least the horrible Marge/Flanders thing from “Nada” will stick with me. These last few shows, what is there? The horrible South Park “parody”? Five seconds of the Plow King for nostalgia points? No dice.

All but the very sloppiest fade into an indistinguishable hash very fast. 

Don’t send in the clowns – we’re too scared – Excellent usage:

Finding his young son resistant to this move, Homer constructed a special bed inspired by Bart’s affection for Krusty the Clown. Alas, Homer’s bed-building skills left much to be desired, and the clown of Bart’s new bedroom was a grotesque, maniacal interpretation of Krusty. Unable to sleep, young Bart spent much of the next day curled in the living room uttering the troubling catchphrase: "Can’t sleep, clown will eat me."

I was reminded of those words when I heard about Northampton’s clown mystery. "A spooky clown has been scaring Northampton residents in full costume and makeup," reported the Northampton Herald & Post. "According to reports it has knocked on someone’s door and offered to paint their sills despite having no painting equipment." The clown has quickly acquired its own dedicated Facebook page and a fevered Twitter discussion has ensued.

15 ways the Simpsons come to life in Springfield attraction – Local newspaper writer and Simpsons fan visits Universal Studios and rates the various attractions on geek factor. 

Wordy Wednesday: tmesis – Explaining words like “Wel-diddly-elcome” and “Unbe-fucking-lievably” with Flanders. 

Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire – Episode #001 – And thus, a blog was born:

It has been 26 years since The Simpsons first aired on our screens. Since I am a huge fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak about the plot and my opinion on (hopefully) every episode that I have so far.

It all began with a Christmas Special.

S/he’s up to “The Call of The Simpsons” so far:

I need to stress why I love these next scenes when Homer is taken in for testing to find out if he is a man or a beast. The test results come back inconclusive.

How would you explain that to the wife? “I’m terribly sorry to tell you this Mrs Simpson but your husband is neither man or beast. He’s a thing. We haven’t got a name for it yet.” I would like to see that.

Guillermo Del Toro Working On “The Simpsons: Treehouse Of Horror” – It looks like we’re getting the Halloween episode of Zombie Simpsons the week after the premier, which is three and a half weeks before actual Halloween.  And as high as I am on Del Toro after Pacific Rim, Zombie Simpsons is well beyond saving.  This, however, is very sly usage:

In what has now become an annual tradition, The Simpsons likes to give viewers a creepy tale each October.

Heh, it is something of a yearly custom.

Happy Grand Theft Auto V release day everyone – With a great animated .gif of Ashley Grant running Bart into a wall with a copy of the game. 

An Appropriate Representation Of How I Felt Today – It’s Barney and his rose from the unfortunately titled Pukeahontas

The 10 Subtle Burns of The New Yorker’s Bustle Profile – Well done, New Yorker:

On Goldberg’s understanding of women: “When Goldberg talks about his entry into women’s publishing, he can bring to mind an episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer, discovering that bacon, ham, and pork chops all come from pigs, calls them a ‘wonderful, magical animal.’”

The best Simpsons-themed Mayo banner you’ll see before Sunday – Click through for a sweet Milhouse banner for an Irish soccer team. 

Top Ten Television Shows – Another list where Zombie Simpsons hurts the score:

I have a deep appreciation for it as it was entertaining for children due to its style and animation but also for adults with its intelligent writing, social commentary and loveable, everlasting characters. Though, I’ll admit that the show isn’t as sharp as it used to be, I can still sit down and watch an episode and enjoy it like I always have. Even if I’ve seen it more than twenty times.

Strange Phenomena – Everyone learns stuff from The Simpsons:

Apparently Polar Nights are the best time to see the Aurora Borealis. Despite Jon’s best efforts at Abisko here, we didn’t get to see the luminescent green streaks across the sky. We have resolved to try for Aurora Australis from the south coast of Tasmania instead. I could lie and say I learnt about the Aurora on the trip, but The Simpsons got there first (‘at this time of day, at this time of year, localised entirely within your kitchen?’) Gold.

SCOOP: Confirmed LEGO Simpsons sets for 2014 – LEGO TV, not Zombie Simpsons, is going to produce some kind of special for the upcoming Simpsons Lego sets. 

Nelson’s Odyssey – The Flanderization of Nelson:

“Lisa’s Date with Density” was the start of Nelson 2.0

It sure was.

White House Down (film review) – Heh:

Having said all that, some readers may still be nurturing a morbid curiosity. To satisfy those among you who also happen to be fans of The Simpsons, the best way to understand White House Down is to imagine Mel Gibson’s grotesque action remake of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington with Channing Tatum in the lead.

Sadly, the only thing it lacks is a shifty-eyed evil dog.

1 star out of 5

All in favor, say die! 

BARTKIRA – Someone got a tattoo based on the Bartkira project.  Neat.  It’s just an outline right now, but it’d probably look even better with some color. 

Friday The 13th Part 2…In 10 Words – Still pretty tame by today’s standards.

Sleepy Hollow…In 10 Words – But this season . . .

Grand Theft Auto 5…In 10 Words – If Larry the Looter had been a real game, it’d probably be on 10 by now. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine…In 10 Words – And that’s the end of that chapter. 

Friends having the talk: “Do you even lift…long boxes?” – A new blog called Nerd Swole leads off with a discussion of friendship, nerdiness, and an animated .gif of Homer yelling at that one on campus. 

“Simpson, Homer Simpson, he’s the greatest guy in history!” – It’s up to you, but I’d consider quitting while I’m ahead:

I’ve been on a recent Simpsons kick lately – and by “recent” kick, I mean I’m working my way through all the episodes ever made – so far, I’ve watched Seasons 1-12 of 24 (25 starts in less than a month!)

Simpsons Art. – Most of these are old, but I don’t think I’d ever seen the one of Homer falling down the stairs by Wes Archer before. 

Dag 223 – A Bart t-shirt with flaming Bart-skull.

Dag 227 – And Spider-Pig acting like Spider-Man.

Retroactive Day 21: The Simpsons Movie – A middling review of the movie contains this more interesting exercise:

So for a little while now, every few months, I direct a one act play for a local production. In each production, the between six or seven one act plays are written, acted, and directed by local people. Each round has their own theme; for example the last one was Science Fiction Blockbusters. The next set starts in a couple of weeks and takes it’s theme from the ever popular cartoon, The Simpsons.

You just can’t keep the show of the stage these days. 

Exercising for the Musician – What better way to explain exercise than with a couple of animated .gifs of Homer doing things completely wrong? 

A Writer’s ‘Most Enjoyable’ TV Shows List – The show checks in at #3, and as usual it’s Zombie Simpsons’ fault that it isn’t #1:

I did a list like this many years ago and The Simpsons was number one — it says a lot that I watch it much less now and yet it still looms so large.

Indeed it does.

The Simpsons – Iconic TV Shows – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us in an epic writeup of the show:

While that may have been when the “show got stupid”, as Guardian critic Ian Jones noted, episodes would continue to falter, before season 11 when it all got consistently poor and with few to any saving graces. As the quality has dropped, so the number of celebrity voices has grown and animation become more computerised. The less said about later storylines about Marge’s boob job, Homer as a Kurt Cobain style grunge rocker, Ricky Gervais’ attempt to write a wife-swapping episode and a device that means lorries can drive themselves, the better. Joking about how bad an episode is (“Worst show ever” t-shirt”) was neither cute or clever and just insulting to a far too loyal audience.

Amen, brother.  Amen.


Quote of the Day

A Streetcar Named Marge7

“Live from beautiful Laughlin, Nevada, it’s the Miss American Girl pageant!  Brought to you by Meryl Streep’s Versatility, smell like Streep, for cheap!” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day

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“Mrs. Simpson, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but we’re the only daycare center in town that’s not currently under investigation by the state.” – Ms. Sinclair

Happy 20th Anniversary to “A Streetcar Named Marge”!  Original airdate: 1 October 1992.


Quote of the Day

A Streetcar Named Marge5

“Perhaps we are all a little mad, we who don the cap and bells and tread beneath the presidium arch, but tonight you will all be transformed from dead eyed suburbanites into white hot grease fires of pure entertainment! . . . Except you, you’re not working out.  I’ll be playing your part.” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Drag.” – Otto

Happy birthday Jon Lovitz!


Longest Daycare Open Thread

A Streetcar Named Marge4

“Don’t like to nap, eh?  We have a place for babies like you: the box.” – Ms. Sinclair

On a single viewing, The Longest Daycare, which premiered this morning in theaters near and far with Ice Age 4, was very good.  I say on a single viewing because this has the feel of elder seasons way more than the movie did, and way way more than Zombie Simpsons does (including the animation), so I’m sure once it inevitably finds its way to home video most Simpsons fans will watch it at least a couple of times.  I’ve changed my opinion on a few episodes as we’ve done Crazy Noises, so I don’t want to say that I’m going to love it forever, but on first impression, it impressed.

Consider this an open thread.  Jebus willing I’ll have a longer post up on Monday.

WARNING: Comments is a spoiler friendly zone.  By reading this with your inner monologue, you have waved any right to bitch about spoilers in perpetuity throughout the universe.

P.S. Whoever replied to the QotD on Twitter with the “buy your rock” line, I tried to retweet that but got an error and now I can’t see it.  If it got eaten by Twitter or if you took it down, consider it retweeted should it show up in my feed.

[Update (5:49pm Eastern): Here’s the link to the new site’s review of Ice Age 4.]


Quote of the Day

A Streetcar Named Marge3

“Tonight, my reign as Miss American Girl comes to an end.  And I’d like to apologize one last time for my unfortunate remarks at the United Nations.” – Debra Jo Smallwood


Quote of the Day

Peanut Butter Brownies

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user VirtualErn.

“I made some peanut butter brownies for everyone.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, would anyone else like a bite of banality?” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“I would.” – Chief Wiggum


Homer’s Enemy: Widely Acknowledge Turning Point

Homer's Enemy5

“Would you like to see my Grammy award?” – Homer Simpson

Last summer, when Dave, Mad Jon and I were going through Season 8, we deliberately held “Homer’s Enemy” until the end.  It was a turning point in the series, when Homer started to realize how awesome he was.  By coincidence, I recently came across two different takes in the same vein.

The first is an A.V. Club review of Futurama’s return.  It contains a long digression about Frank Grimes:

To put it another way: I love The Simpsons, like any reasonable person should, and I can’t stand what the show has become. I blame Frank Grimes. Season 8 is the last full season I own, and while I’ve seen later episodes, and enjoyed many of them (and yeah, I liked the movie), "Homer’s Enemy" is where I mark the beginning of the end. Not because it’s a terrible episode, but because it fundamentally and permanently undermines the series’ core.

It goes on to talk about how in the long run the show couldn’t support something that “dark”.  Writer Sam Downing replied (Handlen is the one who wrote the A.V. piece):

I disagree (though I do agree with Handlen’s other point, that the episode is “a clever piece of meta-commentary on certain basic elements that have been with the show since the beginning”), because The Simpsons has always had dark elements, particularly concerning Homer’s behaviour – consider ‘A Streetcar Named Marge’, in which he flat-out tells Marge he doesn’t care about her interests, or ‘Lisa’s Substitute’, where he says pretty much the same thing to his eight-year-old daughter. Both stories are wrapped up tidily, though in neither does Homer really earn his redemption (I remember being shocked by his selfishness in ‘Streetcar’ even as a small child)1.

Note that both these episodes are from early on in The Simpsons‘ run (seasons four and two, respectively); Homer was a much darker, more selfish character before he morphed into the loveable idiot we’re familar with. ‘Homer’s Enemy’ really just combines those two sides of his character  in a single episode.

I basically agree with the first paragraph here, and disagree with the second.  Homer was always an extremely bad father (“Homer, I couldn’t help overhear you warp Bart’s mind.”/”And?”, “Here’s your turtle, alive and well.”, etcetera), but the show made it funny.

One of the big reasons such a selfish and destructive person could be so funny and so likable was that, with the occasional exception for Bart or Flanders, Homer was never malicious.  Homer’s life is one defeat after another, punctuated by a few, brief moments of happiness, almost all of which involve either Marge or Lisa.  He can’t be malicious because if there’s one thing life has taught him, it’s that he’s not going to get away with anything.

Time was, the horrible things Homer did were unintentional.  Consider “Colonel Homer”, Homer simply can’t conceive that Lurleen is trying to seduce him; cheating on Marge hasn’t even occurred to him.  (“Oh, that’s hot.  There isn’t a man alive who wouldn’t get turned on by that . . . well, goodbye.”)  When she makes it explicit, he stops after one chaste little kiss because he remembers that every aspect of his romantic life except for Marge has been a complete and humiliating failure.  (He can’t even get his dollar back at the kissing booth.)  Or “The War of the Simpsons”, Homer’s battle against General Sherman is accidental; he left his fishing gear in the cabin because he was trying to be a good husband and do what Marge asked him to do.  Or “Homer Badman”, when his perversion isn’t a lust for grad student booty, but a lust for candy.

In Season 5, when Homer does think about cheating on Marge, he only considers it after everyone from his guardian angel, to teevee, to his dessert has basically told him to.  Homer is a decent guy who gets into trouble not because he’s some zany character, but because he makes a lot of poor decisions on account of he’s just not that bright.  He’s selfish, yes, but never knowingly so.  As soon as he gets called on his selfishness, he backs off because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, especially Marge.

We can see this perfectly in the exchange Downing refers to from “A Streetcar Named Marge”:

Marge: Why can’t you be a little more supportive?
Homer: Because I don’t care, okay?  I can’t fake an interest in this, and I’m an expert at faking an interest in your kooky projects.
Marge: What kooky projects?
Homer: You know, the painting class, the first aid course, the whole Lamaze thing.
Marge: Why didn’t you tell me you felt this way?
Homer: You know I would never do anything to hurt your feelings.

Homer’s not being mean intentionally, if he knew that what he was doing was hurting Marge he never would have done it.  At the end, Marge forgives him for all that because he genuinely appreciated her performance in the play, even if he’s not good at expressing it.  The close is them laughing about his similarity to Stanley.

In “Lisa’s Substitute”, Homer knows he’s an inadequate father, he just doesn’t know what he can do about it.  (“She looks around and sees everybody else’s dad with a good education, youthful looks, and a clean credit record, and thinks ‘Why me?’”.)  His argument with Lisa is resolved not because he becomes a better father, but because he’s able to explain his inadequacies to her.  (“You’ll have lots of special people in your life, Lisa.  There’s probably some place where they all get together and the food is real good and guys like me are serving drinks.”)  The very last thing Homer thinks is that he’s better than anyone else.

Which brings us back to Frank Grimes and “Homer’s Enemy”.  Grimes is unwilling to forgive Homer the same way everyone else does, and it drives him mad.  It works extremely well in that one episode, but it allows Homer to be aware of how great his life is, and it’s all downhill from there.  In the very next season, Homer’s telling Lisa that taking crazy risks is a fundamental part of his life.  Shortly after that he’s unselfconsciously hanging out with movie stars, escaping from jail at the Super Bowl, and gleefully taking up grifting.

When Frank Grimes declares that he’s Homer Simpson and Homer’s response is to say “You wish”, something very fundamental is broken.  Homer isn’t supposed to like his life.  In “Bart Gets Famous” Homer despairingly wails “It just gets worse and worse!” after his horoscope says “Today will be a day like every other day”.  In “Dancin’ Homer”, Homer openly admits that he’s just a loser sitting in a bar.  In “Homer Defined”, Homer cracks under the pressure of people thinking highly of him because he knows he doesn’t deserve his success.

Grimes’ death at the end of “Homer’s Enemy” gives things a dark tint before the credits roll, but the fundamental problem isn’t the death, it’s Homer bragging about his life.  The show has never been the same.


Quote of the Day

“Are there any jive-talking robots in this play?” – Bart Simpson

“I don’t think so.” – Marge Simpson

“Bart, don’t ask stupid questions. Is there any frontal nudity?” – Homer Simpson

“No Homer.” – Marge Simpson


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