Posts Tagged ‘Bart’s Girlfriend


Quote of the Day

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“Jessica, I think this is too steep.” – Bart Simpson
“Bart, you can’t trust your perception at this altitude.” – Jessica Lovejoy


Quote of the Day

“Everyone turn around and look at this!” – Helen Lovejoy

“What is it? A Unitarian?” – Grampa Simpson


Synergy Doesn’t Learn From Its Mistakes


Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user iotae.

“You gotta give her up.” – Lisa Simpson
“No, no, wait, hear my plan: put up with her for seven more years.  Then we’ll get married, once the first baby comes along she’s bound to settle down and start treating me right.  After all, I deserve it.” – Bart Simpson

This week’s edition of IGN’s “corporate fanboy” writing was a mixed bag of praise and criticism.  (It still scored a 7.3, of course.)  The most direct criticism is of Sacha Baron Cohen and the way this episode didn’t live up to IGN’s expectations.  Apparently, every time a comedian of some recent popularity is announced as a guest voice, IGN pees itself in anticipation: Seth Rogen is a genius!  This is going to be a GREAT episode!  Ricky Gervais made The Office!  His episode is gonna be hilarious!  And yet every time this happens, Zombie Simpsons drops the ball and IGN is left disappointed.  (And never mind that they gave Rogen’s episode an 8.6 when it came out, some time for reflection has apparently taken the shine off of it.)  The natural response to repeated disappointment is to stop getting your hopes up, but when the one who’s constantly disappointing you is the same one who’s signing your paychecks that may not be an option. 

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy.

March 29, 2010 – I think Sacha Baron Cohen is a pretty funny guy. When I heard he’d be doing a guest voice on The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons, I was excited indifferent. I thought that would be a fantastic match he’d be wasted just like every other celebrity on the show in the last decade or so. Of course, I thought the same thing when I heard Ricky Gervais was going to guest star. And Jack Black. And Seth Rogen. Unfortunately Exactly as I expected, none of those episodes lived up to what I thought the combination of guest actor and series would be were any good. None of those episodes were outright failures, but the The name recognition had raised my expectations nothing to do with the crappiness of the episode. The same goes for "Greatest Story Ever D’ohed." My preconceived notions were let down by what was still a fairly decent episode were confirmed, guest stars are irrelevant, this show just sucks.

The opening act was my favorite the least stupid segment of this half hour. Looking back, I think this was due to the fact that it didn’t involve exotic locales and swanky guest stars, though, it still sucked. It was just your standard (and funny) Jerkass Homer-annoys-Ned neighborly in stupid, unfunny ways affair. While Ned was trying to entertain his bible study group, Homer and the kids were within view enjoying a slip-and-slide in their backyard. It’s these bits that I continue to enjoy because they are were once at the heart of what The Simpsons is was: a family sitcom. Now, they’re just further proof that the show has run out of ideas, So the bits with Homer at home frustrating his do-good neighbor will always be enjoyable, so long as the even these jokes can’t remain funny. And the bits were quite enjoyable in "Greatest Story."

The best last moment in the opening came after Ned had decided to make an effort a plot conceit to save Homer and bring him some redemption in the eyes of his savior. Ned invited the suddenly grass-skirt-wearing Homer and his family to join him on a trip to The Holy Land for some reason. The exaggerated response was classic Homer could’ve been funny: "Hmm, let me think. Take my family to a war zone, on a bus filled with religious lame-o’s, in a country with no pork, in a desert with no casinos. Ooh, where do I sign up?!" Marge’s entry to the scene was also quite funny nearly pointless: "Homer, I can hear you sarcasm from inside the house. And the dishwasher is on." After committing to the trip despite it being expensive and a terrible idea, the act ended after pointlessly increased groaning from Jerkass Homer, with Lisa saying of her father my favorite line from the episode: "The man hates pants."

The middle of the episode didn’t entirely do it for me was where this descended from ordinary mediocrity. It’s become fairly standard to have at least one episode per season take the Simpson clan to some far off land, whether it is Australia, Brazil, London or Africa. [Ed Note: All of those episodes are at least six years old, even IGN can’t be bothered to remember much of Zombie Simpsons.]  These episodes can be hit or miss, with installments from later seasons being more often on the miss side. "Greatest Story" had a few good gags while did its missing in Israel, but and nothing stunningly hilarious funny happened. For a time, Anything that could be called storytelling was forgotten to fit in as many funny and not-so-funny dull references to where they were as they could.

I was underwhelmed with Sacha Baron Cohen’s voice work as the groups tour guide. He was like a sped up Borat and was actually a bit difficult to understand at times. The few jokes that did get through were only okay hyperactive and less than clever, like the repetitive "Shut your face." Also standing out as ineffective was Bart’s fight with the tour guide’s daughter, played by singer Yael Naim. Instead of being humorous, it seemed to just be an excuse to include the Israeli combat style of Krav Maga mention things that aren’t funny and have no relevance. Things got a bit funnier even duller once Homer found himself lost in the desert for some reason and had a vision of VeggieTales characters telling him he was the chosen one. Homer’s final speech to try and unite all the faiths made no sense, though who’s going to listen to Homer Simpson? it did push the episode over the finish line.

It’s difficult easy to keep your expectations in check when you hear about an upcoming guest star, and that likely affected my perception of this episode they’re all the same. But that it is what it is – Zombie Simpsons. Perhaps subsequent viewings, if I felt like torturing myself, will would let me find me enjoying this more more specific ways this one sucked, but for now, "Greatest Story Ever D’ohed" was just this side of good par for the course for boring travel episodes with forgettable guest appearances.


Quote of the Day

“Do you have ‘Go, Dog, Go’?” – Ralph Wiggum
(scoffs) “That’s in juvenile.  This is young adult.” – Boy in Library

“Well-read and just a little wild.  Oh, if only someone could tame him.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

“I can’t believe it, Bart. I’d always thought Jessica was so sweet!” – Lisa Simpson

“She’s like a Milk Dud, Lis: Sweet on the outside, poison on the inside.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day


“Gah!  Save me from the wee turtles!  They were too quick for me!” – Groundskeeper Willie


Crazy Noises: Marge Be Not Proud

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“I don’t think we should hang out together anymore.  You’re turning me into a criminal when all I want to be is a petty thug.” – Bart Simpson

As part of our efforts to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re applying our “Crazy Noises” series to “Marge Be Not Proud”, the “One Bad Episode” our Manifesto has in Season 7.  Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on on “Lollapalooza”).

“Marge Be Not Proud” is the black sheep of Season 7.  It’s so utterly out of place, so completely incongruous with those around it that I’ve always kinda wondered how it was even produced.  Was a bad batch of donuts delivered to the studio that day?  Was half the writers room getting divorced that week?  Did someone spike the water supply?  We’ll never know.  All we can do is watch the rest of Season 7 and avoid this one like the plague. 

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s time we scale the unscalable cliff and talk about that most depressing of all episodes: Marge Be Not Proud.

Mad Jon: If there were patron saints of unholy reasons to start a blog this would be in the running.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much.

Dave: You mean the episode in which absolutely nothing happens but the strings of sadness tell us we need to feel shit?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, except it was the first time ever and this episode felt like getting hit by a train.

  I remember being embarrassed that it was even happening it was so bad.

Mad Jon: I remember being very confused when it happened

Dave: My memory is apparently very imprecise. But, I don’t like the episode. At all.

Mad Jon: I felt like Millhouse when he saw the Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie show. “When are they gonna get to the Fireworks Factory!!??!”

Charlie Sweatpants: There really is surprisingly little redeeming value in it, I mean, it’s Season fucking Seven.

  It should be good.

They cut off the Troy McClure video, there are multiple horribly long “suspense” sequences, the morality play on display would be considered “too much” by the people who used to do those After School Specials.

It was just bizarre from start to finish.

Far and away the worst part though is when Bart admits to Marge “I did it.” This is a kid who became famous for saying that he didn’t do it.

Mad Jon: And seriously, theft? Bart? No. He’s admittedly more of a petty vandal.

Charlie Sweatpants: It was played in the most television-y way possible to heighten the drama.

Mad Jon: It really was. Especially when they were going to get the picture taken.

  That was brutal.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh indeed. There’s like half a minute there where literally nothing funny is even being tried, it’s just “tension” as to whether or not the security guard is going to see Bart.

Mad Jon: They could at least have had someone famous voice the guard. Preferably a Brooks Family member.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s especially painful coming just two episodes after Sideshow Bob decrying an ending “so formulaic it could’ve spewed from the Powerbook of the laziest Hollywood hack!”

Mad Jon: Indeed.

Dave: Yep.

Mad Jon: Now I’m gonna haul ass to Lollapalooza!

Charlie Sweatpants: Actually I didn’t mind the guest voice so much, he was the old guy in Reservoir Dogs, so I’ve always kinda had a soft spot for him.

Mad Jon: Lawrence Tierney?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah.

Mad Jon: Huh I didn’t know you were into old dudes.

Charlie Sweatpants: “In” is rather vague concept there, isn’t it?

But that’s neither here nor there, nor does it have any bearing on the unbelievably weak structure of this episode, it’s molasses-like speed or its terribly cliched plot.

Mad Jon: No it really doesn’t

If I remember correctly, not only did Bart’s present have a receipt stapled to it, didn’t it also say “Paid” on the receipt?

Dave: That’s correct.

Mad Jon: Isn’t that what a receipt says just by existing?

Dave: Also correct.

  It’s fun to be redundant.

  In the grand tradition of sitcom handholding, of course.

Mad Jon: Just thought I would throw that out there, I’m not feeling as creatively hateful as Pants seems tonight.

  So obvious it is!

Charlie Sweatpants: But that isn’t even the worst part of the whole “got his picture taken thing”. Why the hell is Bart trying to hide it from Marge when she sees it? They drag that scene out interminably and then – surprise – he did right by his mom.

Mad Jon: Yeah that don’t make no muthafuckin’ sense.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode already has like five long ass sequences like that, did they really need another one?

  Guh, I loathe this episode and whenever I do go back and watch it all it does is piss me off again.

Mad Jon: Yeah, it makes me feel weird, like I stole something myself. I don’t like feeling that way unless I actually stole something.

Dave: Easy solution – delete it and never think about it again.

Charlie Sweatpants: If only that were possible.

Mad Jon: Nah, We learned so much from the pain.

We’ve taken that anger, balled it up inside, and finally, about 12 years after this crapfest leaked out of the broken pipe that was this episode, used it to start a blog.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t say I learned much. It’s like watching the Zapruder Film.


Alliteration and foreshadowing


Another Wednesday, another sight gag. Other evil women with names starting in “J” not mentioned on the sign: Jessica Lovejoy.


Friday Link Dump – Scotland and Nitpicking Edition

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“Now the kilt was only for day to day wear.  In battle, we donned a full length ball gown covered in sequins.  The idea was to blind your opponent with luxury.” – Groundskeeper Willie

There’s one example of great usage this week and then several that need help (though I probably over did it).  Also there’s a history of homosexual characters on television, video game legalese, a new non-Simpsons blog with a Simpsons title and two posts about Scotland.  

Out an On Air – A history of gay and lesbian portrayals on television that mentions The Simpsons but doesn’t mention Smithers.  Sure Smithers is Narnia-deep in the closet, but as early as Season 2 (1990-1991) it’s pretty clear that he’s gay.  I’ve always thought the show doesn’t get enough credit for that.  As hard as it can be to remember now, back then even an openly closeted character like Smithers was forbidden on US television.  

French tops in OECD for eating and sleeping – The Vancouver Sun gets a gold star for excellent usage, the quote is correct and it’s very apt.  

We’re a cartoon in the making – A newspaper columnist in Windsor, ON uses copious Simpsons references to explain his screwed up town.  Nice. 

LGJ: A case of tortious interference – Tortious interference is when you get someone else to renege on a contract they have with a third party, it’s explained here with a fictional Lisa Simpson video game, but why did they make the fake box for the PS2?  

Study: DRM turns normal people into pirates out of necessity – Have you illegally copied things?  Probably.  I’ve copied all my Simpsons DVDs to my computer.  Was that illegal?  Probably.  Do I give a shit?  Hell no.

Best Mother/Daughter Duos On TV – Lisa and Marge make the cut.  I have no basis for comparison here because I think I’ve seen a combined 37 seconds of the other four shows mentioned, “Gossip Girl”, “Desperate Housewives” “Brothers & Sisters”, and “Medium”. 

The Art of Opening Credits – I too liked the opening of The Simpsons Movie, particularly the Itchy & Scratchy part.  

Connecticut Film Festival coming to Danbury – Live in or near Danbury Connecticut?  Want to see Mike Reiss speak?  

Cheney vs. Lisa Simpson – A Daily Kos diarist uses Lisa’s famous tiger repelling rock to make fun of Dick Cheney.  No gold star for usage, however, as the copied transcript is incorrect in a couple of small ways.  I searched Google for it and it looks like this one got entered incorrectly years ago and has been copied wrong ever since.  Even SNPP has it wrong, which doesn’t happen very often.  For the record, here is the correct exchange between Lisa and Homer:

Homer:  Ahh, not a bear in sight, the Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.

Lisa:  That’s specious reasoning, Dad.

Homer:  Thank you, honey.

Lisa:  By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Homer:  Oh, how does it work?

Lisa:  It doesn’t work.  

Homer:  Uh-huh.

Lisa:  It’s just a stupid rock.

Homer:  Uh-huh.

Lisa:  But I don’t see any tigers around here, do you?

Homer:  Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Yeah, we’re sticklers for quote accuracy around here.  So what?

Happy Memorial Day. Keep it Classy, Portland – Now this quote is really badly mangled:

“Old newspapers!? Coat-hangers?! Expired medicine! Quick you fool, get them in the house!”

Once again, here’s the correct version:

Homer:  Hello, what’s this?  Wire hangers.  Expired medicine.  Old newspapers!


Homer:  Okay Homer, stay calm.  Just quietly get this stuff inside your house.

Okay, I’m done needlessly correcting people on the internet for the week.  Well, maybe one more . . .

PS3 Downloadable Game “Rag Doll Kung Fu” Is Free, Still Not Such A Great Deal – Decent usage from Consumerist over a PS3 downloadable game.  The sentences are reversed but the words are correct (albeit with an odd start point).  Close enough.  

Homer Simpson is right! We must let boys run riot (They’ll never learn any other way)  – I suppose I have to link this, but it’s really long and really vapid.  

Why “Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?” – It’s a guy from Buffalo starting a new blog and since it’s got a Simpsons title and a Simpsons image at the top it gets linked here.  

Jay’s Flordia Trip – I didn’t listen to this whole thing, but the Simpsons stuff starts around 26:45 and goes for about five minutes.  Their Simpsons knowledge is . . . uneven.  It’s hard to tell who’s who, but how anyone who says they love Simpsons could think “Marge vs the Monorail” was Season 10 is beyond me.  To be fair, someone else points out that that doesn’t make sense and they agree that the show’s gone downhill.  

Lisa Simpson aids Tibetan orphans – A signed and framed cardboard cutout of Lisa is being sold at auction with the proceeds going to a Scottish charity that helps Tibetan kids.  Hey, speaking of Scotland . . . 

Groundskeeper Willie in centre of Scottish feud – Two different Scottish cities are laying claim to the most brutal Scottish stereotype ever.  This is the kind of pointless civic rivalry I think we can all enjoy.  

Canceled! (part two) – And finally, we’ll once again give the last word to another blogger who agrees with us:

I can’t remember the last new Simpsons episode that I watched.  I think it started with Bart getting in trouble at school, then the family went to the demolition derby and somehow Homer ended up driving a car in the derby, then the whole family somehow ended up in India, and then Moe’s Tavern burned down.  You get the point.  This show has devolved into a series of unrelated situations jammed together and called an “episode.”  On a good day a couple of jokes still ring true and remind you of the greatness of what was — almost like watching Willie Mays turn on a pitch in his last days with the Mets.  But, make no mistake, it is time for The Simpsons to gracefully exit stage right.

He doesn’t think it will happen; I remain optimistic that 2011 could see it end.


Synergy Admits Past Relationships


“Must . . . fight . . . Satan, make it . . . up to him . . . later.” – Bart Simpson

When even your own corporate internet shill has to mention no fewer than five previous episodes in reviewing your latest installment, it might be time to re-evaluate things.  And he went easy, I added a sixth amongst my usual corrections for accuracy and honesty.


April 20, 2009 – A lot of the basic ideas found in “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly” have been mined before done better in previous episodes of The Simpsons. This can happen with a show that’s been on the air this long about twice as long as it should have been. Heck, it can happen to programs that have been on the air for half that time that’s about when it started repeating itself in the first place. And while we may have seen rifts develop between Bart and Milhouse before, and even seen one of the other Simpson kids on mind-altering drugs, “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly” didn’t recycle the same old jokes, so there were still some fresh laughs to be had which is too bad because that would have been an improvement.

The Bart/Milhouse storyline was plotted very well got bogged down as soon as Milhouse started showing up and saying creepy things over and over again. The pair pranked Springfield Elementary by unscrewing every screw, an idea whose physical impossibility serves only to highlight its lack of imagination. After Milhouse was caught, Principal Skinner, acting for some reason as though he has no idea that Milhouse is friends with Bart, threatened to suspend him if he didn’t give up the name of his accomplice. Ever the true friend In order to advance the plot, Milhouse took the fall and Bart promised to visit him at home every day. Of course, when Bart fell for fifth grade girl Jenny, in the fastest grade school courtship ever, Milhouse was forgotten.

We’ve seen the basics of this plot in episodes like “The Bart Wants What It Wants,” where both Bart and Milhouse dated Rainier Wolfcastle’s daughter Greta, too bad it stunk then and it stinks now. We’ve also seen things come between the pair other than people, like in “Three Men and a Comic Book” (comic book) and “Radioactive Man” (movie role), of course those comparisons are unfair because those stories made sense and were, you know, funny. This time, it is once again a woman… well, a girl., well really it was a women voicing a girl, but why split hairs? Do-gooder Jenny was voiced by Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Get Smart) and the actress did a fine job read her lines competently even though none of them required even a shred of acting, timing or delivery. There was nothing extreme remotely funny in the part that she was called upon to perform, so in essence Jenny could have been performed by anybody.

While Bart was wooing Jenny, he instantly became a kinder person freakishly romantically confident 10-year old. Again, tThis was similar but importantly different from something we’ve seen before in “Bart’s Girlfriend,” where he tried pretended to be a good person for Reverend Lovejoy’s daughter, only to drop the charade when he couldn’t take it any more and find found out she liked bad boys. In Sunday night’s episode, Bart went good and stayed good for Jenny, which makes less sense and is a hell of a lot less funny. Things only went south degenerated completely when Milhouse confronted Bart about breaking his promise to visit him every day. This led to Milhouse making every effort repeatedly threatening to show Jenny the real Bart Simpson, which took up a lot more screen time than having him only do it once would have.

Meanwhile, thrown into the midst of this episode, Lisa was again having a breakdown over her perceived vision of our devastating future. Her therapist called it “environment related despair” and prescribed her “Ignorital Repressitol.” This “B” story was a lot like Bart’s time on “Focusyn,” only in a smaller dosage without even its shreds of cleverness. But even with the familiarity, hHaving Lisa’s depressing images covered with smiley faces was quite entertaining, was almost amusing the first time and tedious and repetitive the other forty seven. One of the best moments least plausible came when Maggie wielded a fan in front of Lisa and then in front of a drugged out Santa’s Little Helper for some reason.

Such was the case with the rest of the episode. There was a lot that seemed (and was) familiar implausible and repetitive, but it didn’t take away from the fun in “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly.”, as there was none to begin with. Throughout the episode, there were some hilarious bits juxtaposing straining horribly to relate kid life with adult relationships. The best most out of character was when Nelson was giving Bart advice on flirting with Jenny, which included pulling sticks of gum from his wallet (to stick in her hair) as if they were condoms: “I always come prepared. Take two. You might get lucky.” Ralph‘s had a hilarious take on what Springfield would be like in 50 years: “The vacuum cleaner will be quiet and not scary.” was maybe the only thing that merited a chuckle. And, really, Many times Milhouse gets got angry it’s funny, and no matter the cause situation it just seemed forced. This episode will never be considered a classic watchable by anyone, but it was still a fun half hour. To me, it felt like “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly” was using the classic episodes as an inspiration, when and not simply ripping them off would have been better.


Just Another Telling Example

barts-girlfriend11“I hate the sea, and everything in it.” – Captain McAllister

Two weeks after Moe acted way out of character to land a woman, we get the same thing from Bart.  He displayed an hitherto unknown amount of confidence and skill at flirting with a girl who, despite the fact that she also attends Springfield Elementary, he has never seen before.  The obvious comparison here is “Bart’s Girlfriend” from Season 6 and there is a specific aspect I’d like to point out.  

Twice last night, Bart looked at “Jenny” and saw her outlined in a halo of light complete with background music.  This is a pretty standard TV trope for “instant love”.  Last night they just played it straight: light + music = isn’t she perfect.  Now, recall the beginning of “Bart’s Girlfriend”, when Jessica Lovejoy makes her entrance on the pulpit, she too is wreathed in light.  Of course, we’re quickly shown the source of the light: Captain McAllister’s deliberately incompetent lighthouse policies.  

The difference is that Simpsons mocks the cliche; Zombie Simpsons just straight ahead uses it – twice.  

We’ll set the over/under on the ratings at 6.4 million viewers.

Update: The numbers are in and the over has it, ever so slightly, at 6.5 million viewers.  


Getting Out of Hand

“I’m in television now.  It’s my job to be repetitive.  My job.  My job.  Repetitiveness is my job.” – Bart Simpson
Simpsons Channel has a post up with the promo image for April 19th’s Zombie Simpsons, titled “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly”.  Here’s the plot description:

To win the heart of Jenny (guest voice Anne Hathaway) a sweet 5th grade girl, Bart becomes a good samaritan and gives up his prank-pulling days

Given the presence of the perfectly cromulent word “drugly” in the title I’m gonna guess that this girl might have a lesson or two to teach Bart about growing up.  It’s always creepy and rage inducing when Zombie Simpsons goes on one of its weird “we’re moralizing/but no we’re really mocking moralizing/um yeah, we’re actually moralizing” skids.  That was about half the run-time of this season’s feculent “Mypods and Boomsticks” episode and it always sucks.
Well, at least we found out who Anne Hathaway is voicing on the Simpsons.  Apparently it’s going to be Bart’s love interest, not Krusty’s.  The earlier leaked plot was to have her testify in court when . . . ugh . . . Krusty was falsely accused of a crime.  Now it seems she’s voicing a goody-two-shoes that . . . ugh . . . Bart straightens up and flies right in order to impress.  I wouldn’t rule out the Krusty-accused plot also being included; there’s no real limit to the amount of stupidity Zombie Simpsons can jam into a single meandering story.  Of course, if that little gem of a Krusty plot isn’t in there on April 19th, we could always see it later.
On the plus side, the endless repetition of earlier plots may finally be having an effect.  There are some grumbly comments on that Simpsons Channel post from people who otherwise still think it’s good.

Quote of the Day

“Ralph, Jesus did not have wheels.” – Sunday School Teacher


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