Posts Tagged ‘Das Bus


Quote of the Day

“I’m glad we’re stranded. It’ll be just like the Swiss Family Robinson, only with more cursing. We’re gonna live like kings! Damn hell ass kings!” – Bart Simpson

Happy birthday Matt Groening! 


Quote of the Day

“Can’t make it in today, Mr. Smithers. I have smallpox. . . . Well, it wasn’t wiped out in my house.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“You don’t look so rich.” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t let the haircut fool you, I’m exceedingly wealthy.” – Bill Gates

Happy birthday Matt Groening! 


Quote of the Day

“Uh, let’s see. The exports of Libya are numerous in amount. One thing they export is corn, or, as the Indians call it, maize. Another famous Indian was Crazy Horse. In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrasts. Thank you.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Young man, you need to do some serious boning!” – Principal Skinner

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Das Bus”! Original airdate 15 Feb 1998. (Oh, and happy birthday to some guy name Groening.)


Quote of the Day

“Go forth, Noah! And remember, the key to salvation is-” – God
“You’ve seen the movie, now meet a real life Noah, only this Noah has been accused of killing two of every animal!” – Kent Brockman


Quote of the Day

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“…And Bingo was his name-o!” – Annoying Children
“Man, I don’t know why I bought this stupid tape.” – Otto


Reading Digest: Link Patrol Blows It

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“Food patrol, we’re all starved! Let’s see what you’ve got. That’s it? What happened to all the lobsters, mangoes, and chewy chewy cocoa beans?” – Bart Simpson

It’s a seriously short Reading Digest this week, which means either not much is going on or my link finding skills have atrophied. We do have some more of those FXX promo things and a pretty good review of “Raging Abe Simpson”, so it’s not like there’s nothing. Also, Dave yelled at me for not linking more TV stuff here, so if any of you want to see me praise something with the same fervor I trash Zombie Simpsons, I am a hopeless fan of Peaky Blinders.

First up, this is the second time someone has sent me this on Twitter, so I should probably put it here as well:


But does it have any Vitamin R? On to the links:

How Do You Redesign The Simpsons? – More of those excellently weird FXX bumpers.

Pop-Culture Influences Explode in the Gonzo Bartkira: Nuclear Edition Review – You can buy it now:

The book’s reinterpretations of the original manga toe the line between playful self-reference and an anarchic sense of gallows humor. Marigold Bartlett exemplifies this contrast, featuring a mass exodus of citizens fleeing the ruins of Neo-Springfield, frenzied by the psychic backlash of Ralph Wiggum’s (in the role of Akira) grief. The survivors clamor for salvation and refuge outside the doors of Lisa Simpson’s Buddhist temple compound, an inspired mash-up of Lady Kiyoko’s monastery from the original manga and Reverend Lovejoy’s First Church of Springfield. Lisa’s fatalistic catch phrase of “Embrace Nothingness” (from the 1991 Simpsons arcade game) stretches across the church’s announcement board, bolstering the scene’s existential gravitas to such madness and dread that it rivals the grim severity of Otomo’s original.

Kate Leth Illustrates Tattoo Designs Based On ‘Monster Factory’ – No, my son is also named Borth:

Perhaps the most popular episode in terms of memes and references is their episode dedicated to the MMORPG Black Desert Online, where they do everything they can to create Bart Simpson. As you can see in Kate’s design below, you almost cannot tell the difference between Bart Simpson and Borth Sampson, and we hope Kate doesn’t get sued by any FOX lawyers who can’t see the subtle differences.

Meet the penguin chicks named after characters in The Simpsons – Baby penguins. (via our old friends Denise and Karma)

60 Second Simpsons Review – Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson… – Reader “Toadat D’oh-Town” sends in this YouTube review:

The Simpsons’ most heartbreaking moments – on the 25th anniversary of ‘Lisa’s Substitute’ – This is a good list with plenty of YouTube, and you’ll be unsurprised to note that nothing comes from Zombie Simpsons.


Quote of the Day

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“Is that my good butter?” – Marge Simpson
“Can’t discuss that now, Marge, I have to write another delicious memo.  Mmm, memo.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Okay, kids, Otto’s in charge!  Remember, Otto, we’re trusting you with our greatest natural resource, the school bus.” – Principal Skinner


REMINDER: Even In The Early 1990s ‘The Internet’ Didn’t Hate On The Simpsons

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“Go apple!” – Bart Simpson
“Go orange!” – Nelson Muntz
“Go banana!” – Ralph Wiggum

This was originally going to be part of today’s Reading Digest, but this silly Warming Glow clickbait is making the rounds and needs a more thorough rebuttal:

REMINDER: The Internet Hated On ‘The Simpsons’ During The Golden Era

Let’s get started, shall we?:

As it’s been noted around these parts, FXX will be airing all episodes of The Simpsons over 12 days in August along with an all encompassing website. As with anything regarding The Simpsons on the internet, there are also plenty of comments about it being nowhere near as good as it used to be (“So only three days of good episodes?,” “It’s all downhill after season x.” etc.). It made me wonder what the internet thought of the classic episodes when they first aired. Well thanks to The Simpsons Archive, we can observe just that, via the Usenet reviews in their episode capsules.

So far, so good.  But this particular Spruce Caboose is about to jump the tracks:

The results were as expected: while there was plenty of praise to go around, many episodes highly regarded today were drawing as much ire as the more recent ones.

No, they weren’t.  In fact, this premise is so thin that it falls apart right here in this single sentence.  Not only do they have to note the praise first, but to say these were drawing “as much ire” is just transparently false.

Don’t take my word for it, the author, “Chet Manly” (<- great screen name), has some examples:

Here are some criticisms starting in season four:

“Kamp Krusty”

Larry Schwimmer {las}: Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
it was often predictable and drawn out.

Chris Baird {cjb}: Rushed. In the past I’ve attributed poor storylines to
the unsuccess of a show, but the voice direction for the first part of
this episode (including that from the usually splendid Ms. Smith) was
that abysmal, it should accept the responsibility for most of the jokes
falling flat. If this happens again, I’m buying a tin of red grease paint.

To be fair, and to my slight surprise, the SNPP capsule linked there is clearly incomplete and has only those two reviews.  Since usenet is no longer with us, the complete original may be gone forever, but Google can find some of it, and there’s plenty of praise:

I really liked the scenes with Mr. Black and the evil camp consellors.
In once scene, they toasted “Evil!”.  Later, during the revolt, they
were going to escape by hydrofoil!  In other words, they were acting
like James Bond villians …


A good show, but not great. You can’t have a *great*
: Simpsons episode when Monty Burns *and* Itchy & Scratchy
: are absent.
I quite agree!!


For some reason I liked Homer’s quote:
“Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. Don’t be the boy. D’oooh!”
And in classic Homer style
“If you want something you have to work for it,” he says to Bart
about getting good grades to go to kamp, then we see he has a
lottery ticket. Ha!
I also like the scenes of most of the family (except Marge, of course)
eating like animals. The sound effects are great.

Is every comment positive?  Of course not.  And these guys (and it does seem to be all guys) were hung up on the animation, since this was right around the time it switched from Klasky-Csupo to Film Roman and Akom to Anivision and Rough Draft.  (Oh, if only they knew the horrors of lifeless computer animation that awaited them!)

Moreover, and to reiterate my point from five(!) years ago, the people talking about the Simpsons on-line in 1992 were a very odd and unrepresentative bunch.  Just click that Google link above and you’ll see things like this:

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Campus Office for Information
Technology, or the Experimental Bulletin Board Service.

A ton of the posts are from university IT departments (I counted Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Temple, Boston, and Stanford among others), and plenty that aren’t are from computer companies (there’s even a “HaL Computer Systems”).  There’s nothing wrong with all that, of course, but you’re talking about a time when new episodes were watched by 15 million people, only a tiny slice of whom had the technical skills to get to this message board.

Finally, he’s very selective about what he quotes.  Here’s the full “Larry Schwimmer” review (Uproxx parts in bold):

Larry Schwimmer {las}:  I wondered if I would ever pan a show.  Well, I
    need wonder
    no longer.  Kamp Krusty had a few good gags and a lot of potential, but
    it was often predictable and drawn out.  Also, a lot of the animation
    was not up to par (a few scenes were quite well done, though -- like
    Lisa giving the letter).

        The couch sequence
        Goodbye scene with the parents
        "I no longer fear hell" - Lisa
        Krisis at Kamp Krusty
            - the play on TV news coverage
            - Lord of the Flies (including the skewered pig)
        Marge and Homer

        Mail give-out
        Martin and his imitation gruel
        TV Video voice-over

        This is already a tad on the analytical...  If you loved this
        show, great.  That makes one of us. :(

This is deliberately misleading editing, at best.  And while I’m not saying that Schwimmer liked it, he had an awful lot of positive things to say about it.  That’s hardly comparable to “as much ire as the more recent ones”, about which people here and elsewhere frequently have nothing good to say.

Moving on, the next episode Uproxx quotes is “Itchy and Scratchy Land”:

By the time season six rolls around, there are much stronger critiques, where even the compliments are backhanded.

Again, the parts they decided to include are in bold:

Bailey Irwin: This makes my Top 5 worst list of all time, easily.  The
    racing form in the 1st 60 seconds of the show was the only thing
    that made me laugh out loud.  After that, it was nothing but about
    10 jillion stupid "Jurassic Park" jokes.  Killer robots?  Puh-LEEZE.

Scott Oak: I thought the beginning was good, but those silly robots
    kinda killed it for me.

Rod Arz: I liked it a lot.  Agreed that the robots were a bit on the
    lame side, but not as bad as the James Wood sub plot in Homer and
    Apu.  We still haven't seen Mr. Burns yet!  I wanna see him soon.

Shawn Metcalf: The first episode this season that I found myself
    laughing out loud at.  A marked improvement.

J. D. Baldwin: Well, that *was* more like it.  Now, what was that I was
    just saying about the long dry spell just prior to "Flaming Moe's"?

Matt Snyder: That show just didn't cut it.  The best episodes are plot
    driven, this was just one long excuse to make fun of Jurassic Park.
    I thought it was a big wasted opportunity.

Aaron Varhola: If this is any indication of how the sixth season will
    be, we're in for a treat.  After a dragging first act, the second
    and third acts were some of the best OFF I've seen; vicious shots at
    Disney, meta-humor about cartoon violence, and Bart as his
    mischievous self.  [...] A-.

Brian Fox: Not one of the best, not one of the worst either though...

Philip Hebbes: The show was great, I was laughing through the whole

John J. Wood: Finally...a *real* Simpsons episode [...].  The plot tied
    together well, and plenty of choice gags.  I watched this twice last
    night, and the second time was even funnier -- kudos on the
    blackboard and couch scenes, too.  Grade: A.

Carl Mueller: I'd have to say this WAS a pretty mediocre episode, but
    compared to what has been shown so far this season, it was a marked
    improvement.  Mainly it was the Disney jokes that got me, the last
    10 minutes (w/ the Robots and stuff) seemed to drag quite a bit.  C-

M. Coale: Was it just me or did "Itchy and Scratchy Land" overstep the
    bounds of parody and become what it was mocking?  The violence, IMO,
    was quite extreme and came very very close to crossing "the line" or
    possibly overstepped it?  It got to the point when it just stopped
    being funny.

Don Del Grande: A-minus - the only things that stood in the way of this
    episode getting a maximum rating were (a) the animation was weak at
    times, and (b) the ending was much too abrupt; it was as if there
    was 20 minutes of material written for a 21-minute show and they
    just tacked on something at the end.

Joel Recht: I thought the Disney barbs were great (recall the "Evil
    Gene" from The boy who knew to much.), the fantasia and Pinnochio
    spoofs were top notch.  I loved the detention center when Bart got
    arrested.  I give it an A.

Benjamin Dreyfus: One of the best episodes ever.  This episode contained
    all of the positive, but none of the negative aspects that were
    characteristic of 5th-season.  [...] In pure absurd-humor power, the
    Bort scene was second only to the rake scene.  This also proved that
    OFF could still be funny outside of Springfield.  Grade: A.

Matthew Kurth: This episode was a vast improvement over most of Season
    Five.  The "Jurassic Park" refs were well done, although the
    revelation that flashes disabled the berserk robots was poorly done
    with no atmosphere.  And finally - a decent ending! 8/10

Tony Hill: A very funny episode, IMHO.  The takeoffs on amusement parks
    were grandly amusing.  Once again we see OFF poking fun at Disney.
    It's no pleasant commentary on our society that a funland called
    "the violentest place on earth" is conceivable.  I give it an A.

Yours Truly: Excellent episode.  I'm in awe of the "Fantasia" parody...
    Elfman's music was spot on.  Loved the Disney and Jurassic park
    jokes, the writing was fast and furious, the violence was so
    prevalent but so blindly accepted that it was hilarious.  Grade: A.

Note that of the seven people who gave it letter grades, Uproxx included only the “C-“.  The other six were all “A”s.  Just as important, there are a lot of straight ahead compliments, not just backhanded ones.  There are more examples and I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Were there internet criticisms of The Simpsons during its heyday?  Yes.  Were those criticisms representative of the entire population of Simpsons fans?  No.  Were those criticisms even representative of just the tiny number of fans who were on-line?  Again and emphatically: no.

Comparing that narrow slice of a narrow slice to the widely held and statistically evident opinion that Zombie Simpsons sucks doesn’t even reach the level of comparing apples to oranges.  It’s a dropped banana.


Quote of the Day

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“Good luck, Ralphie!  If your nose starts bleeding, it means you’re picking it too much, or not enough.” – Chief Wiggum


Quote of the Day

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“Ugh, this high speed modem is intolerably slow.  Hey, what the, huh, the Internet King?  I wonder if he can provide faster nudity.” – Comic Book Guy


Reading Digest: Jealous of Canada Edition

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Oh, Canada, you guys get all the cool stuff.  Not only is tomorrow the one night only engagement of the Simpsons burlesque show in Toronto, but Canada is also now home to a wine called “D’Oh”.  I would very much like to attend the former, preferably while imbibing the latter.  Sadly, I am stuck Stateside.  This week we’ve also got two awesome paeans to the show from people who grew up watching it, interviews with Groening and Reiss, a video game mishap, two people making fun of the Game of Thrones opening from last week, and a “needs more weed” television conspiracy theory. 


13. On the Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this epic open letter to Matt Groening.  It’s got everything: love of the good years, a life changed by The Simpsons, pain at the decline. 

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from ‘The Simpsons’ – Life lessons learned from The Simpsons, with nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  And yeah, cat in the furnace is one of the greats. 

We Put The Spring In Springfield: A Simpsons-Themed Burlesque Show – Want to go:

On March 10, Underground Peepshow will unveil their newest burlesque show, a tribute to what they dub “one of the most influential shows of our geeky generation”: The Simpsons. Expect sexy takes on classic characters – Marge has already received the Playboy treatment, but over a dozen performers will show off their sexy interpretations of the classic animated show – I’m hoping for a Selma and Patty-inspired performance, myself. I’m also looking forward to what are quickly becoming hallmarks of Underground Peepshow performances: elaborate costumes, and fearlessly tarting up and playing homage to some of nerd culture’s least obvious characters. Get ready to look at Groundskeeper Willy or Edna Krabappel in a whole new light.

Here are the details:

Toronto Underground Cinema, 186 Spadina Avenue, Toronto ON


Saturday March 10, 2012

Doors: 9:00 PM
Show: 9:30 PM


Advance: $12.00
At the door: $15.00
Advance tickets available at Toronto Underground Cinema, Silver Snail, Eyesore Cinema, Suspect Video


Happily, the official site has a gallery page, so we should get some pictures. 

Project 365 or 366 – #31 – They may have Duff beer in Britain, but in Canada they’ve got “D’Oh” wine.  I can only hope that a nice liquor (“Crumulent” perhaps?) comes to America soon.  

D’OH! The Simpsons: Tapped Out Pulled From App Store – I guess people like Simpsons games:

The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been pulled from the App Store just days after launch. Due to the overwhelming demand for The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the app has suffered connection problems with EA’s servers, D’OH!

For whatever reason, EA simply did not account for a Simpsons game being so popular, that it might cause a meltdown in the EA server power plant.

That’s pretty funny.  According to what I can find on-line, it’s still down. 

Appointment Viewing: March 5-March 11 – Lenny, bringing her weekly thunder to Sunday’s Zombie Simpsons:

8:00 – The Simpsons (Fox): Following a traumatic incident, Homer’s bed-wetting problem worsens, and his family decide to infiltrate his dreams to get to its subconscious source. And in Homer’s dreams is where his late mother (voice of Glenn Close) resides. Coincidentally, a couple days ago I was trying to decide on the worst Simpsons episode title ever and now here comes an episode that wins by a landslide. “How I Wet Your Mother.”

Let’s see, it’s been about a year and a half since Inception came out, yeah, I’d say we’re due.  Bed wetting?  Jebus.

“Oh, boy! The deep fryer’s here. Heh heh, I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds.” -Moe Szyslak (The Simpsons) « Freakoutville Xpress – Forty seconds?  But I want it now!

leme simpsons – Cool fan made photographic montage of a glass of water and a TV playing what looks like “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”. 

Who Said It? Mitt Romney or Mr. Burns? – Putting up quotes of Mitt Romney and Mr. Burns, and you didn’t use “What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”.  For shame, Mad Magazine, for shame.  (via)

Mike Reiss – Reiss will be in Charlotte, NC this weekend for the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival’s closing program. 

Homer and Marge Simpson in my glasses – It’s a blog that’s nothing more than pictures of the famous with this guy’s glasses.  Neat idea. 

Bart Simpson – It’s a 3D printed Bart walking toy, and you can download the file to print your own.

The Simpsons also love Game of Thrones – The couch “gag” with Game of Thrones was obvious linkbait, and lots of people went for it.  This one deserves special commendation however:

Of course the rest of the Simpsons episode kinda went downhill from there – Bart becomes a street artist a la Shepard Fairey to get back at Homer for locking him in a rabbit cage. It was as bland and convoluted as it sounds.  As has been said on the show so many times in so many way, Meh.

Indeed.  I’ve watched it twice, and what bugs me most of all is that everything works.  Shouldn’t some of the gears have seized, causing the power plant to collapse or something? 

Game of Thrones/ The Simpsons – Okay, one more:

Possibly the one good thing to come out of the Simpson’s in like 12 seasons, as featured on /Film today– The Simpsons parody of the Game of Thrones opening sequence.

Homer Simpson – Experimenting with an online doodle application by drawing Homer. 

The Joy of Sect – Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and The Simpsons – A long but amusing comparison of “The Joy of Sect” and the travails of one professional soccer club. 

So Many Possibilities – A bunch of other take offs on “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, including that Simpsons one. 

The price of eating well – This post is better at making fun of overly expensive food than this week’s Zombie Simpsons, and it comes with appropriate Homer YouTube. 

Rompi Anak Branded Murah Simpsons A2503 – This isn’t in English, but there is a picture of what appears to be an officially licensed baby vest that looks like it might have something to do with soccer and that I don’t recognize from any episode.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this is some goofy bootleg, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if it’s legit. 

March Madness: TV Conspiracy Theory – The Last Five Minutes of St. Elsewhere – I’d never heard of that.  It seems like the kind of thing a stoned Tom Hulce in Animal House would think.

YouTube of My 25 Favorite Original Songs from TV Shows. – Lenny provides a ton of excellent YouTube here, including a couple of great songs from The Simpsons

“Simpsons” creator visits UW-Madison and longtime friend (March 9, 2012) – Groening was the surprise guest an art lecture.  And this is great background:

Though the accounts of their meeting differ – Groening, for his part, says he wanted to meet Barry because she struck up a correspondence with author Joseph Heller by pretending to be Ingrid Bergman – they agree that their work on the college’s newspaper solidified their relationship.

And it comes with a nice plug for college papers. 

Matt Groening: I could easily fill up my entire life just working on Futurama – Heh:

You have these two hugely successful shows. Do you have an idea for a third show bubbling away in the back of your mind?

I certainly have enough on my hands to do with these two. But the really great thing about having two TV shows  going on at the same time is that I can go to one and say that I have to go and visit the other and then I can just go home and they don’t know.

The Perfect Moejito – I chuckled.  It’s the look on Moe’s face. 

Cindy’s Return to the Universe – The always tricky, “I vow to blog more often” post comes with two pieces of Futurama fan art and YouTube of two favorite Simpsons quotes.  I love Flanders’ cider enthusiasm. 

Downtown Jersey City bar to host "The Friday After" exhibit featuring local artist – Cool fan made sculpture of Bart standing in front of what kinda looks like the church windows. 

Two Things That I Like But That Are Now Dead – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

The first thing that I like but that is now dead is The Simpsons.


A week or two ago The Simpsons aired its 500th episode. It was really bad. For a hardcore Simpsons fan like myself, it was even depressing.

Indeed it was.  The other dead thing is David Foster Wallace.  Though if he came back as a zombie it might be even worse than Zombie Simpsons. 


Quote of the Day

Narration Mic

“So, the children learned to function as a society.  And eventually they were rescued by . . . oh, let’s say . . . Moe.” – Guy with Great Narrator’s Voice

Happy birthday James Earl Jones!


Quote of the Day

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“You don’t look so rich.” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t let the haircut fool you, I’m exceedingly wealthy.” – Bill Gates


Quote of the Day

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“I can’t go on.  You two go ahead.  And carry me with you.” – Milhouse van Houten

Happy birthday Pamela Hayden! 


Crazy Noises: Das Bus

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“You let us stay up to watch Troy McClure in such other Bible epics as ‘David vs. Super Goliath’ and ‘Suddenly Last Supper’.” – Lisa Simpson
“Go Lis, way to cite precedent.” – Bart Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September, so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “interminable”).

Today’s episode is 914 “Das Bus”.  Tomorrow will be 916 “Dumbbell Indemnity”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Lord of the Flies or the world’s most inane insurance scam?

Dave: They’re both miserable. Let’s start with Flies.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fine by me.

I find this one slightly less miserable, but not by much.

The A plot has a few good little set pieces, but on the whole it’s a desert of joke free horn music, and I don’t like that.

Mad Jon: Yeah, There isn’t a whole lot going on worth while, but there are a few good lines.

Dave: You miss the horn music?

Charlie Sweatpants: Miss it? Fuck no.

There’s far, far too much of it.

Dave: I misread what you typed. Carry on.

Mad Jon: I was fine with the dialog pre-bus sinking, and I liked Otto’s last words.

Charlie Sweatpants: “Zeppelin Rules!” is great. It’s also exactly what Otto’s last words would be.

Dave: The island’s a mess. I see what they’re going for in terms of parody but it’s wildly joke-free and tedious. The building of a settlement, the finding of food, the trial, the chase…. gah.

Charlie Sweatpants: They go through all that to get them to the island, and then once they get there they don’t give the kids much to do.

Dave: Patently unenjoyable, but for a few lines of dialogue.

Charlie Sweatpants: This is one of those times when they weren’t so much parodying something as they were just following the blueprint.

“Bart of Darkness” takes its cues from “Rear Window”, but it’s also an original story.

Ditto “Music Man” with “Marge vs. the Monorail”.

This is much less clever.

Mad Jon: Yeah, but this episode wasn’t following cues, like you said, they were just rewriting lines

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly, particularly the ending and that interminable chase scene.

The whole thing is very obvious while at the same time taking forever to get where I already knew it was going.

And to do so they lean heavily on exposition and pointless time filler. Why the hell did Bart have to swim underwater to get the cooler?

Was there any point to that whole scene?

Dave: To get bitten by a puffer fish, duh.

Mad Jon: So his ass could be bit by a puffer fish

But yet, when he resurfaces, his shorts are intact.

Charlie Sweatpants: Something that lasts half a minute ought to have more of a payoff than that.

Dave: What, that moment doesn’t fall into your top 10 Simpsons moments?

Charlie Sweatpants: Just outside.

There are some good lines here, including Ralph’s “They taste like burning” and Bart’s description of the world with monkey butlers.

But other than that the island is an almost completely dry hole. The opening, between McClure, Brockman, and the Model UN meeting, has more jokes than the rest of the A-plot combined.

Mad Jon: I enjoyed Lisa’s play on McClure’s intro style.

As well as Marge’s instinctual reaction to the kids staying up late.

But those were both in the beginning, which, as it has been stated 40 times already, was basically the only watchable act in this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: The Noah movie has nothing to do with the rest of the episode. It’s not like they get to Model UN and Lisa and Bart are tired, but I don’t care.

It’s the best part, though I do enjoy the B plot.

It’s small, even for a B-plot, but it’s mostly solid.

Mad Jon: I’m ok with the B-plot, but I feel like an old ex-priest trying to figure out if “the shocker” is explicit or not..

I know something’s wrong, but I can’t describe it to you.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can assure you, priests can tell you what’s wrong with “the shocker”.

Dave: Doesn’t work with young, supple boys?

Charlie Sweatpants: It doesn’t, that’s why they don’t like it.

Mad Jon: Now they can, but a few years ago I am sure there were a few confused censors at the FCC.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well look, the B-plot is basically four scenes, Homer at the mailbox, Homer setting up the office, Homer and Comic Book Guy, and Homer and Bill Gates.

Of those, two are brilliant and the other two are at least okay.

(Brilliant: Gates and Comic Book Guy)

That’s not a bad ratio for Season 9.

Mad Jon: I have no decent argument against those numbers.

Just a feeling, probably based solely on Homer’s dialog in those sequences, minus the Comic Book Guy’s scene, because that was pretty good.

Charlie Sweatpants: At this point, Comic Book Guy’s scene is one of the biggest cultural reminders that in that dark time before widespread broadband we used to have to wait for individual pornographic pictures to download.

Mad Jon: That was a daunting affliction

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer’s got some good lines though, from making fun of Gates’ haircut to writing delicious memos.

And I love the hired nerd goons Gates brings with him.

Dave: Buttered writing instruments are quite funny, yeah.

Mad Jon: The goons are great, and I like Gates too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, so the A-plot sucks, the B-plot and the opening don’t. Any final moments, bad or good, worth pointing out?

Dave: I got nothing.

Mad Jon: No, I think I’m spent on this one

Charlie Sweatpants: Onward then.


Quote of the Day

The Agony of Dialup

“Oh, Captain Janeway . . . Lace, the Final Brassiere . . . Oh hurry up, I’m a busy man!” – Comic Book Guy


Blood from a Turnip

“Can I have some money now?” – Homer Simpson

The existence of Zombie Simpsons these past ten years or so has been an exercise in naked greed.  But up until this week FOX had generally tried to shield the show itself from at least some of that.  Sure they’ll merchandise anything, but the actual show, the foundation upon which everything else rests, was generally treated with a modicum of respect.  No longer.  This is a screen grab from the menu for the Season 20 DVD:

Season 20 DVD Menu 

That’s it.  They couldn’t even be bothered to properly animate the upper half of the screen.  It’s just black and white outlines of Homer and Bart that gradually refresh themselves (you can see that Bart isn’t quite finished in the image above).  Should you be foolish enough to actually select one of these episodes the individual episode menu is even more sparse:

Season 20 DVD Menu2

That there would be no commentaries has been known for a while.  (Quite frankly I’m happy about that, I don’t think I had too many more “Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry” posts in me.)  But there are no deleted scenes, no story boards, no sketches, no extras of any kind.  A pirated DVD from a back alley in Bangalore would have all the same stuff as this release. 

FOX is trying to cash in on interest in the show’s 20th anniversary and saw this as a good chance to get the half of Season 20 that was in HD out on Blu-ray so they can charge a premium to people with more money than sense.  But what really strikes me as ballsy about this is the fact that they’re going to re-release Season 20 in order with the other seasons with all the bells and whistles (projected for 2014).  That is just stunningly naked greed, even for them. 

I’d go on, but the always excellent Adam over at SimpsonsChannel has already cornered the snark market on this one.  Here’s #3 from his “Ten Reasons to NOT Buy This Set”:

Despite them being readily accessible due to the time since these episodes were produced, no deleted scenes have been included on this set. No deleted scenes! What they kept in must have been pure gold!


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