Posts Tagged ‘Fear of Flying


Quote of the Day

“The last bar in Springfield. If they don’t let me in here, I’m gonna have to quit drinking.” – Homer Simpson
“Yay!” – Homer’s Liver
“Shut up, liver! . . . Oww, my liver hurts.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“But I keep telling you, I’m not a pilot!” – Homer Simpson
“And I keep telling you you fly boys crack me up!” – Crazy Clown Airlines Guy
“Hi, I’m Alan, I’m your co-pilot.” – Alan
“Uh, yeah, um, as a change of pace, I’m going to let you do most of the work. I think you’re ready for it, Alan. And, um, I’ll just get us started.” – Homer Simpson
“Uh, we’ll need that to live.” – Alan


Quote of the Day

“Oh, my God! This man is my exact double! . . . That dog has a puffy tail! . . . Here puff! Here puff!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Lisa, the important thing is for your mother to repress what happened, push it deep down inside her, so she’ll never annoy us again.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“If we don’t encourage her to vent her feelings they can come out in other ways.” – Lisa Simpson
“I just realized we never had a wedding for the cat and the dog. They’ve been living in sin.” – Marge Simpson


Quote of the Day


“Wait a minute, there’s something bothering me about this place. . . . I know! This lesbian bar doesn’t have a fire exit! Enjoy your deathtrap, ladies.” – Homer Simpson
“What was her problem?” – Lesbian


Quote of the Day


“Heh, joke’s on them. I’m still alive.” – Homer Simpson


Facebook vs. Frinkiac

Fear of Flying23

“Marge, it’s three am! Shouldn’t you be baking?” – Homer Simpson
“In a little while.” – Marge Simpson

I stayed up much, much too late last night making .gifs on Frinkiac, so I’m afraid that there won’t be a Reading Digest today. In compensation, I present to you this offering of cookies, milk, and Simpsons .gifs mocking this ridiculous statement from benevolent Facebook general Zuckerberg.

All text is his verbatim.


Since there are a lot of these, I’ve placed the rest after the jump:

Continue reading ‘Facebook vs. Frinkiac’


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying22

“Wow, we must be really flying high!  Those people down there look all tiny, blurry, just like the inside of a cataract.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying21

“But, Marge, you deserve a vacation.  It’s a chance for you to clean up after us in a whole other state.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying20

“Cheer up, Homer.” – Bart Simpson
“Can’t.” – Homer Simpson
“Okay!” – Bart Simpson


Compare & Contrast: Marge in Therapy

Fear of Flying18

“Eww, you like the Monkees?  You know they don’t write their own songs.” – Girl on Bus
“They do so!” – Marge Bouvier
“They don’t even play their own instruments.” – Girl on Bus
“No!  No!” – Marge Bouvier
“That’s not even Michael Nesmith‘s real hat.” – Girl on Bus
“Ahhhhhhh!” – Marge Bouvier
“Kids can be so cruel.” – Dr. Zweig
“But it’s true, they didn’t write their own songs or play their own instruments.” – Marge Simpson
“The Monkees weren’t about music, Marge, they were about rebellion!  About political and social upheaval!” – Dr. Zweig

When The Simpsons would have one of its characters go someplace new or do something they’d never done before, whenever it introduced a new element to the show, it usually made that thing a harsh (if sometimes sympathetic) satire.  So, for example, New York City is filled with jerks and dickish parking officers, but it’s also got nice people who’ll yell back at the jerks in Tower One and glamorous (if inane) Broadway shows.  The sushi restaurant is friendly and delicious, but there’s still drunken karaoke and a map to the hospital on the back of the menu.  The dentist is a sadistic lunatic, but he’s also not wrong about calling you a liar when you tell him how often you brush.

Zombie Simpsons, of course, has a hard time sending the family anywhere novel or having them do something new because everything they come up with is a repeat of some kind.  Beyond that, though, when they do put the family in an unusual situation, they tend to put things in the most positively exaggerated light possible.  Cruise ships are idyllic paradises that are the most fun you’ll ever have.  Going to E3 or some other big show is awesome because you’ll get to run around with VIP passes and see all this cool stuff.  Trips to fancy restaurants are never too expensive or disappointing, and the staff will always treat you like gold.  It’s a completely different mentality, one that’s insulated from unhappiness and incurious about pretty much everything.  And, it goes almost without saying, seeing happy people have fun isn’t generally as funny as the opposite.

For a clean example of how weak this soft focus mentality is, look no farther than the therapist’s office in “Specs and the City” and the huge differences with Dr. Zweig’s office in “Fear of Flying”.  Zweig is certainly a competent therapist, but she also straight up lies to Homer about not blaming him and interrupts Marge’s big realization because a measly $30 check bounced.  The doctor in Zombie Simpsons barely gets any lines because he’s more prop than person.  (He ends the episode cutting Homer’s hair in his office because comedy.)  But beyond his almost nonexistent characterization are the ways that Marge going to therapy is handled.

On The Simpsons, therapy is a almost prohibitively expensive and really can lead to families breaking up.  (Not that ditching Homer would entirely be a bad thing for Marge.)  But it also bears enough of a resemblance to real therapy that it provides plenty of opportunities for jokes, parodies and satire.  So we see Marge’s flashbacks to her traumatic first day of school and seeing her father as a stewardess, get her Lost in Space dream, and have Zweig cracking jokes about copyright, and sarcastically mocking the “rich tapestry” of Marge’s problem after Marge ignores her about the unpaid bill.

Fear of Flying19

Zweig may charge on a sliding scale, but she still charges.

By contrast, Zombie Simpsons has Marge complain about Homer in some rather serious terms but lacks the skill or coherence to turn them around and make them funny at all.  Instead they just give the therapist a bunch of bland therapy lines:

So, Marge, how’ve you been?

And has there been any improvement in Homer’s drinking?

Maybe if you just concentrate on one problem, like his temper.

The jokes, if that is what they are, consist solely of Homer acting outraged at Marge’s legitimate sounding complaints.  This is startlingly emotionally tone deaf, even for them.  The sympathy and audience here are with Marge complaining about Homer, which is portrayed quite seriously.  But the show sticks with Homer’s shock because, hey, that’s where what passes for the punchlines are.

More to the point, the therapy is, well, just therapy.  No attempt whatsoever is made to goose it into something funny and insightful.  It’s left alone and is so dry and straightforward that the doctor’s dialogue wouldn’t be out of place in an instructional video.  He never even comes close to something insane and hilarious like a buttoned down shrink yelling out her love for an all but forgotten mock 60s pop band.

World's Least Interesting Therapist

This man does not love the Monkees.  He’s so boring he may not listen to music at all.

Compounding the dullness is the fact that, in Zombie Simpsons at least, straight ahead therapy works, really really well!  After her bland (and more than a little depressing) appointments, Marge is a cake baking sex machine!  Chalk up another awesome point in the life of Homer Simpson.

Compare that to the just-good-enough and probably temporary (her next flight does crash on takeoff) relief Marge gets from her much funnier and more involved therapy.  Even her final, successful session doesn’t end triumphantly, it ends with Dr. Zweig saying Marge is “nuts” for thinking her father was “an American hero” and Marge immediately getting her name wrong.

The Simpsons created a joke laden, topsy-turvy satire of therapy that worked only to the barest minimum of the definition of success.  Along the way they had a smart but callous therapist, some understandable (if cartoonish) spousal paranoia, and a bunch of pop culture parodies, from campy sitcoms to Alfred Hitchcock. They also managed to treat Marge and her doctor like real people, with concerns and flaws.  Zombie Simpsons had textbook dull therapy work perfectly in that it kept the kickass life Homer loves completely intact without him having to do anything.


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying13

“You’re right, I’ve been wasting my life away in that dump for years.  That’s it!  I’m going to find a new bar to drink in, and I’m going to get drunker than I’ve ever been in my entire life!” – Homer Simpson


Behind Us Forever: Yellow Subterfuge

Chalkboard - Yellow Subterfuge

“I never thought I’d win this easy.” – Bart Simpson
“This has nothing to do with you, Simpson.  I have many, many issues with my beloved smother-, mother.” – Principal Skinner

The B-plot in this episode was a forced rehash of “Homie the Clown”.  The A-plot was, almost impressively, even dumber, with Skinner pulling a giant combat knife out of his mother’s back and not noticing that she wasn’t actually dead before trusting himself to Homer and Bart(!).  Before we got to that, however, we had plenty of Bart acting wildly out of character, more exposition than you can throw a screenwriting book at, and, oh what the hell, a nuclear submarine.  

  • Even the couch gag has to electrocute Homer.  It’s like a nervous twitch. 
  • Skinner exposited his whole announcement to the school.  This isn’t starting well. 
  • “No, Skinner said I had a clean slate, so right now I’m as good as any kid!” – Seriously, that was the previous scene
  • Lisa actually asks Bart “What are you doing?” – Fry’s holophoner opera for Leela was less hacktacular. 
  • Homer farting with each step into the yard isn’t as bad as that time they did a whole Halloween segment about him farting, but it’s pretty bad. 
  • Lisa just biked up to Krusty, who helpfully told her everything that was going on in his life.  I liked this scene better when it was in “Bart the Fink”. 
  • “You’re like egg salad at a picnic, Simpson” – They do know they don’t have a laughtrack to hoot and ooh and the appropriate times, don’t they?  Sometimes I’m not sure. 
  • Bart’s little action sequence about trying not to be late was almost completely pointless.  The only good thing about it is that now I can stash that dumb truck into my inventory on Tapped Out. 
  • “Time to celebrate with a fruit on the bottom yogurt” – Skinner telling us exactly what he’s about to do, I think that makes on for every major character in this episode. 
  • This b-plot about world Krustys (Krustii?) is atrocious, even before you get to the whole “Homie the Clown” thing.
  • Okay, Irish Krusty is funny.
  • So, the fake death thing is dumb, but it just keeps getting dumber with Skinner going along with it/falling for it.  Scooby Doo had more well conceived plots. 
  • There’s the repeat of Irish Krusty, which isn’t as funny as the first one. When they do come up with something funny, they really can’t resist overusing it. 
  • And now Milhouse and Maggie are involved because . . . huh? 
  • Almost as an afterthought, they decided to wrap up the B-plot with a chase scene.  I guess that was nice of them. 

Anyway, the ratings are in and they are good by current Zombie Simpsons standards and wretched by the standards of Zombie Simpsons of a few years ago.  Last night’s hapless remake made just 6.82 million people with they were watching Season 6.  That’s a high for this year, yet well below the average for even Season 22. 


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying12

“If word gets out about this, Crazy Clown Airlines will be a laughingstock.  In exchange for your silence, I’m prepared to offer your family free tickets to anywhere in the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, the freak states.” – Crazy Clown Airlines Executive
“Woo-hoo!  Good news, everybody, because I endangered lives, we can fly anywhere we want.” – Homer Simpson
“Alaska!” – Bart Simpson
“Hawaii!” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying11

“Come on, Marge, I want to shake off the dust of this one horse town!  I want to explore the world!  I want to watch TV in a different time zone.  I want to visit strange, exotic malls.  I’m sick of eating hoagies.  I want a grinder, a sub, a foot long hero!  I want to live, Marge!  Won’t you let me live?  Won’t you please?” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying10

“Uh, sorry, you’ve got to be a pilot to drink in here.” – The Little Black Box Bartender
“But I am a pilot.” – Homer Simpson
“Where’s your uniform?” – The Little Black Box Bartender
“Um, I stowed it safely in the overhead compartment.” – Homer Simpson
“Well, you talk the talk.  Here’s a loaner.” – The Little Black Box Bartender


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying9

“It’s okay, Marge, we don’t need to go on a trip.  We’ll just wait for the killer bees to come to us.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Fear of Flying8

“Well, everybody’s got a fear of something.” – Marge Simpson
“Not everybody.” – Homer Simpson
“Sock puppets.” – Marge Simpson
“Where?  Where?  Ah!  Ahhh!” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: The Man In the Blue Flannel Pants

Fear of Flying7

“Sammy, you’re too old to go on a date with two twins on the same night you’re supposed marry Diane without Rebecca knowing.” – Carla
“Okay, Carla, I’ll make you a bet.  If this affects my Major League comeback I’ll sell the bar.” – Sam

As part of our tireless efforts to demonstrate the many ways Zombie Simpsons fails to entertain, Season 23 will be subjected to the kind of rigorous examination that can only be produced by people typing short messages at one another.  More dedicated or modern individuals might use Twitter for this, but that’s got graphics and short links and little windows that pop up when you put your cursor over things.  The only kind of on-line communications we like are the kind that could once be done at 2400 baud.  So disable your call waiting, plug in your modem, and join us for another year of Crazy Noises.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “lingerie”).

The end of “The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants” is so hoary and cliched I can just quote TV Tropes:

Character schedules dates with two different people at the same time. The character tries to keep both, going back and forth between the two dates without letting either know what’s going on. Hilarity allegedly ensues.

Can also apply to other scheduling conflicts, where the character tries to juggle an event that he’s responsible for attending, versus a more personal event that he really wants to attend.

You may recognize that from every crappy sitcom in the history of canned laughter.  Though most live action shows don’t feature the main character jumping overboard and swimming back and forth between two rafts. 

Beyond that there was one other scene I wanted to highlight for its particular stupid.  Between the time Homer fully becomes an accounts man and that boring as hell montage, there’s a brief scene at the Simpson home.  Homer returns from his new job to find Marge in a nightie holding a martini.

Honey, the Plot's Home

Flats?  June Cleaver and Betty Draper scoff at flats.

This is clearly supposed to be Marge’s 1950s teevee housewife routine.  On its own this could’ve kinda worked.  It’s dumb, sure, but you could put Marge through the same transformation that Homer goes through, hating her alienated life.  They don’t, of course.  The next time we see her she’s back to her normal self as if this never happened and no explanation is offered.  So it’s twofer, a wasted comedy opportunity that also doesn’t make sense. 

Compounding the problem, immediately after this, Bart and Lisa show up, ready to go to bed.  Marge doesn’t act at all like herself, she just dismisses them the same way Homer does.  That leads to Bart and Lisa imitating Marge in acting totally out of character.  Why on Earth would either of them want Bart to read a story to Lisa?  Is that supposed to help Lisa fall asleep, having her bullying brother sitting on her bed?  And why would Bart go through with it?  What does he care?  Again, no explanation is given, and when Lisa finally does get Bart reading, the story basically ends. 

Like Marge doing a Donna Stone impression, Lisa and Bart as book buddies could’ve, maybe, sorta kinda worked.  Again, it’s dumb, but there’s a story with at least a few jokes to tell there.  Instead we got an amputated B-plot while Marge went back to her old self after one brief, inexplicable scene.  Could someone please stop by the Zombie Simpsons office with some staples or paper clips?  I’m convinced these scripts are just loose pages that never get read in chronological order. 

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get started?

Mad Jon: I am

Charlie Sweatpants: Where to begin? The unconnected opening, or the mini-unconnected opening that opened the unconnected opening?

Bart and Milhouse’s little conversation/wedding cutaway was odd, but then it cut to a completely unrelated Krusty thing, which was itself basically unrelated to the rest of the episode.

Mad Jon: Yeah, the unconnected opening was probably my least favorite part. Followed by the mini-unconnected one. But that’s just me.

  It just kept re-running the same joke about Krusty not wanting to drink his own brand of vodka.

Charlie Sweatpants: Which didn’t show up again for the rest of the episode.

Someone noted in comments that Homer’s supposedly downing martinis left and right and they didn’t bring back the vodka that made up the first five minutes.

Mad Jon: They did use the joke enough for even a whole Zombie season, so maybe the writers got tired of it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Very possible. But that just leads us to Krusty picking Bart out of the crowd for no reason, which led to a fancy party at Marge and Homer’s for no other reason.

Mad Jon: I imagine that the reason was so they could have that mind-numbingly stupid karaoke scene that I guess led to Homer being a mad man. Which may be the worst scene I’ve seen in a long time. Why does Homer think that karaoke would save the party? Who knows. How did it actually work? Even better question.

Charlie Sweatpants: The whole party was aggravatingly dumb. By my count, even before Burns showed up there was Kent Brockman, Krusty himself, Rainier Wolfcastle, the Rich Texan, Bumblebee Man, and Drederick fucking Tatum. Are any of these people supposed to be people anymore?

  And then Homer switches back and forth from blitheringly dumb to suave and charming in the space of a single scene.

Mad Jon: Yep.

Charlie Sweatpants: And then Burns shows up alone, is awkward with everyone, and then once they’ve had their karaoke party and things are (I guess) cool, Smithers appears just because. Was he there the whole time? No. They just needed him not to be there right until they did.

Mad Jon: Yep again.

But don’t worry, that allows Smithers to utter the joke about Homer setting the world on fire, and then Homer becoming an accounts man.

  Which leads to a take off episode, which is only what, 5 years late?

It was even late for the major network’s mirror series failure.

Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of the accounts man, he also just appeared. First Homer was alone in Burns’ office, then there was a guy with a drink and a cigarette.

Mad Jon: Transitions are not an account man’s strong point I guess.

Charlie Sweatpants: Take off is about right. It wasn’t satirizing Mad Men, it wasn’t even satirizing working too much, drinking on the job, or anything else. It was just Homer going through a few motions until he stopped.

I did think John Slattery got in a few okay lines, particularly his regret about not seeing his secret other family, and there were some little things like him pointing to his nose to Quimby so they could go do coke in the bathroom, but that was about all this episode had to offer.

Though, as usual, even the decent stuff was taken too far. When Marge goes to visit him and they’re suddenly in the bedroom: kinda funny. When they keep doing it: less and less so.

Mad Jon: I agree about Slattery, and I agree about the ongoings.

He was a bright spot in black hole. Unfortunately I couldn’t see past the event horizon.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the rest of it was just so damn bad. I guess I have to hand it to them, I didn’t see sitcom-river-rafting coming as an ending.

As soon as I realized what they were doing I just shook my head. Inviting two groups of people to the same place at the same time? They made fun of that back in "Fear of Flying". Now they’re actually doing it.

Mad Jon: That was out of left field. But it was equally as improbable as any other crazy ending that was most certainly guaranteed, so I can’t be too angry about it.

Charlie Sweatpants: The sheer physical dumbness of it was exceptional though, even for them.

  They were going down parallel rivers, couldn’t see one another, and no one in either boat wondered why Homer was constantly jumping overboard? The fuck?

Mad Jon: The fuck indeed.

Charlie Sweatpants: Is everyone supposed to be rock bottom stupid here? Because I’m out of other explanations.

Mad Jon: Look, do you want to see Homer poke himself in the eye for 20 seconds and piss in a bush or what? These things don’t happen on their own, you have to have a crazy lead in or these bits just don’t work.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d be inclined to say they don’t work anyway, but that’s just me. And then there was the freaking waterfall.

  Which, again, the fuck?

Mad Jon: Oh yeah. Homer went over the fall didn’t he?

Also he found some gold too didn’t he?

  Also some government guys died there too, eh?

Charlie Sweatpants: But that was after he was able to push his entire family to safety. I think he went over because, as Chekhov once said, if you see a waterfall two minutes before the end of the third act, the main character will go over it in one minute. Or something.

Mad Jon: Close enough.

Still not as bad, however, as the throwaway Maggie DUI scene.

  TV doesn’t usually ‘bother’ me. I am pretty desensitized in general, and pretty hard to shock. But that scene scarred me on several levels.

Enough that the van Houten sex scene didn’t even register with me for quite a bit.

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t pay it that much heed. I mean, you could see it coming a mile away.

The van Houten thing was just lame. Like it’s supposed to be a shock joke, only they have to have Kirk pipe up just to make extra sure we get it.

  That’s one of those instances where less is more, and they went with more and then some.

Mad Jon: It bothered me. That’s all. A lot.

  Also there was a b-plot wasn’t there?

Charlie Sweatpants: Half of one.

  Bart reads to Lisa, Lisa reads to Bart, Bart reads to bullies who promise to see him again . . . and then it ended.

  Really weird.

Mad Jon: It turns out Bart can’t read well. And Lisa can help, and absolutely no lead in was necessary.

Charlie Sweatpants: Don’t sell them short. There was the lead in where Homer got home from work and Marge was already in some kind of lingerie and that meant that Bart and Lisa had to spend time together.

Of course, that whole twenty seconds or so is like one unbroken string of out of character weirdness, so . . . maybe you’re not selling them short by not bringing it up. The sooner humanity forgets about it the better off the species will be.

Mad Jon: I think we’re through the looking glass on this one buddy.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, but I’d rather not be.


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