Posts Tagged ‘Principal Charming


Quote of the Day

“Homer, you will find her a man!” – Marge Simpson
“Alright.” – Homer Simpson
“And not just any man!” – Marge Simpson
“Okay.” – Homer Simpson
“He should be honest and caring and well off . . . and handsome.” – Marge Simpson
“Hey! Why should she have a better husband that you do?” – Homer Simpson


Happy Simpsons Day!

“Oh, Springfield Elementary, I will have you back again! After all, tomorrow is another school day!” – Principal Skinner

Happy Simpsons Day, everybody! Today marks the 30th anniversary of “Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire” and the beginning of the best ten-ish year streak in television history. I’m sure there are a lot of retrospective pieces up around the internet today, but as you can tell from the near total lack of substantive posts around here, I don’t think there’s much left to be said, so you’re on your own for finding them.

About that total lack of posts: I was hoping to change that starting today, but deadlines are made to be blown. I’m currently in the middle of a rush of real job work, getting over a major hump in my gigantic side project, and moving at the end of the month. So time is scarce.

However, I’ve been plotting a renewed DHS for long enough now that I don’t feel entirely silly disclosing the rough plan. For starters, the site is going to get a facelift. Ten years on the same WordPress theme seems like enough.

As far as actual posts go, I have two ideas that I think would be fun and sustainable as far as time and effort go. The first is to get back into doing Spews Truth From Every Orifice, where I write up the DVD commentaries from good seasons. I’ve only ever listened to maybe a third of them myself, and I figure there’s enough to eat up several more years of this blog’s lonely existence on this has-been planet orbited by a cold indifferent sun.

The second is something I was vehemently against when we started this blog back in 2009: lists. Listicles have a deservedly poor reputation for the simple reason that they’re easy to do and hence mostly thrown together as filler. While I want to avoid warmed over drivel like top episodes or funniest quotes or “times the Simpsons predicted the future”, I think there are commonalities between episodes that lend themselves well to listing, plus it spares me from having to come up with transitions between topics/episodes/whatevers.

Finally, if and when I get some Simpsons posts up around here, I’m also planning to vent regularly about movies and other TV shows, old and new. Some of this will be the hottest of hot taeks about stuff that’s already had too much commentary (the new Star Wars is probably going to be bad, HBO Watchmen fell apart badly in the last three episodes and I don’t know why it’s getting universal praise, and the real reason the Marvel movies are forgettable ephemera: weak villains), some of it will be meta-criticism about the shitty state of movie and TV criticism itself (or at least the stuff I see), and some of it will be praise (fulsome and otherwise) of lower profile stuff I stumble across and end up liking.

So, it’s my usual promise: more posts! And my usual disclaimer: but not now! However, this time there is a plan (sort of).

In the meantime, please go enjoy some ye olde Simpsons on this Simpsoniest of days. Or just re-read my loving take on that very first episode. Happy Simpsons Day!


Makeup Quote of the Day

“Must find man. Must find man. Must find man.” – Homer Simpson


Double Secret Makeup Quote of the Day

“Sodium tetra-sulfate is highly caustic and can remove your skin. Say when!” – Mrs. Krabappel
“That will do.” – Martin Prince
“What’s this stuff for?” – Bart Simpson
“It’s chiefly used in the manufacture of rayon’s film and as a preservative in fast foot. It’s also quite a potent herbicide.” – Martin Prince
“What’s a herbicide?” – Bart Simpson
“It kills grass.” – Martin Prince
“Excellent.” – Bart Simpson


Makeup Quote of the Day

“Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’ll unload the kids on Patty and Selma Saturday night and then we’ll eat until they kick us out of the place, just like old times!” – Homer Simpson
“Saturday night? I’m not even sure my sisters will be available.” – Marge Simpson
“I’ll take that bet.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“I’ll tell you one thing: Greasy Joe is sorry he ever saw the likes of me.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“I don’t see why all this is necessary.” – Patty Bouvier
“C’mon, Patty, you don’t want to show up for your big date looking like Yosemite Sam.” – Marge Simpson


Quote of the Day


“If it isn’t little Jimmy Pierson, class of ’71 I believe.” – Principal Skinner
“Good evening, Principal Skinner.” – Jimmy Pierson
“Pierson! Get this woman a glass of water immediately, and tuck in your shirt . . . Nearly thirty and still working as a busboy. I tell you, standardized testing never lies.” – Principal Skinner


Quote of the Day

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“F . . . L . . . oh, no, I’m sorry, that’s a C, isn’t it?” – Hans Moleman
“If that was an oncoming vehicle you’d be dead now!  Next!” – Patty Bouvier
“But driving is my livelihood.” – Hans Moleman
“Oh, take it like a man.” – Patty Bouvier


Quote of the Day

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“Bart, I’m flabbergasted!  Surely you knew as you were writing your own name in forty-foot high letters on the field that you would be caught.” – Principal Skinner
“Maybe it was one of the other Barts, sir.” – Bart Simpson
“There are no other Barts!” – Principal Skinner

Sam Simon would’ve been sixty-years-old today. Happy birthday.


Quote of the Day

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“I’m going to cancel.” – Patty Bouvier
“No, you’re not.” – Selma Bouvier
“We already have plans for tomorrow night.” – Patty Bouvier
“Patty, your first date in twenty-five years is a little more important than playing hearts with mother.” – Selma Bouvier


Quote of the Day

Principal Charming9

“Friends, relatives, work related acquaintances, we are gathered here today to join Stanley and Martha in holy matrimony.” – Reverend Lovejoy


Quote of the Day

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“Aunt Selma, do you think you’ll ever get married?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, I don’t know.  Why?  You know somebody?” – Selma Bouvier
“No.  And since I’m sure that you’d only resent the pity of an eight-year-old niece, I’ll simply hope that you’re one of the statistically insignificant number of forty-year-old single women who ever find their fair prince.” – Lisa Simpson


Crazy Noises: Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts

Principal Charming6

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 (though certainly not on “topwise”).

Even in an episode that wasn’t as swarming with magic robots as most of them, Zombie Simpsons still couldn’t get to its main premise without slipping into complete stupidity.  I refer you to Principal Skinner getting a call on his cell phone from Bart and continuing to think it was a rich English woman for what had to be at least an hour.  Certainly Bart has pulled the wool over Skinner’s eyes a few times, but never in such a way that would make you think Skinner is the world’s most gullible man.  For this to make any sense, Skinner has to believe that there is an anonymous foreigner who wants to help the school by bidding on crap sight unseen, not recognize that it’s his most loathed student doing an impersonation, and ignore the fact that his cell phone would tell him that the call is coming from his own school.  To be fair, they took care of that last part for him:

The World's Only Cell Phone Without Caller ID

Skinner’s supposed to be one of the smart characters on the show.  There was an entire episode where he was in Mensa for fuck’s sake.  Yet here he is acting dumber than Homer ever did prior to about Season 12.  Zombie Simpsons has cut so many corners like this over the years that there’s hardly anything left of the original show. 

Charlie Sweatpants: You ready to get started?

Mad Jon: Sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought this episode was slightly more sane than last week’s, but in a kind of screwed up way that makes it actually more painful to watch.

Mad Jon: Hmm, how do you mean?

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t see any Earthly way you could make the Jack Bauer episode work. When your main story is a man haunted by his past who kills two dozen people I just don’t think it’s going to be funny, period.

Mad Jon: Ok, I am with you so far.

Charlie Sweatpants: But "Chalmers takes an interest in Bart" isn’t inherently insane. Twelve years ago they might have made this semi-passable. But they can’t even do that.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I was thinking about that. I like how simple the plot starts, but it just doesn’t have the level of interest for me that I imagine it would have had 12 or 15 years ago.

Charlie Sweatpants: It seems worse because this feels like they’re actually listening to all the complaints and they’re still not even close.

Mad Jon: Turn it topwise! TOPWISE!

Charlie Sweatpants: The Bauer episode is everything that’s stereotypically wrong with the show: celebrities, Jerkass Homer, the whole shebang. This is very different, but equally bad.

There isn’t a single scene that doesn’t remind you of a better episode, and that makes all the problems (people jumping in and out of scenes, weird voices, glaring plot holes) that much more difficult to ignore.

Mad Jon: There were still several omnipresent Zombie attributes. So that sucks. Think of all the meaningless and boring scenes that just dragged on. Like when Marge buys the t-shirts for the other school and Homer stands watch… Or think of the complete laziness of the writing in scenes like when Chalmers declares the library is closing and then takes Bart horseback riding in a state park while it is quite certainly daylight still.

Charlie Sweatpants: The quick cuts to the national park were very grating. Half the point of the episode is that the school is broke, but Chalmers takes them on a very expensive looking vacation.

Mad Jon: Horses ain’t cheap neither.

Charlie Sweatpants: There are so many things that just stop you cold with how little they make sense.

Nelson just found the spectacles and then fell, where did that come from? Kearney wasn’t there and then he was.

Mad Jon: This episode without the construction paper background it was built on may have had a chance.

Charlie Sweatpants: And it ends with a guy getting kneecapped. Huh?

Mad Jon: The comptroller at that.

  I think. It looked like him, but by the end I was more interested in emptying the dishwasher, so I didn’t quite follow the dialogue.

Charlie Sweatpants: Emptying your dishwasher was a better use of time than the ending here. How long was that little standoff supposed to have lasted? Was Lisa in the damn closet the whole time? Did Bart really take a bunch of hostages?

Mad Jon: I don’t know, there are too many issues here to even begin parsing them.

Charlie Sweatpants: The wild swings just keep coming until you’re basically numb.

Mad Jon: I will say that I liked the black and white Roosevelt/Moe scene. It went on too long, but it started well and what not.

Charlie Sweatpants: It did. The list of all the things wrong with the teachers’ cars was the same way.

It had far more misses than hits though. Homer getting money from his imaginary ATM wasn’t funny AND went on too long.

Mad Jon: Really way too long.

Charlie Sweatpants: The same is true of Skinner’s complaining that he’s "lop-shouldered" after being tortured by the Vietnamese. That wasn’t funny and it took forever.

Mad Jon: That was actually sort of depressing.

Charlie Sweatpants: First of all, a guy Skinner’s age wouldn’t be a Vietnam veteran. Vietnam veterans are in their sixties now. It’s really bizarre to see that in their modern Springfield.

Second, and this is much worse and goes to show how much they’ve lost the touch, is that his complaining was kinda bitter.

When Skinner finds his iron helmet at the swap meet he reacts to it like an old friend. It’s funny because he apparently took being horribly confined with the same resigned good humor he takes everything else. The same is true when he complains about the fact that they can’t get the spices right here in the States.

Mad Jon: I really miss the shades casting bars of shadows on his face.

Charlie Sweatpants: The terrible thing is made funny because Skinner is such a happy dork about the whole thing. His attitude is the joke, and here they dropped it and thought it was funny for him to be angry at being "lop-shouldered".

Mad Jon: Yep. And they dragged it on by bringing up a carpet cleaning company or something.

Charlie Sweatpants: They did that with a lot of things. This one really could’ve used a B-plot.

Mad Jon: Yeah I guess it didn’t really have one did it?

I am just now realizing that.


Charlie Sweatpants: The story was so scattershot it was kind of hard to tell.

I thought the spectacles were going to be a big deal, but then they just found them one second after they started looking. The episode still had a ways to go.

Mad Jon: Yeah, Somehow Nelson has them and doesn’t announce it until he is hanging on a weed on a cliff side, because of _____.

Charlie Sweatpants: Right. It rushes through what you’d think would be the big moments and drags out these weird inconsequential scenes like Bart locking Lisa up.

Any other thoughts here about particularly good or bad parts?

Mad Jon: I didn’t like the couch gag at all. I used to love Ren and Stimpy, and that couldn’t have dragged on any longer, or made me any more uncomfortable.

  So that sucked.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m kinda neutral towards the couch gag. It took longer than I might have liked, but it was at least pretty original. I’m very apathetic toward Ren and Stimpy though. We didn’t have cable when that show was big so I’ve only ever seen like two episodes.

Mad Jon: Fair enough, tastes will differ I suppose.

Charlie Sweatpants: It does feel like a lame attempt to duplicate the Banksy success, but again, I can’t really bring myself to give too much of a shit.

Mad Jon: I can see that. I can also see you not giving a shit, but I used to watch Ren and Stimpy with my brothers a lot, and this opening made me feel like I was watching it on LSD. But you are probably right about the shit giving part.

I don’t really have anything else to add, except I do wonder if you are correct at all about the "…listening to all the complaints and they’re still not even close" deal.

  But I guess we will never know.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, I don’t think they really are listening.

  It just sorta, kinda seems that way.

Mad Jon: Well, I know that they aren’t listening to us. They can’t hear us through the earmuffs made of cash they all have, but I have to assume that other people also complain. I am way too lazy to seek the other haters out, but they must be there.

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t mean us specifically, just the general fan complaints on places like No Homers.

Mad Jon:   Ok, that is what I meant as well. I can see the jet-lag and beer acting upon my grammar and sentence structure.

Charlie Sweatpants: How much is jet lag and beer and how much is just having sat through Zombie Simpsons? Neither exactly makes the mind keen.

Mad Jon: Your beer/jet lag vs content point is valid, sir.


Quote of the Day

Principal Charming5

“And then, when I got out of the service . . . the . . . uh . . . well, the next few years are a blur.” – Barney Gumble


Quote of the Day

Principal Charming4

“Remember you promised you’d try to limit pork to six servings a week?” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, I’m only human!” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Principal Charming”!  Original airdate 14 February 1991.


A Flapping Dickey of Outdated Gay Jokes

Principal Charming3

It goes almost without saying that American culture has changed in a lot of ways since the Simpsons family came on stage in the late 80s.  In addition to the usual twists and turns of taste in everything from music and clothing to movies and cars you would expect over any two decade stretch, the last twenty plus years have also seen an enormous expansion in the civic space afforded to gay and lesbian Americans.  People who were seen as so culturally toxic that even referring to them on television was all but forbidden in 1989 have become commonplace in 2011.  That remarkable transformation hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but it has inarguably altered the way certain topics are presented and discussed in the genteel world of network television.  Too bad nobody told Zombie Simpsons.

And it is here that I will quote Harvey Fierstein, Springfield Hero, who was referring to an episode that aired eight seasons ago when he said:

Jim Brooks and Matt Groening and those writers have always added that extra something beneath the surface, and it just wasn’t there.  Basically, Homer just had a lot of fun hanging out with gay men, and drinking in bars, and dancing at discos, and all that, and there was nothing – there was no commentary there.  Every restaurant had a silly gay name.  They gym had a silly gay name.  They were all double entendres, obviously.  And I said, “Anybody could do this.  You’re the fucking Simpsons.  Do something we have never seen before.”

Basic plot elements aside, everything Fierstein said applies to “Flaming Moe”.  The episode is little more than a series of non-sequiturs used to parade tired, shop worn cliches across the screen.  None of them are insightful or contain any kind of layered meaning, they’re just there for the cheapest possible laugh requiring the least possible thought.  Making all of this even more pathetic than it otherwise would be, this was a show that was, once upon time those two decades ago, really ahead of the curve on this kind of humor.  They hinted at Smithers being gay way back in Season 1, when television’s idea of homosexual began and ended with guys like Paul Lynde and Liberace.  Zombie Simpsons was out of date eight years ago, circa Season 22 things have only gotten worse. 

The numbers are in and, as expected, they are bad.  With no football lead in to protect it, last night’s recitation from Random House’s 1999 classic “Queers for Dummies” was scoffed at by a mere 6.47 million viewers.  That is the lowest number of the season so far, and hopefully presages further bottom feeding for the rest of the year. 


Quote of the Day

Principal Charming2

“She broke my heart, Moe.” – Barney Gumble
“Don’t worry Barney, time heals all wounds.” – Moe
“Well, whaddya know?  You’re right.  And look, a whole pitcher to myself.” – Barney Gumble


Quote of the Day

“Homer, do you remember our last family vacation when you made us go to the Bowlers’ Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri so you could see that car shaped like a giant bowling pin?” – Marge Simpson
“Remember? Who could forget.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Principal Charming1

“Homer, lighten up, you’re making happy hour bitterly ironic.” – Moe


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