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August 2, 2014

The Simpsons

Seven Shows That Could Use a Time Jump

by Rich Keller, posted May 3rd 2010 2:03PM
'Heroes' is one of seven shows that could use a time jumpOver the last few seasons a number of shows -- 'One Tree Hill,' 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Lost' -- have used the concept of time jumping to generate public interest and open up new storylines. Now, 'Brothers & Sisters' will be making a small time jump between this season and next. Money was on this show, 'Gossip Girl,' or 'Phineas and Ferb.' to make the jump.

This, as usual, got us to thinking of other currently running programs that could use a time shift to freshen them up. Subsequently, this led us to put our thoughts down on the hyperlinked paged for debate and comment. After the jump are but a few examples and how a time jump could benefit them.

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'The Simpsons' - 'To Surveil With Love' Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted May 3rd 2010 8:29AM
The Simpsons - To Surveil With Love(S21E20) From the inspired 'Tik Tok' musical opening sequence to the last gag, 'To Surveil With Love' ranks as one of the best 'Simpsons' episodes in years.

I never expected the rest of the episode to live up to that killer opening, but, unbelievably, it just got better as it went along.

The bit that had me laughing the hardest: After surveillance cameras are installed in every inch of Springfield, Bart marking the town's one blind spot by dropping his pants and drawing a line every time he doesn't hear Ned gasping, "Buttocks!" "Tushie! or "Boy cheeks!" A perfectly funny bit that got even funnier when Homer asks Bart, whose pants are still down around his ankles, what he's doing. "Experimenting with my butt," says Bart. "My little Einstein," Homer says proudly as he pats Bart's head.

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'Simpsons' Defends 'South Park' (Sort of)

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 26th 2010 1:45PM
'The Simpsons'It's not uncommon to watch an episode of 'South Park' and wonder, how the heck did they get away with that? What would it take for the show to get censored? Well, it happens every so often, and Sunday, the biggest, longest-running cartoon franchise on TV showed 'South Park' its support.

In the opening credits of last night's 'Simpsons,' Bart wrote "South Park -- We'd stand beside you if we weren't so scared" on the chalkboard (check out the Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog for the pic). 'The Simpsons' has taken its share of swipes at political and cultural targets in the past. So what could make Matt Groening and company so scared?

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'The Simpsons' - 'The Squirt and the Whale' Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Apr 26th 2010 9:41AM
(S21E19) Finally, a good -- maybe even great -- episode. 'The Squirt and the Whale' packed more laughs in the first few minutes' Alternative Energy Expo than the entire running time of most recent eps.

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'The Simpsons' - 'Chief of Hearts' Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Apr 19th 2010 1:34AM
(S21E18) Homer Simpson and Clancy Wiggum becoming BFFs should have been comedy gold; instead, this episode of 'The Simpsons' was a colossal bore. It seems like everything hilarious you can do with the Springfield police -- high-speed car chases, putting squirrels down your pants for the purpose of gambling -- has already been done. They never even go out for donuts!

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When the Shows Go Marching In: A History of TV Shows Set in New Orleans

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 13th 2010 11:04AM
The skyline of New Orleans from Uptown
Very few shows have featured New Orleans as its setting, and it's not hard to see why. The list is a mix of critically acclaimed but quickly canceled shows, and critically disemboweled and canceled-just-as-quickly shows.

'Treme,' HBO's new drama from 'The Wire' creator David Simon and 'Wire' writer/producer Eric Overmyer, could break the mold that so many others have tried to crack. Judging from the first episode, their chances are looking good. If 'Treme' goes on to achieve the fame that 'The Wire' has, it won't just have its staff, creators, or even the city to thank for providing such beautiful inspiration.

It will have these other shows to thank for choking on that overcooked beignet for them.

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'The Simpsons' - 'American History X-cellent' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 12th 2010 3:16AM
C. Montgomery Burns, 'The Simpsons'(S21E17) A pleasant enough episode of 'The Simpsons' made better by the presence of C. Montgomery Burns. Even Smithers upped his game, bringing the funny this week. The usual set-up of nonsense events leading to the real point of the episode involved the factory workers putting on a stage production for Mr. Burns' amusement at his mansion, followed by the boys getting drunk in his wine cellar and wrecking his art gallery.

What followed was an unexpected trip to jail, and a completely random side story involving Lisa, Bart and an ant farm. Oh, and lest we forget, Santa's Little Helper had a huge role to play in this particular bonding experience.

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Fox Upping the Music for a Week

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 7th 2010 3:04PM
Homer SimpsonWith the success of 'American Idol,' 'Glee,' and other music-related franchises, it should be no wonder that Fox wants to milk it by having music-themed episodes of several of its shows for the end of April and beginning of May. These shows include 'The Simpsons,' 'Family Guy,' 'Bones,' 'Fringe,' and 'House.'

Before anybody panics and starts envisioning David Boreanaz or Hugh Laurie breaking out in a rendition of 'Feelings' in the middle of a dramatic moment, the article states that the episodes will be music-themed but not necessarily musicals. 'Family Guy' often has musical numbers in their episodes and it's not even a stretch to have Homer and Marge to break out in song. But the character of Bones? Or House? No way.

House will most likely treat a rock star patient and Bones will have to investigate something involving an opera singer or some such plot device. Yes, it's silly, but it could be worse. Remember when NBC went green for a week and introduced Greenzo? I rest my case.

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'The Simpsons' - 'The Greatest Story Ever D'Ohed' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 29th 2010 3:05AM
'The Simpsons' - 'The Greatest Story ever Doh'd'(S21E16) It's always tricky to try and mix comedy with Jerusalem. Unless you're willing to throw caution to the wind and risk offending various religious groups and individuals, you almost always wind up with something that's bland and lame. For 'The Simpsons,' cutting edge and risque seems to be a thing long in their past, and the latter product is what we got.

Everything from Sacha Baron Cohen's aggressive tour guide to the jokes and the storyline in general didn't work this week. I'm not sure if it's because the writer, Kevin Curran, was trying too hard not to offend Muslims, Jews or Christians, but he wound up wringing every bit of humor out of the episode.

Normally, at least one or two jokes can hit, even in a bad episode of 'The Simpsons,' but this one actually got painful to continue sitting through.

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The Onion's A.V. Club Reviews a "Very Special Episode" of 'The Simpsons'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 26th 2010 7:00PM
Chief Wiggum and Snake Jailbird Actually, very special doesn't begin to describe it. It's more "stupendawesomagnifi-
centabulousness." It should be a word, dammit.

The Onion's A.V. Club published a very extensive review of one of the funniest and most creative 'Simpsons' episodes, in my humble opinion: "22 Stories About Springfield."

If you haven't seen it (go punish your eyes), it's exactly as it sounds. It starts with Bart and Milhouse spitting on cars from an overpass and pondering the existence of their townfolk's lives. Then the episode goes from presenting what appears to be the start of a linear story into a very funny series of comedy vignettes featuring the show's background characters.

It's so good to this very day, I wish the 'Simpsons' would pick up where they left off with it: a peek into "The Tomfoolery Of Professor John Frink." It's already got a catchy theme song.

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TV 101: Canaries In The Mineshaft (Pt. 1) - When Characters Become Caricatures

by Jay Black, posted Mar 26th 2010 11:21AM
Sometimes I feel like doing this to MY TV, but I'm married.One of my least favorite internet memes is the race among people who frequent TV blogs to be the first one to comment that a show has "jumped the shark." I'll take a busload of LOLCATS and Epic Beard Men if it means that I won't have to see "JTS!" four minutes into a show's pilot episode.

That said, the fact that JTS has been defanged by ubiquity doesn't take away from its ability to be a useful tool for analyzing pop-culture. Shows tend to weaken over time and the JTS moment is a fun way to decide where, exactly, the wheels came off.

In thinking about JTS, it occurred to me that there are a few warning signs that a show is about to jump. Today I'll be looking at the first in a series of canaries in the mineshaft: when characters become caricatures.

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'The Simpsons' - 'Stealing First Base' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 22nd 2010 5:25AM
'The Simpsons' - 'Stealing First Base'(S21E15) Our overly litigious society comes under fire in this week's installment of 'The Simpsons,' when a first kiss leads to zero tolerance on touching of any kind at the school. The new policy led to some pretty hilariously awkward moments later in the episode.

Bart learned the complexities of women and relationships while Lisa got a major boost in her self-esteem from Flotus1, a commenter on her gardening blog who was revealed to be someone everyone knows: the First Lady of the United States. The episode focused almost entirely on the school, and was incredibly entertaining throughout; definitely one of the strongest installments of the season so far.

So many of the gags and little jokes worked, like Lisa's teacher deriding her overachiever tendencies, Nelson taking a blind kid under his wing and even Bart and Nikki's discussion on proper vampires.

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'The Simpsons' - 'Postcards from the Wedge' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 15th 2010 8:15AM
The Simpsons(S21E14) I bet the newspaper industry was thrilled with this episode. While we're living in an era where the daily print newspaper is on the decline, we learned that in the future, people will get six daily editions of the newspaper -- and yet the fashions of the 1950s and early 1960s will still be all the rage, including dutiful wives and chain-smoking.

The opening and closing segments of this episode, which only tangentially had anything to do with the real plot of the episode, reminded me a lot of the old Warner Bros. shorts where they would take a look into a speculative future based on 1940s ideals and values. This interlude was every bit as fun as those, and I found myself disappointed when it ended as a video shown in Mrs. Krabappel's class that even she didn't understand.

Once we got into the meat of the episode, it actually touched on an issue that's pretty serious for most parents: what happens when the two of you disagree on how to deal with a child disciplinary issue.

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'The Simpsons' - 'The Color Yellow' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 22nd 2010 2:40AM
'The Simpsons' - 'The Color Yellow'(S21E13) You'll have to forgive me when I admit that I'm not familiar with all of the instances of the Simpson family history that have been presented over the years, as I've not caught all 453 episodes prior to this one. I also suspect that Lisa's journey across the attic featured costumes and memorabilia from across the past 20 years, which would have been a nice touch for that lackluster anniversary 450th episode that featured Krusty, for some reason. Bonus points to anyone who can recognize every artifact shown.

Speaking of Krusty, he showed up in the flashback installments of this nostalgic look back at the Simpsons in the era of slavery. It was but one of a few awkwardly forced historical cameos in what was otherwise a rather solid episode.

Plus, we learned where donuts originated from, and knowledge is power!

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Fox Plans Season Finales, So Set Your DVRs

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 19th 2010 1:02PM
FoxGood news for everyone who likes to plan their schedules far in advance. Fox has released the season finale dates for some of their most popular shows. If you already know that you won't be around, you can set the DVR right now. Either that or cancel that Aruba trip for fear of missing the finale of 'The Cleveland Show'.

The network is giving a whopping 127 minutes for the finale of 'American Idol'. There is also a double-feature finale of '24' and and a one-hour finale for 'Family Guy'. Oddly, they are showing a repeat of 'House' during its season finale (most likely they're showing the new episode finale and a repeat back-to-back). It doesn't seem likely that any of the listed shows will be series finales.

The finales end in early June with 'Glee', which paves the way for repeats during the summer. So which season finale are you looking most forward to?

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