It's just crazy that a show that can tackle a serious subject so well, and with humor, is the same place we can see the boys being inspired by Snooki to make a checklist for their ideal woman. Their criteria aren't nearly as strict as hers, or most men. They'd be satisfied with just one breast, for example.
How's this for an odd occurrence of non-product placement? On Wednesday night, during the ABC sitcom block -- actually during 'Modern Family' -- there was a commercial for Stouffer's Family Size dinners. The commercial referred to 'The Middle,' making the case for how positive it is for families to sit down and share a meal together.
It was a great idea for a commercial, but did anybody at Stouffer's realize that with the exception of Thanksgiving, the Hecks don't actually cook dinner? They're usually bringing in bags of take out from a burger joint. You see hamburgers and fries and lots of paper products, but it was only for Turkey Day that anybody actually fixed dinner.
While everything today is compared to The Simpsons, The Simpsons were being compared to The Flintstones, a prime-time cartoon that lasted six seasons in the 1960s. Nobody was doing animation for adults when The Simpsons came on the air, and they got a lot of grief for what they were doing. But The Simpsons put FOX on the map, and made it okay to have a cartoon for grown-ups, too.
I've been holding this interview for almost six months, but I think it was worth it. When I was in Pasadena last summer for the TCA press tour (whose winter edition I'll be leaving for on Friday morning... eep!), I spoke to Morgan Spurlock about the 20th anniversary film he was making about The Simpsons. FOX has finally decided to air that film, entitled The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special -- In 3-D! On Ice!, on January 10, along with the venerable cartoon's 450th episode.
Spurlock was just in the initial stages of filming the documentary when I talked to him, but his views on the show, how it and the perception of it has changed over the years, and some of the interesting things he learned about the show made for a fun interview. Since I didn't know how long the movie was going to be, I start the talk by expressing some surprise about its length.
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Fox graphics will turn yellow to celebrate 'The Simpsons'' 20th anniversary, beginning the week of Jan. 3. Among the items going yellow include on-air graphics and promos, social networks -- even local news anchors' ties, according to the report.
The "yellowing" continues an aggressive marketing campaign that has already featured stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service and an online scavenger hunt.
As previously reported, a special one-hour "documentary" entitled 'The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! On Ice' will air on January 10, directed by 'Super Size Me' director/star Morgan Spurlock.
Fox announced Tuesday that it's set an air date of Jan. 10 for Spurlock's hour-long documentary, 'The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice.'
(Which, by the way, is neither in 3-D nor on ice.)
Fox is willing to bribe you to tune into the network this week with a 'Simpsons'-themed TV scavenger hunt commemorating the show's 20th birthday. From Tues., Nov. 9, to Friday, Nov. 13, Fox will be stuffing 'Simpsons'-related clues within its primetime programming. And they're not making it easy, as the clues won't be animated or obvious -- the network promises they could be "anything!"
Luckily, The New York Times has some tips, noting that some shows will mention the name of 'Simpsons' characters, others will have cameos from the cast, and one will incorporate 'Simpsons' licensed products into a plot line. But 'Glee' fans (or foes) can relax. The show won't feature any clues, as the episodes were shot before the hunt was planned by Fox.
Twenty years later, Spurlock has established himself as a filmmaker with Super Size Me and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden, and will direct a segment for the upcoming adaptation of Freakonomics. And he'll get to tackle the show he's loved these past two decades as he produces and directs The Simpsons Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!, which will air Thursday, January 14, 2010.
Spurlock remembers his first impression of the show, watching back in his college days. "When it first came on, I was in college, and it was literally an obsession. It was something that me and all my friends would literally ... at 8 o'clock, we were sitting there on the couch watching this show, and it was something that we all did together," said Spurlock in a conference call with media last week. "For all my four years of college, that was something that we did."
Sadly, since Fox is behind this production, the documentary will likely be biased on behalf of The Simpsons. Possibly even making them into sympathetic characters, thus ignoring Homer's temper and drunkenness, Bart's antisocial psychotic behavior, Marge's ignorance of the aforementioned and Lisa's extreme liberalism. Of course, if all that was taken into account, the documentary would only be about Maggie.
I do hope the documentary has some original material, like a framing sequence with the family. Although that's been done before with the "Behind the Laughter" episode. The Simpsons did it! The title of the documentary says it all: The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3-D on Ice. In 3-D. On Ice. This is a must-see.
(S03E06) After two weeks of hard core issues, it's nice to take a break and get an episode that isn't quite so divisive. I was hoping that this final 30 Days would be like the season premiere in that it showed me some things I wasn't aware of.
Growing up in Arizona, I went to school with quite a few Native Americans. I remember my friend Dave King would always make jokes about how I (the white man) took everything from him. It was all in good fun but it was one of the things that made me sensitive to the plight of the Native Americans. Now, as an adult, I always vote in favor of keeping the Native American casinos exempt from paying state taxes. Maybe it has more to do with feeling guilty but, that's how I roll.
(S03E04) I have never been a fan of guns. Sure, I enjoy movies where gun violence plays a major part. I've always held a fondness for Dirty Harry and the few times I held a gun, I definitely thought it was cool. All that being said, I don't know if I could ever shoot a gun at another living being. I don't really care to find out.
What I would like to know is if there is some way that responsible Americans can enjoy hunting and feel protected while at the same time, psychos won't be able to walk onto the playground of my daughter's school and shoot innocent children. This was an episode I was really looking forward to.
Last week was a historic one for me. Something happened that has never happened before and it actually happened twice.
Last week, as I often do, I wrote reviews of a few TV shows. The first review was for a new documentary series on Showtime. I didn't really like the show but I made a comment on how beautiful I found a young lady who was featured on the show. Well, much to my surprise, not only did she read the review but she wrote to thank me for the compliment. I was certainly flattered but I was even more surprised that someone I mentioned would actually take the time to write me.
(S03E04) Usually the teasers for 30 Days are pretty innocuous. They give an idea about what the topic is and show some reactions from both sides. This week, however, I had the feeling I was going to be pissed.
The part that stuck out the most was the sound byte of Kati saying, "It confirms the option of becoming gay." A person who would let that comment come out of their mouth is clearly uneducated on a great many things and I hoped that we'd get to see some redeeming qualities in her.
I had to laugh when Spurlock said Kati was going from Leave it to Beaver to My Two Dads. I've seen both of those shows many times and while the Beav can certainly be classified as a kid from a "typical American home," I never got the idea that Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan played gay lovers. I guess I need to rent that show on DVD.
(S03E03) "I think half of that is bullshit" - George the hunter
Normally, I would go into an episode about vegetarianism and animal rights with a pretty strong opinion. However, since this is 30 Days, I know I'm bound to see and hear things that will, at least, give me second thoughts, if not change my opinions completely.
When it comes to animal rights, I have always been somewhere in the middle. I think killing animals for fur is cruel but I don't have a problem with people who eat meat. I personally have an affinity for pigs, so I don't eat pork. However, I think chickens are stupid, so I don't mind some pollo asado now and then. I don't think cosmetics should be tested on animals but I have found a lot of uses for prescription drugs. As far as hunting goes, well, I think you get the point. This episode was tailor made for a guy like me.
(S03E02) Being confined to a wheelchair is one of my own personal worst fears. Whenever I see someone in a wheelchair, I can't help but selfishly imagine how much it would suck for me. My mind immediately starts listing all the things I wouldn't be able to do or at least do without any difficulty. For this reason, I was very interested in this week's episode.
As with most episodes, Spurlock makes this one about more than just a pro football player in a wheelchair. He manages to point out that the issues of stem cell research, the war in Iraq and equal rights for the differently-abled are all connected.
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