(S19E20) "Applause is an addiction, like heroin or checking your e-mail." -- Sideshow Mel
Well, another season of The Simpsons has come to an end. As with the last few seasons some stuff was good, some was okay, and the rest should have gone back to the Writers' Room for further revision ("Treehouse of Horror", anyone?). Most of the weak stuff landed in the first half of the season for some reason -- maybe everyone was tired from the completion of The Simpsons Movie. The second half picked up steam, thanks to some solid episodes featuring Lisa and Bart.
Luckily, The Simpsons ended on a strong note with the Lisa-centric season finale. Once again going back to the on-going theme of how success can corrupt Lisa, we were treated to an episode featuring her turn to work with the famous Krusty the Clown. I say 'her turn' because older brother Bart had worked for Krusty in the past. And, like Bart, Lisa usurped Krusty's fame to become the star of the show.
You would think Krusty would have learned his lesson.
I went to Universal Studios in Hollywood on Saturday for the revealing of The Simpsons Ride. Celebs walked the "yellow" carpet. The mayor welcomed the crowds and led the countdown. A human cannonball was shot into the air. And a yellow sheet dropped to reveal a 32-foot Krusty the Clown face at the entrance to the attraction.
Despite the launch being for The Simpsons, there were hardly any members of the cast there on the yellow carpet. Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) was there along with creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks but no other voice talents were anywhere to be found. See who I talked to and read more about the ride unveiling after the jump.
(S19E19)"Mom, I can't believe you're here! You keep disappearing and reappearing and it's not funny! You're just like that show Scrubs" -- Homer to his mother after her unexpected return.
Over the past few Sundays this space has been reserved for deeper looks into The Simpsons. Despite the fact that it is an animated series there is usually an underlying base of themes, emotions, and psychoanalytical analysis that takes place amongst the Simpson family and those around them. In fact, one 22-minute episode can contain many layers of subtext that define each character further.
This week, though, not so much of that. What we may have thought to be a sweet story about the return of Homer's mother turned out to be a huge joke fest. Well, actually more a joke fest during the second half of the show than the first half. The first half was actually kind of sad as Homer couldn't take one more of Mona Simpson's promises that she had stopped running from the government and was now ready to devote her time to Homer and his family. The second half was a totally different Simpsons episode.
(S19E17) "Sorry, Lise. I can't be a vegetarian. I love the taste of death." -- Bart Simpson
Another Bart-centric episode, which means another decent installment of The Simpsons. It's unfortunate that these types of episodes couldn't have been dispersed more evenly throughout the season. This would have made for a less Homer-centric run of shows during the first half of the year -- something that many fans (or maybe just me) were expressing concern about.
The show was being broadcast at 11 A.M. daily. My first question is: shouldn't the kids be in school in the first place? Granted, I'm unaware of how the Venezuelan school system works. Probably not very well if the kids are home at 11 A.M.
(S19E15) "I'm not a nerd. I'm a jock who's too cool for sports." -- Bart Simpson
From the outside, the Family Simpson comprises a group of people who go from one wacky adventure to another. Yet, when you go beneath their four-fingered exteriors, each member of the family is actually fighting their own little battle. For Bart it's the fight against the establishment; for Marge it's finding order withing the disorder of her life; for Maggie it's getting through an entire day on one pacifier; and for Homer it is the philosophical dilemma of whether or not death brings forth life or life brings on death. That, or just trying to get between breakfast and lunch without starving to death...it really depends on the day.
(S19E14) "Oh boy, dinnertime! The perfect break between work and drunk." -- Homer J. Simpson
Before I get to the review as a whole for this week's installment of The Simpsons I want to talk about one of the most disturbing scenes that has ever graced this program. It involves Homer, who is breaking his one millionth diet or something. In one scene he's shown entering a room of a sleazy motel with what looks like another woman. Turns out it's just a rack of meat (I think it was lamb, I couldn't hear Homer) dripping in its own juices. He then goes about treating the meat like a lover, sucking on the juices, caressing it, and even bringing it to the shower with him. I was in total agreement with the host of Sneakers -- the fictitious television show that was a parody of the real-life show Cheaters -- when he asked the guys in the control truck to turn the hidden cameras off. Brrr!
Other than that, this was a pretty good episode.
(S19E13)"Young man, I'm going to be on you like a numerator on a denominator" -- Principal Skinner to Donny the informant
It's been a looong time since we had an episode of The Simpsons that focused on that young rapscallion Bart and his status of Prankmaster at Springfield Elementary. Frankly, I was starting to get a bit worried that we wouldn't see one at all this season and that all we would get is one episode after another focusing on Homer and his hi-jinks. Luckily, someone at FOX or the offices of The Simpsons realized this and gave us an installment that not only reignited the feud between Bart and Principal Skinner, but parodied the Martin Scorsese film The Departed. Plus, it was actually a good episode.
Sure, Oprah Winfrey might have her own TV network, but that doesn't mean she's number one.
The Harris Poll has released their annual list of the 10 favorite TV personalities, and Oprah actually came in second (after being on top for five years). The first place winner? Believe it or not, it's Nancy Grace.
OK, just kidding about that. Number one is actually Ellen DeGeneres, who was number eight last year. The full list is after the jump.
You may have noticed the homage to a famous YouTube video during last night's episode of The Simpsons. The scene where we see the rapid flashbacks of Homer's life to the beautiful piano music was based on (as some readers pointed out) a video by Noah Kalina, where he took a picture of himself every single day for 6 years, from 2000 to 2006. The music he used was by Carly Comando.
At first I thought this was a takeoff on several videos of this type (I've seen a couple of others that are similar to this, and the effect has been used in commercials) until I read this. Seems the producers of The Simpsons contacted Carly about using the song in a video that would parody Kalina's video. They were talking about money until the negotiations stopped. They didn't agree to anything or sign a contract, and now both Kalina and Comando are surprised to hear they parodied the video and used the music without compensating her.
Both videos are included after the jump if you'd like to compare.
(S19E09) The capital of Montana is not "Hannah" -- Bart's Blackboard Gag
Since they have plenty of time on their hands now, I'd like to take a moment and speak to the scheduling executives over at FOX.
What the hell are you doing? You don't have a new episode of The Simpsons for three weeks and then, out of the blue, you pop a new one into the schedule just for poops and giggles. Yes, you'll grab the people who have this programmed into their DVRs, but what about those few remaining lost souls who still use paper, pencil and their memory to remind them that this week's episode of The Simpsons is brand new. Those are the viewers you are going to miss. So, perhaps in the future you should just stop programming new episodes into the December schedule and just start again in January, or whenever American Idol frees up a spot for you.
Thank you. Now, to your requests and dedications.
(S19E06) After a month of Homer and Marge-centric episodes (I don't count 'Treehouse of Horror' stories because they take place outside of The Simpsons continuity. Don't laugh!) we finally get one focusing on the Simpson kids and their friends. In this case the spotlight is on one Milhouse Van Houten. This is not the first time Milhouse has been featured in an episode. In fact, he's probably the only other kid on The Simpsons that has had more than one show focus on him. Remember the 'Radioactive Man' episode waaayyyy back in the seventh season?
This is most likely due to his friendship with Bart. Because they have been so closely linked since the very first episodes of the series Milhouse has been given a richer backstory than, say, Martin.We know about his unrequited love for Lisa, his affair with Samantha Stanky, and the break-up (and subsequent get-together) of his parents.Actually, the pending nuptials of Kirk and Luann were part of the plot for this week's episode.
(S19E03) Shut the hell up, you damn ass whore! -- Bart
Three episodes of The Simpsons down. Time for an extensive, in-depth analysis of the nineteenth season so far.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting an earth-shattering change in the show after The Simpsons Movie premiered this summer. What has come down the pike since late September has been entertaining and provided a good solid laugh or two. However, I do have one concern and an observation about our favorite yellow-headed patriarch. If I've piqued your interest then jump ahead. If not, then enjoy this floating Homer head. Enjoy it as you get sleepy . . . sleepy. Now, You Will Jump To The Next Page And Laugh Everytime I Say Flooblegee!
(S19E02) Mr. Burns: My boy, you are a star!
Burns: An opera star!
We're back to the silly in this week's episode of The Simpsons as another bodily injury gives Homer an advantage in life. I'm surprised that this is the second Homer-centric episode in a row. Usually, the producers are good at going around the Simpsons circuit to focus on another family member or the group as a whole from one week to the next. Maybe my surprise is due to the fact that I haven't been a regular on the Simpsons boat for the last few seasons.
- Drew Carey injured on the set of The Price Is Right!
- This woman on Craigslist wants to help Corey Haim.
- The staff of The CBS Evening News learns how to dance to "Thriller."
- We all have a Homer Simpson gene.
- TV Barn goes behind the scenes of The Early Show.
- Get ready for the first annual Jerichon (the Jericho convention).
- Who's your TV alter ego?
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