While the concept of a womanizing male character has been done on The Simpsons before (Life on the Fast Lane, anyone?), it hasn't been done with any regularity. This could be the case of The Simpsons stealing from the Family Guy character of Glenn Quagmire (although likely with more taste). However, the concept of the ladies' man has been around since Casanova himself so I don't think it actually qualifies as a theft.
With a show like The Simpsons, it's always tough to find new concepts and new characters. The popular theory is that television ideas can be recycled every seven years, but The Simpsons has been around for twenty. Let's hope Ricardo Bomba can inject some life into the franchise.
I'm reminded of that episode of South Park called "Simpsons Already Did It". There really aren't many firsts left for a series that has gone on for twenty years, but this would be one of the remaining ones. Will they be following it up with a special Passover episode that premieres in Israel on that holiday?
There are many who feel The Simpsons are past their prime, but I really think the only limits to this show are the imaginations of those who are responsible for it (and the lifespans of the voice actors). Bring on more!
(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.
Big thanks to The Simpsons Channel for the following information.
The Web site for The Simpsons Movie has been sitting around not doing much of anything lately, but finally, it has launched. Not all the parts of the site are online just yet, but there's a couple fun games and an avatar builder. The character on the right is the Simpsons version of me, though it doesn't look much like me since eyeglasses aren't an option, and you can't add stubble. It's sorta me as a ten year old boy.
Speaking of the movie, which premieres July 27, I've placed a new trailer at the end of this post. This one gives us an even better glimpse of what to expect. You can tell they went all out to make the movie truly cinematic, and not just another episode of the series slapped up on a theater screen.
Finally, the anticipated premiere date of season 19 is September 23. That's only a few short months away.
I think the Dutch have us beat when it comes to crazy ideas for reality shows. A couple years ago, they produced a one-off reality series about a woman who wanted some sperm and nothing more, and now they've come up with Big Donor Show, which features a dying woman who will pick one contestant to receive her kidney.
All ethical issues aside, some questions remain, such as whether or not Lisa's (the donor) organs can be transplanted at all, given that she has cancer (specifically: a brain tumor). Also, the donation would probably have to be made before she died, because once she's dead, her wish to have any organ donated to a specific person is no longer valid.
Not too long ago I told you about a very cool (and very disturbing) video that showed what Homer Simpson would look like if her were an actual person. The video shows a normal-looking man slowly morphing into a Homeresque manifestation. The New Age music only adds to the surreal, nightmarish quality of it.
Well, Adnan Saleem, the person who created the video, sent us a note to let us know he's also done the same for Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Watch as the line between comedy and complete, unholy terror is slowly erased before your eyes. And I mean that as a compliment, these videos are really cool, but c'mon, they're also really creepy, which is the point, I think.
The image on the right is another creation of Adnan's. It's Snowball II, of course.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists, a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
Here's my list of what I believe are the top 14 Simpsons episodes in regards to heartstring tuggery. Share your own in the comments and tell me why mine are wrong.
Let's get to it:
I may be a Simpsons apologist, but that doesn't mean I don't understand where people are coming from when they say the show isn't what it used to be. Even those like myself who defend the series for still being one of the smartest and funniest shows on television can still recognize a lesser episode, and this episode was certainly not the best one of the season.
(S18E15) Seriously, what is it with Grandpa Simpson falling for Marge's family members? In season five he almost marries her mother, and last night he puts the moves on Selma. Talk about a lot of weird Thanksgivings.
This episode had some good laughs, but overall I wasn't too impressed. The secondary story involving Bart and Lisa building a gigantic castle out of cardboard boxes from ASS --which stood for "American Shipping Services," and is not, as one truck indicates, affiliated with the human ass-- and fighting an apocalyptic battle with the men in brown was more entertaining than the main story, in my opinion.
Marge [talking to Bart at the psychiatrist's office]: Bart, honey, this is all we can afford for now. If it doesn't work, maybe when you're older you can pay some lady to make you happy for an hour.
Bart: You know, I'm pretty sure I will.
Part of the fun of watching The Simpsons is trying to guess who the guest voice is each week. This episode had five guest voices packed into the episode, some of which were easier to guess since the actors were playing themselves, of course: Steven Sondheim, Meg Ryan, Peter Bogdanavich, Andy Dick and James Patterson.
Marge: Revenge never solves anything!
Homer: Then what's America doing in Iraq?
I'm always somewhat underwhelmed by these "vignette" episodes, and I think I've figured out why: a full episode allows more room for the comedy to breathe and stretch out. There's more time to let gags simmer, to have better set-ups and thus bigger payoffs. Cramming three mini-episodes into a half-hour doesn't afford this luxury, and I think the episode suffers for it.
Homer and Bart are trapped on a sinking boat:
Homer: [to captain, whispering loudly] Should I hit him with a shovel to spare him the pain of drowning?
Captain: [also whispering] Not yet.
Homer: [whispering] What's the code word?
Damn you, football. You almost made me miss this episode. Luckily, I also Tivoed American Dad, so I was able to catch the last half of this episode, which aired during the time American Dad would have normally started. That's one of the dangers of recording everything I watch.
You'll never take me alive, Grim Reaper! --Grandpa Simpson
Damn, this episode had a lot of guest stars: Tom Wolfe, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen and Gore Vidal*. Oh yeah, and John Updike and Thomas Pynchon both make cameos on a writer's panel, sans dialogue. Pynchon, whose book Gravity's Rainbow I actually heaved to the ground and did victory laps around because I finally made it through the damn thing, was decked out in his usual paper bag mask. The best guest appearance of all goes to J.K. Simmons, who reprised his role as the fast-talking editor from the Spider-Man movies, this time as the editor of a poetry publication. The man should do more voiceover work. Hell, bring him back for more episodes of The Simpsons, give him a reoccurring character like Fat Tony or Sideshow Bob.
(S18E02) I thought the season premiere was decent enough, but this episode was even better. We begin at a funeral for Homer's Vegas wife, where Lenny explains how she met her demise:
Lenny: I'll tell you how she died: you know that sign that says "do not stand up on the roller coaster?"
Lenny: She overdosed right in front of it.
Like any little kid forced to go to the funeral of someone he doesn't know that well, Bart starts to find ways to entertain himself. When the ball comes loose from his paddle ball and sets off a chain reaction that chokes half the congregation, Homer and Marge decide to see a child psychologist to figure out how to help Bart behave.
(S06E22) This episode kicks off, as so many do, with an episode of the Krusty the Clown Show. It seems Krusty got into some hot water with a sexual harassment lawsuit, so his special guest that day is a woman named Officer No Means No. Meanwhile, Bart enjoys his breakfast of Krusty-Os, which contain a special prize inside: one jagged metal Krusty-O.
Bart swallows the jagged O unknowingly, and begins to feel the effects while in class. He begs Ms. Krabappel to let him see the nurse, but she thinks he's faking. Bart tries to persuade her by insisting that if he dies, she'll get in trouble, but according to the school charter, "No teacher shall be held accountable if Bart Simpson dies." Bart is forced to finish his test, and finally Ms. Krabappel let's him see the nurse, who also happens to be Lunch Lady Doris due to budget cuts.
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