Simpsons and Ke$ha?

It was just awful. Ke$ha, a female artist who will be irrelevant in six months, does not deserve the honor of being featured on The Simpsons. My blood boils.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Friend Qualifiers

Bart Sells His Soul

An example of a functioning friendship.

You meet new people every single day – it’s pretty impossible not to – unless you’re a hermit or mentally unstable. Strangers acquaint each other by exchanging pleasantries, the usual “Hi, how are you? I’m so and so. Nice to meet you.” But what each person is really wondering is, “Am I even going to build a friendship with this person? Is it worth it? What’s in it for me?” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the process of building friend networks is to enhance your power in this big, blue world.

For the Simpsons fan, a very different series of questions runs through his head when meeting new people. He’ll begin pondering, “Is this person going to know Apu’s last name? Do she know who Stampy is? Does she know who shot Mr. Burns?”  I am not being cheeky: if you aren’t a fan of the Simpsons, or if you can’t respect why I’m such a big fan, we can’t be friends. Period.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Common interests are important when establishing new relationships. Having an affinity for the Simpsons is like having a key to the most exclusive (and coolest) club in the world. It gives you access to knowledge you’d otherwise never gain.  For example, being able to identify a kwijibo out of a crowd or knowing how to utilize sappy journalism as a means of revenge.

I just love The Simpsons. It perplexes me when I meet people my age who aren’t huge fans of the show. Your cool points dwindle when you can’t decipher between Patty and Selma. God forbid you don’t know who Jub-Jub is – turn around and walk away.

Pray For Mojo

Just started my final semester at college. I look a little bit like Mojo right now. Stay tuned; I’ll be back with more posts soon.

Can I Borrow A Feeling?

Starla: Can I borrow the keys to the car, lover? I feel like changing wigs.

22 Short Films About Springfield

Whenever I explain my affinity for The Simpsons to someone, he or she will typically ask me, “Which episode is your favorite?” In my previous blog post, I explained why season four was my favorite season. As a collection, season four has the best sampling of episodes. Choosing one episode, one twenty-two minute snapshot into the world of Springfield is, as one blogger put it, is like “asking a parent to pick a favorite child!”

After much deliberation, I have come to my final decision. My favorite episode of The Simpsons is season seven’s “22 Short Films About Springfield.”

22 Short Films About Springfield

I like several different aspects of this episode. First of all, eleven different contributors wrote this episode, including the creator of the show, Matt Groening. Collaborative writing leads to a more well rounded piece of writing in any genre, but it is especially effective for comedy shows. I also love the different perspectives shown from local Springfieldians. The constant point of view switches works well in this episode. The viewer gets a more introspective look into each character’s lives.

In order to explain the final reason why I love this episode, I’m going to flash back to 1999. Remember the days of dial-up Internet connection, slow downloads, and constantly frozen computers? My parents had an ancient computer with all three of these problems. However, my oldest brother barred my other brother and I from using the computer because we would just mess it up. He was probably right. But when he let his guard down, the first thing my brother and I did was search for “22 Short Films About Springfield” to download. We opened up Napster and got to downloading. As the download began, we left the computer alone to let the download finish uninterrupted. Four hours later, the download was complete, and we watched the episode and laughed together. I’ve been sneaking around people’s backs to watch The Simpsons for over half my life.

Without a further ado, I will introduce the episode synopsis. A blogger from the Daily Kos provides an excellent recap. He states:

An episodic show with no real plot, “22 Short Films” pushed the envelope of what an episode of “The Simpsons” should be, while at the same time containing everything that makes the show great. Virtually every ancillary character in the show has a moment: Bumblebee Man, Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, Apu, Professor Frink, Burns and Smithers, and most hilariously of all, Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers. A new character, the Very Tall Man, is also introduced — and I love that guy. I love this show because it expands the show to include the entire city of Springfield rather than just limiting it to Bart, Homer, Lisa, Marge and Maggie.

I like this blogger’s interpretation because 22 Short Films does shed light on the complexities that occur in the town of Springfield. The Simpsons isn’t just about one family; it is about an entire community. This episode shows sides of periphery characters and that establishes their role in the Simpson family’s lives.

Dale Abersold, a contributor for The Simpsons Archive, reviewed the episode as well. Abersold states:

An instant classic! Here’s to our favorite writers for giving us this wonderfully kinetic portrait of our favorite city. The great moments are too numerous to mention, but the Van Houtens in Herman’s store, Lisa’s new hairstyle, and Nelson’s comeuppance were highlights. Grade A+. Best of the season.

I agree!

References:

Abersold, D. (June 10, 1996). Reviews. Message posted to http://www.snpp.com
Droogie 6655321. (June 26, 2009). My Top Ten Episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ (Now with No.6!). Message posted to http://www.dailykos.com

The Simpsons Attained Perfection in 1992

I’ll be blunt: the fourth season of The Simpsons is the best season of the show ever produced. Period.

The Simpsons may be in their twenty-first season, but the heart and soul of the show died years ago. My boys over at Dead Homers Society will wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Lucky for me, I have access to seasons one through ten of The Simpsons, so I can watch the golden years whenever I want. Whenever plagued with the “Hmm…which season to watch?” question, I always lean toward season four. I never quite knew why. In this post, I hope to show you why I feel this fondly about every episode in this season.

David Medster, a contributor for Bullz-Eye.com, wrote a intriguing review of season four. He states:

They picked a good episode to start with, too: “Kamp Krusty” has Bart and Lisa going off to a summer camp (as the bus pulls away, Lisa says, “If the pets die, don’t replace them, I’ll know.”) that’s supposedly run by Krusty the Klown. But Krusty being Krusty, he just sold his name to some goon who’s in fact running a sweatshop. Bart and Lisa mutiny, they make national news, and eventually Krusty does the right thing: he takes the kids to Tijuana.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Simpson children were allowed to attend camp if both Bart and Lisa earned C averages in school. Before receiving their grades, Lisa states, “with no false modesty, you’re looking at one happy camper.” However, Bart isn’t as lucky: he gets all D’s on his report card. After some minor alterations, Bart presents his report card to Homer.

Bart Simpson: Well Dad, here’s my report card. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Homer Simpson: (incredulously) A plus?!? You don’t think much of me, do you boy?
Bart Simpson: (almost proudly) No sir!
Homer Simpson: You know a D turns into a B so easily. You just got greedy.

George Meyer penned the classic episode “Homer the Heretic.” In this episode, Homer decides to skip church on an especially frigid day. Homer proceeds to have the greatest morning ever. He cranks up the heat; dances around in his underwear; makes his patented “space-age out-of-this-world moon waffles”; and gets to watch a football game with a Duff in hand. When his family returns from a less than stellar morning, he decides that he is never going to church again. The episode comes full circle when Homer accidentally burns down his home on Evergreen Terrace and the local firefighters come to save him. Each firefighter is representative of different religions in town: Ned Flanders, Christian; Krusty the Klown, Jew; and Apu, Hindu. This episode is so effective because the plot is well thought out. Homer has a religious epiphany and makes his way back into church, asleep in the front pew.

Space-Age Out-Of-This-World Moon Waffles

If I had it my way, I’d ramble on about how “A Streetcar Named Marge” made Tennessee Williams’ play accessible to a new generation; how “Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie” shows that Homer wants to be a strong, disciplined parent toward Bart; or how “Lisa the Beauty Queen” provides integral character development for Homer. This last statement is worth elaborating on. While at the town fair, Lisa feels ugly after an artist draws an unflattering picture of her. At the same fair, Homer wins a ride on the Duff blimp. He sells his beloved ride in order to enter Lisa into the Little Miss Springfield pageant. Marge questions Homer’s motives for entering Lisa into a pageant without her consent:

Homer Simpson: Hey, nobody’s prettier than my little girl!
Marge Simpson: Mmmm, you’re looking at her through a father’s eyes.
Homer Simpson: Well if I could gouge out somebody else’s eyes and shove them into my eye sockets I would; but to me she’s beautiful!
Marge Simpson: (moved) That is so sweet.

David Medsker recaps season four with extreme accuracy. He states:

And then there is the 1992-1993 season. To paraphrase Matt Johnson and The The [sic], “The Simpsons: The Complete Fourth Season” is when things fall into place. Each episode in this four-disc set is not only good, it’s spectacular, jam packed with physical humor, social commentary, massive character development, the best animation yet (a slightly larger budget will do that), and some of the most unforgettable lines in TV history (“Uh, Amanda Hugginkiss? I’m looking for Amanda Hugginkiss? Why can’t I find Amanda Hugginkiss?!”). There were episodes in the years down the road that rivaled the ones here, but in terms of one season’s worth of work, it doesn’t get any better than this.

References:
Medsker, D. The Simpsons: The Complete Fourth Season. Posted to http://www.bullz-eye.com.
Holtz, M. (1994). Homer the Heretic. Posted to http://www.snpp.com

A Mathemagician

mathematician

Lisa Simpson: But seven goes into twenty-eight four times.

Mathemagician: Uh.. this is a MAGIC seven!