Sunday, September 09, 2007

Late Season Simpsons

I had heard that the Simpsons - the best show ever produced for TV - has 'jumped the shark.' I admit that I'm guilty of the urge to declare the show jumpsharky, but mainly because I was unable to keep watching it regularly. As such, schadenfreude forced me to desire that the show upsuck, to validate my inability to keep watching.

But this is unfair of me. A show that has given me so much... the least I could do is try to judge its twisted corporate sellout hack soul fairly. Ahem. So, through the miracle of Youtube, I'm going to see how much of the last two seasons I can glimpse and thus make a better scalded judgment.

1. Couch gag roundup [Link dead].

: These were pretty good; i especially like the couch monsters

2. Test Episode 1 [link dead]

: Ugh. Very few jokes, most of them telegraphed (i.e. i could write them, especially the asinine grandpa jokes). I had to pause it after 3 minutes because Homer was irritating me too much and then stop it completely after 5 (the chicken joke... who didn't see it coming??).

3. Test Episode 2 [link dead]

: OK, this was intolerable while seeing what the Simpsons looked like 20 years ago. But then the Marge running sequence (the quads line, the Raising Arizona music) was pure gold. Then the dentist scene... oh baby. And while the "Fox" jokes have been largely telegraphed, I'd say that they are still great when they stick to parody.

4. Test Episode 3. [link dead]

: OK, now this is disappointing. Because it's a parody and they were pretty bad at it. Its dumb Homer, too. And it gets worse as it goes on. Ugh.

Now, I realize that the people uploading and splicing the clips may be responsible for taking out good stuff and highlighting crap, but I dunno!

5. Test Episode 4. [Link dead]

: a '24' parody. I've seen only a third of one show (which I thought sucked), but I know enough of the show through natural Zeitgeist portals, that I could get the 'inside' jokes; and it seems to be pretty good within the parody framework. Still some telegraphed jokes. Yet you can have Groundskeeper Willie saying the phrase "weiner soakin's" all day long for my tastes.

6. Test Episode 5 [Dead link]. This is from the 18th season acc. to the Wiki.

: OK, in the first few seconds, a crappy Iraq joke. Dumb Homer to the rescue! The heavy French humor is OK, but you can tell they don't know who they're writing for anymore by the fact that we need to focus on Wiggim's siren. Anyway, since its a parody it works pretty well. (good lines: "rat helmet" "ooh, a penny" "Suzette!")

7. Test Episode 6. [Dead link] This appears to be from season 17 (sez wiki)

: It starts off with a poke at itself ('classic grandpa' - a good joke because I was getting a bit horrified). Then, soon after, another poke at the past. Hmmm. Then a bunch of Irish nun jokes (which sounds better than they are). Actually, these Irish jokes are getting a wee bit too horrible. If they were Jewish jokes, I'd be miffed. Although the Saint joke is good ("I forgive thee, now die!"). The Simon Says line is good too. Homer appears to be crazy so far... does it last? Ooh, a good laugh... Well, it's gotten better - especially in snarking about how 'cool' priests work. And some good pokes at the inanity of Protestants and Catholics considering themselves different... And the fact that the mobsters are in the Catholic church and THEY DIDN'T FOCUS ON THEM! Just a quick throwaway gag, like in the good old days.

And I like the name of the Lovejoy's sect (acc. to the Wiki): The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism.

All said and done, crazy Homer may only be present when its a Bart and/or Marge focused episode. But, as we've talked about, that was like that a decade ago as well (maybe not as bad).

8a. Test Episode 7 [Dead link] Acc. to Wiki this is in season 18.

: Bad premonition in that the obligatory guest star is Meg Ryan. [Homer Shudder] A decent Bush joke slipped in. Oh, and it looks like a Bart episode, which should mean crazy Homer. Hmm, nope. It's a maudlin "My Father is a Bad Father" Episode. Why?!? Who needs that?!?

But there is a nice insight about how psychiatry is akin to romance (and/or prostitution). But they play it to death.

The small Krusty interlude makes me realize what a missed opportunity the movie was (again). What they should have done was spend the time concentrating a plot on some of the best minor characters: Ralph Wiggum, Krusty the Klown and Willie. And if necessary only on Ralph. A Ralph-o-centric movie would have been great!

8b. This is part 1 of the previous episode. [Dead link]

: Hmmm, nice Edward Gorey satire - actually, I'm glad they did this because Gorey was a real sicko. Actually, this whole clip is good! Which gives evidence to the idea that the idiots who chop up the episodes and put 'em on youtube are not capable of knowing what's good and what's not.

It's actually a good paradox: the type of personality that records a TV show, transfers the show to a computer and uploads a few minutes onto YouTube is probably not the type of personality that can appreciate what is good in a Simpsons.

9. This is the Family Guy in Iraq (it was linked, kinda). [Dead in 2009]

Styx: I am laughing more during the first scene than in the 6 previous simpson clips. Dammit! They seemed to have made Brian more pathetic (why?) but they also don't seem to care about reality. And I don't get half of the references. But, ooh, good fakeout on the cutaway. Har. Aaaand, thank you for the Stripes music.

I'm not happy about this experiment.

Top pic from here (a good essay BTW). Backpost finished on 2009-11-25. Most of the text was there, but for some reason I didn't finish it up.

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