Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions and Future Posts

Hello everyone, just here to give one last post for the 2010 year and give you all a preview of what's to come in 2011. Hope you enjoy.

  • Try to be more pleasant towards commentors
  • Try to be more fair for the good parts of bad episodes
  • Try to be more consistent with my grading system
  • Don't wait till the last minute to get my posts out
  • Have my reviews more grammatically correct
  • Do a better job of explaining my feelings towards certain episodes/parts
Future Posts:
  •  Phil Hartman dedication month
  • Around the world in 30 days
  • "Controversy" Thy name is television
  • Stupidest plots for the show
  • Things that go bump in the night
  • Religion in the show
  • "Hate Month" Rob Lazebnik
  • "Hate Month" Brian Kelley
  • "Hate Month" Ian Maxtone-Graham/Billy Kimball
  •  Season 20 individual posts
  • Season 19 page
And others to be determined later. Well have a happy New Years and see you all next year

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bad Christmas Memories: 'Tis the Fifteenth Season

December's almost at an end so I thought I'd give one last shout out to why Christmas on this show does not work at all (With a few exceptions). Honestly, there's always some hope that the show could put a decent Christmas episode outside the first two so you could have something to watch on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, but alas, they've failed to do that eve thought they've had a lot of attempts at it (Each getting worse than the previous I might add). Today we go to see a weird little story of Homer going from greedy bastard to Grinch and ending with a religious service (I'd like to see the storyboard for this one).

The episode begins with the family eating dinner while watching a Krusty Christmas special (No bearing on the plot so let's move forward). We then cut to a montage of the family getting ready for Christmas (Goody) next we see Homer at the Power Plant where Carl gives Homer a DVD player and Magnum PI as his Secret Santa (Wow, all I ever got from that were $5 gift cards). We then find out that Homer was Lenny's Secret Santa and he forgot to get him a present, so Homer goes to the vending machine and gives Lenny a package of gum (Wow, what an asshole, I mean the writers not Homer). I want to call timeout for a second to get on my soapbox here, I know that Homer's is selfish and I know he can be thoughtless at times, but this is just grossly out of character for him and just too over the top selfish and I don't like it one bit (Okay, I'm off my soapbox, let's continue). After Carl calls Homer the most selfish man he knows, Homer tries to deflect that statement towards Mr. Burns and wouldn't you know it, Mr. Burns just happens to enter the room (That's not a good argument, it's like trying to defend Stalin by saying Hitler was an eviler man, they were both evil).
Homer, why are you so out of character?
Mr. Burns then hands out the Christmas bonuses which is a $5 meal voucher. Burns then gives Homer a Joe DiMaggio rookie card for... um... I don't know he just gives it to him, no rhyme or reason (Oh yeah remember this whole "Christmas bonus" thing here, I'll mention it later on and why the writers screwed this up too). After we see a female Burns (Brain bleach! I need brain bleach!) Homer sells the card to Comic Book Guy for a lot of money (No specified amount, just a  lot). After a stupid Christmas special (That last for 40 seconds, I know it seems like I'm nitpicking, but it's just a bunch of these pointless scenes all add up to quite a large amount in the end) Homer gets home and tells the family that they're going to shop at the "Springfield Heights Promenade" which happens to be a high class mall. Homer then gives some money to everyone as we see a few scenes of Marge, Bart and Lisa shopping around getting assorted gifts. We then cut back to Homer as we see that he's spent the bare minimum for his family but decides to spend the rest of his money on a gift for himself.
I'll take it! I mean, I hate my family and would hate to get them good gifts
Okay my argument comes full circle, this is just stupid, if you remember Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, Homer didn't get his Christmas bonus but he still tried his hardest to get decent presents for his family and didn't at one moment think about himself first. Yeah I know it was the first episode and Homer's not quite the same afterwards, but it was clear that he never wants to disappoint his family and he'll try his hardest, something the writers here don't understand. Okay back to the review, in the car Bart asks for Homer to go get the tree and Homer then realizes he can't afford the tree because of the present he bought. Homer decides to take his family to the bad part of town and buy a worthless dry tree that makes the Charlie Brown tree look like the Rockefeller tree. Back home, the family finds out about Homer's gift and they decide to leave him because he was just being a selfish asshole. Later that night, Homer tries to get Marge to reconcile with him, but because this is post-season 10 Homer, he doesn't understand what he did wrong and ends up sleeping on the couch that night (This writing is truly awful). While downstairs, Homer decides to watch a Christmas special (Which he changes to Mr McGroow Christmas Carol) and he starts to realize that he's a lot like Ebenezer Scrooge. At the end he sees his own name on the tombstone with "Unloved by all" under it (Trust me the more he acts this way, the more that becomes true).
Why do I get the feeling that this will be the show's own grave soon?
The next morning, Homer tells his family about the story but Lisa and Bart tell Homer that it's an old story that everyone has their own version of (With the help of the disappearing TV, seriously it's not on the counter for part of the scene). Homer then tells his family that he'll stop being selfish and become the nicest man in Springfield (That sounds familiar, but I can't put my finger on it). We then cut to Ned Flanders and his kids delivering clothes and food to hobos where we find out that Homer's already done that. Ned's a bit shocked but happy to see Homer doing good (As we will soon see that'll all change). We then cut to Homer going up to apologize to Lenny and give him a picture cube with pictures of Lenny, Homer and Carl together (They also put in a joke with Lenny's eye, please tell me that they weren't trying to reference Homer Vs. Dignity). We then see Homer decide to give Marge the last pork chop as she goes a little insane while eating it (Do these scenes have any point? Or is it just "Homer's a nice guy, don't believe us? Then see this") After Homer gets a lot of money by being an usher for the church we see Ned start to harbor feelings of jealousy towards Homer. Back home, Marge is very proud of Homer and Homer thanks her and reveals that he created an entire skating rink for the whole town... that was random.
Have you heard the good news Seymour?
After Ned tries to give some food for the homeless shelter, he finds out that they all went to Homer's skating rink and Nelson decides to tell the audience that Ned's role of "Nice guy" has been usurped by Homer (Who could have possibly seen this coming?) After a news report that's only purpose is to increase Homer's "Nice guy persona" Ned decides that he's going to take back that persona by giving everyone in town a Christmas present (Ah yes, materialistic, commercial USA; where you can buy people's love). After Homer sees that everyone loves Flanders again, he thinks about one-upping him but is told not to by Lisa. Lisa then tells Homer that he needs to remind people about the spirit of Christmas and how everyone's forgotten that it's not presents and they would  be happier without presents(Oh yeah, is it just me or does she sound like a female Linus while doing this speech?) Homer then decides to become the Grinch by stealing everyone's presents on Christmas Eve through a montage (Yippe). The next morning he expects to hear joy but is shocked to hear people upset that their presents are gone (Gee I wonder why? Maybe if I go to your house and steal something you'd understand you nimrod).
You're poorly written, Mr. Homer
Homer then sees an angry mob head towards him and they pelt him to the ground with snowballs. Ned comes to save him but then gets hit with snowballs himself, the mob then stops when Homer points out what seems to be a bright star in the sky (But it's really a flare shot off by Moleman, no real point other than to show what it really was). After that, Ned reads from the Bible but is told by Mayor Quimby to stop, Homer then decides to give back all the gifts as we see that Moe's attempting suicide by jumping off the City Hall building. After he slips and lives, the town all sings "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" (Please stop it)

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, the story as a whole makes no sense and the flow is just a huge headscratcher, the writing is piss-poor, the jokes aren't funny and the characterization of Homer sucks. In short this is a lousy Christmas episode and deserves to be left in obscurity where it belongs. Well we're done and I hope you all enjoyed it much better than I did.

Final Grade: 3.6/10 Just pitiful, see you all next year

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My personal Favorite Christmas Movie

Merry Christmas everyone, I've been spending some time with family and loved ones and having a pretty good Christmas here. But enough about me, I'm here to talk about a Christmas movie which is always a holiday tradition for me and I look forward to every year. And that movie is; It's a Wonderful Life. Yeah I know it seems cliche to pick this one as my favorite but in all honesty, it may be my all time favorite movie of any genre (That list includes Citizen Kane, Star Wars, A Clockwork Orange, etc). And every Christmas Eve, I watch it again on NBC in the glorious black-and-white version (Sorry, but I can't even fathom watching it in color, just so used to it in B&W). Heck this year, I convinced my sister who's never seen it before to watch it and she loved it. But for those of you who haven't seen it and don't know what I'm talking about, I'm just going to highlight some reasons why I like it so much.

The backstory that is given for Clarence (Angel to save George Bailey) I felt like did have moments of forced exposition (Like flat out telling us "This scene is important") but in the grand scheme of the story I felt was actually done quite well. We see throughout the backstory that George is essentially a good well respected man who wants to travel the world and see new places but always has events that put his life second fiddle to his hopes and dreams. I felt that Jimmy Stewart's performance as a man who watches as everyone else gets what they want while he has to suffer by himself was fantastic. He never openly blames anyone for his life and he decides to make the most out of what he's given. It's not until the prospect of him going to jail for something his senile uncle did that he actually snaps and blames people and we all know what we're like when we snap under pressure. Mr. Potter has to be one of the evilest villains I've ever seen as he views people as a way of making more money and is willing to step on anybody who gets in his way. The line that cements his evil for me is when George is begging him for money so he doesn't go to jail, George offers Potter his life insurance policy as collateral but it's only worth $500 (George needs $8000). Potter then tells George as a response; "You're worth more dead than alive"... I was at a loss for words when I first heard that. To Potter a person is only worth as much as you can put a dollar symbol on them and it sickens me. Clarence showing George the alternate reality I thought was just great because we can all take our lives for granted and it's not until we realize what a big hole we'd leave if we weren't there. It also tells us that life is more than just money and it's about all the people we affect. I'd like to end my praise with the ending scene as it always gets me chocked up seeing how George is so well loved that the town would go to all that trouble to prevent something bad from happening to George. I think the quote in the book summed up the movie quite well; "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends"

If you haven't seen it, check it out, if you have, see it again. Until next year fans.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I felt there were some issues I needed to address this week and I felt that I should address them now.
  1. I know there's no post scheduled for Friday December 24, I instead will make a Christmas post as mentioned on my schedule. 
  2. There will be no post on Monday December 27, I know I said there would be one, but so far I have been forced to cancel it, maybe I will do it, but don't get your hopes up. 
  3. The blog will be titled differently for reasons you will soon see. 
  4. I will be reevaluating all my reviews to date, this means that an episode that I already assigned a grade, could be given a different grade or a list may be altered. I hope you can accept this change
  5. Lastly, my editor (RBY) has decided to create a different segment which I hope you will enjoy and give as much respect to RBY as you do to me.
With all that out of the way, I will see you all after Christmas

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bad Christmas Memories: Simpsons Christmas Stories

I"m really starting to lose my annual Christmas cheer and this episode is one of the reasons why. It's not the worst episode or even the worst Christmas episode they've made, but it is bad enough to say that this qualifies for "untertainment". Honestly, I HATE these 3-4 segment episodes; outside of the THoH episodes, there is no need to do this because it just creates more storylines that are all underwhelmingly underdeveloped. In the end, I don't give a crap about any of them. Well, talking about it here won't help; bitching about it in the review will. So let's all be jolly and take a look at this piece of crap.

The First D'oh-El:
The segment begins with everyone in church wondering where Reverend Lovejoy is. After an unfunny bit from Homer, Ned gets a call from Lovejoy asking him to do the Christmas ceremony for him (Okay quick question, feel free not to answer: why does Ned have his phone on in church? I don't mean on vibrate or silence, I mean loud ringtone on). Ned then goes up with his reverend outfit but gets a papercut and faints (So we're back at square on now are we? Nice to know our writers got so much out of one 30-minute writing class). Homer then decides to give the sermon and he decides to tell the story of the birth of Jesus (Considering this is coming from Homer, I'd want to leave the room before he rapes the story with "comedy"). So our story begins (I just realized that calling this a "story" is an oxymoron) with Joesph (Homer) finding out that Mary (Marge) is a virgin but is pregnant (And for quite a long time it seems; I'm pretty sure Mary told Joesph as soon as it happened not 8 months after it happened). Then the Angel Gabriel (Lisa) approaches Joesph and Mary and tell them that Mary's child was conceived from the Holy spirit (Okay, you know what, I'm not going to point out the inaccuracies, but I am just going to say now that they had no respect for the source material and it pisses me off).
What you have in yourself is either the King of the Jews or the Devil. Choose wisely
We then cut to the Three Wisemen (Dr. Hibbert, Skinner, and Professor Frink) where they reveal that the King of the Jews is about to be born to King Herod (Burns). This of course pisses off Herod and he goes on a search for this baby (You know, if you're going to try to tell a story through comedic fashion, at least keep the facts straight). Mary and Joesph then go to an inn where they are given the manger because Mary's about to give birth. After an unfunny bit with Dr. Nick, we then see everyone crowding around baby Jesus (Bart) (The Devil's Cabana boy, Jesus?.....SERIOUSLY? Lisa would be more fitting, even though she's the wrong gender). If you could somehow stand the "Comedy" of this segment so far, this is where the shit hits the fan and you could basically put the "This is bad comedy" clip from Transformers after every joke. After Joesph gets insulted, he goes to drink some wine but baby Jesus turns it into water a la I Dream of Jeannie. Joesph then tries to strangle Jesus but gets told by Gabriel that he needs to allow Jesus to grow up and get persecuted by his own friends. Mary then starts complaining about Jesus crying anytime someone suffers but Joesph can't help because he's watching an orange bowl (Just wait a bit longer, it's not over yet). Joesph decides to entertain Jesus by doing a 3 Stooges bit with one of the wisemen, this causes Jesus to sleep and causes Joesph to utter a line so corny that even sitcom writers would be ashamed (Still not time yet). One of the wisemen then warn Mary and Joesph that King Herod is coming and they need to hide. After another unfunny bit (Seriously, I'm this close to throwing a brick out the window because of how stupid these jokes are) King Herod and his army follow a glow only for it to be a duck with a halo. Joseph then cuts down an evergreen tree and it rolls down the hill, getting all the soldiers and Herod caught on the tree. The tree then stands upright and Mary decides to call it a Christmas Tree (Okay it's time; THIS WHOLE SEGMENT IS BAD COMEDY!)
Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree...

I Saw Grampa Cussing Santa Claus:
This segment begins with Lisa and Bart watching a bad holiday special when they hear something in the chimney and head over to find out that Grampa was trying to set up a trap to kill Santa Claus. After Bart asks why Grampa wants Santa dead, Grampa reveals that it all started in WWII while he was in the Pacific Theater (Don't ask about continuity with Grampa and WWII, as far as I'm concerned, he'll always be a member of the Flying Hellfish). After Grampa tells the kids about how he was stationed with his brother Cyrus (Never mentioned before and will never be mentioned again. That's good scriptwriting, eh?) we cut to them on an aircraft carrier as they are under attack from Kamikazes. After we see them both board their planes (And see Cyrus' lucky watch ~plot point~) we see Cyrus get shot down because Mr. Burns wasn't manning his turret. After Grampa tries to get vengeance, he gets shot down and crashes into the ocean. Later we see Abe (Yeah I'm just going to call him by his real name during the flashback) try to set up some shelter on the beach but he sees Burns being lazy and Abe is forced to waterboard him until he gets his compliance (Symbolism?)
The newest mission from Call of Duty; Shoot down Santa Claus
After some time, we see them celebrating Christmas and then Burns shoots down what seems like a fighter plane (I'd like to ask how exactly they know when Christmas is? I know some people have a great sense of time, but being on a remote island for months must affect your sense of time somewhat). Abe and Burns go to investigate and find out they shot down Santa Claus. They find out that Santa's sleigh is destroyed and Abe and Burns decide to fix it in the best way possible: a montage (Goody). After fixing the sleigh, Burns takes the sleigh for himself and rides off leaving Abe and Santa on the island (What? Burns is evil? Here I thought he could be trusted). Abe then takes the lone reindeer and chases after Burns, this results is Burns almost shooting Abe down but Abe gets back up and knocks Burns out with a tricycle. Santa then thanks Abe and promises to come back fro him, Abe then looks off in amazement as he witnesses the Atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima (Or Nagasaki, not really explained). We cut back to present day where Grampa tells them that he had to make a jet ski out of coconuts to get back to civilization. The kids of course don't believe him and it upsets Grampa even more. He then hears sleigh bells and goes to kill Santa but is too late. Grampa then hears his brother's lucky watch in his stocking as Sanata reveals that Cyrus is still alive. Santa takes Grampa to Tahiti where Cyrus is as Bart and Lisa exchange a IDK look to each other. In Tahiti, we find out that Santa put Grampa off and then it just got embarrassing to go pick him up. We end by finding out that Cyrus has 15 wives (Well that whole scene was necessary).
Oh my God, it's Santa Claus! Oh my God! A shoelace!

The Nutcracker...Sweet: 
We begin with a sign outside of Springfield Elementary telling us that there's a school play based off The Nutcracker inside right now (And it's also called the "Worst version ever", I don't know about that). After the first act ends, everyone in the audience wakes up and rushes out. This causes Mr. Largo to be the audience and boo them in place of the parents. As the family's walking down a road, Homer hopes never to hear The Nutcracker ever again, but Lisa tells him that it's in public domain so they're going to abuse the crap out of it (Okay she doesn't say the second part but that's essentially what she's saying). We then start up with everyone in town participating in "The Marche" with their own lyrics. This then leads into a Krusty Christmas special where he's pelted by snowballs (Next scene!) We then see Moe try to commit suicide to the tune of "Dance of The Flutes" but ends up deciding not to after Barnye gives him a wool cap (Next bit!) We then see Marge give Homer a present and this makes Homer realize that he hasn't gotten Marge a present. He goes out searching for a present to the tune of "Trepak" but ends up with nothing. When Homer gets home he gets Marge's present (To the tune of "Pas De Deux") which turns out to be a present to give to Marge. Marge accepts and we end with Moe on a sled with a banner reading "And to All a Good Night". Really it's over. Wow, that was short. ...Wait, it was 6 minutes? How was I able to get 6 minutes in barely one paragraph?
Is it over yet?

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, the first segment is not funny at all and is just insulting, the second segment is okay but really not worth watching, there are much better things to watch, the third segment had NO substance, it was just Nutcracker music being sung by the main cast and nothing more. As I said, it's not the worst Christmas episode but it's just not worth watching.

Final Grade: 3.0/10 Just watch any other Christmas special.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bad Christmas Memories: Kill Gil, Volumes I & II

Well with this being December, one of the bleakest months of the year, I thought I'd take a look back at some Christmas themed episodes from this show that sucked. It's a sad idea that The Simpsons hasn't really been able to get Christmas episodes down. Outside of Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire and Marge Be Not Proud (I think it does not deserves all the hate it gets. I think it's a pretty good episode) the Christmas episodes really aren't worth it. So today we start off with possibly the worst one (Well outside the most recent one) that honestly makes me scratch my head for why it was even made. Let's take a look.

After our winter themed opening (Which I have to admit is a nice touch) we cut to a "Krusty on Ice" event that we find out is Christmas related (Wait I thought Krusty was Jewish... wait a second, they referenced that in Marge be Not Proud... Is anyone else getting a weird feeling about this?) After a scene where Krusty falls down on the ice (A lot) we get to see who else will be skating with Krusty (It doesn't really serve any purpose other than to help create a big fight later). After a few pointless scenes (I'm trying to not use pointless as much but seriously, they contribute nothing to the story) Krusty and Mel get two professional skaters to skate for them until the fireplace they're hiding in collapses. Afterwards, we get a scene where we're introduced to the Giant Chicken, er I mean the Grinch, er I mean the "Grumple" which goes nowhere and leads to a fight between the skaters and the basketball team that's about to play (Seriously, the only point to that scene was to establish the Grumple as the Giant Chicken to Homer).
Why can't you even look like an original character?!
After a few scenes in the Costingston's, we see Ol' Gil as Santa and Lisa asks him for a certain Malibu Stacy doll set that's sold out after saying she doesn't want world peace first (Okay, I know everyone wants to call bull on this, but remember; Lisa is just a little girl so as much as she wants world peace, she still wants a material present for Christmas. I don't really see this as an out of character moment for her at all). After Gil gets Lisa one of the sets from the stockroom, Mr. Costington confronts Gil about selling that particular doll set because he was holding it for his daughter (Hey, here's a though; Don't leave family presents in the store stockroom! I mean, what exactly was he thinking?) After Gil refuses to take the toy back from Lisa, he gets fired (Just want to say this; I cannot stand the Mr. Costington character, and considering who's he's probably a parody of gives me less of a reason to like him). Marge decides to invite Gil over for dinner and he accepts (Along with a scene that makes him out to be a big loser, don't find that funny, don't worry, the writers only do it 500 more times).
You see, the fanclub gave me your address...
After Marge tells Gil he can stay for the night, we see the next morning that Gil brought all his stuff over and is now living with them. Marge gets concerned about this but no time for that now, we need to buildup the "Homer-Grumple" rivalry for the end (Oh padding, I do love thee). Homer and Marge talk about Gil and Marge decides she'll kick him out. When marge goes to confront Gil, we get more of him being a loser and Marge decides to let him stay (This is essentially all of act 2, just copy and paste, add a little filler and you're done. Whatever happened to creativity in storytelling?) On New Year's Day, we see Gil is still there but he's expecting a call from his old boss for a job so Marge let's him stay (Rinse, lather and repeat. Next scene!) On Martin Luther King Day (Seriously?) Homer wants him out but Marge doesn't because he's still in need (Character consistency, who says your story needs it?) Homer then gets Marge to admit she can't say no to anyone... wait what?!
How can I make this pointless scene funny? hmmm.....
Does this make ANY sense to anybody who's ever watched Marge, EVER?! I don't even get why they felt the need to add this character trait to Marge for this episode, they couldn't just say that Marge was doing this out the goodness of her heart? This is just fucking retarded, it was hard enough to take this episode seriously before but this is the point where the episode lost me for good. However, being a reviewer, I still need to finish this so let's move on from that. So we then get a flashback of Marge saying no to Patty and Selma and as a result, she gets stuffed in her dollhouse... excuse me a moment *Screams expletives* Great development wouldn't you say? What's next? We find out that Homer is afraid of water bottles after being hit in the head with one in Elementary school one time? Anyways, Homer goes to Moe's to tell everyone there about how he has a problem with Marge not being able to kick Gil out. Carl suggests that Homer allow Marge to kick him out which Homer's a bit upset about. But no time for plot development, the Grumple appears and gets his ass beat by Homer (Seriously, even the Giant Chicken fights in Family Guy are amusing to watch, the fights between the two are not). After a montage to let us know that Gil has stayed at the house for close to a year (Mixed in with bits reminding us that Gil is a loser. You get that now? Yes? Well too bad, we're not going to stop. Oh yeah, it lasts for over 3 minutes, for anyone who wants to argue that this show's stories aren't good because of time constraint, I shake my head at you). Marge then erupts after seeing that he sent out family Christmas cards with his picture on them.
Marge goes to kick him out, but Gil's already left. Marge decides that she can't let that be a victory and she needs to confront him personally to say "No!" (Wow, this is just a stupid turn of events. I mean, in what universe is Marge this vindictive? Did the writers just forget who they were writing?). Marge decides she needs to go all the way to Scottsdale to kick him out herself (Okay seriously, this is worse than beating a dead horse. Marge is just being an asshole right now). When the family gets to Scottsdale, they find out that he's a big shot Realtor (Remember the last time Gil was a Realtor? Yeah I'm calling BS on this). When the family gets to the office Gil works at, Marge approaches Gil and tells him off in front of his co-workers and embarrasses him in front of them (Just a second ago, they were talking about him as if he were the second coming. This writing really sucks). Gil then gets fired by his boss (Who is a clone of his old boss. I give up on the creativity of this staff) and Marge feels sorry for costing him his job (No! I don't want this episode on an endless loop).
Merry Christmas, see you all next week
We then cut to a home in Scottsdale that the family apparently bought (Consistency! Why have a money joke about Homer making 6K a year then have them buy a house... wait). The episode ends with the Grumple coming to the house with his family to celebrate Christmas with them (Wait, I thought the Grumple was supposed to steal the Christmas spirit, screw it the episode's over).

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, the plot is stupid, it's not funny, it's repetitive for the second act, the pacing was just abysmal and inconsistent and all together, this episode was just a bad, forgettable episode. This episode seemed to seek out all the people who liked Gil and make them hate him by the end of it. Marge was severely out of character and just poorly written. The whole Grumple thing had no originality and was just filler.

Final Grade: 2.2/10 Just stay away from this one while celebrating Christmas

Monday, December 13, 2010

Episode 9: Donnie Fatso

Wow, I mean, wow. I don't think I can remember an episode that has shown such a lack of respect to the fanbase like this one. While this one isn't one of the worst in terms of stupid writing or piss-poor jokes, it certainly ranks up there in terms of just not giving a damn. Fat Tony does NOT deserve an episode like this, he's been a great sport since season 3 and THIS is the episode they give him?! Well, bitching about it here wont help, let's see what has upset so many fans across the internet.

So the episode begins with New Years Day with Lisa cleaning up the house and Bart looking hung-over from drinking apple juice (I'm really getting sick of these types of jokes). After seeing some more aftermath of New Years, the kids all go up to wake up Homer with loud noises (Okay, I'll give them credit for that joke because it does seem like them to do that). After Marge gets them to stop, Homer decides to take out the recycling to the recycling bin (Which they apparently have now, I don't know, just roll with it). Wiggum and Lou then pull up and give Homer a ticket for not separating his recycling and then we get a bit which is about as funny as a bagpipe at a funeral (Seriously, this "Homer getting more tickets bit" isn't as funny as the writers think it is). Homer then goes to Moe's to show his friend his tickets (I'd usually keep them to myself, not something to brag about). Moe then tells Homer he knows a guy who can help fix his problem, after they leave to get some privacy (And insert a joke about Moe's Bar being next to a theater. You know it would have been funny if they just left it at that).
Whoa! My bar leads to a much better place; real entertainment
So after that, Moe tells Homer to go to window 9 at the courthouse to bribe him $100 bucks (That just made the whole "Talk in private" scene pointless, what the hell writers?) When Homer gets there we see that the clerk for window 9 is out and this causes Homer to just leave the bribe in front of the window (Also it had another pointless scene with Comic Book Guy, seriously, humor is not found through unfunny pointless scenes. At least Family Guy has some humor in their pointless scenes). Homer then gets arrested by Wiggum for attempting to bribe a public official... this is coming from Wiggum... do I even need to say how stupid this is?! Homer then gets sentenced to 10 years for the crime as the scene ends with Homer being violent towards Bart for the reason of... just because. When Homer gets to prison, Wiggum tells Homer that there is a way to get out but it's very dangerous (Oh come on, why wouldn't you even let him serve jailtime for just a few days before giving him this offer, I mean couldn't this have been a plea offer in court so he wouldn't even have to approach jail? This is just lazy writing right now). Homer then goes to the FBI where he's told he'll be an undercover rat in Fat Tony's mob (Wow, this plot is so original, I've never heard that before).
I love your paper-thin disguise sir
After a scene where Homer's shown how his hairpiece works (Yeah James Bond would feel left out of this technology) Homer gets dropped off in prison (I'd like to know how the hairpiece alone protects his identity, I mean no fake facial hair? No corset to make him appear thinner? Just the hairpiece? Okay whatever you say). After Homer earns Louie's trust, Fat Tony comes to free Homer from his prison cell (Am I the only one who feels like Joe can't really do Fat Tony's voice anymore, it seems off). After a pointless scene where Marge worries about Homer, we get a few scenes of Homer getting on Tony's good side. After Fat Tony flat out tells Homer he has his absolute trust (That makes me feel angry) Tony decides to take Homer with him to settle a score with Moe (I can't believe they're trying to tie in Bart's prank calls to Moe with this garbage). Homer is reluctant but he lucks out when Moe decides to torch the bar first (Thank God for lazy, convenient writing). Impressed by that, Fat Tony inducts Homer into his family, and Homer feels great about it.
You dare try to kill me off?! I'll kill YOU off first!
Homer then tries to warns Fat Tony to run as soon as he realizes the FBI is closing in, but that idea is dropped when Homer decides to get the camera to zoom in to see Tony with the guns (Character consistency, no longer standard for storytelling). Fat Tony, then gives Homer a long winded speech about how much he loved him and then collapses and dies of a heart attack (Fuck you writers!) Afterwards, Homer feels bad for causing the death of Fat Tony (Maybe the writers should as well, bunch of pricks). When Homer goes to pay his respects to Fat Tony, he gets hit by a shovel and wakes up to reveal that Fat Tony's cousin "Fit Tony" *Fake laughter* hit him (Can anyone guess where this is going? 5 bucks says you can). After Fit Tony attempts to get revenge, he see that Homer is truly sorry for what he did and decides to have a talk with him (No talk, kill, kill the writers, er I mean... you didn't see anything *Bolts*)
I've had a discussion with the writers. I will become the new Fat Tony to appease the angry fans
After they have a talk, Fit Tony decides not to kill Homer because the memory of Fat Tony will live on in Homer's mind (And all the fans who feel betrayed by this show). We then see that Fit Tony took over the Springfield Mob and started eating so much that he became Fat Tony (Words escape my anger for this episode right now). We end with a monologue from Homer as our ending just rips off Goodfellas (Fuck you Cluess, whoever the fuck you are).

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, the writing is unoriginal, the story is a jumbled mess, the jokes aren't funny or try way too hard and to kill off Fat Tony just to replace him in the end is just a huge middle finger to the fans. It's not an episode that you hate as you watch it, but by the time it ends, it feels like a horrible episode you'd rather never see again. In short, it's a forgettable, unfunny, bad episode that's an insult to whoever's still watching.

Final grade: 2.3/10 I can't believe Joe Mantegna agreed to this episode

Monday, December 6, 2010

Episode 8: The Fight Before Christmas

With this month being December and only a few weeks away from Christmas, it seems that we're getting an early Christmas present with a Christmas-themed episode. However, the return counter will not allow you to return this and exchange it with a better present. I'll admit, I do like most of the Christmas themed episodes, but usually they've been hit and miss. So get your milk and cookies and let's find out how bad this lump of coal really is.

So the episode begins with oddly enough without a couch gag but instead jumps right to Marge decorating the house for Christmas (I like it when Homer decorates for Christmas, his failures at decorating usually get a chuckle out of me). So we go inside where we see Homer watching a rerun and Lisa wrapping police tape up around the Christmas Tree because the tree was cut down and dressed up to celebrate an ancient Pagan holiday... Dear Lord, how far are we in this already? *45 seconds* ...I'm just going to head off for some booze and put a candy cane in it for some holiday cheer. I need to talk about this, otherwise it'll eat at me for the rest of the review, LISA'S AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL!! She loves Christmas, she's never had a problem with Christmas or Christmas Trees for that matter, heck even when she converted to Buddhism, she never tried to damage the family's Christmas experience. This is just stupid and just poorly though out. Anyways, Bart puts out some milk and cookies for Santa and it makes Marge happy until she finds out his ulterior motive is to get revenge for not getting a dirt bike.
What? You didn't know? Lisa Hates X-mas, I mean it's not like we've seen her enjoy it one bit before

Bart's Segment:
So after Marge storms back to her room in frustration of her family, Bart is awoken by the Polar Express conducted by Otto (I couldn't make this up if I tried). Bart find out that the express can fly as we get a montage of the express high on weed (Hey maybe while they're at it, they can explain what's in the pixie dust from Peter Pan). Afterwards, Bart ends up at the North Pole where an elf Moe sends Bart to become a work elf. After Bart goes down, we find out that there aren't many worker elves because they were laid off because of NAFTA (You know, I'm all for some topical humor, but it's jokes like these that just date the episodes terribly. The older episodes were great because they weren't held down to a specific date most of the times, it could happen in a time period, not a specific year). So Moe decides to promote Bart in a series of scenes that honestly make me question if I'm watching a comedy or a horrible drama. Anyways, Bart is promoted to VP as we get random Christmas references in the background and an elf version of Lisa who fails to prevent Bart from getting to Santa (Yay for pointlessness!) Bart then breaks down Santa's door (Krusty) as he finds out that Santa's pretty poor because the Santa business isn't a profitable one *Bangs head on desk* Bart then tells Santa he doesn't need a dirt bike and he goes back home. After Bart leaves, it's revealed that it was all a hoax and Santa's a pimp-daddy (whu...? It seems like a good concept, fool the kid into being selfless, but why make Santa a pimp-daddy?). Bart's segment ends with a police car flying after them and Otto jumping for safety leaving Bart alone in the train.
Say hello to my little friend!

Lisa's Segment:
We begin with Lisa looking out her window and judging everyone who has trees attached to their cars (Oh booze, I've missed you so much). After being a judgmental prick (You know, the character she's NOT) she goes to sleep and has a dream from the WWII era. It turns out that Lisa's upset because Marge is on the front line against the Nazis (I'm going to forgive the fact that women weren't allowed on the front lines in WWII just so we can move along quicker). We then find out that Homer's in the role Marge should be in because he was too fat for the army. Homer then brings a Christmas Tree home and Lisa tells him not to bring it inside. So after a scene where Lisa eats meat (F*ck you writers) we find out (Through flashback) that Lisa doesn't like trees because Marge was shipped out as she was searching for a tree with Lisa. Okay timeout, why would Marge be taken away for service IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? Don't they usually phone/inform you ahead of time so you can oh I don't know PREPARE!? This just really seems contrived and stupid for why Lisa wouldn't like X-mas trees, just saying.
No! A Christmas Tree is going to crush my mom!
After Homer tries to comfort Lisa, they get a telegram saying Marge is MIA, this leads to a scene where we get overacting whining, this then causes Lisa to run down the street and stop to cry at everyone's X-mas tree. Lisa then runs into the tree lot where "Wise-guy" tells Lisa he's been holding the tree for a year and it's perfectly alright (Do I even need to say anything about this?!) He then trims up the miracle tree to make it look like Marge and this makes Lisa happy about trees again. After Lisa drags the tree all the way home, we get a pointless scene of Homer and Bart overacting (I would say crying, but that would be insulting to actors everywhere). After Lisa explains why she got the tree (Along with Homer being contrived comic relief again. Where can I request his character be replaced with a cardboard cutout of Adam Sandler with a laugh track?) the family goes into Christmas carol mode and decorate the tree. We then cut to Nazi France as Marge sneaks into a Nazi showing of a HORRIBLE propaganda cartoon of the Nazis bombing England (And I don't mean oh my God that's a horrible idea, I mean oh my God this cartoon makes me want to cut myself). Marge then locks the doors, sets some films on fire and then proceeds to shoot up the audience (Off screen) and walks off to an exploding theater in the background (I want to make an Inglorious Bastards joke here but, I've never seen it and it seems like this scene is a shitty parody of it). The segment ends with Lisa waking up revealing that... nothing's changed (I really dislike this segment)
I love the smell of cliches in the evening

Marge's Segment:
The segment begins with Marge writing a letter that gets blown away by the wind (Dammit, where have I seen this before? It's on the tip of my tongue). After a pointless bit where the letter causes a mailtruck to explode (I remember when exploding cars/objects used to be funny, long time ago though) where it turns out that the letter was for Martha Stewart (Yay! Cameos just for viewership! I'm so excited). After Martha introduces herself to Marge, we get a pointless scene of Martha making Marge a new bed (Can I just count this whole segment as pointless?) After Martha turns Bart and Milhouse into Nutcrackers (Again, what's the purpose of ANY of these actions?!) Lisa comes with a tree star made out of old water bottles. Martha finds a way to deject her and tells her to go outside to make snowangels (Still looking for plot here. Nope nothing, maybe it's over there). After Martha turns Homer into a Christmas decoration (Can someone remind me why Martha NEEDED to be in this segment?) Marge tells her that she misses her family being themselves. After Martha turns everything back the way it was, Marge wakes up to a loving family bringing her a make-it-yourself breakfast in bed. They then break out into ANOTHER public domain Christmas melody but with breakfast lyrics (Someone please give me a shotgun for Christmas).
Thank you Martha Stewart for boosting our rating, er I mean fixing my home

Maggie's Segment:
We begin with the image of the book Maggie has as we cut to a live-action 742 Evergreen Terrace (No! Abort! You're not talented enough to do something this creative! Get out while you still can!) It turns out the family's going to Hawaii and Moe's the house-sitter (I always felt like this could never go live-action and I don't think this segment will prove me wrong). Before I get any further I want to say one thing that will bug me and why this segment fails, it's like a bad sitcom complete with canned laughter and corny jokes. You know, everything that the older seasons didn't do. After Moe calls his girlfriend over, Mr Burns drops by to check up on Homer. Homer's scared because he told Burns that he broke his neck to get the vacation time. After Burns tells Homer he was visited by 3 spirits last night we cut to Abe and Jasper as they imitate Statler and Waldorf (Okay, in fairness I do actually enjoy their bits if only because they're expressing my feeling towards this show for me).
Abe: This isn't half bad
Jasper: Nope, it's all bad!
After Burns questions the bags Moe comes in and Homer knocks him out. Burns then asks about his Christmas Tree and Homer steals Ned's while ripping his puppet arms off in the process. Right as Burns is about to leave, Katy Perry shows up and we find out she's Moe's girlfriend (Wow, that was such an important cameo, I'm waiting for the episode where their guest stars just start shouting "Cameo!") Homer then tells Burns the truth and we get an unfunny "Release the hounds" bit (Seriously how do you make that unfunny?) After Katy Perry kisses Burns (For a bad pop song plug-in) Burns then forgives them and lets them go. The segment ends with them all singing "The 39 days of Christmas" along with a Sesame Street ending (And another bit with Abe and Jasper. Seriously their 2 parts were better than the whole segment was).

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, it's not terrible but it does suck. The segments were all stupid and very forgettable, there is the occasional joke, but it's lost in the crap-pile called the "plot". The first segment wasn't bad but it was just odd in the end, it feels like not that much was actually accomplished. The second segment is weird, the whole "Losing mom and attaching the feeling of loss with an object" is acceptable in my book, but the ending is a complete waste and feels like it was added just to fill out the episode. The third segment was just stupid and pointless as all it was was just Martha Stewart showing up to fix Marge's house for Christmas. The less I say about the fourth segment, the better.

Final Grade: 3.5/10 Another reason why 2 great concepts don't always mix into something good

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Schedule

12/6: The Fight Before Christmas
12/13: Donnie Fatso
12/17: Kill Gil, Volumes I & II
12/20: Simpsons Christmas Story
12/25: A discussion of my favorite X-mas movie
12/27: 'Tis the Fifteenth Season
12/31: New Years resolutions

Schedule subject to change, for personal reasons, there will be no posts for the first 2 Fridays of the month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Episode 7: How Munched is That Birdie in the Window

How much does Bart love his dog Santa's Little Helper? More than he would ever love a bird. There are many things wrong with just the concept alone that you know this probably isn't an episode you'd want to watch twice. But who knows, maybe the writers got their heads out of their asses and maybe they put some effort into this one. With that out of the way, let's find out.

After a long introduction (Seriously, why are the introductions anywhere from 1 minute to 1.5 minutes if there's so much padding in the episode already?) we see Rod and Todd in their beds scared because of the thunderstorm outside. But it's okay, Ned calms them down by telling them it's angels bowling (And we abruptly cut to angels bowling... whu?) Well enough with that pointlessness as we cut to Homer telling the kids a scary while they're all in Bart's bed (I'm not going to ask why, but I will let you guys ponder why they're all in Bart's bed). Homer's story then goes into flashback mode as I'm left to wonder if this story or the thunderstorm will have any implications on the plot or if they're just padding. As Homer continues to scare his kids, a pigeon flies into the room and scares Homer off (Let's see we're at the 3:20 mark when that happens, so I guess the writers have a lot of lost ground to make up). Lisa notices the pigeon's hurt and decides to call the number that's attached to the bird's ankle (Am I the only one who would assume that a number on a band on the leg of a pigeon would be a tracking device and not like a dog collar?) It turns out that "Wise-Guy" owns the pigeon and he refuses to take the bird back if he can't fly. After Lisa tells Bart to take care of the pigeon, Bart tries to hand it off to Lisa. Lisa then reveals that she can't stand pigeons (Okay I'm just going to look back at Lisa's character 101 *Flips a few pages* Ah, here we go. Lisa had a problem with Bart's lizards killing pigeons in Bart the Mother, so I'm calling bull on this character development).
Get your wings off me you dirty stinkin' bird!
After a montage of Bart taking care of the pigeon (Goody) Bart tries to release the pigeon (Okay his name is Ray) and Ray comes back to Bart. Bart tries to leave Ray but ultimately decides to pick him back up (Predictable relationship: check). Back home, Homer constructs a coup for Ray but with some lampshading, the coup falls apart into the individual pieces it was created from (Have you ever had one of those jokes where you try too hard not to have it like others where it just ends up being unfunny? That's this in a nutshell). After some more pointless scenes the family turns on the plot device channel (Is that only available through Voom or something?) Bart then decides to turn Ray into a carrier pigeon after the commercial (Let's see how long this lasts *Starts stopwatch*). Meanwhile, Lisa asks Marge why she's so repulsed by pigeons and how it doesn't make sense (Hey wait a minute, stop pointing out the shitty writing Lisa! That's MY job!) After an unfunny bit with Lisa being a member of EVERY environmental group possible (Except for the Protection of Nazi Squids) Marge then tells Lisa that everyone has an animal they can't stand (For anyone who grew up in the 50's it's The Birds). 
Uh, mom? Dad's been letting in wild animals again
I really don't get this, is this trying to be a subplot where Lisa goes through a journey to get over her non-existent fear of pigeons? Why put it in? It just makes no sense to me, but maybe I'm nitpicking here, let's move on. After a bit where a opossum scratches Marge's leg we get a few scenes of Ray delivering messages to random people (I hated the Burns one while mildly enjoyed the Bart-Edna one). We then get a montage of Ray delivering messages (Because 1 montage wasn't enough). Afterwards, Moe tries to entice Bart to train Ray as a racing pigeon and this leads to Homer having a daydream with him winning that race and celebrating with Danica Patrick (Wasn't that cameo so necessary? I mean, how could the plot have advanced without it? I'm glad this show relies so heavily on these types of cameos). After Bart opens the coup, Santa's Little Helper grabs Ray and through a chase, accidentally eats Ray (That actually lasted longer than I expected). We then cut back to the family having a burial for the pigeon that makes the burial of a marine go to shame.
Let go of my toy bird!
After another scene where Bart expresses displeasure towards SLH, the chorus sing an inappropriate song for the funeral. After another Bart-SLH scene we see Bart watching and episode of Itchy and Scratchy while his off-color dog sits on the couch (Seriously, someone tell the animators how to use a color palate because SLH is not that dark of a brown). This I&S is honestly one of the unfunniest ones I've ever seen, and I'm not trying to be like "Worst episode ever" here, but this tries SO hard to take all the funny figures from 1930's (When the cartoon takes place) and just is over-the-top unfunny. At school Skinner tells Marge and Homer to let Bart continue to sulk because it helps both Bart and the school. Marge is upset as you'd guess but Homer doesn't care and neither does Skinner (Yet another useful scene I see). Marge and Homer decide to take Bart to therapy as Homer acts as stupid as the writers intend him to be (When was the last time Homer was an actual character and not comic relief in this show? It sure has been a while). Dr. Thurston then tells Bart that he's right to be angry at SLH but SLH's natural instinct got in the way of logic, causing him to attack the bird. Dr. Thurston suggests that Bart forgive SLH and be the bigger man. Right when Bart's about to hug SLH, SLH attacks a rubber duck and Bart then decides against forgiving him.
I'm sorry that we saved you from that race track, next time we'll leave you there
Dr. Thurston tells Bart to leave and then tells Marge and Homer that SLH must go because he's too aggressive (Wait a second, SLH destroying things based on instinct and the possibility that he may have to go... Holy crap it's Bart's Dog Gets an F all over again. And for a second I thought this was only going to rip off 1 storyline). We then see Homer load SLH in the car with the kids as Bart's still angry at SLH. Marge then reveals that they're giving SLH to an person who owns a farm upstate, Lisa gets a bit upset as Bart could care less (Hasn't Bart been through worse with SLH before and tried to defend him?) After they give SLH to his new owner, Bart gets emotional in saying good-bye to him, but still ends up being a complete jackass about the bird (For crying out loud, BART KNEW THAT BIRD FOR ALL OF MAYBE 2 MONTHS! Why does he care more about that bird than he does his own dog?) After Bart asks for some alone time with SLH, Homer lets out an ostrich and the ostrich starts attacking Bart.
Save me Yeller, er I mean Lassie, er I mean Santa's Little Helper!
After Bart tells SLH to attack, SLH remembers what Bart said and sits down confused. Bart decides to strangle the ostrich himself thus destroying any tension created from the scene (Yeah I know the whole "Dog saves boy" scene is cliche. But it works and it establishes the dog's love for his master. I mean the scene in Old Yeller where he saves Travis from the hogs (This is from memory so I apologize if I get details wrong) it really established how Jim would have a hard time shooting his own dog in the end and how much they love each other. Here it's just "You wont help? Well stay here and rot, why would I care?") Afterwards, Bart apologizes to SLH because he listened to him (Sure, why not?) the family goes home as the ostrich on their roof wakes up and tries to strangle Homer.

Final Verdict: This episode is less than average, it's not as bad as the previous ones, but that's not saying a lot. It's not that funny, the A plot was recycled and pretty out of character for Bart, the B plot was filler and made no sense for Lisa, the cameos were pointless and helped to illustrate just how pathetic they are in the show. And worst of all, the scenes do not flow well together at all. You could essentially put all the small plot points on individual notecards, throw them on the sidewalk and make a more comprehensible story. All together it's not horrible, but there are better things to watch.

Final Grade: 3.8/10 Like I said below average episode that really isn't worth it

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Hate Month" Stealing First Base Followup

We conclude "Hate Month" with a recent episode that our good ol' friend John Frink wrote. It of course was last season and it totally sucked ass. Now we will venture on with our review of this episode...
Where did that text come from?
No, you idiot! It's me, your editor!
I have an editor?!
Yes, you do. And I'm here to remind you that you already DID a review of this episode! You've SAID what's wrong with it!
Oh yeah, I did. But I'm here now to provide FURTHER insight into why I hate this one. I can only write so much before the audience gets bored reading paragraph after paragraph. have an audience?
HEY! My fans are very loyal, I mean I've got... uh... well what about... uh... well there's always...
Yeah. You have an audience all right. P.S. The above was a runon sentence.
Well, since you're here, you wanna discuss your views on this episode with me? It'll be fun.
Lies. But since I have to stay around anyways to edit and make your posts READABLE, I'll help.
Okay, let's begin then.

So let's start off with the padding for this episode?

Yeah, sure. Because I'm not sure how well Kriken's explained how he determines what padding is - padding consists of scenes that contribute nothing to the episode. They are not funny or enjoyable, they do not add to the plot, and they could be cut without any effect on the episode (well, besides making it shorter and a bit more enjoyable, but you understand my point). In fact, padding brings the plot to a screeching halt. As an amateur writer, I can safely say that, if you have to rely on padding, your story clearly isn't strong enough on its own; scrap what you have and start over. So, back on track - how much padding was there?

4 minutes and 45 seconds

.....the average episode, not counting the opening and the credits, is about 19 minutes. That's about a QUARTER of the episode devoted to padding! What the hell, writers!

Well the first piece of padding consists of a topical bit where Homer uses a GPS to take his kids to school. Where do I begin?
  1. Why does he need a GPS to take his kids to SCHOOL!?
  2. It uses meters instead of feet (For a US user no-less) so we get a bit where Lisa tries to convert it to feet. Why is she converting a short distance (50 m) to feet?
  3. The GPS is apparently sentient as it can tell when it's 10 feet off the ground or when it's in water
  4. This bit takes up 1 minute and stalls our introduction to the plot.
Personally, I think GPS units are, in fact, sentient and out to kill us, but I digress. We happen to have a GPS unit. If the route is familiar, we don't waste the power or time activating it and programming. In addition, I always considered the Simpsons to be stuck in the 90's; they don't need newer technology. I mean, how old IS their car? Finally, while I am fond of how technology has evolved, the fact of the matter  is WE NEVER SEE THE GPS UNIT AGAIN.

Our next piece of padding (I'm skipping over another piece) involves Homer taking Bart to the movies where they go to see a 3-D Itchy and Scratchy movie with no originality and it causes the plot to vanish entirely.

As per my job as editor, I reviewed the scene. There is literally no transition to this scene, and it could have been much better spent on a actual joke - say, Homer takes Bart to see 'Foxy Boxing', thus keeping Bart's mind on girls. That would be a simple joke, yes, but at least you'd laugh.

The attempts to mock 3-D are terrible, one particular line just makes me want to shove a pair of 3-D glasses up John Frink's ass.

Dude, at least TRY to stay neutral!

*sigh* You're right. Remember the days when the I&S cartoon used to be 20-30 seconds long and usually dealt with the episode itself?(Deep Space Homer comes to mind)

Yeah...heck, even in Cape Feare, where the writers admitted to padding, the Itchy & Scratchy worked - it showed that Bart was anxious, and even his favorite things couldn't cheer him up. In addition (I may be stretching here), the way that Itchy kills Scratchy in his typical over-the-top fashion isn't too different from how Sideshow Bob would want to kill Bart. .....I love that episode. Besides, it had Bob and Bart SINGING together! What more could you want! It- we're off-track. Next padding bit!

Fine *Grumbles* let's talk about the skit. Why was it even in the episode?! I get the whole "What they did was wrong in the eyes of idiots" but the skit went on for way too long and wasn't funny nor necessary to introduce the "No-touch" policy being implemented soon. We could have easily had Chalmers just come on the stage and say; Nobody can touch anyone else or we'll be screwed. Oh yeah, this bit went on for 1 minute and 5 seconds, 1 minute and 5 seconds too long if you ask me.

I concur - no demonstration was needed. In addition, unless I'm mistaken, most schools send letters home if there is a change in policy so that the parents are informed as well - obviously, the writers never went to school.

Okay, my padding bitching is reaching padding territory so I'll just wrap this part up by saying I HATED the "Kissing montage". I have CPR certification and trust me when I say that CPR IS NOT KISSING!!! And even the movie bits they use are just stupid and I find this whole bit irritating. Anything else RBY?

Classroom integration:
I don't think there's anything I can contribute to that. Besides, the less I add, the less padding there is. So, next topic - the legendary 'second classroom' never discussed before this episode?

Well, they could have done a better introduction, but okay. How about the classroom opening bit where it takes way too long to find out what happened to Mrs. K (In comparison to Lisa's Substitute, we get mention of Ms. Hoover's absence almost immediately). But back to the main point, this "Other classroom" is so underdeveloped, you could essentially just have all the students (Other than Nikki) as cardboard cutouts.

Nelson-Blind kid:
The only exception is the blind kid. Honestly, though, I like his relationship with Nelson a lot better than Bart's relationship with Nikki. The blind kid doesn't feel as tacked-on or forced as the actual A plot - I think it would have been a genuinely good A-plot.

You're giving the writers WAY too much credit, but I agree. Nelson and the blind kid were far and away more interesting than Bart's 6th love interest or Lisa's character derailment that some call a plot. I feel that with proper writing, it could have made for a good buddy-pairing. It could have given Nelson some interesting character development outside of bullying. So how about Bart's love interest that we'll call Bipolar Bitch?

Bart-Nikki plot/No-Touch policy:
That's insulting to anyone with a bipolar disorder. But, honestly, there seriously IS something wrong with this character. Even worse, the writers treat her like a normal kid. At least Jessica Lovejoy was acknowledged as a sociopath! ...and, yes, she was a sociopath, but that's beside the point.

That just sickens me because bipolar is nothing to laugh at yet the writers use it for quick unfunny jokes. But let's talk about how they meet, while Bart's reading The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar (I'm dead serious here) he bashes her Twilight knock-off as being untrue to vampire lore (Yes take literary advice from the kid with a reading level of a 1st grader). Nikki then falls for him and it's contrived love at first sight.

You know what, Twilight sounds perfect for her. Anyways, Bart then asks Grandpa for love advice - Grandpa, who drove his wife away - and he's told to steal a kiss from her. By the way, guys, for future reference - unless we're already dating, doing this will get you seriously injured in so many ways. Back on topic, the next day, we find out Nikki is a great skateboarder. Keep in mind, these two went to the same school - if she did skateboard, Bart should know! If they wanted her to be athletic, they should have given her rollerblades - it would have been equally effective with less fridge logic.

Would make as much sense as if she came to school with scuba gear, but I digress. After they rip off a scene from "Wanted" Bart steals the kiss and it goes about as well as you'd expect with Nikki taking a 180 and overreacting. Of course this leads to our inbred hillbilly of a plot where Nikki's parents overreact even worse than she does.

That's possi-? OH. ......ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

Uh... my editor will be back from the mental breakdown in a minute. Anyways, this is just SO stupid and overblown, I'm surprised that nobody was fired for the complete incompetence of this plot. I mean there's satirizing a modern day problem in society, and then there's this; a complete mess of an attempt to satirize our views of young affection. This honestly takes the cake when it comes to unfunny, shitty writing so we'll just move on a little. Nikki takes ANOTHER character 180 and is suddenly in love with Bart again. After Bart and Nikki fight about going public, Bart gets injured and nobody can give him CPR due to the policy. Nikki though gives him CPR (Which is not a kiss thank you very much) and this shitty plot ends with the policy just going away (Seriously, it just goes away, no announcement or anything. No admissions of flaws or apologies from anyone, it just ends) and Nikki giving Bart a good-bye kiss. Up yours writers. Well now that we're done with this I can finally prepare myself for the December...

Wait! Wait wait waaaaait....we forgot about Lisa!

Lisa meeting Michelle Obama:
Oh, you're back. DAMMIT!! Yeah, let's go into that one now *Bites tongue* You want to begin? suck. Anyways, the thing WRONG with this - it's unbelievably unrealistic. Look, I went to school for thirteen years like most kids, and I was a lot like Lisa. I actually enjoyed school, went above the standards for assignments when I could, and never went a quarter without honor roll status. In my whole school career, I only got ONE C on my report card. So, yes, I can identify with Lisa. Why am I mentioning all this? BECAUSE THIS SUBPLOT EPICALLY FAILS! Look, in real life, if you get a bad grade, you get mocked! People will call you stupid! You will not be praised! If you're smart and you get a bad grade, people won't praise you - they will either mock you or ask you how the hell that happened! Befriend you?! HA! Look, this subplot is clearly wish fulfillment on the writer's part - he got a bad grade, was mercilessly mocked, and this is what he WISHED would happen instead!

Thank you for that. That part was stupid, but having THE FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES COME ALL THE WAY TO SPRINGFIELD TO TELL ONE GIRL THAT BEING SMART IS OKAY?! What the hell were the writers smoking?! Did the writers forget that Lisa is a very philosophical girl? Or the fact that Lisa was in MENSA and saw how successful they all were? This is honestly like having Flanders question his faith in God and then having the Pope come visit Springfield to tell him that God loves him. SOMETHING HE ALREADY KNOWS AND PREACHES DAILY!! ...hmm... anything I missed or are we good?

I'm good. And I have readings to finish, so you better be done too.

Looks like we're good. I hope you enjoyed this mini-crossover. I look forward to seeing you all for future posts. And remember, not all writers can be John Swartzwelder, but that doesn't mean we can't bash the bad ones. Or bash the bad episodes like that awful episode parodying reality TV called "The Frying Game"... wait... no. No! NO!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Episode 6: The Fool Monty

An episode where people don't care about Mr. Burns' health, what a shock. However,a break from all these Lisa episodes is just what I need right now. Here's hoping that this episode doesn't cause me to gouge my eyes out. Let's do it. 

So after an overly long couch gag (Which has Avatar and 3-D in it so you know the viewers are just going to LOVE it. Is it too early to hate this episode with a flaming passion that burns with the heat of 1,000 suns?)(Has to be worse than 'Tik-Tok', but...) we get a scene with a bunch of media owners where all they do is make bad jokes and reinforce stereotypes of the media (Great this is already pissing me off, and trust me when I say there are plenty of horrible jokes that make me yearn for the comedic genius of John Frink). The media decides to release a disease and decide to blame it on cats (Hurt my cats and DIE)(I've got a new deadly disease right here, it's called a knife in your back, writers). So after an unfunny bit involving Snowball II, we see the media overreact and tell us symptoms that anyone would feel as we transition to more scenes of people overreacting to this (Good God, the media satire in "Bart Mangled Banner" wasn't this bad). After Marge acts as the voice of reason for Homer, we cut to the hospital where I now swear the writers are trying to piss me off. Mr Burns arrives at the hospital where of course, he's given preferential treatment and takes most of the vaccines while he runs over the rest (You know, Mr Burns is an unlikeable guy in the town already, you don't need to make him Eli Roth unlikable).
I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do to save this show.
After Mr. Burns is given the vaccine, his doctor tells him he's dying from a multitude of diseases and only has a few weeks to live (Even though the doctor doesn't appear again, I'm just going to name him "Dull Vincent Price" because I need to do something to keep my interest in this episode). Smithers asks Burns if he should tell the employees about this, but Burns decides he'll tell them the simplest way he knows how: throwing a huge announcement party at his house (Remember when this show used to rely on subtle humor? Yeah, it's hard to remember as well). Burns then makes his announcement and everyone inside is cheering when he says he's being serious (If only Burns represented the show and the audience represented, well the viewers). Burns then tells them that he's going to leave his fortune to create a tree that'll magically create "Burns-fruit" that's poisonous and this causes the guests to melt Burns' ice sculpture in a way that makes anything funny in comparison (And here I thought non sequitors only applied to arguments). So Burns then goes to his room and contemplates why everyone hates him so much (Well I got a list right here: You gouge people, you're miserly, you hit children with your car, you've blocked out the sun, I could go on). We then come back to Mr. Burns attempting suicide as it goes on for so long and is so ridiculous, you'd swear it was supposed to be a dream sequence (Seriously, I half expected for Smithers to wake up and realize it was all a dream). The next morning, Bart finds Burns in the woods where it turns out that Mr Burns' brain is screwed up. After seeing Burns as pathetic as possible, Bart decides to take Burns back home (Didn't this story start off with some sort of "Media satire" or something? Way to waste your entire opening). After Bart gives Burns some new clothes, Marge hears Bart talking to Burns and we get probably the WORST ET reference of all time (Seriously, I wanted to throw my laptop straight across the room when I saw that, it pissed me off so much).
ET phone angry lawyers!
After Marge comes in, the writers decide they need to make their ET parody even clearer to the viewers (Is there any way to use telekinesis to cause the writers heads to blow up?)(You can, but the National Society of Psychics will not defend you in court). After a pointless scene where the we find out that Dick Cheney owns the power plant (Along with a lot of unfunny jokes) we see that people all over the world showed up to spit in Burns' grave despite there not being a body in there, and then "dance" on his grave (I'm just going to find a pillow to put my face in for a bit). After Marge tempts fate, Burns comes into the room scaring the family. After a scene where Marge and Homer debate what to do with Burns, we cut to Town Hall where they vote to abuse him like he did them. Lisa then tries to convince the town otherwise as she lampshades how brave she is to stand up to them (Oh that makes me feel angry!) Lisa then tries to convince the town that Burns is not the same evil man that ruined their lives without success (Including a New Jersey stereotype to oppose her. Sure why not? It's not like these minor characters have to make sense or anything). At Cheney's (I really have to wonder why they decided to put this in) we see that Smithers is a little upset with his new boss as we get our first politics joke of the season (Finally, I was waiting for this, I mean last season was littered with this shit).
Wow, what great political humor! It's so modern as well!
We then cut to a scene where we find out that everyone gets an hour to get revenge on Mr Burns as we begin a semi-montage (Goody). After a few scenes of people using Mr. Burns for their own personal gain, Lisa decides to be kind with him during Homer's turn (I'd like to ask why Lisa doesn't want revenge on Burns. I know they used the excuse of "He's a shell of his former self" but are you honestly going to tell me that Lisa doesn't want the slightest bit of revenge against him for all the stuff he's done against her (And the environment)? I mean come on. Oh and there's a callback to Maggie shooting Burns, I hate this jumbled mess of an episode). Lisa then shows Mr Burns his old mansion as he sees a portrait of himself and his amnesia goes away (Yeah they never quite explain why he's the way he was but I'm calling it "TV amnesia"). We then get a scene where Burns goes to Cheney's to get Smithers back as Cheney gives Smithers an ominous threat for leaving him (And rips off Men in Black as well, can this episode end soon?!)
Only the genius of the new Simpsons writers could possibly make this happen
Burns then approaches Evergreen Terrace in a helicopter as he reveals his plan to get revenge on them is covering the town in a dome... excuse me a moment *Screams out obscenities* ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?! You were honestly THAT bankrupt for ideas, you stole from your own movie?! This is without a doubt, some of the LAZIEST writing I've ever seen and some of the most infuriating writing ever (They even take footage from the movie to show the dome approaching Springfield, I mean WHAT THE HELL?!) . Moving on, Lenny lampshades how it's already been done (Nope too late, you've already enraged me, you can't pretend like this is "Simpsons Did it". Wait a minute...)(Oh my that on right now?). After Burns gets out of his chopper, Marge tells Burns that he's already surpassed his 6 weeks to live and she believes it's because he felt good about helping people (Sell your bullshit in the Barney department lady, we have a "mature" show to watch). It turns out that it was his hate keeping him alive and he vows to continue to be evil (So why was the doctor so afraid then if hatred was keeping him alive to begin with? Ow, my brain). We end the episode with Nelson extorting Burns to come to his play as we see the episode off with further padding.

Final Verdict: This episode sucks. The plot is incoherent and a total mess, the jokes are non-existent or are just plain unfunny, and the writing just plains sucks with ideas stolen from previous episodes (As well as footage). This episode is just stupid and shouldn't have been made. Just because this show's been on for 22 years doesn't give it the right to not even try to have an original story.

Final Grade: 3.8/10 This season is looking bleaker by the week

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Hate Month" All About Lisa

Good God, not this one. We continue our month long segment where I continue to delve into the worst episodes of our good friend John Frink. This episode is notorious among fans as one of the worst episodes of the series and this episode furthered my fear that this show would never be good as long as this writing staff was in place. At the time of its airing, this was considered the worst Lisa episode of all time and considering how many times the writers have screwed her over that's saying a lot. However, today this is NOT the worst Lisa episode in the franchise as there has been another that surpassed this one's suckiness (I'd rather not name it, but you should probably be able to guess which one). With all that out of the way, let's see why it should NOT have been all about Lisa.

So the episode begins with an award show with lines that I think were supposed to be jokes. Inside we get our first bit of narration from Sideshow Mel as he tells us that we should focus in on Lisa after he drops a title placement (Wow, the writers are so creative. For a second I thought this plot would center around Gabo). It is then announced that the winner of "Entertainer of the Year" is Lisa (Wow, must have been a REALLY boring year then. But I digress). So of course, that scene is from the end of the episode so we begin our plot (Over) with a flashback to the family going to Krusty's 4000th episode (You know, there are just WAY too many jokes that this episode lends itself to with "Simpsons going past their expiration date" so I'm just going to keep a counter here and in the end tell you how many jokes I could have made about their crappy episodes). The 4000th episode (Why do I have a feeling that the writers want to get the show to this many episodes?) is then hosted by Drew Carey as he just spews out unfunny joke after unfunny joke (And his cameo is entirely pointless. Remember the days when their cameos made sense? Yeah I'm having a hard time myself). So after a bit with the "Krusketeers" (That joke hurt) Krusty announces that he's going to reboot the "Krusketeers" and the show is searching for a new one (This bit ends with some padding. Hey how nice, the episode is giving me something to lay my head on when I fall asleep from boredom).
Wow, what a great parody, it makes me glad to have watched this show this past decade
The next day, Krusty chooses Nelson (After sleeping with his mom) and this disappoints Bart. Lisa then confronts Krusty and says how it was unfair that Bart was snubbed and Krusty could have hired him as an intern. Krusty then decides to hire Lisa as an intern because... the plot said so? After Krusty gives Lisa a list of chores, she sighs, walks off and SS Mel's narration gives us some annoying exposition. We then cut back to Mel's narration as he narrates about how show business has always had an underpaid assistant (So an assistant of Krusty who's abused by him constantly, becomes famous in their own right? Where have I heard that before? hmmm....) After a bit between Krusty and Lisa, Krusty fires Nelson because... you know what, screw it, their reasoning is stupid. SS Mel then gives Lisa some words of encouragement and he tells her some things to do around Krusty which will put her on good terms with him. After Lisa gives Krusty her necklace thread as floss (Don't ask it's pretty stupid) she gets on his good side. We cut back home where Bart is complaining about how Lisa is Krusty's assistant despite Bart being the bigger fan. Marge then tells Homer to comfort Bart as we see that Bart thinks that now that Lisa has Krusty, he has nothing (Don't worry, you'll still be my favorite drifter).
Oh the irony! His sister is his idol's assistant. You get it, or is this too subtle?
Homer suggests that they get rid of all Bart's Krusty stuff and oddly enough we cut to Homer and Bart selling all Bart's Krusty stuff... Wait what?! Why the hell would Bart agree to this?! I mean he was adamant in burning his Krusty stuff in "Krusty Gets Busted" and this is just way out of character for him to just give Krusty up just because Lisa's his assistant instead of him. I mean could you imagine if Lisa threw her sax out just because there was someone better than her at Jazz? I don't think so! So yeah, at the Comic Book Store, Bart tries to trade his Krusty stuff *Bites Tongue* for an expensive Radioactive Man comic. CBG doesn't like the haggling and counteroffers with a coin collecting book (Yeah I personally hated this concept partially because I don't really care for coin collecting and think it's stupid, but I digress). After CBG takes off his scrunchie (For some reason, I don't know the writers probably thought this was funny or something) Bart and Homer decide to trade for the coin collecting book. We then cut to Krusty as he's impressed about how Lisa cleaned up his dressing room (Wow, that was so necessary. So glad it took up all of 15 seconds!) We then see Bart is disappointed because the hobby takes effort, after Homer gives Bart a pep talk about hobbies killing time (Kill time, alternative to therapy, it's all good) we get a coin collecting montage (Goody, for a second I thought we might have some plot development where Homer tells Bart he enjoys spending time with him or something. But hey, I'm not the highly paid Hollywood writer, what do I know?).
Glad to see this false development appear.
After Bart thinks he's finished the book (With a lot of rare coins... how did he get a confederate dime by the way?) another page reveals itself as the writers realized that the plot couldn't possibly end there (Seriously, this "hidden page" just seems like a cop-out to try to extend an already pointless plot). The coin they're missing turns out to be a rare "Kissing Lincolns" penny (Get it, because the mint somehow printed two pictures of Lincoln to face each other and make it look like they're kissing. Oh the creativity, it never ceases to amaze me just how low they can go). We then cut back to Krusty as his bit gets stalled because Mr. Teeny isn't there. Lisa bails him out by acting as a pirate and squirting Krusty into the pool with a bottle of seltzer water. We then get a bit of narration as the camera pans around Lisa, giving the audience motion sickness and showing Lisa getting high off the laughter (You want a better explanation, because that's what it looks like). After Krusty's agent tries to warn him about Lisa, Krusty gets a call that he's missing a rehearsal for the network and then it dawns on Krusty that Lisa's trying to sabotage him (Wow, ONE time and Lisa already thinks she can take the show from him. That's a lot of arrogance). At the studio, Lisa tries to drop subtle hints that the executives should try her out, right as they're about to leave she changes demeanor and decides to try her own funny bit (Let's see the comedic genius of the writers, er I mean Lisa Simpson).
Great, Lisa's stoned again. Can the director tell Lisa she's facing the wrong way?! The audience is BEHIND her!
Krusty then barges in as we see Lisa (In her ridiculous clown outfit by the way, seriously, what was the director thinking?) telling a "Centipede putting on shoes" joke (Wow, that joke hasn't been told a million times in preschool).  After Lindsey Nagel contradicts what I said, Krusty sees his agent become Lisa's agent as Krusty realizes he's ruined now (No, you were ruined YEARS ago, it's just now people are catching on). The act ends with SS Mel narrating some more about Krusty learning a lesson as we see Moe is immune to his time stopping powers. You know, I realize we are 15 minutes in and there hasn't been any real humor, so enjoy this clip while I go prepare myself for the rest of this. Okay, so we find out that show's been renamed "The Lisa Show" and the show is essentially "Clown Lisa" (I couldn't make this up if I tried, and somehow this outfit is sillier than the previous one) just entertaining the audience with comedy (I can see the ratings now. The first time in history that the ratings are comparable to the host's shoe size). Lisa then approaches SS Mel as Mel transitions from narrating to external dialogue (Watch out Linkara! He's going to knock down the 4th wall you're on) and Lisa goes back out to pad the episode some more (Hey I got just the song for padding, it goes like this: 'Dundun dudundundun! EAT IT EPISODE! Take this stupid little cockroach of an episode, roll it up so tight, and RAM IT UP YOUR-' *Is given tranquilizers by RBY*) I'm better now, let's move on. Through SS Mel's narration, we find out that Krusty is hosting an unsuccessful late night talk show (So this is what Leno's comeback was like). After a scene of Homer and Bart going through some pennies to find the one they're missing, Homer takes Bart to an auction to buy the penny (Why? They saw how rare it was online, what are they expecting the penny to cost $5?) At the auction, Mr. Burns wins the penny but Homer tricks Burns later and takes the penny away from him (Just roll with it, at this point I'm too desensitized by the shear stupidity of this episode to make a joke about this).
Wow, we just wasted 5 minutes of a 20 minute episode. Let's go out for some Frosty chocolate milkshakes to clebrate
After Homer puts the penny in the book, Bart puts the book on the shelf where it's never to be seen again. This makes that entire subplot; *Entirely Pointless*. This also shows just how NOT to end a plot, with no care and no effort whatsoever. We then transition to the beginning of the episode through some SS Mel narrating as Mel approaches Lisa in her dressing room to show her something (No, not that!) Mel then shows Lisa all the previous winners of the award as this is to show that all of them let the award get to their head and they all went on a downward spiral in their career. SS Mel then reveals that he too won the award and advises her to get out of showbusiness as soon as possible. Lisa then gets back to the podium as she sets up Krusty for some jokes and she disappears away with her family as Krusty gets all the attention. The episode ends with a narration from SS Mel saying how he envies Lisa for leaving with her dignity as we see him as a fire hydrant in a skit with Krusty as a dog, classy.

Final verdict: This episode is TERRIBLE. The jokes are non-existent, the main plot is recycled and poorly written with the pacing being erratic. The subplot is terrible and pointless. And the padding is everywhere with nothing to convince the audience to want to watch this episode again, in short, it's unfunny and boring. And for my final count of "Showbusiness jokes with this show" it came out to 13.

Final Grade: 1.6/10 Just unwatchable, plain and simple