Monday, October 18, 2010

Top 10 Continuity issues Ever

As we've watched this show for so long, I can't help but notice some continuity issues within the show. So today, I'm here to present the top 10 continuity issues that have been a part of this show. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad things, some are used specifically to move the story. With that out of the way let's count them down:

10. Disappearing pockets
Okay this is very rare and very easy to overlook. There will be times where a character puts something into a pocket in their pants or shirt that we never see before or after that scene. My best recollection of this is a scene where Homer gives Lisa money for a rock because he thinks it will repel cougars, and she takes the money and puts it in a pocket of her red dress ("Much Apu about Nothing"). Have you seen that dress? There are NO pockets to be found there. Also Homer's shirt is a big one here, it doesn't normally have a pocket, but it might have one for the sake of a joke, which I'll ignore. This is a very minor issue and like I said very rare to see, but it does happen and it is a continuity issue.
Say Lisa, where is your hand?
9. Person appears in two separate places
This doesn't happen too often, but when it does it looks embarrassing. This usually happens when there's a character drawn into the background when he's the main focus of the scene. Now there isn't a signature moment for this one but a recent example of this was in "The Great Wife Hope". In that episode we see Barney watching the fight at the arena and then after the commercial break we see him trying to get up at Moe's Bar. I understand it was meant for a joke but I cannot see the writers just letting it go in the animatic seeing what they wrote on the big screen.
Barney, I thought you were at the fight.
8. Cities change locations
Can you even create a map of the cities around Springfield? The only definite city that borders them is Shellbyville, everything else is a shot in the dark. This issue is HUGE for Springfield, Matt admits that not even he knows where Springfield is located, and the writers just have a ball with it. This also applies to the other two major cities of the show; Ogdenville and North Haverbrook. Those two cities range anywhere from walking distance to needing a flight to get to the city. Can't tell you where these cities are located and frankly, I don't think the writers could either.
How much of this is true today?
7. Change in age
Okay, outside of the school children (Kearney included) can you think of anytime where the character's age is the same from one episode to the next? Think about it, Homer is between 32 and 39, same with Marge as she's supposed to be the same age as Homer. Mr Burns has ranged anywhere from 85 to 120, Grampa is somewhere between 70 and 90 and I don't think any other character is really given a definitive age. I understand characters like Grampa and Skinner are bound to a war so they would have to change age to match the war period, but other characters are just a generalization for their age. I have no problem with this, but it is a continuity issue nonetheless.
My God, Grampa aged backwards
6. Layout of the house
Does the layout of the house ever remain consistent? I know there are some major things that stay in continuity such as the kitchen, the living room, the den, the dinning room and the location of the Master Bedroom. But everything else is up for grabs, Bart and Lisa's room are usually next to each other and across from the staircase with Lisa's room being closer to the Master Bedroom, but that has been changed at times. Maggie's room is on the far side of the hallway while the kids' bathroom is across from Bart's room and next to the staircase, but I've seen that be Maggie's room at times. I think the biggest case of continuity error is the basement. This was touched upon on the commentary for "Bart the Mother" where they admitted that the door that leads to the basements sometimes is a closet instead and they referred to the door as a "Magic door". This doesn't bother me but it would bother someone who would try to make an exact house like theirs... oh wait.
Is it a closet or the door to the basement? You decide!
5. Change in colors:
Now this is mostly an edit problem, occasionally an object will be one color in one scene and then another color seconds later. This is very common in clothing. For example, Marge and Lisa's pearls will occasionally change from red to white and vice-versa. This has also happened with people as well, the best case here is Judge Snyder. I can't tell you how many times I can recall him being white in one episode, and black in another. This is actually so confusing that he's never been established as white or black and his Simpsons Wiki has nothing on him either. I think that the editors are more to blame here for this issue.
Here's a game for you. What color are Lisa's pearls?
4. Endless plates of food
You all saw this one coming, since day 1, the animators have always animate plates of food that apparently could feed a starving village. This is self explanatory, but I'll just talk a bit more about why it's here. It's here because whenever food is eaten, it just keeps going on a loop for a few good minutes and the food just keeps regenerating. My favorite moment from this has to be where Homer eats the same piece of sushi over 5 times in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Bluefish". It doesn't really bother me when I watch it, but it happens so often, you could make a drinking game out of it.
Hey Homer, how many times can you eat that one piece of food?
3. Removal of certain feature
This is pretty vague so let me try to explain this one. This is usually an editing error such as beard line for Lenny vanishing or hair color changing (No I do not include that with color change, this is different). This is also often a problem with background design as you'll notice this issue more often in background characters rather than the characters on screen. Probably one that I remember most is Krusty's "makeup". Krusty told Homer on his death bed that his face paint wasn't makeup, yet there have been quite a few episodes around that era where it was makeup.
Lenny, where's your beard?
2. Character traits
This is something that doesn't happen too often and when it does, it can create some hate from the fans. Now of course this doesn't involve character development like Lisa becoming a vegetarian or Homer getting dumber by the season. This is more of an episode to episode basis, for example in "Elementary School Musical" Lisa claims that she learned to express herself artistically, yet in every episode before this one, she's been pretty damn artistic with her sax on her own time. However there are some decent ones such as Krusty's dyslexia, in the first few seasons, Krusty couldn't read, yet there were times that it seems like this trait was forgotten back then. Now I guess he's learned to read, but when they said he couldn't they sometimes had continuity issues with it.
A lot of good cue cards will do for a person who can't read
1. Layout of Springfield in general
This is my favorite one of all the ones on this list, but it's still an issue nonetheless. I feel that it would hurt your brain to try to draw a map of the town and yet that's one of the things that makes this show so great, the flexible reality. my favorite example of this comes from the movie where Moe's Bar is located right next to the church. It makes no sense and breaks the layout of the town, but it was just too funny for me to care about it. The layout of the town is very general, but there are some places where you can always locate another landmark close by.
Close enough

So those are the top 10 Continuity issues for this show. Hope to see you in a few weeks after the THoH episode airs *Evil Cackle*.

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