Monday, June 27, 2011

This Week's Analysis

I probably should have planned ahead for this, but due to this week being quite hectic for me (2 Tests and 2 finals Monday-Saturday) I was unable to get this week's analysis out. I promise it will be out next week and I will go back to multiple posts per week instead of 1 per week. When I decide what I'll be doing for July, I will post a schedule. Details about future posts to come so stay tuned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Deeper Look At: Donnie Fatso

We continue this series, with the next episode on my list: Donnie Fatso. While this episode is really bad, sadly, it's not the worst Fat Tony episode of the year (Details later). This one is just a bore and insulting at the same time, so let's take a look at the main problems.

Issue #1: Treatment of Fat Tony
Whenever there's a discussion about this episode (Very rare) it always come back to "They killed Fat Tony only to bring him back". I cannot even begin to describe the levels of suck this has (But don't take my word for it), it is honestly one of the worst ideas ever and the execution is terrible. If they did this to a minor character, there would be a small backlash, nothing that wouldn't die down after a month at most. But to do this to a recurring guest star who has been nothing but nice to the show? That's just sickening. Joe should've flat out said no and walked out right after reading the words "Fat Tony dies" and nobody would have given him flak. Now I said I'd do my best to avoid referencing Classic Simpsons but if you think about Bleeding Gums Murphy (Very minor character) even he got a more dignified death and mourning that Fat Tony.
It's funny because he's fat... oh no wait it's not funny at all, my mistake
And to top it all off, they decide to pull the ultimate deus ex machina and bring in a "Twin cousin" who just happens to be able to take the place of Fat Tony just to achieve "Status Quo is God". My response to that is, if they knew they were just going to have Fat Tony exist by episode's end, why bother killing him in the first place? What purpose did it serve to kill off Fat Tony? Was it funny? No. Did it move the story forward any better than something else? No. Was it attempting to satirize a common theme in different shows where a random character appears out of nowhere and take the place of a fallen character? No. It was just insulting, stupid and pointless and a disgrace to writers.
Whatever you say guys, whatever you say

Issue #2: Characters
This is just an excuse to put two rather smaller problems together. I have two big issues that aren't that big in the scope of things, but it really just speaks to the crappiness of this episode. First off; Wiggum. Wiggum's character makes no sense here, even if we were to completely forget Classic Wiggum, Modern Wiggum is still a rather incompetent, crooked cop (Just more pratfalls that's all) and here he acts way out of character. Wiggum fines Homer for mixing recycling with garbage (...What?) and then continues to fine Homer for backtalking him. While the latter somewhat makes sense, the former is just odd for why he'd even bother. When Homer tries to later bribe a court official to get the ticket wiped clean, Wiggum arrests Homer for the bribe. That doesn't even begin to make a lick of sense knowing what we know about Wiggum, Wiggum would easily take the bribe for himself (Heck even in another Modern Simpsons (Can't remember exactly which one) his badge read: "Cash Bribes Only").
You know if you had given this to me at the start, I would have cleaned your record
But enough about not-Wiggum, let's talk about the always expressive Agent Don Draper (Took me a while to figure out his name, could've been Bob for all I cared). The FBI agent is probably one of the blandest characters I've seen in recent memory on the show. A sign of a good character is to describe them without mentioning physical features, what they do, or what they are (Latino, black, etc) I watched this an additional 3 times and I still cannot even come up with one interesting feature. In a nutshell; he's boring! Probably the closest thing I could attach to him is that he's stern and even that's pushing it. Point is that it was a waste of a guest voice and a waste of animation.
The many faces of Agent Draper; Face 1
Face 2
And of course face 3, spot the differences for a prize

Issue #3: The "Really?" Moments
Okay this one might be stretching it, but there were just so many moments that either made me shake my head or just go "really?". Oh yeah the whole "Fit Tony's arrival" does not make it on here since I bitched about it earlier, but as soon as I saw him I just shook my head in disbelief.

  • The Moe and Homer bit was one of those moments as it seemed to take 1 minute to go from Moe's Bar to... Moe's Bar to discuss what they were just discussing. It's rather lazy writing when you deem the last minute or so completely pointless with a 5 second line. 
Let us head on out, so that we can come right back to discuss your problem
  • Another one was the ending as the Goodfellas homage (I would call it parody, but I'd be lying) as it really came out of nowhere and seemed to try to mask over their lazy writing (Converting "Fit Tony" to Fat Tony). It also didn't help with the stupid bits of text they modified from Goodfellas to make it seem funny, hate to break it, but in reality, it's not funny. I just ended up looking at Maggie shooting at us and said "Really? You're ending it like that? That's stupid".
Don't be fooled by it being out of context. In context it's really not funny
  • The scene where Homer's helping to bust Fat Tony had a huge script error in my opinion. So we see Homer feeling guilty about busting Fat Tony so he not so subtly tries to tell Fat Tony to step away from the guns. So it makes perfect sense why his very next actions show him trying to bust Fat Tony... wait what? This scene would have made sense if we saw Homer have an ethical dilemma in his mind about whether or not to follow the FBI agent's orders or to save Fat Tony and then in the end decides that prison isn't worth it. But nope, Homer's actions are like a light switch, can change just like that.
You can understand why Homer in the next scene tries to incriminate Fat Tony
  • The "Bribe/Bride joke" was just painful. First off it's a bad sound-alike joke to begin with because it makes little to no sense why a bag labelled "Bride" would even be placed at a courthouse (Nobody dare mention how people can get married at a courthouse because I don't know many brides named "Bride"). Second off, a woman with a bridal dress just shows up from out of nowhere takes the bag of money and runs off, that's just weak and lazy. And to top it all off, Homer shouts at her to give him back his bribe. It's the close to the writers just saying "Laugh at this joke people! Laugh at it!" (And if it weren't bad enough there, they decide to extend the joke into Homer going into the cop car... Let's do some basic math: Not funny + Not Funny = NOT FUNNY!)
This isn't funny, this is lame
  • The part where Fat Tony has Homer torch Moe's bar was an example of bad filler if you ever needed to see what it looks like. There's the whole conversation between Tony and Homer about whether or not Homer will blow up the bar which seems to take quite a while. But then it's deemed utterly pointless after the act break (Because false tension is another way to get on my bad side) when Moe inexplicably blows his bar up thus making the past minute and a half pointless. It's hard to feel bad for them when they bitch about more commercials in newer episodes limiting time when they can't even bother to fill out the time properly.
Oh thank God, for a minute I thought that scene would have a point

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lovecraft's Corner #6: From Beyond

Now, after reviewing Re-Animator and my subsequent enjoyment, I was rather pleased to learn that my next film shared huge portions of the cast with Re-Animator. This film, From Beyond, also stars Jeffery Combs and adapts a story only six pages long in my collected edition. Making a movie out of 'Herbert West: Reanimator' seemed impossible, but these same people succeeded there. Let's see if they can succeed with 'From Beyond' as well.

As always, spoilers ahead. Also, please note the only version I had on hand was the director's cut, so not sure how that'll impact the synopsis.

The movie opens with Herbert West - I mean, our protagonist - examining a machine. He turns it on, creating a purple glow, and a flying eel attacks him. He goes downstairs to tell a man named Edward that the machine, the resonator, is working. Edward puts the machine to full power, and we learn our protagonist, who is trying to persuade Edward to turn the machine off, is none other than Crawford Tillinghast.

...I'll let that sink in for you Lovecraft fans and move on.

A neighbor calls the police before her dog runs over to the house, being met by none other than Crawford, who is trying to flee the scene with an axe. It's then discovered Edward's head is missing. The credits roll - purple font, weird image in the background. This fades to a hospital, where the district attorney has brought Meg Halsey - I mean Dr. Katherine McMichaels - to examine Tillinghast to determine if he's sane enough for trial. The doctor that meets them is none too pleased, as Katherine has a reputation for experimenting on the mentally ill (our other protagonist, people). Still, Katherine talks to Crawford. It is here we learn he was the sidekick to Edward (more accurately, Dr. Edward Pretorious), and the resonator was his idea. He had the axe, he says, because he destroyed the machine after a monster ate Edward's head. Katherine doesn't wholly dismiss him as a lunatic, and has him undergo a CAT scan. Noting that his pineal gland is abnormally large, she says there could be some truth to his story and asks to take him back to the house. The district attorney lets her, despite the female doctor's (and later crawford's) objections. Katherine and Crawford are driven to the house by Bubba Brownlee, a police officer. The two manage to get Crawford into the house, but he sneaks away under the cover of darkness. Katherine and Bubba turn the power back on, find a room filled with bondage equipment, and go to the attic. There, they find the resonator and then have to restrain Crawford when he emerges from the shadows with an axe. They manage to calm him down and persuade him to fix the machine.

Katherine dozes off as Bubba keeps watch and Crawford works long into the night. He and Bubba have a brief chat, implying that West has a crush on Meg - I mean, Crawford has a crush on Katherine - and Edward was rather cruel towards others. When Katherine awakes, she's told the machine's fixed. Crawford explains how the machine works and warns them not to move, as the monsters will be able to see them too. He then turns the machine on, and there's a bit of tension between Crawford and Megan before Bubba breaks it by pointing out the flying jellyfish and eel. A jellyfish attacks him, and Crawford realizes Edward's killer is approaching. He moves to shut the machine off, only to be stopped by a being who looks a lot like Edward. It's quickly revealed that his new body can shapeshift (in a rather nauseating fashion), and he attacks. Bubba shoots at him, and Crawford shuts down the machine.

The next morning, Meg happily discusses the implications of their experience last night, while West's less than enthusiastic. It's like they had their brains swi- sorry, wrong film, meant Katherine and Crawford. Bubba comes down, still sick over last night. It's mentioned that the machine seems to increase sex drive, and Katherine suggests they try the experiment again. Both men refuse; Bubba even says after some rest, they're leaving.

During their rest, Katherine sneaks back upstairs to turn the machine on. Crawford's forehead pulsates a bit and he wakes up, realizing what's going on, and runs upstairs to shut the machine down. Katherine, upon seeing him, catches him and they make out. It's then that Edward returns, one half completely mutated, and grabs Katherine as a hostage. Crawford heads for the basement to kill the power (soon joined by Bubba) while Edward sexually assaults Katherine (bit of a shame David Gale wasn't playing Edward) and attempts to remove her head as well. Crawford and Bubba reach the basement to be greeted by a giant worm-monster. After a struggle that nearly costs Crawford his life, Bubba manages to shut down the power, saving both Crawford and Katherine. While Crawford's in enough pain that even a touch hurts, Katherine still wants to experiment one last time. Bubba refuses and leaves to start packing. Katherine starts exploring the room, which has Edward's bondage equipment, and actually ends up wearing some of it. By the time Bubba returns, she's dry-humping an unconscious Crawford. When she starts making the moves on Bubba, he forces her to look at herself, and she breaks down. During this, some invisible force is setting everything back up and turning the machine back on. Crawford wakes up, hearing the resonator, and Bubba goes upstairs to turn it back off. None of his attempts work and, when Crawford and Katherine go up as well, they are attacked. Bubba finds that the creatures are attacted to light; when he loses his flashlight and it points to him, the creatures devour him. Edward now shows up, bearing only his face and nothing else human. He attacks Katherine yet again and, before Crawford can help, his pineal gland bursts from his forehead on a stalk and hijacks his brain. Katherine manages to shut down the machine with a fire extinguisher.

Back at the hospital, Crawford's in a surgical room, and Katherine is institutionalized and prepped for ECT. Crawford then awakens, acting a bit oddly, and stumbles from the room to another one, seeing in different colors. The female doctor returns, finds him missing, and tracks him to the other room (the pathology room) and finds him eating what appears to be a human liver. He then regains control long enough to be horrified and for the doctor to take him to the door. There, the pineal gland regains control, and he kills the doctor by eating her brain through an eyesocket. In the ensuing confusion, Katherine escapes the hospital to destroy the resonator for good. Crawford ends up killing a few more hospital employees before coming to and following Katherine in an ambulance.

Katherine arrives at the house, fully dressed, and sets timed explosives on the resonator. Unfortunately, the power starts sparking again and, before she can get out, the pineal-possessed Crawford gets her and restrains her in the bondage room. In his attempt to eat her brain, she bites through the pineal gland's stalk. Crawford's sanity is thus semi-restored, but the resonator's back on and Edward wants Katherine for his own. Crawford taunts Edward until he follows him down to the ground floor. Unfortunately, Edward catches him and eats his head. Fortunately, this gave Katherine enough time to escape her restraints using the monsters' attraction to motion and to light to keep herself from being eaten. She heads downstairs to get away, but Edward's waiting for her there, and chases her back up to the resonator room. Before Edward can kill Katherine, though, Crawford bursts through, and the two struggle in a decaying, gory fight, freeing Katherine from their grip. She jumps through the window just as the explosives go off. She sits on the ground sobbing as the neighbors approach out of curiosity. The neighbor from the start of the movie asks Katherine if she's okay and what happened. Katherine's sobs turn to mad laughter, and the credits roll.

As an adaptation, From Beyond has little in common with its source material. Given the story's length, this had to be a given, but a lot is added to the resonator's side effects (the increased sexual drive was not there, I assure you) and Tillinghast is made shockingly sympathetic. It's like they took the story's character, realized that they couldn't possibly have him as a protagonist, and so gave Edward all his negative traits. Now, I'm not gonna protest the resonator's new effects, as it helps drive the story, but given that the alteration of Crawford's character ended up making him in name only, that bit does bug me (why couldn't he remain the main scientist, bitter to friends who told him he was mad for creating the resonator?). I know, I praised Re-Animator despite its major changes to the characters, but that added rather than subtracted. Still, if you go by my theory that Edward's actually Tillinghast, it works a bit better.

As Kriken could not provide his opinion of the movie at this time, I'll give mine: this movie was, uh, interesting. The first 2/3s were okay, you could have fun watching them. After the pineal gland burst from Crawford's forehead, though, the movie starts becoming difficult to sit through and, by the final battle, both Kriken and I were ready for the movie to be over. There was a special effect towards the end that was laughably bad; still, most of the creatures from 'beyond' were pretty good and aside for the last half-hour (give or take), the movie was pretty good.

As an adaptation, this film isn't worth watching. As a movie, it's worth a look, I suppose.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Deeper Look At: Homer the Father

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to take more in-depth looks at the bottom 10 episodes I listed earlier and discuss why not only most of these suck as part of the series, but why it sucks on its own. Naturally I will try my best to disregard previous continuity from Classic Simpsons as I will judge these episodes based purely off their own merits. We will be talking about certain things ranging from basic storytelling to continuity to character and many other criteria for how we base our opinions on TV shows and movies. So first on our list: Homer the Father.

Issue #1: Storyline
Now before you get down my throat with "But it's a comedy, storylines don't matter" yes, yes they do. It's only when there isn't one that you realize how important a storyline is and its taken for granted on this show. This is going to be a main issue for a majority of these episodes. The problem I have here more or less is that while Act 1 and 2 aren't terrible in their flow and Act 3 was about the same way in its flow, it's the transition that is downright horrendous. As you know, shows use storyboard to get their ideas across, going from point A to point B and so on, here it feels like a sizeable gap of story is missing, let me show you:
Okay, it's just Homer enjoying a TV show, no biggie
Bart wants a new bike, still easy
Bart and Homer coming to an agreement about how Bart can get his bike, still with them
Bart's angry that Homer didn't live up to his end of the bargain, okay end of story see ya later.
More or less
Bart decides to sell secrets to the Chinese in exchange for a bike, -the hell?
Okay, in the interest of fairness, there is a scene where Apu explains to Homer that countries would pay a great amount for his access to nuclear secrets. The problem with that is the scene is so forced and out of place, that calling Apu the McGuffin of the episode would be very generous. It's clear the writers had no idea how to transition to the nuclear secrets plot so they resorted to turning a B-character into a McGuffin whose appearance at the Simpsons residence makes no sense and is out of character for him to randomly visit a customer's house to return something they lost. Real Apu would hold onto it at the Kwik-E-Mart and hand it over to Homer the next time he comes by, you know like real people act. Modern Apu however needs to go to the house for the sole reason of spouting out exposition to advance the plot. It's lazy writing at its worst and is just painful to think that nobody important objected to this whatsoever. But hey, why take the time to properly introduce us to the nuclear secrets plot when we can see all the great jokes about the channel Homer watches, which brings us to issue #2.

Issue #2: The Filler
It's bad enough that the sitcom Homer watches isn't funny whatsoever, but their attempt to make another show or two for him to watch complete with unfunny introductions is just awful. The sitcoms they put on don't even sound like parodies of 80's sitcoms, they sound more like rejected sitcom ideas (There is a difference). It is so easy to make fun of sitcoms ranging from "It's very cheesy" to "It's too sappy at times" to "These jokes are corny" and so on. The writers spare no expense at showing us the entire introductions (About 45 seconds for each give or take) of two sitcoms, it just pointless, they aren't funny and it's plainly filler. And they show us a bunch of other failed sitcom ideas (I took a count, there were 9 sitcoms in total that were mentioned. The rule of three be damned!). It feels like the majority of the 1st and 2nd Act is just watching failed sitcoms parodies, if I wanted to make fun of a sitcom, I'd watch Full House. It also doesn't help that there are two montages one of Bart studying that is deemed even more pointless when Bart doesn't get a reward (A lot like the audience, they sit through this garbage and get nothing in the end) and the other is Bart and Homer bonding, it's just very tedious to watch these and there's no entertainment to be found in montages. Also, Bart's dream sequence went on for much longer than it had any right to go on for. It's a problem that Modern Simpsons has suffered from for a long time; They don't know when to cut their jokes, they just extend out a scene or two rather than putting in 4-6 scenes with equal length and more jokes. And to cap it all off (Or begin it all) the opening takes up 1:40 of a 21 minute show and there's an unfunny, unrelated bit at the end to help pad this episode out. It's just further proof that they don't care about the quality of the show rather than if they can add another digit to their bank accounts.

Issue #3: The Parody
Okay I may have actually addressed this in the previous issue but this is something I feel really needs to be torn apart. The parodies of the 80's sitcoms are in a word: AWFUL, all it is is just Homer watching sitcoms that had no right to be on the air at any given time period. The satire (I guess) is that the father of the sitcom is just a stereotypical 80's sitcom father, and... nothing else, heck just using a stereotype isn't satirical, it's lazy, especially when you don't even make fun of it (Like the episode did). I don't even get why they felt the need to add in another 5 sitcom names and 3 sitcoms with actual footage, they weren't funny and just wasted time. I know I said that I wouldn't compare this to classic Simpsons but I do want to note that Saturdays of Thunder did an excellent satire on 80's sitcoms without wasting our time or insulting our intelligence.

So that's installment #1, I hope you enjoyed it, come back when I take on Donnie Fatso.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 5 Summer Episodes

Well it's summertime and I've got nothing better to do, so I thought about making a list of what I feel to be the top 5 episodes with Summer as a main theme. The two main points for this list are how good it is and how much it has to do with summer. Now keep in mind, these are MY choices so I'd understand if you don't agree. Also, I apologize for being so brief on why each episode is where it is. (Note: due to technical difficulties, I will be adding pictures later instead of now)

Honorable Mentions:
Brush With Greatness

  • This has the great "Can you take us to Mount Splashmore" bit that I'm sure all fans remember. unfortunately, that scene is just a blip in terms of the entire episode and unfortunately misses the cut.

Selma's Choice

  • While this is a great episode (Not a good one, but a great one) this one misses the cut because it's not exactly clear on whether or not it take place in the Summer. Granted it seems like it, but a Spring trip to a them park is not uncommon, so I could
I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can, The Monkey Suit, and Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade
  • While I don't HATE these episodes, there not ones I'd think to watch when I'm bored. Also this is the main reason why I didn't do 10, I would have had to included these as there really aren't that many Summer themed episodes.

5. Lisa's Sax

  • This is a great episode in my opinion and one of the reasons why to me this show was still good in season 9 (Outside of a couple of episodes it would have been great). While the origin for Lisa getting her sax is funny and heartwarming, this episode makes it based on the plot within the plot of Homer wanting an AC unit for the heatwave (Twice). It's a great episode and has a Summer them in it.
Wishing I had an AC unit like that now

    4. Itchy and Scratchy Land 

    • I debated this one because while Marge says this is the family vacation, we see them all wearing long-sleeves at any given point at the park. I'm not sure about you, but I've never worn long-sleeves during the summer. But after consideration, it is clear that it does have a Summer feel to it and I can just say it was a rather cold Summer for them. This is easily a top 5 episode for me from season 6 and easily on anyone's top 50, if not give this episode another look.
    Best, ride EVER!

    3. Kamp Krusty

    • You can put the top 3 in any order and it'd still be a good list, but for me Kamp Krusty was the first one out of the running for #1. Don't get me wrong I LOVE this episode, it's one of the strongest episodes of the strongest season ever, but for me I don't initially make the connection to summer (Despite this being about Summer camp, I don't know don't ask how my brain works). It's still one of the greatest episodes of all time and one of the best for Summertime.
    Where do I sign up?

    2. Summer of 4 ft 2

    • While I'd say that Kamp Krusty is better than this episode all around, this narrowly edges Krusty out because it's easily associated with Summer. I also really like this episode because of the way they deal with Lisa being a loaner during the Summer, it is very easy to pity her for how she's always the outsider and even when she tries to be different to fit in, something always comes around to prevent happiness. Honestly I'm surprised she hasn't gone Goth yet... and I just gave the writers an idea for a season 23 episode. Dammit! Anyways, it's a very strong episode with strong ties to Summer.
    The dreaded seagull, her one weakness

    1. Bart of Darkness

    • Whenever I think of Summer and The Simpsons, this one immediately pops into my head. And I'm not alone, when I asked my followers for suggestions, this one was the first one that'd appear as a response, it's an amazing episode. Not only is it a really funny episode, I love the parody of Rear Window and how Bart spies on Flanders when he's confined to bed (And I get a chuckle that Lisa plays the role of Lisa from the film. Learn something new everyday). What else can I say outside of this is a great episode and my favorite Summer episode of all time.
    I had something similar to this happen once, no longer allowed at the "Y" anymore

    So that's the list, be sure to leave any thoughts and opinions about it. Ranging from your own list to listing omissions I may have made. Coming next week, I'll be taking a more in-depth look at last years episodes as to why they're bad for more reasons than just "They're not Classic Simpsons"

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Season 20 Review

    In all my years of watching The Simpsons I have never seen anything so poorly written and woefully executed, with jokes that are so painful that I want a lobotomy. Seriously, some say season 11 is the worst; I say it's where the series jumped the shark and this is where the series was eaten by that same shark. With the low quality season 19 was emitting I thought "This show has nowhere to go but up". I was wrong, very wrong. I just hoped that the writers never make a season this shitty ever again (Season 22 dashed those hopes).

    The season of course carries the momentum of "All about Lisa" and starts off with a rather mediocre episode that seems to try to say to the viewing audience: "Hey we can be as mature as Family Guy or South Park", but the effort doesn't seem to be there. 

    The next two are polar opposites as one continues to try to appeal to the audience with the entire plot being about cell phones which to me just feels very out of place and too forced.I mean there's nothing wrong with trying to keep up with technology, but when The Simpsons try to incorporate modern technology into their episodes it just feels wrong and unnatural. The third episode had a MUCH better form in print form and was just a waste.

    After The Treehouse of Horror to rope us back in, we go through 4 rather mediocre and unimpressive episodes that aren't funny nor interesting to the audience. But they are all better than "Lisa the Drama Queen". I still refuse to review that because the last time I saw it, I vomited and had nightmares because it was such a disgrace to the show that Brian Kelly should have been fired on the spot for writing such a flaming pile of shit.

    Unfortunately that is the last episode of the series that is shown in SD (Great way to end an era wouldn't you say? ... ugh) as Take my Life Please is the first episode to go to the HD format and change the way we watch these episodes. And by way we watch them I mean the writing is patronizing to the audience and is just uninteresting from this point out. Nice way to usher in a new era.

    The next few episodes are like a rollercoaster with it going down then up then way down then back up again. It's not too bad because it's better than consistently sucking.

    The highlight is In the Name of the Grandfather, while it is rather boring, I'd still take this over a majority of the episodes this season (Which is really sad), while the lowlight has to be Gone Maggie Gone where it pisses on the source material (No it wasn't a satire, it was a piss-poor attempt at one) and is just batshit stupid.

    The next three are the same as Wedding For Disaster is a waste of talent, Eeny Teeny Maya Moe has mixed messages and fails at their point while The Good, the Sad, the Drugly was more or less a re-hash of two previous storylines with little new material.

    What this series excels at though is having an awful stretch of episodes that diminishes hope for next season being an improvement and redeeming this season (but it tried to my surprise). They are all shit, all poorly written and just plain stupid.

    This was the lone season that really made me not take this show seriously anymore. The topical jokes and references seem forced and I really hate it. In the past, this show rarely needed to force topical reference in order to get viewers; I could watch an episode that's over 10 years old and understand the jokes without having to Google them. Now there were a couple of jokes that I didn't even remember what the event was that they were making fun of. The cell phone jokes though got under my skin the most. This is the family whose car has an EIGHT-TRACK TAPE PLAYER and all of a sudden they need to use their cell phones everywhere they go? I've said this in real life, people are idiots. We used to live in a world without cell phones and we survived perfectly fine, but take it away now and people will panic (Oops, shouldn't put my own view about cell phones in there, forget what you just read).

    Next to the jokes, the fact that this season seems to have a musical motif pisses me off. In the 20 episodes of this season (excluding "Lisa the Drama Queen")  there were 41 times where there was a scene involving the characters singing or dancing. I'm not kidding, that is basically musical show numbers there.

    I'm still in shock that Maggie got six lines in one episode and another five in the next. Let me say: MAGGIE DOES NOT TALK EVER!! IT'D BE LIKE KENNY TALKING WITHOUT HIS HOODIE FOR THREE STRAIGHT EPISODES! YOU DON'T DO IT! (Still pisses me off)

    Really, the plots are either recycled or poorly executed as the new ones just seem uninteresting. In the 20 episodes there were 20 montages. I don't know what to say; it just feels like lazy writing as the occasional montage is good but not one per episode because it defeats the purpose. There is very little good and way too much shit for this to even be considered a season of The Simpsons. I just wish that it'd be gone and I could have the memory of this season erased.

    Final Verdict: 1.2/10 It's just a horrible season that no real Simpson fan should ever have to see.

    (This is RBY, calling out. If you'll excuse me, I'm now gonna put my nostalgia filter back on and go watch something GOOD)

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Episode 21: Coming to Homerica

    Now tell me if you've heard this before, The Simpsons doing an episode based on illegal immigration and... *1000 replies later*. Yeah this is just a poor man's Much Apu About Nothing and it's not even clever in trying to distinguish itself from that episode, it's an unfunny clone of it. Illegal immigration was a problem during the airing and it's the same today (Except now this episode would have the police go around saying "Show me your papers" instead of building a wall, but I digress). I know I commented that I liked the episode with Lisa on drugs and Bart having a girlfriend but that was more interesting; this tries too hard to make light of something we've known for years and it come off as stupid. Let's put on our sombreros, avoid Arizona and take a look.

    We start off with Krusty's accountant telling Krusty about how his products are bad and he needs to change (Change the bloody record already. We've seen this so many times already). Krusty then tells him add a veggie burger to his menu to offset the unhealthy items already there (Like that helped McDonald's). After the Simpsons watch a commercial for the "Mother Nature Burger" (I couldn't make that up if I tried) Homer decides to take his family to Krusty Burger. At Krusty Burger we see that the burger has made the restaurant popular (We even see Apu and Lisa eating burgers. Savor those images, you'll never see them again). Back at home, though, the burgers made the family sick and everyone starts throwing up (Homer doing it in Lisa's sax, charming. Oh yeah we see that they have three bathrooms, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there only two bathrooms in the house?) After a pointless scene at Springfield Elementary, we find out that the burgers had tainted barley in them and the barley traces back to Ogdenville (Fair enough, Ogdenville hasn't been truly established for what it does, there's potential here). As it turns out, the citizens of Ogdenville are descendants of Norwegian immigrants from 100 years ago and they specialize in barely production (... Whatever you say, oh yeah keep note of the line "Settled 100 years ago by Norwegian immigrants" in short, the settlers were immigrants, but the descendants are American... that fact will hurt a lot throughout the review).
    All the subtlety of a baseball bat
    After that we see that Ogdenville becomes a ghost town because all of its business was barley and nobody wants to buy barley from Ogdenville anymore (Oh yeah, this apparently happens OVERNIGHT, I've heard of exaggerated timelines but this is ridiculous. This ranks up there with the ending of Alone in the Dark). The residents then do their greatest impression of Grapes of Wrath and head out for new life in Springfield; we can tell there's prosperity there because the gray overcast isn't over Springfield (...Subtle symbolism ain't it?). We then cut to Homer buying rain gutters as some Ogdenvillians offer help to Homer install them because they need work (Great, they aren't even trying to hide that Ogdenville citizens are their stand-ins for Mexicans, scratch subtle writing off the list). Homer thanks the workers for what they did and he says that he's thankful for them being there to take the jobs Springfielders won't take and they can't have too much of a good thing (Gee I wonder if that contrived line in any way will come back to bite him in the ass? It was said oh-so-subtly by Homer and the theme we already have will make me ponder this for a long time). We then see the streets are crowded with some Ogdenvillians doing all sorts of jobs, we cut to Marge as she hires an Ogdenviller named Inga to be her new nanny (No, only British women with songs and flying umbrellas can be their nanny).
    Not obvious enough, try putting sombreros on them
    After that, we cut to Luigi's where we see that Selma is going out with an Ogdenville man who helped her kill moles in her garden (Well that was pointless, then again the majority of the scenes have been pointless). We cut to Bart and Milhouse as they see that Ogdenville kids have basically taken over their skating area (And they're Minnesota Vikings fans, which is stupid. That's like saying all Native American descendants are Florida State fans or all Irish descendants are fans of Notre Dame (As an Irish Catholic descent myself, and I hate Notre Dame)). After one Ogdenville kid goes "So many meters" (That's stupid beyond words, you said they were DESCENDANTS of Norwegian immigrants, NOT Norwegian immigrants themselves. God I hate this) Bart decides to outdo him and gets hurt in the process. Bart is then taken to the hospital where he has to wait because of all the "Norwads" (This is hurting my brain). Because of all the Ogdenvillians there (They are American-Norwegian at best, not pure Norwegian you DIPSHITS. No I'm not letting this go, they CLEARLY said the immigrants SETTLED it. It's all there black and white clear as crystal. It's the equivalent of saying anyone born in Chinatown is Chinese and not American) Homer and Marge are given a Norwegian form because they are out of English ones (How does that make sense? Shouldn't the Ogdenville people be given the Norwegian ones while Springfielders are given English? GOD MY BRAIN HURTS)(To make it worse they. Are. DESCENDANTS. At this point, it's unlikely they don't know English, making the Norwegian forms, you guessed it, entirely pointless).
    I knew it, the people from the next town over will cause hospitals to become too crowded
    Marge takes Bart home and pulls his arm out of the socket to fix it and Bart claims that the Ogdenville kids "dared" him. Lisa points out that they were all immigrants at one time and the Ogdenvillians shouldn't be hated (They are NOT immigrants, they are the same nationality as you, American. How is it that this episode seems to pisses me off with every new line?) We then cut to Moe's as we see that there are more Ogdenvillers and that causes Moe to stop serving beer but instead serve some Norwegian Aquavit and it causes him to start accepting Norwegian money (Trust me, there isn't enough alcohol to make that scene okay). I know I probably should be allowing my suspension of disbelief to say that these are Norwegian immigrants and they are acting like illegal immigrants. However, illegal immigrants do not use their old money; they would convert it into U.S. dollars like how an American immigrant in Europe would convert his money to euros instead of trying to get businesses to accept the dollar instead, God I hate this. Homer then tries to down a bottle of Aquavit instead of using a shot glass and he gets a tremendous hangover the next day which causes him to get fired. Later, we see a town meeting to discuss the "Immigrant Problem" (No I'm not letting this go THEY ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS! THEY ARE U.S. CITIZENS WHO HAPPEN TO HAVE KEPT THEIR ROOTS! THEY LIVED IN THE CITY NEXT TO YOU, YOU TWATS!!!).
    Everyone who has no clue how the immigration system works, raise your hand
    Blue-haired lawyer suggests that there be a law banning Ogdenvillians from being inside the Springfield limits (You know you could just "deport" them by checking all the citizens and seeing if they have the proper papers). So after an unfunny xylophone joke (By the way, Xylophobia is fear of wood, not xylophones. Good try you dumb-fucks) we see at the border it's made obvious that the Springfield police are really sucking at their job and Ogdenvillians just keep crossing the border (Booze, don't fail me now). Lou suggests that they hire citizens to help patrol the border and we see some main characters with guns in their hands. Later it's shown that Homer is the leader and he tries to get a name for their group (How about "The Bigot Klan") Carl suggests "The Star Spangled Goofballs" and it sticks (I like how Cletus pointed out how stupid their group is, of all the characters to point out the stupidity of this)(Cletus? The slack-jaw yokel LAMPSHADES?'s pretty bad, then). After Lenny and Carl fail at air patrol (With an Up reference in the background... why?), Mayor Quimby is not pleased and he suggests that they need a new solution. They get their new solution after seeing Homer run into a wall; Quimby decides to build a big fence (Wow and I thought the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was absurd)(At least that's between two COUNTRIES and has some basis, not two CITIES in the same country). We cut back home where Marge thinks the fence is stupid until Maggie says "Ja" (5 times) and that upsets Marge because Maggie's first words are in "Ogdenvillese" (And I thought Bush calling Mexico's LANGUAGE 'Mexican' was's, at best, a dialect, folks)...
    Because her talking in the last episode was so amazing, here it is again
    Okay, fuck it, I'm heading out for a while and I will not be back to finish the review. If you can't tell why, then clearly you need to re-read it. *walks away only to be ordered back by RBY* Okay I've been told I'll be fired if I don't complete this review so let's get back to this (Which is strange when you consider the fact that Kriken hired ME....don't think about that too hard). Where do I begin with that? Let's see:
    1. That is stupid! Just because your baby is acting like a parrot doesn't mean these "immigrants" are a bad influence on your town
    2. Really? Ogdenvillese? That's like saying Cubans who from Miami (Little Havana to be more specific) are speaking "Miamese" when they speak Spanish
    3. Yet again this goes back to pathetic satire of how the writers view Americans viewing the world and blowing it WAY out of proportion. It's stupid and not funny.
    4. Building a fence to keep two U.S. cities apart, I believe, is unconstitutional (I don't think it's covered in the lawbooks - NOBODY IS THAT STUPID! ....ok, maybe it's covered by anti-discrimination laws). It would be like if NYC created a fence around Little Italy, or if San Fransisco boarded up Chinatown. It's just dumb. And doing this is in no way funny nor "Satirical", it's fucking stupid.
    Why do I get the feeling this is why the writers are so out of touch with modern society
    We then see Quimby begin design of the wall as they decide to hire the Ogdenvillians to help build the wall (Sure why not?). As they build the wall together, each Springfielder finds that they have something in common with an Ogdenviller (Aw, could that mean they won't build the wall? Most surely not, right? You wouldn't pull this cliche? Right?) As they are putting up the last bit of the wall (Symbolism!) the Springfielders regret putting up the wall because they missed them for all of five seconds (Wow, what drama. I have more feelings for my fork then I do this scene). The Ogdenvillians come through a door they created (Lazy writing at it's finest ladies and gentlemen) and they all come back to Springfield where everything is back to normal. They even have a dance number at the end because this episode hasn't pissed me off enough yet, and the ending credits are put over the flag of Norway for some more symbolism. Now if' you'll excuse me I'm off to finish this bottle I got for the midway point.

    Final Judgment: This episode is terrible. The satire is stupid, the plot is recycled and horrible, the writing is atrocious, the message is beyond stupid, and the "Mexican stand-ins" are horribly done because they are U.S. citizens and the writers couldn't be bothered to change a simple little thing like that. This is a piss-poor attempt at satirizing the illegal immigrant issue and it's sad because their first attempt was so much better and funnier; this just seems lazy and stupid.

    Final Grade: 1.2/10 I never want to see this again