19
Feb
12

Critic’s Corner: #PABF07

We’ve (they’ve) made it! Before I start this review, I’d like to say that from what I’ve read about this episode, it seems a red reminiscent of The Simpsons Movie, but it doesn’t seem overly copied or terrible, just yet. Let’s roll the tape.

The most meaningless milestone of all – the 500th episode! The couch gag (which was said to make HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall ‘choke up’) was great, actually. Despite its length, the couch gag (going to the very beginning of the couch gags) was nice to see, later panning out to show the couch gags forming a photographic mosaic of the number “500.” Bart’s line, “Bunkerball is keeping us sane” was worthy of a chuckle, if only for a bit; “The Optimist Club” funding the float featuring the slogan “Simpsons, Go to Hell” was another notable line. Other notable quotables/moments: Homer’s crude disguises for him and Marge to sneak into Springfield, along with his amateurish Mr. Burns impression, “I’m sick of watching FOX!” (while watching an actual fox sleep), and Homer referencing Dan Castellaneta’s Walter Matthau-inspired voice (“Remember when we moved in and I talked like this?”) from season one and parts of season two. The guest appearance of Julian Assange was unneeded and unfunny, useful for an overused “WikiLeaks” reference.

I’m a person that doesn’t like open endings (unless you feel as if you are going to be assured later on) on television shows, so I was not a particular fan of the ending, but it wasn’t overly terrible and I’m sure to maintain the status quo, the relocation of all of the town’s residents to the Outlands will be retconned for the following episode. The ending slide, “Get some fresh air before going on the internet and saying how much this sucked,” is yet another self-aware joke from season 23, appropriate for what I (and many other watchers/fans of The Simpsons as of right now) am essentially doing with this review (although I’m not stating this episode sucked per se).

Overall, this was an appropriate 500th episode, at least in my opinion. It was semi-lackluster in jokes (it is season 23, after all), and, in my view, ended too soon (I would have liked to see more of what happened to the residents that kicked the Simpsons family out of Springfield and then moved with them to the Outlands) but it wasn’t overly terrible. Let’s see The Simpsons go for another 100, 200, or 500 more (let’s see).

I’m sick of watching FOX.

Thanks for reading,

Judy

19
Feb
12

500th Episode Review Bash; Critic’s Corner: #JABF15

Kent is disgraced and fired after unintentionally blurting a swear word during "Smartline", his talk show

We’ve reached 400! Yet another meaningless milestone (should there be a drinking contest on how many times I’ve said that today?) down the road of “The Simpsons” history. Season 18 would probably be considered by favorite post-classic season, I enjoyed some of the episodes in this season (examples: The Wife Aquatic, Marge Gamer). Nevertheless, let’s roll the tape.

The guest appearance of Ludacris (“Ludacrest”) was not really needed, other than a stale gag that is “appropriate” for a dentist visit, the situation at hand. I’m confident in the statement that I’m not the only one who would like to know what the word was meant to be – I’m going to bet money on (shield the children’s eyes, Helen Lovejoy!) “motherfucker asscracker.”

The accusation that FOX airs tasteless, liberal programming to attract fines from the FCC to fund the Republican party is a semi-nice crack against Republicans (and FOX News, as well, I suppose); I enjoy the “silencing” of the truth against FOX by cutting off Homer with the 20th Century Fox logo, the Gracie Films logo, and then the credits for the show itself. Other notable quotables/moments: the callback (was it meant to be a callback?) to Birch Barlow being a Republican radio personality, Homer appearing on a white screen after being initially silenced by FOX, and Stampy appearing on Homer’s “Wall of Casual Acquaintances Who Came to Stay for a While.”

Overall, I’d like to reiterate that season 18 is most likely my favorite post-classic season (with examples of favorite episodes in the post-classic era above), and this episode was slightly shaky, but not overly terrible. I’d give it a 3/5, B-.

The framegrab above comes generously from Last Exit to Springfield!

Ow, that hurt like a -

Thanks for reading,

Judy

19
Feb
12

500th Episode Review Bash; Critic’s Corner: #EABF05

Bart is emancipated from his parents, moving into his own loft with the money supplied by half of Homer's paycheck

30 . . . 2? Advertised (fraudulently) as the 300th episode, “Barting Over” was actually the 302d episode, but, on the insistence of FOX, it was built up and advertised as the 300th episode of “The Simpsons.” Instead of reviewing the travesty that is the actual 300th episode (“The Strong Arms of the Ma”), I will review “Barting Over,” which is slightly less travesty-like (for the lack of better terms). Yet another meaningless milestone down the road, two more to go tonight! Let’s roll the tape.

The feral Furbies and Homer’s “incriminating” photos were chuckle-worthy, if only for a bit. The reference to Casablanca (“Of all the websites in the world,I had to click on his”) was a nice touch, as well; notable quotables/moments include: “I could’ve sworn it was 302,” one of the few self-aware “jokes” in the post-classic (at least from my memory) era. With this being a post-classic episode (post-classic = declined quality = not many jokes/notable moments = nothing to review), and post-classic being already defined, I will say the obvious: I have little to review (maybe I should have reviewed the travesty, I would have more to talk about), so I’ll instead go ahead to nitpicking the guest stars.

The guest appearance of blink-182 was not really needed (the guest appearance of Tony Hawk is out there, but “important” to the overall plot development, I suppose), and the plot itself was shaky and there were few jokes in the entire episode (I found myself wishing for something to come along, even something bad, just so I would be able to add something to the review, but, alas, no cigar). Overall, this episode was lackluster, with not many jokes/entertaining qualities. I’d give it a 2.5/5, C-.

The framegrab above comes generously from Last Exit to Springfield!

No more Baby-Stink-Breath!

Thanks for reading,

Judy

19
Feb
12

500th Episode Review Bash; Critic’s Corner: #5F09

Homer wins the election for sanitation commissioner, defeating incumbent Ray Patterson

And so we come to the 200th episode. Yet another (meaningless) milestone in “The Simpsons” history, this episode later won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) at the 51st Primetime Emmy Awards, which the staff believe was due to the environmental message at the end, something not intended. Let’s roll the tape!

The executive for Costington’s (‘Over a Century Without a Slogan’) referring to “Christmas 2″ was a funny line, for me anyway; Homer’s disappointment (and later facing away from the bear she did get, Sir Loves-a-Lot) at Marge’s failure to buy “Lord Huggington” for Homer for Love Day (“It’s just the same generic bear, Homer.”) is a favorite moment, along with Bart opening his “Kisses-Make-Me-Boogie-O’Lantern” (rewatching this last night, I laughed particularly hard at Julie’s read of the name of the knick knack, for whatever reason). Marge accusing the “crazy lady who lives in the trash [pile]” of attacking her, with Homer replying that wasn’t the way “she told it” are two other favorite moments from this episode, continuing with Marge telling Homer that the school nurse told her that Bart has the plague (which Homer misunderstands, and compares it to the measles – easier to get it out of the way). Other notable quotables/moments: Homer feeling “violated” over Marge signing his name on an apology letter, dismissing that singing her name on “simple” things such as loan applications or wills is not the same, “Moonlight Sonata” (was it Moonlight Sonata?) being played by Lisa’s mind as solace for the uninformed Homer (“It was like David and Goliath, except, this time, David won.”), Homer rattling Ray Patterson’s bird cage, Homer’s anger at Bart for telling the public he’ll “beat him” if he doesn’t win, later mumbling (still picked up by the microphone) “You’re gonna get such a beating,” Homer’s disguise as the ‘potato man’ (“Where the hell have you been?”), the “Take a hike, Kojak!” line said by Homer as he kicks away the camera operator (not sure what her job specifically was), and of course, the “Garbageman Can” song. There aren’t any particularly notable animation moments in this episode as in episodes previous in this season, but that does little to lessen my opinions.

Overall, this episode was entertaining, funny, solid, and a generally good episode in the cusp between classic and post-classic eras. I’ll give it a 5/5, A+.

The framegrab above comes generously from The Simpsons-O-Rama!

Who can take the trash out, and stomp it down for you?

Thanks for reading,

Judy

19
Feb
12

500th Episode Review Bash; Critic’s Corner: #1F18

Bart inadvertently has Principal Seymour Skinner fired, him being replaced by Ned Flanders

100th episode! We’ve made the first meaningless (maybe slightly above complete meaninglessness) milestone! Today is the airing of the 500th episode, so, to celebrate, we (I) will be reviewing all of the -00th episodes, in order, leading up to “At Long Last Leave” tonight. Let’s roll the tape!

The line of Bart replying “not likely” to Marge’s comment on people laughing at him in 20 years from now (then) was slightly predicting the future. Marge’s line, “I just think they’re neat,” in reference to potatoes is one of my favorite moments; Superintendent Chalmers’s line about the “low test scores, class after class of ugly, ugly children” is another line I love. Some other notable quotables/moments: “They don’t have them group turlets here no more, do they?,” Homer’s binge on peanut butter cups in Flanders’ office, the smoking “K” from the Kwik-E-Mart moments after three bombs (were they bombs?) headed their way from Principal Skinner’s army range.

The friendship between Principal Skinner and Bart is one seen time and time again – two enemies come together after an incident and become good friends, and then an idea/something of that nature happens to bring everything back to the way it was again before the plot ends, with an emotional (usually emotional?) goodbye scene before things go back to normal and they are enemies once more. The scenes of them together were nice; I particularly liked the animation during the beach scene (where Bart does a surprisingly right-on-the-first-try hit with a log for a crab on Skinner’s ear) with the sun setting in the background. The spider biting the back of Bart’s head (which Lisa had thought was guilt for getting Skinner inadvertently fired) was slightly disturbing, if I recall correctly, I remember hearing someone (any help specifying who that person was would be appreciated, but is not required, I’m too lazy at this moment to search for it myself) on the commentary for this episode say that it happened to his daughter, and the joke became unfunny to him from then on (albeit laughing about it).

Overall, this seems, to be at least, to be a tad anti-climactic episode for being the show’s 100th, but it is funny, entertaining, slightly emotional, solid, generally good episode nonetheless. I give it a 5/5, A+.

The framegrab above comes generously from The Simpsons-O-Rama!

Don’t touch the wallpaper.

Thanks for reading,

Judy

19
Feb
12

“What is your area of expertise?” – Adult Education Annex Administrator

“Well, I can tell the difference between butter and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” – Homer

19
Feb
12

I will not celebrate meaningless milestones

[Intellectual property – the 500 emblem that I myself put on the couch – yoinked from here!]

We’ve (we’ve? What did we do other than register our disgust at episodes in the post-classic era? More accurate: ‘they’ve’) made it! Tonight at 8pm (7pm central) on FOX, The Simpsons will air its 500th episode, entitled “At Long Last Leave.” To celebrate this (meaningless milestone) occasion, I will review all previous -00th episodes, starting with the 100th (what else?), “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song.” (stay tuned!)

 [recalling a table read for the 200th episode, "Trash of the Titans]  “that was a staggering number. David Mirkin, one of the executive producers, said, ‘Well, we’re halfway home.’ And everybody laughed because it was obvious that there was no way we would be on for 400. So now to have done 500 is really fatiguing,” Matt Groening recalls in an interview with LA Times. On February 8, 2012, FOX, in an effort to place a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest continuous television viewing, selected one-hundred “The Simpsons” fans for a marathon of the show, starting from the very first episode. The last remaining as the record was broken would be crowned the winners, and the remaining two, Jeremiah Franco and Carin Shreve, won as the record was broken on February 12, 2012 after reaching the eleventh season of the show; Franco and Shreve were also selected to join the cast and crew for the 500th episode celebration on February 13. Before the US airing on February 19, reviews of the episode have been seen as “generally positive,” HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall reported the “couch gag was marvelous, it actually made me choke up a bit.” TIME writer James Poniewozik, who believes the quality of  “The Simpsons” declined at the end of the 1990s, reported that it was an “all right episode,” with a few gags feeling “forced,” but also reporting that “a few moments made me bark out loud and realize why I loved the show in the first place.”

On other things, if for whatever reason you haven’t heard of the plot of tonight’s 500th episode, here it is, coming generously from Wikipedia (along with several of those quotes above!):

The Simpson family discovers that everyone in Springfield has grown tired of them and are secretly planning to have them thrown out of the city. The family moves out of Springfield to a rugged place where Julian Assange becomes their new neighbor.

A tad bit reminiscent of The Simpsons Movie, hm? The plot doesn’t really specify many details other than the overall plot, so nothing can be assumed (at least in my opinion) overly terrible about it, just yet. Let’s wait and see.

Thanks for reading,

Judy




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