Like I said a couple posts ago, Dead Homer Society is the finest source of Simpsons criticism on the internet, but apparently even they have their breaking point. If you’re unfamiliar with their process, here’s how it goes: after a new episode airs, they parcel out a week’s worth of features including “Ratings FAIL” (which could really use a less-memeish name), where frontman Charlie Sweatpants talks about one particular aspect that bugged him; Crazy Noises, which is basically just a chatlog of the team and sometimes odds & ends; and my favorite feature, the incomparable Compare & Contrast, a comprehensive Glenn Greenwaldian takedown of the episode by simply comparing it to a good episode. It’s a good process that runs the gamut between formal and informal, snap judgments and prudent deliberation.
Well, Mr. Sweatpants has announced next season will get a much less comprehensive treatment, because (shocker) the show is really bad:
For all its manic bumbling and endless stream of pointless cameos, the only enduring characteristic about Zombie Simpsons is how blandly repetitive it is. Episodes consistently have no coherent story, few jokes, fewer funny jokes, wasted guest voices, hacktacular pop culture references, and all manner of things poorly lifted from old episodes. […] I’ve begun to get the sense that we’re often doing little more than citing examples of the same kinds of things each week: it sucked when they made Homer do this, that joke went on too long, that’s not even a joke, this voice sounds terrible, that was done better years ago, this made no sense, etcetera etcetera. […] In short, it seems very unlikely that most of the episodes in Season 24 (or Season 25, or Season 26, or Season Whatever) are going to be worth a close examination and serious criticism.
The rationale is pretty meta – we’re talking about the repetitiveness and general quality of reviews – but it’s true. You could go to any Simpsons forum, click on an episode review from ten years ago, and the complaints would still be applicable to the current season. My guess is there’ll still be Crazy Noises, because it seems easy to do, but no (or a heavily reduced amount of) Compare & Contrasts, which is a shame but understandable for the sake of Charlie’s mental sanity.
[Dead Homer Society]
A Simpsons short starring Maggie the Baby is being shoved in front of the fourth Ice Age movie, flying into theaters this summer. The commercial said it’s in 3D except I don’t know if they mean “3D” as in CGI or “3D” as in “you have to wear special glasses while Maggie throws blocks at you” or both. “The Longest Daycare” is being directed by longtime Simpsons guy David Silverman who used to animate the original Simpsons shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show twenty-five years ago.
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For the past few years, Dead Homer Society has been the finest source of Simpsons criticism on the internet, dutifully diagnosing the symptoms of what it affectionately calls “Zombie Simpsons.” Well, now the site’s frontman Charlie Sweatpants has written a whole mini-book on the subject, Zombie Simpsons: How the Best Show Ever Became the Broadcasting Undead.
In it, he meticulously lays out not only why The Simpsons is so ridiculously bad now but also how it got that way, with charts and footnotes and stuff! The whole treatise will be parceled out chapter by chapter on the website over the next couple weeks, but if you have a Kindle you can get the whole dang thing right now for just three bucks. Do it or else a Zombie Simpson will fly into your kitchen and make a mess of your pots and pans
[Dead Homer Society]
Check out this sneak peek preview of an upcoming episode from next season:
When Bart’s love life heats up again on The Simpsons, it will involve an old flame or two. Actually, make that five. Not only will Zooey Deschanel guest-star on the animated comedy by reprising her role as Mary Spuckler — that adorable hillbilly daughter of Cleetus [sic.] whom Bart nearly married in season 19 — four other former girlfriends, voiced by Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sarah Silverman, make cameos in the same episode, EW has learned.
This episode has it all: a hackneyed plot ripped off from romantic comedies, a bunch of guest stars returning to voice some of the blandest characters in the show’s history (Girlfriend #4, Girlfriend #7, et al.), a clip show-like premise that emphasizes not only how long the show’s been on but how repetitive and assembly line-produced it’s been, Bart having what sounds like a midlife crisis at the age of 10, and a country song performed by Zooey Deschanel, who apparently played one of Cletus the slack-jawed yokel’s daughter in some horrible-sounding episode I managed to avoid. Please end this show. [Entertainment Weekly]