In last Sunday’s “Treehouse of Horror” episode, fictional school bully and noted haw-hawer Nelson Muntz called a giant pumpkin “super gay,” a homophobic slur that has a national gay organization all a-twitter.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a non-fictional organization that focuses on facilitating positive social change in schools, sent the following statement to celebrity-stalking megablog TMZ:
Nelson’s use of ‘that’s so gay’ in a negative way is not surprising considering that 90 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth say they hear the term used this way frequently or often at school. Nelson should visit ThinkB4YouSpeak.com where he can send an apologetic e-card to Milhouse. GLSEN would also welcome Nelson’s participation in our next PSA so he can make amends by helping to educate young people about why such language is wrong.
Technically Nelson said, “The Grand Pumpkin’s super gay,” and it was directed at the Grand Pumpkin, not Milhouse, but who cares? I’m just glad GLSEN found the time to follow in the grand footsteps of Dan Quayle and complain about a fictional TV character instead of, I don’t know, maybe fighting to keep same-sex marriage legal in California? [TMZ]
TVShowsOnDVD.com wrote a bunch of words about the horrible DVD packaging of the equally horrible season 11. Here’s an excerpt:
How would you get the discs out of such a tight space then? You have to reach in with two fingers and pinch the edge… making it virtually impossible to not smudge your fingerprints on the “don’t touch!” side of the DVD. Also, it’s a cinch that the discs will get scratched up sooner or later, inserting them and removing them this way since 100% of the disc makes contact with the cardboard. It’s a travesty.
Huell Howser is a big-time TV guy who was parodied in the gay marriage episode (the guy at the beginning who falls off a turnip truck). Upon finding about the parody, he did the following:
I got into the office the next morning and called Matt Groening and said, ‘This is Huell Howser,’ and there was this quiet on the other end of the phone because I knew he thought I was upset. I said, ‘If you’re going to do a parody of me, I could use the money and the exposure. If you’re gonna continue, just let me be my own voice next time.
It is unknown if Howser had any hostages at the time. [Pasadena Weekly]
A critic at a Television Critics Association panel asked a panel of nine FOX animated show producers why they’re so white:
A critic gets a laugh by starting a question with,”Here’s a question for the women and people of color up there” (there are none) … and asks about the lack of diversity in the genre.
[Family Guy creator Seth] MacFarlane: “There’s something about the medium of animation that it’s male dominated … might also have something to do with the demographics of animation also skewing male.”
[The Live Feed]
The Parents Television Council, a media watchdog organization that aims to “promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry,” recently examined the Fox network’s hatred of mothers:
In 1987, TV’s respectful treatment of mothers began to be replaced by an attitude of mockery and contempt – and unsurprisingly, it was the Fox network that began the trend. Married with Children‘s Peg Bundy was portrayed as shallow, vapid, incompetent at domestic chores (and everything else) and obsessed with sex. Dressed to resemble a prostitute, the Peg Bundy character also seemed to act and think like one. The constant put-downs directed at Peg by her crude and moronic husband character were echoed by equally intense contempt from her children.
And in the two decades since Married with Children‘s premiere nothing has changed, except that the mockery, contempt and even hatred shown towards mothers on Fox has become even more vicious and sadistic.
The May 11th episode of The Simpsons focused on the death of Homer’s mother, a former radical who abandoned him as a child. The now-deceased mother leaves her daughter-in-law Marge a purse made of hemp, as Bart informs his father that Grandma said “you don’t suck…THAT much.”
Yet The Simpsons‘ depiction of motherhood was as nothing compared to that seen on Seth MacFarlane’s animated “comedy” Family Guy. In celebration of Mother’s Day, Fox chose to rerun an episode in which Baby Stewie murders his own mother – after plotting to torture her…
For shame, Fox. [Parents Television Council]
The Simpsons Movie got a thumbs-down at something called “The Hackademy Awards,” an event run by an anti-smoking group called Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails designed to counter positive portrayals of cigarette smoking in movies. The scene that raised their ire: the 3-second shot of Jimbo smoking with Dolph, “which is the kind of potent endorsement of smoking the group opposes.” Remember: smokers are jokers. [canada.com]
A TV Squad critic is infumed that some people think The Simpsons decreased in quality over the past decade or so, and that some of those people are using the internet to voice that opinion.
This is the CRITIC’s equation: Everybody loves this show, and since most people are stupid, their love must mean that the show is stupid too… if I express my disdain for the show, I am distancing myself from the stupid masses and am therefore smarter than the average person. I can thus explain my lack of a date to the senior prom as not a commentary on my severely lacking personal hygiene but on the Philistine’s inability to recognize genius in their midst. I will now go watch obscure BBC comedies and eat Fluff directly out of a jar.
Some conservative bloggers were outraged at a recent episode that supposedly made fun of the US military! Could the show that gave them their beloved war chant “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” actually hate America??
Yesterday’s episode wasn’t just unfunny, it was very poorly animated – a 1970s Hanna-Barbera-level of crudeness. The sequence in which Lenny’s car was crushed looked like it had been drawn by a 10 year-old trying to draw The Simpsons. I can only assume they’re devoting all their time and effort to the movie.
As for BSG, I agree with Jonah’s long-trusted reader and had exactly the same argument, err, discussion with my wife during the episode. Far more fun was Doctor Who in the hour beforehand, which involved Rose berating a pompous psuedo-patriot for not knowing how to fly the Union Flag and also included an interesting nod to the realization that families need fathers at the end…
I got tons of e-mail about the military-bashing Simpsons episode last night. Here’s a bit of the video if you haven’t seen it and want to get in a bad mood. The mockery of Army recruiters and enlistees is absolutely disgusting. This comes on the heels of last week’s election-timed episode mocking the Iraq war.
The show is getting long in the tooth and low on funny. Don’t bother with it.
Keep on fighting the good fight [alicublog]