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]
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]
The Twittersphere was in a tizzy today when a series of Tweets from @BARTSIMSON_REAL appeared to indicate the popular Twitter account had been compromised.
For those who don’t know, @BARTSIMSON_REAL aka “BART SIMSON YUGOSLAV” is the official Twitter account for Bart Simpson, who is real and Yugoslavian. Launched less than a month ago, the account has already gained over 3,000 followers and a writeup in the mainstream media (I’m also hearing rumors a book deal may be in the works). His Tweets have captivated the world and regularly burn up the retweet charts. A sampling of his output, for the uninitiated…
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Back in 2007, rival media conglomerates News Corporation and NBCUniversal put aside their differences and joined forces to create Hulu, a video site designed to combat rampant piracy. If you miss your favorite shows, you can just catch ’em the next morning on Hulu for free in exchange for watching some commercials. It’s been a big success, and something that many viewers have become accustomed to. Well, if you’ve been using the service to watch Fox shows, THE FREE RIDE STOPS HERE, BUCKO. Recently, Fox changed its rules so that Hulu viewers will have to wait eight days to watch new episodes from Fox shows, unless they pony up the cash for the subscription service Hulu Plus or prove they pay for DISH Network.
Unsurprisingly, people have turned to piracy to get their fix:
Over the last week TorrentFreak tracked two Fox shows on BitTorrent to see if there was an upturn in the number of downloads compared to the previous weeks, and the results are as expected […] During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S.
And keep in mind the fall season hasn’t started yet; these trends may increase once shows like House and The Simpsons return to the airwaves.
Admittedly, ad revenue from Hulu is paltry compared to television – former NBC executive Jeff Zucker once quipped “We’re exchanging analogue dollars for digital dimes.” But surely it’s better to make some money rather than no money, right? [TorrentFreak via TechCrunch]
For some inexplicable reason, the internet randomly decided that yesterday (or today, depending on who you ask) would be Bart Simpsons’s 32nd birthday, if he were capable of aging and also not a made-up character.
As far as I can tell from Google’s incredibly imprecise realtime search, the news of Bart’s mortality appears to have originated from the Twitter account of record label Moodgadget, which got more than a hundred “retweets.” Soon, “Bart Simpson” became a “Trending Topic” on Twitter for quite a while and news of his birthday spread like a funny cat video through Facebook and the rest of the internet.
The date isn’t based on any premiere date (as every Simpsons fan knows, The Simpsons first appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987; the Christmas special aired on December 17, 1989; and the series proper premiered on January 14, 1990), any explicit date given in the series, nor the birthdates of his voice actress, Nancy Cartwright (October 25th), or would-be namesake, creator Matt Groening (February 15th).
So, when is Bart’s birthday? The good people over at the Simpsons Archive already determined it years ago. According to the 1992 episode “Lisa’s First Word,” Lisa was born during the 1984 Summer Olympics. Specifically, Marge started going into labor during the women’s 100 meter butterfly, which was scheduled on August 2nd. In the 1997 episode “My Sister, My Sitter,” Bart exclaims that he is “two years and thirty-eight days” older than Lisa, which would put Bart’s birthday on or around June 25th.
Simpsons-L was a listserv dedicated to a show that hasn’t been consistently funny since the late 1990s, run by The Simpsons Archive, a website launched in 1994 before most people had PCs, maintained mostly by people from a usenet newsgroup created in 1990. With three levels of obsoleteness batting against it, I suppose it was only a matter of time before it joined Geocities in the great internet boneyard. But the news of its demise was still a little surprising to me, like finding out telegrams still existed.
I subscribed to it a few years back in order to to stay abreast of the latest Simpsons news and views, delivered instantly to my inbox at the lightning-fast pace of about once a month. If my Gmail label is accurate, there have been only 21 messages this year, so far. Chalk it up to yet another online Simpsons community that got sick of this lumbering zombie of a TV show.
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I’m just using this post to make sure twitterfeed still works properly and I don’t need to do anything with the feed or nothing
RIP one of the coreys (19?? – a week ago)
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
IN THE NEWS, the news section of the beloved award-winning Simpson’s fansite rubbercat.net/simpsons, is proud, albeit modestly, to announce its major refurbishment! In moving from Blogger to Movable Type, IN THE NEWS has been completely redone to look like a somewhat presentable website. Here a look at the changes:
- Small images have been added to most every post to make them look interesting, and a handful of youtubes have been embedded. I don’t know why I was so averse to including pics & vids on this thing
- Individual post pages instead of awkward jump-to-an-entry monthly archives!
- Archives are searchable! Now you can find out every time Utit Choomuang has been mentioned (zero so far)
- Categories are now clickable! I could never figure out how to style tags with Blogger
- There are a handful of posts from the first few months that I deleted because they were just me quoting a bunch of paragraphs from utterly uninteresting articles without adding commentary or context or jokes, which made me feel really parasitic
- More jokes added and old bad jokes have been tweaked to make them funny!!
- Fresher news on the rubbercat.net/simpsons home page since I don’t have to do that manually now
Simpsons Channel, the New York Times of Simpsons news, has been knocked offline for unknown reasons, which means this site has moved up the ranks to become the world wide web’s #1 source for Simpsons news!!! Booya!!! [Twitter.com/SimpsonsChannel]