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Author Topic: At Long Last Leave! - The Simpsons  (Read 18332 times)
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cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #240 on: 07-19-2013 02:29 »

Well, that said, I'm truly happy it's actually a Family Guy episode. So, no harm done to Simpsons (hopefully).

The Simpsons has inflicted more harm to itself than any other show could possibly dream of doing. Seriously, it's been garbage since season 13. Family Guy still produce a handful of decent episodes a year, so if anything, it's likely that The Simpsons will bring them down - except they probably won't because it's just being produced as an episode of Family Guy with the cast of The Simpsons as guest stars.

Perhaps it IS for the best that Futurama stays cancelled, so nothing like that can ever happen. tongue

Also, isn't Matt Groening, like, REALLY against crossovers? He didn't take it too well in the past.

1. In the past, it was produced as an episode of The Simpsons. This is an episode of Family Guy.
2. "A Star is Burns" was produced as a crossover, pretty much only with the intention of promoting The Critic - a show that shared some of the same staff as The Simpsons at the time. Matt Groening wasn't happy because they were basically using his show to promote their other show that had nothing to do with him. Also, The Critic sucks, although its cult of fans on the internet crying about its "premature" cancellation claim otherwise.
In this instance, two hugely popular shows are doing a crossover for the hell of it. It's not really the same.
3. We don't know how he feels about this crossover. He might not be happy about it, either.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #241 on: 07-19-2013 14:20 »

2. "A Star is Burns" was produced as a crossover, pretty much only with the intention of promoting The Critic - a show that shared some of the same staff as The Simpsons at the time. Matt Groening wasn't happy because they were basically using his show to promote their other show that had nothing to do with him.

But the episode itself is not half-bad. I mean, there's a man being hit in the groin with a football repeatedly!

Seriously, though, I love season six so damn much, and though "A Star is Burns" is not my favorite episode or anything, it is a legitimately decent episode that isn't just a 22-minute plug for another show; the film festival set-up is a pretty neat idea, and it involves a lot of great moments with Burns and Barney and other townspeople, as well as a decent send-up of these sorts of cinematic shindigs in general.

Jay Sherman does get a lot of screen-time, yes, and Bart does legitimately plug his show (though he feels dirty about it afterwards), but if you compare "A Star is Burns" with any episode of The Critic, the two shows are very different in tone and execution: it's not like it's an episode of The Critic where everyone just happens to have yellow skin; rather, it's an episode of The Simpsons in which Jay Sherman guest-stars and the comedic sensibilities of his own show do not overtake the comedic sensibilities of the host show. I think Matt Groening threw kind of a hissy-fit about the whole thing for no real reason, seeing as how his show has done much, much worse since season six, and he probably owed the favor to Jim Brooks, Al Jean, and Mike Reiss--three people hugely responsible for the success of The Simpsons in its early seasons.

Also, The Critic sucks, although its cult of fans on the internet crying about its "premature" cancellation claim otherwise.

I really like The Critic. And, my own personal feelings for it aside, by most accounts it was canceled not because of particularly bad ratings or low-quality episodes (and, personally, I think season two of the show--the season that aired on Fox, and was introduced with "A Star is Burns"--is a lot better than the first season...though that is neither here nor there), but because management of the network had changed hands between Fox's acquisition of the show and its airing: the person who bought the show loved it, and the person who was actually around when the show began hated it. Those are some pretty lousy circumstances under which to be canceled, quality (or lack thereof) of the show notwithstanding.

In this instance, two hugely popular shows are doing a crossover for the hell of it. It's not really the same.

I guess I agree that, in spirit, this crossover with Family Guy is not the same as the one with The Critic. This, to me, seems more in-line with the Simpsons/X-Files crossover episode in season eight. Which is still pretty, you know, cheap and unnecessary.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #242 on: 07-19-2013 23:39 »

I agree that "A Star is Burns" is a great episode of a show at a time when every episode was great and that The Critic doesn't really have any impact on the way that The Simpsons did things, there.

Honestly, I don't see why "The Simpsons Guy" can't be a great episode of a show at a time when only the "event" episodes seem to be great, although, it's going to be strange to see The Simpsons fitting into Family Guy's style (which is presumably how it'll work, just as it did with The Critic fitting into the style of its host show in "A Star is Burns").
BlueZoidberg1

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #243 on: 07-21-2013 15:01 »

I still love the simpsons.
TheAnvil

Bending Unit
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« Reply #244 on: 07-21-2013 15:02 »

Simpsons will never be as good as it was. But they still pull off some great episodes. The last THOH was really cool, and "Hardly Kirking" was probably the best episode since Season 8.

Simpsons down period was from 9-16ish. Season 9 was the first Season when they started making bad episodes.

Season 18 was fantastic and since they brought in a lot of the old writers when they started the movie, the overall quality of the show has been a lot better. Different than the first 8 seasons. But still good in its own right.

Family Guy on the other hand, has been dreadful since day one. South Park nailed them perfectly. Therefore with using their terrible Family Guy "writers", the episode is going to be terrible. I fully expect all the crappy, random cut away gags that make no sense. And the stretched out 10 minute long jokes.

The Simpsons/Futurama cross over will most likely be awesome. Because both shows are still entertaining.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #245 on: 07-21-2013 15:38 »

I'm sorry but you're just plain wrong.

Season 8 of The Simpsons is incredible. It's a season from the show at its best and it reflects one of the best bits of television ever produced. Season 9 of The Simpsons was also pretty damned good - it was just when the show began to show the cracks of age. Hell, the show remained pretty watchable for a while.

The last "Treehouse of Horror" was not really cool. It was absolutely dire, just as every episode is nowadays. "Hardly Kirking" was also absolutely cringe-inducingly terrible, just lik every single episode of the show is these days.

Season 18 was not fantastic. It was flat-out shit. Since the movie, the show has show a very slight increase in quality, but it's like how pissing in the ocean will make it very slightly warmer. It's not good in its own right. That's the thing. These other shows like South Park and, indeed, Futurama, aren't what they once were, but they're still good in their own right compared to most of what's on TV. The Simpsons is one of the few shows I know of that went WAY beyond that and just become, genuine, legitimate trash.

Family Guy hasn't been dreadful since day 1. It's essentially a sketch show and it is often funny. It's never aspired to be particularly much and it more or less does what it sets out to do. South Park nailed them on the head, but they basically just said that Family Guy isn't very well written. It isn't. But it isn't a bad show - or at least, it hasn't always been. Even in its current cheap and lazily written state, it's still vastly better than The Simpsons in its current state on pretty much every level. It's better written than The Simpsons is these days, despite the fact that it's really poorly written. That's just how outright terrible The Simpsons is these days.

The Simpsons is only still entertaining in the same way that a car crash is morbidly entertaining. It's beyond a joke.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #246 on: 07-21-2013 15:55 »

I'm sorry but you're just plain wrong.
No, it's an opinion. As is this:
Quote
Even in its current cheap and lazily written state, it's still vastly better than The Simpsons in its current state on pretty much every level. It's better written than The Simpsons is these days, despite the fact that it's really poorly written. That's just how outright terrible The Simpsons is these days.
I think you're wrong with that. I still find new episodes enjoyable and a quality TV, even with it's flaws and it's still in higher level of quality compared to Family Guy (however I haven't seen newer FG episodes).

But I agree that season 8 was great. To me seasons until 12 were great. Bottom of the quality probably is seasons 15/16 - 18/19 (imo), but I can't compare properly those with newest seasons at this point.
TheAnvil

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #247 on: 07-21-2013 18:16 »

I'm sorry but you're just plain wrong.

Season 8 of The Simpsons is incredible. It's a season from the show at its best and it reflects one of the best bits of television ever produced. Season 9 of The Simpsons was also pretty damned good - it was just when the show began to show the cracks of age. Hell, the show remained pretty watchable for a while.

The last "Treehouse of Horror" was not really cool. It was absolutely dire, just as every episode is nowadays. "Hardly Kirking" was also absolutely cringe-inducingly terrible, just lik every single episode of the show is these days.

Season 18 was not fantastic. It was flat-out shit. Since the movie, the show has show a very slight increase in quality, but it's like how pissing in the ocean will make it very slightly warmer. It's not good in its own right. That's the thing. These other shows like South Park and, indeed, Futurama, aren't what they once were, but they're still good in their own right compared to most of what's on TV. The Simpsons is one of the few shows I know of that went WAY beyond that and just become, genuine, legitimate trash.

Family Guy hasn't been dreadful since day 1. It's essentially a sketch show and it is often funny. It's never aspired to be particularly much and it more or less does what it sets out to do. South Park nailed them on the head, but they basically just said that Family Guy isn't very well written. It isn't. But it isn't a bad show - or at least, it hasn't always been. Even in its current cheap and lazily written state, it's still vastly better than The Simpsons in its current state on pretty much every level. It's better written than The Simpsons is these days, despite the fact that it's really poorly written. That's just how outright terrible The Simpsons is these days.

The Simpsons is only still entertaining in the same way that a car crash is morbidly entertaining. It's beyond a joke.

Ugh, when did I say that Season 8 wasn't good. My exact words were "Season 9 was the first Season when they started making bad episodes". Which it was. Just look at Principle and the Pauper, Das Bus and others.

Of course if you enjoy Family Guy more than the current episodes of The Simpsons then that's up to you. I've never begrudged anyone for liking Family Guy, but I can't stand people saying that it's a good show. It never has been, it never will be. It isn't even supposed to be good. It's supposed to be for people who want to just switch their brains off and watch crap jokes.

I find it hard to believe that you've been watching the Simpsons for the last 14-15 years thinking it's crap. If you don't like it, don't watch it. Why the hell are you still watching it if it's just "legitimate trash"?

The Simpsons has changed. If you don't like the change then that's fine.

Also, South Park is still awesome, apart from Sarcastaball (which even that had its moments) the entire last Season was gold.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #248 on: 07-21-2013 23:52 »

I pretty much did stop watching The Simpsons at about season 14 till about season 22. But at some point, after revisiting the wonderful good episodes of the show, I wanted to see what had happened to characters and stuff out of morbid curiosity more than anything.

Now I'm up to season 25 and I've seen every episode. I have to stick it out to the end for completion's sake, plus I love those early episode so much that I am interested in what the show gets up to down the line - just like I'm still interested in which people I didn't like at school have gone off and had kids and things like that.

I get a lot of mileage out of discussing the show with a number of my friends, so it makes sense for me to keep up with it - especially when they're now producing a crossover with my favourite show of all time.

Family Guy has been a good show on a number of times. Every now and then they put some effort in and produce an episode that's well written and put together. The show tends to go for the cheapest, laziest way of doing things, but to say it's never been a good show simply isn't true. There are a handful of episodes that are very good and certainly trump anything that say, Futurama, has given us in this half-season so far.

Season 16 of South Park was far from gold, too. It was easily the worst season of the show to date (a title previously held by season 12) and none of the episodes were good. They all varied from bad to mediocre with some good moments - but hey, it was a hell of a lot better than The Simpsons has been for the last 10 years and if you still like that show, it makes sense that you thought so highly of it.
TheAnvil

Bending Unit
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« Reply #249 on: 07-22-2013 00:00 »

So you seriously don't think that "Nightmare on Facetime" wasn't pure gold?

Raising the Bar, Insecurity, Cartman Finds Love, Cash For Gold and Reverse Cowgirl were all among the best South Park episodes ever.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #250 on: 07-22-2013 00:05 »

"Nightmare on Facetime" was easily the best of the season and whilst I wouldn't call it pure gold, I'd say it was alright.

That's the only episode of the season, though. "Raising the Bar" had a lot of good going for it, but it was very messy. "Insecurity" was similar, but not as good.

"Cash for Gold" was amusing, but one joke stretched out for 22 minutes. "Reverse Cowgirl" was passable but instantly forgettable. "Cartman Finds Love" sucked.

None of those episodes comes close to being in the best South Park episodes ever. I don't even think they'd make a list of the top 100 episodes of South Park.
DannyJC13

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #251 on: 07-22-2013 00:40 »

Raising the Bar,

That episode is so overrated.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #252 on: 07-22-2013 21:00 »
« Last Edit on: 07-22-2013 21:12 »

Personal preference is a tricky bitch. Insecurity and Cash For Gold were my favorites of the season...but ya, they still don't come close to the best episodes of the series. South Park remains funny and watchable for sure, but it has definitely gone downhill in recent years. Where even as of a couple seasons ago there was still the occasional brilliant episode, now (at least in my opinion) there are merely good ones and okay ones. I trust that Matt and Trey still have some brilliant episodes left in them, but based on their consistency lately I wouldn't mind seeing the show come to a dignified end.

As for The Simpsons, I've talked about this a million times, but in my opinion it was absolute perfection through season 10. It started having the occasional bad episode by season 11, started having a lot of terrible episodes by season 13 (although many of the episodes in 11 and 12, and even some in 13, remain favorites of the whole series), and has been virtually unwatchable for me since season 16. By which I mean at that point it started making me cringe at horrible jokes and contrived story elements and out-of-character actions pretty much every few minutes, in such a way that it didn't at all resemble the same show it used to be. The movie was unexpectedly great, although still not as good as anything through season 10 of the show.

My exact words were "Season 9 was the first Season when they started making bad episodes". Which it was. Just look at Principle and the Pauper, Das Bus and others.

I love both of those episodes. I never quite understood the idea that season 9 was where the show became bad...it certainly wasn't as good as seasons 6 through 8 but it still maintained a consistent batting average of hilarious jokes and great episode concepts. In particular I never understood the hate for The Principle And The Pauper. I can see why some people may have been turned off by it when it aired because it certainly took a risk in terms of story, but in retrospect I think it's a great parody of other shows doing that kind of crazy out-of-nowhere twist, and I think it's a genius stroke how they set everything back to normal by the end of the episode agreeing not to mention it again "under penalty of torture". Not to mention that there's plenty of fantastic jokes in there.
Jarvio

Bending Unit
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« Reply #253 on: 07-23-2013 03:08 »

I've re-watched season 8 these past couple of days. What a brilliant season. It has always been my number one favourite season of the simpsons. Episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Mountain Of Madness", and "You Only Move Twice" are literally some of the best episodes the show has ever done. What's other people's thoughts on those 3 episodes? I really do think they are amazing.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #254 on: 07-26-2013 17:24 »

I think "You Only Move Twice" is a strong contender for best episode of The Simpsons ever.

I love "Mountains of Madness" and "Homer's Enemy", too, but I don't think that they represent particularly great episodes of the show - just how consistently amazing the show was at a certain time.

I also feel that "Das Bus" and "The Principal and the Pauper" are good episodes, they're just among some of the weaker episodes that the show had produced up until that point. They're still better than everything the show has done in the last 10 years and they're better than the truly poor early run episodes such as "Dancin' Homer" and the clip shows.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #255 on: 07-26-2013 18:36 »

I agree that "A Star is Burns" is a great episode of a show at a time when every episode was great and that The Critic doesn't really have any impact on the way that The Simpsons did things, there.


Not to be mean, but this is actually factually wrong.

When The Critic was initially on "hiatus" (cancelled by ABC, still in the process of being picked up by FOX), Jim Brooks wanted to keep the production crew together, so he set up a deal where the staff at The Critic would completely write and produce two Simpsons episodes: "A Star is Burns" and "'Round Springfield." This, in fact, was actually (apparently) a lot of why Matt was so mad; this deal was done over his head, with no input from him, and there were going to be people who he did not have oversight in hiring writing episodes of his show (true, some of them were former Simpsons writers or would go on to work on it later. And Futurama, for that matter. But they were not part of the season 6 staff, and David Mirkin also had no input in them or any of these goings-on). In other words, if you like those episodes (many fans at the time didn't, and complained of them feeling "off," even without knowing the full details behind their production), then The Critic had everything to do with them being good, because they were made by the staff of that show and NOT the normal staff at The Simpsons. And Groening's fury wasn't just over the crossover itself, but that Brooks had done a rather shitty (IMO) thing in going over his head for the benefit of a completely separate business venture of his.

As far as my opinion....A Star is Burns is okay. JUST okay. It has some very funny scenes, but the plotting is especially weak, unengaging, and even unfair to Homer, and some of the crossover scenes in particular just make me cringe and are every bit as bad as Groening feared (the scene around the dinner table is atrocious, and just plays as "CHECK OUT GREAT NEW FOX CHARACTER JAY SHERMAN!").

On the other hand, I do think The Critic was often a brilliantly funny show, and one that, unlike Family Guy, came out at a time when DVD sales couldn't save it from its cancellation. Also unlike Family Guy, it actually had at least a few original bones in its body (The Critic being one of many sources of "inspiration" that Family Guy has heavily ripped off over its entirely putrid, 11-season run). I'm not a diehard fan, but it was an underrated, very funny show that, for the reasons Gorky mentioned, was never really given a fair chance, at least on its second home.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #256 on: 07-26-2013 19:29 »
« Last Edit on: 07-26-2013 19:30 »

I guess it makes much more sense now that there is going to be a cross-over episode.
I hadn't heard before much more than Matt Groening was against that idea.

Homer's Enemy, Mountain Of Madness and You Only Move Twice. All those are great and interesting episodes. They have some unusual elements and I like them very much. However, there is so many other great episodes that I'm not sure how high I would rank them in the end. I haven't watched older episodes for a while now and never actually have put a lot of thought in ranking The Simpsons episodes.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #257 on: 07-26-2013 20:14 »
« Last Edit on: 07-26-2013 20:18 »

Part of Matt's objection to crossovers was always with the element of it just being a cheap promotion for another show (which, honestly, I agree with him on regarding "A Star is Burns," even though I do find it watchable despite that) as well as compromising the integrity of each show's universe, but the squabbling over the production side of those episodes was the more under-reported side of that whole mess. Supposedly, the four episodes produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and also written mainly by outside writers from The Critic, that were made around seasons 7 and 8 (and aired across seasons 8 and 9), were in part a gesture on Groening's part to make up for his hostility over "Star is Burns" and "Round Springfield"; his animosity had never actually been aimed at them, rather at Jim Brooks, but they got roped into it unwillingly. (Those four episodes, by the way: the Sherry Bobbins one, Simpson Tide, Lisa's Sax, and Springfield Files. IIRC, anyway.) At least, this is according to some people who had connections to the show at the time. Supposedly, his relationship with Brooks has never entirely recovered since that incident.

Regarding other discussion...I never really watch The Simpsons that much anymore (seriously, it's like 5-10 total episodes a year at this point, probably), and only ever even touch the ones from season 1-8 anyway. Those seasons are all brilliant, the Scully ones directly afterward were godawful, and I just don't have any interest in watching anything beyond that. I haven't seen a full episode since sometime in Bush's second term. Even still, I'm confident the show is still better than Family Guy, only because Family Guy is actually that bad, and has been since its first episode. (I say that as a former fan...but, unlike a lot of Family Guy's fans apparently, I grew out of it once I escaped puberty.)

Oh, and I agree with The Anvil about South Park. That show is still amazing.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #258 on: 07-27-2013 01:34 »
« Last Edit on: 07-27-2013 02:00 »

A Star Is Burns is a fantastic episode. It's incredibly funny throughout. I think the complaints about it being not so good due to it being a crossover are completely ridiculous, and I'll tell you why: for years, having seen that episode numerous times, I never even knew The Critic was a show. As far as I knew, Jay Sherman was just a random character used in that episode and that his show was just another fictional show in the Simpsons' universe. Nothing seemed out of place or forced, and it wasn't until I heard about The Critic as its own show years later that I even realized it was a crossover. In other words, they did it right. If it were a blatant and painfully obvious attempt to plug another show, don't you think you would have been able to discern that The Critic was actually a real show without having any other information than watching the episode? But it's not, it's a classic episode and it's hilarious, and it being a crossover has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the story or humor. Considering how awful the show has become recently without as much as a single complaint or even acknowledgement from Matt Groening, he really had no place to be so publicly upset and hostile about that episode, at least not after seeing the script or finished product.

On a different note, You Only Move Twice easily makes my top five episodes.

Also, the hate against Family Guy comes off as totally biased and unfounded to me. I despise the hype and massive following the show has developed as much as anyone else, but to say that it has never been good, or that new Simpsons is better than it, is going way too far. While Family Guy may have a tendency to be unoriginal and have poor narratives much of the time, it also has a consistent record of having hilariously clever jokes. I may not respect its structure much, but it often succeeds at making me laugh, and for a comedy cartoon that's really what matters more than anything. It's certainly more than can be said for the last decade of The Simpsons.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #259 on: 07-27-2013 04:55 »

I also watched the episode for a long time without any idea that The Critic was a show, but I always knew there was some sort of outsider element coming in - I just assumed that perhaps Jay Sherman was a real critic and making a "big" guest appearance on the show, given how they treated him in the episode. I was only a child, but I could detect something was up.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #260 on: 07-27-2013 16:43 »

I've re-watched season 8 these past couple of days. What a brilliant season. It has always been my number one favourite season of the simpsons. Episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Mountain Of Madness", and "You Only Move Twice" are literally some of the best episodes the show has ever done. What's other people's thoughts on those 3 episodes? I really do think they are amazing.

I love "You Only Move Twice"; it is definitely among the best episodes of the series. However, I've never had particularly strong feelings about "Mountain of Madness," and I think "Homer's Enemy"--though funny--is kind of overrated. To me, the best season eight episode is probably "The Mysterious Voyage of Homer," which is hilarious, creative, and one of the nicest Homer/Marge stories the show's ever done.

One of my favorite aspects of the Oakley/Weinstein seasons is how well-done and true-to-life the character interactions are, which is probably why my favorite episodes of season eight--"Lisa's Date With Density," "Hurricane Neddy," "Grade School Confidential," "My Sister, My Sitter," "Homer's Phobia," "In Marge We Trust," and "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson"--are more character-based stories. The season definitely has its share of high-concept episodes--"You Only Move Twice" is probably the most successful, but "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" is also damn brilliant--but, to me, the smaller stories are just as enjoyable and done with a particular sensitivity and sincerity that I really appreciate. Oh, not to mention, they're all really, really funny.
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #261 on: 07-28-2013 10:02 »

Also the Springfield Files is a legitimately good episode.

Also, I don't watch Simpsons regularly anymore, but it seems that they have a few good episodes a year that are certainly worth watching.

Also, I watched You Only Move Twice the other night, so I agree with Josh.  Sorry it doesn't come in packets.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
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« Reply #262 on: 07-28-2013 16:19 »

I don't think particularly highly of "The Springfield Files". It's consistently touted up as one of the best episodes of the show, ever, but it always feels like one of the first instances of the show really slipping into cheap pop culture references rather than well-written stuff. It's not bad by any means, but it just sort of feels like it should be a Treehouse of Horror episode.

I mean; it's great - but I feel like it's weak given the rest of the show's output at the time and not at all deserving of its highly regarded status.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #263 on: 07-28-2013 16:40 »
« Last Edit on: 07-28-2013 16:41 »

I didn't know it was considered so good, since it was like crossover episode. Personally I have always enjoyed it very much, at some point I even considered it being one of the best episodes. I think it stands out well with it's darker mood and it has mystery elements, which might be why it's so valued episode.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #264 on: 07-28-2013 17:53 »
« Last Edit on: 07-28-2013 17:59 »

Honestly I'm with turnip, I think it's a good episode but compared to the rest of season 8 I find it pretty weak. I think it's the ending that does it for me...the answer to what's going on with Mr. Burns is a bit too silly and ridiculous for me rather than clever.

To me, the best season eight episode is probably "The Mysterious Voyage of Homer," which is hilarious, creative, and one of the nicest Homer/Marge stories the show's ever done.

Yes, yes, and yes, that episode is also definitely near the top of my list. The entire sequence where Homer is having his spirit journey is in my opinion the most gorgeous and creative animation the show has ever done.

Homer's Phobia and In Marge We Trust, which you mentioned, also make my favorite episodes list. I'll have to actually compile this list at some point and post it in this thread. I'll maybe try to go for 15 to 20 episodes, because I'm fairly certain I won't be able to keep myself to just 10.

Other favorites from season 8 that I don't think have been mentioned recently in this thread though would include Bart After Dark, Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious, The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, Brother from Another Series (by far my favorite Sideshow Bob episode), and The Canine Mutiny.
Gorky

Space Pope
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« Reply #265 on: 07-28-2013 18:12 »

Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious

I forgot to mention that one in my last post (I guess since it's a Jean/Reiss episode and not an Oakley/Weinstein one; on that note, it's probably the best of the six episodes those two executive-produced after season four, followed closely by "Lisa's Sax" from season nine), but hot damn is it good. I watched it recently and was perhaps most amused by the scene of Sherry Bobbins and Barney singing "Margaritaville," which I had for some reason entirely forgotten was in the episode.

I'm also fond of "The President Wore Pearls" from season fifteen, which is of a similar extended-musical-homage ilk, but I digress.
Jarvio

Bending Unit
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« Reply #266 on: 07-28-2013 18:22 »
« Last Edit on: 07-28-2013 18:24 »

Some interesting responses about the season 8 episodes.

I figured that I may aswell paste this, which is something that I posted on the 'no homers' simpsons forum... my rank-order of all of season 8, with some reasons too:

1 - Homer's Enemy
This just has to be my number one. It's pretty dark comedy but it's downright hilarious. This episode shows how stupid and oblivious many of the characters are, and it's just done brilliantly. This might well be my favourite episode that the show has ever done.

2 - Mountain Of Madness
Such great memories with this episode. Always loved Burns as a character and this is one of his finest episodes. It's a very memorable episode with one of the most engaging stories the show has ever done.

3 - Brother From Another Series
My all-time favourite Sideshow Bob episode. This gets extra points as I'm a big Frasier fan. But also, the story to this episode I found to be quite unique. Cecil was an interesting character too.

4 - Hurricane Neddy
Such a great, emotional episode for Ned Flanders. I love the ridiculous house that is rebuilt, and just love his entire outburst at the town. A truly hilarious moment. This is such a well-written episode for me.

5 - You Only Move Twice
No surprises here. I'm a huge bond fan and I loved the references. Hank Scorpio was an incredible character. So casually friendly, yet a supervillain - hilarious touch. The stories with the other family members were good too, but for me it was all about the scorpio!

6 - In Marge We Trust
An all-round brilliant episode. I honestly love all the episodes I've listed so far. Not only was the mr sparkle story interesting and hilarious, but the main plot was very well-written too, and an interesting development of Lovejoy's character.

7 - The Itchy And Scratchy And Poochie Show
Just one of those episodes jam-packed with hilarious jokes. Roy was just hilarious. Not necessarily the things he said, but the idea behind him. And not only was this episode funny as hell, but also had some heart, especially with Homer's lines he wrote for Poochie at the end.

8 - Homer Vs The Eighteenth Amendment
A truly interesting episode, executed brilliantly. And Rex Banner was awesome.

9 - Bart After Dark
Classic in every way. But the main points here go to the song, which is one of the best songs the show has ever done.

10 - The Mysterious Voyage Of Homer
Yeah I'm referring to it as it's english title. That's because I can't be bothered to look up it's 'proper' title. Either way, this is a truly interesting episode. I think it's probably a love-hate episode. I love it, although I need to be in the mood to fully appreciate it.

11- The Springfield Files
Like the last episode I mentioned, this has an extremely different atmosphere/feeling to your average episode. I think many would have to be X-Files fans to appreciate this. I'm somewhat of a fan, so at the time, I appreciated this episode lots. Again though, I think I have to be in the mood for this one.

12 - The Old Man And The Lisa
Pretty solid episode all around. I wouldn't call it spectacular, but at the same time it doesn't have any evident flaws IMO, and has a decent, engaging story. Some great funny moments too, like Brett The Hitman Heart's cameo.

13 - Burns, Baby Burns
Another Burns episode eh... Perhaps the weakest of the 'burns episodes' in this series, but that's only due to tough competition. Larry Burns I have to admit is hilarious though.

14 - Grade School Confidential
Maybe not the best for jokes and comedy, but this episode excels in story and character development. It's an important episode of the show and I enjoyed it for the most part. Dragged in places with the romance, but overall a decent episode.

15 - The Secret War Of Lisa Simpson
I used to love this one back in the day. For some reason though, I don't love it as much anymore. Maybe I just got bored and it had no lasting power on me. Still though, a good episode that further explores the relationship of Bart and Lisa.

16 - The Homer They Fall
The premise didn't interest me too well, but I have to admit this is a decent episode too really. Just that I'm not into boxing and things like that. But there were some great moments - mainly Moe as the fan man.

17 - A Milhouse Divided
Not my favourite, but it was interesting exploring the characters of Milhouse's parents. Some great lines in this - "I don't recall saying good luck".

18 - Lisa's Date With Density
It's a regular episode that I find quite forgettable. Not bad though, just forgettable. But when I do watch it, I like it. It's a good episode but I prefer 17 others to it.

19 - Homer's Phobia
Another example of an episode that I loved at the time but lost a bit of love for in recent years. Nothing wrong with it, but I kind of just felt that the episode tried to be edgy for the sake of it. The smithers scene was a highlight though.

20 - The Twisted World Of Marge Simpson
To be honest, if it wasn't for Fat Tony, the mafia, and the japanese mafia at the end, then this would be lower.

21 - My Sister, My Sitter
I find this to be quite a dark and intense episode really. There is some merit though, especially the scenes at Dr Nick's surgery.

22 - The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase
Wow. I was convinced that this would be last, but from re-watching the season, I must admit, this is damn funny. Yeah it's kind of crap, but this episode provided me with many laughs - So I have to have it beat at least a few.

23 - Treehouse Of Horror VII
Never a huge fan of the Halloween episodes. It was ok though I guess. The genesis tub was by far my favourite section though. Then citizen Kang, even though I didn't care for it much. I didn't care for the first section whatsoever.

24 - That mary poppins one
I really can't be bothered to type the title to this. I was never a fan of this episode to be honest. There are two things keeping this from the bottom though - Willie's 'maniac' song, and Shary Bobbin's 'death' at the end.

25 - The Canine Mutiny
Something has to be the worst. I don't dislike this episode - hell, it's a million times better than so many 'modern simpsons' episodes. But yeah, this is an episode that I didn't really find to have many redeeming features. Story was average, and not many laugh-out-loud moments for me. Still though, this is season 8, and every episode is at least half-decent, including this one.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
****
« Reply #267 on: 07-28-2013 19:18 »
« Last Edit on: 07-28-2013 19:36 »

So, I've just done some list-browsing and rather quickly scrounged up a list of my top 20 favorite episodes of the entire series. Right now it's just a collection of episodes, and I do actually want to order it (which is going to be horribly and painfully difficult) and have an explanation written for each episode before I post it, so that might take a little while.

That said I think some might find it surprising. There were SO many episodes I wanted to include, and I had to do a lot of trimming. Ultimately I don't think it at all represents a fair assessment of best episodes of the series at all, but rather it is a list of episodes with which I have always gotten a certain amount of enjoyment from for whatever reason above others.

I actually tried to be as diverse as possible in my selections, trying to make sure I included episodes from the later seasons that I really enjoy, and I may have done too well of a job at that: the list has three episodes from season 9, one from 10, two from 12 and one from 13...whereas I left only one episode each from both season 4 and 7 on the final list, even though I would take both those seasons as a whole any day over season 9 and after. Season 8 has by far the most representation on my list with 6 episodes...I just couldn't force myself to cut any more of the ones that I kept. I also think you'll end up seeing most of those episodes in the very top part of the list.

I think this is because my aim is mostly to give episodes I identify as being particularly hilarious throughout, at least to my tastes. If I were trying to make a list based purely on which episodes I think have the best stories, it would be an incredibly different list, as well as if I was trying to make a list of episodes that resonate emotionally with me rather than just on a humor level (which I may very well have to do once I'm done with this list). That said, I did include a couple episodes specifically for their emotional weight. I kept one in particular from season 2 just so I could have representation of the earlier seasons as well, since I was trying to be diverse.

I also just realized I ended up including one of each type of recurring episode. There's a Sideshow Bob episode, a Treehouse of Horror, a Christmas episode, and even an episode that has an unusual narrative format.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I think many of you will have severe issues with how unbalanced my list is in terms of giving the best seasons their due credit, and also with the fact that I had to snub so many amazing episodes in favor of ones that you might think don't come anywhere close. But hopefully you can see past that and realize that it's merely a personal list of what episodes I recall as most consistently tickling my funny bone, with a couple odd exceptions. Not to mention that it was a rush job, and in all honestly probably doesn't even match up with my own preferences. I bet if I were to watch all the episodes again I'd end up having to put together a MUCH different list.
tyraniak

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #268 on: 07-28-2013 20:41 »


25 - The Canine Mutiny
Something has to be the worst. I don't dislike this episode - hell, it's a million times better than so many 'modern simpsons' episodes. But yeah, this is an episode that I didn't really find to have many redeeming features. Story was average, and not many laugh-out-loud moments for me. Still though, this is season 8, and every episode is at least half-decent, including this one.


"But why did I have the bowl, Bart, why did I have the bowl?"
Jarvio

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #269 on: 07-28-2013 21:54 »
« Last Edit on: 07-28-2013 21:56 »


25 - The Canine Mutiny
Something has to be the worst. I don't dislike this episode - hell, it's a million times better than so many 'modern simpsons' episodes. But yeah, this is an episode that I didn't really find to have many redeeming features. Story was average, and not many laugh-out-loud moments for me. Still though, this is season 8, and every episode is at least half-decent, including this one.


"But why did I have the bowl, Bart, why did I have the bowl?"

That IS a good line, I have to admit. It's not a bad episode... just in tough competition for me as season 8 rules!
Boxy Robot

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #270 on: 07-28-2013 22:04 »

"Well, crying isn't gonna bring him back ... unless your tears smell like dog food. So you can either sit there crying and eating can after can of dog food until your tears smell enough like dog food to make your dog come back, or you can go out there and find your dog"
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #271 on: 07-28-2013 22:44 »

A Star Is Burns is a fantastic episode. It's incredibly funny throughout. I think the complaints about it being not so good due to it being a crossover are completely ridiculous, and I'll tell you why: for years, having seen that episode numerous times, I never even knew The Critic was a show. As far as I knew, Jay Sherman was just a random character used in that episode and that his show was just another fictional show in the Simpsons' universe. Nothing seemed out of place or forced, and it wasn't until I heard about The Critic as its own show years later that I even realized it was a crossover. In other words, they did it right. If it were a blatant and painfully obvious attempt to plug another show, don't you think you would have been able to discern that The Critic was actually a real show without having any other information than watching the episode? But it's not, it's a classic episode and it's hilarious, and it being a crossover has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the story or humor. Considering how awful the show has become recently without as much as a single complaint or even acknowledgement from Matt Groening, he really had no place to be so publicly upset and hostile about that episode, at least not after seeing the script or finished product.

Even without knowing much about The Critic initially (and I think I also saw it before knowing it was a crossover, and then finally found out and went "aaaaaah that makes sense"), I found a lot of the episode to be cheesy. It's not bad, but some of the scenes just really aren't funny and don't advance the plot (the dinner table scene with Jay is one of my least favorite scenes in the series - well, the classic era that is), and the plot itself is really weak. Why exactly should Homer feel pressured to vote for Barney's movie (which is made out in the episode to be really pretentious and crappy), and why should we care? It's not a terrible episode or anything, and I do enjoy it, but it only really has a couple great scenes and the rest is mostly filler by the standards of The Simpsons in 1995.

Quote
Also, the hate against Family Guy comes off as totally biased and unfounded to me. I despise the hype and massive following the show has developed as much as anyone else, but to say that it has never been good, or that new Simpsons is better than it, is going way too far. While Family Guy may have a tendency to be unoriginal and have poor narratives much of the time, it also has a consistent record of having hilariously clever jokes. I may not respect its structure much, but it often succeeds at making me laugh, and for a comedy cartoon that's really what matters more than anything. It's certainly more than can be said for the last decade of The Simpsons.

What if one just...doesn't find it funny? I don't find it funny (anymore) because I'm more than 16 years old. I find that The Critic usually has pretty weak plotting and structure as well, but I'm more forgiving of it since the jokes were usually hilarious. Family Guy simply does not make me laugh, and it hasn't since I escaped puberty, pure and simple.

That's not "bias." That's not enjoying a show that one finds to be shitty.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #272 on: 07-29-2013 00:23 »

To give a sense of how I feel about this show - and, because the thread seems to be heading this way, anyway - here's a list of my top 50 episodes of The Simpsons.

50. Natural Born Kissers
49. Lisa's Sax
48. Homer's Barbershop Quartet
47. Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie
46. Burns' Heir
45. Bart Gets an Elephant
44. Homer Loves Flanders
43. Itchy & Scratchy Land
42. Homer vs. Patty and Selma
41. $pringfield (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)
40. Mr. Plow
39. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
38. Black Widower
37. Treehouse of Horror II
36. Duffless
35. Kamp Krusty
34. Lisa's Wedding
33. Deep Space Homer
32. Boy Scoutz 'n the Hood
31. Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'
30. The Boy who Knew Too Much
29. Bart vs. Australia
28. Homer the Smithers
27. Lisa the Iconoclast
26. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds
25. Homer the Heretic
24. Homer and Apu
23. In Marge we Trust
22. Brother from Another Series
21. Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song
20. Homer Badman
19. Bart's Comet
18. Home Sweet Home-Diddily-Dum-Doodily
17. Bart Sells his Soul
16. Homie the Clown
15. Lisa's First Word
14. Bart of Darkness
13. Treehouse of Horror V
12. Flaming Moe's
11. Homer at the Bat
10. Homer the Great
9. Bart on the Road
8. Marge vs. the Monorail
7. Lemon of Troy
6. Cape Feare
5. Treehouse of Horror IV
4. Last Exit to Springfield
3. Who Shot Mr. Burns?: Part 2
2. Who Shot Mr. Burns?: Part 1
1. You Only Move Twice



I've seen every episode of this show, and yet every single one of these episodes falls within seasons 3 to 9, which I'd say are pretty much the show's golden years.
tyraniak

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #273 on: 07-29-2013 00:37 »

I've always considered the golden years to be 2-8, although 9 does have some greats
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #274 on: 07-29-2013 00:48 »
« Last Edit on: 07-29-2013 00:50 »

Yeah, I'd go 1-8 personally. I actually think season 2 is maybe the best season. 3 and 7 are very close.

I find 9 to be grossly overrated, but it does have some choice great episodes. Most of them holdovers, but Natural Born Kissers and The Cartridge Family are very good and maybe the only Scully-produced episodes that ever lived up to what came before them. On the other hand, Bart Carny is probably my go-to jump the shark episode for The Simpsons (yes, instead of Principal and the Pauper).
tyraniak

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #275 on: 07-29-2013 02:00 »

I think Principal and the Pauper is a better episode, but makes more sense as a "Jump the shark" because it fucks with continuity for no reason, where Bart Carny is just kind of a crappy episode, but it doesn't actually change anything
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #276 on: 07-29-2013 02:11 »
« Last Edit on: 07-29-2013 02:12 »

My general reasoning is that while Principal is a bad episode, it doesn't really set the tone for the rest of the season or even change anything permanently. It was a holdover, first of all, and I think it was more indicative of what would have happened if Oakley and Weinstein had stayed on the show too long (they were brilliant, but as they themselves said on one commentary, no one should run this show for more than two years). Those guys loved exploring different characters and other things in the Springfield universe that hadn't been delved into to, and doing things that messed with the show's format or even analyzed how it works, but I think Pauper was a sign that they were finally hitting the limit of what they could do with their approach, as well as probably just a sign of general creative exhaustion.

Besides, this show has limited continuity, and the episode ends on a note that basically says the episode itself will be ignored from that point on. Even though it's a shitty episode, I don't think there was ever any permanent damage from it. As it is, I dislike it less for its "betrayal" of the character, and more for the fact that it's just very soap opera-ish and not very funny. I understand why people pick it, though, but I just think if a better showrunner had been picked for season 9 and the show hadn't declined that year (or not declined as dramatically), people would just look at it as an aberration and not tie it to the show's overall decline, even if the show had still gone to shit a year or two later.

Whereas with Bart Carny, the reason I tend to finger it as the JTS episode personally is that I think it really sets the tone and formula for the rest of the Scully episodes that followed: pointless guest star, Homer gets a new dumb job and acts like a jackass while Bart follows around as a straight-man, and Homer's stupidity once again lands the family in DANGER. The (truly terrible) season 10, as well as most of the rest of 9, tended to follow this general formula pretty closely.
tyraniak

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #277 on: 07-29-2013 02:27 »

Whereas with Bart Carny, the reason I tend to finger it as the JTS episode personally is that I think it really sets the tone and formula for the rest of the Scully episodes that followed: pointless guest star, Homer gets a new dumb job and acts like a jackass while Bart follows around as a straight-man, and Homer's stupidity once again lands the family in DANGER. The (truly terrible) season 10, as well as most of the rest of 9, tended to follow this general formula pretty closely.

I agree with everything except pointless guest star. I thought Varney did a good enough job with what he was given, I think the "pointless guest star" is more of an Al Jean thing, even though there are a few cases in the Scully Era
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #278 on: 07-29-2013 02:48 »

I actually once saw a comparison that showed that the use of self-played guest stars went up dramatically in the Scully years compared to prior seasons, and then under Jean it went down a bit (though, this was back in the early part of Jean's era). Jean is probably a bit more reliant on guest stars playing characters, though, but to me the principle is more or less the same.

I have nothing against Varney (RIP) or even the job he did. But the character was kind of annoying and it was one of those episodes where it seemed like the formed the idea around getting the guest star, rather than having a great character/story in their own right and just needing the right person to put voice to them.
Quantum Neutrino Field

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #279 on: 07-29-2013 02:48 »

"Hey/Wow, it's [pointless guest star]!"

Without "stolen identity"-aspect, The Principal and the Pauper could have been very good. Background story of sergeant Skinner to principal Skinner with exploring Skinner's relationship to his mom, just without unrealistic lying and not accepting death interaction between the two. The story behind Skinner could very interesting. Even with actual episode, I'm sure the ending could've been done somehow "within the Simpsons-universe".
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