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Author Topic: The Simpsons still cool?  (Read 2542 times)
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PEE Poll: The Simpsons still cool?
I love it despite the Scully era   -17 (32.1%)
I love it but not the Scully era   -13 (24.5%)
I like it despite the Scully era   -1 (1.9%)
I like it but not the Scully era   -2 (3.8%)
It's okay. Better than anything else, anyway   -3 (5.7%)
I like the Scully era for some reason   -1 (1.9%)
I don't really like it   -7 (13.2%)
I hate it because I'm crazy   -2 (3.8%)
"The Simpsons"? What the hell is THAT??   -1 (1.9%)
I have no opinion but I like to vote   -6 (11.3%)
Total Voters: 53

Evil Fox Exec

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #80 on: 10-26-2003 11:38 »
« Last Edit on: 10-26-2003 11:38 »

That N'Sync episode was indeed a real low point, and felt to me like it was a big advertisement.  I wonder how much Fox and the producers of the show were paid to make that episode.

TOTPD!
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #81 on: 10-26-2003 14:06 »

Just finished watching "Moe Baby Blues", and I will grant you, it isn't as bad as most of the recent episodes.

However, saying it ranks with the best of the earlier seasons is going a bit too far, in my opinion.

Firstly, there seems to be a chronic problem with the writers taking some jokes just one sentence too far, like the "Scum, Freezebag" and "Snake farm" jokes. And they moved far too quickly through the first few scenes (another problem that plagued the Scully era) - in fact, you could probably have dropped the whole bit before the actual blooming of the flower.

To be fair, the episode didn't commit some of the things which Seasons 10-12 are notorious in my book for (like the total ignorance of Maggie, for one (and even when she did appear in those seasons, it was nearly always as a "super-baby" )).

One problem I often find with newer Simpsons eps is one I don't think is really necessarily the show's fault - often the scenes are very short (like the Moe and Maggie sequence), but I suspect this is down to the reduction in episode length by FOX more than anything else.

A lot of the gripes I have with the Simpsons at the moment tend to come from a "production values" point of view, such as the voices, editing and animation. The way the characters are drawn and move now in particular just jars me, and Homer and Marge's voices in particular have changed a lot over the past 14 years (I even prefer "Walther Matthau" Homer to his current voice).

But it was a good enough episode - they just need to learn when to leave a joke be, in my opinion. I certainly don't dread Season 15 as much as 14 - I just hope they bring in more writers like J Stewart Burns (hey, even more Futurama writers!  wink).

PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #82 on: 10-26-2003 19:40 »

I dunno what to say.  Sure, "Moe Baby Blues" was better than most episodes from the past couple of years, but I agree with CK, it's nowhere near the quality of the show's golden years.  And it's light years from meeting leelaholic's claim of it being the best episode ever of any show.  It certainly hasn't convinced me to start watching the show regularly again.
evan

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #83 on: 10-26-2003 21:02 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by CyberKnight:
To be fair, the episode didn't commit some of the things which Seasons 10-12 are notorious in my book for (like the total ignorance of Maggie, for one (and even when she did appear in those seasons, it was nearly always as a "super-baby" )).

I can't remember the exact titles, but I know for a fact that certain episodes just completely ignore Maggie for their entire duration. It's pretty frustrating. I mean, Maggie can be funny...
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #84 on: 10-26-2003 21:08 »

Maggie's most horrifying moment was that episode where Homer is drowning and Maggie drags him ashore.
Metallica

Bending Unit
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« Reply #85 on: 10-26-2003 23:06 »

I Like Voting!
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #86 on: 10-27-2003 01:19 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Evil Fox Exec:
That N'Sync episode was indeed a real low point, and felt to me like it was a big advertisement.  I wonder how much Fox and the producers of the show were paid to make that episode.

TOTPD!


Probably not anything.  The episode failed, but it was still clearly an attempt at satirizing the boy band craze.  It just failed because, well, Mike Scully is a fuck up when it comes to satire.  Its also been cleared up by a certain inside source that there wasn't much money exchanging hands on either end.  Just a very miniscule amount of money that they pay every guest star, and a tape of the completed episode (which they also give to every guest star).

Writer of the episode Tim Long didn't even have much respect for the group either, mind you.  I saw him speak some months back and he took a couple jabs at them.  For one, he apparently worked with the ghostwriter of the NSYNC songs (so yeah, its true, they don't write their own stuff.  As if that needed to be said, but...) to create, in Long's words, "complete bullshit songs for the Party Posse to sing".  He also at one point drove them to lunch in his car, and told the audience how he wondered "would I be doing America a big favor if I careened this car off the road?".

As for people downplaying the greatness of Moe Baby Blues, I'm speechless myself.  All I can say is:

1.  Judging from the "arguments" people are giving, they just don't, well, have particularly good arguments in terms of downplaying the episode as a whole.  A couple failed one-liners in an episode wasn't anything new in season 5 either.

2.  People have made themselves too skeptical of the show (thanks largely to Scully and other recent failures) and can't watch it without poking holes through it.

And trust me, #2 is very easy  to do.  In all honesty, even some of the older ones I no longer enjoy as much simply because I started poking too many holes in them.  In my current state of mind about it, I honestly don't think I could watch "Homer Goes to College" without hating it.

CyberKnight

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #87 on: 10-27-2003 03:15 »

I don't know - it's a solid episode, but it just doesn't match, for example, "Cape Feare" or "Marge vs the Monorail". And it certainly doesn't even come close to my most emotional episode of the series (which isn't even close to LoTF), "Lisa's Wedding".

And I like some episodes which the rest of the community doesn't, like "Round Springfield" or "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield".

I'll admit a little guilt with #2, but I can't agree with #1. Maybe you and I just watch the show for different reasons, or maybe I'm just too old to be watching new Simpsons (although, at 20, I might find that odd).  wink

There is also a slight discontinuity within "Moe Baby Blues", which is that it is known that Maggie is Homer's favourite (primarily in "And Maggie Makes Three", another episode which I enjoy but which lots of other people don't). To be fair, Homer does try and save her, but it is Homer's fault in the first place (his current "impulsive" style in particular). And most of the jokes did work, like Moe's couch bar, for example.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #88 on: 10-27-2003 03:25 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by PCC Fred:
Maggie's most horrifying moment was that episode where Homer is drowning and Maggie drags him ashore.

Ugh, that was awful. Another really stupid Maggie "moment" is in the SpringShield episode when Maggie saves Homer by firing a rifle (which she keeps under her cot) at Fat Tony's gang. Somebody really needs to tell the writers for new Simpsons episodes that they're not funny.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #89 on: 10-27-2003 03:32 »

Continuity has never been important on The Simpsons, that's just fact.  "And Maggie Makes Three" itself had several fairly huge continuity errors with "Lisa's First Word".  Try and catch them.

Homer has always been impulsive and dumb and makes lots of mistakes.  You apparently love Marge vs. the Monorail, but he crashes his car singing "he's about to hit a chessnut tree" for goddsakes.

about episodes the community doesn't like, "Round Springfield" is very much liked and pretty much every episode of seasons 3-8 is almost universally liked to some degree.  Just on different levels, IE there's more love for "Last Exit to Springfield" then "Bart's Elephant".  That doesn't mean the latter isn't universally liked either (though I'm not sure it deserves to be anymore), just that certain episodes happen to be favorites.    Just because people here don't like "Anthology of Interest" as much as "Luck of the Fryrish" doesn't mean they aren't both loved. 

To go to your earlier points:

Homer's voice was problematic in the Scully era (too whiny, though it fit the horrible scripts) I think its pretty much fixed now.  I don't see it as being an issue anymore.  Marge sounds odd sometimes but a lot of that is probably more Julie Kavner aging then anything else.  Though, I'll also say that her voice sounds more "correct" when she's being used properly.  I noticed some recent bad characerization moments for her had the most iffy Marge voice.

Scenes being short is partially an issue with Fox.  In Moe Baby Blues I didn't notice a particularly big issue though.  The act mostly fit with the main plot (Moe being depressed, saving Maggie, etc).  Its only when the first (and sometimes second) act is completely unrelated to the main plot that I tend to notice bad pacing.  "Lastest Gun in the West" might be the best Jean example of that.

Some gags do go too far, though I don't really see it with the ones you mentioned.  The "added" lines are pretty much the punchlines, and a lot of people either wouldn't notice, say, "scum freezebag" or would just be confused by it if Wiggum didn't show his embarrassment afterwards.  Its not really much different from the "bake 'em away, toys" line in Cape Feare.  Oh, and again I will need to add that overdoing jokes and just plain bombing with jokes is something that's been happening since the beginning of the series.
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #90 on: 10-27-2003 04:28 »
« Last Edit on: 10-27-2003 04:28 »

I think people are being overjudgemental of the Simpsons as well... I've always loved/liked (I'm somewhere in between there) the Simpsons, not as much as Futurama, but Simpsons have provided me with hours of laughter.  I swear if I find anyone in here that likes Family Guy and says that they hate the Simpsons (especially for it's throw 50 jokes in a couple of minutes usage) I am soo gonna pop you upside the head!  Simpsons always was about using sight gags, multiple jokes, da, da, etc.  They're way past character development and if you think about it Simpsons is one of the few cartoon shows with a whole lot of development, just quit whining.  Whoever pointed out that Homer is an idiot and cited "he's about to hit a chestnut tree" as an example obviously didn't get the joke.  Probably because they reading into it too much and associating it with Homer's personal traits.  That line was the last of a few lines that were sung to the music of the Flintstones theme, it was just an inane way to rhyme the end of the song.  I'm going to have to say I hate that N'Sync episode too, mostly because I hate boybands, but it was indeed a weak episode.  I did like the lietenant L.T. Smash part and the super liminal, but that's about it.

Edited: do to my horrible typing before I can finish a thought.
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #91 on: 10-27-2003 06:12 »

Argh. I have officially decided I hate the "Close Other Tabs" menu option in Mozilla.  wink

 
Quote
Originally posted by DotheBartman:
Continuity has never been important on The Simpsons, that's just fact.  "And Maggie Makes Three" itself had several fairly huge continuity errors with "Lisa's First Word".  Try and catch them.

All shows have continuity errors, and I accept that (after all, I am a Voyager fan  roll eyes ). And the "flashback" shows are particularly susceptible to this.  wink

But when a show is enjoyable enough, the continuity errors become forgivable and even forgettable.

Seeing Homer sacrifice his "dream job" to support his new child is for me heartwarming and a likeable aspect of his character, so any episode that contradicts that is going to jar that aspect.

 
Quote
Homer has always been impulsive and dumb and makes lots of mistakes.  You apparently love Marge vs. the Monorail, but he crashes his car singing "he's about to hit a chessnut tree" for goddsakes.

It's difficult to explain why I like that bit and not some of the post-S9 stupidity. I think it probably has something to do with the brilliant parody of the situation - the music and the timing is just enjoyable.

And in a way this ties into my point about some of the show's openings being unconnected to the main plot - this is one of them, but I find it so funny that I understand why they left it in (another example of this kind of opening is in "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" - the Indy sequence is so perfect  wink).

 
Quote
about episodes the community doesn't like, "Round Springfield" is very much liked and pretty much every episode of seasons 3-8 is almost universally liked to some degree.  Just on different levels, IE there's more love for "Last Exit to Springfield" then "Bart's Elephant".  That doesn't mean the latter isn't universally liked either (though I'm not sure it deserves to be anymore), just that certain episodes happen to be favorites.    Just because people here don't like "Anthology of Interest" as much as "Luck of the Fryrish" doesn't mean they aren't both loved. 

I agree totally. The main reason I see "Round Springfield" as being unliked is due to the responses in the episode capsule over at snpp.com, and they might be slightly skewed, being taken from alt.tv.simpsons.

 
Quote
To go to your earlier points:

Homer's voice was problematic in the Scully era (too whiny, though it fit the horrible scripts) I think its pretty much fixed now.  I don't see it as being an issue anymore.  Marge sounds odd sometimes but a lot of that is probably more Julie Kavner aging then anything else.  Though, I'll also say that her voice sounds more "correct" when she's being used properly.  I noticed some recent bad characerization moments for her had the most iffy Marge voice.


Homer's voice is more bearable. And I do agree that Marge's voice's problems come when she has to express something other than her ordinary state (some people would compare this to the problems with Leela's voice). The crying bit in "The Frying Game", in particular, made me cringe.

 
Quote
Scenes being short is partially an issue with Fox.  In Moe Baby Blues I didn't notice a particularly big issue though.  The act mostly fit with the main plot (Moe being depressed, saving Maggie, etc).  Its only when the first (and sometimes second) act is completely unrelated to the main plot that I tend to notice bad pacing.  "Lastest Gun in the West" might be the best Jean example of that.

Apart from the opening, I felt that "Moe Baby Blues" was fairly well-paced. A problem in the "Scully Era", in particular, was that often characters would move through many many different scenes in what felt like less than thirty seconds, which felt to me like bad writing.

 
Quote
Some gags do go too far, though I don't really see it with the ones you mentioned.  The "added" lines are pretty much the punchlines, and a lot of people either wouldn't notice, say, "scum freezebag" or would just be confused by it if Wiggum didn't show his embarrassment afterwards.  Its not really much different from the "bake 'em away, toys" line in Cape Feare.  Oh, and again I will need to add that overdoing jokes and just plain bombing with jokes is something that's been happening since the beginning of the series.

Again, it's hard to explain why I dislike that line in "Moe Baby Blues" but not "Cape Feare" (they are very similar, but with different leadouts). Partly I suspect it has to do with my hatred of the overuse of "meta-humour" during the latter seasons. The first time they did it, it was fairly funny, but as they kept falling back on it, it became more apparent whenever they did it that "Hey, we know this isn't funny but we can't write anything better, so we'll make fun of the fact it isn't funny, thus making it funny."
Juliet

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #92 on: 10-27-2003 06:34 »

I saw Moe Baby Blues yesterday. The bond between Moe and Maggie is so adorable. I really like this episode.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Beamer:
 Ugh, that was awful. Another really stupid Maggie "moment" is in the SpringShield episode when Maggie saves Homer by firing a rifle (which she keeps under her cot) at Fat Tony's gang. Somebody really needs to tell the writers for new Simpsons episodes that they're not funny.

No that scene was brilliant. The first time I saw that I and went awww and laughed at the same time

Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #93 on: 10-27-2003 11:55 »

Well, I thought the episode was the best this season, but that's not saying much. Couple of nice moments, quite a few awful ones (Moe saying "Whuh!?" really annoyed me for one thing). The plot flowed a lot better than usual, but it was still horribly contrived.

It's really hard to explain why I don't like these episodes. Sure, there were a few bad one-liners in the early seasons, but the concentration is much higher. There are moments which make me shift uncomfortably in my seat when watching s14 eps with other people, and that was certainly never true before. There are no really memorable lines, and I feel absolutely no connection with the characters.
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #94 on: 10-27-2003 13:16 »

I remember watching the 300th episode of The Simpsons with some ex-mates of mine and I was the only one who didn't find it particularly funny. I was just very wary of it: the uninspiring plotline, the blatant guest appearances of Blink and Tony Hawk, the skateboarding scene. There's just a real essence that the staff just aren't trying anymore.
SamuelXDiamond

Rectum Favourist
Urban Legend
***
« Reply #95 on: 10-27-2003 17:36 »
« Last Edit on: 10-27-2003 17:36 »

With my interest in the subject piqued, I had a look at "Moe Baby Blues" to see what all the fuss was about. And i'm not convinced at all. As I feel like a schoolteacher dealing not with a naughty child, but rather a child whose wellbeing i'm seriously concerned about, i'm gonna give this episode a brief assessment:

  • A bad start. Lisa is made to shut up by the rest of the family. Is this really funny to anyone? Unmotivated cruelty? The argument that Lisa deserves it because she's an opinionated, snotty little twat I really don't find acceptable. Mainly because Lisa was far more interesting and her character had more poignancy when she was the unappreciated intellectual who could only find an outlet for her struggle through music. Reminding us of one of the key failings in characterisation in the latter days of the series was not really encouraging, so it gets a .

  • Moe at the bar and his security system were quite good. It's unbelievable, but in a good way.

  • A venus fly-trap bites Homer, a flower farts and Krusty jumps in manure. Fail to see who beyond a dead weasel would find this clever or funny. .

  • Moe's depression could have been played off a lot better with maybe some slower pacing. Scenes still race past far too quickly. The entire scene at the flower show could have been cut and this episode could have gotten off to a much better start. Look at "Moaning Lisa", for example. It starts off with Lisa, is about Lisa's depression and has her finding solace with Bleeding Gums. Homer/Marge diapprove ("Nothing personal, I just fear the unfamiliar"  laff ), but come to understand at the end. Similar stuff in this episode, just not as good.

*continued below*
SamuelXDiamond

Rectum Favourist
Urban Legend
***
« Reply #96 on: 10-27-2003 17:37 »
« Last Edit on: 10-27-2003 17:37 »

Apologies for Double Post-ness, this was a tad too long for one:

  • Homer's still a jerkass. He leaps out of the car to save his child from flying through the air. Fine. Is he meant to win father of the year for doing something which surely should come as instinct to any parent? His behaviour in the rest of the episode was as annoying as ever. Re: His "discussion" with Bart. Why should Maggie want to be anywhere near a jerkass of a father? I'd find more sympathy if it were season <9 Homer, but sorry, no. Marge wasn't as bad in this episode as recently, but she still only has two states: happiness or anger, and no mediation.

  • The Mafia. Ugh. Overused and criminally unfunny.

     
    Quote
    A discussion that should have occured in the writer's room:
    "Hey look, another situation that requires a life-or-death resolution!"
    "Requires?"
    "Okay, maybe not requires, but it'll make the scene FIVE TIMES more interesting if we throw some gangsters at it. It'll give the scene more impact."
    "Wouldn't the gangsters require credibility of some description to give it the neccesary impact?"
    "Uhhhh..."

    (My apologies to J. Stewart Burns, whose Futurama episodes I love, I just needed to illustrate this point with a ludicrous discussion.)

  • Maggie was good. She acted like a baby. She was cute. She was pretty funny, too. Probably because she doesn't speak.

  • I actually liked the "Scuzz, freezebags!" line. I actually hated the unneccesary meta-humour.

    Those are my immediate thoughts. This isn't meant to knock Leelaholic or anyone else who likes this episode, these are just my thoughts, presented for (intelligent) discussion.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #97 on: 10-27-2003 18:58 »

One point CK touched on, and I'm starting to agree with, is the way the show's animated.  I can't explain it, but right now the animation looks too glossy.  Somehow the characters seemed more lovable when the animation was a bit rougher.

(You may consider that a lame argument, but a similar rule applies to live TV.  A live TV event where nothing goes wrong production-wise is boring.)
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #98 on: 10-27-2003 19:14 »

Exactly.

I was actually talking today with a friend about another show - Red Dwarf. In Season Seven, apparently they switched from a standard set to a "closed set" (i.e. a room). They also seemed to change camera types.

Despite the fact that technically the show had improved in quality, the visual aspect jarred with me. It just wasn't good ol' BBC "egg whisk and sink plunger Dalek" type stuff.  wink

The same things true of The Simpsons. Despite the fact that as far as I'm aware the show is still animated by hand, the drawing just feels less natural - the lines are too dark and the colouring is off (most noticeably on Marge's hair, at times). The character's also tend to be drawn with fewer curves; whereas before, Homer's "angry" state would be denoted by two curved towards the middle eyelids it's now usually denoted by two straight ones.

The FOX promo pic on their website (the one under "Fall Schedule" ) I feel is a perfect example of the style I don't like.

It's a highly shallow point, I'll admit, but in the end it does contribute to the overall effect of the show.

(By the way, I'm not suggesting we go back to S1/2 style animation.  wink When the show first switched over to Film Roman is when I felt the animation was at it's best. I realise this is blasphemous, seeing as how Rough Draft does The Simpsons animation now (?), but that's how I feel).
SamuelXDiamond

Rectum Favourist
Urban Legend
***
« Reply #99 on: 10-27-2003 19:46 »

*I don't want this to turn into a discussion about Red Dwarf, so i'll be brief*

I agree that the visual changes of Series VII were jarring, but I much preferred to have an odd look to the series that I could get used to, over the several step backwards in every department that was Red Dwarf VIII  wink

*Back to The Simpsons*

I agree with the above. It's all true. Glad to hear that i'm not just being fussy  big grin
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #100 on: 10-27-2003 20:03 »

Samuel: I'm going to number all these instead of quoting them, but it should be obvious enough which argument I'm debating with on most of them.  I'm also skipping the checked ones of course.

1.  "Let's see...Lisa stop playing that stupid...saxophone!"
The Scully overdid the "shut up Lisa" jokes I admit, but I don't see the problem here.  In the case of the Scully jokes they always seemed to be on "get the audience to agree" side of things, very malicious.  But in this case it just seemed like a "the family is annoyed with Lisa" joke, which is certainly nothing even close to new.

2.  Can't entirely argue, simply because humor is all subjective.  But I will need to mention that Futurama has featured a barfing whale, a giant slug that shits soda, and a Rosseanne guest appearance (that last one just speaks for itself wink)

3.  Moaning Lisa was better, I can't argue with that.  But, its an episode I would put in my top 20 and maybe ten.  That's hard to top.  Its like disqualifying "Sideshow Bob Roberts" because I think "Two Cars in Every Garage..." was better.   I will submit that the plant stuff maybe could've been cut, but its no big deal.  They intertwine the "Moe is depressed" (so they do more or less start with the depression actually) stuff with it, so it keeps its focus.  A lot of "classic" episodes started in similar fashions, such as Homer Badman.

4. "Eh, what do you mean by `suggested donation'?"
"Pay any amount you wish, sir."
"And uh, what if I wish to pay ... zero?"
"That is up to you."
"Ooh, so it's up to me, is it?"
"Yes."
"I see.  And you think that people are going to pay you $4.50 even though they don't have to? Just out of the goodness of their... [laughs]Well, anything you say!  Good luck, lady, you're gonna need it!"

or

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand!"

Why should any of the kids want to be around such a jerkass father?  Because just as he ultimately does try and redeems himself a little in "Lisa's Substitute", he tries and redeems himself in "Moe Baby Blues".  In the Scully era he wouldn't have even cared that Maggie was ignoring him.  But this isn't the Scully era, and he does care, even if he's too stupid to realize it (as Groening once said).

5.  Again, all subjective.  I thought they were hilarious.  I don't think they brought in the mafia to bring in a death scene either.  It probably built from there once they decided they would bring the mafia in at all. 

6.  This is actually the first time I've ever thought of that scene as meta-humor, oddly enough.  I always just saw it as inane Wiggum chatter.  You know, discussing something trivial like tv sitcoms in crisis (and I realize the irony that we are talking about a tv sitcom here, so don't bother pointing that out wink) .  Meta-refs have been overused lately, but I actually never saw it as a meta-ref in this case.  I could have misinterperated it I guess.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #101 on: 10-27-2003 20:22 »

Some non-Samuel related notes:

I agree that the animtion sometimes looks odd, though it is improving.  In fact it tends to look the worst when the direction itself is sterile and cold.  That's still sometimes an issue, but "Moe Baby Blues" had some of the best direction ever so any "issues" I have with the way they are animted these days were hardly noticable in that case.  I would have to agree that there's less warmth overall in the current look though; one can blame that on Scully a little as well since the "bland" look originated around seasons 9 and 10.  I actually have to disagree with Cybernight about seasons 1 and 2 as well.  Season one had its rough spots in the first few episodes but the direction was great overall, and the animation itself perfectly stable after the first few.  And season two looks about as good as any season of the show.  1-4 (minus the first few of season one) are actually my favorite animtion seasons.

Winna:  I brought up "chessnut tree" as an example of something overly stupid Homer has done in the "classic" era that shows that some of Homer's current behavior really isn't all that much worse in comparison.  Oh and I disagree that the show is "way past" character development.  Its an important aspect of the show, as it is with any sitcom (though some shows do it better then others).  Agreed about Family Guy I suppose, though I think that needs to be judged in a different league (not one that's better or worse, just a whole different universe really) since Simpsons and Family Guy are very different shows.

CK:  I can see your point with the "And Maggie Makes Three" contradiction....sorta.  As you said its really a slight contradiction, plus he seems to go back and forth on his "favorite" (Saturdays of Thunder has him favoring Bart, Lisa's Pony Lisa, then back to Bart and so on depending on the needs of an episode).  And again, there have always been errors.  That said I don't like particularly gross errors, like having the family get a horse again (which the aknowledged in the unfunniest way possible).

I agree the timing of the "Monorail" and "Bart's Friend" openings are overall better, but that's to be expected from the prime of the show.  It shouldn't disqualify a recent joke completely.  Again, going back to my mention that I liked "Three Cars" better then "Sideshow Bob Roberts".  Just because one is the better political episode, doesn't mean the other isn't still good.  Actually, this society seems to have an odd obsession with rating things up against each other...

Yeah, you can pretty much say "fuck you" to alt.tv.simpsons much of the time.  They're so critical historically that discussion of the show slipping started as early as season four, and people were leaving for good during seasons 5 and 6.  Plus, lately, when they aren't criticizing mercillicely, they're posting random shit or discussing Lisa's sexuality.  ick.

Again, about Marge's voice, I agree.  Again, it just seems to come down to the moments of bad writing.  Unfortunately she seems like the most out of character/problematic character right now, though I think they're working as best as they can to fix it.  She's a hard character to write and characterization flukes started happening very early in the series as a result.


Again, I discussed the "meta-humor" issue earlier.  In this case I didn't see it as meta-humor.  But I do agree that the concept of meta-humor itself, when it is used, has grown very tired lately.
newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #102 on: 10-28-2003 00:38 »

Guys just check out the post that the guy Mohammed Jafar made here it raises many good points if you take the time to read it. http://www.nohomers.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33811
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #103 on: 10-28-2003 00:56 »

Saw that.  Mohammed Jafar is the master debater over there.  Even when I don't agree with him sometimes I can't help but agree with him, heh.  You an NHC member Newhook?
newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #104 on: 10-28-2003 01:11 »

yeah but I don't post there all that much, I only joined a few months ago when the second half of season 14 (which I really like) aired.
Squeezit

Bending Unit
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« Reply #105 on: 10-28-2003 02:36 »

I kinda think it would help the show a little if the characters would just AGE. Your life would get a little stale too if you were in the third grade for fifteen years!
Mohammed Jafar
Poppler
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« Reply #106 on: 10-28-2003 07:38 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 07:38 »

 
Quote
by Lt. KrokerThe plot flowed a lot better than usual, but it was still horribly contrived.

Uh, no, it fucking wasn't.  It should be crystal clear smack-you-upside-the-head obvious to anyone who has even the slightest idea what makes a good TV episode that this was not contrived, and that it was a plot.  It flowed. From event to event using development of characters, and developing of a conflict (in this case, developing of Moe and Maggie's "bond" then developing of the tension between Moe and the family). Name me one time Scully even ATTEMPTED a conflict and plot of that depth and requiring that much characterisation, let alone managed to execute it as well as it was done here. Name me one time in seasons 10-12 where someone was as beautifully characterised as Moe was, where they took a previously flat, repellent stereotype and gave him depth and humanity, and derived huge amounts of charming and hilarious humor. Nearly every joke involving Moe & Maggie was character-driven, no zany gags, no wackiness, and their "bond" was LOGICAL. Scully barely even managed any "bonds" let alone a "bond" that had any rhyme or reason to it. The Moe/Maggie thing made a ridiculous amount of sense, and was amazingly well-illustrated. Moe is lonely, noone wishes to pay attention to him because he's a repellent asshole (illustrated in just about every scene here where he interacts with an adult, particularly the woman who tries to pick him up). But, Maggie "can't understand the horrible things he says". Moe is driven into hostility and unpleasantness in interactions with adults (once again, clearly illustrated in the scene with the woman, and of course earlier in the series), yet Maggie is completely innocent, and his repulsive behaviour is completely lost on her, leaving her only to be completely enthralled by his zany antics. Maggie obviously is favourable towards Moe because he caught her under the bridge, but it's clear that the attention Moe lavishes on her is the attention she doesn't get, and sorely needs, from Homer. Homer's taking Maggie for granted is also clearly illustrated here. Moe, later in the episode, is obviously so possessive of Maggie because he's so "desperate for human contact" and doesn't want to spend time apart from the only person who doesn't find him repulsive (and who isn't one of his barflies). It's pretty crystal clear to anyone that has even the slightest idea what makes a good television episode that this was not a "bunch of absurd moments" and that it was developed using logical character behaviour.

And did I mention the direction? Maggie is far more expressive than she ever has been before here. The awesomeness of Lauren MacMullen (and animators obviously) is clearly in full evidence in the final (or so) scene, when Moe shows Maggie's cute face to the mobsters. Now, that scene is entirely in the hands of the directors and animators. The script would have said "Maggie smiles adorably" or something. If the facial expression hadn't been unbearably cute, the scene would have flopped miserably. Now how would have thought it would be absolutely perfect?

It really pisses me off when people attempt to bring down an episode using individual jokes they didn't like, or desperate nitpicks.  First off, 90% of Simpsons episodes and ALL Futurama episodes have at least four or five sidegags which bomb.  It's not a big deal.  Second of all, crap like "the family telling Lisa to shut up" - the first point applies to this as well, seeing as it only lasts about five seconds - no, it's not cruelty.  It's character humor, perhaps dark character humor, indicating the gulf that exists between Lisa's interests and the family's.  And noone is suggesting Homer should win father of the year.  This isn't the Cosby Show.  Pathetic nitpicks like that just show the huge desperation to criticise and negative bias with which the episode was viewed. 

And, please, for all those people who consider the Jean era to be worse or no improvement on the Scully era, please follow the link newhook provided and tell me exactly where I went wrong in my long post. 
PCC Fred

Space Pope
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« Reply #107 on: 10-28-2003 10:44 »

 
Quote
Uh, no, it fucking wasn't. It should be crystal clear smack-you-upside-the-head obvious to anyone who has even the slightest idea what makes a good TV episode that this was not contrived, and that it was a plot.

 
Quote
It's pretty crystal clear to anyone that has even the slightest idea what makes a good television episode that this was not a "bunch of absurd moments" and that it was developed using logical character behaviour.

It doesn't matter how well thought out your argument is, cheap insults at your opponents don't help your cause.
Teesside Inc

Bending Unit
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« Reply #108 on: 10-28-2003 10:54 »

I agred with Mohammed Jafar, the family telling Lisa Simpson to shut up and treating her like a big piece of garbage and I am sick of it.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
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« Reply #109 on: 10-28-2003 10:57 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 10:57 »

Never mind.
Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
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« Reply #110 on: 10-28-2003 11:14 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 11:14 »

@Mohammed: Look, I'm really not going to argue with you about this ...much (and I can't seem to access nohomers without registring). You like the new episodes, I don't. Anyway, yup, the characterisation's good, the plot's superficially good, etc. etc. On paper, this episode sounds great, but it's the execution I can't stand. Can you think of one seriously funny joke? Or something that you might quote in a conversation? These were still there in the Scully years, and, in my opinion, they're not any more. It all seems plodding and obvious.
Mohammed Jafar
Poppler
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« Reply #111 on: 10-28-2003 11:48 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 11:48 »

 
Quote
by FredIt doesn't matter how well thought out your argument is, cheap insults at your opponents don't help your cause.

they weren't cheap insults.  cheap insults would be "you're a buttmunch" or similar.  what i said was a fair (if opinionated) observation, passionately phrased as I'm understandably pissed at seeing a show I love so much be criticised so nonsensically and without reasoning.  I would not use such a tone with, say, member CyberKnight, as he makes criticisms which are well-thought-out and which actually make some sense.

 
Quote
by Lt. KrokerLook, I'm really not going to argue with you about this ...much

i cant say i'm surprised.

 
Quote
(and I can't seem to access nohomers without registring).

registration only takes a couple of minutes. 

 
Quote
the plot's superficially good,

you retract your earlier statement then.  anyway, what exactly do you mean by "SUPERFICIALLY good"?

 
Quote
Can you think of one seriously funny joke? Or something that you might quote in a conversation?


well most of this episode's humor was derived from the interaction of Moe & Maggie.  All of their scenes together were non-stop charming and hilarious, but they didn't have any throwaway one-liners.  You can pick out zingers with gag-based, fast-paced shows like Futurama, Scully era Simpsons and Family Guy (and I know Futurama isn't PURELY a gag show, don't worry) which the style of MBB was quite different from.  If you took any of the lines of dialogue out of those Moe/Maggie scenes, out of the context and out of the situation, they would be much less funny - this also shows the inherent depth in the plot and the characterisation.  Pretty much everything Moe & Maggie did together was brilliant, so there would be no need to list them all.  But there were some other isolated gags which were great - Moe's playbar, Homer's comments about the pants advert in the paper (of course they work much better in the context of the scene too, but whatever), there was pretty much everything the Mafia said or did - the Godfather 3 line, the whole dropping forks/spilling drinks fiasco was great parody ("those fellas should really consider sippy cups" ), "Scum, freezebags!", Lisa's theory about Maggie turning out to be Homer, etc.  This episode had a very high good/bad joke ratio, even in the context of the entire series. 

 
Quote
It all seems plodding and obvious.

what do you mean by "obvious"?
Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
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« Reply #112 on: 10-28-2003 12:24 »

Oh, fine.

 
Quote
you retract your earlier statement then. anyway, what exactly do you mean by "SUPERFICIALLY good"?

There were some contrived elements (Moe catching Maggie, although that was more of a plot device, and the gangsters crying). I mean that the plot is good in and of itself. If I saw a synopsis, I'd like it. The episode wasn't well done.

I actually quite liked the Maggie/Moe dynamic in parts of the ep, but I didn't in other parts.

I really find it difficult to explain why I dislike the new seasons. I went over to nohomers and I can see that no-one else seems to have an articulate reason either. You can go over exactly why the plot and characterisation are so good, and my argument pretty much centres around 'it's not funny'.

There are loads of Scully eps I loathe (the N'Sync one, Simpson Safari and Alone Again, Natura-diddily), but pretty much not a single Jean one I like. The plots are either bizarrely convulted (Homer buys car accesories, gets in an accident, discovers he likes walking, sings a lame song, is hit by Marge in a car, their marriage starts to fall apart, she admits she hates him in some ways...), or jokes are traded off for plot.
Shadowstar

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #113 on: 10-28-2003 12:40 »

I barely remembered that episode. That's how unmemorable these shows are getting. I can name at least half of the episodes from five seasons ago, and about 1/3 from last season.
I will keep watching, only because I'm a stark raving Simpsons fan. But the Simpsons went down a slope thanks to Scully and his craptacular episodes. You keep naming ones from Season 11 and 12. The show hit rock bottom at 10. C'mon, you've got horrendous episodes like "Bart the Mother," "Sunday Cruddy Sunday," "Make Room for Lisa," "Homer Simpson in Kidney Trouble" and "Marge Simpson in Screaming Yellow Honkers." The rest of the eps that season were average to OK, for the exception of the excellent "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo."
Seasons 11 and 12 slowly redeemed themselves, although having to drag through some slop like "Bart to the Future," "Kill the Alligator and Run," and "Simpsons Safari." Season 13 started good, although "Brawl in the Family" angers me to this day, and went on well. Season 14's plots got more out there and more and more frequently I would label an episode average. "The Simpsons," although declined in quality a bit, is still watchable.
Mohammed Jafar
Poppler
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« Reply #114 on: 10-28-2003 13:13 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 13:13 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:
Oh, fine.

Heh heh. 

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:There were some contrived elements (Moe catching Maggie, although that was more of a plot device, and the gangsters crying)..

Moe catching Maggie was very coincedental, yeah, but just about every sitcom episode ever created has at least one very coincidental plot device.  And seeing that the unrealism of it was hardly dragged out, and that it served a very good purpose, I don't see how it could bother you that much. 

The gangsters crying, yeah OK it was a LITTLE contrived, but a minor detail and again I fail to see how it could affect your enjoyment of the episode so much.  Most sitcom episodes have at least one slightly contrived element.  The whole episode can only be described as "contrived" if the whole thing makes little sense and is very unnatural.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:I actually quite liked the Maggie/Moe dynamic in parts of the ep, but I didn't in other parts.

what other parts?

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:I went over to nohomers and I can see that no-one else seems to have an articulate reason either.

Noone has an articulate reason for completely dismissing the Jean era, no.  But there are plenty of people there who could write you pages and pages of articulate reasons as to why it is a huge improvement.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:You can go over exactly why the plot and characterisation are so good, and my argument pretty much centres around 'it's not funny'.

Well, I find it funny.  The many oldschool fans who have been drawn back to the show by Jean's improvements (after quitting during Scully) find it funny.  Many other people find it funny.  Pure humor is very subjective and personal, and it can't really be discussed.  I will say, seeing as you find the Scully era funny, I'm not surprised you dislike the new seasons as they are much closer to the classic style than Scully style.  But it doesn't bother me, I'll continue to enjoy the show and you continue to not enjoy it. 

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:The plots are either bizarrely convulted (Homer buys car accesories, gets in an accident, discovers he likes walking, sings a lame song, is hit by Marge in a car, their marriage starts to fall apart, she admits she hates him in some ways...)

1) Just about EVERY SCULLY EPISODE was bizarrely convuluted.  Name me one episode from S10-12 which wasn't.
2) that's one episode.  most episodes aren't.  Little Girl In The Big Ten, Sweets & Sour Marge, Special Edna, The Dad Who Knew Too Little, Three Gays Of The Condo, Mr Spritz Goes To Washington, Jaws Wired Shut, Scuse Me While I Miss The Sky, Moe Baby Blues - these are all episodes which have as good plot structure as most season 5-8 episodes (if not seasons 2-4).  They have consistent themes and focus, and are driven by logical character behaviour.  Disagree?  Go ahead and argue.   

 
Quote
Originally posted by Lt. Kroker:or jokes are traded off for plot.

1) you cite no examples here, so at the moment it's a groundless accusation. 
2) EVERY SCULLY EPISODE traded off jokes for plot.  Name me one episode from S10-12 which didn't, which kept focus on plot at the expense of zany humor. 
3) It's simply not true.  Most Jean episodes are indicative of the exact opposite. Little Girl In The Big Ten, Sweets & Sour Marge, Special Edna, The Dad Who Knew Too Little, Three Gays Of The Condo, Mr Spritz Goes To Washington, Scuse Me While I Miss The Sky, Moe Baby Blues, The Bart Of War, I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can, Halfdecent Proposal, Jaws Wired Shut - these are all examples of Jean episodes where the jokes are either mostly derived from the characters and situations, or part of the episode's satire, and hence the jokes mostly drive the satire, the character conflicts/dilemmas, and hence the plot.

Did you read my long post in the "season 13 overrated?" thread at the NHC?

 
Quote
Originally posted by Shadowstar:
 Season 13 started good, although "Brawl in the Family" angers me to this day, and went on well. Season 14's plots got more out there

what the...?  can you explain this?  season 14 had far more down-to-earth plots than S13.  This has nothing to do with quality btw, so can admit it while retaining your Simpsons-sucks-now-doodz facade, don't worry.  Just give some examples of how the show became more "out there" in S14, and contrast them with S13. 
Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
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« Reply #115 on: 10-28-2003 13:22 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 13:22 »

Like you said, humour is very subjective thing. Niether of us are going to change our opinions. Just to be clear, I like classic simpsons much more than Scully Simpsons, and I don't find the newer ones like the classics at all.

EDIT: Oh, and that joke/plot thing. One of us is misunderstanding that construction and I don't know who it is. I meant that the plot takes away from the jokes.
newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #116 on: 10-28-2003 13:27 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2003 13:27 »

I agree with you about this Simpsons getting better, but there are many farout moments in season 14. Stuff like Marge going crazy on steroids, or the treehouse that they end up with in "Old Yeller Belly", or even the whole beaver thing from "Dude Where's My Ranch?", and don't forget the likes of "Helter Shelter". Once again don't get me wrong I'm one of "The many oldschool fans who have been drawn back to the show by Jean's improvements ".

*Edit* this is aimed at Jafar
Mohammed Jafar
Poppler
*
« Reply #117 on: 10-28-2003 14:31 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by newhook_1:
I agree with you about this Simpsons getting better, but there are many farout moments in season 14. Stuff like Marge going crazy on steroids, or the treehouse that they end up with in "Old Yeller Belly", or even the whole beaver thing from "Dude Where's My Ranch?", and don't forget the likes of "Helter Shelter".

yeah, I know wackiness is still a problem, but it's crazy to say that the show got craziER in season 14.  Helter Shelter was S13 holdover, so it doesn't count unless I can count CABFs in S13, which would take S13's wackiness level soaring into the stratosphere.  Anyway, part from Dude Wheres My Ranch and Strong Arms, there was no really badly "wacky" episodes in the S14 EABFs.  There were bad ones, yeah, like Great Louse and Pray Anything, but they were bad for other reasons, not for being excessively wacky.  Most S14 episodes took a more down-to-earth, family-based approach than S13's. 

 
Quote
Originally posted by Kroker
Like you said, humour is very subjective thing. Niether of us are going to change our opinions.

Well you could at least address my points regarding the claims you made about it, the claims which were above just subjective like/dislike of humor.

 
Quote
Originally posted by KrokerI don't find the newer ones like the classics at all.

I don't think they are at the QUALITY of the classic seasons, but they are definitely closer to the STYLE of seasons 5-8 than to seasons 10-12, whether you like the episodes or not.

 
Quote
Originally posted by KrokerOh, and that joke/plot thing. One of us is misunderstanding that construction and I don't know who it is. I meant that the plot takes away from the jokes.

uh, could you rephrase that?  I really don't follow you. 
Lt. Kroker

Bending Unit
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« Reply #118 on: 10-28-2003 14:40 »

 
Quote
Well you could at least address my points regarding the claims you made about it, the claims which were above just subjective like/dislike of humor.

They were all fair points. I still disagree with you, but I quite frankly can't be bothered to argue about it much longer.

Anyway, sorry that thing wasn't clear. I meant that, when I said they traded off jokes for plot, I was trying to say that they concentrated on plot too much, forsaking humour.

I don't mind the new episodes, I just don't think they're as good, and I guess I'd prefer a completely different style to the classics to an inferior version of them.
User_names_suck
Professor
*
« Reply #119 on: 10-28-2003 19:00 »

hmm there stuff i'd like to say but it seems irrelervant now.
anyway people say the new writers suck, but the sad thing is there probably better than most out there today.
I'd also like to say about people make points about the bad structure,
but i think conventional structures an be boring and predictable, not that seasons 11-12 are nesseracerly better structure.
its just i look at music and think pop songs structures are boring, the covention of intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-middle8-chorus-outro, sometimes it can be good but generally its just stupid and predictable,
i think you can look at comedy writing in a similar way, i looked on snpp for old interviews with oakley and weinstien( they wrote some of my favourite episodes, and i loved there era most)
and oakley said they try to get people with no preconceptions, of what makes for 'good comedy writng' which i see as a good thing,
and i just hate to see people complain about its structure for that reason.
sometimes conventions can be good but usually, you just know whats going to happen, i think thats one of the things i dont like about futurama,
its obvious where its going to go,
simpsons has more of an ability to just go off in any other strange direction,
in fact maybe 11 and 12 had this over 13 and 14
maybe that could be one of the reasons
you could prefer it lt. kroker,
personally i'm kind of in between with my view
both seasons have there advantages,
just remember both simpsons and futurama
can have serious and wacky episodes
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