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Thread: Staff Comment on the Quality Dip



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    Staff Comment on the Quality Dip

    I know most of the writers like the new episodes, but Harry Shearer doesn't seem very enthused. And what about Matt?

    Could you please inform me of how the writers/actors feel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcClure2
    I know most of the writers like the new episodes, but Harry Shearer doesn't seem very enthused. And what about Matt?

    Could you please inform me of how the writers/actors feel?
    Groening is consistently quoted as saying that he doesn't think there's been a dip in quality (or at least certainly not a significant one).

    It might be a bit odd for Castalleneta to criticise the later years of the show given that he's written a few scripts in that period.

  3. #3


    Could you please give me an example of one of his criticisms?
    I know Harry Shearer is being a real bastard, and he shows his current appreciation towards the show by his voice acting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcClure2
    I know Harry Shearer is being a real bastard, and he shows his current appreciation towards the show by his voice acting.
    Well, I don't blame him for being less than enthused. I'm glad he recognizes the decline in quality. That means that he truly cares about the show and not just the ratings.

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    Here's a quote from April 2006, where Groening stands by the show at the bottom of the page (I was directed to this from the Wikipedia entry on the Simpsons. Lazy of me, but this is a decent example of Groening defending the show over recent years).

    http://www.avclub.com/content/node/47771/3

  6. #6


    Harry Shearer is being a bastard. That was harsh wording and I apologize. But he needs to stop insulting the writers. Jean said that Harry has been grouchy ever since Season 4. :-O

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    NHC's Resident Smithers Tamaki Suoh's Avatar
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    Season 4? That seems pretty early. His voice-acting was impeccable until about season 10, it seemed.

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    On the hidden audio commentary on the Season 9 DVD Oakley and Weinstein mention that they knew they'd done well when Harry Shearer told them "you did a good job", because he's such a curmudgeon that any praise is gratefully received.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crosseyedandpainless
    On the hidden audio commentary on the Season 9 DVD Oakley and Weinstein mention that they knew they'd done well when Harry Shearer told them "you did a good job", because he's such a curmudgeon that any praise is gratefully received.
    Really? Wow. That's interesting. He seemed nice on Glenn Beck and Letterman. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by e120
    Well, I don't blame him for being less than enthused. I'm glad he recognizes the decline in quality. That means that he truly cares about the show and not just the ratings.
    http://www.nohomers.net/showthread.php?t=41353

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    Shearer always seems to come off as a little bitter when talking about The Simpsons, almost like Alec Guinness whenever he talked about Star Wars. Perhaps it's because Shearer would prefer not to be remembered primarily for his work on The Simpsons, who knows.

    Another thing, in the wonderful Vanity Fair article printed a few months back, Jay Kogen made some comments about how back in the day the writers would write "for themselves" as opposed to "appeasing the audience." While he doesn't really say anything about a quality dip, he acknowledges that the show in its current state is much different that what it was a decade ago.

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    NHC's Resident Smithers Tamaki Suoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The J Man
    Wow, that's interesting. Thanks for posting that.

  13. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by The J Man
    This is about the staff in general. Its just that the current conversation is focused on Harry Shearer.

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    I posted that link because there was discussion about Shearer and I just wanted to clear the whole thing up about his comments.

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    ...Sup? Nebuchanezzar's Avatar
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    Bastard or not, it just so happens that Shearer is one of the only staff members who is being publicly honest about the show. I think we ought to appreciate that.
    We are trying to archive all of the noteworthy, substantial and important Simpsons related posts/threads on the NHC. This website hosts an enormous library of great observations that ought to be catalogued in a library of online criticism. If you know of any threads that fit this bill PLEASE CONTRIBUTE to the link below.

    CLICK HERE


    Also of interest:
    My grades and reviews of every episode from seasons 1-7

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    If I recall Shearer was a bit peevede over the state of the show, but the overall feeling of him saying "Screw this!" was taken a bit out of context.

    EDIT: I take that back, here's what was written about and by Shearer:

    The actor behind Mr. Burns, and Ned Flanders has slammed The Simpsons, claiming the last three seasons of the show have been the "worst". Harry Shearer believes the 15-year-old show is beginning to run out of ideas and he is getting bored providing the speech for Flanders, Burns and his assistant Waylon Smithers, Reverend Lovejoy, and Principal Skinner. Shearer says, "I rate the last three seasons as among the worst. It makes me sad. They used to have whole scenes. Season four looks very good to me now. I'd rather not be there right now. Fortunately I'm doing a lot of other things." Shearer has also angrily denied reports the cast threatened to strike over a pay dispute earlier this year. "We were never on strike. The day those stories appeared, I was at FOX doing vocal services for that week's show. What I can say is that's possible to make a very nice living and still get totally screwed."

    And Jean's response:

    I am responding to recent comments by Harry Shearer regarding the current quality of the Simpsons." writes Jean. "He complains that his parts have shrunk--the reason for that is, as showrunner, I am never sure if he will show up for the table reads for which he is so handsomely paid. More than once, in the past, I have had a show set for a Thursday read featuring Harry's characters and been told on the Wednesday before that he is not coming. Hence, I have learned not to give him too much to do in any episode. Mr. Shearer also describes how he was happier with season four of the show. Well, I ran seasons three and four and he didn't seem very happy to me then. I can particularly remember how he repeatedly complained to me and others about how much he disliked the episode "Homer at the Bat", which is now viewed as a classic.

    I am personally offended by his comment that he feels "totally screwed" by the show financially. He is set this year to make over 5.5 million dollars for what can generously be described as a few hours work a week. When I consider how much firefighters and teachers in this country earn, Mr. Shearer's remarks make me want to throw up."
    Last edited by Patches O'houlihan; 09-26-2007 at 06:06 PM.


    Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.

    "One of the keys to life is having a sense of proportion, knowing how long to sit at a restaurant after you've eaten, or how long you should go on vacation if you go to Hawaii for a month on vacation, I guarantee you that by the end you'll hate it. So it's the same with a TV show, you want to do a certain amount of it, so that when people look back on it and they love it. I could have easily done the show for one or two or three more years, but it would have changed the way people look back at it. I think I made the right decision. Because people like the show now even more than they did in the 1990s, because it didn't get worn out." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  17. #17


    Did you read the "Message From Al Jean" thread?
    He's been a prick ever since S4!!

  18. #18
    Nuclear launch detected. Simpson Purist's Avatar
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    At least Harry hasn't done anything stupid, like publicly denying he said any offensive slurs to his fellow cast/crew members.

  19. #19


    Silly Shearer:silly:

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    Having skimmed through the truly outstanding insights that were offered by Roger Myers III back when the Shearer/Jean flap initially took place, I have sympathy for both sides.

    Though he is always genial when the cameras are rolling, in print Shearer has always been a refreshingly frank voice when it comes to the zeitgeists in which he has played a role, from "Saturday Night Live" to "The Simpsons." I can certainly see how he would get on Jean's nerves, but it seems that, historically, his criticisms have usually been pretty accurate.

    At any rate, the initial question seems to dovetail with one I've been curious about for a while: the members of the infamous Sour Wall, at which Groening and Mirkin have been wont to scoff. Shearer, Kavner, Susie Dietter and Jennifer Crittenden sound as though they're likely candidates, but beyond that, I'm hard-pressed to guess. There are some writer-producers I simply don't know much about (e.g. Harold Kimmel, Gerry Richardson, Bill Canterbury), and I'm sure some other directors had comedic tastes at odds with the show's tone at any given point, but again, guesswork is just that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebuchanezzar
    Bastard or not, it just so happens that Shearer is one of the only staff members who is being publicly honest about the show. I think we ought to appreciate that.
    I agree, I don't get why he's being criticized for calling a spade a spade

  22. #22
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    first of all,that post by al is from 2004, still not in the season 17-18 stage which really is pure dung.i don't know which recent negative comment of shearer we are referring to , but even baby gerald can tell the difference between homer at the bat "bad" (which shearer could notice) and bonfire of the manatees bad(did shearer have any voice acting there?) . anyway, the quality dip is no longer in some kind of edgy new way, its not something i (or anyone else ) can possibly see as being seen in the future in any favourable light. there's no way some of the dull nonsense in 17 and 18 that can be considered good, and time doesnt seem to make the stuff between 13 till 16, although better than the rest, in any way equivalent to the shear(er) quality of the classic season.

    love shearer for speaking his mind though.you got to trust your instincts. even though he criticized some of the earlier stuff, he showed up. the shows in the state now where he very well might start hibernating.
    "like a dehydrated peanut,
    or a brined cactus ,
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    after a hump of the solar plexus"

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  23. #23


    Im fine with him speaking his mind, but goddamn, don't criticise the writers!!

    Besides, I liked Bonfire. Yeah, throw the eggs.:silly:

  24. #24
    So.. Chinese or Japanese? Swartzweldian's Avatar
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    I dont blame Harry at all. I probaly agree with little he has to say on his liberal radio show - but as far as quality of the show, hes right. It sucks. I wouldnt want to be part of it either when you have as much name recognition as he has. He can do whatever he wants and still make decent money.
    However, he is still getting paid amazingly well and he will continue to swallow his pride and work on the show. Itd be just plain stupid to turn down that steady income.
    "Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance."
    -Winston Churchill

  25. #25


    Liberals are awesome.

    Harry is being a bitch. That's all I can think of to describe him.
    Never again will I hear any of his character's voices without thinking of the horrible jerk behind the microphone.

  26. #26
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    If you're unable to separate artist from art, you're going to miss out on an awful lot of good things.

  27. #27


    Quote Originally Posted by JM1878
    If you're unable to separate artist from art, you're going to miss out on an awful lot of good things.
    Who are you talking to?

  28. #28
    . TheForbiddenDonut's Avatar
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    He's talking to you.

  29. #29
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcClure2
    Im fine with him speaking his mind, but goddamn, don't criticise the writers!!
    uh why not? they kind of suck now

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcClure2
    I know Harry Shearer is being a real bastard
    Heh, a bastard? What the hell.
    He's the only one that actually seems to care about the show. How dare you call a guy who actually knows what he's talking about; the only one that could give a shit if this show went to hell, a bastard? It's just...not right. Not only unbelievable that you could think that, but...disgusting..

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