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Thread: Can you simply like an episode just for the humor?



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  1. #61
    goober says hey parklife's Avatar
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    i'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't scrutinize these episodes - i'm just saying that the level of analysis around here sometimes is more like a phd thesis than a collective of simpsons viewers talking about what they like and don't like about the show. essentially, i could sit down and watch 'saddlesore galatica' (an episode that gets lambasted around here for its plot) and enjoy it, because it has jokes that make me laugh.* when i'm watching that episode, i'm not analyzing every little detail of the script, i'm laughing - because to me, funny is funny. it may be a different kind of humour than other forms of comedy, but what i'm saying is that the episode is not hurt by its plot.

    *homer's thumbs up, 'dealies', 'my third monocle this week', etc.
    Last edited by parklife; 04-22-2012 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jake View Post
    This is a Simpsons's message board. Being overly anal rententive is the nature of a focused message board. Otherwise, we'd be like the alley behind Hank Hills house...

    JERKASS HOMER: (opens beer)
    Great show.

    MELODY:
    Yup.

    HRS:
    Yup.

    LE JAKE:
    Mmm...hmm...
    I would not mind this one bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by JESUS CHRIST 22
    dont bother saying how i spelt changed as chenged thats how its spelt in heaven
    Season 26 Ratings:
    ----

    4 > 5 > 6 > 2 > 7 > 8 > 3 > 1 > 10 > 9 > 12 > 11 > 13 > 14 > 20 > 15 > 16 > 18 > 19 > 17 > 21 = 22 = 23 = 24 = 25




  3. #63
    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=: c l o n e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melody nelson View Post
    if you're watching the simpsons for character study or plot development, you're watching the wrong show; the simpsons is a comedy, first and foremost.
    But what put the show above other comedies was the characters, the well crafted stories, the 'emotion' that popped up once in a while (as well as the quality and density of jokes). I dunno, saying humour is the most important thing doesn't really pay respect to the best seasons of the show. For me, plot is equally as important the jokes. 'Cos if you have a good memorable plot, good memorable jokes will stem from it. They're not independent from each other.

  4. #64
    Junior Camper db105's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedwaySquad View Post
    But what put the show above other comedies was the characters, the well crafted stories, the 'emotion' that popped up once in a while (as well as the quality and density of jokes). I dunno, saying humour is the most important thing doesn't really pay respect to the best seasons of the show. For me, plot is equally as important the jokes. 'Cos if you have a good memorable plot, good memorable jokes will stem from it. They're not independent from each other.
    I couldn't agree more.

    As a matter of fact, I don't mind at all the occasional funny-but-with-bad-plot/characterization episode. I enjoy them, but they should not dominate. Otherwise, what would distinguish The Simpsons from any other sitcom?
    Last edited by db105; 04-22-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  5. #65


    Quote Originally Posted by db105 View Post
    Otherwise, what would distinguish The Simpsons from any other sitcom?
    it's funnier than any other sitcom!

  6. #66
    Junior Camper db105's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer View Post
    it's funnier than any other sitcom!
    Oh, well. At its best it's very funny, but then again, there are a few other sitcoms that are also very funny at their best. I think there is something more than that, but that's just my opinion.

  7. #67


    Quote Originally Posted by db105 View Post
    Oh, well. At its best it's very funny, but then again, there are a few other sitcoms that are also very funny at their best.
    too me, no other show in the world can match the simpsons for hilariousness, except seinfeld.

  8. #68
    goober says hey parklife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer View Post
    too me, no other show in the world can match the simpsons for hilariousness, except seinfeld.
    i'd agree with that, and the funny thing is that seinfeld is completely free of pathos. what makes seinfeld so great is that you don't feel anything for the characters. even when susan dies, it's treated so casually.

    when i really think about, the show with the perfect marriage between writing and humour had to be the (nearly flawless) bbc series the office. there are many reasons why it's so perfect: the settings and situations are so real and relatable; the characters are often shown at their most vulnerable, and everyone's flaws are exposed; you feel sympathy for characters who are often selfish and rude (and human); the 'plot' is advanced in every single episode, and nearly every scene is part of that big story arch; it's funny. in my opinion, even at its best, the simpsons doesn't do these things, and i don't want it to, because that's not what the show is about to me.

  9. #69


    Quote Originally Posted by melody nelson View Post
    when i'm watching that episode, i'm not analyzing every little detail of the script, i'm laughing - because to me, funny is funny.

  10. #70


    Quote Originally Posted by melody nelson View Post
    even when susan dies, it's treated so casually.
    "well humm.....lets get some coffee."

  11. #71
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer View Post
    it's funnier than any other sitcom!
    Uh, okay...You know how I feel, but don't take my word for it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Simon
    "It was Jim Brooks who had the vision of what this series could be. The
    breakthrough was Jim's marching orders to do a show based on the emotional
    inner lives of its cartoon characters, and that's really never been done
    before. Whereas the show is funny and we told these funny stories, for
    something to catch on as quickly as it did it has to be that it touched
    people. They saw themselves in the characters. Some of our initial stories
    were about a character's right to feel sad. Its not a story you do in a
    regular cartoon show."

    "I don't want to be misunderstood. I think we do have 'issue'
    shows, and I'm glad the show attracts sufficient interest for
    people to want to analyse it. For all I know, they may be more
    correct about their conclusions than the people who write and
    direct it!

    "I'm very proud that we've tackled issues but in American
    television, when you do a show with a point, it usually becomes
    one of those 'very special episodes' and you stop being funny for
    a week to make a statement.

    We frequently make statements, and it's a tribute to how
    well-executed it is that people often don't realise that we're
    making a point. We never stop being funny."
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeardley Smith
    "The strength of the show is the characters--that's the strength of any good
    show. Since they've gotten more mainstream, they keep wanting to go for the
    easy laughs, the stupid jokes. I think it's the wrong move, and an insult to
    the intelligence of the audience.

    I'm very Lisa-like, and I try to stick up for the show's humanity.
    But I think sometimes the forces involved -- not Matt Groening,
    that's for sure -- are a little like Homer. They don't get it.

    (from another interview...)

    "The great thing about the Simpsons is that they were more like
    real people than most of the people on television. Everything
    about the story line and the humour were character-driven. Now we
    often have a joke for the sake of a joke. I take exception to
    that, whether it's live-action or animation

    (from another interview)

    "I gather that one of James Brooks' credos in the beginning was
    that the Simpsons would never do anything that regular live
    action people couldn't do. That meant all of the stories had to
    be character-driven as opposed to situation-driven, which is so
    much easier with an animated show, where you can have them flying
    off a cliff and survive.

    Obviously over the years we had to get away from that somewhat
    because you run out of things to talk about, but the writers work
    so hard on that, and again it has to do with the actors not being
    identified with the characters in the beginning. The Simpsons are
    an entity, you know, people believe in them and I don't mean in
    some silly culty way, but they are actually more real than many
    of the real people on television. Also I think that animation
    affords you enough distance to say the things you might otherwise
    not be able to get away with on real television."
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Kavner
    "For my taste, when it gets too cartoony -- I don't think that's
    what the show's about. The reality of it is what made it work in
    the first place. When they made Homer too stupid, I thought it
    went too far."
    Bill Oakley:
    "I think the characters on this show are probably more real than
    most of the characters you see on TV."

    Josh Weinstein:
    "One thing about The Simpsons, even though it's a cartoon, in a lot
    of ways, it's more realistic than a lot of sitcoms."

    Josh Weinstein & Bill Oakley:
    "The family's very real and a rule we have is that no matter what
    craziness is going around on the outside, the family always loves
    each other. There's always sort of a heart tune -- even if it's a
    twisted heart -- there's still a heart there so people really can
    relate to it, and even though it is a cartoon in a lot of ways,
    it's a lot more realistic. Another thing is that we always try to
    have the family characters relate on an emotional, serious level.
    Every other show the family members, who ostensibly are meant to
    be a family, are insulting each other for no apparent reason other
    than to get a laugh, whereas Bart certainly insults Homer, and
    vice versa, but it's never without a good reason."

  12. #72
    1 good post in every 5 The Spruce Moose's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Last Exit to Springfield and Cape Feare count as popular and well-liked whilst hardly holding much emotional resonance (unless you hold a pathological hatred of unions or Bart Simpson)
    Come check out The Simpsons Hurt and Heal Tournament II - Season 18 Up Now!
    4 = 6 > 3 > 5 > 7 > 2 > 8 > 1 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 14 > 12 > 15 > 13 > 16 > 18 > 17 and who gives a fuck after that

  13. #73
    SuperFiend The Thompsons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Spruce Moose View Post
    I'm pretty sure Last Exit to Springfield and Cape Feare count as popular and well-liked whilst hardly holding much emotional resonance (unless you hold a pathological hatred of unions or Bart Simpson)
    They may not be emotional episodes per se, but there are qualities that separate these episodes for your run of the mill cartoon. How many cartoons do you see tackling union issues with sharp satire and parody? Cape Feare also deals with in small part the lackadaisical judicial system and has a mini-movie like feel (I know it helps when you're parodying a movie.)
    I'm just like Bart!
    I'm Bart, who are you? by The No Homers Club

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  14. #74
    1 good post in every 5 The Spruce Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Thompsons View Post
    They may not be emotional episodes per se, but there are qualities that separate these episodes for your run of the mill cartoon. How many cartoons do you see tackling union issues with sharp satire and parody? Cape Feare also deals with in small part the lackadaisical judicial system and has a mini-movie like feel (I know it helps when you're parodying a movie.)
    I'd probably be the first person to agree with the difference between these classics and the gag-gag-lame parody-gag-forget the storyline-Jerkass Homer method of writing post-classic episodes, my point was they are amongst the most popular episodes almost entirely because of the humour

  15. #75


    Quote Originally Posted by The Spruce Moose View Post
    I'd probably be the first person to agree with the difference between these classics and the gag-gag-lame parody-gag-forget the storyline-Jerkass Homer method of writing post-classic episodes, my point was they are amongst the most popular episodes almost entirely because of the humour
    you could just as easily add WSMB?, Homer Badman and Marge vs. the Monorail to these, which makes the top 5 of our recent Top 100 episodes deely

  16. #76
    SuperFiend The Thompsons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Spruce Moose View Post
    I'd probably be the first person to agree with the difference between these classics and the gag-gag-lame parody-gag-forget the storyline-Jerkass Homer method of writing post-classic episodes, my point was they are amongst the most popular episodes almost entirely because of the humour
    I would say more so with Cape Feare, yes, but LETS has much more going for it than just humour.

  17. #77
    goober says hey parklife's Avatar
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    spruce moose speaks the truth

  18. #78


    Quote Originally Posted by The Spruce Moose View Post
    I'm pretty sure Last Exit to Springfield and Cape Feare count as popular and well-liked whilst hardly holding much emotional resonance (unless you hold a pathological hatred of unions or Bart Simpson)
    It's not just about emotional resonance, though. One of the unfortunate things that has happened to the Simpsons is that the characters have all basically had their identities flattened out. They've become empty vessels, cliches that have no personality at all. Homer's the dumb, irresponsible father, Lisa's the smart, misunderstood daughter, Bart's the troublemaking son, etc. That's basically the extent of their characterization, and the writers seem to get bored and don't even bother adhering to that much of the time. In the classic era, they were much more vivid and distinct. The entire Springfield community just felt much more fleshed-out and alive. The post-classic stuff feels no different than something like Family Guy.

    But yeah, I can like an episode just for the humor. Cape Feare has been mentioned, and it's possibly my favorite of all-time. But while it might qualify as "wacky," that's where the similarities end between it and post-classic episodes. The humor is infinitely more clever and funny than anything in the post-classic era. Even the "dumb Homer" jokes in the old days felt fresh and funny. Most sitcoms have a "dumb guy" that they can graft easy jokes onto -- its the laziest way to get a laugh for a writer. And that's more or less what Homer has become in recent years. He does or says something stupid and the audience is expected to laugh. Well, he was dumb in the early days too, but the jokes absolutely were not. They were a lot more playful and inventive then, as was pretty much everything else on the show. Some of the show's recent problems could be forgiven, at least to an extent, if it were still funny. But it's not.

  19. #79
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Thompsons View Post
    I would say more so with Cape Feare, yes, but LETS has much more going for it than just humour.
    I agree with Ragged Clown--while some might not feel the Simpsons was ever character driven (enough), the characters felt more personable and distinct back in the preScully days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragged_Clown View Post
    They were a lot more playful and inventive then, as was pretty much everything else on the show. Some of the show's recent problems could be forgiven, at least to an extent, if it were still funny. But it's not.
    I think ANYONE on the staff could make it funnier if they were put in charge, minus Scully or Jean.

  20. #80


    It's just kind of a weird thing to watch the show now. All the characters in the early days were relatable -- I felt like I saw myself and my family in the Simpsons, and I felt like I knew all the other characters that populated Springfield somewhere from my life as well. They may have been exaggerated or distorted versions of their real-life inspirations, but they nevertheless felt like flesh-and-blood.

    Watching it now, it seems like the referents aren't from reality anymore, but from the show itself. Homer is no longer drawn from observations from life, but from observations of Homer in the early days of the show. All of the characters feel like faint echoes of their earlier selves, like it's an entirely different/new show that is using the classic era as a reference point. The patterns of reality that were the foundation in the early years are no longer there. It's just another cartoon now, with the characters looking and behaving vaguely like they did in the early days, but it's just imitative now (the "Zombie Simpsons" phrase is right on the money -- whoever came up with it deserves some kind of a medal). I miss that feeling of relatability, of recognizing my own life on the screen and having it gently lampooned.

  21. #81
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    The post-season 8 shift toward GENERIC cartoonishness never fails to remind me of the line from "Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie" where the tv exec is asking the kids whether they want a down-to-earth show about real life problems or a zany, off the wall show about flying robots and such. Having seen the Scully era, I guess we now know which direction the production team opted for.

    BTW, this was a great quote about the show changing for the worse, written in the middle of the Scully era:

    It's rare that I post such bold criticisms as I'm about to do, but
    been itching to voice my opinion on this matter for a number of years,
    and only after viewing latest Simpsons' season do I feel it's time I
    finally spoke up.

    I should begin by mentioning I'm an enormous fan of Matt Groening
    and his type of humour, from his Life in Hell comic strip to The
    Simpsons animated television series. I've always found what Matt has
    done so refreshing compared to other types of humour in print and on
    TV, his ability to look at everyday society, what we consider the
    norm, and see the ridiculousness of it all. I love his sarcastic
    negativity, poking fun at how absurd and disfunctional things like
    society in general, work, religion, going to school and growing up can
    be like--or the mental anguish such things cause us but we're
    conditioned to just accept and not question. I suppose I enjoy his
    mocking these subjects without having to even exaggerate them, just
    looking at the absurdity they hold on their own and exploiting that.

    The Simpsons was about all that, and what made it more special was
    it seemed to be a custom type of humour aimed at a specific crowd. I
    found it speaking out to those above average, the intelligent, people
    who found themselves not fitting in with the mediocre. Those who
    question our way of everyday life, pausing to step back and question
    it. Interestingly, I found in the past those who _didn't_ see the
    humour in the show, those who considered it "boring" and lacked
    humour, were the people the show targeted to mock--the average, the
    mediocre, the person who thinks the important things in life are
    status, money and work. Ironically, the show has gone 180 degrees and
    now caters to the very people it mocked. Why this happened has I'm not
    sure, perhaps to appeal to a wider audience, but I think a quote from
    Lisa in season 2 best sums it up: "you'll never fail by appealing to
    the lowest common denominator."

    I think what made the show so appealing was its intelligent and
    sarcastic humour. The people and stories it followed portrayed
    *realism*, not the glossed over, artificial kind of family in shows
    like The Cosby Show in the 80's. I could draw parallels between the
    Simpsons family and my own quite often, I could relate the to
    characters and the humour. The show existed through subtle humour,
    ironies, mostly through *DIALOG*. It was aimed at adults, despite
    being a cartoon. I suppose what I'm saying is it was a humour only
    certain people could appreciate and relate to, unlike so many mindless
    sitcoms out there.

    In the past an episode plot would center around the Simpsons'
    going for family therapy, Lisa's plight, as gifted 8 year old, going
    through a school system designed to educate below-average/average
    children, Homer questioning the merits of religion and going to
    church, or many stories about having his individuality and self-esteem
    slowly crushed at work. Fast forward to today and we have stories
    about Homer eating radioactive plutonium like candy or jumping off
    skyscrapers and bouncing back on his feet, Marge racing around in a
    monster truck, Bart driving a tank through Springfield, Lisa in the
    military. They've reduced them into simple one dimensional cartoon
    characters. I almost expect birds and stars to circle around Homer's
    head next time he bumps into something, which probably isn't far off.
    Speaking of characters, the writers have lost sight of them. They've
    all been made uninteresting cartoon character side kicks next to
    Homer--even Lisa has turned from genius to ordinary person, who
    occasionally makes witty comments. As for Homer, it appears the
    writers decided it would be comical to turn him mildly retarded and
    star this as the core of the show's entertainment. It's like every
    episode is now a Halloween special, each is completely detached from
    reality and lacks any consequence. Is this The Simpsons with
    intelligent adult humour, or is this a zany-wanna-be Saturday morning
    cartoon for kids?

    In conclusion I feel as if The Simpsons went off the air several
    years ago and is no more. There exists a show that goes by the same
    name, has same characters, same voice actors and claims to be "The
    Simpsons", but clearly is not. Some will suggest if I feel this way I
    shouldn't watch it, but considering how incredibly great the show once
    was, I feel almost obligated to keep watching. Unfortunately as the
    seasons have gone by, I've gone from laughing out loud, to chuckling,
    to the occasionally smirk to now just sitting there with a blank look
    on my face as I watch. It's all about visual gags and cartoon humour
    now, and sadly, it's rare they even do that well.

    Okay, well I've gotten that off my chest. I apologize if I've
    offended any die-hard fans out there, and your certainly entitled to
    disagree with what I've said, but it's almost impossible to deny that
    the show has gone in a very different direction from what it once was.
    I still remain a huge Simpsons fan, just of the original series and
    not what it's become of as of currently.

    Mitchell Spector


    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

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragged_Clown View Post
    It's not just about emotional resonance, though. One of the unfortunate things that has happened to the Simpsons is that the characters have all basically had their identities flattened out. They've become empty vessels, cliches that have no personality at all. Homer's the dumb, irresponsible father, Lisa's the smart, misunderstood daughter, Bart's the troublemaking son, etc. That's basically the extent of their characterization, and the writers seem to get bored and don't even bother adhering to that much of the time. In the classic era, they were much more vivid and distinct. The entire Springfield community just felt much more fleshed-out and alive. The post-classic stuff feels no different than something like Family Guy.

    But yeah, I can like an episode just for the humor. Cape Feare has been mentioned, and it's possibly my favorite of all-time. But while it might qualify as "wacky," that's where the similarities end between it and post-classic episodes. The humor is infinitely more clever and funny than anything in the post-classic era. Even the "dumb Homer" jokes in the old days felt fresh and funny. Most sitcoms have a "dumb guy" that they can graft easy jokes onto -- its the laziest way to get a laugh for a writer. And that's more or less what Homer has become in recent years. He does or says something stupid and the audience is expected to laugh. Well, he was dumb in the early days too, but the jokes absolutely were not. They were a lot more playful and inventive then, as was pretty much everything else on the show. Some of the show's recent problems could be forgiven, at least to an extent, if it were still funny. But it's not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragged_Clown View Post
    It's just kind of a weird thing to watch the show now. All the characters in the early days were relatable -- I felt like I saw myself and my family in the Simpsons, and I felt like I knew all the other characters that populated Springfield somewhere from my life as well. They may have been exaggerated or distorted versions of their real-life inspirations, but they nevertheless felt like flesh-and-blood.

    Watching it now, it seems like the referents aren't from reality anymore, but from the show itself. Homer is no longer drawn from observations from life, but from observations of Homer in the early days of the show. All of the characters feel like faint echoes of their earlier selves, like it's an entirely different/new show that is using the classic era as a reference point. The patterns of reality that were the foundation in the early years are no longer there. It's just another cartoon now, with the characters looking and behaving vaguely like they did in the early days, but it's just imitative now (the "Zombie Simpsons" phrase is right on the money -- whoever came up with it deserves some kind of a medal). I miss that feeling of relatability, of recognizing my own life on the screen and having it gently lampooned.

    Once again very well said, you should post here more often. Basically though with the "dumb Homer jokes" they just ran them into the ground and have become more exaggerated. Comedic depreciation if you will.
    Last edited by The Thompsons; 04-23-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  23. #83
    The Things I Do For Love Walid's Avatar
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    i laugh at pretty much anything (ask my friends), so if i think an episode is funny, i like it.

    i care about plots, characterizations, stuff like that, but as long as i laugh i'd say that's the most important thing

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    Eh, getting back to the topic question: Can You simply like an episode for just the humor?

    Well, you're trying to find excuses to rationalize why people don't like the humor aspect as much as you feel they should, and in doing so accusing people of looking at the humor-only in unfair ways in an attempt to refute/take credibility out of those criticisms. Melody & JH, you both feel that people are viewing the episodes, well, wrong and that's the real reason they don't like them soley for humor. They're focusing on issues they shouldn't care about (characterization), or should be ignoring (plot) in order to like these episodes more. Nevermind that these characters are the backbone of the show, not a bunch of comedic clowns whose only goal is to fuck everything except anything that leads to a cheap laugh. (At least that's the way it was before Scully took over.)

    If you're suggesting right from the beginning that the critics are applying some weird standard (adhering to plot and characterization) to the show that they just shouldn't to like/dislike the episodes, then it really doesn't matter what they say to criticize the episode, because no matter what they said they're viewing experience wasn't fair, if not wrong. It's like the critics have to be in some weird mental state to watch a Simpsons's episode. Jafar said this a while back about why an episode is bad:

    i did not enjoy the episode
    i did not enjoy the episode because the jokes werent funny and the story was boring
    i did not enjoy the episode because the jokes were uninspired, repetitive and juvenile and so were not funny, and because the story was poorly structured and had a underdeveloped character conflict and so was boring

    see how it works?


    IMO, if Homer is a retarded one-note Jerk (Scully era and Jean era) and his dialog is banal, that's not funny, even if I acknowledge the plot is terrible and I'm only watching for Humor. These episodes like Homer vs Dignity didn't bring anything new to the Simpsons, they didn't have the plots of the first four seasons, they weren't Mirkin zany or O&W character driven--they were a step backward even if you tune out all those 'unneeded' parts of the show.

    EDIT, IMO, it's no crime saying you like the show only for humor, but to base that statement off one of the worst periods in the show is:

    "His years were incredibly weak by any standards. There are plenty of things I would rather watch than practically any Season 10-12 episode. The worst thing about Scully for me is that his episodes are boring. This is where I differ from all the people who scream 'Scully's episodes were wacky but so what, they were funny!' When I want to switch off halfway through a 20 minute episode that isn't an episode being 'weaker' like, say, Burns' Heir, that's just an episode being crap.

    Not only that but the humour was so unrefined and simplistic at times. So so many jokes revolved around Homer getting hurt. There is nothing funny about seeing Homer getting hurt in and of itself. Scully's favourite ever OFF joke apparently is Homer falling down the gorge; compare that moment to nearly any Homer pain gag in his seasons and you wonder if he completely missed the point. The gorge gag is funny for so many reasons - the fact he was trying to stop Bart and ended up doing it himself, the fact that he enjoys it and thinks he's gonna make it until the rubber-band reality kicks in, the great sound effects, the rescue holicopter making things worse, the irony of the ambulance hurting him even more. Compare that to a typical Scully Homer pain gag - Homer's just had his stomach shredded by badgers. That's it, literally. That is my biggest problem, that so much humour was purely surface with nothing clever beyond it. And the writing became much more set-uppy and punchline driven; it didn't sound natural. Matt Groening once said that he didn't want The Simpsons to be called a sitcom because nobody in sitcoms talks like real people. Well that's exactly what happened under Scully's tenure, not to mention the loss of character in the actual dialogue itself.

    And then toss in the usual complaints time and time again about formulas, characterisations, boring or non-existent conflicts, and it's just bad television. Not just by OFF's illustrious history, but full-stop."
    ---Veryjammy

  25. #85
    I'm not your friend-o Cartoonnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melody nelson View Post
    and i don't believe this is (completely) true, but just let's say that the reason season 11 is weak is because of 'bad stories', characters acting 'out of character', and lack of emotional connectivity. in my opinion, these negative aspects have only affected the simpsons more and more as it goes on - over the last ten years, the show's non-comedic aspects have steadily gotten worse. the characters act even less like 'themselves' than they did in the scully years; the stories, while slightly more developed/resolved, are just so painfully uninteresting; i just can't feel anything when i watch season 13-present. the show is just so boring now that it doesn't even have the humour to save it, the one strong aspect of season 11.
    That's not true. There are some awful plots now, and some of them are worse than the Scully ones, but I think it goes without saying that the majority of episodes of Jean era have better plots than Scully era. During Jean era sometimes the episodes have bad conclussions and guest celebrities appear out of nowhere. In Scully era both things happened in almost every episode. A good (or decent) plot is the one that has a proper beginning, middle and end and Jean era generally delivers that a little better than Scully, especially during seasons 13-16, but even these days. In seasons 11-12 stories would almost always end with a cop-out about some crazy conspiration or crazy surreal elements. In Jean era that happens very rarely.

    Characterisations could be more discussed, but at least in Jean era Homer doesn't steal the whole show from everybody else. He's still in bad character sometimes but it's not like he's acting retarded in EVERY scene as he usually is in seasons 11-12.

    Anyway for me to actually "judge" an episode only for the humor it should exist in some sort of vacuum and I should have never watched any of the other episodes before, and even then it wouldn't work. For example, if I watched "Homer Goes To College" without watching any other episode before, maybe I wouldn't worry about Homer characterisation too much, though I'd still think "well, this character is a little too dumb/irritating". However that characterisation, even if it's not the BEST characterisation, does have some funny things to it: he's so juvenile that he thinks High School Movies are something to base your real life about. Not only that but even the one-shot characters, like the nerds, have a funny characterisation that works because they play "straight" to Homer in an interesting way that resembles real-life nerds, if they were uninteresting, unbelievable or more irritating than Homer then it wouldn't work. So even if I didn't know about the "proper" characterisation or looked at continuity I'd still judging that things.

    Now, if I watched , I don't know, It's A Mad Mad Mad Marge for the first time I would still find the characters were not very likeable, the plot disjointed and boring, and the gags dull because of everything else.

    It's a little like going to watch a comedy movie that's not a sequel. You haven't seen those characters before,so you don't know nothing about how they act. But they still have to act in character if they try to tell a plot and that characterisation should be funny. Maybe if it's a total surrealistic sketch-y kind of movie the characters can act all over the place, but that would pretty difficult to pull off. Even in Monty Python's movies like Life Of Brian the main characters mostly act in character during the whole movie.

    Family Guy and other MacFarlane's shows are pretty close to be kinda random in the characterisations and it completely fails to me. One minute Peter is caring about his wife and the next time is a complete jerk. In occasional instances Stewie is a really dangerous psycopatic, but most of the time he's just an affected pedant. One minute he'd be kind to Brian and in other he's attacking him, and not, it's not played in a way he looks skizofrenic or anything, he just does one thing or the other randomly because they wanted him to do that. I was going to say "for the sake of a joke", but sometimes it's not even a joke, it's just for shock value.

    I honestly can't say if I don't like the humor because of the characters or it's the other way around, but it really doesn't work to me.

    I'm fine with a smart character being a little dumbed down for a joke once in a while if the gag delivers but this gets too confusing.

    Take Looney Tunes, for instance, the plot can get very thin or surreal in some of the shorts, but the characters are usually strong and faithful to the things that make them funny. Even when different directors take distinct characterisation of the characters, like Bob Clampett's Daffy or Chuck Jones' Daffy, both of them have some things in common, and he acts in character during a whole short.
    Last edited by Cartoonnetwork; 04-29-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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  26. #86
    goober says hey parklife's Avatar
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    some of you guys need to immediately go buy this


  27. #87


    you guys are putting way to much effort into your posts.

  28. #88
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melody nelson View Post
    some of you guys need to immediately go buy this
    Nah, the blend of cartoon reality with relateable characters is why I like the Simpsons. This isn't a battle between hardcore realism and the Scully era, it's a battle between what makes the first 8 seasons of the Simpsons funny in contrast to the cheap shit humor of the Scully era. Never once did anyone here say the first 8 seasons were 100 realistic, nor did we ever want them to be.

    The Simpsons entire run shouldn't be pigeonholed into the Scully/Jean eras as being this 'empty', wacky shack cartoon that has no other aspects than being a vehicle to deliver crude humor. That's an insult to the people who got the series off the ground and wanted the Simpsons to be more than just another generic cartoon.

    And if I wanted to watch a gritty crime drama, I'll watch a gritty crime drama, k?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer
    you guys are putting way to much effort into your posts.
    As opposed to...? You laxidasical posts and complete ignorance to anything pertaining to wit, satire and character based humor is only matched by Scully's inept understanding of the preceding traits. You two were made for each other. (That's an insult, btw.)

    If you think I'm being too much of a meanie, read this:

    Quote Originally Posted by prince jafar allah View Post
    so which writers should we blame? george meyer, who wrote the very wrong brother's little helper and co-wrote the stinktacular pair of sunday cruddy sunday and the parent rap? richard appel who wrote when you dish upon a star, one of the most notoriously stupid and awful "captain wacky adventures", as well as the two mrs nahaspeemapetilons, one of the most painfully sitcomish episodes in the show's history? david stern, who wrote another of the most painfully sitcomish episodes in the show's history, viva ned flanders? john swartzwelder, who has a truly awesome resume from the scully era that includes kill the alligator & run, simpson safari, maximum homerdrive, the mansion family and a tale of two springfields? dan greaney, who wrote bart to the future, an episode so extremely bad it could make you cry?

    but wait...all these guys wrote classic episodes back in seasons 2-8. so what's the story? why did these guys suddenly go from writing great episodes to bad episodes? what changed? did they get a new showrunner in season 9 or something?

  29. #89
    goober says hey parklife's Avatar
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    jake, you just need to watch a good show once in a while

    the wire is a good show. plus, it's got humour!

  30. #90
    SuperFiend The Thompsons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer View Post
    you guys are putting way to much effort into your posts.
    If only the people associated with the Simpsons put in as much effort into the show as some here put into their posts, we would have less thesis like posts dissecting the decline of the series.

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