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Thread: Does an episode being funny automatically make it good?



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  1. #1
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Does an episode being funny automatically make it good?

    Basically if everything else the episode does is wrong, but the humor is spot on from start to finish, would you consider it a good episode?

    I'd say yes. It's why I can overlook many of the problems in episodes like Rosebud, Kill the Alligator and Run, and Saddlesore Galactica.

  2. #2
    Kinda like Jesus Financial Panther's Avatar
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    For the most part, yes. If the humor is solid, I can usually overlook some other flaws. If the flaws are COLOSSAL, then the humor might not be enough to save it, but I consider humor the most important part of the show, so if an episode can only have one positive, it should definitely be the humor.

    However, this isn't to say that characterization and plot aren't important. Some episodes have plots that are so off-the-wall and ridiculous that I can't like the episode at all, even if they are funny. And Jerkass Homer, if he's bad enough, can single-handedly destroy an episode.
    Last edited by Financial Panther; 09-06-2014 at 09:29 PM.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane

  3. #3
    nsfw pilcrow's Avatar
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    I value humor a lot, but it's not the single most important thing I look at when reviewing an episode. The best Simpsons episodes should have a balance of a compelling character-driven plot, solid jokes, accurate characterizations, and perhaps some emotion. Obviously, there isn't a set balance, but I like to think of it as a sliding scale; if the plot is slightly weaker, then above-average jokes can make up for it (example: A Star is Burns). If the joke ratio is relatively low but there's some great characterizations and a solid plot, then I can overlook the lesser jokes (example: The Saga of Carl). The idea behind a sliding scale like this is that the less funny the jokes are/the weaker the plot is, the stronger the plot/the better the jokes need to be in order to forgive the weak spots. I don't like to flaunt this opinion, but it's a good example of what I'm trying to say: The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase lacks sorely in jokes, so it'd take a hell of a plot to make up for it. Unfortunately, none of the segments deliver there either, which is why it's my least favorite episode from the classic era.

    As a result, I tend to like less Scully episodes because a lot of them have such major flaws (Saddleshore Galactica, for instance) that the humor isn't enough. Conversely, Jean episodes have weaker jokes (I still find them pretty funny, though), but that flaw is less than the plot/characterization flaws from Scully, so I generally like the early Jean era more. If that made any sense.

    So in a nutshell, yes and no.

    But mostly no.


  4. #4
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Yes, because for me, things like bad characterizations, bad plots, and uncomfortable moments guarantee that the episode as a whole is not funny. Shows that just roll off the gags, like Family Guy, tend to have episodes I don't like overall (because the plot sucks, the characterizations suck, etc.) and I'd rather just occasionally watch select funny clips on YouTube than watch the entire episode and subject myself to all the crap that's in it. In other words, the few funny moments are not enough to make the whole episode funny. A whole episode is only funny if the episode works and it only works if it's funny. Sorry for the circular logic, but I don't know how else to put it. For me, they're one and the same.

    If I come across an episode of The Simpsons that perhaps doesn't have bad characterizations or a bad plot, but I barely laugh, it's mediocre, sorry. It's just as mediocre as an episode that has some good jokes, but also has maybe some bad characterizations or a weak plot. An episode isn't made funny just because it has a few things that work.
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  5. #5
    CG Rigger/Freelance Designer Robotics's Avatar
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    Yes. I watch The Simpsons to be entertained; and a funny episode does its job of being a comedy.
    There are definitely other reasons that an episode can be equally, if not, more satisfying to watch though.

  6. #6
    Stonecutter
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    It depends. There are some episodes where most/all of the jokes work, but they're just good episodes that are also forgettable and are not without their flaws. (How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window, Simpsons Christmas Stories, Sunday Cruddy Sunday and Homerpalooza.) Then there's sometimes where the episode has some funny jokes, but it's not funny enough for the episode to be good. (Four Regrettings and a Funeral, The Scorpions Tale, Day of the Jackanapes and The Twisted World of Marge Simpson.) For me the episodes that aren't funny mostly have other problems too. (IAMMMMM had terrible characterization and an unoriginal plot, Lisa Goes Gaga has a terrible choice for a guest star and suffers from lazy writing, Husband and Knives couldn't focus on one plot and Love is a Many-Splintered thing fails at everything.) The best episodes of the HD-era were not only hilarious, but they also had other things I really liked about them. (Brick Like Me is more than just a gimmicky episode, The characterization in Homer Scissorhands was great and Steal This Episode had great satire.) Like I said it really depends.
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    I guess this is the same Nicholson who did Joker in the Batman 1989 movie.

  7. #7
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    Good humor dosen´t make a episode with a horrible plot and characterizations automatically good but i suppose it makes it atleast medicore.

  8. #8
    wanna live like common people Elliot76's Avatar
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    Not really. The Simpsons is way way more to me than just humour so an episode just being funny/having good jokes doesn't save it from being a horrible mess.
    That being said, if the episode is so funny that I will literally laugh out loud, I do give the episode tons more praise. Saddleshore Gallatica is like that, it has some brilliant jokes that physically make me laugh so I actually consider it a pretty good ep, though that episode is over-hated, it's all really good except for like a 10 second magic song, get over it!
    But yeah, I love the Scully Era because it makes me laugh, but I still know 75% of those episodes are extremely messy and even badly characterized so they mostly get ranked lower than an episode which never makes me laugh, but is simply entertaining throughout.
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  9. #9
    is nevermore Kid Moe's Avatar
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    Humor is very important, but if the story is shit, then it doesn't really matter how good the humor is.
    Quote Originally Posted by pkkao View Post
    I'd reply but I've reached my quota of daily Kid Moe thumbs.

    Edit: damn it


  10. #10
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    No because if the episode doesn't make sense or if the the story is weak and stupid it doesn't deserve to be good, for example The Great Money Caper is funny but it lacks what a Simpsons episode should be and that's why it sucks.

  11. #11
    Stonecutter Bartesque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D'ohmer View Post
    I'd say yes. It's why I can overlook many of the problems in episodes like Rosebud, Kill the Alligator and Run, and Saddlesore Galactica.
    Rosebud is nothing like those other two episodes.


  12. #12
    The Blue Files OldSchoolerSimpsons's Avatar
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    Yes and no.
    If an episode is just really HILARIOUS all the way through, but just happens to include a weak or horrible ending, and then I mean only the ending is bad, then I can give it a 8 or something.
    However, if the whole third act just goes straight to hell and fucks the whole story up, or if it just is too implausible in the first place, then humor isn't enough.
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  13. #13
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    No. A good example is Krusty Gets Kancelled. I love Worker and Parasite, and there are a few other moments I can recall that I find funny (although I can't remember how funny I find the episode overall, since I never really pay attention to that), but I still dislike the episode. It just seems like a lazily written episode, given how the guest stars come in and fix everything.


  14. #14
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    So what's an example of an episode that isn't funny, but you guys like (i.e. that is better than mediocre)? For me, an episode like that can't seem to be any better than "mediocre". But it can be better than an episode that has some funny moments, but sucks (like "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge").
    Last edited by Nitsy; 09-07-2014 at 08:01 AM.

  15. #15
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    So what's an example of an episode that isn't funny, but you guys like (i.e. that is better than mediocre)? For me, an episode like that can't seem to be any better than "mediocre". But it can be better than an episode that has some funny moments, but sucks (like "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge").
    I can't think of anything honestly. An episode has to be funny to be good IMO. That's why I don't like a lot of the first two seasons. I don't find them that funny.

  16. #16
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    So what's an example of an episode that isn't funny, but you guys like (i.e. that is better than mediocre)? For me, an episode like that can't seem to be any better than "mediocre". But it can be better than an episode that has some funny moments, but sucks (like "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge").
    I can't think of anything honestly. An episode has to be funny to be good IMO. That's why I don't like a lot of the first two seasons. I don't find them that funny.

  17. #17
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    of course it does. if you vote no, then you're probably thinking of a particular example that you don't find funny, which defeats the entire purpose

  18. #18
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    So what's an example of an episode that isn't funny, but you guys like (i.e. that is better than mediocre)? For me, an episode like that can't seem to be any better than "mediocre". But it can be better than an episode that has some funny moments, but sucks (like "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge").
    One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish isn't that funny, but it is still a masterpiece. The main plots of both Moaning Lisa and Lisa's Substitute are also not very funny, but still extremely good (and those are also among my favourite episodes of the series, and not because of the subplots). The Saga of Carl isn't very funny, but it is my favourite HD episode (then again, the less jokes in an HD episode also probably means the less failed jokes in that episode).

  19. #19
    wanna live like common people Elliot76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    So what's an example of an episode that isn't funny, but you guys like (i.e. that is better than mediocre)? For me, an episode like that can't seem to be any better than "mediocre". But it can be better than an episode that has some funny moments, but sucks (like "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge").
    Most of my favourite episodes don't make me laugh.

    The Way We Was
    Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie
    I Love Lisa
    Homer's Triple Bypass

    Sure they all have their great jokes, particularly Triple Bypass, but the emphasis is on plot for these episodes and man the Simpsons used to do that well
    I think the only episode that hits my Top 10 that is gag focussed is King Size Homer

  20. #20
    wanna live like common people Elliot76's Avatar
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    Like, if I want Simpsons to make me laugh, I'll typically just put a Scully episode on
    Early Simpsons is so much deeper and better constructed to be just remembered solely for its humour

  21. #21
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    if an episode is funny to you, then it should be good. i don't get it

  22. #22
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot74 View Post
    The Way We Was
    Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie
    I Love Lisa
    Homer's Triple Bypass
    All these episodes are pretty funny and definitely make me laugh.

    Above all, The Simpsons is a comedy with a floating timeline, so I'm not watching it to be a drama with maturing characters and all that--but that doesn't mean I don't like the deeper plots that were more abundant in the classic era. Obviously the episodes that are funny and have a strong plot are the best and that's why the classic era is better than the Scully era.

    Quote Originally Posted by Insanity Pepper View Post
    One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish isn't that funny, but it is still a masterpiece. The main plots of both Moaning Lisa and Lisa's Substitute are also not very funny, but still extremely good (and those are also among my favourite episodes of the series, and not because of the subplots). The Saga of Carl isn't very funny, but it is my favourite HD episode (then again, the less jokes in an HD episode also probably means the less failed jokes in that episode).
    Yeah, see, I found The Saga of Carl to be pretty boring; an interesting idea, but could’ve been better if it had been funnier. The other episodes you listed are quite good, however. Although I think part of the reason Season 1 is often ranked lower than others is because it isn’t as funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome B. Wonderful View Post
    if an episode is funny to you, then it should be good. i don't get it
    Maybe they're referring to episodes that have funny moments but overall are not very good. That is what I was referring to with Family Guy, for example.

  23. #23
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    pretty sure the idea of the thread is that the humor is spot-on from start to finish, not being overall 'not very good', so they're not really following the basic rules of the thread. there is no reason if you find it funny from start to finish that it wouldn't automatically be good. people who vote no seriously make absolutely no sense

  24. #24
    pushed a woman into 9/11 zach's Avatar
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    it's a comedy you freaks.


  25. #25
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome B. Wonderful View Post
    pretty sure the idea of the thread is that the humor is spot-on from start to finish, not being overall 'not very good', so they're not really following the basic rules of the thread. there is no reason if you find it funny from start to finish that it wouldn't automatically be good. people who vote no seriously make absolutely no sense
    Alright, in that case I think I would have to agree. I don't think it makes any sense for an episode that is funny from start to finish to not be good. However, I do think it's possible to like an episode that is maybe less funny than one like that better, because it has a more interesting plot or something like that.

  26. #26
    Edgy McEdgeEdge LukeMM95's Avatar
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    The majority of my favourite episodes the ones that still make me laugh after numerous viewings. Plus, I can forgive a lot of episodes if I personally find them funny. In fact, I'd go a lot easier on the modern episodes if they still managed to get a good laugh out of me. But they don't, so....there's that.

    Anyway, I've forgiven many Scully episodes because the humour in the episode was consistently funny, which is probably the biggest reason why I still consider season 10 "good". Even before the show went downhill, I can ignore the fact that the episode is a little over-the-top if the humour makes it worth it. Take episodes like "Homer at the Bat", "Marge vs the Monorail" and "Deep Space Homer". Compare them to the earlier, more down-to-earth episodes and they come across as downright ridiculous. But the episodes work, because while they do go for a more absurd angle, they're still incredibly well written and hilarious satires of western culture.
    Season 1: The humble beginnings -- Seasons 2-8: The classic era -- Season 9: The first season where noticeable flaws began to appear -- Season 10: The last decent season -- Season 11: The first BAD season -- Season 12: The last season with episodes worth watching -- Seasons 13-Present: Zombie Simpsons

  27. #27
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    If The Simpsons were just a comedy, then I probably wouldn't be that interested in it. It's not just a comedy, and not everything about has to be funny. Humour is honeslty less important to me than plot and character. That is how I can dislike a funny episode, like Krusty Gets Kancelled (or A Star is Burns). I guess if the episode were nothing but one impeccable joke after another (as long as there was some kind of basic plot to tie them together), I would probably like it, but that isn't what the thread is asking. I don't remember the humor of Krusty Gets Kancelled being anything but good, but the episode has other aspects.

  28. #28
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot74 View Post
    Like, if I want Simpsons to make me laugh, I'll typically just put a Scully episode on
    Early Simpsons is so much deeper and better constructed to be just remembered solely for its humour
    Mirkin did gag episodes right because they didn't v feel like gag episodes, Scully on the other hand. ..
    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.

    I tried watching a new episode the Simpsons, but I realized the show hit a new low, like a brand new, underground parking structure of sadness.


  29. #29
    mujelojstvo pcarrion's Avatar
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    Yes. Humor is enough to make it good.

    Is it enough to be make it great or memorable? Not necessarily.

  30. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Nitsy

  31. #30
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    Well It can help the episode with some memorable scenes. (see Bart gets an Elephant: scene where Bart bugs the Radio Station for the elephant, and grandpa says " Hey they're playing the elephant song!") But any episode that has a poor storyline then no I don't think it can make too much of an impact. In which are too many to name.



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