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Thread: Do holdovers really always feel like the previous season?



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  1. #1
    My brain... OldSchoolerSimpsons's Avatar
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    Do holdovers really always feel like the previous season?

    Stark Raving Dad feels so distinctly season 3 that it's almost hard to believe it was originally produced for the second one. The flashy use of a guest star is the kind of thing that would define the show going forward. While season 2 did have big names, including people playing themselves, it was generally more played down than it was this year. Ringo Starr is just a regular guy, and Dustin Hoffman is all about the character, not himself. He didn't even use his real name, he preferred to go by Sam Etic.
    Okay yes, Michael Jackson used a different name too, but that's the only similarity between them. Despite the fact that the character is only imagining himself to be Michael Jackson, it was the first time a celebrity in the series was made out to be a huge deal.

    As for Kamp Krusty, this one defines the more adventurous and wackier tone of season 4 so well. Things get insanely out-of-control at the camp, just like things do in Marge Vs. The Monorail, Last Exit To Springfield, Whacking Day, Marge In Chains... you get the idea.

    But most appropriate of all might be Bart Of Darkness. It showed that this was gonna be a season filled with mystery, with a character trying to uncover a conspiracy and scenes getting drawn out for suspense. The lightning and atmosphere is dark and chilling just like Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One).

    I could list other examples, but I have to go listen to a George Harrison album. Feel free to chime in.
    Quote Originally Posted by scully apologist;bt39949
    "KONY 2012"

  2. #2
    Intergalactic Mod Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    I guess it depends really. Like I think El Viaje fits really well into Season 8 depsite being a holdover ep. Same can be said for Cape Feare. Then you have an episode like Radioactive Man which kinda feels out of place, which has a lot to do with it being a Mirkin ep rather than O&W. When Flanders Failed and Lisa's Rival I would say also feel like previous season eps.

  3. #3
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    It is something I have thought about a few times. I'll add some brief thoughts that come to mind.

    For the most part, the holdovers between the classic era seasons (2 to 8, at least. I don't remember if 1 had any holdovers in 2) I don't feel stand out that much in the season they aired in, with some exceptions here and there of episodes feeling like they could really belong in the previous season and be slightly better fits at times. The same (or perhaps even more so) goes for the pre-HD Jean and later the HD era holdovers that feel more or less interchangeable since nothing really changed that much between the seasons due to Jean being the showrunner for all of them (with some help from Selman later on, of course).

    An instance of a real difference being felt with the holdovers was when Scully took over after 8, with the Oakley & Weinstein episodes really standing out in season 9 (even 'Principal And The Pauper', which has a clear O&W feel to it and stands different even when compared to the increasing cartoonishness of Scully).

  4. #4
    Pin Pal ManuelMaiden95's Avatar
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    Sometimes they feel like the previous season but not always.
    When Flanders Failed definetely feels like a season 2 episode. On the other hand Stark Raving Dad fits perfectly in season 3.

    Kamp Krusty fits season 4 more than season 3 and A Streetcar Named Marge would have been ok in either season.

    Cape Feare fits the most wack and gag heavy tone of season 5. Homer's Barbershop Quartet on the other hand would have fit perfectly in season 4 although it's not out of place in 5 either.

    Lisa's Rival and Bart of Darkness could have fit either season for me.

    El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer fits season 8 experimental tone perfectly.
    You Only Move Twice could have fit either season.

    I feel the season 8 holdovers definetely feel different in season 9. The City of New York vs Homer Simpson feels like season 8 finale.
    Lisa the Simpson also feels like a season 8 holdover and even the infmaous the Principal and the Pauper I think would have fit perfectly in season 8 and I don't consider it a bad episode. I know this is unpopular.

    About the 3G episodes, Lisa's Sax could have been in season 7 but Simpson Tide fits perfectly in 9 even though it was produced much earlier.

    About the holdovers in season 10. Bart the Mother could have been in season 9 but When You Dish Upon a Star is so disctinctively different that it's incredible it was produced just one production line after season 8.
    That episode marks the start of modern Simpsons.

  5. #5
    A Mirrored Saying Trab Pu Kcip's Avatar
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    No. Lisa's Rival could've been In Season 5 or 6, however the Lisa plot belongs in Season 5 and the Sugar plot in S6.
    Bart Of Darkness needed to be a Season 6 Ep, then again it was 1F22.
    Kamp Krusty felt liked it needed to be in Season 3, and Cape Feare looked like a Season 5 episode.

  6. #6
    :< tyler's Avatar
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    there a few factors to consider. first off, as the commentaries will suggest, as season runs progress ideas will run dry and the end of the run may be affected. this comes out in different ways but most holdovers are somewhat anomalous. however if they arent then they help dictate that the tones between seasons dont abruptly change (usually) but rather shift naturally over time.

    s2s holdovers exist in both spaces, with the more creatively oblong "stark raving dad" as a holdover and the more character driven "when flanders failed" as a sort of parallel to "dead putting society". i think the former has precedent too however, episodes like "war of the simpsons" and "blood feud" are notably more heightened and silly than alot of s2.

    by "kamp krusty", jean and reiss' approach (with simon still supervising, crucially) is beginning to really evolve comedically to the accelerated joke rate and whimsy of the shows more fantastical limits, though honestly id say "kamp krusty" is more s3 esque than s4, theres a clear bridge compared to say "mr. lisa". compare that to "cape feare" where s4s increasing floatiness from reality ends in a looney tunes level affair, or either of o&w's seasons where the holdovers stand among the most brazen and bizarre of any of their ideas.

    the simpsons at timee seems to arc with a slight downward turn near season's end but usually save energy for a bang. cape feare and who shot mr burns are key examples, bart of darkness harbors a specific oddness as well. on the other hand, lisas rival feels more akin to s6s balanced style, which s5s sometimes iffy end stretch (ms bouviers lover anyone?) doesnt signify, but is clearly happening as s5 progresses, theyre finding a groove (even if s5 is better but yknow tangent).

    ditto cape feare, where s4s last fun volleys between feeling out of gas and lobbing positively cuckoo shit at the wall like whacking day or marge in chains, its no wonder such energy would give way to cape feare as a swan song for its crew.

    i suppose o&w's is less growth of a formula and more the finity of their formula, by the end of s7 they've done most of the more playful explorative stuff so they have to crank the dial. weirdly, s7s runs final eps have that typical burst of unusual creativity but s8 starts as deflated as a season end, though it also ends pretty poorly too, until its three holdovers which are all among their most inspired experiments. perhaps its just the smart way to do this stuff, or perhaps its natural to the exhaustion and drain of producing a show that to get the quota you begin to get weird. mirkin eluded this because he started weird, and there was a conscious growth. s3s holdovers act similarly, theres a pattern of change that keeps them closer to bridges to the next thing than sudden explosive gasps at a run's end.

    even scully is evident of this. by the s10 episodes that are s9 holdovers you can barely tell, because s9 very quickly warps into a different beast from any classic era season. as for sudden bursts of insanity, those were called a weekday in the scully era.


  7. #7


    Most of the holdovers feel like they belong in their seasons, or could fit in either one. Season nine is the first major sign of the show declining, so it's fitting that an episode like "The Principal and the Pauper" is in it. An episode that everyone hates and some think changed the show forever, which Mike Scully had nothing to do with. And like OP said, you have "Stark Raving Dad" kick off season three. Part of the reason it fits so well might have to do with the fact that Al Jean & Mike Reiss wrote it, and they ended up as showrunners for the next two seasons so that episode was like a prelude. But it also sets the tone for the new era of the show better than any other episode could.

    But then later on, you have the 3G episodes that Jean & Reiss did. They're still Simpsons episodes at their core, but they definitely feel crazier than the earlier ones. "Lisa's Sax" is the only one that feels like it belongs in season seven, and the other three definitely fit better in the seasons they were placed. Fast forward to the season ten holdovers. You put them in season nine, and that season looks a lot worse. That's evidence that by the end of the S9 cycle, the show had definitely fallen off.

  8. #8
    Pin Pal ManuelMaiden95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Nihilistic View Post
    Most of the holdovers feel like they belong in their seasons, or could fit in either one. Season nine is the first major sign of the show declining, so it's fitting that an episode like "The Principal and the Pauper" is in it. An episode that everyone hates and some think changed the show forever, which Mike Scully had nothing to do with. And like OP said, you have "Stark Raving Dad" kick off season three. Part of the reason it fits so well might have to do with the fact that Al Jean & Mike Reiss wrote it, and they ended up as showrunners for the next two seasons so that episode was like a prelude. But it also sets the tone for the new era of the show better than any other episode could.

    But then later on, you have the 3G episodes that Jean & Reiss did. They're still Simpsons episodes at their core, but they definitely feel crazier than the earlier ones. "Lisa's Sax" is the only one that feels like it belongs in season seven, and the other three definitely fit better in the seasons they were placed. Fast forward to the season ten holdovers. You put them in season nine, and that season looks a lot worse. That's evidence that by the end of the S9 cycle, the show had definitely fallen off.
    I always say that even though season 9 is probably the last classic or semi classic season, the last classic production run was in season 8.
    If you take the holdovers away you're left with only two episodes that I consider to be absolutely classic (The Cartridge Family and The Joy of Sect) and a bunch of other good but not great episodes.
    And you'd also have When You Dish Upon a Star in this season were it not for the holdovers.

    Oakley and Weinstein holdovers absolutely stand out in this season (yes, even The Principal and the Pauper) and that's a bad sign because it shows the new production line is not up to standards.

    It gets increasingly more clear that season 8 production run was the last time the Simpsons were consistently classic.
    I consider Lisa the Simpson to be the unofficial end of the classic era.
    And I consider When You Dish Upon a Star to be the unofficial start to the modern era.

    That would leave Treehouse of Horror IX as the last episode of the Ok era let's call it.



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