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  1. #331
    Stonecutter Veryjammy's Avatar
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    ugh I hate it so much! The whole exchange stinks

  2. #332
    VICTORYYYY Creamium's Avatar
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    Indeed. That's probably one of the worst pieces of dialogue in the series. Rowling's terrible lines are bad enough, but what Lisa then says is so unlike her. I'm usually kind of easy-going when it comes to characterization and such, but those Lisa lines are pretty much everything she's not.

    Now for something completely different... I was wondering: did David Mirkin become EP out of the blue? I don't recall much of the credits for s3-4, but I don't remember seeing him on them. Did they just decide to go with him because of the comedy experience he had, or was he actually on the show before his exec days?

  3. #333
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    ^Darunia, here is a link to a great David Mirkin interview : http://www.peteranthonyholder.com/cjad17.htm

    I didn't discover this though, Sloppy Jimbo did in this thread . I am sure you'll find this interview to be very iinteresting; it reveals a lot about Mirkin's previous experiences and his vision for the show.
    It's a bit like having sex with a jellyfish: once might an interesting experiment, twice would be perversion!
    after I told him my name, he beat seven shades out of me and left me in a dumpster with a bar of soap shoved in my mouth and a brush shoved in where the sun doesn't shine

  4. #334
    Hold onto your dick Green_Peaness's Avatar
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    I have no idea where to put this, so I defaulted to this thread. Here's a link to Conan interviewing Dan Castelleneta and Harry Shearer, apparently in 2002. It's a yousendit link so there are a limited number of d/ls
    http://s43.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0...83V7449DLHOFDN

    Thanks to the guy who gave me the link in latenighttorrents.com
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    Seinfeld > Simpsons

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  5. #335
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    Does anyone else think that Mike Scully seems like the total oposite to what you would stero-typely think of him on these commentrys. He seems like a really nice, clever guy. I'm not saying we should be suprised he's nice, and I never expected him to be thick, but he just seemed different to what you would of him. I can't help to feel a little guilty, moaning about his years. But then, I think why shouldn't I moan how I feel, just because the guys a nice guy. But one thing, which has always been horrible has been the nasty abuse, he sometimes gets on here. I'm not talking about THOH names and light hearted stuff like that, I'm talking about general abuse and threatening stuff towards him. As DTB said, you can understand why the staff have little sympathy for the fans when they read things like that.

  6. #336
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    He did make some funny jokes on the commentaries and yeah he seemed to fit in with the conversation fine. Although I really think most of the abuse is in jest. I can tolerate people insulting me if the jokes are funny enough.

    What I do wonder though is, was he capable of producing subtler episodes? Just like Mirkin was capable of Lisa Wedding style character studies but tended to prefer Deep Space Homer gag fests. Could Scully have made episodes like that if he wanted to?
    I suppose we've coverd this topic before.

  7. #337
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer_Thompson
    What I do wonder though is, was he capable of producing subtler episodes? Just like Mirkin was capable of Lisa Wedding style character studies but tended to prefer Deep Space Homer gag fests.
    Ever since hearing the Marge Be Not Proud commentary on how Oakley and Weinstein credits Mike Scully on successfully supplying the emotional dynamic between Marge and Bart, I have been wondering about that too.

    But I think Mirkin did try to retain the emotional core of the show even in the wacky gagfests : there is the recurring plot of Homer trying to find Lisa's sax in Homer the Vigilante and in the end Lisa thanks Homer for finding it, the theme of Homer trying to gain respect is prominent throughout Deep Space Homer, there is some attempted bonding of Bart and Homer near the end of Boy Scoutz N The Hood, even Bart Gets famous has Bart becoming disillusioned because of his character reduced to a punchline. The only prominent gag-fest that lacks this core is Homer Goes To College.

    Mike Scully did try to make some character-based episodes, especially in 5Fs. Bart The Mother, Lost Our Lisa, King Of The Hill, This Little Wiggy are all fairly competent character-based episodes. But as time went on, he seemed to have preferred more Homer-centric wacky adventures.

  8. #338
    VICTORYYYY Creamium's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interview link Imperciph! It's like reading a summary of Mirkin's dvd-commentaries. It's also nice to know how he came on the show.

    About Scully: I just don't think he wanted to do emotional stuff. But on the rare occasions he did, sometimes it turned out good, but sometimes it didn't (Make Room for Lisa). Insane Clown Poppy was an episode where I think it was handled well (Barrymore's good acting does play a part here). It's funny how people sometimes accuse him of failed emotion, when he wasn't even attempting emotion. Alone Again is the perfect example for that. You could say that Maude's death was handled terribly, but that was his point: take a piss on sadness, there never was an attempt at handling the episode on an emotional level. That being said, I'm still playing Devil's advocate here, it's still intrinsically a bad episode (joke and story wise).

  9. #339
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    To be honest, I've only viewed about 1/3rd of Season 7 commentrys and hardly any on Season six. I never could be bothered, but just recently I've started getting into them. And Marge Be Not Proud, is the only episode where I've heard him speak. I loved his story about when he stole when he was young. Whats he like in the others?

  10. #340
    and now i have slapped a king Mike Scully's Avatar
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    I'm sure that Mike Scully, and even the weakest writers on the staff, are all funny people in real-life. He'd probably be a great guy to have over for dinner. I remember at one time DTB saw Tim Long speak, and commented that he had a great sense of humor, despite him being the weakest writer on staff currently. However, writing Simpsons-style comedy and being able to actually lead other writers and put his foot down on bad jokes wasn't Scully's forte.

    Scully probably wasn't bad at emotion when he had the right inspiration. I think Marge Be Not Proud was based on his own childhood experiences, so the emotion would come off as genuine when writing. He must have had a knack for writing the Bart-Marge relationship, considering he also went on to produce Bart the Mother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darunia
    About Scully: I just don't think he wanted to do emotional stuff. But on the rare occasions he did, sometimes it turned out good, but sometimes it didn't (Make Room for Lisa). Insane Clown Poppy was an episode where I think it was handled well (Barrymore's good acting does play a part here). It's funny how people sometimes accuse him of failed emotion, when he wasn't even attempting emotion. Alone Again is the perfect example for that. You could say that Maude's death was handled terribly, but that was his point: take a piss on sadness, there never was an attempt at handling the episode on an emotional level. That being said, I'm still playing Devil's advocate here, it's still intrinsically a bad episode (joke and story wise).
    Funny, I always labeled Alone Again as a failed attempt at an emotional episode; I think there was certainly an attempt to make us feel for Ned (the Scrabble scene, Ned turning over to not see his wife there, the last line of the episode, the sad background music); actually, Ned's characterization wasn't bad. However the whole episode was bound to be insincere, especially given the writers' unerlying reason for killing Maude.

  11. #341
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    I'm sure that Mike Scully, and even the weakest writers on the staff, are all funny people in real-life. He'd probably be a great guy to have over for dinner. I remember at one time DTB saw Tim Long speak, and commented that he had a great sense of humor, despite him being the weakest writer on staff currently.
    And it's always hard to say too, because the way this show is written there's never any definitive proof of which writers are the best and worst (showrunners can be a different story perhaps). We can discern some trends over time, but even those can be innaccurate. A lot was made in the past (by myself included) about the sugar subplot in "Lisa's Rival" and how similar it seemed in the writing style to Scully's seasons, but then on the commentary we found out that much of it was really written by George Meyer. Outside of the commentaries (and perhaps interviews or appearances, like the Long one I saw), it's hard to judge the strengths of individual writers.

    Yeah, I don't think Scully coming off as a clever guy on the commentary really disproves his influence on the show. Not every nice, funny, clever guy is suited to run The Simpsons, including people who are otherwise very highly qualified to write for it. Whether there were even better options at that time, who knows, but the issues with his seasons remain.
    Two eyes, two ears, a chin, a mouth, ten fingers, two nipples, a butt, two kneecaps, a penis. I've just described to you the Loch Ness Monster. And the reward for its capture? All the riches in Scotland. So I have one question: why are you here?

  12. #342
    Stonecutter
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    Another good thing about Scully which I have said, is his wonderful characterization of Marge during Season 9. I even think she may of been better in 9 than 8, or atleast about the same.

  13. #343
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    I really don't see anything special about her characterisation, there just wasn't anything noticeably bad about it. But there wasn't anything terrible in season 8 to my mind but where not going to give an award to oakley & weinstein for that.
    In fact 9 did have some flaws, there was that dumb moment in bart star about realising "they could win the game"

  14. #344
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with Thompson. Really, with all the family characters I think the most credit I can give season nine is that it wasn't as bad as Scully's later seasons. Marge got bland and slightly off (and gradually pushed into the background) as opposed to going crazy as she did later. Not exactly a positive thing. It just doesn't stick out in the way "Mad, Mad, Mad....Marge" and similar episodes did.

  15. #345
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotheBartman
    Yeah, I agree with Thompson. Really, with all the family characters I think the most credit I can give season nine is that it wasn't as bad as Scully's later seasons. Marge got bland and slightly off (and gradually pushed into the background) as opposed to going crazy as she did later. Not exactly a positive thing. It just doesn't stick out in the way "Mad, Mad, Mad....Marge" and similar episodes did.
    In fact the same can be said about Bart. He too got gradually pushed into the background and his writing started to feel bland and empty. Relegation of him into a straight-man for Homer's wacky antics happened with Bart Carny and although he was quite fine in Girly Edition, his interactions with Lisa wasn't as well-written as,say Lisa on Ice. He didn't get all unstable as in Brother's Little Helper, but his depth started slipping away. Bart The Mother is an exception to both Marge and Bart though : then again I agree with (our) Mike Scully saying Scully nailed that relationship really well.

  16. #346
    VICTORYYYY Creamium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    Funny, I always labeled Alone Again as a failed attempt at an emotional episode; I think there was certainly an attempt to make us feel for Ned (the Scrabble scene, Ned turning over to not see his wife there, the last line of the episode, the sad background music); actually, Ned's characterization wasn't bad. However the whole episode was bound to be insincere, especially given the writers' unerlying reason for killing Maude.
    Yeah, there were some emotional moments for Ned, but these only served to contrast with the silly stuff. For me, the central image of this episode always was the t-shirt girls in mourning outfits doing the salute shots (Which, I have to admit, I found really funny). Out of place, inconsiderate, and non-caring towards all who may have loved her. The problem I had with the episde that there weren't enough dark jokes to make it work. That's also a point for the entire era. A lot of his episodes had this anarchistic and screw-you feel, but there weren't enough good jokes to make it work.

  17. #347
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    For mysterious unexplained reasons, and attention whoring I have decided to post my list of A+ episodes which I consider to be absolute bonafide classics. But I am too shy to create a separate thread for this, so I am posting it here.

    A+

    Life on the Fast Lane
    Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish
    Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
    One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
    The Way We Was
    Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment
    Lisa's Substitute
    Three Men and a Comic Book
    Bart the Murderer
    Like Father, Like Clown
    Lisa's Pony
    Flaming Moe's
    Radio Bart
    Bart the Lover
    A Streetcar Named Marge
    Homer the Heretic
    Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie
    Lisa's First Word
    Homer's Triple Bypass
    Selma's Choice
    Duffless
    Last Exit to Springfield
    Homer's Barbershop Quartet
    Rosebud
    Treehouse of Horror IV
    The Boy Who Knew Too Much
    Secrets of a Successful Marriage
    Itchy & Scratchy Land
    Sideshow Bob Roberts
    Treehouse of Horror V
    Homer: Badman
    Lisa's Wedding
    Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)
    Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily
    Bart Sells His Soul
    Mother Simpson
    Marge Be Not Proud
    Lisa the Iconoclast
    Much Apu About Nothing
    Summer of 4 Ft. 2
    You Only Move Twice (I believe this one has gone up)
    The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

    Breakdown by Season:

    Season 1: 1
    Season 2: 7
    Season 3: 6
    Season 4: 8
    Season 5: 5
    Season 6: 6
    Season 7: 7
    Season 8: 2

    Breakdown by production code:
    7G: 1
    7F: 7
    8F: 7
    9F: 8
    1F: 4
    2F: 6
    3F: 8
    4F: 1

    Total: 42

    Judging from the list and comparing it to others, it seems as if Season 6 is my "guilty pleasure" season.

    I have lot of episodes I like from season 9-16 but none that I consider a bonafide classic.

    Also I have lot of A's and A-'s from from season 5 and 8, so as not to upset fans of those seasons.

    Feel free to comment on how I am completely insane and how I have underrated and overrated episodes. Better yet, ignore it completely.

  18. #348
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    Bump!

    Do you think one reason for the show not being as good as it used to could just be that as you get older you become more familiar with comedic styles and techniques. So you can identify certain types jokes coming a mile a way which makes everything seem a lot more predictable.

  19. #349
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    You could have hit the nail on the head, because even with the release of the classics on DVD, some people are saying they're not as good as they remember, yet The Simpsons still gets high ratings for its new episodes today - maybe it's pulling in a new audience who aren't so familiar with it?

  20. #350
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer_Thompson
    Bump!

    Do you think one reason for the show not being as good as it used to could just be that as you get older you become more familiar with comedic styles and techniques. So you can identify certain types jokes coming a mile a way which makes everything seem a lot more predictable.
    That is actually a very good point and it explains the complaint "the show isn't fresh anymore" just perfectly.

    For example, I think the reason we complain so much about predictable secondary character usage in the Jean era is the fact that we have seen Wiggum and the Cops bickering, Lenny and Carl banter, Captain Mcallister saying something related to "arrr", Comic Book Guy saying "worst ever", Professor Frink saying " glavin" for over thirteen overs and frankly we can see them saying their catchphrases in any situation coming from a mile away. We have seen their gags so many times that it doesn't have the same impact at all.

  21. #351
    Where's the money shot? Reverend Lovejoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperciph
    That is actually a very good point and it explains the complaint "the show isn't fresh anymore" just perfectly.

    For example, I think the reason we complain so much about predictable secondary character usage in the Jean era is the fact that we have seen Wiggum and the Cops bickering, Lenny and Carl banter, Captain Mcallister saying something related to "arrr", Comic Book Guy saying "worst ever", Professor Frink saying " glavin" for over thirteen overs and frankly we can see them saying their catchphrases in any situation coming from a mile away. We have seen their gags so many times that it doesn't have the same impact at all.
    That's pretty much the case with me. I used to be okay with CBG, but now I can't stand him due to the fact I've seen him so many times.

    Thanks to CousinMerl for this great sig!

  22. #352
    can't talk; coming down Lizard Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Lovejoy
    I used to be okay with CBG, but now I can't stand him due to the fact I've seen him so many times.
    Yeah, I agree. But you have realize that he has to act like that consistantly - that's his character - that's why he has no friends.

  23. #353
    Stonecutter Veryjammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer_Thompson
    Bump!

    Do you think one reason for the show not being as good as it used to could just be that as you get older you become more familiar with comedic styles and techniques. So you can identify certain types jokes coming a mile a way which makes everything seem a lot more predictable.
    Absolutely, and I remember making a post when I had recently joined about why the new episodes weren't 'memorable'. We are by now very used to the style of the show and jokes seem very familiar. In We're On The Road To D'ohwhere there's a couple of very good dream sequences but they seem so familiar, I feel as if I've seem them several times before. There's nothing wrong with them, but I'm so used to their style (one of them has Homer in Vegas with him constantly being reminded of Bart) that they seem stale.

  24. #354


    Hmm... I have to disagree with that. I know a good episode when I see one. And a good episode is going to have good humor. A bad episode is going to have bad humor. There is no limits to coming up with new jokes, imo.


    As for Imperciph, I don't see any episode which I consider mediocre in the bunch (and a few that I don't consider great, however) but a couple of them, like Selma's Choice stands out for me as an episode which I've always refered to as among the weakest (or THE weakest) of Season 4.

  25. #355
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    Well reuse of characters like cat lady with almost no twist on the joke or having Wiggum and Lou bickerig in every episode is still unorginal writing and they didn't seem to do such wholesale reuse of characters in the classic era.
    I just think for comedy shows in general you just start to identify specfic kinds of joke set up and all the different styles of joke that can be done. Although with comedy at the moment practically every show has to be done with naturalistic dialouge and filmed with a skakey cam to give it a filmic or documentary quality. To the point where that's become the convention and it's rare to find something filmed on a studio set with an audience. Sorry don't know what that's got to do with Simpsons. But The Simpson had such a huge melting pot of different styles of humour from such a huge variety of comedy influences It seemed anything was possible and growing up you weren't familiar with where they came from, which would be something to do with why the show is so popular among the general age group of this forum. (I hope I'm not getting too far into nostalgic hyperbole here) But then you start to see the influences on the Simpson's and you see other shows doing them (I'm not talking about family guy here ) and it start's to become more predictable.
    Last edited by Postmaster; 02-22-2006 at 02:41 PM.

  26. #356


    having Wiggum and Lou bickerig in every episode
    But that's their character. That's why they do. They are partners pretty much. You can come up with new material each time they bicker. The type may be unoriginal, but that's who they are. Wiggum and Lou. Homer constantly says "D'Oh!" throughout the series, is that suddenly unoriginal?

  27. #357
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    The issue with the cops bickering is that it's pretty much always written in the exact same way at this point, and that it seems especcially ridiculous for them to constantly write the cops that way considering that we know from past episodes that there are ways other than having them bicker to get laughs out of them. That, and the fact that the bickering is in about 90% of episodes now. It just gets tiring, and comes off as willfull recycling and repetition. There is no reason that they couldn't take them out of certain episodes and replace them with characters that don't appear so often.

    And "D'oh!" is really more of a character trait than a joke. They mine jokes out of it, yes, but it's not always part of a joke, nor is every "D'oh!" joke exactly the same.

  28. #358
    Funkalicious Diva Queen Hooray For Everything!'s Avatar
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    Listening to "Do the Bartman"

    Am I lame for it?

    "Everybody if you can, do the Bartman!"

  29. #359
    I'm glad it's a girl Klia's Avatar
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    Well it would be better if you made this thread more of a discussion.

  30. #360
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Discussion eh?

    Just a question : do you have any episodes from the classic Era which you can classify as failed satire ?

    I believe there are about two episodes that can be called flawed in their satirical execution.

    Bart's Inner Child suffers from disjointedness due to its unrelated first act about OFF getting a trampoline. Don't get me wrong, I really love some of the gags in the first act but due the whole first act being unrelated to the main plot it gives the episode a certain disjointed feeling and the satire doesn't come off as strong as it could have. Especially the ending seems a bit rushed.

    As excellent is the satire is on xenophobia in Much Apu About Nothing, it left me feeling as if more could have been said on the issue. I don't have anything against that episode, but its one of the few episodes I wish could have been longer than 22 minutes because a then it would have been able to cover even more.

    Homer's Phobia is a satirical episode that has problems to arrive at the final resolution. The satire on homophobia was well-done, but having Homer gain tolerance from being saved by John from rampaging reindeers isn't exaclty what I'd call an ideal conclusion to homophobia.



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