View Poll Results: How would you rate tonight's episode?

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Thread: Rate/Review "Springfield Up" (JABF07)



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  1. #121
    Galalimit
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    Wow, an episode that was actually ORIGINAL. Unbelievable. It was actually GOOD FOR A CHANGE. I give it a B+. My first postitive grade since January 2006, over a year ago!

  2. #122
    Virgin Colada! *No Rum breadharrity's Avatar
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    Has anyone besides me actually seen what they're parodying? (The Seven Up Series - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_series) I'm not trying to be a smartass, just asking, because the interviews and the first act really feels like the films.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeymancjm
    Has anyone besides me actually seen what they're parodying? (The Seven Up Series - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_series) I'm not trying to be a smartass, just asking, because the interviews and the first act really feels like the films.
    At least 1 other person mentioned renting the series just about a month ago. As for me I've seen them, but didn't mention it in my original post. So count me as one who has actually seen the series.
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  4. #124
    but i'm a vampire General Jack D. Ripper's Avatar
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    That was one of my favorite episodes ever. Seriously. It was that good. A or possibly A+. I loved Wiggum's part, the Crazy Cat Lady, and Disco Stu. Burns and Smithers also had some good parts. I didn't mind the Smithers clock joke, why was it bad?

    Plus, that was like the most awesome trailer ever. Really got me excited for the movie.

  5. #125
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    That clock joke is so weird in that I should have hated it but I just could not stop laughing the whole time. I think I just really got a kick out of Smithers being tortured. It took us back to that lackey-ness of his character, and not just gay jokes.

  6. #126
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    There are two gutsy ideas at work in "Springfield Up": It's the first flashback show where the flashbacks are actively at play with the present (rather than relegating the present to wraparound status), and I would say it's the first format-bender where the bend is a setpiece rather than the true focus of the show's action ("Nuestro Jomer" is arguable, but hallucinatory subject matter notwithstanding, it's the visuals that are revolutionary, not the story). I'm not convinced that either succeeds, but "Springfield Up" plays its trump cards -- different character models, seventies jokes and in-jokes about the future -- as well as it can.

    I suppose an episode like this has seemed inevitable since Mike Reiss spoke wistfully about the notion of a "Simpsons Babies" spinoff on some commentary track or other, but it's easy to see why a series like that wouldn't have worked: Like most of the more celebrated episodes from recent seasons, this one plays hard to its core audience at the expense of casual viewers. To be fair, the show's creators clearly seem aware of this problem, hence the extreme absurdity that is the .44 magnum massage. And this episode compensates by hitting all the show's best-honed comic notes -- particularly misdirection (Disco Sea Captain), the infectious extension (twelve o'clock) and Stan Daniels turns (the quick cut to kids) beautifully.*

    It's good that the comedy works when it does, because flashback episodes and assaults on fluffy feature reporting are both well-trodden territory for "The Simpsons," and while both should have plenty of material left to mine, this episode doesn’t have much new to say about early Homer/Marge (inevitably the focus of the former plot) or documentarians. It was a credible reinvention of previous jabs, just as "Behind the Laughter" reinvented the "138th" and the spinoff show by means of dead-on style parody, and human-interest documentarians who screw their subjects are certainly topical. But since the show abandons its still-fertile concept pretty early on in terms of the action, it's forced to stand on its character-based satire, and there just wasn’t much of any.

    New tableaux of brilliant, talented Marge sacrificing her dreams for Homer don't add much to the existing dozens of examples we have (though I was tickled by Homer's artistic pursuits, which ring true to anyone with a liberal arts education). And Eric Idle does a solid job, but by the end of the first act, even people who haven't seen him before well understand that he's venal, backbiting and a little poncey. These are all things we've seen from Brockman time and again, and like a "Simpson, eh?" eventually it's behavior that begs something new.

    Since the show does finally acknowledge the link that tends to form between documentarian and subject, I would have been more interested to see that explored more fully than just basic friendship with Moe and the standard treacle ending (which, considering how easy it was to see coming, took us too long to arrive at). Compassion and internal conflict are things we've never seen from any of the newsmen or women on "The Simpsons," and considering how much Declan is in this episode, at least some of the time he spends snickering could have been better spent more fully realizing the dimension of his character that is tacked on as a third-act conversion here.

    Besides its reminder that newsmen are people, too, this episode's particularly vitriolic assertion that family (and, to a lesser extent, friendship) trump career success is the point on which I'm most conflicted. True, it is the mantra that makes the show work, but just like in real life, it’s one that can only be emphasized so much before it starts sounding desperate and sad. Besides the required ending, the two beats that absolutely hammer in a deep cynicism about the rewards of ambition and genius are those of Frink and the Cat Lady, and those two choices reflect an anti-intellectualism rarely seen on this show. The time machine didn't drive me as nuts as I'm sure it did Matt Groening, but my stomach turned when I saw the most positive example of a successful woman ever to appear on “The Simpsons” reduced to "that crazy cat lady," and vehicular manslaughter of the lonely man who invented a time machine reinforced that discomfort. I have to admit I was surprised to see such despair on this point; most of the show's writers are old enough to know how well they have it.

    These particularly bitter notes reinforce just how hollow this episode feels at its core. It's been punched up quite well, and it's worth acknowledging that while the show's comic notes are all seen here, it's not just in terms of the tired one-note character jokes that haunt episodes like "Little Big Mom." But style parodies like "Behind the Laughter," or, say, the X-Files Episode "X-Cops," work because they don't implode on themselves. I'm not going to argue that "X-Cops" had more to say than this episode, but I wouldn't have wanted to watch "Behind the Laughter" if one act of documentary was followed by two acts of the Simpsons running away from VH-1, either.

    3/5.

    *Just as importantly in terms of what "The Simpsons" really does well, the adults acting (for the most part) quite credibly as kids does a decent job of compensating for the complete lack of child perspective from the usual sources, which would otherwise have cut the legs out from underneath this conceit.

  7. #127
    independent as a hog on ice raheem's Avatar
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    Very cool episode. In terms of comedy the first act was pure gold, it got a little weaker in the last two but man still an all round good effort and easily the best of this season. 4/5

  8. #128
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    5/5. greatest episode of the season so far. i thought it would be executed really bad, but it turned out great.
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  9. #129
    King of Mormons
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    Excellent episode. 4/5

  10. #130
    Stonecutter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galalimit
    Wow, an episode that was actually ORIGINAL. Unbelievable. It was actually GOOD FOR A CHANGE. I give it a B+. My first postitive grade since January 2006, over a year ago!
    What about "Little Big Girl"? You said that was good last week?

  11. #131
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    Equus!

    play-dough Equus was the best throw-away gag of the season. Felt very season 7-ish. Overall, decent. 4/5

    Psyched about the trailer. But then I remember how great the X-Files movie trailer was too, and how much the movie underwhelmed.

  12. #132
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    It was nice to see Burns acting evilly again.

  13. #133
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    I missed the episode anyone got a link?

  14. #134
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    It had it's charms, but I thought some of the jokes were overdone or obvious. The narration got tiring about a while because, to me, it was uncreative. The vignettes were good, but otherwise, I didn't care for it. 2\5
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  15. #135
    Stonecutter Veryjammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larson Something
    ^It looks like a couple minutes at the end got cut from the U.S version to make room for the trailer. Canada didn't get the trailer, and so that part aired here.

    I'll spoiler it just in case people want to try and track it down for themselves:

      After Homer and Marge hug, Homer says "Hey, is that a mixing board? I want to lay down a few tracks for my demo tape. When you see me in eight years, I'll be the world's richest rock star!" He then picks up a guitar and starts singing a song called "Satan, You're My Lady." While he's singing and jumping around, a knife falls out of his pocket. Then in the corner of the room, Carl briefly appears and disappears in the time machine. Then Declan starts singing backup "shoobie doobies", which Homer doesn't appreciate. He starts trying to sing the actual lyrics along with Homer, but in the end, Homer says "Don't quit your day job." 

    Hmmm I'm not sure about that. While I think the episode ended a little abruptly in the version I saw, I liked the sincerity of it. It just seemed to end with such heart, going directly from people saying how good Homer has it, to Homer and Marge hugging, to credits. It was really tight. This seems a bit like a typical tacked-on Jean ending from what I can gather. But maybe it plays out well when you actually see it, I can only speculate.

    As for me, I rewatched the episode and I'm giving it a B. There were some really funny bits and the concept was very interesting, but I think that some of the individual segments, like Wiggum, weren't that hot. Maybe I'll go into more detail later on.

  16. #136
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    It does kind of sound like something best left out of the episode. lol

  17. #137
    Junior Camper 90'sCartoonMan's Avatar
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    Great episode, and I'm glad it's getting so many great reviews. I didn't mind things like Edna's appearance or Moe being a different age than he's been shown because the whole episode just worked really well.

    Lenny, Wiggum, Cat Lady, Disco Stu, Comic Book Guy, they were all hilarious. I also loved the ending with the video montage. It had heart, and with a lot of Simpsons episodes, a bad or crazy ending makes me enjoy the episode less. In this case, it made the episode better.

  18. #138
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    Wow, so everyone in the US didn't see the elongated song duet?
    I would have preferred the episode without it.
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  19. #139
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larson Something
    ^It looks like a couple minutes at the end got cut from the U.S version to make room for the trailer. Canada didn't get the trailer, and so that part aired here.[/spoiler]
    Well that explains why the ending seemed rather abrupt to me, which is my only real complaint.

  20. #140
    Mmmmm, hotdog. J-Spot's Avatar
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    Interesting to hear that the ending was cut in the states. Here I was, thinking it was the first time since I don't know when that they actually ended on a tender moment rather than with a gag.

    As for the episode itself, I enjoyed it, but probably not as much as most of the people here. In terms of laugh out loud moments, last week's episode had this one beat by a mile. There weren't really any cringe-worthy gags (save for Homer's stupid fake whispering, which they did like 3 times here), they just didn't elicit a lot of laughter from me.

    My other main beef with the episode, and I realize this is somewhat nitpicky, is the way it became another Homer-centric episode by the third act. I would have preferred something more along the lines of 22 Short Films, allowing us to see even more of the lives of secondary characters without the need for an actual plot. Jean seems to have a policy of always making the episodes focus on the Simpsons, though, and it hurt the episode for me. The documentary format is pretty much dropped in act 3.

    So I guess you could say I'm on the fence with this one. Even though I'd have preferred it to turn out differently, the third act was still pretty decent. The format worked well enough, and the characterizations were all pretty decent. I'll give it a B- for now, but I reserve to bump it to a B after I rewatch it.

    Edit: Rewatched it. I'd say it deserves that B, especially in the context of the Jean era.
    Last edited by J-Spot; 02-20-2007 at 04:00 PM.

  21. #141
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    Hey......... wheres the Did Yo Know post?

  22. #142
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomacco
    Wow, so everyone in the US didn't see the elongated song duet?
    I would have preferred the episode without it.
    Yeah. I loved the way the ending cuts just at Homer and Marge and thats it. It feels so much more just...final. Like it got to its point and thats that. It may be one of the only times I can say I'm not too interested in the cut footage.

    I watched it again just now, reading Economy text books..

    But it really is a great episode I think. I don't have any regret over my grade at all.

  23. #143
    pee air true dough Larson Something's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veryjammy
    Hmmm I'm not sure about that. While I think the episode ended a little abruptly in the version I saw, I liked the sincerity of it. It just seemed to end with such heart, going directly from people saying how good Homer has it, to Homer and Marge hugging, to credits. It was really tight. This seems a bit like a typical tacked-on Jean ending from what I can gather. But maybe it plays out well when you actually see it, I can only speculate.
    It worked for me, all in all. It's certainly not "We need to explain where the kids are, so let's show them in a balloon race for no reason." It was more in the spirit of the shot of the bottle-feeding goat at the end of Lisa The Beauty Queen, the "end on a joke after a sappy moment" kind of thing. Plus, the inspiration for him doing the song was to have something more to show for himself in eight years, so it worked thematically as well. I would say, though, that it was two or three times as long as it needed to be. Or it might have worked better if the second half of it was sound only over the credits, like the Homer/Ray exchange at the end of Don't Fear The Roofer. But overall, while I may have quibbles with the execution, the ending was fine by me, and certainly took nothing away from the first episode that could crack my all-time top 100 since The Heartbroke Kid. It was a slam dunk concept that they didn't screw up. 5/5 without hesitation.

  24. #144
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    Just downloaded it, and you're right, the episode just ends before the whole song. So strange. This version also doesn't have the opening credits/couch gag. Global had it.

  25. #145
    we go play hoop vox's Avatar
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    what was the couch gag?


  26. #146
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Hm. Would it be possible to get screenshots at all?

    Well look at it this way. It may possibly be one of the only times where a need for more commercial time actually helped an episode.

  27. #147
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdfjklsemicolon
    what was the couch gag?
    No couch gag. It was just Declan Desmond talking about the preface of the documentary.
    calmer than you are

  28. #148
    pee air true dough Larson Something's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdfjklsemicolon
    what was the couch gag?
    Starts out in the dark, the lights come on, the family are cockroaches running for cover. Pretty sure it's been used before.

  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larson Something
    Starts out in the dark, the lights come on, the family are cockroaches running for cover. Pretty sure it's been used before.
    Yeah it definitely has. I think this season too.

    I do like it much better just opening like a documentary though.

  30. #150
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    So does anyone have a link for the episode? I missed it



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