I watch, and blog, and watch and blog and watch. It's the Simpsons every day!

Posts tagged ‘reality TV’

Maybe I could wuther your heights


Helter Shelter

Milhouse did not test cooties positive

Couch gag: After the Simpsons are on the couch, a cursor moves Homer, then changes the wall colour, and finally changes the boat painting to the Mona Lisa.

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest Voices:
Larry Holmes as himself
David Lander as Squiggy

Synopsis: Lisa’s souvenir hockey stick infests the Simpson home with termites, forcing the family to live away from their fumigated home for six months. Finding no other suitable place, they become part of a reality TV show set in 1895.

Discussion: What the hell…?

The episode takes about 9 minutes to get to the point (so, just under halfway through the episode’s length) and involves an ice hockey game and termites. Fair enough. Then the Simpsons become contestants on reality TV, again, I can live with this. But the third act, where it all goes horribly wrong, is just stupid.

Reality TV was a huge new thing back in the 2000s (still is, actually, and the premises just keep getting more and more pitiful). Reality TV is comparatively cheap to produce (as Lisa pointed out in a previous ep, the network doesn’t have to pay actors or writers) and it’s one of those things that brings in viewers as their own guilty pleasure- no one admits to watching Big Brother et al. (Personally, I only watch Survivor…)

Anyhoo, the Simpsons are living in 1895, where the only modern technology allowed is the camera to record their confessions. Marge isn’t even allowed tampons (seriously, don’t Google what happened before tampons). However, the show gets boring so the producers bring in a washed up actor from the 70s- Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley, then dump the house & occupants into the Amazon, where they meet a forgotten tribe from another reality show… and then I’m not really sure what happens. It’s completely ridiculous and loses any momentum the episode had built up.

I think this episode has a lot of potential. What if the kids had gone to school and only learned knowledge “known” in 1895? The highlight (if you can call it that) is Homer and Marge attempting to make whoopee by taking forever to undo her Victorian undergarments.

You’re gonna give yourself skin failure


22 Short Films about Springfield

couch gag: The family are sea monkeys who swim up to sit on a clam

Director: Jim Reardon

Synopsis: A series of short films about the residents of Springfield.

Discussion: This is an atypical episode in that it is a series of interconnected short films and not a whole 22 minutes of the same storyline. Also, although I usually give up counting around story #5, I understand there’s not actually 22 short films.

The entire ep was inspired by the episodic feel of Pulp Fiction. Here I shall reveal that I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen this film, so (almost) all references to it are completely lost on me. I do, however, know about the burger comparison scene so I’m not completely clueless.

Again, I’m gonna have to disagree with the critics on this one. I don’t love this episode: I like the premise, I like the atypical canon, I just find the individual stories really boring. Lisa gets gum in her hair. Smithers is stung by a bee. Grampa goes ballistic in the hospital. Reverend Lovejoy’s dog takes a dump on Flanders’ lawn. And what the hell is Skinner trying to prove by lying about the localised aurora borealis in his kitchen??

I had no idea the people of Springfield were so boring. Take a couple of minutes from their day and nothing interesting happens to them. It’s kinds like watching a reality show- these are the people of Springfield going about their day and just being normal. Yawn.

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