Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bart Gets An F?

Well, I have to say I have never paid much attention to the names of Simpsons episodes until recently. So, I was really surprised when I saw the title of tonight's 7pm episode of the Simpsons. I now know the recent episode of The Simpsons "Bart Gets a Z" is a play on this early title "Bart Gets an F."

I'm really happy that they are showing these first episodes of the show every night because now I have more time to pay attention to see things like titles.

But other than that tonight is all about the Bad Girls Club. If you don't watch this show, start now! One of the best guilty pleasures on television. I don't condone violence, but this episode will have some serious drama, so if you're into that tune in!!!!

By the way, don't think I forgot to do a recap for "Thursdays with Abie." It is up now!

Monday, January 18, 2010

"The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice!" My Thoughts

Wow what a special. I thought it was really good. I didn't really want to do a full recap or just review, so I decided to just mention some things I thought were really interesting and a bit of why I thought it was interesting.

The special was hosted/documented by Morgan Spurlock, the guy from Supersize Me. I don't know about you, but I was a bit surprised to see him hosting this special. I didn't do much research on the special beforehand, so everything about it was a suprise. But I guess he's a big Simpsons fan. There were a lot of guests on the special including all the voice actors, the creators, producers, and a great deal of fans.

I learned alot about the special for this program. Some of the most important information is that it's the longest running primtime show, has won 25 Emmys, it's broadcast in over 90 countries and has been translated into more than 45 languages. The word d'oh was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2003, and it is used to market everything. In other words, it's a global force.

They spoke about the fact that the show has a world characters. I still need one of those posters with all the character on it. On the street they interviewed people about the character and a guy I know from NYU actually was filmed saying Hans Moleman...such a small world. Some of the fave characters were Apu and Moe. Others mentioned were Quimby for be a JFK like, corrupt politician and Mr. Burns for being super old and rich. A GLAAD spokesmen spoke hoped that Smithers would come out of the closet and Brian Williams anchorman for the NBC evening news really likes Kent Brockman because he feels he is doing the most important job in the world...obviously (in Snape's voice).

Matt Groening then speaks about how Springfield is based on his hometown of Portland, Oregons. Some of the characters names are based on streets there such as Kearney, Lovejoy, and Tirwiliger. There is even a a Springfield Elementary with the same silhoutte as the one in the show, except the principal seems 10 times cooler than Skinner. Krusty the Clown is influenced by a clown from the city name Rusty Nails, but they are exact opposites.

There was a segment where they show all the super fans, that I'm unfortunately not a part of. One is Chad Rowland who has a crazy Simpsons tattoo on his back. At the San Diego Comic Con, we met even more fanatics like a lady who claimed that learned most her life lessons from The Simpsons. I totally agree with her on that, but I feel like my life experiences also mirror many moments on The Simpsons. There were other fanatics that could answer the most difficult questions on the series that left me clueless and others who could imitate voices. We also met a fan named Glynne Williams who has one of the largest and craziest collections of Simpsons merchandise. I think having that much stuff in a home could be considered a fire hazard.

Next, we learned about the controversy that followed The Simpsons. They were able to get away with a lot of things because they were animated, but that didn't stop many people like George and Barbara Bush and the Catholic League for hating it. Many individuals in the in Nuclear Energy also found that they got a great deal of negative feedback from the show based on the industries portrayal. For example, they say that there are no 3 eyed fish out there as a result of nuclear waste and they would let an idiot like Homer work there. Groening takes this as an opportunity to describe how writing for Homer is like writing for a dog that can talk. LoL

One thing I learned and had no clue of beforehand is how the show makes American look to people outside the US. As an American I knew it parodies US life, but I never thought that it was possible that foreigners took it seriously. Some people actually believe Americans are as crazy and dysfucntional as the show.

In terms of foreigners, we also learn that Argentinans love the show and have their own duff brewery that is now involved in a lawsuit. On the other hand, Brazilians are not as fond after seeing their portrayal in the episode "Blame It on Lisa". I guess I would be mad if they portrayed my city as being overrun by monkeys, kidnapping and candy colored rats. The people of the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Aberdeen are trying to claim Groundskeeper Willie as a resident of their city.

They also addressed the complainers by saying you weren't as good as you were 5 years ago along with other comments because they find the negative comments really hurtful.

The show ended speculating about why the show was so successful and many point to the love between Homer and Marge. I disagree. I think that it is successful because the love between everyone in the entire Simpsons family. They may not get along, but in the end they are strong family.

On that note the show felt complete, but The Simpsons were disappointed by the fact that it wasn't in 3D or on ice. So, at that moment the television said put on your 3D glasses and the Simpsons proceeded to skate and it was kind of blurry, so it could have been in 3D, but I didn't have glasses to tell. Overall, incredible special! I bet all the complainers will want to watch The Simpsons, including the new episodes, from now on :)

By the way if you haven't seen the special...watch it on Hulu.com

"Once Upon a Time in Springfield" Recap

Well, this was certainly a very average 450th episode of The Simpsons. I remember the 300th episode with Tony Hawk and it had many laugh out loud moments, but for some reason I really couldn't get into this episode...maybe because I knew the 20th Anniversary Special was following it, but here is brief recap.

Well, the episode started with Krusty being told that he no longer appeals to young girls and so the network execs decided to bring in a character named Princess Penelope. Princess Penelope, voiced by Anne Hathaway, sings, wears dresses and frolicks with Unicorns. So, naturally girls love her. After a while they decide to kick Krusty off the show.

Krusty is encouraged by Bart to plan a comeback, but when Krusty goes to confront the princess he learns that she has always been in love with him. She was even part of his fan club. As a couple they form a new Krusty show where they sing love songs to eachother and girls love it.

Meanwhile, Homer is disappointed that the Nuclear Plant no longer provides free doughnuts. A recruiter at the Capital City Nuclear Plant overhears Homer, Lenny and Carl's complaints and tries to get them to work at his plant. There they woudl be treated better and receive doughnuts as usual. However, as they are leaving Mr. Burns convinces them to stay by offering doughnuts made with the finest sugar and fried in the fat of extinct animals.

Krusty and Penelope have decided to have a Jewish wedding. Bart and Milhouse try to stop their wedding by bringing in Krusty's past wives like the late Eartha Kitt. Krusty decides to not ruin Penelopes life by marrying her. They then cut to a scene of Penelope heart broken and singing outside a restaurant in Paris. Krusty finds her there and they are happy together. The episode ends with the lines "Thanks for 20 wonderful years. The best is yet to come." It was initially supposed to say "Thanks for 20 wonderful years. Now stay turned for three Seth MacFarlane shows,” but they changed it since the special followed the show instead of the Family Guy, American Dad, and the Cleveland Show. In the second airing of the episode it said something else, but unfortunately I can't remember it right now. Guess I'll have to wait for another repeat.

Overall, like I already said it was an okay episode. Not too many laughs, but it was nice to see that they do have girly shows in The Simpsons universe. I didn't know Anne Hathaway could sing or put on a strong Long Island accent like that. I also liked the scenes in Paris which were beautifully drawn as usual. It makes me miss Paris although I was only there for two days.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help Haiti Now!

By now I am sure most people have witnessed on television the horrific result of the earthquake in Haiti. I would like to urge you to donate to one of these reputable organizations in order to help with relief effort (list from AllHipHop.com). Thank you.

Action Against Hunger, 877-777-1420
Agape Flights, 941-584-8078
American Red Cross, 800-733-2767 Text Haiti to 90999 to donate $10
American Refugee Committee, 800-875-7060
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 212-687-6200
American Jewish World Service, 212-792-2900
AmeriCares, 800-486-4357
Beyond Borders, 866-424-8403
B'nai B'rith International, 202-857-6600
CARE, 800-521-2273
Catholic Relief Services, 800-736-3467
Childcare Worldwide, 800-553-2328
Church World Services, 800-297-1516
Clinton Foundation, 501-748-0471Text "HAITI" to 20222 to donate $10 to Haiti relief
Concern Worldwide, 212-557-8000
Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998
Cross International, 800-391-8545
CRUDEM Foundation, 413-642-0450
Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders, 888-392-0392
Episcopal Relief and Development, 800-334-7626
Feed My Starving Children, 763-504-2919
Food for the Poor, 800-427-9104
Friends of WFP, 866-929-1694
Friends of the Orphans, 312-386-7499
Habitat for Humanity, 1-800-422-4828
Haiti Children, 877-424-8454
Haiti Foundation Against Poverty
Haiti Marycare, 203-675-4770
Haitian Health Foundation, 860-886-4357
Healing Hands for Haiti, 651-769-5846
Hope for Haiti, 239-434-7183
International Child Care, 800-722-4453
International Medical Corps, 800-481-4462
International Rescue Committee, 877-733-8433
International Relief Teams, 619-284-7979
Islamic Relief USA, 888-479-4968
Lions Club International Foundation, 630-203-3836
Lutheran World Relief, 800-597-5972
Medical Benevolence Foundation, 800-547-7627
Medical Teams International, 800-959-4325
Meds and Food for Kids, 314-420-1634
Mennonite Central Committee, 888-563-4676
Mercy Corps, 888-256-1900
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, 800-306-9950
New Life for Haiti, 815-436-7633
Operation Blessing, 800-730-2537
Operation USA, 800-678-7255
Oxfam, 800-776-9326
Partners in Health, 617-432-5298
RHEMA International, 248-652-9894
Rural Haiti Project, 347-405-5552

The Salvation Army, 800-725-2769

Samaritan's Purse, 828-262-1980
Save the Children, 800-728-3843
UN Central Emergency Response Fund
UNICEF, 800-367-5437
United Methodist Committee on Relief, 800-554-8583
World Concern, 800-755-5022
World Hope International, 888-466-4673
World Relief, 800-535-5433
World Vision, 888-511-6548
Yele Haiti, 212-352-0552 Wyclef Jean's grassroots org
Text Yele to 501501 to donate $5 via cellphone

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy 20th Anniversary to The Simpsons!

Wow what an awesome Sunday night. If you watched The Simpsons: 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice! and the 450th episode you would know why. I barely watched the 450th episode I admit, but I did enjoy Anne Hathaway's New Yorker/Jersey Shore accent and the beautiful illustration in Paris as usual.

On the other hand, I watched the entire episode The Simpsons: 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice! Although only a small portion of it was on ice and supposedly in 3D, it was an incredible special. It completely reiterates what The Simpsons means to people all around the world. I loved watching the opinions, the collectors, the voice actors and the creators. I especially loved the big Screw You! to the haters who complained about the shows quality in recent years ("I'm sure your not as good as you used to be 5 years ago"). The only part I didn't like was the whole Comic Con portion where I learned I am totally not a super fan. I didn't know the answer to any of those questions. I need to step my game up LoL, but I am an awesome fan.

I'll have some recaps for the special, the 450th episode and the two episodes I'm missing really soon. Hope the show made your Sunday more awesome than anything!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Thursdays With Abie" Recap

This episode starts at an aquatic park. Marge fills up her digital camera with pics form the parking lot...I thought that I was the only person who wasted their memory before they get to their destination... Well, once in the park Grandpa is bored and wants to sit around and tell stories, but Homer and the rest of the family are not interested. Instead they go into the presentation area to watch Slimu the octopus. He is like Shamu except appears uncomfortable and bored.

Abe, who is sitting outside, finds a guy who is actually interested in stories. So he tells him the story of how he rode sharks during WWII. We then find out that this interested guy is Marshall Goldman, a human interest columnist and that he wants to hear more of Grandpa Simpson's stories for his column. After hearing from Flanders that Abe is featured in a newspaper column and is now considered interesting, Homer becomes jealous and wonders why his dad never told him these stories.

Meanwhile back at school, Bart is chosen take home Larry tahe Lamb. Bart doesn't want Larry, but is forced to take him. We then see Bart frying Larry in a frying pan and soon Lisa catches Bart feeding Larry to Santa's Little Helper. Lisa saves Larry and decides to take care of him. Bart is mad and says "I thought Hindus like everything" which cause Lisa to exclaim, "I'm a freaking Buddhist!" LoL good stuff. Lisa decides to take Larry for a walk, but he ends up falling down a storm drain.

During this time, Abe continues sharing stories with Goldman. He tells him about how he was a shoe shine boy and that he would see celebrities when the Tinseltown Starliner stopped in town. He even convinced Clark Gable to star in Gone with the Wind. Homer tries to bring Grandpa Simpson liquor, but they end up fighting over their lack of a relationship. So, Homer decides to go to Mr. Burns for stories. Although they are a bit too explicit with Mr. Burn's evil life, Homer writes up a article for the paper. When he goes to submit his article, he sneaks into Marshall Goldman's office and learns of his plan to kill his father on the Tinseltown Starliner in order to win a Pulitzer Prize. He also learns that he only has about an hour to save his dad.

Meanwhile, Bart learns that Lisa dropped Larry in the storm drain and that Nelson would go crazy if the Lamb is not safely returned to school ("Nelson love a little lamb, it keeped him nice and sane"). As a result, Bart decides to go into the storm drain to save Larry. In the sewer he encounters rats, stray cats, and even Slimu (I forgot the story started there LoL). Eventually, he spots Larry and uses Larry to slide along a pipe, but Larry accidentally rips.

On the other side, Homer rushes to the Tinseltown Starliner. Although he initially misses the train and can't catch up using a horse or a segway scooter, Lenny and Carl help him to get aboard just in time to stop Goldman from smothering Grandpa with a pillow. Homer knocks away with his pillow, but Goldman pulls out a knife and then pulls out a gun. Homer fights him for the gun and gives him many blows, but Marshall doesn't stay down. Homer asks "How can you suffer this punishment?" and Goldman responds, "Because I'm the toughest SOB... a bi-weekly human interest columnist." Abe takes this as his oppportunity to hit him with a bottle, but it has absolutely no effect. Homer then pulls the trains emergency brakes and Goldman is hit by hat boxes that manage to keep him down. Homer and Grandpa hug and when they get home Abe encourages Homer to tell his 1st ramble. He goes from Godzilla to the Rollling Stone to the the Mitch album and on and on for eternity.... i think.

Overall, this episode was really good. I loved the plot twist with Marshall Goldman's plan to kill and his nearly infinite toughness. The whole Larry the Lamb story wasn't as effective, but I find Bart's carelessness with the toy lamb and Nelson's love for the toy very amusing. I also enjoyed the love between Homer and Grandpa touching.

"O Brother, Where Bart Though" Recap

Well this episode starts with the Simpsons watching a special show about the making of candy. This is worth mentioning because they say that gum drops are made of gelatin which is made from the hooves of the sickest animals...lol...talk about gross. No more Skittles for me. But then it moves onto there being Snowday. The weather is soo bad that they cancel school, but the snow and wind won't even let Bart out the door so he is forced to stay inside. Unfortunately, Bart isn't able to entertain himself with his Xbox or dvd player because there is a power outtage. Through this experience he is shocked to learn that most of his favorite things to do run on electricity ("Does Obama know about this?" LoL).

Bart soon finds that Lisa and Maggie are having fun playing fashion show. Because Bart is desperate he decides to join in. In the end, Lisa convinces Bart th$at he is jealous of their sisterhood because he will never have a brother. Bart doesn't care though because he plans on being a "bad ass loner like Wolverine" :)

However, when Bart goes to sleep he dreams that he is in Bro-Town USA. There he sees famous brothers like the Blue Brothers, Mario Brothers, Wright Brothers, Sideshow Bob and his brother, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning and the Smothers Brothers. Bart wakes up convinced that he does want a Brother. Bart tells Homer about his desire to have a brother, but Homer tells him that he like girls because they are easy because he doesn't have to tell them how theri body works. As for boys, all they have to do is "point and shoot." That was funny on multiple levels.

Knowing that he won't get help from his dad, Bart turns to his friends. In a scene straight out of South Park...because it is drawn like South Park... Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and a Kenny-like Ralph stand at a bus stop and discuss how they could trick Marge into getting pregnant. Soon, Otto comes with the bus hits Ralph ("Oh no I killed Kenny!" "Thats was Ralph" "Oh yeah that was yesterday").

So, Bart does several things in an attempt to get Marge pregnant. First he makes a romantic dinner to put Homer and Marge in the mood, but they are too full to do anything. Next, he puts a Kama Sutra DVD in their room, but it only succeeds in injuring his parents. Last, by suggestion of the bullies he tries to get rid of his moms birth control pills, but she catches him. But he does manage to get them into a tictac bottle that is later found by Nelson. Marge explains to Bart that even if she got pregnant Bart may end up with another sister. Bart then envisions himself walking down a street similar to 5th ave carrying the shopping bags of his three sisters in a scene straight out of Sex and the City. His third sister, voiced by none other than Kim Cattrall, talks about her experience on a plane and jokes that they "can't call it Virgin Airlines anymore."

In a last ditch effort to get a brother, Bart goes to an orphanage. There he meets and unofficially adopts a brother named Charlie who is voiced by Jordan Nagai who voices Russell in Disney Pixar's Up. He introduces Charlie to Homer as his best friend and tells him that he will be seeing a lot of him and Homer thinks he's a keeper because he doesn't wear glasses. He also introduces Charlie to his friends and Nelson, who is an emotional wreck because of all the birth control that he is confusing are "Tac Tics," cries and tells Bart that he deserves a brother.

Bart then starts teaching Charlie things like how to poke animals and prank Skinner. But after taking Charlie to see Sever 5 (by orderng Diversity Kitten tickets) and freaking him out he begins to realize that having a brother is more responsibility than he thought. On the way home, Chief Wiggum tries to apprehend Charlie, but Charlie tricks him, and he and Bart hide in a the snow. Lisa tries to convince them to go home before the Plow King, (Barney: the Plow King lives!), snows them in. But Bart takes too long to make an obvious decision and they are stuck inside the snow pile. But Bart and Charlie get themselves and Lisa out by pointing and shooting...that it is peeing a hole in the snow.

In the end, Charlie is adopted by a family of girls and Homer and Bart bond through a movie. Overall, I enjoyed this episode. There were good jokes and I loved the reference scenes especially the one about Sex & the City. Who doesn't love Kim Cattrall's voice. Oh yeah and Jordan Nagai was pretty good, too. I just saw Up and I really enjoyed his performance in that movie as well.

"Rednecks and Broomsticks" Recap

This episode was really interesting. I haven't seen it in a while so this recap won't be too detailed, but it was haunting and mysterious....the way I like most of my stories (Lost, Harry Potter...). Well, the episode started with the Simpson children in the car playing "Bonk It!," a toy extremely similar to "Bump it!" The noise of the game annoys Homer so much that he takes it and throws it out of the car. But another father who also throws his children's toy out of frustration lands in the Simpsons car and they continue to play with it. Homer attempts to get rid of this second toy, but it accidentally lodges under the break pedal and they end up on a frozen lake.

They are saved by mystery man who turns out to be Cletus and they spend some time with him. While with the hill folk Homer learns a great deal about moonshine and becomes a judge of its quality. Meanwhile, Lisa gets lost in the woods and stumbles upon some Wiccans. She is very doubtful about their supposed magic, but after believing that they played a role in the fact that she doesn't get in trouble for missing an assignment she is convinced they are the real deal and joins their coven. The coolest thing about these Wiccans is that leader Cassandra is voiced by Neve Campbell and its pretty obvious because the character actually resembles her.

When Flanders finds out that Lisa has joined the coven, he puts the Wiccan girls on trial and has Lisa as the main witness. As the trial goes on many of the towns people go blind and they blame the girls. This is the craziest part of the episode. It was both shocking and funny as all the townsfolk started to exclaim how they had suddenly gone blind...one of my worst fears. The judge dismisses the case, but the people of Springfield decide to take the law into their own hands and plan on dunking the witches in water. Soon they discover that the townspeople have gone blind because the hillbillies' moonshine had gotten into the water supply.

Overall, I really liked this episode of the Simpsons. Neve Campbell was great and the story was really interesting and shocking...well at least to me.

"Pranks and Greens" Recap

Wow, its been its been a minute since I've seen this episode, so this is going to be a brief recap. Well the episode is about Bart finding out that he isn't the best prankster that ever existed at Springfield Elementary. Instead, it a guy named Andy voiced by a surprisingly pleasant Jonah Hill. I guess I find him enjoyable because cursing is not allowed on regular broadcast television. Don't get me wrong I loved Superbad and his role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Funny People, but his dirty mouth is still unnerving. But yeah, Andy's prank "Night of the Wrigglers" is the prank that actually turned a somewhat easy going Skinner into the bitter and awkward Skinner we see today.

Bart eventually meets Andy and finds him really cool, but Lisa convinces Bart that he is a loser ("Loser, lossseerrr") because he is unemployed and lives with his mom. Sounds like Bart's life in a few years. So, Bart hooks Andy up with a job with Krusty the Clown. Andy quits after one day on the job, but Bart manages to get him rehired. When Bart checks in on Andy, he finds that a large order of earthworms are being shipped to Krusty's studio. Bart is afraid that Andy is recreating his prank, but luckily it is all apart of a skit for Krusty and we also find out that Andy has been hired as a writer for the show.

There is another storyline with Marge and other moms combatting childhood obesity and unhealthy food by selling cupcakes and cookies, but I don't really remember it.

Overall, this episode wasn't very memorable....obviously.