Author Topic: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]  (Read 7377 times)

alan nagsworth

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Re: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2019, 03:07:56 PM »
The FXX/Disney service is/will be a load of bollocks anyway, since they crop the top and bottom strips off so that the picture fits modern screens. Some of the shots where it's a frame of one character's head talking now appear ridiculously magnified as a result of this, like the kind of zoom you'd have if a character said something dramatic, or if we were hearing their inner monologue. It looks like crap. Get the old DVDs for the unedited square aspect ratio, and for the other above mentioned reasons.

Re: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2019, 10:30:06 PM »
I'd go further, don't even bother with 8-10. But yes, Simpsons commentary tracks are worth every penny.
You miss out Season 8 and you miss out on Hank Scorpio, Frank "Grimey" Grimes, Poochie and The X Files.

I've never seen anybody go as far back as Season 8 outside of the Zombie Simpsons people who seem very overly dramatic on the quality drop off.

The Simpsons didn't turn shit overnight. It was a slow decline. The seasons from 9 or 10 onwards that are nowhere near as good as the first few seasons but it is still ruddy good TV (up to a certain point). The problem Season 9 through 13 or 14 have is that they have such a high benchmark for comparison. It is like the ninth season of Seinfeld which is still brilliant but just not as good as the previous six seasons.


I actually had a conversation a few weeks ago with somebody who is still watching new Simpsons. They didn't think it had really declined too much. I decided to rewatch every episode out on DVD and rank them out of 10 to see how far it declines and how steady the decline is. I've just bought Season 18 so I have everything up to The Movie. A fair few episodes in Season 18 that I haven't seen so that is definitely when I stopped watching.

I'm actually looking forward to revisiting The Simpsons. I watched them so much as a kid that I have barely watched it in the last 10 years. Even on the DVDs I would just watch with commentary. I have watched two episodes of The Simpsons in the last two years (the Frank Grimes episode and the Pinchy episode) which is just crazy considering how much I used to watch it.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2019, 11:29:16 PM »
^I’m sure I read some chap’s blog where he watched every episode (including the modern ones) and rated them all, but I can’t find it now. It is worth skimming as he reviews the episodes one at a time

Edit: here ya go https://meblogwritegood.wordpress.com
If you watch the whole lot, you can follow that and see how it tallies with your ongoing opinions

Re: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2019, 12:41:10 AM »
^I’m sure I read some chap’s blog where he watched every episode (including the modern ones) and rated them all, but I can’t find it now. It is worth skimming as he reviews the episodes one at a time

Edit: here ya go https://meblogwritegood.wordpress.com
If you watch the whole lot, you can follow that and see how it tallies with your ongoing opinions

Thanks for that. Will read as I go along.

I decided to take a look at a random episode from the newer seasons to see what he thinks. This is from the review of the episode Kamp Krustier:
Quote
One good line/moment: FUCKING BLANK.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Michael Jackson Simpsons episode pulled from distribution [split topic]
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2019, 12:43:02 AM »
Thanks for that. Will read as I go along.

I decided to take a look at a random episode from the newer seasons to see what he thinks. This is from the review of the episode Kamp Krustier:

Yeah you can read it as an ongoing review of a long running TV show, or one man’s descent into madness. Towards the end he derives negative pleasure from the whole setup, but feels bound to complete his task anyway.

So I started rewatching soon after my post. After not watching anything other than The Simpsons for the last few weeks, I am through the "classic" era.

A few thoughts:

Season 1 was a lot worse than I remember. Perhaps I am being harsh as they are finding their way but it is so depressing and lacking in humour. If Bart isn't getting bullied (and this is played relatively seriously) and Lisa isn't depressed then Homer is going to commit suicide.

Season 4-8 is just so consistently great. Even a couple of the clip shows are above average episodes. None of the proper episodes fall below above average. This is pretty much unprecedented to sustain this level of consistency with not a single miss in 4 seasons of US TV.

I don't think Season 10 is a huge downturn in quality. It continues to ramp up the wackiness and it doesn't feel quite as packed in with jokes as the classic era but there are still a good number of classics in there.

I unashamedly love Mr Pinchy. It is my favourite B plot in all of The Simpsons. Homer is at maximum Flanderization but it doesn't matter a jot. The innocence from Homer is so heartwarming. Genuinely saddened by the end.

Season 11 definitely feels like a huge turning point. The ADHD episode was a real eye-opener. What other people consider Marge Be Not Proud to be, I consider that episode to be. It is the episode where the decline is so evident. There are a few good episodes throughout the season but they are few and far between. Faith Off and Missionary Impossible are the standouts but there is a huge amount of bad misses.

Looking ahead to Season 12, it seems to have a few more memorable episodes so it may not be an absolute total decline at this point.

The first nine seasons of The Simpsons parallel so well with Seinfeld. A dodgy first season. A second and third season that slowly find their way and by the end have found their footing. A classic run from Season 4-7. A wackier approach to Season 8 but still retaining the quality. A Season 9 that ramps up the wackiness a little more and is showing signs of a downturn. While Jerry Seinfeld resisted the ridiculous money (and a jet) offered for a Season 10 as he knew they were all working too hard to keep up the quality, The Simpsons just lost more writers and had to replace them but the new blood couldn't keep up the quality.

I also see a lot of Family Guy in Season 8-10. It makes sense as these are the season just as Family Guy was starting. Family Guy is to The Simpsons Season 8-10 what The Orville is to Star Trek TNG: do the same thing but make it cruder. Not an original observation I admit but it is very noticeable after watching Family Guy how this era of The Simpsons would employ the cutaway joke.


Watching the episode with Homer getting raped by a panda right now.

alan nagsworth

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damn you just dropped seasons 2 and 3 like cold potatoes there huh

Nah, I agree with a fair bit of what you said here, but I do think those early seasons deserve more credit. Almost everything about season 1 is considered timeless only because of its actual place in history and not really because it's any good as a standalone thing, but seasons 2 and 3 actually have episodes (quite a lot) that stand out and are a lot closer to the show's inevitable trajectory of becoming a brilliant, "timeless" thing.

damn you just dropped seasons 2 and 3 like cold potatoes there huh

Nah, I agree with a fair bit of what you said here, but I do think those early seasons deserve more credit. Almost everything about season 1 is considered timeless only because of its actual place in history and not really because it's any good as a standalone thing, but seasons 2 and 3 actually have episodes (quite a lot) that stand out and are a lot closer to the show's inevitable trajectory of becoming a brilliant, "timeless" thing.

Early Season 2 struggles a little to find its way. Season 2 has a few that hover above average with a couple of real standouts. The first outright classic is One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish. I'd put Old Money up there too. I'm laughing to myself thinking about Grandpa Simpson screaming to himself as the rollercoaster goes up.

Season 3 then has a good number of memorable episodes dotted throughout. Much like Season 10-12, they have the standouts but just don't have the consistency from episode to episode.

Honestly, they can pull Stark Raving Dad all they like. It isn't very good. Although there is a fair amount of surprisingly dodgy humour (homophobic and transphobic) in the classic era that makes me wonder if there might soon be a backlash against more episodes.


There was a really awkward joke in Season 11 about Andy Dick and drugs (in the rubbish ADHD episode). Were the accusations about Andy Dick's involvement in Phil Hartman's death known about at that time? Because if they were it is a really fucking shitty thing for the writers to put in.

bigfatheart

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They might have been known among people within the industry, but my understanding is it didn't become public until the fight between Dick and Jon Lovitz, which was a good few years afterwards. Doesn't seem like it based on the joke, to me at least - seems more just to be a reference to Dick having a reputation as an, at the time, harmless eccentric, coupled with the open secret that Dick was a drug addict. To most people at the time he'd just have been the naive man-child from NewsRadio, not a serial knob-unveiler and groper with links to a couple of deaths.

They might have been known among people within the industry, but my understanding is it didn't become public until the fight between Dick and Jon Lovitz, which was a good few years afterwards. Doesn't seem like it based on the joke, to me at least - seems more just to be a reference to Dick having a reputation as an, at the time, harmless eccentric, coupled with the open secret that Dick was a drug addict. To most people at the time he'd just have been the naive man-child from NewsRadio, not a serial knob-unveiler and groper with links to a couple of deaths.

I never knew that Andy Dick/Phil Hartman thing. God what a tragic waste of talent. The Simpsons really missed him. I still believe they should have got Billy West in to do a similar character to Troy McClure/Lionel Hutz because his Zapp Brannigan in Futurama is eerily reminiscent of Hartman's work. That sort of character is perfect for The Simpsons.

St_Eddie

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I still believe they should have got Billy West in to do a similar character to Troy McClure/Lionel Hutz because his Zapp Brannigan in Futurama is eerily reminiscent of Hartman's work.

You might already be aware of this but the character of Zapp Brannigan was written for Phil Hartman.  Billy West was cast in the role following Hartman's death.

You might already be aware of this but the character of Zapp Brannigan was written for Phil Hartman.  Billy West replaced him in the role after his death.

Ah that makes perfect sense. Thank you, I'm even more surprised then that they didn't bring BW in to do a Hartmanesque character in The Simpsons. Obvs he couldn't have done McClure or Hutz but just another one - WHO WAS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THOSE TWO.

St_Eddie

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Ah that makes perfect sense. Thank you, I'm even more surprised then that they didn't bring BW in to do a Hartmanesque character in The Simpsons. Obvs he couldn't have done McClure or Hutz but just another one - WHO WAS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THOSE TWO.

Professor Frink: "I have combined the DNA of Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz.  I now present to you new character Troy Hutz.  Uhhh... glavin."

Undoubtedly one of the best episodes of the Simpsons.

"Lisa it's your birthday, happy birthday Lisa"

Christ season 3 of the Simpsons is really, really, really good comedy. It's not even the best episode of that season* for fucksake.



*its Homer at the Bat, for anyone interested.

Undoubtedly one of the best episodes of the Simpsons.

"Lisa it's your birthday, happy birthday Lisa"

Christ season 3 of the Simpsons is really, really, really good comedy. It's not even the best episode of that season* for fucksake.



*its Homer at the Bat, for anyone interested.

I'd probably go for Radio Bart.
Or maybe Bart the Lover - just for the "I can't help but feel partially responsible" line.

FerriswheelBueller

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Nah it’s Homer at the Bat.

People still yell at Don Mattingly to “trim those sideburns” even though he’s approaching 60 and hasn’t played a game since the mid ‘90s. That’s hilarious, and for that reason alone it’s the best one. It’s also a good ep.

alan nagsworth

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Early Season 2 struggles a little to find its way. Season 2 has a few that hover above average with a couple of real standouts. The first outright classic is One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish. I'd put Old Money up there too. I'm laughing to myself thinking about Grandpa Simpson screaming to himself as the rollercoaster goes up.

damn you  dropped a load of amazing episodes like cold potatoes there huh

Mate! “Bart Gets an F” is the season premiere and that shit is absolute fire. Again, mentioning the show’s place in history and how that episode is not only timeless but a fantastic reaction to the criticism the show was receiving at the time, it’s honestly brilliant.

Also, there’s “Dead Putting Society”, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?”, “Bart the Daredevil” which features the impeccably funny gorge jump scene, and “Lisa’s Substitute”, which I will defend to the death as one of the show’s all time greatest episodes.

I’d argue that the only thing still finding its feet in season 2 is the humour. There’s glorious pathos to enjoy in much of the character development, which springs out of the gate compared to how arrested it is in season 1. And as for season 3, I really think you’re dealing that a bad hand too. The humour, as noted in the above posts, is very much well formed and precise by this point.

daf

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Season 1 was a lot worse than I remember.

I remember seeing an episode from series 1 for the first time on the big screen at the Cardiff Animation festival in 1992 * (I think it was 'Call of the Simpsons' - where they go Camping).

It totally blew everyones socks off - like we'd never seen anything like it before (which is odd for an animation festival  - and as if everyone had collective amnesia of all the gut-busting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Ducks & Foghorn Leghorns we'd ever seen.)

Now it looks really rough, but coming at it from the 'front end' it was like Beatlemania for a while there.

- - - - - -
* (where I bumped into Rolf Harris coming out of the bogs - me going in, he coming out - true story!!)

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The Simpsons didn't turn shit overnight. It was a slow decline. The seasons from 9 or 10 onwards that are nowhere near as good as the first few seasons but it is still ruddy good TV (up to a certain point). The problem Season 9 through 13 or 14 have is that they have such a high benchmark for comparison. It is like the ninth season of Seinfeld which is still brilliant but just not as good as the previous six seasons.

You can see the seeds of it beginning in season 5, by the end of season 6 it wasn't worth bothering with.

damn you  dropped a load of amazing episodes like cold potatoes there huh

It has a lot of average and a fair few above average episodes but the two standouts are One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish and Old Money. That isn't to denigrate the rest of the season. Season 2 and 3 just don't have the consistency to present an above average episode week on week but they are more than capable of delivering classics. You can really see throughout Season 2 how it is developing and understanding the characters better.

If I come across as down on Season 2 and 3, it is only because I hold Season 4-8 in such high esteem. When I say it is an average episode, I mean in comparison to all other The Simpsons episodes (that I have seen, which is roundabout 17 seasons) rather than all other TV.
Top - 4-9
Average - 2, 3 and 10
Bottom - 1, 11-17

St_Eddie

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You can see the seeds of it beginning in season 5, by the end of season 6 it wasn't worth bothering with.

Uhhh... eehhh... ummm... errrr.  Hmm.

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I'd say the seeds of the decline were evident in series 8. The Hank Scorpio episode is like a prototype for the later series - with Homer getting a wacky new job and an ending that is never referenced again - but it's actually good.

Long before I knew which episode belonged to which series, or who was showrunner,  I saw one from series nine and thought it was noticeably off.

As for that Jackson episode, it's a load of mawkish tripe, so I couldn't care lessif it's made slightly more difficult to watch.

I never knew that Andy Dick/Phil Hartman thing. God what a tragic waste of talent. The Simpsons really missed him.
Never knew about this either. One of the Christmas songs South Park did in 1999 is called Christmas Time in Hell and has Satan singing about bringing in the Yuletide with various famous dead people. Towards the end there’s the lines “Gather close together and make it quick, we gotta make room for Andy Dick” - always assumed it was just a jab at an annoying celebrity with a risky lifestyle, but I’m now realising it must have been more pointed than that.

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Uhhh... eehhh... ummm... errrr.  Hmm.

You're allowed to disagree, but I stand by my opinion.

I'd say the seeds of the decline were evident in series 8. The Hank Scorpio episode is like a prototype for the later series - with Homer getting a wacky new job and an ending that is never referenced again - but it's actually good.


You Only Move Twice and Homer's Enemy definitely feels like signs of things to come. Hurling Homer into a James Bond plot or turning Jerkass Homer up to the max are things you would expect from the following two seasons more so. I wonder if they looked at the most popular episodes from the season and thought that it would be best to go down that route.

I guess you can't blame them. It seems like with Season 1-3 they really understood what the audience loved and didn't love so much and were able to tweak the show to perfection. By Season 8 they then felt they needed to tweak again to fit the audience but didn't quite get it right and it all snowballed from there.

St_Eddie

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You're allowed to disagree, but I stand by my opinion.

Of course.  I'm just mucking about.  Don't mind me.  I wasn't seriously trying to suggest that you're wrong for having your own opinion.

You Only Move Twice and Homer's Enemy definitely feels like signs of things to come. Hurling Homer into a James Bond plot or turning Jerkass Homer up to the max are things you would expect from the following two seasons more so. I wonder if they looked at the most popular episodes from the season and thought that it would be best to go down that route.

I think that it's much more likely a case that the writers found it increasingly difficult to think of new relatable and relatively grounded stories for the characters and so they resorted to branching out into evermore absurd plots out of sheer necessity to keep the show somewhat fresh, without retreading the same old ground over and over again.  Of course, the preferable option would have been to just stop making new episodes but $$$.

Shit Good Nose

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I stopped watching at the end of whichever season had the episode with the monkey knife fight on a pirate ship or something.  That must be about 20-odd years ago now cos I remember watching that episode with a mate when he was still living with his parents.  Which must mean that there are now more seasons than when I stopped watching it.  If that makes sense. 

Fuuuuuuck me. 

Well, I sure as shit ain't gonna catch up now.


I thought season 1 was abysmal - not much better than the old shorts from the (gulp) Tracey Ullman show.  Slow...SO slow.  And ugly to look at.  But season 2 was a marked improvement all around and it just got better and better.


As for the OP, it's fucking George Lucas assing around with Star Wars and not letting anyone see the original versions again.  Albeit with extra nonce.

I stopped watching at the end of whichever season had the episode with the monkey knife fight on a pirate ship or something.  That must be about 20-odd years ago now cos I remember watching that episode with a mate when he was still living with his parents.  Which must mean that there are now more seasons than when I stopped watching it.  If that makes sense. 
The Mansion Family. That is in the middle of Season 11. There have been 19 seasons since for you to catch up on!

Actually the last episode of Season 11 has been cited by a few people involved in the show as a good ending point if there was going to be one then. The Behind the Laughter episode wasn't superb but it was entertaining enough and acts as a nice line under the shows run as well as poking fun at its own decline.

St_Eddie

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Actually the last episode of Season 11 has been cited by a few people involved in the show as a good ending point if there was going to be one then. The Behind the Laughter episode wasn't superb but it was entertaining enough and acts as a nice line under the shows run as well as poking fun at its own decline.

Indeed.  I've always felt that would have been the perfect episode to end the show on.