McBain: The Movie
February 2, 2011 6:00 PM   Subscribe

McBain: The Movie. McBain, an fictional action hero played by fictional movie star Ranier Wolfcastle (probably a parody of somebody famous), has had his movie played in snippets throughout the course of the Simpsons television show since the second season. Somebody took the time to paste these all together into a single 4 minute movie, which ends up having a plot about as good as any action movie you may have watched in the 80's.
posted by jabberjaw (88 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hilarious.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2011


I must say, for a Hollywood film, it has some pretty daring narrative ellipses.
posted by eugenen at 6:15 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Confirming my suspicion that any action movie could be condensed to four minutes or less.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:17 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Another awesome thing: I just realized that McBain's Schwarzenegger-parodying line "Ice to see you!" came four years before Arnie actually said the line in the notoriously execrable Batman and Robin.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:17 PM on February 2, 2011 [26 favorites]


Ice to see you.
Classic.
posted by bitteroldman at 6:18 PM on February 2, 2011


No commie-nazis?
posted by DU at 6:19 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Looking up at the heavens: East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94444444444444444444444!!!!!!
posted by bitteroldman at 6:20 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


MENDOZAAAAAA!
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:21 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I always thought McBain was an in-joke for Evan Hunter.
posted by clavdivs at 6:23 PM on February 2, 2011


Yeah, they really used to be funny.

still sad about John Barry...
posted by Joe Beese at 6:26 PM on February 2, 2011


My God, remember The Simpsons? I'm not talking about the shit they fart out these days and dare to call The Simpsons. I'm talking about the real one. From my youth.

God, it was so good. It was SO freaking good. It's even funnier to me now than it was back then, somehow, because back then it was the funniest shit on Earth.

If you haven't watched an episode from seasons, say 3-8 in a while, do yourself a favor and go back and watch some. Because that was the best shit ever. And it still is.
posted by ORthey at 6:27 PM on February 2, 2011 [26 favorites]


And remember the reaction the Simpsons got during its early run? How extreme and raunchy it was considered? How quaint that seems now.

Had the show continued past season 8...imagine a whole extra decade of this...I don't think out society could withstand that amount of awesome

I wish I could somehow erase the good seasons from my mind and re-watch them from a fresh perspective.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:44 PM on February 2, 2011


I have a movie buff friend. We argue, sometimes, about the our movie-going philosophies. He thinks it is worth it to see a wide variety of movies, spanning genres and quality levels. I think life is short and my resources are limited, and therefore I am only going to see movies if I think they are either intelligent and interesting, or at least a culturally relevant experience. He feels that means I cut out entire genres from my movie repertoire.

And it is true. Even at four minutes long, I found this action movie to be too, too long for my attention span.
posted by jenlovesponies at 6:45 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of embarrassed to be reading a book about a TV show, but I am maybe a fifth of the way through this book and would recommend it to Simpsons fans (ie Mefites). It is interesting to hear about the people behind The Simpsons when it was great.
posted by ND¢ at 6:48 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be clear, McBain is also an actual real Christopher Walken movie.
posted by Jpfed at 6:50 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think life is short and my resources are limited, and therefore I am only going to see movies if I think they are either intelligent and interesting, or at least a culturally relevant experience. He feels that means I cut out entire genres from my movie repertoire.

And it is true. Even at four minutes long, I found this action movie to be too, too long for my attention span.


Oh, there's a few intelligent, culturally relevant action films.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:53 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


ND¢, I'm reading that book, too. One of the things that I forgot but am reminded of in reading it is that Matt Groening gets all or most of the credit but there are so many unsung people who created the personality and rhythm of the show that we know and love today.

I prefer the older episodes but I still use the present tense when speaking of my love for the Simpsons. That recent gag line: "Fox News: Not racist but #1 with racists" is a new favorite.
posted by girlmightlive at 6:56 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah I had always kind of just accepted it that The Simpsons was Matt Groening and Matt Groening was The Simpsons, but upon thinking about it, how would an underground comic strip artist put together the greatest TV show ever made? Wouldn't he need at least some experience in making TV shows to be able to do that? But reading about Sam Simon and others writing and creating the actual TV show while Matt Groening did the licensing and got all the credit was pretty eye opening.
posted by ND¢ at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2011


Who's doing McBain's voice in the very first clip (and the "pea-shooter" one)? Sounds markedly different from the others.
posted by kenko at 7:07 PM on February 2, 2011


There was a joke on one of the DVD commentaries that The Simpsons had spoofed Citizen Kane so much that somebody could splice it all together to make the whole movie. I really wish somebody would.
posted by MaritaCov at 7:10 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The big problem with the Simpsons is that it's not as funny as it used to be, and the comedies it helped pave the way for are a lot better than the peers of early Simpsons. But if you are able to judge episodes on their own merits instead of comparing them to seasons 4-8, it's still a damn funny show the overwhelming majority of the time.
posted by kafziel at 7:13 PM on February 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


To be clear, McBain is also an actual real Christopher Walken movie.

An exceptionally shitty one at that, if memory serves. I rented that on a rainy day at the family cottage when I was maybe 12 or 13. Back then I would watch and enjoy anything if it had explosions, car chases and lotttts of shooting, but even then I thought it was a hunk of crud.
posted by mannequito at 7:15 PM on February 2, 2011


But what about, "Ahhh! Maybe you are the homosexual!"?

Was that Wolfcastle playing McBane or was that just Wolfcastle?
posted by En0rm0 at 7:18 PM on February 2, 2011


The first four seasons, yes even season one, of The Simpsons are amazing.
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 7:22 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Previously.
posted by MidAtlantic at 7:24 PM on February 2, 2011


I was always more of a McGarnacle man myself.
posted by chaff at 7:26 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Simpsons spanned the time period when those sorts of movies were popular, and are now a distant memory... and yet Simpsons goes on...
posted by blue_beetle at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2011


In the scene in the diner McBain fires something like 12 shots in rapid succession from a revolver. They even got the mistakes right.

Also, the band leader on "Up late with McBain" is named Scoey, same as his partner in the movie.

Continuity!
posted by Grimgrin at 7:32 PM on February 2, 2011


Schwarzeneggarian.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:03 PM on February 2, 2011


I will just say that the canonical seasons of the Simpson's are 2-5.
posted by jefbla at 8:05 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never realized it was the same villain (Mendoza) in all of the gags. That used to be a really good show.
posted by codacorolla at 8:17 PM on February 2, 2011


But if you are able to judge episodes on their own merits instead of comparing them to seasons 4-8, it's still a damn funny show the overwhelming majority of the time.

I disagree. Every so often I'll try watching one of the newer episodes and they just come off as tired. Like everyone involved is going through the motions. This comes across in the now stale animation, the now lazy voice work and the plots that cycle through the same character beats in increasingly nonsensical ways. I recently started rewatching season 2, and I'm surprised at how many episodes I hadn't actually seen before (saw Lisa's Substitute for the first time!) and there's a real warmth and heart reflected not only in the stories but in the slightly sloppy but very funny and personable animation.

Every time someone starts making the argument that "it's still better than 98% of what's on tv" about a show it's a pretty good sign it's done.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 8:32 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


And it is true. Even at four minutes long, I found this action movie to be too, too long for my attention span.

I accidentally saw The Expendables the other day because we thought it was a campy action movie homage with all the old stars, but it turned out it is really just a plan action movie. Lots of blown up heads though.
posted by smackfu at 8:39 PM on February 2, 2011


The clips tie together remarkably well. I wonder if the clips were aired in the order that they appear in this compile?
posted by porpoise at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2011


As testament to the show's genius in its prime, rewatch this thing and pay careful attention to the shooting spree after the "Ice to see you" line. The guy who gets shot just before he can tuck into his piece of cake? And then the other guy who pops into the frame to catch the cake in midair and dig in himself? That look of naked doomed anticipatory glee on his face?

Yeah, that's why Season 4 of The Simpsons is one of the greatest things in the history of everything.

Incidentally that's the opening scene of "Last Exit to Springfield," the masterful "strike episode," which is named the best episode of all time in another pretty good book about The Simpsons you readers upthread might want to check out when you're done the oral history.

/shameless self-promotion

posted by gompa at 9:09 PM on February 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


I never realized it was the same villain (Mendoza)...

Even that's tidy... The Corrupt Politician and the Latin Drug Kingpin in one neat package...
posted by Rat Spatula at 9:19 PM on February 2, 2011


I agree with many years. Glory days were the Conan O'brien / Harvard Lampoon writering staff years.
posted by En0rm0 at 9:20 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a joke on one of the DVD commentaries that The Simpsons had spoofed Citizen Kane so much that somebody could splice it all together to make the whole movie. I really wish somebody would.

That comment haunts my dreams. I wish I had the capability to do it myself.
posted by LionIndex at 9:22 PM on February 2, 2011


Man, I totally had this idea, but we never had the two functioning VCRs I needed.



That is probably one of my sadder sentences.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's hilarious.
posted by ph00dz at 9:43 PM on February 2, 2011


You know what I appreciate the most about McBain? Unlike most other Simpsons' characters, McBain went out at the top of his game.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


You suck, McBain!
posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:09 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only segment I didn't recognize was the "bye, book" segment.

ends up having a plot about as good as any action movie you may have watched in the 80's.

Yeah, I was so relieved when the 90s came along and we finally had action movies about twin ass-kicking odd-couple brothers with such memorable lines as "there's two of them!"
posted by Hoopo at 10:19 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's take a look at his early work
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:27 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only segment I didn't recognize was the "bye, book" segment.

I didn't recognize that one either, but they cut off certain sections of the syndicated episodes for time reasons, so it may have been something like that.
posted by codacorolla at 10:27 PM on February 2, 2011


"10 Times More Addictive Than Marijuana."

When The Simpsons is good, it's so good you'll notice jokes you hadn't seen the first ten times around.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:29 PM on February 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I didn't recognize that one either, but they cut off certain sections of the syndicated episodes for time reasons, so it may have been something like that.

Same here, and yep.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's amazing about the Simpsons is how it appeals to kids and adults in different ways. I re-watched episodes from my childhood and laughed at completely different jokes from what I remember. I also get a much deeper meaning and commentary out of them... but my kids still love the same gags I did at their age.
posted by 00dimitri00 at 11:47 PM on February 2, 2011


The scene in the diner has some of the most beautiful shot selections I've ever seen in that kind of parody. That kind of attention to the craft is also what made the simpsons stand out!
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:52 PM on February 2, 2011


The biggest problem between the first 8 seasons of The Simpsons and the most recent seasons is that I am 18-20 years older.
posted by chavenet at 2:19 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


People need to stop trying so hard to look cool and just admit that some of the best episodes also occurred after season 9, even all the way up to season 12. Max Power, "stupid sexy flanders", "Hi, supernintendo chalmers!" and other choice quotes/episodes - are all from 10th season or after.
posted by windbox at 2:50 AM on February 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Quotables aren't the same as a good show. One of the best episodes in my book is the Scorpio episode (You Only Move Twice) from the 8th season. If we're comparing quotables, I'll see your "Super Nintendo Chalmers" and raise you a:

"Go Banana!" ("Das Bus" 9th season)
"Dennal Plan! Lisa Needs Braces!" ("Last Exit to Springfield" 4th season)
"See My Vest" ("Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" 6th season)
"Hello, my name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me." ("Blood Feud" 2th season)

Monorail episode, entire thing! ("Marge vs. the Monorail" 4th season)
Burlesque house episode, too. ("Bart After Dark" 8th season)

It's not that we're "trying hard" to look cool. It's that what passes for quality bits of newer episodes were throwaway gags in the earlier seasons.
posted by explosion at 3:58 AM on February 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


This McBain movie is great! Now if only someone would put together a reel of every single Itchy & Scratchy cartoon...
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2011


Also: I wholeheartedly recommend gompa's book Planet Simpson mentioned above. He's right-- "Last Exit To Springfield" is indeed Best. Episode. Ever!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just had a weird moment on reddit where someone had posted an infographic with the headline: Can't Sleep

The obvious and expected snarky response, "Clown will eat me", had only FOUR upvotes at the time. I wept for this nation's youth.
posted by mikelieman at 6:15 AM on February 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


D'oh! I was going to post this. Trumped again.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:15 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


There, there, Grimey.
posted by norm at 6:58 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just had a weird moment on reddit where someone had posted an infographic with the headline: Can't Sleep

The obvious and expected snarky response, "Clown will eat me", had only FOUR upvotes at the time. I wept for this nation's youth.


Ahh, so sad. It's because that phrase was hijacked by the late 90's-early 2000's trend of snarky black tee-shirts with white text that were so popular with the borderline goth kids in high school. It went from "simpsons reference" to another catchphrase for the trying-to-be-weird crowd.
posted by windbox at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2011


Iron helps us play!
posted by giraffe at 7:22 AM on February 3, 2011


The obvious and expected snarky response, "Clown will eat me", had only FOUR upvotes at the time. I wept for this nation's youth.

I prefer to think it's because this nation's youth was so astute in their knowledge of Simpsons minutiae, they noticed that "clown will" should have been contracted to "Clown'll" to better match what Bart said, and, in a touching display of solidarity, collectively decided not to upvote.
posted by ORthey at 7:23 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't stand to watch anything after about season 8 myself. Occasional good jokes/quotes still exist, but Simpsons was great because of the characters, and the later writers began to just have random lines spew from random characters' mouths with little or no thought. For example, Homer is not a jerk - he acts like a jerk because he's clueless. But later in the series he starts being an asshole because it provides cheap laughs. Or he'll say impossibly clever things that only Lisa could really pull off.

They should have quit looonnnng ago.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:57 AM on February 3, 2011


I recently downloaded a .torrent of seasons 1-15 and I started re-watching the series from the beginning. I'm nearing the end of season 6 now and as early as season 5 I'm starting to see episodes that aren't that great, though of course they are mixed in with some totally brilliant episodes.

I'm also hitting episodes that I just don't remember, though as far as I know I saw every episode up through season eight or so. I guess I just never saw them in re-runs. The funny thing is, a lot of time I remember great lines but don't remember the rest of the episode.

As far as Homer being a jerk in later seasons, he does a lot of jerky stuff in the early seasons too, though mostly to Flanders.

I'm not sure what I'll do once I get past season eight. I'll try to force myself to watch the bad episodes, but we'll see.
posted by bondcliff at 8:04 AM on February 3, 2011


Last Exit to Springfield.

Lisa, so you won't be scared, I'll show you some of the tools I'll be using. This is the scraper, this is the poker, and this happy little fellow is called the gouger. Now the first thing I'll be doing is chiseling some teeth out of your jawbone. Hold still while I gas you.
posted by ostranenie at 8:15 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why must you turn this thread into a HOUSE OF LIES?
posted by bondcliff at 8:33 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


As far as Homer being a jerk in later seasons, he does a lot of jerky stuff in the early seasons too, though mostly to Flanders.

True, but in the earlier seasons there is a consistent and compelling character at the centre of this. He's a jerk because he's ignorant or foolish or chasing some base instinct (Mmmm, floor pie! Mmmm, organized crime!). Whereas in the later years, Homer's all over the map, malicious in one episode, sort of sitcom-savvy in another, or erupting suddenly in wildly out-of-character hand-waving omigod omigod omigods and such.

In the later years, the gag is the point, and Homer's character twists and turns to serve the gag. In the peak seasons, the gags emerge from the core of his character. Though you get great lines out of the gag-first approach from time to time, you get great episodes from the deeper characterization.
posted by gompa at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2011


Screw you all! I think every season is worth my time. You don't like it, fine. That means more DVDs for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE





















EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE




















EEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....


*whew*
posted by grubi at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2011


Evil Homer

I am mister burns, blah blah blah
I am mister burns, blah blah blah...

posted by nomisxid at 8:52 AM on February 3, 2011


True, but in the earlier seasons there is a consistent and compelling character at the centre of this.

Absolutely, and furthermore, he's a nice guy. Like, a really and truly nice man who loves his family. In later episodes, it becomes less and less clear that he's still that same nice guy, buried below layers and layers of jerk.
posted by ORthey at 9:04 AM on February 3, 2011


IMHO, Rosebud is the Best Episode Ever (and probably has more Citizen Cane references than any other episode to boot).
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:50 PM on February 3, 2011


Seasons two through four were some of the best television ever made. I'm willing to extend that to season five, but even in season six cracks were starting to show. I'll never forget the feeling of watching a season six episode, then getting that sense of something irretrievably lost.

Of course for the next few seasons there was very funny stuff. But it was never the same.

Since I wish not to relive the endless debates of alt.tv.simpsons from a dozen years ago, I'll simply end with my favourite scene from my favourite episode, "Blood Feud":

Homer: "Hello. My name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me."
Postal clerk: "All right, Mr. Burns. What's your first name?"
Homer: "I don't know."
(outside, on post office steps)
Homer: "Great plan, Bart."

(Number two favourite: totally, "The Itchy and Scratchy Movie." They totally foretold The Simpsons Movie when the Itchy and Scratchy Movie, after a huge buildup, turned out to be a mundane TV episode.)
posted by evilcolonel at 1:58 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


They totally foretold The Simpsons Movie when the Itchy and Scratchy Movie, after a huge buildup, turned out to be a mundane TV episode

and also how my parents wouldn't let me go see it because I was bad and then years later I became a Supreme Court justice
posted by Hoopo at 2:14 PM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was shocked just now to learn that the Best... Episode... Ever actually came in Season 9.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:53 PM on February 3, 2011


I really can tolerate, and even enjoy, modern episodes of The Simpsons. I think it was during the 11th season episode Saddlesore Galactica that it just kind of clicked. It was an absurd episode, ending with Marge and Lisa fending off leprechaun-jockeys with super soakers, and Bill Clinton telling us he was a lousy President. A sublime feeling of WTF? came over me, and since then, all new episodes of the Simpsons kind of make sense to me. (Note that this episode came from the same season as "stupid sexy Flanders".)

Not that I don't yearn for the Simpsons of yore, of course.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:54 PM on February 3, 2011


Joe Beese: after 9/11, that episode was pulled from syndication and they vowed to never air it again. This is why I have a first generation TiVo that hasn't been connected for five years and it STILL has that episode on it; it recorded it in August of 2001.

Of course, around the same time I disconnected the TiVo it miraculously started showing back up in syndication. You know, screw it, I'm just going to torrent the whole damn series.

....I mean, I'm going to buy the DVDs from an approved retailer.
posted by norm at 3:14 PM on February 3, 2011


norm: That episode airs all the time, it just wasn't aired for a while after 9/11.
posted by proj at 5:36 PM on February 3, 2011


Best episode = Frank Grimes. Fucking brilliant dark comedy. Going insane is, in many ways, the only rational response to being around Homer.

"Would you like to see my Grammy?"
posted by dry white toast at 7:56 PM on February 3, 2011


They totally foretold The Simpsons Movie when the Itchy and Scratchy Movie, after a huge buildup, turned out to be a mundane TV episode

Well no, it was more like an average episode from the good old days cause they brought everyone back and the whole thing was a deep pile of references for the superfans.

I liked the movie cause it touched on Homer on Marge's relationship a lot and I always thought that was the axis of the series. Marge is the real X factor in the whole sit-comish setup they have, it's always implied she would have been much more successful and ambitious without Homer around. She's smart and involved and worldly so why does she put up with this bothersome oaf?

Cause she loves him, and cause's he's fundamentally a good person. The early seasons got that, Homer would fucked up, but he's a basically a good guy and he wants to be better. He he's not a naked jerk. They hung a lampshade on it in the "second wedding" episode and Streetcar Named Marge. The good episodes asked the question "why oh why is this slab of stupid with this sensitive smart lady?"

Look at their backgrounds, Homer thinks Marge is the cleverest, most interesting person he ever met, and if his sullen single-faith upbringing is any indication, the only person who was ever nice to him.

Marge thinks Homer is the sweetest, nicest, most straightfoward person she ever met, a nice change from the back-biting and cruel mind games her sisters played on her.

Which is what the early shows did that the newer shows don't, acknowledge that there was some heavy and deep character building and that's why we like these particular moving drawings. I liked the movie cause it at least acknowledged the huge amount of work gone into describing the Marge-Homer relationship and why it worked and where it was weak.

And they got to kiss at the end.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 PM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


er single-father not single faith.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 PM on February 3, 2011


There were funny moments in the Frank Grimes episode, but I felt like it really marked the beginning of the end for Homer. The last scene where Homer falls asleep at his funeral and tells Marge to change the channel... ugh. Compare it to the ending of Maggie Makes Three. :(
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 10:36 PM on February 3, 2011


Also from the Fear of flying episode onward, they keep hinting Marge grew up in a very ...rule-driven, ordered household. Homer's hedonistic free spirit attitude would have been very attractive. So I pretty much love the first seasons for taking the sitcom convention of "hot wife, slob husband" and actually figuring out how these people came together and why they both to stay together.
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 PM on February 3, 2011


It's because that phrase was hijacked by the late 90's-early 2000's trend of snarky black tee-shirts with white text that were so popular with the borderline goth kids in high school. It went from "simpsons reference" to another catchphrase for the trying-to-be-weird crowd.

I didn't start watching The Simpsons until about '98, and I never knew that was a reference! Also popular: I Used Up All My Sick Days So I Called In Dead, which doesn't actually make sense in the UK as we don't have a specified sick day allowance. And 'Never Trust Anything That Bleeds For Five Days and Doesn't Die', which doesn't make sense to anyone with a basic grasp of human reproduction.
posted by mippy at 4:07 AM on February 4, 2011


(I really liked That 90s Show.)
posted by mippy at 4:07 AM on February 4, 2011


Which is what the early shows did that the newer shows don't, acknowledge that there was some heavy and deep character building and that's why we like these particular moving drawings.

The thing I loved about the early seasons that is completely missing from the new seasons - and is part of why it doesn't work as a show for me anymore - is that the Simpsons used to be the most realistic show on television. The Simpsons were poor in the early seasons. Or at least lower middle class. The very first episode is about Homer having to get a second job so he can afford to buy Christmas presents. They had to save up to buy a TV. Marge had to go to the outlets to buy clothes. They couldn't afford braces for Lisa. When did you see this on television in the late 80's early 90's? The Huxtables were a doctor and a lawyer and had a nicer house than I had ever been in, Danny Tanner was a morning show anchor, the Seavers' dad was a dentist I think, Murphy Brown was a big city news anchor. I don't remember television being about families who needed money and didn't have it, and that was a major factor in the lives of the Simpsons in the early seasons. Seeing that on television, when I had known it in my own life since I was young enough to understand it, and it having been completely absent from all the families on television that I thought represented what families were supposed to be like, was incredible for me as a 12, 13, 14 year old. This was a family, despite the fact that they were yellow four-fingered cartoons, that was vastly more like mine than any I had seen on television before.
posted by ND¢ at 6:43 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Simpsons were poor in the early seasons. Or at least lower middle class. The very first episode is about Homer having to get a second job so he can afford to buy Christmas presents. They had to save up to buy a TV. Marge had to go to the outlets to buy clothes. They couldn't afford braces for Lisa. When did you see this on television in the late 80's early 90's?
Roseanne, surely?
posted by mippy at 6:57 AM on February 4, 2011


I don't think I was allowed to watch Roseanne when I was a kid, or Married . . . With Children, or watch R-rated movies for that matter. It was a close thing with the Simpsons, but we got to because my dad thought it was funny.
posted by ND¢ at 7:01 AM on February 4, 2011


Beaten by mippy.
posted by proj at 7:14 AM on February 4, 2011


See, my dad never watched The Simpsons when it got on terrestrial here as 'I don't like cartoons that are badly drawn. Why do they have to be yellow? Why can't they use real people?' Yet he loved Johnny Bravo and King of the Hill.
posted by mippy at 8:02 AM on February 4, 2011


evilcolonel: "Since I wish not to relive the endless debates of alt.tv.simpsons from a dozen years ago, I'll simply end with my favourite scene from my favourite episode, "Blood Feud":

Homer: "Hello. My name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me."
Postal clerk: "All right, Mr. Burns. What's your first name?"
Homer: "I don't know."
(outside, on post office steps)
Homer: "Great plan, Bart."
"

Love it.

My all-time favorite Simpsons/Homer moment comes during the Treehouse of Horror V episode in the segment "Time and Punishment." Homer accidentally turns the toaster into a time machine in the basement, goes back in time to an era when dinosaurs roamed the planet, and then changes history by squishing a mosquito, a la A Sound of Thunder. Moving backwards and forwards in time trying to correct his mistake, he finally lands back in prehistoric times and finds himself face to face with a hungry dinosaur.

Homer sneezes.

And all the dinosaurs drop dead.

"This is gonna cost me..."
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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