COMING ATTRACTIONS Archives
Yes, the Simpsons are going off the air... so they can star in an exclusive 3-night concert at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend! Half the cast will be there! Conan O'Brien will do the monorail song! Beverly D'Angelo, Jon Lovitz, and Weird Al will make appearances! Who knows, maybe writer John Swartzwelder will perform one of his legendary death-defying motorcycle stunts!
A recently-added copyright record for an episode entitled "Clown in the Dumps" simply confirms it:
Who's the only clown we know of in the Simpsons universe? Krusty, of course (Sideshows Mel and Bob are mere assistant clowns, in my estimation). Why would Krusty be in the dumps? Because his father just died, that's why. The clues are piling up, and they all point to a dead rabbi.
I would bet my remaining bitcoin on it!
Simpsons executive producer Al Jean, who in the past few years has killed off Homer's mom and the real Fat Tony for no real reason, has vowed to kill again, this time with more hype:
"We're working on a script where a character will pass away," he confirmed. "I'll give a clue: The actor who plays the character won an Emmy for playing that character. I won't say who it is."
Will nothing stop this man's insatiable bloodlust??
Now the guessing game begins, for this episode that likely won't air for another year! The Emmy clue doesn't really narrow things down, because five of the six main voice actors have won Emmys for their performances. That would mean Harry Shearer's characters are safe, but look at this scene and tell me they're not already dead.
The smart money is on:
Jacqueline Bouvier (Julie Kavner): Marge's mom, old, rarely appears, difficult voice to do, death would keep viewers from noticing how Marge sounds exactly like her these days.
Just Stamp The Ticket Guy (Hank Azaria): Perhaps the most iconic character, death would bring guaranteed ratings.
Here's some characters that aren't likely to die but are being mentioned in other articles anyway:
Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer): I doubt they would kill him off without a guarantee that this is the last season (still waiting on renewal, by the way). He's a costumed character at Universal Studios Florida and it seems weird to have him alive for The Simpsons Ride while dead in the series.
Mrs. Krabappel (Marcia Wallace): Are they heartless enough to kill off Ned Flanders's wife a second time? Bart would need a replacement teacher, and the show rarely (if ever) replaces a character... Gil is occasionally a lawyer for the Simpsons, but I wouldn't say he's a straight-up replacement for Lionel Hutz.
Fun fact: Comic Book Resources posted about this more than a week ago, but for some reason it's only just now trending, due to this Sun News article. It seems to use the exact same quotes, so either they sat on the story for a week or Al Jean robotically uses the exact same quotes every time he talks to the press... which is exactly the kind of thing a serial killer would do.
*whatever the digitial media equivalent of a record scratch sounds like*
Well, sorta. Last month, it was announced LEGO was coming out with a line of Simpsons-themed LEGO Group Companies brand colored toy brick plaything objects†. Now, more details are coming out, and according to Nerdly, there will be a TV special:
On top of that, this new LEGO range will also be supported by a special Simpsons LEGO TV episode (much like the LEGO Star Wars specials) in May 2014!
So, a TV special, and that's all we know so far. Maybe a series of specials if it's successful...? This seems like a different animal from previous Simpsons specials like the Springfield's Most Wanted thing (which was just a tie-in to "Who Shot Mr. Burns?") and The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice! in that it will presumably have an actual story. Since we don't know if The Simpsons has been renewed yet (we should find out by Novemeber), this would be a weird, unexpected way to keep the franchise alive post-cancellation.
Also, no word yet on which Simpsons voice actors have agreed to do this (I'll bet a zillion bitcoins Harry Shearer won't participate). It seems a given that current Simpsons writer Michael Price, who's written the Star Wars LEGO specials and tweets about them a lot, will participate.
There's also no word what channel it will be on. I'm pretty sure Cartoon Network has aired all the Star Wars things, and its corporate sibling Warner Bros. is coming out with a (The) LEGO movie earlier that year, so that seems like a safe bet. Maybe FOX, since it's their franchise, but would they really air a commercial for a children's toy masquerading as a TV show during their Crude & Rude Toons With 'Tude programming block?
Bad news, everyone! Hot off the heels of the announcement that Family Guy is doing a Simpsons crossover episode, executive producer Al Jean announced at Comic Con that The Simpsons is doing a crossover with its soon-to-be-deceased sister show Futurama. It will air next year as either the season finale of the upcoming season, or the season premiere for the season after that.
The comic books already did a fairly okay crossover a decade ago, having managed to find a loophole in creator Matt Groening's ironclad "rule" that Futurama is real and The Simpsons is fictional - the brain spawn send the Futurama characters into an issue of Simpsons Comics - but no matter, the TV crew will do it again anyway.
Assuming this is a full-fledged crossover and not some glorified cameo (like Bender in the episode Future-Drama), this is a terrible, comically bereft-of-ideas last-ditch dying gasp of an idea.
What do you do if you're a long-running show that's totally out of ideas? Do you scrounge up long-discarded episode ideas from the Trash Co. waste disposal unit and try to pass them off as new? What if you've completely exhausted that avenue? What's your next recourse? Well, if you're The Simpsons, you do the next best thing - scrounge up long-discarded fanfiction.
A little while ago, comedy movie king Judd Apatow told Slashfilm he wrote a fanscript for The Simpsons way back in 1990 after only five or six episodes had aired, which he described like so:
And what it was about was they went to see a hypnotism show and at the hypnotism show, they made Homer think he was the same age as Bart. And then the hypnotist had a heart attack. So now Homer and Bart became best friends and they spent the rest of the show running away because Homer didn't want responsibility and didn't want to be brought back to his real age. So I basically copied that for every movie I've made since.
Well, that guy in Springfield, Oregon may have failed in his attempt to create a "Simpsonsville", but it looks like Universal Studios Florida (which I think is different from Universal Studios Islands of Adventure but I'm not totally sure) might be getting a Simpsons Land around its Simpsons Ride attraction, if "one ride surrounded by a bunch of price-gouging gift shops and restaurants" even counts as a theme park land these days. Some theme park blog called Screamscape (which I don't think is even a "blog" since it appears to just be a static web page that gets updated when new rumors come in) has been on the case since September, when they posted this:
According to Screamscape sources, we can expect to see the International Food Festival food court eatery next to The Qwik-E-Mart [sic.] closed in the next few weeks in order to undergo a major transformation to become Simpsons themed. Rumor has it that we will see the addition of a true Krusty Burger and Moe's Tavern appear here in time for late Spring 2013. I can only assume that we will see Universal take what they learned about adding custom food and beverage items from the Wizarding World [of Harry Potter] and bring some tasty edible Simpsons items to life. Who else is up for a Flaming Moe?
It was only a matter of time before tween heartthrob Justin Bieber did a guest voice for The Simpsons. And now the inevitable has become reality, and the show's producers are surely confident it'll give them a huge ratings boost. It didn't work last time with Lady Gaga - just the opposite, in fact - but, dog gone it, they're nothing if not persistent.
The Biebster tweeted the news himself earlier this evening. Here's his Tweet, embedded below...
A Simpsons short starring Maggie the Baby is being shoved in front of the fourth Ice Age movie, flying into theaters this summer. The commercial said it's in 3D except I don't know if they mean "3D" as in CGI or "3D" as in "you have to wear special glasses while Maggie throws blocks at you" or both. "The Longest Daycare" is being directed by longtime Simpsons guy David Silverman who used to animate the original Simpsons shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show twenty-five years ago.
Check out this sneak peek preview of an upcoming episode from next season:
When Bart's love life heats up again on The Simpsons, it will involve an old flame or two. Actually, make that five. Not only will Zooey Deschanel guest-star on the animated comedy by reprising her role as Mary Spuckler -- that adorable hillbilly daughter of Cleetus [sic.] whom Bart nearly married in season 19 -- four other former girlfriends, voiced by Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sarah Silverman, make cameos in the same episode, EW has learned.
This episode has it all: a hackneyed plot ripped off from romantic comedies, a bunch of guest stars returning to voice some of the blandest characters in the show's history (Girlfriend #4, Girlfriend #7, et al.), a clip show-like premise that emphasizes not only how long the show's been on but how repetitive and assembly line-produced it's been, Bart having what sounds like a midlife crisis at the age of 10, and a country song performed by Zooey Deschanel, who apparently played one of Cletus the slack-jawed yokel's daughter in some horrible-sounding episode I managed to avoid. Please end this show. [Entertainment Weekly]
Fox is always looking for new ways to encourage people to kill themselves. With their plans for an all-Simpsons channel having failed to materialize, it looked like their attempts to integrate The Simpsons into their master plan were dead on arrival.
Luckily, the Guinness Book of World Records stepped up to the plate and came up with a brilliant scheme that protects Fox from any liability: locking a bunch of people in a room and forcing them to watch all 500 episodes of The Simpsons, including the 300 or so that comprise The Bad Seasons. Whoever is still alive at the end of this charade will obtain 10,500 US dollars in hush money.
Way back in the heady days of late Season 13, viewers were presented with the tantalizing prospect of a Simpson family voyage to the mysterious continent of Antarctica:
Homer: The Simpsons are goin' to Brazil.
Bart: Then I'll have been on every continent.
Marge: Except Antarctica.
Homer: The Simpsons are goin' to Antarctica ... next year. This year Brazil.
But alas, a vacation to Antarctica was not in the cards for the following season (instead they went to EPCOT Center to help reunite Principal Skinner with Mrs. Krapabbel, who is now dating Ned Flanders for some reason). Although some fanfiction writers tried to keep the dream alive, the hopes of seeing Bart and Lisa hanging out with penguins slowly evaporated as the years went on and the Simpsons seemed to go everywhere except Antarctica (remember the time they went to Ireland? No? Good.) But now, finally, a decade later, THE DREAM HAS BECOME REALITY.
This season the Simpsons will achieve the landmark of having visited all seven continents: Yes, this means the Simpsons family is headed to Antarctica.
Now there's no guarantee this will be a straight-up "vacation" episode like Bart vs. Australia or Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo. It could just be a brief stopover, like the time they went to Peru, or Homer's visit to the Kwik-E-Mart head office in India. But I certainly hope it's the former. Predictions: they go there because of something involving Lisa and global warming, Homer ignores the advice of the scientists in the research base and goes off alone, Homer fights with some penguins and gets bitten, a melting glacier becomes the setpiece of the obligatory action-packed Act 4 conflict. I can't wait!
My biggest beef with The Simpsons nowadays is how much it feels like fan fiction. Characters speak in the same stilted voice, their personality traits are either ignored or sacrificed so they can be crammed into a ridiculous situation, and storylines tend to revolve around shocking new revelations, origin stories, and pairing characters together. So I'm not surprised that the show is actually giving control to shippers.
This Sunday, after a new episode where Mrs. Krabappel (she and Mr. K should really get that divorce finalized) starts dating Ned Flanders, viewers will get to decide whether their relationship continues, in a half-assed attempt to generate "buzz." It's exactly like that Batman thing from the 1980s where readers decided whether Robin lived or died, except with "Nedna." Yes, they've already coined a name for it.
The Simpsons has a good track record of cleverly subverting their shameless stunts: Mr. Burns was shot by the least likely suspect; a fan-created character was killed instantly. But I highly doubt even a hilarious twist could salvage this desperate gimmick. Will it be a forgettable waste of time? Or will it be a forgettable waste of time? (Answer: It will be a forgettable waste of time.) [TVbytheNumbers]
Popular songstress and harpy Joanna Newsom is reportedly appearing in an upcoming Simpsons episode. It's being described as a "guest appearance," but I have reason to believe this is merely a smokescreen for the real truth: the producers are secretly bringing in Newsom to replace Yeardley Smith as the voice of Lisa Simpson.
Now, I know what you're thinking: hey, the Yeardster's voiced America's favorite starfish-haired feminist for nearly 25 years! They're not just going to throw her under the bus! Well, let's take a look at the evidence:
Just look at what happened to Frank Welker, who used to voice the dog: the producers discovered Dan Castelleneta could voice the dog just as good, so they gave Frankie the boot. Could history repeat itself again when Newsom comes in to record what she believes is a cameo? Let's say, hypothetically, a director slides her a script and asks her, just for funsies, to read some of Lisa's lines. And what if, that night, the producers get together, in secret, and compare her vocal track with Smith's... and decide Newsom's is better?
If I were Yeardley Smith, I'd be looking over my shoulder at all times. And I were Joanna Newsom, I'd leave the harp at home, in order to prevent any Nancy Kerrigan-type shenanigans... Developing... [TwentyFourBit ]
UPDATE (10/20/2010): IN THE NEWS has successfully shamed the producers from going through with their plan, and Joanna Newsom's cameo is definitely not happening. Yeardley Smith, you're welcome. [Pitchfork]
In case you ever need further evidence of the creative bankruptcy of Current Simpsons, look no further than the episode titles themselves. Here is a list of titles from Seasons 21 and 22.
- Bart Gets a "Z" - Reference to Bart Gets an F, which was also referenced later that season with Bart's Dog Gets an F, and again in Season 10 with Lisa Gets an "A"
- Rednecks and Broomsticks - Pun of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, already parodied by Mypods and Boomsticks
- O Brother, Where Bart Thou? - Pun of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," a fictional novel from Sullivan's Travels, already referenced by O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- Moe Letter Blues - Pun of Mo' Better Blues, already referenced by Moe Baby Blues
- Elementary School Musical - Incredibly lazy parody of High School Musical that had already been used by a South Park episode
- Loan-a Lisa - Pun on Mona Lisa, already referenced by Moaning Lisa, Moe'N'a Lisa, and Mona Leaves-a
- Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life - Reference to the catchphrase from This Is Your Life, already referenced by Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife
- Flaming Moe - Presumably, this is the title to an upcoming episode where "Moe's Tavern is converted into an ultra-trendy bar," which given the homophobic tendencies of the current show, undoubtedly means "gay bar." The title, of course, is a parody of Flaming Moe's.... essentially making a gay joke out of a title that was already a gay joke.
After a duet with monster-entertainer Elmo was cut from Sesame Street for being too hot for educational TV, singer-songwriter Katy Perry has rebounded with puppet versions of Simpsons characters for some sort of gimmicky Christmas episode. Little known fact: Katy Perry is half-muppet on her father's side. [Entertainment Weekly]
The Simpsons - assuming they mean the the Simpsons and not, like, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson - will be appearing in some multi-network anti-cancer telethon thing (can we safely assume any celebrity not appearing supports cancer?) that will air September 10th. The last time The Simpsons did this, Homer got a colonoscopy, so that's where the bar is set. [TVbytheNumbers.com]
Hey, you! Do you know who Mark Zuckerburg is? If not, you soon will, because 2010 is the Year of Zuck! He's the cat who made the popular Friendster clone Facebook, which is currently in "hot water" for selling all of its users' personal information to the Taliban in exchange for drugs. The outrage is so widespread that it even made the cover of Time Magazine, which is apparently considered a big deal!
As the face of Facebook (I hope you enjoyed this phrase!!! I stayed up all night writing it!!!), you can expect to see the Zuckster's mug - which by the way used to be in the goddamn logo seriously what kind of weird egomaniac does that - all over the place in news story after news story as this privacy brouhaha continues into the summer. If we're lucky, we might even see him look remorseful and say he's really sorry, just like the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Toyota, and BP!
Then, in the fall, an unflattering movie based on an unflattering book about Zuckerburg, his creepy mentor The Napster Guy, and the creation of Facebook will hit theaters, bringing his extreme jerkiness and unethical behavior to the attention of general audiences. And it's in 3-D! Even if you don't plan on seeing it, Hollywood's relentless marketing juggernaut will ensure you'll see fake-Zuckerburg's face everywhere (except maybe on Facebook?).
Finally, if that wasn't enough, Zuckerburg will guest star as himself (!) on The Simpsons (possibly to soften his image after public perception of him takes a beating?). This is surprisingly timely for a show that took seven years to do an episode about 9/11! For once, The Simpsons is actually jumping on a trend while it's still sort of hot; it's pretty amazing they didn't go with Tom from MySpace. Could The Simpsons become culturally relevant again...? (Haha, no. They just did an episode about the Patriot Act, so I suspect it's only a matter of time before Bart joins a flash mob.)
Anyway, shortly thereafter The Year of Zuck will conclude with Zuckerburg being thrown into a volcano after America grows sick of him, the end.
On an upcoming episode of Top Chef Masters (May 12 on Bravo) some top chefs have to chef up some foods for Simpsons characters, which will be judged by Matt Groening, Hank Azaria and writer Matt Selman.
In a stunt that puts NBC's "Green Week" initiative to shame, Fox has apparently ordered several of its shows to include a musical number as part of a week-long campaign dubbed "Fox Rocks," presumably to promote the network's two most unpopular shows, American Idol and Glee. The Simpsons is participating by having "Homer, Marge and the gang" "rock out" to the song "TiK ToK" by Ke$ha in a couch gag.
When The Simpsons started, executive producer James L. Brooks had enough clout to mandate no network interference, which helped make the show great.
What happened? [The Wrap]
The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed
American History X-cellent
Moe Letter Blues
The Bob Next Door
The Squirt and the Whale
Donnie Fatso [No Homers Club]
The guy who made a whole movie about how eating a lot of mcdonalds food is bad for you is going to direct a documentary about the simpsons, who gives a shit. The real news is that it's gonna be called "THE SIMPSONS 20th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL IN 3-D ON ICE," which is the best name for a thing ever. [ComingSoon.net]
Simpsons producers are supposedly hoping to get U.S. celebrity Barack Obama to lend his voice to an upcoming episode. According to a script obtained by rubbercat.net/simpsons, the episode involves Ralph Wiggum competing in the Special Olympics. [Simpsons Channel]
This isn't really news or anything, I just wanted to throw that out there [New York Post]
In the opening of the upcoming annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer attempts to vote for Barack Obama, remarking that "it's time for change," but his EVIL ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE marks it as a vote for John McCain. A scuffle ensues, and the machine ends up killing him. (SPOILER ALERT: The previous two sentences may have contained spoilers).
In an eerie parallel, Al Jean has entered his eighth consecutive season of running the show, more than any other showrunner's "term of office" in the show's history. If his two years co-running the show with Mike Reiss during seasons 3 and 4 are taken into account, Jean will have been a showrunner for half the show's run by the end of this season. Is it time for change? Even Homer thinks so. [Wonkette]
In an episode that's sure to be controversial, The One-Eyebrowed Baby attempts to assassinate the president in order to win Maggie's affections. [Entertainment Weekly]
According to The New York Post, Homer is going to undergo a colonoscopy this season. Actually, it's not going to be part of the long-running FOX show, it's going to be part of the multi-network cancer benefit on September 5 titled Stand Up To Cancer. The Post even quotes a line from the segment that already has me laughing, from Marge: "There's his wedding band! He told me he was having it polished!"
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Despite reports to the contrary, the next season is looking to be a continuation of the death spiral that was the past two seasons, if the Simpsons panel at Comic-Con is any indication. A look at what's to come:
- Yet another Nelson episode: Really? Again? Who could have imagined that there would be so many goddamn episodes exploring the emotional life of the kid who says "haw haw?"
- Another slam at the on-screen FOX advertising bugs:
The panel was brought to a close with a clip from the upcoming season's Halloween episode. In it, Marge is decorating cupcakes that look like jack-o'-lanterns. She pokes fun at the fact that Halloween "was last week," but at the Simpsons' house they're still celebrating (a nod to the fact that the Halloween episodes never air on Halloween). While she's speaking, the American Idol "bug" pops up on screen. Marge is upset by this, grabs her Dust Buster and sucks the logo up. She tries to start speaking again, but the Fox Sports "bug" pops up and a bunch of mini-football players run out. Marge kills them with bug spray. Next, 24 (along with a mini-Jack Bauer), Family Guy (with mini-Peter Griffin) and House bugs (with mini-Dr. House) appear. Marge grabs Jack and sticks him to the fridge with a magnet. Next, she "blends" Peter to death with a cappuccino frother. Lastly, she grabs Dr. House, sticks him in the microwave, and blows him up. Cut to the family sitting at the dining room table and Marge walking in with fresh baked bread. "Dinner is served," says Marge. She slices off a piece of bread to reveal the various body parts of all these guys spelling out "Treehouse of Terror XVII."OK, it was kinda funny when Homer ate Joe Millionaire, but this is comedy cancer.
- More character returns: This time it's Lurleen Lumpkin, the country singer Homer managed, and Sideshow Bob's brother Cecil, following in the footsteps of such other pointless Jean-era returning characters as Homer's Mother, Bob the RV salesman, Artie Ziff, and The Guy Who Originally Owned The Dog.
- Al Jean is going to remain showrunner forever: Says No Homers Club poster elephant6rawk, who was there and asked them if they plan on replacing Jean as guy in charge of the show any time soon. There is no hope for The Simpsons.
If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. -- Richmond is an unlikely choice -- to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.
Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).
Here's the best quote:
Spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said contracts on the promotions have not been signed with movie studios. She didn't give any further details, saying the company will release more information in coming weeks.Wow 7-11 has a crack research department [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
"We've done research, and research shows us that our customers like . . . movies, so we're getting involved with some major studios on some of their properties this summer," she said.
Comics legend Alan Moore will be playing the role of the hitherto unseen "Uncle Gareth," a creepy uncle who will take Bart aside during a family reunion to show him some disturbing x-rated drawings of Wendy from Peter Pan, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. [Northants News]
The final segment of the upcoming Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode on November 5 will take a few not-so-subtle shots at the current conflict in Iraq as aliens Kang and Kodos (who are featured in every "Treehouse of Horror") attack Springfield before the humans can get their hands on "weapons of mass disintegration". The connection to the Iraq war is made obvious, and there's even a line at the end in which a character evokes the actual Iraq debacle.
"Hey you know it's been more than three years, maybe we oughta get around to acknowledging the war in some way" [TV Squad]