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Simpsons censorship question


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Jack_F

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Posted April 15 2003 - 11:42 AM

I realize that this is not at all currently relevant, and at this pace, it won't be relevant until about 2010, but I have a question regarding the Simpsons and censorship...

At this thread over at DVD Talk...



They are talking about the Family Guy set and the banned episode, and one poster mentions the "banned" Simpsons episode. Immediately, I thought of "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" due to the heavy use of the Twin Towers in that episode.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the episode, check out this link:

http://www.tvtome.co...son9.html#ep179

Now, my question is, when (if ever) the Season 9 DVD set is released, will they delete this episode? I know no one knows for sure since this is sooo far away, but I think we should start working on making sure this episode is included in it's original form. I think this is one of the FUNNIEST Simpsons ever, and in fact, may be one of the last great episodes, since the quality of the show has gone off the edge of the Grand Canyon in recent years. It would be a shame for no one to be able to see this episode again.

Perhaps since we are only getting 1 set/year of the Simpsons, by the time S9 is released, we will be able to cope with fiction-comedy from 1997 having the twin towers in it...

-Jack

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted April 15 2003 - 11:50 AM

No, the episode was put back in syndication about 3-4 months later

Not that we'd know here, because they keeps shwoing the same goddamn 40 episodes over and over

#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Matthew_Millheiser

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Posted April 15 2003 - 11:59 AM

I saw this episode about a month-and-a-half ago. It's still out there, I don't think they'd leave it out, and at this rate, since Season 9 is scheduled to be released sometime near May 2104, post 9/11 sensitivities will be significantly less tenuous.
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#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Haden

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Posted April 15 2003 - 02:18 PM

I would think that anyone with the intelligence and taste to purchase and watch a box set of Simpsons episodes would not be the overly-sensitive politically correct type to cry out in offense of this episode. And come August, 2010 when this season set is released, nobody's going to go whining about it anyway.

#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Brenton

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Posted April 15 2003 - 02:45 PM

Not that we'd know here, because they keeps shwoing the same goddamn 40 episodes over and over
I seem to be having the same problem with my local TV stations.

I would think that anyone with the intelligence and taste to purchase and watch a box set of Simpsons episodes would not be the overly-sensitive politically correct type to cry out in offense of this episode.
Absolutely. People who are able to tolerate The Simpsons are not the easily-offended type.

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Michael Ballack

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Posted April 15 2003 - 03:17 PM

And me to another list of people who has a station showing the same 40 episodes. It gets worse; the episodes are from the last two years.
Come on Fox, get your act together and release 3 Seasons a year at least! I'm willing to drop the commentaries also. The commentaries are only good to listen to one time anyway.
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#7 of 33 OFFLINE   FredK

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Posted April 15 2003 - 04:43 PM

This is one of my top 5 episodes, I travel to NYC all the time and love all the "outsider to NYC" touches in it.

If anyone thinks it should be censored they're missing the coolness of having the WTC be a key player in one of the Simpsons more intelligent/funny episodes. Embrace it, because it'll never be so prominently involved in a comedy again.

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Nigel McN

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Posted April 16 2003 - 01:05 AM

I like the comment on the official Weird Al page:

Al made a celebrity cameo appearance on The Simpsons, singing "Homer & Marge" (a parody of John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane") while the band accompanied him! The episode (#EABF12) first aired on April 13, so keep an eye out for reruns! And be sure to pick up a copy of the Season 14 DVDs when they come out... in 7 or 8 years!

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   Neil S. Bulk

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Posted April 16 2003 - 01:23 AM

I had an asthma attack the first time "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". When Homer started driving with the "the boot" on his car and then using the jack hammer to get it off. One of the funniest bits I can remember from the series.

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#10 of 33 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted April 16 2003 - 02:39 AM

Quote:
Not that we'd know here, because they keeps shwoing the same goddamn 40 episodes over and over
I'm pretty lucky, one of my Fox affiliates (I'm in between Dayton and Cincinnati) has gone back to older episodes recently, even going back to season 1! IIRC, I saw the WTC episode a few months back, so yeah, I don't see any reason either to keep it off the eventual DVD set.

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted April 16 2003 - 02:50 AM

Quote:
I'm willing to drop the commentaries also. The commentaries are only good to listen to one time anyway.

Same here. I find that most of the commentaries are not about the specific episode, but about "The Simpsons" in general and the people involved. Frequently while watching I'll see a great joke, flip to the commentary track, and rewind to hear their comments on it, and they're talking about something totally non-related to the action on-screen. If that's the best they can do, I'd prefer they leave them off as well.
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#12 of 33 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted April 16 2003 - 02:56 AM

Quote:
Now, my question is, when (if ever) the Season 9 DVD set is released, will they delete this episode?

Well, my Tivo grabbed it off syndication just this week, so I suspect it'll be in the set without any problems.
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Haden

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Posted April 16 2003 - 04:09 AM

Speaking of commentaries.... which seasons did Conan O'Brien write episodes for? I wonder if he'll participate in commentaries for those episodes when his time comes, since we've had other episode writers doing commentaries for the first 2 seasons.

#14 of 33 OFFLINE   MishaLauenstein

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Posted April 16 2003 - 06:37 AM

What exactly is wrong with showing things happening in the twin towers? 100,000 people worked in those buildings for years. Are we supposed to pretend now that no one ever went there and nothing ever happened there before September 11?

On a related note, the Sports Night DVDs show the towers so much that at one point it finally dawned on me that those characters in the show might actually be working in the towers!

This got me thinking about whether the characters of Sports Night would have been killed! They work late at night, so I would think many of them would start work after noon, but I don't really know much about broadcasting.
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#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Jerry R Colvin

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Posted April 16 2003 - 06:54 AM

Speaking of banned episodes, what about the one that introduced John Lovitz as The Critic, which was produced against Matt Groening's wishes and without his involvement? Is that being shown in syndication and will it appear on DVD?

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Ike

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Posted April 16 2003 - 07:18 AM

Quote:
Is that being shown in syndication and will it appear on DVD?

Yeah, it's in syndication.


#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted April 16 2003 - 08:46 AM

There are various jokes that were changed in syndication. If Futurama is any indication, it will be the changed versions on DVD. Example: when Smithers is pulling Burns in the rickshaw and Burns says "Faster, faster, you call yourself a CHinaman?" China was changed to "rickshaw driver," which is a shame, as the original was much funnier. Also when Homer shows of his Oscar, it was initially Haing S. Ngor's. This was changed after he was murdered.
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#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted April 17 2003 - 04:28 AM

Quote:
Same here. I find that most of the commentaries are not about the specific episode, but about "The Simpsons" in general and the people involved. Frequently while watching I'll see a great joke, flip to the commentary track, and rewind to hear their comments on it, and they're talking about something totally non-related to the action on-screen. If that's the best they can do, I'd prefer they leave them off as well.


Why don't you try listening to the WHOLE commentary from the beginning, instead of flipping back and forth? They actually do talk about specific things from the episode they are commenting on.

Quote:
There are various jokes that were changed in syndication. If Futurama is any indication, it will be the changed versions on DVD. Example: when Smithers is pulling Burns in the rickshaw and Burns says "Faster, faster, you call yourself a CHinaman?" China was changed to "rickshaw driver," which is a shame, as the original was much funnier. Also when Homer shows of his Oscar, it was initially Haing S. Ngor's. This was changed after he was murdered.


I agree that they should use the original versions (or include both versions). The "JFK Jr. Airport" line can still be heard in the "Space Pilot 3000" animatic on the Futurama DVD. (I know that isn't the same as the line actually being IN the episode, though.)

Also, if you listen to the commentary for "The Telltale Head", at the end there was a scene where they added in Homer and Bart walking across the screen and Homer says something like "Most mobs aren't this nice." They say that when it originally aired, Homer and Bart weren't in that scene at all, but were added in after the initial airing. I saw that episode again in syndication, and Bart and Homer were indeed missing from that scene.

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted April 17 2003 - 04:42 AM

Quote:
Why don't you try listening to the WHOLE commentary from the beginning, instead of flipping back and forth? They actually do talk about specific things from the episode they are commenting on.

I've done both, but found watching entire commentaries very boring when it frequently turned into a love-fest of mutual backslapping or discussion of peripheral events (a good portion of the early S2 commentaries are about "The Cosby Show" or Bart as an "anti" role model) instead of discussion of the actual episode/action on-screen.
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#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

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Posted April 17 2003 - 06:28 AM


Quote:
Example: when Smithers is pulling Burns in the rickshaw and Burns says "Faster, faster, you call yourself a Chinaman?" China was changed to "rickshaw driver," which is a shame, as the original was much funnier. Also when Homer shows of his Oscar, it was initially Haing S. Ngor's. This was changed after he was murdered.

Interesting examples. It looks like there are two different types of censorship here. The editing of "Chinaman" is obviously just an example of political-correctness run amuck. It should not have been changed, IMHO. However, in the case of Dr. Ngor, NOT editing the episode could give the casual Simpsons viewer the impression that the writers were making fun of his murder, which was obviously not their intention. Therefore, I don't have a big problem with that one.

Just my $.02...

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