The Simpsons: Fraudcast News (5/23/04)

MarkHastings

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Squeaky voice teen: "Why did they cancel Futurama!"

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Homer: "Marge, I'm pulling an all nighter for my little girl. Put on a pot of coffee, drink it, then start making burgers"

 

WillG

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I thought it was funny, but once again, very politically slanted. I am hoping this is not indicative of The Simpsons of the future.

I like how they spoofed New Hampshire's Man in the Mountain collapsing.
 

Craig S

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Lisa: "Nelson, what journalistic experience do you have?"

Nelson: "Well... I can make nerds cry."

Lisa: "Great! You can be our TV critic."

A little paraphrased, but it made me
 

Kwang Suh

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Why are people surprised that The Simpsons mocks politics??!?!?

Heck, they've made fun of pretty well everything and everyone, including Republicans, Democrats, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Canadians, Japanese, Americans, the elderly, the young, Brazilians, babies, mothers, fathers, ghosts, computer programmers, teachers, lawyers, Influenza, movie stars, telephone operators, and all sorts of other people/occupations/whatever.

If anything, I thought tonight's episode was hardly political; I don't see how Burns buying media outlets qualifies as political in any way - if anything, it was an allegory to the present situation of media consolidation.

Oh well. I guess people can find anything anywhere if they look hard enough.
 

Dave Miller

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Burn's & Smither's comments about Rupert Murdoch at the end were very funny. Good espisode.

Somebody help me. I didn't catch the point of the Vietnam flashback for Skinner.

Peace,

DM
 

Sam Favate

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Another outstanding episode.

As for the politics, I applaud any show taking an active stance on a subject (especially in the current political environment). Keep in mind that this was very likely the last new Simpsons episode before the election in November.
 

CharlesD

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Burns: "Since when have public figures been fair game for satire?"
 

Rick Guynn

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Well, the problem I have had with it recently is that it has been too overt. In the past,as you mentioned, they have made fun of just about every kind of group out there. They have been pretty even in making fun of just about everyone and not appearing to pick on a particular side of political issues. It has been funny regardless of who/what they picked on.

It seems lately that they have become slanted, which (for me) takes away from the humor potential and indicates that the writing has gotten too lazy to be clever in its political satire. I guess the big difference is that previously they have made fun for fun's sake, and now it seems they are trying to embed or convey a definite opinion on the subject. This takes it out of the realm of satire (which is funny to just about everyone) into editorial.

RG
 

MatthewA

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Exactly, Rick.

Other than that, I thought this episode was an unfunny disaster. Not one genuine laugh in the whole thing. Did they write it or make it up as they went along?
 

Garrett Lundy

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I'm a big Simpsons fan but this episode left me cold. Not one chuckle in the whole episode. Even though I did crack a smile out of Burn's being unable to crush an ant.

Also, the Skinner/Tanzarian Viet-Nam flashback.... huh? I don't get it.
 

Michael Harris

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No point really. The sight of the mimeograph machine that Skinner showed Lisa triggered the flashback. I guess Skinner was a combat mimeograph operator during the war and was captured by the VC/NVA while doing nothing more heroic then operating the machine and sniffing the sheets to get high.

I still remember that mimeograph smell.

As for the episode itself, it was one of the better Mr. Burns themed shows. Loved the ending with its praise of Murdoch. Guess Mr. Burns knows whose butt to kiss.
 

MarkHastings

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That's exactly how I feel too. What ever happened to the Simpsons episodes that were just goofy and didn't have an agenda to prove? It seems like the past two episodes were out to make a statement more so than to entertain.
 

TheLongshot

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Actually, I thought this episode was far less "overt" than last weeks episode, and more in the vein of what is typically Simpsons. I didn't think it was very "political" at all, mostly what is pointed out as fact.

Personally, I thought it was quite good.

Jason
 

MarkHastings

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I hope you guys aren't confusing our use of the word "political" to mean the governement. I thought it was "political" in respect to corporation politics.
 

MatthewA

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Unlike last week's debacle, I wasn't even paying attention to the politics because I was dumbfounded at how shoddy the script was.

Only one of the May Simpsons have made me laugh at all and at least two have made me cringe. It's really time to pull an Old Yeller on this show. Season 15 has had some genuinely embarassing episodes and the worst line-up of guest stars this side of Scooby Doo.
 

Marc Fedderman

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I can wholly sympathize with the show's perspective, but to echo the sentiments already expressed here, the presentation was unsubtle and didactic. There were a few funny moments/lines in this show, particularly the aforementioned Lisa/Nelson exchange, still this felt like a more subversive and sinister version of an after-school special or School House Rocks short. I am (we are)well acquainted with the first amendment and the dangers of curtailing its provisions and I'd like to think that anyone who watches the show is similarly aware. To clarify, I am a huge Simpsons fan and in almost complete agreement with the show's political agenda. It is the ham-fisted way that said agenda has been conveyed that bothers me.

With the release of season four on DVD imminent, it might prove instructive to see how much the show has changed(regressed I believe) in 10+ years. The vintage shows worked exceptionally well on two levels. As a viscerally funny, almost puerile kiddy show, hordes of people were attracted to it. As a nuanced sociopolitical satire, rife with pop allusions and inside jokes, the more discerning viewer was well satisfied. Now it just seems like a sporadically funny harangue. Has the show jumped or just gradually gotten stale? Does anyone think The Simpsons is at, or anywhere near, its peak? I am genuinely interested in knowing.

One final note: I wonder how much longer the show can get away with openly ridiculing and antagonizing Murdoch the Magnificent? It would seem, as someone said in last week's thread, that FOX needs The Simpsons more than The Simpsons needs FOX.
 

Anthony Hom

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This was a social commentary of big business controlling the media and deciding what is news and what is not. Even with cable, there are very few independent media outlets that exist anymore. Eventually, the media will be narrowed down to the big three, like american car companies. It looks political because big business is usually associated with conservative values, while Lisa has always been looked at as Liberal. It showed how Lisa could be slandered and there was nothing she could do about.

The fact that Burns was trying to take over a 1 page newspaper run by an 8 year old is silly enough, why would anyone here really take it seriously is beyond me.

Skinner has always had flashbacks to vietnam, nothing new there.
 

MarkHastings

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Yeah, it reminded me of the flashback he had where he stole the cupcake that was labeled (something like) "For Officers Only".

 

WillG

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It may not have been as political as last week's episode and I do agree that it is unfortunate that 5 percent of the corporations own 95 percent of the media, the Simpsons, in the last couple of episodes has been particularly nasty toward Republicans and Fox/Rupert Murdoch for having a more conservative bend. I mean, talk about shitting where you eat. I know that since the show began they ribbed Fox "It may be on a lousy channel, but the Simpsons are on TV!" but I do really think it has gotten more nasty in the last couple of seasons. It is true that the Simpsons has goofed on everybody but I think that in many cases, the show makes its apolgies to who they are making fun of, usually in the form of Homer having a phobia of a certain group (immigrant, homosexuals etc) but by the end of the episode he learns to be tolerant. But it seems like they really want us to think that Republicans are evil, greedy, environment destroying, media controlling monsters, and they make no apolgies. I really hope they realize what they are doing and stop agenda pushing and get back to more clever send ups and lighter stories.
 

Marc Fedderman

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Agree or disagree with the show's politics, the "agenda pushing" as Will called it has rendered The Simpsons unfunny and a shell of its former self. Moreover, the show has become increasing cannibalistic, often resorting to references to previous episodes. Alluding to "Lisa's Substitute" in one of last night's shows (can't remember which one) is a good example of this. The "I am Lisa Simpson" conceit was poignant and wonderful: 14 years ago. Meta-humor and "fourth wall" jokes (witness Burns and Smithers peering through the screen at the end of the episode) can be funny and effective when used sparingly, but they seem like a real stretch here. Yes this is a jeremiad, and yes I still watch the show. I can't really reconcile these two contradictory impulses/actions other than to say that I remain hopeful that things can turn around.

By the way, I have an extra Costco coupon for ten bucks off season four. For a SASE, it goes to the first person to PM me or respond on this thread.
 

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