I count myself as a fan of The Simpsons. Some around me think I am a supper-fan. But it is the longest running show on television because it has a lot of fans. And has a lot of fans because of the great writing. So even though I can quote the shows and kill in the Simpsons Trivial Pursuit game (Reverend Lovejoy's first name is Tim, etc.) I consider myself an average fan. After watching every available box-set episode with the commentary on; I have one question. What and where is this "Simpsons Internet" they often refer to? Is it a "series of tubes"? Did Al gore invent it? Did his wife Tipper sensor it? Did Google in China erase it because the word "freedom" was involved? Can I be part of the "Simpsons Internet" by writing about it, in it?
Please consider the following:
I attended the Simpsons Marathon Film Fest in Rome. I met Matt Groening at a party at Sony Studios. I told him "Best show ever" and did not quote, bug or otherwise bother him in anyway. That's worth a little something, right?
I once wrote the Show Runner in an attempt to get my foot in the door as an intern writer. But in Hollywood it's not who you know, it's who knows you.
And oh yes, I have opinions too.
Best regular episode, is found in season 7 "Homerpalooza", even though it was derided by the writers on the commentary. Funny, funny, funny! Too many funny moments and lines to quote. But the backstage meeting between Billy and Homer goes " Billy Corgan Smashing Pumpkins" (shaking hands) "Homer Simpson, smiling politely". The three way turn that gets their tour bus away from both Cincinnati and Cleveland. Pink Floyd's Pig, Cypress Hill doing "Insane in the Membrane" with an orchestra, Jimi Hendrix' puppy, Bart's comment on the ease of "depressing teenagers" on and on it hysterically goes.
Best "special episode" Season 11 "Behind The Laughter" the take-off on VH1's "Behind The Music". "The money was like a drug but what was even more like a drug was the drugs"
The "Tree House of Horrors" are always cool, Homer falling through another dimension, "Poltergeist" style and entering a 3-D universe and falling into a real street that I immediately recognized from Hollywood, complete with live background actors and exclaiming something like "This is the worst place yet"! Funny. Extra funny if you have ever lived near that street.
Best Couch Gag was the one where we see the entire universe, reminiscent of the opening, and sadly the best scene, from the Jodi Foster flick, "Contact", that cumulates into a single hair on Homers head. A close second place is the one where Homer evolves from the muck, walks the timeline of Homo sapiens to arrive at the couch where Marge asks "What took you so long?"
Way too many great lines to mention but season 19 when Homer referring to God says "in case he is busy creating hurricanes or not existing" was a good one. And I loved that fearless attack on religion. And they should be able to get away with that humor as they expose people to more religious diversity than any other show. Numerous college courses are taught involving the show, including "Religion and the Simpsons". But by far, my favorite line, that still makes me laugh until I cry is "Homers Phobia" Season 8 episode 15 where guest star John Waters befriends the Simpsons and Marge tries to explain to, the clueless as usual, Homer that their new friend is gay. Marge "Let me put it this way, he prefers the company of men." Homers reply, "Who doesn't!" Golden!!!
Least favorite, err I mean, "Worst episode ever"? Easy, the season 12, award winning, episode "Homr" where Homers dimness is explained by having a crayon in his nose poking his brain. It was much more interesting to think Homer developed into a loveable goof due to bad parenting, genes, multiple concussions and alcohol abuse. It just seemed like a cheap, weak way to explain something that was better left unexplained.
I enjoyed the jab at Brazil in season 13, "Blame it on Lisa" and Brazil's response. Also found it interesting that when I was in Brazil they referred to "Drederick Tatum" as "Mike Tyson". Opps! It's interesting to watch the show in other countries. They rarely bother trying to copy the original voices and just dub it in with seemingly random voice over actors.
It's still fun when people try to figure out where Springfield is. Really? They have blizzards, beaches with sun, a boardwalk, a Grand Canyon type gorge, one of the tallest mountains in the world, a failed monorail, a baseball team and a nuclear power plant. They celebrate "Whacking Day" where the citizens come out to whack snakes. Their state capital is called Capital City. Come on guys, with all these clues you haven't figured it out yet?
I was disappointed that the producers folded under the criticism of Season 12 episode 14 "New Kids on the Blecch" of Burns saying to Smithers "you call yourself a Chinaman?" while he whipped him from his rickshaw. And changed the line to "You call yourself Chinese?" Even in the box set! I understand not wanting to seem insensitive, but come on politically correct for the Chinese? The Chinese? With all their human rights violations? The same Chinese who steal our technology and sell us poison toys and toothpaste. After the great and ironic tiffs with American Presidents and others, you roll over for the Chinese?
When I first watched the movie I thought it should have been a whole lot more epic. All those years of pre production to come up with that story and the short running time of only 88 minutes? After re-watching, I liked it much more. I guess blowing up all of Springfield was at least a little "epic" and seeing Bart's pee-wee was surely a movie only moment. I can't stay mad at the Simpsons (Homer "I can't stay mad at TV"). And their writers put in so much research, seems almost like overkill when almost any direction they go, even without a ton of background work, is funny. I guess that keeps the writers working hard and looking like they are working hard instead of just having fun and turning out gold.
Okay, so by writing this am I now officially a part of the "Simpsons Internet"? Can I shamelessly request to be invited to a tapping of a commentary on a future box set? I'll provide my own transportation; will not try in anyway to dominate the conversation while adding some true fan insights. I know there is a chance that I will be solely in "the company of men" during the tapping. And "who doesn't" prefer that?
Thanks for your consideration. Oh yeah and one more thing, Screw Flanders!