Tag: The Simpsons

Week of Geek: Springfield, New New York and Dreamland

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Hi again Geeklings!  Welcome to July!  Hope you had a great Canada Day!

So last week we got a first look at a new show airing in August on Netflix, and I’m pretty darn stoked.

This is our first look at Disenchantment, the third series from Matt Groening, who created The Simpsons and Futurama.  You may have heard of at least one of those shows.  While the above clip is really short, any longtime fans will definitely get a sense of the type of humor that often runs through all three shows (and that’s gotta be John DiMaggio as the king; his highness sounds way too much like Bender).

I’m excited for this new show because I literally grew up with Groening’s cartoons.  The Simpsons first aired all the way back in 1989, when I turned 8 years old.  Futurama debuted in 1999, when I turned 18.  So head’s up, a lot of this post is just going to be me gushing, because while I may not be good at a lot of languages I am fluent in Simpsons quotes.  My brothers and I still quote lines to each other to this day.  Treehouse of Horror episodes are still required viewing at Halloween.  I cannot understate how much of an impact The Simpsons has had on my life.

And it’s hard to describe how much of a big deal The Simpsons was when it first aired.  In the early 90s they were EVERYWHERE!  Merchandising, commercials, t-shirts, toys, even music.  There was a single called “Do the Bartman” and it is one of the most 90s things you will ever come across (also Michael Jackson had a hand in writing it and singing backing vocals).  The show was ahead of it’s time and considered quite risque in it’s day.

Countless guest stars, a theme park ride, a movie and some weird predictions later, the show has had almost 30 seasons by now, and there’s quite a bit of debate amongst fans when it may have gone off the rails (or definitely, depending on who you ask).  There have been quite a few recent episodes I’ve enjoyed but even I have to agree that it’s just not as funny as it used to be.  That can easily be chalked up to franchise fatigue, which is what happens when any show has been on for too long or had two many episodes.  It’s just impossible to keep that same level of quality over 30 years; you run out of jokes, ideas, storylines and character plots.  Most fans think the ‘Golden Age’ of the show was roughly between seasons 3 and seasons 9, and I’m inclined to agree.  I personally would tell any new viewer to start with seasons 4 and 5.  There are some classic episodes there.

Now Futurama doesn’t have the same problem of franchise fatigue as The Simpsons, as it hasn’t lasted nearly as long, but it has still had a bumpy history.  As I mentioned it started in 1999… but was cancelled in 2003.  It was then brought back in 2008… but was cancelled again in 2013.  But even with it’s first cancellation it had a strong fanbase, one that continues to this day.  There are people who feel Futurama surpassed The Simpsons in terms of quality, and while the show may not have had as much of an impact on me as the residents of Springfield did, the Planet Express crew and their wacky adventures and endless skewering of Sci Fi tropes still holds a special place in my heart.  They did a whole episode with the original cast of Star Trek, how could I not love them?

Besides, it has one quality that I don’t think The Simpsons quite managed; some episodes of Futurama will make you cry for days.  I still won’t watch ‘Jurassic Bark‘; once was plenty, thanks.

As was perhaps inevitable, the Simpsons and Futurama even did a crossover a few years ago.

And now we’ll see how Disenchantment does.  From what we know so far the story follows Bean, Elfo and Lucy, a princess, elf and demon respectively.  While The Simpsons is more slice of life and Futurama is more sci fi, Disenchantment will play around with fantasy.  I can’t wait!

What do you guys think?  Excited?  Couldn’t care less?  Eager to check out more Groening shows if you haven’t already?  Which one is your favorite?  Post in the comments or head over to WriteIt.

Thanks guys!  Have a great week, don’t forget to sign up for the Teen Challenge and get those ballots in, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Holiday Edition: Holiday Episodes of Favorite Shows

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Hi again Geeklings!  How’s December going?  Still neck-deep in exams and projects?  Hang in there!

To help everyone get back in the holiday spirit, even though time might be a little tight, I thought this week I’d focus on holiday episodes of TV shows, which tend to be about half an hour to an hour.  There are lots of nerdy TV shows that like to indulge in some festive cheer every now and then, so let’s look at some examples…

Rick and MortyAnatomy Park” – From the first season of Cartoon Network’s crass but brilliant Sci Fi animated program.  On Christmas Day Morty discovers his grandfather Rick has created an amusement park inside the body of a man dressed as Santa.  Things do not go well for anyone and it makes for a horrifying but memorable holiday.

Phineas and FerbA Very Perry Christmas” – Phineas and Ferb want to turn their town into a giant Christmas Card to thank Santa Claus for all he’s done, but villain Doofenshmirtz has other ideas, like using a ray gun to turn the town naughty.

Doctor Who Holiday Specials – In what’s become a tradition that’s lasted quite a few years now of a special airing on Christmas Day, the Doctor has had many holiday-themed adventures in time and space.  This year’s episode “Twice Upon a Time” will mark the last appearance of Peter Capaldi before Jodie Whittaker takes over as the first female Doctor…

…but there are lots of adventures to watch in the meantime.  Might I suggest “The Runaway Bride“, “A Christmas Carol” and “The Husbands of River Song“?  There’s a full list here.

The Toy Story That Time Forgot  A great addition to the Toy Story Universe, with a whole lot of dinosaurs.

American DadThe Best Christmas Story Never“, “The Most Adequate Christmas Ever” – The Smith Family’s holidays tend to include time travel and near death experiences.  Not typical but still fun.

SupernaturalA Very Supernatural Christmas” – You wouldn’t think, with all the demons and monsters and whatnot, that Sam and Dean Winchester would have much room for the holidays, but as this touching episode proves there’s always room for some cheer.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Hearth’s Warming Eve“, “Hearthbreakers“, “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” – In the Land of Equestria, they call their holiday season Hearth’s Warming.  “Hearth’s Warming Eve” reveals the roots of the holiday, “Hearthbreakers” show how different families celebrate and “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” is a take on A Christmas Carol.

The Simpsons Holiday Episodes – There’s nearly 30 years of Simpsons episodes to look through, but if you follow those links you’ll find a couple of DVD collections of their holiday escapades.

FuturamaX-Mas Story” “A Tale of Two Santas” – One of the most irreverent takes on the holidays, Futurama introduced the character of Robot Santa, and he is NOT someone you want to come across on Xmas Eve.  Every resident of 31st Century New New York knows to be indoors before sundown the night before Xmas (that is the official name of the holiday by then, pronounced ‘Exmas’), but the Planet Express crew may be in for a chaotic holiday regardless in these two episodes.

Adventure TimeHolly Jolly Secrets Parts 1 and 2” – One holiday season in the Land of Ooo, Finn and Jake stumble across some VHS tapes, which they discover is a video diary of the Ice King.  Upon watching the tapes (which the King attempts to recover) they discover some long-hidden secrets about the King’s past.

Bob’s Burgers, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins“, “Christmas in the Car“, “Father of the Bob” – The holidays are a big deal in the Belcher household, but often times thing go hilariously awry, from an unexpected guest to a Christmas Eve quest to find a new tree to some family drama.  Watch as they find the holiday cheer amidst the madness.

So there’s a smattering to get you going.  Anything super cool I missed?  Post away in the comments section or share your own holiday thoughts on WriteIt.

Stay tuned for more holiday fun, don’t forget about our Study Hall hours if you need a place to cram, and until next time, End of Line.