Thursday, September 20, 2007

Heart vs. groin

A grab-bag blog entry last night, and a grab-bag column today, with four items of roughly equal length, about the "Simpsons" season premiere, the "Family Guy" spoof of "Star Wars," the "Burn Notice" season finale and the big "24" development that Fox decided to spoil several months early:
"Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, does whatever a spider-pig... does..."

If those words fill your heart with joy, chances are you were one of the millions who bought tickets to "The Simpsons Movie" this summer (or, at least, that you saw the trailer on YouTube). I was one of those millions, and suffered multiple bouts of the hiccups from too much laughter (highlight, other than Spider-Pig: the "Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity?" ticker ad), even though I’ve watched recent seasons of "The Simpsons" TV show more out of loyalty than merit.

So when I watched a review screener of the 19th (yes, 19th) season premiere of the show, I expected it to pale in comparison to the movie, even though I knew it would feature a Spider-Pig cameo. Instead, it felt oddly, comfortingly similar to the movie. The structure is similar, with the best jokes in the first act (Homer saves Mr. Burns’ life and is rewarded with a private jet flight to Chicago for some deep dish pizza), a bit of a lull to get the plot moving in the second (Marge hires Homer a life coach, voiced by guest star Stephen Colbert) and a third act with some genuine pathos and misadventures with a vehicle Homer shouldn’t be able to operate.
To read the full column, click here.

15 comments:

jim treacher said...

Bauer on trial. Sounds thrilling. "WHO ARE YOU CLERKING FOR???"

BF said...

"Your Honor, I'd like to treat this witness as hostile."

Like it really matters. By Episode 8, Jack'll be back in LA (via the Concorde?) shooting terrorists & chasing nukes. It's just what he does.

dez said...

So "Burn Notice" is coming back next year? YAY!! Now what's this I'm hearing about "The 4400" and "Dead Zone" being cancelled? True, false, somewhere in between?

dez said...

Oh, yeah, and that "24" spoiler is friggin' awesome! I'm buying it already!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yeah, Dez, they renewed "Burn Notice" a month or two ago.

Figgsrock2 said...

Alan,

Glad to see you gave Burn Notice a second chance. I too cannot wait for next summer for its return.

Taleena said...

Yay Burn Notice. I Tivo'd a good deal of the Marathon to catch the husband up and noticed Fiona much less obnoxious than she used to be.

Nice to Xena/Three/Lucy gracing the screen and it is too bad she will not be a returning villain.

jim treacher said...

Yay for more Burn Notice. Better stock up on yogurt...

KaveDweller said...

Since when is having an on screen death uncertain? Of course, Tony should have died three times that "day" before he actually did....or didn't. So whatever.

paul c. said...

I've been hoping that the last few seasons of the Simpsons were particularly weak because the good writers were off working on the movie. With the movie done, maybe the quality of the show will bounce back somewhat.

Chris w said...

My main problem with the Simpsons for the past couple of seasons is they forgot they were trying to write a good story that just happened to have biting satire, brilliant parody, amazing wit, and slapstick belly-laughs. These newer seasons feel like they're making jokes about making jokes more than actually writing something funny.

dez said...

Yeah, Dez, they renewed "Burn Notice" a month or two ago.

Cool! So..."The 4400"? Or do you not know (in which case, someone at the L.A. Times is scooping you, hee hee)? :-)

Alan Sepinwall said...

No idea.

jim treacher said...

It just occurred to me that if Almeda can come back, there's still hope for the awesomest 24 character ever: George Mason! Sure, he flew a nuke into a canyon or whatever, but did we ever see a body?

R.A. Porter said...

AAARGH!!!

I've been waiting weeks for the payoff on (former high-profile tv actor/actress who's barely had a line on Burn Notice and yet I'm sure is deep in the conspiracy) and they just didn't give me enough in the finale! I mean, the tiniest of teases so I'm now sure about it, but nothing more!!!