Archive for category The-Simpsons

9 TV Shows That Seriously Lost The Plot

Arrested Development

Over the years there have been a number of TV shows that have disappointed audiences. Some have completely jumped off a cliff, others changed things which just left the show unbalanced and in a few – characters have been poorly injected or ripped out.

We’ve taken the time to have a look at a few of these and provide a relatively spoiler-free (or at least vague-around-the-details) overview of each of them.

9. 24

24

Fox’s 24 was very enjoyable for a number of seasons and the first three alone could be spoken about as some of the best the 2000s has seen so far. Then there was season 4, with ridiculous plotlines that ran throughout and it had a villain whose name sounds awfully like a brand of sweet. Season 5 had many redeeming features, and it was the return to form the show needed with a great interesting story, deep characters and lots of suspense and tension that the show had been known for.

Season 6 had problems, with the writers’ strike hitting it in mid-flow. The first few episodes were great and it had some real promise, but when the writers went back to work it was like they had forgotten what they’d already done and went in a completely different direction. This caused the show to have moments which just seemed absurd in the 24 universe (and that takes some doing). Season 7 was a really hard watch – it has moments where there is a glimmer of hope, then it smashes it down with ludicrous plot twists and unfeasible events. SPOILER!! I’m not even going to go into the whole Tony thing. I mean who brings a main character back to life as a villain? SPOILER OVER!!

Season 8 looked like it could return to form with some new cast members including The Shield’s very own David Aceveda (Benito Martinez). I thought when seeing the initial trailer that this had potential, but then I started watching it. After the first episode where they SPOILER!! killed off Benito Martinez’s character SPOILER OVER!! the glimmer of hope I had for the series had dived head first off a cliff. Having read more about season 8, for the most part it just seems so silly. I haven’t even mentioned the TV movie – 24 Redemption, when Jack Bauer goes to Africa and meets Robert Carlyle and tries to save kids from terrorists, and to be honest, it’s probably for the best.

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The Simpsons: 12 Supporting Characters Who Completely Steal The Show

Moleman

The decision by the creative minds behind The Simpsons to extend the reach of Springfield and focus on the everyday lives of a massive ensemble of colourful characters and caricatures was an ingenious one that allows the writers rich opportunity to explore new dynamics as the Simpsons family are able to interact with others. Had the show been limited to the smaller cast, we might not have seen the diversity needed to extend the show for such a long time, despite the accepted brilliance of the main cast.

Naturally, as part of that ensemble, there are certain characters who stand out more than others, and who are given the greatest lines by writers who clearly love them more than their fellow players. They are the supporting stars who completely steal their scenes, grabbing all focus with a well-placed one-liner or their general, brilliant demeanour.

The lack of screen time also allows these characters to be more brash, more annoying, and more grotesque, as absence dulls expectations of them and simultaneously heightens their impact every time we see them. They are the unheralded heroes of the show, pushed aside by the likes of more recurring supporting characters like Barney Gumble, Ned Flanders, Mr Burns, or the extended Simpsons family, but they deserve their time in the sun.

These are not just the greatest supporting or recurring characters, nor are they necessarily the best developed, or even the best written, but they are the type of characters who appear, no matter how briefly, and completely steal focus from everyone else.

They are memorable, whether for their irresistible soundbites, or the lunacy of their very condition, and we’re paying tribute to the greatest of their number.

Honourable Mention

Cecil Underdunk Terwilliger

Cecil

The stuffy and down-trodden younger brother of Sideshow Bob doesn’t strictly qualify as a recurring supporting character, as he and his brother are both guest stars (and basically inflated cameos) but he is a brilliant character who added a new level to Bob’s character, and who traded on the irresistible rapport that already existed between vocal stars Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce.

His scheming is more devious and more Machiavellian even than his brother’s – thanks to a lifetime of being over-looked in favour of Bob as the family star, and the complexities that underpin the character are devilishly well-written to the point where it feels a shame that we haven’t had more screen time from the lesser Terwilliger brother.

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20 Mind-Blowing Facts You Never Knew About The Simpsons

Bob

If it had ended before the turn of the century The Simpsons would have been crowned the Greatest TV Show Of All Time. Sadly with a twenty-fifth season starting at the end of this month it’s now more deserving of the title Greatest TV Show To Ever Fall So Far Into Mediocrity.

I gave up on the show many years ago, only seeing newer episodes when the only other option is an episode of The Big Bang Theory airing for the third time that day on E4, but still often head back to the best seasons to relive the glory days. Classics like Homer The Clown and Marge Vs. The Monorail make me laugh now just as much as they did when I first saw them growing up (if not more).

It’s fair to say I still love The Simpsons and with that comes a fascination in how this revolutionary animation (in a Seth MacFarlane saturated world it’s easy to forget an adult cartoon was an bizarre concept) started out and became the classic it was. So to remind you just how great Matt Groening’s first baby was, here are twenty facts you probably didn’t know about The Simpsons.

20. The Movie Was Meant To Bring Back Scorpio

Scorpio

One thing The Simpsons really has over Family Guy is that it’s single episode characters are as memorable as the regulars, often to extent where the writers love them so much they come back for more (Sideshow Bob was, of course, meant to be a single episode villain).

One of the best one offs has to be Hank Scorpio, Homer’s one time boss and full on Bond villain. Voiced by Al Brooks, the hammock lover’s stuck in the memories of fans because he’s just so fricking hilarious; he has his own theme tune and an ingenious sugar storage system, while Homer is completely oblivious to his evil plans.

Scorpio was intended to reappear as the villain for The Simpsons Movie, but was instead switched for the similar (but less zany) Russ Cargill, also voiced by Brooks.

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