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FXX : Every Simpsons EVER Marathon

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I'm watching as much as possible (I'm working from home this week, yay!) and I've got all of the Treehouse of Horror episodes set to record so I can do a marathon at some point.

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I did the same thing and then got mentally overwhelmed so I'm just going day by day at this point.  It's really nice seeing the older episodes since they are rarely shown in syndication.  I need to be better at watching the DVDs.

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Gotta be honest, I'm pretty upset about them cropping the old episodes to 16:9. I really hope they're not also planning on doing this for the streaming site.

Edited by alynch
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I'm at work* but just checked in via Comcast streaming to see where we're at. Almost done with season 3 already?! Aye caramba!

 

Last night I thought it would be kinda cool to leave the TV on overnight so that, at the various times I woke up, I'd hear whichever episode was on. But apparently my subconscious wasn't into that idea, because I snapped off the TV sometime during the wee hours.

 

(* Homer voice: "Stupid work.")

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It's even better than I imagined it was going to be!

This is exactly what I've been thinking, The best part is I can use this to further my brainwashing of my children, who are already partially on board.

 

I flipped through the list between 7 PM yesterday and 5 PM and added something like 8 episodes to the DVR. I realized that wasn't going to work if I kept it up through seasons 4-9, so I stopped. I do plan to maybe grab all of the treehouse of horror episodes however. Running my own marathon of those seems like a great idea.

 

 

Gotta be honest, I'm pretty upset about them cropping the old episodes to 16:9. I really hope they're not also planning on doing this for the streaming site.

I had a somewhat different thought when I saw the episodes. I thought they looked really good in general, even the season 2 episodes. Maybe I'm just comparing them to the 600 times I watched them on the VHS tapes I used to record them back in the day. The quality is certainly higher on my HD set today than it was on those old recordings.

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I am LOVING this. I wish i could stay awake for 12 days!

 

Agree with JT, the episodes look great on my television. Did they do some remastering prior to the marathon? Plus they seem LONG. Twenty-seven actual minutes of content back then, and all the material cut in syndication restored (sadly just for this run, not when the reruns resume on FXX in the fall). Pretty awesome seeing them in order, too. I always remembered that it took several seasons to get up to speed, but some of the best. episodes. ever. occurred starting in S2. I'm amazed how many treasures I have already seen. Can't wait for the weekend!

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Hey guys! Since so many of us are taping (ha! see I'm old!) all the Treehouse of Horrors do you want to set a time to watch them all? We could pick a Saturday in September and watch them all together. Could be a fun day!

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One thing this marathon is doing is really showing how much Phil Hartman is missed. Seeing these episodes all together really highlights just what a presence he had.

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Even though this has been my favorite show since it began airing, I had forgotten how smart and funny the early seasons are. I haven't seen a lot of these episodes in years. I used to record them on VHS too! I had (still have) the season guides and would mark off when I recorded each episode.

 

My husband keeps saying you have all these on DVD! You can watch them anytime you want! But it feels more special to watch them on TV. I am excited about Simpson's World. I hope PS and/or Roku pick it up. I am spoiled and lazy now, DVDs are too much work.

 

There are so many characters they don't use at all anymore and Tapped Out still has years and years of things to add to the game.

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The marathon is also dating how long I have been saying certain things. "Can't talk. Eating." has apparently been with me for 20 years now.

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I may or may not mutter "Stupid trash, rotten, stinky, hate world, revenge soon." every time I take out the garbage. I haven't seen "Trash of the Titans" in so long. I love this marathon.

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Guilty. "Do it for her" gets me every time

 

That promo that says "we're all gonna die" has pretty much got it right. Is there news going on in the world, I wonder? The TV's been on FXX since I got up this morning. I didn't think I was going to be this obsessive. (I probably won't be in about a week's time.) Lots and lots of classic eps today, though. 

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I'm surprised we've been watching all day too! I mean breaks for grocery store & errands but if the TV has been on we've had the marathon running. It's kind of a nice break from the nonstop news cycle. :)

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Right now I have 30 episodes saved to the DVR but I've got about 10 set to record overnight and early morning. It's hard to keep up. I'll think of a funny line or moment and have to track down the episode and record it.

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I hear you, Iboatedhere.  If I don't watch any more of the episodes I DVR (for the rest of the week), I will have over 70 episodes recorded.  I have been trying to watch and delete the ones I record overnight.  Simpsons overload!

 

Also, "Do it for Her" always gets to me!

Edited by mariah23
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Dumb question - I really don't understand the topic very well. My provider has FXX on a non-HD level, so I just assumed the episodes were airing "as is" in terms of the screens they were made for twenty-five years ago. If I had FXX in HD, would I have expected to see it look different - would/could they have "stretched" it to fit the full screen, or at least more of it than on the non-HD channel?

 

I've been seeing this mentioned on AV Club and honestly didn't understand what they were talking about . Thanks for any information you can provide!

 

I'll try to keep it simple. Up until about a few years ago, all Simpsons episodes were made in what has traditionally been called "fullscreen," which means the frame had a length-to-height ratio (i.e. "aspect ratio") of 4:3, which was the screen-shape of most televisions prior to HD. Modern televisions are widescreen and have an aspect ratio of 16:9. FXX had two choices: they could air the episodes in their original shape, which would necessitate adding black bars to the left & right to fill out the screen, which tends to annoy some viewers, or they could crop the top and bottom of the original image so it fits the screen, which takes away 25% of the image.

 

The fact that you're watching on a non-HD channel doesn't change this. You're still getting the cropped widescreen image, only now you're getting black bars at the top and bottom to fill out a 4:3 screen.

 

If that's too confusing, maybe these visual aids will help:

 

Here's what a 4:3 image broadcast in HD would look like.

Here's what a 16:9 image broadcast in SD would look like.

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My kid is getting a real education in sex, first the Secrets of a Successful Marriage and now Bart After Dark! Luckily she hasn't asked any specific questions! :)

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Definitely enjoying the marathon. Setting DVR for 2 favorites: Homer v. NYC Monday @ 3:00 am and Viva Ned Flanders tomorrow @8:00 pm (East Coast time)

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Omg, I adore The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson! Even though it still feels a little wrong, I can't help laughing uncontrollably over the fight between the two people in Tower 1 and Tower 2 and the guy who intervenes. Every bit of that episode is genius.

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One thing this marathon is doing is making me miss Phil Hartman. A LOT.

 

I also love the live tweeting but some former Simpsons writers and showrunners during the marathon. According to Bill Oakley, Homer's line "To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!" was all Swartzwelder. The controversial but now classic "Homer's Enemy" was Oakley and Weinstein's idea but asked Swartzwelder to write it because they thought he'd give it "pizazz". I liked it when it first aired, and I still like it. Never felt bad for Frank Grimes, and I think it's his bad attitude. 

 

Jon Vitti tweeted this pic of the Simpsons writer's room circa 1992:

BvsxHMfCQAIQF-f.jpg

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I caught the marathon's episode when Marge went to work for Lionel Hutz, and it not only made me miss Phil Hartman, it also made me miss when Marge had an actual personality.  When she asked the family if all they just see her as a "spineless potato cooking housewife" I sighed and muttered, "Well that's what you've become lately Marge." 

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I am looking forward for them to the middle 5 and get into the last 10 seasons. I remember enjoying episodes or at least parts of episodes far more often than being annoyed by them, and it will be fun for me to marathon them and probably be surprised by things I haven't seen in a long time and also don't know every line by heart.

 

** By the way, I remember being annoyed or disappointed frequently during those middle seasons. Fortunately Futurama was around during that time, so I had that going for me.

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Even though there was some great episodes during Mike Scully's era as showrunner from 97-01, (Behind the Laughter, Simpsons Bible Stories) and memorable moments("Stupid sexy Flanders!") you couldn't shake the feeling the show was now coasting and that it was past it's peak. Scully said he didn't want to "wreck the show" but it made the episodes too cautious. Previous showrunners took risks, either with big concepts(David Mirkin) or through developing character relationships(Oakley and Weinstein).

Edited by VCRTracking
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I forgot how scary the Treehouse of Horror episodes used to be. Maybe it's because I was little when I watched them for the first time but I saw the first one over the weekend and had flashbacks to being terrified of that haunted house they moved into. The one that chose to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpsons.

The Raven was really well done- something I probably didn't appreciate as a kid. Also Treehouse of Horror V where Willie dies in the same way in all three stories.

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I'm also recording all the Treehouse of Horror eps -- why won't they sell me that??!? along with miscellaneous eps., some just for a single joke: "Na na na na na na na na Batman!" I love the Simpsons and it's almost the only show I watch in real time anymore, and still get laughs ("oh, he's just a bottom") -- but seeing the eps like this it's pretty obvious how great and special the first years were.

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-- but seeing the eps like this it's pretty obvious how great and special the first years were.

 

15 years ago, give or take, somebody described the show as the greatest piece of social satire ever to be on television. It always bothered me when people I liked and respected never watched the show because it was "a cartoon".

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Well, my plans for minimizing how much tv the Beadboys watch every day have gone right out the window.  Fortunately we are in the mediocre seasons now, so I can occasionally change the channel to catch the news or weather.

 

I'm also recording all the Treehouse of Horror eps -- why won't they sell me that??!?

I've long wondered why they don't release a DVD set of the Treehouse of Horror episodes; I would so buy that, given that I stopped buying the seasons after season 9.  I'm recording the ones I don't have (except for IX and X, which I missed), so that will help. 

 

I miss Phil Hartman greatly, not just for Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, but his other roles, too (I forgot he was Bart's Big Brother!).  And I just watched the episode where Maude FLanders dies, and it made me sad to think that poor Flanders was widowed twice.

 

15 years ago, give or take, somebody described the show as the greatest piece of social satire ever to be on television. It always bothered me when people I liked and respected never watched the show because it was "a cartoon".

Not only is it great social satire, it also manages to have a lot more genuinely touching moments, and be supportive of "family values," than most of the traditional sitcoms on tv. 

 

Finally, I've made the disturbing realization that I have become Marge Simpson -- I have a trouble-causing ten-year-old, an overly bright and sensitive (almost) eight-year-old, a precocious infant, and a beer-loving, occasionally doofusy husband.

Edited by beadgirl
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I miss Phil Hartman greatly, not just for Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, but his other roles, too (I forgot he was Bart's Big Brother!).

 

Jon Vitti said on twitter yesterday that "when we needed something to work and didn't know how to make it work, we called Phil Hartman". 

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Finally, I've made the disturbing realization that I have become Marge Simpson -- I have a trouble-causing ten-year-old, an overly bright and sensitive (almost) eight-year-old, a precocious infant, and a beer-loving, occasionally doofusy husband.

 

Awesome.

 

I noticed that I'm starting to empathize with Homer rather than just laugh at his frustrations.  One of my favorite moments of the show was when he was sitting on the bed with Mindy, and she tells him that he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to do. He responds with, "Maybe I want to. But then I think about Marge, and the kids. Well, not the boy. [gets annoyed] He drives me nuts. Sometimes I'd just like to... [Makes a vigorous choking Bart gesture]"

 

When I saw it this time, I still laughed, but there was also a little bit of "I hear ya Homer."

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"It's gonna be bigger than ten super bowls!"

 

Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching? I am, but barely hanging on as it is. And I've seen all 552, so we're in for some deep hurting after Seasons 13 and 14 are done.

 

ETA: I had to miss it most of Thursday and Friday but I had the marathon running in my head. I didn't leave the house for the entire weekend and only stopped to go out for food and to watch Doctor Who & Space Dandy. One of the best weekends I've ever had.

Edited by Galileo908
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I'm pretty much done at this point, but I've got the Treehouse of Horrors set to record (don't screw it up, DirecTV!).

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It's season 13 today and even though it's now past it's peak there are some episodes I love, like "The Frying Game" written by my fave John Swartzwelder.  I like the first act with the "screamapillar" and them having being forced to keep it alive because it's an endangered species, even though "It's sexually attracted to fire" Homer asks "Are you sure God doesn't want it to die?" and the government guy goes "What's god going to do? Get my wife to leave me again?" That's such a Swartzwelder exchange.

 

It's gotten some terrible reviews online which I can understand because the story takes some improbable turns, but the jokes and lines are hilarious. When Homer and Marge are somehow some tricked into being an old lady's servants Marge calls Homer by his name, he gasps and whispers "The missus prefers you call me Simpson!"

And when they get convicted of her murder Homer pleads "Play the race card!(shaking fist threateningly) Play it!"

Edited by VCRTracking
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Homer asks "Are you sure God doesn't want it to die?"

That line made me laugh; I like it when Homer displays a burst of intelligence or savvyness.  Which is the problem with most of the middle seasons -- Homer is perpetually a stupid jackass, and is inserted into absolutely every plot line.

 

Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching?

It's on mostly as background noise now.  I actually watched a couple of episodes of Law & Order last night, for a change of pace.

Edited by beadgirl
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One thing this marathon is doing is really showing how much Phil Hartman is missed. Seeing these episodes all together really highlights just what a presence he had.

I agree. I miss Phil Hartman so much.

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Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching?

 

Well here's the thing. I don't own the DVDs and when I Netflixed the show, I stopped after season 9, so the stuff that FXX is showing now? Episodes I have not seen since they originally aired. So yes, I'm still watching, and my expectations are low, so I end up mostly enjoying myself. Last night I had way more fun with "Day of the Jackanapes" and "New Kids on the Blecch" than I thought I would.

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Aw I love New Kids on the Blecch! It was a perfect episode to show my kid. She really loved the beginning of the marathon and I'm hoping she'll like the ones we ended up taping. 

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Aw, once we passed season nine, I thought I was done with episodes I wanted to see. I forgot about the screamapillar! That damn thing is one of my all-time favorite throwaway gags they've ever done. Sexually attracted to fire... I can't stop laughing and I didn't even get to see it. I made this awhile back, good time to break it back out:

simpsonsscreamapillar.jpg

Edited by kariyaki
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DAMMIT. I can't believe I forgot about the existence of the screamapillar and did not set the DVR to pick it up. 

 

We used to call my daughter screamapillar. I even attempted to get a decent enough picture of it to put on a onesie. Now that she's in grade school, it would have been fun to show her the episode and tell her some more stories about her as an infant.

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I'm surprised that I remembered the punch lines of so many jokes going back to the first season. There was a period around season eight that I stopped watching the show until the syndication brought me back. The show wasn't always as funny as in the past but every season had at least two episodes that were as funny as anything on television.

 

I like that they're crediting the army of voice actors for the Spanish versions. I think I knew that Homer is "Homero" in the Spanish Simpsons but I don't know why they changed Barney Gumble to Barney "Gómez". Maybe there's a joke in there.

 

The 16:9 versions are a little distracting. They're not just cropping. In some cases when a crop would look awkward they're stretching the frame. Sometimes they're even panning the crop for a visual joke. At least it's good that someone put some work into making the episodes look as close to acceptable as possible in 16:9.

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The 16:9 versions are a little distracting. They're not just cropping. In some cases when a crop would look awkward they're stretching the frame. Sometimes they're even panning the crop for a visual joke. At least it's good that someone put some work into making the episodes look as close to acceptable as possible in 16:9.

 

I saw on Tumblr that in 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' he asks "you all talk big but who here has the guts to stop me?" The camera pans to the crowd and everyone lowers their eyes except Maggie. That was shown in the 16:9 marathon version.

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