June 1st, 2020


The Right Square for Circular Eyes

Last week, The Simpsons on Disney+ finally became worth watching. The first seasons, the good ones, were finally made available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, as they obviously should have been in the first place. It's not on the level of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's infamous "remaster" (Amazon Prime, thankfully, only streams the series in SD) but enough of the screen was cropped out to make it a worthless inclusion on the service. But now all's well that ends well so I picked up where I left off in my last rewatch I began four or five years ago, near the end of season three, with the episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love".

Now this is an improvement from watching someone's ripped VHS copy, that's for sure.

Said friend of Bart (Nancy Cartwright) is of course Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) who falls for a new girl with braces after viewing a sex ed tape starring a young, 1970s era Troy McClure (Phil Hartman).

Already there's more in this episode than Disney could hope to clean up with a cgi furry butt, right from the beginning with a classic Raiders of the Lost Ark parody featuring Homer (Dan Castellaneta) in his underwear, his unintelligible screams meant to mimic the speech of the Hovitos.

Yes, it's too bad. Perhaps we could warn Disney. If only they spoke Hovitos.

The best part of the episode is actually a subplot in which Homer expands his vocabulary via a subliminal messages tape delivered to him instead of one for weight loss. The next day he starts talking about his "gastronomic rapacity".

The funniest part, though, is when he stops using the tape and forgets "spoon".

"Where's that . . . metal dealie. You know to dig. Food."

Milhouse's girlfriend is voiced by Kimmy Robertson, best known as Lucy from Twin Peaks. It took me a minute to realise it. At first I just thought, "Where have I heard that voice before? Like, in something I've watched so many millions of times in the past thirty years it's etched on my subconscious?" Though as Homer said when Lisa (Yeardley Smith) first brings up the power of subliminal conditioning, "that's a load of rich creamery butter."

Robertson is pretty good as a cartoon child character--she has that kind of voice that doesn't sound like a real child but like a sharper, funnier version. She could have a good career as a voice actress in such roles.

Twitter Sonnet #1359

A folded leg suggests the standing bug.
A sea of hats forestalled the rising mob.
The answer given now's a timely hug.
The thread to shirts was like the corn to cob.
The cloud of cotton's dyed with purple blood.
Impending rubble speaks of building death.
Some muscle sprouts escape the cakey mud.
The sign of air's implied with ev'ry breath.
A kind of answer turned in laundry swoop.
Consensus clicked throughout the squirrel's tree.
Retreating thinkers claim the chicken coop.
Potential hives evade the single bee.
The colour picture snapped a grey response.
The angle clicked like famous housely haunts.