9 items from 2014
People turns 40 this year, and we have to say, it's looking pretty good for having four decades in the spotlight. Just like any other cultural institution (the White House; The Peach Pit), the magazine has made more than a few appearances in TV and movies. Let's look at some of our favorites. Jeff Goldblum in The Big Chill Goldblum's performance as a sex-obsessed People journalist was dubbed "perhaps the Goldblummiest of Jeff Goldblum's early performances" by Slate. That said, it's not all that accurate. Not all People writers are self-loathing egomaniacs obsessed over their non-existent novel-writing careers. Just most of them - kidding! »
- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl
The Simpsons' media gimmicks, crossovers and auteur couch gags have become a bigger story than the show itself over the last few years...
“It's not selling out, it's co-branding. Co-branding!”
So says Homer Simpson in the throes of a feverish nightmare at the beginning of Brick Like Me, the 550th episode of The Simpsons, which then unfolds mostly in a Lego version of Springfield.
It's a cute way to start an episode that uses an exercise in product placement to tell a story about parenting and creativity, which is mirrored at the end of that story when the episode acknowledges how The Lego Movie did the exact same thing a few months earlier.
Such meta-textual hat-tipping may be appreciated by more pernickety fans of The Simpsons, (it's also telling that the antagonist of Brick Like Me »
Rob counts down the top 50 episodes of TV's longest-running animated series, The Simpsons...
Since its debut in 1989, across 552 episodes and 25 seasons, The Simpsons has become one of the most revered and beloved TV programmes of all time. It’s a true cultural phenomenon that’s influenced not just animation, but all areas of TV comedy and sitcom. For so many of us, its quotes and catchphrases have permeated our everyday vernacular, from single words like “crisitunity” and “embiggen” to phrases “you don’t win friends with salad” and “everything’s coming up Milhouse.”
Personal opinions may vary, but for me the show’s peak years were from season 4 through to 10. They’re consistently funny, all killer and no filler runs with barely a dud episode to be found between 1992-1998. Past this point the standard becomes a little more mixed, and recent seasons have been distinctly average at best. The »
[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, Fxx is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.] Somehow, despite including two different clip shows, Day 3 of Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon leads us deep into the show's Golden Years, as we finish Season 4, go through Season 5 and most of Season 6, spanning from "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" through "The PTA Disbands." For the second straight day, we had no trouble picking two favorites apiece and we left out a slew of great episodes including Krusty's Kancellation, Bart's rise to "I Didn't Do It!" fame, James Woods' stint at the Kwik-e-Mart, Homer's trip into space and Lisa's attempts to design a new Malibu Stacy. [The image accompanying this story is from "Marge in Chains" which, if I'm being honest, didn't come close to making our list, but it's the only official image Fxx was able to provide for the episodes airing on Saturday.] My own greatest regret is that I couldn't pick "Treehouse of Horror V," which features "The Shinning" and "Time and Punishment," which are two of my five "Treehouse" segments. However, I stand by the two episodes I chose. And guess what? Day 4 was even Harder, choosing-wise. But that's tomorrow. »
- Daniel Fienberg, Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Josh Lasser and Dave Lewis
All voiceover jobs begin the same way for Maurice Lamarche. “They all involve a microphone and a room with carpet on the walls,” Lamarche said Aug. 6 at a Screen Actors Guild Foundation panel honoring nominees for best animation voiceover performance at the upcoming Creative Arts Emmy Awards. “That’s where I start from.” Lamarche (“Futurama”) was joined in a two-hour conversation at the SAG Foundation Actors Center in Los Angeles by Seth Green (“Robot Chicken”) and Stephen Full (“Dog With a Blog”), as well as moderator James Arnold Taylor. The voice behind multiple characters on “Futurama,” Lamarche was asked about the difference between doing an animated series and doing commercial work. He noted an episode of the animated series “The Critic,” in which he voiced 26 characters. “I look at it as a chance to play and bounce all over the place and change vocal tensions,” Lamarche said. He contrasted that »
In the toxic slurry of aggressive reviews greeting ABC’s new singing-and-impersonating competition show, Sing Your Face Off, the New York Observer’s might’ve been the most shrill: “I hope I’m not exaggerating here, but Sing Your Face Off will lead directly to a Hunger Games–style dystopian future.” But our opinion is that anything that features Jon Lovitz hamming it up as Elton John and Pavarotti can’t be all that bad. The man’s record of humanitarian service — forged from characters like Saturday Night Live’s Master Thespian and The Critic’s Jay Sherman — has earned him the right to be showered with confetti and fanfare, not internet hatred and dismissal, even if getting upstaged by Sebastian Bach pretending to be Adam Levine is part of the deal. With Sing Your Face Off set to debut tomorrow night, Vulture talked to Lovitz about the SNL years, »
- Steve Marsh
Television network Fxx will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons consecutively in an 12-day marathon this summer. The pilot will kick things off on August 21st, with episodes continuing into Labor Day (September 1st) according to The Associated Press.
The Simpsons Are Killing Off a Major Character; See Who We Think Should Make Their Last Exit from Springfield
The marathon coincides with the network's recent licensing of the series, which cost Fxx an estimated $500 million last year. Every episode of the series will also be available for streaming via the FXNow app in August, »
Fact #1: Jay Leno has been the most popular late night host in America for the majority of the past 19 years.
Fact #2: Comedians, Hollywood insiders, and laypeople alike just love hating on Leno, and have been doing so consistently for over 20 years.
Why? In their minds, the reasons are legion: Because he stole The Tonight Show from Johnny Carson’s rightful heir, David Letterman, way back in the early ’90s. Because he refused to simply retire when NBC tried to replace him with Conan O’Brien in 2009. Because his primetime Jay Leno Show tanked, sinking Conan’s Tonight Show »
- Hillary Busis
Judd Apatow is one of Hollywood’s biggest comedy voices, and he’s lending his to The Simpsons on Sunday (Fox, 8 p.m.) The writer-director-producer whose credits range from This is 40 to Anchorman to Bridesmaids to Girls plays himself in an episode in which Homer screens illegally downloaded movies in his backyard, only to wind up on trial for piracy. (Will Arnett, Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Channing Tatum and Rob Halford also pop up.) This won’t be Apatow’s only contribution to the animated comedy; the producers also plan to turn a script »
- Dan Snierson
9 items from 2014
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