Posts filed under 'The Simpsons'

Opening credits: Change we can’t believe in

Several media outlets brought the new Simpsons credits to my attention today, and I have to say, this is just the latest in a troubling new trend of shows changing their tried-and-true opening sequences after many, many seasons.

The first culprit: ER. These are the season 1 credits:

Look how young everyone is! This is before Clooney’s Caesar haircut, and before, you know, everybody died. So they ran with a version of this intro for thirteen years. Then, in 2007, someone over at NBC decided that the classic, 43-second opening sequence was just too bulky for the New Show Populated By People We Don’t Care About Please Come Back Noah Wyle. So this is what we get (just the beginning part):

Yep. Five seconds. I can totally understand abridging the credits to fit in more content. Or cutting them down, like Friends did after a few years, because everyone knows what the song sounds like and frankly, can’t stand to listen to it even one more time (clap clap clap clap). But after thirteen years? That is so strange.

Exhibit 2: The Amazing Race. Here are the classic TAR credits (beginning about 6:30 in), including such thirteen-races-old archetypes as Plane Flying, Sun Setting, Cities With Tall Things, Shouting Indigenous Folks, and Indigenous Folks With Indigenous Livestock. And of course, the very important Final Bomp.

Sunday’s first episode of TAR 14 showcased the new credit sequence:

It’s like they suddenly remembered that Jerry Bruckheimer produces this show! And let Michael Bay handle the sound editing! It’s so bizarre and metal-y. And the Final Bomp is sadly subdued.

So the extended Simpsons intro is kind of fitting into the mold, although I’m kind of sad that the Simpsons now have a nicer TV than I do. The credit sequence for The Simpsons has always been more malleable than most shows’ (and I’m not a hardcore Comic Book Guy about the show) so this doesn’t really bother me, but you know, sometimes you need continuity in television. Which is why I watched five episodes of Sports Night on DVD yesterday.

February 17th, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day From a FOX Intern

As a prestigious member of the entertainment press, I am on the e-mail blast list for FOX press releases. Every once in a while, I get in-character press releases about FOX shows. They’re nothing hilarious, but they’re a welcome distraction in the usual sea of weekly ratings’ highlights and invitations for call-in press conferences. This week, I got one about what certain beloved FOX characters would like for Valentine’s Day. Observe:




and AMERICAN DAD Sunday, February 15, on FOX

Flowers, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and romantic dinners might be the most popular gifts, but FOX’s Sunday night animated characters reveal what they think makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day! Make a special date with all-new episodes of THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL, FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD this Sunday, Feb. 15 on FOX.


Homer Simpson: I’d like to take my sweetheart Marge out wherever she wants to go – as long as it isn’t one of those restaurants that charge you $200 because they know they got you trapped. Oh, yeah, and if Santa is reading this, I also want a new bike.

Marge Simpson: Chocolates and some time with my dream man: Mr. Clean. (Because sometimes chocolates leave stains!)

Lisa Simpson: I’d like all the commercialization of romance to stop. No more wasteful cards, delivery of chocolates or unnecessary cutting of healthy flowers. Unless the boy that plays trumpet in the band wants to send me something. Then I guess it might be okay.

Bart Simpson: My Valentine’s Day wish is for my sister. I’d like her to get the Malibu Stacy Sweetheart doll she wants. She’s wanted it for a long time, and it would make her really happy. All I want for myself is five minutes alone with Lisa’s doll to roll it in hamburger and feed it to the dog. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Moe Szyslak: For Valentine’s Day, I’d like any sort of human contact – a smile, a wink, a phone call – even a wrong number; I’ll take anything. If I don’t get nothing, that’ll be me, the creep across the street, giving you the eye. America, you’ve been warned.


Hank Hill: My perfect Valentine’s Day would be spent at work selling propane. The day would end before it turns into Valentine’s night with all the crowded restaurants, overpriced roses and creepy public kissing.

Peggy Hill: My perfect Valentine’s Day is for Hank to buy me two dozen red roses and take me to a popular restaurant where I can – without shame or restraint – show the world just how much I love him.

Bobby Hill: I’m going to do some social networking and see if I can track down a certain plastic head I used to date.

FAMILY GUY (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT)

Peter Griffin: Every Valentine’s Day Lois promises me one sexual fantasy. This year I am choosing sex in a helicopter while reporting local traffic.

Lois Griffin: The perfect gift would probably be about 6’6” and have strong, calloused hands.

Brian Griffin: What anyone would want on this holiday: a good girl. But seriously, I’ll take either that or Beggin’ Strips.

Stewie Griffin: You can just give me more Matt Lauer in the morning. Seriously, who needs coffee when you can flip on the television and get yourself a Venti Matt with extra foam?!?

AMERICAN DAD (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT)

Stan Smith: The perfect Valentine’s Day gift? A new president. This guy is already blowing it.

Francine Smith: A heart-shaped toilet seat that remembers to put itself down.

Hayley Smith: A chocolate-covered exit strategy from Iraq.

Steve Smith: On Valentine’s Day, I like to show the ladies my C3P-Oh face!

Roger Smith: An orgasm. Who’s with me, ladies?

Klaus Smith: A blow fish. Get it? Get it? You get it!

Like I said, cute but not hysterical. Here’s my question, though: Who writes these? I don’t think it’s the shows’ real writers. To be frank, they’re not that good. And I don’t think some poor FOX PR flack has to try and get into the head of Homer Simpson. That goes way beyond the typical duties of sending out ratings’ highlights and invitations to call-in press conferences. My guess is that this is what the writers’ room interns do. It’s a good intern exercise, since you have to write in the voice of an established character. So, if you’re a FOX intern who wrote this, this is our Valentine to you. Congratulations! Your work is now out to the general public. You did a great job with Homer, but you have to try a little harder with Bart next time.

1 comment February 13th, 2009


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