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Profile: riverbottom
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User Name: riverbottom
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Joined: Monday, October 29, 2018
Last Visit: Friday, November 9, 2018 12:22:16 PM
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Topic: I have a problem in understanding this sentence fragment 'it seemed exasperated'
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 12:45:11 PM
FounDit wrote:
riverbottom wrote:
Hello everyone. I'm reading a book about the Simpsons. I have a problem in understanding this sentence fragment 'it seemed exasperated'. Do I understand correctly that sentence means 'it seemed angry or wicked'?
The author seems to be saying that it's not that the writers were wicked so much as they seemed annoyed, or angry. Something caused a change in the way the show was crafted; as if they had run out of ideas and were simply throwing things into the mix just to fill up time, whether or not it made sense, as Homer said.
Thanks a lot! One more thing. I'm not sure about this line '“The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” is about nothing so much as the show throwing up its hands at its own audience'. What's the point? As far as I know that episode was satire showbiz. Does that sentence mean that the show attacked his own fanbase?

Quote:
Starting in Season 8 though, the tone of those jokes changed markedly. Where the show had once been fond of an occasional subtle nudge to let the audience know that it was aware of the absurdities of episodic television (Burns never remembering Homer, Marge reminding Bart that he hasn’t used any of his famous catchphrases in four years), now it seemed exasperated or downright indifferent. For all its great moments, “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” is about nothing so much as the show throwing up its hands at its own audience. And when “Burns, Baby Burns” ends with a spontaneous party after a dire and rather lengthy police chase, Homer shrugs his shoulders and says, “It doesn’t have to make sense”.
Topic: I have a problem in understanding this sentence fragment 'it seemed exasperated'
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 12:07:06 PM
Hello everyone. I'm reading a book about the Simpsons. I have a problem in understanding this sentence fragment 'it seemed exasperated'. Do I understand correctly that sentence means 'it seemed angry or wicked'?

Quote:
Starting in Season 8 though, the tone of those jokes changed markedly. Where the show had once been fond of an occasional subtle nudge to let the audience know that it was aware of the absurdities of episodic television (Burns never remembering Homer, Marge reminding Bart that he hasn’t used any of his famous catchphrases in four years), now it seemed exasperated or downright indifferent. For all its great moments, “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” is about nothing so much as the show throwing up its hands at its own audience. And when “Burns, Baby Burns” ends with a spontaneous party after a dire and rather lengthy police chase, Homer shrugs his shoulders and says, “It doesn’t have to make sense”.
Topic: Hello everyone. Can you please check my guess about the meaning of the sentence?
Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2018 8:04:51 AM
Thank you all!
Topic: Hello everyone. Can you please check my guess about the meaning of the sentence?
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:05:51 AM
Hello everyone, I'm reading a book about the Simpsons, and I'm trying to understand this paragraph.

Quote:
Like Homer, the rest of Springfield now bore only a surface resemblance to the characters they’d once been. But this newfound enthusiasm for character development created another problem that has endured throughout the Simpsons. As the show became more emotionally heavy handed it also became wackier. And instead of doing one or the other, it tried to have it both ways at once. The episode would be dour and serious, but there was no payoff for the audience. No matter how sad the proceedings, everything was back to normal (or very close to it) by the time the credits rolled. The result is emotional episodes about sober Barney and widowed Flanders that don’t follow through, leaving the characters changed but unchanged, and still able to react to Homer’s antics.

Season 11 is rife with tone deaf juxtapositions like that. In addition to dead wives, multiple births and droning sobriety, Season 11 sees Homer use a full size motorcycle as a sword to rescue Marge, pirates kidnap half of Springfield and drown many of them, and an episode that ends with racehorse jockeys turning out to be magical, subterranean elves. Not only was the deft touch for tender or heartbreaking moments gone, but the stories that had grounded those moments had been replaced by adventures that Bugs and Mickey would consider outlandish. The show hadn’t previously been sappy or stupid, and now it was being both at the same time.


So, I suppose the author says that the Simpsons were trying to use the two contradictory trends: drama and slapstick. But I'm not sure what it means 'leaving the characters changed but unchanged'. I assume that means that people of Springfield despite its new developments were reacting invariably to Homer's antics. I don't know whether I'm right or not. All ideas are welcome.
Topic: Can you please help me understand a few sentences?
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 8:43:35 AM
Romany wrote:
I'm glad that Foundit explained the one-trick pony expression - though I could have picked up the meaning from the context, it's not a phrase used in BE.

However, I don't see how - or where - one could get the impression that the "tremendous media platform" that The Simpson's has attracted came from Fox and it's viewers? I thought The Simpsons brand of satire was anathema to Fox? All the things that The Simpsons parody and have fun with are the kinds of things that Fox supports - besides which they don't seem to understand the "merciless satire" which has made the show internationally famous and loved? Why on earth would they, of all people, provide a 'tremendous media platform' to a show they abhor?

To me that makes no sense: it was the show itself which earned this almost-global "platform" as it is broadcast all over the world on hundreds of different channels. It was never broadcast (or referred to?) on Fox.

I would also disagree that 'disruptions' in this context has absolutely anything to do with "fighting" though "instability" is valid. They're talking about the writing process: - things that could "disrupt" the smoothness of that process could be the illness/death/breakdown/quitting of any of the writing team. Each episode depended on the writing team: if anything at all happened to even one person in that team it could have spelt disaster for the show. The point of the paragraph is to show the vulnerability and "chancy" aspect of the show's production: if anything happened to even one member of the team it could have ruined the show.


Thanks for your explanation about 'disruptions'.
Topic: Can you please help me understand a few sentences?
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 6:26:49 PM
I've got it now. Thanks a lot.
Topic: Can you please help me understand a few sentences?
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 3:06:38 PM
Hello everyone. I'm a non-native English speaker. I'm reading a book about the Simpsons now. I hope you can help me understand a few sentences.

Quote:
The Simpsons ran its unprecedented and unequalled course in the 1990s. The show found the tender underbelly of American culture, pulled no punches, and used its tremendous media platform to make sure everyone saw the body blows. It mocked everything: religion and politics, unions and corporations, marriage and children, you name it. Even subjects not usually considered much for comedy (the space program, child abuse, feminism) were the subject of merciless satire. It made headlines regularly, for doing everything from defaming New Orleans to becoming a part of one of Bush the Elder’s 1992 re-election stump speeches


I suppose the phrase 'tremendous media platform' means The Fox Broadcasting Company. Is that correct?

Quote:
As part of the original contract, drawn up when FOX was still a fly-by-night operation, The Simpsons had total immunity from network interference. The only people who were allowed to decide what happens in Springfield were the ones in the writers’ room. That freedom allowed the show to become what it was, but it also concentrated enormous responsibility on the ever changing writing staff. Whatever they came up with was what got animated and ended up on screens all over the world. So while the protection from management interference gave the show unprecedented creative freedom, it also meant that any disruptions among the writing staff would have enormous effects on the quality of the show. For good and ill, The Simpsons was entirely its own creation.


I suppose the phrase 'any disruptions' means fight and instability. Do I understand correctly that phrase?

Quote:
Twice in Season 10 Homer falls out of the sky. The first time he crashes through a skylight and lands in bed with movie stars; the second time he falls out of a plane and gets dragged through a field of rose bushes before landing at Marge’s feet, bleeding and broken. A program that once showcased the whole family and an entire city of supporting characters became the kind of one trick showbiz pony it had satirized so brutally in Season 5’s “Bart Gets Famous”. The Season 10 writing staff, largely untested and less experienced than at any point in the show’s history, was increasingly leaning on Dan Castellaneta’s ability to scream.


I don't understand what does the phrase 'one trick showbiz pony' mean. Have you any idea? Please educate me.

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