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Tag: The Simpsons (51-60 of 116)

The Best TV Character Deaths of 2010

2010-deathsImage Credit: Michael Courtney/FoxOn TV, death is a good thing. Death shakes up the status quo. Death eliminates annoying characters, and it sends off beloved characters with an emotionally-explosive bang. The threat of main-character death has hovered over some of the greatest TV shows of the last ten years. Some shows, like 24, practically made a game out of their gleeful employment of the Death Twist, an out-of-nowhere elimination of an apparently central character. (Be honest: you had a couple bets going on who would die in the Lost finale, right?) Killing off a main character can be just a cheap gimmick, but when it’s done well, it can be incredibly moving. It can even revitalize a show. (See: Grey’s Anatomy, post-bloodbath.)

For our round-up of the best character expirations on TV this year, we focused exclusively on characters that were, if not series regulars, at least important parts of an ensemble — our (perhaps arbitrary) cut-off was that the character must have appeared on at least four episodes before expiring. By nature, this list skews towards drama, but it’s not all dour. On TV at least, death can be pretty funny. As you might expect, this post is SPOILER ALERT central, so if you’re worried, just click down to the comments right now and tell us your favorite deaths from 2010. Otherwise, check out the list after the jump… READ FULL STORY

'The Simpsons' takes another jab at Fox News

The Simpsons took another jab at the Fox News last night, completing a trifecta of teasing that started a few weeks ago. On Nov. 21, a slogan on a Fox News helicopter on the show read “Not racist, but #1 with racists,” and a week later, the slogan read “Unsuitable for viewers under 75.” This week’s dig was “Merry Christmas from Fox News… But no other holidays.” Oh, snap!

Except, you know, not really, because when The Simpsons wants to go after Fox News, it does. Like it did on the episode from season 14 where Krusty ran for Congress, and a Fox News host said “Welcome to Fox News, your voice for evil.” That has a little more bite! How about “You Kent Always Say What You Want,” which was basically an entire episode about the conflicting politics of the conservative news source and its often provocative network brethren? That was a bit more aggressive, too. In fact, The Simpsons has a long legacy of going after its parent company, and it’s hardly the only show to do so: How often does David Letterman make fun of CBS? (Often.) Or Jon Stewart make jokes about Comedy Central? Again, a lot. And it’s great, because that is their job, as comedians and commentators.

If you’re going to bite the hand that feeds you, at least make it worth it and really chomp down. Right, PopWatchers?

Read more:
Lampooning Fox News? ‘Simpsons’ did it!
‘Simpsons’ exclusive: David Mamet to guest

'The Simpsons': Martha Stewart's Six Easy Steps to Make Your Home Feel Like a Childless Gay Couple's

simpsons-martha-stewartI’ve been struggling to figure out how to make people totally impressed with me during the holidays, and the OTHER special guest on The Simpsons, Martha Stewart, offered much more productive advice in this arena than Katy Perry (“Wear latex”). After the jump, Six Easy Steps to Make Your Home Feel Like a Childless Gay Couple’s. Finally! Some answers! READ FULL STORY

Lampooning Fox News? 'Simpsons' did it!

The Simpsons might air on Fox, but that doesn’t mean the network’s satellite news channel, Fox News, is immune to parody. After spoofing another big dog during its couch gag — Avatar Simpsons took a stab at the channel that brings us Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly last night: The episode began with an image of a Fox News helicopter adorned with the slogan, “Not racist, but No. 1 with racists.” (So I suppose the news channel’s viewers aren’t immune either.) And the animated series lampooned the network’s real slogan when the helicopter began to crash — yelled the pilot, “Gah! We’re unbalanced! It’s not fair!”

Of course, since The Simpsons is an equal opportunity offender, the show poked fun at another network as well. As media titans gathered in the crown of the Statue of Liberty to plan their next “phony crisis,” Jeff Zucker’s ideas were immediately turned down: “NBC, you are here to listen and not speak.” READ FULL STORY

This year's Halloween episodes: Which will be the best?

modern-familyImage Credit: Danny Feld/ABCHalloween episodes are always fun. But the best ones still manage to reveal something about their characters, such as that Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s former vengeance demon Anya is afraid of bunnies, and Bones‘ Brennan, who doesn’t understand 99.9 percent of pop culture references, insists upon dressing up as Wonder Woman every year. Which of this year’s remaining Halloween-themed episodes (sorry, Parenthood and One Tree Hill) sounds like it will become a classic? (We’ve got details straight from the networks on 22 shows. If we’ve missed one, add it in the comments.) Spoiler alert! READ FULL STORY

'Simpsons' producer on Vatican's assertion that Homer is Catholic: 'I really don't think he could go without eating meat on Fridays'

HOMER-CATHOLICImage Credit: FoxHe may drink too much and strangle his son—and, sure, there was that time he sold his soul to the devil for a donut—but Homer Simpson seems to have the Vatican seal of approval. In an article from the Oct. 17 edition of the Vatican publication L’Osservatore Romano—which also references a story in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilita Cattolica—Fox’s The Simpsons is praised for covering issues of faith, family, and Christianity (plus, they say prayers before meals!). There is also mention of the animated comedy’s 2005 episode in which Homer and Bart consider converting to Catholicism after Bart befriends a Catholic priest (voiced by Liam Neeson). “Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it… [but] it is true: Homer J. Simpson is a Catholic,” states L’Osservatore Romano, which also tipped its papal hat to the show last year during The Simpsons’ 20th anniversary celebration. (Perhaps they didn’t see The Simpsons Movie, in which Homer mocks churchgoers as “pious morons” who are “too busy talking to their phony-baloney god.”)

Simpsons HQ is flattered and amused by the attention from the Vatican. “My first reaction is shock and awe,” exec producer Al Jean tells EW.com, “and I guess it makes up for me not going to church for 20 years.” That said, Jean is quick to throw not-so-holy water on the Homer-is-Catholic assertion, pointing out that the family attends the First Church of Springfield, which is decidedly Presbylutheran. “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic,” he says. “I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays—for even an hour.”

Do you think the Church has a case, PopWatchers? Or did you question Homer’s faith ever since the episode when he said, “I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!

Banksy does 'The Simpsons': Exec producer Al Jean talks about pulling off the ultimate couch gag

Al-Jean-simpsons-banksyImage Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com; FoxWho says The Simpsons isn’t as subversive as it used to be? Last night, the animated Fox series raised eyebrows—and corners of mouths—with a daring, bleak opening credits sequence that was masterminded by Banksy, the mysterious British graffiti artist. Viewers were taken on a surreal journey into an Asian sweatshop where kittens were used as stuffing for Simpsons dolls, and a shackled, defeated unicorn was used to make holes in Simpsons DVDs. Shudder. EW.com rang up Simpsons executive producer Al Jean to get the behind-the-scenes story on the Banksy gag. READ FULL STORY

'The Simpsons' airs controversial opening sequence by Banksy

banksy-simpsonsThe Simpsons has always been subversive, but last night, the animated show took that to a new level by airing a dark, extended opening title sequence — created by UK graffiti artist Banksy — that depicted Asian workers laboring over Simpsons animation and merchandise. The effect was rather stark and piercing: The first few 35 seconds of the sequence feature the near-usual credits, except for a few “Banksy” tags on prominent Springfield buildings, before rather unexpectedly veering into a depressing tour of overseas sweatshop facilities, where legions of workers slave over Simpsons animation stills (see: photo here!), kill kittens to stuff Bart Simpson dolls, and even use a chained unicorn to punch out the center of Simpsons DVDs.

Apparently, the title sequence was a reaction to reports that the show outsources much of its animation to a company in South Korea. The BBC is reporting that the controversial credits caused delays behind the scenes because of disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk-out by the show’s animation department. The news organization even quoted Simpsons executive producer Al Jean as saying: “This is what you get when you outsource.” Watch the clip here:

READ FULL STORY

Mark Zuckerberg on 'The Simpsons.' Click here if you Like

While The Social Network was becoming the biggest movie of the weekend, Mark Zuckerberg was piggy-backing on Sir Richard Branson’s shoulders and engaging in a playful chicken-fight against Bill Gates and Nelson Mandela Muntz. The Facebook founder, who’s portrayed as a cold and calculating outsider in director David Fincher’s new film, was much friendlier in his cameo on Sunday night’s The Simpsons. Take a look: READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry to guest star on 'The Simpsons'! Here's your exclusive first look...

Simpsons-Katy-PerryImage Credit: FoxIt looks like Katy Perry will get to sing with a puppet on TV after all. Although Sesame Street has decided that Perry’s “Hot N Cold” duet with Elmo is too hot for TV, The Simpsons is rolling out the yellow carpet for the pop star. EW.com has learned that Perry will guest in a Christmas-themed episode of the animated comedy—and in an unusual way: She appears as herself in a live-action segment that features Simpsons characters as puppets. “In the wake of Elmo’s terrible betrayal, the Simpsons puppets wish to announce they stand felt-shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy Perry,” quipped series executive producer Al Jean in a statement to EW.com. Not only does the singer wind up leading Homer & co. in a rendition of “The 39 Days of Christmas,” she plays the unlikely role of… Moe’s girlfriend! Yes, from Elmo to Moe she goes. (And her sartorial choice—adorned with Simpsons characters, not visible in the photo above—probably wouldn’t have been Street-approved either: The PBS show announced on Sept. 23 that it wouldn’t air Perry’s performance after previewing it on YouTube and receiving complaints about her cleavage-revealing outfit. By the way, her Simpsons bit was shot in mid-September, prior to the fuss.) Perry, the musical guest on Saturday Night Live tonight, won’t be the only celebrity gracing this episode; Martha Stewart also pops up, but in cartoon form. “The Fight Before Christmas” airs Dec. 5 on Fox.

(Twitter: @dansnierson)

More Simpsons and Katy Perry news from EW:
Glee: New Directions gets Simpsons-ized
Ricky Gervais returning to The Simpsons
Paul Rudd, Halle Berry set for The Simpsons
Russell Brand weighs in with jokes about Katy Perry-Sesame Street controversy
Katy Perry called Sesame Street appearance ‘The highlight of my career’
Katy Perry Sesame Steet appearance yanked over complaints about dress

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