Scullyfied Simpsons: “Alone Again, Natura-Diddily” (Season 11, Episode 14)

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Full disclosure: every screencap here is taken from Frinkiac.

“Homer? You are the worst human being I have ever met.” – Ned Flanders, “Hurricane Neddy”. Give it three seasons, Flanders.

Airdate: February 13th, 2000.

Written By: Ian Maxtone Graham.

Plot: A trip to the nature preserve results in the Simpson clan encroaching on a racetrack. At a race later that day, they meet the Flandereses on the top deck of the bleachers. Unfortunately, a rather tragic series of events unfurl, and Maude winds up knocked off the stands to her death. Ned has to cope with the loss of his beloved… which he does with the help of a man.

A certain man.

That caused his wife’s death.

Review:

The debate over the decline of The Simpsons has often lied in the sentiments and degree of said decline? Not only is it often debated how long the show entered the rough spot (if it hit said spot at all), but there’s also the debate of how far the show sank. As I mentioned in my review of “Saddlesore Galactica”, there are plenty of fans that do watch the show to this day, and argue that while there has been a decline, that the fans that call for the show’s cancellation rely on hyperbolic sentiment.

They argue that the golden years were so illustrious, that nothing, short of nothing, could match them. These fans argue that the Dead Homer Society faction of fans – in effect, the #WengerOut of the Simpsons fandom (and that’s neither a complaint nor a compliment) – are either relying on rose-colored glasses or have such impossible standards as to ruin a perfectly good show for themselves and others.

And you know what?

That’s fine by me!

If you want to enjoy new episodes of The Simpsons, that is absolutely cool. I disagree with your argument that it’s particularly good (or even watchable) television, but again, that’s my opinion. Even Zombie Simpsons – a blog with probably the most thorough analysis of the show’s decline out on the internet – argues that their visceral reaction to the show’s current state is only exacerbated because the golden years (seasons 1-7, according to them) were, in their eyes, so brilliant as to be part of the American canon.

To a cynical select few, it might come off as being part of the #WengerOut-esque bandwagon, this idea that we should kill off this institution of American television because a few nerds on the internet are angry. Which, alright. It’s the internet. You don’t have to go far to find insolent jackasses.

To those few, I want to disclose that what I am about to say, and my rationale thereof, is only a very slightly hyperbolic take on my own personal beliefs. Very slightly, in fact. Yes, I know this is just a show, but it revolves around my all-time favorite TV show. And therefore, where I am coming from is pretty clear.

Here we go…

“Alone Again, Natura-Diddily” is the single most infuriating piece of fiction that I have covered or very likely will ever cover on The Review Nebula. Continue reading

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Movie Review – Star Trek: Nemesis

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“A Generation’s Final Journey Begins…” (Taken from Memory Alpha)

“You’re wasting time!” – the Viceroy, to the movie Shinzon.

Premiere: December 13th, 2002

Written and Directed By: John Logan and Stuart Baird

Plot It’s 2379. The Romulan Senate has just been assassinated en masse by being turned into stone en masse. This is part of a chain of events involving Shinzon, a clone of Picard who found himself brought up in mining pits by Remans, an alien race disliked by the Romulans. As you would guess, the Enterprise is sent to investigate, and Picard gets a look at the mirror of himself… sort of.

Maybe.

If you squint hard enough.

Review:

Y’know, after the dull fest that was Star Trek: Insurrection, I was actually getting myself hyped up to review the fourth and final movie in the TNG part of the film franchise, Nemesis. Not because I was particularly excited for a movie often ranked as the weakest of the franchise, but because after Insurrection almost served as a sleep aid, I figured that Nemesis would be at least slightly better. I wasn’t expecting anything good, but I figured that it would be more interesting than its predecessor. In fact, maybe I would be surprised and the movie would actually be halfway decent. Even if neither the director or the writer were involved with Trek before (in fact, the former never saw an episode before), maybe some new blood was needed.

So, I popped the movie into my PS3.

And, indeed, I was surprised. It did actually hold my attention more than Insurrection did. Because Nemesis ain’t a bad film.

No, no.

It’s shameful.

In the interest of not burying the lede any further, it is hands down my least favorite of the TNG films. Pending a rewatch of Into Darkness, it might even be the worst of the entire film franchise. Oh, yeah – this movie is worse than the one where Kirk finds God. Worse than the one where Kirk gets crushed under a poorly constructed bridge. Far worse than The Slow-Motion Picture. Hell, even the reboot films are less irritating than this. This movie killed the franchise the way fans knew it for 40 years – and depending on how charitable you are to the reboots, stuck the knife in one of America’s most recognizable franchises.

To paraphrase a quote from Jeremy Clarkson, how was so much done so badly by so many? Continue reading

Red Dwarf Review: "Pete" (Series VIII, Story 4)

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Airdate: 25 March, 1999 (Part I), 1 April, 1999 (Part II).

Synopsis: Lister and Rimmer finally drive Hollister up the wall one too many times, including pulling a prank on Warden Ackerman and slipping a drug into the juice of a basketball team led by Hollister to hinder their performance in a game against the convicts. (Yes, there’s a basketball scene in Red Dwarf, why do you ask?) After their punishment in Spud Duty makes Hollister bald, the two are put in “the hole”, where they meet a professor with a bird. Meanwhile, the Canaries discover a time wand on one of the derelicts. The two paths meet, and the professors bird turns into… a T-rex. “Hilarity” ensues.

Review: I think I’ve mentioned this episode in passing once or twice. It’s often brought up as the nadir of Red Dwarf. As “Back to Reality” is considered the zenith, this is the bottom of the barrel. In both of the surveys launched by the Ganymede and Titan website, Part II of “Pete” ranked dead last in the polls: the 2013 survey put Part 1 just ahead of Part 2, while the 2008 survey put it a few spots ahead. The question is this: does either episode deserve the bad reputation they’ve gotten?

Well, yes, sort of. Continue reading