Very unpopular opinions.

Damn, now that I think of it, didn't expect to wind up in such an extensive discussion with @I Love Lisa, especially not in this thread (as I feel it would fit better in on the character analysis thread, so maybe we could continue there, or dedicate an entire thread to the discussion and analysis of Bart & Lisa's sibling relationship?).
If you want, feel free to share it in the meta thread. People besides me are allowed to share their analysis in there, after all.
 
Werking Mom! To be fair, it's an episode where she is being kind for its own sake but yeah, when you have the writers make some big statements like that, she can't live up to them, nobody can on a show like this. In a way it's kinda cruel to put those expectations on her...
Ah that makes sense why I didn't remember it then. I've only seen that once and it was quite a while ago, so I have a rather hazy recollection of it at best.

Damn, now that I think of it, didn't expect to wind up in such an extensive discussion with @I Love Lisa, especially not in this thread (as I feel it would fit better in on the character analysis thread, so maybe we could continue there, or dedicate an entire thread to the discussion and analysis of Bart & Lisa's sibling relationship?).
Ha ha sorry about that. I do have a tendency to go a bit overboard when Lisa talk happens and I'm clearly delightful to talk to. :P I did enjoy the extensive discussion, but you're right that it's probably derailing the thread a bit so best to leave it there.
 
Ha ha sorry about that. I do have a tendency to go a bit overboard when Lisa talk happens and I'm clearly delightful to talk to. :P I did enjoy the extensive discussion, but you're right that it's probably derailing the thread a bit so best to leave it there.

Don't have to be sorry about it. It was fun and interesting talking aobut it and on @MisogiKurakawa's suggestion, I've continued it in the meta analysis thread so head over there and check it out, by all means!
 
I like the Ghostbusters Dance Party ending of “Tales From the Public Domain.”

Yes, it’s stupid and random and Al Jean at his worst. But I love that song and damn if I don’t love the way they dance. Especially Homer’s pelvic thrusts and booty slaps.


 
Might as well give my hottest take: Past the duo of Dead Putting Society and When Flanders Failed (where he's actually really good), Ned is a genuinely bad character only valued so much because of iconography more than actual writing.
 
Might as well give my hottest take: Past the duo of Dead Putting Society and When Flanders Failed (where he's actually really good), Ned is a genuinely bad character only valued so much because of iconography more than actual writing.

Would be cool with some elaboration on why you think Ned has been a really bad character outside those two episodes.
 
Would be cool with some elaboration on why you think Ned has been a really bad character outside those two episodes.
To wit, I went over a lot of this, but basically the problem with Flanders is that, as a character, the writers continued using him even when it was very apparent they had no idea what on earth to do with him, purely because of being ostensibly important. Ned is really good in those two stories because he has a clear narrative role and relationship with Homer, but beyond that the majority of his appearances (with a few small exceptions I do like) are either just repeating the same jokes or taking him in weird directions purely because they can.
 
@MisogiKurakawa, I don't remember having read your elaboration post (that you linked to, will certainly read), but your reasoing in your post here makes a lot of sense, really. Sometimes they have known what to really do with Ned (and I'd just not limit it to those two episodes, but more than a few others from across the show, evne after the classic era), but ever so often it has become clear that they don't have strong reasonings behind how to write him into a story, an issue that is even more present in the HD era.

Seems like they just think he's a nice likeable guy which warrants more appearances (as he do stick out in those terms and can give some funny bits from interacting with a lot of the considerably more wacky characters) so they stick him in this or that story, but that no doubt has every now and then been either redundant and repetitive or just gotten him all wrong (at worse, such in 'Todd, Todd Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me' and 'Better off Ned'). But yeah, sometimes they make an good and successful effort when it comes to Ned stories, but when they fail (such as when writing him into a plot just because, more or less), it do tend to stick out like a sore thumb.
 
I actually think my hottest take is the opposite: Flanders is my favourite side character by far and I personally hate that term, 'flanderization'. In fact, my point of view is that Flanders is one of the more complex characters in Springfield. It works as a nice guy, it works as the polar opposite of Homer Simpson, it works as a religious guy with a 'Job' sad life and two dead wives, it worked (to me at least) as the main villain of the show during the Bush years... All of this 'different personalities' work in the same guy because religion truly can make you all of those things, you can be a nice guy and a jerkass and all because you're afraid of, well, literally GOD. You don't want to dissapoint the most powerful being in the world if you believe in it, right? It's one of the side characters with more dimensions of the show, and yes, the main thing about him is his faith. How could it not be? While the writers have not found a new use for Mr. Burns ever since the Scully era (and I hate that use) and Skinner has been a punching bag for the most part the last twenty years, Flanders has been having unique storylines in each decade of the show.

I don't know, I can't even imagine such a rich persona being only useful for a couple of episodes back in 1991.
 
I actually think my hottest take is the opposite: Flanders is my favourite side character by far and I personally hate that term, 'flanderization'. In fact, my point of view is that Flanders is one of the more complex characters in Springfield.

Ned is definitely one of my favorite secondary characters well and I agree that he is decently complex, too. I do like them writing stories and plotlines where he's a major character and I even like those smaller bits and pieces, such as many of the jokes (sans the religious fundamentalist stuff an his general extreme Christian values, that have gone too far many times) and absolutely him being so overly nice and wholesome, (I mean, that bit in 'Iron Marge' where he pays Bart & Lisa to clean up his front yard even though it is completely done sans a few leaves is classic Flanders behavior), but showing how he has limits (such as when pushed too far) and his other, more human aspects.

He obviously is useful for more than a few episodes (as I've already been saying and I do like when they properly focus on him and the more relatable storylines, such as of him being just a nice helpful but in a sense lonely and/or down on his luck guy), but the thing is that the writers in the post-classic era sometime do struggle writing him and also somtimes fail to justify his inclusion in some plots (not to mention getting his personality and quirks wrong), rather including him rather because they like the character. And when they do get him wrong and portray him as as an asshole (for example), I tend to get upset as I don't wanna see them betray the foundation of a good character.

So therefore, some of the criticism I understand and think has legitimacy to it.
 
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I actually think my hottest take is the opposite: Flanders is my favourite side character by far and I personally hate that term, 'flanderization'. In fact, my point of view is that Flanders is one of the more complex characters in Springfield.
I entirely agree with all of this.

I think there's an element of fans being overly precious. They don't want to see Flanders being used to satirize the rising issues of the US approach to Christianity cause they like Flanders and hate seeing him be used as a part of a group that they despise.

I've seen similar comments about Kirk recently being a maga-type. Thing is if the Simpsons is going to keep on being itself then they need to be able to mock society, which in turn means they need characters to represent those kinds of elements. Sure they could invent new characters but when they have a hyper religious guy like Ned and a pathetic sadsack like Kirk they really don't need to.
 
I do remember thinking it was strange considering his spotlight before that in There Will Be Buds and as presented in HKP it felt a bit far but overall, yeah, after sitting on it for a bit, it does give him a bit more dimension and more of a use. The Van Houtens were never particularly pleasant after all, even Milhouse.
 
I've seen similar comments about Kirk recently being a maga-type. Thing is if the Simpsons is going to keep on being itself then they need to be able to mock society, which in turn means they need characters to represent those kinds of elements. Sure they could invent new characters but when they have a hyper religious guy like Ned and a pathetic sadsack like Kirk they really don't need to.
Boom, you spoke my mind.

It reminds me of what I've read from some of our members here: the consensus seems to be =

The utilization of existing characters to tell stories > the creation of new one-plot characters.

Both Venomrabbit (can't find the post) and MisogiKurosawa (in their review of Lisa Gets an F1) brought praised how Martin and Nelson being into cart racing in "Saturdays of Thunder" was just something random and useful they threw together to move a plot along. It doesn't matter that Nelson usually doesn't care about this stuff. They're kids, and they're there - why not? And using existing characters as plot devices rather than introducing new ones has the added benefit of adding more dimensionality/depth to the Springfieldians. Maybe I'll hate a character for an episode, but at least it's one I likely already love.

Oh and for what it's worth, IIRC I found "Hostile Kirk Place" "Habeas Tortoise" and "Bull-E" to be really funny specifically for their utilization of preexisting persons!
 
Take this with somewhat of a grain of salt because I haven't seen anything post-Season 8 in over 20 years, and I don't know if I'll ever rewatch 9-11 (haven't seen 99.9% of anything post-12 and honestly IDK if I ever will), so it's been a very long time since I've seen this specific episode.

Given that I've seen a lot of folks list When You Dish Upon a Star as a low point in terms of it being the first really terrible and/or "post-classic" episode: I always thought that episode was actually pretty good, the guest stars didn't seem especially egregious in terms of sucking up to them or whitewashing them - if anything, it almost seems like the opposite of that? I feel like this episode was a good 10-20 years ahead of its time in identifying and criticizing having "parasocial relationships" with celebrities and the whole dynamic/cycle of pedestalizing and demonizing celebrities. And also, like I mentioned in the "Best Line Deliveries" thread, that part of Homer's anti-celebrity rant where he randomly name-drops Ray Bolger has always been one of my favorite quotes of the whole series LOL.
 
I wouldn't go as far as pretty good, but I do agree that the take that When You Dish Upon a Star is the first really terrible/post classic episode is a very strange one. It's basically fine with some occasional good lines, and I've certainly seen Simpson's guest stars used much more egregiously. Is it really all that different to SAY Krusty gets Kancelled?

I'd certainly put it above a lot of s9 in terms of quality so definitely not the first really terrible/post classic episode.
 
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