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There's a Little Homer Simpson In All of Us... by GoodCaptainClack
There's a Little Homer Simpson In All of Us...
Well, today marks a big milestone for one of the most famous cartoons of all time: it was twenty-five years ago tonight that the premiere episode of the Simpsons, the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", debuted on the FOX network. I wonder how many people who saw the show's premiere honestly thought the show would still be going strong a quarter of a century later...? Probably no one...Anyways, in honor of the show reaching this milestone, I thought I'd post another webcam image of me with my own copy of the Complete First Season DVD box set...seeing as the Simpsons IS my favorite show of all time and IS an influence on my writing (somewhat...)

To put it in perspective, the first season of the Simpsons aired long enough ago that I wasn't even conceived yet when the show first hit the airwaves (in fact, my parents actually got married DURING the show's first season), so obviously, I was not able to see the show when it first aired; I've always lived in a world in which the Simpsons existed! :D I did grow up watching the show though (I was fortunate enough to see the show when I was growing up while it was still in what's considered its' prime years), although I never really saw any of the first season episodes other than the initial Christmas special being re-ran when I was growing up (matter of fact, I don't think I saw saw virtually ANY of the episodes from the first three seasons when I was growing up...if I did, I don't remember them). I did have an old VHS tape containing a pair of first season episodes, but that was basically all I saw of the show's beginnings as a kid. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I finally got to watch the show's premiere season (through a torrent, no less!), which ultimately motivated me to go out and buy the DVD (as well as Seasons 2-5 :D) as an 18th birthday present. I found it at a DVD store, and, as you can see by the sticker, it was a used copy, so it came at a discounted price. I ended up getting the first five seasons for just a little over $100 (Volumes 1, 4, and 5 were all used)...which I think personally, is quite a steal! :D The discs and episodes all work fine, save for episode 10, "Homer's Night Out"...the episode still plays fine, but the picture on it has a tendency to glitch up quite a bit while I'm watching it. I think the disc may be a little dirty, or possibly scratched a bit...Anyways, I'd now like to give a few thoughts on the actual first season featuring the wacky hijinks of America's favorite dysfunctional family...a "mini-review", if you will. So prepare for some more lengthy rambling, courtesy of yours truly! :D

Let me just go ahead and say this...if you're expecting the show's first season to be on par with the show's classic years, or even modern-day Simpsons...you're going to more than likely be VERY let down by it. I would never say the Simpsons is the most superbly animated show I've ever seen (the show's animation is COMPETENT, but I would never call it utterly breath-taking or phenomenal), but the first season's animation can be rather mediocre at times (to be fair, the show had a much smaller budget when it first started). In particular, some of the earliest episodes ("Bart the Genius" and "Homer's Odyssey", more specifically) have some PRETTY ugly animation: a lot of the backgrounds have this weird bleachy look to them that often makes it look like the characters are standing in front of some kind of weird void. Most notably, some of the crowd sequences in "Homer's Odyssey" are absolutely AWFUL looking...they feature a ton of ridiculously drawn nobodies who barely even move or do anything at all. The show's animation does improve over the course of the season, but it DEFINITELY starts out pretty rough.

For that matter, a lot of the main characters are more underdeveloped in the first season. The only members of the Simpson family to have their characters solidly established right from the very start are Bart (probably because he was initially the most focused on character of the family-he WAS the show's initial breakout star, after all) and Maggie. Homer, Marge, and Lisa, however, have a ways to go as characters, and thus, some of their portrayals in the earliest episodes can be QUITE jarring to watch. The character who had the furthest to evolve was...Homer. For instance, in "Homer's Odyssey", Homer actually ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT SUICIDE after losing his job at the nuclear power plant, as he fears he is a failure and a disgrace to his family. Nowadays, Homer would just find some other job, and his wacky hijinks in his new career would form part of the plot of this week's episode. Likewise, in "There's No Disgrace Like Home", Homer is concerned that the Simpsons may be the worst family in Springfield, and takes his family to see a therapist, going so far as to PAWN THEIR TV to obtain the money to pay for the therapy...while MARGE protests and insists that they could sell something else. As soon as later this very season, I'm positive Homer's and Marge's roles would be swapped around in such a situation: Marge would be the one pawning the TV while Homer would be blubbering and crying about having to give up his beloved television. It's certainly...Different seeing the characters in their more unevolved forms...

Last, but certainly not least, the pacing of these first season episodes is QUITE different from the pace later seasons of the show would take. Virtually ALL of these episodes are quite slow-paced in nature, and are often very light on jokes. You'll probably only encounter 1-2 funny lines or moments in a single minute as opposed to seeing something funny every 5 seconds or so. In particular, most of the episodes of this season take a rather serious (at times, rather realistic) tone in approach to their subject matter (though there are a couple of exceptions..."Call of the Simpsons" the most notable one), as contrasted with the more jokey, witty, satirical tone of latter-day episodes (that's not to say these episodes aren't satirical, however). At the time, this was one of THE most controversial shows on TV; while the Simpsons recieved a lot of praise right from the start, it also received a LOT of criticism for...well, for basically being a cartoon that showed some very adult scenarios such as fear of financial and personal failure, marital and family troubles, thoughts of infidelity, etc. (I have NO doubt the people complaining were the ones who firmly believed that "Cartoons are supposed to be for KIDS!") That seems kind of funny now, considering these episodes are VERY tame compared to, say, what Family Guy and South Park consistently show nowadays (which just makes me wonder how tame THOSE shows might be seen as in 25 years...) Honestly, I could EASILY see a lot of people today finding most-if not all-of these episodes to be pretty boring, seeing as how a lot of TV viewers today are more spoiled by fast-paced humor and action shows...

The show was certainly QUITE a bit different then from what it ultimately became; while there are certainly more notable differences (some of the characters' designs aren't a little off (Smithers was BLACK in his first appearance!), some of the voices are quite different-Homer's, particularly!), those are the three that will probably jump out at you the most...And yet, despite all the flaws of the first season, I still find it fairly interesting and a little bit underrated. It's not AS good as the seasons that were to follow it (as I've said, the show DID have some growing pains to go through, like...well...pretty much EVERY show that lives beyond the first season), but it's not AS bad as some people say it is...I mean, if it REALLY were terrible, the show wouldn't have been a hit at ALL, right? :D I find it quite fascinating to see the show's humble beginnings (it WAS quite a challenge to bring the Simpsons from starring in brief animated sketches on the Tracey Ullman Show to being the stars of their own half-hour TV series, after all), and it's certainly interesting to see the characters in their more embryonic states, in the process of evolution. One thing that REALLY surprised me was that even though there ARE a few notable character absences from this season (Groundskeeper Willie, Dr. Hibbert, and Comic Book Guy probably being the most notable characters who do not appear in this season)...many of Springfield's wacky residents are already here, if not in their most recognizable forms. Barney Gumble, Moe Syslak, Ned Flanders, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Nelson Muntz, Krusty the Clown, Waylon Smithers, Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson...they and many others all make their debuts in the first season. And to be honest...I really do find quite a good number of these first 13 episodes entertaining. Some of them are more humorous (the aforementioned "There's No Disgrace Like Home" and "Call of the Simpsons"), some of them are decidedly more on the emotional side of things ("Homer's Odyssey", "Life in the Fast Lane"), but I genuinely do think most of these episodes hold up fairly well.

It's not the Simpsons at its' best, but I personally do think it was a solid start for the show, and a hint of things to come in the future (I wouldn't recommend new fans to start off with the first season, though...Unless you actually WANT to start from the beginning)...Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I think I would give the first season of the Simpsons an 8.5 out of 10. So happy 25th anniversary, Simpsons (Homer: WOO-HOO! USA! USA! USA!) ! I would like to say "here's to 25 more years", but I have no idea if the show will last that long (and I definitely feel it SHOULDN'T)...
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Stop Bothering Me! by GoodCaptainClack
Stop Bothering Me!
Getting back on track, here's another screencap from "The Sky's The Limit". Troy's heroic actions in stopping Cyril's plane from killing a bunch of people at the costume ball has really gone to his head, and the next day, he's even more conceited than ever. As Ralph is hard at work typing up an article about the near-disaster at the Standard's office the next day, Troy spends the whole time hovering over him. He tells Ralph that he should change some of the lines so they're more celebratory and enthusiastic about him...for instance, he thinks Ralph should describe him as a "daring pilot". Ralph is, needless to say, peeved and tells Troy to leave him alone because he can't work with someone working over his shoulder. Troy tells him that he's just trying to make sure Ralph can spell his name properly (yeah, right...I haven't heard of too many people who spell their name Troi instead of Troy, and Malone is pretty easy to spell anyways). A miffed Ralph retorts here (while Bert and Melissa look on) that while he's no aviation expert, he does know how to spell!

I can't blame Ralph for being upset here...would you? Not only has Troy come to the Forest and tried to put the moves on his wife...now he's sitting here trying to tell him how to do his job and trying to coerce him into writing an article about his heroic deed that is nothing more than pure ego-stroking at its' finest. How would you like it if someone kept getting in your face trying to tell you how to your job? I'd be pissed too if someone was watching me write my stories over my shoulder and constantly telling me, "No, no, wrong, wrong, wrong! You need to write it like this..." A scene like this really shows just how selfish and egotistical Troy's character actually is: sure, he may be a hero to many, but a scene like this leaves little doubt in my mind he's not doing it out of the kindness and generosity in his heart, but because he wants everybody to admire and look up to him...

The Raccoons (C) Skywriter Media & Entertainment Group
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Happy holiday, Percy! Happy holiday, everyone! by GoodCaptainClack
Happy holiday, Percy! Happy holiday, everyone!
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted any photos taken with my webcam of me with any of my unique personal possessions...hasn't it? Well, since it's nearly "the most wonderful time of the year", as they call it, I figured I'd post up an image of me with one of my favorite Thomas the Tank Engine VHSes from my childhood (for those who don't know, Thomas was practically like a DRUG for me when I was a child :D), "Thomas' Christmas Party & Other Favorite Stories", which features 8 episodes from the show's first three seasons.

This is a VHS tape from 1994 (it says it was released then on the back, and I'm pretty sure I probably got this in 1994 :D), and, as you guessed by the title, is a Christmas-themed VHS. It prominently features the two Christmas episodes that were the finales of the first and second seasons; "Thomas' Christmas Party" and "Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree". (The third-season finale, another Christmas-themed episode called "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure", is not included because the episode was turned into a Thanksgiving episode here in the US because it originally aired on a Thanksgiving-themed episode of Shining Time Station. Which makes zero sense seeing as how they don't celebrate the holiday in the UK...) In "Thomas' Christmas Party", Thomas and the other engines want to throw a party for Mrs. Kyndley, an elderly woman who helped save Thomas from a nasty accident a year ago, but heavy snowfall may prevent that from happening...In "Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree", Thomas goes missing during a blizzard with the Christmas tree for the big party at Tidmouth Station, and it's up to Donald and Douglas, the Scottish twin engines, to find him. Both some of my favorite Christmas-themed TV episodes, in all honesty.

But aside from that, this is also the first US Thomas "compilation" VHS tape, of sorts. The previous two episodes never appeared on a tape before, but the others did...so yes, it's a compilation tape. All the episodes on this tape are narrated by George Carlin, and since some of these episodes were originally narrated by Ringo Starr, this was the first time Carlin-narrated versions of some of these episodes appeared on tape. A few of the other winter-themed episodes appear on this tape (including "The Flying Kipper"), but there is one notable glaring omission is Season 2's "The Deputation"...No idea why they left that one off, since it does take place in winter time...The last three episodes, however, have nothing to do with winter or the holidays in the slightest ("Henry's Forest" is the episode in which Henry the Green Engine feels sad when his beloved forest is destroyed by a storm, and "Thomas Saves the Day" is where Thomas saves James the Red Engine after an accident and is rewarded with his branch line.) I know there weren't that many winter episodes in the first three seasons of the show, but it does just seem a little weird to see some episodes here which haven't the slightest to do with the holidays...

Nonetheless, this was one of my favorite childhood videotapes, and though this tape isn't in the greatest condition (somewhat fuzzy picture), I still plan to watch it every Christmas season...as long as the tape lasts! :D
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Evergreen Nights by GoodCaptainClack
Evergreen Nights
"You can run with us, we've got everything you need
Run with us, we are free
Come with us, I see passion in your eyes
Run with us...
"

A bit of a (temporary) departure from the "Sky's the Limit" screencaps I've been posting this past month (although this does come from the credits of that episode)...this is one of the most beautiful scenes from the entire show. This is the final image you see at the end of the credits of every single Raccoons episode: a bird's eye view of the Evergreen Forest at night, with the snow-covered peaks (funnily enough, when we do see Bert or other characters climb mountains in the show, there's no snow at the top...) surrounding the area. It really gives you an idea of how big the Evergreen Forest actually is (one thing I've always wondered is how big the Forest actually is...looks like it expands for miles and miles and miles...I've also always wondered where in the Forest this is supposed to be...is one of those trees supposed to be the Raccoondominium?), and how picturesque the locale really is. I mean...c'mon, just look at it. Wouldn't you want to live in the Evergreen Forest? (Don't tell me you wouldn't! :D) Just seeing an image like this really makes me wonder how anyone could want to destroy such a beautiful place and turn it into another concrete jungle...and yet, as we've seen time and again on the show, there are plenty of businessmen who would be happy to do so...

Just thought I would share this lovely image...it's not only my current desktop background, but I'll be bold in seeing that if I could seriously get this screencap framed and hang it on my wall, I would! :) One more little thing I want to mention...for the longest time, I actually thought the scenery in this particular image actually varied slightly between each and every episode...but now that I really look at it, I think that's only between Season 1 and the other 4 seasons (no doubt owing to the fact that they were animated by different studios). The biggest difference between this scene in Season 1 and the other seasons is that in Season 1, the night sky is filled with a lot more stars...I did also notice that the night sky does seem to vary a bit in brightness between episodes, but that probably owes to the quality of the files of the episodes that I have...so yeah, I guess the animators didn't play a game of "Spot the differences" with this scene in each episode...

The Raccoons (C) Skywriter Media & Entertainment Group
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Look Out, Melissa! by GoodCaptainClack
Look Out, Melissa!
A rather dramatic "Sky's the Limit" screencap, if I do say so myself! Everybody seems to be having fun at the costume ball...but there is a strange individual slinking around the place dressed in a carrot costume...who Musketeer Bert and Cedric the now-woefully-out-of-date desktop computer quickly discover, and seem to recognize the mysterious carrot: it's none other than Ralphie boy! Bert wonders why Ralph is here since he said he was going to be out working all night, and Ralph just laughs and says he was just curious to see what things were like at the ball. He's a very unconvincing liar, I must say...

And meanwhile, there are three individuals at the Ball who are not having any fun whatsoever: the pork trio. They're working on Cyril's plane trying to get it ready for the race tomorrow, and they're getting ready to start testing the engine, which they dearly hope doesn't work so they won't have to race. Unfortunately for them, the engine roars to life when they crank up the propellor. Instead of promptly trying to shut the engine off, the Pigs have a panic attack (what...you expect them to act sensibly in such a situation? You overestimate them....:D), scream out "RUNAWAY PLANE!", and next thing you know, the unmanned plane begins to make its' way through the party! Panicked animals scream in terror as they try to run away from the errant plane. Ralph desperately tries to find Melissa to get her to safety, but unbeknownst to him, the plane is heading right for his wife! Here, we see Troy (fortunately) shouting Melissa to duck down, which she is able to do just before she would have got hit. The plane passes safely by Melissa, and Troy is able to stop it...just moments before it was about to hit a weasel dressed up as a Buddhist monk who was too busy stuffing his face and jammin' out to his Walkman to notice the plane coming towards him until it was almost too late. (Moral of that story: be more attentive to your surroundings! :D) Troy is a hero in the eyes of virtually everyone at the ball...save for Ralphie boy, who obviously wishes he could have saved Melissa...

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if anybody had been hit and killed by the plane...I know they wouldn't have let that happen seeing as this was a kid's show, but supposing that had happened, I can easily assume the Pigs would be facing manslaughter charges, and Cyril, instead of getting a chance to win $50k in the air race, would probably end up being fined a considerable amount of money more than that...

The Raccoons (C) Skywriter Media & Entertainment Group
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...because I seriously can't think of anything better for a journal title Dance!

Anyways, as I mentioned in my most recent journal entry, I've been having laptop issues for a while now. I've been having various problems (internet connectivity issues, trouble opening up certain programs), and last night things got pretty ugly as my laptop kept telling me I had drive errors and wouldn't open up any programs. I was all prepared to take my laptop back to Best Buy where I got it to have the hard drive replaced and possibly lose the majority of my data (I don't have enough flash drives to store everything...). However, I was able to get it to scan and repair the disk last night, and so, for the time being, it's working again properly. While I had planned to take it back to Best Buy anyways, my Dad and I had a discussion last night and we've decided to let it be for the time being, and take it in if something else happens. Like I said, it's working properly now, but I feel this is only a temporary fix; I'm confident I will have to repair the disk again eventually, and it's probably only a matter of time until the hard drive craps out on it. (Hopefully, if that does happen, it's before the warranty and protection on it expires...then again, it's probably not all that far away that I'll have to get a new one, anyways...). Next time I go to town, I will be buying more thumb drives so I can save most, if not all my data! So, for the time being, I won't be going away (hence why I deleted the last journal as it's now out of date)...I'll be sticking around as long as the hard drive holds up in this baby. But if I do disappear for a while, you'll know why...though, hopefully, it wouldn't take too long to fix!

Also, since I mentioned that I've been to town recently, I've been in and around the stores, and sure enough, they're already playing...the ever wonderful Christmas music. My favorite part of the holiday! Those of you who know me well know I really love Christmas music. Of course I'm being sarcastic (I would think that was obvious, but since sarcasm is almost always not understood on the Internet...); Christmas music is probably my second least favorite thing about the holiday seasons outside of the rampant over-commercialism. I used to love it when I was a little kid, but when you've had to sit in a grocery store where your mother works for eight hours (as I often used to have to when I was young) and hear the same songs over and over again...it really loses most of its appeal. I've always found it somewhat obnoxious how many radio stations and virtually every store's radios start playing nothing but Christmas music during this time of the year; maybe it's just a matter of personal taste, but I can't understand how someone could genuinely love listening to it for hours and hours on end, unless they were a musicologist trying to study the history and evolution of each of the songs through their 100+ different cover versions or something...One thing I definitely look forward to being over once the holiday seasons pass! :D

And finally...as I mentioned in my (now deleted) last journal...I finished the first chapter of my new Raccoons story, "Another Family Secret". I'm actually impressed; I finished it when I actually planned to have it finished (I finished writing it back on Thursday). That might be the first thing I've finished something I've written when I intended to in probably over a year! :XD: It's not a very long chapter at all (well, by my standards)...counting the Author's Note (which as I mentioned, there are only going to be 2 of in this whole story), it's just under 7,000 words, so maybe this will be a more manageable read than my lengthier stuff (then again, I doubt it will attract any new readers...). I should go ahead and say this is actually somewhat of a sad chapter...I won't say it's a heartbreaking or soul-crushing chapter, just that it's a little sad to read, as it deals with Melissa coming to terms with and accepting the fact that she and Michael are almost certainly the last living members of their family. It's a very simple chapter, not flashy at all, but then again, it's not intended to be; it's supposed to be a simple introductory chapter to get the story started off. Look for it soon; first, I shall have to see if I can get in touch with my proofreader! (Since I haven't heard anything from him in a few months now...)
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Bloodrock-Lost Fame (1972)
  • Reading: The Internet
  • Watching: A television
  • Playing: Super Mario Sunshine
  • Eating: Flintstones Chewable Morphine
  • Drinking: Some kind of liquid substance...

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GoodCaptainClack's Profile Picture
GoodCaptainClack
Bryan E.
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
A few little random factoids about me:
Birthday: April 1, 1992 (I really AM an April Fool's Day joke!)
Birthplace: Oakland Naval Hospital, Oakland, CA (I just looked it up and it no longer exists. Huh.)
Hometown: Visalia, CA
Current residence: Somewhereland, SC (will not reveal real town name)
Where would I ideally like to live: Somewhere in Virginia (I've been through there before. Some really beautiful country there! What can I say, I'm a fool for the country (sorry Foghat))

I am a mysterious enigma of the Internet...

I am a strange human being indeed. My three main interests are cartoons, classic rock, and motorsports. I told you I was weird.

I'm a semi-accomplished writer. Still trying to work on getting better...

Just one note: Although I appreciate positive feedback on my stories, please, do not request me to write anything for you. Due to my past experience with requests, I do NOT accept them under any circumstances. I MAY take ideas and suggestions to be used WITHIN stories, but if you request me to write a specific story for you, I will say no, no matter how nicely you ask me to do it for you. Really, I feel more comfortable writing what I want to write over what other people might want me to write. I am also willing to accept constructive criticism of my stories, but any and all flames of my stories will be removed. I really do not wish to read those.

Also I'm named after...Bryan Adams. I feel ashamed...
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:iconjdayton:
JDayton Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014
Thanks for the favourite.
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:icondavid31:
David31 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fav. :)
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:iconringtailmaster:
ringtailmaster Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
love your raccoons screeenshots n_n
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:iconfredvegerano:
fredvegerano Featured By Owner Edited Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank  you  my  friend for the favorite!!!
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CptDaniel Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
Thx the fav!
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MsLizShadow Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Student Photographer
Hi! Can I join your RalphxMelissaFan group? ;)
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David31 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fav. :)
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Chopfe Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:icongoodcaptainclack:
GoodCaptainClack Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
"Well, that's what we tell ourselves, isn't it, Boomhauer?"

But yeah, Boomhauer can be rather intelligent and deep if you can actually understand what he's saying :D I remember this little speech of his from that two-parter where the Mega-Lo Mart blew up, pretty creative and funny to see someone turned it into its' own song! Hell, I didn't even mind the fact that it's auto-tuned (I usually HATE auto-tune)!
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David31 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks or the fav. :)
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