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Carry-over aspects of The Simpsons Movie: A Bettor's Guide

Matt Groening has said in interviews that several aspects of the recently-released Simpsons movie will carry over into the television series. I thought it was my holy duty, then, to present all the possible elements of the film that I think could theoretically make it into the world of the television show, and present the odds of such a carry-over occurring.

I figured I'd wait to post this until everyone who wanted to see the film fresh had the chance to do so, but I'll still make the obvious point that this article is rife with spoilerinos.

Possible carry-over #1: Springfield was covered by a massive dome.

Is it feasible?: Simpsons episodes have a habit of recounting things that have happened in the past in order to make a point about the present. Consider the way in which Sideshow Bob is reintroduced each time by some character recounting the various schemes he's hatched in the past.

Is it unlikely, therefore, that someone will make reference to the fact that Springfield was once isolated from the rest of civilization by means of a gigantic dome? It's possible that somebody will mention it when recounting a list of all the things Homer's done to wrong the town (or, though less likely, a list of all the things Homer's done to save the town).

I'd really doubt we'll see physical evidence of the dome (shards throughout the town, or a giant circular rut around Springfield) but it's full-well possible we'll hear it referred to again.

Odds against carry-over: 10:1

Possible carry-over #2: Homer's enlightenment

Is it feasible?: In The Simpsons Movie Homer is enlightened by an Inuit medicine woman and, as a result, becomes less selfish and more receptive to the needs of others, especially his family. This facilitates the ending of the film more than it does any real work toward character development, however, especially when you take into account the dozens of times Homer's been enlightened over the course of the series only to return to his mindless selfishness the very next week.

Odds against carry-over: 200:1

Hard, soft, soft, soft, soft, hard, hard, soft...Possible carry-over #3: Russ Cargill will reappear

Is it feasible?: Well, he's incapacitated by the film's end, though not necessarily dead. Which means that, in Simpsons-land, he's probably still around. But the odds of him resurfacing are pretty low, I'd say. First of all, what would be his real motivation? His scheme has been foiled, Springfield is back on the map...and there was much rejoicing.

However, having a character representing the EPA could actually be pretty helpful to the writers, assuming they'd like to stay topical. The environment is a bigger, more visible issue now than it ever has been. Would a Cargill be helpful to keep around? Sure. But none of Albert Brooks' characters have appeared more than once in the history of the show, and if that streak is going to be broken, I doubt it'd be for Cargill's sake.

That said, there's no reason the role can't be re-cast for regular appearances. They did it with Akira (who was originally played by George Takai), Ms. Glick (who was originally played by Cloris Leachman) and probably others. I wouldn't say it's likely, but I also wouldn't say it's impossible.

Odds against carry-over: 50:1

Possible carry-over #4: Arnold Schwarzenegger is President of the United States of America

Is it feasible?: It's tough to say. On the one hand, I don't believe The Simpsons has made reference to George W. Bush as president at all (despite their past references to Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton as president), which means they might well be receptive to a "fantasy" president.

However, considering the character's strong physical and vocal resemblance to Rainier Wolfecastle, I'd have to say it's unlikely. It's easy enough to conceive of a world in which Professor Frink and Jerry Lewis both reside, or Gil and Jack Lemmon, but that's because there's very little overlap other than demeanor, and it's acceptable that Springfielders don't notice the similarities that we as an audience do.

But for Wolfecastle to be identical in every way to the most powerful politician in the free world? There's no way even the dullards of Springfield would be blind to that coincidence. For that reason, I doubt we'll be seeing any more of President Schwarzenegger.

Odds against carry-over: 500:1

Possible carry-over #5: The Simpsons' house is destroyed

Is it feasible?: Nah. If Ned's house can get utterly destroyed and then magically reappear the next week, there's no reason the Simpson family can't share that same luxury. Especially as Bart and Homer are seen rebuilding it toward the end of the film. The fact that Homer can't build a spice-rack isn't going to bring us any surprises the next time we see the Simpson home.

Odds against carry-over: 5000:1

Maybe we should kiss...Possible carry-over #6: The Simpsons own a pig

Is it feasible?: The only show-changing pet-ownership came in the very first episode of the show, and that was Santa's Little Helper. Since then pets have come and gone, but status-quo has always been restored on that front.

While it's not impossible that the pig will re-appear, it's doubtful, as there's no precedent for it in the show's history. Also, consider the fact that the pig doesn't even have a steady name. Both times he's named in the film it's done for the purposes of a gag, and I'd be really disappointed to have to put up with a regular character called "Harry Plopper."

To play devil's advocate, however, the pig doesn't reappear (and isn't referred to) in the film after the family escapes the dome, so who knows? It's fully possible that the pig was killed when the house was destroyed, but without it being confirmed there's no way to know. What happened to the little guy? Time (or some restored deleted scenes on the eventual DVD) will tell.

Odds against carry-over: 100:1

Possible carry-over #7: The death of Dr. Nick Riviera ("Bye, everybody!")

Is it feasible?: First of all, it's important to note that his death wasn't confirmed in the film. It was very strongly implied, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything in Springfield unless you actually see someone chiseling the epitaph on his tomb-stone. After all, we all saw Groundskeeper Willie on the boat back to Scotland after his deportation...but he was back the next time the writers needed him.

Also, death means almost nothing on The Simpsons even when it is confirmed. Maude Flanders and Bleeding Gums Murphy have both appeared again as ghosts and hallucinations, Dr. Marvin Monroe revealed that he wasn't dead but only feeling very much under the weather (I didn't see the episode in which this happened so clarification is welcome) and Frank Grimes had an identical son.

However, in the "it may carry over" camp, how recently has Dr. Nick been featured in the show? I didn't catch many of the recent episodes, but I can't even remember the last time I've seen him. Killing him off might not be an unbelievable move, if they hadn't been using him anyway.

Still, I'd say it's pretty unlikely. He's one of the most iconic minor characters on the show, whether he's been active lately or not, and I see no benefit in keeping him dead.

Odds against carry-over: 50:1

Possible carry-over #8: Colin

Is it feasible?: It would change the dynamic of the show, but giving Lisa a consistent character to team up with could well be a possibility. Of course, this could also reek of a non-ironic use of Roy from The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show. Are they doing it because the formula is tired? Is it just going to turn Lisa into an annoying little brat now that somebody's actually hanging around to agree with her and lend support to her previously one-woman crusades?

The fact that the role of Colin was given to one of the regular voice actors really lends credence to the possibility that Colin will be returning. If he were played by a celebrity we could pretty much write him off...but with Tress MacNeille returning to the voice-booth week after week anyway, it's not unlikely that she'll be reprising the role of Colin.

So let's just hope they do something interesting with him. Which--sweet though his scenes with Lisa were--they did not do in the film.

Odds against carry-over: 2:1

About this entry


Maybe he means the series will actually be funny again, which I thought the film was (at least to an extent).

By performingmonkey
August 06, 2007 @ 3:37 am

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I just milked my own prostrate.

By performingmonkey
August 09, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

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The wheels on the bus go round and round.

By performingmonkey
August 10, 2007 @ 4:03 am

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The new Kula Shaker album is out soon. And then Radiohead later on this year, which I cannot wait for. Right now I'm listening to Anal Cunt - Morbid Florist (with headphones as I don't want people looking at me like I'm some kind of fuckup). It's pretty bad. Perhaps attempting to rape a wild boar would be a better idea than listening to this album, actually.

By performingmonkey
August 10, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

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I went to see Kula Shaker the other week, they were great. I wrote about it in my other column on, if you're interested. There are also podcasts there what I mixed up using my mad DJ skillz.

By Michael Lacey
August 10, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

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I bet Philip J Reed is right pleased that these were the only responses he received for his efforts.

Unfortunately I can't be bothered to add anything of more worth either, so. Just saying really.

By Gosforth Saga
August 17, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

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I only just watched the movie, but I've been dying to read this article since I saw it. Now I have and there's no discussion!

I definitely think that Riviera's gone for good. It's been a long time since they've used him so I can imagine that they'll just leave him dead from now on, though you think if they were going to kill him off, they'd have made a bigger deal of it (ie: "A major character will die!")

Also, I do reckon we'll see Colin again. There was so little resolution to that arc I can only assume it was intentional, and it would create a very interesting dynamic.

That Schwarzenegger thing was fucking stupid, though. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they didn't just use Ranier Wolfcastle, given that they didn't actually have Scwarzenegger voicing himself. I mean, Wolfcastle IS Schwarzenegger, as far as the Simpsons is concerned It would've been the exact same joke, and everyone in the audience would've known what they were doing anyway. Of all the flaws with the film, that would have to be the biggest.

By James Hunt
August 20, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

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I'm just cross that the Simpsons Movie was so bad. I don't care if they never make another series.

By Peter S
August 20, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

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The Red Dwarf Smeg Ups are getting their own release, in "Just the Smegs"! BUT, this is for completists only. These outtakes were released on the series 1-8 disc sets, but differ in that they have the VHS introductions as opposed to the series-specific introductions used for the DVD, and they will also have the odd "in-between" segment featuring the cast that was not included on previous DVDs. So if you're a completist, you'll NEED to get these DVDs. I thought the series 1-8 DVDs included all the lame Kryten pieces somewhere along the line, but obviously not. Most of them but one or two were held back for this.

How many times can you watch the same outtakes? Because not only the VHS releases but the TV broadcast edit will be included. Just to make you feel sure you're getting everything. Yet there are no additional unreleased outtakes or rushes. It feels like just enough to make sure GNP line their pockets a bit more after the Bodysnatcher DVD comes out in October. Which, in case you didn't know, is a £15-20 release padded out with three series of Remastered so that you have to get four discs and pay £50!!

Coming in Spring 2008: "Just the Deleted Scenes"!

By Into the Parker
August 24, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

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Fucking spot on.

By s
August 27, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

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> Fucking spot on.

It's a bit awful isn't it. I think a few unseen rushes would have been welcome but then this is a "bare-bones" release of the Smegs. It's quite confusing - maybe there'll be a release of the Smegs with bonus features in a year or so? Worth thinking about if you're really into Dwarf so you don't end up paying twice. I like the "Just the Deleted Scenes" comment above; really hits the nail on the head!

By Chris M
August 28, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

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What does this have to do with the Simpsons movie?

Not sure what the problem is, really. It's a low-budget release, we've deliberately NOT included 'new' outtakes (of which there are very few) so that people don't feel obligated. There'd be even more complaint if we'd tried to get people to buy it for three minutes of new material.

We've always played straight down the line with these DVDs, been up-front about what we've done and why, and I don't think we've treated the fanbase with anything but respect at any point.

There WON'T be a Smegs double dip - what few extra outtakes have been found are in the various DVD documentaries. I don't see it as any different from the Just the Shows releases - offering people a choice, but with the special editions first, and the vanillas coming second. It's the mirror opposite of a double-dip and surely plays fair by the consumer?

The Smegs is not for completists, so much as for Joe Public who likes the episodes and the outtakes specials, but has not interested in the extraneous bonus material.

Bodysnatcher is another matter entirely, though, and I'll admit we've grabbed the chance to finance stuff we thought the fans would want. Demand for the remastered eps has allowed us a budget, and we've piled that into content - into stuff we'd have loved to do on Series I, II and III but couldn't afford. (Without the episodes on there, aside from anything else, we couldn't have added writer/director commentaries...)

The Smeg Ups and Outs were specials in their own right before being split up for the series DVDs, and people have requested them. Just as people have requested the remastered editions. You may want them, you may not - but I'm not sure how releasing them rips anyone off.

By Andrew
August 28, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

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Can I please ask that any further discussion about Red Dwarf takes place on Ganymede & Titan, and not on random NTS articles please. I know you have to register now, but you don't have to use your own name, and you can use any old webmail account, so I don't think it's too much of a barrier.

By John Hoare
August 28, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

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When's that Red Dwarf film coming out, then??

By Michael Lacey
August 29, 2007 @ 1:50 am

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> When's that Red Dwarf film coming out, then??

When it's been made. Which it hasn't, and probably never will as nobody wants to finance it.

The BBC *may* help finance a TV special, but this will depend on whether the demand is there. Since it's been almost ten years since the last Dwarf series, and another half decade more since the last Dwarf series worth *watching*, I suspect the BBC will feel Dwarf has had its day. Evidence of interest in old series (through DVD sales) isn't evidence of interest in a new series being made.

By Chris M
August 29, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

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> What does this have to do with the Simpsons movie?

The Simpsons Movie is a good example of a show doing its feature film when it is WAY past its prime. The main difference is that the Simpsons is still running, while the Dwarf cast are aging and have forgotten how to play their characters (as evidenced by their new contributions to the various DVDs).

So ultimately the starting topic has proven merely to be a catalyst for talking about something else. Happens all the time. Especially fine on this thread since it appears nobody wants to take the starting topic further on its own grounds.

By Chris M
August 29, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

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> and people have requested them.

To be fair, more people have requested footage of Chloe Annett's foaming... you know, thing.

By Chris M
August 29, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

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Let's recap this beautifully fluid exchange:

CHRIS M: This Red Dwarf "Just the Smegs" release is just a way to milk more money out of completists.

ANDREW: What does this have to do with The Simpsons Movie?

CHRIS M: The Simpsons Movie is a good example of a show doing its feature film when it is WAY past its prime.

By Miguel Sanchez
August 29, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

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Well in that case the original topic was ignored and a new one started. However the thread has hardly been hijacked. The original topic was given plenty of time before the first Red Dwarf post, and of all the others before this how many were on-topic?

By Pete Stanford
August 30, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

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> CHRIS M: This Red Dwarf "Just the Smegs" release is just a way to milk more money out of completists.

And by the way CHRIS M doesn't say that, so try to prove your point without twisting what people say out of all recognition.

By Pete Stanford
August 30, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

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Kiss me, you fool.

By Miguel Sanchez
August 30, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

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>So ultimately the starting topic has proven merely to be a catalyst for talking about something else. Happens all the time. Especially fine on this thread since it appears nobody wants to take the starting topic further on its own grounds.

Erm...welcome to the admin team. No-one had told me you had joined...

By Tanya Jones
August 30, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

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> Erm...welcome to the admin team. No-one had told me you had joined...

Gosh, wow. *Exudes reverence*

By Chris M
August 31, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

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Well...six of eight possible carryovers happened in the opening sequence of tonight's episode alone. Now that's service!

By Miguel Sanchez
September 24, 2007 @ 2:02 am

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> Well...six of eight possible carryovers happened in the opening sequence of tonight's episode alone. Now that's service!

Which ones and how?

By Mr Flibble
September 24, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

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The opening sequence was completely redone from the chalkboard gag to the couch gag. I missed the first few seconds (the voices singing "Thaaah Simp suhhhhhnns...") so if anything was different there, well...someone else will have to discuss it.

But the chalkboard gag referenced the film: "I will not wait another 20 years to make a second movie" or something to that effect.

Then Bart skateboarded out of his school, past a few aspects of the destroyed Springfield, had the mutant squirrel jump onto his shoulder...

One thing he did was skateboard over a fragment of the dome, so that was possible carryover #1. Carryovers #2, 3 and 4 were having him skate past Russ Cargill, President Ahnold and the Inuit woman on the street. Carryover #5 had to do with the fact that Homer pulling into the driveway (and running into the house) took place on a partially rebuilt version of the Simpson house. And carryover #6 was the piggy, who was sitting on the couch for the gag. (Homer picked him up and said wistfully, "My summer love...")

To be perfectly honest the opening sequence was moving pretty quickly, so Colin could have been in there somewhere as well...but I can't confirm that. Ditto the death of Dr. Nick: still possible, but unconfirmed.

Whether or not any of this is referred to again (I have a feeling, now, that it will be), at least this proves that the Simpsons Movie was part of the same history as the show.

Overall a decent season premier. Definitely had its moments, but far from classic.

By Miguel Sanchez
September 25, 2007 @ 12:47 am

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I tricked you there because I don't actually care what you think. You just wasted your time!

By Mr Flibble
September 25, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

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I intended to report the results anyway...and I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say you don't care what I think. The only opinionated part of my post would be that last couple of sentences...

So if you'd like to believe that I was excited about you reading my opinions, then yes, you are correct; I wasted precisely 7 seconds of my time.

By Miguel Sanchez
September 25, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

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Kirk - fuck off.

By Ian Symes
September 25, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

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Suck my dick, Kirk.

By Michael Lacey
September 26, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

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Colin was there after all, in the opening sequence.

By Miguel Sanchez
September 28, 2007 @ 2:16 am

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And so was trouser pig.

September 30, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

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> And so was trouser pig.

I was personally never overtly fond of trouser pig. He didn't look so great on screen, plus his song was ripped off of that spiderman cartoon.

By Arthur Bryant
November 15, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

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>his song was ripped off of that spiderman cartoon.

Interesting point! Has anyone else noticed this?

By Miguel Sanchez
November 15, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

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Really? I thought it was ripped off from the "Llama Man" segments on the popular early '90s radio show Steve Wright In The Afternoon.

By Seb
November 16, 2007 @ 10:56 am

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I'm absolutely certain that a piece of American entertainment would call a character "trouser" pig, as well, and that you didn't mishear it or something. I mean it has rhythm, doesn't it, whereas "pants pig" just... I mean it just doesn't work.

By Simon Ellis
November 16, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

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> He didn't look so great on screen

I get your point here but it wasn't supposed to be a reference to Spike Milligan. It's Spider Pig in the Simpsons Movie, not Trouser Pig.

By James C
November 22, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

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No - the UK version of the Simpsons Movie has "Spider Pig" redubbed as "Trouser Pig", because Spider Pig means something rude in Britain. Trouser Pig basically means "the one in charge of the house" which makes a nonsense of using the Spiderman theme, but there you go. He's in charge of the house, so can put his muddy footprints wherever he wants. Definitely daft but that's translation for you.

By A helpful Brit
December 19, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

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What the fuck are you talking about? It was Spider-Pig in Britain, and Spider-Pig doesn't mean anything rude at all. And furthermore, "Trouser Pig" doesn't mean "the one in charge of the house" in the slightest.

By Ian Symes
December 19, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

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Ian, he knows what he's talking about. He's British.

By Miguel Sanchez
December 20, 2007 @ 1:06 am

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If he thought Trouser Pig meant "the one in charge of the house," I want to know what he thought Spider Pig meant.

By Austin Ross
December 20, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

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It's times like this I wish I'd never thrown away my American English to British English Translation Dictionary with handy appendix on the absurd, really.

By Rosti
December 23, 2007 @ 1:38 am

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Please let me be the one to explain Cockney Rhyming Slang!!

By Elifort Gable
December 23, 2007 @ 2:06 am

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> my American English to British English Translation Dictionary

By the way (for any UK readers here) I recently was in the position of having to explain the phrases "Everybody's Chipper Mister Chipper" and "Get Me to the Church on Time" to a couple of American friends. They found the logic of them confounding beyond belief.

By Elifort Gable
December 23, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

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Anybody know whether the "trouser pig" dub is due to get a region 2 release? I know that strictly speaking it's not the "original", but it's the first version I encountered and I feel like the American version is missing something whenever I see it. It's just slightly off-key in a weird way. I rented it, but I'm holding off buying it until I know for sure the English dub won't be included in a forthcoming special edition. Any certainty here on this?

By Keith
January 31, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

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>Anybody know whether the "trouser pig" dub is due to get a region 2 release?

March 18.

By Miguel Sanchez
January 31, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

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By Ian Symes
February 01, 2008 @ 11:21 am

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> March 18.

Thanks! I can wait until then!


What's your problem?

By Keith
February 01, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

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>What's your problem?

He's being Ian Symes, is his problem. He reckons that because the Simpsons is a cartoon world and doesn't exist, it's not worth discussing. Well tell him to apply his same logic to his beloved Red Dwarf universe. Equally fictional and equally unworthy of getting worked up about which versions should be made available on DVD.

By Kirk
February 03, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

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For the record - you're not Kirk, so stop impersonating him.

And this is getting stupid. Thread closed.

By John Hoare
February 03, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

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