As Billy Madison once sang "Back to school/back to school/to prove to Dad/that I'm not a fool." There are several reasons so many shows have at least one "back to school" episode (some even have more than one!), the primary one being that schools generally start around the same time as the fall TV season. Timing, as great minds have noted, is everything. Besides that, the first day of school is a universally shared/reviled experience! But maybe the biggest reason of all is that just like any insecure middle schooler, a returning series wants to make it clear how much cooler and more attractive they've become since the spring. With that in mind, here's a list of our favorite back-to-school-themed episodes : Full House S3E2 : Back to School Blues Full House was a terrible show (and I say this as someone who is still known to watch hours of its reruns on Nick at Night), but it has stuck in the collective memory of millennials because of a few choice episodes, this being one of them. DJ excitedly heads off to her first day of junior high, only to find out she's not dressed sluttily enough to sit with the cool girls. To make matters worse, she has the same slammin' outfit as the lunchroom monitor everyone thinks is a HUGE LOSER thus rendering her a HUGE LOSER by association. She eats lunch in the phone booth (oh man) listening to the operator recite the date and time. Oh Deej, take it from me, it doesn't get better. Community S2E1 : Anthropology 101 The first season of Community was kind of a split decision. The first 12 or so episodes were a fairly traditional (if such a thing can be said of a single-camera comedy) sitcom before veering into the weird, pastiche-heavy, practically anthology-like glory it became. This second season opener was its pilot should have been, taking all the genre clichés of the back-to-school episode and turning them on their sides. The Simpsons S5E3 : Homer Goes to College You try tutoring Homer Simpson in nuclear physics and see how far you get. When a person's view of college comes from repeated viewings of Animal House -esque comedies and considers it his moral duty to pick on nerds , getting him a passing grade in something the vast majority of the educated public doesn't understand becomes an exercise in nihilism. And yet Homer's tutors, with their Star Trek obsessions and rock collections, try their hardest — only to find themselves facing expulsion. If there's one thing The Simpsons taught us, it's to never try. Degrassi The Next Generation S3E1 : Father Figure (1) Degrassi ! It's so REAL! Except that at its best it's also completely and utterly ridiculous, going so far beyond soap opera territory that it's an entity unto itself. One thing it does accurately capture is the identity confusion of the teenage psyche — it just spins it out to epic proportions. Poor Emma Nelson is just trying to figure out who she is, both in terms of the high school social structure and as part of a blended family, so she runs off in search of her biological father without telling anyone of her intention. I'm not sure where this stacks up against her battles against STDs and eating disorders, but she can't even claim the gold medal in the misery olympics that is Degrassi High School. Friday Night Lights S2E1 : Last Days of Summer Season 2 was probably Friday Night Lights ' weakest season, but FNL at its worst was still better than pretty much anything else at its best. In the season premiere, Coach Taylor is off in search of greater glory at TMU while Tami, in the final days of a pregnancy, has to deal with her teenage daughter's histrionics. Matt Saracen is dealing with his mentor's abandonment, while Tyra and Landry... sigh... take the law into their own hands. To be clear "The Last Days of Summer" isn't on the list because it's great, but because it proved that this gem of a show still had stories to tell after its first, perfect season. As the great Tami Taylor once said, "There's no weakness in forgiveness." It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia S6E9 : Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth The gang (as they're known) really shouldn't be allowed any contact with developing minds. How they were not legally barred from working near or with children after their ill-advised community service escapade is a mystery. Yet here we have Charlie doing his best Good Will Hunting , janitor savant impression, while Mac, Dennis, and Frank hijack Dee's drama class in order to show their incredibly racist, homemade cinematic masterpiece: Lethal Weapon 5. Also there are juggalo jokes. Given the current state of public education in Philadelphia, this may be a chilling portrait of things to come. Frasier S8E11 : Motor Skills This one should ring true for those who are used to being at the top of every class, only to find themselves suddenly out of their depth. For me it was a class called "20th Century French Literature and the History of Ideas" but for the brothers Crane it was auto repair. Despite being multiple degree holders and leading lights of their profession, this is the first episode in which we see Frasier and Niles in a class. They fail miserably and decide to turn into happy underachievers — and manage to fail miserably at that as well. Mad Men S6E12 : The Quality of Mercy Northeastern boarding schools are the source of much literary fixation, so it only makes sense that a literary show like Mad Men might find itself besotted by the idea as well. Sally, whose recently crushed innocence still has a few softly sparking tendrils of life, applies to Miss Porter's to get away from her nightmarish parents, only to find 1) that girls from boarding schools are kind of awful ( myself included, jk?), and 2) creepy Glenn has become a champion of women's safety to the detriment of his budding sex life. What are your favorite back-to-school episodes? Let us know in the comments — unless you want to get an F for participation. Leah E. Friedman is the editor of SideReel.com. You can follow her musings on Twitter .
Adventure Time , Tron: Uprising and The Simpsons are already Emmy winners, picking up honors in outstanding individual achievement in animation. Read More... http://www.hitfix.com/news/tron-uprising-and-the-simpsons-among-early-emmy-winners
Danish toy company Lego on Monday confirmed it will launch a special series themed on "The Simpsons" family globally in 2014. Lego spokesman Roar Rude Trangbaek wouldn't give any details about what characters would be included, but said the company hopes the series will "appeal to fans of 'The Simpsons' family." Read More... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/the-simpsons-lego_n_3708984.html?utm_hp_ref=tv
FOX has revealed the plethora of famous guest voices coming to Animation Domination this fall on Sunday nights. "The Simpsons" is welcoming Kristen Wiig in the season premiere as a high-strung FBI agent who helps Lisa when something seemingly sinister has happened to Homer. The long-running cartoon also welcomes Elisabeth Moss, Zach Galifianakis, Rachel Maddow, Stan Lee, Harlan Ellison, Anderson Cooper, Eva Longoria, Judd Apatow, Will Arnett and Daniel Radcliffe for its upcoming 25th season."Bob's Burgers" is bringing Molly Shannon, Will Forte, Jordan Peele, Kathryn Hahn, Bobcat Goldthwait, Rachel Dratch, Matt Walsh and returning guest voices Tim Meadows, Gary Cole, Ken Jeong, Aziz Ansari, Megan Mullally and Jenny Slate to its fourth season on FOX. "Family Guy" welcomes Adam Levine and Conan O'Brien as themselves, in addition to Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Daniels, Liam Neeson, Peter Dinklage and Tony Sirico to its twelfth season.And finally, "American Dad" is bringing Elli Kemper, Zooey... http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/08/simpsons-adds-kristen-wiig-family-guy-adds-peter-dinklage-and-more-animation-guest-stars-on-fox.html
The Simpsons is on the verge of turning "D'oh!" into even more dough. In a move greatly anticipated by several networks, Homer Simpson and family may finally be on their way to cable. According to multiple insiders, Twentieth Television (the syndication arm of Simpsons producer 20th Century Fox Television) is getting ready to shop the show to cable networks for the first time, and will do so some time within the next year. As word spreads of the upcoming Simpsons sale, several cable executives acknowledge that they would love to get their hands on the long-running hit. "There's a pent-up demand for it," says one source. Read More... http://www.tvguide.com/News/Simpsons-Repeats-Cable-1068377.aspx?rss=breakingnews
25 years is a long time for anyone to do anything. Yet somehow, Matt Groening and The Simpsons keep cranking out the seasons. The show popped by Comic-Con with a couple of its voice actors to take a lot of fan questions and show one awesome clip. The panel opened with a couch gag from the upcoming Halloween special. It was directed by Guillermo Del Toro and is extremely elaborate. It’s a really impressive couch gag. READ MORE...
It may be hard to believe, but "The Simpsons" is going into it's 25th year on the air. To celebrate, the creator, producers and writers arrived at Comic-Con 2013 to have a good time with the fans.The panel starts with a sneak peak at the 2013 "Treehouse of Horror" intro, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, which includes homages to nearly any thriller or horror movie or book you could think of. Everything from zombies, to Stephen King, to even Cthulhu gets a little tribute. There's even a moment of Lisa in "Alice in Wonderland" and an appearance by "Futurama's" Hypnotoad.The Hypnotoad was also used as an introduction to announce a full crossover happening between "The Simpsons" and Futurama. The casts will record the episode in August and it will be used as either the season 25 finale of season 26 premiere of "The Simpsons." The crossover was alluded to in the "Futurama" panel that... http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/07/comic-con-2013-the-simpsons-celebrates-25-years-with-never-before-seen-footage.html
Springfield may never be the same; Fox has announced The Simpsons‘ iconic town will be visited by the Family Guy‘s Griffins in a crossover episode. The crossover will take place in a Family Guy episode titled "The Simpsons Guy," but the Griffins will be on The Simpsons‘ turf when they arrive in Springfield and are greeted by a friendly Homer (guest voice Dan Castellaneta) who happily welcomes his new "albino" friends to town. The episode will find both family’s bonding as Stewie (MacFarlane) nurses an obsession with Bart (guest voice Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (guest voice Yeardley Smith) attempts to find Meg’s (Mila Kunis) hidden talent, Marge (guest voice Julie Kavner) and Lois (Alex Borstein) indulge in some wife bonding, and Peter and Homer fight over which is the best beer in town: Pawtucket vs Duff. READ MORE...
Good news: Daniel Radcliffe will make his return to a beloved franchise! Nope, not that one. The Harry Potter star has recorded another role for The Simpsons. In an episode airing this coming season, Bart will encounter Diggs (Radcliffe), a strange older boy with a passion for falconry, among other things. "Diggs is a combination of Holden Caulfield, Finny from A Separate Peace and the kids in Lord of the Flies — only a little more screwed up," executive producer Al Jean tells EW. READ MORE...
FOX has announced premiere dates for its fall schedule, and as usual the network will launch its series both earlier and later than the other networks.Four nights of programming and shows including "Bones," "Glee," "New Girl" and "The X Factor" will premiere before the official start of the 2013-14 season on Sept. 23. That will help those shows get a decent run of episodes in before postseason baseball puts them on the shelf for a while in October. The network is also saving a few of its premieres for after the World Series. Futuristic cop show "Almost Human" won't debut until Nov. 4, and comedies "Raising Hope" and "Enlisted" are set for Nov. 8. "Bones" is also shifting from Monday to Friday in November.Here's the full rundown of FOX's fall premieres. All times are Eastern/Pacific, and new shows are in bold. For a complete list of debut dates, see Zap2it's fall premieres calendar.Wednesday, Sept. 118... Read More... http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/06/fox-fall-tv-2013-premiere-dates-new-girl-season-3-bones-season-9-and-more-start-a-little-early.html