Fox. This is made an overt part of the text, thanks to a decree from Judge Snyder that Skinner is the one true Skinner, and Agnes immediately shutting down Skinner’s closing promise to loosen up a bit. He calls the episode "[one of] the weakest episodes in Simpsons history", and adds, "A blatant, continuity-scrambling plot twist of this sort might've been forgivable if the result had been as funny or sharply satirical as the classics of the Golden Age, but alas it's emphatically not." "[24] In the introduction to the ninth season DVD boxset, series creator Matt Groening describes "The Principal and the Pauper" as "one of [his] least favorite episodes". After these revelations, the people of Springfield begin to distrust Armin, who decides that there is no longer any place for him in Springfield and leaves for Capital City to resume his old persona as a no-good street thug, sadly breaking up with Edna Krabappel in the process. Matt Groening, in the ninth season DVD introduction, calls it out as one of his least favorite episodes. Jump the Shark: Books - Amazon.ca. Compared to other episodes with a more overt aim to skewer, like “Homer’s Enemy” or “The Itchy And Scratchy And Poochie Show,” the satire on the people of Springfield isn’t clear enough beyond a mid-episode Kent Brockman dig at the town’s “adaptable” citizens. Principal Skinner admits that he is an impostor, and that his real name is Armin Tamzarian. It also suffers from the fact that Sgt. My Three Sons (1960–1972) Episode: The First Meeting … And while far more time is spent defending the idea of the episode than discussing the specifics other tracks get into, he does reveal that the name Armin Tamzarian came from an insurance adjuster who helped him out following a car crash. TL:DR it's not as bad as people think, but it is an example of why The Simpsons should've … A lot of people point towards The Simpsons episode ‘The Principal and the Pauper’ as a ‘jump the shark’ moment. (2006). Turner notes that the episode "still sports a couple of virtuoso gags", but says that such moments are limited. Years before that, however, they got it right. Voiced with aplomb by Martin Sheen, who was cast based on the producers’ affection for his work as a Vietnam veteran in Apocalypse Now, Sgt. Skinner’s speech about giving up half his life for Springfield transforms everyone else into the bad guy. Did The Simpsons 'jump the shark' and if so when? Speaking of the trip, this episode is also noteworthy as one of the few instances where Agnes Skinner displays more depth than the elderly shrew who holds an iron grip on her son’s independence. When people say stuff like "The Principal and the Pauper" is when they jumped the shark, I think it's more that's when the slow decline began, but it didn't get immediately ---- after that. [4][5] According to animation director Steve Moore, one of the working titles for the episode was "Skinnersby". The moment your favourite TV show went bad. It’s what ultimately makes some of the scenes work that shouldn’t, ones that create the emotion that having Skinner in Springfield is a thing worth fighting for. When the episode aired, lo and behold, a community of people who like things just the way they are got mad. Her rejection of her real and fake sons displays some great willful ignorance (“I have one stranger and one fraud!”), and her admission that “there was a weenie you could be proud to call your son” is the one time she feels like an affectionate mother. If a strange man offers you a ride, I say take it!” Lousy traumatic childhood. If I had to pinpoint a moment when it jumped the shark, it would have to be the episode where Maude Flanders dies. “My real name is… Armin Tamzarian!” –Seymour/Armin, “The Principal And The Pauper” A number of fans point to the 1997 Simpsons episode “The Principal And The Pauper” as the start of the end of the “real” Simpsons—basically, when the long-running animated sitcom “jumped the shark.” In the episode, it is shockingly revealed that Principal Seymour Skinner … We couldn’t help but wonder: Did Carrie ruin Sex and the City? 1. A lot of people say The Principal And The Pauper, which came out in 1997, marked the downfall, the episode where Skinner is revealed to have been adopted and the real Seymour Skinner is an Army Sergeant, and I sort of agree because that season … While I considered the episode not so good I took it and it's ending in humor and thought nothing serious about it. [25] He also called the episode "a mistake" in an interview with Rolling Stone. 2020-09-21 3:35:47 AM : Trik: buckeyebrain: johnny_vegas: Not a bad list If only there were a website that would take votes and other suggestions from users... Yeah it sucked when TV Guide bought the Jump The Shark … it works as a meta-commentary about delivering real change on a sitcom and (c.) the show has done fourth wall-winking endings before. Meanwhile, the real Seymour Skinner spent five years in a POW camp, then worked in a Chinese sweatshop for two decades until it was shut down by the United Nations. Exposed at his 20th anniversary party by the real Sgt. Armin took the news of the apparent death to Seymour's mother, Agnes. After Agnes orders Armin to return home, expressing that he is more of a real son to her than the real Skinner is, Homer persuades Mayor Quimby and all the other citizens to allow Armin to resume his assumed identity as Principal Skinner. In other cases, critics dispute the exact shark jumping moment. [34], Principal Skinner declares himself an impostor. A clip from the episode was used in season eleven's "Behind the Laughter" as an example of the show's increasingly "gimmicky and nonsensical plots". Judge Snyder declares that Armin will again be referred to as Seymour Skinner, that he will return to his job as school principal, and that no one shall ever again refer to Skinner or the fallout from his visit, under penalty of torture. But (a.) No, what damns this episode in the history of The Simpsons is that it’s where it became clear for the first time that the people making the show didn’t hold Springfield and its citizens in the same light as so many of its fans. The message sent was that preserving its carefully constructed universe was secondary to the goal of producing an episode, and this world could be taken apart and put it back together as necessary. The reactions are never outraged or indignant enough to feel like that’s what the episode is about—indeed, when Marge addresses the topic directly, her argument on why this makes her uncomfortable is entirely valid. Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in, Moore, Steven Dean. The matter-of-fact way he goes about cutting ties with his life is a very Skinner thing to do (“I know we were planning to see a film tonight but instead, I’m leaving town forever,” he tells a heartbroken Edna), and the way he tries to slide back into the role of Armin is rife with comedic potential. The series would continue to produce good-to-great episodes—several of which are still present in season nine—but the show’s batting average would never again be what it was. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 28, 1997. This is an outlandish episode … The only thing that’s wrong with him is that he’s not the Skinner Springfield and the audience have grown to love over eight seasons, which on balance isn’t enough. The so-called Golden Age of The Simpsons, that point where the show churned out classic after classic, finally reached its end as the eighth season wrapped up, its satirical engine and sense of the world of Springfield finally starting to run out of steam as the writers struggled to find new stories to tell. Principal Skinner admits that his real name is Armin Tamzarian, and that he had thought the true Seymour Skinner, a friend from the Army, had died in the Vietnam War. They resorted to ever more outlandish episodes. (2006). (movie, 2014, days) User Name: Remember Me: Password : Please ... the pivotal moment for me was when it was revealded that principal skinner was an imposter , apparently his real name is arman tanzarian or something , nothing could recover from that 01-11-2013, 11:15 AM topchief1 : Location: Charlotte, NC. Anonymous. This episode features the revelation that Principal Seymour Skinner is, in fact, an impostor, when the real Skinner returns from a POW camp long after the Vietnam War. Tonight you can sleep on the floor of your office.”, “Just put an ‘X,’ then call yourself whatever the hell you want.”, “That child is the most disobedient, smart-alecky, middle-aged man in creation!”, “This is Armin’s apartment, Armin’s liquor, Armin’s copy of, “I’m sorry, Seymour. In your opinion, which episode did The Simpsons "jump the shark"? Did The Simpsons 'jump the shark' and if so when? [4] The episode's official title is a reference to the book The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. [27], Ken Keeler, Bill Oakley, and Josh Weinstein all defend the episode in its DVD commentary. Skinner is entirely believable as the man who’d inspire young Armin into a better life and who could phrase an oddly sound argument to become principal: “If a man pretending to be me could do it well, then, logically, the real me must be far more qualified.” True, he’s bit uptight and lacking in some social graces, but it’s not his fault that he’d rather go to a bar at 7:30 on Friday night than sit for silhouettes with his mother. [13] The episode was the second highest rated show on the Fox network that week, following King of the Hill. However, the real Tamzarian (now a California Superior Court Judge[11]) was unaware his name was being used until after the episode aired. I could go on a VERY long rant about ruining one the supporting casts best characters but if you're a Simpsons fan you know already. Like The Andy Griffith Show" it is easy to figure out the jump the shark episode because it is just as the show goes from black and white to color, but that is a coincidence because at the start of the Fall season in 1966 on all 3 major networks they decided to require all shows to be in color, not an individual shows decision. Fans generally agreed that the plot made for a terrible Simpsons episode. [32], Later episodes of The Simpsons contain references to "The Principal and the Pauper". Harry Shearer has over the years used such terms as “arbitrary,” “disrespectful,” and “a horrible mistake.” It inspired our Inventory on subplots shows threw out the window and cracked our TV Club 10 on the show, described as the one episode that “wounded the faithful first and hurt the most.”, Revisiting the episode all these years later is an interesting experience. 10 June 2013 at 12:56 pm. The Principal and the Pauper is a good Simpsons episode but it is one of the most shocking episodes of the series. Oakley said he and Weinstein "spent a month immersed in the mind of Seymour Skinner" to prepare that episode, and from that point forward, took every opportunity to "tinker with [Skinner's] personality and his backstory and his homelife". [7], Describing the real Seymour Skinner, Keeler remarked, "It would have been easy to make him a really horrible, nasty, dislikeable guy, but we didn't do that. [10], Keeler borrowed the name Armin Tamzarian from a claims adjuster who had assisted him after a car accident when he moved to Los Angeles. Club’s classic The Simpsons coverage, there’s been something akin to an air of dread hanging over our reviewers, the feeling that in this journey through the show the best is almost over. It was cheap, idle storytelling", he remarks. Although it aired during the show's ninth season, it was a holdover from season eight.[3]. He was sent sailing straight over the shark.The shark smelled blood.The shark started to circle.We spotted a fin.But the damage had been done.The shark had moved on to its next victim.If hearing those phrases repeatedly does not bother you, then you will enjoy the abridged audiobook version of Jump the Shark, written and read by John Hein. "The Principal and the Pauper" was the last episode of The Simpsons written by Ken Keeler, who also pitched the original idea for the episode. That, in the end, is the true betrayal of “The Principal And The Pauper.” It’s not that it’s a terrible episode of The Simpsons, or that it forces you to have this element of the character in your mind every time another Principal Skinner storyline comes up. Keeler said he later received a "curtly phrased" letter from Tamzarian, who wanted to know why his name appeared in the episode. Get … The real Skinner is then offered the chance to realize his dream and take over as school principal. The problem is that it’s a change that makes no sense for this particular character. "A Riff From Matt Groening", in, The Simpsons Forever! The Principal and the Pauper. The family’s discussion of the merits of Shakespeare’s “rose by any other name” quote is a delightful non sequitur (Marge: “I’d sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine’s Day. 1 April 2019 . (2006). The Simpsons are dressed as astronauts and sit on the couch just as it blasts off into space. When did The Simpsons jump the shark? Any show can retcon a storyline out of existence (see again: our Inventory on the subject) but those moves can be done if it happens between seasons or even between episodes, and you don’t call attention to it. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 28, 1997. ... Yeah it sucked when TV Guide bought the Jump The Shark site, gutted the content and, well, killed it. Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in, Weinstein, Josh. "[29] He describes the episode as a commentary on "people who like things just the way they are", and remarks, "It never seems to have occurred to anyone that this episode is about the people who hate it." 10 Times The Simpsons Jumped The Shark. 7 mins ago. [15][16] Skinner had been a recurring character since the first season and, after years of development, his backstory had suddenly been changed. Keeler feared he would face legal troubles, but afterwards, Tamzarian explained that he was simply curious and did not intend to scare anyone. He also refuses to take part in mother-son activities with Agnes, who realizes she misses having Armin as a son. The episode garnered controversy from fans and critics, with many citing it as the moment when the series, "This [episode] is about a community of people who like things just the way they are. It guest-starred Martin Sheen as the real Seymour Skinner. [12], "The Principal and the Pauper" finished 41st in the United States in the ratings for the week of September 22–28, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 9.2. Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed. I’d rather have candy.” Homer: “Not if they were called scumdrops.”) And the scene in the car, where Homer tries to piece together why exactly everyone is in said car, is vaudevillian humor in its escalation and the way he decides he doesn’t need to know why Jasper tagged along. Keeler also attempts to redirect audience distaste in the commentary track by arguing that this was intended to be satirical, a take on “a community of people who like things just the way they are.” Yet that argument doesn’t hold up either. (2006). When people talk about how the ninth season represents the point where The Simpsons began its steep decline, “The Principal And The Pauper” is always cited is Exhibit A. It’s not the worst episode the show’s ever produced from a quality standpoint—our modern-day Simpsons reviewer Dennis Perkins could give you at least a dozen worse installments based on his personal experience—but if fans were polled, this is the one the majority would agree is the jump-the-shark moment. For me, I'd have to say this one: The Principal and the Pauper I remember watching that one when it aired and like looking around the room to see if anyone was laughing. Chalmers takes his gray, with Creamium. So we reach the most controversial episode of the simpsons the shark jumping to many The Principal And The Pauper an episode remembered … * Again, they did it for no reason whatsoever, aside from … It’s nice you’re alive, but you’re just not what I’m looking for in a son. The Principal and the Pauper is the second episode of Season 9 of The Simpsons (actually a leftover episode from Season 8). And the act of disassembly and reassembly, performed with ever more frequency from season nine on, is what spelled the end of The Simpsons Golden Age. [8.8/10] People get hung up on the ending of this one and the fact that it retcons Principal Skinner’s past. Some good Ralph Wiggum lines here too: “Principal Skinner is an old man who lives at the school.” “Teacher made me go to Principal Skinner’s office when I was dirty.” “When I grow up, I wanna be a principal or a caterpillar. u/candidateHundred. They realize it was a horrible mistake. In an April 2001 interview, Harry Shearer, the voice of Principal Skinner, recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. The decline of The Simpsons is a source of great pain to me. However, Keeler says that some of the dialogue was changed from his original draft, making this point less obvious. From music legends to sports heroes, from TV shows to politics, Jump the Shark catalogs those priceless moments when the magic vanishes and the mighty become the fallen! [6] However, Keeler has said he was inspired by the Tichborne Case of nineteenth-century England. Does "The Principal and the Pauper" being the Simpson's "jump the shark" moment make sense if there were many classic episodes that followed? The pair had already written the season five episode "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song", which was an in-depth study of the character. Others will pick Principal and the Pauper as to where the show to them completely jumped the shark. Skip to main content. HighOnCraic. "The Principal and the Pauper" is the second episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. Updated 2 mins ago: I didn't like the movie either. The decline of The Simpsons is a source of great pain to me. The reason it is considered jump the shark kind of episode is not because it’s bad but because it set a new standard that they can make a major change to the plot and just reverse it and pretend it never happened. In response, the townspeople banish the real Skinner from town by tying him to a chair on a flatcar of a freight train (literally running him out of town on a rail). But I do consider that episode you mentioned first as the one where the show for me finally completely jumped the shark. ", Keeler, Ken. "[3] Total Film's Nathan Ditum named Martin Sheen's performance in the episode the 20th best guest appearance on The Simpsons. All of our TV reviews in one convenient place. Armin Tamzarian . Seymour told Armin that his dream was to become an elementary school principal after the war. The teachers lounge serves coffee-flavored Bevarine. In other cases, critics dispute the exact shark jumping moment. : A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued, "Governor Jerry Brown Taps Armenian Bar Member Armen Tamzarian As Judge Of The California Superior Court", Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture, "Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped the Shark", "The 20 Best Simpsons Movie-Star Guest Spots", Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation, "The Principal and the Pauper episode capsule", A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper, Cultural depictions of Edward VI of England, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Principal_and_the_Pauper&oldid=1000135395, Television episodes written by Ken Keeler, Television episodes about prisoners of war, Short description is different from Wikidata, Television episode articles with short description for single episodes, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. this show has always had loose continuity; (b.) The episode 'Saddlesore Galactica', like 'The Principal and the Pauper', is often called out as an instance of 'jumping the shark'. So often, Agnes is treated as a joke—see the Psycho homage back in season four’s “Brother From Another Planet” as a particularly stark example—that any degree of humanity is pleasantly surprising. He can’t go back to being Armin Tamzarian from who he is now—though again, largely because it makes no sense he was ever this guy in the first place. The blandness and orderly nature of Skinner’s life—“the rod up that man’s butt must have a rod up its butt” as Superintendent Chalmers puts it after witnessing his daily rituals around the school—is who he is, and it’s too hard to believe he was ever so radically something else. Skinner out of town on a literal rail. [2] In the episode, Seymour Skinner begins to celebrate his twentieth anniversary as principal of Springfield Elementary School when a man arrives claiming that Skinner has assumed his identity. "[8] Bill Oakley said the idea behind the character was that he "just lacked pizzazz". Martin Sheen as the real Seymour Skinner[1]. Bill Oakley considers "The Principal and the Pauper" the most controversial episode from his tenure as executive producer. A lot of people say The Principal And The Pauper, which came out in 1997, marked the downfall, the episode where Skinner is revealed to have been adopted and the real Seymour Skinner is an Army Sergeant, and I sort of agree … I think his character jumped the shark in Skinner’s Sense of Snow, where he was completely overrun by the kids at the school. It’s a toss-up for best line between his delivery of “Up yours, children” and the literal way he reads a strip club advertisement. [9] The producers selected Martin Sheen to voice the character because they admired his performance in Apocalypse Now and felt his voice would be appropriate for a Vietnam veteran. He always stood up for the kids, albeit in his … I’ll admit, the convenience of the Judge declaring no one should talk … Seymour Skinner. [13], The revelation that Principal Skinner was an impostor and the self-referential deus ex machina ending were negatively received by many fans and critics, with many seeing this episode responsible for the series as a whole jumping the shark. 14. While Shearer’s never hidden his distaste for the episode in the ensuing years, he does a great job applying Skinner’s typical monotone delivery to his radically changed circumstances. In which that’s not a funny story, but I guess you had to be there…. "The Principal and the Pauper" is the second episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. The ending adds insult to injury as it sweeps everything that just happened under the rug. 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