Saturday, December 01, 2007

Boytech and Girltech in Simpsons TiVo Easter Egg

I'm amazed that I find no references anywhere on the web to this one. I just watched last Sunday's episode #408 (KABF01) of Fox's The Simpsons, "Funeral for a Fiend," original air date 2007-11-25. Of course, I watched it on my TiVo, with remote in hand. The main plot centers on the return of Sideshow Bob to make yet another attempt to murder Bart Simpson, but there's a subplot around the Simpsons' acquisition of a TiVo. Lisa teaches Marge how to skip through the commercials — leading a bit later to having Keith Olbermann denounce Marge as "Worst Person in the World!" for denying paid advertisers their due.

As Lisa demonstrates fast-forwarding through the ads at the cliffhanger of an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, we see the Simpsons' TV screen; a series of commercials flash by in the blink of an eye. With the TiVo, though, I can freeze-frame and see what the commercials are for, including the bouncing Homer head advertising something in Japanese. There's a commercial for "Turbo Diary," enhanced with the ability to emit a blinding flash of light if a boy tries to read a girl's innermost thoughts. As you step frame-by-frame forward through the commercial, you see the logo "Girltech" leaping off the product; if you step backwards, though, you see the logo "Boytech" instead. I suppose one reading of it would be to say that pausing live TV is "girltech," but backing it up to see if there's a different image is "boytech." Call me a happy hermaphrotech.

By the way, I did actually watch a few of the real commercials in this episode. The Zune ad was way cool — as in, "Watch out Apple iPod" cool. The ad for the new Terminator series, though, looked cheesier than a daytime soap opera; it reminded me of the death of another fine franchise: The Never-Ending Story, Part III: The Final Chapter.

P.S. Buy Olbermann's book! [unpaid, unsolicited endorsement]

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