A great man once said, “What’s the point of going out? We’re just gonna wind up back here anyway.” If you, like me, subscribe to the newsletter of Homer Jay Simpson then I have excellent news. That insurmountable collection (read: stack) of Simpsons season-by-season DVDs that you occasionally pick through (sans a few missing seasons due to forgetful friends and ex-roommates) is about to become a little more obsolete. Don’t worry, the Rastafarian Bort Simpsen t-shirt you bought on Spring Break will always be cool.
In the wake of FXX’s insanely successful Simpsons marathon, the company has wisely decided to give the people what they want. More Simpsons (still waiting on the dogs with bees in their mouths that when they bark, they shoot bees at you). The delivery method? The new “Simpsons World” that debuts on the FXNOW app tomorrow.
Named after (and heavily influenced by) Matt Groening’s 20th Anniversary book, “Simpson’s World,” FXX has been working very closely with Gracie Films and The Simpsons producers to create an app that truly embraces the source. So without further ado, here are 5 things you should know about “Simpsons World,” presented in handy-dandy list form:
1. Yes. It has every episode.
This is what we all really care about, right? Every episode, available anytime, at the push of a button. All 530 Episodes, spanning 25 seasons, with new episodes from the upcoming 26th season being added next day. Having gotten to play with a sneak preview of “Simpsons World,” I can confirm that the layout is easy to navigate and simple enough to find episodes. Whether it’s tracking down that exact episode in your favorite season, browsing seasons by popularity, or rolling the dice and watching episodes at random. For the truly ADD super fans out there you can even browse episodes without even leaving the episode you are currently watching.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is commendably well executed in “Simpsons World.” There are several playlists already present (e.g. every full Sideshow Bob episode, or clips of Ralph Wiggum’s greatest lines), plus the feature will be constantly evolving the more users build their own playlists and share via Twitter, Facebook, etc. So, if you built a playlist of, say, your favorite Homer moments involving bacon, shared that online and if a bunch of people watch and like your bacon playlist, it could get featured amongst FXNOW’s featured playlists for any bacon-loving stranger to watch. Then you’d be popular, and being popular is the most important thing in the whole world.
In its current iteration, the search function is a little ruff (that is to say it tastes like “bark” and the functionality is very “grrrr”). You can put in character names, episode titles, guest star names, and basic stuff like that. The next version (rolling out in January 2015) will have every line of dialogue from every single episode integrated into the metadata and promises to be expansive and amazing. What that means for the metadata laymen is this: in the current “Version 1.0” if you know Johnny Cash plays Homer’s Spirit Guide you can search “Johnny Cash” and quickly find “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer” (S08E09). But in the upcoming “Version 2.0” one can easily enter “space coyote” or “pope of chili town” or “I hope I didn’t brain my damage” to find that very same episode.
4. Sorry cord cutters…
And here’s the rub… FXNOW — much like HBOGO was — is only available through your cable provider. So if you don’t pay for cable and you want to add FXNOW to your mobile device or Apple TV, it’s time to call your big sister and get that passcode! Or just continue using your DVDs and the YouTubes. Oh, unless that paid subscription is through DIRECTV, Dish, or Verizon. Those three aren’t playing along with the FXNOW app (Ha ha!). But FX is hopeful that they’ll be able to add those providers soon through the power of negotiation. There will also be limited commercials. That being said…
5. Yes. It’s on EVERYTHING.
iPhone, iPad, Android, that non-Apple tablet thingy, Xbox, Apple TV. The layout and functionality are all pretty similar across platforms, except for Apple TV’s which has no search function and the layout is similar to most other Apple TV apps. But, honestly, we shouldn’t blame FXNOW for that… using Apple TV’s search function is worse than a ski trip with stupid, sexy Flanders.
So there you go. Starting tomorrow morning version 1.0 of “Simpsons World” is available through your FXNOW app, and watching any and every episode of The Simpsons will be easier than finding the “any” key. Here’s a glimpse…