I watch, and blog, and watch and blog and watch. It's the Simpsons every day!

I’m stuck in a Flandwich

Lisa with an S

Couch gag: A parody of Star Trek, couches surround a doughnut-shaped starship and destroy it

Director: Bob Anderson

Synopsis: Lisa makes her Broadway debut with an aging star.

Discussion:What can I tell you, folks? This sucked. The ep started well, with a Broadway-inspired song full of hope for tonight’s poker game. Homer lost to an aging Broadway star (and Moe’s new girlfriend), forcing Lisa to spend a month on the road. Something something something the show is cancelled and everyone hugs at the end. Or something, I stopped paying attention.

The plot of the episode is weak, with no guest star. Lisa’s fifteen minutes of fame parallels Bart as the I Didn’t Do It kid, but Bart did it better. This is a real snore fest.

Friend With Benefit

Couch gag: …doesn’t involve the couch. In a parody of Pixar’s short film Feast, Santa’s Little Helper gets fat and is sent to Fat Dog Hell with the promise of free pizza.

Director: Matthew Faughnan

Guest Voices:
Kristen Bell as Harper
David Copperfield as himself

Synopsis: Lisa meets a new friend who is rich, and interrupts people.

Discussion: If there’s anything that has true wisdom, it’s a show making fun of itself. This episode absolutely does. Carl notes that the “in thing”, by which he means a couple of years ago, is crowd funding.

So, in case no one has guessed yet, I’m Australian. Doe-Eyed Boys… sigh. Seriously, there are hundreds of Aussie wannabe actors in America, hire a couple to voice these kids. And did anyone notice that their music sounded a lot like Bart’s boy band? Oh wait, that’s referenced. PS, Wodonga is an actual town in VIctoria.

And yet again, Lisa is having trouble making and keeping friends. Yawn. At least this one isn’t making up stories set in a fantasy wonderland or gluing seashells onto the family car. She’s just rich and buys friends. Lisa’s stupid conscience gets in the way and she rejects her new friend Harper, who also has a nasty habit od interrupting Lisa. Yawn.

There’s nothing in this ep to hold any interest. Harper’s dad is just plain weird, Harper is obnoxious, the plot is thin. Maybe Bart could’ve fallen for her, they could have voted Harper off like an ep of Survivor, or a number of other wonderfully weird things could have happened. As it stands, it’s just another forgettable episode.

Treehouse of Horror XXVI

Couch gag: The kids are trick or treating when a horde of souls descends. The monstrous soul of Frank Grimes takes over Homer’s body.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voice:
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob

Synopsis: The annual Halloween episode, divided into three acts.

Discussion: Yay! It’s another installment of THOH, where The Simpsons parody popular culture and turn the event into a long-lasting memory. (Spoiler alert: epic fail)

Wanted: Dead Then Alive It’s what everyone has been wanting to see (apparently): Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart. Several times, too. He kills Bart, doesn’t know what to do with his life, reanimates Bart and keeps killing. It’s a total anticlimax for this scenario.

Homerzilla Homer as Godzilla in a parody. What? We’ve seen this before? Surely you jest! This time the parody focuses on Godzilla’s reboots, spin-offs and sequels that no one wanted to see. Just a heads up, it’s likely no one wanted to see this either. It seemed like the writers wrote 3 minutes, then realised they had 7 more minutes to fill and just wrote random words on the paper to make a “plot”. It was nonsensical and booooooooooooring.

Telepaths of Glory is apparently based on something called Chronicle, which I haven’t seen. Milhouse, Bart and Lisa are out hiking, Milhouse falls down a hole, Bart and Lisa follow, and somehow Lisa and Milhouse end up with telekinesis (not telepathy). It was interesting for about two minutes.

Unfortunately this episode SUCKED. It was badly thought-out, badly executed and the writing was lazy, returning to a bunch of characters expositing what just happened. It was non-sensical drivel that will be forgotten in minutes. Lazy effort from all involved. Yawn.

Welcome, seasonal customer

Halloween of Horror

Mike B. Anderson

Guest Voices:
Nick Kroll as Lem
Blake Anderson as Dickie

Synopsis: Lisa is scared at a Halloween event at Krustyland.

Discussion: This is the first Halloween episode to be canon and not a Treehouse of Horror. Lisa, excited to be old enough to attend a Krustyland Halloween event, is scared by the scene and becomes a Halloween recluse. Homer gets on the bad side of three weirdos who stalk him for the rest of the ep.

This episode was very up-and-down for me. There were some really good moments, such as the ‘Time Warp’-styled ‘Adults of Halloween’ which was both a great song (haven’t seen one of those in years!) and a funny look at the adults enjoying Halloween (and their coworkers, apparently…) The song was right: what is seen cannot be unseen. Thanks Chief Wiggum *shudder*

Anyhoo, Lisa’s fears were real and were explored well. She regressed to having a comfort toy while Homer admitted he’s lied more times than there are stars in the sky. There are elements of every scary movie ever made (I particularly liked the chilling nursery rhyme) and the pace clocked along without getting bogged down.

It’s not the best episode ever, but it is showing that the writers and production team are actually putting some effort into this season.

No one out-fats me


Couch gag: The family are cars, which reverse park onto the couch. Maggie, as a monster truck, crushes them.

Director: Rob Oliver

Guest Voices:
Jon Lovitz as the cigarette
Yo-Yo Ma as himself

Synopsis: After discovering lung cancer killed their father, Patty and Selma quit smoking. Maggie befriends some animals.

Discussion: Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking, but I started out liking this episode. It really felt like a flashback to when The Simpsons was cool; Mr Burns and Grampa vying for Mrs Bouvier’s affections and her admission that she didn’t tell the twins about their father’s lung cancer because she thought their smoking made them look cool.

But then… Maggie. Sure, it’s hard to give Maggie her own storyline; there’s not much you can do with a one year old baby who doesn’t talk. It’s cute and I’m all for the return of Spider-Pig… but this just made it feel like half an episode. In ye golden days, The Simpsons often had two simultaneous, unconnected storylines with varying success. Maggie’s story was as complete as it could be whereas Patty and Selma’s story could have been developed a lot more.

It wasn’t a terrible episode (to my complete surprise!) but it could have been better. And… SPIDER-PIG!

Cue Detective

Director: Timothy Bailey

Guest Voices:
Alton Brown as himself
Bobby Moynihan as Tyler Boom
Ben Schwartz as the clerk
Edward James Olmos as the Pit Master

Synopsis: Homer buys a fancy grill, becomes famous for his barbecued meat and is challenged by a TV chef. The only problem is, the grill has been stolen!

Discussion: Colour me shocked: this episode didn’t suck!

We started with a movie at Springfield Elementary; the original Doctor Doolittle starring Rex Harrison. The fusion of live action with animation was seamless and a fresh change (yes, I know they’ve done it before). At the end of the film, Nelson notices a weird smell coming from the Simpsons kids, while Homer’s workmates have also noticed a weird smell. A mouldy washing machine is to blame, with Homer tasked with buying a new one. So of course he buys a barbecue.

The thing I liked about this ep is that the writers have finally decided that jokes don’t need to be explained. There’s still some terrible puns, such as when the grill’s prints are found in the yard and Homer says, “Good night, sweet prints.” But overall, the jokes are amusing enough to elicit a smirk without being explained.

As for the plot, it’s still pretty weak and we’ve seen it before in various incarnations: it kinda feels like a mash-up of previous plots smooshed together into a relatively cohesive episode. By no stretch of the imagination is the episode “on point” or anywhere near the illustrious Golden Age, but it’s a definite improvement of many later seasons. Keep this up and you might find people who hate latter seasons a little less.

Every Man’s Dream

Couch gag: The Simpsons recreate album covers by The Beatles. Whilst recreating Abbey Road, a bus hits them.

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest voices:
Adam Driver as Adam Sackler
Lena Dunham as Candace
Laura Ingraham as the therapist

Synopsis: Homer is diagnosed with narcolepsy. He and Marge trial being separated.

Discussion: Welcome to season 27! Unfortunately it does not start with a bang. Or maybe it does if Homer actually did date the pharmacist… But did he? I’m confused.

Let’s start again. Homer is diagnosed with narcolepsy. He meets a young pharmacist, Candace, who gives him his meds. He and Marge try couples counselling, Homer falls asleep, dreams he is dating Candace, and I don’t follow what happens from there.

This whole episode is confusing and wallows badly. It starts off with a good premise: Homer dating a younger woman. Again, the execution is terrible. It’s haphazard and lazy. Seriously, it was all a dream? And dreams within dreams while other people dream too? Christopher Nolan did it better, just saying.

I thought the episode was pretty good at not explaining everything… until about 5 minutes in when the exposition started again. Nice to know the writers aren’t reading reviews about themselves.

It’s yet another underwhelming episode for a dead series. Seriously people, cancel this show. Please.

Mathlete’s Feat

Couch gag: Rick and Morty crash into the Simpsons’ living room, killing them. They then attempt to revive the family.

Director: Michael Polcino

Guest Voice:
Justin Rolland as Rick and Morty

Synopsis: Springfield Elementary mathletes are coached by Willie to defeat reigning champions Waverly Heights.

Discussion: First of all, I have no idea who Rick and Morty are. Secondly, I suck at maths.

I had really high hopes for this episode. Maths jokes have long been part of The Simpsons so I was really hoping this ep would be smart, sophisticated and cater to the intelligentsia.

Not so. The ep takes a really long time to get to the point and while they’re distracting us with pointless technology and Homer singing proudly, there’s still no discernible climax when we actually get to the maths competition! It’s rather less clever than everyone was hoping, with a few random maths equations and Bart randomly solving a puzzle using Homer’s hair.


Al Jean promised last year that there would be a future episode featuring all the smartest maths jokes the writers could come up with. This is it? I was expecting maths jokes out the wazoo but all I could find was a sign: Math joke of the day: √-1 2^3 Σ π (I know it has something to do with pi/e…). There’s three potential stories presented here but all the audience is left with is a goddamn jug band to fill up the last 30 seconds. With the extended couch gag (which I also didn’t understand but saw a couple of Futurama references shoved in there) and the jug band finale, plus a disjointed lazy “plot”, I’m really wondering where the hilarity is.

On the bright side, there’s a looooooong wait til The Simpsons graces our screens once again.


Couch gag: Homer is a soccer goalie trying to fend off soccer balls.

Director: Lance Kramer

Guest Voices:
Johnny Mathis as himself
Albert Brooks as Dr Raufbold
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Synopsis: When Bart is bullied at school, Marge outlaws bullying in Springfield. The Flanders boys try to see the good in Homer.

Discussion: Johnny Mathis as a guest star? Who the hell remembers Johnny Mathis?? And what’s with the Puberty Demon?

Anyhoo, Marge is on another crusade, this time to outlaw bullying in Springfield. Cue townspeople in various situations getting arrested under the new law interspersed with Homer annoying the Flandererses.


Albert Brooks returns to The Simpsons, this time as a doctor of some sort who hosts a group for bullies where they talk about their feelings and possible circumstances which led them to being a bully. Nothing is mentioned about the original bullies; Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney.

Yet again we’re rehashing old ground with no satisfying conclusion. Albert Brooks has had some cracker appearances on The Simpsons but here, he sounds tired and bored. Homer’s big epiphany that he hates Flanders because he’s better than Homer is hardly a surprise. It feels like the writers got to the table read, having not had an actual reason for the situation (over the past 28 years…) and someone’s dog farted out Scrabble letters spelling out “he’s better than me”. There are echoes of the opening scene from Wreck-It Ralph where the baddies sit around coming to terms with being the Bad Guy… but far less convincing let alone entertaining. For some filler right at the end, we have Otto’s hallucinations. Oh boy.

It’s a weak plot, weaker script and weaker still performance. The show is tired and way past its use-by date. This episode managed just 2.77 million viewers in the US; I imagine the numbers here in Australia will be abysmal (for comparison, our highest rating show of the year would attract about 2.5 million viewers).

Let’s Go Fly a Coot

Couch Gag: The Simpsons are penguins sitting on an ice couch. Walrus Homer tips the couch and eats the penguins.

Director: Chris Clements

Synopsis: Bart takes up smoking to impress Milhouse’s Dutch cousin while Homer discovers Grampa’s military past.

Discussion: Yet another sterling effort from The Simpsons. And by “sterling”, I mean I want to stab my eyes out with a rusty spoon and get that flashy thing from Men In Black so I forget I watched it.

What starts out as a satirical look at children’s birthday parties gone bonkers quickly descends into too-long scenes with no point and nonsensical dialogue such as “The best way to get to know each other is to share a rugged outdoor activity… We could walk to the theatre!” Yes, seriously.

The main plot about Grampa and Homer takes a while to get going, and even then it doesn’t make any sense. Grampa, who used to have such brilliant lines such as “I was wearing an onion on my belt, as was the fashion at the time…” is now relegated to pointless flashbacks and explaining everything we see on the screen. And I’m still not sure what the point is. Oh wait, the point seems to be doing a grand gesture to bang a chick. Whoa.

Anyway, that episode sucked liquid nicotine and I hear it’s the 4th least watched episode ever. Nice work.

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