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

Peeping Mom

Couch gag: Corn kernels pop to become the Simpsons. Homer is burnt.

Director: Mark Kirkland

Synopsis: Accused of stealing a bulldozer and denying it, Bart is followed by Marge. Meanwhile, Flanders adopts a puppy who becomes attached to Homer.

Discussion: You’d think that after ~28 years, Marge would have realised what Bart is capable of. Sadly not, and the audience is “treated” to 20 minutes of pointless wandering because let’s face it, we all know Bart stole the bulldozer. Marge following him does not add anything besides some hardcore helicopter parenting, which I’m pretty sure we’ve explored before.

Whilst Marge is following Bart, Ned Flanders adopts a puppy, teaches it a bunch of cutesy Christian mannerisms and lets Homer play with the puppy. The puppy prefers Homer… and that’s it. It was a pointless subplot but at least there was a cute puppy.

The main issues I have with this ep are:
1. It flits from scene to scene very quickly. There’s no sense of timing because Homer (for example) appears in one puppy scene and then the very next scene focusing on Bart and Marge.
2. The jokes are too long and weird e.g. Marge wanders into the Mapple store, hands her phone to someone in a blue shirt, who fiddles around with the phone and says he’s not an employee before taking off his shirt and waving it around. What?
3. The characters are extra stupid and/or deaf. Marge and Bart have the same conversation about a miilion times:
Marge: Did you steal the bulldozer?
Bart: No!
Marge: No, really, did you?
Bart: NO!

Rinse and repeat.
4. Why the fuck would Nelson think Marge was actually dead?
5. Leper’s Island. Seriously? I can fart out better scenes than this.

However, this fucking awful episode did get me thinking: Homer would really, really enjoy the paleo diet. With the utter garbage being churned out this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Powers That Be could fashion a whole episode around the concept (being yet another garbage episode, of course).

Tell me again why I’m bothering with this.

Waiting For Duffman

couch gag: The family are repeatedly sucked into a portal until Bart avoids being sucked up and closes the portal. He then finds Homer’s head detached from his body.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Cat Deeley as herself
Stacy Keach as Howard K. Duff VII
R. Lee Emery as Colonel Leslie Hapablap

synopsis: when Duffman breaks a hip, the search is on to find a replacement.

Discussion: Homer adds yet another job to his resume when he is crowned the new Duffman, but is disappointed when he’s told he’s not allowed to drink Duff.

Yawn. The premise is a good one, but the story is sadly lacking. Homer as Duffman has soooo much potential but it’s as if the writers went on an extended holiday moments after thinking up the premise. Ah, the script will write itself… and then a team of three month old baby monkeys rocked up and started bashing on typewriters and came up with this script.

The “story” doesn’t go anywhere, doesn’t add anything to either the the episode or the series, and by the 10 minute mark, I just wanted it to be over. There’s some weird anti-message about drinking alcohol, but the message is wonky and unclear. It’s a filler episode to draw out the eventual death of a once-great series.

Sky Police

Director: Rob Oliver

Guest Voice:
Nathan Fielder as himself

Synopsis: The congregation turn to counting cards in a casino to fix the church when Chief Wiggum crashes a jetpack into it.

Discussion: What. The. Hell.

We start straight into the “action”, watching Wiggum take possession of a jetpack, sing a cute little song and 60 seconds later, crash it into the church, never to be mentioned again (well, not until the final minute or so). Apart from that, the episode centres on the congregation of the Springfield church counting cards to raise money to rebuild. Yawn.

Not only is the episode lacking in plot, it’s completely lacking in originality. The church has been rebuilt and changed hands and needed money countless times before and all with much better episodes. Quite frankly, counting cards is a stupidly boring waste of my time to rebuild a church. There’s some discussion about the relevance of God and religion but instead of exploring that (which, by the way, they’ve also done before with better results), they’ve gone for brushing over it and leaving the episode completely heartless and a total snore fest. It does not make any sense whatsoever, including the sex fantasies of Rev and Mrs Lovejoy, Ewww.

Also this week, we lost one of the creators and developers of the show: Sam Simon. Despite leaving the show in the early 90s, he continued to collect royalties, which he donated to a bunch of charities even before he discovered he had terminal cancer. A genuinely nice bloke (according to all sources) and a real shame to lose such a talented person.

The Princess Guide

Couch Gag: The Simpsons are printed on a 9 dot printer and there’s a paper jam.

Director: Timothy Bailey

Guest Voices:
Richard Branson as himself
Kevin Michael Richardson as Nigerian King
Yaya DeCosta as Princess Kemi
Jon Lovitz as Enrico Irritazio

Synopsis: Moe is prepared to exact revenge on a Nigerian princess for an internet scam but ends up falling in love with her.

Discussion: Maybe it’s the lack of sleep (I have a 10 week old baby). Maybe it’s the high heat and humidity. Or maybe this episode just didn’t suck, but I liked it. I was ready to hate it, ready to dig into the expositions and bad writing and utter nonsense… But I think it’s sweet.

We’ve seen Moe have flings before, but this one was just lovely, like the first day of spring after a long winter or the first crush after having your heart broken. Moe has fallen for the classic Nigerian scam and is ready for revenge, but ends up sharing a montage with the Princess instead. Awww!

Sure, it’s not brilliant or a hark back to classic episodes, but it’s a simple story (at least it has a story!) and it’s a fine ep. I know, I know… I’m as shocked as you are.

My Fare Lady

Pixel Art is not real art (entire opening sequence is pixellated in the style of an old video game)

Couch gag: A selection of classic Simpsons moments in the style of popular old video games.

Director: Michael Polcino

Guest Voices:
Christopher Lloyd as Jim

Synopsis: Marge becomes a chauffeur and Moe takes a job at the power plant.

Discussion: What’s with the retro feel? Not only does the opening sequence resemble old school video games, we open the episode with Homer dreaming the opening sequence to The Jetsons and then Marge is printing using a 9 dot printer. What’s going on?? I’m wondering if this is an example of a fan’s theory that Homer is dreaming the entire series, having not woken from his coma…?

Another mish mash of ideas which, in fully fleshed out form, could be a half decent story. Unfortunately this is another ep where it looks like the writers have rescued torn ideas from the bottom of the dumpster and tried to resurrect half-baked stories into something that resembles entertainment.

Moe’s storyline would benefit from Joan Rivers as Laney Fontaine, although I think even Joan had higher standards than voicing a character in a dead series (besides, she might have already been dead when this ep was being produced).

Meanwhile, Marge becomes a glorified taxi driver. She’s selling herself as a chauffeur, but one wonders how Nelson and Shauna can afford such a service, and why all the characters tell their secrets a la Taxicab Confessions.

I’m not sure what Homer is doing in this episode, nor Bart, who does not utter a single word. Eventually both Moe and Marge agree to go back to their old jobs and everything goes back to normal. Yawn. This ep, like every ep from the past 5 seasons, completely lacks imagination. It’s tired, retreading old ground, uninspiring and boring as all hell. It’s a wonder the voice actors bother turning up to work every day, considering the rubbish they’re expected to say.

Smallpox free for 7 years

Walking Big & Tall

Couch gag: The Simpsons are on a sushi plate; everyone except Homer is picked off. Homer falls backwards and is eaten by a fish.

Director: Chris Clements

Guest Voices:
Pharrell Williams as himself
Kevin Michael Richardson as Albert

Synopsis: Homer joins a club celebrating obesity.

Discussion: Remember the days when The Simpsons started with a storyline which segued into another? Or when the show had two actual plots? I don’t know which one this episode tried to be, but it turned out to be neither.

Having noticed that Springfield’s anthem is stolen, Lisa and Bart write another one (which is utter rubbish) and then Homer joins a club which celebrates the members’ obesity. I don’t get it. I remember other, better episodes where Homer was proud of his weight (like reaching 300lb to qualify for disability), but this one… well, it doesn’t go anywhere. Homer explains everything, which is fine if you’re blind and can’t see the “jokes”, or are partially deaf and missed the “joke” the first time around. But for the rest of us, it’s a complete waste of time and effort. And what was that thing with Bart as Robocop with Milhouse in his stomach??

Can’t really say much about this episode. It’s just another terrible waste of a once-good show.

The Musk Who Fell to Earth

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest Voice:
Elon Musk as himself

Synopsis: Seeking intellectual stimulation and new ideas, Elon Musk lands in Springfield and helps turn the power plant into an environmentally conscious entity.

Discussion: This is how I imagine this episode was created…
Producer: We need a guest star, someone famous but not necessarily popular.
Producer 2: Hmm, I know! Elon Musk!
Producer: Brilliant! I’ll call him now! Hi… Elon? Wanna be on The Simpsons? Yeah? Woo hoo!
Producer 2: This will be great!
**Six Months Later**
Producer: OK, Elon is in the studio ready to record his lines. Oh shit, we still need a script!
Producer 2: I found some ideas in the mess hall. They’re leftover ideas from that Lady Gaga ep we did, they’ve had coffee spilled on them and a dog shit on them, but they’re still good to go.

This episode makes no sense. There’s plenty of “jokes” (and I use the term loosely) about Musk’s egotism and intellect, but if you try to think about the “plot”, you’ll get wrinkles (again, “plot” is a very loose term).

There’s nothing remotely good about this ep. I’d give it a negative score if I could. Oh hell, it’s my blog, I can do what I like. This episode gets a MINUS FIVE, and that’s plus one point for effort. It feels a lot like the Lady Gaga episode: a random famous person rocks up in Springfield, tries to fit in and then leaves without making any sort of difference whatsoever. Instead of having a genuinely fantastic idea, Musk elongates Homer’s weird ramblings into technobabble nonsense that never goes anywhere, and Mr Burns hates him for it.

The ep is more disjointed than usual, with the first 10 minutes being boring as hell. Seriously guys, kill the show now. In fact, go back in time ten years and kill it then.

Bart’s New Friend

Billboard: You tried the rest, now try Luigi’s Pizza

Snowmen don’t have carrot penises

Couch gag: Homer, Marge and Bart are the Three Bears and Lisa is Goldilocks. Marge, Bart and Lisa eat Homer and it turns out Homer is reading a story to Maggie.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest Voice:
Stacy Keach as Don Bookner

Synopsis: Homer is hypnotised to think he’s a ten year old boy.

Discussion: Remember when Milhouse looked like his dad and Bart took advantage of him to do adult stuff? (Yeah, I’ve tried to forget that ep too.) Why didn’t Bart take advantage of adult Homer with a 10 year old’s brain? For an episode entitled ‘Bart’s New Friend’, they didn’t really seem to do much together. Where are the pranks? Where is the humiliation for Skinner? Why are they doing boring things like fishing? Haven’t Bart and Homer bonded before when Homer was an adult?

I had high hopes for this episode. It was written about 20 years ago by a then-unknown Judd Apatow, who has since found fame writing films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Bridesmaids. This ep had potential, but it seems to have derailed somewhere in the process- did another Simpsons writer come along and edit the script to make it crappier? Apatow said he wrote the script in “the old style”, which would have worked. However, there’s a lot of exposition which is a hallmark of later Simpsons episodes. The premise was good, but something happened and the resulting episode is yet another disappointment; Homer and Bart have spent several episodes bonding yet this one fell flat. There was no bonding, Bart seemed to suddenly remember Homer was a 10 year old and thought he should do something with that. There’s very little actual interaction between them, which doesn’t serve the storyline. Homer in silly mode already gets along well with Bart, why doesn’t 10 year old Homer take advantage of that as well? Go get a sugar high on Squishees at the Kwik-E-Mart, or play pranks on Skinner, or use Homer’s license to drive somewhere really cool (is that how they got to Itchy & Scratchy Land?)

My high hopes have been dashed once more :(

The Man Who Came to be Dinner

Couch gag: The Simpsons are in an art gallery viewing portraits of themselves. Homer picks up a remote control, changing all the pictures to TV screens.

Director: David Silverman

Synopsis: During a trip to an amusement park, the Simpsons are transported to the home planet of Kang and Kodos.

Discussion: …I really don’t know how to start with this one. In the canon of The Simpsons, it just gets more and more weird, while being less and less entertaining.

This episode doesn’t know what it’s doing. It’s trying to be half a dozen things at once: another Futurama, Star Trek and at one point I even thought it was turning into Hamlet. Apparently this episode was supposed to be two seasons ago, but was held off. The delay was confirmed by writers Al Jean and David Mirkin as being considered as a plot of a possible Simpsons movie sequel. Oh dear God, no!!!

This ep has all the classic people involved: Al Jean, David Mirkin, David Silverman, Alf Clausen. Did they lose a bet where the loser has to pen the worst episode ever and make 10 million people suffer for it? I just don’t understand the motivation to write, animate or screen this utter pile of steaming excrement.

Let’s start at the beginning. We start with another look at Dizneeland, which was first seen in an episode called Old Money, waaaay back in season 2. Bart talks the family into trying out a new ride, and the family end up in Rigel Seven, the home planet of perennial Halloween favourites Kang and Kodos, who decide one of the Simpsons needs to be a sacrifice.

Basically, we’ve seen this all before in different guises. Amusement parks, check. Eating potato chips in space with the Blue Danube playing, check. Kang and Kodos wanting to eat humans, check. Complete and utter snorefest: check.

Don’t waste time watching this shit. Go outside and get some fresh air instead.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

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The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

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