Make Room for Lisa
I do not have diplomatic immunity
Couch gag: Firemen, holding the couch, catch the Simpsons except for Homer, who lands on the floor
Director: Matthew Nastuk
Synopsis: Homer desecrates the Bill of Rights, leading a telecommunications company to help repay the debt buy building a cell tower on the Simpsons’ house. Lisa’s room becomes HQ and, mad at Homer, offers an afternoon to bond so they can see each other in a new light.
Discussion: We’ve previously seen Lisa and Homer attempting to bond, and this episode doesn’t add much to that theme. It also doesn’t add much to the theme of Stupid Things Homer Does While Drunk. Remember how in the TV show Friends, each episode was named The One Where… ? Imagine if The Simpsons was also like that: The One Where Homer Gets Drunk… And Destroys The Bill of Rights So A Telecommunications Tower is Built and Homer And Lisa Do That Sensory Deprivation Thing.
This ep is a mishmash of different ideas all jumbled into a convoluted “plot” of 20 minutes and doesn’t really achieve anything. Each part on its own is fine, but together it is a jumbled mess. It’s like the writers had a bunch of ideas, a central theme and tried to knit it all together. Unlike a patchwork quilt, it doesn’t look pretty.
Homer gets drunk. Standard fare. He screws up, big time. Also standard fare. Lisa feels left out. Standard fare. They try to bond and weird things happen (which the I-Ching says wouldn’t happen for another 6 months). Everything turns out OK in the end.
I’m just not feeling the love for this ep. The central theme is Homer and Lisa bonding, but it’s a really long way to get there and doesn’t deal with the other issues fully. Bart and Lisa forced to share the same room should be hilarious, yet that’s not explored. Bart, rocking on a squeaky chair, says, “That’s what I do in my room” and Lisa is shown with her sax on the bed. A good reply would be for her to pick it up and remark, “Well, I play my sax in my room!” Instead there’s a clicking pen contest between Homer and Bart.
The subplot is Marge picking up cell phone conversations via the baby monitor. That can be a hilarious A plot on its own yet it’s not fully explored either. Bart and Milhouse’s prank is good, but could be fleshed out a bit more.
Overall, it’s an average episode. The elements are all there, but not meshing together as well as they could.