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Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo

I’m so very tired

Couch gag: The family are sucked down the back of the couch and are shredded like paper.

Director: Jim Reardon

Guest voices:
George Takei as Wink
Gedde Watanabe as Waiter
Mako as Battling Seizure Robot
Keone Young as Sumo Wrestler

Synopsis: The Simpsons take a vacation to Tokyo but lose their money and have to appear on a Japanese game show to win tickets home.

Discussion: Let’s not mince words: this episode sucks. Whenever the Simpsons travel to another country, they end up offending practically everyone there. Apparently this ep has never been aired in Japan because it is considered disrespectful (the scene in question is when Homer throws the Emperor into a container of used sumo thongs). Those lucky Japanese aren’t missing anything.

Homer is particularly disrespectful of everything Japanese, except the toilet which recommends a restaurant called Americatown. The game show is a fairly good parody of real Japanese game shows (has anyone seen Takeshi’s Castle?) and the Simpsons are able to fly back to America, after a mild Godzilla attack.

This is one of the worst episodes in the series. There’s a fine line between satire and parody and this ep fails on both counts. It is offensive. There is some humour in the beginning of the show, showing dated technology such as those coloured Apple computers and floppy disks. But as the family land in Japan until the end of the show, it’s just rubbish.

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