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24 Minutes

Director: Raymond Persi

Guest Voices:
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brien

Synopsis: The bullies are set to release a stink bomb during the school’s bake sale. It’s up to Lisa and Bart to stop them.

Discussion: In a world where The Simpsons are making some very sucky episodes, I’m not going to complain about some cross-promotion, which is what this is. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of parody when it’s this clever.

Keeping in mind that I’ve never watched an episode of 24 in my life, I probably missed a lot of references, even though I know there’s a lot of split screens and timers ticking down. This ep is full of both, which gets a bit annoying in the space of 20 minutes but at times it serves the tension well. Yes boys and girls, this episode has tension… although it probably shouldn’t.

After making an extremely potent stink bomb, the school bullies are on their way to disrupt the school’s annual bake sale, responsible for 90% of the school’s funding. Meanwhile, Marge realises she only has 25 minutes to bake a cake to participate in the sale. Whatever will she do??

The episode is very well done, with jokes galore while keeping the general tone close to that of the seminal show. The cameo appearances by two 24 characters is a nice touch although it doesn’t really add anything. Jack Bauer rocking up at the school after Bart’s prank call is a bit on the silly side but hey, where else are they going to go with that?

The ep has it’s moments when you wonder why they bother, but overall it’s very well done. A nice change of pace in both style and narrative although the credits run to over 7 minutes into the episode. Cutting back on the opening credits would have been nice as they take up almost the entire first act and are very distracting. Nice work for the 400th episode.

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