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Million Dollar Maybe

Couch gag: Homer plays with a couch app on his smartphone.

Director: Chris Clements

Guest voice:
Chris Martin as himself

Synopsis: Homer wins the lottery but at the time he bought the ticket, he was supposed to be with Marge, so if he tells her he’s won the lottery, she’ll know he skipped out to buy it. Meanwhile, Lisa buys the residents of the retirement castle a video game system.

Discussion: This episode was really rather cool. Marge and Homer are supposed to sing at a wedding but Homer, believing the fortune cookie is on the right track, stops to buy a lottery ticket, leaving Marge to perform on her own. When he wins, he’s presented with a conundrum: if he owns up to winning, Marge will know he deliberately stopped to buy the ticket instead of going to the wedding. Hmm, what to do? There’s really only one thing he can do: hide the money and don’t tell anyone.

It’s such a simple concept yet embodies everything we’ve loved about the show for 20 years (even if some of those years were pointless wastes of time).

The family dynamic is the important thing here: Homer is buying things that the family genuinely wants and needs, e.g. hiding some Philharmonic tickets in Lisa’s saxophone. Although Lisa is mostly seen at the old folks’ home with their video game, the rest of the Simpsons are enjoying the gifts from the mysterious benefactor. As always, there’s a catch: Bart finds out and threatens to blackmail Homer.

The first few minutes provide some genuine laughs, and the momentum is kept up throughout the episode, making it very enjoyable to watch. It shows that even simple ideas can take the show back to greatness; you don’t necessarily need the convoluted ideas and big guest stars to entertain people (although, Coldplay are hired by Homer to play, and ordered to stop by Bart when Bart needs to use the toilet). A good episode overall.

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