Director: Timothy Bailey
Alton Brown as himself
Bobby Moynihan as Tyler Boom
Ben Schwartz as the clerk
Edward James Olmos as the Pit Master
Synopsis: Homer buys a fancy grill, becomes famous for his barbecued meat and is challenged by a TV chef. The only problem is, the grill has been stolen!
Discussion: Colour me shocked: this episode didn’t suck!
We started with a movie at Springfield Elementary; the original Doctor Doolittle starring Rex Harrison. The fusion of live action with animation was seamless and a fresh change (yes, I know they’ve done it before). At the end of the film, Nelson notices a weird smell coming from the Simpsons kids, while Homer’s workmates have also noticed a weird smell. A mouldy washing machine is to blame, with Homer tasked with buying a new one. So of course he buys a barbecue.
The thing I liked about this ep is that the writers have finally decided that jokes don’t need to be explained. There’s still some terrible puns, such as when the grill’s prints are found in the yard and Homer says, “Good night, sweet prints.” But overall, the jokes are amusing enough to elicit a smirk without being explained.
As for the plot, it’s still pretty weak and we’ve seen it before in various incarnations: it kinda feels like a mash-up of previous plots smooshed together into a relatively cohesive episode. By no stretch of the imagination is the episode “on point” or anywhere near the illustrious Golden Age, but it’s a definite improvement of many later seasons. Keep this up and you might find people who hate latter seasons a little less.