The Last Traction Hero
Couch gag: The Simpsons find their couch gone, and face a firing squad. The scene then turns into… well, I’m not really sure. It’s a pop culture reference I don’t get.
Director: Bob Anderson
Synopsis: After an accident at work, Homer is confined to an upper body class. Meanwhile, Lisa solves the school’s fighting-on-the-bus problem.
Discussion: It’s not the first time Homer has been incapacitated, and this one really doesn’t add anything. There’s no plot to speak of and no point to anything.
…And that’s about it, really.
Billboard: Costington’s: Open Thanksgiving. Celebrate your holiday by ruining others’
I will watch all 600 episodes without sleep (There was a marathon of Simpsons episodes over Thanksgiving)
Couch gag: During the opening titles, the family end up dead in various accidents related to their usual segment. Bart sees the family gone, takes their pictures off the walls, places them on the couch and realises he finally gets the remote to himself.
Matt Leinart as himself
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Synopsis: Homer discovers a new app which outsources all his responsibilities.
Discussion: OK, so this episode isn’t too bad. It’s from newly credited writer Ryan Koh who has taken some elements from classic episodes and reworked them into a modern narrative.
Here we see Homer outsourcing his parenting duties via an app called ChoreMonkey, something similar to AirTasker. It’s a classic Bart/Homer bonding episode mixed with technology, with passable results.
There are weird subplots involving Abe becoming a father again, Milhouse & Homer bonding, Bart and Kirk bonding, Marge and… well, everyone.
There are also some weird “jokes” that don’t really gel, but altogether it’s definitely not the worst episode ever, or even of this season.
Havana Wild Weekend
Billboard: Cletus’ Thanksgiving turkey eggs! Get to love it before you eat it
Being right sucks (This was the first ep to air after Trump won the election)
Couch gag: The family are sitting atop Mt Olympus, but Lisa is missing. She emerges from Homer’s head and Homer uses Maggie’s dummy to close the hole in his head.
Stacy Keach as HK Duff
Deb Lacusta as Isabella
Director: Bob Anderson
Synopsis: Grampa feels young again during a trip to Cuba.
Discussion: Hindsight is everything… I watched this episode the week Fidel Castro died. It puts an interesting angle on US/Cuba relations in the aftermath.
We start with a parody of Shark Tank called Vulture’s Nest. It was mildly amusing however it descended quickly when Grampa peed on the rug.
Oh dear God! This is another Grampa-feels-old-then-young episode, but set in Cuba where they can be free to make as many cultural jokes and stereotypes as they like. There’s no actual plot, just a set of random “jokes” set into 20 minutes.
Give this ep a complete miss.
There Will Be Buds
Synopsis: Milhouse’s dad clings to Homer’s friendship.
Discussion: This ep skips the intro and head straight into the “story”. Homer is forced into a friendship with the town loser, Kirk van Houten. It reeks of the Homer-Ned friendship episode, but way more lame. Homer doesn’t want to be friends with the weirdo. That’s it.
I honestly don’t know what to say about this episode. It wasn’t bad per se, just boring as hell. Or as the cool kids say, shit af. The highlight is Homer and Kirk’s Bro song, which garnered a giggle or two.
On the upside, it was one of the more rounded plots seen in recent years, so I can’t complain about that. Sure, it didn’t contain any depth or layers that are discovered with each viewing, but considering some of the tripe the writers have been dishing up for the past ten years, this is a definite pass mark.