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Posts tagged ‘bad Simpsons episodes’

No one cares what the shuttle driver thinks

How Lisa Got Her Marge Back

Billboard: Kirk Van Houten holding up his jumper; “Punch me in the stomach for $5, cash only”

Never lose a bet to Bart Simpson (Skinner is writing)

Couch gag: The Simpsons wake up in space from their pods and Homer is only a skeleton.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest Voice:
Andrew Rannells as himself

Synopsis: Marge admits she doesn’t like Lisa’s jazz playing. Meanwhile, Bart feels he has lost part of his identity when no one falls for his pranks.

Discussion: Firstly, what the hell are Archie characters doing there?!?

Secondly, yawn! How many episodes have we seen where someone finally admits they don’t like something another family member does and that family member tries to make things right? (Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.)

Annnd cue the flashback. Sigh.

This is just lazy writing and lazier execution. It’s like the writers have gathered all the thrown-out “jokes” and ideas deemed not good enough, sticky-taped them to a script and sent it to the voice actors. At one point, Lisa lets out a long sigh (when viewing the Broadway-style shows in Capital City); that’s exactly my sentiments when viewing this rubbish.

In the loooooooooooooooong history of the show, there are stellar episodes, terrible episodes and episodes like this: the absolute bottom of the barrel.

Never mind the terrible Marge-Lisa plot and the worse Bart-Maggie plotline, the Bad News Bears scene is possibly the most painful scene ever in any single episode of the show. Yikes! I just… ergh, just make it stop.

My personal recommendation is: instead of watching this episode, a more enjoyable experience would be to walk barefoot over red-hot coals then over a floor full of strewn Lego pieces.

It’s like licorice flavoured gasoline

The Girl Code

Director: Chris Clements

Guest voices:
Kaitlin Olsen as Quinn
Stephen Merchant as Conrad

Synopsis: When Homer loses his job over Marge’s social media post, Lisa creates an app which warns users the consequences of their posts.

Discussion: What a mess! It’s a hodge-podge of half-arsed ideas thrown together to fill 22 minutes.

The first of the WTF? moments comes with Angry Ricky taking the recently-fired Homer home. Ummmmm, what? Who the hell is Angry Ricky and why is he the one kicking Homer out?

After that, it all seems to blur together. The whole coding class is a weird concept. I mean, sure, yay coding and yay female coders, but what? Suddenly the boys in the class are doing Crossfit?

And then… Homer goes back to the Greek restaurant where he worked at 14, washing dishes. He dances. And keeps dancing. And thinking he’s Greek. And that’s pretty much Homer’s “plot” for the rest of the episode.

Lisa’s plot also has little to offer. She goes a bit crazy and thinks the app is talking to her. What?

There’s nothing nice I can say about this episode. It’s just rubbish.

I’m stuck in a Flandwich

Lisa with an S

Couch gag: A parody of Star Trek, couches surround a doughnut-shaped starship and destroy it

Director: Bob Anderson

Synopsis: Lisa makes her Broadway debut with an aging star.

Discussion:What can I tell you, folks? This sucked. The ep started well, with a Broadway-inspired song full of hope for tonight’s poker game. Homer lost to an aging Broadway star (and Moe’s new girlfriend), forcing Lisa to spend a month on the road. Something something something the show is cancelled and everyone hugs at the end. Or something, I stopped paying attention.

The plot of the episode is weak, with no guest star. Lisa’s fifteen minutes of fame parallels Bart as the I Didn’t Do It kid, but Bart did it better. This is a real snore fest.

Season 3 of anything is always the best

Friend With Benefit

Couch gag: …doesn’t involve the couch. In a parody of Pixar’s short film Feast, Santa’s Little Helper gets fat and is sent to Fat Dog Hell with the promise of free pizza.

Director: Matthew Faughnan

Guest Voices:
Kristen Bell as Harper
David Copperfield as himself

Synopsis: Lisa meets a new friend who is rich, and interrupts people.

Discussion: If there’s anything that has true wisdom, it’s a show making fun of itself. This episode absolutely does. Carl notes that the “in thing”, by which he means a couple of years ago, is crowd funding.

So, in case no one has guessed yet, I’m Australian. Doe-Eyed Boys… sigh. Seriously, there are hundreds of Aussie wannabe actors in America, hire a couple to voice these kids. And did anyone notice that their music sounded a lot like Bart’s boy band? Oh wait, that’s referenced. PS, Wodonga is an actual town in VIctoria.

And yet again, Lisa is having trouble making and keeping friends. Yawn. At least this one isn’t making up stories set in a fantasy wonderland or gluing seashells onto the family car. She’s just rich and buys friends. Lisa’s stupid conscience gets in the way and she rejects her new friend Harper, who also has a nasty habit od interrupting Lisa. Yawn.

There’s nothing in this ep to hold any interest. Harper’s dad is just plain weird, Harper is obnoxious, the plot is thin. Maybe Bart could’ve fallen for her, they could have voted Harper off like an ep of Survivor, or a number of other wonderfully weird things could have happened. As it stands, it’s just another forgettable episode.

Tastes like nickel champagne

Waiting For Duffman

couch gag: The family are repeatedly sucked into a portal until Bart avoids being sucked up and closes the portal. He then finds Homer’s head detached from his body.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Cat Deeley as herself
Stacy Keach as Howard K. Duff VII
R. Lee Emery as Colonel Leslie Hapablap

synopsis: when Duffman breaks a hip, the search is on to find a replacement.

Discussion: Homer adds yet another job to his resume when he is crowned the new Duffman, but is disappointed when he’s told he’s not allowed to drink Duff.

Yawn. The premise is a good one, but the story is sadly lacking. Homer as Duffman has soooo much potential but it’s as if the writers went on an extended holiday moments after thinking up the premise. Ah, the script will write itself… and then a team of three month old baby monkeys rocked up and started bashing on typewriters and came up with this script.

The “story” doesn’t go anywhere, doesn’t add anything to either the the episode or the series, and by the 10 minute mark, I just wanted it to be over. There’s some weird anti-message about drinking alcohol, but the message is wonky and unclear. It’s a filler episode to draw out the eventual death of a once-great series.

When I was a young car, I didn’t sit around smiling

My Fare Lady

Pixel Art is not real art (entire opening sequence is pixellated in the style of an old video game)

Couch gag: A selection of classic Simpsons moments in the style of popular old video games.

Director: Michael Polcino

Guest Voices:
Christopher Lloyd as Jim

Synopsis: Marge becomes a chauffeur and Moe takes a job at the power plant.

Discussion: What’s with the retro feel? Not only does the opening sequence resemble old school video games, we open the episode with Homer dreaming the opening sequence to The Jetsons and then Marge is printing using a 9 dot printer. What’s going on?? I’m wondering if this is an example of a fan’s theory that Homer is dreaming the entire series, having not woken from his coma…?

Another mish mash of ideas which, in fully fleshed out form, could be a half decent story. Unfortunately this is another ep where it looks like the writers have rescued torn ideas from the bottom of the dumpster and tried to resurrect half-baked stories into something that resembles entertainment.

Moe’s storyline would benefit from Joan Rivers as Laney Fontaine, although I think even Joan had higher standards than voicing a character in a dead series (besides, she might have already been dead when this ep was being produced).

Meanwhile, Marge becomes a glorified taxi driver. She’s selling herself as a chauffeur, but one wonders how Nelson and Shauna can afford such a service, and why all the characters tell their secrets a la Taxicab Confessions.

I’m not sure what Homer is doing in this episode, nor Bart, who does not utter a single word. Eventually both Moe and Marge agree to go back to their old jobs and everything goes back to normal. Yawn. This ep, like every ep from the past 5 seasons, completely lacks imagination. It’s tired, retreading old ground, uninspiring and boring as all hell. It’s a wonder the voice actors bother turning up to work every day, considering the rubbish they’re expected to say.

Smallpox free for 7 years

Walking Big & Tall

Couch gag: The Simpsons are on a sushi plate; everyone except Homer is picked off. Homer falls backwards and is eaten by a fish.

Director: Chris Clements

Guest Voices:
Pharrell Williams as himself
Kevin Michael Richardson as Albert

Synopsis: Homer joins a club celebrating obesity.

Discussion: Remember the days when The Simpsons started with a storyline which segued into another? Or when the show had two actual plots? I don’t know which one this episode tried to be, but it turned out to be neither.

Having noticed that Springfield’s anthem is stolen, Lisa and Bart write another one (which is utter rubbish) and then Homer joins a club which celebrates the members’ obesity. I don’t get it. I remember other, better episodes where Homer was proud of his weight (like reaching 300lb to qualify for disability), but this one… well, it doesn’t go anywhere. Homer explains everything, which is fine if you’re blind and can’t see the “jokes”, or are partially deaf and missed the “joke” the first time around. But for the rest of us, it’s a complete waste of time and effort. And what was that thing with Bart as Robocop with Milhouse in his stomach??

Can’t really say much about this episode. It’s just another terrible waste of a once-good show.

It doesn’t make me pee my pants

Blazed and Confused

Couch gag: The couch is a chair lift. The family return, everyone’s injured except Maggie.

Director: Rob Oliver

Guest Voices:
Willem Dafoe as Jack Lassen
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob

Synopsis: Bart has a new teacher and vows to make his life hell.

Discussion: Welcome to another steaming pile of excrement from The Simpsons. I don’t know how low they can possibly go with this show, but this comes pretty close. My major problem with this episode is the high levels of exposition, where every character explains to the audience exactly what is going on, just in case you’re blazed and confused yourself.

Apart from that, the other problems contained within the episode are the terrible writing, awful execution and complete lack of coherence. Are the writers having some sort of competition to see just how bad they can get each episode?

Let’s start at the beginning. Bart’s class gets a new teacher. It’s a brilliant idea since the late, great Marcia Wallace left us over a year ago. Cue someone with an instantly recognisable voice and matching personality: Willem Dafoe. His voice work can be incredible e.g. Finding Nemo. Here, he’s given stupid lines and practically no screen time during the entire second half of the show bar a few moments at the end where he inexplicably meets up with Sideshow Bob. OK, so bringing in a fantastic actor as a new teacher is a great idea. The execution sucks hairy monkey balls. This is a brilliant opportunity for Bart to pull out the big guns and play every prank on this newbie, yet all he can come up with is a literal skeleton in the closet. Bart then goes on to explain all the minute details of his upcoming plans to the viewer, because apparently we’re brain dead children who can’t read Flame Retardant on the side of a canister.

Then there’s some shit about Homer forgetting to make a camping reservation, Marge drinking some weird tea (I can only speculate the writers were drinking the same tea when writing this episode) and Lisa hanging out with desert weirdos (including a cameo by David Silverman- did they bribe him to come back to this shadow of a show?). Bart’s grand plan, predictable from the start, works a charm and no one cares. Boo frigging hoo.

It’s poorly done episodes like this that I want to see fan fiction made. You’ve got a good, solid premise with nothing to back it up. I bet fans of the show (if there are any left) can come up with some wickedly funny scripts that bust this shit out of the water. How about allowing fans to write for the show? You know it makes sense.

Fracking is one of those scary Lisa words

Opposites A-Frack

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest Voices:
Jane Fonda as Maxine
Rpbert Siegel as himself

Synopsis: Mr Burns falls in love with a woman who is trying to stop his fracking ambitions.

Discussion: An admission: I giggled twice during this episode. Once at the fiery Slip n Slide and once with the racy texts over some ancient ticker tape machine.

As for the rest of the ep, what the dickens did I just watch? Mr Burns has fallen in love and lust before, with much funnier results. This ep is a mish mash of old plots rehashed and reheated into a pile of steaming excrement and watched by just 4 million US viewers. There’s no couch gag, which immediately lowers expectations: there’s a precedent here that the couch gag is often the most enjoyable part of any given recent episode. Patty and Selma (sans Lily) fill up the first five minutes until the main story starts. And then there’s some confusing garbage about pros and cons of fracking while Mr Burns and whats-her-face carry on a love/hate relationship, ending with the world’s most boring bedroom scene. Here’s an example:

Mr Burns: What kind of dog did your sister have?
Instantly forgettable female star: I don’t know.

Wow. It’s genius. It takes some special talent to write utter bullshit like that.

There are glimmers of goodness in this episode, but ultimately no one cares, and I’m surprised people sat through the whole thing (me included). The glimmers, unfortunately, are only glimmers of a once-great show and lead nowhere. I shake my fists at the television because I know what they’re trying to say… but it falls flat every single time. There was a Fracking Day sign a la Whacking Day… but without the song. We all know the way to sway Springfielders is through song.

Yet another disappointing ep from the show that just won’t die.

Even I forget what this is a reference to

Treehouse of Horror XXV

Director: Matthew Faughnan

Guest Voices:
John Ratzenburger as CGI Homer

Synopsis: Bart and Lisa attend school in Hell; Moe runs a gang and the Simpsons meet their former selves

Discussion: What the actual hell?? The past few ‘Treehouse of Horrors’ have been half decent and watchable but this year we’re presented with some half-arsed conceptual crap that may have sounded good in the writers’ heads but did not translate well on screen.

School of Hell sees Bart and Lisa transported to Hell, where they attend school and Bart actually wants to learn things. It sounds like a good idea but is so poorly executed (‘scuse the pun) that the segment is barely worth watching. Actually I only watched it for posterity.

A Clockwork Yellow has Moe as the leader of a gang which disbands once Homer leaves to marry Marge. I think Comic Book Guy says it best when he utters, “Even I forget what this is a reference to”. It was probably the most lamest of all lame parodies I have ever seen. The only thing I half smiled at was a reference to Kubrick wanting to re-shoot the sequence.

The Others has the original Simpson family (from the Tracy Ullman Show) “haunting” the house of the present-day Simpsons. I was hoping for some original content, as in funny stuff the “old” family did or said and a self-reference from the new family about how great the old days were and how funny they were back then… But no. New Homer falls for Old Marge and somehow they all die and become ghosts. What? The Simpsons as characters from other shows/movies was mildly interesting (especially as the minions from Despicable Me) but there’s really nothing to offer in this segment.

If I had to give a rating, I’d rate it half a star out of 5. It sucked more than my Dyson.

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