I watch, and blog, and watch and blog and watch. It's the Simpsons every day!

Posts tagged ‘best Simpsons episodes’

I’m big and yellow and serving Jell-O

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Father Knows Worst

Billboard gag: Principal Skinner with the caption: I paint houses

I will not put hot sauce on the CPR dummy

Couch gag: The Simpsons swim in a pool to the couch, except Homer is floating face down at the end of the pool.

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Synopsis: Homer tries his hand at helicopter parenting; by being with his kids all the time, he can help them succeed.

Discussion: I have two questions about this episode: 1) When Marge first discovers the sauna, there are already hot coals. Where did they come from? and 2) How does Homer know Geoffrey Chaucer, Oscar Wilde and Anne of Cleaves?

Apart from those worms in my brain, this was a thoroughly enjoyable episode with one huge laugh-out-loud moment: when Homer was actually demonstrating being a helicopter, “Helicopter Homer- Away!” and then slamming into a row of lockers; “Black Hawk Down!” Geez, that scene alone was worth watching the episode!

This is Homer’s episode, with a bit of Bart and Lisa. Marge and Maggie are largely forgotten (but it’s nice to see Marge taking some time to relax). Once you get past the “where’s the rest of the family?” bit, sit back and enjoy Homer at his finest. This is all thanks to writer Rob Lazebnik, who hadn’t written an ep for about 8 seasons. The ep is full of Homer-centric jokes, which really lifts it to a way above-average rating. Lisa and Marge’s storylines are quite weak in comparison, and really do feel like they’re there just to add the family into the ep. Homer helping Bart is really the highlight, even though Bart blends into the background, buoyed along by Homer’s antics.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a one character-centric episode, and I’m glad it’s Homer. He featured prominently in most of the early episodes but seems to have taken a step backwards while the family as a whole have taken a step forwards. This isn’t a bad thing- it reminds us of why we loved the show to begin with and also reminds us why the heck we keep watching (although, to be fair, I do put myself through some terrible episodes in order to find the gems; it’s entirely self-induced torture).

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Great Crimes Kill Holy Sage

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Gone Maggie Gone

couch gag: The couch, hung like a pinata, is hit by a blindfolded Ralph and the Simpson spill out from it.

Director: Chris Clements

Synopsis: Maggie is accidentally taken by an order of nun’s, and it’s up to Lisa to infiltrate and solve the mystery.

Discussion: What a fun episode! Loosely following the plots of National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code, ‘Gone Maggie Gone’ has everything you’d want in a mystery episode. Each act break (i.e. just before a commercial break) has a riddle or puzzle that needs to be solved. At the end of Act I, Homer needs to figure out how to get Maggie, a bottle of poison, and Santa’s Little Helper across a river only carrying one thing at a time. Act II is figuring out the biggest ring in Springfield and Act III has an anagram which needs to be solved. If anyone can solve the anagram in the approximately three minutes of an ad break, you have my awe.

Apart from the religious overtones and Lisa’s comment about how clever God is to remove her scepticism by making her the answer to the anagram, this is an extremely well-crafted episode. It’s funny, clever, modern, fresh and surprising. It’s one of the best later-season episodes I have seen. Also, being a huge Disney fan, I appreciated the references to the film Ratatouille, including Homer’s pirated (and misspelled) DVD of the film.

Although Ed Begley Jr is credited as a guest voice, there’s only a gasp when the Ed Begley Jr solar train is about to hit Ed Begley Jr’s solar car. If he did in fact just voice the gasp, it’s a gross waste of talent for a mildly amusing joke. The Simpsons is great at dragging out crap, why didn’t they do it here? Just a few seconds would have sufficed.

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