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).