Couch gag: The Simpsons are on a slot machine, which hits the jackpot and pays out.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: Homer is the subject of a roast.
Discussion: Well, um, OK. This is a clip show, showcasing Homer’s best and worst bits during a roast. I don’t have anything against clip shows; sometimes they serve to further a plot (I happened to catch a clip show of Friends yesterday- it was the one where Rachel didn’t accept the invitation to go to Ross’ UK wedding and they were individually recalling the ups and downs of their relationship.) That clip show had a point. This one doesn’t. I understand that the show is in response to a pay dispute (which I remember vividly- all sorts of rumours about the cancellation of the show or hiring new voice actors were being bandied about) but really, does it have to come to a clip show which makes no sense?
Maybe it’s because I don’t really understand the point of a roast. Maybe it’s because Kang and Kodos are trying to destroy the planet. Maybe it’s Dr Hibbert dressed as Darth Vader. Who knows? The point is, there is no point. It’s just an excuse to stick together a bunch of clips, some of which are 10 seasons (or more!) old and are ingrained in the memories of every Simpsons fan. Wait- I know what I just said. Clip shows *are* just an excuse to stick together old clips. But hear me out. Remember Bart’s April Fool’s Day prank and the clip show served to get Homer’s memory back? That had a point. The clip show recalling the romance between Homer and Marge? That had a point. A roast where Homer falls into a drunken coma while Kang and Kodos are given reasons not to destroy the planet? What the…?
The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
I will only do this once a year
Couch gag: A montage of previous couch gags
Director: David Silverman (credited as Pound Foolish)
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz
Glenn Close as Mona Simpson
Buzz Aldrin as himself
Synopsis: Troy McClure hosts the 138th episode spectacular, featuring outtakes, lost footage and a little history of the show. Plus what we all came to see: hard core nudity!
Discussion: Despite being a clip show, it doesn’t feel like one. It feels more like a trip into a Simpsons fan’s brain with a mixture of unseen footage and clips from past episodes. Troy McClure is the perfect host for this soiree, which parodies the frequent occurrence of live-action shows getting a celeb to introduce a milestone ep. Why not get Troy McClure to host a random milestone? It’s pure genius!
This is much more than a clip show. As I’ve mentioned previously, we here in Australia were never privy to The Tracy Ullman Show and missed the shorts entirely, so when they were presented in this episode, it really was “new” footage unseen here. The outtakes (including alternate endings to ‘Who Shot Mr Burns?‘ are also “new” footage, somewhat expected as it is common practice to film several endings in order to keep the truth a secret.
This ep also contains a couple of trivia questions, the answers to which are wrong. The first trivia Q asks what is flashed on the supermarket scanner as Maggie is scanned? Although Troy reveals the answer to be NRA4EVA, it is actually 847.63 (if you can manage to pause it on that exact frame). The second trivia Q asks which two popular characters died last year? Bleeding Gums Murphy and Dr Marvin Monroe, although Dr Monroe isn’t dead and in fact makes a reappearance in the future. It is also noted that neither character is popular.
Overall, I think this is a great ep because although it is mostly recycled material, it doesn’t feel like it. It offers the viewer something new to add to their already vast knowledge of the Simpsons universe.
Another Simpsons Clip Show
I will not use abbrev.
Couch gag: A giant foot stamps on the family.
Director: David Silverman
Synopsis: Marge reads The Bridges of Madison County and wonders where the romance has gone in the marriage.
Discussion: There’s a lot of criticism for clip shows, but when done well, they work nicely. The family sit around the table after Marge laments the lack of romance in their lives. Each Simpson tells a story of broken romance- Homer finds out about Jacques and Marge finds out about Mindy. The moral of these stories is that the romance is alive and well between Homer and Marge. Aww!
There’s a lot of clips from the previous 5 seasons; someone else has done the hard work and listed them all on Wikipedia. Clip shows look very dated when viewed (as in this case) nineteen years after they first aired with a lot of water under the bridge and reruns every day on TV, but I still think that this one works well. You need a theme to build on when you’re doing a clip show, and showcasing the Simpsons’ flirtations with temptation highlights just how ‘human’ they are. They’re not impervious to temptation. I’ve said this a hundred times before, but the original idea of the show was to humanise sitcoms and not show a sanitised-for-TV showcase of robotic forms. (In case you wanted to read the original post, here it is again, complete with research). This clip show emphasises that perfectly in one neat half hour gig.
So it’s come to this: A Simpsons Clip Show
No one is interested in my underwear
Couch gag: The Simpsons have the wrong heads and have to swap them around
Director: Carlos Baeza
Synopsis: After an epic April Fool’s Day stunt by Bart, Homer falls into a coma and the Simpsons recall moments accounting for Homer’s various injuries.
Discussion: Cue the spooky music! Today (according to Australian time) is April Fool’s Day, 2013. This episode first aired April Fool’s Day, 1993. This is by coincidence, of course… or is it?
Thankfully, I don’t have to go through all the episodes referenced in this episode, someone has already done it on Wikipedia. About half the episode is made up of clips from previous episodes with some new footage added as well. Not only the pranks and hospital but an extended sequence in which Homer falls down the gorge several times.
There’s not much to say- this is a clip show and I’ve already blogged the major points. The premise of an April Fool’s prank is inspired and works well as it creates a good segue into Homer’s injuries and the family’s responses of not spending more time with him or not being a good kid. One of the highlights is the 32 D’oh! sequence which really breaks the monotony of being a straight-forward clip show. God bless David Silverman.