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

Posts tagged ‘food franchises’

I was about to become a million dollar crotch model

Super Franchise Me

Couch gag: A Parody of Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman album cover

Director: Mark Kirkland

Synopsis: Marge opens a sandwich franchise but loses out when a competing shop opens across the road.

Discussion: Wikipedia says this episode garnered “mostly positive reviews“. Did we watch the same episode? It’s easily one of the worst episodes in the entire series. Here’s why:

  • We’ve seen it before. Remember when Marge had a pretzel franchise? The only difference this time is that Homer doesn’t hire the Mafia to wipe out the competition.
  • While The Simpsons is well known for perpetuating stereotypes, a montage of Marge hiring the town’s most unemployable people is going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Shauna, Gil and Squeaky Voiced Teen do not add anything to the narrative as the family ends up serving all the customers themselves. Total yawn fest.
  • Why is Marge and some random franchise woman at Bart’s school anyway? If you’re going to introduce the main plot, make the meeting plausible. Maybe marge could have been stocking up on sandwich supplies, or making sandwiches at the tuck shop and random franchise lady is another mother. Come on, put some thought into it!
  • Enter competition. OK, so Cletus’ kids’ names are always amusing, and it makes sense for the whole family to be working there. But when we’ve seen Marge stressing over finding the dosh to open the franchise, and see Cletus et al open a store so quickly… where did they get the money? Mafia connections? And why are Springfielders flocking to eat roadkill?
  • Mr Burns wooing the cardboard stand up of Mrs Hubbard, who looks remarkably like a sandwich. It’s pathetic on so many levels.
  • There is no resolution to the plot whoatsoever. Homer gets bashed in his crotch. What? What if the Simpsons tried to sabotage the second store? Now that would be fun! But no, Marge and family go whimpering into the night after losing all their money (except their original investment) and life returns to crappy normal…
  • …With a weird chase scene at the end to eat up some more time because the main plot didn’t take long enough.

There is nothing about this episode that makes sense, is humourous, or deserves any praise whatsoever (disclaimer: I didn’t get the couch gag and had to look it up. Even then it was pointless, although I concede it was somewhat artistic and kinda cute although the Ralph-on-a-swing thing was waaaay more creepy than it should have been).

I’m calling it as one of the worst episodes in the entire series. It’s not only rehashing an old plot, it’s doing it with a whole lot less style.

If you want some butter, it’s under my face


The Twisted World of Marge Simpson

I am not licensed to do anything

couch gag: The couch is a Whack-a-Mole game; Homer is hit with the mallet.

Director: Chuck Sheetz

Guest voices:
Jack Lemmon as Frank Ormond
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Synopsis: Marge buys a pretzel franchise but it’s not doing well, so Homer steps in and asks the Mafia for help. 

Discussion: This is a somewhat unusual episode: Marge is part of an investment club but is kicked out for not wanting to take high risks with their money. At a franchise fair, the investment club and Marge each buy food franchises, in direct competition with each other. 

We’ve all been there: our greatest dreams fall to the wayside because… well, just because. Marge’s scene at the kitchen table where she tells the kids to aim low strikes a chord with everyone. As kids, we’re encouraged to have great dreams and the reality is, most of us are just going to have average lives doing average things. It’s a heartbreaking scene. 

Of course, Homer hates to see his wife sad. Enter Fat Tony, who turns the town into a pretzel-loving mecca… with a cost that Homer has conveniently forgotten to tell Marge about. I just love Fat Tony. He’s sarcastic and a little bit naive; Homer doesn’t usually catch someone out yet Fat Tony fell for it. 

I’m going out on a limb here and am not going to criticise the ending. Because Fat Tony and his gang have stopped everyone else’s food franchises in the town, the investment club hire their own Japanese mafia to fight Fat Tony and his cronies. How else are you going to end it? Have Marge give all the money to the mob? Fat Tony cripple Marge for not paying? Kidnap Homer until Marge pays the money? Nah, bring forth the Japanese mafia! 

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