Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo
I’m so very tired
Couch gag: The family are sucked down the back of the couch and are shredded like paper.
Director: Jim Reardon
George Takei as Wink
Gedde Watanabe as Waiter
Mako as Battling Seizure Robot
Keone Young as Sumo Wrestler
Synopsis: The Simpsons take a vacation to Tokyo but lose their money and have to appear on a Japanese game show to win tickets home.
Discussion: Let’s not mince words: this episode sucks. Whenever the Simpsons travel to another country, they end up offending practically everyone there. Apparently this ep has never been aired in Japan because it is considered disrespectful (the scene in question is when Homer throws the Emperor into a container of used sumo thongs). Those lucky Japanese aren’t missing anything.
Homer is particularly disrespectful of everything Japanese, except the toilet which recommends a restaurant called Americatown. The game show is a fairly good parody of real Japanese game shows (has anyone seen Takeshi’s Castle?) and the Simpsons are able to fly back to America, after a mild Godzilla attack.
This is one of the worst episodes in the series. There’s a fine line between satire and parody and this ep fails on both counts. It is offensive. There is some humour in the beginning of the show, showing dated technology such as those coloured Apple computers and floppy disks. But as the family land in Japan until the end of the show, it’s just rubbish.
One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
I will not cut corners
I will not cut corners
” ” ” ” “
Couch gag: The couch tips backwards when the family are seated.
Director: Wesley M. Archer
Larry King as himself
George Takei as Akira
Sab Shimono as the sushi bar chef, Master.
Synopsis: Complaining about the monotony of eating the same dinners every week, Lisa prompts the family to eat at a new sushi bar. Homer finds the food delicious and tries everything on the menu, including the potentially deadly fugu fish. When cut correctly, it is delicious and safe, but when served incorrectly, can be fatal. Master is preoccupied (with Mrs Krabappel in the back of a car) and the apprentice takes over, but fears he has made a mistake. Homer is told he has 22 hours to live, and uses his last day to make amends with family and neighbours.
Discussion: I’d forgotten this episode. The major theme is again family, with various examples of where each member fits into their role. For example, when Homer tries to have a heart-to-heart with Bart, Bart jumps on Homer’s lap and pulls down his pants, expecting a spanking. When Homer tries the same with Lisa, she asks if he wants her to “turn down that infernal racket”. Meanwhile, Homer himself sees his own place within his family and his society; Barney won’t let him go without one last beer at Moe’s and Flanders invites him over for a barbecue “tomorrow” which Homer accepts, thinking he won’t be alive to honour the invite. I wonder what happened when Homer woke the next day and realised he was going to Ned’s for dinner…?