Eric Idle as Declan Desmond
Synopsis: Documentary maker Declan Desmond returns to Springfield every 8 years in order to film updates on the residents.
Discussion: Based on the popular English series Seven Up, Declan Desmond returns to Springfield every 8 years in order to interview residents of Springfield to see what they’re up to. Homer decides to pretend he’s wealthy in order to impress Declan and “stop making everyone else (in the doco) look good” by comparison.
It’s a good idea, but the execution of the narrative doesn’t quite get there. It very much feels like there’s two separate narratives here: one about the updates of Springfieldians and one about Homer feeling like a public failure. Homer’s story isn’t new; he often feels like a failure and there have been many episodes dealing with it. Borrowing Mr Burns’ summer home to show off is a new angle and worthy of its own episode. Trying to squish it in with a story about other townspeople forgets about those stories, which are also interesting. Eleanor, aka Crazy Cat Lady, holds a double degree in law and medicine but burned out and bought a cat… and then another cat. Why can’t we see the back-stories of how townspeople came to be in their positions? Sideshow Mel is shown as an 8 year old, and I’ve said before that having him as a central character could be really interesting. Why is he content to be a sidekick and not the main star?
A+ for being different, but C overall for cramming too many ideas into 20 minutes.