Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore
Couch gag: Cards featuring the family are dealt to the couch; it’s a royal flush.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Richard Dean Anderson as himself
Synopsis: When Mr Burns outsources the nuclear power plant to India, Homer is sent over to train the new employees but becomes drunk with power. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma kidnap their idol, Richard Dean Anderson, and get more than they bargained for.
Discussion: This episode is actually pretty funny. It was written by the voice of Homer, Dan Castellaneta, and his wife Deb Lacusta. It’s a tight script with two separate plots which don’t need to work together but they get the ep moving along nicely. Richard Dean Anderson is a brilliant addition to the episode and shows that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Patty and Selma’s obsession with RDA is long acknowledged in the series, but this time they’ve caught him by kidnapping him during a Stargate: SG-1 convention and taking him to their own MacGyver convention. He turns a bit weird and insists on being placed in ever stranger predicaments to see if he can really escape in true MacGyver style. Feeling he’s a bit too weird for them, they decide to bore him with travel photos and he jumps out a window. His MacGyver-style mullet is never really explained though…
Homer’s trip to India is also pretty good. For once, it’s not an offensive trip overseas (although he does offend the Indians when wrestling with a cow who stole his iPod). Thinking he’s a god is a bit weird, but makes sense in context so I’ll forgive it. I wish there was more Lenny and Carl involved with the episode- perhaps the three of them are made team leaders with different leadership ways which conflict and Homer’s team is in front so he still thinks he’s a god…?
Apu’s cousin Kavi makes an appearance and again, I think he could have been utilised a bit more. Changing seamlessly through his accents when answering phones was funny and just the cushy job Homer aspires to.
A rare gem in the later seasons and well worth watching, even if it’s just for Patty and Selma’s plot.
Funny noises aren’t funny
Couch gag: Burglars are stealing the couch, the family sit on it but are thrown off.
Director: David Silverman
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
Synopsis: As part of the prison pen-pals scheme, Aunt Selma starts writing to Sideshow Bob. When he’s released, he marries her with the intent of killing her on the honeymoon. His plan is foiled by Bart.
Discussion: Following on from the first season episode where Krusty is framed, Bob is released from prison intent on marrying Bart’s Aunt Selma, who is desperate for a man in her life. Both are themes carried throughout the series: Sideshow Bob’s continued hatred of Bart and Selma’s continued need for a man.
This ep isn’t in the usual format of the show, instead it takes form of a mystery which is solved by Bart, whose mistrust of Sideshow Bob is still quite evident. Good thing too… or maybe not; Homer wouldn’t mind so much if the plan had gone ahead, but that’s another story. The shows featuring Sideshow Bob are usually very clever and this one isn’t a disappointment. Featuring a love story between Selma and Bob is inspired as it fulfills both needs as well as furthering the Bob/Bart saga. Most seasons have at least one Bob episode, and as always Kelsey Grammer is the perfect voice for the role.
I will not spank others
Couch gag: The family form a human pyramid on the couch
Director: Mark Kirkland
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and the guy on the radio
Synopsis: Under a lot of stress, Marge finally cracks and spends some time in Rancho Relaxo to unwind. Lisa and Bart stay with her sisters while Maggie remains with Homer but escapes to find Marge.
Discussion: Finally, an episode not about family bonding! Instead, a link from the Simpsons family chain is taken away, and chaos inevitably ensues. Having Bart and Lisa away from the home is a great idea because Homer would probably go down the same path as Marge in a day or two (having both adults at the ranch could have been interesting…) Maggie’s sojourn to find Marge is one of those warm and fuzzy plots but it works to show Homer’s reaction to losing one of his children and how he’s going to explain this to Marge. Imagine if Maggie resented Homer for “sending” Marge away and she resorted to violence or playing dead? Hmm…
Patty and Selma’s fondness for MacGyver is first shown in this episode, plus we get a little bit of insight into their home. Who eats tongue sandwiches? It’s not post-war rations here, they’ve chosen to eat offal. Eww! For once, Bart isn’t in a pranky mood, he’s just as scared as Lisa and when he promises Marge at the end that they’ll all step up to help, he’s sincere. Who’d want to share a room with Aunty Snore-face again?
Great episode! The viewer already knew Marge was the glue that holds the family together, and by taking her out of the picture, the resulting episode is enjoyably chaotic and fun.
Oh, and for those playing at home with Android’s Simpsons Logo Quiz, today we can fill in Arnie Pie and Krusty’s monkey, Mr Genie.