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

Posts tagged ‘Milhouse’

Why can’t you support my gibberish?

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How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window?

Billboard: Springfield Kwik-E-Mart: Thoughtless Presents for People You Don’t Like

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is as good as “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Couch gag: Professor Frink shrinks the family, who are almost trodden on by Grampa and eaten by the cat before seeking refuge in a mouse hole and being caught in a mousetrap.

Director: Michael Polcino

Guest Voices:
Danica Patrick as herself
Rachel Weisz as Dr Thurmond

Synopsis: Bart adopts a carrier pigeon, but when Santa’s Little Helper eats the bird, Bart finds it difficult to forgive.

Discussion: This is a very lopsided episode. The first half is very good, but the second half makes me wonder what went wrong in the writers’ room.

Homer’s story at the beginning is very good, and a great way to open the episode. Homer really should tell more stories. Anyhoo, an injured pigeon flies through the window and Bart decides to keep him. We’ve seen Bart mothering animals before- remember Bart Junior and Chirpy Boy? He nurses the bird back to health and finds it difficult to part with, but that problem is solved when Santa’s Little Helper eats the bird. Up until this point, it has all the makings of a really good ep.

Bart not forgiving the dog is somewhat unbelievable. He’s had so many reasons to hate the dog before and always looked past them. Taking the dog and Bart to see a therapist is just plain weird, and Rachel Weisz is totally wasted in the role. It’s like someone suddenly decided to put in a celebrity voice and Ms Weisz was walking past at the right time. We all know Bart will forgive his best dog friend, why draw it out with a completely pointless (and quite frankly, weird) scene at an ostrich farm? What’s a greyhound going to do in an ostrich farm?

As a whole, the episode is mediocre, buoyed by a great first half and weighed down by a lacklustre, pointless second half. Had the original plot concept continued, it could have been a fantastic ep. Sadly, it’s let itself down.

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There’s a time for krumping, and this isn’t it

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Little Orphan Millie

There is no such thing as an iPoddy

Couch Gag: The Simpsons appear on the cover of Modern Couch Gag magazine

Director: Lance Kramer

Synopsis: Milhouse’s parents are lost at sea after their holy undivorcing, leaving Milhouse sombre and moody, making him popular at school. Meanwhile, Homer is struggling to remember the colour of Marge’s eyes.

Discussion: The Simpsons is at its best when storylines are poignant and sweet. The presumed death of Milhouse’s parents at sea should fulfill that criteria, but it never really gets there.

Milhouse is one of those peripheral characters that take on a life of their own when something happens. He’s invited to stay at the Simpsons’ house during the honeymoon and after his parents are presumed dead, bringing the whole family into his world. The scene with Homer blurting out inappropriate sea-themed products is sadly funny and the viewer really begins to feel for Milhouse as he realises the world he knew has come to an end.

Of course, this new moody Milhouse is poetic and mysterious, making him popular at school, but he doesn’t care about popularity now. Enter uncle Norbert, whom Bart has tracked down from southern California. Bart’s reasoning is that family would make Milhouse happy again, and a happy Milhouse is not a popular Milhouse. This reasoning is a bit weak; maybe uncle Norbert could have been next of kin in the Van Houtens’ wills? Still, Norbert is a cool Indiana Jones-type who is willing to take care of Milhouse to live happily every after etc.

The subplot is some stupid filler about Homer not remembering Marge’s eye colour, leading to Marge wearing sunglasses throughout most of the episode. The only thing this plot adds to the ep is a rather cool song by Homer, apparently written when they first fell in love. It’s pretty catchy, even the dog and cat dance to it. In the end he stumbles over the line revealing Marge’s eye colour… something that rhymes with “appraisal”…

Even though the ep isn’t particularly funny, I liked it. It has a sweetness about it and shows another side of Milhouse that we don’t normally see. We’ve seen the angry, bitter Milhouse, the crazy cool Milhouse and the obedient Milhouse who follows Bart like a lost puppy. Milhouse is a kid who deserves a break, and he’s treated well within this episode.

One last thing: Coincidentally, I’m going on a cruise tomorrow for a week. Due to lack of time this week, I haven’t been able to forward-view episodes and pre-schedule blog posts… so you’ll have to excuse the lack of posts for a week. Hopefully I’m not lost at sea…

Working is for chumps

Three Men and a Comic Book

I will not show off (written in fancy writing)

Couch gag: The couch falls backwards

Director: Wes M. Archer

Guest Voices:
Daniel Stern as narrator/older Bart (in the vein of The Wonder Years)
Cloris Leachman as Mrs Glick

First appearance of:
Comic Book Guy
Radioactive Man
Fallout Boy
Mrs Glick

Synopsis: Bart is saving up to buy issue #1 of his favourite comic book, Radioactive Man. He does odd jobs, saves pennies but doesn’t have enough. Martin is also trying to buy the comic but doesn’t have enough, and Milhouse has the exact amount of the remainder, so the three boys buy the comic book together.

Discussion: I’ve never really liked this episode, to be honest. It really sucks that the comic book was destroyed in the end. I know, I know, there’s a moral to the story and so on and so forth, but it feels like a wasted episode. It built up to a climax but didn’t really deliver. Bart’s meltdown was pretty good and maybe that could have been expanded so that he was the sole cause of the failure of the arrangement, not some random storm. The same scenario is echoed in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon, Howard, Raj and Leonard fight over an authentic ring from Lord of the Rings (I didn’t love that episode either).

The Wikipedia entry for this episode tells me this ep was the first to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings. Regular readers will note that The Simpsons was the antithesis to The Cosby Show, attempting to appeal to a wider and different audience. (If you’ve missed the story, check out my first blog post which gives a background).

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