Friends and Family
Billboard: Dr Nick with a chainsaw: Tell me what, and I’ll cut
I will stop losing 50% of my NFL lead-in
Couch gag: An off-screen finger taps the Simpsons through a smart phone but Homer is too fat so he’s whacked on the head to render him unconscious.
Director: Lance Kramer
Alison Janney as Julia
Synopsis: Mr Burns decides he wants a family. Let the auditions begin!
Mr Burns finds Professor Frink’s VR headgear and decides that the Simpsons sans Homer would be the perfect virtual reality. Cue a bunch of random scenes thrown together featuring the family in green-screen technology and Homer at Moe’s.
What makes classic Simpsons classic is the storytelling. Here we have a ton of montages with no end product- there is no point to seeing Homer washing his underwear in the dishwasher. Living in a virtual world should be perfect fodder to see what Mr Burns tick… However all we end up seeing is Mr Burns turning the shower knobs on for a hot shower. Really? With a lifetime of memories to relive and a whole world to explore, Mr Burns wants to pretend to have a hot shower. Yawwwwwwwwwwwn!
Meanwhile, Homer is naked and meets the back neighbour Julia, voiced by Alison Janney who is clearly reading from a script while wishing she was somewhere else.
This episode is lacking cohesive narrative, any form of direction and very poor performances. Have the actors finally realised this is a pointless exercise with a biiiig paycheque?
There’s two distinct plots here which could have been so much better. Julia’s friendship with Homer could have been so much better! Instead there’s two minutes smooshed somewhere near the end where Marge gets angry at Homer’s friendship. Had the episode focused on this, it would have been watchable. At the heart of every great episode is the family coming together after a misunderstanding. Unfortunately, this episode lost its direction altogether.