You Kent Always Say What You Want
Couch gag: Flashback to 20 years prior when the Simpsons incarnated as they looked on The Tracy Ullman Show. The opening sequence is replaced with the short: ‘Family Portrait’.
Director: Matthew Nastuk
Ludacris as himself
Maurice LaMarche as Birch Barlow
Synopsis: Kent Brockman says a Very Bad Swear on live television and is fired, causing him to use Lisa’s webcam to speak out about liberal media.
Discussion: As the “official” 400th episode (the previous ep, ’24 Minutes’ was slated to be the 400th, but aired prior to this one in a special one hour slot), I have to say that it doesn’t tick all the boxes. The opening sequence is fantastic; a throwback to the Tracy Ullman days when the family looked and sounded very different to today. However, the main plot of Kent getting fired falls quite flat.
The episode is a satire of liberal media, taking quite a few digs at Fox in the process. But hey, when you make as much money for your network as The Simpsons does, you pretty much have a free rein to say what you like!
There is a lot of truth in the criticisms of the media, and if we think we have a free media, we’re delusional. Often on social media comes a meme where thousands are killed in Syria yet the media is currently focused on a royal baby. I’ve mentioned before that I am a university student; I’m not majoring in journalism but a lot of my units are journalism units. There’s a lot of theory about what journalism is and should be, but in reality, we have no free media and no journalistic ethics. Media prints what people want to see: for example, in the 1980s and 90s, Australian magazines printed anything they could on the antics of Diana, Princess of Wales. Every time Diana was on the cover, the magazine was guaranteed to sell over a million copies (which is massive sales; remember that Australia has 1/10th the population of the US). When Diana died, the media corporations were bombarded with vitriolic remarks such as “You killed her!”, in reference to the paparazzi’s alleged involvement in her death. But… people bought the magazines, leading to the paparazzi’s big payday every time they sold a picture… Wake up!
Anyhoo, I digress. Kent Brockman is fired and joins the many people who have spent a night sleeping on the Simpsons’ couch. Truthfully, I found the storyline a bit dragging. I was hoping for a bit more substance; what would happen if Homer became anchor for Channel 6 news? He could have Bart and Lisa doing the work for him… it would be hilarious. But no. Someone, somewhere, decided a dig at liberal media would be much better. For that effort, I have to give it an average mark. Bart’s antics with a drugged up Skinner and Marge recognising Maggie’s drawings were much funnier than the main plot. Good luck with season 19!