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Posts tagged ‘Simpsons season 22’

I put on my secret Christian underpants

Nedliest catch

The Ned-Liest Catch

Director: Chuck Sheetz

Guest Voices:
Joey Kramer as himself
Ken Burns as himself

Synopsis: Ned and Edna start dating, but Ned gets cold feet after learning about Edna’s sexual history.

Discussion: Well well well! I’d heard about this episode but had forgotten it existed. It’s like coming in halfway through the run of Friends without seeing Ross and Rachel “on a break”: so, that’s how it happened.

Bart gets Edna into trouble by pushing her buttons one too many times and she slaps him. On hiatus from her job (is sabbatical the wrong word?) Bart tries to fix the situation, Edna falls out a window and is caught by Ned. The two start dating and Ned finds out about Edna’s uh, history while Bart tries to scare the Flanders kids by telling them about evil stepmothers. The episode ends with Homer and Marge informing viewers that they can vote on what happens to the new couple.


The ep took a while to get going but when it did, it was like a freight train with no intention of slowing down. I like that the viewers had a choice in what happened to Ned and Edna (or, in the style of Brangelina or Bennifer… Nedna) and I like that two completely opposite people found that they were able to date despite not having anything in common.

This episode is all about Ned and Edna, and that’s the way it should be. I don’t really know what happens next, but I only have to wait until tomorrow to find out. It’s a surprising turn of events but welcome as well- this season has been chock full of stale storylines so it’s nice to see something spicy for a change. Although, I do know that the character of Edna was retired after the death of her voice actor, Marcia Wallace, so alas, Ned and Edna are ultimately doomed.

Will you make my stomach the happiest bag of acid in the world?

500 keys

500 Keys

Billboard: Homer is eating a sandwich with the caption, Gain weight now, ask me how.

Guinea pigs should not be used as guinea pigs

Couch gag: There are no items in the living room, everyone and everything are represented by words on a white space.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest voice:
Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio (cameo in the flyby only)

Synopsis: Homer steals a blimp, Lisa finds a secret room in the school, Bart wreaks havoc with keys and Marge chases a farting toy all over town.

Discussion: What? Unlike Homer’s blimp, this episode never gets off the ground. It’s a ridiculous tale of supposedly interlocking stories with an uninteresting premise and unsatisfying ending.

As usual, the Simpson family are each caught up in their own thing, which turn out to be fortuitous and come together to make a conclusion. However the plot isn’t that interesting to begin with, so there’s really no hope for the conclusion. It’s certainly no ‘Trilogy of Error‘, which was much more interesting.

I’m disappointed Hank Scorpio was only a cameo in the flyby during the opening credits. He’s such an interesting and iconic character! He definitely needs to come back.

I really can’t think of anything nice to say about this ep other than farting toys are always appropriate… except in the middle of an IBS meeting.

It’s like a beloved dog that died on your head

Homer Scissorhands


Homer Scissorhands 

Billboard: Nelson’s mother with a Mother’s Day special: she’s half off

I do not deserve a Mother’s Day gift for being “one badass mother”

Couch gag: The couch is on display at the Smithsonian and the Simpsons break in, go through a series of obstacles and sit down.

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest voice:
Kristen Schaal as Taffy

Synopsis: Homer shows a flair for hairdressing while Milhouse, rejected by Lisa yet again, begins dating a fifth grader.

Discussion: Look, I liked this episode. It’s usually fun to explore Homer’s other jobs (does he even work at the power plant anymore?) and who knew he was a closet hairdresser? The references to¬†Edward Scissorhands are numerous and appropriate, making the episode seem more familiar than it is, if that makes sense.

Meanwhile, Milhouse decides he’s been too subtle in declaring his affections for Lisa, so after an awkward song and dance in the cafeteria over lunch, Lisa yet again rejects his advances. Along comes Taffy, a fifth grader, who is interested in Milhouse (“Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”) and the the two start dating, leaving Lisa a teeny bit jealous. Lisa starts stalking them in order to find out why a fifth grader is dating Milhouse, but either I missed it or it wasn’t mentioned; Taffy breaks up with Milhouse before the reason is revealed. Bummer.

I liked it. I thought it was entertaining, new and fun. Homer’s quibbles about the women’s gossip were on the money (despite being female, I detest gossip) although I thought the story could have been executed a bit better. What if he wore earmuffs?

There’s nothing buried here but hopes and dreams

real housewives of fat tony


The Real Housewives of Fat Tony

Couch gag: The family are pictured on the cover of a VHS video tape in a video store, which is then demolished.

Director: Lance Kramer

Guest Voice:
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Synopsis: Selma married Fat Tony but is heartbroken when she discovers he has a mistress. Meanwhile, Bart has a keen nose for truffles.

Discussion: While the critics panned this episode, I actually quite enjoyed it. Just like Sideshow Bob stepping on a rake, Selma’s marriages are a running joke in the series, and this time she’s hit the jackpot with a marriage to mob boss Fat Tony. It’s a life she can quickly become accustomed to living, with daily manicures, spa treatments and assorted other perks.

Naturally, all Selma’s marriages must come to an end and this one ends when she discovers she’s not actually his wife, just a mistress. It still seems like a good life for Selma, lots of mistresses snuggle in luxury with none of the wifely responsibilities. Seems like a win-win to me.

Anyhoo, the subplot of Bart finding truffles is weak. There’s no plot other than Lisa eating the truffles because vegetarian food is so boring. Big deal.

Although there’s no memorable jokes or scenes, it’s an episode worth watching just to see the interplay between Marge, Homer and Selma (especially when Homer tries to sneak a perve on Selma’s boobs). The family dynamic could have been a little better thought out, but overall it’s a fairly solid episode (relatively speaking, of course).

Today’s lesson is feed your props


The Great Simpsina

Director: Chris Clements

Guest voices:
Jack McBrayer as Ewell Freestone
Martin Landau as The Great Raymondo
Ricky Jay as himself
David Copperfield as himself
Penn & Teller as themselves
Synopsis: Lisa stumbles across a magician, who takes her as his apprentice.

Discussion: Although this episode never really reaches the heights of a truly great Simpsons ep, it’s pretty good and very enjoyable. From its beginnings as an unrelated opening act in which the family pick a million peaches to its sweet ending as the great magician dances with his lost love, this ep is full of moments which make me wonder why every ep can’t be this good.

There were things that I would have liked to see, such as Ewell Freestone singing ‘Peaches‘ by Presidents of the United States of America, but then I realised that Ewell’s song was far more annoying and suited to the situation. I would have also liked to see a reference the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia, but that’s only because I’m a Disney fan and random Disney references are always welcome.

Apart from those, I thought the episode was well thought out and executed. Lisa-centered episodes tend to be preachy and boring, but this one, she uses her intelligence in a subtle way which doesn’t seem holier-than-thou… until she decides the ethical choice is to save Cregg Demon, who has been stealing magicians’ secrets and using them for his own gain. The addition of so many guest voices didn’t seem forced; they were in a natural environment doing what magicians do- sabotaging more successful magicians. Wait, what?

While I don’t think this season has been particularly good (colour me shocked), I do think this ep is a highlight.

You’re the one who gave him self-esteem


Love is a Many Strangled Thing

Billboard: Moe in a bunny suit with the caption “Do not accept candy from this bunny”

I will not ridicule teacher’s final four bracket

Couch gag: In ASCII style, the Simpsons sit on the couch and Bart places the letters “Fatso” on Homer’s belly.

Director: Michael Polcino

Guest Voices:
Paul Rudd as Dr Zander
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as himself
Kevin Michael Richardson as the masseuse

Synopsis: Homer undergoes therapy when it is revealed he strangles Bart. After Homer is cured, Bart takes this as a license to be even more bratty.

Discussion: I get it: using conventional techniques on an unconventional family and laughing at the results. While the premise is pretty good, the execution feels like it’s deliberately pushing its own boundaries. By this, I mean the show has set some pretty high expectations of itself over the past 20-odd years and this feels like it’s trying to do more. It doesn’t work.

For a start, it’s the same old themes of Homer-Bart bonding, Bart acting out and Homer being a bad parent. We’ve seen it all before and not even a couple of awesome guest stars can make it different. Paul Rudd does a fantastic job as Dr Zander, keeping the neutrality in the character until the final act when the good doctor lets loose and ends up doing to Bart exactly what he’s trained out of Homer.

What is more concerning is the sheer amount of violence in the episode. What begins with Homer shooting at Mr Burns’ hot air balloon (and missing) ends with Homer hanging by a noose, with a lot of strangulation in between. It’s not entirely appropriate, especially Homer hanging from a noose. After Bart has deliberately steered Homer into cacti multiple times, Dr Zander still thinks it’s a good idea for Bart to save Homer’s life. Bart text-pranking Moe (which is really, really lame BTW) instead of being concerned for his father is uncomfortable, but I am also glad that there wasn’t a big hug at the end in which everything is forgiven: there’s still the same Homer-Bart relationship there’s always been.

It’s a slightly-above-average episode with a few laughs early on, but mostly disturbing.

Ever notice how your nose makes boogers?


A Midsummer’s Nice Dream

Billboard: Springfield Wax Museum: We fixed our air conditioner

“Daylight Savings” is not a failed bank

Couch gag: The family sit down and are sprung into the air, hitting the screen

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Cheech Marin as himself
Tommy Chong as himself

Synopsis: Cheech and Chong have an onstage fight and Homer becomes Cheech’s new comedy partner. Meanwhile, Marge discovers Crazy Cat Lady is a hoarder and cleans up her house, only to take all her stuff and become a hoarder herself.

Discussion: Wow, I thought yesterday’s ep was bad. I’d happily watch that one on repeat if it meant I’d never have to watch this one again.

OK, I’m willing to concede that I don’t find reefer humour funny, so much of the episode was stupid anyway. Obviously it’s been toned down for general television viewing, which probably also makes it stupid, and I question how many people regularly watch The Simpsons while stoned? Maybe they did with this episode as a special treat.

In any case, Cheech and Chong are old hat; Homer and Bart’s exchange about Cheech and Chong being the Beavis and Butthead of the 70s while Bart asks who Beavis and Butthead are is pretty much right on the mark. Cheech and Chong are has-beens from a bygone era (although surely Bart would know Beavis and Butthead) and their relevance today is waaaay overstated. Having said that, Homer touring as part of legendary comic duo is a good premise, I only wish it was more relevant and less lame.

Meanwhile, Marge’s subplot lasted about three minutes. If you went to the bathroom, you’d miss it completely. Santa’s Little Helper chases a cat into Crazy Cat Lady’s house and Marge laments the sorry state of the home: it’s clear Ms Crazy is a hoarder. Why she has a Lotso Bear from Toy Story 3 is odd, and it’s quite visible in every scene. Marge cleans up the place, but finds interesting things in the back of the truck and everything ends up in Marge’s own house. On its own, this could be a really well-thought out plot, capable of holding an entire episode. As it stands here, it’s a last minute filler for an otherwise uninspiring episode.

I want to wedgie the sun


The Scorpion’s Tale

Billboard: Springfield Mall for rent: Free retail space with every purchase

I’m not here on a spitball scholarship

Couch gag: A player chooses characters in the Simpsons Couch Gag game. As soon as the family sit down, the game is over.

Director: Matthew Schofield

Guest Voices:
Kevin Michael Richardson as the retirement castle orderly
Werner Herzog as Walter Hotenhoffer

Synopsis: Lisa discovers that silvertongue flowers make scorpions docile, and tests it on Grampa. Grampa also becomes docile, leading a pharmaceutical company to synthesise the drug and make old people less cranky. However, the side effect is that their eyeballs fall out.

Discussion: I really don’t know what to say about this episode. It’s easily one of the worst episodes ever. It begins well, with Lisa heading for another A in the science fair with her discovery of a correlation between silvertongue flowers and docility of scorpions. After that… well, let’s just say that some days, this Simpsons endeavour is a hard slog.

Cue all sorts of stupid German jokes when Walter Hotenhoffer appears, including his traumatic experience as Augustus Gloop in the film version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Seriously.

There’s nothing good to say about this ep. It’s unfunny, gruesome, tedious and stupid. It’s a serious WTF? ep.

The greatest weapon of all is mercy


Angry Dad: The Movie

Couch gag: The Simpsons are ice hockey players sent to the penalty box for fighting.

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest voices:
Ricky Gervais as himself
Russell Brand as himself
Halle Berry as herself
Nick Park as himself
JB Smoove as DJ Kwanzaa

Synopsis: Bart’s web comic, Angry Dad, is made into a movie, garnering every award in Hollywood but Bart becomes jealous when Homer steals all the credit.

Discussion: Wow. What a load of steaming yellow crap. We first saw Angry Dad in ‘I am Furious (Yellow)‘, in which Bart creates a comic based on Homer’s tantrums. That was a very good episode. This sequel sucks monkey balls. It’s hard to isolate exactly why it sucks so badly though. Maybe it’s because we see approximately three seconds of Angry Dad. Maybe it’s the try-hard guest stars who seem embarrassed to be there. Maybe it’s the lame parodies of animation greats. It’s hard to choose.

I was expecting more from this episode. At the very heart of the episode is Bart’s anger at Homer taking all the credit and not allowing Bart to accept any awards, but this is lost underneath the theme from Jurassic Park (what?) and a bunch of parodies of famous works of animation. Normally I am a big fan of taking a risk, doing something different, but this ep tries too hard to push stuff together and it just doesn’t work. The plot, or what passes for a plot, is far too rushed and there’s nothing to hold the episode together apart from these claymation parodies and some guest stars.

I’m not a fan of Ricky Gervais, particularly in his “performance” here. His rambling speech to the bartender almost drove me to insanity. It’s completely unnecessary and embarrassing. Not amusing in the slightest. And don’t even get me started on the rambling rubbish over the credits! What a pile of poo! Halle Berry seemed glad when her part was over and Russell Brand probably only did it to pay off a debt. The voice talents, although appropriate, were completely wasted.

Nothing about this worked for me. The animation parodies were far too long, taking away from the main point that is Angry Dad. There’s no connection between Bart and Homer, not even in inevitable reconciliation. The plot is buried underneath animators trying to be clever. It’s just a rubbish episode, trying far too hard to be what it’s not. Did this originally air during sweeps week? It feels like someone’s shoved a bunch of popular stuff together to reach an audience whom, by now, really couldn’t care less and are probably only still watching the show because they’re high.

I’ve never seen a drunk hold his vomit like you do


The Blue and the Gray

Billboard: Springfield Dinner Theatre presents Dr Hibbert and Mrs Skinner butchering Driving Miss Daisy

I will not make fun of Cupid’s dink

Couch gag: Homer breaks a leg getting to the couch and Barney is sent in to replace him.

Director: Bob Anderson

Synopsis: Homer becomes wingman for Moe while Marge allows her hair to become its natural grey colour.

Discussion: Please keep in mind that I’m Australian and changing to American spellings isn’t easy, so I’m sticking with Australian English. OK?

So. Marge goes grey and Homer’s a wingman. It’s an average episode, instantly forgettable with few romantic interludes. There have been some great Valentines’ Day episodes, such as Apu declaring his love for Manjula, but this one falls very, very flat. As a stand-alone episode, it’s mediocre at best, however as a Valentines’ Day episode, it sucks hairy monkey balls. Apart from five minutes at the beginning where Moe laments his love life and Homer and Marge have been doing it all night, and Maggie kissing her arch enemy at the very end, there’s really nothing that screams romance here. Lisa remarks that Marge changing her hair colours is “empowering”, but adds that virtually everything a woman does is empowering. Really?

It’s the kind of episode you can watch over and it seems vaguely familiar, but you can’t remember any details. The lowlights are also forgettable, which makes the whole ep just blend in together like mixed baby food. Homer as a wingman is a good plot premise, but doesn’t really go anywhere. Marge as a wicked witch is just weird (but mildly amusing, for about half a second as you realise where this is going…) and the conclusion is forgettable. Something about smooching in the kitchen after Marge dyes her hair blue again.


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