The Great Phatsby
Director: Chris Clements and Timothy Bailey
Charles Barkley as himself
Common as himself
Taraji P. Henson as Praline
Keegan-Michael Key as Jazzy James
RZA as himself
Kevin Michael Richardson as Jay G
Snoop Dogg as himself
Synopsis: Mr Burns throws a 1920s style shindig, but is bored with his life and how cheap he has become. He meets a wealthy hip hop manager who encourages him to spend all his cash.
Discussion: As an hour long episode, the first in the show’s long history, one would expect an actual plot to carry it through. This ep reads like a mini-movie; all three acts are present over two parts. This isn’t a classic Simpsons episode, in fact it feels like a movie squished into an hour (or rather, 43 minutes).
There’s probably some sort of social message here but meh, who cares? There’s some great cultural references, particularly if you’re an Empire fan or have read The Great Gatsby. There’s some pretty decent music but nothing like the classic Simpsons tunes of 20 years ago.
It’s a decent ep and worth the hour. Full of guest stars who actually add to the story, it’s well worth the viewing. And I don’t say that very often!
Pork and Burns
Couch gag: The couch is actually part of a playset in which Bart wants it but Marge won’t let him.
Director: Rob Lazebnik
Joyce Carol Oates as herself
Michael York as Dr Budgie
Synopsis: Marge becomes obsessed with Japanese cleaning techniques. Homer claims anxiety in order to bring Plopper to work with him as an assistance animal.
Discussion: Some of the visual jokes in this episode are slightly amusing, such as Barney finding Homer’s Mr Plow jacket and proclaiming, “Finally, I’m Mr Plow!” and of course, Spider Pig is always a welcome addition even though Homer is trying to sell him.
The plot to this ep is actually pretty good. Homer doesn’t want to sell Plopper so he claims he’s an assistance animal. It’s silly, crazy and a glimpse into what the show used to be. There’s nothing truly clever, however it’s not as dead as I would have expected.
Overall, a solid effort which I hope continues.
(This episode makes me think of this meme https://goo.gl/images/HCp3hH ; I won’t repost due to copyright so here’s the link)
The Nightmare After Krustmas
Couch gag: The Simpsons, portraying various Christmas characters, are scared off their couch by Mr Burns/Scrooge ordering Smithers to release the Christmas hounds.
Director: Rob Oliver
Natasha Lyonne as Sophie
Jackie Mason as Rabbi Krustofsky
Wayne Gretsky as himself
Theo Jansen as himself
Synopsis: An injured Krusty and his daughter Sophie are invited to the Simpsons’ house for the holidays. Reverend Lovejoy tries to convert Springfielders into Christians.
Discussion: Firstly, apologies for not posting for such a long time. I’ve been busy with work and uni assignments.
This episode ties in with The Simpsons Tapped Out‘s Winter/Christmas event which drew criticism from many fans for featuring a pagan festival instead of a Christmas or holiday message. Several elements from the game appear in the episode, such as Maggie’s nemesis, The Gnome in Your Home and buildings that were available during the game event such as Phone-Henge and Ba’al Pit.
Sophie is voiced by Orange is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne, replacing Drew Barrymore who voiced Sophie way back when.
As usual, there is very little plot, however this episode smacks of political correctness and spending Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Holidays with loved ones even though you may have differences. Snore. There is so much potential for Krusty-as-a-Christian but it falls flatter than the cracker one has at Mass.