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Posts tagged ‘worst Simpsons episodes’

Intimate but heterosexual

Trust But Clarify

Billboard: Beware Rigged Voting Machines

The first episode of the second 600

Couch gag: Homer sees his family and world as cubist art.

Guest voices:
Dan Rather as himself

Director: Michael Polcino

Kent Brockman is fired after admitting he didn’t do any of the things he claimed to do. Homer is jealous that someone else got a promotion. Bart and Lisa investigate the new candy by Krusty.

Discussion: The beauty of South Park is that they have a turnaround of two weeks, so whatever is happening in the world can be made into a brand new episode in a fortnight. With The Simpsons, the turnaround is about six months. Even so, the jokes are so old I rode them to school before dinosaurs were invented. I did notice a small insert where late late late late night talk show host Jimmy Jimmy tousled Brockman’s hair…

Kent Brockman is hard on his luck after admitting he hasn’t done anything he’s said he’s done, like the killing of bin Laden. Lisa and Bart are investigating the latest Krusty candy and trying to enlist Kent to get somewhere. Meanwhile, in a deja vu moment of Marge buying a Chanel suit, Homer buys a new suit to emulate the guy who got the promotion over him to impress Mr Burns.

This episode was written by regular voice actor, Harry Shearer. You’d think someone involved with the show would know what a decent episode entails, and write to their strengths. Instead, this is a mish-mosh piece of garbage that left me scratching my head as to what was actually going on. This episode had no plot whatsoever, instead just throwing characters around with no conclusion. There’s potential for some really interesting stories and scandals involving Krusty and his new candy, but instead it’s waylaid by Kent taking back his old job for no reason other than the episode was finished.

There’s really nothing to like here. The episode was too short, none of the three plots were satisfying in any way and the cultural references were way behind the times.

It’s a particularly weak effort in all aspects.





What is that, a river otter?

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

Guest voices:
Alison Janney as Julia

Synopsis: Mr Burns decides he wants a family. Let the auditions begin!

Discussion: …What?

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.


He’s a hero sandwich full of bologna


Couch gag: Homer is a soccer goalie trying to fend off soccer balls.

Director: Lance Kramer

Guest Voices:
Johnny Mathis as himself
Albert Brooks as Dr Raufbold
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Synopsis: When Bart is bullied at school, Marge outlaws bullying in Springfield. The Flanders boys try to see the good in Homer.

Discussion: Johnny Mathis as a guest star? Who the hell remembers Johnny Mathis?? And what’s with the Puberty Demon?

Anyhoo, Marge is on another crusade, this time to outlaw bullying in Springfield. Cue townspeople in various situations getting arrested under the new law interspersed with Homer annoying the Flandererses.


Albert Brooks returns to The Simpsons, this time as a doctor of some sort who hosts a group for bullies where they talk about their feelings and possible circumstances which led them to being a bully. Nothing is mentioned about the original bullies; Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney.

Yet again we’re rehashing old ground with no satisfying conclusion. Albert Brooks has had some cracker appearances on The Simpsons but here, he sounds tired and bored. Homer’s big epiphany that he hates Flanders because he’s better than Homer is hardly a surprise. It feels like the writers got to the table read, having not had an actual reason for the situation (over the past 28 years…) and someone’s dog farted out Scrabble letters spelling out “he’s better than me”. There are echoes of the opening scene from Wreck-It Ralph where the baddies sit around coming to terms with being the Bad Guy… but far less convincing let alone entertaining. For some filler right at the end, we have Otto’s hallucinations. Oh boy.

It’s a weak plot, weaker script and weaker still performance. The show is tired and way past its use-by date. This episode managed just 2.77 million viewers in the US; I imagine the numbers here in Australia will be abysmal (for comparison, our highest rating show of the year would attract about 2.5 million viewers).

Smell the Musk, Feel the Burns

The Musk Who Fell to Earth

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest Voice:
Elon Musk as himself

Synopsis: Seeking intellectual stimulation and new ideas, Elon Musk lands in Springfield and helps turn the power plant into an environmentally conscious entity.

Discussion: This is how I imagine this episode was created…
Producer: We need a guest star, someone famous but not necessarily popular.
Producer 2: Hmm, I know! Elon Musk!
Producer: Brilliant! I’ll call him now! Hi… Elon? Wanna be on The Simpsons? Yeah? Woo hoo!
Producer 2: This will be great!
**Six Months Later**
Producer: OK, Elon is in the studio ready to record his lines. Oh shit, we still need a script!
Producer 2: I found some ideas in the mess hall. They’re leftover ideas from that Lady Gaga ep we did, they’ve had coffee spilled on them and a dog shit on them, but they’re still good to go.

This episode makes no sense. There’s plenty of “jokes” (and I use the term loosely) about Musk’s egotism and intellect, but if you try to think about the “plot”, you’ll get wrinkles (again, “plot” is a very loose term).

There’s nothing remotely good about this ep. I’d give it a negative score if I could. Oh hell, it’s my blog, I can do what I like. This episode gets a MINUS FIVE, and that’s plus one point for effort. It feels a lot like the Lady Gaga episode: a random famous person rocks up in Springfield, tries to fit in and then leaves without making any sort of difference whatsoever. Instead of having a genuinely fantastic idea, Musk elongates Homer’s weird ramblings into technobabble nonsense that never goes anywhere, and Mr Burns hates him for it.

The ep is more disjointed than usual, with the first 10 minutes being boring as hell. Seriously guys, kill the show now. In fact, go back in time ten years and kill it then.

You call that a testicle kick?


couch gag: The family wander in, all looking at their cell phones and walk into each other.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Sammy Hagar as himself
Will Forte as King Toot

Synopsis: Homer, Apu, Dr Hibbert, Kirk and Rev Lovejoy form a cover band but Apu is offered the chance to tour with a famous rock group.

Discussion: I’m glad there was one reference to the Be Sharps, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. Otherwise, it seems like everyone has forgotten about Homer’s previous two bands: The Be Sharps and Sadgasm.

So why does this episode suck?

Firstly, it contributes nothing to the continuity of The Simpsons, mainly because everyone has forgotten that Homer is a singer. Secondly, there is no point whatsoever to the episode: Homer and some dads form a band and then ruin Apu’s chance at worldwide fame and fortune. Except, it’s done as an afterthought because someone clearly thought another band ep was a good idea, but had nowhere to go with it. There’s a minute where Homer refers to everyone as Yoko, but that’s about the extent of the conflict. I’m pretty sure my unborn child can think of a better narrative to this ep.

What if Homer became the famous lead singer? Sure, it’d be a flashback to his good old days travelling with Lollapalooza, but at least there’s some point to it. The characters here are mindlessly wandering around explaining things to the (bored) audience while putting very little effort into anything they do (much like last week’s pathetic ‘Blazed and Confused’).

There is nothing remotely memorable about this episode. I take notes, and write down possible quotes to use as blog titles. My page is blank except for the title of the blog (i.e. the only interesting quote in the entire ep) and what happened in the couch gag (equally unmemorable).

It’s totally pointless episodes like this one that make me mourn the good old days. I would even prefer to hear some more Sadgasm than be subjected to this shit again. It’s beyond shit. It’s the bacteria that feed off shit.

Seriously people, I beg you. Kill The Simpsons. It’s so far beyond embarrassing now.

My ass is about to project something


Couch gag: The Simpsons sit on the couch, which turns out to be Hedonismbot.

Director: Bob Anderson

Gust Voices:
John DiMaggio as Bender
David Herman as Scruffy the janitor
Maurice LaMarche as Hedonismbot, Lrr, Mobo
Phil LaMarr as Hermes Conrad
Katey Sagal as Leela
Lauren Tom as Amy
Frank Welker as Nibbler
Billy West as Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr Zoidberg

Synopsis: Milhouse’s lucky rabbit foot plus Bart’s germs mutate into killer rabbits 1000 years into the future. Bender is sent back to kill Homer, as the killer rabbits share his DNA.

Discussion: Yes folks, you read that right: Bender is sent back to kill Homer because his DNA was found in killer rabbits terrorising New New York a thousand years in the future.

And so begins a pointless plot to smoosh together two shows which should have died years ago. Oh wait, Futurama is dead. Unfortunately it’s been brought back to life one more time. It’s not as bad as the Family Guy crossover but it’s still pretty bad.

Last night I watched a new episode of The Big Bang Theory, the one where the girls get drunk in Vegas and the boys get distracted by everything. There we have a perfect example of a show being funny despite having no plot whatsoever. This crossover episode, in fact every Simpsons ep since 2003, has lacked this simple task. Nothing’s funny as well as having no discernible plot. There are a few jokes in this ep but they are stretched so far that they may as well be on the event horizon of a black hole. Killer rabbits? Really?

It just seems like an excuse to shove every Futurama character in Springfield and some lame excuse to get them there. The last bit with Kang and Kodos going to Lrr’s place for dinner might have raised a smile but the whole segment feels like filler (if one can fill a black hole) and dies in the execution (no pun intended).

In all, it’s just another piece of crap in the excrement of The Simpsons which adds nothing to either canon. Killer rabbits? Seriously?

I was about to become a million dollar crotch model

Super Franchise Me

Couch gag: A Parody of Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman album cover

Director: Mark Kirkland

Synopsis: Marge opens a sandwich franchise but loses out when a competing shop opens across the road.

Discussion: Wikipedia says this episode garnered “mostly positive reviews“. Did we watch the same episode? It’s easily one of the worst episodes in the entire series. Here’s why:

  • We’ve seen it before. Remember when Marge had a pretzel franchise? The only difference this time is that Homer doesn’t hire the Mafia to wipe out the competition.
  • While The Simpsons is well known for perpetuating stereotypes, a montage of Marge hiring the town’s most unemployable people is going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Shauna, Gil and Squeaky Voiced Teen do not add anything to the narrative as the family ends up serving all the customers themselves. Total yawn fest.
  • Why is Marge and some random franchise woman at Bart’s school anyway? If you’re going to introduce the main plot, make the meeting plausible. Maybe marge could have been stocking up on sandwich supplies, or making sandwiches at the tuck shop and random franchise lady is another mother. Come on, put some thought into it!
  • Enter competition. OK, so Cletus’ kids’ names are always amusing, and it makes sense for the whole family to be working there. But when we’ve seen Marge stressing over finding the dosh to open the franchise, and see Cletus et al open a store so quickly… where did they get the money? Mafia connections? And why are Springfielders flocking to eat roadkill?
  • Mr Burns wooing the cardboard stand up of Mrs Hubbard, who looks remarkably like a sandwich. It’s pathetic on so many levels.
  • There is no resolution to the plot whoatsoever. Homer gets bashed in his crotch. What? What if the Simpsons tried to sabotage the second store? Now that would be fun! But no, Marge and family go whimpering into the night after losing all their money (except their original investment) and life returns to crappy normal…
  • …With a weird chase scene at the end to eat up some more time because the main plot didn’t take long enough.

There is nothing about this episode that makes sense, is humourous, or deserves any praise whatsoever (disclaimer: I didn’t get the couch gag and had to look it up. Even then it was pointless, although I concede it was somewhat artistic and kinda cute although the Ralph-on-a-swing thing was waaaay more creepy than it should have been).

I’m calling it as one of the worst episodes in the entire series. It’s not only rehashing an old plot, it’s doing it with a whole lot less style.

The pocket wants what it wants

Adventures in Baby Getting

Adventures in Baby-Getting

Director: Rob Oliver

Guest voice:
Jeff Gordon as himself

Synopsis: Marge decides she wants another baby while Bart & friends try to work out where Lisa goes after school.

Discussion: Wow, this episode was pointless. Instead of the usual couch gag, we’re treated to a short where Homer votes for Mitt Romney and ends up working in a factory making American flags. Nothing interesting here.

Homer failing to fix a leaking tap (faucet for you Americans) causes a sinkhole. Marge loses her car in the sinkhole and is unhappy with her new car because there’s no room for another baby. Blah blah blah they wind up at Shelbyville’s fertility clinic where Homer has made several donations, and somehow they realise they don’t want a baby anymore. Snore.

The least interesting part of this episode is Lisa’s secret. Bart, Milhouse, Ralph, Nelson and Principal Skinner crack the mystery as to where Lisa goes after school. Wait for it- she’s learning cursive handwriting. Whoa- stop the presses! What the actual hell? She’s learning to write. How is that in any way interesting??

Don’t waste your time on this ep, it’s stupid, pointless and completely inane. Let’s not forget the guest appearance by Jeff Gordon. Literally two words in the whole ep. What a massive waste of his time.

I made you into a real boy last week

Moe goes from rags to riches

Moe Goes from Rags to Riches

Billboard: Bumblebee Man, Kent Brockman and Booberella, your new Channel 6 news team.

There’s no proven link between raisins and boogers

Couch gag: The Simpsons take a journy through popular sitcoms from the 50s to now.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest Voice:
Jeremy Irons as the Bar Rag

Synopsis: Moe’s bar rag narrates the story of how it became a bar rag. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse have a fight and their friendship might be over.

Discussion: Paaaaaaaaaaaaaainful.

Moe is teased that his best friend is the rag he uses to clean the bar. What follows is a painful tale of the rag’s journey from being a tapestry in Dark Ages France through to being a bar rag. On paper, this sounds like an interesting premise, but in practice, it’s just stupid and one of the worst episodes in the entire series.

I’m not really sure how it all goes wrong. Maybe bar rags just aren’t that interesting. The bar rag was a sort of Forrest Gump character, turning up in all sorts of famous situations as part of its “thousand year fall from grace”. Most of the rag’s misfortunes came at the hands of Homer in different guises.

While the uninteresting rag tells its woeful tale, Milhouse dumps Bart as a best friend and makes him beg for forgiveness. This subplot is strong enough to carry an episode on its own, as it has done before, however shoved in the middle of the main plot, it gets lost and is clearly just there to fill in time. This subplot isn’t as fully developed as it should be as it has loads of potential. Milhouse enjoys having power over Bart (for a change) and this could be explored in so many different ways, yet it feels forced. Bart is terribly cute in his Krusty pyjamas though.

There’s not a lot to love in this episode, and it ends with a schmultzy ending where Moe realises human friends are superior to rag friends while the dog and Maggie fight over the rag.

Blow her a song of love


Apocalypse Cow

A person’s a person no matter how Ralph

Couch gag: A medieval tapestry showing the Simpsons versus Flanders over a couch

Director: Nancy Kruse

Guest voice:
Zooey Deschanel as Mary

Synopsis: Bart is forced to marry Mary Spuckler in exchange for keeping his cow alive.

Discussion: Did I watch the same episode as everyone else? This ep won a writing award, Matt Groening says it’s his favourite episode and some other critic gave it 7.5/10. Did I miss something??

I’d never heard of 4-H, but apparently you raise cows only for them to be slaughtered, and drive combine harvesters. Bart is given a cow to look after, it wins first prize and is now first in line to be slaughtered. In order to save the cow, he gives it to Cletus’ daughter, which in hillbilly land, means he wants to marry her. In case no one else noticed, this is the most ridiculous “plot” since Bart and Homer trained Duncan, the racehorse. I counted myself audibly groaning three times in this episode. Three!

There was nothing endearing about this episode at all. Lisa’s atop her moral high ground, pushing vegetarianism. Bart finally utters the phrase, “I’m glad I had a cow, man” to close the episode (we all knew it was coming) and Homer, dressed as a cow, is a whisker away from being slaughtered. Do cows have whiskers…?

This is easily one of the stupidest episodes ever. Even the minute or so of Zooey Deschanel (who is annoying at the best of times) can’t save this train wreck of stupidity.

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