What can I say about this episode? Well when the opening is more memorable than the actual episode, you're in deep trouble. But couch gags do not make or break episodes so that will not factor into my review. This episode begins with Homer at the bar when "Duffman" comes in and does his best imitation of Duffman because he couldn't afford the license to Duffman's original music. Either way that leads in a somewhat weird series of events that has Homer leave a duffel bag with a rod of plutonium alone at a train station. Meanwhile, Nelson trips Milhouse which leads to Lisa (who is sitting across from him for no reason) berating him for tripping him and making fun of him. After the annoying "logic" we see a woman who invites Lisa to join an unknown debate team, she accepts and we cut to Lisa debating some girl about carbon emissions from cars. We come to realize why this debate team has never been mentioned before as all it is is just a kindergarten argument where the winner doesn't win by having the better argument but by making fun of their opponent better. This is the point where you will want to grab the booze if you watch the rest of this. We then see a woman who makes the people from the bank look like Mensa, who starts spazzing out about a bag left alone for not 10 seconds. The police blow it up and then the city assume that the bag was meant to be a terrorist attack. Some British person comes in and explains that England has never really had to deal with problems (I guess WWII bombings were just a mild nuisance) and referencing the London subway bombings, the man explains that they added cameras everywhere and crime is now non-existent. Lisa argues that it is an invasion of privacy and it violates the Constitution, but as the writers realized their was logic in this plot, they insert yet another bad blond joke saying that all blonds are dumb and they should not be listened to. Marge tries to comfort Lisa by giving her a stupid book on how to deal with being different, even though A lot of America is blond so that's like saying wearing black makes you different. After the cameras are all installed the police force hire 8 people who will monitor people's actions. The only funny part of this is when Maggie watches a gay bar where there are multiple people dressed up in Sesame Street clothing. It is at this point where you realize that George Orwell must be rolling in his grave. Lisa then decides to dye her hair in a mildly cool scene that made me laugh because I have a soft spot for those Frankenstein like scenes. The whole Big Brother thing continues with very boring scenes as filler so moving on. When Lisa does reveal her new hair I admit it was cool but I didn't know that hair dye not only changes the color of the hair but it cuts and styles it as well. This subplot was very underdeveloped and it seemed utterly pointless. As Flanders realizes that the Simpsons have been using the blind spot to commit crime, he comes to flat out say that this episode is a mockery of 1984. After all the cameras are destroyed we finally get an idea of who was behind it all. It could be anyone it could have been some political person trying to set up another dome over Springfield, it could have been Sideshow Bob planning his return to Springfield. As it turns out though, it was the Queen of England who made the cameras into a reality show. Yes the writers were so bankrupt for ideas that they had to steal the 1st episode of South Park.
This episode is just so blah, I really love 1984, it is perhaps one of my favorite books of all time and the writers just give it the middle finger. I do not feel that same sense of a great plot while watching that plot that i get while reading 1984. The subplot of Lisa's hair was stupid as it was just pointless and didn't really make you feel any different about Lisa.
*Note: this episode has Krusty again, and again they do not address what happened in Paris so I'm giving up on any continuity involved with that episode and throwing that episode out the window.
Final grade: 2.4/10 Read 1984, you'll get such a better feeling