Thursday, August 12, 2010

Episode 12: Boy Meets Curl

We've almost hit bottom people. I really hate this episode with a passion. I feel that the writers could really care less about the quality now and just want to cash their checks before they bounce. On a side note, today's episode is written by Rob LaZebnik who I really hate. His work includes such garbage as Homer vs. Dignity, which made the TV Tropes "Dethroning Moments of Suck" list (For those who don't know/repressed it, Homer got raped by a panda. YEAH) and Father Knows Worst which I will get into when I tear it apart review it. Let's get on with our review.

We start the episode off with both Homer and Marge getting ready for date night as Homer is told by Mr. Burns to stay late to fix a pipe. Homer misses dinner put proposes the idea of them going to see a movie, to which Marge agrees. They go to probably the noisiest theater possible (The deciding factor in leaving is Ben Affleck as the lead. Not a good idea for this writer to imply judging a movie based on one person). Homer and Marge then find an ice rink where they decide to go ice skating. They can't, though, because the rink is being used for curling. Skinner explains the rules of curling to Homer and Marge as Homer decides to chew out the scenery with a completely pointless, out-of-context speech that can be mistaken for good writing
No wonder he likes to chew out the scenery. The tiles are made of chocolate *nom nom nom*
(Seriously, this scene is just about as nonsensical as a person reciting the Braveheart speech after finding out his neighbor took the last of his sugar). After a montage of Homer and Marge curling (This is a running theme for the past few years and it makes the point of a montage worthless) Mrs. Skinner and Seymour approach them asking them to join their team. Six weeks later, Seymour tells Homer and Marge about their team being invited to Wisconsin to try out for the U.S. team for mixed curling as a demonstration event (The writer does know that it is a real sport at the Olympics right? Just how Skinner says it just makes curling sound like just something to entertain the audience). This causes Homer to imagine what the Winter Olympics would look like and the Olympic trials as well.
First the movies, now our sports. Is the government next?!
Act two begins with Agnes telling Marge about how she ran pole vaulting in the Olympics and how Seymour *inside her still* ruined her chances by kicking just enough to knock the pole down. I'd like to know why they sent a pregnant woman into the Olympics, but whatever; there are far stupider things to come (P.S. because "Principal and the Pauper" has been ridiculed by Matt Groening, I expunge any continuity from that episode) (Heck, the whole TOWN called it discontinuity!). While in Wisconsin for the trials (and across the street is a funny "Curly Trials" where multiple people do their best Curly impression and Moe slaps them all) we get our subplot of Lisa collecting Olympic pins and becoming addicted to them. Afterwards, we find out that Team Springfield just needs one more stone in the circle and they win, but seeing as they have bad luck Homer throws the stone a little too hard.
You know physics only takes a back seat to things that are funny. This isn't one of them.
However because physics is for losers Marge is able to curl the stone all the way across cement and back on the ice for it to get onto the bullseye. Where do I begin?
1: PHYSICS! The difference in friction between ice and cement would instantaneously stop the stone on the cement, the stone would have to be going as fast as a car in order to continue on the concrete.
2: The broom used in curling is to ADD friction to the ice and slow down the stone, sweeping the concrete would stop the stone even sooner if we were willing to accept the idea that concrete has no friction.
3. Come on, the stone has enough speed to go past the circle and through the same distance in concrete and just happens to land in the middle.
Look I understand there's suspension of disbelief, but this is just pulling it out of their asses. It doesn't take a physics major to tell you this isn't possible, even in the cartoon world (which the Simpsons do not use cartoon physics). By the way, that's not even the worst thing in this episode. Moving on after shattering the laws of physics, the Simpsons head off to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics.
Indian medicine will make you hallucinate a better story
When in Vancouver, we get a callback from their movie when Homer meets up with the medicine woman and she demands he pays his bill. While at the games we see the opening ceremonies as they are directed by Ivan Wrightman *Ghostbusters* and as you'd expect, the ceremonies use the theme from Ghostbusters (because he couldn't possibly have an original idea to save his life, I need more liquor). After a scene showing Canadian version of Nelson and Milhouse, we get a scene of Agnes still trying to convince Marge to get rid of Homer from the team, but she refuses. I would go into the physics of Homer's ride, but it has no implication on the plot and it's never mentioned again so forget it.
Take my pearls, I've already had my pride and dignity taken away as well
We cut to Lisa going out to buy more pins as she's out of money and she has to trade her pearls for a pin (The jokes in this scene are terrible). Bart then finds Lisa playing her sax on the street for money as it turns out she's become a pin junkie (By the way the "pin dress" just furthers my hatred of this episode as the dress just makes me feel uncomfortable looking at her in it). We go back to the curling semi-finals as Marge still stands up for Homer and his idiocy. When they go up for their turn, the announcer makes a joke about Lisa's pin collection, which leads to a scene that is equally as creepy as the "pin dress" scene (I know Lisa's fictional but considering that this is fictional Tom Brokaw, it's borderline pedophile what he says and does).
The writers are really messed up
We then see Homer deliver the stone weakly as now the writers decide to show off what they know about curling: nothing. Marge is able to get the stone back in motion by making a slight slope under the stone and is able to get the stone in the center but she breaks her right shoulder while doing so. Problems here:
1. Look at a curling broom; there is clearly a cm. or so between the edge of the top and the bristles themselves. Marge could melt the ice down to the bare floor but she'd be more likely to hit the stone before making that slope. Also that stone isn't moving because there's too much of a distance between where the slope would be and the stone itself.
2. Anyone who watched the Olympics knows that the brooms also control the direction of the stone, which is why there is always 2 brooms; if there was only one, the stone would head in that direction.
3. As soon as the stone loses momentum, the judge calls it at the spot of the stone, he doesn't allow wind to magically come and push the stone a few extra feet.
Do they have no concept of thermodynamics? Or the rules of curling?
So now we're up to two huge plot holes, character derailment of Lisa and just bad writing. Goody, I can't wait for the last act. But before the last act we see that our announcer can be two places at once, Swedish people are emo and Dr. Hibbert is Team USA's doctor *downs some Prozac*. Anyways, the final act begins with Marge angry at Homer as she reveals "I'm left handed. I've been using my right hand all these years cause I didn't want to seem unusual in any way"... *slams fists on table* BULL! SHIT! This is just a lazy deus ex machina as the writers wrote themselves into a corner and just decided to throw this thinking we're all stupid. This isn't a clever plot twist, this is lazy writing! Go check out any scene where Marge is writing, she is clearly RIGHT handed! Oh yeah and the whole unusual thing, YOU HAVE THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN'S HAIR! That's not unusual to you? I need more Prozac and booze, God I hate this episode.
STOP! Our Deus ex machina is here to save the day
Back to the Lisa plot, Bart convinces Lisa to hand over all her pins and finds out she lost her necklace. Bart then cons the dealer into trading her necklace for a fake pin and everything is status quo for Bart and Lisa. Meanwhile, the Olympic committee decided that the U.S. should forfeit because Agnes couldn't possibly take the place of Marge. Marge prevents Skinner from signing a forfeit paper and the match is on (even saying they will give a "Miracle on Ice", God I need more booze). The match ends with Seymour breaking his broom causing Marge to defy physics once more (Will this ever end?) Team USA wins demonstration Gold and our episode ends with Homer dancing with the fake pin which is just his mouth upside-down.

Final Judgment: This episode is concentrated suckage. The writing is horrible, the execution is horrible and above all this episode has way too many plot holes and character derailment to be remotely watchable by an average fan. So what would and episode like this get on IGN? 5.6? 6.2? 6.8 perhaps? Try 8.4. That's right, our good friend Robert Cranning gave this an 8.4/10. Words escape me people; he's probably a good reviewer but I think he's reviewing the wrong series because clearly he doesn't know much about the Simpsons.

Final Grade: 2.8/10 Congrats Mr. LaZebnik, you still cannot write Simpsons to save your life, bravo, bravo.

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