Friday, August 13, 2010

Episode 13: The Color Yellow

Oh boy, this episode. This episode makes me think all those hours of therapy were a joke. This episode is not funny, is not interesting, and above all SUCKS! I came in thinking that an episode that further goes into the Simpson genealogy would be quite interesting with little to no continuity to screw up and you could atone for Little Big Girl. How could you fuck up? Well our good friends Billy Kimball and Ian-Maxtone Graham found a way *P.S. Every one of Kimball's episodes save 1 was co-written by Ian and they all suck, seeing Ian's resume I put the blame more on Kimball than I do on Ian*. Let's get on with our stupidly written episode's review.

We start the episode off with Willie and Bart blowing up a stump which they couldn't just dig out (This leads to the stump crushing Skinner's Kia. Odd, I thought he owned a Toyota but whatever). This leads to Ms. Hoover deciding her class plan by looking at the stump and assigning the class family trees (See the resemblance yet?) While looking up her history she finds out that the Simpsons are all either criminals or boring (never mentions the Bouviers but Lisa's holding the idiot ball on that topic).
I can relate. My Great-great Grandfather was the lesser known Bob the Ripper.
Lisa then decides to go up into the attic where we see references from much better episodes lying about. Lisa also discovers a comically dust-covered diary of "Eliza Simpson" (Bet it took hours for them to come up with that name). The act ends with the family discovering she was getting a slave *gasp*. Lisa is saddened by the idea of having an ancestor who owned slaves (But the idea of murderers, psychos and bums are A-OK with her). We then go into flashback mode as we see Eliza writing in her diary on the day of a ball (It's not just this but why is it that every ancestor of any animated family is past family basically the family of present? This goes for you too Family Guy!). Eliza then writes (and monologues) that she's going to help the slave get to freedom (Hey Eliza, it hasn't been established that your family would help you so to us you're just informing them where to capture a runaway slave).
It's a good thing the writers decided not to do this or we wouldn't have this classic episode
While Lisa is happy Bart makes the point that the underground railroad isn't underground or a railroad to which the family agrees (Hey Simpsons, the black market isn't actually black and really? You think that Underground (hidden) railroad is a bad name, it's the symbolism of a railroad geniuses). Homer then decides to take the book away from Lisa as he tells her to quit while she's ahead (there's also a joke about Marge turning that into a poster with "ahead" not fully spelled out, it reminds me of the "Procrastinators convention: tomorrow" joke). After hearing the book talk to her *insert cuckoo clock joke here* Lisa decides she needs to read the rest of the diary. So Lisa puts a fan next to a ventilation shaft (I don't think that's a good idea, if the book's light enough to be blown away by a simple fan, the book would probably crumble, if not it would just stay in place). The next day Lisa decides to repair the book a little so that she can read it through. While Eliza is at Colonel Burns' ball (Maybe Montgomery's father?) Burns has the Waltz being played add a note and people fall down.
I came from the future to rescue you.
Moving on, Eliza then breaks into Burns' barn and frees the slave Virgil. After they escape, they are chased by patrolmen and the diary ends mid-chase. Marge suggests that they go to the library to find the answers after the diary crumbles to dust (great to know history is in the hands of incompetents). When they get to the library, they find a cookbook written by Eliza's mother (Because all great diaries have chapters in their mom's cookbooks, didn't you know there are a few chapters of Ann Frank's diary in her mom's address book?). The cookbook reveals that Eliza and Virgil took sanctuary in a traveling circus after hiding in the bushes from the patrol (The nickel joke just further enrages me as it's so stupid to talk about currency you will never see, it makes about as much sense as saying $100 will be $1 million in 2178 money).
Little known fact: Hitler's diary was located in his father's scout book
Lisa is proud after hearing about Eliza taking Virgil as far as to her house (Yeah, this is character derailment, Lisa would want to know when and how Eliza got Virgil into Canada). Lisa then gives a presentation at school about her ancestors freeing Virgil (Calling the Simpsons "The first family of freedom" after freeing only 1 slave seems a bit smug, but, hey, my family was in Europe during the Civil War so what do I know?). After the presentation Milhouse (extremely out of character) reveals that Lisa didn't complete the research and he claims that Eliza's father gave Virgil back to Burns (Odd I thought Milhouse would get beaten to a pulp just to deliver a small note and here he is just calling Lisa out in front of the whole school)(Yeah, Milhouse has a crush on Lisa. And when did HE research this?).
I love you so much that I decided to bring my own deus ex machina to humiliate you in front of the school.
Lisa becomes saddened by this because Eliza is the only honorable Simpson (Willy decides this is the perfect time to make another Obama joke, YES WE GET IT BARACK OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT. Will you let it go?!). As Lisa goes to the library for more proof, she finds some film of Eliza confirming what Milhouse said (And we find out that there are two lesbian librarians, pointless joke). When Lisa gets back to the house, Grampa is just conveniently there to tell Lisa that Virgil did escape and she escaped with Eliza's mother and they created a new family. Grampa then tells the that they are all descendants of Virgil (So where's Eliza's descendants?) this revelation leads to terrible jokes about how them all being part black makes them something special. The episode ends with Marge addressing that she's part french (And why didn't Lisa check that side of the family?)

Final Judgment: Boring, bland, forgettable the list goes on. Either way this episode is nothing special and honestly we could have gone on without this. Admittedly, there was potential but just like the past few seasons, this is the show where potential goes to die.

Final Grade: 4.2/10 It's just so blah, but it's better than Boy Meets Curl

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