Sunday, August 8, 2010

Episode 7: Rednecks and Broomsticks

So a week after you air your Christmas couch gag what do you do? Run a Thanksgiving gag, this did at first sour my view of this episode but because of good writing and plots that don't suck I was a changed man by the end of this. We continue into episode 2 of a 4 episode streak that in my opinion are the highlights of this season. Let's begin our review.

We start off the episode with the Simpsons leaving "The Snowed Inn" *laughs a little* after a ski weekend so that they can beat the traffic (which they don't). With the kids needing entertainment, Lisa suggests that they play "Bonk-It" (love the Bop-it reference), but Marge hides the batteries because anyone not playing it finds it the most annoying game ever. After the bit ends, Homer sends the car off the road and onto a frozen lake where he hits Bambi *Snicker*.
Ah annoying the parents, a classic pastime
As the Simpsons are about to freeze to death in the lake, Cletus goes to rescue them and gives them hospitality. I like that Cletus saved their lives and then offers Homer moonshine and never asks for anything in return. I guess that hillbillies are all right (As long as they aren't neo-Nazis)(Or live in the hills with nuclear testing). We are then introduced to our sub-plot of Homer being able to judge moonshine (This applies to a lot of other episodes but why is it that whenever a main character on the Simpsons does ONE thing ONE time, they are considered a genius at that craft, just saying.) Admittedly I do like the bear joke partially because they sound better than the real Country Bear Jamboree. After Bart plays around with some grenades *You know, For Kids!* Lisa plays hide-and-seek with the two daughters as neither of them can count and Lisa pays the price for expecting them to be able to count past 5.
Oh great, the new cult fad is in town
As she wanders around, she stumbles upon a Wicca ceremony and the act ends with a bad joke (This seems to be a running trend I forgot to mention before). Lisa talks to the three Wiccans as she is very skeptical of their powers and rituals. After the Wiccans leave, Homer finds Lisa and then has snow dumped on him turning him into another snowman pin for Bart's bowling (Love the expression Lisa gives as it takes her a while to realize there's a live grenade next to her.) As Lisa tries to do her pipe-cleaner project literally last minute (Who among us haven't tried to do an assignment for a class while in that class?) a substitute arrives and gives them all A's for their projects (My substitutes would always ask for the assignments but whatever).
Big deal this is how I viewed my teachers in 2nd grade
Lisa comes to the conclusion that Ms. Hoover was sick because of the Wiccans through the not so subtle hints dropped by Mrs. Plot Device. As we cut back to the sub-plot we see Homer and Cletus try other people's moonshine *Cue the predictable montage*. After the montage Moe gets angry that Homer brought Lenny and Carl to taste the moonshine and Moe thinks that these are the hillbillies from "Deliverance" and is disappointed that they will not have their way with him *weird*. As we see Lisa talk to the Wiccans we find out that Lisa's not quite as smart as we thought she was. When the girls tell her they worship nature she says so does she... (BUDDHISTS! DO! NOT! WORSHIP! NATURE! The worship of nature is most closely associated with being pagan, Druid, or Wiccan and last I checked, Lisa is none of these, yet)(P.S. no, being an environmentalist does not mean you worship nature. If that's true, then I worship pizza). I'm sorry but that's the one thing from this episode that is stuck in my mind; who wrote that garbage?
After several hours of Harry Potter, Lisa decided to try to change Snowball into a Prince
Anyways, we cut back to Lisa's room as she goes to the Wiccan's home site on her white computer that screams Mac (more on this later). Bart thinks Lisa's going evil but when told it's just Wiccan, Bart insults Wiccans saying they're all old miserable women to which Lisa replies by turning his prank around on him. As Lisa then imagines herself as a witch she puts on a cloak and pretends to chase Snowball around cursing her with a spell (I like this scene but there's something about her tone while talking to Snowball that seems off). Ned points out that his fear of her turning to Buddhism would lead to this (See, even the characters point out how stupid that line was) as it leads to a joke of him mistaking a Dell computer for a computer from Hell. If the computer didn't resemble a Mac so much we'd be continuing but why make it white? I think Dell has only a handful or so models with white desktops. Our next scene involves Homer judging a moonshine contest as they abandon their tills when they hear sirens (~Plot Point~).
Behold the 11th wonder of the world: Hillbillies voluntarily disposing booze
We then see Lisa about to be initiated as a Wiccan as the police stop the ceremony for no explained reason, except that this town functions under 17th century law. Act three begins with a scene outside the courthouse as the three Wiccans "Cast a spell" on the town to make them blind, and it works, about half the town becomes blind and it help fuel the hatred against them (Nice work gals). As the trial goes on we have a few jokes and the judge throws the case out because, well, do I need to give a reason? *this also leads to a cutaway gag that was used in the earlier seasons but it more popular now with Family Guy* The act ends with the citizens deciding to enforce justice by themselves which leads into Mayor Quimby making a joke about their laws.
A fate worse than death: Watching the Uwe Boll Film Festival *Screams*
As the Wiccans are about to be drowned a la "Salem Witch Trials" (Or "The Crucible" whichever floats your boat) Lisa comes in and connects the two plots together expositing what she didn't see about how the moonshine went into the water supply and blinded the citizens *BTW what is up with the expression Lisa gives when Homer calls her a witch, she looks at him as if he just said that he murdered a guy or something*. The mob lets them go, then they redirects their anger at Moe. Lisa is grateful for what the Wiccans did as Homer gets trapped into the river which leads to our final scene courtesy of "To Die For"

Final Verdict: This episode is probably one of the few bright spots to me for this sub par season. Admittedly there are a few head-slap moments but it seems like the writers actually put effort into this episode to try to preserve the legacy of the series rather than make a quick buck.

Final Grade: 7.2/10 This is one of the few episodes of late that I actually want to watch multiple times, I have to wonder what deleted scenes were there and what the people working on it thought of particular scenes as well.

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