Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Episode 9: Holidays of Future Passed

Well I guess you all know how I feel about this episode so there's no point in me doing some "clever" introduction about how I have little hopes and I think it's going to suck. Now just onto the details of how I feel about this trip to the future.

The episode begins with the family finished eating their Thanksgiving dinner as Marge tells everyone it's time for the Christmas photo (Admittedly this is a scene I'm not too particularly fond of, there are some rather bad jokes in this scene in my opinion). After Marge dresses everyone up and sits them in front of the couch, we get a montage of family photos over the next 30 years which I'll admit is worth another look, if only to see each family member age (But like most long jokes, it loses humor towards the end). We then cut to the elementary school as it's turned into an apartment complex and we see Bart living there (I really wish they could've done more with this idea, they did very little with "Bart never leaves that school") After Skinner tells Bart he's late on the rent, Bart's kids arrive at his place because his wife wants him to spend some quality time with them. Okay before we continue I just want to address a small problem; the voice acting, Bart has aged 30 years yet he sounds like a ten year old still. There are other problems in this episode like Homer and Marge sound the same (Seriously, tell me a 35 and a 65 year old person sound the same, I dare you). Now this might be a nitpick but it's not like they haven't aged the voices in future episodes or future dreams, and really it comes across as lazy. If it doesn't bother you, there's no problem, it just bothered me, that's all.
Poor Bart, even at 40, he still can't get away from school
After adult Bart gets the idea to drop his kids off at his parent's place (Oh and to make them sound different enough, the kids sound like Bart from Lisa's Sax) we cut to Milhouse and Lisa as Milhouse's allergies are making him miserable (I still don't like this pairing, fortunately, it's briefly seen, so I'll let it slide). After we find out that Lisa's daughter is a typical teenager wanting nothing to do with her parents (I suddenly just got some bad images stuck in my head) Milhouse suggests that Lisa takes their daughter to Marge's place while he goes to Michigan since they don't celebrate Christmas. In England (Okay to their credit, they don't linger too long on the background jokes, so I found them amusing) we see Maggie is pregnant and to prevent her from talking, they make up some medical excuse about how pregnant women shouldn't talk (I know this is going to sound like a back-handed compliment, but they did do one thing right in not having Maggie talk. Fuck you season 20, you suck).
You appear to have would you like to star in a George Lucas remake?
After implying that Maggie is a slut (Charming) we cut back to Marge and Homer as they're in bed with holographic books as Marge gets some "Brain messages" telling her that Maggie, Lisa, Zia and Bart's family (Sans his ex-wife) are coming home for the holidays. After a bad joke involving Homer (There's always that one) Lisa finds out that Homer has stopped drinking and taken up boat modeling as a hobby (That was rather pointless, it doesn't really lead to anything and it wasn't all that funny in my opinion). After Bart is told that his ex-wife re-married (So Bart turned into Kirk Van Houten?) as Bart asks Homer to take care of his kids for a bit and they resent him some more (Okay, do they have names? I may have missed it, but I'm not quite sure). After a pointless scene involving Flanders revealing Edna died (Why are they so insistent about us accepting that relationship?) we cut to the airport where Maggie is unable to teleport on the basis of being pregnant as we find out that air travel is the equivalent of a motorcycle convoy. Later we see more "Futuristic" set props (This is becoming Futurama more and more) we see Lisa and Zia as Zia acts more like a one-note character in disrespecting Lisa while Marge is ignorant on the situation.
You see, this is what happens when you spend your days watching online videos every day.
After another scene inside the shit airplane, we cut back home as Homer decides to take Bart's kids downtown (Okay for the sake of the rest of this review, I'll call them Tom and Bob). After a montage of Homer taking Tom and Bob to the Kwik-E-Mart and by Mr. Burns' manor (That's not taking them downtown, they lied!) we see Kearney driving Maggie in a cab as Maggie goes into labor and Kearney has the cab drive them to the hospital (While I thought that joke was rather weak, I'll admit, the "Church of Lard Lad" was rather funny). Later, we see Lisa meet up with Bart in the treehouse as they drink some wine and discuss their lives. Bart tells Lisa that she's doing alright and she turned out just great (Eh this is more emotional than a lot of the 'emotional scenes' from other modern episodes, but it just doesn't work for me). After Bart sees Homer loving his sons, Bart and Lisa get down from the treehouse by revealing that trees are sentient and it lets them down (Honestly, I didn't like that joke).
Bart, let me tell you a secret... I'm not really Lisa,
Lisa died in a horrible drug overdose in France after  her days as a Blues Musician
Drunk Lisa then goes to apologize to Marge  and Bart tries to connect with his kids by showing them some unfunny Krusty the Clown (Wouldn't he be dead? Then again, Mr. Burns was alive... I think it would've worked better if Mr. Burns's brain was put in a robot and Krusty's tombstone was talking as to say "I'm bound to Hollywood forever"). We cut to the Hospital as we get some rather lame jokes alluding to the birth of Jesus (Let's see, Maggie is pregnant, with no father, around Christmas... I give up). Later, we see Zia connected to the internet (HEY! there's nothing wrong with spending some quality time on the internet every d- *Looks at self* you know I need to work out a bit) and Bart decides to confront Homer about watching his kids. After a pointless, unfunny bit with Patty and Selma (Seriously, they serve NO purpose, they show up for a joke and then disappear, presumably leaving, but I don't think the writers thought that out) we cut back to the hospital as Maggie's in labor and to help her, Doctor Hibbert gives her a pacifier (Considering that she's pregnant, the youth and innocence of Maggie sucking on a pacifier is GONE).
Yeah.... no
After a pointless scene so we can see how Apu is doing in the future (Okay, scenes like these just make me think the writers were off their Ritalin) we see that Lisa has finally decided to go into the "Ultranet" to get Zia out of there. After some more set pieces meant as jokes, Lisa goes to Google (Nevermind the joke about it being Dr. Seuss' birthday despite his birthday is in March. Seriously, they had nothing else?) and she searches for her daughter and finds her door and ponders whether or not to invade her privacy. Later, Bart goes looking for Homer, Tom and Bob as he gets pulled over by Ralph Wiggum (Again, a perfect opportunity at a joke is wasted by them going for a drawn out bad joke. I think it would've been funnier if Ralph ended up as a respected head of police for the state just as a twist. But that's just me) At Moes, Bart finds out that Homer isn't there, but instead is at Grampa's (Two things of note; The crime scene is worth another look and the joke involving Lenny and Carl was one of the worst jokes in this episode and entirely pointless).
I guess the rake finally got the better of Sideshow Bob
After a Hospital scene (It lasts about 5 seconds, just thought I'd mention it) we see Lisa decide to go in and she learns that Zia is more like her than originally thought including that Zia idolizes her. We then see Homer take Bob and Tom to a cryogenic lab as he tells the boys that just because Bart isn't a good father that doesn't mean he doesn't love them and they should give him more credit and love him back (While I do like Homer in this scene, it's ruined a bit later by Homer freezing and unfreezing Abe a bit more). Bart approaches Tom and Bob and tells them that he'll be a better father to them and he gives them a big hug. We cut back home as Maggie had a girl and as Abe asks who the father is, he interrupts her saying he doesn't need to know (Okay I know this is still going with the whole "Maggies doesn't talk" motif, but we never get the baby's name or father, those are things she can answer, there's no excuse for her to be cut off for answering those). The episode ends with the family gathered around for a Christmas photo to be taken by their evolved pets (Not going to question it, let's end this).

Final Verdict: This episode was decent, yes there are flaws, but for what we've had to deal with, this was great in comparison. The writing was pretty good with some areas being sloppy, the jokes varied, but there were some good ones and while the three plots didn't really mesh, at least the pacing of the three plots caused minimal padding. In short, for those of you who know how cynical I am about this show nowadays, this is high praise from me.

Final Grade: 8.2/10 I thought about high 7's, but I'm in a giving mood this season. Merry Christmas and I'll see you all next year

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Thoughts on Holidays of Future Passed

I will be getting around to writing the actual review soon enough, but for now I thought I'd share my initial thoughts after watching it. Truth be told, I had low expectations for this one. Between the disaster of last year's attempt at a Christmas special coupled with their history of bad Christmas-related episodes (See last year's December posts) I thought this would be another stinker to add to the pile (Oh and I said at the season preview that I hated the idea of Lisa and Milhouse as a couple, so add that to the list). So of course it would be hard for me to go in objectively and give it a fair shot, but I tried my best.

And truth be told, I liked this episode. No you did not read that wrong, I actually liked this to a degree. Granted there are flaws and problems, but in my opinion, this is far and away the best episode of the season and I haven't liked an episode like this since Season 21 (Oh Brother Where Bart Thou). I'll get into more detail in the actual review, but I'll just list what I liked and some of the problems with it.

The Good:

  • Jerkass Homer is limited
    • Homer actually resembled Classic Homer more than he does Modern Homer. He had his bad moments, but they were limited and his role in the episode wasn't that big to begin with
  • Maggie doesn't talk
    • Unlike Season 20 (Fuck you writers) despite being old enough (And apparently a singer) Maggie never talks in this episode. It resembles Lisa's Wedding a bit, but I wish they made more jokes out of this. Oh well, at least they didn't fuck this up.
  • Certain jokes
    • Truth be told, I actually laughed at some of these jokes. I'll go into more detail in the review on which ones I liked, but let's just say that they actually let the majority of the good jokes be background jokes and not "HEY EVERYONE! LOOK AT THIS JOKE! LOOK AT THIS JOKE AND LAUGH!"
The Bad:
  • Other jokes
    • Of course when I say "Certain" that means that the others just didn't work. Two particular examples that enter my mind are the Ralph Wiggum clones (That went on WAY too long) and the Lenny-Carl brain-swap (Just didn't have anything going for it). Again, I'll go into more detail later.
  • The narrative
    • I understand that they were trying to go for three plots at once, but it did not flow at all. At points it worked, but for the majority it came off as another "Event A happens, then event B, then..." with the flow being rather bad. Also, it really came across more as a "Look at all these neat things in the future" as its main concern. Lisa's Wedding did the same thing, but the future stuff wasn't the main thing being pushed.
  • The voices
    • Okay, I will rarely say something like "Oh her voice was off, this episode sucks" but this was just lazy. At times, I swore that Bart's voice changed from "10-year old" to "I'm possibly 30?" and that's the thing; everyone's aged. Instead of going for more aged voices (Seriously a 70 year old Homer should not sound like he's 35) they stick to their normal voices. Not to say "It's not the classic therefore it sucks" but Lisa's Wedding did this right; they aged them physically, mentally and voice-wise.
Again, these are just initial thoughts, but in all honesty it is a decent episode in my opinion. Maybe it's skewed by the horrendous season it's in and I'll find more flaws when I write up the review, but for what it's worth, it's not bad.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Episode 8: The Ten-Per-Cent Solution

We're hitting the home stretch here people, we're coming up on the time when the episodes start to get really bad and I don't see a change in that trend anytime soon. Remember how this time last year started us off with "Fit Tony" followed by the least interesting lesbian make-out scene ever followed by "Comic Book Gay" followed by... you get the point.  Yeah the showrunner can be whoever you want it to be, but as long as the writing staff remains relatively intact, these episode will suck. so without further ado, let's take a look at today's episode. Oh before I begin, the opening sequence has returned... I don't get it myself, we get three weeks of no sequence and voila! It's back, at least be consistent, staff.

The episode begins with an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (Is it meant to be padding? Is purple a color?) oh and by the way, they think that having an impressionable Maggie give the "Heil Hitler" salute is funny... ugh. After we cut to Krusty, we cut back to... *Sigh* another Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (Yeah if they think that they can pull off the success of Marge vs. Itchy and Scratchy, they're gravely mistaken). After an unfunny ending (Probably a Social Network reference, I haven't seen the movie, so sue me) Krusty complains that his show is about him and not some cartoon.
Heil Hitler! The master race shall prevail over these puny-
He then goes on to ask why the cartoon "parodies" movies that came out over a year ago and tries to defend them by saying that the parodies were written when the movies came out but it took a long time to animate so by the time they came out they were dated... excuse me a moment *Screams into bag* Okay this is such bullshit and I want to talk about this for a moment

  • Are the writers really trying to say "Oh don't pick on us, it's not our fault that we suck at writing and our writing seems dated because of the animators"? Two words: FUCK! YOU! Your parodies suck not only because they're dated when they air but your "satirizing" fails on so many levels and you don't know how to make fun of something without kissing its ass. Other shows could do these parodies perfectly well today and you were able to have your parodies not seem dated a couple of years ago. Maybe I'm looking too deep into this, but the inclusion of this just pissed me off. I don't want to hear it, you get no sympathy from me and you bet your ass I'm not going to give this episode any benefits of the doubt. Okay rant over, let's continue
After another Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (Yeah because this is really stating your case that you are trying to put effort in. By doing ANOTHER "parody" of a movie that's a year old (Black Swan)) Marge decides to come in and interrupt all that padding (Aw, but I wanted to see this unfocused padding reach the 3 minute mark). Marge then turns off the TV and suggests that they all go to the Museum of TV. After Bart and Lisa are hesitant, Marge informs them that the Museum will close in a week which causes Homer to bolt into the room and question where people will find old clips of TV shows, which then leads to a shot of "Not-Hulu" where we see that clip was apparently playing (Simpsons, you cannot do 4th wall jokes, you suck at them).
Where's the star rating? I want to give this a 1 out of 5
At the Museum, we see random exhibits, either real shows or shows this show has made up (Really hit and miss here, with the worst being Homer's pants splitting) I do want to comment on The Honeymooners bit, The Day the Violence Died poked fun at this WAY better (They respected their audience, and assumed that their audience would get the joke. Here, it's basically the "Nedna" scene from the season premiere in terms of subtlety). After some more padding from the Not-Honeymooners show (I rest my case about respecting their audience) we finally get a hint of a plot when a talent agent named Annie Dubinsky approaches the family because... because she was in the background (There is a small reason, but in all honesty, my answer makes about as much sense). Later, we see Krusty talk to some network executives as it turns out that the executives are putting in more I&S cartoons because they feel that Krusty's references are too obscure or just need to be searched for the kids to get (So Krusty's going to be a stand in for this show? Oh God, this won't end well). The executives then tell Krusty that they want to make some changes  to the show (Never heard that one before) and they change the show by firing him (See first link for complete originality).
All in favor of doing this to the current staff?
After Krusty loses his agent, we see the family at Krusty Burger as they notice Krusty in the ball pit wallowing in his misery (Yeah I get the feeling the new writers act like this when they realize that their lifelong dream of writing for this show turns out to be a nightmare). Bart and Lisa try to cheer Krusty up and encourage a comeback (Again, totally original) after Krusty tells them he needs a new agent, Lisa tells him that they met one that he should talk to (Not really a Deus Ex Machina since it was established, but still lazy in the way it was introduced). After an unfunny bit with the ball pit as a lake (Rule of three of course) we see Krusty and the family go to the agent as it's revealed that she hates him for some reason. She tells the family that he was her first client (Oh and in the process, they retcon Like Father Like Clown, why must they insist that their garbage is worthy of removing the classics from continuity?). After Annie changes Krusty's bit from stand-up to clown comedy (Why? Just why?) we find out that they got intimate and Krusty decides to tell her after sex that he's dropping her for a new agent. After Krusty tries to explain to Annie that he's doing this to get back at his father (Yeah that's why he was seeking his father's approval in Like Father Like Clown... Ugh, the stupidity is hurting me) Annie says that she'll never be Krusty's agent again.
Little known fact: Krusty never intended on being a clown...
Krusty then begs Annie for forgiveness and Annie decides to be his agent as long as he behaves himself (Well I can see where this is going). Annie then books Krusty for a show where his audience is adults and Krusty is a bit hesitant, however Annie reassures him that they'll love him (I don't know, he wasn't that well received in Last Temptation of Krusty, how will this be any better?). At the theater, we see Krusty perform in front of a bunch of adults as his set is reminiscent of Pee-Wee Herman's set (Okay I'll give props, it was a bit amusing. However, if they wanted to have a "Nostalgic show" there were so many characters that WERE actually on his show that aren't anymore they could have used. I think that may have worked better). After his show wows over the audience, Krusty thanks Annie for reviving him and they end up making out for a bit (Can an ending be considered disappointing if the foreshadowing for it is about as subtle as a baseball bat to the face?) After Krusty sees that he's getting the best praises of his career, he's informed by Annie that a network called HBOTIME (Come on, there had to be a better name somewhere). At the meeting, Krusty informs the executives that his one demand is that Annie is his producer. After a mini-montage of other shows on HBOTIME (Okay I did chuckle at the tagline for the network) we see that Krusty is now a big shot on the set (This is Krusty the Clown, right? Did we get someone else by mistake?)
We then see Annie being a bit bossy on the set as she insists that she's doing it all for his best.
Listen up, if you don't churn out better scripts, I'm deporting you to Africa
After another scene of Annie trying to "Protect Krusty", the executives tell Krusty that Annie is a problem for them as she's insane. Krusty tries to defend her, but after he sees her run down an intern for sharpening her pencil wrong, he thinks she might be nuts (Random homicide is funny, what's that? No it isn't? Didn't think so). Later we see Krusty's show being taped as Annie yet again gets defensive when she finds out that a guest on the show is funnier than Krusty. As the executives tell Krusty to fire her while they're still on set (Do the writers know this, or are they pretending that the studio audience doesn't exist in the same way of "We can't see you so you're not there" type of mindset?). After we get a scene of Moe watching this dispute live, Krusty decides to give Annie his answer in the form of sex followed by revealing that he got a new show (Okay props for not going down the obvious route, but points off for having Krusty as a hot commodity as an entertainer. His main characteristic is that he's not an entertaining clown). The episode ends with Krusty and Annie having sex for their new show... yeah I've got nothing, but it's over so I'm happy.

Final Verdict: This episode was bad, but not terrible, the plot was unoriginal and rather uninspired, the writing was weak and boring at times, and the jokes varied as there were a few good ones, but all together it was rather meh. Plus between the open-ended ending and the retconning of Like Father Like Clown I cannot find myself enjoying this one.

Final Grade: 2.6/10 Rather boring and played-out, but what do you expect at this point?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Episode 7: Husbands and Knives

First of all I'd like to apologize for this not being last week's post. With that out of the way, the more I watch these episodes, the more I understand why I have little to no memory of watching them. They are incredibly dull and forgettable, case in point; today's subject matter.

The episode begins with kids at the Comic Book Store (I honestly think this was the last time Comic Book Guy was actually at his store, because nowadays he just lives wherever the plot needs him) as CBG is acting like a giant asswipe towards the kids. After Bart tells him to stop being such a dick, CBG tries to mock Bart until he realizes that a new Comic Book Store is opening up across the street from him (So much potential wasted away here). After CBG gets owned by Bart, all the kids flock over to the new store where we meet the owner; Milo (Eh, he's too generic to have a name like that, let's call him 'Lame Steve') Lame Steve then invites everyone in as he plays some Korean Tom Jones... am I missing something here? After some padding in the form of Lisa reading (Say, isn't this episode supposed to be about Marge opening a gym? We're over 4 and a half minutes in and we have NO indication of the actual plot) Bart basically becomes the audience surrogate as he says that he gets it about Lame Steve, how he's not mainstream and wears a porkpie hat, which then leads to a cutaway of Homer at work saying "Mmm... Porkpie" (Dear God this really is Family Guy, random cutaways, ludicrous plots, jokes that aren't funny).
You have failed to impress me
Bart then asks a question to Lame Steve and LS decides he wants Bart's opinion (Oh by the way, great alternate names with "The Mulk" and "The Thung" I've said it before and I'll say it again, changing ONE letter in something does not make the parody funny, it's utterly lazy. And before you mention "Sorny" or "Panaphonics" keep in mind those were meant to be knock-offs and not parodies). After Marge drops off Bart and Lisa at the store, she notices a cardboard cutout of Wonder Woman and can't help but feel self-conscious when standing next to her (And we finally get plot at the 5:30 mark, great writing there). After a pointless bit involving the bullies (No I don't know why they were walking by and neither do the writers) we go inside the store where we see Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes (I love how Lisa decides to list them off as she's in line for the book signing like she's explaining who they are to the audience. Another example of the writers being as lazy as possible). While I hate the fact that Alan Moore reduced himself to this tripe, I do enjoy his bits the best (Hollywood being leeches, getting frustrated at Bart not getting his work, etc). Then, CBG barges in to try to win back his customers by announcing his shop now sells ninja weapons. After Lame Steve expresses appointment in CBG's tactics, CBG tries to destroy Lame Steve's shop, but is stopped by the 3 Comic Book writers who proceed to beat the shit out of him (Rather disappointing fight, much like everything else in today's episodes).
Alan Moore does not approve of this episode
We then FINALLY start the plot at the 8:25 mark when Marge decides to go to a gym (I know that the Comic Book Store plot was to help set this up later, but it took up WAY too much time). After a then-topical bit with celebrities doing the "Ok Go on Treadmills" (While it was okay back then, it just didn't age well at all) Marge exits the gym wishing that there was a female-only gym and because nobody on the staff cares about continuity, the LA gym is now magically across the street from CBG's old store (Effort; it takes so little time to make it seem like you actually care). Faster than you can say "Bullshit!" the store is instantly changed into a gym called "Shapes" *Fake laughter* and Marge reads off the rules she puts up on the wall (Why am I getting Alone in the Dark flashbacks?). After Jerkass Homer mocks Marge for her gym, he notices a huge line for the gym and praises her, but not without it being more Jerkass Homer (*Goes through recap* This is his first real scene, we're in for some serious shit here people). Later, we see that Shapes is an instant success and that leads to them creating a second gym (Instant expert? Check). After a montage of Marge's gym being a huge success (Can we elevate this to Mary Sue levels yet?) we see her on the "Opal Show" (*Grabs forehead* these parodies suck) where nothing happens (Feel free to close this window down at any time, I doubt anything exciting will happen).
Well I don't see anything next to that lamp
Call Penn and Teller, Homer has a magic remote
Later we see Marge and Homer at a hotel that apparently is holding some meeting for businessladies or something, I don't know and I'm pretty sure this is the point the writers gave up on this having a coherent plot. After Homer steals the TV remote (I wonder if this will turn into a running gag) we see Homer at the poolside as he meets up with some other husbands as he's informed that he'll probably be replaced with a trophy husband. After they tell Homer the signs, Homer refuses to believe that Marge will leave him (Why would she? She's been with him through some rather terrible situations. Normal Homer would know that he just needs to give her some more attentions, but let's see what Jerkass Homer does). Homer then gets to Marge and notices she's undergone a makeover (Step 1) Homer then asks Marge about her day, but instead of listening to her, he watches TV instead *Headdesk* After Homer suspects that Marge fulfilled all three requirements, he starts crying and takes as much as he can from the room into his luggage (Ugh... please someone kill him) Later we see Marge at a social event where some lady tells Marge that because she's rich now, she should get a new bag (We all know how the writers will play this scene out) Homer then overhears them as he thinks that they're talking about him and he gets in the middle like the jackass he is.
I'm not going to allow myself to get replaced by Roy as the main character!
Marge walks away because he's acting out of character (I'm not even joking there, that's the way it's done) and Homer begs the trophy husbands to help him (Sorry I meant to say "Begs as annoyingly as possible" I hate how they write Homer as a sitcom character rather than as a human). One of the trophy husbands reveals himself to be a first husband and gives Homer plenty of helpful advice. But that wouldn't nearly be funny to see Homer do that so instead he writes down "Get stomach stapled" (There's only so many times I can shake my head in disbelief). Homer then goes to a plastic surgery center where he's falsely explained the procedure (Medical science has no place here!) Homer decides to knock himself out by reading the bill (But they screw that up too. The only thing I find funny is just how inept these guys are and how they manage to make something so easy, unfunny). Later, we see Homer not eating at the table as he explains to Bart and Lisa that he had his stomach stapled, this is followed up by a bad blender scene (He presses the same button 3 times, but it makes different noises, i refer to the "Effort" bit I mentioned earlier).
My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
Later that night, we see slim Homer seducing Marge, but is unable to finish it because of all the excess skin created from the procedure (I'm bored out of my mind right now). Homer then confronts the doctor and tells him to give him more procedures (You know what? I'm bored senseless from this, so I'll just summarize the rest of this episode). Marge is given a key to the city for her gyms, Homer gets on stage looking like a Frankenstein's monster, he grabs Marge and runs away when the audience forms an angry mob, Homer flees to "Notre Dame of Springfield" (TOO SUBTLE!) and is told by Marge that she's leaving him. After she pushes him off, Homer wakes up and was told that his family prevented the surgeries after the doctor called them (Doctor-Patient confidentiality? Fuck that!) The episode ends with Marge and Homer walking through the town together as we get one last appearance from the Comic-Book writers as they fly off to a cash bar... Yeah I don't get it either, oh well episode's over who cares?

Final Verdict: This episode was terrible, the pacing was atrocious as the first act was a complete waste of time, the plot was stupid and very lazy (Mary Sue type writing) the characters were poorly written here and the jokes were bad. Really, there were few (If any) bright spots and this does not deserve to be remembered.

Final Grade: 1.8/10 Boring and stupid, then again, how is that different from any other episode?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Schedule

12/2: Husbands and Knives
12/5: The Ten-Per-Cent Solution
12/7: The Ten-Per-Cent Solution in 5 Seconds
12/12: Holidays of Future Passed**
12/14: Holidays of Future Passed in 5 Seconds**
12/16: Funeral for a Fiend
12/19: TBD
12/26: TBD
12/30: Eternal Moonshine for the Simpson Mind

*Schedule subject to change
**Will definitively be delayed until further notice

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Episode 7: The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants

Homer as an assistant to Mr. Burns... that's all I have to say. Nope, no clever quip about how this show sucks, no mention of how this plot's been done several times before in the classic years, just straight onto the review. Okay before I start, this is the third episode in a row without an opening sequence, from now on, I'll only mention if they do include an opening sequence because it seems like they've dropped it for the Matt Selman Era.

The episode begins with Bart and Milhouse at a live recording of the Krusty show as Bart goes into a dream about seeing his 'corpse bride' coming down the aisle just to eat his brain (Okay I'll admit it was funny... until they had Homer talk at the very end ruining it for me). Krusty is confronted backstage by some business advisers as they tell him that they need to make a viral marketing campaign to sell his vodka and they suggest that he goes to a loyal fan's home to serve the vodka to generate positive buzz about it (It's gonna be Bart). Krusty tells the audience to send him letters saying why they should host the party and of course we see Krusty at Bart's home (Too predictable, but honestly I'm more upset about how lazy the transition was). Krusty's advisers tell Homer that they want his house to be the location of the party and wouldn't you know it, the party is a success with tons of people coming despite the only people who would come are people Homer invited (I would have been a bit more forgiving if the business advisers invited these people, but they say "All you have to do is invite every cool person you know" so no dice here). After they try to explain why there are so many people there (They say it's people from the plant, I'm pretty sure Captain McAllister, Blue haired Lawyer, Bumblebee Man and Rich Texan don't work at the plant) Mr. Burns arrives and starts to kill the mood of the party. The business adviser tells Homer to do something about Mr. Burns and Homer tries to get Mr. Burns to sing karaoke... WHAT? Is this a joke of some sort? I'm not talking about it being a "ha-ha" joke, but rather a joke on us. But because Burns sings the oldest song on the machine, everyone lightens up to him and sings along (I'm just going to put out an APB for the REAL Mr. Burns, if you'd like to help, just start posting signs around town).
Missing: One old man, goes by the name of Charles Montgomery Burns, if found please call...
Afterwards, Mr. Burns tells Smithers that it's because of Homer that he's enjoying himself at the party (Because heaven forbid Homer be involved in a plot that doesn't revolve around him). Now let me make one thing perfectly clear, I have no problem with the plots being around Homer, my problem here is that Mr. Burns and Homer are extremely out of character for this to work and Homer's rather forced into this, I can't look past either of these flaws. The next day, Mr. Burns informs Homer that he'll be promoting Homer to accountant of the plant. So let me get this straight, Mr. Burns decided to promote Homer to as he said it "One of the most important jobs in this plant" based solely on the fact that he was entertaining at the party? What delusional dimension do these people live in? Homer is then introduced to the old accountant who is retiring and after Homer hesitates, he agrees when he's told he will lose his soul (So he'll become a lawyer?) Later, we see Homer enter the sterile executive building as he's amazed by all the luxuries he gets (Okay so this is another example of the writers forgetting about the family being lower-middle class and just trying to make them Rich LA-type people, ugh).
Maybe this will make you funny again
So the old accountant (Not going to bother with his name, let's just call him Not-Karl) then informs Homer that he's sticking around to help Homer with his job and his first task is to convince the Mayor to approve a rate hike (Yeah the Not-Karl name is appropriate seeing as how this is a bum's version of Homer and Delilah) At the restaurant, we see Not-Karl go off with Quimby to talk about the tax breaks as Lenny and Carl walk by. Homer ignores them by drawing funny faces of them on the window (So what was the point of that scene? Are we going to get Mayored to the Mob next?) Later, we see Quimby, Homer and NK at a game where Homer sways Quimby by using a sports analogy (I'm not kidding that's their joke. We all know the real reason, but that was pointless and unfunny). Back at the office, Not-Karl offers some drinks for Homer but Homer looks at a picture of his family for a few seconds before saying yes. Not-Karl then gives Homer a set of bar tools as it's been passed down from accountant to accountant (Hmm... his character is too subtle, I THINK he might be an alcoholic given the fact that he drinks in every scene he's in... nah) Back home, Marge wants to bring Homer back to bed, but Lisa tells Homer that he was supposed to read to her. Homer blows Lisa off, telling Bart to read to Lisa and heads upstairs with Marge to bed, our protagonist everyone, a selfish jackass who ignores his own daughter. So Bart decides to read to Lisa anyways (Previously established character traits? What are those?) and while trying to read Little Women Bart has trouble reading words like 'Genius' and 'Patience'... BART IS NOT ILLITERATE! Bart might be a bit dumb, but these are not words he would mess up, does anyone on the staff have a clue how this show works?!
Bart: The kid then... um... uh... Stoo- died?
Lisa: That's 'Studied'
Bart: Is that how it's spelled? I never bothered with that word.
Anyways, Bart admits he's a bad reader (Bad reader and illiterate are two different things writers) and Lisa offers to help Bart improve his reading skills (You know, if Bart struggled with words like 'Onomatopoeia' or 'Commensurate' I could understand, but genius and patience are not complex words in my opinion and for him to struggle with them seems ludicrous). Later, we see a brief montage of Homer at his job as he gets tired but it ends with Homer on a lawnmower running over Smither's foot (Random cartoony-violence in a sitcom equals funny, guess I never got that memo). Later we see Homer getting home, but Marge is asleep so he goes to Moe, where Moe is asleep as well... let's move on. We then see Bart reading Little Women with no problem and Lisa feels accomplished that she's a mentor (Great to know that the only transition for that is... jack shit). I mean, seriously? They have a grand total of 3 scenes for this subplot, why bother including a subplot if you can't develop it? Oh wait, they couldn't reach the runtime without that filler, my mistake. So we see Homer drinking some bourbon at night as Marge comes down to find out what he's doing. Homer explains that his job is so meaningless and, hold on, I shouldn't have used 'explains' but rather 'whines', there the previous sentence makes more sense.
Nobody understand me, especially the writing staff
After Homer tries to be poetic in how loneliness is his wife (I've seen high school poems with deeper meanings than this) we see Maggie is still up and apparently, like Lisa, she too gets drunk on milk... that joke wasn't funny the first time, so of course; they think it's funny and stretch it out longer this time. Later, we see Marge approach Not-Karl at his awkward home (It might just be me, but I think this building could give the Leaning Tower of Pisa a run for its money). Marge asks Not-Karl to take his job back, but NK explains that the job emptied him and he won't take it back. After NK takes Marge to different places rather quickly (I'd say this is a parody of the Old Spice commercials, but that would be giving the writers too much credit) Not-Karl tells Marge to get Homer out before he loses touch with his family (Oh and the scene ends on a random bit about Kirk and Luann Van Houten at NK's place with some S&M gear... Okay, I'm going to pray that like the Ratatouille thing, this is just some reference I don't get, because there is no way that was meant to be a funny original joke). Later we see Bart reading on the playground (Little Women I might add, because thinking up of another book would be too hard... 1984, A Separate PeaceShakespeare, Frankenstein, The Old Man and the Sea, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye I can go on) and the bullies spot him reading. Bart convinces them not to beat him up by reading to them.
Bart: "When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations..."
Later, we see him finishing a chapter and the bullies says they'll be back for more. You know I'm glad that subplot was included, it was so vital for this episode to work. Later, we see Homer at the office as he's informed that Marge is there to see him. Homer tries to pretend that he isn't there but through bad jokes, Marge hears him anyways and barges in. Marge then tells Homer that she wants to go on a family vacation and Homer decides to treat his own wife like a client  and forces her out (Another example of why I hate this Homer, he fails to be human and is instead devoid of emotions while acting like a complete assclown). Mr. Burns comes in to tell Homer that some nuclear regulators are coming and then he notices the rafting brochure and decides to have a rafting session with them to loosen them up (Oh and Mr. Burns says: "Finally humanity has found a use for water"... anyone with an inkling of how a nuclear power plant works understands why I mentioned this). Homer realizes that the rafting could be done because he could be at work and with his family over the weekend. After Homer's secretary tells Homer that he has other plans, Homer assures her that he's got it under control as he hits Jub-Jub with a golf club into his aquarium (Why does he have Selma's pet? Ah screw it, I smell hijinks).
Oh shit! I've been spotted, must flee from family
On the river, we see Homer and the family in a raft enjoying themselves as Homer notices Mr. Burns on the raft across the river and he swims over there for the meeting. Okay you get the gist, Homer swims back and forth trying to balance both things, so I'm not going to go into detail, I will mention however that one of the jokes involves Bart watching a porno that was meant for the meeting despite Marge being right next to him as he watches it. I'm pretty sure Marge would throw a fit immediately but that would require the writers to remember that these people have character. After Homer gets caught by Marge, he gets in between both rafts and finds out that he can only save one raft from going over a waterfall (Correct me if I'm wrong, but rafting gives you paddles so you can direct yourselves while going down the river. Ah fuck logic, that would mean that this lazy plot wouldn't have a true resolution). After he questions who to save *Headdesk* Marge tells him to save them because they'll always be with him (That and they are your FAMILY!). Homer saves them and right before the business raft plummets, Not-Karl shows up out of nowhere to save Mr. Burns and leave the rest to die (Nah, they didn't die, they magically landed on a bed of marshmallows that was set up by Comic Book Guy on a picnic with Blue Haired Lawyer).

Rejoice, Homer's about to die :D
And the jerkass lives to find some gold... There is no justice
Afterwards, Mr. Burns forgives Homer because he saved them some money and he returns to safety inspector as Not-Karl decided to un-retire. Homer is thankful and after playing with Bart and Lisa some, he falls into the river and over the waterfall and dies (YAY! The series is over, Jerkass Homer is dead, all rejoice and-) Of course he lives and he finds some bars of gold which are lighter than regular bricks (Everything must go his way because the writers still believe we like this jackass) I mean, what the hell was that? He miraculously survives going over a waterfall and to compound the stupidity he finds gold which bears NO MEANING on this episode or future episodes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the writers have turned Homer into a self-insertion fanfiction character. The episode truly ends with Homer and Marge in bed as Homer's glad that he's back to a safety inspector as we see the Nuclear Power Plant have a meltdown behind them (And that will have no point as status quo has been achieved and it will not be mentioned in next week's episode)

Final Verdict: This episode sucked, the plot was recycled and brought nothing original, the jokes were bad and the subplot and opening bits were entirely pointless to this episode. I don't get the idea to need 4 minutes before deciding what your plot's going to be, you should not be wasting that much time. In short, this was rather bad, but not the worst this season has to offer.

Final Grade: 2.6/10 Yep, that slight increase in quality was just an illusion and this season is going to suck again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bart Vs. Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. In the spirit of thanks, I take a look at a GOOD episode

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Episode 6: The Book Job

Oh great, an episode where the writers think they're satirizing tween books (Because it worked so well last time) and a plot from a movie that's 10 years old and they think they're being topical with it. Okay, nevermind the fact that Family Guy actually did this idea two years earlier (Oops) but when they did it, Oceans Thirteen was two years old, so you could argue a restored interest in the first one. Here, the writers live in a timeless vortex where it's never quite the year that's actually happening. Eh, whatever, let's take a look at their attempt to mock tween culture, shall we?

The episode begins (Without an opening sequence. Is this going to be a new feature of the Matt Selman era?) with Marge and the kids at some performance of animatronic dinosaurs, which they see and the majority of the audience flees from (Was that meant to be some sort of joke? It wasn't as funny as they thought it'd be). Back inside, the performance goes on as the dinosaurs all die out and apparently it turns into an environmental PSA (Well that came out of left field; speaking of things coming out of left field, Homer's now there. Wasn't in the establishing shot, so I'm going with teleportation). Marge tries to get Bart to take the message to heart (All 5 seconds of it) but Bart decides that an asteroid will kill them all and they should just trash the place, to which Jerkass Homer agrees and Marge joins in as well... WHAT?! No, seriously, what the hell was that? One minute Marge is hoping a message affected him, the next minute, she's trashing the place just as well. So it looks like a new feature to the Matt Selman era as well includes inconsistency in script writing within a scene. THIS IS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVELS OF WRITING!
Lisa: Marge, I am disappoint
After the writers try to fix that error (This is even worse because it implies that Marge was swayed by Bart. HAS MR. VEBBER EVER WATCHED AN EPISODE BEFORE SEASON 10?! I don't think so) the family goes walking around and finds a gift shop. Homer tells them they can each have one toy and after Bart and Lisa bicker about toy size and quantity (Here's a simple solution, each gets a similar size toy. Oh wait, there's no way to transition to comedy from that, my mistake). After Homer tells them that only Maggie can have a toy, Bart throws a rock towards Homer (I know what they are, and I'm not degrading myself to acknowledging that 'joke') and misses terribly but in the process, knocks off a headpiece from one of the employee's costumes. Lisa recognizes the woman (Okay, who is she, because I don't know. But judging by her round eyes, I'm going to assume not a guest star) and starts chasing her with Homer. After Homer gets tired and sleeps in a T-Rex's mouth (Making his inclusion in the chase entirely pointless) Lisa catches up and reveals that the woman is T.R. Francis, the writer of the Harry Potter parody books (You remember, the series that hasn't been brought up since season 19. Judging by how stupid the writers think their audience is, I'm surprised they think that their audience would remember something that long ago).
Look Lisa, it's time I told you the truth, your characters are all fake
After Lisa asks some questions, Ms. Francis reveals that she's not real and she's just some actress who helped make up the life story to help sell the book (And this is about as high as my enthusiasm will go, because in the hands of competent writers, they'd think something clever, but in the hands of these guys... let's watch)(Why not use ACTUAL cases where this happens instead of J. K. Rowling? Like Brian Kelley!). Ms. Francis reveals that marketing research is done to determine what sells and gets a bunch of women desperate for a job to type thousands of pages non-stop so they can sell multiple books to fans (I never thought I'd be so disappointed with something so serious, but I can't help but feel that an answer of "1000 Monkeys at 1000 typewriters" or "Mythical creatures were captured and forced to type their way to freedom" would have been funnier) Lisa then runs away crying because her favorite book series has been exposed (Doesn't seem to stop the Twitards). After Homer is arrested for sleeping in the prop (Yeah, he was still pointless), Lisa decides that she wants to burn all her books (Seems like a bit of an overreaction to me, I mean does a book drop in quality just because it wasn't written like you thought it was? I mean people still enjoy Avatar despite it not having an original idea).
Lisa, what did the fire department tell you last time about attempted arson?
After Lisa lashes out a bit towards Marge, she then starts bitching towards Homer about how the books are really created and how they make millions, which gives Homer an idea (No Homer, you're too stupid, you thought a meth lab was a restaurant. You'd probably think that Twilight is a better romance than Romeo and Juliet). After the title of the episode flashes across the screen (Feel that pain in your body? That's the writers beating you with a 2'x4') Homer starts talking to Bart in an arcade a la Ocean's Eleven about writing books to make money (Not a good idea to remind us of much better things we could be watching right now). We then see Bart and Homer recruiting people to write a new tween book (They seriously use the term tween, another small part of me dies knowing that The Simpsons will go down as one of the shows to use the word tween). The crew consists of Seymour Skinner, Patty Bouvier, Moe Syslak, and Professor Frink (Eh screw a logical group, these characters are good enough) and Bart seems to think that he's missing someone (Oh I know this answer; LOGIC! Oh wait he said someone, not something, my bad). Lisa walks into Bart's room and discovers their plan and is disgusted that they're writing a book for profit *Bangs heads against desk* (I wonder what she thinks books should be written for. While I'm not a big fan of 'just for money', writing novels IS a legitimate job) and to show them, she'll write a book all by herself (I'm sorry, is this show a comedy or a drama? This doesn't feel like a comedy at all).
All right, time to write a best-seller based on my life. I wonder if "My Struggles" is taken.
The next morning we see Lisa start her novel on her MacBook (Yeah because this family is so stinkin' rich that even Lisa can have an Apple Laptop. No, this isn't one of those cheap 400 dollar laptops, Apple laptops are expensive). However, she gets distracted by a bunch of things such as internet games and her CDs (Yep, this is totally what Lisa would do for a project that she's dedicated to... I hate this already). After another title card explaining what's going on. (YOU'RE NOT OCEAN'S ELEVEN YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SIMPSONS GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD!) We see the group discussing what tween books have in common, Homer gets the brilliant idea to just take all those attributes and make a story with that as the premise (So in other words; be unoriginal. Writers, stop putting your philosophies into the episodes). After Homer is told that the vampire tween genre is overdone, the group tries to scram, but Bart decides they need to go in a different direction (I like how they have every opportunity to this point, but have not made fun of Twilight. Putting non-comedic writers in a comedy doesn't end well). They come up with the idea of a troll instead and are approached by Neil Gaiman to co-author their book (Yep, because famous people literally fall from the sky in Springfield just when they are need for the plot. I would talk about how lazy this is, but I think you get the point).
Hey! Keep your hands off him, Neil Gaiman is awesome.
After Moe threatens to kill Neil (Random violence is funny, right?) he's accepted onto their team as we see Lisa in the background trying to write her novel, but, of course, she keeps getting distracted (Okay, how many times are they going to replay this same scene? I'd normally guess three, but that wouldn't be enough filler for the episode). After a montage showing Lisa's non-progress vs. Homer's team's progress (Yay for filler!) we see that Homer's team finished and of course they didn't screw up at all (So I guess another one of Homer's many talents is writing novels as well, their laziness knows no bounds). Back home, we see Lisa pacing back in forth where her desk is normally (Consistency, what's that?) and she finally gets some inspiration, but she realizes her idea is The Little Mermaid and determines that writing is too hard (...what. The. Hell.)... The line 'Writing is too hard", Lisa writing a novel herself... OH DEAR GOD IT'S LISA THE DRAMA QUEEN ALL OVER AGAIN! Quick! Bar Juliet from Springfield now! Lisa then notices Bart and Homer printing their book in Lisa's room from a printer on her desk (Oh my God how stupid are these people? The printer was not there in the previous shot and as mentioned before, that desk cannot exist there as physically, there is no room for it to be there. I guess Springfield just exists in a dimension that has no time or space).
Continuity? Yeah right
After Bart and Homer rub it in her nose that they're finished (Oh go jump off a bridge the both of you) we see the group take their novel to a book fair and present it to a publishing company named TweeLit Inc. (I see that creativity is still optional in the writing room. But what do you want to bet that everyone in the writing room thought that name was brilliant?). The man tells the group that he loves the idea and he would publish it (Because Homer can do whatever he wants. Next week, he'll be a physicist); however, because there's no fake author or fake backstory, he cannot accept it (Okay, I did find them taking a shot at Stephen King to be funny. But in all seriousness, Stephen King is great)(Mileage may vary on recent works, but they could've used Richard Bachman). After the book disappears from the table, Homer and the team walk away regretting not thinking of that (Oh hey, the book magically reappeared). Bart suggests that they find someone to pose as the author. They find Lisa at the fair and Homer tells Lisa that she can be their author (and Lisa has no problem whatsoever with going along with what she was fighting against in the first place... There are no amount of expletives to express my frustration towards this writing)
So your backstory is that you were constantly misunderstood by incompetent writers? I'll go with that.
Lisa tells the publisher a fake backstory and the publisher buys the book for exactly one million dollars (Okay, so how is this making fun of the publishing business? Again, having monkeys at typewriters would be funnier. Oh wait, typewriters are pre-2000, they'd all have MacBooks, my mistake). At Moe's Bar, the team celebrates and Lisa can't believe she sold out her beliefs in a moment of weakness, however to try to hide that lampshading of character derailment, Bart mentions how she'll get attention from boys and she forgets what she said (Another example of how the writers forget the ages of their characters as they views Bart and Lisa as teens instead of children). Frink comes in with an advanced copy of their novel as everything has been changed to make it a vampire book (Congratulations Twilight, you are no longer the worst vampire book of all time) Afterwards, the publisher tells Homer that the market testing showed that the vampire version was better than the troll version and explains how Twilight involved a golem initially (It took them 16 minutes to make a Twilight joke?! I'm just going to go weep in a corner for about 30 minutes)
Yeah this was the best they could think of in an episode that targets Tween culture... I weep for our future
After they all complain about getting screwed, Neil explains that they actually did care about their novel and not just the money (If only ever writer actually cared about the quality of their work). Everyone decides that they want revenge, but Bart only cares about the money until he finds out his favorite part was changed as well (And he rips the check, no you idiot, you cash the check AND get revenge. Actually the family seems to have an infinite source of money so I can see why $1 million isn't worth keeping). We then see the group (Minus Lisa, well seeing as she disappeared from Moe's Bar earlier, I guess she was written out) outside the headquarters as they plan to swap out the data with their original book data. After a montage of the group going through headquarters (This is rather boring, I wonder what's on the SYFY channel?) the group gets to the room with the central computer (You know, I just realized something. HOW did they know the schematics of the building? I don't know, but just watch out for that gaping plot hole while watching this scene).
Who knew the book publishing business was this competitive?
The publisher (Does he have a name? *Goes to check* nope, I'll just call him Bob) informs them that he was tipped off and he reveals that Lisa tipped him off. Lisa explains that with this novel, she'll get recognition and she'll be allowed to write the sequel (Who is this person and what has she done with Lisa?) Bob then enters the password, gives Lisa the USB drive with the book and Lisa apologizes to Bart as she hugs him right before putting the USB drive into the computer to be published (I can tell you the twist right now; The USB drives were switched when Lisa hugged Bart, it's too obvious) Later, Homer and the group feel defeated but when they pass by a bookstore they see their original book and Lisa tells them that she pretended to betray them and switched the drives when she hugged Bart (Called it, predictable writing is predictable). The group then gets to see everyone enjoy their book as Lisa finds out that Neil was credited as the author instead. The episode ends with Neil on a beach as he explains that there were three drives and he won again (Okay that was probably the best scene of the episode, but Neil Gaiman instantly rose this episode from crap to mediocre just by existing).

Final verdict: This episode was pretty bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I think the biggest problem (Outside of not making fun of Twilight, seriously, that's like shooting fish in a barrel) was that this episode took itself way too seriously. This is a comedy, not a drama. The jokes weren't good, nor were they that bad either, the episode resembled having a plot and the writing was meh and forgettable. In short, this is another "Not terrible" episode in my opinion and if you wanted to see Ocean's Eleven with Simpsons characters... there's probably a better fanfiction already made.

Final Score: 3.9/10 Not terrible, but wouldn't recommend it either

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Food Wife in 5 Seconds

The writers live in a world where everyone is rich and live peaceful lives while eating anywhere.
In other news, unemployment and crime rates are rising.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Episode 5: The Food Wife

Oh hey, a bunch of celebrity cameos, that'll make this episode good, right? Someone really needs to inform this staff that quality writing was what made this show good, not "We've got a bunch of celebrities, so watch our show". A lot like special effects *Cough*Micheal Bay*cough*, people like these guys think that they can mask over their inept writing and awful jokes with a bunch of fanservice and guest stars and it'll be alright. Case in point, the "Lisa learns magic" was perhaps one of the best episodes last year, but that didn't prevent it from being crap anyways. Likewise, Judge Me Tender and Elementary School Musical had 13 guest stars between them and were both utter garbage. With that said, let's take a look at today's episode.

The episode begins (Without an opening sequence I may add, considering how they'll lean on a padded out opening segment to cover up their less-than full episode, I'm surprised) with Marge deciding that the kids deserve a fun weekend with Homer and Homer takes the kids to E3 er I mean E4 (Meh, not really anything bad). After an Angry Birds reference (Oh hey, look, a joke that'll make this episode dated real quick) we see Homer gives the kids VIP passes so that they can get in quicker (How did they even get in? E3 is a private event to people associated with the gaming industry. Just write it up as another "Writers don't understand the outside world") Inside, we get a panoramic shot complete with a bunch of lame electronic jokes (Eh at least give them credit in the fact that it didn't focus 5 seconds on each joke and it requires you to actually require freeze frame to read them clearly). after a couple of scenes of Bart and Lisa playing some games (No real jokes here, you might get a laugh) we see Homer grab some Frisbees from "Medal of Duty" (SMH) and go into a FPS mode as he throws the Frisbees to get the kids towards another hall (This isn't bad, but I wish they could have taken advantage of some of the flaws in FPS and made fun of them instead).
Anyone else getting Doom flashbacks?
Later, we see Homer and the kids arrive home and they're on bouncy balls exclaiming that they love 'Fun dad' (Well as long as it isn't Jerkass dad, I'm all for it). Marge tells them to take a rest, but Homer takes them away and grabs the Flanders while bouncing away... whu? Marge then tells Homer that she feels left out and wants to have the kids attention herself. Homer tells her that she can pick the next event and of course, she picks something that sucks and the kids hate her for it (You know, between the E3bit and this, it doesn't drag too much, but it didn't need to be this long either, they could have cut a few things out and nothing would have been lost). On the car ride home, Marge tries to apologize, but Bart and Lisa are still mad at her for what she did. The car then breaks down and they have do drive to a nearby town to wait for a towtruck. They stop in Little Ethiopia... How big IS Springfield exactly? Judging by how many different places they've included, Springfield must be bigger than Dallas and New York combined. However, because the neighborhood is unfamiliar and scary looking, Marge locks the doors and hopes they don't get attacked (Hey that's racist!)
We can't leave the car Lisa, all the internet trolls are waiting for us
After Lisa tells Marge that she's hungry, Marge takes a look outside and decides to try to sprint towards a restaurant (You know, that sidewalk doesn't look the least bit intimidating at all, either Marge really is racist, or the director forgot that this was supposed to be a "Menacing looking" neighborhood. Neither answer would surprise me). Once they spot a restaurant, Bart and Lisa just casually walk out and Marge follows them (So the whole "This neighborhood is scary" was completely forgotten 30 SECONDS AFTER THEY BROUGHT IT UP! Continuity within a scene is for shit here). In the restaurant, Lisa encourages Marge to be exotic with her food choice and she picks something on the side that isn't translated! Um... far out? I like how the entire restaurant gasps at the idea of someone ordering something from the back is like eating a Guatemalan insanity pepper. Once she eats some of it, we see her tongue as her taste buds all stand up and start partying (So in other words, There's a party in her mouth and everyone's invited?) The kids start eating the food as well and they too enjoy it (So I have to ask, why did everyone gasp at the idea of them ordering something good?) Suddenly Comic Book Guy and Sideshow Mel arrive together at the restaurant and wonder what Marge is eating.
Dammit, Mel! We've been spotted. Now the slashfics are starting
Okay a few problems, 1.) Why CBG and SS Mel? What could those two possibly have in common that's actually been established? 2.) If I am to interpret the later scenes correctly, CBG and SS Mel come here often. They have NEVER had this meal? WHY is this meal such a big deal? They're acting like it was just created 5 minutes ago and nobody has ever tried it before. This plot's not even 3 minutes old and yet has more holes than a minefield, eh let's continue. Marge and the kids invite SS Mel and CBG to join them and they invite some "Foodies" to join them. After they eat some more, CBG explains what "Foodies" are and what they've been doing. Later, we cut back home where Homer decides he doesn't want to partake in what they're doing and then proceeds to take his pants off and eat directly from the fridge... You just know that scene was made SPECIFICALLY for the promo. Lisa suggests the Marge and Bart that they start up their own food blog and call themselves "The Three Mouthketeers" (Yeah I'm never calling them that again, how about... hmm... The Three Nuts, or TTN for short)
Again, it's amazing how a simple joke can be vastly different given the writers
After Homer resurrects himself from choking (I'm reminded of that good joke from Homer's Triple Bypass where he has a heart attack and resurrects himself to get a free ham. This is nowhere close to that joke) we get a montage of TTN sampling different food as they upload photos of themselves with the food to their blog and the montage song is like a rejected South Park montage song (Let's count the number of things wrong here; montage, annoying "We use the internet and technology just like everyone else" and drawn out, goody). Afterwards, Homer tries to get Bart and Lisa back to him by showing them KrustyLand on his laptop (Which he places on top of their laptop). However, Marge reminds Bart and Lisa that they're going to an exclusive restaurant because their blog is very popular, as Lisa puts a third laptop on top of the other two to demonstrate what the restaurant does.
Uh, Lisa? Where the hell did you grab the laptop from?
Okay let's talk problems here; 1.) The family has at least three laptops? Why not make it five and have a scene of Maggie on MySpace since they probably think MySpace is still popular. 2.) Their food blog is THAT popular? Again, the writers have no clue how real life works. Local bloggers do not get that popular, if they had them join some sort of "Foodies" group then there might be some merit behind that idea. But nope, that would require effort, instead, they're just 'Instant experts' on this topic and everything goes their way. Would you expect it any other way from these guys? Anyways, Marge tells homer not to be jealous and this causes Homer to start crying as he crawls his way up the stairs (Ah, so Marge is now a troll, you mad Homer?) Later, we see Homer in the garage as he's making a baseball bat because apparently that's what he does when he's sad (No he makes baseball bats after tree limbs fall down and he's on the company softball team. GET IT RIGHT!) Marge then invites Homer to their event and Homer agrees. Homer informs Bart and Lisa, and they get happy to hear that, this causes Marge to worry that Homer will take all her thunder away from the kids. later, Marge has a nightmare that her and the kids are going to try new food, but Homer barges in to be 'Jerkass Food Dad' and takes them away from her (And some other random people as well... where did they come from? Shut up, that's where).
I am here to ruin everyone's fun
Marge is then interrupted by a seemingly bored Gordon Ramsey (Seriously, he sounds bored. Maybe it's because all I've seen of him is a few Hell's Kitchen but he does not sound interested in this role at all) and is told that she blew her chance by inviting Homer. After real Gordon Ramsey wakes up (With the line of "What in the bloody hell was that?" I agree, what the bloody hell was up with that dream sequence?) Marge tries to encourage the kids to not invite Homer, but they want him to come. Later, Marge gives Homer the wrong address and Maggie gives Marge a disappointing look (To which she scoffs off). Later, the family arrives at the restaurant and Homer arrives at a meth lab (I know Homer is stupid, but how is he so stupid that he can't even identify that he's in a meth lab? It takes a HUGE amount of suspension of disbelief to buy this character derailment, and I don't have that much). We then cut back to TTN where Marge tries to ignore the fact that Homer isn't there and their scenes are intertwined with Homer at the meth lab with each scene of that just further driving the fact that Homer cannot have a functioning brain (They even have a scene where Homer mistakes meth addicts for hipsters... charming)
Yeah because I can totally understand how ANYONE could mistake
this for a fancy, high-end restaurant
You know, after watching the restaurant scenes with TTN, I have to believe that Matt Selman thought that just having the characters say a bunch of big words would translate to comedy. Really, it's the equivalent of saying 'Banana' 'Kumquat' 'Pickle' 'Pudding' while those words can be funny to say, there's no real joke behind them. Back at the meth lab, we see Homer about to inhale some meth, but the police suddenly break in and gunfire ensues (I'm not going to question how the police knew about this meth lab, given their competence. But I'm just going to leave that thought out there). Back at the restaurant, we see them serve porkchops 100 ways and Bart and Lisa are stunned that Homer is missing this (Oh minor note, Lisa never pushes them away. They would try to cover it up claiming the porkchops were vegetarian, but I have a better solution; The writers are idiots who can't grasp basic continuity and just forgot about Lisa's vegetarianism for that scene). Marge calls Homer and finds out that he's at a meth lab, Marge tries to get the 'Foodies' to help her, but they couldn't possibly leave without eating every meal provided (Because as we all know, if you're ever obsessed with something, that thing is more important than human life... *Facedesk*)
Okay, Wiggum and company outside
Place is on fire
And now neither are true, continuity isn't required anymore
Marge decides to leave without them and is given a dessert by the chef in a fancy bag (Again, this is just "Throw big/fancy words together" instead of actual jokes). At the meth lab, we see the police outside as they allow Marge to go in to save her husband (Wait, weren't they inside having a gunfight? Speaking of which, what happened to the meth addicts? Basic continuity again, herp a derp) Inside, the main badguy is chasing Homer as the meth lab around them is burning up, he is about to kill Homer, but Marge shoots the dessert given earlier and the man suddenly goes into a dream where he imagines himself as a French child... I don't get it either(EDIT: Thank you Sean in the comments for pointing this out as a Ratatouille reference). Back in the present, Wiggum knocks him out as the fire is all gone now (Continuity is for losers!) Marge apologizes for sending him there and the episode ends with Homer and Marge taking the kids to Krustyland as they all have a good time.

Final Verdict: This episode was bad, but not nearly as bad as the past two weeks. Don't get me wrong, this reeks of a lot of the problems that plague Modern Simpsons but it's not terrible either. The plot was rather okay, albeit a lot of padding and unnecessary scenes (Seriously, that E4 bit went on too long), the jokes about 'Foodies' sucked and the jokes in general were underwhelming and things like continuity were for shit. And the guest voices again, were wasted, 3 out of 5 of them appeared in that pointless dream sequence, but the other two were used pretty well. In the end, it's not worth a watch, but if you're curious, it won't hurt.

Final Grade: 3.7/10 So much potential, so little effort