Monday, February 21, 2011

Episode 14: Angry Dad the Movie

I hate this even before I watch it. You know, it's one thing to try to have a bad episode that builds off a good episode *Cough* Saddlesore Galactica *cough*. It's something entirely different when a bad episode builds off another bad episode *Cough* She Used to be My Girl *Cough* But even if I could look past that, this episode seems to have all the red flags of a bad episode; Numerous cameos, non-existent "satire", implausible plot, written by John Frink, etc. But it's my duty anyways to look closer at why this episode fails, so let's look.

So after a long Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (Okay I'm just going to lay out the unofficial guide to "How to write a successful I&S cartoon". 1. Must be under 30 seconds (This one takes up 1:30) 2. Little to no dialogue from either Itchy or Scratchy, like Tom and Jerry 3. No real story involved, it's basic slapstick humor with death added in. And now you know). Afterwards, Bart decides to stall the plot by preparing for wanton destruction. We then go to Marge to find that the rest of the family is at a frozen yogurt store and have left Bart at home for 23 minutes (Okay stupid question. Why didn't you bring Bart with you? I mean you brought Grampa, why not Bart? Last I checked Bart liked desserts). We then cut back to Bart as he apparently set up this huge elaborate plan involving a physics-defying rope attached to a rotating fan that takes him around the house and Ned's house as well (I guess what the writers wanted me to do is laugh, but I can't help but wonder how he set it all up in less than 30 minutes). We then get the standard "BART!!" scene that is deprived of any actual emotion (On top of that, the direction is terrible: Homer just says something offscreen and Bart has no reaction whatsoever. Who said you need to be talented to work on a TV show?) While the family is cleaning up the house, Mr. Plot Device comes to ask Bart a few questions (I know he has a different name, but screw it, the timing makes him Mr. Plot Device).

Bart, the writing staff is all out of ideas. Mind if we reuse this plot?
After a stupid callback to the Angry Dad webcomic (Which somehow is not as bad as Sonichu. Close but not as bad) Mr. Device explains that when the company went belly-up they took control of all their webcomics (Oh yeah, you gotta love how the year for the company is 1999 despite that being before "Bart" was born and the episode aired in 2002. Who said you need to put thought and time into your writing?). Anyways, the point of Mr. Device's visit is that he wants to make an Angry Dad movie because Hollywood's out of ideas (Gee that sounds vaguely familiar). The act ends on Homer strangling Bart because he made a stupid Roman Polanski joke (Hey I can make these jokes too. Computers will some day rule us all in trivia game shows! Run for your life!)(That day already came! Take cover!).

Mr. Device then shows Bart and Homer the studio that the movie will be made at (I'd comment on the stupid Disney joke, but I'm more interested in the movie posters they glance over. I think they are the most original things in this episode). We then see Homer demonstrate he can move cards around with his ass, as well as drink soda from it to some animators (This is another one of those "You extended it too far" bits where maybe the card thing could have been funny, but they reached for the "Laughs"). Bart is then informed that the previous actor cannot do the voice and is recommended that Homer do the voice (Can we please end this now? Homer acting angry and getting hurt isn't as funny as they think it is)(No! You will enjoy our comedic sociopathy!)

The worst part of all this is that they actually read this script like this and decided to go with it
Later we see the writers and cast (except Homer) at a table read as they read the lines for the movie. You know, they've already done this concept in The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show and it was actually funny; here it just seems like it's giving us the middle finger like "Yeah we actually read this stuff and green-lit it. What are you going to do about it?". After Bart introduces the movie to a test audience (Probably the same test audience of The Simpsons Movie) Mr. Device shows Bart the audience's reaction, and it's about the same reaction I have every time I see a new episode (Actually my guess to who the audience was might not have been that far off). Lisa then give him words of encouragement as she says to cut out all the parts that didn't work and turn it into a short film (Oh, like how this show should do the same and run for about 5 minutes? I'm sorry but these jokes are just too easy)

The audience's reaction to Angry Dad the Movie

Later, Luigi comes to Bart and informs him that his short film has been nominated for a Golden Globe (Too bad we didn't get to see Bart actually edit the film to make it good. Guess it was a good idea not to have that, the writers don't know what would have been the good parts). After a pointless Anthony Hopkins joke (I want to hurt someone) we go to the red carpet as we get bad caricature after bad caricature walking down the carpet. Lisa then sees the creative team of "Mixar" (You know, Family Guy basically killed Randy Newman but The Simpsons can't even use the word Pixar?) and informs them about Bart's film (Which they respond with their own bad Randy Newman stand-in. It's pretty bad when Family Guy is one-upping you in terms of similar jokes two weeks in a row (See brain joke)). After some more Pixar knock-offs (Just stop! Okay, stop! These aren't funny nor charming, they're stupid), we go inside where we begin our celebrity cameo count with Ricky Gervais (Take a shot. Trust me you'll need it). After his long unfunny bit (Seriously we need a Get on with it! clip for that), we get cameo #2 with Russell Brand (Another shot!). Russell then announces the nominations for best animated short (And yet 2 out of the 3 have better pacing than this episode).

Why is it that this is probably the way the staff looks when the win an award?
As you'd expect, Bart wins the Golden Globe, but Homer goes up there to accept it before Bart can (So this is that "Satire" against "different Oscar acceptances where two people clearly race to the stage to get there first"; well, let's see how satirical it is). After Homer gives a stupid speech, we get a montage of Bart and Homer getting multiple awards as Homer gets all the glory while Bart gets the short end of the stick every time (Nothing funny yet). Later, Bart gets a call that Angry Dad received an Oscar nomination and Bart is ecstatic about it, Homer comes in and Bart doesn't tell Homer about it figuring he'll be able to get the award by himself (Still nothing funny nor satirical). At the Academy Awards (Remind me again, how does a shitty webcomic that turns out to be a bomb as a movie get so many award nominations? Oh right, anything is possible when your show is written by a bunch of monkeys). After Bart and Lisa have an interview on the red carpet (Is it just me or does Lisa have one of the creepiest faces with that haircut and expression?) we see Homer and Marge are out doing things irrelevant to the plot (With gang talk that is rivaled by Michael Bay dialogue from Transformers 2).

You shouldn't disturb the writing staff, I think they're onto something
At the award ceremony, they decide that Homer needs to be there so they need to pad out the ceremony (Just like the real award show goes: we must wait for this guy to come so that hilarity can ensue). While the gangsters are driving Homer to the show, we see Halle Berry come to present the award for best animated movie under 40 minutes (Another shot for another shameless cameo) Anyways... jkfds Sorry about that. Anyways, we get to see clips from all the nominations as I feel that watching the Razzies is a better idea at this moment (Hey, at least some of them are so bad it's good). After Homer arrives, we get - here's a shocker - ANOTHER bad "parody" that seemingly takes forever (I want to hurt this so much, but I can never hurt it like it's hurt me). If you're still awake at this point, that means you have more willpower than me, and that's not saying a lot. Anyways, after that test of our endurance (And another pointless cameo. This one from Nick Park. You know the drill by now) we finally see a clip of this "Great" Angry Dad movie and... it's positively awful (What, are Razzies just reshaped and renamed so the winner's feelings aren't hurt?) I would say what a letdown, but expectations are drained out at this point. Halle Berry then announces that Angry Dad won the Oscar which makes Bart ecstatic (Oh yeah I forgot to mention, they play the theme song A LOT during this episode. What did they want to remind us what we're watching so that we don't confuse it for something good?) 
Not since Ctrl+Alt+Del has there been as bad of a webcomic adaptaion
As Homer comes in (With a Bansky reference. I hate the animators now) Bart accepts the award and realizes that it's not just his movie but everyone had a role in it. Homer then joins him on stage as Bart comes to realize that it's silly to have just one person accept an Oscar for a whole team's work. He then decides with Homer to saw the Oscar up and give a chunk to everyone who worked on it. The episode ends with Homer telling Bart that the Oscars are cheap and they'll buy a new one (And the satire of this all is... NONE! There was no satire, nor jokes, nor entertainment, just 30 minutes of pure pain)

Final Verdict: This episode sucks. It's nothing but filler, filler, and more filler with no real plot or jokes to be found. The saitre is nonexistent and just seems like a lazy way to just write their own lives into an episode, the pacing is abysmal, the writing sucks, the plot holes are enormous, the cameos pointless and the story makes no sense and doesn't give us a reason to get invested at all. All in all, it's a waste of the celebrities they got and the concept they had.

Final grade: 1.9/10 Just pain from start to end


  1. For some reason I like to think that there are 2 Ricky Gervais(es). There's the funny one who performs stand up comedy and appears in The Karl Pilkington Show (I'm NOT calling it The Ricky Gervais Show), and there's the unfunny one from The Office and Extras. Obviously the unfunny one gets to have a cameo in The Simpsons.

  2. I guess it wouldn't cheer you up to know that,just today, "Angry Dad - The Movie" has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Animated Program, despite the overlong celebrity cameos.

  3. Yeah that doesn't cheer me up, but looking at the competition, I see it finishing third at best.

    Unless of course the Emmy voters ignore the quality of writing and jokes and instead look at the ass-kissing the staff gives them. I feel that was the reason for why they picked this one for the Emmys.

    My shining hope is that they haven't won since 2008.