Monday, March 14, 2011

Episode 16: A Midsummer's Nice Dream

Okay before I even start this review I want to get one thing clear; I have NO idea who Cheech and Chong are. I grew up in the 90's so they were before my time and I've never heard their work before. Granted I saw their cameo on South park, but that's not enough to know their style of comedy. Maybe one day I'll go watch some of their stuff online, but for now I cannot judge their performances on this show fairly as all I know is that they were basically a comedy duo that were based on the Hippie era. With all that out of the way, let's take a look at today's episode.

So the episode begins with Kent Brockman doing a news report about how Cheech and Chong are coming to Springfield (Where they were born apparently) to do a reunion show. Homer, being a big fan (I'll buy it) is excited by the news. After some backstory explaining how they became what they are today (With their jobs as meteorologists, sure why not?) Bart asks Homer who they are. Homer is upset that Bart doesn't know who they are and takes Bart and Lisa to the attic to show them some of the albums of Cheech and Chong that he owns. After Homer gives Lisa some albums to read off (You know, it only takes about 2-3 at most to get the point, they have 6 titles) Homer 'hilariously' realizes that he was smoking a blunt of asbestos (I guess that happens when your character seems to have eaten lead paint for a living).
Um dad... when did this become That 70's Show?
At the "Clampitheater" *Tumbleweed* we see Krusty introduce Cheech and Chong (After a seemingly long monologue. Seriously, it feels longer than it really is). The show begins with Cheech and Chong doing their "Dave's not here" bit where Homer shouts out the punchline before Chong can say it (Come on Homer, let the actors do their bit without interrupting them). After the audience starts chanting "Dave's not here" he gets up and tells Cheech that he's not going to "Sell out" anymore and he begins doing cartwheels across the stage (Um... why?) Cheech asks Chong what he's doing and Chong says that he wants to do new things and is sick of doing things safe. Cheech insists that people paid good money for the bit and Chong walks out on the show (I'm not sure that the writers meant this or not, but you can easily replace "Cheech and Chong" with "The Simpsons" and it would describe the show perfectly. A bit more on that later). After a 4th wall joke (One point for the argument) Marge tells Homer to help Cheech as he knows all the punchlines. After being adamant at first, he goes on stage to finish the bit (So if I were to walk into a recording studio and start spouting off Season 4 lines, would I get a job on the show?) After people start inhaling some weed smoke (Where did that come from?) they start laughing at the bit as things are funny when you're high (Much like this show).
I don't care who's on first! Who's on second?!
Afterwards, Cheech offers Homer the role of Chong and Homer agrees. Later, we see Homer say goodbye to Marge as they leave each other with some bad dialogue (Is natural dialogue such a foreign concept to this show?) On the road, Cheech tells Homer (Chunk) that he really needs Homer to be on his A-game as the fans are much more critical of their bits now (Sound familiar?) After Cheech gets rid of Chong's image from all the merchandise he owns, we see Chong set up an audition for his new comedy partner (You know what Chong reminds me of in this scene? He remind me of those caricatures of hippies that are amazed by the concept of business). After some unfunny performances, we see Skinner do two terrible bits (And this is even by the standards of their normal jokes). Chong, impressed with how bad he is decides to take him on as his new comedy partner (Oh, so this is how the staff gets new writers). I guess the writers remembered that Marge and Lisa are supposed to be characters so now we see both of them walking down the street with Santa's Little Helper as he chases a cat. When Marge and Lisa catch up, they find out that it's the Crazy Cat Lady's house and they go in to retrieve SLH.
Lisa Simpson and the Temple of Cats
When they go in, they find out that the Cat Lady is a hoarder and has a serious problem (Most original plot I've heard in months). Lisa and Marge decide that they'll help her with her problem as we find out that Moe's been videotaping Marge to send to NBC (Wow, that was essential to the story). We then go to Homer and Cheech as Homer acts like a jackass and Cheech tries to tell Homer that comedy is hard work and the fun is seeing the audience smile from their hard work (You mean like seasons 3-8?) We then go to Marge as we see that's she's assembled a team to help clean out the Cat Lady's house (While she's she's watching a play production of Cats, creativity is optional in writing right?) After they finish cleaning out her house, the Cat Lady thanks her (Yeah she can talk now, I'm calling bull) and Marge sees certain stuff being thrown out and decides to take it for herself (For some reason, I don't know logic went out the window 10 seasons ago). Later we see Homer and Cheech do another bit and afterwards, Homer goes into pure filler time (It's probably something dealing with C&C but like I said, I've never seen any of their stuff). After that waste of time, Cheech takes Homer to an art museum which is also pointless (Seriously, you could cut out the last 1:40 and not have to change a single line of dialogue).
Skinner! Are we still on for tonight?
Later we see "Teach and Chong" do their own performance as Skinner sucks and Chalmers is in the audience to insult him (Okay seriously, this relationship between Skinner and Chalmers is borderline psychopathic. I mean I could chuckle at first that Chalmers was around Skinner all the time, but now it's just creepy. Does Chalmers have no life outside of Skinner?) We then see Bart and Lisa walk home from school as they find out that Marge has become a hoarder worse than Crazy Cat Lady (Yes I noticed some of the specific items in the piles, so do not point out what's in there, I do not care). Lisa then tries to call Homer to help them, but Cheech tells Homer that he shouldn't take personal calls while they're rehearsing because they're professionals (Which is why in the next bit involves Homer and Cheech dressed up as dogs sniffing each others asses. The irony is not lost on me, I'm just not laughing). Homer then comes home to get Marge to stop as he brought Cat Lady over to help.
We're sorry for this episode, but maybe if you watch it again while you're high it might make sense
Crazy Cat Lady then starts to see all the stuff and she goes insane and starts grabbing stuff. Homer takes Marge away and that storyline ends (Wow, that was excessively unfunny and pointless, way to go writers). Later, Homer gets Chong to reunite with Cheech onstage as they forgive each other and go on with the act. The episode ends with Bart looking like an elf with weed-based clothing giving us our epilogue.

Final Verdict: This episode is very "meh", it's not good nor is it really terrible (Okay that maybe is a lie), just meh. The writing is bad but bearable at times, the jokes are very hit and miss (Mostly miss), neither plot was interesting and the subplot was terrible. On a positive note, the show actually used their guest stars for the story rather than just plugging them in for the ratings. Really, this episode was very forgettable and didn't really conjure up any reason for me to re-watch it. I can usually say an episode either makes me happy or makes me angry, this one is really just in the middle ground. Whether it was intentional or not, it really felt like a self-parody of the show as fans are more critical, want the old stuff and the new stuff isn't what you expect.

Final Grade: 2.9/10 Dan, stick with voice acting, writing really isn't your strong suit

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