Friday, April 29, 2011

Around the World in 30 Days: Blame it on Lisa

Yeah I already talked a little about this episode in my controversy month. So for this time around, I'm going back to my standard text review of the entire episode. There isn't really much to add here that I didn't already say before. So enough padding, let's take another look at this.

The episode begins with Bart and Homer watching an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon (Filled with some pretty bad puns). Marge then comes in and informs Homer that they received a $400 phone bill with the majority of the charges coming from a call to Brazil. After Homer strangles Bart (If I'm not mistaking, Homer strangles Bart out of impulse and blind rage, not because he initiates the rage) Marge decides to take Homer to the phone company to sort it out (Not really liking the "Phone company changes names every 3 hours" joke, seems forced). After a few phone jokes inside the company (None really worth mentioning in particular though) Marge and Homer talk with Lindsey Naegle (If you haven't seen the CR bit about her, I recommend it. Although I have to disagree with him about the Naegle-Marge scene). After Marge and Homer refuse to pay it, Lindsey cuts off their service. Back home, we see that the family misses out on quite a bit because they refuse to pay their phone bill (Okay I'm not a writer but when Lisa asked Homer why he fights with all the utility companies, I thought a better joke would have been "Because the water company refused to pump cola through our pipes" or something to that effect). This causes Homer to get phone service illegally through the telephone pole (Great we all know what's coming next).
Let's see, if I put it in the right one I get free cable, the wrong one will mean the end of humanity
On the telephone pole Homer, wait... I'll give you all of three seconds to guess what's coming, I'll wait. Okay time's up. Anyways, Homer tries to connect some wires but ends up getting shocked 5 times (To hell with the rule of three!) Okay, maybe it's just because more recent episodes center solely on the concept of "Homer act like idiot = funny" (No I'm not talking about the occasional time, I'm talking about that as his only characteristic) that I don't like this scene, but also the joke went too far as well. After the family gets Homer inside (Offscreen) Marge declares that they'll just pay for the phone bill. Lisa then confesses to Marge that she made the call to Brazil and it shocks everyone (I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for all this). Lisa then tells Marge that she's been sponsoring an orphan in Brazil... Correct me if I'm wrong but these types of programs are more for children in third world countries, it just seems odd to me that Rio De Janeiro would have this program. Okay yes I understand that these programs do reach areas of Brazil (Quick Google search) but I still have to wonder why Rio? I'm looking too deep into this, let's just continue. Anyways, Lisa explains that she's received letters from Ronaldo monthly until recently, thus prompting her to call the orphanage. Later, Lisa shows the family a video of Ronaldo that the charity sent her that depicts Ronaldo with new shoes until he's chased into the orphanage by monkeys (I still stand by my remark that the whole monkey joke is just plain stupid).
Isn't failing to be funny with monkeys like failing a test with a cheat sheet next to you?
Afterwards, Lisa convinces Marge to go to Brazil to find out what happened to Ronaldo (I think some brain cells just popped). Later, Lisa tries to explain to Homer a little about Brazil, but Homer's brain is gone at this point in the show so he just assumes that Brazil is opposite land (If at first you don't succeed, keep doing the joke until your audience is brain dead enough to laugh at it). After a scene of Maggie being watched by Patty and Selma (And now we know where Maggie is) we see the Simpsons get to Brazil and they get to their hotel via a congo line (I've got nothing, I prefer to do the Macarena to get to McDonalds). At the hotel, we find out that everyone working there act like soccer players (Isn't that like saying all Americans act like they're football players just because the sport is popular?) Later, we see the family in the hotel room with a bunch of unfunny jokes and antics (Could have been cut and nobody would have noticed, next scene!) We then see the family go through downtown Rio as they go through the slums and Bart notices how the government even painted their rats... excuse me a moment *Puts face in a pillow* This is such a stupid episode, I hate it I hate it. *Returns* Anyways, the family gets to the orphanage and finds out that Ronaldo's been gone for months and nobody's been looking for him. Lisa gets down until Homer decides to inject some more unnatural comic relief (Homer used to be funny by acting like a human. Now... we get this). Later at dinner, Lisa brings out a map with certain places marked as Ronaldo liked to visit those places, and she gives half of the map to Homer and Bart (Is it just me or does Lisa have better strategies that Patton?)
If we strike the Nazis here, here and here, we just might win this war.
After we get a Brazilian "Yes?! Guy" (In Season 23, they'll kill off the real Yes?! Guy and replace him with this guy) we see Homer and Bart go to the beach as they are forced to wear speedos (BRAIN BLEACH!!! GOOD GOD GET ME THE BRAIN BLEACH!!!) After a few more scenes with Marge and Lisa and Homer and Bart (They're okay, but you can easily skip them) Homer gets into an unlicensed taxi  and gets kidnapped (Subtlety is beyond dead at this point). Later, we see Homer being taken down the Amazon River by two kidnappers as he tries to escape, but decides that he'd be safer with them than he would be in the jungle (Hey fun fact! Rio De Janeiro is nowhere near the Amazon River, in fact the closet point it is to the Amazon is Brasilia and that's over 1,100 Km and still not close enough to the Tocantins River. I'm just saying) Back at the hotel, Bart tries to watch a "Brazilian kid show" (Oh the subtle humor of how America is so strict with its censorship of children's programming, I would never have been able to figure out what this was trying to accomplish) when Marge asks Bart about Homer. Bart tells Marge about what happened (But not without going back to that "Kid show"... I'll give you 3 guess as to whether or not they bring that joke back and the first 2 don't count).
It seems like our DVD sales weren't as good as we predicted
After Marge finds out that Rio's police are just as incompetent as Springfield's (Okay that is rather funny, but only because it worked for them before) we see the kidnappers sent the Simpsons a ransom note. Marge gathers up all the money she can, but can only get $1,200 (They need $50,000). So after a series of Homer calling friends to try to get the money (All of which fail if you couldn't guess) we see the family walking down Deus Ex Machina street as they run into Carnival where Ranoldo just happens to be working as the flamingo from the kids show (Of all the streets in all the cities he just had to be in this one). Okay quick question, how the HELL does Ronaldo know what Lisa looks like? She has a picture of him, but to our knowledge Ronaldo has no clue what she looks like. For all he knows, Lisa is a 75 year old cat lady with too much money. I assume that Lisa sent a picture in a letter or something, but we never see that or even a token mention ~plot hole~. Secondly, he claims that he didn't write to her because he had no clue what state she lived in. I'd just like to quote a line here:

  • 4:46: Lisa: "Ronaldo used to send me a letter every month, but then they stopped"
HOW LAZY ARE THE WRITERS?! THEY CAN'T EVEN KEEP CONSISTENCY IN THEIR OWN SCRIPT!! Good God this episode sucks. *Sigh* Anyways, Ronaldo tells Lisa to meet him at the studio so he can help her. 
Great, the pink elephants have been replaced with flamingos
At the studio, Ronaldo gives Lisa the $50,000 and claims that because he has nobody to share it with, it's not a big deal to him. At Sugarloaf Mountain (Okay did the writers just forget how far away the Amazon is? Because it seems like outside of that one scene, everything takes place around Rio) we see the family in a cable car with the money to meet up with the kidnappers. In the other cable car, Homer has developed Stockholm Syndrome as he made a scrapbook of the memories (Which one of the kidnappers explains, and here I thought the writers gave us credit). Bart gives the kidnappers the money, Homer then jumps onto the other car causing the cables to snap, the car tumbles down the hill and the Simpsons come out in one piece. The episode ends with Homer telling Marge how much he appreciate her bailing him out as Bart somehow got eaten by a snake (I have nothing, but screw it the episode's over).

Final Verdict: This episode sucks, not only is this offensive to Brazilians (According to sources) but this offends me as a viewer. The writing is mediocre, the jokes are horrible, the premise is rather dumb, the entertainment value is low, and there's about as much research into Rio De Janeiro as a 1st grader's project. In short, this is a truly despicable episode that shouldn't be watched.

Final Grade: 1.8/10 And so ends our little trip around the world. Next month, we'll revisit "Hate Month" with someone who is responsible for something big recently.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Episode 17: The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly

I got nothing. I'll admit I don't know what I was thinking when I first reviewed this. Neither plots are original, it's not that funny, it drags and drags at times, the characters are rather boring. I should hate this episode, and yet I don't hate it. My best guess though is that I was so desensitized that the idea of a story reminiscent of the good years seemed like a plus to me. Now that I've had more time to think about it though, this episode is rather stupid. So let's take another look at this.

We start off with Bart and Milhouse outside the school with power drills, having unscrewed all the screws in the entire building (I'd rather not ask how long it took, but it must have been an all-nighter). We then see chaos and destruction ensue, and Milhouse gets caught by Skinner when he's trying to return the power drills (There are attempts at jokes here, but the key word is "attempts"). In Skinner's office, Chalmers and Skinner try to get an accomplice out of Milhouse but he refuses to talk and is suspended for a week (That's a rather light punishment for destroying the whole school I gotta admit)(What do you expect from Springfield?). After Willie takes Milhouse out of the school (Dead Man Walking style, I don't know why they included it, I never saw the movie), Bart goes to visit Milhouse outside of his window and apologizes for allowing him to take the fall and says he'll make it up by visiting him every day (Milhouse waves a la Dumbo's mother. How far are we in this?)(I bet that Bart forgets this). After Homer picks up Bart, he drops him off at the retirement home to visit Grampa (I don't know why, makes no sense to me).
Keep me from the gallows pole
Bart initially wants to leave, but then he sees this girl named Jenny, he immediately goes over and talks to her, falling in love with her (Of all the girlfriends Bart has had she's not the worse. At the time she was, but now that honor goes to Bipolar Bitch). Back home, Lisa finishes her homework early so she starts her project on what the future will be like and she starts to get scared when she sees all these stories about how the world will suck (The site must be owned by Al Gore)(Nope, that sounds like CNN and FOX...and NBC..and CBS...and...). Back at school, we see Bart watching Jenny as Nelson comes by to make some unfunny sex innuendos to Bart about Jenny (None of which are funny, this is a comedy right?)(Aren't these guys in fourth grade? I mean, it's been a while for me, but...). After Bart asks out Jenny to picnic, Bart tells Willie, so Willie tries to one-up him with his Swedish supermodel girlfriend (Which he apparently has. Also, I'd rather not know why Bart decided to tell Willie of all people). Later we see Lisa spaz out as she rants like a lunatic about how there will be no Springfield in 50 years (Hey if she did it next to an underpass, people would listen and give her money)(To be fair to her - if we're lucky, that'll be true. 70 seasons of The Simpsons? I like 'em, but.....).
You guys keep this show running. I've been 8 for 22 years for Christ sakes! Let me grow up!!
After Skinner tells Lisa she needs to go into therapy (Hey finally some good advice for us, we all need intensive therapy after this shitty season) we see Bart and Jenny on their picnic as they're having a good time by the lake (Say wasn't Bart supposed to visit Milhouse often or something like that?)(I win my bet!). We then see Bart rescue a duckling because the bullies are torturing it and Jenny wants Bart to save it (That was necessary). Moving on, we see Lisa going to therapy with Marge and Homer as the therapist tells the parents to just give Lisa some happy pills (Wow, whenever I go to therapy, my therapist tells me to work things out before she busts out the pad... forget I just said that)(Beats how my sessions go - uh, you didn't read that). After Lisa says yes to the drugs (Okay I know I should be calling this out for the idiotic "Lisa doesn't take pills" bit, but really I'm not that bothered with it because she really has a "I'm depressed and doesn't care"), we see her given a pill right before she leaves for school. She takes it on the bus causing her to hallucinate happy things (That's called weed, writers)(Think it'll destroy the memories better than alcohol?).
This is how the world would look if the Disney company had their way
Later that night we Bart setting the table because he's trying to act like a nice guy for Jenny (Paging Jessica Lovejoy). At dinner, Jenny begins to see how dysfunctional the family is (Homer being an idiot and Lisa being high... goody) when all of a sudden a thunderstorm comes by and the doorbell rings (After Jenny said "Nothing can change my opinion of him", dude, that's like Satan's calling card). Bart goes to get the door to reveal it's Milhouse (Hey the writers remembered him) and Milhouse is mad at Bart for not holding up his promise as Jenny comes to the door right after he says that (Ah convenience would we be without it?). Milhouse and Bart then start talking about how Bart didn't visit Milhouse and Milhouse finds out about Bart's feelings for Jenny (Remind me again, what's her personality like again? Sweet and innocent? Not enough!). Milhouse then ominously walks away. Later, at the church bake sale, Bart joins Jenny at her table when Milhouse comes in to try to subtly (Well as subtle as a brick to the face can be) point out that Bart is bad. This causes Bart's conscience to act up and he leaves.
Wal-Mart called, they want their mascot back
Back at the house we see Lisa lying on her bed stoned (I don't blame her, if I had to exist in this season I'd try whatever I could do to escape from reality as well); she sees a smiley face and tries to kiss it, but it turns out it's an open fan (Being held up by Maggie... Since when has Maggie ever wanted to harm Lisa?). Marge comes in and takes the pills away from Lisa (Wow, that subplot lasted for all of three short scenes, glad to know it had to be in). Okay, this may sound incredibly stupid, but I would have actually liked to see this as a real subplot, well maybe not this particular drug, but maybe something along the line of expanding on her little pep-pill problem from The Canine Mutiny. Maybe I'm reaching here, but at this point I'd rather see that over half the shit in this season. Anyways, back to the review, Bart and Jenny go to the docks (because sea-level gives Milhouse nosebleeds apparently) as Milhouse is there anyways causing Bart to confess to Jenny that he's really a bad boy.
Look I'm sorry things can't work between us, but Milhouse and I were meant for each other
Jenny is shocked and she dumps him because he lied to her (And we never see her again, goodbye forgettable, bland character, we won't miss you). Bart goes to the Kwik-E-Mart (a la Moe's) until Lisa tells him that he needs to straighten things out (Because the writers had to connect these two plots somehow). Bart gets a bouquet of roses and heads out. Bart gives the roses and an apology to Milhouse. Milhouse forgives him, and they decide to make up by turning the school into an ice rink (Wow, I feel like I just stumbled into a Simpsons slash fic).

Final Judgment: This episode is extremely unoriginal, but to be quite honest, it's not the worst I've seen this season. Don't get me wrong, this sucked, but I'd take this episode over half of the shitty "Original" episodes the writers spew out of their asses. The writing is very bland, the jokes are practically non-existent, and the stories just aren't interesting. It's a very forgettable episode and just another standard Modern Simpsons episode.

Final Grade: 2.8/10 just very 'meh' and not worth it

Monday, April 25, 2011

Updated preview and Anniversary

Hi everyone, yet again since there is no episode this week, I thought I would do a quick blog that included one of my favorite things today as well as update the preview from last week (There are photos now for two of the episodes).

First I'd like to say "Go me!" because tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my blog (Well a year for the blogspot section). Wow, a whole year. I thought this would only last a couple of months, I'd get bored and quit. I'd like to thank all of you for supporting me through the good times (Treehouse of Horror 21 post) the bad times (A lot of my season 21 posts I wish I could revise) and just the flat out "What the fuck were you thinking?!" times (Some of my choices for my lists). When I started out I had no readers, no true incentives, and no motivation outside of "I'm sick of reading these "Reviews" that praise these awful episodes" and now... I have you guys, so for all of you aspiring bloggers out there, remember, it could always be worse. Enjoy this little comic strip that helped keep me going:

If you didn't know, I'm a fan of Pearls Before Swine. I always enjoy these "Goat's blog" strips a lot. Goat tries his hardest while his friend rat rags on him for being unpopular, very relatable.

Now for an update on the previews. First off the writers for the last four episodes have all been revealed.
  • Real Housewives of Fat Tony: Dick Blasucci (No real idea who he is and couldn't find another writing credit for him on the show)
  • Homer Scissorhands: Peter Gaffney & Steve Viksten (Peter wrote THoH XVII which was stupid IMO, also wrote on other animated shows as well. Steve I have no idea)
  • 500 Keys: John Frink (... No comment, just read my "Hate Month" on him for more details)
  • The Ned-Liest Catch: Jeff Westbrook (Wrote Kill Gil Vol 1&2 (Which I hated), Apocalypse Cow (Which was dull), No Loan Again, Naturally (Which was dull), Pranks and Greens (Which was just odd). Really this does not inspire confidence in me)
And now the release pictures from Fox themselves of the Fat Tony episode and Homer Scissorhands episode

Where do I begin? First off THAT'S SELMA?! What the fuck?! And like I feared, Jersey Shore will play a role in this episode... there is not enough booze to clam my nerves from the fear I am experiencing right now at the idea of this. And you know the worst part about all this, a lot like the Ke$ha opening from last year, modern fans will probably gush over the Jersey Shore inclusion citing how funny it is when in reality it won't be.

.... What am I supposed to say?! I'm really just holding back a lot of rage I have towards this picture alone. This is going to be painful *Facepalm*

Which brings me to my final announcement. Due to final exams, I will not be posting anything between May 5 to May 12. So that means the Homer Scissorhands and May theme month will be put on hold. However, my editor RBY will have the next Lovecraft's corner out by May 11, so I hope that'll appease you enough for now. Once I am finished with exams and moving, I will get right on this episode and May's theme month. I will reveal May's theme month with my schedule and hopefully make up for the lack of a first post. Until then, I will see you in the next season 20 review.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Around the World in 30 Days: 30 Minutes Over Tokyo

Today we take a look at when the Simpsons traveled to Japan. One of the reasons why the Simpsons went to Japan is because three of the cast members (Nancy, Harry, and Hank) starred in Godzilla and the staff wanted to do something because of it (I really wish I had the exact wording down in front of me I'm just paraphrasing it from memory). This episode is a rather interesting one, it's not really a great episode, it has moments that are decent, and moments that require facepalms. I'll admit, it's not one of my favorites (I could probably list 100 better, but I digress) but it is one I'd watch again. So, without further delay, let's take a look at some of the aspects of this episode.

Why it's all right:
  •  The cyber cafe
    • Around this time, the writers had an obsession with including computer and internet based themes in their episodes. I put this here as a negative because while it did capture some of the feelings of late 90's computing, it has not aged well at all.
  • Mega-Savings seminar
    • I put this as another negative against the episode for a few reasons. First off, I really didn't like the idea of Homer stealing from Ned at night, as much as he hates Ned, I can't envision Homer flat out robbing Ned while he sleeps, it just seems wrong. Second, it just pads out the episode further, I probably wouldn't mind this so much, but the jokes it provides aren't really all that funny, they're decent, but not worth the time they took.
  • Japan itself
    • This part's okay in my opinion, it's not great, but it's not bad either. The jokes here are okay too and the game show part was pretty funny and in the end it was a rather decent episode.
The internet; It will always be around

What They Got Right
  •  Seizure-episode
    • I couldn't really think of how to categorize this, but since they did reference an actual event I decided to put it here. The infamous episode of Pokemon influenced this scene as the family all get seizures from
  • Japanese Traditions
    • To my knowledge, there was very little that they screwed up in terms of tradition (I'm not including the jail, that was not meant to be taken seriously).
  • Game Show
    • I know this was meant to be a satire on how Japanese game shows are different from American game shows (Although they stated it in the episode) but it's not that far off from some of the things I've found online. Yeah I understand that those are not the best representation of Japanese game shows, but if it exists, it counts (But the lightning thing probably would never exist).
Yeah I get seizures from old cartoons as well

What They Got Wrong:
  • Treatment of the emperor
    • When I think of this episode, that scene immediately jumps to my mind. I only list it here because it was very disrespectful to a Japanese tradition and has prevented this episode from airing in syndication in Japan.
  • Local locations
    • I know I nitpick about this, but there were a few instances where the family could see attractions what were not close enough together to see 
  • Osaka
    • I'm more curious about this one rather than "It's wrong". Osaka is about 520 km from Tokyo and at best takes about 3.5 hours. Considering how they lost all their money before going to Osaka, I'm just curious how they seemed to get there within a day or so.
If you replace "Sumo thongs" with "Panties" that's Bill in there instead

Final words: This episode is okay, not spectacular or very memorable, but okay. I'd say if you're bored, watch it, if you're Japanese and respect the emperor, skip it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Episode 16: Eeny Teeny Maya Moe

Here we go with a Moe story. They aren't usually bad because we get some insight into the character under the rough exterior. Couple that with the fact that most of them are funny because Moe is Moe and you can usually write a good episode if you write him correctly. However, writing him CORRECTLY being the key idea, he (Like almost every other character) has devolved into a hollow shell of his former self and really lacks humor and cha-... discharm that made him so great. So let's take a look at Moe dating a midget (Wow, this sounds like a bad fanfiction one of my friends would write).

We start off with Homer watching some hokey and Marge wants Homer to spend time with Maggie (Real original plot, wouldn't you say?). After some back and forth arguing, Homer decides to spend time with her and takes her to Moe's with him (Sure take the baby to a bar, what could go wrong?). At the bar, Moe is cleaning up and discovers a window that happens to show a daycare next to Moe's that Homer decides to leave Maggie at (Sure why not? It's not the most implausible thing the writers have pulled out of their ass this season)(Though why it would take twenty years to learn about this window....). After getting the attention of the barflies (By shooting his shotgun into the air and nothing happens, um, I'm pretty sure bullets do damage), Moe exposites why he was cleaning up, he found a woman on a chat-room that's dumber than Homer, er I mean "A sophisticated intelligent woman" and he fell in love with her (This is just incredibly painful, Moe gives a very bad joke and she thinks he's funny. I wouldn't be surprised if Chris Hansen was on the other side). After some more painful dialogue and forced antics (Please kill me now), we see Moe likes her in the picture she sent and she likes the picture of himself (For some reason, maybe she's partially blind because she calls him cute *gags self*)(Maybe she just pities him). We then cut to Maggie as we see that the kids at the daycare do not like her via an ominous shot (Never explained why they don't like her, I guess they're just more generic bullies).
It's a good thing I'm dumber than a rock, otherwise I might catch on to what's going on here
Homer picks her up before the kids do anything (and he misses the point that those kids hate Maggie. Are the characters just given the script and told to act stupid to things that are obvious?)(Remember when Homer was only a bit dumb and not a COMPLETE moron? Me neither). We see Moe prepare for Maya when it turns out Maya is only two feet tall (The only thing missing from this is the music from "The Odd Couple" to start playing). After Moe tries to let this soak in, he unintentionally mocks her size (It's like the guy from work who's a complete douche and he's the only one who doesn't know it). Moe does decide to continue the date and her takes her to Luigi's where Luigi insults her too (That had purpose). At the make-out point (I guess she has mental retardation as well), we see Moe and Maya making out as I'm left to ponder what she sees in him since he continues to show that he's an utter jackass towards her. Oh right, this is sitcom relationships where the relationship depends on whatever the writers say happens. The next day Moe's in a good mood and he thinks that if he tells the barflies about Maya,but he thinks they will mock her even worse than he has (No it couldn't get worse). After Lenny and Carl mock Homer we cut to Maggie continuing to struggle at the daycare as she's put into a circle of babies beating pails (like drums) and Kearney's baby enters the ring to fight her (Again, we have no idea why they're doing this, motivation is such a simple concept that gets screwed up so easily).
AHHHH!!! BRAIN BLEACH! Get the brain bleach! 
Homer yet again picks up Maggie before anything bad happens and he thinks that babies whistling nonchalantly is perfect behavior for her "friends" (Seriously, this plot is so contrived, it makes PSA plots seem legit). Back at home, Maggie is terrified and Bart decides to calm her down by playing the bongos (Oh the irony, this humor is way too subtle and not contrived as well, please someone shoot me)(When did Bart get bongos?). After Marge suspects that Homer hasn't been watching Maggie, she turns on the TV to "The Plot Device channel" as a commercial for a surveillance system that can fit in Maggie's bow. As Marge thinks about the ethical consequences Lisa tells her to just do it (Remember when she used to be the voice of reason? Those days left a long time ago)(I also thought Lisa would be against this kind of invasion of privacy). We cut back to Moe driving to Maya's house as Moe mistakes a tree for her house (We get it! She's short! Will you knock it off yet or do you have a lot more jokes to make? (20 more) Okay I'm just gonna get it over with and hang myself now)(Only when you finish the season! BWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!). Inside, Moe continues to express his love for her as Maya asks Moe why she hasn't seen his friends yet (We haven't seen her friends yet so what's the big deal?).
Oh great, I wanted a BLONDE midget blow-up doll
After we get a joke of Maya becoming like a doll (Liquor is my friend here) Moe and Maya go over to the Simpsons' house as Homer decides to ask a question that sound more like an innuendo question (Oh writers where do you get your material? So I can BURN IT DOWN!) Upstairs we see Marge watching the surveillance video from Maggie as she sees Homer drop Maggie off at the daycare (They call it a park but really it looks more like a daycare) and she fails to see what happens after Homer leaves. After the double date (Really nothing happened, you could cut it out and there'd be no change in the plot at all. Okay, maybe Homer wouldn't have stopped Moe later but I doubt it), Moe proposes to Maya as she seems to be happy at first but then Moe spews out every short joke about a wedding as he can, which pisses Maya off and she tells him to leave (I may have to re-evaluate my opinion of Moe as a character...). Moe's back at his bar as he's crying over this and he asks Lenny and Carl for advice on how to get Maya back. Lenny suggests (Sarcastically, from the sound of it) to do a "Grand reckless gesture" to win her back (So making fun of bad romantic comedy ideas to them means "Let's do it and be totally serious about it. It's not like these are contrived and stupid right?").
You know, I was willing to marry you just a second ago
Moe decides that he has to be shortened in order to get Maya back... BULL! FUCKING! SHIT! Maya loved Moe for Moe, not because of his height; she didn't get rid of him because he was too tall, she told him to beat it for a while because he was being rude and insensitive. In fact, before he was insensitive, she probably would have said yes and they'd be married. Writers READ A FUCKING BOOK! (And don't reference Parker and Cooper, the Spidey fans are already mad enough). Moving on, Moe asks Dr. Hibbert to do it but he says no so Moe goes to Dr. Nick to get the surgery (Odd how he's now officially un-dead, I guess the movie was a retcon and the continuity doesn't matter. Oh wait the Medicine Woman makes an appearance later in the series so YES IT DID COUNT WRITERS!). Maya then talks to Moe right before he gets the operation and tells him that he's being shallow and she can't be with a shallow man (....that came out of nowhere...)(Yeah this plot is stupid). Marge decides to actually watch the surveillance as she sees that Maggie was placed next to Moe's and Homer actually sees what goes on and attempts to save her as he gets beaten up himself (Our hero). Maggie saves Homer (That's three times, Homer really sucks at defending himself) and Marge forgets the whole bar thing because Homer tells Maggie he'll always be there for her. Homer goes to Moe's and gives him some encouraging words which later helps Moe feel better.

Final Judgment: This episode is stupid. It seems to try to include a BS message about how love is not skin-deep, but it unfortunately fails at that by undermining the plot with hundreds of unfunny short jokes. The writing is crap, the subplot is recycled and boring, and the moral seems to be shoved in last minute (If you think about it, that would explain a lot).

Final Grade: 2.8/10 Maybe having Moe based episodes isn't a great idea in this era (no, it's ok, we just need decent writers)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Preview of What's to Come

Well seeing how May is coming up soon and no new episode aired this previous Sunday (Or next Sunday) I decided to take a look at the final four episodes of the season, and just give a small opinion of them just based off the plot synopsis given. So without further ado (Thank you let's take a look.

The Real Housewives of Fat Tony (May 1, 2011)
Fat Tony (guest voice Mantegna) and Selma, Marge’s painfully blunt sister, fall in love and get married after a whirlwind courtship. Marge has her reservations about the couple’s marriage after Selma begins to prioritize her looks and ritzy new lifestyle over her family, so Fat Tony invites Homer and Marge to a weekend getaway at the Jersey Shore. Meanwhile, Bart discovers a special talent that allows him to detect the location of truffles by smell, and Lisa jumps at the chance to capitalize on the rare culinary treasures

Where do I begin here? First off, this episode just further proves just how incompetent the writers really are. If you remember correctly (Although I don't blame you if you forgot this. I'm still trying to) Fat Tony died earlier THIS SEASON. So yeah, that episode, completely inconsequential to future episodes, the writers are doing whatever they want and don't give a rat's ass when they screw up their own continuity. Okay tirade over that is over, moving on. Second, Selma marrying Fit Tony (Yeah if the writers think we've forgotten something that aired 6 months ago, I really do believe that they think their viewers are stupider than goldfish) makes it how many times the writers pull out the "Selma marries xxxxxx" plot? Yeah that idea got stale after Much Apu About Nothing, it's no longer funny. Third, please God do not let them do a Jersey Shore parody (Actually a parody makes fun of something, I wouldn't be surprised if it just had Jersey Shore look like the coolest thing ever). Fourth, Bart smells truffles? Really? I'm just speechless at just the idea, I'm not going to comment.

Homer Scissorhands (May 8, 2011)
Homer discovers his talent for cutting women’s hair and becomes a hairdresser, while Lisa becomes confused when a pretty girl at school shows interest in Milhouse.

*Facepalm* Homer Simpson becomes a hairdresser. The man who has NO HAIR is suddenly a hairdresser?! This episode is probably the one of the most hyped episode I've seen from the community, I remember seeing this title back in November, and fans speculating when it would come out (They incorrectly guessed around January-March). And really? Lisa gets jealous of a girl liking Milhouse? ....I'm really leaning towards calling her LINO from now on, because the writers just don't care at this point. This episode really illustrates two things wrong with this show.
  1. The titles are very lazy. Just take a famous title, slap on a Simpsons related word and you've got yourself a modern Simpsons episode title. (I can do this too, "Psych-D'oh")
  2. I touched on this last week about the "Instant expert". You know, the whole "XXXXX is a master of XXXX" can only go so far before someone calls you out on your laziness
500 Keys (May 15, 2011)
A discovered drawer full of old keys sets in motion several adventures: Homer steals the Duff Blimp, while Bart learns he can do no wrong. Lisa finds a strange room beneath Springfield Elementary, while Marge and Maggie engage in a toy train chase.

The sad part about this? This seems to have the most potential of any episode listed here. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a big fan of when the staff decides to do multi-story episodes outside of Treehouse of Horror. Especially since the transition to HD, the four story episodes have not been kind at all *Cough* Four Great Women and a Manicure *Cough* Really though, I can't say much else, none of the stories sound interesting or funny (Okay maybe if the writers can correctly write Bart, we can see something funny). But outside of that, seems like another forgettable episode.

The Ned-Liest Catch (May 22, 2011)
Ned Flanders falls in love with Edna Krabappel – but will her reputation for dating every guy in town end the relationship?

This just makes me want to hurt somebody. How many ways can the writers fuck up the show in the span of one sentence? let me count.
  1. Ned Flanders falls in love with Krabappel, uh yeah BULL-FUCKING SHIT!! That is just the opposite of Ned Flanders.
  2. Why would these two even seem like a good couple? What were the writers thinking?
  3. Because the last episode with Ned getting together with a woman went so well (Okay that was written by Brian Kelley, but you get the point)
  4. By what I've read earlier, this will be an episode that ends with America deciding on whether or not Ned and Edna stay together. Yeah this is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to stay relevant.

Farewell and until next time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Remembering the 32 Victims

I want to take a break for a minute to talk about something serious, something that affects me today. On this day 4 years ago, a tragedy struck a small town, a gunman opened fire on Virginia Tech's campus and killed 32 people before taking his own life. As a current Virginia Tech student myself, I was not on the campus when it happened, and I would never want to go through what they went through, nor wish this fate upon anybody else. Today, we are all Hokies, and we grow stronger as a community from this terrible event. As I prepare to take part in the candlelight ceremony to pay tribute to those victims later tonight, I just want to take a moment of silence to remember those who died in one of the worst school shootings ever.

Thank you for your time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Around the World in 30 Days: Simpsons Safari

If Season 11 is the point where this show declined terribly, then season 12 is the point where it would never go back up. This is a prime example of "Modern Simpsons" (Yeah I'll come up with a better name later) where the story is just ludicrous, the writing is abysmal and the jokes are just terrible. The worst part about today's episode is that it was written by John Swartzwelder. Why he was still even writing for the show while everyone else abandoned ship years ago is beyond me. Heck, I had a hard time even thinking of what to do for this particular episode because it was so unmemorable and dull. I thought full-length text review for a moment, but I think this might be the right thing for this episode, enjoy.

Why it's so bad:
  • The story is terrible
    • It starts off having Homer piss off a bagboy causing them to go on strike, thus the ONE grocery store is incapable of having the cashiers bag the groceries themselves and thus the Simpsons run out of food quick. However, Santa's Little Helper finds an old box of animal crackers in the attic which has a gold giraffe that means Homer wins a trip to Africa.
    • Where do I begin? This happened at ONE grocery store and thus the Kwik-E-Mart is not a viable option for food (Nor are gas station convenience stores either). This then leads to Homer winning a trip to Africa on a contest that ended over 30 years ago... I know they covered this in the episode, but that still doesn't forgive just how stupid it is.
  • The jokes are awful
    • Everything from the family participating in a tribal ceremony to the end of "DIAMONDS!! DIAMONDS!!" is just terrible. I think I smiled all of 3 times and that was more at the idea of "This is why Homer doesn't do the shopping" than any of the real jokes.
  • Pretty inaccurate
    • I'll get into this later, but the layout of the trip is similar to what a high school kid does when he needs to turn in a report about an overseas vacation and all he has is Wikipedia to look up famous landmarks.
Welcome to our land, please do not defile it with unfunny antics and a painful story

    Things they got right:
    • The Landmarks
      • They did get some of the landmarks right with Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge, and Mount Kilimanjaro. They are all in Tanzania and relatively close (Relatively speaking).
    • The location of the Chimpanzee Study
      • While I hate to give credit to this forced, stupid parody of Jane Goodall, the writers did get the right country down as Dr. Goodall did study the Chimps in Tanzania. That is the only time you'll see me write "Credit" and "Jane Goodall parody" in the same sentence.
    Because insanity is always funny, except when it's not

    Things they got wrong:
    • The Government
      • In the episode, they claim the president got to power through a "bloodless coup". That would be all right if the writers sent the Simpsons to a country with an unstable government. However, they sent them to Tanzania (Was mentioned on the plane) which to my knowledge (Google search) they seem to have a Democracy and appears to have had that since 1994. This episode aired in 2001, they screwed up there
    • The Landmarks
      • While they did get some things right with Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge, and Mount Kilimanjaro. They sent the family to Kenya and Zambia as well. I probably wouldn't mind this too much, but they send the family off Victoria falls in one scene and within a minute, they are right next to Mount Kilimanjaro. That's the equivalent of having your family in Washington D.C. and then 30 minutes later having them in New York City. Hate to break it to you, but you can't screw these things up, thought needs to go into these things first.
    This was Dick Cheney's wet dream

    Final words: This episode is terrible and doesn't nearly get the same backlash as a lot of other travel episodes from this show. The jokes are pathetic and lame, the story is just ludicrous and one of the contributing factors to the downfall of this once proud show. Sure this episode is near universally hated by the fans, but because most people refer this as "Simpsons go to Africa" rather than "Simpsons go to Tanzania" it's very vague and is often hard to tell whether or not the facts are just bad stereotypes or they actually exist.Well stay tuned for the next installment as we go to the far East next time.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Episode 15: Wedding for Disaster

    There are very few rules for episodes like this.
    Rule #1: Sideshow Bob episodes must include some crazy scheme of revenge against Bart (Or Krusty)
    Rule #2: The guest star must have more than five lines if he's a recurring guest star
    Rule #3: If you bring in Sideshow Bob, the episode MUST be about him, no excuse
    The writers violate all three rules and the episode suffers for their incompetence. I personally discredit this episode as a Sideshow Bob episode and it ranks up there with "Principal and the Pauper" in terms of retcon episodes. Let's watch this and see why the writers were such dicks to Kelsey Grammer.

    We begin with the church after Reverend Lovejoy explained off camera that there are only two real commandments (Sure for the way you live, you better hope so). Lovejoy then tells the audience that the Parson will come for a visit (The who? .....Whoooo are you...)(Protestant's version of the Pope, yeah this is all bull). Ned  screams like a girl and faints, which causes the Simpsons to leave early. Later we see the whole town is lined up to meet the Parson as he arrives in a white convertible (Is the whole Protestant religion just very lax? Reverends can be married, no communion, and their "leader" seems to be a laid-back southerner). After explaining his purpose there, he goes off to Lovejoy to talk to him at the church (Where we find out they were roommates at TCU, no real significance, they just were). It turns out that Tim's (Lovejoy) last re-certification wasn't approved because the fee was never paid (Nice, that's like saying a diploma doesn't count because you didn't pay your last room and board  fee). After some mindless chatter (including a retcon that Helen was a man once)(....why) we find out that during the processing, anything Tim did involving the church didn't count (So a baptism didn't happen because the reverend wasn't a reverend in the eyes of the banks, but was in the eyes of the Lord. Sure why not? This entire premise is just plain dumb, pure and simple) Tim goes out to everyone during that span and tells them the bad news while pointing out the stupidity of this plot (Hey! That's my job).
    Because it worked so well in That 90's Show, the writers have decided to rewrite this story as well
    Tim ends it by going to the Simpsons and references the A Milhouse Divided plot where Tim remarried them and says it didn't count (Marge reminds anyone who hasn't seen that episode and makes us wish we were watching that instead. Not a good idea to be showing better episodes, writers, not a good idea). But really, you're trying to retcon that episode now just so your shitty little episode will work? I wasn't a big fan of that episode, but that doesn't mean you need to piss on continuity some more writers. I'd rather not get into the time paradox this creates for me considering that happened over twelve real years ago but Tim's license was gone for three months (but not told which three months). Homer and Marge tell the kids during breakfast and Lisa thinks it's great that they'll get remarried while Bart wonders if he's a bastard (I thought that was settled they were talking about the REMARRIAGE, not the original marriage!)(Lisa's mind is really messed up here, in what world is getting remarried to make the marriage official great? Voluntary renewing of vows is great, but they aren't FORCED).
    Because when I think of romance, I think of Santa Claus
    At Town Hall, Marge is upset and Homer decides to get remarried the right way (Great, now just get everyone from your unofficial remarriage in and, oh wait he doesn't think of that because this is stupid and this episode pisses on that episode God I hate this already). Back home, Homer sets up clues that lead her to the basement (Interesting how for Valentine's Day you got a monkey valentines day card, but for this you'll willing to spend thousands just to get her downstairs for a romantic dinner. I'm just going to leave this gun here, anyone want to just point it at my head and shoot me?) and he proposes to Marge to remarry him to which she says yes. We see Marge shopping for a wedding dress (Just use the one from your second marriage, oh wait that'd make sense), Bart getting a suit, Homer and Marge getting a cake, Marge and Lisa getting flowers, and Marge and Homer prepping the wedding reception area (We start to see Marge trying to be obsessive compulsive that the wedding is just perfect. Odd how she was ecstatic about having her friends for the second wedding and is now being selfish for this one, it's almost like this episode solely relies on the idea that she's out of character). Back at homer, Marge becomes even more obsessive about the wedding and Homer calls her a "Bridezilla" and Marge counters by calling him a "King Wrong" (Which causes Maggie to imagine them fighting as King Kong and Godzilla)(Is that a movie? That'd be pretty cool to see).
    I think this is how the writers view Marge and Homer (Or at least Homer)
    The day of the wedding, Homer gets cold feet because he's afraid of what she'll be like after the wedding (Oh Booze I love you today)( share. Now). We then see Marge get ready as Homer doesn't show up at the altar and Marge becomes sad because she thinks he ran out on her (This episode continues to physically hurt me). As Marge continues to be sad we find out that Homer was kidnapped and taken to the set of Saw, er I mean... nope, screw it, he's at the movie set of Saw (This review makes me want to watch those movies). Marge continues to be a broken record as Bart and Lisa go into Homer's room and find a set of keys with the initials SB. As a result, they assume it's Sideshow Bob getting revenge by preventing Homer and Marge from marrying (While a better idea, it doesn't fit with Bob's M.O. so....why suspect him?). After a pointless house scene, we cut back to Homer as he's given a lollipop made of hotsauce that has the key to the chain in the center (I guess Tootsie pops are coming up with new ideas every day). We then cut to a silhouette of Sideshow Bob with a knife before it turns out that he was using the knife to create a bust of Krusty (... I don't know why, logic left this show years ago).
    Seems like Sideshow Bob found the director's house. Let's look the other way, shall we?
    Krusty vouches that Bob was with him the whole time and Sideshow Bob gives plenty of alternatives of who SB could be including Selma Bouvier (Nice to know Sideshow Bob was used so effectively)(Poor Kelsey Grammer. Sideshow Bob's one of my most favorite characters of all time...I'm a fangirl, DEAL WITH IT). I'm being serious, Sideshow Bob is given all of five lines and is immediately dumped from the plot. His presence was pointless as it contributed nothing and just padded out the story for a good minute. I really hate this episode. We cut to Patty and Selma watching Homer try to get to the key as Patty exposits that the key is just hot sauce shaped like a key (They then laugh evilly at their booth at the DMV. Hey I don't see anything out of the ordinary with that, my last renewal of my license included a guy with blood on his shirt). Patty and Selma continue to make fun of Homer in the Saw voice as Homer asks for them to give Marge his wedding vows.
    Apparently "Parody" now a days just means "Do exactly what they did"
    This causes Patty and Selma to cry and release Homer back to Marge (I think it's worth noting that, in recent seasons, Patty and Selma have hit all-time lows and I can't even begin to understand why Marge doesn't disown them. Remember when they were mean but still sympathetic? I don't know WHY the writers want them to be so evil, but it doesn't work, in my opinion.....moving on). Bart and Lisa come back to find Homer is already home with Marge. As Patty and Selma are disposing of the evidence, Bart and Lisa blackmail them into giving Homer and Marge a wedding reception with their 401 (K)s after they get married at the Town Hall (Bookending!).

    Final Judgment: This episode is bad, not the worst from this season but it ranks pretty low. The story is stupid and pisses on a previous episode, the writing is subpar, and bringing in Sideshow Bob and not making the story about him is the biggest sin of all. Fortunately, in most people's eyes, this is not counted as a Sideshow Bob episode and I'm glad (Even though his recent episodes have all sucked, they are still better than this).

    Final Grade: 2.6/10 Pitiful

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Episode 18: The Great Simpsina

    Before I start this, I just want to say two things. First, At the beginning of the year, I predicted that Elementary School Musical would be one of the 5 worst episodes of the season, to date (Before this episode) I would rank it somewhere in the 4-7th worst episode. The point being, I want to rescind my prediction as I want to continue this blog into next year.  Second, I gave the writers WAY too much credit in my Love is Many a Strangled Thing preview. I said that the writers now a days randomly introduce a guest star as they're usually in Springfield for "X" reason and then they leave through means of some random occurrence in some random means of transportation. In reality, the writers don't even bother to give their celebrity cameos a proper exit, instead they just disappear without any mention of when or how. Okay with that rant out of the way (Keep it in mind though as this episode is full of celebrity cameos) let's take a look at how (And why) Lisa becomes interested in magic (Again what an original concept. Hopefully this time Lisa doesn't become a scam artist).

    So our episode begins (Without an opening. Not even the title card or TV credits. Okay when I said I'm sick and tired of long openings, I didn't mean cut it all together) with the family at a peach orchard picking peaches (Why are they there? What motivated them to pick peaches? Your guess is as good as mine) After a rather long and dull series of eve- zzzzz.... sorry where was I? Oh right, dull events, the family takes home about a thousand or so peaches that they picked, thus initiating a montage of what they do with the peaches (Yeah screw the idea that the family could even afford that many peaches, this montage was ESSENTIAL to the episode). After the montage, Homer takes Marge to  massage parlor where he'll distract her while Bart, Lisa and Maggie take the peaches away (This takes place at the 2 minutes mark, making the past two minutes *Entirely pointless*. Goody, and here I thought openings should actually have purpose in the grand scale of things. Obviously I was wrong) I'm sorry, but I can't let this go yet, the writers wasted 3 and a half minutes (Taking the peaches away takes about another minute and a half) for nothing but filler, at the BEGINNING of the episode. I really hate it when they waste time throughout the episode with pointless subplots, but to basically just say "From the very beginning we're wasting your time, and there's nothing you can do about it. Ha ha!" just pisses me off.
    Now to go hide all the good humor from the audience. It's a good thing we hid them under these peaches
    Anyways, back to the padding, er I mean episode. After Homer tells Marge about the peaches (Laziest plot resolution ever!) we see Lisa walking down a street unaware of where she is. However, the street reminds her of Sesame Street ( why?) and gets attacked by a raccoon causing her to leave behind the peaches and run away (We needed the peaches because?...) After Lisa runs into some random house (Wow, am I the only one getting Lastest Gun in the West flashbacks? Probably, that episode was dull and forgettable) she hides in a sarcophagus when she sees someone getting home (Oh yeah, they included a stupid joke in there as well. That is all) A man then opens the door and notices his book has been moved causing him to stab the sarcophagus with knives (I don't know, insert your own reason here) only to reveal that Lisa's no longer in there. We then hear Lisa in a trunk as the man opens it up and glares at her. The man then asks Lisa who sent her as she tells him that she just stumbled into his house (Breaking and entering; it's all right if the door's unlocked). Lisa then asks the man how she got into the box and he reveals that the house (And himself) is magic.
    Dude! I can see the string holding it up
    After the man performs some more magic tricks to impress Lisa (Really this is the main bulk of the "Lisa-Great Raymondo" storyline. I wouldn't mind it so much if it were just a scene or two, but unfortunately that's not the case) he introduces himself as "The Great Rymondo" (You know you could have done that BEFORE showing off). As he tells Lisa a bit more about his past works (Along with a couple of shots of his posters. It feels so unnatural, I probably would have complained about this alternate way as well, but why not a flashback or two? Seriously, there's never a flashback for anything, I'll explain as we go further along). After some more dialogue between Lisa and Ray (Yeah I'm just calling him Ray now, too lazy to call him by the full name)  Ray shows Lisa around his house and some of the things he's proud of (Including a mirror that shows Lisa dying of obesity. Okay, not funny man, especially when we consider how they made an episode with Lisa dealing with an eating disorder (Which I'll get to someday). That's just wrong writers) Ray then shows Lisa a picture of him performing the "Great Milk Can Escape" that he learned from Houdini himself (Yeah this episode was meant to fall around the birthday of Houdini, I'll give them props for that, but not for renaming the water cell escape trick).
    Hate to tell you this Ray, but you look stupid in that milk can
    Lisa notices that Ray seemed to love his assistant which Ray reveals that she was his wife and she died years ago (Okay here's one of the instances where this could have been something. I feel that if the writers went more in-depth with the Ray-Esther relationship, it could have made Ray a much more interesting, sympathetic character. How did they meet? How did they fall in love? How did she die? How does he mourn her? It would make future scenes much better) Lisa then asks Ray if he'd be interested in teaching her and he refuses at first claiming women are not meant for magic. However, Ray warms up to the idea and gives her a simple trick to do and she does it immediately becomes and instant expert (Yeah the writers abuse this trope WAY too much in modern episodes, for the sake of this review though, let's move on). After some more dialogue between Ray and Lisa we see Lisa back home performing an easy coin trick on Homer, which of course causes Homer to go into "Unfunny Jack-Ass" mode (Seriously, remember when he was funny because of the environment around him and not because he fell for obvious pratfalls and contrived dialogue? That was Homer Simpson, this guy is nowhere near his level). After a pointless scene involving Grampa (No reason why he's there, he's just there. Doesn't he need to go back to the Retirement Castle to bitch and moan some more?) Bart then starts complaining how Lisa shouldn't be a magician and how that's his thing (What? You're basing 4 minutes from one bad episode as your defense? Grow up!)
    Abra-Cadabra I have pulled our next story out of thin air
    After he has trouble opening a Krusty Magic Kit (Which he just happened to have... Oh come on it's Lisa who's magic here, not Bart. He can't pull things out of thin air) Lisa performs more magic to cause some scissors to come out of his mouth (And of course Homer, being the complete retard he is starts shaking Bart because (sic) "Let's see what else you're hiding in there. I want my pot of gold"... I seriously could not make this up if I tried). Later, Lisa goes to show Ray that being an instant expert has allowed her to master some card tricks as we see that Ray is upset. Ray then shows Lisa that a punk illusionist (Cregg Demon, wow subtle. Who's his assistant? Mary Hellspawn?) and we get to see his act which consists of him combining magic with Hot Topic (If the objective was to make him as unlikable as possible, mission accomplished writers).  Ray then moans about how he disgraces magic with his pathetic act and how magic is about mystery and illusion. Afterwards, we go into another montage, as we see Lisa perform her magic on the schoolgrounds, for Ray and we see some posters for her (I really got to ask something; WHY?! Why are there so many montages?! Oh screw it, this is already getting long enough). Oh yeah, Lunch Lady Doris is part of this (And Doris Grau is rolling in her grave) Afterwards, while Lisa is cleaning up Ray's house (Since logic left a while ago, the answer I'm going to give is "It's magic, it doesn't have to be explained") she knocks over a bust of Houdini to reveal Ray's secret room.
    Oh my God! A giant metal can!
    After Lisa decides not to look at the secret of the "Milk can escape" Ray comes in and decides that he trusts her enough to reveal the secret (Why does he trust her now?) Ray tells Lisa that if magic is not passed on it's lost forever as he opens a pocketwatch with a picture of his late wife and reveals he regrets not having a child (This is what I meant earlier about developing Ray. I know I should feel sad for him, but because he's about as developed as a cardboard box, I don't care). Later, Lisa sets up the trick at the playground as she goes into the can and the crowd watches (Surprisingly Skinner's there but not Chalmers, I really expected the writers to include him there for no reason) Lisa then shows up behind the audience and they applaud her (You know so far, this isn't a terrible episode, well outside of the peach thing. It's bad, but not terrible, let's see how long that lasts). After the show, we see Lisa signing autographs as a nerdy boy asks Lisa if she'll do it again and wants to be sure she'll be safe (And he says "I can see why they call you The Great Simpsina" Ladies and Gentlemen, we have "Horrible title placement"!). Lisa reassures him that it's safe by showing him how she does it (Uh yeah WHAT?! This was that "Schoolgirl crush" thing? It lasted for all of 45 seconds and she didn't even hesitate to show him how it works. No wonder Ray didn't trust her, she'd probably give away his PIN number to a boy who just says hello) The boy then runs off to reveal that he's the son of Cregg Demon (Dun! Dun! Dun!) and he tells his father how it works and they drive off as Lisa feels terrible about what she did and she puts the lid back on the can (To which Bart puts a rock on top of it. I don't mind this joke, but that just seems malicious of Bart, she could die).
    Now when I put the lid back on, promise you wont mail me to Abu Dhabi
    Later we see Demon giving a press conference telling people he's going to do the "Milk can escape" at the World Magic Championship (...Wait what?!) Lisa tries to apologize to Ray for spilling the beans and he tells he to leave. After she leaves, we see Lisa throwing away all her magic stuff, only for it all to return on the shelf (It's magic, it doesn't have to be explained). Homer tries to comfort Lisa (Although real Homer would be nice for this moment) after spouting out another contrived line (Seriously, he's human writers, not a robot) Homer decides to take a baseball bat and talk to Ray (Doesn't Lisa not want Homer to use a baseball bat against people who make her cry?). After Homer gets captured in a net (Offscreen of course. *Sigh* It's magic it doesn't... you know the rest) Homer tries to convince Ray to give Lisa another chance and Ray contemplates that as Homer suddenly falls asleep... I, I got nothing. We then see Lisa doing a magic trick where different animals appear in a cage after she removes a white blanket (*Sigh* It's magic, it doesn't have to be explained) Ray then enters her room and forgives her, but not until after she helps him stop Cregg Demon (I probably should have came up with a new name for him).
    *Sigh* only torturing Maggie brings me joy anymore
    So at the World Magic Championship (Did I seriously just write that again?) we see Cregg Demon get introduced for his "Milk Can Escape" trick to "Milkshake"... weaksauce! After Cregg puts himself in the can (I wish I were in that can) Homer, Lisa, and Ray get there and think it's too late to stop him. However, it appears that the trick has backfired on Cregg and he's stuck (Oh killing people is so funny. I'm off to take a chainsaw to Nick Saban's face because it'll be funny). Ray decides he cannot interfere and Lisa's upset that Ray's going to allow Cregg to die (This show is a comedy, right?) After Lisa pleads with Ray some more, Ray says magicians hate to be rescued and he goes off to "The little magician's room" where we see a bunch of midget magicians... wow, just wow, they pulled off the worst joke EVER uttered on national television. Give them a hand! Lisa decides she needs to rescue him as each of the guest stars gets introduced by Lisa as if she were just reading it from Wikipedia. Copperfield tells Lisa that they switched the trick can with a regular can because they hate the way he steals their tricks and the way he performs (Great justification for murder there). After Lisa tries to reason with them, the magicians attack Lisa (With various tricks, it's lame). Ray then shows up and the great showdown is set up, all right it's Raymondo the Great vs. David Copperfield, Penn, Teller, and  Ricky Jay.
    Wild magicians appear. Go Raymondo!
    I can't wait, this is going to be great, this is going to be intense, this is going to be... a giant letdown, DAMMIT! I mean, Ray takes them all out in a way that makes Bugs Bunny seem subtle in comparison; he cuts a rope that causes a beam to crush them... LAME! After Lisa thanks him, Ray gets Cregg out and Cregg decides to quit magic (It's magic it doesn't have to be... oh screw it, magic does not work that way. It's just a bunch of illusions and tricks, there is no spells or teleportation that actually work. Now that I got that off my chest, let's finish this). At the next show, we see Ray take off his head and play around with it, only to reveal that it was Lisa dressed up as Ray (On stilts) as the real Ray comes out. Ray announces that Lisa will be doing the act as he leaves for his dressing room. Lisa apparently can levitate (It's magic, doesn't need to be explained) and then turns Bart into Milhouse (Magic, you know the drill). The episode ends with Ray hallucinating his wife as he shares a dance with her (Yet another scene that is supposed to generate an emotion, but because of the lack of development, I do not care).

    Final Verdict: This episode is bad, but not terrible, it pisses me off because I felt like it actually had potential. I know I'm going to sound a bit crazy for saying this but; unlike more recent episodes, this episode could have had rather unique storyline (Yeah I made the comparison to Bart's magic story, but the magic storyline here actually lasted more than 4 minutes) there were so many missed opportunities for jokes and the cameos are just wasted. There were times where real emotion could have been felt if the characters were more developed and the writing just needed to be average. I really felt that if the whole "peach plot" had been dropped entirely and the time had been spent developing the magician, this episode would have been average (Not good, but average). The jokes are rather blah and nothing really sticks out. All and all, I still wouldn't recommend it, but I can't say that it sucked either, it's just very 'meh'.

    Final Grade: 3.5/10 You get the feeling that this could have been okay with good writing