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.

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