We're in the home stretch of shitty episodes for this season, I know I've said that this season has sucked, but they managed to spread out their terrible episodes out in between bad and mediocre episodes. The next four episodes in my opinion have to be one of the worst stretches ever. This is a really pretentious episode that makes one wonder "How many nails will it take in my brain before I finally see the humor in this episode?" Oh yeah, this is an episode written by our good old buddy Rob Lazebnik who if you've read my previous reviews, you'll know I hate his guts. Let's watch and see why it's actually the writers who know worst.
We begin with the family (sans Marge and Maggie) down at the docks where we're shown that all the vendors have to tell the truth at their station (Are you trying to say that street vendors would lie to take our money? Surely you jest). They then decide to watch some street performers as Homer ruins one guy's act of juggling on a unicycle ~Padding padding padding~. After that bit of nonsense, we see Marge back home as she takes the old water heater upstairs (Because it makes a lot more sense to store old water heaters above your baby's room where the woodwork is shoddy than to store them in the garage, or the basement, or even in a shed. Or even, I don't know THROW THEM OUT). While Marge cleans up the area for the new water heater, she discovers a sauna right behind where the old water heater (I'm getting sick of typing water heater, what's their obsession with "Water heater"?) used to be. As it turns out the previous owner put a sauna in the basement that the family NEVER BOTHERED FINDING (There are plot holes and then there's just pulling things out of your ass. The story would have made much more sense if Marge went to a sauna instead of claiming there's one in her house)
(....can the house even support a sauna? And shouldn't it have shown up on their electric and water bills?). Marge thinks about what it'd be like to tell everyone and she decides to keep the sauna a secret (Because the house kept it a secret from you).
Homer starts eating assorted kabobs and accidentally swallows a fire stick (I think hilarity will ensue), causing him to feel incredible pain. Bart gives Homer a container of lighter fluid (Homer thinking it's water), resulting in Homer trying to burn Bart with his fire breath (You're not Bowser, let Bart go). Dr. Hibbert puts a cast on Homer's tongue as Bart decides to sign it with "Moron" (Wow, that wasn't the least bit funny at first and it became even less funny when they went over the top to try to make it funnier. Simple jokes work, you stupid writers)
(.....you can't put a cast on a tongue!). Weeks later, Homer gets his cast removed to find out that he gets very sensitive taste buds because the old ones were burned off; yeah, that's bullshit, taste buds are like shark's teeth and fingernails: new ones will always grow back and they are not any more or less sensitive than the previous ones and, really, taste buds can only get weaker with age. There is a thing as supertaster but in order to be one, most have increased fungiform papilla, which burning of taste buds does not create. In other words: YOUR STORY IS BULL SHIT! Back at home, we see that Homer still can't eat anything without complaining (I can't believe they are taking this seriously and expecting us to find this funny).
Lisa though has the solution: Cafeteria food, or as she likes to say, "The blandest food known to man" (Oh so this is what is served to the writers)
(Cafeteria food? Not airline food or hospital food? ESPECIALLY hospital food, which has to be bland to keep from making patients sick? ....you're the boss, writers). We then cut to Homer going to Springfield Elementary School so that he can eat the bland food (You know what they say, you are what you eat). Oh and by the way, why is Lunch Lady Doris still a character on the show? Doris Grau died years ago, why not replaced Lunch Lady Doris with someone new to honor Doris Grau? Oh right, that would require the staff to actually care, my mistake. Homer can't pay for the food so he does what every child hates: embarrasses his kids at school by being a complete asshole for a good 45 seconds (Pure comic gold, especially the fact that Homer repeats "I'm not going to embarrass you" three times. Just makes my sides split, oh wait that's my stomach, I'm trying to stab myself). Bart tells Homer to get away so Homer sits at a table with a boy and his mother. We discover that the mother is a "Helicopter parent" and she's there to make sure her soon succeeds (Booze I love you, you help me through moments like this).
I just want to take a moment to rant if I may. This is stupid, I would have never allow my parents to EVER interfere with my education like that nor would I ever do the same, they respected me enough to let me succeed and fail on my own. this totally undermines the point of an education. If a kid cannot learn without the aid of their parent, where will they go in life then?!
(Besides, you'd think the school would put its foot down...) Homer brags that he doesn't need to do that because he's got Lisa which the mother immediately points out is unpopular (Yet that has never bothered her before. Hell, she was successful in Secret War of Lisa Simpson even though the entire camp was against her. Man, this writing sucks) (Can we go watch that? That episode's awesome). Homer goes back home to blame Marge for why Bart's a loser and Lisa's a loner and he tells her they need to get more involved with the kids' lives (Wow, words can't describe my hatred for this episode) (While not a bad idea given their dysfunctionality, I say this. PARENTING: UR DOIN IT WRONG). As Homer goes back to school the next day he sees a lot of "Helicopter Parents" (I'm calling them dumbass patrol from now on) and decides to stare into Bart's classroom. Homer sees Bart slacking off while Homer finds out that Bart could win a $1,000 savings bond for college.
I'd like to take a small moment out of the review to talk about the "jokes", THEY'RE FUCKING HORRIBLE!! These "jokes" are all forced and painfully unfunny, I could do a whole post bashing every joke in this episode. After Homer lampshades how stupid this plot is, Homer decides to give Bart the idea to build the Washington Monument for the contest (Homer then "Flies away" and crashes into lockers because he thinks he's a helicopter. Words escape me, people, I think Picard speaks for all of us). Homer then takes Lisa for a walk and tries to change his daughter so that she becomes popular
(.... it's all about popular! It's not about aptitude, it's the way you're viewed!). After Lisa lampshades that it'd be character derailment for her, Homer gives Lisa two flimsy examples of why she should join a clique, and she agrees with him (There are choice words I have for Rob, mostly swears and curses). Homer then decides to prove Lisa that the book works by using it at Moe's on his friends (Sure, instead of strangers use it on people that you don't need to make friends with because they are already your friends. Makes perfect sense). Lisa doesn't want to hurt people until Homer says the book is meant for "Big girls" which instantly makes her want the book (Where are my tranquilizers?! I NEED THEM!!) (Here you are!).
At a model building store, Homer goes to buy Bart some balsa wood for his model. Determined not to be a laughingstock, Homer decides he and Bart will create a Westminster Abbey replica for the contest (This is the guy who last episode threw his wallet into the lake because he thought his reflection was trying to harm him, and we're expected to believe that they will even try to make the most complex model?! *pulls out a mallet* This is my Idea Mallet *Whacks the writers* GET A GOOD IDEA! (With apologies to Linkara))
(I'll keep my Mallet o' Understanding at my side. For now). After Homer gets home to Marge (Who looks stoned, what is with the family getting high?) he reveals that he's hosting a phone party so that Lisa could invite some girls over to decorate their phones (I know it's topical, but hey maybe the writers won't piss me off with this. Maybe, oh wait YES THEY WILL). After Homer sprays himself with ant poison (Thinking it's spray-on tan... This is how Jesus responds to their "joke") he then lampshades (Seriously stop, it's not funny anymore. Nevermind, it was never funny to begin with) about how stupid it is to decorate cell phones, Lisa instantly becomes popular and Homer sees it as a success (Just wow, this scene pisses me off beyond words, Picard I need you again). Homer goes to Bart's room so that he can build the Abbey by himself (Remember the days where "your" volcano was built by your parents. This is nowhere near as funny as that).
After Homer falls asleep, he dreams about Jeffery Chaucer, Oscar Wilde and Anne of Cleves, who all give Homer conflicting advice about allowing Bart to do his own work (This scene proves to be pointless since Homer does not wake up with a revelation and does not allow the dream to affect his decisions. Who says unfunny scenes need a point?). Homer accidentally destroys the Abbey, leaving Bart with a smashed model for the contest (Apparently of 5 people despite Mrs. Krabappel making it sound like a class contest earlier...). Chalmers awards Bart the prize because it must have been made by a student (No fair, I was constructing complex Lego models at 10 and they looked flawless, that's terrible reasoning)
(And suddenly I feel ashamed of my functional plaster-of-paris masks and pots...).
After Homer continues the helicopter joke (*Angrily* I swear to God I will shove a helicopter blade so far up your ass if you make another "Helicopter parent" joke again, Rob)
(Where will you find it?), Bart declares that he doesn't deserve the prize because Homer made it and children should be allowed to do these things themselves because "Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes". That would have been good had it not been from Bart. This is extremely out of character and it belongs more to Lisa, especially since the quote is from Oscar Wilde. God, this writing sucks. Homer then gets a text from Lisa saying she hates being popular. Lisa then tells Homer that she can't continue to be shallow and she sounds a little sad from this, which is why her next line is so enthusiastic (I guess she really did need those mood stabilizing pills from last week). Homer goes home disappointed that he couldn't do jack squat about his kids lives but Marge tells Homer about the sauna and they spend some time in the sauna (Wait....why was the sauna even involved?).
|Hey Marge, the 70's called. They said this episode sucks|
|Seems like people wear their traits on their tongue now|
|This kid grew up to be the next Charles Manson|
|Air traffic control, we have failed comedy trying to take off, might I recommend the SAMs?|
|Lisa Simpson; former smartest girl in Springfield, outsmarted by Homer Simpson...|
|Homer~ Quit while you're ahead, it's not too late to end this all|
|Lisa, would it frighten you if I told you that this isn't the worst the writers treat you this year?|
Final Judgment: This episode is horrible, the writing is horrible, the plot is stupid beyond belief and the character derailment is enraging to any diehard fan. And above all, the jokes are TERRIBLE, it was painful to try to even listen to them, much less imagine people laughing at them, who were these jokes intended for? My pet rock? If I ever made a list of "Episodes with the worst jokes", this would be on my short list. This is one of THE worst episodes of all time for this series and really nothing saves this because even the acting is terrible at points. This is one of those episodes that tells me that the producers don't give a shit anymore about the material but how much money they can keep in their bank accounts at night.
Final grade: 0.5/10 Just painful