Issue #1: Storyline
Now before you get down my throat with "But it's a comedy, storylines don't matter" yes, yes they do. It's only when there isn't one that you realize how important a storyline is and its taken for granted on this show. This is going to be a main issue for a majority of these episodes. The problem I have here more or less is that while Act 1 and 2 aren't terrible in their flow and Act 3 was about the same way in its flow, it's the transition that is downright horrendous. As you know, shows use storyboard to get their ideas across, going from point A to point B and so on, here it feels like a sizeable gap of story is missing, let me show you:
|Okay, it's just Homer enjoying a TV show, no biggie|
|Bart wants a new bike, still easy|
|Bart and Homer coming to an agreement about how Bart can get his bike, still with them|
|Bart's angry that Homer didn't live up to his end of the bargain, okay end of story see ya later.|
|More or less|
|Bart decides to sell secrets to the Chinese in exchange for a bike, -the hell?|
Issue #2: The Filler
It's bad enough that the sitcom Homer watches isn't funny whatsoever, but their attempt to make another show or two for him to watch complete with unfunny introductions is just awful. The sitcoms they put on don't even sound like parodies of 80's sitcoms, they sound more like rejected sitcom ideas (There is a difference). It is so easy to make fun of sitcoms ranging from "It's very cheesy" to "It's too sappy at times" to "These jokes are corny" and so on. The writers spare no expense at showing us the entire introductions (About 45 seconds for each give or take) of two sitcoms, it just pointless, they aren't funny and it's plainly filler. And they show us a bunch of other failed sitcom ideas (I took a count, there were 9 sitcoms in total that were mentioned. The rule of three be damned!). It feels like the majority of the 1st and 2nd Act is just watching failed sitcoms parodies, if I wanted to make fun of a sitcom, I'd watch Full House. It also doesn't help that there are two montages one of Bart studying that is deemed even more pointless when Bart doesn't get a reward (A lot like the audience, they sit through this garbage and get nothing in the end) and the other is Bart and Homer bonding, it's just very tedious to watch these and there's no entertainment to be found in montages. Also, Bart's dream sequence went on for much longer than it had any right to go on for. It's a problem that Modern Simpsons has suffered from for a long time; They don't know when to cut their jokes, they just extend out a scene or two rather than putting in 4-6 scenes with equal length and more jokes. And to cap it all off (Or begin it all) the opening takes up 1:40 of a 21 minute show and there's an unfunny, unrelated bit at the end to help pad this episode out. It's just further proof that they don't care about the quality of the show rather than if they can add another digit to their bank accounts.
Issue #3: The Parody
Okay I may have actually addressed this in the previous issue but this is something I feel really needs to be torn apart. The parodies of the 80's sitcoms are in a word: AWFUL, all it is is just Homer watching sitcoms that had no right to be on the air at any given time period. The satire (I guess) is that the father of the sitcom is just a stereotypical 80's sitcom father, and... nothing else, heck just using a stereotype isn't satirical, it's lazy, especially when you don't even make fun of it (Like the episode did). I don't even get why they felt the need to add in another 5 sitcom names and 3 sitcoms with actual footage, they weren't funny and just wasted time. I know I said that I wouldn't compare this to classic Simpsons but I do want to note that Saturdays of Thunder did an excellent satire on 80's sitcoms without wasting our time or insulting our intelligence.
So that's installment #1, I hope you enjoyed it, come back when I take on Donnie Fatso.