Friday, July 8, 2011

"Hate Month" A Star is Born-Again

Well it's that time again. A glorious time where I bash some of the worst writers ever in the history of the show. This month I take on my personal least favorite writer; Brian Kelley. Now keep in mind that while I dislike him as a writer, I don't know him (Or any of the writers) personally so while I hate their work, this is in no way a personal attack against them. With that out of the way, let's talk about today's episode. A Star is Born-Again is an... interesting one to say the least. While the idea of Ned dating again isn't terrible, this episode just manages to screw it up nonetheless. How bad can they screw it up? Let's find out.

The episode begins with the family heading to the beach as it's revealed that they are there for the annual Jellyfish Festival (While it does set up Ned's loneliness, that doesn't occur until the 4 minute mark. And it's not like this Festival is even mentioned ever again, so it's rather pointless). After Ned walks for a bit we see him filling out some forms in the Leftorium as a woman comes in to shop around. After the two chat a bit we find out the woman is charmed by Ned's wholesomeness and how she can't find people like that in LA (And in other news that'll shock the world, water is wet). The woman buys some stuff and tells Ned that she's a visitor to Springfield and she'll only be in town for a week and she'd love to have dinner with him (So many questions to ask, so few answers given). Ned finds out through a single conveniently placed poster that the woman he's about to go to dinner with is none other than movie star Sarah Sloane (Gotta love how there's only ONE poster around the walls of the Leftorium, it really speaks to the laziness of the staff).
I've had my eye on you for quite some time Mr. Ander- I mean Mr. Flanders
The next day Ned tells Homer about his date and the conversation goes nowhere as Homer really doesn't give advice to Ned but spouts off unfunny lines instead (That didn't take too long). Later we see Ned and Sarah at dinner as Lenny decides to take a joke too far (Jokes that go on too long aren't funny, writers). Later, Ned and Sarah go walking down the boardwalk as Sarah decides to kiss Ned as Ned has no problem with it (Am I the only one who feels that Ned would have SOME problem with that? I mean it's their first date, oh well, maybe I'm overthinking this). The next day we get a brief biography about Sarah's relationships from the Simpsons (Ah yes the patented "Tell don't show" method we've come to expect. Really It was established she seems like that so I don't know why they even bothered with this scene). Homer gets a call as we get introduced to... ugh, the "Tabloid satire". As Ned shows Sarah his kids, the doorbell rings and a bunch of tabloids come to storm the house. As Ned, Sarah and the kids leave the tabloids wreck everything and decide to "Concoct more lies" (You know Mr. Kelley, the purpose of satire is to point out flaws by means of irony and ridicule, and not by LOUDLY ANNOUNCING IT).
It's funny, right?! I mean because the tabloids will just break stuff and photograph it right?!
Afterwards, we see Sarah on set for a film as Ned gets the director to cut a pointless nude scene out of the film and Sarah's tells Ned that she might "thank" him later (Brian, how long can you go in an episode without including some pointless sexual joke? It seems to be a somewhat common theme in your episodes. Eh maybe I'm just forcing something that's not really there). Later, the Simpsons have dinner with Ned and Sarah when we find out that the tabloids are outside of Ned's house and are fooled by a dummy that looks like Cher (Besides the fact that the joke is terrible, where are Rod and Todd? Did you just leave them in the house to watch the paparazzi or did the writers forget about them?) Ranier Wolfcastle breaks into the Simpsons and tries to win back Sarah which doesn't work (Yay for pointlessness!) Later Sarah and Ned are walking down the street and Sarah tells Ned that she wants him to come to LA with her. This causes Ned to have a dream sequence of him in Hollywood (NO! You need to earn a dream sequence! Go back and try again)
And all this time, I thought Jim Brooks looked like the monopoly man
After seeing Hollywood looking like hell (How is that any different than today?) Ned tells Sarah that he couldn't go so she decides to stay in Springfield (Okay everyone got what they wanted, episode's over. It was bad but not as bad as I remembered it w- oh, there's still a third act left). We see Ned and Sarah as they are driving down a road and then shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart ~Padding, Padding, Padding,~ ~Padding, Padding, Padding,~ Marge invites Sarah to her book club as we find out that Sarah invited Helen Fielding to the meeting as she's the author of the book they decided not to read. Helen's not upset that they didn't read it (As she still gets paid for the sales) and decides to leave a la Benny Hill style... whu? How does that make any sense? Because she's English that automatically means she runs a la Benny Hill? When you use the Benny Hill theme, you do it for a "wacky" chase, not just because they're English. You FAIL writers, you fail!
We are the humor police! Get back here!
So after 3 minutes of nothing, we see Sarah decide to wear a revealing dress as she goes out with Ned and the kids to a Pops concert. Ned is shocked that Sarah is wearing what she is and at the concert she takes his jacket to make the dress even more sexy. After a bad Homer leers Sarah joke (3 times now and another time later) Sarah tells Ned that she wants to sleep with him but Ned tells her that he can't because he doesn't believe in pre-marital sex (Like his character SHOULD). Ned talks with Homer about it but it goes nowhere (Seriously, can someone actually tell me HOW that talk swayed Flanders in any way? There was nothing said about what he should do, just Homer thinking he's funny). Later, Ned and Sarah are on a hillside when Ned shows Sarah passages from the bible for and against pre-marital sex (One vastly outnumbering the other).
Next he's going to join a motorcycle gang, then convert to Islam and then...
However through the power of shitty writing, er I mean wind, there's only one passage left and it was from the "Pro-sex" pile that says something that makes no sense but it's good enough for Ned... Okay I'm calling bull here! Even if that did happen, I don't see Ned just throwing out all those other passages because of wind. You fail Brian Kelley, you FAIL! The next morning Ned tells Sarah that now they have to get married and she's adamant and decides to go back to LA. Ned's a bit depressed that Sarah left as the episode ends with Helen Fielding running a la Benny Hill style with Marge, Homer, Ned and a bear... wait what?

Final Verdict: This episode was awful, the jokes were terrible and often times made no sense in context to what was happening. The writing was bad with character derailment and the third act was just a mess. The story could have worked if it were just Ned and Sarah just getting into a relationship that didn't force Ned to act the way he did at the end. All together this episode was rather boring and stupid to sit through and I'd recommend staying away from it if you haven't seen it.

*Edit*Final Grade: 1.3/10 A rather stupid episode


  1. Brian Kelley fails at writing and fails at The Simpsons, this is easily a bottom 10 of the ENTIRE series.
    It makes no sense and a lot of wasted scenes and pointless jokes and pointless sexual innuendo and that makes up most of the episode, so screw it, I say, screw it.

  2. When I had this on my list I remembered I hated it for the whole "Ned has pre-marital sex" so I thought that was the only reason I didn't like it. I was so very wrong about it, between that, boring scenes and stupid "jokes" I found myself so very angry at the episode. Between this and "Bart Mangled Banner" I'd say they're both in contention for "Pissed me off the most"

    Looking back the 2.1 might be too high, I'd say it's closer to 0.9-1.5 range