Friday, September 30, 2011

Episode 2: The Homer Of Seville

You know, alternating between Season 19 and Season 23 these next few months is starting to look like alternating between a balpeen hammer to the knees and a knife to the gut, neither is pleasant and you'd like to avoid them. But I know I have to get season 19 out of the way at some point, so might as well get it out of the way now and come out of this a better man. With all that out of the way, let's take a look at "Homer's unknown talent but now an expert at: #238" or better known as The Homer of Seville.

So after a long opening scene (2 minutes 6 seconds) we see Church letting out as the family rush to get out of there quickly. After driving around looking for a place to eat Brunch (While listing off the restaurant names, eh they're hit and miss) they see a catering van outside someone's house, Lisa points out how it's someone's house, but Marge decides that she's going to be dickish and decides to go there anyways (Ow that hurt, how is it possible that I would have preferred it to be Homer who decided to eat there. That would have been more in character, albeit 'Jerkass Homer' but it still would have made more sense). Inside, the family act as inconspicuous as a drunk guy on a bus. After the family pigs out a bit, they notice a huge crowd around a certain area, naturally it must be the Sundae bar as Homer acts as jerkass as possible before revealing the area is a coffin and they crashed a funeral (Wow, this is rather low, even for their standards). When they realize this, Marge tells everyone to act sad, she says this while in front of everyone so they can hear her (Um, hi writers, I'm the viewer, I have this thing called a brain, it's a wonderful thing. I can see what's going onscreen and I can tell that everyone just heard what Marge said, regardless of what you think).
As long as we don't acknowledge them, they can't hear us, right?
So the family tries to leave (Bart tries some 'humor' with the corpse... I'm just going to show you how this scene is done right) and Homer is asked to be a pallbearer for the coffin. While carrying the coffin, Homer falls into the grave (Somehow, I don't know how, I don't know what goes through the writing staff's minds at time) while in the grave, Bart pours dirt over Homer (Can we get to a plot already? None of this shit is working, nor is it funny) At the hospital, Doctor Hibbert tells Homer that he has a back sprain as he decides to run some tests to realign Homer's spine, but Homer refuses in a singing voice (Okay, we have first signs of a plot, how far are we in? *6 minutes* That sounds about right for Modern Simpsons, we wouldn't want that pesky 'plot' thing ruining our filler, now would we?) Doctor Hibbert explains that when Homer's on his back, his stomach pushes his diaphragm in a way that gives him a great singing voice (Does this constitute as technobabble? Oh wait, apparently it does exist, still it's rather wibbly wobbly) Yeah forget all those other times Homer was on his back and he spoke perfectly normal (Such as when he was in the grave earlier this episode). I mean there's adding a new character trait for the sake of a plot, and then there's "Fuck it, we don't care", guess which this is?
I'm sorry, I thought you were the Pillsbury Dough Boy 
Doctor Hibbert then suggests that Homer start singing to help the patients of the hospital (You can't top Lisa and Bleeding Gum Murphy's performance) so Homer starts singing and as expected, everyone feels better when he's carted around (What is this, Pokemon?) and we see that he sings excellently when he's completely on his back, but not so well when he's sitting up (Didn't they do this already where Homer was a great singer but hit puberty and then sucked?) Mr. Burns hears Homer singing (He's there because he's looking in the morgue for organs) and when he sees Homer singing, he offers him a role at his opera house (Okay we're 8 minutes in and we have the actual plot now, even their padding is padded) At the opera, Homer performs while on his back and... that's pretty much it (There are small details, but it's not worth going into). The family congratulates Homer on his performance, which leads into a montage of Homer performing for various events (...Great, a montage *Sigh*) Afterwards, Homer finishes a performance and has a talk with Plácido Domingo where Plácido asks for Homer's advice on singing... am I allowed to stop caring at this point? 
It's nice to see that despite just becoming an opera singer, he's instantly the best
Later, Homer and Marge are out on their anniversary dinner as Homer gets harassed by some old ladies for his autograph and the dialogue from Homer couldn't be any less funny if he started talking about Nazis as great people (Seriously, the dialogue is TERRIBLE and so forced. It makes Dane Cook look funny in comparison, I'm not even exaggerating). Marge gets fed up with Homer's talk and leaves (Good idea, we should all do that right now *Realizes I'm bolted to my chair* nevermind, let's continue). Marge tells Homer that she doesn't like the new him and she wants more alone time with him, this is interrupted as Lenny and Carl come by in a limo but Homer tells them that they'll be walking (Oh and the writers imply that Lenny and Carl get it on with the two old women, charming). Marge and Homer then get chased by some opera fans as they get cornered in an alley. However, a Deus ex Machina, er I mean... nope I stand by that, arrives in the form of a motorcyclist who picks up Marge and Homer. After Marge offers the motorcyclist some coffee for saving them, she takes off her helmet to reveal that she's a woman (This isn't at all the least bit sexist the idea of them having to say that a woman driving a motorcycle is odd, ugh). Inside Julia tells Marge that she wants to keep the fans in line by being the president of Homer's fan club and Marge agrees (I would talk about how this sudden turn of events comes out of nowhere and is lazy writing at its worst, but it gets worse). 
And now he has hot women stripping for him... okay he's officially a Gary Stu now
After Marge leaves the room for a bit, Julia reveals her true intentions as she's a crazy fan who wants to have sex with Homer (Oh hi strange out-of-place plot introduced only 16 minutes into a 21 minute episode). After a scene of Julia doing her job, we get a montage of Julia being the one-dimensional sex-obsessed fan she is following Homer everywhere (Two montages in a single episode? Add this to the first 7 minutes of padding and we get the sacred formula for pure gold, oh wait that's the formula for shit, it's rather easy to get them confused). Homer tells Julia that they can never be together and this leads to Julia trying to kill Homer (Again, another out-of-place plot that comes straight the fuck out of nowhere and is introduced way too late to get real development). Later at the opera house (With the banner reading "The Barber of Seville" you know, when you explain where the title of your episode comes from, it kills the joke instantly, it's not some "Meta" joke or 4th-wall joke, it's just stupid). After Chief Wiggum assures Marge that they've taken the precautions to protect Homer (50 bucks on the fact that an assassination attempt is still taken) the opera goes on with Homer performing. Marge gets anxious and Bart notices the conductor has a poison dart, it's revealed that Julia is the conductor (Okay, HOW the hell did that happen? How did she get to be the conductor?) 
Yeah this makes sense considering who's doing the shooting
After some slapstick with Wiggum (Although that would imply it's funny) Julia shoots the dart, only to be intercepted by marge with a French Horn as the dart goes through the horn back towards Julia (Science!) After some more padding courtesy of the snipers (Funny at first, but the writers don't know when to stop) Julia is put in an ambulance as she does the whole "I'll get you next time" shtick with Marge (Blah, blah, blah, zzzz...) And the episode ends with Homer retiring from opera (What a shock) and deciding to paint a Simpsonized version of the Sistine Chapel (I guess that makes is 'Special talent #239')

Final Verdict: This episode was terrible, the filler was just awful, it felt like 5 minutes of plot and 16 minutes of filler (Give or take) the idea of storytelling is truly dead in this episode. The jokes were bad and some were just downright awful and the characters were not likable at all. Just really another generic, boring, stupid episode.

Final Grade: 2.1/10 Filler, filler, and more filler


  1. I was thinking of Selma's Choice when you linked to funerals done right.

  2. That works just as well, this just came to mind first

  3. That and I don't think it's possible to find a clip of that scene on Youtube that isn't recorded with a cheap camcorder and/or in another language.

  4. I liked it when Simpsons characters had to WORK to be good at something and you know that skill being part of the character.

  5. I think I may have mentioned this, but if not; I think of an episode like 'Deep Space Homer', could you imagine if Homer just showed up and was instantly the greatest astronaut to have ever lived? Instead we see Homer struggle and fail at certain tests, making him more human, he's relatable.

    I might go into an actual blog post about this in the future.

  6. That Julia chick is so hot