Monday, November 14, 2011

Episode 5: The Food Wife

Oh hey, a bunch of celebrity cameos, that'll make this episode good, right? Someone really needs to inform this staff that quality writing was what made this show good, not "We've got a bunch of celebrities, so watch our show". A lot like special effects *Cough*Micheal Bay*cough*, people like these guys think that they can mask over their inept writing and awful jokes with a bunch of fanservice and guest stars and it'll be alright. Case in point, the "Lisa learns magic" was perhaps one of the best episodes last year, but that didn't prevent it from being crap anyways. Likewise, Judge Me Tender and Elementary School Musical had 13 guest stars between them and were both utter garbage. With that said, let's take a look at today's episode.

The episode begins (Without an opening sequence I may add, considering how they'll lean on a padded out opening segment to cover up their less-than full episode, I'm surprised) with Marge deciding that the kids deserve a fun weekend with Homer and Homer takes the kids to E3 er I mean E4 (Meh, not really anything bad). After an Angry Birds reference (Oh hey, look, a joke that'll make this episode dated real quick) we see Homer gives the kids VIP passes so that they can get in quicker (How did they even get in? E3 is a private event to people associated with the gaming industry. Just write it up as another "Writers don't understand the outside world") Inside, we get a panoramic shot complete with a bunch of lame electronic jokes (Eh at least give them credit in the fact that it didn't focus 5 seconds on each joke and it requires you to actually require freeze frame to read them clearly). after a couple of scenes of Bart and Lisa playing some games (No real jokes here, you might get a laugh) we see Homer grab some Frisbees from "Medal of Duty" (SMH) and go into a FPS mode as he throws the Frisbees to get the kids towards another hall (This isn't bad, but I wish they could have taken advantage of some of the flaws in FPS and made fun of them instead).
Anyone else getting Doom flashbacks?
Later, we see Homer and the kids arrive home and they're on bouncy balls exclaiming that they love 'Fun dad' (Well as long as it isn't Jerkass dad, I'm all for it). Marge tells them to take a rest, but Homer takes them away and grabs the Flanders while bouncing away... whu? Marge then tells Homer that she feels left out and wants to have the kids attention herself. Homer tells her that she can pick the next event and of course, she picks something that sucks and the kids hate her for it (You know, between the E3bit and this, it doesn't drag too much, but it didn't need to be this long either, they could have cut a few things out and nothing would have been lost). On the car ride home, Marge tries to apologize, but Bart and Lisa are still mad at her for what she did. The car then breaks down and they have do drive to a nearby town to wait for a towtruck. They stop in Little Ethiopia... How big IS Springfield exactly? Judging by how many different places they've included, Springfield must be bigger than Dallas and New York combined. However, because the neighborhood is unfamiliar and scary looking, Marge locks the doors and hopes they don't get attacked (Hey that's racist!)
We can't leave the car Lisa, all the internet trolls are waiting for us
After Lisa tells Marge that she's hungry, Marge takes a look outside and decides to try to sprint towards a restaurant (You know, that sidewalk doesn't look the least bit intimidating at all, either Marge really is racist, or the director forgot that this was supposed to be a "Menacing looking" neighborhood. Neither answer would surprise me). Once they spot a restaurant, Bart and Lisa just casually walk out and Marge follows them (So the whole "This neighborhood is scary" was completely forgotten 30 SECONDS AFTER THEY BROUGHT IT UP! Continuity within a scene is for shit here). In the restaurant, Lisa encourages Marge to be exotic with her food choice and she picks something on the side that isn't translated! Um... far out? I like how the entire restaurant gasps at the idea of someone ordering something from the back is like eating a Guatemalan insanity pepper. Once she eats some of it, we see her tongue as her taste buds all stand up and start partying (So in other words, There's a party in her mouth and everyone's invited?) The kids start eating the food as well and they too enjoy it (So I have to ask, why did everyone gasp at the idea of them ordering something good?) Suddenly Comic Book Guy and Sideshow Mel arrive together at the restaurant and wonder what Marge is eating.
Dammit, Mel! We've been spotted. Now the slashfics are starting
Okay a few problems, 1.) Why CBG and SS Mel? What could those two possibly have in common that's actually been established? 2.) If I am to interpret the later scenes correctly, CBG and SS Mel come here often. They have NEVER had this meal? WHY is this meal such a big deal? They're acting like it was just created 5 minutes ago and nobody has ever tried it before. This plot's not even 3 minutes old and yet has more holes than a minefield, eh let's continue. Marge and the kids invite SS Mel and CBG to join them and they invite some "Foodies" to join them. After they eat some more, CBG explains what "Foodies" are and what they've been doing. Later, we cut back home where Homer decides he doesn't want to partake in what they're doing and then proceeds to take his pants off and eat directly from the fridge... You just know that scene was made SPECIFICALLY for the promo. Lisa suggests the Marge and Bart that they start up their own food blog and call themselves "The Three Mouthketeers" (Yeah I'm never calling them that again, how about... hmm... The Three Nuts, or TTN for short)
Again, it's amazing how a simple joke can be vastly different given the writers
After Homer resurrects himself from choking (I'm reminded of that good joke from Homer's Triple Bypass where he has a heart attack and resurrects himself to get a free ham. This is nowhere close to that joke) we get a montage of TTN sampling different food as they upload photos of themselves with the food to their blog and the montage song is like a rejected South Park montage song (Let's count the number of things wrong here; montage, annoying "We use the internet and technology just like everyone else" and drawn out, goody). Afterwards, Homer tries to get Bart and Lisa back to him by showing them KrustyLand on his laptop (Which he places on top of their laptop). However, Marge reminds Bart and Lisa that they're going to an exclusive restaurant because their blog is very popular, as Lisa puts a third laptop on top of the other two to demonstrate what the restaurant does.
Uh, Lisa? Where the hell did you grab the laptop from?
Okay let's talk problems here; 1.) The family has at least three laptops? Why not make it five and have a scene of Maggie on MySpace since they probably think MySpace is still popular. 2.) Their food blog is THAT popular? Again, the writers have no clue how real life works. Local bloggers do not get that popular, if they had them join some sort of "Foodies" group then there might be some merit behind that idea. But nope, that would require effort, instead, they're just 'Instant experts' on this topic and everything goes their way. Would you expect it any other way from these guys? Anyways, Marge tells homer not to be jealous and this causes Homer to start crying as he crawls his way up the stairs (Ah, so Marge is now a troll, you mad Homer?) Later, we see Homer in the garage as he's making a baseball bat because apparently that's what he does when he's sad (No he makes baseball bats after tree limbs fall down and he's on the company softball team. GET IT RIGHT!) Marge then invites Homer to their event and Homer agrees. Homer informs Bart and Lisa, and they get happy to hear that, this causes Marge to worry that Homer will take all her thunder away from the kids. later, Marge has a nightmare that her and the kids are going to try new food, but Homer barges in to be 'Jerkass Food Dad' and takes them away from her (And some other random people as well... where did they come from? Shut up, that's where).
I am here to ruin everyone's fun
Marge is then interrupted by a seemingly bored Gordon Ramsey (Seriously, he sounds bored. Maybe it's because all I've seen of him is a few Hell's Kitchen but he does not sound interested in this role at all) and is told that she blew her chance by inviting Homer. After real Gordon Ramsey wakes up (With the line of "What in the bloody hell was that?" I agree, what the bloody hell was up with that dream sequence?) Marge tries to encourage the kids to not invite Homer, but they want him to come. Later, Marge gives Homer the wrong address and Maggie gives Marge a disappointing look (To which she scoffs off). Later, the family arrives at the restaurant and Homer arrives at a meth lab (I know Homer is stupid, but how is he so stupid that he can't even identify that he's in a meth lab? It takes a HUGE amount of suspension of disbelief to buy this character derailment, and I don't have that much). We then cut back to TTN where Marge tries to ignore the fact that Homer isn't there and their scenes are intertwined with Homer at the meth lab with each scene of that just further driving the fact that Homer cannot have a functioning brain (They even have a scene where Homer mistakes meth addicts for hipsters... charming)
Yeah because I can totally understand how ANYONE could mistake
this for a fancy, high-end restaurant
You know, after watching the restaurant scenes with TTN, I have to believe that Matt Selman thought that just having the characters say a bunch of big words would translate to comedy. Really, it's the equivalent of saying 'Banana' 'Kumquat' 'Pickle' 'Pudding' while those words can be funny to say, there's no real joke behind them. Back at the meth lab, we see Homer about to inhale some meth, but the police suddenly break in and gunfire ensues (I'm not going to question how the police knew about this meth lab, given their competence. But I'm just going to leave that thought out there). Back at the restaurant, we see them serve porkchops 100 ways and Bart and Lisa are stunned that Homer is missing this (Oh minor note, Lisa never pushes them away. They would try to cover it up claiming the porkchops were vegetarian, but I have a better solution; The writers are idiots who can't grasp basic continuity and just forgot about Lisa's vegetarianism for that scene). Marge calls Homer and finds out that he's at a meth lab, Marge tries to get the 'Foodies' to help her, but they couldn't possibly leave without eating every meal provided (Because as we all know, if you're ever obsessed with something, that thing is more important than human life... *Facedesk*)
Okay, Wiggum and company outside
Place is on fire
And now neither are true, continuity isn't required anymore
Marge decides to leave without them and is given a dessert by the chef in a fancy bag (Again, this is just "Throw big/fancy words together" instead of actual jokes). At the meth lab, we see the police outside as they allow Marge to go in to save her husband (Wait, weren't they inside having a gunfight? Speaking of which, what happened to the meth addicts? Basic continuity again, herp a derp) Inside, the main badguy is chasing Homer as the meth lab around them is burning up, he is about to kill Homer, but Marge shoots the dessert given earlier and the man suddenly goes into a dream where he imagines himself as a French child... I don't get it either(EDIT: Thank you Sean in the comments for pointing this out as a Ratatouille reference). Back in the present, Wiggum knocks him out as the fire is all gone now (Continuity is for losers!) Marge apologizes for sending him there and the episode ends with Homer and Marge taking the kids to Krustyland as they all have a good time.

Final Verdict: This episode was bad, but not nearly as bad as the past two weeks. Don't get me wrong, this reeks of a lot of the problems that plague Modern Simpsons but it's not terrible either. The plot was rather okay, albeit a lot of padding and unnecessary scenes (Seriously, that E4 bit went on too long), the jokes about 'Foodies' sucked and the jokes in general were underwhelming and things like continuity were for shit. And the guest voices again, were wasted, 3 out of 5 of them appeared in that pointless dream sequence, but the other two were used pretty well. In the end, it's not worth a watch, but if you're curious, it won't hurt.

Final Grade: 3.7/10 So much potential, so little effort


  1. Just a FYI, that scene with the meth man imagining himself as a french child was a reference to "Ratatouille" where after the critic in the film ate the food, he had a similar reaction.

    Just a bit of info.

  2. Ah, okay, I've never seen Ratatouille. It's on my 'To watch' list.

    The scene makes a bit more sense now (But the meth guy was never established as a french guy, so there's still a bit left to be desired with that reference) and makes my statement look idiotic... sorry about that

  3. I disagree with the final score, I was barely able to take this episode in it's entirety. Between Asshat Homer, the lame E4 reference and the lack of realism in terms how blogs work, this episode deserves a much lower score.

  4. To each their own, my grading scale isn't the most precise thing and I've sometimes ignored past grades. Angry Dad the Movie is my best example, I gave it a 1.9 and yet it did not make my bottom 10 episodes, despite the fact that higher ranked episodes made it in.

    By no means is this a good episode, I just felt after watching it, I just felt it was in a 3-3.9 range. One day I'll figure out my grading scale correctly.