Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Thoughts on Holidays of Future Passed

I will be getting around to writing the actual review soon enough, but for now I thought I'd share my initial thoughts after watching it. Truth be told, I had low expectations for this one. Between the disaster of last year's attempt at a Christmas special coupled with their history of bad Christmas-related episodes (See last year's December posts) I thought this would be another stinker to add to the pile (Oh and I said at the season preview that I hated the idea of Lisa and Milhouse as a couple, so add that to the list). So of course it would be hard for me to go in objectively and give it a fair shot, but I tried my best.

And truth be told, I liked this episode. No you did not read that wrong, I actually liked this to a degree. Granted there are flaws and problems, but in my opinion, this is far and away the best episode of the season and I haven't liked an episode like this since Season 21 (Oh Brother Where Bart Thou). I'll get into more detail in the actual review, but I'll just list what I liked and some of the problems with it.

The Good:

  • Jerkass Homer is limited
    • Homer actually resembled Classic Homer more than he does Modern Homer. He had his bad moments, but they were limited and his role in the episode wasn't that big to begin with
  • Maggie doesn't talk
    • Unlike Season 20 (Fuck you writers) despite being old enough (And apparently a singer) Maggie never talks in this episode. It resembles Lisa's Wedding a bit, but I wish they made more jokes out of this. Oh well, at least they didn't fuck this up.
  • Certain jokes
    • Truth be told, I actually laughed at some of these jokes. I'll go into more detail in the review on which ones I liked, but let's just say that they actually let the majority of the good jokes be background jokes and not "HEY EVERYONE! LOOK AT THIS JOKE! LOOK AT THIS JOKE AND LAUGH!"
The Bad:
  • Other jokes
    • Of course when I say "Certain" that means that the others just didn't work. Two particular examples that enter my mind are the Ralph Wiggum clones (That went on WAY too long) and the Lenny-Carl brain-swap (Just didn't have anything going for it). Again, I'll go into more detail later.
  • The narrative
    • I understand that they were trying to go for three plots at once, but it did not flow at all. At points it worked, but for the majority it came off as another "Event A happens, then event B, then..." with the flow being rather bad. Also, it really came across more as a "Look at all these neat things in the future" as its main concern. Lisa's Wedding did the same thing, but the future stuff wasn't the main thing being pushed.
  • The voices
    • Okay, I will rarely say something like "Oh her voice was off, this episode sucks" but this was just lazy. At times, I swore that Bart's voice changed from "10-year old" to "I'm possibly 30?" and that's the thing; everyone's aged. Instead of going for more aged voices (Seriously a 70 year old Homer should not sound like he's 35) they stick to their normal voices. Not to say "It's not the classic therefore it sucks" but Lisa's Wedding did this right; they aged them physically, mentally and voice-wise.
Again, these are just initial thoughts, but in all honesty it is a decent episode in my opinion. Maybe it's skewed by the horrendous season it's in and I'll find more flaws when I write up the review, but for what it's worth, it's not bad.


  1. Yeah I agree they really pulled an overall decent episode out despite their "glorious" track record. I found it funny that Lisa got a rebellious child like Bart and Bart got two overachievers. Is the world coming to an end?

  2. I don't know what to say, after "Replaceable You" I had basically all but given up hope that this could even be competent, much less decent.

    It is truly a Christmas miracle.

  3. Well I don't known about the rest of the episode, but the first five minutes were really bad. I turned my TV off at the first commercial. I just thought they were going a little too much for fan-service, and the kids were cardboard cutouts of characters, really annoying.