Monday, January 30, 2012

Episode 12: Moe goes from Rags to Riches

A talking bar rag... Where can I go from there?! I mean, does that even SOUND like a good idea? When was the last time an animated piece of cloth able to be entertain- okay besides Towlie. I mean this sounds like a parody of a Simpsons episode *Cough* Simpsons Spin-off Showcase *Cough* and they took the idea seriously. If there's one thing I've repeated ad nauseum, it that these writers just don't get comedy. So, let's take a look at today's episode. Oh and by the way, from now on, I'll just mention the opening sequence time right before I start each review from now on.

Opening Sequence: 1:33

The episode begins with everyone at Moe's bar for the town meeting as Mayor Quimby explains that City Hall is being fumigated for bed bugs. This causes the seeds for a riot as Quimby suddenly causes the jukebox to play a dance song and everyone breaks out in dance... did I just hit the fast forward button? These types of scenes go at the end of episodes, not the beginning. Oh and Bart, Milhouse and Lisa are all at Moe's Tavern... logic? Yeah right, characters appear wherever they want to. I'm sorry but there isn't much to talk about here, Homer defies physics, a Mexican Duffman appears for no reason and it just has the feeling of a bad ending rather than the beginning of an episode. Anyways, this leads to Karl asking Moe who his best friend is and he cannot think of a legitimate answer (Homer, Lenny, Karl, Barney, the other bar flies...) and Lenny says that Moe's friend is his bar rag for how often he uses it (Oh and a small side note, Moe mentions he made a friend with a product on Facebook... I thought there was no Social networks in Springfield hence the need for Lisa to create Facebook and- OH GOD MY BRAIN HURTS FROM THE LOGIC ERROR) After everyone laughs at Moe (Who doesn't even care that he's being made fun of... this IS Moe Syzlak, right?) Bart insults Moe by saying that the rag is worse than Milhouse as a friend. Milhouse then decides that was the last straw and leaves... wait, what just happened? Did a plot just start? Did Milhouse just get replaced by an alien? Dear God now it feels rushed, it was ONE insult and then poof, Milhouse leaves and Bart feels abandoned.
Long lost brothers, perhaps?
Anyways, some more people approach Moe just to be a jackass towards his rag (Because it was so funny the first time...) I mean, seriously? Characters appearing JUST to be assholes? THAT'S TERRIBLE WRITING! After Moe throws his rag to the bar, it rises up slightly to reveal a face... is it just me or does this rag look like a grey version of the Sorting Hat? The rag reveals itself to be Jeremy Irons, er I mean part of a tapestry from 1000 years ago (Right... and my Blankie was part of the Shroud of Turin). We begin our tale in 11th Century France as we see a Medieval style Simpsons family as Homer is a knight, Marge is a weaver of some kind and the children are pointless. After Homer sets out for a duty in the Crusades, Pope Smithers and Duke Burns (He might be Pope or a Bishop, or even a Priest, but the episode doesn't elaborate). Oh and small note here; After Burns says "Enough!" we see him reach for his sword, pull it out about an inch, and then put it back in. Was there just a miscommunication between the animators and the writers? Because it really looks like that animation was meant for another scene because it just comes off as awkward in real time. Duke Burns then informs Marge to weave him a tapestry with certain images within 25 years for two coins (BORING! Get to the good stuff alre- correction, get to the ending already!)
Marge: What happened to you?
Homer: Tis but a scratch
Marge: A scratch? You lost your arm!
Homer: No I didn't
On his way out, Duke Burns decides to randomly kill some sheep blocking his path and apparently the sheep's wool is now cursed or something which causes Marge to work non-stop looming images in history instead of what Burns wanted (Oh and a small note, while Marge is weaving, we see Homer come back multiple times with grave injuries. I'm glad they didn't reference Monty Python and the Holy Grail here because I could see them butchering the comedy from the Black Knight). as a result, Jeremy Irons reveals himself to be said tapestry (Jeremy, you are perfectly capable of raising the quality of shit as demonstrated in Dungeons and Dragons WHY ARE YOU SO BORING HERE?!) Back to 11th Century France, we see that 25 years have passed but the kids have not grown up (They've aged but have not grown out... I guess that's the joke?) We then see Duke Burns and Smithers (Neither of which have aged... duh, continuity, what's that?!) arrive for the tapestry impressed by it, but they decide to burn down Marge's house because it wasn't what he asked for... But he said he'd pay her for it, wouldn't that mean that he'd take it and not pay for it? Dear God, the writers can't even remember what happened less than 3 minutes ago, abandon all hope right now. Anyways, while Burns rides off, his horse trips and he falls off a cliff only to be hung on a tree by the tapestry.
No, no, the death tree belongs in 300
Okay nothing more to add to this time period, now to move onto the next- oh fuck me they're still in this time period. Later we see random people come up to use Burns' corpse as a pinata as Ralph hits Clancy in the crotch, which causes him to draw what happened on a cave wall for "France's Funniest Cave Paintings"... *Glares* So we then cut to it inside a Cathedral (Seriously, why couldn't they have transitioned from "Death of Burns" to "Inside Cathedral" it would have made just as much sense and wouldn't have wasted our time, and I just realized why they didn't do it) where we see that it's being treated like a rockstar when women appear just to throw keys and steel panties... oh come on , I JUST used the "NOT FUNNY" bit, I can't keep using it. We then see the Cathedral get invaded by Vikings as they decide to use Viking Homer as a battering ram because physical abuse towards Homer is funny after the 4,783rd time, right? After a pointless bit from the monks, Viking Homer decides to take the tapestry for himself. He is shocked to see that the tapestry predicted all he would do and eats a bit of it (Ah yes, a fat joke again, because Homer has no character outside of pain and being fat).
Look Bart, I told you, I just can't stand reading the slash-fics between us anymore
Later, we see Bart approach Milhouse outside his room begging for Milhouse to come back tom him (But not in the right way, but rather the shitty sitcom way) and Milhouse says no. I have to ask, what's the point of this subplot? It serves no purpose, it's not funny and if the biography plot was the least bit engaging, I would say this subplot removes me from it every time it comes up. I just don't get it. We then cut back as Jeremy Irons gives us a recap (Again proving my point that the subplot would detach us from the main story if it were the least bit interesting) and we cut back to Persia as Monk Homer barters it for Gold and jewels and the Persians get angry at them. Homer reminds them twice that it was Christians that screwed them over...ugggggghhhhh, not funny. Oh and by the way, this is the last time the tapestry records history and that part of the history is completely dropped... why bother to bring it up in the first place if you weren't going to do anything with it? Anyways, we see Nelson as a Persian King (Sure why not?) as he apparently throws wives that are uninteresting into a pit. Lisa appears as his next wife and to save herself, she tells him the tale of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. This causes Nelson to become interested in her stories and he listens to them for 1000 days (Sure, why not?). While he is asleep, Lisa goes to free the wives with a ladder. when she returns, he asks for another story but she refuses. He tries to get his guards to attack, but they're all dead and the wives proceed to kill Nelson during a full moon... Wait a second! It was morning when Lisa freed the wives, and then it was midnight when they killed him... continuity? Effort? Bueller?
Okay, it's morning here...
And now it's nighttime in the VERY NEXT SCENE!
The cloth (It is no longer a tapestry since they couldn't care about continuity) is then moved to Spain where it is used to help in executions... I'm sorry what was the point of that? Oh and a side note, the past 5 minutes have been more bloody than their previous Treehouse of Horror. Isn't THAT where the violence is supposed to go? We then see that the rag was used by Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel and then discarded after it was done, is anyone else bored as all hell at this point? I'm sorry, I just cannot make this interesting. Afterwards, we cut back to present day as people are just walking on the rag and Moe contemplates getting a new rag... for all of 3 seconds before treating it like Linus' security blanket... THESE JOKES ARE TERRIBLE! We then see Bart approach Milhouse again with a speech to try to win him back, but when Milhouse sees through the empty speech, he tells Bart to leave and he goes (How essential, I would have lost sleep if I didn't know that Bart went back to beg for their friendship back). The rag continues his backstory as we find out it was part of a Confederation flag, then part of a rag soup during the depression, then it was part of a flag for a Mount Everest climb.
Thank God nobody on DeviantArt cares about this show anymore
If it seems like I'm speeding through this, don't worry, the episode speeds through this, you're not missing anything. Also a side note, Comic Book Guy randomly appears in a blimp on the Mount Everest expedition to say "Worst climbing everest"... Ugggggggggghhhhhhhh MAKE IT STOP! Please make it stop. We then find out that a Yeti picked up the rag and gave it to his son Moe... WHU!? Random does not equal funny, dear God why won't this end already? This causes us to cut to present day as the rag gets taken by someone. The next morning we see that Bart camped out in Milhouse's front yard bush as he begs for forgiveness and he'll allow him to do anything. Milhouse has Drederick Tatum punch him in the arm (Because he know him somehow... wait what?) and they are friends again. Wow, 4 scenes, about 3 minutes total, I'm so glad this was put in... I am so bored right now. We then see Moe look for his rag as he asks Wiggum but Wiggum doesn't know and he gets into "Wacky hijinks" with his stolen police cruiser... it's almost over just 3 more minutes.
And happy endings are had by all... well except the audience
We then see that the rag was washed by Marge as Moe bursts in and thanks Marge for cleaning it, but then asks why. Marge explains that she saw he cared so much about that rag that she decided to clean  it when she returned to the bar for her purse. So if that timeline is correct, that would imply that the subplot occurred within a 12 hour timeframe? Bart is not that needy you brainless twats! Hell, he actually lasted longer without his soul, ugh whatever the episode's almost over. Moe finds out that everyone in the family (Including Milhouse, who is there for some reason) are his friends and he decides to throw out the bag rag as a result... do the writers really think Moe is that lonely that he only held onto that rag as a friend?  Screw it, just one more scene. The episode ends with Santa's Little Helper picking up the bar rag as Jeremy Irons expresses how loved he feels.

Final Verdict: This episode was beyond boring I mean did anyone CARE about Moe's bar rag? I know I didn't, the pacing ranged from sped up at places to just bogging down with no real flow, the jokes were just terrible and nothing stood out, the writing was awful between bad characterization and dropped ideas, in all, this was a terrible episode that nobody will remember 5 years from now.

Final Grade: 1.0/10 Just wretched, poor Jeremy Irons, having to reduce himself to this

Sunday, January 29, 2012

So it's come to this: Ponies Vs. Simpsons

Now even though there will be a new episode tonight, I thought I'd take the chance to talk about this. If you don't know this already, I do indeed watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Damn you TGWTG forums!) and I've been keeping up with the show on a weekly basis. No I am not obsessed with the show and will never create fanfiction nor fanart of how Rainbow Dash is a lesbian or how Derpy Hooves teams up with Doctor Whooves etc. So, why do I bring this all up on a blog where I specialize in The Simpsons? Simple:

Now does this remind you of anything? What SHOULD come to mind is The Music Man seeing as it's a parody of "Ya Got Trouble". But what people immediately thought was the Monorail song.

And can you blame them, while The Music Man is a popular movie, Marge vs. the Monorail is fresher in our culture and is considered by many as one of if not the greatest episodes of The Simpsons. But really after this musical number is where the comparisons die in my opinion. While strangers do approach the town with a crazy concoction to sell to the citizens of said town. Lyle Lanley is there purely to scam the town by building a cheap monorail and pocketing the profits. Flim and Flam on the other hand are there with a device to supply the town with more cider since supply appears to be low while demand is high. Really the second half of MLP: FiM resembles the tale of John Henry and how he beat a steam powered hammer. The resemblance is actually rather uncanny

  • Both involve old fashioned work tactics that are threatened by new technology
  • Both go into competition about which method is better
  • In the end, technology loses
But I've gotten off track, you're reading this to see how I feel about the comparison between these two. 

Beleive it or not, I'm going to give the edge to MLP: FiM for the reason that their song actually lasts more than a minute (EDIT: Also, the song is more interesting and memorable is why I gave the point. Not that the monorail song was uninteresting or forgettable). However, The Simpsons' version was not really a parody of the song itself rather than a parody of how the song affected the townspeople. The townspeople were easily influenced by a song and The Simpsons was making fun of that concept
Sorry, but this song IS more interesting

Lyle Lanley by a mile. Lyle actually has a deceptive motivation, he wants to rob the people of their money. Flim and Flam on the other hand... their motivation still eludes me. They come to town promising to keep up the supply and even offer their machine to the Apple family in exchange for a sizable cut of the profits (And if this show weren't for kids, there would have been haggling involved). However when they say no, F&F decide to attempt to run the Apple family out of business as competition. Their motivation is money much like LL, but it seems more like business competition rather than bad intentions so they aren't strong villains.
Lyle knows where you live Marge

Harold Hill Stand-in:
Now this category is going based purely on who is more enjoyable. Just who is more fun to watch. And again, Lyle Lanley by a lot. Lyle is just so much fun to watch throughout this episode and he is my all time favorite Phil Hartman character. The F&F brothers are good as well, but Lyle Lanley stole that episode while the F&F brothers were just... there. Outside of the musical number, there was no one scene in my opinion where they just made a name for themselves. So point to the Simpsons
Who is that mysterious looking man from the 30's?

Just Desserts:
This category goes to which one had a better ending for the villain. Now the winner here goes to MLP: FiM for two reasons
  1. They didn't wuss out on the competition and have the Apple family win because they are main characters
  2. Despite the F&F brother's victory, they didn't earn it and the townsfolk let them know
Now, that's not to say that The Simpsons ending wasn't good, watching Lyle Lanley land in North Haverbrook thinking that he's won was priceless. Point to MLP: FiM 
They won, but at what cost?

The Episode itself:
Okay this is probably the most lopsided category I could choose her seeing as I called Marge Vs. The Monorail a consensus top episode. It's not like Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 (Try saying that 3 times fast) is anything to scoff at, but it's just hard to argue against the monorail. When people think of the monorail episode before The Music Man you know you've done something right. So of course point to the Simpsons

Final Count:
Marge Vs. The Monorail: 3
Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: 2

So yeah I do think that the monorail episode is better. But it's not like the cider episode is bad, it's pretty good. So yeah I might try this again, leave feedback (Mostly hate from Bronies) and I'll see you tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lisa on Ice

Lisa take on her life long dream of NOT failing a class by joining a pee-wee hokey team.
And only by her help can this group of outcasts win the title game... sorry wrong theme.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Episode 11: The D'oh-Cial Network

What was it that Krusty said a few weeks ago about how animation departments take a long time to animate these things so thus their topical references seem dated when they air but we shouldn't blame them? Do as I say, not as I do is the phrase that comes to mind because they continue to put out dated shit and expect us to think it's topical NOW. So today we get a washed up episode about social networks, yeah because a better show hasn't already done something similar in a much better way *Cough* You Have 0 Friends *Cough* Yeah I could go on, but let's just take a look at this trainwreck and continue on with our lives.

The episode begins (But not without a long ass intro sequence that takes up 1:54. Yeah padding is going to be a common theme here) with a court scene of Blue-Haired lawyer questioning Lisa about how her actions brought devastation upon the town (She found out the last decimal place of Pi?) After some more forced dialogue (Yeah I'm going to keep complaining about how their characters never talk like people but talk like bad sitcom characters because I hate that) Bart acts out and Marge tells him it's okay to do it at home but not in public (...*pounds face into wall*). Marge then tells Lisa to tell her side of the story (Because Lisa could not afford a lawyer or something... I've watched this episode 3 times and I STILL have no idea how or why she's in court, what charges are brought against her, who is filing the charges or who is defending Lisa. This episode is confusing and I'll go into more detail why later).
~When you see my face, hope it gives you hell...~
As Lisa is ready to go into flashback mode (Anyone else getting Falcon and the D'ohman flashbacks themselves?) it's halted by BHL (Blue Haired Lawyer, I'm just saving space here) telling everyone to imagine it for themselves (Oh for Christ's sake, GET ON WITH IT!) The flashback begins with a movie of McBain and Mendoza (Rule of entertainment; never remind us of better things we could be watching) as it turns out that Homer was watching that from someone else's car while he was driving (I'm sorry, was that meant to be a joke? The execution was terrible). Anyways, Homer parks in a space, but after seeing someone approach behind him he decides that the runtime was 30 seconds too short and decides to pad it out by doing an unfunny bit with him pretending to be leaving, but then tells the man he wasn't, I especially love the exchange between Homer and Bart:

  • Bart: We totally wasted his time
  • Homer: And ours
Guy: Hey! Are you that guy who ran over my poodle?!
Homer: I thought I could turn your poodle into a puddle *Heh-heh-heh*
Nice to know that unfunny padding qualifies as entertainment. Anyways, in the fancy new mall (That will never be seen outside this episode. Anyone want to take that bet?) we get some more pointlessness as we get a scene of a harmless trolley and a drawn out unfunny scene of Lenny loosing his marbles (We're at the 5:30 mark and we still have no clue why Lisa is in court. GET ON WITH IT!) Anyways, on the trolley, Marge goes through her purse as she decides to throw away gift cards of companies that went out of business and thus begins a 'in memoriam' scene of gift cards with "hilarious" parody names... I'll be out back with a whiskey jar wondering why I just didn't quit on this show 5 years ago like I should have. Marge then gives everyone a gift card and they all split off, Homer goes to "Cinnabun" (Get it? They changed the "O" to a "U" therefore it's funny, right?!) Bart goes to a complexion store (Run by a female Milhouse based on the voice) and Lisa goes to a "Blocko" store where she is told that she is not allowed to buy a Lego, er I mean Blocko and make something new with it (My collection says otherwise). 
What a witty parody, what will they think up next?
The last one I don't even get, I know that Lego in the 50's to 60's (Not exactly sure, just off the top of my head) sold Legos in boxes with no real instructions. They do that occasionally today, so I don't really get this, maybe I'm looking too deep into this and giving it more thought than the writers did. BHL then asks Lisa if the court REALLY needs to hear all these details and Lisa insists that it is as she left a lot out and clean up the swears (And yet they SOMEHOW didn't make the runtime based on this alone. These guys are fucking lazy as they pad out this episode to the max and insist it's all needed. The only reason it's needed is because they couldn't be bothered with putting in actual effort). Lisa then goes back into flashback mode as we find out that she approached Sherri and Terri but they told her she was uncool and Lisa is saddened by this (Two things; 1. Where have I heard this recently? 2. Initially I thought the animators got lazy with Lisa's arm bands and forgot to animate them, but after watching it again, you can see them for a brief second before she approaches them. As much as I want to call out the animators for this, they actually did put this in for a brief second so they win this round). 
Somewhere, the CEO of Apple is not insulted
Oh and BTW, notice how this display was NOT in the establishing shot.
After Marge pulls Homer away from the Cinnabon (I'm surprised they didn't call it the "Cinnabin" I is closer to O than U is on the keyboard) she takes Homer into the "Mapple" store (... yeah I'm just going to refer to it as Apple instead) Homer notices an ultra-thin MacBook as Homer decides to buy it... for some reason... somehow considering what he makes... do you get the point yet? So after Homer somehow paid for it, we see him at home using it at the kitchen table (IT'S THE 8:30 MARK AND WE STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHY LISA IS IN COURT YET! DEAR GOD JUST GET ON WITH IT!) Lisa then comes in dejected as she tells Homer and Marge that she has no friends (Janey, Ralph, Milhouse, Allison... are we getting the point yet?) Oh and it might just be coincidental but as I stated earlier, the South Park episode dealing with social networks was titled You have 0 Friends maybe I'm looking too deep into that line. So after Homer decides to act like a jerkass for no reason (tee-hee, Homer downloaded Shakespeare just to delete it, Homer funny) we see Lisa up late in a Springfield chat as she tries to find out what other people have in common with her. 
Let's see, if I buy 30 lbs. of Yellow Cake Uranium, I get 20 lbs. free... SWEET!
After Bart upsets Jimbo... somehow hearing him (Random does not equal funny) Lisa decides that she should set up an online meeting place to find other people with similar interests as her so that she can make more friends. AND TIME! The plot decides to show up at the 9:35 mark... IT TOOK THEM 9 AND A HALF MINUTES?! DEAR GOD MOVIES DON'T TAKE THAT LONG AND THEY GET A 90 MINUTE RUNTIME, ugh this is gonna suck. After the commercial break, we cut back to the courtroom where BHL decides to recap what we've already seen... Have I said that the writers are targeting this show towards toasters? I take that back, toasters aren't this dumb. I'm thinking now more along the line of rocks. Lisa then explains that she gathered some of her online friends to help construct this site as we go back into flashback mode (Hang on, need to recover from the whiplash a bit). Lisa tells everyone that "SpringFace" (UGGGHHH....) will be popular as soon as they finish coding it. Then Nelson appears (For some reason, why would he be in the computer lab?) as he decides to beat up on all the nerds sans Lisa for being there ("More padding, less substance!"- Matt Selman to the writing staff) 
I guess nerds really aren't all that smart
Back in the courtroom, we find out that her site was an instant success (So Lisa too has fallen prey to the "Instant expert" bug of the writing staff. I thought she'd be immune). We then get a montage of kids from Springfield Elementary using Facebook (No I will not refer to it by that shit name, it's degrading to humor) as we find out that everyone either has a laptop or a smart phone that they use during recess (Maybe in Hollywood, but not in Springfield). Really there is just so much stupid (Like the Skinner-Chalmers scene) and nothing funny, it's hard to talk about these scenes. Anyways, Lisa gets 1001 friends on Facebook as she finds out that grownups use it as well (Blah, blah, blah WHY IS LISA IN COURT?!) Oh and I like how basically the only forms of laptops/smartphones are Apple based. Does FOX have a contract with Apple or something? It's rather clear that this staff wanted Steve Jobs to cameo on this show before he died and I guess they just want to stay relevant with Apple (Something I mentioned last year). After Lisa is impressed by creating something popular (The same Lisa that would rather have something scientific over something with cute factor win a science fair? Eh nevermind it's not the same circumstances, just throwing it out there) Homer decides to act like a clueless moron because that's what he is today, derpty-doo. 
Because everyone in America has a tablet, smartphone or laptop in the writing staff's eyes
in other news; America is still in a recession
After BHL explains what just happened AGAIN (Rocks are now having their intelligence insulted) we get some more scenes of grownups using Facebook, from things like Homer drunk texting Marge (He didn't need Facebook to do that) the church checking their FB during church (Including Ned Flanders... NO! Just... NO!) Lisa goes around the playground as everyone's too busy with FB to play with her as she says she feels even more alone (Bored, bored, bore- ZZZZ....) BHL AGAIN sums up what happened not 5 minutes ago (This writing staff learned by reading "Writing for idiots" but they forgot that THEY were the idiots, not the audience) as the Ask Jeeves guy leaves after being insulted (Competing with Family Guy for most random joke I see). After another court scene, we find out that FB took on new ideas, like playing games as we see Bart, Milhouse and the bullies playing online (Just so BORING). After we see Marge and Homer surfing the web on their smartphones while driving (See, it's witty satire, because nobody with a smartphone would keep their eyes on the road, RIGHT?! I wish for pain by way of distracted driving for these writers. Not death, but pain). And because Homer thinks he's being funny (He's not) he hits Moleman and causes a huge crash (Because Smartphones and Facebook always cause that... I'm just going to list off things that cause more deaths than smartphones: Drinking, eating while driving, putting on makeup while driving, fidgeting with the transmission...) 
Big deal, you should see what Twitter did to Los Angeles... Oh wait it was always like that
Anyways, chaos ensues and the city apparently burns because everyone is too distracted by Facebook (What kind of chicken shit is this? This isn't a parody or satire as Facebook is no more addictive than some other sites. Really this is more of a parody of a parody, you know how things gets exaggerated to the point of stupid but above all; THIS ISN'T FUNNY!) Back in court, BHL then asks Lisa why the city shouldn't force her to shut down the site... Wait a second the city is blaming Lisa for their stupidity? Okay forgive me for not watching The Social Network so I might be wrong, but I never got ANY indication from reviews of that movie, trailers or any news reports that Facebook was told to shut down due to accidents involving it. In short, the writers are hacks who know nothing about the internet and yet try to use the internet to appeal to people who could care less about them. Lisa then tries to defend herself by saying she had friends (The correct response would be; "It is not my fault these people enjoyed something I made. It is their responsibility to control themselves" oh wait, Lisa is written by a moron, my mistake) and in the end is ordered to shut down Facebook. Lisa goes into shutting it down as dramatic music plays while she's doing it (When you make a boring episode, you do not deserve dramatic music, now apologize). 
On that day, Little Lisa learned that twas not the virtual friends that was important
but the friends that you can mooch off of was
As she's shutting it down, people throw out their laptops and smartphones (Times I used my smartphone for Facebook: <10). Afterwards, Lisa is invited by Janey and friends to play as she agrees (Oh and Homer buts in because the scene had nothing to do with him, but the writers are desperate for "humor"). The episode ends with some text about Skinner and honey, a bad Twitter mention (Seriously, adding "Spring-" to a word does not constitute humor) and Kearney's avatar dying or something. Now there are two other things completely unrelated to this story to help make it to the 21:30 mark (Seeing as the main story only got up to the 18:30 mark) but I'm not going to go into detail as they are both pointless and worth mentioning.

Final Verdict: Dear God this one SUCKED. I would do the "Candidate for worst episode" thing again, but as long as this season continues, I can't do that. The writing was just awful, this in no way was funny, nor satirical of anything. The jokes were terrible outside maybe one, the pacing was awful with the plot not even starting until the 9:30 mark and the padding, oh dear God the padding. I could do an entire rant about how padded this episode was and in the end NOTHING HAPPENED. This isn't some "Oh but status quo was achieved", no nothing happened, the episode started with Lisa in court and ended with Lisa shutting down a site she somehow created and made popular.

Final Grade: 0.7/10 I never want to see this again, current frontrunner for "Worst of the season" But expect that to change soon

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Episode 10: Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson

You know, the last time you saw anything from this blog, it was positive. I wish I could say the same thing for this entry, but of all the writers they decided to retain from the Al Jean "Error" *Rimshot* John Frink should NOT have been one of them (Along with Kelley and Lazebnik, but they haven't shown up this season). And THIS is a prime example of why he shouldn't have been retained. I know a writer isn't SOLEY responsible for every moment in an episode, but like directors of movies; they get all the glory for successes and all the criticisms for the failures. So despite random complaints I pin on Frink, I know there are others to blame and praise as well. Without further delay, let's take a look.

The episode begins with the family at the airport as they are apparently going to someone's wedding (Really it doesn't matter what the reason is that they are flying, it becomes pointless after the 5 minute mark). Homer then puts his luggage on the scale and it turns out to be 2 pounds too heavy. Now let's play a little game, it's called "What's the punchline?" Okay, so the joke setup was "Homer's bag was too heavy" is the punchline:

  1. The bag is full of bricks/rocks
  2. The bag is carrying something illegal
  3. The bag is carrying something unessential and funny
  4. The bag is carrying something random and not funny
Hmm... what isn't essential here... well I guess this hooker's arm can go back home
Homer then goes to open his bag as he pulls out high school yearbooks and tells Marge in the most contrived way to stop embarrassing himself in front of strangers (So yeah, the least funny and most painful option was chosen here. And people wonder why I think John Frink is a bad writer). After some more padding from this already unfunny scene (Seriously, why is this scene still going? It's just dragging at this point) we see the family go through security where Maggie's bottle is tested by a baby NSA agent (Just accept it and it'll hurt less) and Homer gets a massage when told he's getting a pat down. Oh and before I forget, they decide to include a fart joke in that massage scene as well... Who wants my job? I will pay anyone $50 to take this off my hands right n- *Rereads contract* nevermind, I'm stuck here for at least two more years. Anyways, Homer tries to put some luggage in the overhead compartment as it doesn't fit but in the end he is able to fit it in there, while at the same time pushing it out the airplane... okay, they screwed up this jokes here by having the SAME bag go in and get pushed out. The joke has one bag go in and force ANOTHER bag out, how lazy are these people? I know this is a nitpick, but it's basic logic that we're dealing with here. Afterwards, the plane is delayed due to something unrelated (Ha-ha?) and they decide to turn off the air and allow ethnic food to be eaten... I don't get it, either this is some reference I'm missing or the equivalent of throwing darts at a board for joke structuring.

It's funny because all ethnic people bring food on the plane... nope?
That's not it? Well back to the drawing board
So after 7 hours of waiting (Because unnecessary exaggeration is funny dammit!) they are still grounded and Homer decides he needs to use the bathroom but is denied because he needs to remain seated. Okay, this scene is another example of why I personally cannot stand these jokes; when Homer tells the stewardess he needs to use the bathroom she says; "You should have thought of that before you drank the fluids you need to live". NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT! I hate these types of jokes because they are written for sitcom characters, not human beings, when a joke ceases to have humanity behind it, it ceases to be funny. If you mock something like this (A robot saying these lines) it's passable, but when a human says it and it's supposed to be taken serious is when I get pissed. Okay rant over, let's continue. After a bad text joke, Homer decides that the best thing to do now is to grab the intercom (With endless cord, seriously this cord defies physics) to make a scene while running down the plane (You just know the staff reads about what us "Haters" hate about this show and decided to amplify it in this episode). Homer then locks himself in the other bathroom (Why he just didn't go to that one in the first place is beyond me) and decides to rant about how the airlines screw over people like him (Oh you mean the same way the writing staff continues to screw over the legacy of this show?)
Okay, according to this, the cord wounded up is roughly 8-10 feet long
Still wound up and he's been running for a while
The cord is stretched throughout coach and yet looks like the terminal is right outside the door
And now the cord itself is gone. Animation at it's finest folks
Suddenly, the Air Marshall gets out of his seat (Why he was on THAT plane in coach I will never know) to try to get Homer out as Homer decides to barge through him and the stewardesses with a lunch cart. On the lunch cart, Homer decides he needs to give an epic speech while Bart is recording it all on his phone that can change angles and locations depending on where Homer is. Okay, two problems with this

  1. Like I said, Bart is stationary while recording, yet when he uploads it, we get multiple camera angles. Just saying
  2. Yeah... for the way Homer has acted, he does NOT deserve a speech here. Or at least we cannot take his speech seriously, despite what the writers say
After Homer falls out of the plane, he gets beaten up by some security guards (Along with a bad joke) and Marge gets upset with Homer's actions while it seems like the rest of the plane passengers loved Homer for it (So Marge represents reality while the plane passengers represent delusional thoughts... makes sense to me). Later, we see Homer getting examined by security as Bart decides to upload his fake video with as many tags as possible to get maximum viewership (I like how Bart puts in the tag of 'Classic Simpsons' as if to tell us "We know we're producing shit, we just don't care") We then get a montage of people watching Bart's fake video as apparently it got a lot of attention and made Homer famous (Where have I heard this before on this show? Hmm...)
I guess if I was stupid enough to smoke while pumping gas,
I'd be stupid enough to follow his every word as well
At the Kwik-E-Mart we see Homer try to buy some beer in disguise, but is recognized immediately as he tells Apu that the video got over 150 million hits and he can't go anywhere without being recognized (Hang on a sec *Does a quick search* As of now, there are only 47 videos with over 150 millions views and the majority of them are modern songs with none being published after April 2011. If you don't get what I'm going at here, it's the fact that the writers have NO clue how the internet or reality in general works). After Ol' Gil recognizes Homer, he is greeted by a small crowd of people who want to thank him for acting like an asswipe on the plane (There's a difference between standing up for what you believe in and acting like a jackass). Oh by the way, small animation mistake here; Sideshow Mel appears in front of Homer, then behind and then in front again. Consistency is too damn hard. After Homer realizes that reality does not apply here, he decides he needs to be Jerkass Homer all the time... *Starts to bite arm off* Still less painful than this episode. We then see Homer appear on a political talk show as apparently his airplane rant now qualifies him to make political decisions (Dear God, when I said Homer was going to be an 'Instant expert' in my season preview, I didn't think it would be THIS bad. I thought there'd be SOME effort put in for why people would value his opinion, there is NOTHING going for Homer here).
We're back! And now we ask Homer who our President should be based off his viral video
However, the host (Nash) and his co-host (I'm calling her Nad) bash Homer a bit for no true reason (Take him down a peg perhaps? Doubtful since according to the writers Homer is God and we should all love him). During the commercial break, Marge encourages Homer to win by ranting and raving (NO MARGE! DO NOT ENCOURAGE HIM!) After the break, Homer decides to say he is an honest American and because he says that, he apparently won... I'm not going to think about it too much, it hurts too much already. After Homer is congratulated by his family, the television executives (I don't think the station is ever identified, so I'm just going to say this is a cable show) and is told that he will be given his own show. Homer agrees as long as it's done his way "Classy and sophisticated" which leads into an obnoxious, loud, and annoying introduction (Do it once; funny, do it twice; a little bit funny, do it 3,486 times in the past 5 years; NOT FUNNY!) So Homer's show begins with him introducing himself and we get into his first story about a Nebraska High School dropping Football for soccer an- ZZZ.... I'm sorry, but these parts of the episode bored me. These segments were just boring, it was just Homer being loud and crying at the end. If loud noises interest you, okay, but for me they were just boring.
There, there Homer. I don't hate YOU. You're just poorly written
After we see Homer cry a lot (By the way, this has become a pet peeve of mine; Homer crying for the sake of crying. If he cries over something like death or something sad, okay then. But he literally cries over the prospect of a High School dropping football) we cut to Moe's Tavern as Carl questions why he cries so much and Lenny just writes it off as patriotism (I write it up as awful writing). Back home, we see Homer has become famous for his show (Gary Stu status achieved!) as Lisa questions why he cries and we get an unfunny "Ironic" scene (The scene's not ironic if the setup is contrived). Marge informs Homer that she's concerned about the influence his show has on people, but Homer insists that he's just playing a character (I wonder how John Frink can walk through doors, what with that inflated head of his). Back on Homer's show (Along with ANOTHER unfunny "Ironic" moment, like I said before, it's not funny when you do it every other scene) Homer decides to convey some BS message about American using steak and gravy as 'symbols' (Later, I'll discuss how the sleeping bag of the Economy is protected by the Tent of the U.S. Government. See I can make up this shit too). Again, Homer goes into some meaningless speech that according to the music should have a meaning and ends it by putting the empty gravy boat on his head (Should have been a dunce hat instead).
You should laugh because it's a Glenn Beck joke 1 year too late
Lisa then approaches Homer asking what the gravy boat is supposed to symbolize and Homer says it doesn't symbolize anything (Hey writers, does this symbol mean anything to you; "$.$") Lisa is concerned that it'll lead somewhere while Home thinks nothing of it, cue hundreds of people putting a gravy boat on their head and thinking it means something (Did I say the writers viewed Homer as God? What I meant to say was; The writers view Homer as EVERYONE'S God). The next day, we find out that the Republican Party is reaching out to Homer to give his endorsement to one of their next presidential candidates (And it seems that the writing staff is waiting outside  of "The First Church of Homer" waiting for it to overflow). I mean there is only so much bullshit I can take. This is beyond ridiculous and lazy, this is just a horribly written story about some smug asswipe who started off by acting up on a plane to "Pick our president for us oh great one". I just want that to sink in. Okay, let's continue. After Lisa and Marge express their concern about Homer picking out a candidate for president (FINALLY!) Homer goes to Republican Headquarters where Ted Nugent arrives to act badass enough to get Homer to pick him (It's a sad day when they have been able to find a candidate worse than Sarah Palin to act as a 'nominee').
Dammit, almost hit his head
After Lisa expresses her disgust for Homer endorsing Ted Nugent (Dear God this episode's pacing is slow) we get a family scene where everyone except Homer expresses their disgust for Ted (Well right after they wipe all that brown off their noses.) we cut to nighttime as Homer is approached by James Madison and is taken away to be shown something (Please let it be a fiery grave, please let it be a fiery grave, please let it be-). Actually Madison shows Homer some people who look like the founding father signing the Constitution as Madison tells Homer he'd be ruining all that they stood for (Yet Homer is never told what he'd be doing wrong so when he wakes up, there would be no lesson learned). Oh and by the way, when it comes to presidential dreams, this one SUCKS. it's boring and too long, the one in Lisa the Iconoclast was relatively short and cool. I hate the "Compare and contrast" but when this show has done a concept correctly in the past and fucks it up now, it pisses me off. Homer is awoken by Marge and he goes to Lisa to tell her that he will not endorse Nugent until he finds a conveniently placed pamphlet indicating that it was not a dream but a setup (I thought Lisa was the smart one, oh right, John Frink is the dumb one, my mistake).
Wait a minute, THIS is the script?! Then what have I been reading from?
Homer decides to endorse Ted Nugent just because he's mad about Lisa and the family tricking him (Just 2 more minutes, just 2 more minutes). On Homer's show, he is about to endorse Ted Nugent as his choice for the next president (Yeah because one nutjob on cable can decide the entire outcome of a presidential election. How is it possible that Man of the Year made more sense than this? And now that I think about it, that movie was funnier, I actually laughed in that movie). Homer decides to finish his endorsement by crying (Because it worked so well the first thousand times) but he is unable to cry (Thank God that super glue worked). Lisa tells Homer that he isn't crying because deep down he does not support Ted Nugent. Homer decides that Lisa is right and tells America he is full of crap, to which Lisa agrees (I'd say the writing staff is full of something all well). The episode ends with Ted Nugent singing a song as plot holes are left open about the gravy boat party, how people feel about Homer now, Bart's internet video, Nash and Nad's show, the wedding the family was supposed to go to, the state of the airline company, and you get the point.

Final Verdict: Dear God this episode sucked. Making fun of the Tea Party 2 years after the fact is expected since this show is very lazy and uninspired so I can't really be angry at them for that. But between the characterization of Homer as God of the political world after a viral video having NOTHING to do with politics, the atrocious pacing I mentioned earlier and the awful jokes (I think I counted at least 5 instances of the "Ironic" moment in this episode alone) just made this one a clunker to me. A real shame considering I really did like that Christmas episode.

Final Grade: 1.4/10 Good candidate for worst of the season