Monday, March 5, 2012

Episode 15: Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart

Oh look an episode about Apu, thank God, for a moment I had thought the writers had forgotten he was an actual character and that there were characters outside the family they could focus an episode on. Wait nevermind, I'm still thinking that the writing staff is competent and would make an episode where the main plot centers around what the title implies it would center around, my bad. Without further ado, let's take a look at this.

Opening sequence: 1:07 (P.S. if anyone can tell me what they were referencing I'd like to know) EDIT: The opening sequence was Game of Thrones, found out before I published this but forgot to change it, my bad

The episode begins (In Springfield no less... pay up everyone, they never mentioned the Outlands, why would they?) with Lisa waking up Homer to inform him that he needs to get Marge a Birthday present since her birthday is tomorrow, and Homer informs her that he's already gotten it much to the shock of Lisa. While I'll admit the beer joke got a chuckle out of me, the rest of the scene was 'meh' Lisa reaction to Homer caring about Marge left me a bit uneasy and the name of the present (Puree-Station 3) wasn't funny and in my opinion, they left it up on screen too long as if to say "Do you get it? It's a PS3 joke!" I mean we live in an era where although VCRs are dead, Tivos and other recording devices are a aplenty and finding freeze-frame jokes isn't as hard anymore. Freeze frame jokes are actually EASIER today and yet the writers never allow that kind of joke to just sit in the background. Dear God did I just get into a rant about freeze-frame jokes? My apologies, let's continue.
Did you miss it the first time? Don't worry, they only show it 7 more times
Anyways, Homer tells Lisa that he will be getting the food processor signed by the woman on the box as they head on over to "Swapper Jack's"... while admittedly it's better than a lot of their parody names any particular reason for Trader Joe's? Ah forget it, it's not like there's this Mega-Store that could quite possibly compete with the Kwik-E-Mart for the Simpsons' business anyways, oh wait. Anyways, once inside, the writers feel the need to place in more food-related jokes (None of which are funny) to which Apu appears out of nowhere after Homer suggests that they might not need to go to the Kwik-E-Mart anymore (Oh the writers remembered that Apu is a character and not a means for a plot device *Cough*Homer the Father*Cough*). A group of people then join the Simpsons to argue to Apu that his store is crap and that Trader Joe's (No I'm not addressing bad jokes) is where they'll be shopping from now on (And in the next episode, it'll be like this place never existed). Apu is then  insulted and grabs a toothpick sword and thus begins a fight between Homer and Apu with these swords...I love how they play this scene seriously as if to indicate that if Homer were to be stabbed, he would die.
My name is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, you killed my son, prepare to die!
Anyways, after...that Apu gets tackled and wrapped up in a Hawaiian shirt by some employees and gets taken out, thus allowing Homer to get the box signed (So everyone, say it with me: that scene was entirely pointless). After Homer gets Paula Paul to sign it, she tells Homer that she will call Marge live on tomorrow's show to wish her a happy Birthday. Must... resist... pointing out... how the writers... think... the family... is the center... of the universe... instead I'll just assume that Paula does this for everyone who comes by her book signings, yes that'll do nicely. Anyways, we see Lisa get Marge an apron, Bart get Marge a bunny (Because she had one growing up apparently, okay I'll buy it for now, no complaints) and right before Homer allows Marge to open his present to her, he stands by the phone (Moved to the dining room for convenience) and waits for the call. After 3 hours, we see that they haven't gotten the call and Marge decides to open the gift anyways.
It's a good thing that the clock and phone were installed there yesterday
She loves the gift, but Homer thinks that she loves it out of pity because Paula didn't call and he decides to give Paula a piece of his mind (Ah yes, when someone makes a vague promise in a public area without knowing enough information to proceed with said promise, you should always act like an ass). Homer finds out that the phone is dead and he finds out that the bunny chewed through the cord of that phone as he's seeing the bunny chew through another cord (Doesn't the family have a phone in the kitchen? You know the white one right next to the fridge? Hello logic? Consistency? Bueller?). Anyways, Lisa decides to listen to the answering machine as they find out that Paula tried calling multiple times and ended up getting angry after calling her four times. Okay I have to ask a question, why does Paula care so much about a woman she's never met, I would think a woman of her fame would call once, realize Marge isn't answering and leave it at that. Seriously, this sounds more like what a crazy fan would do if they found the number of their idol.
Ah yes, she's wearing new perfume from Calvin Klein: Obsession for bitches
Anyways, we see that Paula will not let this go as 3 hours after those calls, she's still upset that Marge didn't answer and she's trying to make her look like a demon on television (Plot hole: They have a drawing of Marge, yet as I said before, Paula never actually saw Marge. That's one hell of a coincidence). Also, as mentioned before I love how the writers think that she would obsess this much over a fan, GET OVER IT PAULA! It's one person, you apparently have thousands if not millions of fans, stop obsessing over Marge. After Marge decides to go upstairs, Homer is about to strangle Bart but he decides against it and instead has Bart go into the rabbit cage...because why not? By the way, you can see another phone in the background, why that phone didn't ring is a mystery. If they wanted to say that THAT phone's phoneline was chewed through as well, I'd accept that, but they draw it in and treat it like it doesn't exist. I give up. Later we see Homer about to let Bart out of the cage, but he doesn't want out of the cage.
I'm coming out of my cage, and I've been doing just fine
So after a scene of Homer forcing Bart out of the cage (Another scene that goes on far too long) we see Bart and Milhouse in the Treehouse as they finish some stencils in an attempt to humiliate Homer with graffiti. Dear God, it's the plot! And it only took us 9 minutes to get there...WHY?! And why am I actually surprised at this point? Soon we'll get plots that don't start until the 15 minute mark. We then get a montage of how Bart has gone everywhere (And I do mean everywhere) to spray this stencil in an attempt to humiliate Homer (Oh and please DO NOT mention in the comments about how these stencils are references to certain designs, I do not care). Anyways, after Homer misses the obvious (And a pointless Wiggum appearance) we see the news talk all about the graffiti and how they've dubbed it "Mr Fatso" to which Homer STILL has it fly over his head (Even in Angry Dad Homer was able to notice how the cartoon was about him. He's dumb, but not this dumb).
Nice to see Bart go the extra mile to get that shading down
P.S. the can says red but sprays black
Anyways, Wiggum gives the dumbest warning to whoever the graffiti artist is (And no, not a "Wiggum" dumb I mean "This isn't funny" dumb). Later, we see Apu appear at Trader Joe's as he points a gun at Jailbird (Who is a cashier) as it goes nowhere (I'm assuming this is the subplot, but it's so uninteresting I could care less). Anyways, we see Bart prepare for more vandalism as we partake in another montage... yippee (P.S. Way to try to over complicate a simple season 1 joke. You suck at fanservice). Afterwards, Bart and Milhouse get chased by some people who reveal themselves to be street artists who specialize in artistic graffiti.Oh great now we get to dive into Bart is a master graffiti artist, so much so that professional artists have come to meet him in Springfield. And don't bring up how Bart has been a graffiti vandal, his graffiti was crude and looked like that of a kid's work, not what we're seeing today. After they extend an invitation for Bart to be the center of an art show, he agrees and they all split when the cops come out.
You see Bart, the writers think you're the next Picasso so we thought we'd  come for one scene to see if that was true
We then see Apu closing up the Kwik-E-Mart as Manjula informs him that the Trader Joe's got shut down due to monkeys being passed for chickens and all is okay... was this subplot really needed? We had all of three scenes and nothing was accomplished here, what was the point of having the Kwik-E-Mart in the title of the episode if it has ONE appearance in the entire episode and is mentioned in a grand total of three scenes. Was it too hard to come up with a title that would make sense for Bart's plot? Anyways, we then cut to Homer walking Santa's Little Helper and the bunny (Never named and will never be seen again after this episode) as Homer still cannot make the connection about the graffiti (I guess Homer's diet consists of lead paint and mercury). Milhouse approaches Bart about the show and Homer overhears that "Mr. Fatso" is him (Ha-ha-ha what wit, Homer not realizing this for 5 minutes and all the misunderstandings that followed, it wasn't like this felt the least bit forced at all...COMEDY! DO YOU SPEAK IT WRITERS?!)
Homer: What the? Bart has been insulting me all this time? What Should I do?
Anyways, at the art show, we see everyone likes Bart's work, but it turns out to be a dream as he wakes up to Homer strangling him over the graffiti. I've said it in past reviews, when Homer strangles Bart, it's supposed to be impulsive, here he had PLENTY of time to think about this and he decides to strangle Bart while he's sleeping, thus he had the intent of murdering Bart over art... I didn't think it was possible to outsuck the "Homer choking on a noose while Bart prank texts Moe" or the "Homer tries to commit suicide in front of his kids and they could care less" YOU HAVE REACHED A NEW LOW!!!
Homer: Well thank God I had 8 hours to think of how I'd react to that
So after Homer's  attempted murder of Bart, he walks away feeling like a disappointment to his son (Maybe if Homer breaks the neck of Nelson, he'll gain Bart's respect). At the show, Homer doesn't attend which upsets Bart as he apologizes to Homer in the form of graffiti and thus that riff is over (All of 30 seconds, the emotional tension was amazing). As Bart is giving a speech, Wiggum appears from nowhere to arrest Bart for his graffiti as he reveals the whole art show was a sham. Wiggum then reveals that one of the artists was an undercover cop who set Bart up. As Bart is getting handcuffed by Eddie, Marge asks for him not to get arrested and the episode ends with Bart being put in the rabbit cage as he signs autographs and poses for photos for everyone as he escapes the cage through the power of magic (Rushed endings are rushed).

Final Thoughts: The episode was mediocre at best, neither plot flowed at all, the Marge's Birthday setup was entirely pointless (Seriously, does Bart need to be put in a cage for him to be angry at Homer?) and the Kwik-E-Mart subplot had no effort put into it as it was just a collection of scenes pasted together. The jokes weren't funny and the writing was terrible. And like I said above, the scene where Homer strangles Bart in his sleep was a pathetic low even for this staff, to even fathom the idea that child abuse in that nature could be seen as a joke is just sickening, but one scene does not make an episode.

Final Grade: 2.2/10 Rather boring and uninteresting


  1. The title "Exit Through The Kwik-E-Mart" is a reference (pun? homage?) to the Banksy documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop", so it kinda links to Bart's plot. Still a bad title choice IMO.

    And while I loved seeing in your review that the bunny didn't chew 2 phones & that the red paint sprays black, I'm more perplexed as to why Bart was sleeping above his sheets. The bed was intact underneath him.

    PS: The couch gag references (parodies? homages?) Game Of Thrones. I only got that cause I tried watching the show once, otherwise I would've been as confused as you were.

    1. Didn't know what the title was referencing, should have suspected Bansky given how the staff now loves him. Still doesn't excuse how the Kwik-E-Mart gets a grand total of one scene and it's outside of it.

      I realized the couch gag earlier today (On Twitter) but had a brain fart and forgot to change the review itself. Fixed now