Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Episode 20: The Spy Who Learned Me

Yeah sorry for the delay, but things got in the way to prevent me from putting this out on time (Or even the next day). But anyways we have an episode to take a look at where Homer sees an imaginary spy who makes him a more suave man or something. I don't know, all I know is that it's supposed to be a James Bond parody, but it's far from McBain or anything entertaining, so let's just get on with this. Oh and a quick side note; no BINGO this week, I'll resume next week.

Opening Sequence: 27 Seconds (And they got it right two weeks in a row, they get a cookie)

The episode begins with a generic James Bond film as Homer decides he needs to add his awful quips every 10 seconds (Not even a minute in and I'm already pissed. Thank you writers, I'm sure this will be a delight). So after Mr. Bont kills a security gaurd (Yeah screw whatever name the writers gave him, I'm calling him Mr. Bont, although that might be an insult to Mr. Swartzwelder's character) we see a meeting of generic evil people. Before you start saying "But that's just how YOU view them" the writers more or less admit that they are generic by giving them a group name of "International Brotherhood of Evil". You know, despite the group of evil people in the McBain movie at the beginning of Last Exit to Springfield having no name whatsoever, that group was FAR more interesting. Anyways, after some boring dialogue, Mr. Bont appears out of a coffin cake. Not nearly as impressive as an ice sculpture and physically impossible seeing as he arrived moments ago. Seriously, there was no need for him to be on the helicopter, why not just have his first appearance be in the cake? Simple logic goes a LONG way.
Sure glad they put that "International" part in or I would have suspected the "Not-Nazi" was from Carolina
So after Mr. Bont kills General... um... uh... *Rewinds tape* huh, he's never named. I guess the writers knew he'd never be remembered as fondly as MENDOZA! Sorry, everytime I type his name, I have to internet shout it. Because of this, Homer decides to say his third quip and while Marge gets angry at him, Lenny and Carl congratulate Homer on his failed MST3K audition (Stop encouraging Jerkass Homer, nobody likes him). After Homer spouts his final unfunny quip (Okay that one didn't even make sense, were they lampshading how terrible they all were?) Marge gets upset and on the car ride back, Homer notices that she's mad at him after he high fives Lenny who just happens to pass him on the other side of the road... Wait a second, wasn't he at the theaters with Homer? This what happens when you fail to put thought into your jokes. Later, we see the school put in metal detectors for the sake of the plot, er I mean to catch smartphones so kids can't put embarrassing videos on YouTube. Okay, where do I even begin with this disection?
  1. I'm pretty sure they've called their YouTube parody "MyTube". The writers have been  really BAD with this. They will call their "Parodies" one thing, but say the actual brand name later. I didn't mention this last week, but part of the freeze frame joke with Bart's list on the cruise involved a joke reading "XBox with PS3 controls" despite the fact that they called them "YBox" and "Gamestation 3" earlier this season. Also, like I mentioned in the "Bar rag" episode, Moe mentions Facebook despite the previous episode making it clear that Facebook didn't exist in Springfield. You can't have it both ways. As long as the writing staff has their heads up their asses, they will never understand this
  2. The only purpose this serves is an excuse for Nelson to steal money right in front of Skinner... would it have been so hard to have just written in a "Nelson stealing money of the playground" scene? Apparently so despite that being a common Nelson scene.
Anyways, this leads to Nelson stealing change from everyone as Willie just flat out hands it to him ... my brain is melting from the stupidity. So Bart gets pissed that Nelson's a being a bully to him... okay the writers are never consistent on whether or not Nelson bullies Bart or not, one episode they'll be working together, and then the next episode Bart will hate him. After Nelson randomly goes off to destroy Ms. Van Houten's hair dye (...I got nothing) we see Homer at work replacing a light on his continuity-defying ladder as he feels bad for Marge being angry at him. Although since the writers have no faith in their audience, Homer has to explain why he feels bad (Show, don't tell. Audiences are not drooling idiots).
Okay so establishing shot has his hand on the top and foot on the third to top stair
Now his hand is on the second to top stair and his knee is nowhere to be seen
Now we're back to the normal ladder
Or not...
We then see Burns not understanding how a driving cart works (Oh for fuck sakes- HE KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE! A steering wheel is not a foreign concept to him) when he hits Homer who after "Falling gracefully" (ugh) he wakes up and we find out he's sustained a concussion (Took him long enough to actually get one, but given the fact that his skull is very thick from the boxing episode, falling down of all things is probably the weakest excuse for a concussion). So Blue-Haired Lawyer convinces Burns to give Homer time to recover as he gets 8 weeks paid vacation. When Homer gets home, he tries to tell his family about his vacation, but his entire family decides to be loud and obnoxious to the point where he decides not to tell them. This prompts Homer to tell himself "I have 8 weeks paid vacation and my family doesn't know"... I'm sorry I forgot what happened 10 seconds ago, could you please remind me since I'm dumber than a rock? Seriously, that is horrible writing there, and trust me, this episode is not limited to just that line either. So the next day Homer pretends to go to work, but as soon as he leaves, he takes off his tie and throws his shoes at Flanders. Except he throws them at the WRONG house... it was clearly an ADR joke so why did they choose Flanders of all people. Hell Patty would have made more sense. Anyways, we see Bart's class watch a documentary hosted by... Eric Idle? NO!!! Eric for shame, you're better than this.
For you see this Krusty Burger has... oh forget it
 I WAS IN THE HOLY GRAIL FOR GOD'S SAKE! Let me have my dignity
So Mr. Idle (Yeah I don't remember his name, nor do I particularly care) begins his Super Size Me documentary on Krusty Burger called "Would You Like Lies with That?". While I'll give them credit for going with a callback from Season 14, that episode aired before the Super Size Me documentary so deciding to make a "Topical" parody of a documentary that's 8 years old is beyond stale and unoriginal. So after Krusty randomly appears in the documentary (... no, just... you cannot rationalize why he's in this scene) we see Mr. Idle getting fatter and fatter until Krusty shovels him off to be turned into food (Eh one positive note woud be the documentary form did get a chuckle out of me). This gives Bart the great idea to fatten Nelson up (Only in the mystic world of La-La Land could this possibly happen, so as you could guess, it works perfectly). We then cut to Homer enjoying what a weekday afternoon is like *Cough*Lost Our Lisa*Cough* and Homer decides to go to Moe's for some beer which leads into this "Oscar worthy" dialogue

  • Moe: "Heya Homer, I could hear your pathetic rationalization through the door"
...Someone got PAID to write that. Even worse, someone else actually read the line and decided it should make the final cut. I would hate to see what doesn't make it through. 
Writers: Look, we make callback joke therefore it's funny right? Please stop hating us and get some fresh air.
Homer then watches a Mr. Bont film as he begins to hallucinate Mr. Bont in the bar because of his concussion (Next I hear Homer will get amnesia and it'll take 23 minutes for him to remember who he is). So after Mr. Bont explains that he'll make Homer into a man Marge can't resist (And forgetting why Marge and Homer are a happy couple. I wonder what answer the writers would give if someone asked why Marge and Homer are married?) we see Nelson taking everyone's lunch money until Bart gives him some Krusty Burger along with a coupon book for 30 free burgers. Oh and by the way, this episode has NO clue how it's timeline works whatsoever. I'll explain as we continue. So we go back to Homer and Bont as he begins to tell Homer to clean up his car and dress up nicer (And he needed Bont for this because...?) So we cut to presumably 4 weeks later as Brockman reports on childhood obesity being an issue (6 years ago maybe) as we see Nelson is now obese himself. This causes Lisa to blame Bart for Nelson's current condition because she has physic powers like Lady Gaga will apparently (Sorry, but I just watched the promo for the finale and it looks like it's going to suck even moreso than usual). So we go back to Homer (Still presuming the same timeline so we should be around 4-6 weeks of his paid vacation) as Mr. Bont tells Homer to approach women and get them to fall for him. 
Hey lady, would you like to suck my- 
Hey I moved ten feet to the right but I was wondering if you two would like to- 
Hey you weren't there a second ago, all I have to do is turn around and woman appear? I am truly a God
So he approaches a woman and she's insulted. He then approaches two more women not 10 feet away who somehow didn't hear what he said and then he pisses them off as well. Homer then turns around to talk to one more woman who didn't hear a word he's been saying, only to leave after he talks. Okay this is another example of horrible writing; the writers have what I call "Screen View" where the only things that matter are what's onscreen. In this scene, the women don't exist until they're put onscreen and as soon as they leave, they don't exist as well. I mentioned this briefly in the episode where Homer sings opera, Marge was talking to her family about faking good behavior to the people at the funeral. Nevermind the fact that she wasn't whispering nor were the people far away, but they didn't hear a word she said because they weren't onscreen. There are many examples of this, I just wanted to point that one out in particular, let's continue. So Homer then gets advice from his hallucination (Which by the way is from his imagination and yet it knows more than Homer does) and he gets a woman to fall for him. Just that moment, her husband appears and draws a gun (Which nobody panics because they aren't in the scene. Wow another good example of awful writing). Oh and here's another great piece of dialogue that in no way sounds forced or contrived in the slightest:
  • Husband: "What is this? I leave for two seconds to get chocolate martinis and my wife is expertly seduced by this man*?"   *(Didn't make out the last words)
What's this? I am a generic, lazy villain who appears and disappears at any given moment? Impossible
Thank you Mr. Exposition, your paycheck is at the door, and thank you for pointing out the "Instant expert" trope the writers have abused to death. So after Homer fails to blind him with a lemon, he grabs a lime and this causes Mr. Exposition to go down. Another scene that just embodies the laziness of the show, I mean first off the wife disappears when Homer squirts the husband with the lime because she has no importance anymore and he just LET Homer grab the lime. I guess he was thinking to himself: "Gee I should shoot him in the skull while I have the chance, but that wouldn't be fair. I mean, he hasn't figured out that I can't stand lime in my eyes and- OH DEAR GOD THE PAIN!" So later, we see Marge go to the SNPP to bring Homer lunch (For some reason) as Lenny (Of course, who else would it be?) tells Marge that Homer still has two weeks left of paid vacation and this infuriates Marge. Okay so our timeline indicates that Homer's finished 6 weeks of vacation while Bart gave Nelson the coupons 4 weeks ago, let's see if we'll be able to make sense of this by the end. So we cut to Krusty's as we see him and Mr. Teeny playing their "Zii" (Fuck that joke so hard, I hate it) and Lisa comes in with Nelson demanding that he help them. Um okay, how the hell did they get in? And for that matter, why should Krusty help Nelson? Why would he help them? He owes them nothing and Lisa can find Nelson a gym somewhere, ah screw it I'm delving into that "Logic" thing the writers treat like the plague. So Krusty has his assistant whip Nelson into shape (So after 4 weeks of getting fat, how long will it take to get him skinny?) Homer comes home and Marge tells him she knows about his vacation. He tells her the truth and all is forgiven (Huzzah... zzz...). 
Wow, look at how many people are in the background
I know Marge, I can't believe they all disappeared as well
So Homer takes Marge to a restaurant and Marge isn't concerned about a baby seat in the backseat because all she is for this scene is Homer's wife. Don't believe me? Here's the first line of dialogue of that scene:
  • Homer: "The three of us are going to the most romantic restaurant in town"
He said THREE and Marge never questions it. Fuck you writers, you SUCK! So at the "Restaurant" (Yeah they called it one, but it sure as hell isn't a restaurant) Homer and Marge dance (With people in the background) but Homer gets knocked out by Mr. Exposition. And because the scene is about Homer and Mr. Exposition, all the tables that were once full are all empty... there are not enough profanities to express how dumb this staff is. So the woman knocks out Mr. Exposition as Marge questions why she called Homer "My love". So Marge questions that but not the "THREE"? I guess Marge has intelligence levels that are dependent on how much beer the writers have consumed. So after Homer exposits what has been going on, he decides to get Mr. Bont out to help which leads to the FOX Football Robot appearing just to dance... Seth McFarlane called, he said that joke was too random for his liking. After Mr. Exposition asks "How can a fat man hide so well?" ...FGSDSAGYUGASD- HE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU YOU FUCKING MORON! HE'S NOT HIDING! I'm this close to having a brain aneurysm. So the robot turns into Mr. Bont and tells Homer to take him on. Homer gives the same schtick that he gave to his wife and all is forgiven. Okay screw details, I'm ending this. So Homer and Marge walk off with Homer saying he should have been back a week ago as we cut to Nelson who is now buff and back to bullying. So Nelson got obese in 4 weeks but buff in 3? Time and Space, how does it work?!

Final Verdict: This was terrible, I'd say it was worse than last week's but for different reasons. Last week's episode bored me while this one did manage to keep my attention. However, the writing was absolutely horrible and had no structure whatsoever with rather piss-poor jokes to compliment it. Probably one of the worst episodes of the season, but I say that often, so take it with a grain of salt (Although I still believe that the bar rag will be the worst unless my suspicions about the Lady Gaga episode are true).

Final Grade: 1.3/10 Probably the hardest to grade given last week's grade


  1. Forget the plot, forget the continuity problems. I watched the whole episode, all 20 minutes, and I didn't laugh once. When a comedy can't get me to laugh once, problems with the plot is the least of its problems.

  2. I think with the Supersize Me "parody", they were trying to keep up with the times with recent Beavis and Butt-head episode.

    What does ADR men?

    1. Well Beavis and Butthead was off the air between 1998-2011 so they couldn't do a "timely" parody. Their episode aired in November so judging by their production schedule (About 6-8 months) it could be possible this episode was somewhat inspired by B&B

      ADR is a term for dubbing (Automated Dialogue Replacement or Additional Dialogue Recording) where the line might not have been in the original script but they decided to add it in post-animation. This isn't a bad thing as some of my favorite jokes were added in via ADR, but here it just feels like a screw-up.