Monday, November 19, 2012

Episode 5: Penny-Wiseguys

...I honestly don't feel a good snarky introduction from me, so do my work for me and think of one yourselves this week.

Opening sequence: 1:00 Really not much to talk about here, it's okay I guess

The episode begins with an attempt at nostalgia with the Holy Rollers facing the Pins Pals except Otto's replaced with some guy named Dan. The Pin Pals are about to win, but contrived writing forces them to forfeit right before the last throw. Really, some more does happen, but the pacing is just so awful in the first minute of the episode that it's hard to actually absorb it all in, even being allowed to pause and rewatch the episode doesn't help. So we then see Dan approach Luigi's as it turns out he works for Fat Tony... oh wait, no actually it's Fit Tony, remember Fat Tony died and then his convenient look alike cousin was retconned as the new Fat Tony. So Fat Bob (What, it's not like he's actually Fat Tony so why should I call him that?) needs a temporary replacement (He's on jury duty for the record) and of course, he picks the guy we were just introduced to because that's totally not lazy and cliche, right? So after a boring scene of Dan trying to convince everyone else not to kill him, we cut to Springfield Elementary as a concert is being held with everyone in the audience hating the music.
It's a good thing they just happened to have that anvil on standby
This prompts Bart to remember the music from Bugs Bunny which gets Homer to say "I sure wish an anvil dropped on my head right about now" followed immediately by an anvil hitting him...I honestly have nothing to say here. No "Another stunt double?" quip, no "These guys are getting PAID to write this" no "They aren't even TRYING to let the comedy feel natural". The writing will never change because no matter how much "New blood" they try to incorporate, the same toxic formula will remain in place, and as long as FOX and blind fanboys allow it to happen, they'll keep repeating the same shit over, and over, and over until we see "The Simpsons: Season 35 episode 12- Bart Kicks Homer in the Balls" a 16 minute episode with 14 minutes of commercials. Huh, I hate using up my weekly paragraph rant so early in the review, oh well, let's move on. So Lisa performs her Sax solo and then passes out after she finishes. Everyone is shocked and it's up to the school nurse to get her offstage, the school nurse turns out to be Willy... yeah Lunchlady Doris doubling as the nurse was how you do the joke correctly. So Dr. Hibbert tells Lisa that she needs more iron as he gives her "comically" oversized iron pills for her to take. After another boring scene of Dan not getting the trust of the mafia (Okay, the Joey the Arsonist joke was a bit amusing. Credit where credit's due), we see Lisa trying and unable to take the pills during lunch, this causes zombie lunchlady Doris to give Lisa some food to help her (Because she's been dead for years and only because of lazy writing around season 18 brought her back into the show. Seriously, this would be like bringing back Troy McClure because they couldn't come up with a new character, this is just disrespecting Doris Grau).
Lisa: This is delicious, what is it?
Doris: The gardener who overcharged me this past summer

Lisa likes it, but after Doris tells her it's made from bugs, Lisa tells her she promised McCartney she wouldn't eat meat (After this episode, I'm going to wash my mind of this shit and watch something good). But in all seriousness, I love how the show tries to reference earlier seasons as if they're responsible for those episodes, name 5 members of the current writing staff that actually had a hand in season 7, I'll wait. It'd be like an artist's drunk son trying to take credit for his father's work, he saw it happen, but he doesn't have the talent to paint any of his father's work. Anyways, Doris tells Lisa that vegetarians do eat insects without worrying and she should give this a chance. Okay, let's just list off iron alternatives that vegetarians eat all the time: Spinach, oatmeal, grains, nuts, soybeans, tofu, prune juice, oh wait, none of those would have the comedic value of a plot where Lisa eats bugs, how stupid of me. Later, we see Dan go to Moe's Tavern and Moe acts like he's late to drinking... okay we barely know a thing about this guy and yet the dialogue acts as if we've known this guy since day one. This wouldn't be so bad if I knew anything about the guy, but the writing is just so lazy I know next to nothing about him and therefore don't care about him in the slightest. After the whole "Dan is an asshole for showing up late" sketch is drawn out for too long, Dan tells them that he hates his job and Moe tells him to stick up for himself and such. Wow, that scene was so utterly vital and necessary to continue watching this tripe and dear God this is boring.
Please find this funny, nobody else does
So at school, we see some insect eating group welcoming Lisa as a montage of them dining on some meals made of insects begins... and my theory about the subplot has been confirmed, they just wanted to do gross-out humor with bugs so they said "Fuck logic, we'll just have Lisa eat worms!" So we see Dan start to assert himself and tells everyone to cut down on expenses, goody because mafia expenses is the height of animated comedy. So we then see Lisa plant some grasshopper eggs as if they were seeds when Snowball knocks over the bag and some stuff that makes them grow faster. After a scene that teases with Lisa eating shrimp (Fuck the writers, fuck the writers, fuck the-) we see Dan talk to Bob during a lunch break as Bob suggests he kill some personnel that are redundant (I'm sorry if this sounds boring, but I can't find a way to make this interesting. They have Steve Carrell and yet every scene he's been in has been boring, even Dan is just plain boring). So Lisa is in a dream sequence where she realizes that *Gasp* bugs can feel things and are living animals... I'm sorry, there's no wall hard enough to bang against that will express my utter shock at the stupidity of this writing. So after Lisa screams her way awake, she tells Bart to free the grasshoppers, he tries and fails as they're free in the basement. Boy howdy, I sure do hope this doesn't come back to bite them in the ass.
Somewhere Paul McCartney is crying and he doesn't know why
So Dan meets Homer inside his car and he tells Homer that he has to kill some people and he asks Homer to prevent him from killing the people. I could summarize the rest of the scene, but there's nothing TO summarize, it's just so bland. So later, Homer drives Dan to keep him from killing the people, when we then get a scene where can tell the writers just gave up and told Dan Castellaneta "Just say mumbo jumbo, it'll be hilarious". Funny how the two moments where the writers gave up both involved Homer. SO Homer ties Dan up in the basement (Insert bondage joke here) and Homer leaves him alone with all the grasshoppers (Do I smell contrived comedy brewing?) So after a rather bad sketch where Bart and Homer are watching "AFI 100 screams" with Dan screaming as well, Homer goes to feed Dan and frees him once he sees the grasshoppers everywhere.
Dan escapes and we cut to him trying to kill the people he was supposed to kill. However, Homer arrives everywhere Dan is and convinces him not to kill anyone, and after a long drawn out dialogue exchange with no action, they accidentally shoot Snake who was just acquitted from Fat Bob's trial as he tries to rob Apu (Umm... full circle?) Lisa releases the grasshoppers into the wild as the episode ends with Fat Bob declaring only 1 gun in the mafia and we see Dan working in the mall as a piercing guy.

Final Thoughts: This episode was very dull and very short on laughs. The humor was very contrived and while I did find some things amusing, I never did laugh. Neither the plot, nor the subplot had much potential and the whole "Lisa eats bugs" barely would work as a stand-alone joke, much less an entire subplot. Like I said earlier, the opening was way too rushed, but looking back, the rest of the episode seemed to drag WAY too much at times, especially with the plethora of scenes involving Dan talking to the mafia. Overall, probably the worst of the season to date and just not even worth a watch.


  1. What's the name of the song that plays at the insect buffet scene? Any ideas? thx!

    1. I found it finally! It´s the Flower Duet by Leo Delibes! enjoy!