(originally aired April 21, 2002)
Nobody likes clip shows. Nobody. And especially now, they’re such a relic of the past, from a time when not only home video or DVD didn’t exist, but no reruns either. A few short years back, The Office did a clip show, and I was quite confused why the hell they bothered, considering I could watch any past episode with the click of a mouse. So even here in 2002, having a clip show feels so unnecessary. This series has had varying success with them, the best being the very first, “So It’s Come To This,” which managed to stay entertaining and engaging despite itself. But in all of them, even at their clumsiest, they all felt focused and about something. The one about romance, the one with all of the songs, they all revolved around something and had a specific purpose in setting up clips, or at the very least made fun of themselves for the stupidity of the clip show. In this episode, it’s all very clumsy; Homer just randomly starts telling his life’s story to Wiggum on a bench, amongst other random anecdotes, and then is escorted to a roast being held in his honor. …wait, what?
I hate this episode. Even beyond being a clip show, which this is easily the worst, I hate what it represents. We have the entire town take part in this celebrity roast for Homer, yucking it up for the crowd in honoring this buffoon. The show had steadily been pushing the family from being just another household of the town to being the primary focus of all the townspeople, and this one just locks it in. Even if it’s not technically canon, it still emphasizes this point. Everyone from Krusty to Mr. Burns is honoring Homer for being a moronic, selfish, insane sociopath. And most of the clips are from recent seasons, so it’s not even worth watching for them. Then the show decides to get even more insane by adding Kang and Kodos, and at that point I’m just desperately waiting for it to end. Then we end with the only inspired point in the whole show, the “They’ll Never Stop the Simpsons” song, which listening to it now feels less like self-depricating and more like a threat. They’ll never stop this show. Ever. And that’s a harrowing thought to have after such a dismal clip show. At least they apologized for it. If only it were enough…
Tidbits and Quotes
– It’s pretty jarring when they jump from a season 2 clip to a season 11; there’s just so much difference, not just in the animation and look, but also in tone and quality. It’s like flipping back and forth between two different shows, which in a way, it kind of is…
– While reminiscing about the family car, Homer remembers the time he stole Moe’s car. I guess that’s just the general vehicular memories clip package. I guess nobody could be bothered to give a shit on this one.
– Krusty asks Homer, “Do you remember this voice?” Homer’s had barely any involvement with Krusty, it’s not like he’s his old friend. But that’s just it, Homer’s beloved by everybody in town for some reason. But why? Why? Oh, and another motherfucking joke about Homer hating giving money to charity. This is at least the fifth time they’ve done this “gag.” When will it end? And when will I stop using italics?
– This is probably the most painful episode I’ve had to sit through so far. And I did fast-forward through all the clips. They throw out lines as jokes (“A lot of people think our dad’s behavior has screwed us up. And it has!”) but, really, with some of the insane shit Homer’s pulled over the years, I’m sure it has emotionally scarred Bart and Lisa. And they’re honoring him. Same with Burns claiming how Homer’s ineptitude at work has endangered all their lives with great laughter from the crowd. That they would even make an episode like this, even in jest as a clip show like this, kind of trivializes the series and any seriousness it ever tried to have in the past.
Just a quick scheduling note, I’m trying to get a consistent posting routine going from this point out. Reviews will be up Monday through Friday, because usually when I get to five episodes in a row, I need a bit of a breather. Then Sunday I’ll have a new movie review up on my DreamWorks blog, this weekend The Road to El Dorado. I only threw this one together pretty quickly since there’s not much to say about it, and also because now I’ll be done with the season next week. One more down the drain!