324. Margical History Tour

(originally aired February 8, 2004)
I really don’t care for these three-story episodes, I just don’t find it that interesting to see our characters playing roles within other famous stories. These shows just end up becoming all about the gags, and while there are a few here that work, it just further cements my boredom of this format. At a terminally defunct library with book report due dates looming, Marge regales the kids with stories of the past, because apparently she’s a master historian. First is King Henry VIII, played by Homer, and his quest to father a rightful heir to the throne, otherwise known as a male. He invents the concept of divorce in order to jump from wife to wife to try to bear XY fruit, ultimately coming up short. Now I could complain about the historical inaccuracies… but then I’d look like an asshole. Who gives a shit if it’s accurate or not? It’s close enough. The segment’s alright, but seeing Homer be a royal (literally) asshole to everyone is a bit disheartening to see; he’s in another role, but that’s basically his character nowadays anyway.

Next is Lisa as Sacajawea, who must assist explorers Lewis and Clark (Lenny and Carl) to the Pacific Northwest. It’s okay. …really, these ones are so hard to write about because I don’t really have any feelings towards them. The last one retells the story of Mozart, or rather retells the movie Amadeus, depicting the rivalry of Mozart (Bart) and Antonio Salieri (Lisa). Lisa points this out in the end, because it makes sense that an eight-year-old girl not only knows the play, but the thorough history of classic composers. Maybe it makes a little sense, given her interest in music. The last segment is probably my favorite if I had to pick one, but probably just because it just ripped from that movie. But Bart and Lisa easily fall into those roles, and it’s a fun dynamic to watch play out. Sort of. I dunno, I’ll posit the question again, does anyone really like these episodes? Not just like ‘they’re alright,’ but one you can point to say and say ‘that was a great episode.’ They’re just so innocuous to me, filler episodes in seasons where they seem to be scrambling to fill slots.

Tidbits and Quotes
– To be fair, the new selfish and assholeish Homer fits the role of Henry VIII pretty well. The one-two punch of him consulting marriage counseler Dr. Hibbert (“Your feelings are valid, but I’m afraid marriage takes a lot of hard work… and who needs that? I say trade in that lemon and get biz-zay!”) and the Lord Chancellor Ned Flanders (“I work for the Pope, and I think a celibate Italian weirdo knows a lot more about marriage than you.”) is pretty good, especially the capper with “canonizing” Flanders.
– Ghastly, disturbing gag with Homer positing to Lisa “either grow a penis, or get lost.” Then she tries to. Horrible.
– Nice gag with Lenny and Carl passing right by the White House (“It’s been two years, so our brave explorers should be right about here… you morons!”)
– My favorite line comes from Rainier Wolfcastle, who fits right in at the Austrian Musik Awards (“What is it about music that enchants us? The notes.”)
– Nelson as Beethoven is another great fit, his laugh to the Fifth Symphony is a good joke.
– We close out with Homer singing the theme from Animal House, which makes as little sense as the Ghostbusters ending from “Tales From the Public Domain.”
– This might be my shortest review ever. Sorry guys, but I just got nothing on this one.

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14 responses to “324. Margical History Tour

  1. I remember “We’re big! We’re BIG! Which you mountain lions find threatening!” and the Animal House ending. Other than that, this episode went in one ear and out the other. I have to agree: meh.

  2. M E H

  3. “I dunno, I’ll posit the question again, does anyone really like these episodes? Not just like ‘they’re alright,’ but one you can point to say and say ‘that was a great episode.’ They’re just so innocuous to me, filler episodes in seasons where they seem to be scrambling to fill slots.”

    The only one I sort of liked was “The Wettest Stories Ever Told”. Sort of. I wouldn’t call it a “great” episode, though.

  4. “Simpsons Bible Stories” has its moments (“I thought you were dead!” “Nope!”) and “Tales From The Public Domain” is actually pretty great. The rest are terrible,

  5. Meh, to the nth degree!

  6. I feel nothing from these episodes, and they don’t make me laugh. They make me cringe, it’s like watching someone unfunny try to force out a joke. The jokes are well-delivered (thanks to the great actors), but they just..lack something. They aren’t fresh or clever.
    I have to admit I laughed at the Lisa “growing a penis” joke, simply because I have a gross sense of humor. But if you think about whether that joke would have flown in a classic-era epsiode, it totally wouldn’t. I mean, yeesh, how unrealistic can you get.
    There are all these really awkward moments in these later episodes – can’t put my finger on why I hate them so much – for example, the next episode you’re gonna review, “Mulhouse doesn’t live here anymore”. There’s this bit where milhouse’s new “cool” friends point at Bart and chant “Springfield baby”..it’s just..really badly executed. I liked marge’s “Milhouse whoo” though.

  7. I liked the one they did for Easter back in Season 9, but they seem to be out of ideas for these three stories. Just save the three stories for Halloween. I mean, it isn’t like they know how to do Halloween stories anymore anyway.

  8. (small voice)…I like the three-story episodes. And I liked this one.

  9. Hate this die sort of episode. Pointless and rarely funny beyond a gag or two.

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