(originally aired December 17, 2006)
This episode I feel had some potential; a chance to develop a one-note secondary character, and an examination of Marge and how far she can be pushed until she hits a breaking point, but this is yet another time where the show’s penchant for being extremely exaggerated works against it. An act of kindness to Lisa by department store Santa Gil ends up getting him fired on Christmas Eve. Taking pity, Marge lets him stay for the night, then for the next day, and then for the entire next year. The second act is in two stages: first, set up the “conflict,” with the most transparent dialogue possible. Marge explains how she can’t say no to people, and later while Homer is complaining about Gil at the bar, Carl comes out of nowhere with this statement (“Well, you can’t kick him out, ’cause then Marge will never learn to assert herself.”) Thanks, Carl, that sounded completely natural for you to say. After that, it’s just fast-forwarding through the year as Gil becomes more and more of a burden and a mooch, Homer scowls and Marge does nothing. Yawn.
This plot is insane. An entire year goes by and Marge can’t tell Gil to leave? And moreover, Homer doesn’t buckle and force him out himself? Or when Marge sees how her kids are being affected, stealing their lunches, she doesn’t step up then? If this had been over a month, and we really see her struggle, okay, sure, but once again, done over a year, it’s exaggerated to such an absurd level I can’t take it seriously anymore. When Marge finally works up the gumption to kick Gil out, it turns out he’s already gone. Not only that, he apparently became a real estate kingpin in Scottsdale overnight. How did this happen? And how did Marge not notice him leave? I guess she was raking those leaves for a long time. Wanting to get her big “no” out, the now insane Marge drives to Scottsdale and tells Gil off at work, causing him to get fired again. It’s a really sour ending; Gil took advantage of the Simpsons, but in a blind-sighted, naive way. Marge was a complete doormat against the constant insistence by her husband, then completely blew Gil’s happy ending for her own selfish reasons. It’s hard to really feel for anyone by the end of this, which is kind of rough for our Christmas episode.
Tidbits and Quotes
– We have a completely redone winter themed version of the opening, which is nice, I guess. We’re but a stone’s throw away from the new HD opening, but more on that slop when we get there. The only curious thing is they reanimated everything except for Bart writing on the chalkboard. That old 90s cel animated snippet really clashes with the digitally colored stuff surrounding it. If they redid everything else, why not that small part?
– I think this is the title I hate the most. Sure, all these episodes have lame parody titles, but they always at least make some sense. “Moe’N’a Lisa”? Well, it’s about Moe and Lisa. “Ice Cream of Margie”? Well, Homer’s got his ice cream truck and that ties in with the Marge story, so sure. But this one, “Kill Gil”? Yeah, Marge is annoyed with Gil, but the title just makes no sense. And try and say the whole thing out loud: Kill Gil, Volumes 1 & 2. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
– Krusty’s Kristmas on Ice: Adults $40/Children $39. Literally the exact same joke from the Halloween show, concerning Krusty’s show museum.
– It’s gotten to the point where I can predict jokes before they happen. Marge wants to leave when a fight breaks out on the ice? Homer’s going to be in that fight. Then we cut to Costington’s and we see Mayor Quimby. It’s going to be an infidelity gag. Then Burns and Smithers walk by, and Burns gets four words out before I figure out the next forty second scene. The characters have become so painfully sanitized and one-note, what’s the point in watching this show if you can easily call them on their gags?
– It is pretty sweet when Gil gets Lisa her toy and refuses to take it back at the risk of his job. That’s the thing, he’s a nice guy, but inadvertently takes advantage; I feel they could have really made a great story out of this. Instead, they pushed it too far into ridiculous territory and I can’t go along with it.
– Nice exchange between Marge and Homer on MLK Jr. Day (“We have to let him stay! It’s what Dr. King would want us to do!” “Oh, that’s it, we’re changing doctors!”)
– I get the joke they were going for with Marge recalling her memory, but it’s something only we see and not Homer, leaving him confused… but it just doesn’t work.
– It’s so, so stupid, but the Grumple that keeps showing up everywhere amuses me. Homer knocks him out at the bar and he seems to be bleeding green blood (“What the hell is this thing?!”)
– Would Marge be such a wet blanket that she wouldn’t tell Gil to quiet down when he’s playing piano and singing with fellow drunks on St. Patrick’s Day night? I guess so. Also, apparently the leprechaun from “Treehouse of Horror XII” is real in this universe, somehow.
– So, at the end, the Simpsons bought a house in Scottsdale… why? Gil just got fired, it’s not helping him out. Is the house for Gil? Well, it’s got the Simpsons mailbox out front so that can’t be it. So… oh, whatever.