(originally aired January 7, 2007)
Is six years too late to parody something as forgettable and disposable like The Perfect Storm? And do we even care to see it within this universe? Well, doesn’t matter, ’cause here it is. This episode is kind of a big jumble of stuff leading to the back half of Homer out at sea, where we get “drama” and “tension” regarding whether he and the crew will survive. Well what do you fucking think? Things get rolling when we see old Bouvier home movies of young Marge at Barnacle Bay, a New England island of fun and fancy free. In a shocking display of unselfish gratitude, Homer takes the whole family there, only to find the place is now a filthy, run-down shell of its former self. And so, with one step forward, we get twenty steps back as Homer vows to rebuild his wife’s childhood memories… by paying meth addicts to fix up a dilapidated carousel and forcing his children to manually power it from below the boardwalk. What a swell guy.
After accidentally setting fire to said boardwalk, Homer pays off his debt by assisting the local fishermen. Through painfully boring exposition, we find that the town used to rely on succulent “yum yum” fish, but they had driven them to near extinction. At least until dumbass Homer uses beer batter as bait and catches a whole slew of them. Then a storm hits. Then the ship sinks. Then everyone thinks they’re all dead. Then they show up and they’re not dead. Jesus. We as an audience know they’ll survive, but the characters should treat grave situations in a believable manner. Season two had everyone thinking Homer was going to die, and we bought it based on how people acted. Here, the ship is crawling up a humungous wave, and Homer, for no discernible reason, whips out a golf club, goes out on the bow and tees off. We also have li’l irritating activist Lisa shaming the locals about abusing their resources, and it ends with a big slap in the face as the town takes from overfishing to overlogging. So it’s not satisfying seeing Lisa act like such a pushy self-righteous know-it-all, but despite that, it’s also not satisfying seeing her ignored and her hopes diminished, because we still care about her, at least who she used to be. So ultimately it’s an ending, and an episode, that satisfies no one. But of course, this is nothing new.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Seeing the Simpsons and Van Houtens fight at the outdoor movie thing reminds me that a few shows ago they showed Kirk at the Divorced Dad Picnic. I totally forgot that he and Luann had got back together. I guess the writers did too. I guess it’ll be like Barney’s sobriety; it’ll wax and wane depending on what joke they need. Fuck continuity.
– “While you’re watching this quiet riot, I’ll be slipping these religious pamphlets on your windshields!” Every time Flanders appears on screen, I dislike him more and more. These characters I once loved are now becoming the subject of hate. It’s really uncomfortable.
– The silent film goes on foreeeeevver, and none of it is funny. Then Patty and Selma show the home movies, which also feels wrong. They love their vacation slides, but they’re also very private, reserved people. They show them to their family, but would they really be eager to screen them to the entire town?
– “This is the most disgusting place we’ve ever gone!” “What about Brazil?” “After Brazil.” Some of the shots the show takes now kind of seem unnecessarily mean. They made the Brazil show, basically painting the country as a complete shithole, people got upset because of the poor portrayal, and now this is the show’s response, “Well, fuck you, guys, your country is garbage.” When New Orleans got upset about the song in “Streetcar,” they had the chalkboard gag, “I Will Not Defame New Orleans.” It wasn’t the show falling to its knees and toothlessly apologizing, but it was an amusing nod that this was all in good fun. Here, the attacks are just mean-spirited.
– “I say let him fish it off! These seas are so barren, by the time he pays the debt, he’ll be as queer as I am!” “Queer strange or queer gay?” “A touch of both.” He then alternates between laughing crazily, and making lustful noises at Homer. Because gay men want to fuck all men rregardless of their orientation, amirite?
– We are at the point where nearly every scene contains something aggravating. Homer eats the disgusting fish, including one of its sharp spikes. He’s seriously dumb enough to serve the crew bait, and to continue to think it’s Opposite Day. And the scene where he clubs the fish to death without batting an eye… it felt really sad. I mean, “Whacking Day,” this ain’t.
– “The Carnival of the Animals” is used so often in this show, and it is forever tainted because of it. Well, not really. I’ll always remember that piece of music, and this episode will fade into obscurity in my memory soon enough.