(originally aired September 23, 2007)
Homer Simpson used to be a man who was constantly kicked around by fate, and his own lack of intelligence exacerbated his misfortunes. But regardless of his carelessness or ignorance, his actions at the end of the episode always reflected what he’d learned and his attempts to make things right. Nowadays, Homer Simpson is a screaming impulsive man child whose family coddles and enables him through his manic episodes, and any shit he gets into, he gets away with it, completely scot-free. This episode involves him being completely enamored by being on a private jet, when Mr. Burns invites him out to dinner in Chicago. Why is this? Who cares. Burns is now apparently a nice affable rich guy who will waste his time wowing this (to him) complete stranger. Homer becomes depressed after this experience, enough that the family blows their entire life savings to hire a life coach to get him out of his funk. I guess they had some money left over after rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camp to flush down the toilet on a worthless expenditure.
Colby Kraus is voiced by Stephen Colbert, and it’s another example of celebrities playing characters like them, but not actually them. I mean, his name is Colby, for God’s sake. I can’t even enjoy his performance because I have no idea what the fuck is happening. So he’s going to help Homer get a successful job? In the end, even when he instills him with confidence, we see that he blew the big interview by being a complete imbecile, so it was of no purpose whatsoever. The third act involves him lying to his family about getting the job, and wasting his “work days” away moping at Krusty Burger. When he’s caught by Bart, Homer decides he needs to come clean and tell Marge the truth… on a private jet he rents to just build his wife up further. He’s concerned that Marge is buying luxury items like Campbell’s soup on money they don’t have, yet he has the cash to rent a jet to tell his wife that they don’t have any money. Makes sense, dudn’t it? The episode ends with the pilot becoming incapacitated and Homer landing the jet, and him telling Marge he’s going to quit his “job” and go back to the power plant. So the episode ends with Homer being a hero and never telling his family the truth. It’s like “Crook and Ladder” all over again. Why should I support a character who continually lies to his loved ones like this?
Tidbits and Quotes
– More of Burns being a pathetic enfeebled prop with the whole fountain “gag.” The whole first act confuses me. He goes to Chicago for deep dish pizza specifically because Homer wants to. The two walk around the town and sit in on local improv like good buddies. Is he on some kind of ether kick? Why the fuck is Mr. Burns all of a sudden Homer’s best friend?
– Homer is so depressed he drives his car into the garage and doesn’t stop, as the car plows through the house into the backyard. But this episode makes it clear this family is made of money, so I’m sure it’s no big deal.
– Homer’s new confident life style wearing his bowling shoes simply involves him holding a staple gun the right way around and having sex with his wife. Then we cut to Colby congratulating him. For… being an actually functioning human being?
– As if Burns wasn’t desecrated enough, we later get Smithers shoving a giant pole down his throat to try to hit a button on the cell phone violently vibrating in his stomach. Very disturbing.
– After Homer goes in for his interview, we cut to him outside the house depressed. Then he walks in, puts on a happy face and proclaims he got the job. He leaves for his first day of work, sad music begins as he passes by the place he applied for and ends up at Krusty Burger. But why include that shot of him sad before? It ruins the bait-and-switch it looked like they were going for. In all, it just makes Homer that much more pathetic. Though it gave me the only laugh in the whole episode (“One small coffee, please. And a dozen of those place mats with the maze on it.” “They’re all the same maze.” “Somebody’s gotta do ’em.”)
– Homer fucks up his interview by freezing up after one question, then lunging over the desk and trying to manipulate the Rich Texan’s lips to make him say that he’s hired. Does this man have serious brain damage? Some of these episodes, I’m just really concerned about this guy’s mental state.
– “At least we can take the extra income you’ve earned in the last few months and set it aside for a rainy day.” “You’d think so, but no.” So Homer kept this charade up for several months? How long could he have kept this up? Homer’s number one priority used to be supporting his family, now he’s the self-centered sad sack loser who would rather go broke than admit his own mistakes.