402. The Homer of Seville

Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 2.58.11 AM(originally aired September 30, 2007)
It’s getting to the point where I’m not so much as irritated by new episodes, but just plain confused. In the Mike Scully years, and even the early Al Jean era, as bad as episodes got, at least I could discern what the writers were intending to do, whether it be a failed joke, a nonsensical plot point, or an overarching theme. In episodes like this, I can’t locate any of these things. What is happening in this episode? And why? What is the point? The “plot” begins when it’s discovered when lying on his back, Homer is a spectacular singer, due to some bullshit about his organs pressing together just right or something. Then he starts belting out a song from Camelot, which I guess he knows, and next thing you know he’s a smash hit in the Springfield opera scene, which apparently exists. Beside the ridiculousness of how no one ever knew of this magic skill Homer possesses, or this being yet another instance of a character instantly becoming talented at a certain skill, the episode wants to have Homer be an expert and a dumbass at the same time. He performs La Boheme flawlessly in Italian, yet before the performance, asks the director, “What’s this movie about?” He’s loved and respected by theater critics, yet recalls when he forgot the lyrics in one opera and just sang, “Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O’s.” The two don’t mesh; Homer’s repeated idiocy is completely ignored by people fawning over him. Why?

Later in act two, Marge chastises Homer for working too hard and “flirting” with other women, by which she means his groupies, which are all seniors. Is that supposed to be a joke, that she thinks he’ll cheat on her with a geriatric? Either way, the two are saved by a ravenous mob of elderly women fans by Julia, a woman who agrees to be Homer’s personal assistant. But turns out she’s a psycho fan too, wanting desperately to be with Homer. So what am I watching here? Act three involves professional opera singer Homer trying to drop his personal assistant who wants to fuck him, then her trying to kill him. What show is this? There’s no comedic slant to the Julia character; she’s just an insane super fan who you ultimately feel bad for in the end since she’s clearly mentally unstable. And what a fucking waste of Maya Rudolph, another great talent given an instantly forgettable role on this show. The ending is a big “dramatic” sequence where the family and the police keep an eye out for Julia at Homer’s big performance, and ends with Julia exposed, her being repeatedly shot at by the snipers (with poor aim), and then a chandelier falls on her. She’s shown afterward with barely a scratch, but it seems so harsh. And Homer quits the opera because the episode’s over. What a load of fucking shit.

Tidbits and Quotes
– Before the opera bullshit, we open with the Simpsons crashing a catered event for brunch, only for it to turn out to be a funeral. They exposit this to each other loudly as the other guests stand within ear shot, as responsive as cardboard cutouts. Also, Bart swindles the poor bereaved grandson out of twenty bucks. Class act. Homer is suckered into being a pall-bearer, and ends up falling into an open grave. How this happens, I have no clue. He’s on one side in-between two other people hauling the coffin, and he falls into a giant hole to his right, but somehow the guy walking directly in front of him didn’t. Whatever.
– The sequence of Homer singing in the hospital runs so long and is so dead. There’s not even really any jokes; I just they were just impressed by Castellaneta’s singing voice and wanted to show it off.
– So Homer becomes a big opera star in many productions at the start of act two. He sings the national anthem at a hockey game and goes into the locker room, where for some reason there are other performers. Wouldn’t they only need one? There, Placido Domingo praises his work, and Homer identifies him by name. I know he’s one of the Three Tenors, but honestly, nearly the entirety of the audience doesn’t know who this fucking guy is, and surely Homer wouldn’t know. But is he a professional opera singer, or a moronic oaf? It changes from scene to scene.
– Lenny and Carl appear as Homer’s posse in an Entourage parody. I’ve never seen the show so I can’t specifically comment, but it’s just superfluous and dumb, and ends with them fucking two seventy-year-old women in the backseat of a limo. I really didn’t need to see that.
– More continuity bullshit: Homer and Marge are trapped at a chain link fence down an alley. Then we see further down on the other side is the mysterious biker, with absolutely nothing on the ground in front of her. She drives down the alley, then goes up a small ramp, bounces off of a passed out Barney, then over the fence. Where the fuck were they?
– Homer fires Julia, then the next scene we see she’s put a cobra in his cereal box to kill him. So is she some kind of over-the-top assassin? This is on the level of the gator bit in “Spin-off Showcase,” except this is a real episode.
– The police “pre-crashed” the chandelier, then at the end Julia gets crushed by it. So were there two chandeliers? Is that the joke? We see the ceiling when Eddie cuts the first one and there doesn’t look to be a second.
– Should I even bother commenting on the end? “Singing opera made me good at painting!” “Is that a real thing?” “No.” So the writers know this shit doesn’t make sense and are just waving their dicks in our faces. Though this one was written by Carolyn Omine. Waving her lady parts, then.

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13 responses to “402. The Homer of Seville

  1. Probably said this before, but your reviews, descriptions of scene setups/quotes, and so on are far funnier and more entertaining than the episode you’re reviewing. I know that appears to not be saying much when you look at how bad these episodes are, but, still, good work!

    My review:
    This episode is unwatchable.

    • Well said Abracadaver! I agree with you 100% about Mike and his reviews on here. Also, I would love to see Mike give youtube reviews someday on a channel of his of these Simpsons episodes (with Simpsons clips shown in between maybe) like The Angry Video Game Nerd does with video games, mostly the worst ever made. I bet Mike could become a youtube partner. This episode, and many others btw, appear to have been written either by Homer, Grandpa or said writers that sit around smoking dope and drinking beer most of the day, insulting fans of the show while still making millions of dollars.

  2. No mention of Ninja Marge deflecting the dart with the tuba after a 10 foot jump? That was awesome. And by “awesome” I mean “oh my fucking god, they really don’t know what to do with Marge anymore, she used to be a housewife for god’s sake”.

  3. This premise is basically something out of a cartoon (you know what I mean by that): Character discovers they have a hidden talent, indulges it, abandons it by episode’s end for whatever reason. What happened to the show that actually used to be about something?

    The only thing I found sorta humorous was how Julia disrobed for Homer while Marge was in the next room. How ballsy can you get?

  4. Ah the ZS trope of instant professional if you were reviewing further than 444 you’d know what it would be like times 10.

  5. Before the opera bullshit, we open with the Simpsons crashing a catered event for brunch, only for it to turn out to be a funeral. They exposit this to each other loudly as the other guests stand within ear shot, as responsive as cardboard cutouts. Also, Bart swindles the poor bereaved grandson out of twenty bucks. Class act. Homer is suckered into being a pall-bearer, and ends up falling into an open grave. How this happens, I have no clue. He’s on one side in-between two other people hauling the coffin, and he falls into a giant hole to his right, but somehow the guy walking directly in front of him didn’t. Whatever.

    Yet another heartless and soulless moment from Zombie Simpsons.

    • What’s funny is that I kinda forgot this episode until Mike started describing it. I knew I’d seen it but remember writing it off at the time. HOWEVER, that funeral scene has really stuck with my memory banks over the years. But not in a good way.

      I guess the thing is, The Simpsons has always been subversive, dark, etc. but it didn’t beat you over the head with it. Again, this seems like a direct “well, we got new writers who love Family Guy/South Park/etc and want to write episodes like that… SIMPSONS STYLE!” thing but I dunno. The point is.. well, there isn’t one. That scene is just shit, though!

  6. When I first heard The Homer of Seville, I was thinking it was going to be something unique and original like LT’s The Rabbit of Seville, but no, of course not. Instead, we got a bland episode that makes little sense.

  7. wait, i thought springfield hated opera so much that the opera house got turned into a prison

    how the fuck does it have an opera scene

    THAT WAS TWO FUCKING SEASONS PREVIOUS

    AND IT WAS TERRIBLE

    fuck this

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