(originally aired November 11, 2007)
Hey look, another episode! Kirk and Luanne are finally getting re-married, effectively undoing everything that “A Milhouse Divided” created. As I mentioned previously, I would mind this more if the writers actually did anything with the divorce other than make Kirk the saddest, most pathetic caricature of a single father ever. Milhouse stays with the Simpsons while the two have a romantic honeymoon cruise, but are declared missing, presumably dead when they accidentally fall off the ship. This is kind of a big deal, and I feel that no one really acts accordingly. Plus, is Milhouse just going to stay with the Simpsons forever? I notice that we live in a bizarro universe where no one apparently has relatives and ends up on the Simpson couch. What about Nana Van Houten? (“You dial ‘9-1,’ and then when I say so, dial ‘1’ again!”) Anyway, Milhouse decides that as an orphan, he needs to man up, so he adopts a new sullen, pained persona, making him a hit at the school, and alienating Bart.
The plot then becomes Bart wanting to regain his popularity and cut Milhouse down a peg, which is bizarre considering you’d think there would be a bit more sympathy for a character whose parents are most likely dead. Bart tracks down his friend’s rugged uncle from the west coast to reconcile with him, and eventually take him back home with him, something that was not in Bart’s plan. But wouldn’t this happen anyway? Again, where are Milhouse’s other relatives? Bart is pained at the thought of losing his best friend, a sentimental moment I would buy if the episode had shown him actually give a shit about Milhouse. I dunno, it all just feels sort of muddled. They set sail on a hot air balloon, and then of course end up sailing right over a tropical island where Kirk and Luanne have been stranded, and everyone’s reunited and everything’s okay. I’m for any kind of change at this point in the series; why wouldn’t the writers want to shake things up just a little bit? I remember when this aired thinking why they didn’t just let Milhouse leave. Does it really matter? But no, status quo dictates everything goes back to normal, every time. While in the past that was done tongue-in-cheek, now it’s just frustrating.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Kirk and Luanne wearing the same outfit is disturbing, and Bart pointing out how much they look alike adds onto that. It’s one of those unspoken classic cartoon things where male protagonists basically want a vagina-ed version of themselves. I feel like Minnie Mouse was initially created as a goof, now almost a hundred years later, is a prominent icon for the Disney company.
– This season has been crazy about rattling off joke names, it seems like every episode has them. I just imagine how long they must have pitched these scenes to come up with each name, and it’s all just unfunny time killing. Homer sounds off different types of ties, and then later the endless sequence of him pointing out water-related food products, all of which I assume the writers were hoping for complimentary samples from the company for mentioning them on the show.
– There’s a pointless runner of Homer desperately trying to remember the color of Marge’s eyes. To keep him from cheating, Marge dons glasses whenever Homer is around. Then later when it’s announced Milhouse’s parents are missing, we see her trying to console him still wearing the glasses. Why don’t you take those things off, there’s more pressing matters going on here. In the end, Homer sings some dumb song and finally remembers: her eyes are hazel. Then we zoom in on her face, and see that around her black pupil is a colored iris… and it looks very wrong. I think it would have been funnier if Homer was like, “Hazel! Of course!” as we zoom into a completely black pupil like we always see them. I think South Park did a joke like that where someone comments on someone’s beautiful green eyes, and it’s just a black dot.
– “Hey, loser, your mom called. She said, ‘Glub glub.'” That seems a bit harsh, even for Nelson. Also, Lisa is aghast at Milhouse’s new persona, even though they live in the same house and she must have seen him at some point. Also, this plot “point” goes nowhere.
– The “jokes” about Solvig, CA I’m sure played well at the show’s California offices, but I don’t get any of it. Apparently they’re like Denmark, so what’s some shit we can name? Butter cookies. Hans Christian Anderson. Aquavit. Done.
– The only laugh in the episode is from the much maligned rope climbing instructor (“In the real world, rope climbing skills are vital!”) When Bart latches onto the dangling rope from the ascending hot air balloon, he gets validated (“Well, whaddya think of Mr. Johnson’s rope climbing class now?” “Still sucks!”)