(originally aired October 11, 2009)
It’s finally here, the last episode. As I mentioned at the very beginning, my departure of the series came not with a bang, but a whimper. The show just didn’t interest me anymore, and it’s episodes like these, and the many seasons prior, that explain why. The template for this one seems to be lifted from “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge;” Marge is outraged by a media outlet affecting her children and protests against it. Except that episode actually had points to make about glorified TV violence, censorship, stifling creativity… this one is really about nothing. The subject of Marge’s scorn is basically MMA fighting, via the cleverly titled Ultimate Punch Kick and Choke Championship. She raises a stink about it, but in such on-the-nose dialogue that makes her out to look like an idiot (“Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it.”) When she calls out the creator of the sport, he agrees he’ll shut down his company, if she can best him in a fight in the ring.
So, that’s the episode: Marge has to train for the fight, the fight happens, Marge wins. That’s all that happens. These plots are so goddamn thin; we used to get shows so, so, so much meatier than this watered-down imitation gruel. The ending is so predictable too, where Marge’s motherly instincts kick in when Bart jumps in to fight the guy, and she kicks his ass. Yawn. There’s really not much left with this one to mention, it barely even registers. And that’s exactly what happened when I watched it. I was busy so I had it playing in the background while I was doing some work. Then later in the day, I had forgotten what had happened in the episode. Sundays at 8pm used to be an event, now they were like this time-tested obligation that I was shackled to. All the excuses evaporated away by the simple fact that I just wasn’t entertained anymore. So that was it, I just thought, “Y’know, I think I’m done here.” And that was it. And now, this is it: the last Simpsons I ever watched first run.
Tidbits and Quotes
– The jokes come slow and obvious: Homer relishing at one of the fighter’s self-inflicted pain, then he pokes his eye with a straw! Lenny and Carl comment about how homoerotic the sport is! Marge is thankful Homer isn’t there to see Bart’s fight, and we pan over to see him chanting with the other kids! Then there’s the whole runner with Nelson’s dream of being an event planner… whatever the fuck that was about.
– Marge and the other women with the protest signs really echoes “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge,” but again, without any of the meaning or satire. Moe’s “Bring Back Wagon Train” sign is truly missed.
– Marge’s training is just one boring set piece after another. We get a return from Akira, who we haven’t seen in a while, and she bouts with Burns for no reason, just another outlet for the pathetic old man to become even more sad and nonthreatening.
– Really unpleasant joke where Krusty cavalierly admits he’s been seeing Sideshow Mel’s wife for eleven years and wants to dump her. It feels so hateful and disturbing…
– Marge is about to enter the ring and possibly get the shit beaten out of her, but brainiac Lisa astutely recognizes a word of encouragement from Bart is actually a haiku. Sure, why not?
– Homer waves the American and Canadian flags for some reason when Marge gets her groove back… whatever. Thank God I’m done with this garbage… almost.
Bonus episodes coming soon, then a wrap-up.