Season Ten Revisited (Part Four)

19. Mom and Pop Art

  • I like the few instances we see Ned Flanders actually getting annoyed, even angry; it certainly makes him feel more human. His stifled profanity getting hit by a can over Homer’s fence (“God… bless him!”) and his ending remark about Homer being in “heaven” (“I guess heaven’s easier to get into than Arizona State!”) are two great examples.
  • Homer’s meltdown attempting to build the grill is loud, obnoxious and over-the-top, much like a lot of his batshit crazy behavior of this era, but I still find myself enjoying it. I like how quickly it escalates, with all of the parts falling out of the box into the cement immediately and it only getting worse from there. I also love the specificity of Homer’s anguished cry, ”Why must I fail at every attempt at masonry?!” The only thing I dislike is the joke of Homer forcing his daughter to set the cement first, which feels unnecessarily cruel (and sadly, not the last time he’d do something like this.)
  • When Astrid arrives at the Simpson house, we’re treated to two jokes that make me feel bad. First, when Marge tells Homer someone’s at the door about a car accident, Homer whips out a shotgun and tells her and the kids to go out back. The most generous reading of this is that he’s going to brandish a gun to intimidate the poor schmuck who got their car totaled by his negligence, and that’s not a very good read. But later we see Marge and the kids poking their heads from the side of the house, with Marge piping up, “I got worried when I didn’t hear any shots.” So she was expecting her husband to shoot a stranger at their door then? Or at best, fire it into the air to scare them or something? There’s also the gag where Homer puts the loaded shotgun in Maggie’s crib at the foot of the stairs, so I guess Marge forgot to grab the baby before her insane husband answered the door with his gun. We also get this joke when Homer immediately breaks down (“Just go ahead and sue me! Everybody else does! The average settlement is $68,000!”) The idea of someone being involved in lawsuits so often they have an average settlement is kind of funny, but it’s another line that breaks the quickly crumbling illusion that Homer is just an average guy, not a wacky maniac who gets into law-breaking shenanigans weekly.
  • Homer being explicitly labeled an outsider artist definitely makes this “Homer-gets-a-job” episode much more palatable than most. His failed barbecue pit being embraced by the off-kilter art community for the visually bizarre and intriguing object it is makes much more sense than Homer becoming a bodyguard with no real ability or desire for being so.
  • I like that Bart is chomping at an entire wheel of cheese at the gallery opening.
  • I really love the bite about Burns passing on purchasing Picasso’s Guernica for a song (“Luckily that song was White Christmas and by holding onto it, I made billions!”)
  • Bart throws Homer into a rage by saying he felt a little attracted to Milhouse, which is a fair enough joke, whatever, but then a minute later he’s in the power plant shower room sketching a nude Lenny and Carl apparently just because he’s bi-curious? (“He’s just doing this for his art. Right, Homer?” “Yeah… art…”) So…?
  • Homer and Marge talking in bed near the end of act 2 is a really solid scene, where both characters express their feelings in meaningful ways, Marge with her jealousy of Homer succeeding at her childhood dreams of being an artist, and Homer saying how good it makes him feel that people actually appreciate his screw-ups. The latter makes him feel less of a rampant egotist as usually happens in a lot of “Homer-gets-a-job” shows, he knows he’s not a “real” artist but is embracing this opportunity nonetheless.
  • Moe attempting to shoot the shit with the Eurotrash is pretty great (“We are adrift in a sea of decadent luxury and  meaningless sex.” “Uh-huh …so where might this sea be located?”)
  • All the art history references in the third act are pretty well done, and definitely work on their own even if you don’t know the specific piece of work or the artist
  • I don’t know why, but Homer’s impassioned “Not the Reichstag!” always makes me laugh.
  • The ending is absolutely silly, no question, but it’s weirdly sweet in a way. I like how Homer took childish inspiration from the Joseph Turner painting of the Venetian canals and re-appropriated the idea in a ridiculous way. That the whole town would all embrace it and everything is fine at the end is a stretch, but whatever, I’m fine with an absurd fantasy ending as long as the road there felt satisfying.
  • Simpsons Archive retro review:Maybe my expectations have been lowered, but I didn’t find it to be a bad episode. Not very good though. The plot was tired, and there weren’t even any good gags to save it. I wasn’t groaning in agony, but I wasn’t laughing either. Boring!”

20. The Old Man and the “C” Student

  • Every Olympic season, I will invariably think of the “beautiful gold, so-so silver, and shameful bronze” distinctions.
  • The sub-headline under Town Prepares for Olympics is pretty good (Pickpockets Call Up Reserves).
  • I really don’t get why they devoted so much time to the “Children Are Our Future” song. You get the joke after Skinner’s belabored intro (“And now, because the children our are future, here are the children or Springfield Elementary, with a song they call, ‘The Children Are Our Future.’ Children?”)
  • Skinner is absolutely 100% at fault for the Olympics debacle. Why in God’s name would he not only allow Bart to do his insulting routine, but interrupt the commissioner mere moments before he sealed the deal on his decision? It feels so bizarrely out-of-character. Skinner is revealed to be a member of MENSA in two episodes, how could he be this stupid? Later when we see him force Martin and Milhouse into dangerous community service and repeatedly punch Homer in the face for Bart “costing” the town the Olympics, it makes him feel like an even bigger dick. Motherfucker, that was your fault.
  • Springfield Retirement Castle never looked so good, and that’s a big problem. What used to be a decrepit dump run by a borderline criminally negligent staff whose only concern was milking these old geezers and their paying families dry, now we see not-Nurse Ratchet and volunteer Lisa vacuuming their clothes for crumbs and holding Imagination Time hour to make the old folks feel good. It just doesn’t feel like the same place.
  • The Springy subplot is pretty stupid, but acts as a fun distraction from the incredibly dull A-plot. And as absolutely ridiculous as it is, I still like how the two stories intersect at the end where Homer’s flushed springs save the drowning ship.
  • Going hand-in-hand with the retirement home’s depiction, the old people themselves are completely de-fanged this episode. No longer crotchety and bitter, now they’re a pathetic, easily manipulated hive mind acting upon either Bart or Lisa’s whims in this weird battle over the senior citizens’ “freedom.” It more or less kills the entire episode for me. Abe, Jasper and the rest are at their best when they’re filled with piss and vinegar. This is just piss.
  • “I want some taquitos” remains a very quotable line.
  • Jack LaLanne is such a strange guest spot. How relevant was he in the late 90s? And how do Bart and Lisa know who the hell he is? Who was responsible for this booking?
  • The “Hard Day’s Night” parody album cover under the end credits feels weird attached to this episode since it had nothing to do with The Beatles, but I guess they figured since they paid the rights for “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” they’d play it again over the credits and do that little parody artwork. And money well spent, used over a great montage of wheelchairs flying around skate ramps and Crazy Old Man and Jasper fencing at 1.5x speed. Pretty boring stuff.
  • Simpsons Archive retro review:On the whole, I liked this episode. This episode had much to offer in the way of subtlety, and much to offer in characterization. Bart’s interests show once again that he is someone who seriously cares about people, and that he’s working to make a difference. The spring thing was kinda stupid, and a bit too cartoony for my tastes. We are, however, on the right track.

21. Monty Can’t Buy Me Love

  • The family walk opening feels so weirdly aimless. Like I get the point that it’s supposed to be boring, but it’s filled with weird lines like Marge writing poems about ducks and Homer suggesting they all ride dogs. What? The Fortune Megastore is also pretty bereft of jokes. We get a great scene where Lisa, an eight-year-old, makes a joke about Kevin Costner in The Postman, a joke that feels like it’s preserved in amber it feels so dated.
  • The bit about Burns daydreaming about how cool a talking banana would be is incredibly bizarre. So much of this first act is especially terrible humor-wise, I feel like John Swartzwelder didn’t write much of it.
  • So obviously this episode is patient zero for all the horrible Burns-wants-to-be-good episodes, the latest horrid example coming this latest season in “Burger Kings.” Like I said then, and for every other episode of this ilk, a story about Mr. Burns actually craving human acceptance could work, hell, it’s a promising idea, but it needs to be told in a believable fashion. Here, Burns feels sad that the townspeople and the media love some other billionaire more than him, and that’s it. “What’s it all worth when nobody likes you?” It’s just not enough. Honestly, the scene towards the end of “Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk” is a more than satisfying enough examination of this side of Burns, when a drunken Homer asks him if his money ever hugs him and tells him it loves him, and Burns sadly replies, “No, it doesn’t.” It’s a very honest moment, but what’s Burns’ takeaway at the end of it? He values his immense wealth and its power more than anything else (“What good is money if you can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”) That’s the Mr. Burns we know and love.
  • Burns immediately enlists Homer to show him how to be beloved just because. Why not? He’s the main character so Mr. Burns obviously has to go to him. Though Homer is more a follower in this episode, this kind of feels like “Viva Ned Flanders” Part 2, where a side character gains Homer as a sidekick for no explicable reason.
  • Mr. Burns, Charles Montgomery Burns, writes a $200,000 check to a children’s hospital without a second thought. Just try and process that sentence for a moment.
  • I do like the cricket poison joke. I’m desperately trying to cling onto some positivity in this train wreck of an episode.
  • It’s not a very good scene for several reasons, but Michael McKean’s not-Howard Stern character is a pretty good caricature. The real Mr. Burns would have Johnny Rude executed on the spot for humiliating him, but part of me kind of likes his innocent childhood tale (“When I was six, my father took me on a picnic. That was a gay old time! Oh-ho, I ate my share of wieners that day.”) Also, “Won’t someone please stop the farting?!” is so wildly inappropriate for Burns that it’s funny to me.
  • In Scotland, Willie is there, of course, and Homer just casually addresses him by his first name when he asks about his family. What relationship could Homer possibly have with his kids’ school janitor? Yet another example of every character knowing every other character for no real reason.
  • The fucking Loch Ness monster… what more can I possibly say about this? They don’t even bother explaining how they apprehend the damn thing. It’s a humongous fucking monster and they somehow get it hitched up to a helicopter with not even a joke explanation. Nessie eats Burns… then they caught him? Then later he’s like a third of his size when he’s working at the casino. What a piece of shit.
  • Simpsons Archive retro review:The best episode in some time. Great to see Burns being himself. In fact, great to see Burns period. The plot was wonderfully done, and got delightfully wacky during Act Three (especially the ending). The only bad part was the grotesque humor after Lenny got hit by a silver dollar. An 8/10.

22. They Saved Lisa’s Brain

  • The “How Low Will You Go” contest is a good enough set piece, definitely believable as a crass contest put on by the schmucks that run KBBL, and it serves as a good establishing contrast between the dullards of Springfield and MENSA. It starts to wear a bit as it goes (also Burns and Smithers are there as two halves of a horse costume for some reason), but the riot set to Planet of the Apes music was excellent.
  • I’m pretty partial to the excerpt of Lisa’s open letters, “I write this letter not to nag or whine, but to prod.” It feels like an innocent distillation of her activist tendencies, before she would slip further and further into her insufferable soapbox characterization.
  • Lovejoy’s Book Burning Mobile is a great gag, but I remember it best as a playable vehicle in The Simpsons: Road Rage. The endless hours I spent playing that game…
  • It’s not exactly clear why MENSA keeps itself secret from Lisa until she arrives, other than to build to a surprise reveal to create an ending for act one. They could have just mailed Lisa the letter, which one of them was standing in the Simpson backyard to throw the note as a paper airplane through her window?
  • The boudoir photography subplot, like Springy in “The Old Man and the ‘C’ Student,” is a dumb, but fun Homer B-plot that serves to mix things up tonally with the main story. The enduring disgust of the photographer (“Light is not your friend”) to the ending where Homer’s gift to his wife backfires in her interest in satin pillows over the general eroticism. A bit that stuck out to me was the final scene (“But I was gonna score!” “Oh, no, you weren’t.”) Marge seemed pretty into the photographs when she was looking at them, and the two have normally been shown to enjoy each other’s company, so it felt weirdly out-of-character to me, like for one line, Marge transformed into a typical TV housewife who denies sex from her big dumb husband for the sitcom audience to laugh at.
  • I always laugh at the ADR “Faster, you moron!” as we see Quimby ride on the horse to his plane for his getaway.
  • How MENSA ends up running the town feels a bit rushed, but the concept of these super nerds trying to improve conditions for the dullards they live with in their own way is a novel one, as is their petty bickering amongst themselves (with great moments from the likes of Comic Book Guy and Skinner, smugly taking jabs at each other). It doesn’t feel like it all comes together in the best way, and I accept the episode for what it is, but it definitely seems like a story that could have been a slam dunk if it were done a couple seasons earlier.
  • Stephen Hawking (who gets introduced with everyone announcing his name, which is becoming a new annoying pattern) is a pretty damn good guest, harkening back to how celebrities used to be either ridiculed or depicted as assholes for no real reason. He’s definitely the latter, suckerpunching Skinner and openly being contemptious to everyone else he deems less intelligent (“Don’t feel bad, Lisa. Sometimes, the smartest of us can be the most childish.” “Even you?” “No. Not me. Never.”) One line sticks in my craw a bit though, at the very end when he and Homer are at Moe’s, and Homer says, “Wow, I can’t believe someone I never heard of is hanging out with a guy like me.” That kind of feels like a line you could put into dozens of future episodes where Homer is randomly hanging out with a big name celebrity that he would have little knowledge or care of who they are.
  • Simpsons Archive retro review: “There’s too much one-dimensional characterization and too many liberties taken with realism here. Intellect is given too much of a shallow treatment with this episode for its story to be likeable, and its efforts are undermined by mostly idiotic gags. It’s a bright milestone for Simpsons to celebrate to have someone as intellectually renowned as Stephen Hawking on the show, but it still doesn’t save the episode from having little impact for me.”

23. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo

  • The Java Cafe opening feels like such a funny time capsule to the days of the early Internet. It’s also the early stages of me feeling awkward about the show entering the “modern” age with characters starting to use computers, which would soon be followed by smartphones, tablets, earbuds, etc. I also don’t know how good I feel about Lisa, an eight-year-old, referring to the Internet as “more than just a global pornography network.”
  • Speaking of a time capsule, Snake steals Homer’s life savings with a floppy disk! Remember when you could only store like 128MB at a time on those things? 
  • I don’t care for Homer burglarizing the Flanderses (on multiple occasions, as Ned points out), but I do like that Homer still expresses his series-long envy at the seemingly better lives of his neighbors (“It’s just that you and Maude live like royalty in your fancy castle while I’ve got Marge trapped over there like a pig in a mud beehive.”)
  • Between Wiggum scoffing at “she-males” in the last episode and the crowd’s disgusted reaction to Chuck Garabedean revealing the beautiful women in his photo used to be men, this is like a one-two transphobic punch. But there have been jokes that have aged much poorer than these, many of which are coming up in seasons to come, seasons that I thankfully won’t be watching.
  • Lots of great background products at the 33-cent store (Cool Ranch Soda, Onions?), including Skittlebrau, the soda Homer seemingly didn’t make up from “Bart Star.”
  • Whenever someone says that I “could have” done something, my knee jerk response to them is always, “A little late for could’ves”
  • “You liked Rashomon!” “Yeah, that’s not how I remember it” is one of those jokes that I never got until like my twentieth time watching.
  • Watching this episode is only making me want to go to Japan even more. Originally my wife and I planned to go last year for our delayed honeymoon, but that didn’t happen for obvious reasons. But when we finally go, America Town is first on my list. Though considering it doesn’t exist, I guess the closest would be to go to the Hard Rock Cafe in Tokyo and that robot restaurant and blend the two memories together.
  • Homer just assaults the Emperor of Japan and nothing happens. They put him and Bart in jail but then are just let out after Marge pays their bail. He attacked their head of state! The episode where they go to England and Homer rear ends the Queen’s carriage, the entire third act is his trial, but here, it just doesn’t matter. And boy does it not feel good to compare this episode I genuinely enjoy to that piece of crap.
  • George Takei is the MVP of the third act as Wink, just absolutely killing every single line. His role as Akira way back in season 2 didn’t give him much to work with, but he’s just splendid here.
  • Where exactly is this enormous fake volcano? How much does it cost to heat up all that orange soda close to boiling? Wouldn’t the Simpsons be able to tell the difference between the smell of lava and soda? And on top of all that, it’s really an incredible cheat to milk the suspense as much as they did, with each family member running across the bridge and the audience chanting for them to plummet. Like yeah, of course they’re not all going to die, so it feels like overkill creating this elaborate volcano set piece for a payoff that’s not bad, but maybe not worth all that effort.
  • Thinking about how ridiculous the volcano thing is kind of softens any annoyance I have about Godzilla and the other monsters showing up at the end. Yeah, it’s just a dumb gag versus the entire third act with Loch Ness in “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it feels like a cheap ending to an otherwise mostly enjoyable show.
  • Simpsons Archive retro review: “With this episode, the last bit of life is sucked out of ‘The Simpsons.’ The jokes are not clever but cartoonish and/or sitcom-ish — completely un-Simpsonlike. (What the hell was with that ‘squeeze the penny’ into the arm bit, to cite one example out of a sea to choose for?) Homer, as he was throughout the season, was not himself — though he wasn’t cruel this time, it’s nonetheless like watching a completely different character — an unlikable, way exaggerated cheap imitation of Homer with no depth to his character. The Homer from the earlier seasons was likeable — we could identify with him; this one is too shallow a character to be likeable. The plot and gags were typical of ‘wild cartoon goofiness’ rather than the puncturing intelligent humor found in seasons 1-8.”

Season 10 episodes I would actually help out of a burning bus: “Lard of the Dance,” “Treehouse of Horror IX,” “Lisa Gets an ‘A,'” “Maximum Homerdrive,” “Mom and Pop Art,” “They Saved Lisa’s Brain,” “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo”

12 thoughts on “Season Ten Revisited (Part Four)

  1. For some reason, all the artificial suspense over the volcano challenge in ’30 Minutes Over Tokyo’ feels a bit less implausible after watching the Netflix gameshow ‘The Floor Is Lava’, a ‘Wipeout’ knockoff where contestants falling into the orange water was accompanied by loads of dramatic slo-mo and big ‘Noooooooooooo’s…

  2. The Tokyo episode fashioned the template for travel episodes that are effectively nothing more than a checklist of landmarks and every prejudice and assumption US viewers have regarding the foreign culture in question (Bart vs Australia does this too, but at least there it’s grounded by a strong enough narrative). As such it has a lot to answer for. The most interesting thing about it is the way the Battling Seizure Robots sequence pigeonholes the episode to that very specific point in time when there was this awareness that an animated show had induced seizures in hundreds of children in Japan but nobody in the West knew what Pokemon was. Ironically, I think Pokemania was well underway by the time it aired.

    “The “Hard Day’s Night” parody album cover under the end credits feels weird attached to this episode since it had nothing to do with The Beatles, but I guess they figured since they paid the rights for “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” they’d play it again over the credits and do that little parody artwork. And money well spent, used over a great montage of wheelchairs flying around skate ramps and Crazy Old Man and Jasper fencing at 1.5x speed. Pretty boring stuff.”

    It was a parody of the sequence from the movie “A Hard Day’s Night” where the Beatles escape their manager and run around in a field for two minutes.

  3. I do feel that most of the best Season 10 episodes were saved for the end of the season, which is reflected here. There’s one glaring exception though:

    * I know most would pinpoint Seasons 11 or 12 as the start of what we call Zombie Simpsons, but I truly believe that “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love” is the first Zombie Simpsons episode. Not the first bad episode, mind you, but the first one that wouldn’t feel the least bit out of place in the HD era. All the elements are there: shallow caricatures, neutered Burns and long stretches of nothing funny happening. Apart from the cricket poison joke, I do like Burns’ line upon seeing not-Richard Branson: “This man has no idea how to behave like a billionaire. Where’s the dignity? Where’s the contempt for the common man?” That’s more in line with classic Burns and deserved to be part of a much better episode.

    * Homer’s grill freakout is hilarious. I would love to be a fly on the wall during Dan Castellanetta’s recording of it. I always lose it at “Le grill?! What the hell is that?!” I also love the fakeout with Homer admiring the grill on the manual compared to his monstrosity. I’m shocked that hasn’t become a meme template yet.

    * I kind of like “Children are Our Future,” because it’s basically those shitty elementary school chorus competitions boiled down to their essence. From that same episode, the Gone with the Wind recut is also pretty great. (“Didn’t that movie used to have a war in it?”)

    * I know the MENSA society is filled with recognizable faces, something that was already becoming a problem with the show at this point, but I like the fact that they’re all people who feel like they would belong in such a club.

    * Unfortunately, The Simpsons has been using trans people as a punchline almost since the beginning (Remember that Cousin Frank joke in “Lisa’s First Word”?) The truth is society had a really shitty understanding of trans people before the 2010s, and it’s only gotten marginally better since.

    * I do enjoy “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo,” though, especially that bit where Bart turns off his Game Boy at the request of the stewardess, only to reveal that it’s actually keeping the plane in the air. I think of it every time I’m asked to turn my phone off before the plane takes flight.

    1. That “cousin Frank” bit sucked from a writing standpoint, first off. Even in 1992 it wasn’t funny. But what makes it worse is that the sequence was one of many that season that featured sloppily reused animation. So not only does the dialog blow, but the stilted, cheap animation draws attention to how pointless it all is.

  4. Worth noting ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is performed by NRBQ, not the Beatles. I guess it’s cheaper to hire a Beatle than play one of their songs.

    Always been annoyed by the inconsistency of the water level in ‘Pop Art’. It’s three storeys high in some moments, and only one in others. Maybe there’s a hill, I don’t know, but surely some people must have drowned?

    Homer using Maggie as a basketball makes me laugh, but it’s the type of thing you’d see in a cartoon, not the Simpsons.

    “I’m behind Adam Sandler, for Gods sake!” Such a weird reference. Sandler’s never had that much money, and he really wasn’t raking it in at the box office in ’99 either. Also, they built Homer a statue in what, a day? For handing in a check with Mr. Burns name on it?

    It’s funny to know that Hawking attended table reads and everything. His appearance is one of the best things in the season.

    Had a similar problem with ‘Tokyo’. The game show is presented as “live”, for some reason, even though that’s completely unfeasible. Got no idea how Moe, who previously didn’t have cable, has the show on in the bar. It’s unnecessary filler.

  5. It really does shock me how enjoyable “Mom and Pop Art” is despite the fact that it’s yet another “Jerkass Homer Gets a Job tm” episode. This episode is pretty much the Season 10 equivalent of Simpson Tide: An awful plot that ends up still being good just because the episode is just so freaking funny! Oh, and shoutout to Jasper Johns. I’m pretty sure no one in the audience knew who he was but he was pretty good for a guest star in Bad Simpsons making him steal everything.

    “The Old Man and the C-Student” is interesting in that I hate it but I don’t find it to be a horrendous offense to the show like I do with some of the other episodes this season that I genuinely loathe. There’s some funny memorable bits sprinkled throughout (Like Chalmers sarcastically telling Skinner to make a joke out of his Titicaca vacation or the edited Gone with the Wind ending) that end up mattering little just because the premise and plot feel like they wouldn’t be out of place in an episode from our ongoing HD era. This episode ruined our lovable Springfield seniors. I’m surprised how more upbeat you are about the spring B-plot compared to your original review because I personally still think that the B-plot is shitty and ties with the A-plot in such a forced manner.

    “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love” is the episode that killed Mr. Burns. Need I say more? Oh yeah, and the Loch Ness Monster is apparently real and his design is so goddamn goofy; he looks like he belongs in a McDonald’s PlayPlace. Blech! The best thing about this episode though, is that it’s the last of the awfulness from Season 10.

    I think we can all agree that “They Saved Lisa’s Brain” is the shining beacon of the first bad season of the show. Granted there are other really good Season 10 episodes, but this episode is easily the strongest of them. It feels like it should be a Season 9 episode instead. Hell, maybe it could even be in Season 8! But anyways, this is definitely the best written Season 10 with a great dynamic between the smarter Springfieldians and the less-smarter ones. The MENSA stuff is a lot of fun and the surprisingly decent B-plot sounds a lot dumber on paper than on the screen. Oh yeah, and Hawking is the best part of the show. A guy credited as “The world’s smartest man” deserves to be an arrogant douchebag. I don’t agree with people who claim Season 10 as part of the golden era (I also don’t agree with people who exclude Season 2 from the golden era) but with this episode, yeah. It feels like it’s from said golden era. It’s also the one episode where I don’t hate Lindsay Naegle in what was I’m pretty sure her official debut.

    And we end with our typical “The Simpsons are Going to” episode that we see so much in modern Simpsons. Good thing it’s hilarious! There really isn’t much of a story, it feels like a bunch of setpieces in Japan, but so many of those setpieces are good that I don’t really mind. “Battling Seizure Robots,” “Americatown,” and “Happy Smile Super Challenge Wish Show” all feel like classic material and the satire on Japan and how Japan satirizes America was well done. Oh, and I hope you and your wife get to go on that vacation in Japan! Maybe you can send pictures.

    Why wouldn’t you want to help “D’oh-in in the Wind” out of a burning bus? Welp, time to revise your original “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” review.

    And with that, see you next week when we return to… ugh… Season 11. Though to be fair, Season 11 doesn’t start out too bad. It doesn’t get horrendously awful until Part 3 with SOOOOO many episodes that I’m dreading including the episode that finally kills The Simpsons off for good. You know which one I’m talkin’ about, folks!

    1. Oh, and I just noticed that “Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken” isn’t on that list either which genuinely surprised me. And yet, “Maximum Homerdrive” is.

  6. We had Simpsons Hit and Run for Gamecube. I wasted so many friggin’ hours on that game. There was a cheat code where you could make your car jump way the Hell up in the air when you hit the horn button and I used to combine it with an invincibility cheat to get cars into places they weren’t supposed to be in. The rocket car was the best when you didn’t have to worry about wrecking it. Good times.

  7. “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love” is actually an episode I’ve never seen despite the fact I was still actively watching the show when it first aired. It’s somehow slipped under my radar for 22 years and I have no desire to ever see it based on your review of it and some of the transcript I read on the Simpsons Archive.

    Burns’ vocabulary is typically very sophisticated befitting an upper class man whose brain is stuck in the turn of the century (19th to 20th, that is). I can’t imagine him ever using a word like “farting”. Seems incredibly out of character.

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