Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gone Boy (S29, E09-627)

Recap: Bart falls into an old missile base and can't get out.  Among others searching for him is a prisoner contingent featuring Sideshow Bob.

Review: So, it seems like this episode is ignoring the events of the last full episode, which I'm thankful for.  Overall, its been the best episode centered on Bob since Season 14, but barely.  I liked the parts with Bart, and Homer and Grampa when the two of them were searching for Bart.  Bob's parts were fine too but the episode does drag sometimes when he pulls out the now numerous amount of references to his past escapades, and the multiple Dial "M" for Murder references weren't good at all, inhibiting it from being a really good, 8+ episode.

Still, this season has been mostly terrible thus far, and this episode is the best of it to this point with minimal effort.

Final Score: 7.7

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mr. Lisa's Opus (S29, E08-626)

Recap: An 18-year old Lisa talks about forgotten birthdays and ending her dad's alcohol problem in an admissions essay to Harvard.  She then has trouble fitting into Harvard, away from her family.

Review: So, this is the third episode in a row that makes a significant reference to a classic Simpsons episode.  Stark Raving Dad is the victim this time, complete with the return of the Michael Jackson impersonator who, this time, was voiced by a Michael Jackson impersonator (because, you know, the real one's dead now).  It wasn't handled too well, as it felt overly forced in and Lisa's lack of appreciation towards the act didn't sit well.

The episode tried hard to not be as dry and boring as its premise makes it out to be, and the results are mixed.  Lots of decent quick one-liners and jokes, but a lot of jokes (and especially references) were not so great, which basically all cancel out.  A couple of sweet moments at the end (and a good Grampa rant) save it from a graver fate, but the episode wasn't very good.

Final Score: 5.0

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Singin' in the Lane (S29, E07-625)

Recap: Homer and Moe start up a new version of the Pin Pals bowling team, who ultimately have to try and defeat a team comprised of manipulative hedge-fund douchebags.

Review: Well, first off, its an inoffensive episode, so that's a plus.  Like the previous episode, it tries to ride on the success of a classic episode, in this case Team Homer.  Unlike the previous episode, it doesn't make every attempt to ruin or otherwise dismantle Team Homer's supposed legacy, using the Pin Pals only to set up a bowling storyline.

The episode is paced oddly.  As Team Homer already did a "they play against teams comprised of Springfield citizens", this episode felt the need to do it again to progress the plot but rushed through it so that it wasn't just a complete retread.  The main storyline focuses on their new opponent, the hedge fund team who hustle Moe, befriend Bart and irk Lisa just enough to make her a subtle hero yet again.  The episode doesn't really do a good job at setting these plotlines up; Bart and Lisa's plotlines feel rushed and the plot with Moe attempts to take a sideturn at the end which just falls flat.

Oh, and the jokes were half okay and half not that great.  Most of the misses involve the hedge fund team, they just weren't that funny.  The episode ends up okay, but it definitely could've been better with what it tried to do.

Final Score: 6.8

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Old Blue Mayor Ain't What She Used to Be (S29, E06-624)

Recap: Marge runs for and is elected Mayor of Springfield, but as she's unable to fulfill her promises, Homer's oafish demeanor allows her to retain decent approval ratings.

Review: The first half of the episode was irredeemable garbage, with the blatant, practically shameless referencing and disregard of Marge vs. the Monorail, so poorly done it was even worse than the heavy-handed political references that littered the episode.

The episode is barely salvaged by a stronger second-half, after Homer's bumbling helps Marge out.  The jokes were stronger overall in the second half, which keeps the episode from tanking completely.  Better than what I was expecting, but that's not saying much.

Final Score: 5.0

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Grampy Can You Hear Me? (S29, E05-623)

Recap: Grampa gets a hearing aid and learns he is mocked quite often outside of his old hearing range.  Meanwhile, Skinner has a falling out with his mother upon learning that she killed his dream of being a band marcher.

Review: The Grampa sidestory, and it was a side story despite it claiming the episode's title, starts off decently enough but after Grampa learns people mock him often the story takes a back seat and then ends on a dull, pointless note with little payoff.

The Skinner story, which I believe is the first case of the show actively ignoring The Principal and the Pauper, was better overall.  It had funnier gags, the stuff with Ohio State was decent albeit with a few misses, and it had better plot development overall although it, too, had a rather tame end.

Its kind of odd, the episode really didn't know how to end itself.  Its not like the ending needed to be rushed; the episode had the full, entire open, an extended couch gag, and a lengthening unrelated bit at the end because the episode itself was so short; that time could've been used to create a much more satisfying conclusion to both plot lines.  Sad, really.

Final Score: 6.7

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Treehouse of Horror XXVIII (S29, E04-622)

The Exor-Sis - Maggie gets possessed by a lesser demon in an obvious Exorcist spoof. (+0.6)

Coralisa - Lisa finds a stitched-up CGI version of her world through her room, where life is great except everyone has their eyes or mouths stitched up with buttons. (+0.7)

Mmm... Homer - Homer realizes he tastes delicious, and eventually becomes the world's tastiest ingredient. (+0.9)

Review: I enjoyed the episode overall.  Each segment was better than the last.  Exor-Sis was kinda dull and ended on a whimper.  Coralisa, an apparent Coraline reference, was relatively faithful to the setup of that movie even if, once again, it had no idea how to end itself.  The last segment had some good moments though the 'Hallelujah' bits dragged it down somewhat.  This Treehouse of Horror ends up better than last years' if only because none of the segments were downright bad, and overall this one is the best scoring one in five years, but these anthologies are still a far cry from what they were even just ten years ago.

Final Score: 7.2

Monday, October 23, 2017

Whistler's Father (S29, E03-621)

Recap: Maggie inherits Grampa's ability to whistle exceptionally and becomes a baby diva before she even hits it big.  Meanwhile, the mafia asks the style-'conscious' Marge to 'redecorate' the old post office into a whore house.

Review: Overall, its a dull episode.  A few jokes worked, a few jokes didn't.  Maggie's plotline was borderline ridiculous which didn't help matters.  Episode could've fared better with more mafia gags as they were the best part of the episode.  Better than the other two episodes of this season, of course that's not saying much.

Final Score: 6.2