Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Great Phatsby (S28, E12-608 & E13-609)

Note: The Great Phatsby is the first hour-long "episode" in the series.  However, for all intents and purposes, its actually two episodes and, as far as I know, its officially counted as the 12th and 13th episodes of the season.  Regardless, I'm doing episode reviews for both parts on this single page.  They were basically the same in terms of quality, anyway.  With that...

The Great Phatsby: Part One

Goosius, more like Goofsius, a-am I-I r-right?  *panicked sweat*
Plot Summary
Mr. Burns longs for the days where he led and hosted lavish, fun parties with his fellow rich socialites.  He attempts to do so again, tasking Smithers to acquire ice but only from the darkest corners of Canada.  Before he departs, Smithers tasks Homer to hand out invitations to Springfield's best but he hands them out randomly.  Not that it matters, as Burns hosts a poor excuse of a party with antiquated rules and an antiquated band.  As the guests leave out of boredom, Homer is the only one that remains to comfort a depressed Burns. 

Homer and Burns, however, notice a big party happening across the lake: a rap mogul party.  The two find the host: Jay-G who owes his success and ruthlessness to a book Burns wrote long ago about ruthlessness as well as a pet goose who acts as a living symbol for his entire line: Goosius.  As Mr. Burns is basically his idol and mentor, Jay-G befriends him.  Convinced to use a top-of-the-line credit card Burns starts to spend his money freely and carelessly, feeling as though he's gone back to the glory days of his youth.

While this is happening, the other Simpsons hang out at the Hamptons near where Jay-G (and Burns, apparently) live.  As its basically rich-person town, Marge comes to learn that all of the shops are owned by the spouses of the rich who need something to do with their free time.  Lisa becomes disgusted by the son of one of the richest men in town, Blake, who is an utter douchebag.  However, Lisa's open disgust of him opens Blake up to "check his privilege" to impress her.  Lisa nearly is until another rich kid successfully entices Lisa with ponies and pony accessories, leaving Blake's humility unwarranted.

Burns' new lifestyle, complete with a posse (albeit its just Homer and his friends), comes to a crashing end when its learned the Burns literally spent all of his money on lavish purchases.  Homer then lets Burns know that Jay-G just released a music video basically admitting his plan to bankrupt Burns and take over all of his possessions, including the nuclear plant, leaving Burns in ruins.

The Great Phatsby: Part Two

Talk about ruthless...
Plot Summary
Torn between his 'loyalty' to Burns and working for Jay-G at the nuclear plant, Homer chooses the latter as dictated by Marge (who has haphazardly opened up a trinket shop in the Hamptons).  Jay-G, who now owns the plant and turned it into a dance party, attempts to secure Homer to his side with endless supplies of cobbler, but Homer regrets his decision.  Stumbling along, he finds Burns being weird at the mausoleum.  Homer renews his loyalty for Burns and together they decide to enact revenge on Jay-G.

With Bart along to help, its decided the best way to ruin Jay-G is to ruin his rep.  To do so, they learn that Jay-G burned many bridges during his ruthless rise to the top.  The two are able to get several rappers and an ex-wife to record a revenge album exposing Jay-G as a fraud.  During a big reveal party, however, its revealed that Jay-G literally re-bought the loyalty of all the rappers and the ex-wife, and that the drive containing the apparently only recording of the album is also in his possession.

Devastated by the decided defeat, Homer and Burns return to Marge's flailing shop to inform her of what's occurred.  With Marge finally free of her delusion of store ownership, Burns simply sulks until he realizes there's been a perfect revenge scheme all along.

Soon, he and Homer sneak into Jay-G's home to nab Goosius with the intent of cooking and eating him.  However, Homer doesn't have the heart to kill Goosius, leaving Burns to attempt to finish the act himself.  Jay-G attempts to stop him, the shenanigans of which leave the two hanging from a chandelier.  Here, Jay-G admits he only ruined Burns because in Burns' own book he wrote that one could only be truly ruthless if they were to destroy the "one who made you".  Burns suddenly feels pride that his legacy of ruthlessness will live on through Jay-G.

The two are still hanging onto the chandelier, but as it falls, Smithers returns with his ice, which has since melted into soft slush that Burns and Jay-G fall into.  Apparently, Jay-G returns Burns' possessions including the plant, but Burns has also learned some things as well, allowing a impromptu dance session at the plant but learns better of it almost immediately.

Double Review
Here are the things I liked about the episodes:
  • Smithers' quest for ice.
  • The entire Hamptons side story with Marge, including crazy shop sign man.
  • Homer's narration.
  • Most of the parts with just Homer.
  • Bart's role in Part 2.
 Here are the things I didn't like about the episodes:
  • Most of the rap stuff.  Sorry, it was a) boring and b) not funny.  Unfortunately, that makes up a lot of these two episodes.
  • Lisa's sidestory with Blake.
  • The guest voices were mostly dull or pointless, for instance Charles Barkley's entire contribution was "Still better than Shaq!", I mean, why even bother?
  • The part in, uh, Part 2, when the revenge group betrayed Burns, where Jay-G and his new sold out gang appear to Burns as holograms, like this isn't goddamn Star Trek why didn't they just show up at the thing?
Part 2, I felt, tried more with the jokes, albeit there were more misses than in Part 1.  Part 1 was dull in several spots, like when Homer and Burns were wading through Jay-G's party and the entire thing with Blake wasn't very good either.  I think the episodes would've fared better if, in Part 1, the Blake stuff was gone and the stuff with Jay-G was funnier.  Part 2 would've been better if the entire middle portion wasn't the "guest voice" segment that basically brought the whole thing down.  The first acts of both parts were the best things going for each.

So, overall, these two episodes fared about the same, and about on average for your Season 28 / Zombie Simpsons episode.  Given the pomp and circumstance of it being an episode so grand you needed a whole hour to get through it, though, its certainly underwhelming even with the lessened expectations of this era of Simpsons.

Part 1 Final Score: 6.4
Part 2 Final Score: 6.6
Combined Final Score: 6.5

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