We didn’t get the gift we wanted, a GL 50 9K Smart TV. The place we went was a dump, but isn’t Christmas really about being with your family and bartender?
The 30th season of The Simpsons continues. The 10th episode of the season, “‘Tis the 30th Season“, is the 18th Christmas-themed episode of the show. And is also one of the best episodes of the season so far. It’s an hilarious, enjoyable combination of laughs, christmas and a travel episode. The best way to celebrate the show’s 29th anniversary, which will happen next week. This is also the last episode of the show… to air in 2018. New episodes will air starting in January 2019.
The episode opens after Thanksgiving dinner, when Bart and Lisa give Marge and Homer their Christmas present list, asking for a smart TV, which costs $2.400, but then a Black Friday offer at Sprawl-Mart is shown in TV, so Marge and Homer plan their shopping. Marge gets to Sprawl Mart, getting ready for the sale, and Homer fails to relieve her of the duty of standing in line by getting hit in the head by the door after getting his scarf stuck in it, felling unconscious. When the store opens, instead of getting the TV, Marge helps Gil get his Futon Friends toy for his grand-daughter, thus losing the chance to get the TV.
Marge is heavilly stressed about preparing a perfect Christmas, so Homer and the kids prepare a vacation for the family at the Kissimmee St. Nick Theme Park and Resort, but to take her there they have to sedate her. They arrive at the Resort, but its a completely ruined one. The theme park is even weirder, but they all try and show Marge they’re having some (faked) fun out of it, in order to make her happier, but in the morning Bart and Lisa complain to Jeanie, the manager of the place. Complaining about the fake appearance on the website, she explains that they can’t compete with the big ones, like Disney‘s new Family Guy World, and fends them off.
Back at the park, they go to the Tunnel of Love, the Gator Peeting Zoo and in the end at the Hall of Vice Presidents, where they all express their true feelings on the place. Bart manages to get their money back and they start their trip back to home. After finishing their fuel, they go by foot to town and discover Moe has been holding a dinner for the old and needy at his tavern and they join the dinner at the tavern, with Grampa too, realizing that “there is no place like Moe’s”. At the end Jeanie refunds them, and they buy the much desired smart TV and watch a burning log in a fireplace on it, in HD.
The episode, story by Jeff Westbrook, teleplay by John Frink and Joel H. Cohen and directed by Lance Kramer, is a solid mix of Christmas, family travel, Florida and smart TVs. This episode is one of the best episodes of the current season so far. And, while some episodes can be an unsure hit-or-miss, christmas episodes are usually an almost sure hit. These episodes appeal to family, generosity and they make you feel some seasonal joy and family warmness at the end. They’re like the perfect recipe.
This episode is very strong and very well-written. The originality of the story is quite notable, and it’s a sure laugh-generating episode. There are, as usual with this show, lots of freeze-frame jokes or some one-line jokes pretty well delivered. The episode also features the guest voice of Jane Lynch, who does a hilarious performance as Jeanie, the manager of the resort. The episode is packed with fun. The Simpsons will turn 29 years old next week, yet they are like Season 4, if that means something. This show is a master deliverer of THOH episodes, but it does even better when it comes to Christmas episodes, maybe because it was indeed a Christmas episode what started it all back in 1989? This show has always had a “thing” with Christmas-themed episodes.
This episode is a great, enjoyable episode that everyone must watch. In fact, everyone should watch all the episodes. Season 30 has raised its quality, both creative and technical, and has offered great, hilarious and most important of all, entertaining episodes so far. And let’s hope that will still happen in 2019 and beyond.
Stay tuned for more reviews!! And, as Comic Book Guy’s store sign says, have a Marvel Christmas and a DC New Year!!
Notes and Observations:
- The episode title is a reference to ‘Tis the Season and the season 15 episode “‘Tis the Fifteenth Season“.
- In the Couch gag, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and Bart are upside down on the cieling. When wampa-Homer comes to attack them, Bart uses the force to grab the light saber and cut its hand. This scene is a reference to the scene in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke Skywalker, to save himself from the wampa, grabs the light saber with the force and cuts its hand with it, just like Bart. At a church, on the way back to Springfield, the wind caused by them passing by removes the letter from the billboard, making it say “New Star Wars“.
- The tv the kids want is branded “GL”, a parody of “LG Electronics”.
- The scene where Marge and Homer plot the Black Friday at Sprawl-Mart is reminescent of the scene of Adolf Hitler‘s outrage in the 2004 movie Downfall. Homer also mentions the nazis.
- Homer suggests calling Marge an Uber.
- Yankeess Fantasy Camp and Suck Fantasy Camp are some of the locations for the vacation, starring Wade Boggs.
- Kissimmee St. Nick Theme Park and Resort is a reference to the St Nicholas Anglican Church in Kissimmee, FL.
- Disney is shown creating Family Guy World, a new park theme created around Family Guy. The shows’ theme is heard while its creation is shown. This is also a reference to The Simpsons‘ theme park in Orlando, Florida.
- In the Hall of Vice Presidents, among the vice presidents are: Thomas Jefferson, Walter Mondale, Gerald Ford, Andrew Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Aaron Burr, Theodore Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson, Joe Biden, Adlai Stevenson II, Schuyler Colfax}}, Chester A. Arthur and Richard Nixon.
- Bart and Milhouse use FaceTime on their phones.
- The scene of the vice presidents’ heads under the cover is a reference to The Godfather scene with the horse head under the cover.
- Jeanie has a “as seen on COPS” shirt.
- The sign at the Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop says “Have a Marvel Christmas and a DC New Year”.
- At Sprawl-Mart, Professor Frink is dressed in his Iron Man suit.