Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Springfield’s latest trend is self-driving cars!

“There’s no way to stop them, with their fleet of horseless, driverless carriages.” – Mr. Burns

The 30th season of The Simpsons keeps delivering great episodes with the 5th episode of the season, “Baby You Can’t Drive My Car“, a hilarious (and must-watch) episode that also manages to remind of a harsh reality.

The episode begins with Homer being fired (yet again) from the Power Plant, after he crashes his car into Mr. Burns‘ office. He soon learns that a new start-up company called “CarGo“, is moving to Springfield and is offering new jobs. So Homer applies as a tester for the self-driving cars. He goes to the interview, which is run by CarGo co-founders Antoine and Zoira. They like him due to his passiveness and poor driving record, so they give him the job after he sits around doing nothing for several hours. Homer quickly grows to like his new job, enjoying getting paid for sitting around doing nothing all day. He then grows to like it even more after finding out that the cafeteria offers free food.

He shows Marge around the campus and together they inspire the programmers to have fun, which increases their creativity. Upon seeing this, Antoine and Zoira promote Homer and hire Marge as his partner, to keep their employees relaxed. Homer and Marge then get the employees together doing fun activities. Upon seeing how this new company is, many employees of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant quit. When they realize the reasons for the employees quitting, Mr. Burns and Smithers go undercover at CarGo and apply for jobs. Upon exploring the campus, they realize that the employee benefits and pleasant workplace is the problem they have with the Power Plant.

Meanwhile, Homer and Marge discover that their self-driving car listens to them and takes them to places they talk about. They then go to Antoine and Zoira to confront them about this, where they reveal to them that sponsors paid them to get the cars to take them to places. At home, Homer and Marge argue about what to do. Homer says they have to do something, while Marge says they shouldn’t as working there is so much fun. Homer leaves and goes to Moe’s, where Burns also is at. There they make up a plan to destroy the company.

Homer, Mr. Burns and Smithers then break into the server room to shut down the cars. Marge discovers them and tries to get them to stop because she insists she enjoys working at the company. When she realizes they won’t stop, she goes to Antoine and Zoira to tell them about it. They are in a meeting discussing their next step, microphones in the key fobs, so they can listen to their customers all the time. Marge is surprised at this and goes back to help shut down the cars. After this, the company then starts making talking tattoos to win customers over.

The episode, written by Rob LaZebnik and directed by Timothy Bailey, is a hilarious mix of humor, self-driving cars and Mr. Burns. In fact, the episode not only manages to make some great elaborate jokes, like the places the car takes Homer and Marge as a result of their talk (that part is a very enjoyable moment), but it also reminds us of a harsh reality: the importance of people’s data privacy, as we walk towards a future where some real-world companies might be seeking to get people’s data for ethically questionable purposes. After all, The Simpsons always do that. They always manage to get some laugh while also making one think about the world around. The episode also features a seconds-long cameo of Tracy Morgan voicing a tow-truck driver in the end.

This episode clearly evidences that the show is quite on-touch with present day trends while also proves it has never lost their generally great sense of humor that characterizes it, making a pleasant episode everyone should watch.

Stay tuned for more reviews!!

Notes and Observations:

  • Homer and Marge’s car takes them to some places, including:
    • A Krusty Burger, after Homer says “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”.
    • The church, after Homer says “Holy crap”.
    • A place called “Marcel’s Monkey Rentals”, after Marge says “this company is up to some kind of monkey business”.
  • Moe buys the following keywords to make the cars bring people to his bar: “Roaches”, “Ennui”, “Rats”, “Bill W.”, “Maggots”, “Jukebox”, “Poison”, “Hell“, “Dank”, “Hole”, “Lenny“, “Hellhole” and “Despair”.
  • Remarkable quotes:
    • “For the first time ever, I’m the lesser of two evils” – Mr. Burns.
    • “Homer, you want to destroy the best thing that ever happened to us? (quickly) Except for the three kids, of course.” – Marge.
  • Homer and Marge both have “Alexa”. However, Homer’s one is only for cookies and Pop-Tarts.
  • Burns and Smithers include in their job application that they “are fluent in SQL, Python and Javascript” and also that they have been working in Google’s AI department for 3 years.
  • Mr. Burns thinks LGBT stands for “Lazy goof-off buffoons? And transgender”.
  • The Christmas song written by an AI is a real song written by an AI.
  • CarGo has a Nerfatorium.

Review: ‘The Simpsons’ 29th annual “Treehouse of Horror” is an enjoyable mix of humor, horror and parodies!

Treehouse of Horror XXIX

“Possible side effects include: back spikes, protective plates, giant claws, fear of asteroids, being a precursor to our modern birds, a second tail brain, loss of ears and increased libido. If you are currently egg-laying or expect to be egg-laying, consult your paleontologist.

The Simpsons annual “Treehouse of Horror” installment keeps striking a great combination of humor, horror and pop references. This year’s episode, “Treehouse of Horror XXIX“, manages to maintain the high quality of THOH episodes, while offering new stories and parodies.

The episode starts with the Simpson family visiting Fogburyport, a dark and weird town, were Homer competes in an oyster-eating contest against mythical creature Cthulhu. Homer eventually wins the contest, as apparently hadn’t eaten breakfast. The monster faints and the family cooks and eats it. When Homer pricks the monster’s body, some sort of purple blood/ink writes the title card of the episode.

The first segment, “Intrusion of the Pod-Y Switchers” (a parody of Invasion of the Body Snatchers) sees the citizens of Springfield being attacked by plant-shaped aliens, who use the newest MyPhones (from Mapple) to distract the citizens and attack them with their spores that kill and then replace them as ‘zombified’ versions of the humans. Bart and Lisa try to escape from the plants, but they are eventually taken, only to realize the plants actually transfer their consciences to an utopic reality, where they get distracted by their phones as well.

The second segment, “MultipLisa-ty”, sees Bart, Nelson and Milhouse trapped and chained in a place after they had a sleepover at Milhouse’s. The person who has emprisoned them turns out to be Lisa, who acts in a very unusal way. Lisa is in some ‘crazy mode’ while also mad with the boys. The silly versions of Lisa are hilarious and fascinating, as Lisa isn’t usually seen with those personalities. Yeardley Smith‘s voice-acting as Lisa is always outstanding, but the talent she proves in this segment is masterful. Her performance of the Scottish Lisa is a must-see. At the end, Bart understands the reason why Lisa snapped. He succeeds in making an emotive fraternal speech that makes Lisa turn back to normal again, and save his life. The segment itself seemed a bit all over the place, but that also appeared to be the idea.
Treehouse of Horror XXIX
The third segment, “Geriatric Park” (a parody of classic Jurassic Park), revolves around Mr. Burns‘ new retirement home/park, in which the DNA of the senior citizens is combined with dinosaur DNA to somehow rejuvenile them, and in turn “giving them a better life”. When the Simpsons visit the park, Grampa claims they are always keeping the temperature cold there, so Homer (ignoring a warning post), increases the temperature with the thermostat. The temperature increase causes the old people to turn into dinosaurs, who go furious and start causing chaos. Eventually, Lisa appeals to the good heart of the senior people, calming them, just saying they only want more attention.
Treehouse of Horror XXIX
The episode, written by Joel H. Cohen and directed by Matthew Faughnan, is another great installment of one of the show’s most valuable traditions, the Treehouse of Horror episodes. There’s just some points the show could have delivered better. THOH segments have recently become more focused in pop culture parodies than in parodying horror stories or telling original stories. There’s nothing bad in that, but since the episodes are titled Treehouse of Horror, it’s expected to see horror stories comically parodied. This year’s show manages to do that quite well.

This show has started its unprecedented 30th season with well-crafted and enjoyable episodes. This year’s THOH has been exciting, surprising and humurous. It’s a funny, must-see episode that will sure get laughs.

Stay tuned for more reviews!!

Notes and Observations:

  • *When Lisa is taken by the plants, she has some hallucinations, including a brief appearance of Luci, from the new Matt Groening show Disenchantment.
  • In another hallucination, Lisa sees Homer and Bart dancing “you don’t win friends with salad”, from Season 7‘s “Lisa the Vegetarian“.
  • When the spores are released, the Planet Express ship from Futurama can be seen carrying a flag that says “Bring Back Futurama“. Then the spaceship from The Orville show appears and attacks the Futurama ship.
  • Again, Lisa with Groundskeeper Willie‘s scottish accent is dazzling and highly hilarious.
  • Next year’s THOH (the 30th installment) has been confirmed to be the 666th episode of the show. There couldn’t be a better number for a THOH episode.
  • In the third segment, the family flies over the doors of Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 2, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World and Jurassic World 2 while traveling to the Geriatric Park by helicopter.
  • In the second segment, the reason for Lisa snapping is that Bart changed her answers in an exam and made her fail. (Miss Hoover noticed someone had overwritten Lisa’s answers, but preferred to enjoy the feeling of making her fail).
  • Although Kang and Kodos seem to not appear during the episode, they actually appear briefly as background characters in the utopic reality.

Review: Marge and Homer compete in a reality show!

Heartbreak Hotel

“You don’t fail at 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
– Marge

The Simpsons30th Season keeps going with the second episode of the season, “Heartbreak Hotel“. The episode is a well-crafted mix of reality competition shows, marriage crisis, and dream fullfillment (sort of).

The episode starts with the Simpsons watching Marge‘s favorite reality competition show, called The Amazing Place, which is a parody of The Amazing Race. When Bart and Lisa point out that Marge has an absolute knowledge of the show (plus some sort of obsession with it as well), they try to encourage her to audition for the show. Marge reveals that she and Homer have tried out to be on the show 46 times, getting rejected in all of them.

Lisa makes an audition video for her parents by editing together the videos from their past audition tapes, and she and Bart later go to the show’s auditions in the Squidport. There they convince the staff of the show to let Marge and Homer compete in an episode.

Marge and Homer arrive at the place where the show takes place, thrilled by the idea of being in the show, only to immediately get eliminated (shelliminated) in the first challenge, the Suitcase Stowaway. However, the show doesn’t let them go home and they are forced to stay 6 months in a Hotel, in order to prevent fans from knowing they’ve been kicked off before the season airs. Marge is devastated by the feeling of being a “noob” and being the first couple eliminated. Homer, in the other hand, enjoys and quickly adapts to hotel life.

Marge finally adapts to hotel life, but they eventually find the show’s post-production room and they discover the fault of them being eliminated the first day is all Homer’s, as he ate a giant chocolate bar that was her Suitcase Stowaway. Marge then gets angry with Homer, therefore starting a marriage crisis. After that happens, they meet another eliminated couple in a scene that parodies the film ”Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, were a character from the film also appears (Nick, voiced by guest George Segal, who also portrayed him in the original film).
Heartbreak Hotel
They are then surprised by the show when one of the eliminated couples is offered to re-enter the competition, only if one of the members teams up with a member from another couple. Marge rapidly forms a team with Nick. They almost win, but ultimately fail, making Homer enjoy the feeling of being the one people pity.

The episode, written by Matt Selman and Renee Ridgeley and directed by Steven Dean Moore, offers a new take of a classic plot of the show, a Marge-Homer marriage crisis. At this point, Marge and Homer’s marriage has proven to be indestructible. So, as always, their crisis is solved. Unlike other past episodes, in this occasion the crisis is quickly solved. The parody of The Amazing Race is amusing and funny. The show’s host, Tag Tuckerburg (voiced by guest Rhys Darby), is also a hilarious character that offer some enjoyable moments.
Heartbreak Hotel
The guest stars of the episode, George Segal and Rhys Darby, both offer well-acted performances. For a show like The Simpsons, it’s now unusual to have episodes with only an A-plot, but this episode manages to handle a single plot within a very short amount of time. The unneeded sport talk at the end could have been replaced with a couch gag in the opening, maybe.

This episode is more than just another marriage crisis episode, as the marriage crisis plot doesn’t go quite far than a quarter of the episode’s time, to a greater or lesser extent. The episode sees Marge and Homer going to compete in a reality show, expecting to face some challenges, and at the end they actually have to face some challenges from reality (their real word).

Stay tuned for more reviews!!

Notes and Observations:

  • Marge seemingly has an obsession with The Amazing Place. According to Lisa, she has watched all the episodes, even listening to the director’s commentaries. She even made the family play the “horrible” home game of the show.
  • Homer enjoys the feeling of not being the one ‘who screws things up’.
  • Bart wanted to put a pool in the backyard, with Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph digging the hole.
  • Remarkable quotes:
    • “The fitness center only had an old NordicTrack, but it felt good to work out.” — Marge
      “I sat on a yoga ball and drank cucumber water. It’s nice to know I can still do that” — Homer
    • “This conversation is hereby terminated. You are each entitled to one capful of bubble bath.” — Blue-haired lawyer
      “Now, that’s parenting.” — Homer.

Review: ‘The Simpsons’ season 30 makes it clear it’s not dead with an enjoyable Season Premiere episode!

Bart's Not Dead

“As someone who has fallen off cliffs multiple times, the best thing we can do is teach him how to fall off cliffs.” — Homer

The Simpsons‘ yet record-breaking 30th Season Premiere episode, “Bart’s Not Dead“, not only does assure what the title says, but it also makes evident that the show itself is far from dead. The show’s creativity is still on a good level, no matter how much time passes.

The episode sees Bart being dared by the school bullies but, after initially refusing the dare (and subsequently making Marge happier than ever), Bart later accepts to take a dare as he becomes the center of attention (in a bad sense) in school (even Ralph Wiggum tries to turn his back on Bart, only to face him again after a self spin). The bullies then dare Bart to jump into a reservoir. Bart fails the jump, thus falling into the floor and seemingly getting badly injured.

In the hospital, Bart recovers and comes up with a lie to cover up with Marge, who again had hope of Bart being a good boy, and he tells he’s been on Heaven, and that Jesus told him a message for Marge, “things will get better”. The little lie suddenly turns into a big lie after three Christian movie producers (voiced by guests Pete Holmes, Dave Attell, and Kevin Michael Richardson) want to make a movie out of Bart’s story. Homer quickly gets a deal, and starts producing the film with Ned Flanders (credited as Homer’s assistant in the film’s credits). They go through some auditions, with guests Emily Deschanel and Gal Gadot, who audition for Marge and Lisa, respectively, in one of the episode’s funniest scenes.

The movie (with Jonathan Groff as Bart) is a huge success (scoring a 98% in “Rotten Communion Wafers”). But, after Lisa makes Bart feel guilty for his lie, he decides to tell the truth, which causes anger among the town’s citizens. After apologizing, Ned and Homer announce they’ll donnate all the profits of the film to charity. Bart and Lisa then have a talk in the roof where Bart asks Lisa if God will ever forgive him. Lisa answers that, if there’s a God, he’ll forgive him as long as he has enough remorse. The roof suddenly breaks and the siblings are saved by an actual miracle, Homer having raked the leaves for once.
Bart's Not Dead
The episode, written by Stephanie Gillis and directed by Bob Anderson, perfectly manages to deliver a nice story of Bart’s guilty feeling over his little lie becoming something much bigger that, like a balloon, has to explode sooner or later. Some of the best moments of the episode are the auditions for the movie. Homer’s jokes out of Emily Deschanel’s show ”Bones” and not being able to differenciate her playing Marge’s part from real Marge, even though he asked her to some particular moves when acting as Marge, sure can get some laughs. Homer’s lines about ”DC Comics” and ”Wonder Woman” during Gal Gadot’s audition is also a good, classic, Simpsons-style, fuuny pop-culture reference. Emily Deschanel and Gal Gadot both offer hilarious performances.

A weak point of the episode could be the Bart’s Not Dead movie itself, as only a couple of nice lines and a rather irrelevant musical number (well-performed by guest Jonathan Groff) are shown from it. The movie itself could have had more content. It had the potential to include more pop-culture references. Well, more from the film should have been shown. Having Homer written it, lots of Homer-esque humor could have fitted in the movie. Nevertheless, the movie is not an important point of the episode after all. Bart’s feelings are.
Bart's Not Dead
Another well-crafted part of the episode is the ability the show has to irreverently satirize religion, no matter which one. From Jesus telling Bart (during a dream) that “God is love” and immediately hitting the boy with a wood-made “Love” word, to Homer going to “Hindu Heaven” asking to be reincarnated (into a Turtle) instead of having to stay at Christian Heaven with Ned Flanders, the show has always had a compelling talent to joke about religion(s).

The episode not only says “Bart’s Not Dead”, but it also shows clearly that neither are ‘The Simpsons’, healthier than ever in their 30th Season.

Stay tuned for more reviews!!

Notes:

  • Bart jumps into the reservoir from the “Dead Boy’s Ledge”, while the bullies watch it from the “Haw-Haw Heights”, both places within the “Echo Canyon”. “This Place sure has a lot of names”, points Jimbo.
  • Among the protest signs: “B.S. is B.S.”, “That’s why I am a Wiccan” (Moe carries this one), “Never Trust Non-Hollywood Films”, “The Last Half Dragged”, “Bart Lies, Jesus Cries”, and “Kill The Father”(held by Patty and Selma).
  • Apparently, Grampa Bouvier (Marge’s father) was missing a leg. He was still missing it in Heaven during Bart’s dream, as he seemingly lost it in a bet.
  • Remarkable quotes:
    • “Like most of America, I think I know the movie business.” — Homer
    • “Our father who art in heaven, holler out your name. Thy kingdom come, I’m almost done.” — Homer’s prayers.
    • “Our movie is a hit and a lie.” — Marge
      “Oh, all hit movies are lies, Marge. Did you see Argo? None of that happened. And I have strong doubts about The Incredibles.” — Homer