Okay, we've got a few real winners this week, so let's get to the action!
1. Last Exit to Springfield. Wow, pretend this is baseball and hit us a homer! One of the best episodes; actually picked the best Simpsons episode ever by Entertainment weekly. Clearly they haven’t seen Lisa the Vegetarian. But this one really is awesome. Homer becomes the head of the union at the power plant, mainly because Lisa needed braces (“Dental plan!! Lisa needs braces. Dental plan!! Lisa needs braces”); without the plan, she’ll have to get braces that you’re not allowed to get wet. Burns’ opening offer of a beer keg instead of a dental plan is tempting, but Homer forces him to negotiate. Homer thinks Mr. Burns’ negotiating language is laden with homo come-ons, and he says “Sorry Mr. Burns, but I don’t go in for any backdoor shenanigans. Sure I’m flattered, maybe a little curious, but the answer is no.” Meanwhile, the dentist breaks Ralph’s spirit by forcing him to look at the Big Book of British Smiles, Homer pees in one of Burns’ rooms, Burns falls out of a helicopter, Lisa plays “Classical Gas,” Homer screams when interviewed by Kent Brockman, and Monty quotes Ahab. And let’s not forget this show has the all-time Grandpa scene, the “onion on my belt, which was the style at the time” scene. “Gimme five bees for a quarter!” All this in less than 23 minutes. Incredible. 11/10
2. Bart of War. From the highest highs to the lowest lows. 14th season. Haven’t seen it. N/A.
3. Krusty Gets Kancelled. Okay, back in my wheelhouse. Gabbo takes the town by storm (“Look, Smithers, it’s Gahbo”). At first Krusty is nonchalant (“Oh yeah, I slaughtered the Special Olympics”), then he gets worried and starts offering kids $40 checks to watch his show (“checks will not be honored”), and next thing you know he’s off the air. Homer then tells us what we all know, that two wrongs make a right, and Bart and Lisa plan a Krusty komeback special. Bette Midler, the Chili Peppers, Liz Taylor, Johnny Carson all get a piece. Great episode, but I’m not remembering as many quotes as I’d like. Lil’ help? 9/10
4. My Sister, My Sitter. A so-so episode from one of the dark years, season 8. Lisa starts a babysitting business, and one night Homer and Marge hire her to babysit Bart. There’s some good moments, like when Rod and Todd get scared of the moths, Chief Wiggum discovers that instead of Bob Seeger tickets he bought Bob Sagget tickets, and Snake tells Doc Riviera that he “fell” on a bullet. But not that great a show. 5/10
5. Homerazzi. This season. Add it to the Netflix cue, I guess. N/A
6. Hungry Hungry Homer. Not too shabby, despite its ’01 vintage. The Simpsons go to Blockoland, where Homer constructs himself a healthy apple (Lisa: “You made that apple out of ham cubes”). After helping Lisa get a missing piece for her Blocko Eiffel tower, he decides he’s going to spend more time helping out the little guys. He convinces a girl to go out w/ Bart (“Bart has inner beauty, like you’d find in a rodent”), helps Marge get a free hair dye (“$400 a month for loafer lightener?”), and tries to get Lenny’s money back on a ticket for the Isotopes. He discovers the Topes are moving to Albuquerque, so he stages a hunger strike. The rest of the episode is him starving at the stadium, singing made up songs to get by: “I’m kinda like Jesus, but not in a sacrilegious way.” Lots of Duff man, which always helps. 6/10
7. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish. Season 2, everyone loves it. Me, I’m not so high on it. For me, it was season 3 when the Simpsons really took off. The characters are just too raw, the drawings too primitive for me. Still, a really good episode, better than most (but not all) of the stuff after season 7. Burns decides to run for governor so he can relax the regulations on nuclear power plants after his attempt at bribing inspectors fails (“Mr. Burns, if I didn’t know better I’d say you were trying to bribe me”/ “Is there some confusion about this? Take it! Take it!”). Problem is, he’s got a 98% disapproval rating, aka Dubya territory. So in the great tradition of Lee Atwater, he decides to go negative on the state’s beloved governor. The night before the election he has dinner w/ the Simpsons, Marge serves a three-eyed fish, bla bla bla. 7/10
8. Rome-Oh and Julie-Eh. This season. Even the name isn’t funny. N/A
9. Homer the Smithers. Man, do I love this episode. Burns sends Smithers on a vacation. Homer is his assistant in the interim (“One of your organ banks from sector 7-G”). Homer has a rough couple days (“um, can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about the . . . things?”), and finally Homer punches Burns out. Burns is terrified and tries to call Smithers, but gets Moe, who says: “I’m gonna rip out your eyes and shove ‘em down your pants, so you can watch me kick the crap out of you.” Sweet. Really, this is another of those episodes where so much hilarious stuff happens, you just can’t fit it all in one paragraph. My favorite bit is when Homer reads Mr. Burns his phone messages: “You have 30 minutes to move your car; you have 10 minutes; your car has been impounded; your car has been crushed into a cube; you have 30 minutes to remove your cube.” The phone rings and Homer answers. Mr. Burns asks “Is it about my cube?” 10/10
10. When You Dish upon a Star. So, we finish with a suckfest (not the good kind). Alec Baldwin, Kim Bassinger, Ron Howard guest star. Nuff said. 3/10
Sure, the usual klunkers showed up, but so did some of my favorites. This might be the best FRS so far. Dig it!