Sunday, September 24, 2006

Review: Please Homer Don't Hammer 'Em

I'll be honest, it wasn't the best Simpsons episode in the world, but it wasn't bad. There was a plot, so that's good. The episode basically went like this: Marge finds out she is good at carpentry so she decides to start up a business by doing odd jobs all around Springfield. The problem is that no one believes she can do a good job (because she's a woman). Marge gets Homer to look like he's doing the work while she actually does the job. Homer ends up causing Marge to quit right before she get's the job of fixing an old rollercoaster. Doing it himself, Homer ends up collapsing the rollercoaster and ends up in the hospital only to realize that he should have told the truth about who was really behind what he did.

It's a decent plot but the same problems remain however. What I'm guessing the creators were trying to do was have Homer classically do something selfish and then find out what he was doing wrong after something tragic happened to him. The problem here was the show was too fast paced. Earlier Simpsons episodes were, in theory, more like sitcoms in the fact that in could actually be acted out by real people if need be and safice. The jokes in this episode were also rushed and somewhat random. Even the climax of the story, when Marge fixes the rollercoaster in record breaking time, looks a little too unbelievable. The whole episode happens so fast that it gets to a resolution too quickly and the trademark Simpsons affectionate ending just seems squeezed in. In reality, that's how the shows been for years really.

The subplot was good though, and actually very clever. Bart and Skinner's Star Wars style peanut vs. shrimp fight was funny. The only problem here was when Bart was taking advantage of Skinner (before Skinner found Bart's "kryptonite"), it seemed overplayed and unrealistic. Like I said earlier, Bart could have never pulled that off in real life. Now, granted, alot of the earlier Simpsons material is also unrealistic but it just seems that recently it's been like that more than in the past. Circumstances when Bart is torturing Skinner in the Simpsons' own front yard for instance only add to randomness, like writors couldn't find a better place to use that joke.

All in all it wasn't a bad episode. There were some good jokes in it... none that I would remember a week from now, but okay. This seasons is turning out to be much better than last season and is bordering each week some of 17's greats, like the pair of religious episodes at it's end. Hopefully the Simpsons will pick up a little. One thing for sure is that they shouldn't be trying to immitate Family Guy. Family Guy has been copying the Simpsons ever since it's existance and there's no need for a turnaround now. Slower pace, more reasonable gags, and I think this show could be what it once was. Hopefully when the movie's done they can get back on track.