I have a few questions that remain unanswered about that episode…
1. Other than needing a plot idea, was there any reason to “parody” Bridge to Terabithia? (Incidentally, the guy who directed Terabithia, Gabor Csupo, worked on The Simpsons back in the before time.)
2. Which producer’s kid is Josh Groban holding hostage? That was almost a commercial.
3. If you are going to have an episode filled with iPod and Facebook references, why would Groundskeeper Willie flashback to his immigration in the first half of the 20th century?
There are two things for which I will give this episode ‘credit’, but only because I want to appear unbiased:
1. There was a quick sight gag where Homer was sitting at the kitchen table drinking from a cup that said “Ned” on it. It lasted two seconds and nobody said anything about it. It wasn’t great but they managed not to fuck it up.
2. Homer didn’t suffer any deadly or incapacitating blows.
Besides that I have only bad things to say. What reminded me that I wasn’t actually watching the Simpson’s the most was when Marge and Homer are talking about what Lisa might be doing at the model UN conference she was supposedly at. When Marge asks if Homer thinks Lisa has enacted the ‘rice tariff’ Homer comes back with a Model UN procedural joke which I am sure the writers thought was witty. Homer is not a comedy writer; he shouldn’t sound like one.
This was classic modern Simpsons: toss in a celebrity or three, throw in a recent, half-assed and superficial cultural reference, and call it a day.