“Oh, I know this story. The year is nineteen-aught-six, the President is the divine Miss Sarah Bernhardt, and all over America people were doing a dance called the Funky Grandpa!” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson
In our continuing mission to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re bringing back our “Crazy Noises” series and applying it to Season 21. Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough not on “Eudora Welty”).
This episode has a ton of problems when considered just on its own. There was the dropping of its main character, the bizarre backstory that eliminated a guy who looks like Homer from the family tree, a thirty second chase scene that is also dropped, numerous interruptions for pointless clock killing, and all that exposition. But if you take a second to think about it in the larger context of the show the ending gets even stupider and more out of place. “The Color Yellow” ends with Grandpa telling a story that, contrary to almost every other story he’s ever told, turns out to be true and make sense – and then the family believes him. And this woeful excuse for a conclusion came all of four episodes after “Thursdays with Abie,” an episode completely predicated on the idea that Abe’s stories are nonsense.
Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get started? I’ve got a date with Eudora Welty.
Mad Jon: Nice
Dave: Yep let’s go
I’m reliving the nightmare as we chat.
Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, thoughts on the Magical Slavery Tour?
Dave: Bland, bland, bland.
Mad Jon: That was pretty boring. It wasn’t as bad as last week’s travesty but still bad.
And very boring. I really don’t like the history episodes.
Dave: Charlie and I sat in silence for virtually all of it. It’s like we were being punished.
Mad Jon: That makes three of us.
Charlie Sweatpants: If I had been really caught up in the characters or what they were doing I might not have been bored, but I didn’t care and so I was.
Dave: I don’t think there was a chance of that ever happening.
Mad Jon: I chuckled at the joke about Homer making less than his white co-workers, but that was because I was surprised he still had a job in this episode.
Charlie Sweatpants: Ah, but that was followed up by him chugging a bottle of wine because even after all that exposition they were still five seconds short.
Mad Jon: Did you notice the chugging sound continued as the credits rolled?
Charlie Sweatpants: No.
Mad Jon: And I wasn’t defending it, I just tend to chuckle at slightly racist humor.
Charlie Sweatpants: The problem I have with that whole we’re 1/64th black thing is that it seems like that was the original premise of this and everything else was them working backwards to try and justify it.
How do we get them to have a black ancestor?
I know, 1860-Marge saves a slave!
Great! Does anyone know how to get us there? (crickets)
Mad Jon: That doesn’t surprise me
Charlie Sweatpants: But even the whole 1860-Lisa thing was thin, they had to keep padding it with things like the putting the book in the vent, the endless waltz scene, and the fact that every time someone did something they said they were going to do it three times beforehand.
Dave: You forgot about the library bit, but point well taken
Charlie Sweatpants: Were there two or three library bits? They kind of blur together.
Dave: They’re indistinct, certainly
I didn’t bother to keep count
Charlie Sweatpants: Lisa looking at the card catalog in “Lisa the Greek” had more jokes than all of them (however many there were) put together, of that much I’m certain.
Mad Jon: She used a laptop to give the presentation, but asks the librarian for info on her family.
Charlie Sweatpants: The laptop bit was amongst the worst, I’ve seen plenty of bland Power Point presentations in my life, why did I have to see that one?
Mad Jon: I gave one of those today.
Charlie Sweatpants: Shame on you.
Mad Jon: Whatever keeps those paychecks rolling in.
Dave: I have no room to point fingers, actually.
Charlie Sweatpants: While we’re on the topic of wasted humor opportunities, why was Homer playing cards with Patty and Selma? And on top of that, why did one of them throw a card for him to choke on? Are you telling me that they couldn’t think of a single thing for Selma to say to Homer that was funnier than him choking on a playing card?
Mad Jon: And why was only one of them smoking?
That never happens.
Dave: Selma has a kid?
Charlie, they couldn’t. There, I said it.
Mad Jon: Still?
Dave: I don’t think the kid has been seen lately, but yeah
Charlie Sweatpants: Whether or not she has a kid, she should still be able to insult Homer.
Mad Jon: And smoke.
Dave: Of course.
I wasn’t defending her inaction, just tossing out a possibility
Charlie Sweatpants: Sadly Dave I think you’re right, they couldn’t think of a single insult that was better than the card choking. If it weren’t for this episode’s other multitude of problems that would be a damning indictment.
Mad Jon: Did Grandpa’s voice seem different to you guys?
Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t notice anything, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Dave: I’m listening to it now, I can’t pick up anything noticeably different
Mad Jon: I thought it did. I sounded like someone was doing an impression of Grandpa.
Charlie Sweatpants: Was there anything specific Jon?
Mad Jon: There was one scene in particular, but I am not planning on going back to look for it right now.
Charlie Sweatpants: We’ll just assume you’re right then. I mean, the number of voices that sound off can only go up.
Dave: Ageing is a bitch.
Also, the Flint, MI joke wasn’t as good as the one in “Bart Gets A Job”
Charlie Sweatpants: Not even close.
Mad Jon: Thirded
Charlie Sweatpants: On an even more trivial note, did anyone notice 1860-Lisa’s costume when she went to meet Virgil in the barn? (Let’s not talk about that time killing owl.)
Dave: What was up with the costume?
Charlie Sweatpants: 1860-Lisa snuck away from the ball, and then in the next scene, separated only by about a half second dissolve, she’s wearing a red riding hood cloak.
I know there have been animation goofs going back to forever, but these should’ve been right next to each other on the storyboard. There was nothing else going on, no other characters in the scene, and one shot immediately followed the other. It just reeks of laziness.
Mad Jon: Once again, I am not surprised by this revelation.
Dave: The writers were probably doing blow.
Charlie Sweatpants: I almost blocked it out since it was followed by that useless chase scene that, much like 1860-Lisa, had no ending and was simply dropped once it was inconvenient.
Mad Jon: Also, the only Burns Ancestry I will recognize is his grandfather who owned the atom smashing plant.
Charlie Sweatpants: Was that the same guy with the limo in “Rosebud”? I always kinda figured it was.
“Twisted loveless billionaire”, oh how I miss the real Burns.
Mad Jon: Works for me.
Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else we need to discuss here?
Mad Jon: Not in regards to this episode, no.
Dave: No sir.
Charlie Sweatpants: Good, because Eudora’s waiting. Maybe I can convince her to stay in and watch “Rosebud”.