“Simpson, stop frolicking and get to work!” – Mr. Smithers
“Right away, Mr. Smithers, I’ll just walk across these slippery rocks . . .” – Homer Simpson
Near the end of “The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants” a man on a jet ski appears from the sky just before a raft with several able bodied men plunges over a waterfall because another able bodied man wouldn’t push them slightly to shore. At that point, Zombie Simpsons could safely assume that its audience was completely numb to plot whiplash. I certainly thought I was. Then Homer, who less than a minute before had possessed the power to swim away from the falls while pushing a raft, fell back into the river and went over the falls by himself. My whiplash came back.
That was the end of the A-plot. There was also briefly a B-plot, but Zombie Simpsons dropped it completely after only its third scene. Maybe that was for the best, because it was bizarre enough already with Bart and the bullies (who are apparently bullies again) suddenly finding their love of Little Women, especially since the whole thing was a repeat of a much better joke from “Homer Loves Flanders”.
On the plus side, John Slattery was there, and since he’s not quite famous enough to play himself they had him play a role virtually identical to the one he plays on Mad Men. I thought he had a couple of decent lines, though there was an awful lot of crap around them (Lenny and Carl at the diner was a particular lowlight). Of course, he’s a lot funnier on Mad Men than he was on Zombie Simpsons, but that’s hardly his fault.
Anyway, the numbers are in and they are sinking to depths Madison Avenue wouldn’t even consider. Just 5.61 million people reached for bourbon last night, that’s the lowest ever for the fall half of the season, the fifth lowest in the history of the show, and so bad that it’s brought the Season 23 average down to just 6.98 million. Season 22’s average, the lowest in history, was 7.10. If they stopped showing new episodes right now, Season 23 would already be the least watched ever, and the lowest rated part of the schedule is still to come. I hope they have a good accounts man.