“Bart was feeling mighty blue.” – Homer Simpson
“It’s a shame what school can do.” – Marge Simpson
“For no reason, here’s Apu.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Let me start by saying something nice. It was cool of them to use that one-man rendition of the theme over the end credits. It blew up on-line a few months ago and everybody loved it, and it’s heartening to see someone get recognition for a genuinely creative endeavor like that.
Unfortunately, the end credits were about the only part of the episode where there was any spirit of craftsmanship or care. Everything leading up to them (including the Game of Thrones intro which went on way too long) was a shoddy conglomeration of half considered ideas, time killing filler, and at least three different plot threads, not one of which managed to resolve itself or make any sense. Bart as a street artist? That’s not a terrible concept, but in the hands of Zombie Simpsons it turns into a gala opening that was apparently a police sting, except for the three million dollars in sales and post arrest autograph session. Homer and Apu fighting with tiny plastic cocktail swords? Another not-terrible idea. Any time those things are around it’s virtually impossible not to want to do that, but that doesn’t mean we want to see it played out seriously for a full minute. It gets boring faster than that even when you’re the person doing it.
Speaking of Apu, he was apparently in this episode, though to what purpose other than yelling incoherently remains unclear. In an episode about the Kwik-E-Mart closing, in which “Kwik-E-Mark” is in the title, there literally wasn’t a single scene set inside the store. Apu only had three scenes, the opening sword fight, a failed robbery, and then the redemption where he and Manjula repeated the word “monkey” at one another. (As is typical for Zombie Simpsons, Jan Hooks didn’t get to do the voice of Manjula.) I think that was supposed to be the B-plot, but the B-plot might also have been Homer’s suddenly hurt feelings and then the immediate redemption of said hurt feelings. Neither was on-screen long enough to make a compelling case, though Dan Castellaneta’s lungs did get a workout, as Jerkass Homer spent a great deal of screen time yelling and screaming.
Anyway, the numbers are in and they are wretched. Last night’s empty spray can of an episode was dejectedly shaken by a mere 5.17 million viewers. That’s good for seventh on the all time least watched list, and drags Season 23 further into uncharted depths in terms of average viewers. Excluding the post-NFL playoff episode, Zombie Simpsons hasn’t even come close to breaking six million viewers since December.