“You’re not gonna grow nothin’ on the old Simpson place. That’s why your Daddy abandoned it.” – Chuck Sneed
“Aw, what do you know?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, I know your soil pH is up around 9.6, and you need it 7 to 8, max.” – Chuck Sneed
“Oh, that’s just superstition.” – Homer Simpson
For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes. This year we’re doing Season 11. Why Season 11? Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show. Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (shockingly enough, not on “Grasshopperus”).
Today’s episode is 1105, “E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)”. Tomorrow will be 1106, “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”.
Mad Jon: Sometimes, like tonight, I watch something I don’t want.
Charlie Sweatpants: If that’s your way of saying we should get started, I’m game.
Mad Jon: No rush, just a convenient entry and phrasing opportunity.
But I accept your challenge
Let us begin with E-I-E- Doh.
I think I forgot an ‘I’
Charlie Sweatpants: Enh. This one is just the Tomacco one.
Mad Jon: Tomacco it is.
Whenever I watch this one, and it is probably because I smoked so many years, I can taste the Tomacco.
It’s pretty bad y’all.
Dave: Your smoking habit, the episode, or both?
Charlie Sweatpants: The inherent disgustingness of Tomacco doesn’t help, that’s for sure.
Mad Jon: Well, the flavor I assume the Tomacco has is to what I was referring.
But all the rest fall in there as well.
Charlie Sweatpants: This episode has a couple of decent gags in it, but man, between the plutonium, the Tomacco, the farm animals, the dueling, it’s way too much of a mess.
Dave: Don’t forget the B52s.
Charlie Sweatpants: It’s classic Zombie Simpsons in that it leaps ahead plot wise so many times you aren’t sure what’s happening, then it slows way the fuck down and you get time killing scenes like that thing with the Christmas tree, or Lenny sending the mail.
The song is one of the few redeeming parts here.
Mad Jon: The only ‘+’ I have on my sheet is from the credits of the Zorro movie, where James Earl Jones is credited as the “Voice of Magic Taco”
Charlie Sweatpants: The credits for Zorro are pretty good in general, and the fake movie titles at the beginning are the same way.
Mad Jon: They still had a .700 slugging average with signs in this season.
Charlie Sweatpants: “My Dinner with Jar Jar” is hilarious, ditto “Shakespeare in Heat”.
And, of course, this one has “Sneed’s Feed & Seed (Formerly Chuck’s)”, which should be in some kind of sign gag hall of fame.
But the main parts of this episode can’t even begin to live up to that standard.
Mad Jon: Yeah, I am sure, as you said, there are a couple of gags here and there, but they are drowned out by constant crushings via tractor, glove slap montages, and an invisible plant dance.
I also hated the “just one man” speech. Because it couldn’t have been less Homer than that.
Frankly these things along are enough to make me forget anything positive worth mentioning.
Dave: Basically right. A good few tidbits here and there can’t make up for the whole.
Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed. I essentially never watch this one because there are just way too many annoying scenes, several of which Jon mentioned. The tractor thing gets old real fast.
Mad Jon: And it just, doesn’t, stop.
Charlie Sweatpants: And, of course, there are the insanely addicted animals, which resolve the plot (sort of), but don’t show up until the fucking nineteen minute mark.
This one hits a really aggravating sweet spot where it’s both nonsensical, and moving so fast that you have no idea what’s even supposed to be happening.
And there’s lots of Jerkass Homer. Lots.
Dave: It wouldn’t be Zombie Simpsons without.
Mad Jon: That’s fer sure.
Charlie Sweatpants: I will say, for some reason the line about Chad Everett and “Grasshopperus” always gets a laugh out of me.
But I could’ve done without 90% of Homer’s dialogue and actions here, and it’s made even worse as the rest of the family (with the occasional objection) just goes along with it.
Mad Jon: The Everett and “Grasshopperus” is lost on my simple mind. But I’ll take your word for it.
Charlie Sweatpants: I’d never even heard of Everett before I saw this episode (he’s your standard 1960s-70s TV leading man), I just like the obviousness of Castellaneta’s delivery on “Only cause he tried to reason with him.”
Mad Jon: Ah.
Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else here?
This one is just such formulaic Zombie Simpsons that I’m not sure there’s much to say.
Dave: I’m fine with moving on.
Mad Jon: Not much else here to complain about. I agree.
Charlie Sweatpants: The plot makes no sense, there’s lots of filler, Homer’s an ass, and the pacing is schizophrenic.
To end on a positive, I do kinda like Homer getting butter on his milk duds.
Never tried it, but I bet I’d like it.
Mad Jon: It looked pretty nauseating, but actually seemed like something Homer might do.