“Hello, Simpson. My lawyers and I were in the neighborhood and thought we’d stop by.” – C.M. Burns
“Would you like to come in for tea and marshmallow squares?” – Marge Simpson
“Yes, he would.” – Blue Haired Lawyer
Posts Tagged ‘Homer Goes to College
“My first day of college. I wish my father was alive to see this.” – Homer Simpson
“Hey!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“How long have you been back there?” – Homer Simpson
“Three days.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
(Sorry for not getting this up yesterday. The day got away from me.)
Season 26 picked up right where season 25 left off: a time eating guest couch gag, many needlessly self voiced celebrities, characters explaining how they feel and what they’re doing, and plenty of other boring nonsense. The A-plot was about Krusty being sad and involved the much hyped character death, which turned out to be the nothingburger we all expected. (The fact that the media is so easily and repeatedly trolled by Zombie Simpsons may be the funniest thing about the show these days.)
The B-plot was about Lisa being worried about Homer’s health all of a sudden. We know this because she basically narrates the whole thing for us, including how she’s feeling and the ending that was already nonsensical before the school bus crashes into the Simpson back yard.
– Count me among those who generally like the guest couch gags. It’s nice to get something new and interesting, and since the writing staff doesn’t have to do any plot or dialogue, they’re often very decent. But this one was pretty bad. It was a decent concept and had a neat look to it, but it took way too long given how little actually happened and how repetitive the images were.
– This popcorn thing is really dumb. It was also done much, much better in “Realty Bites”.
– “Cheap to Produce” was at least quick.
– Ugh, this Wiggum crime photo thing. I thought the Family Guy stuff was going to be during their episode.
– Hey, look: crappy jokes, self voiced celebrities, and canned laughter.
– “Nobody warned me this roast would treat me the same way as every roast I’ve seen and laughed at.” – Unnecessary exposition rolled up with a cheap excuse for the idiot nonsense they just made us sit through. Stuff like this really demonstrates how much the show has deteriorated. Krusty knows what a roast is. It’d be fine to have the roast get to him, bum him out, etc. Instead, he acts depressed and surprised from the get go because Heaven forefend characters and the story might move along in reaction to what happens rather than just because.
– That swapper joke could’ve been funny if it had made sense.
– Hey, look, Bart just showed up out of nowhere to tell Krusty what to do. Seamless.
– This is certainly a pointless death scene.
– And now it’s time for a funeral that improbably includes the Simpson family.
– Hey, the B-plot showed up. I’ll let Lisa explain, “Dad, I’m worried about your health. I don’t want to lose you.”
– Remember when they only included Sideshow Bob when they had something really great and fun to do? Long time ago, that.
– “No mimes!” is a decent sign gag.
– And “The elephant and I had our differences” is pretty good. It’s also short, understated, and unexplained. Not a coincidence.
– Is it technically an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon if Itchy’s not in it?
– Oh, for fuck’s sake, “Kids, I’m experiencing a crisis of conscious.”
– This is a cruel waste of Maurice LaMarche as the TV critic.
– Lisa’s back to explain what’s happening in the B-plot again.
– Did David Hyde Pierce just wander past the recording room one day? That might have been even more pointless than the Sideshow Bob cameo.
– Past Krusty shows were a lot better when they were about collective bargaining agreements.
– Similarly, Krusty’s binges used to be more fun. They even had the Stanley Cup.
– “Krusty, have you fulfilled the promise you made to your father in the dream you never told anyone about?” Even by their cheat standards that’s lazy. They weren’t even painted into a corner or anything, they just can’t move things forward without explicitly telling us what’s going on. Then Bart appeared out of nowhere.
– And now Homer is wrapped in bubble wrap, then there was a car crash and then Lisa explained, out loud, how she was feeling for the fifth time or so. Mercifully, this B-plot is now over.
– Bart apparently knew who Krusty’s dad’s favorite rabbi was. No, it doesn’t make any sense. But at least it was short.
– Oof, the “Jewish Heaven” song is really weak. There are like three lyrics, most of which are just “Jewish Heaven”, and the rest is just visual references of famous Jews.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are much improved. Last night, 8.50 million people lost hope after the FXX marathon reminded them how good the show once was. That’s way up from last year’s premier, though at least some of that is attributable to the Eagles-49ers game. It’ll be curious to see whether or not that holds up next week when FOX doesn’t have a late NFL game. Was it mostly football, or did all that hype actually make a few million people want to start watching the show again?
“Don’t worry, Mr. Simpson, we can take care of ourselves.” – Black Nerd
“Uh, wallet inspector.” – Snake
“Oh, here you go. I believe that’s all in order.” – Fat Nerd
“Whoa, I can’t believe that worked!” – Snake
“Hey, that’s not the wallet inspector.” – Homer Simpson
“Marge, someone squeezed all the life out of these kids. And unless movies and teevee have lied to me, it’s a crusty, bitter old dean.” – Homer Simpson
“Hi there, hello, I’m Dean Peterson, but you can call me Bobby. I just want you to know, if you ever feel stressed out from studying or whatever, I’m always up for some hacky sack. Or hey, if you just want to come by and jam, I used to be the bass player for the Pretenders.” – Dean Peterson
“Boy, I can’t wait to take some of the starch out of that stuffed shirt.” – Homer Simpson
Happy 20th Anniversary to “Homer Goes to College”! Original airdate 14 October 1993.
“We played Dungeons & Dragons for three hours, then I was slain by en elf.” – Homer Simpson
“Listen to yourself, man, you’re hanging with nerds.” – Bart Simpson
“You take that back!” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, please, these boys sound very nice, but they’re clearly nerds.” – Marge Simpson
Happy birthday Conan O’Brien!
“Now, the only antidote to a zany scheme, is an even zanier scheme!” – Homer Simpson
“Why does it have to be zany?” – Fat Nerd
Since the show had all but run out of ideas by Season 11, it’s no surprise that they had to start revisiting topics and concepts that they’d already done with increasing frequency. And while most of “Kill the Alligator and Run” is a bizarre slideshow of the family leaping from one goofy, vaguely Southern situation to another, it gets there by transporting Homer to a raucous college party and having him run around with the drunken kids. As it happens, Homer had tried to party with college students once before, in Season 5’s infinitely better “Homer Goes to College”.
As with so many comparisons between The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons, to really get to the heart of the matter you have to put aside most of Zombie Simpsons usual problems. So, no, the trip to Florida doesn’t have anything to do with spring break, nor does it have much to do with Homer’s odd freakout at the beginning of the episode or the subsequent multi-act run from the law. And, no, Homer getting down with the college kids doesn’t make any sense on its own either, from his getting to the beach with a bed tied to him to his bizarre antics at the Kid Rock concert to the sheriff happily looking the other way for Homer. All of those typical Zombie Simpsons shortcuts distract from just how empty the comedy here really is, so while they exist and are a big part of what makes this episode so very unwatchable, they aren’t what makes their take on “spring break” so utterly empty, boring and unfunny.
On the surface, both “Homer Goes to College” and “Kill the Alligator and Run” have Homer acting like a jerk around college kids. But if you look just a bit deeper, you can see that Zombie Simpsons wasn’t doing anything else while The Simpsons was using Homer for far more than just him running around and yelling.
Homer yelling and running, there’s a lot of this.
The premise of “Homer Goes to College” was that Homer, in his infinite stupidity, thought that all those Animal House style movies about college are what life on campus is really like. When he actually got there, he figured that the jocks would be constantly beating the nerds, that the dean was naturally out to get everyone, and that the rest of the students would feel the same way he did. Homer being Homer, he couldn’t see that none of that was true, and instead tried to do things like take the nerds on a beer fueled road trip and prank a nearby school that no one else on campus even cared about. The jokes come fast and heavy, but the main idea on which everything else rests is that Homer is wildly out of place and spectacularly wrong about what college is like.
By contrast, in “Kill the Alligator and Run”, Homer isn’t wrong about anything. In fact, he’s exactly correct about what it is all those young people are doing. Because of this, the episode is left with hardly anything to do but exaggerate the wildness on display and hope for the best. That’s how it gets stuck with having Homer and some kids turn over the family car, Homer ride to the beach on the top of a van, and a Kid Rock concert that features a cartoonish, Acme-sized bottle of booze and the late Joe C being fired out of a makeshift slingshot. Like their hapless fluffing of Lady Gaga earlier this year, this is Zombie Simpsons making something look awesome and mistaking that for satire.
So while Homer is behaving like an out of control jerk in “Homer Goes to College”, there’s a point to it, namely that Homer is doing his level best to fit in with the insane depictions of college in movies and teevee. Homer isn’t just stumbling around because that’s what he likes to do, nor is he insisting on it because he’s an invincible cartoon character, he’s just got it in his head that zany schemes and pig abduction are par for the course. He can’t comprehend that Dean Peterson (but you can call him Bobby) isn’t some crotchety old jerk who hates fun, or that the students don’t think it’s funny that the professor dropped his notes. He doesn’t even realize the nerds are nerds until his family tells him.
The Jerkass Homer in “Kill the Alligator and Run” is just and only that: Jerkass Homer. He’s not interested in acting out some strange media portrayal, he just wants to run around and scream and drink for the sake of running around and screaming and drinking. So when it ends, he just keeps it up, dragging his family along for the ride. It’s the difference between this (which, let’s remember, is just the starting point for more insane adventures):
And let’s not even wonder where he got the airboat or why the rest of them are going along with this.
And this (which is a movie parody and occurs at the end of the episode):
And, once again, Homer learns nothing.