“Tennis the Menace” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

“I don’t want to judge the rightness of your ego orientation, but my inner critic says you should have done your job.” – Marge Simpson

There is a definite theme on the Season 12 commentaries so far.  That theme is an almost complete indifference to telling a coherent story.  I say “almost complete” because when the commentators do acknowledge the lack of story they seem kinda pleased with themselves.  It’s like a mechanic telling you, “Yeah, I didn’t fix your transmission, but who really needs one of those, amirite?”

Anyway, this episode sucks ass.

1:00:  There are eight guys commenting, including the guy who created “Everybody Loves Raymond” who apparently just happened to be in the building.  Granting that the people behind terrible sitcoms are often a lot funnier than the sitcoms themselves, “Everybody Loves Raymond” is the apotheosis of formulaic television.  You know, the thing The Simpsons used to be the opposite of.  “Raymond” guy immediately makes a joke about this actually being an episode of his crappy show.  This will not be the last time he does this.  (It’s his job to be repetitive, his job, his job, repetitiveness is his job . . .)

1:45:  The censors forbid them from showing Homer’s ass after Season 14?  Figures.  Also I’d forgotten this episode starts off with a joke ripped straight from “Bart vs Australia”.

2:45:  Laughing at the fact that they need radical story shifts to get to the main plot.  Once again I’m kinda amazed by the callousness of it, especially since they then pat themselves on the back for having Homer reference it.

3:10:  The “Raymond” guy makes the exact same joke he did two minutes ago.  Remember what I said above about the people behind a crappy sitcom being funnier than the sitcom?  Nevermind.

3:30:  Mildly interesting note: this was the first time the whole thing is digitally colored.  Now that’s all they do, this one was a test.

4:15:  More laughing at the fact that Homer had to pause awkwardly at the names of the deodorants.  Again, really callous towards their own inability to tell a story smoothly.

6:00:  Discussing the Tom Hanks cameo from the movie and ignoring the crappiness of what’s going on.

6:50:  Talking about how it’s kinda lame to wait until the second act to get to the main story they mention that it’s okay if they “anchor” things emotionally.  Huh?

8:00:  Apparently they couldn’t figure out a way to squeeze in John McEnroe amongst all the tennis celebrities.  I am less sorry about this than they are.

9:00:  Still talking about McEnroe

10:00:  Long silence at tennis zaniness.

10:45:  Mindless laughter at super wide supermarket aisles.

11:20:  The “Raymond” guy just said that “Simpsons” influenced all the shows that came after it by lowering the bar for “how stupid can we make the dad” and then says that Homer’s about as far as one can go.  I really don’t think that’s a compliment.

11:50:  Still talking about how dumb Homer can be and how they had a rule that he could never forget who he is.  Then someone else notes that they’ve violated that rule a lot, and everyone laughs.  I’m getting tired of typing it, but their indifference toward the show is really telling.

13:00:  Oh goody, more inside information on “Everybody Loves Raymond”.  What DVD set am I watching again?

14:30:  Long silence at Homer’s weirdness is finally broken by a broken car window.  That’s about right.

17:30:  Speaking of low bars . . . for some reason they’re very pleased with themselves for setting this ludicrous conflict within the family instead of outside of it.

18:35:  Defending the Krusty “racket-earring” joke.  Seriously.

19:00:  Long silence as the episode devolves into irretrievable stupidity with the Williams sisters.

21:00:  Again, quite pleased with themselves for the improbability of their ending.

22:00:  Admitting that the ending sucks, nonplussed about it.

22:10:  “Raymond” guy makes his same joke for the third and final time.  Ugh.


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