16
Dec
09

Synergy Enjoys the Nostalgia Firehose

Dog of Death5

“What’s the matter boy?  Don’t you know me?  I’m your buddy!  I love you boy.” – Bart Simpson

It’s always heartwarming to see a lapdog and its owner reconciled, especially when the rekindled love comes about because they remembered the good times.  This week’s IGN review was a fawning love letter, not so much for any of this episode’s original content but just because Zombie Simpsons opened the nostalgia valve all the way.  As Dave said in our chat, the Plow King was “fan service” and, lo and behold, the mere appearance of the Plow King, however jokeless it may have been, “brought a smile”.  As always, I’ve edited out the synergy.

December 14, 2009 – With its focus on Bart’s longing for a little brother, "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" was a fun forgettable and entertaining formulaic outing for The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons. Packed with guest voices, the episode did well by sticking to floundered with one main story instead of adding an even weaker "B" storyline to fill out the half hour. Though Bart may never get his younger brother, we at least got another low quality episode after a couple less than impressive installments.

Things began with Springfield getting hit by a snowstorm, causing the schools to shut down and giving Bart a snow day. Comically With contrived CGI, the weather prevented Bart from ever getting outside, and once stuck in the house, a power outage prevented Bart from enjoying his videogames and DVDs. Bart’s attempt to watch "Itchy and Scratchy" using the electricity he could generate from rubbing a balloon against his hair was a highlight particularly stupid but did take up a lot of his struggle to find something to do. Meanwhile, Lisa and Maggie were playing together and enjoying their sisterly bond. Bart tried to play with his sisters for some reason, but was put off by their dress-up game. Bart tried to cover for having no one to play with by insisting he was "a bad ass loner like Wolverine, who leaves whenever people beg him to stay."

That evening, despite claiming no dream pointless, time killing storyFAIL could convince him he needed a little brother, a dream convinced Bart he needed a little brother. The dream wasted a lot of fun time, starting with cameos from the Marx Brothers and the Blues Brothers. We also got a glimpse of Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil flying kites together. The series, of late, seems to be referencing older episodes more often. [Ed. Note: No shit.]  Whether a conscious decision because of the anniversary season, or just a coincidence, it works as a short cut to reminiscent laughs serves to highlight how creatively bankrupt this show has become. This episode also had Barney as The Plow King. No real joke was involved, but it brought a smile to this long-time fan’s face served to reinforce the fact that this show’s only remaining appeal is through nostalgia.

Other notables in Bart’s brother dream were the Manning brothers Peyton and Eli, plus their older brother Cooper. If you don’t know, Cooper was also on track for a professional football career until he was sidelined by injury, so his bragging about high school achievements to his Super Bowl winning brothers was funny and bittersweet factually correct. The Smothers Brothers cameo (and closing credit dialogue—"naked bacon") was also a lot of fun, more pointless nostalgia for anyone old enough to know whom the Smothers Brothers are. Now wanting a younger brother, Bart set out to make it happen in horrifyingly characterless and boring ways.

This was a fine what passed for a storyline, and offered up a number of great bits ways to make it to the credits. Bart’s failed attempts to trick his parents into fornicating were enjoyable outright dull, including Marge and Homer attempting a position from the Kama Sutra: "You’re ankle goes there." "Hand me your neck." The South Park reference was cute about nine years too late, but still lacked any real joke. Bart imagining his future with a third sister was also fun cribbed from a less moribund franchise, with Kim Cattrall offering up another guest voice for the episode.

Bart’s one day with a little brother (an orphan voiced by Jordan Nagai, Russell from Up) was also enjoyable labored beyond all hope of entertainment. It offered up my favorite line of the episode ("He’s just like Annie, except he’s a dude and he hates tomorrow.") plus it taught us a great lesson about poking dead animals with a stick: "Don’t go straight for the eyes. Build up to it." Best of all, like the better Simpsons most brainless schlocky Zombie Simpsons episodes, it ended with a sweet moment crammed down our eyeballs reminding us that even with all his shortcomings, Bart will always have his dad… to watch torture porn R-rated movies with.


5 Responses to “Synergy Enjoys the Nostalgia Firehose”


  1. 24 December 2009 at 1:29 am

    Even by the stupid-laboured-joke-episode-title standards of Zombie Simpsons, isn’t it especially galling to have an episode entitled “Oh Brother, Where Bart Thou?” when there was already an episode back on season 2 entitled “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”??

  2. 4 January 2011 at 5:11 pm

    After thinking that you respected the opinions of someone who still enjoys the show, I come across this entry of you editing someone’s opinion of this episode to fit your own viewpoint. Nice.

    • 4 Charlie Sweatpants
      4 January 2011 at 10:06 pm

      If this was just some random person’s website, I would never do this. I might link to something, I might disagree with it, I would probably point out anything I thought was factually inaccurate, but that’s all in good fun. The rather cruel treatment above is deserved strictly because IGN paid for these “reviews”, and IGN is a wholly owned subsidiary of FOX. It’s not some humble fan’s opinion that he felt passionate enough about to put on-line, it’s basically a press release that says, “This just in, Power Sauce is amazing.”

      There’s a ton of these, just type “synergy” into the search box on the right. It’s FOX sock puppeting for their own shows, and as far as I’m concerned, that merits no respect.


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