Synergy Wears Down


Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user marwho.

“Homey, why don’t you lie down and relax.” – Marge Simpson
“No time, Marge, I think Mr. Burns wants me to do some long division.” – Homer Simpson

I think all those staff cuts at IGN are finally having an effect.  Last week I noticed that their fluff piece on “American History X-Cellent” was unusually short.  Now comes this week’s entry, and it’s even shorter.  Out of curiosity, I grabbed all the reviews from calendar 2010 and ran a word count.  Starting with “Thursdays with Abie” and running through “The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed”, IGN averaged 650.5 words per week.  The highest was 720 and the lowest was 614, so the lengths were relatively stable.  Then last week’s checked in at only 473 words, and this week’s is a mere 420.  (I presume that’s a coincidence, but you never know.  I’d probably need to be high to write this kind of crap.)  IGN just can’t seem to muster the effort for a proper fellating of Zombie Simpsons. 

Anyway, this week’s is pretty typical: restate the plot, praise a few things, make positive reference to Three’s Company . . . wait, what?  Three’s Company?  And it’s a compliment?  Yeah, I’d say IGN is pretty worn down.  As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

April 19, 2010 – There was a lot nothing to enjoy in "Chief of Hearts." Pairing Homer with Wiggum had not been something overdone by the series [Ed Note: leaving that alone because it’s too screwed up to fix], so having the two at the center of the episode had a certain freshness to it has only been done two or three times over, instead of the usual five or six. The story, maybe not so much, but the pairing worked however, has been done so many times that it no longer matters who’s doing it.

It all started with Homer’s misinterpreted unfunny and wildly nonsensical armed robbery at the Springfield bank. I thought his hidden candy apple and his caramel-filled mouth were a great way to get the story rolling a good preview of the relentlessly boring antics to come. I also loved felt the same way about his rants against doing community service. "I want to go to jail. Free food! Teardrop tattoos! Library books that come to you! I’ll serve anything but the community!" That it was a cooler full of food that made Homer and Wiggum fast friends was no surprise just as unoriginal and dimwitted.

Their misadventures playground flirting together were entertaining was hacktacular and pointless. It was fun to learn about the versatility of police pants. Learning that Wiggum’s underwear is specially made by a village in the Ukraine was another standout way to make this barren scene take even longer. ("They call me Daddy Round Round.") I wasn’t expecting to see Chief Wiggum get shot, but Homer’s bedside vigil made for a satisfying gave them an excuse for a clock eating montage of boring bits. The episode took an interesting embarrassingly predictable turn as Wiggum became needy and their friendship hit the rocks, and then for some reason the pair needed to work together again to free themselves from Fat Tony. Overall, the story had an interesting staggered along a tired and trod path and there were a good number of successful bits throughout without anything to keep things entertaining and funny.

Bart’s "Battle Balls" storyline was also fun a black hole of pointless suck, even though there was absolutely nothing to it. It mainly consisted of a few well-placed television trope bits about Marge’s misinterpretations of things said about the Japanese game. In a very Three’s Company way, Marge began to think Bart was a drug dealer, it was just a dull in 2010 as it was in 1980. Just as funny  lazy were a couple great lines about why Bart couldn’t possibly be dealing drugs. First was Marge with, "He doesn’t have the math skills," and then later was Bart with, "Not until you raise my allowance."

An episode with Chief Wiggum as a central character means there’s a chance we’ll get a few Ralph bits to enjoy make the fanboys slap their fins, both directly and indirectly. Ralph’s bet with Bart during a game of "Battle Balls" was classic typical: "And if I win, you have to teach me how to play this game." And I loved Chief Wiggum sharing a couple of Ralph’s major worries: "What if the bed wets him," and "What if Superman decided to kill everybody." Those were a few of the bonus failed Ralph-isms were extra uninspired dreck in an enjoyably solid episode that consisted of nothing but.


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