25
May
10

Synergy Can’t Go Along With This

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2c

“He crossed that line between everyday villainy, and cartoonish super-villainy.” – Waylon Smithers

Up until this week, IGN had been doing a bang up job of sucking up to its paymaster.  But the reeking desperation and overwhelming obviousness of making the season finale an American Idol commercial was too much, even for them.  FOX let IGN down, man, now they don’t believe in nothin’ no more.  IGN’s going to law school!

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

As a conclusion to one of the best worst seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons in the last few years, the series delivered another clunker. There was little to get excited about in "Judge Me Tender," an episode whose main storyline product placement focused on Moe and fellow Fox series American Idol. Had this been a half-hour stuck in the middle of the season, I it might not have been so disappointed passed relatively unnoticed, but choosing to end the year with it, especially after last week’s great Sideshow Bob episode, one can’t help but feel robbed that this embarrassment will be long remembered.

Besides, Lost was on.  [Ed note: No it wasn’t.  Lost didn’t start until 9:00pm]  The Simpsons didn’t hide the fact they were airing opposite an event night on ABC, specifically going up against the Lost retrospective. Bart’s chalkboard tried to spoil the whole thing for you: "End of Lost: It was all the dog’s dream. Watch us." But the episode they were trying to win you over with was less than compelling. If there were any bright spots, there weren’t, but if there were, it was would have been the first act. The Springfield Pet Fair offered up a number of great visual mildly clever gags and one-off bits. Drederick Tatum shopping for monkey diapers that wouldn’t upset his tiger’s stomach if the tiger ate the monkey was hilarious not one of them, instead dragging on much too long. "It’s a great time to be a tiger." Moe trying to find a seat at the Ugly Dog Contest was also a highlight took too long and wasn’t that funny to begin with.

The contest turned out to be the catalyst hackneyed set up for the remainder of the episode. Krusty’s unfunny commentary was outdone by no worse than Moe’s heckling, and but the “plot” demanded otherwise, and so Moe quickly became an in-demand local judge. This all worked up to this point, took quite some time and led to and I enjoyed the montage of different contests that Moe was asked to judge. But the moment Once Moe was approached by a Hollywood agent and offered a stint as guest judge on American Idol, the episode lost me went from run of the mill Zombie Simpsons crappiness to turbo-charged, unfunny network shill. The Simpsons are used to be great at taking swipes at Hollywood and parent company Fox, but the majority of bits fell very flat in "Judge Me Tender." The series has made (better) tepid jokes about AI in seasons past and very little new was offered here, except for the actual voices of Simon, Ellen, Kara, Randy and Ryan. But even these voice performances were wooden and unfunny and served to highlight just how bankrupt this show has become. Even Ellen disappointed, and she’s done the cartoon voice thing quiet well in the past, though that was with actual writing. Guess she’s better at playing a fish than herself.

The episode was padded out with Homer being forced to spend more time at home because of Moe’s Tavern being temporarily closed. Marge becoming annoyed by Homer’s presence was wholly expected and not given many any fun twists. Homer screwed up the kitchen? Oh, my! Homer took apart the washer unsuccessfully? Who knew?! It was predictable and weak. Even the The ending to the American Idol storyline was a bit transparently telegraphed. Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox, has been the butt of countless jokes on The Simpsons, but nothing great came of his guest appearance on this episode. It was just too safe. In fact, the whole thing kind felt like was a network ordered crossover to help promote the ailing AI. Whatever the case, Even for the hollowed out husk that is Zombie Simpsons, this was a terrible way to end an otherwise fantastic another terrible season.


5 Responses to “Synergy Can’t Go Along With This”


  1. 1 Lovejoy Fan
    25 May 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Wow, that’s surprisingly low for IGN. I’m amazed they didn’t mention CBG’s usual unfunny line and make it out to be brilliant.

  2. 2 D.N.
    25 May 2010 at 6:08 pm

    You gotta be doing something pretty bad when even the sycophants draw the line.

    BTW, given their fondness for shitty titles, I’m amazed the makers of the show didn’t call this episode “A-Moe-rican Idol.” Though I guess “Judge Me Tender” is plenty bad anyway.

  3. 3 Stan
    25 May 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Without further ado, I’d say this was THE worst. Simpsons. episode. EVER. I’m even surprised it got over 5.5 million viewers, seeing as it was already predictably bad. Which can’t not to disappoint seeing as if they would’ve done a ”Lost” stars episode with the same structure, it would’ve been a tad bit funnier (but not less zombiefied).

  4. 25 May 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Pretty uncreative even by Zombie Simpsons standards… just five years ago they tried to avoid doing a full-on crossover-commercial stunt

    2004: Hey, let’s have Simon Cowell play a Simon Cowell-like character

    2005: Let’s do a Homer-Lisa story using an American Idol-like contest as a backdrop

    2010: Fuck it, let’s just do a straight-up AI episode

  5. 26 May 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Simon Cowell played himself in Smart and Smarter, Jamie. Just thought I’d clear that up.

    Otherwise, what place would ever name season twenty-one as one of the best seasons?! It was so-so, but not almighty among men.

    Regards,
    Wendy Windbag


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