Behind Us Forever: The Princess Guide

Dumbbell Indemnity9

“I’m sorry, Homer.  It’s just, it’s been four years since my last date with a whatchacallit . . . a woman.” – Moe

Another week, another Zombie Simpsons episode.  This one starts with “Take Your Daughter to Work Day”, which means Lisa gets to go to the power plant again.  That doesn’t last long, however, as Burns suddenly needs uranium and begins negotiating with a Nigerian king (yes, you read that correctly).  In the meantime, the king’s daughter is going to be looked after by Homer.  The daughter wants to go out and see the town, but ends up inexplicably hanging around with Moe before inexplicably not hanging out with Moe.

In other words, this episode combines Sad Sack Moe with Incompetent Burns.  Also, Jon Lovitz had a line as some kind of paparazzi, and I think Bart’s only line was in the opening scene.  It’s a mess.

– Well, the couch gag was short.

– Decent headline gag on “Hurricane Consuela Stopped At U.S. Border”.

– Pretty sure they got rid of take your daughter to work day two decades ago.  Love the topical humor.

– Burns and Smithers just had a brief conversation while they were still on stage in front of everyone.

– Oh, good, a clone of Burns is being used as a background gag.

– Uh, Richard Branson is apparently Burns’ neighbor?

– We’re two minutes in and there have been about four cutaways.  This is a Family Guy-esque pace.

– Montage of lunchroom trading.

– We’re getting a huge dose of weak, incompetent Burns this week.  It’s not great.

– Now Burns is giving Homer instructions at the top of a hotel on baby sitting a Nigerian princess.  We’re five minutes in with fifteen to go.  This is gonna get weird.

– Marge is on the phone with Homer explaining what’s going on.  Love when that happens.

– First the princess wanted to go out, then she and Homer watched TV for a while, then she asked to go out again and now they’re going out.  This all happened sequentially.

– The princess is putting up with Moe.

– Moe grabbed Homer and dragged him into a back room to tell him about an e-mail scam leading to yet another cutaway, this one with bonus expository narration as Moe tells us what we’re seeing him do.

– And the princess is gone.

– Homer, Gil and Apu all ran up to Wiggum and got locked in his back seat in succession.

– The princess is back at Moe’s now.  Whatever.

– Lenny and Carl apparently bailed Homer out, and now they’re all standing around the jail.

– Moe is still hitting on the princess, then he sent her off to the fridge, then he told us he wants to close.  That was an act break.  Ugh.

– Turns out she was asleep in the back room because . . . nevermind, Moe is doing a Goodnight Moon thing that the princess saw before going back to asleep.

– Smithers just fantasized about him and Burns in Tahiti for the third time.

– The princess just woke up after sleeping in Moe’s stockroom.

– Now they’re montaging across Springfield.

– Princess: “I have a confession to make, this is my first montage”.  Oh, sweetie, it isn’t ours.  Not by a long shot.

– Homer just appeared out of the tire fire to tell Moe that the princess has to go back to the hotel and watch TV.  As a recap, at this point the princess was in the hotel, wanted to go out, got taken to Moe’s, left briefly for no reason, came back, flirted with Moe before voluntarily and unexpectedly sleeping in his stock room, then she woke up and has been in a montage.  This episode has six minutes to go.

– Alright, I’m done.  After a lengthy monologue from a pedicab guy so Moe and the princess could escape Homer, they peddled down the street and she said “Actually, I wanted to go back with him.  I don’t want to get my father mad.”  I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens the rest of the episode.

– 15:30 – Nope

– 16:00 – Still nope.

– 16:30 – Still nothing.

– 17:00 – Zilch, but lots of exposition.

– 17:30 – I’m switching to 1 minute intervals.

– 18:30 – Nothing, but the entire Simpson family teleported into Burns office for no reason.

– 19:30 – Still on.

– 20:30 – Richard Branson is back, nothing is interesting.

– 21:30 – The credits ended!

Anyway, the numbers are in and they remain terrible while not being quite as rock bottom bad as they’ve been.  Last night, just 3.97 million people wondered why they got someone to voice that princess when a cardboard cutout would’ve done fine.  That’s the 14th least watched of all time, but actually qualifies as success given that the previous two episodes were both fractions of a point away from taking the crown.  On the plus side, we probably only have seven left in Season 26.

23 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: The Princess Guide”

  1. 1 Victor Dang
    2 March 2015 at 5:33 pm

    “Alright, I’m done.”

    For this episode or for good? Hopefully the latter (I don’t want to see “Zombie Simpsons” listed under your causes of death next to “Too Much Beer”)…

    All kidding aside, I know you’re only watching this stuff just to keep a ticker on the gradual (very gradual) heat-death of Zombie Simpsons.

    • 2 Inspector B. Verre
      2 March 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Probably for the episode. And Charlie will probably die from “Too much beer” from watching “Zombie Simpsons” before FOX even considers pulling the plug on The Simpsons.

      And where’s the “Moe crying” part you promised us? You promised us Moe crying.

      • 3 Inspector B. Verre
        2 March 2015 at 6:01 pm


        And if there’s gonna be a “Compare and Contrast” this week, which episode will you use? “Dumbbell Indemnity” seems like the only option, even though that episode wasn’t 100% great (it still had a lot of memorable moments: “Must kill Moe — whee!”, Bart and Lisa hurling scoops of ice cream at each other, Homer watching Hail to the Chimp at the drive-in, lobsters with tacos, and “Stop saying ‘Hawaii’ in there!”).

      • 4 Stan
        2 March 2015 at 7:01 pm

        I once tried organizing his famous ‘beer-a-thon’ thing myself while I was in the US on vacation (boy, the beer’s cheap there) – ended up throwing up a lot and I think my heart stopped for a sec or two in the middle of the night – but I didn’t hate the experience.

  2. 5 Disenchanted Viewer
    2 March 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Actually the rating for this episode was very good, unfortunately. It got up 64% from the last original and 1.8 in the demo for an episode in march is a success. I have not found an explanation for this raise, maybe somebody has an idea. How could people watch an episode with such uninteresting and uninspired plot is beyond of my understanding.

    • 6 Inspector B. Verre
      2 March 2015 at 6:11 pm

      How could people watch an episode with such uninteresting and uninspired plot is beyond of my understanding.

      -Tsk-tsk. Such self-unawareness. This blog (and other blogs similar) is probably why the show is still on. That and idiot viewers who’ve never seen the older episodes. The ones that did gave up on the show when it started to go bad (between seasons 8-10, though some watched 11 because they thought it would get good again…until they were exposed to episodes like the magical jockeys, Maude Flanders dying, The Simpsons in Florida, and that behind-the-scenes special that revealed that the characters are just actors).

      Anyway, here’s what’s coming up next week and on the Ides of March (March 15th):

      Sky Police: Chief Wiggum gets a jet pack, which he uses to fight crime. However, after he crashes it into the church, Marge leads the rest of the Springfield congregation toward gambling in an attempt to rebuild it. (Compare and Contrast for this episode: “$pringfield” and/or “She of Little Faith”).

      Waiting for Duffman: When Duffman undergoes hip replacement surgery and retires, the company sets up a reality show competition to find his replacement. Homer wins the competition, and because the job requires him to stay sober, he learns that beer isn’t as necessary as he thought to have a good time. (Compare and Contrast for this episode: “Duffless” and maybe “Days of Wine and D’oh-ses” or “Old Yeller Belly” if you’ve seen either episode, but definitely “Duffless” since that’s an old episode and it’s also about Homer learning that he doesn’t need beer to have fun).

      • 7 Sarah J
        2 March 2015 at 8:18 pm

        So, how long before Zombie Simpsons just starts doing outright remakes of older episodes?

        • 8 Stan
          2 March 2015 at 8:51 pm

          They just HAVE to do one where Flanders decided to become a professional skier and starts wearing sexy sportsuits, which Marge falls for. And then Homer finds out that there’s nothing at all underneath.

          • 9 Patty Cash
            2 March 2015 at 11:18 pm

            Yeah. Who here has the balls (or eggs, if you’re female) to unironically pitch that to Al Jean?

          • 10 Ah Hee Hee Hee
            3 March 2015 at 8:02 am

            Gee, Stan, that was a pretty specific description. Sounds like you WANT to see sexy Flanders, especially if “they just HAVE to do” that.

            • 11 Stan
              3 March 2015 at 2:47 pm

              They did one with Flaming Moe. And not just recycled the title, no, MOE HAD TO BECOME GAY. So “Stupid sexy Flanders” would be a very logical suite for them to turn one-time jokes into whole episodes.

        • 12 Inspector B. Verre
          2 March 2015 at 11:15 pm

          I thought they already are in the process of doing that. I mean, the first ones they remade were the ones where Homer and Marge’s marriage is in trouble (Homer’s Night Out, Life in the Fast Lane, Colonel Homer, War of the Simpsons, The Last Temptation of Homer, Another Simpsons Clip Show [which has clips from Last Temptation of Homer, The Way We Was, and Life in the Fast Lane], Secrets to a Successful Marriage, A Milhouse Divided, The Way We Was, The Way We Weren’t, Three Gays in a Condo, Dangerous Curves, Half-Decent Proposal, some parts from The Simpsons Movie — should I keep going? I got all night)…and some of these are in the “good” era of Simpsons.

  3. 13 Stan
    2 March 2015 at 7:04 pm

    3.97 mil still ain’t good enough! We need to make Jean angrier!

  4. 14 Brad M
    3 March 2015 at 12:34 am

    We never even found out if her brother was the same Nigerian prince who scammed Moe, did we?

    • 15 torbiecat
      3 March 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Lack of follow through seems so common for Zombie Simpsons. You’d think that with so little happening in these episodes, the writers would want to cling to every plot point as much as possible so that they’d actually have something to write about.

      • 16 Patty Cash
        3 March 2015 at 6:09 pm

        Yeah. Even lesser animated sitcoms like “Brickleberry” (which, joy of joys, has been canceled) do that.

        • 17 Joe H
          4 March 2015 at 4:11 am

          It’s even worse that he is face-to-face with the Nigerian prince and doesn’t even bother to mention the $5,000 he supposedly stole nor the $500,000 allegedly promised.

          No way Moe could be neutered to the point of not at least trying to negotiate that. Then again, this is ZS Moe where he is virtually Gil’s long lost brother at this point.

          Also this is the second episode in a row in which Moe is at the Nuclear Power Plant. As stupid as this should sound, it’s pretty much normal at this point.

  5. 18 Joe H
    4 March 2015 at 2:19 am

    The third mention of Elon Musk in a row in three episodes. Really riding that guys’ name aren’t we fellas?

    The princess was as bland as humanly possible. Which seems to be their formula for any guest voice these days.

    Also, apparently this is the first episode where Smithers apparently actually has sex with Burns(s). Sure it’s his clones but still…

    There was one kernel of a potentially good idea in this–Smithers wanting Homer to fail at his stupidly assigned job and cheering every time it’s clear he’s going to crash & burn. However there isn’t the slightest bit of worthwhile payoff comedy-wise or plot-wise. Obvious comparisons to Homer the Smithers there and all night and day examples of a vastly inferior imitation.

    Also, why would Burns clone himself as a 104 year old? And why would they have minds of their own if they were his “clothes”? Even Farnsworth in Futurama was sensible enough to make a young version of himself. At any rate, more vestiges of the old Futurama staff it seems.

    • 19 torbiecat
      5 March 2015 at 6:29 am

      Heh, with them mentioning Elon Musk as often as they’ve been doing, you begin to wonder if he floated Fox some money towards keeping this show on the air.

  6. 4 March 2015 at 2:30 am

    I thought the episode was kinda sweet. Then again I have a 10 week old baby screaming in my ear and I haven’t slept in forever…
    Does Nancy Cartright have laryngitis or something? None of her characters are saying much lately.

  7. 21 Joe H
    4 March 2015 at 4:05 am

    On the plus side, ZS seems to have done something right–recent Moe episodes no longer have him crying. Sure, he’s still a pathetically needy sad sack but they’re no longer having him cry about it or try and commit suicide.

    Though it’s obviously too little too late.

  8. 22 Jeff Jacobson
    4 March 2015 at 10:40 am

    How many episodes this season have ended with a flash forward to the future?

    • 23 Joe H
      4 March 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Way too many. Seems like a gimmick they throw in every time the episode length comes up short, which is often because their plots and comic situations are becoming even more wafer thin than usual.

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