14
Dec
16

Behind Us Forever: The Nightmare After Krustmas

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“Let’s just agree that the commercialization of Christmas is at best a mixed blessing.” – Lisa Simpson
“Amen.” – Gary Coleman

Annual or near annual Christmas episodes were never a hallmark of The Simpsons. The premier episode was a Christmas special, but that was the last time the show did a Christmas episode until Season 7’s “Marge Be Not Proud”. That five season gap has never been repeated. The show went back to the tinsel well in Seasons 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 25, 26, and now again in Season 28. (And I might have missed one because a lot of those seasons blur together.)

This year’s entry in that sad parade was several pieces of fractured nonsense mashed together into an episode. There’s a bit about Krusty connecting with his estranged daughter, who’s apparently a devout Christian. There’s also a bit about Reverend Lovejoy needing more converts, which leads him to lean on Krusty, which leads to Krusty making his show dull and then almost drowning in a frozen river. There’s also a C plot about Maggie being afraid of an Elf on the Shelf type thing called the Gnome in Your Home. It involves lots of exposition and an extended dream sequence in which nothing happens except a completely pointless cameo by Wayne Gretzky.

As per usual, Zombie Simpsons seems blissfully unaware of its own story even as it unfolds. Early in the episode we see Lovejoy get pressured from his superiors to get more converts. It’s dumb (and more and higher ranking reverends keep walking into the scene for no reason), but whatever, it’s a decent enough start for a plot. Lovejoy eventually bumbles into Krusty while both are at Moe’s, which is odd but I guess still sorta makes sense. We next see Krusty at church singing an off lyric hymn on stage while his daughter is for some reason sitting with the Simpsons, which doesn’t make sense on multiple levels, but is at least still moving the story forward.

From there things get utterly incoherent as one of Lovejoy’s bosses shows up again to say that Krusty needs to be baptized right away for no particular reason. Lovejoy states Krusty’s reasons for wanting to wait, which are then immediately dropped so Krusty can get baptized in a frozen river. Krusty then falls into the river, has a near death experience, and comes out apparently still a Christian, until – with not even a single line of dialogue to explain it – he sits next to a Jewish ambulance and is immediately Jewish again.

All this makes so little sense that in an unrelated sequence after the story ends, they show regular God next to a Jewish version of regular God (no, it doesn’t make any sense) arguing over which one of them gets credit for Krusty. I understand that the show has a kind of “rubberband” reality where things can get stretched, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that the rubberband not get stretched, released, and then broken several times during the same story, sometimes even during the same scene. Case in point: Krusty’s near death experience under the ice is treated as serious even though Jasper catches him on an ice fishing line and Reverend Lovejoy pulls him out of the water, after which Krusty is fine.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they continue to be low and meaningless. On Sunday, just 5.60 million viewers wondered how many Christmas episodes Zombie Simpsons has done by now. That’s about where the ratings were last December, which is both bad in terms of overall viewers and irrelevent since the show will be with us for at least two more seasons anyway. That should result in at least one more bland and immemorable Christmas episode.


7 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: The Nightmare After Krustmas”


  1. 1 Anonymous
    14 December 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I noticed that the animation (or whatever you call it now) was a bit better. Krusty specifically was really well done with his face and eye movements and it played well with the dialogue.

    • 2 Ryan
      14 December 2016 at 9:51 pm

      I heard theyve changed studios. I saw a teailer for another episode, and it does look a lot more lively.

  2. 3 Anonymous
    14 December 2016 at 7:07 pm

    What was Season 12’s Christmas episode? The closest I could find was Skinner’s Sense of Snow, but that was more a winter episode, similar to Mr. Plow.

    • 4 Ryan
      14 December 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Uhh… kids locked in the school at christmas time = christmas episode. Lisa even ends it with “merry christmas from the simpsons!”

    • 5 Dman
      15 December 2016 at 8:18 am

      It involves a movie called ‘The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t…But Then Was’. It’s classic mirthmaking, is what it is.

      • 6 Charlie Sweatpants
        15 December 2016 at 4:33 pm

        I was kind of 50-50 on including that one, especially since I haven’t watched it in years, but left it on.

  3. 14 December 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Really glad I didn’t try to watch this one. I can’t even follow the few paragraphs summarizing. Lovejoy talking to Krusty at Moe’s? No. Krusty singing at a Christian church? Obviously not. Then it seems to be mass confusion — as though those two details weren’t odd and confusing enough?!?


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