LOL total: 6 (but three of them were at butt jokes)
Episode three of season 18 is continuing the latter-day saints period of the Simpsons. It is still not up to classic ranking, but it is definitely funny, and definitely not a disappointment to watch.
Tonight’s episode centered around two stories: Marge finds out she is quite the handy man, but apparently the entire town of Springfield is so sexist no one will allow her to work. Also Bart finds out that Principal Skinner is deathly allergic to peanuts and in Bart-like fashion begins tormenting Skinner with a peanut-on-a-stick.
The episode started with the Simpson clan shopping in a ramshackle mall that no one goes to anymore (since somebody shot the Mayor’s dad). This allows for some nice bits with Bart inside a terribly outdated arcade (with an Asteroids clone, and a Remington Steele game, all of which look suspiciously like the games Bart used to play in the early episodes of the show) and Homer eating decades old gummy bears, which have all congealed together.
Homer buys a Time-Life set of carpentry books which he promptly forgets and never uses. Marge picks them up after a piece of floor board comes up and breaks the bedroom nightstand. Turns out she is quite skilled with a hammer and nail and quickly begins building all sorts of stuff.
Unfortunately everyone who answers her ad for a carpenter quickly laughs at her for being female. Now maybe this was typical Simpson satire knocking society for screwed up gender roles, but it felt like plain old sexism to me.
Marge gets the idea to put Homer’s name on the company and when he lands jobs she’ll secretly do the work. The funniest bits of the show come from Marge brainstorming how she could put the typical construction worker (lazy, fat and showing plenty of butt-crack) and realizes Homer is the perfect model from seeing his fat crack in bed.
Yeah, butt jokes are want got me through tonight.
I’m not offended by much. The Simpsons have certainly skewered plenty of sacred cows, and I’ve laughed through most of them. They’ve jabbed most major religions, politicians, celebrity and all sort of social norms and I’ve seen the humor behind the satire. But here it just seemed over done, or maybe that’s because it was un-funny. Had the jokes been right on, then this paragraph wouldn’t be written.
Both stories, now that you mention it were rather weak. Bart learns of Skinner’s peanut weakness after the students are ordered to leave all nut related items at home. A wee chat with Groundskeeper Willie turns up the offended allergic is Skinner. Bart applies peanut to stick and begins making Skinner do everything he says (eating garbage, stuffing firecrackers down his pants, etc).
Funny, Homer’s butt makes me laugh, but Bart’s juvenile jokes left me flat.
Marge eventually gets miffed at Homer taking all the glory that she makes him redo an old roller coaster by himself. Of course he screws up and when his ego takes him on a ride over his death-trap of a roller coaster, he finally admits it is Marge who is the construction genius.
Skinner finds out Bart has an allergic reaction to shrimp and they engage in a shrimp-on-a-stick/peanut-on-a-stick battle royale ending in both being soaked in a giant tub of Chinese peanut-shrimp gumbo.
The stories really were lame. The sexism failed to be the least bit funny (ok, Kent Brockman telling Home that he would tear down the gazeebo and build a coffin to his manhood if Marge actually built it and then challenging Homer to a topless wrestling was actually pretty funny, but still) and Skinner being allergic to peanuts so suddenly felt like lazy writing. However, they still nailed some good, if admittedly juvenile, jokes. It didn’t feel like penance watching the show, which is more than I can say for most of last season. And at least there were comprehendible stories to follow instead of a series of non sequiturs.
I laughed heartily, out loud even. And that’s enough for me….anymore.
Unfortunately due to football, the next original episode won’t air until November 05. In an unfortunate, and annoying tradition that episode will be the Halloween special, a week after the holiday.