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October 25, 2014

The Simpsons: Kill Gil: Vols. 1 & 2

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 17th 2006 10:34PM

simpsons(S18E09)

Homer: Why did you let that loser into our home?

Marge: I'll tell you why: Christian charity.

Homer: "Christian Charity?" What does a porn star have to do with this?

I was impressed with the overall holiday motif of this episode, especially the altered opening with snow, Christmas decor and Bart riding a snowboard (across dry pavement, even) rather than his usual skateboard.

Homer, Marge and the kids still remain the linchpin of the series, but the writers have been exploring the lives of the other characters since the show's early seasons. It made sense to delve into the lives of folks like Skinner, Miss Krabappel and Krusty because they had ties to the family in some way, but later episodes that looked into such characters as Agnes Skinner and Comic Book Guy didn't seem quite as necessary. Those episodes in which an oft-ignored character is given a little more spotlight room aren't terrible, but some characters work better when they have less time on screen: Gil, for one example.

Gil is the always unlucky salesman based on Jack Lemmon's character from Glengarry Glen Ross. He's a great character, but he can't sustain an entire episode. I know this episode was really about Marge and her inability to say no to people, thus Gil staying almost an entire year, but I simply didn't feel any kind of substantial dramatic build-up that would have warranted Marge and the family driving to Arizona just so she could finally tell him off. Granted, I only watched the episode once, which as I've said before is not the best way to review anything, so I have to go with first impressions. Still, the episode felt rather flimsy.

But enough of that. Here's what I did like:

  • Krusty yet again hosting a Christmas special, despite being Jewish (and popping out of of Baby Jesus' bed at the ice show)
  • The sign outside Costingtons: "Christmas presents at Hanukkah prices"
  • The "Away" sign for Santa with a picture of Santa on the toilet
  • Marge "rented" a negligee
  • The leprechaun from "Treehouse of Horror XII" returning
  • Homer telling Santa's Little Helper that there's water under the seat as the dog sits inside a car in 117 degree weather

Also, I loved the Grumple that kept stalking Homer through the episode. It was a funny idea made funnier by the fact that it became more and more unclear what the hell this creature was exactly. At first one assumed it was just a guy in a costume, but then it bled green blood when attacked at Moe's.

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Mrs.MGA

This block of animation stunk! The poor Simpson's was weak, pointless, not all that funny, and made less than the normal very little sense. I was very disappointed.

December 18 2006 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KMF

That was the worst episode yet this season for me. I've been watching the show since the old Tracey Ullman days and this last season has been a joyless experience. The snow opening was good but beyond that this episode felt like it'd run out of steam. Where was the Christmas feeling in the episode?

Like 4# I agree American Dad was funnier and much fresher!

December 18 2006 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Miranda

I also liked the mice dancing between the floors of the Simpsons' house (in the St. Patrick's Day scene). But overall I thought the ep had some funny moments but didn't really hold together.

December 18 2006 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

how about the awesome parody of the "flashbacks"!

shows always do that. they show a flashback, but we don't know if the characters are telling the story or if it's a surreal-enter-the-mind momment.

overall a good episode.

Groobily Grue your blood will be my stew!

December 18 2006 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gavin

The episode had some decent jokes, but it went nowhere and showed how off track the current group of writers are. Gil is the type of third tier character that is only good in small doses, and should not be used to frame anytype of episode around, especially a holiday special. I actually found the opening sequence to be far more enjoyable that the rest of the episode.

On the other hand, I was surprised at how funny American Dad was. Not only was it filled with solid gags, it also had a brilliantly devised twist on Dickens' overworked classic.

December 18 2006 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris

totally cool you blogged a coupke hours after the show! im a new fan.

December 17 2006 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
blackacre

that was also the leprechaun that told ralph to burn things...

December 17 2006 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bd

Adults $40/Children $39

Gotta love Krusty.

December 17 2006 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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