The Simpsons: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times
Marge: Revenge never solves anything!
Homer: Then what's America doing in Iraq?
I'm always somewhat underwhelmed by these "vignette" episodes, and I think I've figured out why: a full episode allows more room for the comedy to breathe and stretch out. There's more time to let gags simmer, to have better set-ups and thus bigger payoffs. Cramming three mini-episodes into a half-hour doesn't afford this luxury, and I think the episode suffers for it.
For example, the story about Milhouse going insane with revenge when he dons the super-powerful glove would have made a good full episode, I think. I don't mean an episode about Milhouse and a magic glove, but an episode centered on Milhouse wanting revenge and then wanting more and more for all the abuse he's endured over the years. My complaint isn't that the episode was terrible, because it had plenty of good laughs, but that it feels like a mere sampling, and I kept wanting more.
So I can approach this episode two different ways: A) I can dislike it for being constructed in a format I feel is detrimental to the Simpsons humor I still love after all these years, or B) I can take it for what it was and admit that, while not utterly fulfilling, it had its moments. I'm going to confer with my pastor and get back to you.
- Homer telling the future Bartman: "Avenge me, in flamboyant, impractical fashion!"
- Movie marquee: Abbot and Costello Meet Polio
- Bart's summation of the episode: "So you see, revenge is great, and there's three ways to talk about it. Although, two of the ways were kinda the same, and even the third one might have worked better as a Halloween story...."
Also, the scroll at the end dedicated to all who died in Star Wars cracked me up, if only because it basically came out of nowhere. And yes, I understand the connection to the episode's theme of "revenge," but it still came from out of left field.