The Simpsons: Springfield Up
(S18E13) I didn't love it, and I didn't hate it -- for the most part, this week's episode was "just okay" in my opinion. It was nice to see Eric Idle return as the snooty muck-raking journalist Declan Desmond (first seen in the episode "Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky"), but the episode felt like two different episodes battling for the same thirty-minute space.
I always enjoy it when the writers come up with ways to incorporate all the secondary and tertiary characters into an episode ("22 Short Films About A Springfield" is a good example), but this one tried to tack on the bit about Homer being depressed with what he's become in life, leading he and his family to take over Burns' summer home and pretend it's their own.
One of my minor beefs with these latter day Simpsons episodes is that I don't think they always earn the emotional pay off for which they strive. In this episode we spend a lot of time learning about those who grew up in Springfield, but Homer's story is also wedged into the mix -- it seems the episode should have just been about Homer feeling depressed about his life, or a lighter episode focusing on all the resident of Springfield.
I'm not saying the episode was a complete write off, because I think it was still funny, just a little thinner than I come to expect from this series. Nevertheless, I loved Homer's "open casket caricatures" and Frink's invention of the "'eight-months-after' pill." Also, we finally know of the insane cat lady's origin: who knew she went to Harvard medical and Yale law?