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October 4, 2015

The Simpsons: Rome-old and Juli-eh

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 12th 2007 10:33AM

The Simpsons(S18E15) Seriously, what is it with Grandpa Simpson falling for Marge's family members? In season five he almost marries her mother, and last night he puts the moves on Selma. Talk about a lot of weird Thanksgivings.

This episode had some good laughs, but overall I wasn't too impressed. The secondary story involving Bart and Lisa building a gigantic castle out of cardboard boxes from ASS --which stood for "American Shipping Services," and is not, as one truck indicates, affiliated with the human ass-- and fighting an apocalyptic battle with the men in brown was more entertaining than the main story, in my opinion.

Well, of course it's my opinion, I'm the one writing this, but let's not dwell on the negatives. Instead, here's some of the stuff from the episode that made me laugh, even if the overall episode felt like something the writers came up with by drawing the characters' names from a hat: "hey, we should do another episode where Selma falls in love with someone. Bring me that top hat."

Speaking of Selma's multiple beaus, the banner in which all her ex-husband's names are crossed out and Abe's is written in was pretty funny.

I also loved how Marge tried to defend the relationship between Abe and Selma by saying it was like how the worst parts of a pig are combined to form a hot dog.

I also loved the final "role play" scene between Homer and Marge in which Homer doesn't quite grasp the whole concept.

The best part of the episode, though? Grandpa telling Selma's daughter a grim tale of his time in the war, but "censoring" it for her young ears and using terms like "machine hugs" and "fun throwers."

One final thought, and it's a bit of a digression: last night's Family Guy, in which Lois slept with former president Clinton, kind of bothered me. I don't like to compare The Simpsons and Family Guy, because I think they're different shows with different approaches, and the Griffin family exist in a more "cartoony" world than the Simpsons. The problem is, when Family Guy tries to tackle, in its own irreverent way, a serious subject like marital infidelity, it feels forced and awkward. I hated Lois by the end of the episode, because there's no real explanation given as to why she cheated on Peter, other than Clinton is just really, really, persuasive.

I'm not "humor-impaired," (to quote Dave Barry), but there are two Simpsons episodes that stick out in my mind in which both Homer and Marge were seriously tempted to stray: Marge falling for her bowling instructor and Homer falling for a co-worker who is both very sexy and also, in many ways, a female version of himself. In both of those episodes, I really felt for both Marge and Homer because they were encountered with serious temptations, but in Lois' case, she just came across as kind of a slut.

Like I said, Family Guy has always been a lighter and sillier series than The Simpsons, and that's fine, but too often the characters on Family Guy are used like paper dolls: peeled from one scenario and placed into another whenever the plot calls for it without any real justification for their actions. That may work for some viewers, but I prefer comedy that's a little more thoughtful in its approach.

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I think the simpsons are doing a really good job of having different storylines every time.. i mean, they use alot of there TVshow ideas on their comics.. i'd have run out of ideas by now, if i was in there situation...

March 18 2007 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode made me laugh so much. I'm convinced that even though it can never be the show it was, it's getting better.

March 13 2007 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"They'll never stop the Simpsons, have no fear we've got stories for years.

Like Marge becomes a robot or Moe gets a cellphone.

How about a crazy wedding where something....happens...."

March 12 2007 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Oh sure Marge, bring hotdogs into this. Real classy!!!" - Homer

That quote and the cardboard battle were the only funny parts to the episode.

March 12 2007 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There was a Simpson clip show where, at the end, they speculated on future stories. In one of the shots they had a picture of Grandpa getting married to both Selma and Patty - all three were in wedding dresses.

March 12 2007 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The A.S.S. b-story was fun and cute, but the A story really... well, didn't... um... resonate.
Did anyone else notice how bad the animation was in this episode? There was something really off about it; much of it was jerky and the character inking looked odd. Almost like this one episode was written and animated by a completely different team. Maybe they moved production to NORTH Korea, instead?

March 12 2007 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed the Bart/Lisa cardboard box subplot, but not so much the Grandpa/Selma story. Bits of it were funny, but overall, not so much.

March 12 2007 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Fee

Of course Peter cheated on Lois at the end with the Prez so are the even now?

March 12 2007 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

bummer stephanie, because the battle was awesome. a flying dragon from lord of the rings came in to help the box guys and nelson came to help bart and lisa. nelson jumped onto hundreds of box guys, while bart and list shot cardboard arrows, threw bricks (?), and used packing tape to tape some people to a ladder, and tip it over.

March 12 2007 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Because of Nascar beforehand the episode for me cut off right when the battle between Bart and Lisa and the shipping guys was starting! :(

March 12 2007 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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