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November 23, 2014

The Simpsons: Homer of Seville

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 30th 2007 9:35PM

Placido Domingo, who guest stars on this week's episode of The SImpsons(S19E02) Mr. Burns: My boy, you are a star!

Homer: Whoo-Hoo!

Burns: An opera star!

Homer: Oh.

We're back to the silly in this week's episode of The Simpsons as another bodily injury gives Homer an advantage in life. I'm surprised that this is the second Homer-centric episode in a row. Usually, the producers are good at going around the Simpsons circuit to focus on another family member or the group as a whole from one week to the next. Maybe my surprise is due to the fact that I haven't been a regular on the Simpsons boat for the last few seasons.

This is a minor point of contention, as I thought the episode itself was okay with a few good laughs. The injury that gives Homer an extra special push this week is one to his back. The result: Homer now has a wonderful singing voice only while lying flat. This scenario gave Dan Castellaneta a chance to show off his singing prowess. We've heard it before numerous times, particularly when Barney breaks out in a tune, but not in such volume. Not only does Castellaneta have a very good professional voice, but he seemed to adapt to all of the Italian opera verses that he needed to sing during the episode.

To be honest, other than singing opera flat on his back, Homer was the most normal of the characters this week. Marge really surprised me when she crashed a house party (that turned out to be a wake) just because she didn't want to cook after church services. This is something Homer usually ends up doing. Seeing Marge snake through an open basement window made be do a double-take. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns partnered once again with Homer; the second time in a row that this has happened since the beginning of the season. Burns discovered Homer's singing while shopping for some extra body parts down at the hospital's morgue.

Maya Rudolph, who guest-voiced this week's episode, had a much meatier role than Stephen Colbert did in the season premiere. While her character, a Homer fan who wants to be more than just a far-away admirer, appeared late in the show, she had much more to do than Colbert's character did. Plus, she was a sexy stalker. So, how could you go wrong with that? Seriously, her voice-acting seemed much more natural than Colbert's did the week before.

While it may not have seemed like it, there was a lot going on in this episode. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Blackboard Gag: The Wall Street Journal is Better Than Ever. I didn't understand what this meant until about five seconds later when I realized that Rupert Murdoch is now the proud owner of that newspaper. When it finally dawned on me I laughed out loud.
  • Couch Gag: The Evolution of Homer. This was a pretty elaborate gag for a second episode of the season. We see homer evolve from a blob of goo to the man we see today, which really hasn't evolved that much. Some of the good things here were Mr. Burns as the octopus, dinosaurs Bart and Lisa battling it out, and Moe devolving as he passed Homer along the way.
  • 'Jesus: The Real American Idol' -- this week's church signage
  • Homer's philosophy about 'au jus': Au Jus -- not quite gravy, not quite blood.
  • Mahogany -- great movie, great casket -- Bart at the wake he and his family crashed. This was the only solo scene that Bart had for the entire episode.
  • The Springfield Opera House looks an awful lot like another famous opera house based in Sydney, Australia. If I could only remember the name of the Sydney Opera House. What the hell is it?
  • What do friends of Placido Domingo call him -- P Dingo
  • We'll move to another table, Yoko. -- Carl, when he and Lenny are asked to sit at another table by Marge during her anniversary dinner.
  • Inflatable Homer Decoys. Need I say more about that?
  • After Julia the stalker is poisoned by her own drug-tipped dart, Chief Wiggum tells the snipers to take the shot. These are the worst snipers on the planet, as they didn't hit her once. They must be rejects from various A-Team episodes. Finally, a chandelier crashes down on her. To me, that was the funniest moment of the night.

For the second week in a row we were treated to a one-story episode of The Simpsons and I'm liking it. It would be great if we could keep seeing these individual stories. However, maybe they can start doing them on other members of the Simpsons clan. Let Homer rest for a bit while we see what Bart or Lisa are up to. That's it for this week. See you in seven.

Are you enjoying these one-story Simpsons episodes
Yes. I like how they are focusing on one plot. It makes for a more enjoyable episode122 (61.0%)
No. I like to see the primary story broken up by something else.41 (20.5%)
There's and acutal story to The Simpsons?37 (18.5%)

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Peanut

This was a very good episode. The only problem with it was that the people who say "The show is not aging well" are frustrated by the actual quality.

Wil Wheaton is dead to me.

October 01 2007 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wil Wheaton

Other than the Yoko joke, which made me laugh out loud, I hated this episode.

What happened to The Simpsons being daring? What happened to stories that weren't afraid to be non-linear? When did they replace biting sarcasm with convoluted sitcom set-ups?

This show is not aging well.

October 01 2007 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kevjohn

Umm, stories focusing on Lisa...? Eww.

I think the opera house in Sydney is called the Sidney Opera House. It was renamed from the Sydney Opera Emporium several years ago.

October 01 2007 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zorkon65

correct me if i am wrong, but didnt Chief Wiggum , or the doc, or somebody say that the bullet stopped the poisen and the chandelier squeezed the poison out?

September 30 2007 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Victor

What some enterprising YouTuber needs to do is put together a weekly updated collection of just the good bits. I've LONG been past the point where I could tolerate the 'story' of a typical Simpsons episode. There's three or four good gags each week, and are funny (if not funnier) even outside the context of the episode. Family Guy's usurping of the Simpsons rapid-fire style (and improving on it) shows that we don't need context to enjoy Simpsons gags.

As someone who's been with this family since the Tracy Ullman show (and even earlier with the Life In Hell books), I can't help but notice that the current 'stories' are just retreads of retreads of retreads from better episodes from the "Golden Years" of the Simpsons.

So please someone with way too much time on your hands, please put together an ongoing Simpsons clip video.

Thanks in advance.

September 30 2007 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omar

the lenny and carl entourage limo scene made me laugh the most, next to bart saying at the wake that he wasn't going to be there next week so.....

September 30 2007 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Steve, I hope you realize that Richard was joking.

September 30 2007 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

dan does have a good voice.
and i like the one-story episodes.
:)

it could have been a little bit funnier, i suppose.
but the story was solid enough.

September 30 2007 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

That opera house in Sydney is called the Sydney Opera House

September 30 2007 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

The couch gag has been used before - I think they pull it out when an episode runs a bit short (since it's so lengthy). The best parts were the Yoko comment and I really laughed at the reaction of the opera audience to the shooting - one lady just took her opera glasses and turned to her program completely un-phased. Subtle but really funny. I really think this season has been really good so far.

September 30 2007 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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