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October 8, 2015

The Simpsons: Husbands and Knives

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 18th 2007 11:32PM

Jack Black is Milo, the owner of Coolsville, the newest comic book store in Springfield(S19E06) "We're gonna be rich! We can finally afford to start a family!" -- Homer

"We have a family!" -- Marge

"A better one!" -- Homer

I think I have whiplash. One minute this week's The Simpsons was about the new comic book store in Springfield and the next Homer was getting his stomach stapled.

I didn't even think this was going to be a Homer-centric episode from the preview comments on the show.Heck, it didn't even seem like he was going to be on the episode at all since his first appearance was about 30 seconds before the second commercial break. When he suddenly became the focus I felt a stabbing pain in my neck.

I may have to sue.

Granted, that doesn't mean that this week's Simpsons wasn't enjoyable. It was one of those episodes that had a little bit of something for everyone. For the comic book wonks there was the appearance of three of the best independent comic writers of today: Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes. For me this was the best part of the episode. Not only did Comic Book Guy finally get his comeuppance, but there were plenty of inside comic book references. I thought the best one was when Milhouse asked Moore to sign a copy of Watchmen Babies and then asked him who his favorite baby was.

For the fan who enjoys The Simpsons constant jabs at society trends there was Marge's entry into the business world with the opening of Shapes gyms for women only. For those who have more important things crossing their minds, Shapes is a reference to the Curves franchise of gyms that focus on women only. Granted, Marge's spotlight was only about 6 or seven minutes long, but she had some good moments (she lost her 26-26-26 figure). What I enjoyed was the brief tribute to OK Go's video for the song "Here It Goes Again" (which I think is the best video I have seen in a long time).

Finally, for fans of Homer there was...Homer. This was smart, insecure Homer this week. His issues were something that he has revisited several times over the last 18 years: Marge may leave him and find someone else better. This time around he decided to get a stomach staple to make himself look good for the Corporate Marge ("Everything I eat takes like barf"). The best scene was when Homer was showing off his new body to Marge in the bedroom. What she didn't see was all of the fat that Homer had clipped and rubber-banded around his back.

What completed the episode for me was the pleasant little scene between Homer and Marge, walking along the streets of Springfield at sunset. Homer seriously asks his wife why she stays with him and Marge responded that she always sees the little boy that she fell in love with. It was sweet, and even the flying League of Independent Comic Book Writers couldn't distract from it.

My one problem with the episode was, you guessed it, the total under utilization of the guest voice. This time around it was Jack Black. His character was there in the first few minutes of the program (he was Milo, the owner of the new comic book store) and then singing behind the end credits, which actually went on without interruption. That was it. Really, one of the other voice actors on the show could have done something similar to what Jack did. Although, I did think that his Japanese rendition of Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat?" was pretty funny.

Next week -- Sideshow Bob is back. Now, if Kelsey Grammer isn't utilized up the ying-yang then I'll be really pissed.

What was your favorite story on 'The Simpsons' this week?
The new comic book store178 (67.7%)
The opening of Marge's Shapes franchise18 (6.8%)
Homer's insecurities about his wife32 (12.2%)
The mystery at the abandoned amusement park.35 (13.3%)

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I personally thought that this was the second best episode of the season, next to the eternal moonshine of the simpson mind. I felt that it was very entertaining and had some very good jokes with the tear ducts and such. While I LOVED the new comic book store part and the opening of the Shapes workout center, the part with Homer at the end wasn't my favorite at all. If it weren't for the gags at the end i might've turned it........so I feel it started better than it ended.

February 10 2008 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok Go's video would be the best ever if not for MuteMath's "Typical" videos. First, its cool that they do their regular video backwards...but much cooler that they perform it live on Jimmy Kimmel...also backwards. Check it.

Regular Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b13rc6DY74A

Not to take away from Ok Go though...that video rocks.

As for this Simpsons episode, it was my favorite of the season so far. I loved this one. I wish there had been more use of Jack Black as well, but the episode made me laugh so I was happy.

Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFlSy1TuRv4&feature=related

November 20 2007 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

frankly, i wanted the whole episode to be about the comics thing. i got really bummed when marge and homer took over the plot. MAUS IS IN THE HOUSE! hilarious. being an old school indie comix collector it was very nice to see matt go back to his underground comics background and give a shout out to some of the all time greats (moore, clowes, spiegelman) - i liked that the covers to some of their best works were featured, and i collect asterix and tintin so it gave me a huge smile to see them (bummed that no asterix titles were actually seen. also would have cried if i'd seen cerebus mentioned). it was sad to see that side of the story just completely dropped - what gives??? and comic book guy - what's gonna happen with him? one of my favorite characters...also - where has otto been? all of the depth of springfield's population has slowly been leeched out of the show it seems...sigh...

November 19 2007 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Jack Black's talents"


November 19 2007 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda Wilkinson

This episode lost me with the unnecessary interjection of Homer's "pork pie" comment into a scene where he wasn't even present. What was that for??

November 19 2007 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the scene where Homer shows off his new body I think it is more accurate to say he had clipped the loose skin from his weight loss behind his back rather than fat.

November 19 2007 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

IMO, the funniest portion of the show was the events that led up to Marge starting Shapes. Namely her experience at the mega-gym, which culminated in her taking a shower in a stall exposed to the outside world via glass wall. I think she should have been flattered that at her age and after three kids she still drew that appreciative crowd of a half dozen or so ogling Springfieldites.

Homer taking over the show in the second half was pretty bad, and unnecessary. But I'll give them a pass on that. Wasting Jack Black's talents like this was unforgivable however.

November 19 2007 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i was pretty impressed by the level of detail they went through for the tintin part... not the sketch which seemed a little pointless, but having all of the actual titles displayed in the background while they were talking... it was an unusual level of detail for this show's style.

the comic references were a little too obscure for most of the audience though.

as for the episode as a whole: the whole thing seemed more like a halloween short drawn out, like it wasn't really meant to fit in the normal run of the series

November 19 2007 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed the comicbook storyline best. I loved when Bart said he hadn't noticed what a terrible relationship he had been in with his previous comicbook guy.

"I wish my mom said cute things like that"

"She can't because she's depressed" LOL

November 19 2007 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

did they not have a clever way to close off the Coolsville story line? i felt robbed of the use of Jack Black as a guest voice. what a rip!

November 19 2007 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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