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November 24, 2014

The Simpsons: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 16th 2007 10:42PM

The Simpsons Cast(S19E09) The capital of Montana is not "Hannah" -- Bart's Blackboard Gag

Since they have plenty of time on their hands now, I'd like to take a moment and speak to the scheduling executives over at FOX.

What the hell are you doing? You don't have a new episode of The Simpsons for three weeks and then, out of the blue, you pop a new one into the schedule just for poops and giggles. Yes, you'll grab the people who have this programmed into their DVRs, but what about those few remaining lost souls who still use paper, pencil and their memory to remind them that this week's episode of The Simpsons is brand new. Those are the viewers you are going to miss. So, perhaps in the future you should just stop programming new episodes into the December schedule and just start again in January, or whenever American Idol frees up a spot for you.

Thank you. Now, to your requests and dedications.

Gallery: The Simpsons

The cast of 'The Simpsons'Lionel Richie, Homer, Marge and Stephen ColbertSideshow BobTreehouse of Horror XVIIIJack BlackPlacido DomingoHomer Simpson

I should have known this week's episode of The Simpsons was going to be different as soon as I saw the Couch Gag, which panned from the Simpson family all the way out to the edges of the known universe and then back into Homer's head (resulting in a statement of 'Weird' from Homer). From that point on the show took on a surreal feel as Homer tried to find out why his family was gone and his dog was angry at him. Along the way he encountered friends and family who guided him along his journey of memory recovery. Eventually, it led to a journey into Homer's deepest recollections.

By far, this was the most interesting episode of The Simpsons this season, incorporating humor, romance, and a little bit of science fiction into a tidy little plot. Not only were there elements of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sprinkled throughout, but there was also a smattering of It's a Wonderful Life and Total Recall added as well. True, it was another Homer-centric episode -- one of too many this season, but the writers gave the show enough of a twist to keep it intriguing for the viewer.

I think the most enjoyable part of the episode was Homer's journey into his memories via Professor Frink's memory machine (a Deja Viewmaster, as Homer mentioned). Using stills from the 400 previous episodes to show the memories he kept was a great idea. Some of those images were from all the way back in the first season. It was actually a nice tribute to the long history that the show has had. And, at least during the journeys without Memory Bart and Memory Lisa, it was taken pretty seriously.

The other part I enjoyed was Homer reliving his 39 (still?) years on the planet as he was falling to his supposed death. Now, I need someone to tell me if there is something actually on YouTube like Homer's stop-motion montage. If so, I'd be interested in seeing it. In fact, I may have seen it before, but I just can't remember where. Anyhoo, I thought it was great how they incorporated all of the stages in his life into such a short span of time. My favorite was all of the costumes Homer was shown wearing during the last part of the scene.

Some other items that tickled my fancy:

  • The prehistoric squirrel from Ice Age makes a cell-animated appearance in the first few moments of The Simpsons.
  • Moe's video on how to make the drink that blots out a person's memory. He pauses on a particularly bad shot of him, and his frame-by-frame movements don't make him look any better.
  • Krusty pulling a Mel Gibson at the Latin Grammy Awards.
  • Courtesy of Bart, Homer replacing the memory of his very first kiss with Marge with his very first kiss with Apu.
  • Speaking of Bart, he can whoop the ass of a 10-year-old and 20-year-old Homer.
  • While Homer is reliving his life he is shown drinking probably hundreds of cans of beer to make some wonderful designs.
  • Patty and Selma pushing Homer off of the Suicide Bridge than feigning agreement that it was all in the plans for his surprise party.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I don't know why this episode of The Simpsons was kept until now to air. Granted, it wasn't the Best. Episode. Ever. Yet, it was one of those installments that should be given a better slot to gain interest. Frankly, I would have rather seen this during November sweeps than an episode where a guest voice is underutilized. If I'm way off base here let me know.

Next week -- Nothing. In fact, I'm really not too sure when the next episode will air. So, have a good holiday and I'll see you when I see you.

What is your opinion on this installment of The Simpsons
I really enjoyed it. The show was a change of pace from what we have seen this season.579 (91.2%)
It was okay, but I really didn't get the whole concept.29 (4.6%)
Just a terrible episode. The show hasn't been good since Season One, episode 8.27 (4.3%)

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19 Comments

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Ducttape17

I think that this episode should have been set aside and used as the series finale. It feels like one.

March 07 2008 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James

I felt that this was the most entertaining and funniest episode so far this season. I also feel it is the best one the simpsons have starred in this season!!!

February 10 2008 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mel

Richard Keller got pwnt.

What a fink.

December 18 2007 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beanspants1

that's twice (or more) that the Simpsons have referenced The Game, which is sad, because it's probably one of the worst movies of all time.

does anyone know where i can get some quadruple sec? I want to try that drink.

December 17 2007 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

David, you are a disgruntled reader. If you feel you could do a better job at this please go to the Weblogs Inc page at www.weblogsinc.com, fill out a form and submit it to our Editor. Who knows, you may be able to do these reviews of The Simpsons.

Now, how about talking about the episode itself, David. What did you think of it?

December 17 2007 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard Keller's comment
David

im not so much a disgruntled reader, as i am a reader who is upset with people who review the simpsons without the proper background credentials.

For example, how did you miss the fact that the opening couch scene has been used three times prior to this episode. How did you miss "The Game" references. And if you were truly talented you would have acknowledge the more memorable screen shots that homer ran through. i.e. lisa on ice episode, El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer, and fear of flying, just to name a few.

I'm not saying i could do a better job since i do claim to have any writing skills, but i do claim that in order to review the simpsons you need to have an extensive background knowledge of the entire series.

Linked is a great resource of information for you to study from.

http://www.snpp.com/episodes

December 17 2007 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Maybe i am just a disgruntled reader and an avid simpsons fan, but if you are going to review an episode, don't bitch about the scheduling the entire time, and know your facts.

Your analysis on this episode was empty and commatose, you have zero insightful comments, and should be replaced with somebody who can actually put together a relevant review; not just random thoughts and ramblings.

December 17 2007 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

N.E.R.D. - Not Even Remotely Dorky

i caught The Game reference too, but not that many people have seen The Game.

December 17 2007 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

It was just a combination of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with "The Game" (with Michael Douglas and Shawn Penn). The ending was exacly the same as in The Game (sorry for vaguely ruining The Game). But it was a fairly decent episode, most decent I've seen in a while.

I can't believe neither the review nor any of the comments thus far have mentioned the movie "The Game" ... I guess not many people saw it.

December 17 2007 at 6:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
D-Bo

I caught that The Game reference too...



Over all it was a pretty enjoyable episode and definitely more compelling than the afore mentioned underutilized celebrity guest voice episodes.

December 17 2007 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Skapig

The plot gimmick didn't do much for me in part due to the predictable execution, but the episode did end up yielding some good laughs and some cool scenes for the fans. It even gave Homer some true heart, which many complain is often lacking in recent years. Overall episodes like this that rely on such a pervasive plot gimmick tend to come up short as it ends up being used as a crutch.

December 17 2007 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rush

I liked the idea of the episode, a nice plot, although I expected something a little more epic, don't know why.

@Mike
The song is Everyday by Carly Comando. It's the music from the "Where Anything Happens", the NBA slogan/motto/ad.

December 17 2007 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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