(S19E17) "Sorry, Lise. I can't be a vegetarian. I love the taste of death." -- Bart Simpson
Another Bart-centric episode, which means another decent installment of The Simpsons. It's unfortunate that these types of episodes couldn't have been dispersed more evenly throughout the season. This would have made for a less Homer-centric run of shows during the first half of the year -- something that many fans (or maybe just me) were expressing concern about.
(S19E15) "I'm not a nerd. I'm a jock who's too cool for sports." -- Bart Simpson
From the outside, the Family Simpson comprises a group of people who go from one wacky adventure to another. Yet, when you go beneath their four-fingered exteriors, each member of the family is actually fighting their own little battle. For Bart it's the fight against the establishment; for Marge it's finding order withing the disorder of her life; for Maggie it's getting through an entire day on one pacifier; and for Homer it is the philosophical dilemma of whether or not death brings forth life or life brings on death. That, or just trying to get between breakfast and lunch without starving to death...it really depends on the day.
(S19E14) "Oh boy, dinnertime! The perfect break between work and drunk." -- Homer J. Simpson
Before I get to the review as a whole for this week's installment of The Simpsons I want to talk about one of the most disturbing scenes that has ever graced this program. It involves Homer, who is breaking his one millionth diet or something. In one scene he's shown entering a room of a sleazy motel with what looks like another woman. Turns out it's just a rack of meat (I think it was lamb, I couldn't hear Homer) dripping in its own juices. He then goes about treating the meat like a lover, sucking on the juices, caressing it, and even bringing it to the shower with him. I was in total agreement with the host of Sneakers -- the fictitious television show that was a parody of the real-life show Cheaters -- when he asked the guys in the control truck to turn the hidden cameras off. Brrr!
Other than that, this was a pretty good episode.
(S19E06) After a month of Homer and Marge-centric episodes (I don't count 'Treehouse of Horror' stories because they take place outside of The Simpsons continuity. Don't laugh!) we finally get one focusing on the Simpson kids and their friends. In this case the spotlight is on one Milhouse Van Houten. This is not the first time Milhouse has been featured in an episode. In fact, he's probably the only other kid on The Simpsons that has had more than one show focus on him. Remember the 'Radioactive Man' episode waaayyyy back in the seventh season?
This is most likely due to his friendship with Bart. Because they have been so closely linked since the very first episodes of the series Milhouse has been given a richer backstory than, say, Martin.We know about his unrequited love for Lisa, his affair with Samantha Stanky, and the break-up (and subsequent get-together) of his parents.Actually, the pending nuptials of Kirk and Luann were part of the plot for this week's episode.
Homer: Why would I go to Utah? I love booze, caffeine and monogamy.
This episode really felt like two episodes in one, with both Lisa's story about her made up Native American heritage and Bart becoming involved with an older girl (played by Natalie Portman). Overall, my first reaction --having only seen the episode once-- is that it felt like the quintessential Simpsons episode with plenty of smart dialogue and enough hidden gags I know I probably won't catch until the second or third round in syndication. Of course, that could just be because I'm really slow.