The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 14
This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons‘ season 28 has been consistently more satisfying because it is filled with what makes the series great, chicken asses. “Fatzcarraldo” is more than just the journey of a hot dog cart to a steamy end. It is a celebration of the most basic ingredients that made Homer Simpson Public elephant number one: cheap, greasy food. This is the man who rolled a stick of butter inside a waffle and proclaimed that new religion had been born. Sunday, after all, is the reason God invented brunch.
The set up sequence is a wonder of misdirection. The annual Motor Vehicle Administration’s awards shows. Yes, there are too many awards shows. People don’t deserve awards. People suck. They should consider themselves lucky to be alive. Some unfortunates being honored in the memorial reels were alive when the competitions began. Homer had just created a perfect Dominoes’ domino and once all the buttons were counted, he wins a day off for the whole office to go off and live their lives, from the unliveliest of sources, Mr. Burns, who is busy tending to the carcasses of those done with theirs.
Homer’s string of conversation in the opening is classic. He didn’t have a bad line. He declares himself the winner of the award he’s supposed to present because he’s leaving. But tonight he is the ultimate loser. The fast food joints in the town of Springfield have gone healthy and the crap we love to eat has been replaced by food. Homer asks for divine guidance and in that prayer we see the Homer of every season pleading for delivery. He doesn’t get pizza, but instead makes it to the promised land of Deuce’s Caboose, his first emotional omelet: the hot dog and in that grease he finds his salivation.
Homer was young when he learned to swallow his pain and stupid now that he’s digested it. But he comes to terms with his parent’s divorce and the knowledge that in the event of a split up, no one wants custody.
We don’t only learn where Fatman begins, but the legendary purple nerpler Nelson Munz spills to ace reporter Lisa Simpson where he guffed his first fah. Nelson’s legendary Ha! Ha! began when he saw his first jerk doing something lame and he just wanted to make the dope feel like a dingus. The spit ball alley veteran has no time for reflection on his life’s work and is unpleasantly nonplussed to see the consequences of his actions on those who have been given the full nelson.
The ratings wars are taking their toll on WSES Radio. Lisa is losing all the best scoops to the grittier, wedgier Elementary School bullies and the intrepid reporter, and four-gold-star geometry student, needs a new angle. They getting clobbered in the ratings by the morning announcements like Principal Skinner takes it on the chin from Superintendent Chalmers with a gym sock stuffed with soap.
Patty and Selma lose their jobs because they went overbudget on the awards show. They spent $100,000 of their $43 budget and Marge offers to put them up until they can’t be put up with anymore. The Bouvier sisters are as accommodating as you would think them to be and far, far less. Just when you think things can’t get any more contrary, we learn they didn’t even bring diapers. They could have, but it so much more fun to be ornery and it looks better on them.
The episode is loaded with great lines and sight gags. You can never go wrong with a clown car joke, but The Simpsons double down by having the music play backwards when the sideshow mouthpieces are forced to hastily get back in the car and we learn horrifying facts of nature because monkeys don’t have tails. Kent Brockman stands out during Super Team Coverage Chilli Dog Day Afternoon Weiner on a Roll. Brockman doesn’t overthink his coverage with commentary. He’s watching the events like everyone else and is confident in the knowledge that in the event of a fiery end, Channel Six News will not cut away until the scorched and twisted bodies are caught on camera.
But no, this is not a tragicomedy: Those with more to gain come to the rescue of he with a lot to lose. With a zealotry usually reserved for sedentary inaction, Springfield’s hungriest declare “we shall overeat” with just a little too much relish and supersize the conclusion.
The episode was so very loosely based on the 1982 German film Fitzcarraldo, written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale, about a rubber baron with a dream and a really big truck.
This is what The Simpsons should be about, nothing, not Seinfeld nothing, which could be anything. But the kind of nothing that is the nutritional value of most of what we plan on eating this week, only with extra karo syrup. The simple closing of a hot dog stand is a chance to make a last stand and to do it in a cannibalistically comic fashion.
“Fatzcarraldo” was written by Michael Price and directed by Mark Kirland. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kirk Van Houten, Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Guest star Glen Close as Mona Simpson.
Chalkboard: If we’re so good at predicting, how come my dad bet on Atlanta?
But It All Went By So Fast: Kwik E Mart: Your 2 days to Valentine’s headquarters. 38th Annual DMV Awards: Less fun than it sounds. I Heart Heart DRS Springfield – Land of Loading Zones. Krusty Burger – Ball pit now free of malaria.
Krusty Fries. Laffy Meal. The Klogger. Krusty’s milkless milkshakes. Buzz Cola. Diet Buzz. Krusty Orange Drink. Krusty Ice Cream. Krusty Cookies. A Disappointment in every box. Healthy sounding food and beverage concepts. Buttermilk Sriracha Sandwich. Kobe Shitake Ciabatta Explosion. Hanoi Honey Barbecue Banh Mi Pho-Furter.
Kentucky Steamed Chickens. Tofu Bell. Arby’s. Now entering seldom-seen country.
Heimlich Maneuver – 1. Place arms around victim’s waist. 2. Make a fist and place thumb towards victim. 3. Grab your fist with your other hand. 4. Deliver five upward thrusts into abdomen.
Discord Plaza Marriage Counseling. Abe and Mona Simpson. No Hope. Recommend 3 sessions a week. Living with Coronary Artery Disease. Anthony’s Wieners.
McMasters of the Universe. Fast Food Summit in Progress.