The Simpsons: Four Regrettings and a Funeral, Review

The Simpsons’ Four Regrettings and a Funeral opens at a beloved character’s funeral.

Oh my, Chip Taylor. The most beloved character I’d never heard of, is dead. Yeah, The Simpsons are playing with their own publicicty. They put it round that they were going to kill off a beloved character. Like they killed Dr. Marvin Monroe, Fat Tony, Maude Flanders and Bleeding Gums Murphy and make one up at the last minute. Then they put out a teaser trailer that actually uses the Chip’s name leading SEO writers to guess who this “Chip” is. One zine I looked at speculated it was Mr. Burns, C. or Charles, Montgomery Burns, even though his was the first face you saw in the clip. It would have been a better gag if Marcia Wallace didn’t die, but at least she was there at the end to give the last laugh. Bart only wrote “We’ll really miss you, Mrs. K” on the blackboard once.

Yeah, Chip Taylor was the most beloved employee in Sector 6F of the Springfield Nuclear plant. He wrote the biography Magnificent Bastard: The Lives and Loves of Hans Moleman,” when Bumble Bee Man’s family were killed playing paintball, Chip was there for comfort. Good times. Yes, good times. But every death brings up regrets. Joe Namath regrets busting his knees after 40 years of recovery. Oh and that autobiography he put out in Mad magazine, “Bury My Wounded Knee.” Only Marge is clear of regrets. She loves her dead fish floating in a sea of stale beer marriage and is proud to be a member of the Kiss Army.

Homer has twelve pounds of regrets that he got through a backwards Ponzi scheme. Spare No One, the perfect bowling ball he got at Alley McBalls. Speaking of McBalls, Bart’s pants, like the lord, work in mysterious ways. Never has Millhouse’s nose been used so artfully and you know what they say about kids with big noses. They hold up big glasses, this is a kiddy show. On Fox. With Rachel Maddow station breaks.

Mr. Burns regrets his first love. Well, not his first love. Though he did temporarily lose his fortune a few seasons ago and rebuilt himself drudging environmentally clean sea urchins for cheap food, fuel, medicine and sundry. Mr. Burns lost Lila, the woman who broke his first heart to his ruthless selfishness. He gets a classic retort. When Lila levels “I’m going to find someone as good as you are evil” at him he informs her “No one’s that good.” It is a simple truth. When a Robert Stack-sounding private detective tells Burns that Lila is a nun, Burns muses “Married to Jesus” and asks hopefully “Does he beat her?” Burns loved Lila enough to ask her to take that big step. From cousin to wife. If he could just find the box without the demons.

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We do learn the origin of the Springfield tire fire. We would have learned long ago, but Rachel and Kent have been keeping the lid on it for years for the four o’clock clown Krusty. Rachel threatens “We’ll see about that. We shall see. About that, things will be seen by us.” Yet, the tires still burn.

The voice of Professor Frink and Skinner’s mom sounded different tonight. I hope neither Hank Azaria nor Tress MacNeille did the voice for Chip Taylor.

The death of the most beloved character in Sector 6 of the Springfield nuclear plant was The Simpson’s way of saying we all live in Springfield and we play by their rules. Springfield exists outside the boundaries of the TV show that is played too low on purpose, so to turn down the commercials. The Simpsons mean to subvert all that is accepted as entertainment. They take on their own network, Kent Brockman has too much integrity to work at Fox News. They play with the media frenzy by teasing with the death of a beloved character and make someone up who fits the bill for the episode. When the Simpsons killed off Frank Grimes, it was one of the darkest episodes of situation comedy ever aired on television. It was also one of the funniest.

Den of Geek Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars


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4 out of 5