The Simpsons: Pork and Burns Review

A decluttered Simpsons is a happy Simpsons. Here is our review.

The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 11

This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.

The Simpsons tossed out everything that didn’t bring them joy to bring us a gag-cluttered future classic. “Pork and Burns” is a dish best served with an apple in its gob because it is a delicacy. Season 28 has been delivering consistently strong episodes by trimming the lean and leaving nothing but fat, almost belly, laughs.

It all starts when Marge finds a book in the car wash magazine section that changes her life. Actually it starts when the book is being mass-produced into a promised best-seller, which even Homer mentions. That book, and the men and robots who committed seppuku, an honorable suicide, to make it possible, changes Marge’s life.  Coming as it does from a car wash it is no surprise that it has to do with cleaning house.

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The ancient Japanese philosophy contained in the pages suggests that tossing out all the objects in the home that no longer bring joy will lead to a state of entidyment. Marge, whose kitchen floors have never seen the waxy yellow buildup that plagued Mary Hartman, finally finds her true path. Sadly it leads right to Mr. Plopper, who no longer brings joy to the world, even when he is saving it in his not-so-secret second identity, Spider Pig, doing whatever a spider-pig does.

Yes, Spider Pig is one of the forgotten gifts we got from The Simpsons Movie. Plopper has put in a few cameo appearances, usually as part of a sight gag, like tonight’s appearance of Homer’s Mr. Plow jacket or Mr. Burns’ exposed ass. Even Lisa knows how important it is to have clean underwear when your dress is so short. It’s enough to put angst in your pants. Marge can compartmentalize without fear of spillage but Lisa goes through separation, and every other kind of, anxiety. Homer only really knows joy when it bites him on the ass. That’s why he finds a way to save the pig.

It’s hard enough for Homer to throw away a beloved bar coaster, much less a family member he’s forgotten and neglected. Just ask Grandpa Abe Simpson, he still sits at the dinner table licking the boots of death out of fear he might not make it to dessert. Plopper may have been just waiting out in the back yard for someone to notice him, much less get his own featured episode, but the unsliced prosciutto  brings comfort and understanding to Homer. He doesn’t even respond to his usual strangulation triggers and just wants to wallow in it.

Homer hasn’t been getting any sleep, at night or at work. He gets a wakeup call and it’s not from Lisa’s honkamaflute. He really does need his support animal, just like Lisa needs as much support as she can get. The young musician puts down her horn because she realizes it has brought nothing but jazz into the home. It takes her older brother to help her find her passion. The joy of the instrument is really the joy that comes with the clutter, even if it sometimes sounds a little busy.

The Simpsons keeps it busy tonight. Homer throws a snake from the petting zoo into a bouncy house filled with kids. We learn that Lloyds of London won’t cover damage from Burns’ hounds even though Monty’s known Lloyd for years, and that no one has ever been fooled by the perennially unmasked El Barto. The jokes come fast and are usually layered, though sometimes dispensed like Dr. Nick’s pharmaceutical grade Pez.

My favorite passing gag comes when Homer turns down Snake’s generous offer for taking his bacon and takes the pig into a seemingly more reputable windowless van. The only passenger is in the back, chained to the side-bench and wearing a full vinyl S&M restraint suit, complete with zipper mouthgag. As the van pulls away we hear Homer’s heart-rending screams of terror. We have all envisioned the Mayo Clinic bit at least once in our lives, but The Simpsons make it even more fleshy yellow than Airplane did when they put it on hold.

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Ultimately, Marge can’t bring herself to toss out the clutter and it serves as an allusion to the show itself. The Simpsons attempted to throw long passes and pass them off as jokes for a season or two but now remember that the more jokes the better. Sure, some may misfire, but if there are enough of them, who cares? As long as we laugh over them we’ll pretend not to notice.

 “Pork and Burns” was written by Rob LaZebnik and directed by Matthew Nastuk. 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 Joyce Carol Oates as herself and Michael York as the veterinarian.

But It All Went By So Fast:  Couch Gag Play Set. Close-out sale – 3 for $9. The Japanese Warrior Monks’ Guide to Tidying Up. You’ll Get To It Later. Employees now have new worker smell.

You’re Not Over The Hill … Another Birthday?! Whoo. Just turned 80? For your birthday, we were gonna give you a trip to Florida … 65 is the new 64. When your eyes go and your hearing goes, the next thing is… Call the fire department! For your birthday I got you a new pair of BOOBS. The left one’s bigger. Bill O’Reilly – Killing Hannity.

From Heck. Japanese Warrior Monks’ 1000 Sock Box. Gregslist Springfield. Doctor Bud’s Medical Marijuana Clinic. From Ogdenville to Paris – Bleeding Gums Murphy. Springfield Nuclear Family Day:  Part of the settlement for your sterility program. Burns Medical And Longevity Center Best U.S. Hospital for a Single Patient. Approved – Bananas, Yogurt, Egg Salad, baby Food. Not Approved – Corn chips, slurping noodles, fizzy sodas, pop rocks. Kinder Karaoke. Lisa Simpson Demo Track – If found please send to Winton Marsalis. Springfield Lock n Leave Storage Facility – Historic Site of the First Storage War. Romeo Brand Window Tapping Pebbles 50 count bag. 


4.5 out of 5