A twister that nearly takes the life of Santa’s Little Helper prompts Homer and Marge to look for a guardian for the kids in case something happens, but who the hell’s going to take three little Simpsons? Apparently, no one.
Of course, when you want to assign a guardian to your kids, the first place you look is family. For the Simpsons, this means elderly Abe (no) or smoking, gravelly voiced Patty and Selma (double no, especially after Homer and Marge see how they tiger parent their adopted Chinese daughter). A visit to Milhouse’s parents sparks an argument and Cletus tells them that anything new that wanders into the house goes in the stew pot. Once the word is out that the Simpsons need a guardian, the townspeople start avoiding them like the swine flu.
So, what’s left to do but leave town for a while and down by the shore, Bart and Lisa find a surfer and his environmental lawyer wife, who are willing to become the kids’ new legal guardians. They’re smart, rich, open-minded and socially conscious (Lisa practically swoons with every statement wife Portia makes), so what could possibly go wrong? Marge and Homer let the kids go away for a few weeks while they enjoy some couple time, but are the kids being stolen from them? Is it such a bad thing? (Of course it’s a bad thing! It’s not exactly child abduction, but the new couple wants the kids because it seems like Homer and Marge don’t really care.) It’s almost like people who think it’s better to give their dogs to a new home because they will be better cared for, but the truth is that the original owners are the best. Bart and Lisa admire their guardians, but prefer to be home with their real parents, even when they are being insulted and strangled.
I want to write more, but this episode of The Simpsons was pretty sparse. A lot of time was spent with Homer and Marge chasing the residents of Springfield around. There were a few characters I hadn’t seen before, so maybe I missed something from an earlier season. The couch gag was nowhere to be seen, nor was there the Burns-ism at the end. I kind of miss both.
Best of the rest:
Santa’s Little Helper is okay; Lenny and Carl go storm chasing in an old, souped-up van; during the storm, the family is trying to play a really dull board game and when Lisa cries, “Twister!” Bart says, “No way, every time we play my elbow touches Dad’s junk.” Oh, and Selma and Patty’s daughter, Ling, playing the flute, dancing, hula-hooping and painting all at the same time before she whispers, “Help me!” Not one of the funnier episodes, but it did have its moments.