SPOLER ALERT: This The Simpsons review contains things you won’t be able to unlearn.
The Simpsons: Season 27 Episode 1.
The Simpsons are really double dipping too much. I’m beginning to think Harry Shearer had a point in not wanting to come back. Usually a season opener is better than the season but when it’s a lackluster reheated plot served up like it was phoned in you have wonder who was really diagnosed with narcolepsy here. And tagging on such a copout ending is a wakeup call for “Every Man’s Dream.”
Marge and Homer didn’t have this much trouble in the earlier seasons. It seems that one quarter of their shows now are about the impending implosion of their marriage. Yet, Maggie still needs a diaper change. I understand how the marriage might be cracking under all Marge’s enabling and Homer’s allowing her to enable. These cracks used to fuel the Simpsons, now the series is stuck in the groove. It’s no wonder Bart is looking for pity hugs from stupid Flanders and his stupid tear-dickey.
Sometimes knowing a how a character’s behavior will play out in advance kills the joke. In series comedy, behavior becomes set-up. We know Homer is going to take advantage of the narcolepsy label. Who wouldn’t? It is a perfect malady for the working man. Everyone is too tired all the time and could drop off at any moment. I did it twice watching this episode.
There were a few Simpsons gags that have become perennial. I love how Moe just drives away from the bar when confronted with annoying customers. That really is the answer to everything, not the GHB. And when Barney cleans himself up after he learns that Marge is a free woman again, he combs his hair with the juice from the bar onions. This is reminiscent of when he took out Marge’s sister, although at least then he got to drink a whole pitcher by himself.
Therapy never bodes well for Marge. Every time she unpacks her brain to a counselor, they immediately want her to dump Homer. But Marge used to rebel against those who would destroy the family Simpson. When Homer went to catch a fish instead of attending Rev. Lovejoy’s camp meetings, Marge still found it in her heart to let him off the hook. When Homer divorced Marge in order to really renew their wedding vows, she didn’t follow Moe out the back of the bar.
Do we wonder what Candace sees in Homer? We wonder nothing but, I mean, he kinda does look like an overweight snowman, but aside from that? Oh, the drugs. Right. Does this mean Homer sleeps with Candace? This was the first actual case of infidelity in Homer and Marge’s marriage. It is surprising that it happened to Homer.
We know from her Maxim spread that Marge is a desirable lady. She has been courted by at least two of the richest men in Springfield, Artie Ziff and Monty Burns. Every time The Simpsons envisions a future for Marge without Homer, she marries up. She was a Bouvier after all. Her sisters’ images might be a buzzkill, but Marge is irreplaceable for Homer and when she changes her name and Facebook relationship status it becomes all too real. It is interesting how Marge is the trophy date of the Homer’s date’s dad.
If only “Every Man’s Dream” had used the narcolepsy for evil, instead of good, they wouldn’t have wasted a perfectly comical premise. In earlier seasons, Homer might have slept his way to the top, narcolepsing through the dizzying heights, shattering lows and creamy middles. Homer could have avoided all manner of advice, criticism and Bouvier. Maybe if we shared some of the pharmaceuticals we’d have a better time out.
“Every Man’s Dream” was a very disappointing season opener and it makes me worry for the rest of the season. I’m contractually obligated to watch them all, but you can wait in the lobby until this thing blows over, to paraphrase Groucho.
“Every Man’s Dream” was written by J. Stewart Burns and directed by Matthew Nastuk. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Pattie and Selma Bouvier, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Chief Wiggum and Moe Szysla. Harry Shearer is Ned Flanders. Guest stars: Lena Dunham as Candace, Laura Ingraham as Therapist and Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, and Allison Williams as Candace’s friends..
But It All Went By So Fast: Meet The Simpsons, A Hard D’oh’s Night, Rubber Pants, The Yellow Album, Flabby Road. Springfield General Hospital: Home of the $29,999.99 appendectomy. Oedipus Rx: A mom and pop son pharmacy. Dr. Zilowitz Family Therapy: Keeping couples happy till they get to the parking lot. Burns is Owner of The Month of the Springfield Nuclear Plant except for the one month that it was owned by the Germans. Garbage Pail Ale, Thrilla in Vanilla, Skinny Tire, Humble Bastard, Rachel MacAdams, Novembertoberfest, Harry Potter Porter, Snail Ale, Chip off the Old Bock.