The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 15
This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons‘ season 28 episode 15, “The Cad and the Hat,” gives more evidence to the couch gag theorem: The longer the opening sequence, the flimsier the episode. Homer gets smartass wisdom from the bad mouths of the babes on South Park and passes some California Raisins in a quest to find that, indeed, Bart did sell the amateurish clichéd seascape living room painting on Ebay. It’s a shame because a girl in pearl earrings really holds a room together.
It’s going to be a cool hot wave of fun on the beaches of Springfield, now that the safety standards have been lowered and beached whales are domiciles. Boobs are beating butts on the volleyball sands and the most disgusting thing on the beach is Homer’s booger. Lisa boogie boards her way to a surf shop and finds the endless summer enchantment of a magic hat that turns can even turn Trump into an adorable troll. Everyone knows the joy of the perfect beach hat, even if the charm only lasts for high tide.
Meanwhile, on that same beach, Bart learns that bad may go the bone, but temporary tattoos aren’t even skin deep. Poor Bart is devastated by the loss of fleeting status. This isn’t the first time we see Bart cry, but it is as clear a shot into the universal disappointment of childhood as the fear of fifth grade math. Bart’s legacy is written in disappearing ink, even if it is animated by the exploitation of Korean children. El Barto gets jealous and tosses Lisa’s hat into the ring of sibling rivalry.
A few dunes down, Homer gets reacquainted with his old friends mini ash tray and Mr. Horse. It seems that Homer is once again, not just an idiot, but a savant. This isn’t like the time Homer pulled a crayon out of his brain and tossed off solved Rubik’s Cubes like circus peanuts, or when he could use his dense, empty head to get himself a title bout, or when he could miraculously sing while laying down, except that it is. Hey, miracles are okay if Jesus is performing them but Homer could always do this. He studied with the best and actually applied the skills into a Budapest gambit.
But, like Bart learns, guilt trumps denial and even a simple game of chess turns into a psychological probe into the festering repression of Homer and Abe’s relationship. The father and son have a love-hate relationship in that they love heaping disdain and disregard on each other with extra toppings. Every couple of episodes they have to unravel another layer of callous disregard but we’re getting used to scratching off the scabs.
There are some good sight gags and The Simpsons still commit to jokes present, future and past. One of the license plates sold at Sunflower Sam’s is for Bort. Homer orders 125 Krusty burgers and when Lisa is searching for Sunny, the hat, not her sister Maggie, she goes rifling through the wrappers of thousands of downed burgers.
A cheesehead hat might be too much to bear under the weight of such a pointy haired girl, and Bart’s lack of remorse is also too heavy to hoist. He can ignore her not so cheerios breakfast and lie in the face of shame, but in the end Bart is far more honorable than his old man. He’s like a urinal cakes with an ad, a rare sight. We can only hope he will grow more monstrous personal demons as the Simpson DNA kicks in. Marge isn’t given much to do tonight, but she does it quietly, except for those noises she makes when she sleeps.
Guilt isn’t really that funny. Chicken and pickle are funny. Statego is funny. Leaving Lenny folded up in the luggage is funny. But when Bart sees the errors of his ways, which he’s done so many times since he harassed Ralph Wiggum looking for a soul, it is a stale punch line. The episode had a promising premise, that Bart could feed his guilt until it became a horrifically monstrous thing of beauty, but he had to deflate it before it could eat even his shorts.
“The Cad and the Hat” was written by Ron Zimmerman and directed by Steven Dean Moore. 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, Kirk Van Houten and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Tress Macneille and Pamela Hayden also star. Guest star Patton Oswalt as Bart’s Guilt, Seth Green and Magnus Carlsen.
But It All Went By So Fast: Snack Shack. Crab Shack. Sunblock Sam’s. Chess Lessons: Learn the game that drove Bobby Fisher crazy. Springfield Chess Club – Check for bullies when exiting. The Poems of Emily Dickinson Read by Elizabeth Warren. Vegetables are good. Chess And The Pathological Impulse. Stranger Things reference when Rod and Todd play god.