The Simpsons Season 28 Episode 16 Review: Kamp Krustier

Marge can't get enough of Homer's love, don't be upset but her needs will not be met.

The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 16

This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.

The Simpsons‘ season 28 episode 16, “Kamp Krustier,” is a flashback episode that’s heavy on couples’ therapy and repression, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a foolhardy enterprise. The opening takes a short jab at Trump’s new ride, Air Force 1, and Putin’s preeminent Pegasus before going relatively bareback.

A short while ago, in season four, while Maggie was still an infant in a jumbo chicken carry out box, a terrible, terrible thing happened at Kamp Krusty. And every year the tradition continues in the Krustiest place on earth. Fun’s fun, but when someone loses an eye, things really get rolling. Sure, in cartoons all it takes is a little White Out and 200 disabused animators to put things back together again, but it’s still traumatically fun.

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Krisis at Kamp Krusty? What else is new? PTSD is promised in the brochures, right next to the kayaking ad, guaranteed with a promotion on Yelp. It’s what caught Departures magazine’s eye. Every kid comes home from camp a little changed, from Camp Granada graduate Allan Sherman to Camp Crystal Lake’s Jason Vorhees. Not every kid gets all Ordinary People because of it though. You might not expect it from Bart, but the kid just feels too much.

Bart sees the therapeutic vacation as a dodge and plays the counselor like an X-Box, but there’s a little Judd Hirsch in the manic asemantic shrink’s antics. Cutting school is good for Bart. And asses are nature’s pillows. Who knew? Lisa, of course, solves her own problems because she doesn’t want to break her perfect attendance string and we realize, maybe she’s a little too responsible. There were three kids on that canoe and just one theatrical revue to skip. You do the math, best left to Lisa, who is used to adding things up.

The Simpsons have used repressed memories a lot and with mixed results. But this time they layer it by uncovering a deeper trauma that begins at home. Chief Wiggum and Lou get in a bunch of great one-liners in their copblocking badinage-with-a-badge patter, but they know when to uphold the law and when to let it down easy. Stupid Flanders called in a complaint seeing about a gun before Homer could get his pistol into the holster.

Sexual frustration is good. It’s good for productivity and it’s very good for comedy. It’s like pulling a crayon out of your brain. Look at George Costanza from Seinfeld. He put all those brain cells he wasn’t using while sexually satisfied to use and became a veritable genius. Smart enough to calculate the odds of scoring way out of his league and giving it all away. Homer finds the same intellectual freedom. He’s full of energy. He gets a head at work. And it’s all because of abstinence. I mean, You don’t name a company Microsoft if you’re getting any. Ask Mrs. Softee. Poor, poor Mrs. Softee.

At home, Marge is left bereft and all too kempt. Casual viewers of The Simpsons might think Marge would be happy to see her usually-slothful spouse living up to his potential. But they would forget how important the sexual chemistry is in the family dynamic. Marge is also Homer’s number one enabler and when sex is on the line she’s as aggressive as Stanley from “A Streetcar Named Marge.”

But no means no, I looked it up in the dictionary. While Homer understands the pointy pyramids would never have been built if Set went to therapy, Marge knows when heads shrink, other things swell. In the Master’s and Johnson office we learn poor Moe is a deviant. It’s not really been a secret, but now I kind of feel weird knowing he’s always so close to the Love-O-Meter in his bar. Though it does give the pickled onions a break.

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Who isn’t a deviant in Springfield? Certainly not Kirk Van Houten. He’s representative of the roiling undercurrent of decadence at the heart of every small community with its own kids’ camp. The adult adventure camp was an unexpected punch line and maybe even yet another in a long series of Stanley Kubrick references. Sex is the spring in Springfield, everyone’s either getting it or trying and nothing is getting done.

I wish eyes were smiling but it’s the kids’ fault. It’s always the kids’ fault. We kid ourselves that they’re not the problem. But look at them standing there like a bunch of Rory Calhouns. And Homer’s a kid at heart, though his could go any minute.

As the brainiacs desert the sinking ship, mm dessert, musical prodigy Homer plays a sad solo violin rendition of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” the song from Platoon, the same one Paul McCartney plays in the opening of Let It Be. As if getting some is a bad thing. He changes his tune to Ravel’s “Bolero” so Homer can come out of the starting gates at full gallop.

The closing song, a lacklusty homage to Barry White is an instant classic. Up there with the closing song on the Scorpion episode. “The more you want the less I give,” sings the fake leader of the Love Unlimited Orchestra and you know that that’s no lie.

“Kamp Krustier” was written by David M. Stern and directed by Rob Oliver. 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 Kirk Van Houten, Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Tress Macneille and Pamela Hayden also star. Guest stars: Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson and Michael Sheen as William Masters.

Chalkboard: We’re the only house where the Christmas tree is still up.

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But It All Went By So Fast:  This St. Patrick’s Day Kiss A Barney Stoned. One of the kids does Rodney Dangerfield. Camp made me a killer.  Itchy and Scratchy’s “Dancing with the Scars” was hosted by Tomcat Bergeron and Alleycat Deeley. Homer’s Brain 1,377 days without a clue. Success. Kudos! Bladder Full. Caution: Nearing Sobriety.

Homer’s Suggestions: Make Atheists Work Christmas. Install slot machines at workstations. Rent out core for weddings.

Half-Dozen Flags Amusement Park. The Grunios Ride All Washed Up. Masters and Johnson Institute. If we weren’t doctors, we’d be arrested. Moe’s deviant sexual machinery plays the theme from Rocky. Have fun while your kids don’t. Mr. Teeny’s Martinis. Sideshow Smell’s Aromatherapy. The Ha-Ha Spa.

And it will be until Kamp Krustiest Season 52. Rating .0000001. Number 1 show of the night.


4 out of 5