This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons: Season 27 Episode 22.
The Simpsons end the season by giving away series secrets. “Orange Is the New Yellow” opens with drawing board plans on how to build the perfect couch. The ingredients include beer, nails, donuts, time and a forgiving neighbor. I once again want to point out the Couch Gag laugh ratio. The more time the Simpsons spend on the couch, the less time they put into the episode and the laughter suffers. Tonight’s offering is a short gag, but it still took its toll on the proceedings.
What a different world this is than the one The Simpsons began in, when the streets of Springfield were littered with unsupervised kids. Happy times when El Barto ran amok, or skateboarded amok. Now he can’t even walk amok without catching the eye of some disapproving mom who, luckily, overreacts and America’s most representational mom goes to jail.
This isn’t the first time Marge has been incarcerated. I don’t it’s even the third time. The Simpson family spends almost as much time behind the revolving bars of Springfield’s penal system as Homer does at Moe’s. Even Mr. Burns did a stint for art theft. The first time Marge did time was in “Marge in Chains” from season 4, when law talking guy Lionel Hutz couldn’t get her off on shoplifting charges. And was barely able to stop her from being charged in the Kennedy assassination. Her cell mate was Phillips, who killed her husband with a Philips head screw driver. Homer didn’t wash dishes then either. Bart and Lisa drank straight from the faucet and Maggie was set free.
Now the Simpsons are jaded, just like the rest of the country, because so many citizens have sported prison orange. Marge finds it a relief, a break from the family when she should be pondering a prison break. That pretty much nails the plight of the American mom. Marge raises a good point as she does the perp walk, who watches the kids when the mom is taken away for neglect? Hindsight is 20/20 and she probably should have seen it coming when the cops busted in unannounced.
The isn’t a court of law in the U.S. that would judge just how fat and smelly Homer is, but he is a scofflaw dad. It’s not his fault. He never saw himself as Donna Reed, the perfect Homemaker. Take away the memak and homemaker is almost short for Homer. The head of the Simpson household is good for getting pity, he was, after all saddled with the boy, who even when he helps is enough to have you tearing up the linoleum, but it is a short lived pity.
Marge’s punishment is Kafkaesque, especially with how blue isn’t the best match for orange. It turns Orwellian as the audience is given a glimpse of the most private moments of prison life. Marge bullies her way into the center of the yard’s hierarchy. Of course, she does it with a good natured optimism that is usually found in bathroom moonshine, but she comes to be the very hoe of Rose’s garden. And she does it without a single kiss. Her first order of business for the blue thunder of her prison bravado is taking back the library for reading. Given the choice between an occasional riot in cell block 9 and making a pouch for Lisa’s seahorse costume, Marge made the right choice. She did the crime to double the time.
Chief Wiggum and the boys do their own bit of overreacting. Who would have thought three cops with one gun each could make such a suspenseful racket? The best running gag of the night was the reckless driving of Springfield’s finest. They knock over a rocking horse at the safely imaginative playground. They run over Ned Flanders, which is always good for a laugh. Just his voice as he careens over the squad car is enough for a giggle.
Top story tonight, we may have seen the last of eye in the sky reporter Ernie Pyle, whose last act before his chopper went down in the violent tornado was hearing the pompous sound of anchorman Kent Brockman’s voice. But I’m burying the headline, even in Homer’s fantasy fifties family sitcom fantasia, Marge is having an affair with the reverent mustachioed neighborino.
“Orange Is the New Yellow” was an okay episode. They caught a lot of the flavor of Orange is the New Black, but they didn’t skewer it. The season closer is supposed to be spectacular. I looked forward to this episode all season, which was more than a bit below par. The Simpsons may not always close with a season’s best but they are usually among the funniest. This episode doesn’t offer a single guffaw. A few chuckles and more than one smirk but nothing that really cracks me up. The plumbob song was pretty exciting, but not a highlight.
Kent Brockman called it. The evening news headline should have been a story about a Springfield mother arrested for an outrageous negligee.
“Orange Is the New Yellow” was written by Eric Horsted and directed by Chris Clements. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson and Nelson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Pamela Hayden plays Millhouse. Guest star: Kevin Michael Richardson.
Chalkboard: Millhouse does not live below the puberty line.
But It All Went By So Fast: Mother’s Day Roses: 1% Off. Homer already has the manual to make the couch in his hands when Marge plow him through the back of the garage. The Seahorse Chronicles A Multimedia Lamentation by Lisa Simpson. Starts Stupid. Ends Stupid. Springfield Park Single Dutch Only. Springfield Women’s Prison: Our Life Sentences Are For Years Longer. James Patterson Bishop Takes Knight. Nelson plays yoyo with Millhouse on his choke chain.