My Simpsons Ultimate Episode Ratings and Rankings: Season 13, Part 3
by, 10-22-2011 at 11:21 AM (399 Views)
12.)Treehouse of Horror XII - 3.5/5
13.)Tales From the Public Domain - 3.5/5
14.)She of Little Faith - 3.5/5
15.)Brawl in the Family - 3.5/5
16.)The Blunder Years - 3.5/5
17.)A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love - 3.5/5
Alright well now we're getting into the average/forgettable territory. I guess that's gonna be the overall tone of the rest of this season for me. None of these episodes are bad, at least not from my point of view. Rather, many are just sort of there while still being fun to watch occasionally. That really isn't good enough though and the fact that half of Season 13 can be described as this, or worse, makes me question why the season is considered one of the best of the past 13 years. Although this was not my intent, it seems like these six episodes would be nicely paired together in sets of two so I guess I'll go over them like that.
The first two here are our trilogy episodes of the season. This Halloween episode is actually pretty good. The first two stories each have their appropriately dark moments. This is one of those episodes I caught when it originally aired and I still remember how disturbing I found Bart's death in Hex and the City. I can also remember just liking the entirety of House of Whacks and it is definitely my favorite of the segments. The Harry Potter spoof is alright and certainly has funny moments, but it is rather weak by comparison. In the grand scheme of Halloween specials though this one isn't really as nearly as memorable as several others from the past decade. The same could probably be said regarding Tales From the Public Domain, but then I've never been a huge fan of non-Halloween trilogy episodes to begin with. I usually like them just fine but they rarely crack a 4/5. The thing I remember most about this one is the Ghostbusters ending which is probably not a good thing for the episode. I have always viewed the Odysseus story as just okay and Hamlet as not much better so I guess my favorite here would have to be Joan of Arc. The highlight for that segment to me would probably be the appearances by God. So neither of these episodes are that great, yet they still beat out the remaining episodes? That's not a great sign...
The next two episodes are the first two of the Al Jean tenure and I tend to view them both as good, but forgettable. I like what they did with Lisa in She of Little Faith, even if it did give her one more thing to do apart from being a treehugging vegetarian. The problem I have with it is that it isn't that funny or memorable. And again I'm bringing up memorability for what, the fifth time in this blog post alone? I really view that as important though. This one and Brawl in the Family tend to be episodes I view negatively when just thinking about them, but then when I actually watch them I think to myself that they were funnier than I remembered. This only works of course because I don't watch either that often. The thing I really like about Brawl in the Family is the strong first act with the acid rain, Republican headquarters, and the Monopoly brawl. The Gabriel character's presence in act 2 also allows for some nice jokes from each family member.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the last two episodes are some from the Scully era. We still have two more of those to discuss next time, but these were pretty good and definitely had their share of funny moments. I liked Marge's obsession with the Burly man and the use of the paper towels later in the episode was a nice callback. I appreciated the Stand By Me reference though the whole Smithers revelation was something that just didn't really interest me. I also liked the Homer screaming gag though could see how it might be seen as annoying. Burns in Love is an episode which will only be remembered because the Gloria character has appeared in later episodes. Between this and Monty Can't Buy Me Love it seems like Scully thought making Mr. Burns more likable would be interesting, but the results are mixed at best. I think Fraudcast News handles the idea of Burns wanting to be liked much better.
Alright that is it for these episodes. Reading this blog post one might be inclined to ask why I give such relatively high grades to these episodes. I've mentioned this several times by now as well, but all I can say is I am a lenient grader. For an episode to get any lower than a 3 I either need to view it very negatively, or be bored to death by it and find little to no funny material. As I said in the opening none of these are great but none are like that either.