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  • 5/5 Rich in hilarity

    4 5.48%
  • 4/5 It would benefit you to watch this

    23 31.51%
  • 3/5 I am friends with this episode

    23 31.51%
  • 2/5 You are entitled to dislike this episode

    16 21.92%
  • 1/5 It would benefit you to skip this episode

    7 9.59%
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Thread: R&R: Friend with Benefit (TABF21)



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  1. #1
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    R&R: Friend with Benefit (TABF21)

    Original airdate: Nov 8, 2015
    Written by Matthew Faughnan
    Directed by Rob LaZebnik

    Lisa becomes friends with a rich girl named Harper, whose father becomes friends with Homer, but Lisa becomes concerned that Harper is a little too entitled.

  2. #2
    Boo Jims's Avatar
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    Stickying this version of the thread because the other thread's poll wasn't public and it's too annoying to strip the poll and re-add it. If you're going to create the R&R thread for the week, please be more careful so we don't have to clean up duplicates.

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  4. #3
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    Opening short? Interesting.
    -- Wasn't very good.
    * Rusty the clown
    ** Ralph's hug booth
    * Platinum band
    End of act 1, poor. 4/10.
    --- TERRIBLE SONG
    ** YVAN EHT NIOJ
    * Beach ball at head
    End of act 2. Abysmal, 1.5/10
    * Smashing head against car windows.
    End of act 3. Absolutely horrific. 1/10.
    Overall, 2/10. Even worse than Halloween of Horror.
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  5. #4
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    this wasn't very good. it was pretty light on laughs, and both the characters of the week (harper and her dad) were as one-dimensional as ever. harper was a generic substanceless dick character and homer's scene where he tells her "YOU GOTTA STAY FRIENDS WITH HER SO I CAN ABUSE RICH PRIVELEGES" was about as subtle as an avalanche. so yeah, poor character writing and lame jokes add up to a less than solid effort. 1.5/5

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebender.com View Post
    I love women.

  6. #5
    Fails at masonry Financial Panther's Avatar
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    This was pretty good. It took a tired plot and made it into something fresh. Characters get new friends all the time, but this is first time it was ever shown with this angle. Harper wasn't anything special as a character, and I didn't really like her dad at all. Banging his head into the wall? Really? There was also the part with Homer seemingly trying to get his son killed by sharks, which was awful. But still, this was an original episode, and although it didn't possess the greeatest jokes, there were some decent laughs sprinkled throughout, mostly dealing with the chair. There was nothing sensational about it, but it was solid. Very low 4/5.

  7. #6
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    I need to rewatch this because it looked like Bart's shirt changed color when the family was getting ready for the trip to the island.

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  9. #7
    Fails at masonry Financial Panther's Avatar
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    And that's going to affect your rating of the episode?


  10. #8
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Was there any real conflict or point to this episode?

    It was random like me saying the word "marmalade" right now.

    2/5.


    Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.


  11. #9
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    Lot of Laughs [Lol] and great HD animation. So many entertaining moments.
    A Simpson treasure I'll treasure forever! 5/5


  12. #10
    vs. Radioactive Man Captain Squid's Avatar
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    I missed tonight's episode, which is rare for me. More often than not, when I miss an episode I end up enjoying it. We'll see what I think of this when I catch it tomorrow...
    UP AND ATOM!

  13. #11
    the one and only pax's Avatar
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    The opening short was decent enough, but Lisa gave SLH meat? After that, the episode begins and Homer robs people of money so he can have something he wants for once. After this, the chair he buys is destroyed because of his inability to lock a door. A couple of fair jokes later, Lisa meets Harper who predictably is a spoiled brat, though her voice actor is pretty good. The scene with the boy band in which this is revealed is pointless and barely does anything but make boy band jokes. After this, Homer tells Lisa to take Harper's harsh behaviour because he wants to do rich people stuff and and the writers need to tell wealth jokes. The Simpsons go to a private island, Homer tries to get Bart eaten by a shark (seriously, what the hell?), Harper is mean and her dad bashes his head into walls (this is really good stuff), and the families have a falling out while Homer sacrifices his island stay for his daughter's sake which is a sweet moment. Then the episode is capped off with Homer talking about things he didn't get to do, while Bart is still left on the island. Blah. Though the guest voice was nice, the plot was very poor and boring at certain points and both Harper and her dad were extremely annoying. 2/5, 4.5/10.

  14. #12
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Yet another fine premise with hackneyed execution... mainly so they could squeeze in a bunch of recycled "look how much modern tech and hip things we can poke fun at in 2015" gags. This episode and Halloween of Horror are worlds apart in terms of quality. As much time was spent away from the storyline as possible and the entire conflict was largely derived on making Homer seem as shallow as possible and making Harper and her Dad as one-dimensional as possible. What's worse is that the rich people came off as wanting new friends more than either Lisa (who was simply looking for a way out the entire time) or Homer (who simply mourned the loss of being able to do stuff that rich people get to do). So, of course, we didn't give a rat's ass at the end of the episode when things fell apart.

    This could have been something great. But no... we had to make fun of boy bands, crowdfunding, emojis and have Homer try to feed people to sharks. And none of those jokes were witty or clever... they were just... "Hey, look at this thing we're poking fun at... we're hip aren't we" humor. We even got a blasted celebrity-filled list joke on the island... AND another list joke during the closing credits.

    Lots of sloppy animation errors from Matthew Faughnan, too. This was pure amateur hour.

    Shame too... this could have been good had they given a damn. Way to waste Kristen Bell.
    That might well be the biggest disappointment. They WASTED Kristen Bell on this.

    I'm giving LaZebnik a pass as this easily felt like a script by committee. He came up with a basic framework and everyone in the room tried to squeeze in all of their jokes at the story's expense. In other words, this was Al Jean's ideal episode.

    Two positives... Yeardley was in top form tonight and I enjoyed the Feast homage during the opening credits (albeit even that came off as overdone and ham-fisted). I also liked the shot at Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Matthew Berry will never live that script down.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 11-08-2015 at 08:06 PM.
    SEASON 29 RANKINGS
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  16. #13
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    Pros:
    Some funny moments
    A few decent scenes

    Cons:
    Unoriginal couch gag
    The plot is just unoriginal
    Writing is not that good
    Execution is predictable
    Credits scene

    Score: 5/10 (despite laughing several times)

    Yeah, season 27 hasn't been that good so far.
    American Dad: Father's Daze (4/10) , Fight and Flight (5.5/10), The Enlightment of Ragi-Baba (6.5/10), Portrait of Francine's Genitals (4/10), Bahama Mama (5.5/10), Roger's Baby (2/10), Ninety North, Zero West (8.5/10), Whole Slotta Love (5/10), The Witches of Langley (8/10), A Nice Night for a Drive (6.5/10), Casino Normale (6/10), Bazooke Steve (4.5/10), Camp Campawanda (6/10), Julia Rogerts (5/10), The Life and Times of Stan Smith (5.5/10), The Bitchin Race (4/10), Family Plan (5/10), The Long Bomb (8./10), Kloger (3/10), Garbage Stan, The Talented Mr. Dingleberry, West to Mexico


  17. #14
    Pink as a Pistol Nitsy's Avatar
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    Pros
    -Opening sequence was odd, but cute. I usually am completely indifferent to most of the openings, but this one I actually liked. I'm sure it's a reference to something, but as usual, I have no idea what.
    -"Yvan Eht Nioj" appearing during the concert.
    -Krusty in the David Copperfield trick.
    -The Moe-head emoji

    Cons
    -Yet another satire of crowdfunding. Gettin' kinda sick of it now.
    -Harper was a dull addition. Lisa knows her for 2 seconds then she instantly becomes a jerk, but there's just no substance to it. The conflict between her and Lisa isn't fleshed out much at all, yet Lisa's upset enough to cry about it.
    -Harper's dad was really annoying and weird (yes, the head-bashing thing was...I don't even know what was...). Characters-of-the-day just tend to underwhelm in general, but this guy I hope we never see again.
    -The scenes on the island are kind of pointless, other than a way to show off pretty background designs. Not bothered by the shark thing, though.

    Eh. It was underwhelming. As is typical for modern Simpsons, I find sight gags and small subtle things to be the highlights and the overall plot and the characters-of-the-day do little for me. I just felt like there wasn't much to the plot. Homer liking a taste of wealth is something we've seen before ("He Loves to Fly", "The Mansion Family") and Lisa getting into a conflict with a new girl we've seen plenty of times before too. Difference is, at least in the case of Lisa and her new friends, the relationship between the two is played out more in older episodes and we get a sense of the other character and the reasons for Lisa's issues with her. In this case, the conflict between Lisa and Harper was underplayed and didn't engage me at all; by the end of the episode, the "heartfelt conclusion" seemed to be about nothing. So Lisa and Homer have to say goodbye to their respective shallow characters--good riddance.

    6/10. Mediocre.

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  19. #15
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Maybe we can have a crowdfunded movement to get the show cancelled.

  20. #16
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches O'houlihan View Post
    Maybe we can have a crowdfunded movement to get the show cancelled.
    Isn't that a mite drastic? Can't we just crowdfund to get Al Jean removed as showrunner... I mean, we do have all of this money just piling up going unspent now that we can no longer buy the show on DVD or BluRay.

    Tapped Out doesn't even want our money any more... "please pay 225 donuts for this tacky, space-filling sepulcher of evil from this episode that you only watched once". Really?

  21. #17
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    Isn't that a mite drastic? Can't we just crowdfund to get Al Jean removed as showrunner... I mean, we do have all of this money just piling up going unspent now that we can no longer buy the show on DVD or BluRay.
    Regardless of who runs the show, 90% of the new episodes will be crap anyway. Sure, mat Selman does a good job but he only oversees a tiny percentage of new episodes. When you are beating a dead horse it doesn't matter who is holding the whip.

    IMO, the reason the show keeps getting renewed the same reason Republicans keep getting re elected.

  22. #18
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    Don't do it, SLH - the "free pizza" in Fat Dog Hell is Vegan with Soy Cheese!

    Krusty's Undercover CEO nametag is "Rusty" - a possible reference to Rusty Nails, the "inspiration" for Krusty?

    Kearney is in charge of the Stolen Bicycle Society club.

    Homer should have asked Lisa about crowdfunding; she was involved in funding Nelson's bicycle repair business.

    Where did Kirk get the money for a private bank account - or a private phone, for that matter?

    The band is "non-threatening"; maybe they appeared in "Non-Threatening Boys Magazine"? Oh, wait, none of them are named Cory.

    The calendar on the refrigerator has a 30-day month starting on Thursday; the next such month is September, 2016.

    Written by Rob Lazebnik
    Directed by Matthew Faughnan
    "Luv U 4 Ever" music by Mickey Petralia & Bret McKenzie, lyrics by Rob Lazebnik
    The normal opening was replaced by "Fat", a takeoff on the Disney short Feast
    Special Guest Voice: Kristen Bell, David Copperfield
    Also Starring: Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Chris Edgerly, Maggie Roswell
    Overseas Animation: Rough Draft
    TV Rating: TV-PG-DLV

  23. #19
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    Well that was a 3/5 ep if I've ever seen one. I guess you could argue for a 4/5 or a 2/5 depending on whether you appreciated the simple storyline or were bored by nothing happening but man everything was just so...there.

    I've found that Rob LaZebnik scripts usually stick to the plot very well and don't do any crazy twists and turns. Sometimes it leads to a well-deserved ending (The War of Art), and other times it leads to absolutely nothing of merit happening (The Daughter Also Rises). Again, I think you could argue it both ways: I liked that Homer not being able to afford the chair was clearly established in the first act and not overexplained, but I think the ending was too predictable (complete with Lisa pointing out that Homer had a choice to make) and caught me off guard with Homer suddenly going "nope you're too spoiled" and storming off and credits rolling. I enjoyed actually seeing Lisa and Harper's friendship falling apart, but it happened so late in the story that it was hard to take that conflict any further than they did. (Same goes for Homer and Harper's dad's relationship, which doesn't fall through until the very last scene.) I appreciated the one-time characters being written for one basic purpose so they wouldn't be underdeveloped and do inexplicable things that don't make sense for their character, yet I think the sole quality of "spoiled" might be too little to carry the whole plot to the end.

    The "Yvan Eht Nioj" reference was super clumsy, though other than that there weren't that many egregiously bad jokes. Harper's Ferry was a clever brief sign gag, and I liked the Bart joke at the very end of the ep (although the fact that Lisa thanking Homer for standing up for her happens during the credits shows how abrupt that ending was - imagine if Burns' Heir ended with Bart firing Burns and credits rolling). I thought it would've been funnier if we didn't see the "Platinum with stripes" room and only got to see their awed reactions, but it moved the story along so meh.

    Yeah I got nothing else for this ep. Slapping a 3/5 on this and twiddling thumbs for next week.


  24. #20
    Remember Me As I Was 1010011010 Pilgrims Fed's Avatar
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    ACT 1:
    -Hello SLH Short. It’s…alright, looks neat, but not really much to it. Did the writers just have a bunch of ideas for Longest Daycare-esque shorts, but just inserted them in the normal show when they couldn’t get them theatrical? Eh, cute enough.
    -Nice to see SLH alive and well again after his death 40 seconds ago.
    -Lisa’s interest in magic a good carryover from Great Simpsina, always nice seeing her interested in something along the lines a normal kid would enjoy.
    -And now we welcome generic guest voiced kid #261. She says 3 lines, and becomes instant besties with Lisa, yaaay.
    -Carl’s “Few years ago” line another ref to the show’s eps being outdated by the time they’re finished.
    -Liked Flanders appearance.
    -So apparently most of Springfield visits and donates to Kickstarter campaigns? Don’t know how they’d know about Homer’s little vid otherwise, and they all donate anyway despite Homer not saying what it’s for or really pleading them to? And then they all anger after willingly donating to this? Satire? Great?
    -Sik Crocodille Dundee III burn.
    -Liked the CGI Crowd pan out.
    -So Lenny has a niece. Neat.
    -Also, this episode is really boring so far.
    ACT 2:
    -“It’s like I died and went to heaven, but not quite because I hate the music.”
    -Newf Kids on the Blech Ref with Join Navy slogan okay.
    -Oh…GOD that Homer skull crack. Fucking Christ was that bad.
    -Also, Obnoxious rich Dad character is just as bland as generic kid #543 (Harper I think). They try to make him energetic and funny, but I barely remember him now, or why he’s even friends with Homer at all.
    -Lisa doesn’t care for her new friend anymore cause she interrupted her in that one scene we saw, but Homer says shit dialogue about how he needs to mooch off the Dad.
    -Lisa and Harper have a bitch fight over their pretty much nonexistent relationship, they break up.
    -Bart’s t-shirt changes from red to blue, 0/10.
    -Bored.
    ACT 3:
    -More scenes of these convoluted relationships that are barely fucking developed.
    -Homer throws chum to kill Bart, good.
    -“Be in a movie with Adam Sandler.”
    -Montage of perfect Carribean vacation, yawn.
    -Bart throws chum to kill innocent people, good.
    -Marge on jet ski’s.
    -Lisa cries over her barely seen relationship, Homer makes speech, they leave. End.

    Not really much to say. Just a really boring ep around meeting two really boring one time characters. Nothing that was severely awful enough to call it horrible, but still pretty bad and forgettable.

    Overall: 5/10, or 2/5 for the poll.
    Just because I'm stupider than them, they think they're smarter than me!
    Simpsons Season 27 Ratings:
    Every Man's Dream-4.8/10 Cue Detective-6/10 Puffless-7/10 Halloween of Horror-8.4/10 Treehouse of Horror XXVI-(4.5, 5, 3.5) 4.25/10 Friend With Benefit-5/10 Lisa With An 'S'-5.5/10 Paths of Glory--/10 Barthood--/10 The Girl Code--/10 Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles--/10 Much Apu About Something--/10 Gal of Constant Sorrow--/10 Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4--/10 Lisa the Veterinarian--/10 The Marge-ian Chronicles--/10 The Burns Cage--/10 How Lisa Got Her Marge Back--/10 Fland Canyon--/10 Simprovised--/10 To Courier With Love--/10 Orange is the New Yellow--/10
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    2-D Blacktop-7.5/10 Fry and Leela's Big Fling-7.9/10 T.: The Terrestrial-8.2/10 Forty Percent Leadbelly-6.8/10 The Inhuman Torch-8.4/10 Saturday Morning Fun Pit-(9, 7, 8.5) 8.2/10 Calculon 2.0-8.7/10 Assie Come Home-8.5/10 Leela and the Genestalk-7.2/10 Game of Tones-9.2/10 Murder on The Planet Express-9/10 Stench and Stenchibility-8.5/10 Meanwhile-9.5/10
    Jumping the Shark since 1998...
    Alternate Ending Winner of NHC Survivor Season 1

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  26. #21
    The Power Is Yours Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    That was better than I was expecting. Most of the jokes were actually decent. However, I didn't think Harper was an interesting character and the episode ending really abruptly. But it was nice to see Homer being a good father. Also's Harper's dad (I don't think they ever gave him a name) was annoying.

    Best Moment: Grampa on fire
    Overall Ranking: 3/5

  27. #22
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    First of all, that opening thing with the dog tried way too hard to be cute. Worse than the actual episode itself. This episode seemed to flow fairly smoothly, and its flaws were generally less noticeable than what I have become used to. So it seemed kind of like an actual Simpsons episode. That's a pretty low bar, but at this point, that is what makes a successful episode. Lisa's friendship with Harper was hard to buy given that Lisa seems like probably the least likely person Harper would become friends with. Not that it is inconceivable that someone like Harper would befriend Lisa, but their friendship needs more justification than just the fact that they have a single common interest. And why is Harper going to a crappy public school, and why do they even live in Springfield? It generally seems like a pretty terrible place, not the kind of place you would expect a highly successful company to move its headquarters to. The friendship between Homer and Harper's dad was also not justified well. I was honestly fully expecting Harper's dad to proclaim his love for Homer, especially after that scene in which Homer sexily emerged from the sea in his revealing speedo thing followed by the two of them singing what appeared to be some kind of love song duet. I don't know, the whole friendship seemed kind of homoerotic to me, but maybe I just have a tendency to see homoeroticism everywhere. Either way, that would have explained his inexplicably lavish and attentive treatment of Homer, who doesn't seem like the kind of person a billionaire would hang out with. The climax was also completely devoid of emotion. Anyway, the relationships in this episode weren't developed well, but it was mostly inoffensive, and as I said, it seemed kind of like a real episode as opposed to a mish-mash of unrelated clips that most modern episodes resemble, given that it flowed fairly well. Also, the shark scene didn't faze me in the slightest; it seemed more cartoonish than anything to me. 3/10

  28. #23
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    How this episode could have been salvaged had the writers room actually valued the fact that they're privileged with the opportunity to work on one of the finest animated series of all-time in its final years instead of phoning it in so they could deliberate on how much money Star Wars: The Force Awakens will make on its opening weekend...

    - nix the Feast homage couch gag (always ask yourself what Selman would do; he would have axed it)
    - cut out all of the opening nonsense with the chair, the crowdfunding shots, the "yet another mob scene forms outside of the Simpsons house" plot development
    - replace that with something far more time-sensitive where Homer mopes about not being able to enjoy the good things in life that the wealthy elite take for granted
    - develop the Harper-Lisa relationship somewhat prior to the concert invite so it doesn't seem like they're just bonding over a common interest in magic (actually UTILIZE Kristen Bell's acting ability)
    - shave off the two minutes or so of boy band / concert sponsorship / elite level seating mockery and use that time to introduce and develop the Homer-Mike relationship (ideally without heads being smashed into walls)
    - actually show the initial instance of Harper grandstanding with the boy band and Lisa's reaction instead of hearing about it second-hand
    - keep the conversation scene in the car post-concert; that was largely well done
    - actually <gasp> use a montage to show more instances of the dad-daughter bonding and Harper acting more and more spoiled but Lisa "going with it" reluctantly because Homer encourages it; don't just use the one bit with Copperfield
    - have the breakfast scene at home where Lisa (actually valuing her friendship with Harper) asks how she should go about confronting her about how she treats others in a way that she'd be receptive so they can move past this obstacle and grow their relationship (Marge is receptive but Homer is dismissive saying rich kids being spoiled just goes with the territory); she gets excited about the island trip as an opportunity to connect with Harper on a deeper level
    - skip the initial conflict with the bike bribery and falling out (also skip the school is cancelled bit where Skinner gets his $10 payoff) and jump right to the "island that used to be Haiti"; they didn't even arrive there until there was 4 minutes left in the episode (this is why you have pacing problems in HD-era episodes)
    - show the kids enjoying the island activities (no list jokes, please; also no feeding people to sharks) and have more instances of Harper acting outlandish and spoiled with the staff and natives to the point where Lisa has had enough and blows up at her; have Harper try to buy her off then and admit that she's just USING Lisa because she was told by her parents that she needed to befriend some kids her age in order to keep her allowance and privileged event access going; have Harper then throw it back in Lisa's face that Homer is doing the exact same thing and using her as well
    - so now Lisa is legitimately hurt; she tries to confront Homer only for him to blow her concerns off again so Lisa tries a radical strategy during the luau dinner and goes all Separate Vocations and decides to outdo Harper at acting spoiled (although she has clued Marge, Bart and the staff she terrorizes in advance so they all play along)
    - Homer, fearing that his little girl has become an uncontrollable tyrant, finally gets a clue and realizes how shallow he's been and that his relationship with Mike and Harper hasn't been a healthy one; he tells Mike they have to leave; even Mike was mortified at Lisa's over-the-top actions and seems that he needs to do some soul-searching himself at what constitutes good parenting
    - Lisa embraces her Dad at having finally gotten through to him and they leave (Homer actually learns something instead of just lamenting all of the cool stuff he didn't get to do and guilt tripping Lisa on the flight home)

    Sprinkle in jokes liberally (you still get to reference 'Yvan eht nioj') and you have an episode that's fondly remembered instead of dismissed as a misfire.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 11-09-2015 at 05:37 AM.


  29. #24
    .... BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    I honestly have no idea what to think. 5/10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.

  30. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Kangdos

  31. #25
    the one and only pax's Avatar
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    Great ideas for fixes Brad L, but Jean and co. are much more focused on creating emoji jokes rather than fixing plot and pacing. They really think they're tickling everyone's funny bone, the poor sods! They need to take a tip from Star Wars and let someone who's been a fan and knows what works and what doesn't take over. It's either that or making Matt Selman the showrunner, but I doubt that'd make a big difference at this point.
    Last edited by pax; 11-09-2015 at 06:22 AM.


  32. #26
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    This episode shows another defination of the meaning ''average'', it was nothing great/good but nothing bad either. The opening with Santa's Little Helper felt pretty cute, untill they got to the part where SLH died and ended up in Hell, just because he wanted to eat more than he already did. Why change a cute tone like that into a suddenly more dark one? I appreciate see'ing more Simpsons characters that hardly get any screentime to play a role, even with SLH, but this could've been done better. As a couch gag it only felt decent and I wouldn't say it dragged on too long, some of the animation they used with SLH under the table looked pretty cool . Looking at the blurried backgrounds while the rest stays in HD.

    The whole chair plot felt like it was kinda unnecesary, though I did like the scenes with Homer scamming everyone with his crowdfunding. Even tricking Lisa in acting sad in front of the camera. Some jokes with the chair were actually pretty good, my favorite one is at the end when Homer wanted to ''stand up for himself'' and then let the chair physically let him stand up. Then the main plot with Harper is where the episode got better, I think I like Harper more as a character than her dad as she has more of an obvious and relatable flaw while her dad is just making noise. I don't think her relationship with Lisa is done bad, but I would've liked to see a better conclusion at the end. I find the scene with Harper giving Lisa a bike to be pretty good. The concert felt like it dragged on too long where all you see is Homer and Lisa getting spoiled with their new friends.

    I was glad they made it to the private island after all, I didn't watch the previews so I wasn't expecting it. Though it felt like this could've been longer, and the ending just came out of nowhere with only little conclusion to be seen. I must agree with some others that the scene with Bart and the shark felt too cartoonish and out of place for this show.

    So overall, a very average episode that has its pacing flaws and some poor decissions with how they deal with their plots. Mainly pointing out at the SLH short at the beginning, and the way the episode suddenly ended. But I liked the main plot and the Harper/Lisa relationship, while Homer's relationhip with her dad wasn't that bad either. Jokewise it was okay, characterisation was all there for Lisa atleast.

    3/5
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth

    Season ranking: 3 > 6 > 5 > 4 > 7 > 8 > 2 > 1 > 10 > 9 > 15 > 13 > 12 > 14 > 16 > 20 > 22 > 11 > 17 > 19 > 26 > 25 > 24 > 23 > 18 > 21

    Origin account to play The Simpsons Tapped Out: Roccaine

  33. #27


    I thought this episode was decent. Not good, not bad, just plain decent. In other words my feelings towards it was pretty much the same that I've felt towards every episode this season so far.

    ... which means that if they keep the pace up for the rest of the season, it just might turn out to be my favorite season since 16. Again, its not that its good, its just that all of the seasons in between have been bad.

    On another note, the Homer-throwing-Bart-to-sharks gag was the most Scully-era-esque joke I've seen on the show in years. Even though I dont like the Scully era I couldnt help but feel a spark of nostalgia upon seeing it. It was like seeing a long-lost clip of a show that I used to watch as a teenager.

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    Now I thought this episode was going to be awful. The promos didn't sell me on this episode at all and the only one that I found amusing was the chair one, but when I saw this episode it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Hell, it was actually decent. Before I get this episode I want to touch on the opening short for this episode. I liked it, but I also thought it was confusing that they added that in the beginning considering that it's not really a couch gag and doesn't end with anyone sitting on the couch. It just feels weird since I think this is the first time they've started an episode with a short that isn't a couch gag. Anyways, for the most part I thought this plot was handled well and this episode had it's share of genuinely funny jokes. I thought this episode started off very well with Homer wanting an expensive chair, but doesn't have enough money for it and resorts to crowdfunding. This unrelated first act could've been disastrous, but because it's not trying to be a great satire on crowdfunding and is just a fun first act this part of the episode works. Most of the jokes in this episode are funny too. The whole Friendmoocher thing was very funny, but I also liked the gag where the town accidentally lights Grampa on fire, Homer banging his head against the wall, Krusty's cameo in a David Copperfield act and this Homer line "It's like being in North Korea only to find out there's a South Korea." I think the humor is the strong point of this episode because while the plot is mostly done well, it does feel a little rushed. I thought that Harper's dad was an underdeveloped character and the tropical island plot-line should've been in the episode a bit earlier. It's not a big problem for me, but I don't like how they advertised it when it's not a part of the episode until near the end. Then again the advertising for that episode was all over the place, so I don't really care that much. There are a couple jokes that don't really work one of them being the joke where Homer tries to get Bart killed by feeding chum to the sharks and while it is a terrible joke it's a small part of the episode and it's not worth writing off the episode for that. The boy band scene was also pretty lame, but it was much more tolerable in the actual episode. While the song sucked, Homer's banter in-between was amusing. As much as I don't like New Kids on The Blecch, I didn't mind the callback to that episode. Yes it was over-explained, but at the same time it was kind of amusing. Either way I think that part of the episode should've been trimmed down a bit in favor of developing the episode more. This episode ended well though with Homer actually standing up for his daughter which I thought was nice. This episode was a decent effort overall, but it had some room for improvement. 7/10


  35. #29
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Great ideas for fixes Brad L, but Jean and co. are much more focused on creating emoji jokes rather than fixing plot and pacing. They really think they're tickling everyone's funny bone, the poor sods! They need to take a tip from Star Wars and let someone who's been a fan and knows what works and what doesn't take over. It's either that or making Matt Selman the showrunner, but I doubt that'd make a big difference at this point.
    The main thing I sought out to do was to provide constructive feedback on what could have been done differently so Friend with Benefit wouldn't wind up so disposable. Because this was a premise that with care in its execution could have amounted to something much more than that.

    And I'm not even saying that is something we should expect or even deserve as fans. We probably don't. But the show deserves better.

    The other point is that it's far too easy to harp on an episode and say, "I did not like the thing", dole out a 3 out of 10 score and call it a day. I'm sure Jean and other writers see comments like that on Twitter and elsewhere and simply dismiss them. That's why I think it's important that we can (when possible) devote some time to illustrating how certain core ideas of an episode could have been shaped or executed differently in order to improve the finished product. I mean, I even enjoyed some of the things I suggested should be cut to make this episode a better one. A joke or an idea may be great but it shouldn't come at the expense of an episode's core idea being executed effectively.

    I believe that's the biggest hangup of most HD era episodes and why it's so frustrating to see them fall short. They become victims of committee thinking. Everyone wants their joke or their line and to then explain that joke or line within the episode because they're proud of how clever it is. Al likes most of them and doesn't want to shoot any idea down and then they start shaving time off the actual plot and character development to squeeze everything in. So we wind up with a lot of one-dimensional bit characters, a lot of rushed third acts and a lot of episodes that fail to flow organically except for the tacked on bit at the end of the episode to reference that thing at the start of the episode. Like how that silly chair wound up on the beach.

    Lastly, I'm going to argue against people who've gone on record saying "Homer stood up for Lisa" and that "he was a good father". I mean, he did... but that was after an entire episode of not really being a good father and required Lisa to grandstand and put him on the spot in order for it to happen. And then he dragged the chair off with him and bitched ad nauseum on the plane about all of the cool "rich guy" stuff he didn't get to do which tells me he didn't really learn from this experience at all. He wasn't even a good friend to Mike... but we didn't care because of how one-dimensional Mike was depicted.

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    I should also mention that my younger brother was watching this with me and he asked a very interesting question at the very beginning of that episode when Willie turns on the sprinklers and he said "It's winter, why did he turn on the sprinklers?" and that was a good question since I was wondering the same thing right after he asked that. I never heard of anyone turning on their sprinklers in the winter, so I'm curious about whether this is a thing some people do or not.



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