View Poll Results: Season 28 is here! What did you think?

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  • 5/5: Great circus fun the whole family can enjoy!

    3 5.17%
  • 4/5: Wholesome circus activities

    8 13.79%
  • 3/5: "Eric? What kind of name for a clown is that?"

    22 37.93%
  • 2/5: Yeah, uuuuuuh... Where's the nearest exit?

    12 20.69%
  • 1/5: A circus so bad, you've got to flee from it!

    13 22.41%
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Thread: R&R: "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus" (VABF20)



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  1. #1
    ew justin's Avatar
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    R&R: "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus" (VABF20)


    September 25, 2016
    Season 28 Episode 1
    Previous R&R
    Next R&R
    When Springfield is burned to the ground, the Simpsons beg Mr. Burns to fund its rebuilding. Burns agrees – with one condition: he gets to put on a variety show at the Springfield Bowl.
    (Poll by OldSchoolerSimpsons)
    Last edited by justin; 10-02-2016 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2
    HELLO-O-O Maurice Rodriguez's Avatar
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    What the hell was the Kirk arms joke for?

  3. #3
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    * "Make the universe great again"
    -- Overlong, dragged out Adventure Time parody
    * Apu's kids in a line
    -- Dumb thinking gag
    ** Dog eating fish
    End of act 1: This one's terrible.
    ** "Montgomery Burns: Dead at 89"
    * Cat Lady throwing cat
    ** Mr Burns mom licking
    * Scene with Ralph Wiggum
    --- Dumb Arnold Palmer scene
    * Milhouse and the sword
    Overall, decent second act, 7/10
    Main plot's over, that's not a good sign
    Live action footage? Weird
    ** Mr Burns can't enjoy weed
    * Locate my dickey
    ** Silent film scene
    -- Awful song
    * Good song
    No resolution!
    End of act 3. 4/10.
    Closing thoughts:
    A weak start.
    The story was good. It was nice to see a Burns centered plot, and the whole "Childhood trauma" aspect was well-done. However, the ending was poorly done, with no resolution.
    The humor, however, was terrible. The second half had good humor, but the rest had few hits and lots of misses.
    And Rod and Tod's song was bad.
    Overall, a 4/10.
    Quote Originally Posted by Igor View Post
    wait wtf, i think i accidentally made my place communist
    SEASON 28 RATINGS
    Monty Burn's Fleeing Circus 4/10, Friends And Family 3.5/10, The Town 2.5/10, Treehouse of Horror XXVII 7/10, Trust But Clarify 7.5/10, There Will be Buds 5/10, Havana Wild Weekend 6/10, Dad Behavior 2/10 The Last Traction Hero 7.5/10 The Nightmare After Krustmas 5/10, Pork And Burns 7.5/10, The Great Phatsby 1.5/10, Fatzcarraldo 3/10, The Cad And The Hat 4/10, Kamp Krustier 4/10, 22 For 30 4/10, A Father's Watch 3.5/10, The Caper Chase 4/10, Looking For Mr. Goodbart 2/10, Moho House 3.5/10, Dogtown 4/10
    Average rating= 4.5/10

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  4. #4
    ew justin's Avatar
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    Here we go, the start of season 28!

    Indifferent on the couch gag, guess it was OK.
    Lard Lad riot was pretty funny.
    Most of the fire was funny.
    Hey, this is actually decent!

    "Still not dead" thing made me laugh a little.
    What the heck was that licking thing?
    "Arnold Palmer Lenny" was meh.
    Uh oh, it seems this is going downhill.

    Really? Live-action footage?
    What the heck was that finale?
    I guess it was an OK episode, started good, but got worse.
    7.5/10, 4/5 for the polls.

    Update: R.I.P. Arnold Palmer
    Last edited by justin; 09-26-2016 at 03:38 AM.
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  5. #5
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Let the show (and season) begin!

    Wow, they cut the Flash-animated supermarket scene from the HD intro! AND it has Lisa playing the harp!
    At least the Adventure Time couch gag isn't as gross-looking as the REAL "Adventure Time" character designs and artwork.

    OK, the "Riot!" "Don't!" was pretty funny.
    And of course that bank alarm is basically the same as the Springfield Elementary school bell.
    I was a little disappointed by how the "burning down" was executed; it was basically a rehash of the extreme sun from the beginning of "Grift of the Magi."

    Mr. Burns's voice sounds a bit more aged now...
    I enjoyed the Crazy Cat Lady's audition! I loved Lisa asking Burns "Do you ever say anything in a simple way?"
    I love Mr. Burns's media room full of old-fashioned early 20th century technology.
    The cameo by 1929 Itchy was cute, too.
    At least the octuplets have grown into toddlers now instead of staying as babies...
    I liked Ralph's "That's all, folks!" closing.

    At least this season premiere wasn't a major ratings trap like the last two seasons were! That's a good thing...

  6. #6
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    There were an awful lot of mean-spirited jokes this week... most of which weren't funny in the least.
    And I actually think there's a FOX exec or two who actually believed shoving Amy Schumer into all of tonight's shows WAS a ratings trap.
    SEASON 28 RANKINGS
    Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus - 1.5/5 / Friends and Family - 3.5/5 / The Town - 3/5
    THOH XXVII = Dry Hard - 1.5/5 / BFF R.I.P. - 2/5 / Moefinger - 1/5
    Trust But Clarify - 3.5/5 / There Will Be Buds - 5/5 / Havana Wild Weekend - 2/5
    Dad Behavior - 0/5 / The Last Traction Hero - 2.5/5
    The Nightmare After Krustmas - 0.5/5 / Pork and Burns - 2/5
    The Great Phatsby - 4.5/5 / Fatzcarraldo - 2.5/5 / The Cad and the Hat - 1.5/5
    Kamp Krustier - 2/5 / 22 for 30 - 4/5 / A Father's Watch - 2.5/5 / Caper Chase - 1.5/5
    Looking for Mr. Goodbart - 2/5 / Moho House - 2/5 / Dogtown - 1.5/5

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  8. #7
    Junior Camper Honest Slug's Avatar
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    I don't think it's come out in the west coast (best coast) but it can't be worse than Every Man's Dream... right?

  9. #8
    This is my BOOMSTICK! Platypus's Avatar
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    Lots of visual gags that worked, but some went on too long and got stale. Lots of rehashing old character stereotypes in place of jokes. Plot points didn't mesh too well, but I found it overall enjoyable. I loved the couch gag, and definitely liked this season's premiere more than last year's.

    And yeah, strange number of dark jokes for The Simpsons.

    Update: Just learned Arnold Palmer died today. Holy shit. Obviously no correlation, but that just makes the episode that much darker for me.
    Last edited by Platypus; 09-25-2016 at 04:52 PM.
    SEASON 28 RATINGS
    |Monty Burn's Fleeting Circus: 5/10 | Friends and Family: 6.3/10 |The Town: 8/10 |

  10. #9
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    You know what odd about this episode? Arnold Palmer died right after this episode aired. Talk about odd timing. More on my review later.
    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

  11. #10
    rocko Jims's Avatar
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    This was pretty bad.

    • Why don't the characters sound like themselves anymore? Maybe I just forgot because I took the last season off, but it is shocking how bad the characters sound. I knew Julie Kavner is getting more gravelly and Harry Shearer basically doesn't give a shit anymore. But Bart sounds dull and monotone, and secondary characters like Lenny, Carl, and Apu sound flat. There's just no energy out of the majority of the performances, aside from Homer and Lisa.
    • The lead-up to the Burns story is stupid, almost a mockery of the first act setpiece. They literally destroy the entire downtown of Springfield, only to pivot to a pointless story about Mr. Burns' imaginary backstory.
    • It is almost unbelievable how unnatural the dialogue is. They're still stuck in this weird meta-talking thing where they twist their words to say something funny, and then acknowledge the weirdness of it, and then do a spin off of that weirdness. The dialogue sounds like two secret agents meeting each other, stating their designated codewords sentences.
    • Too many "pointing out the joke" issues. Stuff like Wiggum sitting around trying to think of The Thinker, even outright calling it out, as if we didn't have enough of it. And there's a lengthy discussion on what an Arnold Palmer is, since the audience is too stupid to understand the reference via context. Then there's stuff like them staring at the sky, only to see nothing, with Homer staring straight at the camera observing that they're looking at nothing. See previous bullet point.
    • The writers are so bored with the show that they can't even let Springfield riot without trying to think of some weird high concept angle for it.
    • I don't care about Mr. Burns' backstory about being laughed at. And it doesn't seem like the writers did either, as the exact same thing happened again, and then Mr. Burns just kinda gets over it for some arbitrary reason. And then Lisa plays the sax for him.
    • The actual stage show was pretty funny. Enjoyed each of the kids' routines and Mr. Burns' opening little movie thing.
    • The stuff at the plant was fine, I guess. Nothing really stood out there, none of the jokes really fell horribly flat or anything.
    • Making me sit through the last commercial break for those last two jokes is insulting. The episode was over.

    I was going to give this a 1.5/5, but I'm going down to 1/5 because of the 4th act. I'm really bummed out watching this because, after skipping most of last season, I thought, maybe I'm just being too cynical and jaded about the show. And maybe it's actually fine and I've been missing out on some solid television. I kinda went into this with a fresh perspective, looking for the show to win me over again. But it brought almost nothing new to the table, just a hodgepodge of the same problems they've been plagued by for 5 or 10 years now. There's no energy to the show, it's just kinda going through the motions, pleased with itself for how many wordplay and background jokes it can cram in. So disappointing.


  12. #11
    6th best thing to do to gel. Smear-Gel's Avatar
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    Wait, where was Amy Shumer? Also she had like, two lines in Bob's Burgers. Come on, Fox.

    Anyways, I thought it was fine. Liked the plot, and liked that he just got over it rather than made the perfect show to make up for it. Liked the mean spirited jokes but knew people would hate a few of them. Not that it affects how I feel or anything. Mr Burns came across as sympathetic without him feeling like a different character. And I'm a sucker for all the "Mr Burns is old jokes" which made me bias.

    Extended licking scene was super odd, I had no idea what I should have been feeling. And I wish the plot was more about Homer becoming responsible and doing a good job instead. Oh well, the subplot was fine either way. Just a way to interject jokes, so I'm not like, SUPER annoyed at no real resolution.

    The Wiggum joke was ruined by him thinking for too long, though I like when people interject a new scene by reacting to a previous one. Plus the Springfeild sign just saying SINGED when the town burned down without calling attention to it was an A+ joke. And I liked the half riot scene, as well as the town warming to the sign. And the sign burning montage with "Fire Extinguisher Store just closed Yesterday"

    I'd have to rewatch it but it's between 3/5 and 4/5.
    Season 27 Ratings: Every Man's Dream - 5/10 | Cue Detective - 9/10 | Puffless - 7/10 | Halloween of Horror - 10/10 | Treehouse of Horror XXV - 7/10 | Friend with Benefit - 7/10 | Lisa with an S - needs rewatch | Barthood - 10/10 will watch again | The Girl Code - 9/10 | Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles - 7/10 | Much Apu About Something - 8/10 | Love Is in the Air: needs rewatch | Gal of Constant Sorrow: 8/10 | Lisa the Veterenarian: 7/10 | The Marge-ian Chronicles - 9/10 | The Burns Cage - 8/10 all credibility lost | How Lisa Got Her Marge Back - 6/10 | Fland Canyon - 8/10 | To Courier with Love - 9/10 | Simprovised - 7/10 | Orange Is the New Yellow - 8/10

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  13. #12
    That could be anyone's ass. SchemingMinor's Avatar
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    I'll post up an analysis tomorrow about Burns but yeah, it was superior to last season's premiere but there was still a lot of issues in this I had problems with, even about Burns' personality.

    I will give this a 6.5 out of a 10. Not offensive but it could do better.

  14. #13
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smear-Gel View Post
    Wait, where was Amy Shumer? Also she had like, two lines in Bob's Burgers. Come on, Fox.
    She voiced Mr. Burns's mom in the flashbacks.
    And as for that being a ratings trap, at least using a guest star like that isn't as bad as killing off Rabbi Krustofski or a dream sequence about Homer and Marge splitting up.

  15. #14
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jims View Post
    I was going to give this a 1.5/5, but I'm going down to 1/5 because of the 4th act. I'm really bummed out watching this because, after skipping most of last season, I thought, maybe I'm just being too cynical and jaded about the show. And maybe it's actually fine and I've been missing out on some solid television. I kinda went into this with a fresh perspective, looking for the show to win me over again. But it brought almost nothing new to the table, just a hodgepodge of the same problems they've been plagued by for 5 or 10 years now. There's no energy to the show, it's just kinda going through the motions, pleased with itself for how many wordplay and background jokes it can cram in. So disappointing.
    There are some decent episodes to scope out from last season, Jims. Halloween of Horror and Barthood being the obvious standouts but there are also quality moments to be found from the three other Selman episodes, a pleasant surprise given the premise 'Paths of Glory and a decent-ish Apu-centric episode in Much Apu About Something with a cohesive story structure and some fun recurring gags. Some inspired guest director openings before Fland Canyon and Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles, as well.

    Tonight's monstrosity, on the other hand... was pretty much exactly how you pegged it. The writers phoning it in and mortgaging their opportunity to contribute something of substance to a great show's legacy. And given what's on tap for the rest of Season 28, I'm not optimistic that we'll be getting much more from them in the future.

  16. #15
    6th best thing to do to gel. Smear-Gel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiley207 View Post
    She voiced Mr. Burns's mom in the flashbacks.
    And as for that being a ratings trap, at least using a guest star like that isn't as bad as killing off Rabbi Krustofski or a dream sequence about Homer and Marge splitting up.
    I dont think last season's premiere was a ratings trap, just Entertainment News websites like overhyping stuff because $$$

  17. #16
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smear-Gel View Post
    I dont think last season's premiere was a ratings trap, just Entertainment News websites like overhyping stuff because $$$
    There is nothing $$$ about Simpsons in this day and age. That overhype is by design. FOX and Jean like to play coy and innocent and claim "we didn't want to overhype" something like Rabbi Krustofski's death but they keep on doing it again and again with Bart getting killed by Bob, Smithers coming out of the closet, Homer and Marge separating. Yeah, entertainment sites perpetuate it but that's at the behest of FOX and Gracie Films in order to pop a rating and make some desperate ploy at relevancy. Referring to it as a ratings trap is justified.

  18. #17
    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    Well, once again, I'm going to have to go against the majority and say I actually liked it.

    The jokes about Mr. Burns being old never bothered me, except some of the "weak" stuff (and it's not like that doesn't date back to "Team Homer"; the only one here was the one with the lights). I like the history jokes, it's always been what I loved about Burns (and today I learned who invented the saxophone; and again, it dates back to his catchphrase being "Ahoy-hoy").

    The only joke that went on too long to me was probably the one with Ralph and the spaghetti and the licking joke. The rest, even Homer's explained Arnold Palmer joke, didn't bother me. Though it is a bit creepy that we just found out he's dead. I liked the riot joke as well. The Arnold Palmer joke does sound a bit more dark after he died, but I did like how they brought it back up in the third act.

    I'm giving this one a 4/5. Definitely better than "Clown in the Dumps" (bland) and "Every Man's Dream" (the less said about that, the better).

  19. #18
    Likasa rules! BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    8/10 That Adventure Time couch gag made me laugh so hard!
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  20. #19
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    Do they ever mention what happened to the (original) Lard Lad statue? And why do I have a feeling it'll still be in the opening credits?

    Chief Wiggum doesn't quite have the "The Thinker" pose right - the elbow is supposed to be on the opposite leg.

    This isn't the first time Kurt has lost part of an arm (it happened in "Realty Bites"), and, based on what happened last time, apparently they do grow back.

    The Springfield sign spelled "Singed."

    Er, there's no such thing as "zero BC"; 1 BC and 1 AD are consecutive years.

    "Archival film and/or video materials from the collections of the Library of Congress."

    And just when you thought it had been erased from our memories...
    THE CURSE!!!
    Arnold Palmer's death was announced at about 9:15 Eastern, which was after the east coast airing but before the west coast one. No, there was no tribute of any sort to him added in the western airing.
    Last edited by That Don Guy; 09-25-2016 at 07:48 PM.

  21. #20
    Junior Camper Honest Slug's Avatar
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    Well that was bad, not Every Man's Dream levels of horrible but then again what is. The episode had a couple of okay jokes in the beginning but every joke afterwards was pretty awful. They either had very hokey deliveries, were generally unfunny, or were mean-spirited, this is the most amount of mean jokes I've seen them do since some of season 23 and 24's disasters. One egregious examples includes Mr. Burns and Smithers running over the lady and having blood splatter all over the car... that doesn't feel at all like a Simpsons joke, it's just the series trying to be desperately edgy to fit in. The plot was pretty much a train-wreck too with elements consistently being thrown at the wall with no cohesion and zero resolution. To add to that the way they got this story started was really stupid.

    This really was a cold reminder of just how aged this series has gotten and just how little the writers really care about quality except for a couple of sparks here and there, from the poor voice acting, sloppily written jokes, and badly paced stories they're just coasting of a trail of laziness relying on a recognizable name to get them coverage, and considering the upcoming plots I don't think the rest of the season will fare any better, and what's even sadder was this looked like one of the more promising episodes. I think we're in for a rough season. If the show gets a renewal (It likely will) then let's hope Al Jean gives the helm to Selman to finish the show on a better note.

    3/10 and 1/5 on the poll, I'm already missing seasons 26 and 27.
    Season 28 rankings

    Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus: 3/10 Friends and Family: 7/10 The Town: 7.5/10 Treehouse of Horror XXVII: 5/10 Dry Hard: 6/10 BFF R.I.P: 6/10 Moefinger: 4/10 Trust But Clarify: 5/10 There Will Be Buds: 8/10 Havana Wild Weekend: 1/10 Dad Behavior: 2/10 The Last Traction Hero: 5.5/10 The Nightmare After Krustmas: 4.5/10 Pork and Burns: 6/10 The Great Phatsby: 5/10 Fatzcarraldo: 3.5/10 The Cad and the Hat: 3/10 Kamp Krustier: 2.5/10 22 for 30: 8/10 A Father's Watch: 6.5/10 Caper Chase: 1/10

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  23. #21
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    Welp this sucked. From the get-go, the whole plot is fraught with illogical moments - why are the Simpsons of all people personally asking Burns for help? Since when was Burns a guy who would care about something like this? Why is Homer just determined to take up responsibility for the plant outta nowhere after a lousy pep talk from Marge? How does the whole crowd just disperse in a few seconds, and why does this mean Burns forgives Lisa all of a sudden? Hell, Burns's initial reason for hating Lisa was kinda out of nowhere too.

    The whole variety show angle was probably as phoned in as it gets on modern Simps. It's basically a vehicle for a bunch of kids to do unfunny things? Seems more like a school talent show than a big town-wide event, and not even an interesting school talent show at that.

    Also it absolutely bugged me that the silent film at the beginning of the talent show had goddamn sound effects as Burns and Smithers crash the car. That's literally NOT how silent films work. Goes to show that all the background sign gags in the world doesn't excuse the sloppy storytelling and execution of the actual episode.

    Anyway this was garbage. Here's to 21 more.

  24. #22


    It had a Simpsons plot, good characters, and a couch gag that will wow audiences around the world. 6/10, if it was funnier it could've gotten an 11/10 but alas I expect perfection from the rest of the season so I'll let a slightly less perfect episode slide.

  25. #23
    PantsBurnLegWound tormented's Avatar
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    yeah this was jumbled garbage. first of all, it's pretty hilarious to me that they opened with (pretty much) the full intro and then rolled the full AT couch gag. not a good sign. first act was borderline unwatchable. i know simpsons has been doing these plot swivels forever but this one was absolutely botched, there was no reason to go so bombastic and implausible. and every facet of this entire episode's structure is so haphazard, they show us tons of shots of the town literally exploding but the rest of the episode is some generic undercooked Burns Gets Over A Traumatic Childhood Incident thing. okay tonal whiplash much, sheesh.

    the writing during the scenes of lisa and burns setting up the show is such obvious transparent clock-eating so they can get to the halarious segment at the end where they can just toss out their hysterical variety show setpieces. too bad none of them are funny. i literally remember nothing about the plant plot except for that painful scene of homer doing that whisper-yell to marge about what an arnold palmer is. not even sure why it was there, there was clearly nothing to it at all. i guess homer did some speech in a tie about work being important which would actually never happen.

    man this episode is exiting my mind at an astonishing rate but this is a true 1/5 if i've ever seen one. this episode is so empty and fundamentally terrible and boring and immediately forgettable. see you next week for hip VR satire with burns again.

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  26. #24
    It's Hammer Time Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    Holy shit, that was lame. You know you're in for a good episode when there's a Trump reference just mere seconds into the episodes, which I predict definitely won't be the last. (It's 2016). I can't think of a single joke that was even remotely funny. It was just a bunch of lame setups and obvious punchlines ("lol, it's funny because it wasn't actually part of Ralph's act. Tee hee"). Maybe if the voice actors tried to put genuine effort into their performances, then all the bad jokes would at least make me chuckle a little bit.

    The storyline was also quite boring. I expected Burns to have some sort of evil plan but nope, just "lol, Mr. Burns is old, so he does old people stuff. Tee hee". The Lisa-Burns dynamic was disappointing, especially since if done right, it can be an interesting character combination. I also hated the design of Burns' mother, like I know they wanted her to have a resemblance to her son but she just looked weird. Everything was so obvious, you could see it from space. So Burns was embarrassed by the 1920s equivalent of a viral video, "gee, I wonder if he'll embarrass himself a second time". Actually, the more I think about it, Burns' ass didn't look that old for a 104 year old man. And no, Simpson's writers just because you point out that a crowd wouldn't be able to move that fast, does not make it okay. I don't care how self aware, you're trying to be. The episode ended so abruptly, they had to add another two unfunny jokes afterwards. So, I guess Ralph is dead now? I don't care if he's obviously going to appear in future episodes, he's fucking dead. They took everything that made Ralph likeable from the classic era and sucked the fun and charming personality out of him, leaving him as an empty soul with no brain, forced to say stupid one liners. Ralph Wiggum is dead.

    But for all of it's many flaws, it still doesn't come close to being the worst HD episode. Which just goes to show how bad the show can get these days. It's definitely an improvement over the last two season premieres but that really isn't saying much. 2/5

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    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Negative Ned View Post
    Holy shit, that was lame. You know you're in for a good episode when there's a Trump reference just mere seconds into the episodes, which I predict definitely won't be the last. (It's 2016).
    I actually believe that for once, they were doing a reference again that could be a direct reference to something (Trump) while at the same time working for anything. I mean, "Make America Great Again" has been Donald Trump's specific slogan, but couldn't that apply to any running candidate?

  28. #26
    where am I now? CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I think it was a fairly decent episode and much better than the incredibly disappointing season openers from the last two seasons. The plot about the new, abstract Lard Lad statue ending up an superweapon of sorts when the sunlight concentrates itself in the donut part the beam of light tears the town to shreds & Burns ending up being the one who rebuilds everything on the condition he gets to helm a variety-talent show at the Springfield bowl wasn't that bad in itself and there was the subplot about Homer and the rest of the power plant employees goofing around and slacking off while Burns is directing his show and accidentally starting a reactor fire (which gets an off-screen resolution).

    The whole opening act with the statue went on a bit too long but I liked Burns' conflict (being traumatized by his failed performance at the Bowl when he was a kid and wanting to make amends by putting on a perfect show) and how he tried to work it out (and getting Lisa's help), but the episode was pretty choppy and uneven, there were so many wierd dark jokes (like the sunlight beam blowing up a coyote, Kirks arms having been severed, Burns crushing a woman underneath his automobile in his silent short film & Sherri (or Terri) seemingly drowning) and after Burns making a fool of himself (again) during his own act it wraps up so quickly that filler is added to the end & the subplot felt unnecessary, but I guess it was nice that they didn't forget about the plant (however I still would have liked to see how the fire got resolved).

    Still, there were some aspects I liked such as some nice humor and Burns' conflict as I've already mentioned (and the fairly interesting story about him trying to do a new show for essentially his self-gratification) and I got some enjoyment out of it despite it's flaws so while it wasn't a great or even that good episode it wasn't awful either; it was an alright way to start the new season and I'm glad that it, at least for me, worked much better than Every Man's Dream and Clown In The Dumps.

    3/5

  29. #27
    No, money down! Traviud's Avatar
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    First of all, I'm a little bit out of the loop: what's with Lisa playing a harp and carrying it on her bike with her?

    Anyway, this episode was absolute crap. I could point out plot holes and instances of bad writing in this episode all day long...and I hated this episode, so I will. The episode starts with a totally cheap bit of exposition, Bart telling the audience exactly what's going on in painstaking detail. The lost car plot is never completed onscreen, but evidently finds some kind of resolution because Homer is driving later. This sets us up for the Lard Lad plot; we never find out who stole the statue or why, but it's a setup for pure Scully-esque zaniness so what's the harm, right?

    And when I say Scully-esqie, I mean motherfucking Mike Scully to a T: an ophthalmologist fucking KILLS HIMSELF because he loses a few patients to accidental eye surgery via a laser beam from the new statue. Kirk Van Houten loses his arms and is still walking around. This isn't a Treehouse of Horror. It's just an awful episode.

    Once Mr. Burns shows up, it's safe to assume things won't get any better because he hasn't been written well in years. Here, he's blatantly senile and attempts to communicate with Smithers but Smithers isn't in the room, at least not at that moment. Later, he is, but the animators never show him entering the room. Burns forgets that he dropped the Simpsons down a trap door. Burns forgets what Springfield is called. He does some weird shit with his face later and idk I guess that's supposed to be funny?

    Act 3 is a blatant ripoff of the stage portion of Burns' Heir, only not especially funny. It's an improvement simply because there's nothing approaching plot development being attempted here; it's just a bunch of stupid garbage that's mildly humorous sometimes. Burns telling Lisa to shut up and Nelson talking about his lunch made me laugh. Other things sucked ass or were so bafflingly out of character that they couldn't possibly be funny. Crazy Cat Lady has an operatic voice? Not with lip syncing that bad. Just awful animation there. The octuplets are brilliant musicians? Yeah, OK. Oh and hey, the writers killed either Sherri or Terri. Not sure which one.

    The Burns stuff? Well, they tried. I loved the animation in the flashbacks but they were so brief and used so cheaply to push the plot along that I couldn't truly appreciate their place in this episode. Everything around them was so loud, crass and stupid that...oh, who am I kidding? Burns' mom licks him repeatedly in those very flashbacks. We see Burns' ass twice in this episode.

    Meanwhile, the power plant turns into the Wolf of Wall Street. It goes absolutely nowhere and isn't especially funny. There's a painfully long, drawn out scene where Homer describes to Marge what an Arnold Palmer is (RIP - what timing, huh?) and it's not funny for a single second. Not one. This b-plot doesn't tie in with the a-plot in any meaningful way.

    The variety show Burns puts on goes off without a hitch (well, except for Sherri/Terri dying in a tank) despite no one in Springfield having talent until this episode's plot called for it. Then things stop going well so we can embarrass Mr. Burns some more. And then everyone leaves in 5 seconds, which is literally impossible. Lisa does a cartwheel and that's pretty adorable, but it's not enough to spackle over the cracks in this crappy, disjointed plot.

    Then there's this thing after the episode proper ends where Homer tells Lisa that the Virgin Mary blew up his ancestor's inn with a laser and Ralph dies in a dumpster fire, which I suppose is fitting.

    No, I'm not leaving things out to make this episode sound worse. This is exactly what occurs. I'm sorry.

    D+. Act 1 was a grade below F.
    Last edited by Traviud; 09-26-2016 at 01:44 AM.

  30. #28
    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    I will admit, the scene with Burns running over the woman could be seen as more THOH/Family Guy-level gruesomeness, but I guess the silent-ness and off-color-ness of it sort of softened it so it didn't bother me. (At least it didn't happen in the present.) The only jokes I found disturbing here were Sherri (or Terri) drowning and the suicidal eye doctor.

    Kirk's arms aren't really anything new, I remember they did it in "Realty Bites" (cut from syndication) as well. Still a little weird though.

  31. #29
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traviud View Post
    First of all, I'm a little bit out of the loop: what's with Lisa playing a harp and carrying it on her bike with her?
    A number of couch openings over the past few years have had Lisa playing something besides her saxophone. I think harp and trumpet are used the most, although violin appears every now and then as well.

    One of these summers, I'll probably go through every episode and make a list of instruments Lisa plays in the opening besides her sax, assuming somebody on one of the two Simpsons Wikis hasn't already done this.

  32. #30
    vs. Radioactive Man Captain Squid's Avatar
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    Middle of the road modern Simpsons episode. There were a few offensive bits, in the sense that I was really taken out of the episode by the fact that Kirk lost his arms and seeing Ralph getting covered by melting metal. I know both characters will be fine the next time we see them, but I just hate when they go to such extremes for a cheap laugh. That's why we have Moleman, he's the one character (him and maybe Bob) that can take more extreme abuse.

    Despite that, I did like all the elements that were there. I just wasn't enthused about the execution. An episode that kicks off with a new Lard Lad statue burning down the town and then Monty Burns holding a variety show for secret reasons while Homer tries to keep control of the plant sounds great on paper, but here everything just felt sorta half assed. The beginning actually had some promise, as there was a bit of mystery of the new statue (in part, thanks to Tapped Out) and the burning of the town had some nice animation and visual gags. But after the gag with Burns' trapped door, things just sort of coasted. Homer maintaining control of the plant was hardly a subplot and Burns' childhood trauma wasn't all that gripping a plot point.

    Honestly, I feel that 28 seasons in they shouldn't rely on flashbacks for character's motivations in the present. We've been with these characters for close to three decades, so we know that such traumatic events were just made up for this week's episode and were not something that they built up or hinted at over the years. Last seasons Smithers episode, while not great, at least had years of motivation behind it so we felt for Smithers. Here, it was "Burns had a bad childhood experience, feel for him!" and yet we know this is a new traumatic experience. I had similar issues with the episode where Homer had a dog named Bongo, but that was executed far better than this episode.

    Still, I thought there was some solid jokes and aside from the weird Kirk and Ralph gags, nothing turned me off to the episode. I just wish they tried a bit harder. 2.5/5 - 3/5 for the poll.
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