View Poll Results: How would you rate the second Burns episode of Season 28?

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  • 5/5: "I just know we're going to be friends forever."

    5 10.20%
  • 4/5: "We are the Super Friends!"

    9 18.37%
  • 3/5: "I wish this family was as close as the Flanders."

    18 36.73%
  • 2/5: "In my family, grades aren't that important."

    10 20.41%
  • 1/5: "This family has hit rock bottom."

    7 14.29%
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Thread: R&R: “Friends and Family’” (VABF18)



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  1. #1
    vs. Radioactive Man Captain Squid's Avatar
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    R&R: “Friends and Family’” (VABF18)


    October 2, 2016
    Season 28 Episode 2
    Writer: J. Stewart Burns.
    Director: Lance Kramer
    Previous R&R
    Next R&R

    Mr. Burns hires the Simpsons to play his live-in virtual reality family, but excludes Homer so that he may play dad. Now alone, Homer finds a new best friend in girl-next-door Julia, who eats, drinks and thinks like him.
    Last edited by Captain Squid; 10-10-2016 at 05:43 PM.
    UP AND ATOM!

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  3. #2
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    LOVED the "Dragon Porn" bit, and Homer spinning on the chair and watching all the "Police Academy" DVDs!

    On FOX 25, during the third act, there would be brief cutaways to a news report about the impending Presidential election. Anyone else get something like that?

  4. #3
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    Ooh, TV-14
    -- Dumb couch gag
    * Though "i'm too fat!" was funny
    * "Sweet, sweet euthanasia"
    -- Dumb "anger issues" gag
    He said "eh" and then died, like Krusty's dad!
    --- REALLY dumb communication gag
    * Otto getting stoned
    End of act 1, not good. 4/10.
    --** Dragon porn joke walks a FINE LINE between funny and dumb
    * Mr Burns shooting gun
    ** Marge's skeleton
    * Homer's montage had some funny bits, like the deep fried mix
    End of act 2, mediocre. 6/10.
    Now it's ANOTHER bland marriage crisis episode!
    * SLH eating the eggs
    AWFUL third act.
    Closing thoughts
    Another bad episode.
    The plot was stupid. I mean, seriously. Mr Burns gets an Oculus Rift device? Mr Burns hires his family to do the voices? Mr Burns has sexual relations with Marge? Mr Burns watches porn? And then it turns into ANOTHER boring marriage crisis episode? Give. Me. A. Break. And Mr Burns is awfully characterized, it's so ooc for him to be in touch with modern tech, and even more for him to enjoy sexual fantasies like that.
    And the humor was generally poor. There were some good moments, primarily in the second act, but lots of bad ones.
    Overall, even worse then the premiere. 3.5/10.
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    SEASON 29 RATINGS
    The Serfsons 5/10, Springfield Splendor 5/10, Whistler's Father 3/10 , Treehouse of Horror XXVIII 3/10, Grampy Can Ya Hear Me 3/10 , The Old Blue Mayor She Ain't What She Used To Be 3/10

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  5. #4
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    This was an episode that was almost entirely carried by its jokes as the plot itself had very little going for it. That said, most of the jokes worked for me... in fact, the hit-to-miss ratio was atypically strong for the HD era. The voice direction was solid tonight as well. A refreshing bounce-back ep after last week's phoned-in effort.
    SEASON 29 RANKINGS
    The Serfsons - 2/5 / Springfield Splendor - 4/5 / Whistler's Father - 1.5/5
    THOH XXVIII = The Sweets Hereafter - 3.5/5 / The Exor-Sis - 3/5 / Coralisa - 4.5/5 / MMM... HOMER - 2/5
    Grampy Can Ya Hear Me - 2/5 / The Old Blue Mayor She Ain't What She Used to Be - 1.5/5
    Singin' in the Lane - 1/5

  6. #5
    Boo Jims's Avatar
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    Solid. Way way way better than the premiere.

    • Dialogue was better this week. There was less of a reliance on meta-talk and more just reactions between the various characters. Burns played off of the Simpson family well during their recordings. I liked how combative he was with Marge and Lisa. Probably the biggest groaner was Moe and Homer's exchange about Moe being mean. Felt like they had no idea how to get out of the scene, so they just rolled around in the awkwardness instead.
    • Story concept was weird, but I get why they wanted to try it. It seems kinda counter-intuitive to stick Mr. Burns in an Oculus Rift, since he is so techno-phobic. I don't quite buy his interest in the technology. But it did lead to some funny visual jokes and interactions. It seems like the writers really enjoyed the dynamic of Burns trying to direct people and arbitrarily decide what he wants. I feel like they could've gotten this fun dynamic through more organic means. But whatever. VR is buzzy, may as well do it.
    • Dragon porn joke was funny.
    • I liked Lisa's bitter and deadpan acting deliver to Mr. Burns. Yeardley Smith is still doing a good job with her character.
    • Homer and Alison Janney were fine, kinda aimless. They leaned on the not-romantic angle just enough without making it tiresome. I could see a version of this where they run this theme into the ground. Liked Homer's little montage of living at home, swinging around in the hammock and stuff. The microwave joke was a funny spin that we hadn't seen before.
    • It seemed like they ran out of time with Marge's angle. There wasn't much of a build up of Homer being obnoxious about his "best friend," Marge just took it really badly almost immediately, and then cooled down almost as quickly when Alison Janney explains herself. The B-plot feels like it could've been a whole episode in itself. It suffered by having to cram the emotional dynamics of the situation into such a tight box.
    • The opening thing with the psychiatrist was a thing that happened in the episode. The character didn't make much of an impression on me.
    • Jokes as a whole were good. They were a bit snappier this week. Having the VR around let them bounce around from thing to thing more and not try to milk their scenes for comedy as much.
    • Seemed strange they opened with two, "Burns tries to direct people because of issues" episodes this season. I look forward to next week when Mr. Burns creates a satellite radio show with Homer, so he can get over his childhood issues regarding his aloof father.


    Nice comeback from the premiere. 3.5/5.

  7. #6
    Stonecutter AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    How can an episode with so many good jokes have such an awful plot?

    I'll go more into detail later when I finish my longer review for this, but seriously, the plot made barely any sense. Burns seems to barely care about having a family at first and only seems to go along with it because he wanted to finish all the modes in his Oculus Rift, why does he suddenly get so obsessive about it and love it later? Why did the family seem so happy about during the roles at first until Burns told them they would be doing it for years? Also, why the hell aren't Bart and Lisa in school? They seem to spend all their time at Burns' manor playing his pretend kids, why does Lisa never freak out at missing school or Marge point this out? And then Burns suddenly hates his family for no reason and fires all the Simpsons, but then he suddenly loves his fake family again and imagines dying and going to hell. And they bring back Satan in is original design from Season 2, but they didn't even get the voice right?

    The B-plot was more interesting, but also really flawed. Julia was a decent character and I liked her friendship with Homer, but she just really does just randomly comes out of nowhere, with barely any explanation yet already knows Homer because she lives in the house behind him or something. And the ending was completely awful, without a doubt one of the worst Marge moments of all time, if not the worst. The way she was screaming at her kids and Homer, she honestly came off as completely insane, and to make it worse, the animation during this scene was pretty good. Why would they waste good animation on such a shitty scene? But then Julia randomly comes in and talks about how when she hung out with Homer, he would always mention Marge, a scene that we never even saw, and Homer got relationship advice, a scene we also never saw, so now their marriage is fixed. Marriage crisis scenes are sadly pretty common now, but this was one of the worst of them, because the episode wasn't even really about their marriage until now, but now it's a crisis to force some 'drama' for the climax. Plus it doesn't even really explained what's going to happen with Julia, are she and Homer going to still be friends now?

    The jokes were hit or miss, as usual. There were some great ones, like Maggie speaking, Burns in therapy, or Burns calling his face beautiful. There were also some really awful ones, like the cutaway to the Simpsons in therapy so we can get another awful "ha-ha, the Simpsons are horribly dysfunctional and the marriage is always about to fall apart!" joke. Burns was also more interesting and had better lines then in the premiere.

    I'll give it a rating later.

  8. #7
    Sultan of Swing Maurice Rodriguez's Avatar
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    The plot was absurd, but the jokes were here and were fun!

    Happy Thanksgiving (from a country who doesn't give fuck)!

  9. #8
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    I do think it's a bit of a reach to refer to this as "a marriage crisis" episode when it was really just Marge overreacting for a scene at the silly "guys and girls can be friends" premise and then immediately forgiving Homer for it. Was it inane? Sure... but we've seen far worse from Marge with far greater consequences (two noteworthy Season 24 exhibits of said behavior being Love is a Many-Splintered Thing and What Animated Women Want) but this was mainly just her venting for a minute due to feeling replaced by another woman while she was stuck playing Virtual Wife for Burns.

    Can we save the marriage crisis venting for Kamp Krustier instead? Hey, I'd love for the writers to stop going to this well, too... but we all know that isn't going to happen.

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  11. #9
    6th best thing to do to gel. Smear-Gel's Avatar
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    I'm kind of mad people liked it because I was watching an online stream where I ended up missing most of it. The Marge scene was super weird. But I liked it purely because we can have another moment where Marge is the one who's being stupid in an argument, which is kind of rare.

    Also when VR dragon porn ends up existing in 5 years, people can actually say "Simpsons did it"

     Not like that's gonna happen if VR ends up crashing and burning like Motion Controls and 3D 

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    Can we save the marriage crisis venting for Kamp Krustier instead?
    Oh no. Say it isnt so. I dont want any reasons to be wary of this.
    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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  12. #10
    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm just going to say that I do not consider this a marriage crisis episode at all. More like a marriage crisis last act. Plus, it was a nice take on it.

    I'll write a better review later, just as soon as I get my internal crisis of reviews sorted out.

  13. #11
    Stonecutter AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Yes, unfortunately, Kamp Krustier is going to be a marriage crisis episode. The plot is apparently going to be about how Bart is now traumatized after returning from the camp and ends up sleeping in his parents bed, which ruins their sex life so now Homer and Marge have to go to a therapist.

    But my point about what was wrong with this ending was that in is those two other episodes, while lousy in their own right, were at least episodes that actually focused on their marriage. This one was never about their marriage, until the last five minutes when we suddenly get this huge outburst from Marge that comes out of nowhere. If they had spend time focusing on Marge being slowly convinced that Homer didn't miss her or was going to replace her in some way it might have made sense, but we never really saw any of that. It's all just a forced attempt to make the scene feel 'dramatic', but all it does is make Marge look like a crazy person, and what's worse, it made me feel sorry for Homer, and Homer is usually one of the most unsympathetic characters on the show now. Why is it the only times Marge ever gets mad at her husband and starts screaming at him now, it's when the writers actually remember to write Homer as a likeable human being?

  14. #12


    A new classic. I think the plot and the jokes were fantastic and made fun of VR in a great way. Just everything about this episode worked, pretty much perfect if you ask me.

  15. #13
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    3/5 - almost a four, but the "let's spend most of the ending apologizing, and then do random virtual reality" (which might have worked better, had there been more and/or funnier gags) brought it down.


    The episode is rated TV-14, but there's no "Viewer Discretion Advised" card; this is (still) pretty much the only scripted Fox show that does not have one.

    Dr. Nussbaum's degrees all list his name as "Dr. Nussbaum" - even the one where he gets a Bachelor of Science, so presumably he wouldn't be a doctor yet.

    Two of the tombstones say "OY"; others say, "Rich Jewish Texan," "Very Old Jewish Man," and, "You Call These Flowers?"

    Maggie spoke 11 words (or 10, if you're from one of those countries where "no one" is hyphenated rather than two words).

    The rocks thrown at Mr. Burns were on Rabbi Krustofsky's tombstone.

    Homer was watching seven different screens. While there are seven different Police Academy movies, they were only hooked up to four DVD players.

    In Monty's fantasy reality, Lisa goes to Vassar. Why not Yale?

  16. #14
    Junior Camper Honest Slug's Avatar
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    I might just be in a good mood, but I liked this quite a bit. I thought the jokes were fairly well done for the most part. The dragon porn and Moe having anger issues were a bit choppy in their execution, however the rest of the jokes were really good for the most part, the story itself wasn't spectacular but it was fun, paced nicely, and kept me engaged. The voice acting was much better here too which relieves me a bit. Overall I'm between a 7 and a 8 for this one on my signature.
    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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  17. #15
    . kaos's Avatar
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    wow both of slug's accounts agree for once


  18. #16
    , peyrin's Avatar
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    yeah this was largely inoffensive. For starters, it's kinda refreshing that the VR thing mostly stayed as a tangential plot point instead of dominating the episode like other Really Topical Tech Episodes (see: Google Glass parody). Like last week's episode, I don't think this vulnerable Burns angle suits his character well at all, as seen in the cop-out ending where Burns inexplicably realizes that he's never been a family man and just goes back to being regular Burns.

    Meanwhile, the other plot is largely a usual marriage in trouble story. It's overall pretty rushed too because it doesn't really take off until they start to wrap up the Burns stuff in the second/third act. At least Homer/Allison Janney becoming good friends is somewhat believable because they actually give her some semblance of a personality (i.e. wow she's just like Homer). Also, Homer's apologies to Marge are getting worse and worse with every season.

    Major props to Lance Kramer and the animators for the confrontation scene between Marge and Homer - rare that we see such ambitious camera angles from the show these days, especially inside the Simpsons household, where scenes usually use one of several generic backgrounds.


  19. #17
    The Power Is Yours Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    It was decent. But I didn't really care for the subplot though. I felt that Homer and Julia had virtually (no pun intended) chemistry together and I never thought they were genuine friends. There was also no build up to Marge getting mad at Homer, so it came literally out of nowhere. It sure was nice of Julia to show up, explain herself and then leave when the script didn't need her anymore. I guess most of the jokes in this episode were at least mildly amusing. Though they still have a habit of explaining the jokes too much sometimes. I already got the joke in the couch gag without Homer yelling "I'm too fat" or the scene with Homer and Moe. That Maggie joke was stupid though, was that really the best reason they could come up with for why she doesn't talk?

    Best Moment: "Why are you getting mad at those eggs? They didn't do anything". Dan's delivery on this line legit made me laugh

    Overall: 3/5

  20. #18
    Junior Camper davoid123's Avatar
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    REVIEW TIME!
    Yet another Meh episode from Season 28, Bravo FOX!
    The Plot of ‘Friends and Family’ is, like the episode before it, better than most they’ve come up with this last four seasons, The Result of ‘Friends and Family’ is, once again like the episode before it, nothing special.
    It’s not horrible, per se, but it’s boring, it has no emotional moments, no moving scenes, nothing you’d expect from an episode that is basically ‘Bart after Dark’ without Bart.
    The ‘Homer Alone’ scene is not good, as I’m sure many of you have thought (and have said, after watching the episode or the previews). It’s just a stupid Montage of Homer eating and drinking, without any dialog at all! Like, no wisecracks? No ‘Who’s wearing Short Shorts!’? just Homer eating and drinking? Bah!
    The actual plot of the story, The Simpsons playing house for Mr. Burns, is not bad. It’s in-character for the Simpsons as they are now. (And Bart is awesome in it. well, the few moments that he did appear in.) but it’s basically irrelevant to the story, only being a reason for Homer to meet Julie (Who, apparently, has lived next door for years. Really?)
    And the finale of the episode is horrible. I didn’t think there would ever come a marriage crisis scene where I’d side with HOMER of all people. Clearly, I was wrong.
    In conclusion, While the episode had many bad things, and few things that didn’t bore me, I’d say most of the jokes were funny, especially, "Why are you getting mad at those eggs? They didn't do anything", the last scene, (where Everyone’s using the glasses), Maggie’s talking (Which, while a bit stupid, make sense to me. I mean, Maggie not talking because of Homer’s last words in ‘Lisa’s First Word’ is a pretty famous Head-canon in the Fandom), and the Coach gag.
    So, with generosity, C. and that’s just because of the Jokes.
    Hopefully the next episode will not be worse than this one.

    I'm Bart, who are you? by The No Homers Club

    Simpson Season 27 rating: (Rate average: B-)
    Every man's Dream B-/ Cue Detective C+/ Puffless C/ Halloween of Horror A-/ THOHXXVI D+/ Friend with Benefit D-/ Lisa with an 'S' C-/ Paths of Glory A-/ Barthood B-/ The Girl Code D+/ Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles C-/ Much Apu About Something B-/ Gal of Constant Sorrow B/ Lisa the Veterinarian D-/ The Marge-ian Chronicles A/ The Burns Cage D+/ How Lisa Got Her Marge Back B-/ Fland Canyon A/ To Courier With Love C/ Simprovised B+/ Orange is the new Black A-

    Average: B-

    Simpson Season 28 Rating:
    Monty Burn's Flying Circus C-/ Friends and Family C/ The Town A/ Treehouse of Horrors XXVII B / Trust But Clarify B+/ There Will Be Buds A+/ Havana Wild Weekend B-/ Dad Behavior C/ The Last Traction Hero C, The Nightmare After Krustmas C-/ Pork and Burns B-/ The Great Phatsby D-/ Fatzcaraldo B-/ The Cad and The Hat B+/ Kamp Krustier B-/ 22 for 30 B+/ A Father's Watch C-/ The Caper Chaser F/ Looking for Mr. Goodbart B-/ Moho House C-/ Dogtown D+

    Average: C+

    Simpsons Season 29 Rating:
    Serfsons D-/ Springfield Splendor B+/ Whistler's Daughter B/ TreeHouse of Horror XXVIII F/Grampy Can Ya Hear Me B/The Old Blue Mayor She Ain't What She Used to Be C-/


  21. #19
    .... BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    7/10 Pretty good episode.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.

  22. #20
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    Homer befriending that girl seemed to come out of nowhere. Like, halfway theough the episode. And Marge's reaction was fucking ridiculous.

  23. #21
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    This was pretty good and an improvement over the premiere. Feels like we've seen a lot of Mr Burns already so far, and now the family has gotten more involved rather than just Lisa. This episode lacked a solid plot, but mostly made up for it with good jokes.

    The beginning was pretty funny, with Burns calling the therapists family ugly and mistook his own pulse beating. I also liked the family thinking back of their therapy sessions, though not sure what to think of Maggie suddenly talking so much and then deciding not to do it again. I never actually knew that Krusty's death was named Hyman Krustofsky untill I saw his tombstone at that funeral, fun little throwback. I didn't get the joke with Otto at first, but apparently he thinks getting ''stoned'' by actual stones is as enjoyable as getting... stoned. Some of the Virtual Reality stuff was funny like the dragon porn. Burns's decision to find another family for his experiment felt rather odd, like why would these families be interested in doing so? Maybe there was a catch that I must've missed. I liked the face swapping gag with the kids, but it felt weird how Burns got turned on to Marge's skeleton legs. Then they made up with a gag where Burns keeps forcing Lisa to tell him that she loves him, with the same montage comming back at his death bed. One running gag I liked was that Marge complains that she never gets to do a joke, which somewhat mirrors her role on the actual show as she plays the role of the boring mom.

    Then there's a subplot with Homer, which is probably the weaker part of the episode. It never felt like Homer and Julie had any chemisty, its also rather odd how she has lived next to Homer for some time without having them meet before. Julie also had little character other then having a boyfriend, who we only see for 5 seconds near the end. She is basically a much worse version of Mindy Simmons, who also shares a lot of interests with Homer, but atleast they had some real chemistry going for it. And this whole plot is basically filled with gags where they tell the audience that they are not interested to each other, its like they do that because we complain so much about not wanting to have a plot about a marriage crisis. It feels like they could've done a more interesting plot with Homer spending his time alone in the house. Then the episode ends with Marge's overreaction just because Homer happens to have befriended another woman, and that while the whole subplot kept telling us that they were not. Its not like Marge often befriends another guy, and she doesn't even always tell Homer about them. And then when Julie comes in and explains to her that there's nothing to be afraid of, its all over in a second. Atleast the episode ended with some better gags like Burns visiting a VR version of Hell while it isn't even plugged in, and how popular this device gets in the future.

    Its a decent episode with some clunky plots, but plenty of jokes. The Virtual Reality jokes made up for it with a lot of unique occurences in the virtual world, and not just people acting awkwardly in the real world like in The South Park VR episode. I don't mind seeing Mr Burns as a main character for 2 episodes in a row now, he still manages to be funny from time to time. I've liked most of his interactions with the Simpson family while Homer is missing. The only thing they could've done better is the subplot with the quest star.

    3.5/5, rounded to a 4/5 in the poll.
    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

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  25. #22
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    Current average score for this one is 6.3/10.

  26. #23
    vs. Radioactive Man Captain Squid's Avatar
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    Better than the previous episode, but still a middle-of-the-road episode for me. I'm still waiting for that episode this season where the premise, the characterization, the story and the jokes all click. "Halloween of Horror" was the first episode of season 27 to hit all these marks for me, and the last episode to do this was "The Marge-ian Chronicles".

    As far as this episode, I thought several jokes landed and nothing really went too off the rails like last week with the bizarre Ralph death scene. The bit with the therapist was funny and an organic way to segue into the main VR plot. I was afraid we would go a little too futuristic with modern day tech, as they did in "Them, Robot" and "Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4", but the VR stuff was surprisingly accurate. Of course what we saw in the goggles looked no different than the animation we regularly see, so they didn't go to any efforts to make it CG or some other rendering, but given how modern day games are hyper realistic, it worked.

    Homer's plot kicked off naturally, and I really did like the montage of him home(r) alone despite not typically liking modern Simpsons montages. The visual of Homer naked on the roof was funny. I was half expecting another Mindy Simmons with the neighbor, but it really ended up being nothing and Marge did indeed overreact. Honestly though, I don't blame Marge and I do think they handled the blow up and the fallout well.

    As far as "is this a marriage crisis episode?", no it is not. I feel as though any time Homer and Marge have an argument, people are quick to label it marriage crisis. But let's be real, married couples argue all the time and sometimes there CAN be some blow ups but it does not mean it is a marriage crisis. I feel as though as I get older and am married longer, I relate more to Homer and Marge and feel less and less put off by the notion of "another marriage crisis episode!?". Maybe younger and unmarried fans see this differently, but I would be curious to hear what older married fans think of this.

    I really liked the ending, especially the reappearance of the classic Simpsons devil that looks a bit like Herman. I much prefer him to the big buff Devil they typically use. Last time we saw the Herman Devil was "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment". Biggest laugh for me was Ned counting pennies.

    3.5/5 rounded up to 4/5 for the poll.


  27. #24
    Pink as a Pistol Nitsy's Avatar
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    This episode didn't have much of a coherent plot. The Mr. Burns story seemed to just resolve with Mr. Burns being his usual family-hating self and it didn't seem like anything was gained from his weird experiment. Although it was at least something new to see and we can't say that plot's been done before. They almost seemed to illustrate the ridiculousness of the plot when Mr. Burns says "But you'll never work in single-viewer virtual reality family melodrama again!" But I didn't dislike any of that.

    Some things I thought were funny were the bits with Ned counting pennies, Mr. Burns' ridiculous headstone for Dr. Nussbaum, Homer's "fun alone" montage, and Mr. Burns saying "would you like eggs with that ham?", but I didn't really laugh at anything else. I thought Maggie talking was kind of stupid.

    As for the subplot, I agree that it did sort of come out of nowhere and then disappear into nowhere as I know we'll never be seeing Julia again. The idea of Homer having a female friend (that he was not interested in) hasn't really been done before, so that wasn't terrible at least, but it wasn't developed enough to make me care about it. And yeah, while not a "marriage crisis" episode, I did feel that Marge's reaction was absurd and even a bit uncomfortable. That's like the angriest she's ever been with Homer. They tried to build up to it with Homer implying that Julia was some kind of "replacement" for Marge, but I wasn't buying it--the reaction still seemed overblown.

    Small observations:
    -New possibility of what's behind The Simpsons' house. We so far have acres of forest, a cemetery, and now Julia's house.
    -Mr. Burns said "vomit with rage", a phrase uttered by Krusty in an older episode.


    5/10. A slight improvement over the first episode.

  28. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Squid View Post
    I really liked the ending, especially the reappearance of the classic Simpsons devil that looks a bit like Herman. I much prefer him to the big buff Devil they typically use. Last time we saw the Herman Devil was "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment".
    Yeah, it was fun to see the classic Herman-lookalike devil again, even if Harry Shearer didn't voice him (maybe his recasting was done when Harry was planning to leave the show at that time?) I recall that take on the devil still appeared in comics as late as the early 2000s. The show's depiction of the devil has often been rather inconsistent. If I'm not mistaken, that buff one we're thinking of first appeared in "Treehouse of Horror XI." It could've also been done to reflect how newer characters of the time were now designed differently (as I said, looking more realistic but with yellow skin and overbites on the humans.)

    He doesn't even LOOK like a character from the Simpsons!
    Even after that, during the HD era they could vary the devil's design as well. His voice could also be rather inconsistent; sometimes Dan Castellaneta did his voice, sometimes Hank Azaria voiced him.
    At least it's better than the lame "regular" devil on "Family Guy"...

  29. #26
    vs. Radioactive Man Captain Squid's Avatar
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    I don't like the buff Devil because, as you mentioned, he does not fir with the style of the show. Also, he just isn't funny looking at all. Even South Park's Devil, which is also big and strong, still looks goofy and has some personality.

    I like the old tiny Herman Devil as he is a far funnier counterpart to God in the series. Just imagine how funnier this bit would have been with the small Devil:


  30. #27
    Are you aroused? OldSchoolerSimpsons's Avatar
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    Friends And Family 2/10

    ˝+ Couch gag was half-okay.
    ˝+ The joke itself wasn't bad, but Shearer's acting was too bland and emotionless for Burns' "anger issues" to be that funny.
    + Him checking off bucket list (Outlive all friends) was better.
    -- And incredibly bad cutaway follows which shows Marge and Homer arguing at the therapist who died (Well, that's what they claim at least), which is made even worse by Maggie talking but not wanting to talk because "nobody listens". That was fucking idiotic.
    + Burns to the deceased therapist's family: "Oh look... It's the ugly people from the cube."
    - Bad Otto drug joke.
    - Technology plot? Oh no...
    + Frink trying desperately to explain the virtual headgear he wore was amusing however.
    -- Mr. Burns immediately loves the virtual reality headgear?! Have they forgotten what kind of character he is?
    -/+ The dragon porn bit is bad, but I actually really like Shearer's delivery on Smithers' lines when he's disstressed over it.
    + Mr. Burns was a fan of the virtual sequence where he attacked Africa... except it was real. Ha, oh man...
    - Burns now wants to look for a "fake family". Seriously, are you kidding me? The previous plot was fine enough (even though how they executed it was awful, but this is just plain dumb. Since when does he care so much about family?
    # The Van Houtens audition. Nothing to take note of here.
    -- Why the fuck do Mr. Burns pick The Simpsons to be his virtual family instantly, and why do they agree to it as well???
    --/+ Holy crap, that joke with him having Marge undressed and drooling over her body is so fucked up and weird it's pretty funny in how dumb it is.
    - Homer and Moe's conversation as Marge is away is really stupid. Homer is happy over drinking beer at home? He always does! Then he also calls out on Moe being mean for whatever reason, and there's a dumb shotgun gag as well.
    - Montage with Homer alone at home doing whatever he wants! Yay for no attempt at coming up with good lines!
    -- And tell me, why should I give a shit about Burns' virtual world? This is seriously boring.
    # Homer starts hanging out with a female friend next door's.
    --- Marge: "My spousal senses are tingling."
    +˝ Mr. Burns wants Lisa to expressively pretend she loves him. Lisa intentionally sounding less and less convincing each time was honestly hilarious. As is when she hams it up as well. Seems like Yeardley Smith doesn't do such a bad job nowadays after all.
    -- Homer gets teased by everyone that his new friend is female. This isn't funny at all, it's just annoying.
    -- So, uuuh... I kinda forgot to write something for a few minutes, but whatever. Mr. Burns now realizes this whole virtual reality family thing is bullshit, so he fires the Simpsons (bar Homer) and sends them home. Still don't even understand the point of this whole shibobble in the first place!
    --- This is where the real horror sets in. The virtual reality stuff was bad, but this is truly atrocious. Marge can't handle that Homer has a female best friend, and gets angry as hell at him for it. WHY? She doesn't even fucking know her!
    --- And now she manages to actually make him lose her as a friend. This is absolutely horribly pathetic. Marge is acting like a little child! Marriage troubles aside, she is really just sexist.
    --- And now for the ending. Which is really lousy too. Burns puts on the stupid device again and has the family joining him at his fictional death bed (Once again, why is he so obsessed with family???), and it becomes worse when now ALL the Springfieldians look at virtual reality and don't even look where they are going. Hmmmmmmmmmm, where could this joke have been done? Oh yeah, THE D'OH-CIAL NETWORK! And we also see Homer and Marge having "virtual" sex (which again, was also done in another new episode, Specs And The City). HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS SHIT GET APPROVED???

    This is actually even worse than the premiere. People call this a laughfest with simply a very bad plot, but that's really, really stretching it. A lot of the jokes are awful, it's only that the plot itself was already trash as well. Did I seriously just watch an episode where old, evil man Mr. Burns gets addicted to virtual reality?! Like I said before, DO THEY FORGET WHAT CHARACTER THEY ARE WRITING FOR? The entire goddamn point is that he is out of touch, goddamn it. It's not even funny if he's "hip" with the modern world, since that removes a large aspect of his character. It makes no sense no matter how much you try to twist and turn it. It just doesn't. And he takes a self** with the devil at the end too. Are you fucking joking with me? The Simpsons family's involvement made zero sense too. Why would they agree to it so easily, considering they gain nothing on it? At least in Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus (as weird as it was that Lisa kept helping him after the town was repaired), they half-assed an explanation. Here there was literally none at all. Why didn't Marge just protest, take her kids and leave? It's obvious Lisa didn't want to be there for instance, so why would Marge not try to do something about it? In fact, they only leave because Burns grows tired of it. Homer getting a female friend is nice (even though her character is pretty bland and not that well-written), but it's ruined by unfunny sexist nonsense and Marge having the biggest and most irritating overreaction I've ever seen. What a terrible ending. Was it really worth making Marge a massive, insufferable, immature bitch just to restore the status quo? What would be the harm in just letting Homer keep his friend? It's not like that would make the whole show collapse, so I REALLY DON'T GET IT. This show is so safe that it drives me insane. The "status quo is God" mentality needs to be toned down, and I mean bigtime. But don't explode it up too far either and just go fully retarded (like the ending of The Man Who Came To Be Dinner), simply take a few steps changing it up a little instead of just going "Screw it, everything's going back to normal!". It's deplorable.
    Why did people say technology didn't play a huge part here? This is no different than all the other "classic" tech offerings we've gotten in the last few seasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Egg Council Creep View Post
    Other weird dreams I had
    - I was going to see a Rush concert, and the opening act was Bill Cosby


  31. #28
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    Definitely agree. Can't see the praise this ep gets.

  32. #29
    Well what can I say... FormulaMoss's Avatar
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    whenever do you praise an episode though?
    The Simpsons Season 29 Ratings; The Serfsons B- Springfield Splendor B Whistlers Father C THOH XXVIII A-

    Seasons Best/Worst: 1. Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire / Homer's Night Out, 2. Lisa's Substitute / Bart gets an "F", 3. Colonel Homer / The Otto Show, 4. Mr. Plow / Krusty gets Kancelled, 5. The Last Temptation of Homer / Deep Space Homer, 6. Homer the Great / Lemon of Troy, 7. Bart Sells His Soul / Much Apu about Nothing, 8. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show / My Sister, My Sitter, 9. The City of New York vs. Homer / The Principle and the Pauper, 10. Homer to the Max / Sunday, Cruddy Sunday, 11. E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt) / Grift of the Magi, 12. HOMR / Day of the Jackanapes 13. Half-Decent Proposal / Homer the Moe 14. Moe Baby Blues / Strong Arms of the Ma, 15. Fruadcast News / My Big Fat Geek Wedding, 16. Pranksta Rap / Mobile Homer 17. The Girl Who Slept Too Little / The Italian Bob 18. 24 Minutes / Kill Gil, Volumes I & II, 19. Enternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind / Funeral for a Friend, 20. Eeny Teeny Maye Moe / The Burns and the Bees 21. Boy Meets Curl / Thursday with Abie, 22. Homer Scissorhands / How Munched is That Birdie in the Window, 23. Holidays of Future Passed, / Lisa Goes Gaga, 24. The Day the Earth Stood Cool / Gone Abie Gone 25. Brick Like Me / The Yellow Badge of Cowardge, 26. I Won't Be Home for Christmas / The Man Who Came to Be Dinner, 27. Halloween of Horror / Every Mans Dream, 28. A Fathers Watch / Dad Behavior

  33. #30
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    I liked Orange Is The New Yellow, 3 episodes ago!



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