View Poll Results: How would you rate this episode?

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  • 5/5: Everything I say I want FiVE of.

    4 13.79%
  • 4/5: Mmmm... nerdburger.

    1 3.45%
  • 3/5: Hey Blobby Fisher... you're up.

    10 34.48%
  • 2/5: A human booger... real mature.

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Thread: Rate & Review: "The Cad and the Hat" (WABF08)



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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "The Cad and the Hat" (WABF08)



    Season 28, Episode 14
    Original Airdate: February 19, 2017
    Writer: Ron Zimmerman
    Director: Steven Dean Moore
    Synopsis: When Bart betrays Lisa, he has to deal with his guilt - literally. Meanwhile, Springfield is in awe when Homer is revealed to be a chess savant.

    Previous R&R
    Next R&R
    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

  2. #2
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    And we're off to the races.

  3. #3
    insert usertitle here The Easter Egg Council Creep's Avatar
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    -- Over-over-over long couch gag
    * Bart's sand sculpture
    ** BORT license plate
    * "Beach turkey"
    End of act 1, 5/10
    - Lame hat gag
    * "Not-so-cheerios"
    * Homer eating tips
    ** Nelson bringing home hammer and rabbit
    End of act 2, 5/10
    ** The Magnus Carlsen video
    * Guilt getting hit by plane
    Closing thoughts:
    That was a pretty poor episode.
    A-plot was pretty decent, it was good to see Bart try to face his guilt instead of being a sociopath about it, but the end resolution was dumb. Bart GETS THE HAT BACK, but Lisa says "the wound won't heal" even though it's just a hat she had had for ONE NIGHT, and then 5 seconds later they make up. Lame.
    And the B-plot was just stupid. Apparently doing chess against your father means you want to kill him? Wut.
    More importantly, the humor wasn't too great. There were some decent jokes throughout, but lots didn't stand out.
    So I can only give it 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
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    I argued in the Season 28 thread that this episode would fall apart if they failed to properly set up the premise - and they largely failed to. Bart tossing Lisa's new hat aside after most of the fun she had with the darn thing was isolated to a fantasy sequence he had no exposure to was pretty lame. Everything else that made Lisa's day at the beach a delight would have happened the exact same without the hat. A hackneyed compliment from the bullies and Lisa giving her hat a name isn't enough to compensate for that. That and her freaking out over not having the hat on her head in her sleep when she clearly would not have gone to bed wearing it was also rather weak.

    The subplot was nonsensical but it at least boasted a resolution unlike last week's subplots. I did like that they brought Patton Oswalt back to voice Bart's guilt - but this ep largely felt like wasted potential had they bothered to fully commit to the A-plot or at least switch things around and made Lisa the guilty party.

    Bart's taken and destroyed Lisa's things countless times before. Even that giant tomato that landed on Skinner's butt had clear attachment/investment, a more defined betrayal arc and a better justification for Bart's actions than anything we saw tonight.


  5. #5
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    2/5 - neither story really went anywhere. The closest thing to an "outside the box" gag was Rod and Todd lifting the car by prayer.

    The beach shop has "Bort" license plates.

    The first game Grampa plays against Homer ends in a Fool's Mate, which is the shortest possible game (two moves on each side).

    One of the things Bart gives Lisa is a box of Cruelty-Free Saxophone Reeds "from wood that fell off."

    Couch Gag "Robot Chicken Couch Gag 2"
    Written by Tom Root
    Story Concept by Mike B. Anderson
    Directed by John Harvatine IV
    Animated by Thomas R. Smith, Melissa Sheperd, and Johnny McHone
    Animation by Stoopid Buddy Studios


  6. #6
    Remember Me As I Was 1010011010's Avatar
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    Act 1:
    -Robot Chicken couch gag meh. Overly long/talkative, and just lacking everything that made the first one fun.
    -Random opening narrative wraparound for the episode. At least the previous two shitty narrative wraps (What Animated Women Want, Love is a Splintered Thing) popped up a few times in the episode, this one is just opening/closing filler.
    -Lisa loves a hat so much, it causes an unfunny drug trip sequence? Also, sudden Trump appearance, earliest appearance of a current US President on the show.
    -Oh hi...male surfer parent from Changing of the Guardian.
    -Lots of forced shitty jokes so far, not gonna bother mentioning them all.
    -Homer's good at chess apparently. Cause another sudden Homer childhood flashback says so.
    -And now Hugo's back, with Patton Oswalds voice.
    Act 2:
    -Liked all the Krusty wrappers in the car.
    -"The babies name is Maggie".
    -Man that Lenny baggage joke went on for a while.
    -SUDDEN 3 second insert of Homer/Marge leaving a chess building, cause timing.
    -Chess makes Homer want to kill father now *throws bowling ball at Grampa pins*. Could've used that to extend other interests like his bowling talent into wanting to best his father, but that would've actually developed something.

    Act 3:
    -Chess master a shit VA, same for his minute long scene.
    -Rod and Todd just show up for no reason. And have divine powers (thought it was gonna eventually cut to a magnet lifting the car instead, but nah, they just have divine powers now).
    -Also Bart's intestines melt.
    -"I play chess?"
    -Very late Superbowl reference shove.
    -And then Lisa abandons Bart completely over a fuckin' hat. Except then she doesn't. They hug. Plot over.
    -Also everyone has a demon now, and Barts becomes a nuclear monster for no reason.
    -Wraparound comes back to fill time/remind us this episode had a wraparound.

    Idea of Bart seeing a living version of his remorse is unique. If they gave any interesting interactions between the two/had Bart learn something/made Lisa angry over something worthy of seeing a demon of remorse besides destroying a hat, it might've been okay. Homer's plot was standard stuff, neither gave much development and was filled mainly with forced gags. Yadda yadda yadda.

    5/10, 2/5, 40%, D+.
    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
    Futurama Season 7B Ratings:
    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


  7. #7
    It's Hammer Time Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    The Bart plot had an interesting premise but bad execution. I feel like the item should have been more valuable to Lisa instead of some random hat she found at the beach. But I guess it is kinda nice to see Bart trying to do something nice for Lisa, even if the emotion didn't click for me. Also, when Bart and Lisa were telling this story, were they also talking about Homer playing chess? I don't get it. Speaking of Homer's plot, it was okay. 3/5

    Also, there's a Trump reference.

  8. #8
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Also, apologies for the two mistakes (misspelling Bobby Fischer's last name and misquoting the human booger line) in the poll options tonight. Was grabbing them in real-time from the first act when this episode aired in its Canadian 7:30pm timeslot and neglected to correct them before kicking off this thread an hour later.

    I promise to do better next time.

  9. #9
    , peyrin's Avatar
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    ok I actually laughed at Rod and Todd randomly showing up in the dumpster. like, did someone on the writing staff just decide that it was okay to Plop two random side characters in a dumpster for the sake of a joke? was it meant to be a joke? have they just completely and utterly given up? alas, we may never know.

    other than that...Magnus Carlsen voice work 10/10.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    Also, apologies for the two mistakes (misspelling Bobby Fischer's last name and misquoting the human booger line) in the poll options tonight. Was grabbing them in real-time from the first act when this episode aired in its Canadian 7:30pm timeslot and neglected to correct them before kicking off this thread an hour later.

    I promise to do better next time.
    Also, “FIVE” isn’t completely all-caps.
    ah (as in apple)-tuh-eef

  11. #11
    Worst User Ever Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Well that sucked as expected. The premise falls apart when you consider Lisa's done way worse things to Bart than throw away a hat and felt 100% great about it. And yet another "feel sorry for Lisa!" episode on top of that.


  12. #12
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    I've said this several times before, but how on earth is that couch gag a "couch gag"? Shouldn't it just be called Weekly Small Skits by now?

  13. #13
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    I actually enjoyed the couch gag. I've come around on long couch gags, especially when the rest of the episode is so mediocre.

    Observations/notes:

    -So what's the point of the fourth-wall breaking and the narration? Nothing. Okay, so let's not have it.
    -Seeing the Bort license plates made me laugh. I love any nod to better episodes
    -Trump appearance...eh...I guess saying he's an orange troll is a nice non-political jab at him. Probably rather see that than have The Simpsons attempt relevant commentary.
    -Bart crying in the ocean is pretty much par for the course for "modern Bart".
    -Homer's names for the chess pieces. "Dr. Horse".
    -The flashback was sort of pointless, but it was funny at least, and the scene of the kitchen matched earlier instances of that kitchen. Also loved the random appearance of dated Hibbert.
    -I loved the "hat lineup". I guess it was a list gag, but it was funny.
    -"Sunny" is the name of the baby in A Series of Unfortunate Events #themoreyouknow
    -Not-so-Cheerios
    -Rubix cubes didn't come out until 1980, so that flashback with the chess professor was a bit anachronistic (unless they're retconning to the 80s?)
    -Rod and Tod appearance was so random and bizarre that I could only think of it in a positive sense.
    -Another nod to Carl's Scandinavian boyhood :P
    -Again, don't really like the fourth-wall stuff. But whatever.

    I seem to be enjoying these episodes a little more than most. I guess because at this point, I can't rely on the plot for entertainment. This episode had a lot of good brief chuckle moments and some interesting visual gags. I have to give it some credit compared to episodes that just leave me bored and cringing. This was not that. But I agree the plots were not very strong. Homer finding out he has a special skill is not new; Moe talking to him about it almost reminded me of his arm-wrestling and boxing talents that are never mentioned again. While it felt sort of like a pointless random subplot, it at least was fairly entertaining. The flashbacks felt more like the "classic" Abe, so I can commend them for that (rather than making Homer's childhood seem more idyllic than it was presented as in the earliest era of the show). They went a bit too far by making Homer patricidal, but it at least felt like a full plot with a decent resolution. I also agree that Bart has done worth things to Lisa and the "hat incident" might have seemed mild by comparison, but this one was different in that Lisa didn't know about it at first (compared to the tomato incident, which was done right in front of her). Additionally, Bart showed no remorse for that, so it was also a bit different to see him plagued by guilt (not just in the literal sense of this episode). But again, Lisa forgiving Bart felt very familiar.

    I actually probably preferred the chess plot to the main plot. 3/5

  14. #14
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Man, I just realized that if I ignore the now-traditional Cohen / Moore THOH disappointment, there was an atypically strong stretch of consecutive non-anthology episodes to kick off this season. I gave scores of 3 or higher to Friends and Family, The Town, Trust but Clarify and There Will Be Buds. Of course, two of those were Selman but they were interspliced with some solid Jean efforts as well thanks to a J. Stewart Burns ep where he wasn't phoning it in and a motivated Harry Shearer getting to write his first script.

    And since that stretch, we've now had SEVEN consecutive meh or worse subpar single-episode HD era efforts. Only Selman's hour-long The Great Phatsby stands out from the pack.
    Hopefully this streak finally comes to an end when Kamp Krustier airs post-Oscars.

  15. #15
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    A slight improvement over last weeks episode, but it also shares the same problems for most of the part. I like the idea of Bart having his own guilty conscience that he can interact with, where he even grows whenever something gross happens. But this Hugo-esque conscience lacked character and basically any chemistry with Bart, all he did was acting snarky and annoying, but I guess this was intended to be so. I liked his voice acting atleast.

    I found the couch gag to be rather fun with some nice animation. The South Park characters hardly resembles the real ones, its just their shapes and type of clothing that were mostlythe same. But I liked how they handled their old theme song. Good encounter with the nerd from Robot Chicken. As for the main plot, its easily the most interesting and I was hoping for a good Bart/Lisa episode. They pulled it off but I expected more. I liked the return of the ''BORT'' license plates, and that little montage with Lisa transforming Bart and Trump (someone needs to make the Trump bit a gif). Not a fan of how whiny Bart has gotten several times, but it was needed for him being a ''tough guy'' joke. Also not a fan that he wanted to hurt a seagull to act tough, its just animal abuse. Good joke with Homer at the drive-in, cute moment with Lisa falling asleep on Bart's shoulder. Though I don't buy that when the Simpsons got home, it took Lisa to find out her hat was gone while she was sleeping. How did she not realise that sooner? Not sure how to judge Bart's decision to throw her hat away, I guess this kind of jaelousy behaviour is only normal with kids his age. Liked the gag where she tried to find her hat in Wiggums office, and Homer thinking that ''Sunny'' was actually Maggie. So now it took ''Hugo'' to convince Bart to confess after telling him that Itchy & Scratchy cartoons are made by Koraen childlaborers. Loved that scene with Bart confessing to Lisa though, with ''Hugo'' transforming to Bart's biggest fear: 5th grade math. Not sure what to think of Rod & Todd actually calling God to hover a carwreck above the ground, seems a bit to unreal for the Simpsons. A good/cute ending with this plot and how ''Hugo'' ended up in the nuclaire power plant.

    Then for the B plot, it got bigger then I imagined but its the weaker plot. I found it hard to believe that on oaf like Homer is that good at chess. I also didn't get why Abe would be interested to play that much chess in the past. It got some funny smaller scenes, and I liked how Lenny packed himself up in Moe's tavern. Apparently Homer thinks that Reddit is a legit source to find out stuff like playing so much chess against your father actually means that you want to kill him... eh, it got to a somewhat proper showdown at the end atleast. They tried to make it somewhat emotional but it felt rather flat instead. I think Magnus was pretty funny.

    Overall it had a promising premise with Bart dealing with his own guilt, maybe not so much with Homer being a pro in chess. This episode ended up average with some good jokes and moments, but nothing special. Best parts were probably the couch gag and Lisa's reaction to Bart when he confessed. Can't really recall any bad moment atleast, maybe the scene with Rod & Todd.

    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

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  16. #16
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    (someone needs to make the Trump bit a gif).
    Ask and you shall receive. I like that he's tweeting angrily on his phone before getting trollified by Lisa's alicorn...

    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 02-20-2017 at 02:38 PM.

  17. #17
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    if I ignore the now-traditional Cohen / Moore THOH disappointment..
    Why is it that all the Treehouse of Horrors have to now be written by Joel H. Cohen and directed by Steven Dean Moore? Do they both have some very high status among the current Simpsons staff? Do they think Cohen is the best writer on the staff currently?
    If they would just allow other writers and directors to work on the Treehouse of Horrors, they probably wouldn't be so disappointing and run-of-the-mill anymore.

    BTW, I didn't see this episode and I'm not sure if I want to. My brother liked it and he gave it an A-, but then again, he often loves newer episodes written by first-time, freelance or one-time writers. (He seems blind to bad jokes and stuff.)

  18. #18
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    This was just an OK episode. It had some decent jokes and the main plot did have some sort of charm to it. It's close to being a good episode, but it just misses the mark. The biggest problem has to be with why is Lisa's hat the one thing Bart feels guilty about? It would be more understandable if she had it for a long time, but Lisa only had it for a few hours and Bart's motivation isn't much better. He just does it so he can live up to that tattoo that he only had for 5 seconds. The chess subplot was also weak. I didn't really buy the fact that Homer is somehow good at chess and the conflict with Homer giving up chess because... he thinks it will make him kill his father (wh) was stupid. Not to mention that the resolution for both of these plots weren't very good. Overall it's just an average HD episode saved by some decent jokes and some actually good visuals. 6/10


  19. #19
    Stonecutter AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    The first hint that this episode isn't going to turn out well is that the guest couch gag isn't good. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, it's not just as good as the first Robot Chicken couch gag. It's missing a lot of the energy and excitement the first one had, and all the talking just slowed everything down.

    Thing don't improve when we get to the actual episode For some reason it opens up with Bart and Lisa in weird outfits talking about the events of the episode as a past experience that their going to tell the audience. I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a reference to something, but I don't know what it is, and I don't care enough to look it up. If somebody knows, please tell me. Anyway, Quimby opens up the beach, even though it's really toxic, and we get a joke about Lenny getting injected with a bunch of used needles...didn't we already use this joke last season in Fland Canyon? Naturally, Homer wants to take the family there, and there's some weird joke about Bart being busy playing what appears to be a PSP....in 2017. Uh, Ok. In the next scene, suddenly the whole family is at the beach, even though Lisa seemed pretty annoyed at the pollution earlier and would have probably complained about it at the beach. But whatever, we do get one of the bright spots of the episode, where Bart and Lisa make a giant sand sculpture to prank Homer and then giggle about it later. It's always really refreshing and cute to see the two of them actually act like kids (especially Lisa) and having fun together. Too bad the joke is kind of killed with Homer constantly explaining that they made him look like a booger. Lisa ends finding some random hat that she loves so much, it makes her go into some kind of hallucinogenic fantasy. Bart's temporary tattoo dissolves in the water and he starts whining and crying about it because, you see, if he's not a remorseless sociopath or a completely brain-dead moron on par with Ralph, then the joke is that Bart's entire character is that now he's a pathetic, loser, completely useless crybaby. But at least get a cute moment of Lisa having fun. Homer ends up in a chess game with Jasper, and when he wins Jaspers beard goes upward...I don't get, is I a reference to something? Also, Homer's dialogue seems to imply that he was intentionally acting dumb. So Homer just scammed an old man out of his money...wow, what a great guy! Homer gives a flashback about how he used to play chess as a child with Abe...oh god, not another flashback story about Homer's childhood, we just had one last week! What is with all these constant flashbacks to Homer's childhood we keep getting every few seasons? It feels like their trying to make Homer's backstory deeper, but they never mention any of the previous flashbacks when they start a new one, so it just comes off as confusing and convoluted now.

    Anyway, none of the family is really interested in the chess stuff. You would think Lisa would be happy about this, perhaps bond with Homer over chess, giving us a nice father/daughter story...nope! The bullies compliment Lisa's hat for some reason and Bart gets attacked by a bird because again, the joke is that he's a pathetic loser. Also Nelson explains what's happening after he laughs...is it just me, or does everytime Nelson goes "ha ha" now, he has to explain why he's laughing? I don't remember him doing it that often before, but now it seems like he does it pretty much every single time, and it's starting to sound really forced and unnatural. Homer buys a crapload of food because Marge is basically just wallpaper at this point, and Bart throws away Lisa's hat because...he wants to be bad? Bart's waken up in the middle of then night by Hugo, who has returned as a ghost, and is now voiced by Patton Oswalt. Actually, he's just Bart's guilt. I did get a laugh when Bart's guilt straight-up murders Bart's denial, that was pretty unexpected. If only Bart's guilt would kill Marge's denial as well, that would make this show so much better.

    Lisa wakes up (after having a dream where she's reliving her fantasy?) and freaks out over her missing hat. Wait, why is she only noticing this now? Wouldn't she have noticed earlier when she woke up? Or did Homer and Marge carry her to bed and changed her into her PJ's? Who knows, it's never explained. Lisa goes insane over looking for his hat, and ends up leaving her house in the middle of the night to go to the police. Shauna also shows up during this scene for some ungodly reason. See, this is the major problem of the episode. I've criticized before how one of the key issues in modern episodes is that nothing is ever taken seriously, with everything being a punchline to something, so there is no weight behind the emotions and it feels empty instead. This episode instead goes to the extreme opposite and puts far too much serious tension in something that's ultimately worthless. All this drama...for a hat. It's not even like a family heirloom or anything, it's just some stupid hat she bought and had for a few hours. This would have made much more sense if Bart had thrown out something important to Lisa, like her saxophone. Instead the episode tries to be so dramatic with the missing hat storyline, that it just comes off as absurd instead. Also Bart is apparently somehow able to see what Lisa is doing while he's sleeping. Bart's guilt explains he'll keep growing, then he eats Bart and shits him out, and Bart really enjoyed it and wants to do it again...what? Homer and Marge are up and...wait, they were up this whole time and didn't notice or give a shit that Lisa left the house?! What awful parents! I totally expect this from Homer, but from Marge? Man, she really is just a background fixture by now, huh? The two try to get aroused by Homer's chess skills, which is thankfully interrupted by Lisa. Marge barely seems to care about the hat problem in the morning (wouldn't she try to comfort Lisa?) and Lisa keeps whining about it, and nobody notices Bart acting weird.

    Homer starts playing chess in Moe's bar for no reason and there's a stupid joke about Lenny that's not really worth going into detail about. Homer explains that he learned how to play chess because he played it with Abe everyday as a kid, which is an even more bullshit idea then Homer being a master chess player in the first place. It's mentioned that he did it after Mona left, so did Abe start playing it as a coping mechanism? Didn't we see that he hated her last episode? Homer learned how to play chess from some professor and then Abe got mad and stopped playing it with him, and that's why Homer has a drinking problem. I thought it was because Abe got him drunk as a kid to make him forget about his stepmom. I also thought that the reason why Homer hated Abe was because he gave away his stupid dog. I also thought that last episode gave us a story about an old chili dog truck owner bonding with Homer. Whatever, the writers don't care or remember that crap, so I guess I shouldn't either. Bart's guilt, which has grown so huge it's now starting to look like the Blob from the X-Men, and then informs Bart about Korean children being forced to animate Itchy and Scratchy. So after these three or four scenes, Bart is now feeling so guilty he tells Lisa the truth, but now she totally hates him. Also there's a weird cutaway gag showing Homer and Marge leaving a chess club and getting chased by the bullies...what was the point of that scene?

    Bart tries to make up with Lisa at school later, but she refuses and bitterly says it's because losing her hat is "a wound nothing can heal"...What?! It was a fucking hat! She didn't even have it for half a day! Why the hell is she making such a big deal about this stupid hat, like it was an important part of her life? This is why the episode would have made more sense if Bart had thrown out her saxophone instead. Moe informs Homer that his chess playing skills is actually because he secretly wants to murder Abe, which Homer denies as being possible, even though not only would I find it totally plausible that Homer in his current characterization would try to kill Abe, but the episode where Lurleen came back showed Homer fantasying about murdering Abe. Also Bart discovers that Lisa's hat is inside the crushed remains of a car. So Homer decides to give up being a chess player, but Marge (who I guess was told about Moe's theory) has somehow gotten chess master Magnus Carlsen on Skype to help out, which is probably one of the laziest explanations for a guest star showing up ever. Why would Magnus give a crap about some random guy he's never met before? Also he's probably one of the worst guest stars we've seen on the show so far, sounding extremely robotic and unemotional. The animators were apparently too lazy to animate him as well, so he just shows up on Skype instead of in Springfield. Anyway Homer is convinced to play chess with Abe again.

    Meanwhile Bart tries to figure out how to get Lisa's hat out of the car cube, and then Rod and Todd show up out of fucking nowhere and use their holy powers to levitate the cube. Sure, why not? We did an episode where Bart discovered he could make women pregnant using voodoo, let's just made Rod and Todd actual gods too! Bart then uses soda to dissolve the cube and ends up accidently dissolving his own stomach too but doesn't die somehow. Rod and Todd use their holy powers to carry the cube into a pool of soda, Bart retrieves the hat from the dissolving cube, and Ned shows up. Why were the Flanders randomly at a dumpster anyway? Homer goes into a chess game against Abe, and for some reason a bunch of are at Moe's watching the game. Why? Are they betting on the match? Why are they watching this? And who are all these random people? Also Magnus is there and is Carl's cousin or something. But Homer decides to throw the match because he doesn't want to hurt his dad's feelings by beating him...I...I thought they were playing to prove Homer doesn't want to kill him. Since when did Abe care so much about chess? And then Homer says he did it because he loved his dad. When did this become a father/son story? Whatever, the plots' over now, thank god. Bart returns Lisa's hat to her, but then tells him to piss off because she's still too hurt to ever forgive him, Is this seriously happening? It was just a stupid hat! But Lisa's guilt (which I didn't think she had, because of how smug and egotistical she's usually written as now) convinces her to make up with Bart five seconds later and they have a cute hug, and it's over. Also Homer has a bunch of personal flaws that want to talk to him because the joke is that Homer is a total sociopath with no real redeemable traits anymore. Though oddly enough, I didn't see a flaw that represented Homer's love of violently assaulting people or murderous rage (unless that's what the grim reaper is meant for).

    In pure Season 28 fashion, the episode ends on a totally pointless 4th act. Bart and Lisa show up again in their weird prologue outfits. So was the whole episode just a story they were telling? Why did they tell an unrelated story about Homer's chess skills? It's like when they told a story about Homer searching for gold in the middle of Bart's vision of his future in Bart to the Future, only without a lame joke acknowledging it. Then Nelson shows up to make a joke about how the cameraman is going out with Nelson's mom. And there's a joke about how Magnus doesn't want talk to Homer anymore. And then it's over. Why do they keep making 4th acts when the writers obviously can only write material for three acts?

    Another disappointment of an episode in an extremely disappointing season. The main plot was pretty stupid. I'll give them credit, it was nice for them to remember that Bart actually has a conscience and isn't just a remorseless sociopath that they keep pushing him as, but it was still pretty awful. There's no reason given for why Bart would throw away Lisa's hat other then to fulfil a promise on some dumb tattoo he had for five seconds. Also, why he would think throwing away the hat would make Lisa upset, when the only thing the hat had to do with her fun was when Lisa got randomly complimented on it twice? Him also being a whining crybaby at the beach was extremely annoying as well. Lisa was also pretty unlikeable too, as her obsession with the hat made no sense, and her deciding to cut off ties with Bart over it was absurd and idiotic. It's like they were trying to the Michael Jackson episode where Lisa did the same thing to Bart, except there it actually made sense. Lisa comes off more as a spoiled brat then anything else here. As a result, both characters are totally unsympathetic. Patton Oswalt was enjoyable as Bart's guilt, but the character was wasted, they could have done some great animation with the guilt by having Bart imagine it turning to a giant demonic looking monsters, but it was barely in the episode. The chess sub-plot was complete shit. Nobody really reacts to Homer being able to play chess, the idea that he wants to kill Abe comes out of nowhere, the guest star was awful and shoe-horned in, and the ending becoming a father/son story also came out of nowhere. It was just awful. There was also a lot of filler in this episode, such as the long cough gag, Bart and Lisa's prologue and epilogue, Lisa's hallucination of her hat, Lenny inside of a bag.

    A very low 2/5, with the only saving graces being a few funny jokes, a couple of cute sibling moments between Bart and Lisa, and Patton Oswalt. I can't wait for this season to end already.


  20. #20
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    You invested more thought into that review than the entire writing staff invested in creating that episode, AlphaOmega.

    And yes, that right there is the fundamental problem with Al Jean episodes in 2017.
    All of these questions that should get asked before an episode gets made either don't get answered or don't get asked in the first place.

    I never seem to run into this problem with Matt Selman episodes.
    They might present other issues that I'm not crazy about - but the logic gaps are so few and far between compared to Jean eps.
    Al's episodes could give a rat's ass about the story beats so long as they manage to string a bunch of weak rehashed jokes together.


  21. #21
    Junior Camper ZOIDBERG RODRIGUEZ's Avatar
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    I really liked this episode especially because of the chess part! me and my nephew are just getting into playing chess so it is weird that this episode came out! also my 9 year old nephew just got his Boys Life Magazine, he is a Cub Scout and the Magazine has two chess articles!

  22. #22
    Stonecutter AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    You invested more thought into that review than the entire writing staff invested in creating that episode, AlphaOmega.

    And yes, that right there is the fundamental problem with Al Jean episodes in 2017.
    All of these questions that should get asked before an episode gets made either don't get answered or don't get asked in the first place.

    I never seem to run into this problem with Matt Selman episodes.
    They might present other issues that I'm not crazy about - but the logic gaps are so few and far between compared to Jean eps.
    Al's episodes could give a rat's ass about the story beats so long as they manage to string a bunch of weak rehashed jokes together.
    The thing is, I never plan on writing these long reviews. But when I watch a Simpsons episode and decide to review it, I feel like I should go over the issues I have with the episode, to explain what worked and what didn't work (usually the problems are about characterizations, pacing, and plot holes in the stories) . And I find it easier to explain the set up for these situations to show that even with context, the problems still make no sense or just show what the issue is. Hence why my reviews are just gigantic blocks of text where I basically describe the story like a Wikipedia synopsis, with the addition of me complain about what I didn't like about the episode.

    I have nothing personality against Matt Selman or his writing. I just don't think he's that great. But then again, I have become really cynical with modern Simpsons episodes, and I haven't seen all of Selman's stories (the ones he's written and acted as showrunner for), so maybe their is a difference and I just never noticed it. Regardless, I respect your opinion on Selman.

  23. #23
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    I have nothing personality against Matt Selman or his writing. I just don't think he's that great. But then again, I have become really cynical with modern Simpsons episodes, and I haven't seen all of Selman's stories (the ones he's written and acted as showrunner for), so maybe their is a difference and I just never noticed it. Regardless, I respect your opinion on Selman.
    It might surprise you to find out that I consider Al Jean to be a better writer than Selman. His Season 26 solo effort, I Won't Be Home for Christmas, is excellent.

    I don't think there's any comparison in terms of which one is the better showrunner, however.

    The egregious modern Simpsons gaffes surrounding inconsistent characterization, unresolved subplots, nonsensical motivations... pretty much any of the offenses built around laziness or complacency that make someone such as yourself really cynical about the show... these are almost always tendencies exclusively found in episodes that Jean showruns.

  24. #24
    Worst User Ever Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Now I'm wondering what it'd be like if they did a job-swap. I think Selman showran Halloween of Horror, right? But then as a writer his best was probably Natural Born Kissers which was decent... but then also got a solo writing credit for Future-Drama and That 90's Show which were amongst the show's very worst.

  25. #25
    where am I now? CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Yep, this was a super average episode. Nothing stood out as especially good and nothing stood out as especially bad, it was just so meh as a whole.

    The plot about Bart's guilt hounding him after he tosses away Lisa's new hat was a good premise, but the hat was a weak basis for the conflict; Lisa had it for less than a day and her considering the loss of it a wound that will never heal was ridiculous and her being a jerk about it even after he tries to make things right and gets it back was pretty bad (even though that lasted around a minute); I liked Bart's guilt being personified and Patton Oswalt did nicely in the role, but Bart never really seemed that bothered by this creature hanging around and the ending with it becoming a giant monster that feeds on nuclear power (and could be seen by Burns) was just way too much.

    The subplot about Homer turning out be great at chess since he played a lot against his father Abe when he was little was a pretty decent one, even though Moe telling Homer that the reason he's so good at it being because he subconsciously wants to kill Abe was dumb (good thing they didn't dwell on or focus on that a lot afterwards); it was just ok but I did kinda like the flashback scenes and the chess duel between him and Abe at the end of it. The chess master Magnus Carlsson's inclusion made sense I guess, but it was unnecessary and he did such a poor job; is it really so hard showing emotion and not talk like a robot?

    It wasn't a very funny episode either and most of the jokes fell flat, but had some okay bits such as Rod and Todd using the power of praying to help Bart get the hat out of the crushed car (it was so silly but amusing) and Homer's excessive burger order (including the messy results in the car), and while the two plots were mediocre and kinda clumsily handled (especially the Bart & Lisa plot) the pacing was pretty good and both plots were balanced well together so I guess that counts as something.

    All in all, not impressed with the episode but it wasn't all that bad so it gets an average grade from me.

    2.5/5 rounded up to 3/5

  26. #26


    3 best moments
    Madeline And Pepito refrence
    "The baby's name is Maggie."
    Homer telling guilt to get in line behind his other demons

    btw any ep that gets me to laugh at the very end gets a bonus half point.
    so this episode managed a 3/5, slightly better than average.

  27. #27
    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    The thing is, I never plan on writing these long reviews. But when I watch a Simpsons episode and decide to review it, I feel like I should go over the issues I have with the episode, to explain what worked and what didn't work (usually the problems are about characterizations, pacing, and plot holes in the stories) . And I find it easier to explain the set up for these situations to show that even with context, the problems still make no sense or just show what the issue is. Hence why my reviews are just gigantic blocks of text where I basically describe the story like a Wikipedia synopsis, with the addition of me complain about what I didn't like about the episode..
    That might explain a lot. I've actually attempted to use your review style on some shows, mostly ones I like, but I find myself quitting in the middle. I think it may be because while some of them aren't really liked here, such as Stuck in the Middle and National Geographic's Mars, I have very few issues with them, especially the latter. So my reviews literally just look like Wikipedia articles with almost no commentary that just turn into me stating what happened in the show and almost writing a novelization. That's the difference between a guilty pleasure and an unpopular opinion, I guess.

    I guess that's another plus to watching and reviewing things you don't like.

  28. #28
    this is some friendly Charlie's Avatar
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    Best episode of the season for me. I think a 3.5/5 is fair.

    Laugh-out-loud moment of the week goes to the Madeline reference. "She only wore that because it was part of her uniform, just ask Pepito!"
    Last edited by Zeus; Today at 12:00 PM. Reason: to fuck with you

  29. #29
    Junior Camper Martin_PrinceBR's Avatar
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    Another average episode of season 28. The main plot was simple, had a good pace, some funny jokes and also some strange and meaningless jokes (the soda "joke" comes to mind). The end was a sweet moment.
    The subplot was just OK. 3/5.

  30. #30
    SuperFriend Nameless's Avatar
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    This is, hands down, one of the strangest episodes the show has done for many a year. Rod and Todd can levitate a crushed car through an act of God? Buzz Cola eats through Bart's insides? Homer is somehow a chess grand-master? And the plotting was all over the place as well - Grandpa was a key part of the chess plot (which I referred to as 'the main plot' before realising that the title indicates the hat plot is meant to be the main one, but it's hard to tell) but apart from flashbacks he only actually appears right at the end.

    There was the occasional good joke (all of Homer's demons, everyone watching the chess match at the bar - the superbowl line was an obvious one, maybe, but it was delivered well - and the Krusty Burger order), but it was just too messy and strange to really add up to much. Not a good show.

    C-/D+
    Season 27 Ratings
    Awful, probably




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