"See Homer Run"
As a loyal and knowledgeable Simpsons fan, it feels strange to like an episode that's full of things I would normally criticize. The plot is disjointed and has a generally silly feel to it, and the basic idea was Homer trying to gain back respect from Lisa, a plot that's been done at least 4-5 times before, and yet, this episode still managed to be enjoyable to me. I think one reason the plot didn't drag the whole thing down was because the driving force of the episode was humor rather than a complex and clever plot. The jokes came fast and were consistently funny, with very few being off target. For the first two acts, this episode was solid 'A' material. I did think Homer's reaction to Lisa's heartfelt gift was slightly out of character, but since it was necessary for the plot to progress, it was acceptable. About halfway through act 2 (or somewhere around that point), the plot started to falter. We go from a Homer/Lisa plot to a ridiculous 'Homer does something stupid and goes on a wacky adventure/gets another job' plot. But again, the humor pulls through and keeps the episode fresh. Around act 3, the plot and humor started to sort of fizzle out. The townspeople forsaking Homer because he doesn't have the salamander suit anymore was unrealistic and especially annoying. The story of Homer running for mayor is built up, but it seemed like the writer's couldn't come up with anything realistic to close it with. And I have to say, I'm not sure I could've come up with anything better. That's one main problem with these plots about Homer going on crazy adventures or getting another new job, most of the time there's no way to end it that will make sense and seem realistic. Despite the strange way he lost, the scene dealing with Homer's failure was done well, and his dance with Lisa at the very end was sweet. Like I said above, this episode had a simple, fun feel to it, which I thought was one its main strengths. Not perfect I suppose, but a solid episode anyway. B+